W3C home > Mailing lists > Public > public-epub3@w3.org > January 2018

Re: Thoughts on the future of EPUB 3

From: McCloy-Kelley, Liisa <lmccloy-kelley@penguinrandomhouse.com>
Date: Fri, 19 Jan 2018 20:01:22 +0000
To: David Herron <david@davidherron.com>, Dave Cramer <dauwhe@gmail.com>
CC: "public-epub3@w3.org" <public-epub3@w3.org>, "public-publishingbg@w3.org" <public-publishingbg@w3.org>
Message-ID: <762E34B8-9BAE-455D-ACC8-5C4D9ED67C5E@penguinrandomhouse.com>

I’m going to respectfully disagree with you. I have a very different opinion of what is the 800-pound gorilla issue that we face at this point.

The “huge player” to whom you refer no longer works the way they once did and is certainly not holding the market back with any kind of inferior reading experience. In fact, they not only accept EPUB for their ingestion, they depend on it and are pushing for content providers to get better at it. They use the epub markup for the footnote popups and have implemented this as well (or better) than any other reading system. They use the page anchors we include to improve navigation. In fact, Penguin Random House sends them only EPUB 3 for all of our reflow titles and even for most of our fixed page children’s picturebooks with javascript pop-ups for text enlargements. And they work!

Ok, so maybe they don’t directly sell EPUB. But they also aren’t sending old mobi files to any new device any more. I don’t know how much you’ve been looking at their reading system over the past year, but while everyone else was focused elsewhere, they implemented a new and really functional reading system across their entire device landscape, a brand new proprietary format and they swapped what seems like the ENTIRE back catalog to update it. I’ve watched as my library of years’ worth of ebooks has had files update to look and work better.

You should take a look. They have a really good reading experience and the content displays better than most (not always, but often).

Everyone here needs to stop worrying about whether they are or were being held back by said “huge player” and start figuring out how to catch up and try to get ahead-- with the content we make and with the reading platforms we develop.

Liisa McCloy-Kelley
VP, Director Ebook Product Development & Innovation, PRH


From: David Herron <david@davidherron.com>
Date: Friday, January 19, 2018 at 1:03 PM
To: Dave Cramer <dauwhe@gmail.com>
Cc: "public-epub3@w3.org" <public-epub3@w3.org>, "public-publishingbg@w3.org" <public-publishingbg@w3.org>
Subject: Re: Thoughts on the future of EPUB 3
Resent-From: <public-publishingbg@w3.org>
Resent-Date: Friday, January 19, 2018 at 1:27 PM

That's an interesting read - as the others have said.  There is a value in maintaining backward compatibility so long as that doesn't become a heavy albatross around your neck dragging you under..

To me the post misses the big 800 pound gorilla issue - namely that a huge player in the eBook market is not using EPUB at all, but sticking with a proprietarized version of MOBI, and their very popular eBook reader does not support EPUB.  That means the eBook market is being held back by inadequacies of the technology supported by that huge player.

By adopting HTML5 and modern JavaScript and CSS techniques, EPUB has the potential to deliver a truly remarkable reading experience with interactive books and more.  Those Harry-Potter-like newspapers with moving video and whatnot could be a reality and not limited to magical people.

But I suspect the eBook market is overly focused on the limited capabilities of the eBook platform mentioned earlier.

I'd seen a blog post by someone a few months ago claiming that eBook Reader Innovation has "stalled".  I wrote two blog posts in response along the lines of what I just said.  The market hasn't stalled, it's being held back.

  *   https://techsparx.com/blog/2017/10/kindle-epub.html<https://techsparx.com/blog/2017/10/kindle-epub.html>
  *   https://techsparx.com/blog/2017/10/e-reader-innovation.html<https://techsparx.com/blog/2017/10/e-reader-innovation.html>
FWIW I write this as the implementor of a toolchain that can take a bundle of Markdown/CSS/etc files as input and produce either an EPUB3 or website representation of an eBook.  https://akashacms.com/<https://akashacms.com/> if you're interested.  An example eBook I've published that way is at https://greentransportation.info/ev-charging/toc.html<https://greentransportation.info/ev-charging/toc.html>

+ David Herron

On Thu, Jan 18, 2018 at 7:36 AM, Dave Cramer <dauwhe@gmail.com<mailto:dauwhe@gmail.com>> wrote:
Inspired by the recent debate about EPUB 3.1 and backward compatibility, I wrote a blog post on the future of EPUB 3, compatibility, mistakes, and even old versions of EPUB being "good enough." I think there is much we can learn from the web on this subject.




(image/png attachment: image001.png)

Received on Friday, 19 January 2018 20:01:52 UTC

This archive was generated by hypermail 2.4.0 : Thursday, 24 March 2022 20:28:41 UTC