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Old 03-18-2016, 10:26 AM   #31
shalym
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Originally Posted by pittendrigh View Post
<snip>
I find the current crop of ebooks disappointing. No multi-media. I'm a web guy. I want embedded video, expandable photographs, auxiliary image galleries all wedded to the chapters and pages book concept.

I made some server side (written in PHP) software that displays what looks like a book. I have an always on top Table of Contents plus next previous and goto page buttons. But because it's a website I can embed sound and video. Each chapter can have auxiliary materials, like an image gallery illustrating something. I can click and burrow down into that image gallery but the "Next Page" button still takes me from page 12 to page 13.
<snip>
That's...not a book. That's a website, or an app. If I'm reading a book, I don't want embedded video, I want to read. Unless you're aiming this at the non-fiction/textbook market? If so, then this sounds fine. For fiction, however, I wouldn't want anything to do with it.

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Old 03-18-2016, 10:40 AM   #32
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That's...not a book. That's a website, or an app. If I'm reading a book, I don't want embedded video, I want to read. Unless you're aiming this at the non-fiction/textbook market? If so, then this sounds fine. For fiction, however, I wouldn't want anything to do with it.

Shari
I completely agree. When I'm reading a book, I want the device to "disappear" and just leave me with the text. A "multimedia experience" would take me right out of the story.

I can see its benefit for certain types of books (eg a bird identification book could usefully have audio files of birdsong; a travel book could have video of the places featured) but fiction? No thank you.
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Old 03-18-2016, 11:06 AM   #33
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It's interesting how some minds are reactive and some are more inquiring and inclusive.

Sure. For fiction there is no need for multi-media. But Harry gave the answer with bird identification. How about how to become a building contractor? You can't teach that in a 15 minute you-tube tutorial. You need a book, and for that subject characters on a white background doesn't work.

Instructional how-to-to-it books cry out for multi-media and it isn't happening yet. Right now open source e-readers are the bottle neck. It's becoming clearer to me by the moment web browsers are a better way to go.

Someone above said "that's not a book that's a web site!" Yes. Sort of. But it's both. I already have website software that looks and acts like a book. I can use it to show black characters on a white background only. I can also add multi-media website like stuff to it at will. That's not useful for fiction but it is VERY useful for other genres.
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Old 03-18-2016, 11:11 AM   #34
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Quote:
Originally Posted by pittendrigh View Post
Instructional how-to-to-it books cry out for multi-media and it isn't happening yet. Right now open source e-readers are the bottle neck. It's becoming clearer to me by the moment web browsers are a better way to go.
Epub3 does of course have excellent support for multimedia content, and such books can be viewed on any tablet. Presumably this is something you've explored?
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Old 03-18-2016, 11:13 AM   #35
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It is completely useless, if it requires me to have a constant internet connection.

Even ignoring the parts of the world where internet is spotty and wireless may not be available at all (and no that isn't just third-world countries, it includes people who e.g. live out in the country)... WiFI is a huge battery hog, and anyway I do much of my reading when going from one place to another -- no WiFi hotspots in the car (passenger, not driver )/plane/train/sidewalk.
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Old 03-18-2016, 11:16 AM   #36
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It is completely useless, if it requires me to have a constant internet connection.

Even ignoring the parts of the world where internet is spotty and wireless may not be available at all (and no that isn't just third-world countries, it includes people who e.g. live out in the country)... WiFI is a huge battery hog, and anyway I do much of my reading when going from one place to another -- no WiFi hotspots in the car (passenger, not driver )/plane/train/sidewalk.
Hence my suggestion that ePub3 (or the equivalent Kindle multimedia format whose name escapes me for the moment) is perhaps a better solution.
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Old 03-18-2016, 11:21 AM   #37
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epub3 as a file specification supports multi-media but public domain e-reader support is spotty at best.

Creating ebooks with ebook authoring software--that include multi-media--has a steep learning curve. I tried working with a few of the open source editors and immediately reached for the Rolaids bottle.

I know how to do HTML, static dynamic and otherwise. I can make it look like visually indistinguishable from a 200 year old manuscript displayed on Kindle. I can also--very easily--add video, images that expand on a click or tap, galleries, sound, etc. The "easy" part is important. Web technology is advanced by comparison to the ebook technology.

That's my argument.
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Old 03-18-2016, 11:26 AM   #38
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I think we've reached a hypothetical impasse. It's time for me to enhance my software. Once it's at a 1.0 release stage for external web servers I'll work on making it all run on a phone.

