Register Guidelines E-Books Search Today's Posts Mark Forums Read

Go Back   MobileRead Forums > E-Book General > News

Notices

Reply
 
Thread Tools Search this Thread
Old 07-06-2006, 09:02 AM   #1
Alexander Turcic
Fully Converged
Alexander Turcic ought to be getting tired of karma fortunes by now.Alexander Turcic ought to be getting tired of karma fortunes by now.Alexander Turcic ought to be getting tired of karma fortunes by now.Alexander Turcic ought to be getting tired of karma fortunes by now.Alexander Turcic ought to be getting tired of karma fortunes by now.Alexander Turcic ought to be getting tired of karma fortunes by now.Alexander Turcic ought to be getting tired of karma fortunes by now.Alexander Turcic ought to be getting tired of karma fortunes by now.Alexander Turcic ought to be getting tired of karma fortunes by now.Alexander Turcic ought to be getting tired of karma fortunes by now.Alexander Turcic ought to be getting tired of karma fortunes by now.
 
Alexander Turcic's Avatar
 
Posts: 17,094
Karma: 10000048
Join Date: Oct 2002
Location: Switzerland
Device: Sony PRS-650 / Nexus 7 / Kindle PW
Add your voice to the new e-book standard

Creating the perfect e-book format is no walk in the park, but let's face it, we're happy to take anything that's not proprietary and is easy to consume. Nick of the International Digital Publishing Forum informed us that the first draft specification of the OEBPS unified container format has been published, and now he would love to hear your comments.

Quote:
This standard is going through a public review period and we would like input from your more technical readers on the specification before it gets sent to our members for a vote. The review period lasts for 30 days and ends on August 4th.
Related: Industry adopts new e-book standards
Alexander Turcic is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 07-06-2006, 05:07 PM   #2
davidrothman
Connoisseur
davidrothman began at the beginning.
 
Posts: 55
Karma: 32
Join Date: Jun 2005
Location: Alexandria, VA
Device: Sony PRS-505 / Palm TX / Nokia 770 / iPod Touch
The pesky details that IDPF won't tell you about

Hi, Alex. I know you haven't been tracking all the complicated nuances of e-book standards--not your fault, since this can be rather time-consuming. So let me fill you in along with other MobileRead folks. Big thanks! Perhaps--no problem if not--you can even do a prominently featured link from the home page. It'll be great if MobileRead readers can have the entire story.

The IDPF's container format is the easy stuff and relies heavily on container work associated with the ODF format. No problem. People can comment away on the container format! The core format and DRM, however, will be much more difficult, and there are some major questions as to how much the results will serve the publishers and the public vs. Adobe and ETI--in such important areas as reliable interbook links. Those companies and others like Mobipocket and eReader have built their business models around proprietary formats. Can they really change overnight?

Adobe and ETI dominate the IDPF and bear close watching. Four of the seven IDPF board members are not from publishers but from tech-related companies (http://idpf.org/about/boardofdirectors.htm). It's as if a few printers are setting the agenda for the publishing world. ETI folks preside over the now-crucial technical committees, while an Adobe exec holds a seat on the board and had a guy helping to run the technical side until a job change. An ETI man is on the IDPF board. Result? The tech-company tail is wagging the publishing dog at the expense of not just publishers but also end users like MobileRead readers.

This is why OpenReader (OpenReader.org) feels that publishers and the rest of the planet would be served better by standards-development work in a more neutral venue such as an OASIS tech committee where there would be a greater depth of technical talent, especially the disinterested varietey.

At IDPF, formerly known as the Open eBook Forum, aka the OeBF, standards have long been a lost cause. In various incarnations the group as far back as the late '90s was promising the prompt creation of standards (http://www.microsoft.com/typography/...s.aspx?NID=567). No luck. Interesting track record, eh? IDPF was doing squat about consumer-level standards in recent years until OpenReader came along, and now the IDPF guys are trying to co-opt the S word. But guess what. Whether through excessive use of Flash-style proprietary plug-ins or other techniques, the Tower of eBabel will remain intact in the end unless standard-setting moves from the IDPF to a mainstream standards group.

Many and perhaps most of the techies who created the original IDPF production-level standards now refuse to have anything to do with the tainted IDPF. In the past, a more neutral approach was used. Not ETI folks but a highly respected e-text expert from the University of Illinois, for example, presided over the main technical committee at one point. Even when industry people were in charge, there was more diversity among those most actively involved in the drafting.

I believe that Adobe and ETI have contributions to make in the realm of standards--but let's not let them run the show and corrupt the standards-setting process.

Oh, and a little detail. Guess who's pretty AWOL from the IDPF's standards setting. None other than Microsoft. That shows you how seriously Redmond takes the IDPF (sarcasm alert), and with good reason beyond Microsoft's usual arrogance. The moral authority at the IDPF just isn't there, not with such a blatant rigging of the standards-setting process.

