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Old 06-23-2011, 03:28 AM   #1
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capabilities of epub compared to mobi

Hallo,

I am interested to know, whether there are large differences in the capabilities of epub and mobi. Is is possible to do "more" using epub? Or doesn't matter, which format is used?
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Old 06-23-2011, 03:47 AM   #2
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I would say you can do more in ePub that will NOT translate to .mobi
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Old 06-23-2011, 04:20 AM   #3
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Do you have any examples?
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Old 06-23-2011, 04:25 AM   #4
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Old 06-23-2011, 04:29 AM   #5
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Possible in ePUB, not in Mobi: Embedded fonts, CSS, right margins, SVG, PNG.

Possible in Mobi, not in ePUB: Dictionaries.
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Old 06-23-2011, 04:45 AM   #6
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Of course, the following question may be nonsense, but why not asking it: Is epub or mobi the "better" format? Or on which facts does that depend on?

I read at the moment a mathematical book with al lot of formulas I bought at Amazon. Of course it is a topaz. Other sellers only offer such books as pdf that is awfull for small e-reader-screens. So I wonder whether epub can do the same job as topaz.

Last edited by comet; 06-23-2011 at 06:01 AM.
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Old 06-23-2011, 06:18 AM   #7
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Isn't topaz roughly equivalent to PDF formatted for a small screen?
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Old 06-23-2011, 06:56 AM   #8
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I believe that's not true. The topaz-book I read at the moment has sometimes a very poor quality: Sometimes mathematical symbols or whole parts of formuals are absent (I compared it to the extract of the print edition on Amazon). The reason is that in topaz they probably use scanned parts of the book, and it seems that there are some problems concerning quality control for topaz-books, I believe. PDF is an exact copy of the layout of the original book with high quality - but poor for small e-reader screen. If I use pdf-reflow (e.g. on my sony) the mathematical formulas are completely destroyed. So I have to use topaz, if I want to use the ebooks.
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Old 06-23-2011, 07:17 AM   #9
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Jellby
Isn't topaz roughly equivalent to PDF formatted for a small screen?
Sorta... but not really.

Topaz has a dictionary of glyphs (SVG fonts) that represent characters, groups of characters, or sometimes whole words that are used in the book. XML is then used to assemble those SVG glyphs and any images the book may contain into "pages" that are reflowable. The original OCR scan is included but only used for text search purposes—which due to uncorrected scan errors, often produces interesting results.

I've always felt that Topaz had the ability to produce some beautifully rendered books, but many times were hastily thrown together and oftentimes the glyphs were "fuzzy." But when a topaz book was good... it was damn good.

Most of the hate for topaz comes from it's bloat—they're huge files (which probably contributed to sluggish page turns), the user's inability to be able to change the font (the SVG glyphs are hard-coded), and of course the largely unsatisfying results when trying to convert them to another format.
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Old 06-23-2011, 09:46 AM   #10
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I've always felt that Topaz had the ability to produce some beautifully rendered books, but many times were hastily thrown together and oftentimes the glyphs were "fuzzy." But when a topaz book was good... it was damn good.
So unreadable mathematical symbols are due to bad scans? The topaz-book, I read, was written in the eighties. If I look on the other side into a topaz-book that is published 2010 it looks really well!
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Old 06-23-2011, 09:59 AM   #11
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So unreadable mathematical symbols are due to bad scans? The topaz-book, I read, was written in the eighties. If I look on the other side into a topaz-book that is published 2010 it looks really well!
Possibly. There's really no rhyme or reason to it. Other than shoddy vs competent work when creating the ebook.
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Old 06-24-2011, 04:15 AM   #12
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Jellby View Post
Possible in Mobi, not in ePUB: Dictionaries.
Err, I have my choice of dictionaries on my Sony PRS 650. I presume they are using ePub since I can check words in ePub files.
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Old 06-24-2011, 04:23 AM   #13
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Err, I have my choice of dictionaries on my Sony PRS 650. I presume they are using ePub since I can check words in ePub files.
But those dictionaries are not ePub books - they are custom dictionaries created by the reader manufacturer and incorporated into the device's firmware. You can't buy a new dictionary for your Sony in an ePub bookstore; there's no specification of "how to write a dictionary" in the ePub standard.

With Mobi, dictionaries are a part of the format specification. If you want a Russian dictionary for your Kindle, you can buy one in the Kindle bookstore and install it on your Kindle.
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Old 06-24-2011, 04:29 AM   #14
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Quote:
Originally Posted by comet View Post
I read at the moment a mathematical book with al lot of formulas I bought at Amazon. Of course it is a topaz. Other sellers only offer such books as pdf that is awfull for small e-reader-screens. So I wonder whether epub can do the same job as topaz.
The current ePub standard can't replace PDF or Topaz for complex layouts, but the new ePub 3 standard should be able to do so. However, it's going to be some years before ePub 3 devices are widespread.
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Old 06-24-2011, 04:53 AM   #15
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Where can I find detailed specifications of mobi and topaz?
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