1) php dynamic HTML that looks like a book, acts like a book, complete with TOC and index. I have 90% of it now. The index is the only missing part right now.

2) a one click utility that would transform any epub into HTML

3) a one click utility that would transform (my format) website back into epub

4) get all of that to run on a phone, so you don't have to be "always network connected"

Step one is almost complete. The rest is pipe smoke right now. But I do know enough about software to know it's possible.
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Old 03-18-2016, 11:26 AM   #39
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So why not work on existing ebook editors to make them work better with EPUB3?

Sigil already has basic EPUB3 support.
The calibre Editor component has no EPUB3 support, but perhaps you can fix that.
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Old 03-18-2016, 12:12 PM   #40
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Why not work on ebook editors instead?

Now that HTML can be visually indistinguishable from an ebook (drupal and word press have projects too) ebook readers are suddenly (for better or for worse) pitted against browsers in a feature war. I think the browsers will win that war. This will be a war of highy-paid soldiers against volunteers. The outcome is already written.
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Old 03-18-2016, 12:29 PM   #41
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Quote:
Originally Posted by pittendrigh View Post
Why not work on ebook editors instead?

Now that HTML can be visually indistinguishable from an ebook (drupal and word press have projects too) ebook readers are suddenly (for better or for worse) pitted against browsers in a feature war. I think the browsers will win that war. This will be a war of highy-paid soldiers against volunteers. The outcome is already written.
Ebooks already are effectively "websites in a wrapper". The reason for that "wrapper" is ease of distribution. I can really see no benefit in having a book that's delivered to the end user in 100 separate files rather than one file, and which requires an online connection to read. Do you?
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Old 03-18-2016, 12:57 PM   #42
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Originally Posted by pittendrigh View Post
It's interesting how some minds are reactive and some are more inquiring and inclusive.

Sure. For fiction there is no need for multi-media. But Harry gave the answer with bird identification. How about how to become a building contractor? You can't teach that in a 15 minute you-tube tutorial. You need a book, and for that subject characters on a white background doesn't work.

Instructional how-to-to-it books cry out for multi-media and it isn't happening yet. Right now open source e-readers are the bottle neck. It's becoming clearer to me by the moment web browsers are a better way to go.

Someone above said "that's not a book that's a web site!" Yes. Sort of. But it's both. I already have website software that looks and acts like a book. I can use it to show black characters on a white background only. I can also add multi-media website like stuff to it at will. That's not useful for fiction but it is VERY useful for other genres.
A book is something one reads. Yes, some books do have links to websites. For the most part the links are totally useless unless one is reading on a computer.
As go "ereaders are not good or whatever you said about them" have you actually looked at one? Also why are there over a million kindle unlimited subscribers?

Now I will agree and disagree with you on some books do not make good ebooks. Cross stitch books come to mind. But they also do not make good web pages either.
This is due to needing to be able to keep track of where you are on the pattern.

Now as to your boat building, yes with the correct illustration an ebook or paper book would work. Videos are not helpful to everyone.
This old house has plans every month for something in their magazine. That is easy enough to follow.

Now if you want to get creative and make web pages, go for it. But do not call them books.
Oh and on birds, Audubon has a very nice app that one can use offline.

The big thing is that if I want a video on something I go to YouTube. If I want a book on something I generally go to Amazon. If I want a website, I Google whatever I need.

Though I am curious as to what one could do to make say "A tale of two cities" interactive.
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Old 03-18-2016, 01:42 PM   #43
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I think it is a brilliant idea. Books are often more than fiction with letters. To add to your idea of applications - school books. My school district of 6000 children is once again trying to put iPads in the hands of every student, even the kinders. Textbooks are costly (some over $100) and super heavy. Many people would benefit greatly from a book that also does super short videos to help understand some concepts. That said, with your idea you are leaving out all ios people as they dont support mysql, assuming they need the offline version. I think we need to look beyond what is offered currently and the idea of a stripped website that acts as a book on steroids is amazing! I hope you keep us up to date, I'm extremely interested.
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Old 03-18-2016, 09:05 PM   #44
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But even with this brilliant idea, you would still need buy in from textbook creators; and if you think they would be prepared to sell their content at a lower price I have a bridge to sell you.
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Old 03-18-2016, 09:33 PM   #45
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But even with this brilliant idea, you would still need buy in from textbook creators; and if you think they would be prepared to sell their content at a lower price I have a bridge to sell you.
And I have some prime swamp land that really needs that bridge...
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