I would encourage concerned industry and media folks to catch up with Jon Noring, the main founder of OpenReader, for the whole story. Jon is at jon@openreader.org and 801-253-4037. Contrary to the canards spread by worried IDPF defenders, incidentally, Jon is not interested in chairing the proposed OASIS technical committee. We want true neutrality (I'd love for the Illinois professor to head the committee!) and hope that public pressure will force the IDPF to clean up its act and move standards out of the Adobe-ETI frog pond and into the mainstream at OASIS or at least a similarly credible group.

Thanks,
David

For latecomers: I'm cofounder of OpenReader and run the TeleRead blog (http://www.teleread.org/blog), which was fighting for genuine e-book-related interoperability long before OR existed. The main TeleRead.org site is devoted to the cause of well-stocked national digital libraries; and a continuation of proprietary e-book standards will be poison for them. Darn it, I want reliable interbook linking and other good stuff about which the IDPF does not sufficiently care.
davidrothman is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 07-07-2006, 04:06 AM   #3
BenTrafford
Junior Member
BenTrafford began at the beginning.
 
Posts: 5
Karma: 10
Join Date: Jul 2006
Location: Waterloo, Ontario, Canada
And now for a word from the democratic opposition...

Quote:
Originally Posted by davidrothman
It'll be great if MobileRead readers can have the entire story.
...from Mr. Rothman's point of view.

Quote:
Originally Posted by davidrothman
Adobe and ETI dominate the IDPF and bear close watching. Four of the seven IDPF board members are not from publishers but from tech-related companies (http://idpf.org/about/boardofdirectors.htm).
What Mr. Rothman fails to mention is that an accessibility advocate held a seat on the board for four years of the IDPF's existence. He also fails to mention that accessibility advocates sit on the IDPF's working groups, as do invited experts, people who are brought in not because of any corporate agenda, but because of the technical know-how they bring to the group.

Quote:
Originally Posted by davidrothman
An ETI man is on the IDPF board. Result? The tech-company tail is wagging the publishing dog at the expense of not just publishers but also end users like MobileRead readers.
This idea, which Mr. Rothman propogates here and at his own blog and who knows elsewhere, is both ludicrous and more than a little insulting. It insults the various organizations who are IDPF members, and yet have no corporate agenda. Like the American Library Association. Like Access Pennsylvania. Like the DAISY Consortium. What? Are they so ineffectual that they have no impact? So stupid that they'll swallow anything handed to them? I think not.

As for publishers, take a look at the list of members. Publishers are well-represented. In fact, a quick glance shows that publishers are as well-represented as tech companies, with public interests taking a close third.

Quote:
Originally Posted by davidrothman
This is why OpenReader (OpenReader.org) feels that publishers and the rest of the planet would be served better by standards-development work in a more neutral venue such as an OASIS tech committee where there would be a greater depth of technical talent, especially the disinterested varietey.
OASIS? Disinterested? Disinterested in what? Making money? Somehow, I doubt that. Take a look at their membership -- it's almost all tech companies.

As for a greater depth of technical talent, you may find that at OASIS, but what you'll also find is a higher bar for membership. Goodbye, invited experts. Goodbye, anybody who can't afford their higher membership dues.

In other words -- join OASIS, where the little guy can't come play, and where ebooks are a blip on the radar. Or play at IDPF, where ebooks have been the primary focus for the last eight years, and where anyone of sufficient technical ability can come play.

Quote:
Originally Posted by davidrothman
Many and perhaps most of the techies who created the original IDPF production-level standards now refuse to have anything to do with the tainted IDPF.
What Mr. Rothman fails to mention is that that seven years have passed since those standards were built. A lot of people, like the aforementioned technical experts, have moved on to other positions and other opportunities. What he also fails to mention is the prominent role that several current people played...people who work for the Great Satan, ETI, for example, or invited experts, like myself.

Quote:
Originally Posted by davidrothman
Oh, and a little detail. Guess who's pretty AWOL from the IDPF's standards setting. None other than Microsoft. That shows you how seriously Redmond takes the IDPF (sarcasm alert), and with good reason beyond Microsoft's usual arrogance. The moral authority at the IDPF just isn't there, not with such a blatant rigging of the standards-setting process.
Given that Mr. Rothman isn't part of the standards process, I don't see how he can make such egregious claims. A "blatant rigging?" What is this, a bad conspiracy movie?

Contrary to what Mr. Rothman might have you believe, most discussions at IDPF are not about how we can all join together aid Darth Ebookius to crush the rebels and see the ETI-Adobe Empire made dominant over the huddled and helpless masses...most discussions at IDPF are about what we can do to make ebooks available to everyone, rather than supporting the divergent mass of standards.

Yes, Microsoft does not have an active member on the IDPF working groups. They are still a member of the organization -- they just don't see working group involvement as being worth the money. And as long as people like David Rothman are splitting the nascent ebook community in two with frothing conspiracy theories, I doubt it will be worth the money. That's why I'm speaking out against his obfuscations, here and elsewhere.

Yes, there is no common consumer-level standard. Mr. Rothman lays the entire blame for this on the IDPF. But really, it's the publishers, whose interests he seems to hold so dear, who didn't want a consumer level format, because of their fears about piracy. And not just their fears, but the fears of authors' associations, who took out full-page ads and wrote long editorials decrying one consumer format for ebooks.

