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Old 07-21-2009, 10:04 AM   #1
Abelturd
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The Official Motion for Introduction of the Epub Dictionary Format

Dear MobileReaders,

the EPUB industry standard ebook format is on the verge of becoming the predominant format for electronic publishing. This is a turn for the better, because it could resolve the chaotic situation with the myriad of ebook formats out there and make things easier for the publishers and the liseuse manufacturers, and of course for readers.

It has it's shortcomings, though, one of which is the lack of dictionary support.

Admirable initiative addressing this issue has come from Nate the Great, who started work on the tag specification in this -> thread.

In a different thread I proposed that some official body, it would be best if it was IDPF, should prepare the specification for epub dictionary format and then forward it to the publishers and liseuse manufacturers. We as users can put things in motion. My idea was that we, MR members, roundup our suggestions concerning the epub dictionary format and explicitly state our wish for it to be brought into existence. Kind of a petition, if you like. That's what this thread is for. When we come to a general consensus on the matter, we will forward our ideas to IDPF , who is in a position to act on them.

Please, any ideas, comments, wishes and suggestions on your side are most welcome.
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Old 07-21-2009, 10:20 AM   #2
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excellent idea, abelturd ! thank you for doing this. dictionary support is important to a lot of people and it's also a key feature for educational uses, so it seems vital that ipdf should implement the feature as soon as possible.

i would really like to see it happen too for my own use, and i'd like to see it as a standard feature on all liseuses with epub support, including the possibility to use several dictionaries (including different languages and bilingual dictionaries) and get results from all of them.
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Old 07-21-2009, 10:29 AM   #3
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I too want ePUB dictionaries to be a reality, and be easy to use and produce. Now, as for having real suggestions about what the format should be... that's a different story
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Old 07-21-2009, 10:31 AM   #4
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I too want ePUB dictionaries to be a reality, and be easy to use and produce. Now, as for having real suggestions about what the format should be... that's a different story
i think nate's thread has made really good progress on that front.
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Old 07-21-2009, 10:39 AM   #5
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i think nate's thread has made really good progress on that front.
Exactly, this thread's task is by no means to duplicate Nate's thread, the scope of which is the technical aspect of things.
The main idea of this thread is that as many people as possible express their support for the epub dictionary format. And perhaps give their reasons why they would find it useful and to what use they would put it.

Last edited by Abelturd; 07-21-2009 at 10:46 AM.
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Old 07-21-2009, 12:05 PM   #6
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The main idea of this thread is that as many people as possible express their support for the epub dictionary format.
I for one fully support this drive for an EPUB dictionary format. We definitely need one.
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Old 07-21-2009, 01:59 PM   #7
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I for one fully support this drive for an EPUB dictionary format. We definitely need one.
Me too. And software that will use it.
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Old 07-21-2009, 02:08 PM   #8
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As an educator, I can see a great benefit to having Epub dictionary support at all academic levels.
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Old 07-21-2009, 02:19 PM   #9
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I've said all along that dictionary support is one of the major deficiencies of epub. Come on IDPF, you have some work to do.
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Old 07-21-2009, 02:22 PM   #10
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I've said all along that dictionary support is one of the major deficiencies of epub. Come on IDPF, you have some work to do.
Well, if MobiPocket dictionaries that people want to use were DRM free then it would be very easy to use them. So you can also say that it is DRM that causes the problem.
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Old 07-21-2009, 08:23 PM   #11
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Well, if MobiPocket dictionaries that people want to use were DRM free then it would be very easy to use them. So you can also say that it is DRM that causes the problem.
Not quite. An epub reader can't use mobi dictionaries, with or without DRM. There will have to be a new dictionary type defined for epub.

Now, the idea of a multi-format reader that could open an epub ebook and lookup words with a mobi dictionary has occured to me before, but no one has implemented that to my knowledge. It would be a good interim measure and would immediately give that particular device access to the wide variety of mobi dictionaries.

Hey manufacturers - here is a free idea for you. Come on, someone implement it.
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Old 07-21-2009, 09:26 PM   #12
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Now, the idea of a multi-format reader that could open an epub ebook and lookup words with a mobi dictionary has occured to me before, but no one has implemented that to my knowledge. It would be a good interim measure and would immediately give that particular device access to the wide variety of mobi dictionaries.
There seems to be a problem with licensing, see Bookeen's case. They're going to maintain two firmware versions, because the license doesn't allow them to fit the mobi and the epub support into a single firmware. So mobi is definitely not a good interim solution. I would rather propose open XDXF format as an interim solution until a proper epub dictionary format with drm support is introduced.
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Old 07-22-2009, 02:27 AM   #13
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Me too. And software that will use it.
I'll third that motion - and I haven't even got an ePub ebook reader yet.

Once we've expressed our support for the idea, what next?

Regards, Alex
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Old 07-22-2009, 04:46 AM   #14
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If enough people do it, so that we can show IDPF and manufacturers that there's actual need for epub dictionaries, we can ask Hadrien, who's from IDPF, to bring it forward to IDPF or we can contact IDPF directly via email or even snail-mail to give it more credibility, with link to this thread. But if you have a better idea, I'm all ears.
MobileRead has become authority in the world of epublishing. Its chances to incite change are a lot greater than chances of an individual.
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Old 07-22-2009, 05:22 AM   #15
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including the possibility to use several dictionaries (including different languages and bilingual dictionaries) and get results from all of them.
I second this, Zelda.
Being able to use several dictionaries is a very interesting feature, for all the people reading or learning to read in more than one language, for academic research, for technical books, ...

I would like to add that we would need to be able to know which dictionary gave which result (for instance, which result comes from my english dictionary and which from my english-french one ?), but this is more a software interface probem I think.
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