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Old 07-24-2013, 05:00 PM   #1
fjtorres
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EPUB3 is dead, long live EPUB3Lite...

...maybe.

From the Association of American Publishers comes a last ditch effort to save epub3 by killing epub3 and replacing it with a de-bloated version: AAP EPUB 3 Implementation Project.

Via Digital Reader.

Quote:
AAP publishers are currently recruiting representation from all stakeholder groups to participate in the initiative’s two central efforts:

Convening this summer: A working group to identify baseline accessibility features for the EPUB 3 files and for metadata, and to plan the program for the September workshop
September 10, 2013: A daylong workshop for all participants in New York City to define and prioritize actionable projects
With that timeline they'll be lucky to get the spec implemented in readers for Xmas 2014. Which says epub3 not only won't be ready this year, they don't expect it to be ready next year either.

Last edited by Alexander Turcic; 07-25-2013 at 12:33 PM. Reason: adjusted for frontpage
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Old 07-24-2013, 05:58 PM   #2
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Design by committee just doesn't work.
By that time it does arrive, Amazon and Apple's (and probably by that point Kobo's new one, and B&N's fork...) formats will have been out and in use for years, and if a new 'standard' is ever delivered, it will be totally irrelevant.

And for the people asking why Amazon, Apple, ... invent their own formats rather than using the 'standard', this is a big reason. With your own format you can decide exactly what you think is worth supporting and what isn't, how you want to go about supporting it, and you can control both the software generating the books and the software reading the books, so know exactly how things will be displayed.
And you can do it all at your own pace, and get to market quickly.

Last edited by murraypaul; 07-24-2013 at 06:27 PM.
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Old 07-24-2013, 06:52 PM   #3
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Originally Posted by murraypaul View Post
And you can do it all at your own pace, and get to market quickly.
And you can make sure the spec runs on the installed base of hardware.
Say what you will about KF8, it runs on Kindles as far back as the K3.

It wouldn't shock me if the main driver of de-bloating epub3 is to get it running on the Nook STR/Kobo Touch generation of readers. No much use getting epub3 books to market if there are no readers that can handle the books.

The thing to watch for next september is the squealing over dropped features. After all, epub3 became the mess it is because it included everything everybody wanted. To whip it into a viable spec they are going to have to say "no" to a lot of somebodies.

BTW, I know it is too much to ask for, but in the best of all worlds the epub3lite spec would define a single (zero-cost) DRM wrapper for commercial epubs. (If B&N were wise they would turn eReader DRM to a neutral body for zero-cost licensing to all comers.) That way the new spec would define an actual consumer level product. But I'm not holding my breath for an outbreak of sanity.
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Old 07-24-2013, 07:04 PM   #4
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I thought the newest Kobo supported epub 3? Is that not correct?
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Old 07-24-2013, 08:25 PM   #5
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I thought the newest Kobo supported epub 3? Is that not correct?
Yes, but I think fjtorres means they will reduce features to make it work on older versions of various companies readers. Having said that, firmware on Kobo is virtually identical back to touch currently.
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Old 07-24-2013, 08:50 PM   #6
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I thought the newest Kobo supported epub 3? Is that not correct?
Kobo and Apple support *some* epub3 features.
Kobo has promised *full* epub3 support for the third quarter.

http://www.digitalbookworld.com/2012...-quarter-2013/

Technically, we're already in the third quarter but apparently they haven't yet gotten there:
http://www.digitalbookworld.com/2013...us-epub3-plan/

Quote:
In December of last year, EPUB content formats evangelist at Kobo Jim Dovey said that Kobo would fully support EPUB3 by the third quarter of this year — essentially, now. The company has not yet responded to a request for an update.

And Sony announced in March that its new children’s ebook platform would support EPUB3.

All of the major ebook retailers have reading software that supports some elements of EPUB3, with Apple leading the way. But the standardization of major retailers accepting one common file format may be a long way off.
The problem is that all the retailers supporting parts of epub3 are supporting *different* parts. The new initiative is to settle on a common subset of epub3 that they can all agree on.

A further problem is that even if they do agree on a common subset and it takes off, it may abort further epub3 development. More often than not, when "lite" versions of a spec take off, the full spec dies.
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Old 07-25-2013, 09:10 AM   #7
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We'll never move forward in human knowledge if they keep leaving out MathML.
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Old 07-25-2013, 10:48 AM   #8
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We'll never move forward in human knowledge if they keep leaving out MathML.
If you believe progress in human knowledge can only be achieved through accurate representations of equations in ebooks, sure. I can see that.
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Old 07-25-2013, 10:52 AM   #9
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We'll never move forward in human knowledge if they keep leaving out MathML.
Isn't Unicode supposed to be able to handle formulas?
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Old 07-25-2013, 12:56 PM   #10
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No, Unicode doesn't suffice for handling formulas --- actually, it's only been recently that the consortium acknowledged that mathematics needed its own code points, see the history of the STIX Fonts for all the gory details:

http://www.stixfonts.org/
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Old 07-25-2013, 01:14 PM   #11
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We'll never move forward in human knowledge if they keep leaving out MathML.
Perhaps it's considered to be too large and complex a renderer for the limited use it would get in a mobile device? Can't you manage with SVG?
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Old 07-25-2013, 02:05 PM   #12
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SVG won't allow one to have the equation exist as an equation which can interact w/ Computer Algebra systems, it forces one to use the alt text for screen readers (so the user can't customize how they want mathematics read out), it also requires that one puzzle out the baseline adjustment for the graphic in advance, &c.

Today's mobile devices have more storage capacity and faster processors than all but the last two or three computers I've ever owned --- processing an XML list and applying some formatting instructions should be trivial.

Last edited by WillAdams; 07-25-2013 at 02:12 PM.
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Old 07-25-2013, 02:10 PM   #13
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I'm not saying it's ideal; it clearly isn't. But there have to be compromises made for low-memory, low-storage devices such as eInk readers. I have a musician friend who feels equally strongly about Music XML, but it's not going to happen on these readers.

Last edited by HarryT; 07-25-2013 at 02:12 PM.
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Old 07-25-2013, 05:19 PM   #14
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They should get someone like Linus Torvalds to be the head designer of epub.
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Old 07-25-2013, 05:51 PM   #15
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They should get someone like Linus Torvalds to be the head designer of epub.
Oh please no.

The man is a terrible bully and such a low opinion of UI design and non-technical users that I'd rather not have his input on a limited function mass market product meant to be simple and intuitive.

Last edited by Rbneader; 07-25-2013 at 05:55 PM.
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