So IDPF did what it could -- we created a publication format, so that, at least, the publishers were delivering their content to a single target, which could then be specialized for each device or browser. It's a first step on a difficult road to update an industry that is, by and large, operating in the stone age.

But obviously, Mr. Rothman would've done something different. Doubtlessly, he will soon reveal his world-shaking plan to force the publishers to adopt his ideas -- OpenReader.

Quote:
Originally Posted by davidrothman
Contrary to the canards spread by worried IDPF defenders, incidentally, Jon is not interested in chairing the proposed OASIS technical committee.
That'd be me he's talking about, by the way. I said that. Mostly in a fit of pique at Mr. Rothman's questionable announcements about the IDPF. Just in case you were wondering who the "worried" IDPF defenders are.

And he's right. I am worried. I'm worried that someone's going to look at OpenReader, think it's a valid and publisher-supported standard, and stake their company's livelihood on it...only to find it's all smoke and mirrors.

Also, I really don't like having my friends and colleagues bashed in public. I am most certainly not a neutral party, here, as Mr. Rothman has discovered, to the point of censoring my comments on his blog. I guess he's really not for open discussions among his peers, hmm?

Quote:
Originally Posted by davidrothman
We want true neutrality (I'd love for the Illinois professor to head the committee!) and hope that public pressure will force the IDPF to clean up its act and move standards out of the Adobe-ETI frog pond and into the mainstream at OASIS or at least a similarly credible group.
Read: We hope that we'll get our way if we stamp our feet long enough. Because a standards body with an eight year history isn't good enough for us, because they won't do what we want.

It isn't a standards body Mr. Rothman wants. He wants to be able to present OASIS with a largely completed OpenReader specification, have the corporate-dominated group rubberstamp it, and move on.

I suspect he might find OASIS involvement to be a bit more complex than he expects, and quite a bit more dominated by financial interests that he expects. But then again...unlike myself, he's never worked with an OASIS group, so he's not expected to know any better.

Anyhow...there's the other side. For the record: I'm an invited expert at the IDPF, one of the group's earliest members, and have no corporate interest in ebooks at the moment.

I'm just here because I want Darth Ebookius at the Evil Empire to take me under his wing and make me a true Sith Lord. Much power has the Dark Side, or so I'm told.

Last edited by BenTrafford; 07-07-2006 at 04:11 AM.
BenTrafford is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 07-07-2006, 08:15 AM   #4
davidrothman
Connoisseur
davidrothman began at the beginning.
 
Posts: 55
Karma: 32
Join Date: Jun 2005
Location: Alexandria, VA
Device: Sony PRS-505 / Palm TX / Nokia 770 / iPod Touch
Ben's baffling reply--and the risk of standards rot from the IDPF

Ben's missing the point, again and again.

OASIS includes tech people from MANY companies who could play a very active role in the standards development process without ETI and Adobe dominating the show. Horror of horrors, most OASIS experts aren't as tied to specific companies within the e-book biz as key members of the IDPF crowd are.

At the same time, many at OASIS possess far, far more technical expertise than typical reps from publishers and libraries. So Abobe, etc., couldn't set the tone.

Meanwhile I remain baffled why ETI cochairs must preside over both of the crucial tech committees at the IDPF.

Paxadoxically, then, while OASIS does consist of technology companies, it is far more likely than the IDPF to give us consumer- and publisher-friendly standards--reflecting the diversity of its membership.

As for the DRAFT OpenReader spec, it's based on the old work of IDPF long before Adobe-ETI took it over and ignored the Pub Struct Working where standards dev happened. A little rigging, eh?

Simply put, Ben's note is is really risible.

As for the missing blind man, he's more needed than ever on the IDPF board--it's a shame George isn't back to oversee the standards setters.

> Yes, there is no common consumer-level standard. Mr. Rothman lays the entire blame for this on the IDPF. But really, it's the publishers, whose interests he seems to hold so dear, who didn't want a consumer level format, because of their fears about piracy. And not just their fears, but the fears of authors' associations, who took out full-page ads and wrote long editorials decrying one consumer format for ebooks.

"Didn't want." The past tense would appear to be rather operative. According to the AAP in the here and now, the publishers very much want to see true e-book standardards as long as good DRM options exist. Problem is, the IDPF foxes are supposed to watch the publishing hens. We cannot trust 'em to come up with truly interoperable standards for core formats and DRM over the long haul. While the IDPF isn't the only reason for the Tower of eBabel, it has been no small factor. The IDPF let its standards efforts fade away until OpenReader came along. Pre-OR, the IDPF was "agnostic" about consumer-level standards, lest it offend proprietary formatters like Adobe.

> Also, I really don't like having my friends and colleagues bashed in public. I am most certainly not a neutral party, here, as Mr. Rothman has discovered, to the point of censoring my comments on his blog. I guess he's really not for open discussions among his peers, hmm?

As for an accusation of censoring Ben's comments on the TeleBlog--well, that's a pretty good indication of his care with the facts (sarcasm alert).

