Thursday, April 11, 2013

Digital publishing's technology push

Digital publishing (DP) is becoming the middleware between users, producers, data (including big data), and content.

Where content was once printed material, or even more recently digital content of all types scattered over the Web, users are "looking to experientially connect with content they care about."

DP is the collection of technologies that packages data and content of all kinds and meaningfully presents them to the user.

Thursday, February 28, 2013

EPUB3 ebook or HTML5 packaged app? Either one can work.

After you install the IDPF Readium HTML5 app in Chrome (from the Chrome Web Store), you can read downloaded EPUB3 ebooks (e.g. samples from AZARDI@infogridPacific).

An HTML5 packaged app (A) (see also W3C Packaged Web Apps specification) and an EPUB3 ebook (E) are both container files (signed or unsigned ZIP) with metadata and Web-standard contents. One could (in many cases) take contents out of an A and repackage it into an E.

Either one can be the choice for how content is packaged.

Friday, March 9, 2012

E-book Creation, Formats and Workflow

From Booknet Canada Blog: TOC 2012 Conference Roundup:

EPUB 3, KF8, iBooks Author, it was all there. There are some cool new tools like Inkling’s authoring tool and Wolfram’s interactive CDF (Computational Document Format) file format and associated creation tools. For those that like to see a e-book code in action, have a look at Digital Bindery’s EPUB 3 slides—you’ll find lots of great code snippets in the slides, plus they have a list of some of their favourite tools and a sample EPUB 3 file on their website that you can break apart. O’Reilly’s e-book team showed some great slides of their e-book workflow (have a look at slide 11), showing how they tweak and adapt their original XML file to produce all the individual file formats.

Saturday, February 25, 2012

Keeping ePub simple for Mobi

From MobileRead:
The CSS from an epub file must be converted (by kindlegen) to HTML 3.2 attributes in the mobi file, so keeping the CSS extremely simple is always the best approach. Unfortunately, the only way to find out what works best (or at all) is through trial and error (and of course by looking through the threads here at MR to find what others may have stumbled upon).

Friday, February 10, 2012

Apple fixed-layout EPUB format

For coding ebooks according to the Apple fixed-layout EPUB format:

If there is an actual spec on Apple's site of "Apple's fixed-layout EPUB", I'm not aware of it. (Let me know if there is a URL that points to one.) For now it just looks like it's "spec by example".

Tuesday, February 7, 2012

"open access publishing"

"open access publishing"? Or better:

"redistributable publishing"
"free-to-copy publishing"

See Budapest Open Access Initiative.

commentary by Richard Stallman <>:

Many scientists recognize the harm done by restrictive scientific publishers that control use of the scientific literature. In 2002, the Budapest Open Access Initiative called for applying two principles in scientific publishing: access for everyone at the main publication site, and freedom for everyone to redistribute exact copies (and do other things with them too).

The second principle is stronger. In practice, it implies the first: if everyone has the freedom to redistribute copies of articles, university libraries will mirror the articles, making them accessible to everyone. However, the term "open access" refers to the weaker first principle and not to the second. That makes it a weak term.

I signed the BOAI statement. I had misgivings about the name, after seeing how philosophical opponents of the Free Software Movement had used the term "open source" to downplay our concerns about freedom, but I put them aside because the substance was correct.

My misgivings later proved valid: some influential supporters subsequently dropped the second principle.  In effect, the weak name overcame the strong substance.

To return to the correct substance of the the BOAI, we should drop the term "open access publishing", and talk about "redistributable publishing" or "free-to-copy publishing".  These terms focus on the stronger second principle, so they will resist weakening.

"Open Publishing Association"

author = "Hildebrandt, Thomas T. and Mukkamala, Raghava Rao",
year = "2011",
title = "Declarative Event-Based Workflow as Distributed Dynamic Condition Response Graphs",
editor = "Honda, Kohei and Mycroft, Alan",
booktitle = "{\rm Proceedings Third Workshop on}
Programming Language Approaches to Concurrency and communication-cEntric Software,
{\rm Paphos, Cyprus, 21st March 2010}",
series = "Electronic Proceedings in Theoretical Computer Science",
volume = "69",
publisher = "Open Publishing Association",
pages = "59-73",
doi = "10.4204/EPTCS.69.5",

(The bibtex of the paper e.g.

Open Publishing Association (
a publication model that links to articles of

This is the way it works.