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Old 10-21-2011, 10:08 AM   #61
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So yes; odds are K3 will get upgraded, odds are K2 won't. DX and DXG? Unclear.
I'm cool with that. I tend to read books that are simply full of words anyway. Almost any format out there (with the exception of PDF), manages to throw those words on a six-inch screen efficiently enough for my reading purposes.
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Old 10-21-2011, 10:15 AM   #62
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If we're daft enough to keep buying them and spending ages using apps like Calibre to convert formats, then we don't deserve readers that support epub (or similar).
I got a reader able that use ePub. And buy only ePub. Amazon's loss, not mine
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Old 10-21-2011, 10:17 AM   #63
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I'm really quite happy with this announcement. It may not be ePub 3.0, but if it truly does support HTML 5 then it's pretty darn close.

I don't know if any of you have seen the material available at the Khan Academy, but it teaches everything from basic arithmetic to calculus and differential equations (as well as various sciences, history, finance, and other subjects). It does this through short videos (well over 2,000 videos) and automated drills.

I'm currently writing a book on algebra and I'd love to include something similar to what Khan does inside my book, because some people learn better through auditory lectures, and everybody learns better through practice. HTML 5 will allow me to do this, so I'm quite pleased with the announcement.
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Old 10-21-2011, 10:59 AM   #64
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Oh my ghod..!! The Sky Is Falling™

Whatever. If you think that Amazon is going to alienate thousands of customers by cutting them off from their books, you really don't understand the company.
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Old 10-21-2011, 11:01 AM   #65
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Originally Posted by pdurrant View Post
The Mobipocket format has a version number. The highest version number I've seen for that is 7. So I think that's why it's 8.

This new format will actually give Amazon four supported file formats.

1. Mobipocket (Modified HTML 3.2 in a Palm Doc wrapper)
2. Topaz (which is completely different to any other format)
3. Print Replica (PDF in a Palm Doc wrapper)
4. KF8 (Modified HTML5/CSS2 in ?)
I was expecting the number to be lower because I was remembering this discussion:
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One fun point I forgot to mention in my first post:

Amazon gave their version of Mobipocket the file extension .azw
Amazon gave their new Topaz format the file extension .azw1
Amazon gave their "Print Replica" format the file extension .azw4

What's happened to azw2 and azw3?
Could one of them be intended for some weird ePub based format?
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Old 10-21-2011, 11:07 AM   #66
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Originally Posted by Sil_liS View Post
I was expecting the number to be lower because I was remembering this discussion:
Oh yes. Well, I'm a bit surprised too. I suspect that a different name will be chosen for public (rather than book publisher) consumption.

After all, Amazon make very little mention of the Mobipocket/Topaz distinction. Indeed, I don't think there is a public name for the Topaz format.
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Old 10-21-2011, 11:13 AM   #67
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Oh yes. Well, I'm a bit surprised too. I suspect that a different name will be chosen for public (rather than book publisher) consumption.

After all, Amazon make very little mention of the Mobipocket/Topaz distinction. Indeed, I don't think there is a public name for the Topaz format.
Is there a distinction between Mobipocket and Topaz? Does it require a different reader (software, not device)?
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Old 10-21-2011, 12:01 PM   #68
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The way this works is that kindlegen2 will build a 'full' k8 file, including archived source, multimedia content etc. That's what you submit to Amazon. When you download an .azw from Amazon, you only get the parts that that particular Kindle understands, i.e. no source archive, if your Kindle doesn't have audio/video capabilities you won't get those parts, etc. So to some extent there is 'graceful degradation' built in.

So even now 'enhanced' ebooks (the ones with audio and video that's playable with Kindle4iOS) can be downloaded to a Kindle 1—but you don't get the audio/video as part of the file. The file you get depends on the capabilities of the device.

This contrasts with ePub in that the file is the same regardless of the device, and it is up to the device to decide to do with what is in there.

So there's 'full' backward compatibility.

The other point is that the output of Kindlegen is 'binary', whereas epub it is just compressed source files. The analogy is that Kindle format is 'byte code' that can be loaded directly into memory, whereas with epub, you must do this each time a book is opened (usually a 'chapter' at a time). Amazon has always claimed this 'precompiling' reduces the work required by the reading system, and makes it more responsive. Indeed, with virtually every epub reading system I've used, there's a slight delay as each new chapter is loaded in, and often when the book is loaded.

The advantage of ePub is that (in the absence of DRM encryption) you can simply un-zip the content and the source can be examined and modified in its original form. With azw, the 'compiling' process is 'lossy' and while you can 'disassemble' it, you lose things like comments and markup that kindlegen decided to ignore (which is why it archives the source in the file submitted to Amazon).

Topaz is entirely outside this system, and with K8 it will be deprecated since things like font embedding and better CSS support are now directly supported by kindlegen. Topaz is dead! Long live Topaz!

This will be a boon to ebook designers as they no longer need to concern themselves nearly as much with designing for 2 formats.

Remaining questions: what about JavaScript support in K8? (note: the original mobipocket format specification included JS support). What about other epub3 features such as media overlays, accessibility, epub navigation documents?

Also what about <mbp:..> tags? deprecated?

Last edited by tomsem; 10-21-2011 at 12:25 PM.
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Old 10-21-2011, 12:06 PM   #69
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Is there a distinction between Mobipocket and Topaz? Does it require a different reader (software, not device)?
Mobipocket is HTML 3.2-ish at core. Topaz is a combination of glyphs and page positions, along with an unproofed OCR text.

They have completely different rendering software.
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Old 10-21-2011, 12:08 PM   #70
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Topaz is entirely outside this system, and with K8 it will be deprecated since things like font embedding and better CSS support are now directly supported by kindlegen. Topaz is dead! Long live Topaz!
Topaz was really used to get printed books into ebook format quickly and automatically. Although it also preserved fonts, that was a side effect, not a design goal, IMO.
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Old 10-21-2011, 12:23 PM   #71
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Topaz was really used to get printed books into ebook format quickly and automatically. Although it also preserved fonts, that was a side effect, not a design goal, IMO.
Yeah, not really fonts, just 'scalable letterforms', no hinting etc.
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Old 10-21-2011, 12:26 PM   #72
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Remaining questions: what about JavaScript support in K8? (note: the original mobipocket format specification included JS support). What about other epub3 features such as media overlays, accessibility, epub navigation documents?
I don't see how they can claim HTML 5 support without supporting javascript.
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Old 10-21-2011, 12:33 PM   #73
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I like to think that SVG would be supported on current and forthcoming eink devices (at least K4 and KTouch, as they have faster CPU). Kindlegen could create image placeholders that would be used on devices that don't support it.

Seems like embedded audio should also be supported on KTouch at least.
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Old 10-21-2011, 12:44 PM   #74
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I don't see how they can claim HTML 5 support without supporting javascript.
Technically they are separate specs. In ePub 3, JS is 'optional', yet it makes the same claim about HTML 5 support.

The list of 'HTML 5' tags does not include <script>...but it also says list is 'not exhaustive'.

My guess: no JS support, yet. But it will come later.
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Old 10-21-2011, 12:51 PM   #75
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I don't see how they can claim HTML 5 support without supporting javascript.
HTML and JavaScript are separate technologies.

Just because people have started lumping everything into the label "HTML5", it doesn't mean that's a technical reality.
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