Folks at MobileRead will agree with me that there are major problems happening with comment spam. The result is that the TeleBlog has an aggressive filter. Legitimate comments get lost at times, and we do what we can to restore them; I encourage people to contact me at drNOSPAMPLEASEteleread.org if there are problems.

Recently I took Ben's IP address and put it on a WHITE list. I use Spam Karm II and Aksimet, the two may be warring with each other, and I can make no guarantees. But I am VERY interested in hearing from Ben if he gets "censored" again. The TeleBlog has had perhaps 700 commenters over the years. We've DELed nobody other than spammers. One man, a troll zapped from various mailing lists, was headed toward being banned, just as Ben would be if he lapses from dissent into trolldom. But the troll just gave up, knowing the end was near. We're a community just like MobileRead. But so far, Ben--no deal, no censorship for you. Repeat: you're WHITE listed. Write me any time you're "censored." The real censors are at IDPF--the black hats who drove off independent-minded techies who wanted consumer-level standards.

Meanwhile I note that in his fixation on the TeleBlog Ben paid insufficient heed to Jon Noring, the founder of OpenReader. Poor Jon. He's probably feeling left out.

Finally I'm flattered that Ben sees OpenReader and the TeleBlog as such a menace. Great. Thanks, Ben buddy! We're pretty cost-effective. Budget for IDPF director's salary: $100K. Budget for OpenReader and TeleBlog salaries: $0.

Reminder: the blog covers plenty else beyond e-book standards. But we won't skimp on coverage, either--not when the Tower of eBabel is one of the main issues of e-bookdom.

Jon and I, you see, have this powerful aversion to e-books ending up on the electronic equivalent of acidic paper. We need durable, nonproprietary e-book formats, not ephemeral dreck from Adobe and the rest. Clean up the standards process NOW or we'll eventually see open standards Flashized--or the equivalent--out of existence. An OASIS-type approach involving many tech-hip standards setters would be a great precaution against standards rot.

Thanks,
David

http://www.teleread.org/blog
davidrothman is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 07-07-2006, 09:00 AM   #5
BenTrafford
Junior Member
BenTrafford began at the beginning.
 
Posts: 5
Karma: 10
Join Date: Jul 2006
Location: Waterloo, Ontario, Canada
Quote:
Originally Posted by davidrothman
Ben's missing the point, again and again.
And you're failing to respond to my points...again, and again, and again.

Quote:
Originally Posted by davidrothman
OASIS includes tech people from MANY companies who could play a very active role in the standards development process without ETI and Adobe dominating the show. Horror of horrors, most OASIS experts aren't as tied to specific companies within the e-book biz as key members of the IDPF crowd are.
David, have you ever worked on an OASIS spec? Or any standards body, for that matter? In short, do you really have any idea what you're talking about?

Quote:
Originally Posted by davidrothman
Meanwhile I remain baffled why ETI cochairs must preside over both of the crucial tech committees at the IDPF.
Because they have the time and resources to do the work.

Quote:
Originally Posted by davidrothman
As for the DRAFT OpenReader spec, it's based on the old work of IDPF long before Adobe-ETI took it over and ignored the Pub Struct Working where standards dev happened. A little rigging, eh?
Well. Hmm. No. The old Pub Struct work is no longer representative of the state of the art, and badly needed to be overhauled. It informs the current effort, as opposed to dominating it.

Quote:
Originally Posted by davidrothman
Simply put, Ben's note is is really risible.
I thought the Star Wars references were particularly funny, myself!

Quote:
Originally Posted by davidrothman
As for the missing blind man, he's more needed than ever on the IDPF board--it's a shame George isn't back to oversee the standards setters.
George is alive and well and doing the real work -- making sure the standard is fully accessible.

Quote:
Originally Posted by davidrothman
While the IDPF isn't the only reason for the Tower of eBabel, it has been no small factor.
And having nothing in its place would've been better, David? I'm amazed how much you malign IDPF, considering that OpenReader's work is little more than a copy of it.

Quote:
Originally Posted by davidrothman
The IDPF let its standards efforts fade away until OpenReader came along. Pre-OR, the IDPF was "agnostic" about consumer-level standards, lest it offend proprietary formatters like Adobe.
And virtually everyone else. Nobody wanted a consumer-level format. If they wanted it, it would've happened. It may yet happen.

Regardless, your rational for why IDPF went into hibernation between '01 and '04 is flawed. It's not because of some dark, mysterious plan. It's because the dot-com bubble imploded, and most of us were a little too busy making sure our families got fed to focus on ebook standards.

Quote:
Originally Posted by davidrothman
As for an accusation of censoring Ben's comments on the TeleBlog--well, that's a pretty good indication of his care with the facts (sarcasm alert).
I posted here: http://www.teleread.org/blog/?p=5134

And it never showed. What was I supposed to think? Sorry, I assumed you competently handled your held comments. My bad. In the future, I'll be sure to email you directly when my comments don't appear.

