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View Poll Results: ePub Creation
I currently produce ePub but not LRF 12 22.64%
I currently produce LRF but not ePub 20 37.74%
I currently produce ePub and LRF 9 16.98%
I currently produce neither ePub or LRF 2 3.77%
I will produce ePub when non-Sony devices support ePub 6 11.32%
I will produce ePub if Sony stops supporting LRF 3 5.66%
I do not plan on ever supporting ePub 4 7.55%
I need better tools to support ePub 15 28.30%
Multiple Choice Poll. Voters: 53. You may not vote on this poll

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Old 12-27-2008, 08:21 PM   #1
RWood
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ePub or No ePub, That is the Poll

There has been some recent discussion about the merits of adding an ePub download section to the existing Sony BBeB/LRF, Mobipocket/PRC, and eBookwise/IMP download sections.

By my count, there are 18 ePub books posted in the "Other Formats" download section.

Quote:
Bible, King James Version, V1.0, 11.09.2008 [epub] (Misc)
Collodi, Carlo: Le avventure di Pinocchio (Italian) (ePUB) v1 26 Dec 2008 (Misc)
Cutcliffe Hyne, C J: Atoms of Empire v 1 Nov 7 2008 epub (Misc)
Dumas, Alexandre, père: The Three Musketeers. v1.0. EPUB. 08 Aug 2008. (Misc)
EPUB - CIA World Factbook (Misc)
Kingston, W.H.G.: The Pirate of the Mediterranean ePUB v1 26 dec 2008 (Misc)
Le Queux, William: The Stretton Street Affair v 1.0 Nov 5 2008 epub (Misc)
Maniates, Belle Kanaris: Penny of Top Hill Trail v.1 Nov 6 2008 epub (Misc)
May, Karl: Durch das Land der Skipetaren (german) v 1.0 Nov 3 2008 epub (Misc)
May, Karl: Von Bagdad nach Stambul (german) v1.1 Nov 5 2008 epub (Misc)
May, Karl: Durchs wilde Kurdistan (german) v 1.0 Nov 1 2008 epub (Misc)
Nobody's Boy (Sans Famille), by Hector Malot (1830-1907) - EPUB (Misc)
Orwell, George: Animal Farm: A Fairy Story. (ePUB) v4 21 Dec 2008 (Misc)
The American Claimant. (Illustrated) (ePUB) v1 21 Dec 2008 (Misc)
Twain, Mark: The Prince and the Pauper. (Illustrated) (ePUB) v2 21 Dec 2008 (Misc)
Webster, Noah: Webster's Dictionary 1913 (updated .EPUB), v2, 04 Nov 2008 (Misc)
Wilde, Oscar: The Picture of Dorian Gray. (ePUB) v2 22 Dec 2008 (Misc)
Wodehouse, P.G.: The Swoop!, or How Clarence Saved England. (ePUB) v6 21 Dec 2008 (Misc)
Nate did a search of the entire forum for 'ePub" and found 46 file attachments. Therefore the number is somewhere between 18 and 48. As far as I know only the Sony 505 and Sony 700 currently support ePub. It is a chicken and egg sort of thing. Since the only current readers supporting ePub also support LRF and LRF is the format ebooks are the most posted ebooks at MobileRead, the owners of the 505 and 700 already have access to the MobileRead ebooks. When we added the PRC ebooks and later the IMP ebooks we added groups of readers that were not already served by existing formats.

This poll is directed toward people that produce ebooks.

Edit: The poll is open for 20 days and does allow for multiple responses.
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Old 12-27-2008, 09:57 PM   #2
nrapallo
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I eventually see .epub becoming the ultimate ebook source format.

I already produce most of my ebooks from .html with images/hyperlinks/styles and that is basically what gets encapsulated in a .epub.

I have been reluctant to add .epub support for my software tools (as most probably are) until the format achieves wider penetration/support.

But that support WILL come as more dedicated readers can use the .epub format. I see it becoming a major ebook format and I think it's time will come as a separate MR upload forum.

My hardware reader cannot handle .epub (though it does display a limited HTML v3.2 variant) and I don't think it will. However, the tools used to make .imp books (like eBook Publisher) will migrate to allow the loading of .epub for ultimate conversion to my reader's native (.imp) format as well as the generation of .epub for archival purposes.

So I would welcome a .epub upload forum. The only problem I can see at the moment is that the only hardware readers offering native .epub support (Sony PRS-505/700) require the .html to be in size-limited chunks as opposed to one (large) .html. I don't know if that memory-constrained limit will ever go away and you will have to deal with multiple .epub variants (based on different device's tolerances). Hopefully software tools will soon exist to seamlessly switch between these .epub variants.

Last edited by nrapallo; 12-27-2008 at 10:01 PM.
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Old 12-28-2008, 01:18 AM   #3
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For me the tools to create quality ePUBs exist. With BookCreator and calibre it's just as easy to enough to produce books just as good as LRF and in some cases even better. (Mobi and IMP require more work) But the ePUB support on SONY is just terrible. LRF performance on the SONY is just far better than ePUB.

Just a comment there are other mobile devices today that support ePUB such as the iPhone so I don't think one of your options is incorrect.

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Old 12-28-2008, 01:33 AM   #4
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I have yet to produce any of my ebooks in epub format. It is something on the back burner for me because no one has every asked me for that format. Most people just want something that works on whatever device they use and if I have something that works, then they select it.

I've been slowly looking into making epub. I have Adobe InDesign, but I need a $600 upgrade to get the new version that is supposed to make epub, so that's not very exciting. I've been meaning to check out calibre, and see how it does.

