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Old 04-05-2010, 10:57 AM   #1
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Embedded Fonts

Does iBook support embedded fonts in ePub?
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Old 04-06-2010, 04:58 PM   #2
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No. I've tried several files I know to be correctly formed that have embedded fonts and iBook doesn't show them. See also http://blog.threepress.org/2010/04/05/ibooks-and-epub/
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Old 04-06-2010, 07:08 PM   #3
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OMG

So basically iBooks is worthless until mobile Webkit is updated to supported @font-face? That is a massive, and frankly irredeemable, deficit. I was truly expecting Apple to provide reader software that outclassed the competition in terms of functionality and design, but this is ridiculously poor.

I expect proper ePub support will have to wait for iPhone OS4, we'll have to see what tomorrow brings.

[Anyone who's tempted to defend their recent purchase with a comment that embedded fonts don't matter should just not bother...]
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Old 04-06-2010, 08:10 PM   #4
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Lol. Well embedded fonts don't matter to me. And why OS4.0? ePub rendering isn't an OS task but a function of the reader application itself. Someone just needs to write one. Webkit is for HTML rendering, not ePub.

It's funny that people will look for any excuse to ding the iPad... I expect Kindle to play video, at 30fps, OMG it is completely worthless! Guess we have to wait for Kindle 3.
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Old 04-06-2010, 09:27 PM   #5
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Lol. Well embedded fonts don't matter to me. And why OS4.0? ePub rendering isn't an OS task but a function of the reader application itself. Someone just needs to write one. Webkit is for HTML rendering, not ePub.

It's funny that people will look for any excuse to ding the iPad... I expect Kindle to play video, at 30fps, OMG it is completely worthless! Guess we have to wait for Kindle 3.
ePub is (X)HTML. Writing an html renderer is a non-trivial task - the unpacked source code for Webkit is 73MB - and it's highly unlikely that a 3rd-party is going to write their own to correct the deficiencies, they're just going to rely on the one built into the OS. Custom-built apps will probably be able to work around this deficiency, but epubs can only operate through the css.

I'm sure the iPad plays videos and browses websites just fine, but it lacks a core feature other epub readers have had for years. I genuinely thought Apple would be bringing something new to the table and move the quality of ereader software up a notch. Instead it proves to be a massive step backwards. I'd read comments about this on other forums but ignored them, thinking Apple couldn't possibly have left out such an important part of the standard and people were just messing up the embedding.
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Old 04-06-2010, 09:51 PM   #6
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Well Apple didn't produce an ereader, they made a tablet device that does a lot of things, some better than others. Webkit is used by more than just the iPhone/iPad. Changes to it would affect a lot of devices, and certainly more than a simple .1 bump in the OS. Perhaps we'll see something in the 4.0 announcement, but i wouldn't hold my breath.

As for writing a new ePub renderer, why not? The Kobo app renders ePub books. GoodReader wrote their own PDF renderer. Stanza wrote their own ePub renderer. You make it sound like an impossible task.

Guess if you want a full featured ebook reader, get one, plenty of options. If you want a DVD player, you get one of those. If you want a dedicated game player, there is the PSP and NDS. If you want a device capable of doing a lot of things, the iPad might fit the bill.
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Old 04-07-2010, 06:52 PM   #7
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How well does the Kobo app render ePub vs iBooks and does Kobo support embedded fonts? How easy is it to get your won ePub onto the iPad for the Kobo App to display?
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Old 04-14-2010, 04:39 PM   #8
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It couldn't be that hard to get Mobile Webkit to support embedded fonts, could it? Safari for the Desktop now supports embedded fonts, even opentype fonts (whereas it was recently limited to just .eot fonts).... as does other webkit browsers like Google Chrome. How tough can the transition be?

However, reading around, I found this page, which suggested that the iPad might support embedded svg fonts. Has anyone tested this? I assume this page is referring to support for Safari mobile, but perhaps they'd work in iBooks too.
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Old 04-14-2010, 07:54 PM   #9
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with iBook, you get 5 options for fonts, and you can resize the font-size. Kobo? Naah... bad experience with the iPhone version.
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Old 04-15-2010, 04:54 PM   #10
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Quote:
Originally Posted by JSWolf View Post
How well does the Kobo app render ePub vs iBooks and does Kobo support embedded fonts? How easy is it to get your won ePub onto the iPad for the Kobo App to display?
To me the Kobo app is disappointing when compared to iBooks. On the plus side, Kobo made most of the books you already bought from them available to download to their iPad app. It does do a better job of rendering ePubs than the same book downloaded with Adobe Adapt looked on either the Astak or Sony 505.

The iPad Kobo app renders books fully justified. So far I haven't seen a place where sentences stop abruptly in the middle of the line only to start again on the next line at the middle of the page--that happened too often with the same ePubs on the eInk devices.

However, the only view available in the iPad Kobo app is full page--iBooks lets you turn the iPad on its side and presents the book in a two page rendering that I find easier to read. In the Kobo app some carriage-return and line-feed commands don't render properly so that in places you find a bolded, centered heading on the next line after a paragraph, followed on the very next line by the next paragraph. iBooks doesn't do that, at least, not with the books I've seen although I admit I haven't bought a second copy of a book from iTunes to compare the same, exact book.
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Old 04-15-2010, 05:55 PM   #11
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The kinds of problems you're describing are usually the kinds of problems one sees when there are problems with the individual files, not with the devices used to render them. If there are cross-device differences for the very same file, I'd be curious in seeing what the mark-up was like inside the ePub, but I supppose these are DRMed, huh?

But still, no takers to try out an SVG embedded font? I'd be prepared to try to make one if someone wanted to try it.
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Old 04-22-2010, 04:24 PM   #12
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Originally Posted by frabjous View Post
It couldn't be that hard to get Mobile Webkit to support embedded fonts, could it? Safari for the Desktop now supports embedded fonts, even opentype fonts (whereas it was recently limited to just .eot fonts).... as does other webkit browsers like Google Chrome. How tough can the transition be?

However, reading around, I found this page, which suggested that the iPad might support embedded svg fonts. Has anyone tested this? I assume this page is referring to support for Safari mobile, but perhaps they'd work in iBooks too.
Problem is that Safari mobile on the iPad only supports SVG fonts.
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Old 04-22-2010, 04:36 PM   #13
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Problem is that Safari mobile on the iPad only supports SVG fonts.
Wow, that's got to be the strangest reply I've gotten in awhile. Did you read my second paragraph, in which I said exactly what you said?

Still looking for someone to volunteer to test them in iBooks...
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Old 04-22-2010, 05:27 PM   #14
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Send it on. I'd be happy to test them out on my iPad.
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Old 04-22-2010, 07:03 PM   #15
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Here's a quickly made ePub with an SVG version of Charis SIL embedded. The XHTML/CSS works fine in Chromium, which is webkit based, like Safari. (I'm using linux, so I can't test even on Desktop Safari myself, much less an iPad.) I'd hope it would work if anything would.

I guess I should have chosen a more distinctive font, but I'm too lazy to change it now. Very interested to see if this will work in iBooks.
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File Type: epub svgtest.epub (29.1 KB, 116 views)

Last edited by frabjous; 04-22-2010 at 07:05 PM.
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