Quote:
Originally Posted by davidrothman
Meanwhile I note that in his fixation on the TeleBlog Ben paid insufficient heed to Jon Noring, the founder of OpenReader. Poor Jon. He's probably feeling left out.
Jon is reasonable and doesn't make things up out of whole cloth. Jon doesn't see conspiracies where there are none. Jon isn't wandering around bashing IDPF -- he's doing OpenReader, which I think is a mistake. In short, Jon isn't being an offensive jerk who is spreading misinformation with no basis in fact.

Quote:
Originally Posted by davidrothman
Finally I'm flattered that Ben sees OpenReader and the TeleBlog as such a menace. Great. Thanks, Ben buddy! We're pretty cost-effective. Budget for IDPF director's salary: $100K. Budget for OpenReader and TeleBlog salaries: $0.
You keep bringing this up. Do I detect a hint of jealousy?

Quote:
Originally Posted by davidrothman
Jon and I, you see, have this powerful aversion to e-books ending up on the electronic equivalent of acidic paper. We need durable, nonproprietary e-book formats, not ephemeral dreck from Adobe and the rest. Clean up the standards process NOW or we'll eventually see open standards Flashized--or the equivalent--out of existence. An OASIS-type approach involving many tech-hip standards setters would be a great precaution against standards rot.
As opposed to the IDPF, which you evidently feel is filled with technical incompetents who have nefarious plans to trash ebooks.

Does that really make sense to you? I mean, really?
BenTrafford is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 07-07-2006, 09:49 AM   #6
Liviu_5
Books and more books
Liviu_5 juggles neatly with hedgehogs.Liviu_5 juggles neatly with hedgehogs.Liviu_5 juggles neatly with hedgehogs.Liviu_5 juggles neatly with hedgehogs.Liviu_5 juggles neatly with hedgehogs.Liviu_5 juggles neatly with hedgehogs.Liviu_5 juggles neatly with hedgehogs.Liviu_5 juggles neatly with hedgehogs.Liviu_5 juggles neatly with hedgehogs.Liviu_5 juggles neatly with hedgehogs.Liviu_5 juggles neatly with hedgehogs.
 
Liviu_5's Avatar
 
Posts: 917
Karma: 69499
Join Date: Mar 2006
Location: White Plains, NY, USA
Device: Nook Color, Itouch, Nokia770, Sony 650, Sony 700(dead), Ebk(given)
Hi,

The above debate is very interesting but to a large extent it reminds me of the angels on the pin debate of lore.

I would love to see ebooks in OpenReader but let us see them. I would love to see ebooks in the IDPF standard but let us see them.

Right now I see lit (my proprietary format of choice), prc, pdf, smaller market prop formats, and html/rtf/txt as open formats

As far as I can see the current opf format is pretty rarely used as such these days though it may be used to create books in the above proprietary formats.

I read some opf books with Fbreader on Nokia and I like the interactivity in short stories magazines/books (as of now I bought over 30 of emagazines/short story collections, I subscribe to easimov's and plan to subscribe to efsf when my print subscription runs out)


Liviu
Liviu_5 is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 07-07-2006, 10:03 AM   #7
BenTrafford
Junior Member
BenTrafford began at the beginning.
 
Posts: 5
Karma: 10
Join Date: Jul 2006
Location: Waterloo, Ontario, Canada
Quote:
Originally Posted by Liviu_5
As far as I can see the current opf format is pretty rarely used as such these days though it may be used to create books in the above proprietary formats.
Hey, Liviu!

Basically, a lot of the content you see in various proprietary formats started off as OPF at some point, then got munged into a proprietary format for a device. IDPF has never made a consumer-level format because the content providers couldn't come to a common DRM solution that they liked for all the possible devices.

Hopefully, this will happen one day. Until then, I seriously doubt you'll see either OPF or OpenReader format versions of any commercial publication.
BenTrafford is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 07-07-2006, 10:31 AM   #8
Liviu_5
Books and more books
Liviu_5 juggles neatly with hedgehogs.Liviu_5 juggles neatly with hedgehogs.Liviu_5 juggles neatly with hedgehogs.Liviu_5 juggles neatly with hedgehogs.Liviu_5 juggles neatly with hedgehogs.Liviu_5 juggles neatly with hedgehogs.Liviu_5 juggles neatly with hedgehogs.Liviu_5 juggles neatly with hedgehogs.Liviu_5 juggles neatly with hedgehogs.Liviu_5 juggles neatly with hedgehogs.Liviu_5 juggles neatly with hedgehogs.
 
Liviu_5's Avatar
 
Posts: 917
Karma: 69499
Join Date: Mar 2006
Location: White Plains, NY, USA
Device: Nook Color, Itouch, Nokia770, Sony 650, Sony 700(dead), Ebk(given)
Hi,

Baen has commercial opf books though my format of choice is still zipped rtf for Nokia, rtf for imp conversion and lit for pc/tablet.
For me opf is too cumbersome unless it offers you a real advantage which is direct access of stories in a short story magazines. For novels zipped UTF txt is in general good enough, though zipped rtf is slightly nicer and converts better to imp.
Once you get a good format out you will find takers, the problem with opf is that is a multiple file format. You need one file ebooks.

