New DAISY Pipeline Released

DAISY have announced a new release of their DAISY Pipeline, which now adds support for the Microsoft “Save As DAISY XML” transformer add-in, designed for Microsoft Office Word 2007, Word 2003 and Word XP.

Along with adding support for the add-in they have made a number of usability and performance improvements and also included an ePub/OPS validator.

For those who don’t know, ePub documents can include either XHTML or DAISY DTBook files natively. A DAISY DTB is most often used to make content accessible for blind and print-disabled individuals but can also be used as a master file for conversion into other formats, which is where the pipeline will come in handy for anyone wanting to create ePub books using DTB rather than XHTML.

The DAISY Pipeline is not for the faint-hearted but if you are serious about ePub and creating documents/eBooks accessible to print-disabled users, then this could be a very useful tool indeed.

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Comments

  1. Some Guy says

    In your next revision, you might want to mention that .epub incorporates certain “vocabularies” from dtb (and XHTML.) There are no DTB to OCF/OPS/Epub converters in the Pipeline.

  2. says

    Hi Some Guy, thanks for your comments.

    When I was first looking into ePub I did some research on the DTB but this was at least a year ago now.

    At present I am without an internet connection at home but once this is up and going I am hoping to get back to the DTB. I will also be taking a closer look at the pipeline.

    It’s disappointing that there are actually no DTB to ePub converters…perhaps this will come in the next release.

  3. says

    With all the recent activity surrounding ePub, particularly that some large UK publishers will be releasing their catalogue in both print and as eBooks, the ePub format could become a major player. Would this not also be advantageous for print-disabled users?

    If there was to be a standardised eBook format that utilises DTB then we could well see more Braille and audio readers making use of it.

    I still need to do some more research to know if DTB is fully utilised (as it was intended) within an ePub container. Hopefully it will.

  4. Some Guy says

    Don’t know about the UK, but in the U.S., anyone selling a certain portion of their titles to educational markets has to submit a copy of their book in the NIMAS format. Unlike the UK, we take our site-disabled readers very seriously in the U.S., (all books for the blind are free), so given the real risk of sanctions, I can’t see anyone not providing NIMAS who wants to do business in the 300-million strong U.S. market.

    Should DAISY convert automatically from the (REQUIRED BY LAW) NIMAS format, it’s hard to see what the advantage is of .epub. Anyone who standardizes on OEBPS 1.2 will, eventually, bring out books in .epub, but only as a conversion offering, particularly given that neither Kindle, nor Mobipocket, nor Vitalsource has any plans to use .epub directly, and of course .pdf still rules the desktop for sales by smaller presses.

    (If Sony stays with BBEdit, that’s roughly 98% of the commercial ebook market right there… and with Kindle, the market is doubling quarterly.)

  5. Some Guy says

    Also, I’ve yet to read an article which states that the larger UK publishers will sell .epub direct from their sites. If you could point me to where one of those articles exists, from a credible source, I’d be very grateful, as after all the Bookseller just seemed to cite Rothman, which in publishing circles is widely known as a career-limiting move.

  6. says

    Hmmm, that’s a lot to chew on.

    I find it hard to believe that the U.S. is the only country taking accessibility seriously, still, it’s interesting to hear that the NIMAS format is a requirement. I’ll have to take a look and see if the UK has a similar requirement.

    I agree that at present there’s no hard facts on who, if anyone, will actually sell ePub formatted books. I guess I am a believer, so have hopes that big publisher will make this move.

    It still looks like Sony will get it’s Adobe DE addon. As for the Kindle, well Amazon will do whatever they feel is right. One just hopes they will at least make ePub files natively readable, even if they don’t actually sell them.

    Perhaps ePub will never become the mp3 equivalent for books, but it it is gaining ground as a major format. If this ends up being in the public domain only, I don’t believe that would that be such a bad thing.

  7. Random-Texan says

    I have used both epub and daisy and find them quite suitable. I can’t say I’d be pleased to see one gain ascendancy over the other. I think Daisy outstrips epub in audio only books but epub is just as nice if not nicer for printed text which one then reads with a screen reader. On my firefox installation, I have installed both the DDreader (daisy books) and the epub reader. I switch back and forth at need. Epub seems to be more popular for mainstream organizations whereas Daisy is quite niche-specific. I think there are asthetic concerns at play here. Epub looks more like printed text than daisy probably does. That weighs pretty heavily with marketing types. A lot of the eBook readers I’ve found in Linux in general and on linux-based devices in particular like Android phones focus on ePub with Daisy readers being somewhat rare for anything other than Windows. So, for reading disabled people, you want something that can access both formats and you want something with an accessible interface that everyone can use to get at the printed material. I guess what I’m saying is, let book providers use whatever they like but ensure that the content can be delivered accessibly and that there are software solutions to deliver that content accessibly as well.

    Just my thoughts.