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View Poll Results: What are you feelings about .epub right now:
.epub is the greatest thing since paper! 4 9.30%
.epub is ok, I'll get around to using it someday. 9 20.93%
Why do we need another format? 6 13.95%
I'm waiting till someone other than adobe has a viewer. 2 4.65%
I'm waiting till my reader can natively support it 15 34.88%
How is this different that .oeb? 1 2.33%
What was the IDPF thinking!?! 1 2.33%
What the heck is .epub? 5 11.63%
Voters: 43. You may not vote on this poll

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Old 10-24-2007, 06:46 AM   #1
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Question feelings on .epub ?

I'm just trying to feel out the waters right now on .epub
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Old 10-24-2007, 06:55 AM   #2
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Your poll needs at least one additional choice: "epub shows promise and I'm using it now (or trying to)"
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Old 10-24-2007, 08:37 AM   #3
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Being able to select more than one of the choices would have been nice.
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Old 10-24-2007, 08:46 AM   #4
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It would be great to have an ebook standard, which allows for content to be read in many viewers with lamost anything that can be done using html. Though i hear many publishers be very reluctant to use this new format.
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Old 10-24-2007, 11:21 AM   #5
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Originally Posted by jbenny View Post
Your poll needs at least one additional choice: "epub shows promise and I'm using it now (or trying to)"
I need this additional choice too.
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Old 10-24-2007, 11:41 AM   #6
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My vote would be for "I'm hopeful that .epub might finally give us a de facto 'standard' that all concerned will buy into" -- or something like that.
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Old 10-24-2007, 11:47 AM   #7
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I am concerned about the performance impact of rendering HTML on an embedded device, so I'm going to remain skeptical until I see an embedded reader.
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Old 10-24-2007, 11:51 AM   #8
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It should be the same as for Plucker. Zip compession and HTML.
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Old 10-24-2007, 12:00 PM   #9
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I am concerned about the performance impact of rendering HTML on an embedded device, so I'm going to remain skeptical until I see an embedded reader.
Numerous PDAs have been rendering HTML with adequate performance for some years now. I use my Nokia N800 to view complicated web sites and the performance is adequate. The current crop of dedicated readers use similar hardware to a modern PDA.

Given the subset of XHTML that the OPS spec requires and the fact that you would not expect an ebook to support everything that a full web browser does, I don't think performance is going to be an issue, if the rendering software does a good job (I'm thinking about Digital Editions and how poorly it performs on a desktop PC).
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Old 10-24-2007, 12:02 PM   #10
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It should be the same as for Plucker. Zip compession and HTML.
Good example. Another is MobiPocket, which is also HTML-based. To check this, take any of the MobiPocket ebooks posted here and use either PDBShred or MakeDoc to extract the HTML.
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Old 10-24-2007, 12:10 PM   #11
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I don't care if it ever gets read natively on devices... If it is a good standard, and we can start converting all of our books to a single format... then regenerate them from there... Thats fine!

So, anyone willing to put their 2 cents in on what it will take for this format to become popular with people who archive their own books?

Im guessing they will need to build a good editor that can be used to easily alter/generate .epub files... without having to figure out all the compression levels for files, and mime types... etc...

Maybe a version of the spec that was meant to be read by a user rather than a software rendering engineer.
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Old 10-24-2007, 12:26 PM   #12
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I don't mean just rendering performance, I also mean pagination performance. I know for example that SONY's LRF layout routine is extremely fragile. I can easily create LRF files that are correct, but cause the reader to reset because it runs out of memory. And LRF is really, really simple compared to HTML.

And pagination takes a hell of along time for larger books. You wont notice this if you use connect, but if you transfer directly to a reader, then the hit is significant. I've often had to wait for upto 15mins for the reader to finish pagination.
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Old 10-24-2007, 12:37 PM   #13
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Quote:
Originally Posted by aapezzuto View Post
I don't care if it ever gets read natively on devices... If it is a good standard, and we can start converting all of our books to a single format... then regenerate them from there... Thats fine!