Liviu


Quote:
Originally Posted by BenTrafford
Hey, Liviu!

Hopefully, this will happen one day. Until then, I seriously doubt you'll see either OPF or OpenReader format versions of any commercial publication.
Liviu_5 is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 07-07-2006, 10:41 AM   #9
davidrothman
Connoisseur
davidrothman began at the beginning.
 
Posts: 55
Karma: 32
Join Date: Jun 2005
Location: Alexandria, VA
Device: Sony PRS-505 / Palm TX / Nokia 770 / iPod Touch
OpenReader books on the way

LIVIU: Thanks for your thoughts, a useful reminder of priorities. You already know of the dotreader.com site, and plans are for book in the OpenReader format to appear in the next few months. Things are happening. That's one reason why I'm running out of time to reply to the rather repetitious arguments of Ben, who apparently is busy accumulating brownie points with potential consulting clients. I think OpenReader and other activities should come ahead of answering Ben.

Meanwhile I do understand that the IDPF is a group to which he has emotional attachments, that his motives are not just financial; but it would help if he stepped back and acknowleged the complexities here. We need a sound methodology in place to do e-book standards--better than the one that hasn't worked since the 1990s. See "Standards Rot and the Tower of eBabel" (http://www.teleread.org/blog/?p=5157).

Jon Noring and I have identified the main causes of the IDPF's dysfunctionality in the standards area. The question is whether the group will have the integrity and discipline to act.

The IDPF could make valuable contributions to e-bookdom if it focused on being a trade organization, not a standards groups where just one company presides over both of the crucial standards committee. Move standards to a place with a greater depth and diversity of talent.

BEN: Do email me the text of the supposedly censored message, and I'll add it to the original thread. I will say that you don't appreciate the complexities of WordPress-related spam filtering or you'd understand why some legit comments don't get through. Other blogs have the same problem that the TeleRead one does.

As for Jon, your divide-and-conquer tactics are pretty evident even though you've lapsed into some anti-Noring canards. Quite objectively Jon will tell you that the IDPF does not represent e-bookdom right now--based if nothing else on the composition of the board.

Meanwhile I myself have a stake in the standards matters rather directly as both a reader and a writer. I'm sick of seeing the interests of the usual suspects come ahead of those of us content people. The e-book market is just a shadow of what it could be, and the Tower of eBabel, so long tolerated by the IDPF, is among the major reasons.

Thanks,
David



Quote:
Originally Posted by Liviu_5
Hi,

The above debate is very interesting but to a large extent it reminds me of the angels on the pin debate of lore.

I would love to see ebooks in OpenReader but let us see them. I would love to see ebooks in the IDPF standard but let us see them.

Right now I see lit (my proprietary format of choice), prc, pdf, smaller market prop formats, and html/rtf/txt as open formats

As far as I can see the current opf format is pretty rarely used as such these days though it may be used to create books in the above proprietary formats.

I read some opf books with Fbreader on Nokia and I like the interactivity in short stories magazines/books (as of now I bought over 30 of emagazines/short story collections, I subscribe to easimov's and plan to subscribe to efsf when my print subscription runs out)


Liviu
davidrothman is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 07-07-2006, 11:05 AM   #10
BenTrafford
Junior Member
BenTrafford began at the beginning.
 
Posts: 5
Karma: 10
Join Date: Jul 2006
Location: Waterloo, Ontario, Canada
Quote:
Originally Posted by davidrothman
That's one reason why I'm running out of time to reply to the rather repetitious arguments of Ben, who apparently is busy accumulating brownie points with potential consulting clients.
Actually, I have a very nice day job that doesn't involve ebooks at all. My sole motivation in rebutting your outrageous claims is simply because they're, y'know, not true and all that.

Quote:
Originally Posted by davidrothman
Meanwhile I do understand that the IDPF is a group to which he has emotional attachments, that his motives are not just financial; but it would help if he stepped back and acknowleged the complexities here.
I happily acknowledge the complexities, sir. It's you whose arguments seem to boil down to "ETI bad! IDPF bad! Adobe bad! OpenReader good!"

Quote:
Originally Posted by davidrothman
Jon Noring and I have identified the main causes of the IDPF's dysfunctionality in the standards area. The question is whether the group will have the integrity and discipline to act.
Your identification is sorely lacking, given that your facts are wrong.

Quote:
Originally Posted by davidrothman
The IDPF could make valuable contributions to e-bookdom if it focused on being a trade organization, not a standards groups where just one company presides over both of the crucial standards committee. Move standards to a place with a greater depth and diversity of talent.
Oh, for pete's sake! The working groups at IDPF decide things by voting. Do you even know what a chair of a working group does? He's a glorified secretary!

Quote:
Originally Posted by davidrothman
BEN: Do email me the text of the supposedly censored message, and I'll add it to the original thread.
Unfortunately, that text went into the TeleRead machine and was subsequently lost to the ether, it seems.

Quote:
Originally Posted by davidrothman
I will say that you don't appreciate the complexities of WordPress-related spam filtering or you'd understand why some legit comments don't get through. Other blogs have the same problem that the TeleRead one does.
It's good to know that, twice in one message, you manage to accuse me of being a simpleton. I'll add to my list of commendations.

