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Old 02-01-2012, 01:29 AM   #166
bitterateur
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It seems to me that a lot of this discussion is seriously confused about Apple's epub3 support. Unless I missed something, (1) ibooks 2 IS supporting epub 3, or at least a fair amount of it (I'd like to figure out exactly how much, but as far as I can tell, they are at least ahead of other readers in epub3 support). (2) iBooks author doesn't supporting epub 3 in any shape or form. I'm slightly disappointed about the second point, but it's a reasonable move for Apple under present circumstances. And it seems to me many people in this discussion are confusing the two points, assuming that ibooks 2 will not support epub 3. As far as I can tell, that's not the case at all. It's just that you'll be on your own as far as creating epub 3 content. Personally, I think Apple should have been happy with using iBa to promote the Mac. But they took a hard line so that their software can't be used to make books for androids and other readers. Apple's a hardware company, not a software company, so it's kind of a no-brainer for them.
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Old 02-01-2012, 07:24 AM   #167
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View any of the videos on Apple's site and you can see what iBooks do that other books don't....from the top of my head:

Quizzes
Flash Cards
Glossary Builder
Movies
360 viewing of 3D models
Plethora of mock up stuff (flow around irregular shapes, stuff to do with margins and the like)
Integration with web apps/code
These are supposed to be possible with epub3 files, except the Glossary Builder which would be a part of the software to make the book, not part of the book itself.
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Old 02-01-2012, 08:56 AM   #168
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These are supposed to be possible with epub3 files, except the Glossary Builder which would be a part of the software to make the book, not part of the book itself.
There's no limit to what epub3 MAY become. Apple has a shipping product, and epub3 is still in design/discussion/debate/committee phase.

Standards follow innovation, they don't lead innovation.

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Old 02-01-2012, 08:58 AM   #169
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Yes. And IMHO, that's bad. It's not good to have one company that dominates such an important market, be it computers, phones, or (interactive) books.
It has always been, and will always be. To the "market maker" go the spoils.

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Old 02-01-2012, 10:20 AM   #170
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Originally Posted by leebase View Post
There's no limit to what epub3 MAY become. Apple has a shipping product, and epub3 is still in design/discussion/debate/committee phase.
I'm not sure you understand the concept of a standard.
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Old 02-01-2012, 12:59 PM   #171
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I'm not sure you understand the concept of a standard.
I understand the standard ebook format is currently .mobi, a proprietary format owned by Amazon. You know something's a standard when you can ignore all the other formats without facing economic hardship. As it is...you cannot ignore the Kindle if you wish to sell ebooks. You could very will ignore the Apple Store without much harm...or Barnes and Noble, or Sony. Frankly, you could do quite well sticking to Amazon. That's a standard.

Of course, competitors aren't too happy with folks just sticking with Amazon, so they agreed to support a "standard", which is merely a competing format that enables one to reach all the wanna-be's who, in aggregate, still could probably be ignored compared to Amazon.

Of course we, as consumers, desire to have numerous vendors all competing to sell us the same exact object. Causes prices to be lowered, allows us to fire vendors at will with no pain to ourselves. So of COURSE _we_ desire standard formats.

So there will always be an ebb and flow, a tug of war, between the market makers, the gaggle of wanna-be's and the customers.

Customers love innovation, they like new toys, they like new features. These dynamic and interactive textbooks are going to be VERY desirable. And thus customers are going to flock to them BECAUSE there is no competition to speak of.

But eventually the gaggle of wanna-be's, in order to compete with the entrenched market leader, will gang up and put forth "a standard". But it won't really be a standard, just another alternative...and one that will likely leave Apple in the position Amazon is today with respect to text books.

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Old 02-01-2012, 08:27 PM   #172
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Originally Posted by leebase View Post
I understand the standard ebook format is currently .mobi, a proprietary format owned by Amazon. You know something's a standard when you can ignore all the other formats without facing economic hardship.
From here:
Quote:
ISO/IEC Guide 2:1996, definition 3.2 defines a standard as:

'A document established by consensus and approved by a recognized body that provides for common and repeated use, rules, guidelines or characteristics for activities or their results, aimed at the achievement of the optimum degree of order in a given context'.

ETSI standards could be described in general as being 'definitions and specifications for products and processes requiring repeated use'. They are certainly a set of rules for ensuring quality.