So, anyone willing to put their 2 cents in on what it will take for this format to become popular with people who archive their own books?

Im guessing they will need to build a good editor that can be used to easily alter/generate .epub files... without having to figure out all the compression levels for files, and mime types... etc...

Maybe a version of the spec that was meant to be read by a user rather than a software rendering engineer.
Here are three pages that discuss creating an epub by hand. The first one is the most detailed.

http://www.hxa7241.org/articles/cont...7241_2007.html
http://www.ebooktechnologies.com/OCF...singWinZip.htm
http://www.jedisaber.com/eBooks/tutorial.asp

The structure of OPS 2.0 (epub) is in many respects much simpler than the previous OEBPS spec. This makes generating an epub with nothing more than a text editor entirely possible and actually, not too painful.

Only a few files (which are all text) are specific to the OPS spec. The content itself is valid XHTML 1.1 and CSS 2, which is usable in a wide variety of other ways, and can be generated by the usual web creation tools. The only caveats are that the OPS spec defines a subset of XHTML that must be supported, leaving the rest as optional. The same with CSS. This is not a major problem, as the vast majority of XHTML and CSS are required.

The few files specific to OPS are also text. In fact, they are XML. Since the content of these XML files will be very similar from one ebook to another, you can easily use one file as a template for creating another ebook.

As you can see when you have read the referenced web pages, there is only one mimetype file required and it is only one line. It doesn't change, so you can keep using the same file for all your epub ebooks. As far as compression, only this mimetype files must have no compression. The other files use standard Zip compression.

One thing to be cautious about when reading those web pages: they were written before the OPS 2.0 spec was finalized (which was very recently). There are a few differences between what those web pages recommend and the final spec requires. Nothing major, but you need to double check things.

We still need more tools to make creation of an epub easier. Doing it with a text editor is not for everyone. Even I would prefer a tool dedicated to the task. Perhaps Hadrian can offer some helpful advice, since he has setup some type of automated system on his web site.
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Old 10-24-2007, 12:43 PM   #14
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Originally Posted by aapezzuto View Post
I don't care if it ever gets read natively on devices... If it is a good standard, and we can start converting all of our books to a single format... then regenerate them from there... Thats fine!
I was very happy when I learned I could take apart an epub document and fix it or modify it for use on my device. Regeneration is an important feature of epub.

Quote:
So, anyone willing to put their 2 cents in on what it will take for this format to become popular with people who archive their own books?

Im guessing they will need to build a good editor that can be used to easily alter/generate .epub files... without having to figure out all the compression levels for files, and mime types... etc...

Maybe a version of the spec that was meant to be read by a user rather than a software rendering engineer.
I think an editor is important. It is also important to have tools to troubleshoot and fix problems with the document. For example css can be a bitch to work with when it doesn't do what you thought. There needs to be a way to find out the exact css entry that is causing particular text to appear as it does. Tools should also spot and fix grouping errors and in many cases special character problems should be dealt with with in automatic or prompted ways.

I think there needs to be at least three documents. One for the software engineer, one of the author, and one for the user. The user document is a key piece to selling the epub standard by showing the benefits and establishing the expectation. The author document is critical and supplements the authoring tools. An author is not necessarily a technical person who can edit html files manually. There also needs to be a collection of tips for authors to help with special case problems and provide examples.

I think there are more items that require implementation in the standard but what we have is a good start. I have been putting together requirements for a possible future eb1150 device on my web site. Many of the items, as it turns out, are applicable to any epub solution.

Dale
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Old 10-24-2007, 12:47 PM   #15
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Perhaps Hadrian can offer some helpful advice, since he has setup some type of automated system on his web site.
Sure but keep in mind that Feedbooks doesn't exactly work like some kind of conversion service, we create the epub files completely on the fly the same way we display HTML for the website...
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