I'm quite aware of the complexities of handling WordPress spam, given that I've got over a dozen WordPress-based blogs running on my server. Funny thing, never had a problem with it. I guess I must be so very simple in my approach to things that I cut right through the spam as if it were a Gordian knot, huh?

Quote:
Originally Posted by davidrothman
As for Jon, your divide-and-conquer tactics are pretty evident even though you've lapsed into some anti-Noring canards. Quite objectively Jon will tell you that the IDPF does not represent e-bookdom right now--based if nothing else on the composition of the board.
Hey! Keen! I'm nefarious, now, too, nothing but a money-grubbing (looking for consulting clients), stupid (unable to grasp the complexities) and evil (dividing and conquering) person. I have been elevated to the status of Adobe and ETI. I feel so blessed.

David, if you're wondering why nobody listens to you, you might consider the tone you set by starting off your posts with random insults at people's integrity and intelligence.

If Jon so reviles the IDPF, then why is he still showing up to the meetings? If the IDPF is so useless, then why doesn't he simply concentrate on OpenReader?

Heck, why are you guys even waiting to take it to OASIS? Sally forth! Don't let me stop you. My Jedi mind tricks are not that strong.
BenTrafford is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 07-07-2006, 02:33 PM   #11
TadW
Uebermensch
TadW ought to be getting tired of karma fortunes by now.TadW ought to be getting tired of karma fortunes by now.TadW ought to be getting tired of karma fortunes by now.TadW ought to be getting tired of karma fortunes by now.TadW ought to be getting tired of karma fortunes by now.TadW ought to be getting tired of karma fortunes by now.TadW ought to be getting tired of karma fortunes by now.TadW ought to be getting tired of karma fortunes by now.TadW ought to be getting tired of karma fortunes by now.TadW ought to be getting tired of karma fortunes by now.TadW ought to be getting tired of karma fortunes by now.
 
TadW's Avatar
 
Posts: 2,580
Karma: 1094606
Join Date: Jul 2003
Location: Italy
Device: Kindle
Like Liviu said, why don't we just wait until both "solutions" become available to the consumer, and then let the consumer decide what is best?

This discussion reminds me very much of the HD DVD vs. Blu-Ray fiasco we're also facing right now. Here you have two promising formats. And two separate camps dissing each other. I say, let the consumer decide, and we'll be all happy!
TadW is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 07-07-2006, 02:53 PM   #12
BenTrafford
Junior Member
BenTrafford began at the beginning.
 
Posts: 5
Karma: 10
Join Date: Jul 2006
Location: Waterloo, Ontario, Canada
Quote:
Originally Posted by TadW
Like Liviu said, why don't we just wait until both "solutions" become available to the consumer, and then let the consumer decide what is best?

This discussion reminds me very much of the HD DVD vs. Blu-Ray fiasco we're also facing right now. Here you have two promising formats. And two separate camps dissing each other. I say, let the consumer decide, and we'll be all happy!
Honestly, that's the camp I'm in. Mr. Rothman isn't arguing the benefits of his format -- he's crapping on people and spreading misinformation.

If this were a sheerly technical debate about the merits of such things? Well, heck, then this would be an entirely different conversation.

And in terms of the current version of OEBPS -- well, the consumer has decided. The current OEBPS isn't a consumer format -- it's like plumbing. It's there below the surface.

What David Rothman is arguing for, and here we definitely agree, is that a single consumer format is needed. Or a way to share ebooks between devices using different formats. And that's a lofty, difficult goal to achieve.
BenTrafford is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 07-08-2006, 02:39 PM   #13
CommanderROR
eink fanatic
CommanderROR is fluent in JavaScript as well as Klingon.CommanderROR is fluent in JavaScript as well as Klingon.CommanderROR is fluent in JavaScript as well as Klingon.CommanderROR is fluent in JavaScript as well as Klingon.CommanderROR is fluent in JavaScript as well as Klingon.CommanderROR is fluent in JavaScript as well as Klingon.CommanderROR is fluent in JavaScript as well as Klingon.CommanderROR is fluent in JavaScript as well as Klingon.CommanderROR is fluent in JavaScript as well as Klingon.CommanderROR is fluent in JavaScript as well as Klingon.CommanderROR is fluent in JavaScript as well as Klingon.
 
CommanderROR's Avatar
 
Posts: 2,022
Karma: 4924
Join Date: Mar 2006
Location: Germany
Device: STAReBOOK, iRex Iliad, Sony 505, Kindle 2
Why do we need a new format?
Why not just use HTML or PDF, formats almost all devices already understand?

Yes...the answer is DRM and in this lies the crux that neither OpenReader nor the idpf will ever be able to solve.

It's fear and greed and a thorough misunderstanding of simple facts.
The industry (publishers mainly and some autors too probably) believe that Piracy is dangerous to their profits. This is, IMHO opinion simple BS...!!!
Of course Piracy eats into profits...but it's minimal. The error the DRM apostels are making is, that they put two numbers together:
One is the number of Pirated books/games/vids/programs/cds/addwhatyoulike
The other is the number of $$ these would be worth if they were sold.