A fuller definition of a 'standard' from an ETSI perspective would be:

'A technical specification approved by a recognized standardization body for repeated or continuous application, with which compliance is not compulsory and which is one of the following:

international standard: a standard adopted by an international standardization organization
European standard: a standard adopted by a European standardization body
national standard: a standard adopted by a national standardization body and made available to the public'.
The definition isn't the only reason why .mobi is not a standard. You seem to be forgetting about KF8, which is the current format pushed by Amazon.
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Old 02-01-2012, 08:46 PM   #173
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The definition isn't the only reason why .mobi is not a standard. You seem to be forgetting about KF8, which is the current format pushed by Amazon.
It is interesting how that definition (which I assume is used for programs and the like?) differs from the, umm, standard definition - meaning something that is common, usual, or customary.
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Old 02-01-2012, 09:18 PM   #174
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The idea of Apple achieving world domination of ebook publishing with iBA seems pretty ludicrous at this point, not only because of the licence agreement, which has most serious publishers scared out of their wits, but also because the feature set is pretty limited. Apple described the program as a "Garage Band for ebooks," and that's basically what it is: a cool but simplistic program for people to play around with publishing. I'm sure some serious musicians go into the studio with Garage Band, but it hasn't exactly put guitars and pianos out of business. Apple's just taking advantage of a huge hole in the ebook software market between the expensive and overly-complicated Indesign and the free but half-baked Sigil. Indesign CS6 will be out in a few months, and unless Adobe seriously screws it up, will remain much more appealing to publishers than iBA. Amazon's been aggressively trying to take publishers out of the picture entirely, while Apple is taking a middle position: publishers can stay in the game if they play by Apple's rules. At the same time, they are following Amazon in trying to lure authors directly.

I wouldn't be surprised if Microsoft put some ebook functionality into MSWord in the future, or Google with Google Docs. The epub format is not all that complicated. Any program that can make an html file can do most of the work necessary to make an epub. Did Apple really add that much to the ebook picture with iBA? Quizzes? A Glossary? A movie at the beginning of the book? 3D objects? Isn't all of this possible in epub 3? The bottom line is that Apple is once again taking advantage of the inability of a group of competing interests (publishing industry, software companies, and schools) to get their shit together, and using that as a a way to sell a few more ipads and macs. It looks to me like a short-term advantage.
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Old 02-01-2012, 09:54 PM   #175
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The definition isn't the only reason why .mobi is not a standard. You seem to be forgetting about KF8, which is the current format pushed by Amazon.
Right...and Open Office format is the real document "standard" and not Microsoft .doc

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Old 02-02-2012, 04:57 AM   #176
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It is interesting how that definition (which I assume is used for programs and the like?) differs from the, umm, standard definition - meaning something that is common, usual, or customary.
The definition from the document called "Rules for the structure and drafting of International Standards" doesn't seem to be program specific.

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Right...and Open Office format is the real document "standard" and not Microsoft .doc
The specifications for .doc files have changed since their initial use. Which version are you talking about?
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Old 02-02-2012, 05:48 AM   #177
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Apple described the program as a "Garage Band for ebooks"
Well, somebody described it as that before anyone outside Apple really knew what it was, but it wasn't Apple.

Having immersed myself in the program the last couple weeks and being reasonably familiar with Garage Band, I can say it is definitely NOT that.
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Old 02-02-2012, 11:39 PM   #178
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Sil_liS wrote as part of a post:

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The specifications for .doc files have changed since their initial use. Which version are you talking about?
I think this a factor in what is and is not a true standard. To me, one of factors that defines something as a true standard is whether it can be modified unilaterally by a single individual or entity. In the case of the .doc format, Microsoft has the power to unilaterally change it at will and still call the new version ".doc." This is unlike the QUERTY keyboard layout, where no one individual or entity has the power to change the layout of the keys and then call the new version QUERTY.
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Old 02-03-2012, 05:41 AM   #179
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^^ It's QWERTY, and who would stop me if I decided to rearrange the keys and market it as the same? It would be silly, but there's no reason someone couldn't.
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Old 02-03-2012, 12:47 PM   #180
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^^ It's QWERTY, and who would stop me if I decided to rearrange the keys and market it as the same? It would be silly, but there's no reason someone couldn't.
I apologize for the error, the "QU" habit kicked in when I was writing it.

Although someone could rearrange the keys and market the keyboard with the new layout as "QWERTY" it would be rejected by users because it's not in compliance with the standard QWERTY layout. It could be marketed under another name, but not as QWERTY. It would be much like someone taking apples and trying to sell them as oranges.
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