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.
ePub’s presence within the industry is hotting up, which is great news for all of us who are backing the ePub format to become the standard used for eBooks.
Philip Jones, managing editor of theBookseller.com, has written an excellent article on the current problems within the industry regarding the eBook format. He also notes that during a recent speech at the Publishers Association a.g.m, Simon Juden, CEO of the Publishers Association in the UK, is calling on the industry to resolve the current problem with the lack of a standard format.
You should drop by Philips blog and read his excellent article, A question of format, where he makes a very important point regarding the lack of ePub readers. Without a good array of readers how can we expect publishers to adopt the ePub format.
The two best options so far are the IDPF doesn’t push the ePub format in a big way, they could well loose out altogether! Would having an Official ePub Logo help? – A point often discussed by David Rothman from the TeleRead Blog.
All is not lost just yet, we’ve had some encouraging news from publishers recently. Hachette Group USA have already adopted ePub and a couple of weeks back Penguin UK announced they will be releasing all their titles in the .epub format from September 2008 onwards. Let’s just hope others follow suit soon.
During the last week or so there’s been lots of discussion around the internet regarding how we write the word “epub”. There have been many good reasons for choosing one style over another but if we take the TeleRead Poll as any kind of indication then “ePub” seems to be a favourite.
Of course what we’ve all been waiting for is someone from the IDPF to make an official comment.
Earlier today Garth Conboy, who co-chaired two IDPF groups that developed the standards encapsulated under the “EPUB” term and a current board member, made an interesting post to the EPub Community regarding this subject.
Garth states that “.epub was first used as the file extension for publications contained in an OCF container” and that the “term EPUB was created to mean an OPS/OPF publication contained in an OCF container. Trading one four-letter (almost) acronym for three three-letter acronyms.”
It seems that the IDPF have taken note of the discussions going on at TeleRead and the EPub Community and although the following is not an official statement, it is great to have feedback from someone on the inside.
There was a discussion of how the standard should be capitalized this morning on the IDPF Board of Directors call — perhaps driven by the discussion on this or the Teleread list. The IDPF certainly can’t dictate how others or the industry uses “e” “p” “u” “b” in that order, but it has decided how it will use the term.
The soon-to-be-created IDPF style guide will likely use “EPUB” to mean the standard (OPS/OPF in an OCF container) and also the class of documents/publications that so conform. The file extension will, of course, remain “.epub”. This is at least somewhat analogous to HTML documents having the .html or .htm extensions (yes, I know HTML is a true acronym, and EPUB isn’t).
Great news that the IDPF are now thinking about this and who knows, perhaps we’ll seen an official ePub logo in the near future too!
Garth’s personal choice is the same as mine here at epubbooks.com; he personally likes “the look of “ePub” better, and if there were someday to be a logo that denotes EPUB compliance or validity, I’d hope we do something around the camel-caps version.”
I’m confused! Okay, so this happens quite regular, but on this occasion I think I might have good reason.
I’ve been following this new IDPF format for some time now and I certainly have great belief in it, but it seems to me that no one knows how the word should be written. Here’s a short list of what I’ve seen so far;
- ePub (my current preferred way)
I haven’t made up my mind completely but my two favourites are ePub and EPUB. David at TeleRead has often mentioned the need for an ePub logo and I whole-heartedly agree. Let’s get the ‘look’ in peoples minds and what better way than a logo.
But is it really so important? When I think on how people talk about “mp3” I don’t have any fixed ideas in mind (nor a logo for that matter) and mp3 is huge!
Well, until someone says otherwise, I think I’ll stick with ePub.
I you have have your own thoughts on this, please do leave a comment.
UPDATE: The IDPF officially chose “EPUB” as the correct way to write about the standard.
Digital Book 2008 is a one-day conference held in New York City on May 14th. The conference is hosted by the IDPF and is part of their spring educational series. This is considered the best opportunity of the year to network with the global publishing and online technology leaders in the digital books world.
If you wish to attend you must register, but be warned, the event has been sold out for the last five years!
At the top of the agenda will be the emerging global eBook market and adoption of the EPUB digital publication standard. Some of the highlights are;
- Publisher Experience and Workflow using the new IDPF “EPUB” Standard
- “EPUB” Update on eBook Reading Devices and Software
- Using Digital Book Technologies to Drive Sales and Create New Consumer Experiences
- eBooks in Education and Accessibility Initiatives
There are going to be some fantastic speakers including;
- Michael Smith (IDPF)
- Bill McCoy (Adobe Systems Incorporated)
- Peter Balis (John Wiley & Sons, Inc.)
- Garth Conboy (eBook Technologies, Inc.)
- Leslie Hulse (HarperCollins Publishers)
- Neil DeYoung (Hachette Book Group USA)
- Willem Endhoven (iRex Technologies BV)
- Martin Görner (Mobipocket.com)
— I wish I could attend myself!