The problem is that these two numbers are only loosely associated.

Only a very few of those who would readily download a certain CD/book/whatever would actually pay for it. so taking these two values and putting them 1:1 is just plain stupid...but they insist on doing it anyway...so I have little hope.
Also, many people are actually driven towards piracy because it's often a lot easier to download something instead of buying it in a shop.
In a shop you might not get it, it might not be available in the version you want and many more factors play a role. In addition, Songs you download can easily be burned to a CD, cracked games run without problems on older CD drives and don't have copy protection related stutters, don't infiltrate your system with rootkits and stuff...I could continue this list.

I'm against Piracy, but I'm even more against making stuff so hard for the users that they choose the easy option (and cheap too) and simply pull it off the net.
For me the ideal DRM for a book would be a simple script that embeds the name and address of the owner in the file. This can be done with PDF and with other formats as well I guess. It's probably easy to remove, but who cares? Every copy protection so far has been more or less easy to remove...
The "individual stamp" would make casual sharing a bit unattractive but wouldn't endanger device compatibility and would also make DRM hassle-free for the end-user.

I'm no programmer type, but I imagine a little script could be used to inject the user information into a PDF file, put a write protect on the file and that's it. The user then has his "own" version of the book and can do as he pleases with it. He can't edit the text, but that's not something I'd like to do with fiction anyway...so no problem there. Annotation could still work because the annotation info would be stored seperately anyway...so why not.
CommanderROR is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 07-08-2006, 03:04 PM   #14
tribble
iLiad Maniac
tribble knows what time it istribble knows what time it istribble knows what time it istribble knows what time it istribble knows what time it istribble knows what time it istribble knows what time it istribble knows what time it istribble knows what time it istribble knows what time it istribble knows what time it is
 
tribble's Avatar
 
Posts: 1,382
Karma: 2369
Join Date: Apr 2006
Location: Germany
Device: Bookeen Opus (i love that thing) and iPad (what an irony)
A good eBook Standard would help alot. The container alone is a major advantage over many separate files. Then you could probably do alot of the things in the mentioned standards with XHTML and CSS, but there is a bit more to it. Like how to seperate and mark chapters, subchapters, annotations, footnotes, etc. Nothing in the mentioned standards is a new invention, but its good to have it standardized, so you meet on a good basis. Additions should be allowed, but need a fallback solution. I would like to see a good ebook standard make its way to the publishers and into tha applications and finally to the paying customer.

Last edited by tribble; 07-08-2006 at 03:07 PM.
tribble is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 07-08-2006, 04:43 PM   #15
Liviu_5
Books and more books
Liviu_5 juggles neatly with hedgehogs.Liviu_5 juggles neatly with hedgehogs.Liviu_5 juggles neatly with hedgehogs.Liviu_5 juggles neatly with hedgehogs.Liviu_5 juggles neatly with hedgehogs.Liviu_5 juggles neatly with hedgehogs.Liviu_5 juggles neatly with hedgehogs.Liviu_5 juggles neatly with hedgehogs.Liviu_5 juggles neatly with hedgehogs.Liviu_5 juggles neatly with hedgehogs.Liviu_5 juggles neatly with hedgehogs.
 
Liviu_5's Avatar
 
Posts: 917
Karma: 69499
Join Date: Mar 2006
Location: White Plains, NY, USA
Device: Nook Color, Itouch, Nokia770, Sony 650, Sony 700(dead), Ebk(given)
Hi,

I agree that a good ebook format would be a big help.

Something that is:
one file, no folders attached (the failing of html, opf),
zipped or zippable for conserving space
flexible (access a page at a time as opposed to whole document) and as small as possible (the failing of pdf/djvu/fb2),
allows interactivity (clickable table contents, hyperlinks..) (the failing of rtf/txt),
allows diagrams, equations, tables (you can do it in rtf/html/doc, but only pdf/djvu/latex do it well)
allows customization of fonts, colours
allows decent pagination and navigation
allows multiple language encodings
as nonproprietary as possible

I have no idea if some of the above requirements are not contradictory but I wish that OpenReader/DotReader and whatever IDPF comes up will actually become available and be evaluated by the market as soon as possible.

Liviu
Liviu_5 is offline   Reply With Quote
Reply

Thread Tools Search this Thread
Search this Thread:

Advanced Search

Forum Jump

Similar Threads
Thread Thread Starter Forum Replies Last Post
Why Adobe may be good for the new ePub standard e-book format Bob Russell News 51 10-07-2007 09:01 PM
IDPF invites input on new e-book standard file format (OPS 2.0) Bob Russell News 0 04-16-2007 07:35 PM
IDPF - New digital book standard released: OEBPS (XML format) & OCF (container) CommanderROR News 13 11-04-2006 08:49 AM
Add your voice to free audiobooks Brian News 2 09-13-2005 10:08 AM


All times are GMT -4. The time now is 08:14 AM.


MobileRead.com is a privately owned, operated and funded community.