KF8 and ePub3: New Standards for EBooks


Things are approximate to get thrilling for readers, designers and the eBook publishing business as new codecs carry more advantageous formatting and interactivity to eBooks. Amazon has simply introduced a brand new KF8 (Kindle Format 8) layout. The KF8 format replaces Amazon’s. Mobi layout and provides over a hundred and fifty new formatting abilities, such as constant layouts, nested tables, callouts, sidebars and Scalable Vector Graphics. New specs for the ePub format (utilized by Apple, Google, and many others) were lately finalized but slightly noted with the aid of the publishing media.

The idea that an e-book is not anything extra than a box for textual content information is anathema to all and sundry who appreciates the artwork of typesetting. Graphic Design exerts an effective have an effect on ease of analyzing, and also on greater summary concerns like how the choice of typeface affects the temper of the writing. Today’s eBooks sacrifice appearance for flexibility, allowing textual content to be resized and flowed from the display-to-display screen without any relationship to the authentic numbered page or typographic layout. EPub and. Mobi files are little more than bundles of fundamental HTML pages. They’re especially bad for instructional texts wherein sidebars and multicolumn layouts are commonplace. KF8 and ePub3 standards will greatly enhance the aesthetics of the eBook design.

KF8 and ePub3 Mean Better Looking EBooks

KF8 and ePub3 codecs allow ebook designers to leverage powerful formatting technologies like HTML5 and CSS3. Embedded fonts, drop caps, floating factors, text on background snapshots, numbered and bulleted lists and quality control over main (line spacing) are only some of the new design functions that already improve the arrival of millions of websites. Now, they may lend their strength to eBooks. Add audio, video, and interactivity to a nicely-displayed eBook and you will discover publishers banking on the basis that eBooks can be better than conventional books (although that premise can be hotly debated).

The capacity for a new renaissance in ebook design is very actual, and for designers, the timing is good. Adobe has already seen suit to consist of effective HTML5 export competencies into Adobe Flash. Tools like Adobe Muse make it simpler for designers to consciousness on aesthetics without having to manipulate cumbersome code. While publishers of published books percent their text tightly on the page to keep paper and ink, eBook publishers have no such concerns. Once the layout is unconstrained by economics, eBooks (of all things) can be unfastened to repair the honor of hot metal type. Will publishers have the vision? We’ll see quickly sufficient.

KF8, ePub3 and the EBook Business

Amazon selected to use a proprietary. Mobi layout while its competition (even Apple) submit eBooks the use of the open ePub standard. The advantage is obvious; Amazon’s capacity to manipulate their very own eBook layout positions them to innovate and deploy new standards quickly while not having to anticipate specifications to be proposed, authorised and evolved through an outside standards body, setting them as much as be the first to market “rich eBooks” which are delivered as real eBooks as opposed to as cell apps. Moreover, because Apple has limited using Adobe Flash on its iOS (iPhone Operating System) cell devices, Adobe has enterprise incentive to expand layout gear that aids Amazon’s advantage. However, ePub3 specifications (Also primarily based on HTML5 and CSS) had been finalized recently on October eleven, 2001. We can anticipate Apple and other ePub eReader builders had been operating for some time to integrate the draft standards into their technology. Toolmakers will locate opportunity in filling the needs of ePub3 publishers.

How this could play out in the competitive eBook market is each person’s guess, but sincerely, eBooks are changing (and at least when capable designers are involved, they will be changing for the higher). In the following couple of years, we will see a slew of latest eReader devices that comprise the brand new requirements along with improvements like color eInk displays and a number of the functions (like cameras, microphones, and internet get entry to) we’ve come to associate with tablet devices like the Apple iPad. Adobe InDesign already exports to a variety of cellular codecs; it is most effective logical to believe the one’s skills can be delivered in line with now-contemporary publishing standards.

What’s the Catch?

Amazon’s Kindle Publisher Tools do now not currently help KF8, however, all presently supported content material will preserve paintings. Information on how to update existing titles to take advantage of KF8 capabilities can be to be had in an upcoming update of the Kindle Publishing Guidelines. Amazon might be rolling out KF8 guide for the brand new Kindle Fire eReader due in November 2011. KF8 assist can be introduced to past due era Kindles and software Kindle readers in the following months. Older Kindles will not be upgraded to support KF8.

When it comes to ePub3, matters are much less reduce and dry. Certainly, the ePub3 format is standardized-eBooks can preferably be advanced to those standards-but there’s no standards body governing the extent to which eReader gadgets have to support those requirements. Apple, as an example, does not assist Adobe Flash in their mobile browser. It’s possibly they may not guide Flash content material interior eBooks, even supposing the ePub3 general does. EPub3 supports optional technical additions like javascript; now not horrific in precept, however creating eBooks the usage of features that eBook readers optionally implement makes it hard to deploy one document to a couple of providers.

The IDPF (in fee of ePub3 standards) refers to an ePub3 record as a “website in a box.” Therein lies the hassle. Notwithstanding the fact that an eBook is an altogether different form of animal than a website, there are enough variances from one web browser to some other in how they render and display HTML, Javascript, CSS and different “standardized” technologies to indicate that eBook Reader devices will likely every assist different subsets of the ePub3 trendy. Standards may be supported however displayed in another way. Please, God. Don ‘t let Microsoft come out with an eReader. Many publishers will both skip ePub3’s in moderation supported “unique functions” and keep their ePub services simple, or they will increase separate ePub3 files that suit the supported technologies of various gadgets.