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What Will Epub3 Mean for Digital Publishing

  • Date Submitted: 05/23/2011 03:47 AM
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What will EPUB3 mean for digital publishing?

On the 15th February 2011 the International Digital Publishing Forum (IDPF) announced the availability of the first Public Draft of EPUB3. This article is a high level overview of EPUB3, its key focus areas and what they mean for digital publishing.

Who are the IDPF and what is EPUB

The IDPF is global standards organization focused on electronic publishing and content consumption. EPUB is the IDPF’s key standard. EPUB is free and open eBook standard designed for reflowable content, meaning that the text display can reflow (or be optimized) for the particular reading device being used. An IDFP EPUB Working Group is responsible for the development of the EPUB specification and these activities are conducted in an ‘open source’ manner, meaning that all information is publicly available for review and comment.

Why the need for EPUB3

The rapid development of technology & other standards and consumer expectations are all driving the need for an EPUB update which is focused on the future of digital publishing. Some of the key driving factors are: New devices with enhanced functionality (i.e. tablet devices), new web standards like HTML5 and CSS3, making digital books accessible to all languages & character sets, need for improved multimedia & advanced layout support for digital books and improved support for disability access.

EPUB3 Roadmap

EPUB3 has been in development since April 2010. During the 2nd and 3rd quarter of 2010 requirements were gathered and 1st and 2nd internal working drafts were released in late 2010. The first Public Draft released on the 15th Feb 2011 is for comment and trial use. The final EPUB3 recommendation is due to be submitted to the IDFP board for approval in mid 2011.

EPUB3 Key focus areas

EPUB3 is a significant revision to the current standard. Based on HTML5, EPUB3 provides support for emerging requirements such as audio & video, vertical writing and other global...

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