For me, I'm just monitoring the epub situation to see how it develops. If readers start wanting it, I'll get motivated about delivering it.
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Old 12-28-2008, 01:33 AM   #5
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The few epubs I made with Calibre consistently crashed my Reader. Kovid says it's a bug in the ADE program. Or maybe it's the "too large html" file issue, I can't remember.

I don't want to take the time to code in HTML/XML (and am too unpracticed in it for it to be something fast, as it might be for some of our members).

And Book Designer - ick. I really didn't like using that program and finally uninstalled it.

So for now, it's LRF. If I'm really lazy, it might even be a RTF.
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Old 12-28-2008, 04:13 AM   #6
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Like nrapallo, at the moment I see ePUB as a source format, although my sources are in HTML for mobipocket... What I mean is that, even though I don't have any reader supporting ePUB, and even though none of the readers I know of properly support all the features I'd like, I still produce the ePUB files because that's a nice way to store the source files. Since the books I upload have a certain amount of work in formatting and proofreading, I find it desirable to make it possible for others to convert them to other formats, and ePUB is good as a source for that.

I would maybe like to have better tools for creating ePUB files, but I have the feeling I would be dissatisfied anyway and I'd go back to handcoding the XHTML... so the lack of tools is not a real problem for me now. The lack of readers is more problematic, but since I can check most of the format with a web browser, I can work around that.
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Old 12-28-2008, 02:58 PM   #7
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I favor making ePub formats available, as I hope to see more reading devices support ePub as a format for translating into their native format. I also presently make RTF files available, for exactly that purpose. Presently I produce in 6 formats (plus PDF, which I use internally but do not sell), and the next time I cut back on formats, I may remove RTF and leave ePub for translation purposes.

Eventually, I'd like to be producing in the fewest formats possible, and as a universal format, I consider ePub among the best for standard literature needs.
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Old 12-28-2008, 04:17 PM   #8
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I think epub will become the predominant format in the future. I have made a few tries with assembling some epubs, but the creating software leaves much to be desired. My big problem is the fact that I cannot use my HTML source files the way I use them to make Mobi and LRF files without having to do a complete rebuild of the files. I do XHTML files, for god's sake, stripped to the bare minimum to simplify that process. The only real working epub files available right now, for me, are Feedbook's.

I keep up the hope that someday there will be a software available that makes it possible, with a little editing of the CSS file, to create feature rich epubs working on every available platform and not crash on every other reader or software like Stanza's do for example. This includes software and hardware readers that do not claim specific properties from the book for it to be readable.
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Old 12-28-2008, 04:35 PM   #9
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I'd be glad to create ePub books as well as the other three formats when I convert a book for uploading here. For now, I'm assuming that Calibre will be the software most available to me -- or maybe the online tool at Feedbooks. I do own a Sony 505 reader, but have not yet applied the update that will enable it to support ePub files. (Long story -- but planned to be done by the end of March 2009.) I don't really want to install Adobe Digital Editions on my computer to read the ePub book, so will need to investigate the various options for display.

Some interesting web places having to do with ePub that I found:

* free, online ePub validator -- http://www.threepress.org/document/epub-validate/
* tutorial on creating ePub books -- https://www6.software.ibm.com/develo...tut/index.html
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Old 12-28-2008, 04:43 PM   #10
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Elsi View Post
I'd be glad to create ePub books as well as the other three formats when I convert a book for uploading here. For now, I'm assuming that Calibre will be the software most available to me -- or maybe the online tool at Feedbooks. I do own a Sony 505 reader, but have not yet applied the update that will enable it to support ePub files. (Long story -- but planned to be done by the end of March 2009.) I don't really want to install Adobe Digital Editions on my computer to read the ePub book, so will need to investigate the various options for display.

Some interesting web places having to do with ePub that I found:

* free, online ePub validator -- http://www.threepress.org/document/epub-validate/
* tutorial on creating ePub books -- https://www6.software.ibm.com/develo...tut/index.html
The online tool at Feedbook has some disadvantages but is the best to date. One thing I do not like is the fact that there are no illustrations allowed in the text. But, hey, pagebreak works and it does not crash any reader I tried so far.
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Old 12-28-2008, 07:20 PM   #11
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I am not sure there are very many production tools that will generate a correct ePUB file that will pass the check standard. I do not believe Calibre supports an ePUB TOC for example but then perhaps it has been added recently. I would say we need to ensure the tools can do the full job before we have the format go public. I think people would hate having to redo stuff.

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Old 12-28-2008, 07:57 PM   #12
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Files on Feedbooks always pass epubcheck correctly, we even pre-process each XHTML feed individually with Tidy.
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Old 12-28-2008, 10:07 PM   #13
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Originally Posted by DaleDe View Post
I do not believe Calibre supports an ePUB TOC for example but then perhaps it has been added recently.
No... Calibre EPUB generation has always included NCX TOC support.

What sorts of tools do the people who say they want better tools want?
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Old 12-28-2008, 11:14 PM   #14
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I'm not sure if some of the features I would prefer will ever find itself into the epub format; such as full justification for starters. I'm rather persnickety about the layout of my books. Epub and the whole ragged right makes reading that much less enjoyable for me. Also, font embedding is pretty crucial for me as well. I'm not sure if that is just a limitation on the software I'm using or if the Epub standard already supports it? Perhaps I will reexamine using Epub when those issues are addressed.
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Old 12-28-2008, 11:46 PM   #15
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Originally Posted by Abisha View Post
I'm not sure if some of the features I would prefer will ever find itself into the epub format; such as full justification for starters.
That's an AdobeDE limitation, not an EPUB limitation. Most other EPUB readers do full justification just fine.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Abisha View Post
Also, font embedding is pretty crucial for me as well.
Also already a part of EPUB. In fact, it's the only format for which font embedding really works well -- if font embedding is important to you then EPUB is the format for you.
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