Global Adoption of Digital Publishing, EPUB 3, and the Open Web Platform


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  • This talk is supposed to be about international adoption of EPUB 3. I promise, I’ll get there. But first I want to talk about “digital publishing”. And then I’m going to talk about HTML5.
  • “ Publishing” means “delivering premium content” so this is not a very useful definition
  • All content combines information and experience (explicit or implicit). If it’s just information – raw data – it’s not content. If it’s just experience – a productivity application – it’s not content Some content is heavy on information and the particular experience is secondary/implicit – a novel, a table of numbers. A novel has a beginning, middle, end and it’s expected that you can consume it linearly, everything else is up for grabs Some content is heavy on experience – games Some content is in between – a DVD (intro, menu)
  • Theodore Levitt, a legendary professor of marketing at Harvard Business School, pioneered thinking about jobs-to-be-done not products
  • Clayton Christensen also at HBS has refined this One implication is that products don’t justcompete with similar competitive products, they compete with a broad array of possible ways for people to get jobs done If we focus on the product not the jobs, we are likely to be disrupted – google news, angry birds, craigslist
  • As publisher we are storytellers and we are creators of premium content But in the print book world our product attributes were pretty much set 200 years ago: sheets of paper bound together. And while the technologies involved in creating and manufacturing books has changed pretty radically in the last 3 decades, the physical product hasn’t. In the digital world it’s a whole new ballgame.
  • But the good news is that there are three and only three fundamental ways to deliver digital content experiences Files – data in a transportable format: songs, movies, documents, eBooks Some people like to debate eBooks vs. apps vs. websites. I think this is a waste of time. These three approaches have been around for 20 years and I see no sign of any of them going away. Depending on the jobs to be done by readers, and your options for monetizing your content to help jobs get done, one or more of these options may make the most sense in any given situation. In fact I think publishers should explicitly be considering all three options as we look at how best to deliver the experiences that “nail the job” for readers Some people would say for example – who cares about files or documents any more? But I see files as just a way to represent structured, composite data
  • Hard drive vs. cloud is not about how you structure the content – that’s about the pipeline for storing and distributing content in any of these three fundamental forms.There are millions of apps and billions of files out in the corpus of the Internet. And, websites certainly are associated with coming from the cloud, but help systems on software CDs have been delivered on physical media and stored locally for years and years. Distirbuted execution is part of the cloud but whether it’s a website or an app the trend is to “rich client” and without ubiquitous always-on connectivity offline usability remains critical – especially for immersive reading
  • What’s changed in the last 15 years? … Nothing!
  • Structuring your content based on the Open Web Platform lets you deliver as website, app, and eBook as appropriate And it maximizes the value of your content Implications all the way back to how your represent your content and assets in a CMS
  • Standards aren’t good for their own sake. The key point is that Open Web Platform has become good enough, the browser platform proliferated enough, that the advantages (e.g. economies of scale, reach, avoidance of lock-in) of developing websites, eBooks, and content apps via its consistent open modular architecture are greater than the advantages (e.g. platform polish, tailored authoring tools) of developing via one or more closed proprietary architectures.
  • Enough already about HTML5 – what about EPUB 3?
  • Some of these capabilities may be quite useful even if you don’t need all of them. You can benefit from EPUB tooling and avoid reinventing the wheel even if you aren’t ingesting or delivering .epub files! That’s one reason EPUB 3.0 is comprised of 5 distinct specifications.
  • The driver
  • Books landscape over 2 axis : structure vs. layout More or less structure = semantics, we ’ ll see why Page make-up : Content vs. layout driven
  • 10/9/11 03:16:52 PM grisham\\Management Presentation\\15 Management Presentation.ppt
  • 10/9/11 03:16:52 PM grisham\\Management Presentation\\15 Management Presentation.ppt
  • 10/9/11 03:16:52 PM grisham\\Management Presentation\\15 Management Presentation.ppt Aiming for lock-in via integrated tools, license restrictions, distribution silos, mix-in of proprietary technologies, and patent minefields Being a “privatizer” is worse than being proprietary! Open source and open standards lend themselves to bad forks
  • 10/9/11 03:16:52 PM grisham\\Management Presentation\\15 Management Presentation.ppt Failure of W3C Widgets thanks to Apple patent claims Facebook has made their iOS app more native – but still relies heavily on the Web Platform for their overall ecosystem Wikipedia lists 20 “phone web-based app frameworks” Adobe AIR (using HTML not Flash) was actually one of the first
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  • By comparison, things look easy for eBooks. EPUB 2 is ubiquitous, and EPUB 3 has clearly got momentum as the global standard.
  • 10/9/11 03:16:52 PM grisham\\Management Presentation\\15 Management Presentation.ppt
  • I believe that books and other publications are too important for cultural reasons, for educational reasons, for reasons of freedom of speech and creativity and pure knowledge – for us to allow a future where all digital books are Kindle Books or Apple iBooks. For us to allow innovation in content to be controlled by the vendor of HW or SW systems, rather than by the creators of content itself.
  • I finally read “Steve Jobs”. Great book, and it really got me thinking that while creativity is critically important, it’s really about the content not the device or reader SW
  • In fact I read “Steve Jobs” on a Samsung Galaxy SIII – Steve would not have been amused! But you know it didn’t matter to me – it was just as compelling
  • EPUB3 is working to enable content to be king, and get everywhere readers want it to be. To help us all take advantage of the whole blue ocean of new possibilities of digital to combine information and experience. And without anyone having their hands on the master switch - even if they have the artistic genius of Steve Jobs or the consumer-first passion of Jeff Bezos. Instead let’s let a hundred flowers bloom, and a hundred schools of thought contend. And invent the future, together.
  • Global Adoption of Digital Publishing, EPUB 3, and the Open Web Platform

    1. 1. Global Adoption of DigitalPublishing, EPUB 3, and the Open Web Platform Bill McCoy Executive DirectorInternational Digital Publishing Forum (IDPF)
    2. 2. • IDPF mission: foster an open, global ecosystem for digital publishing• Based on web standards
    3. 3. What is digital publishing?Digitally distributing premiumcontent (that includes words)
    4. 4. What is content?A combination of informationand experience
    5. 5. Why do people read books?To get a job done
    6. 6. “People don’t want to buy aquarter-inch drill, they want aquarter-inch hole”- Theodore Levitt
    7. 7. Newspapers help me…• Become well-informed• Unwind at the end of the day• Kill commuting time• Find my next car, or a job• Unload this stuff
    8. 8. Three levels in the architecture of a job• What is the fundamental job or problem the customer is facing? Includes functional, emotional and social dimensions• What are the experiences in purchase and use which, if all provided, would sum up to nailing the job perfectly?• What are the product attributes, technologies, features, etc. that are needed to deliver these experiences?
    9. 9. Three fundamental ways todeliver content experiencesfiles, apps, and websites
    10. 10. vs.
    11. 11. Options for content in 1993…FilesFiles Apps Websites
    12. 12. Options for content in 1997…FilesFiles Apps Websites
    13. 13. Today’s Landscape…Files Apps Websites
    14. 14. The Open Web PlatformFiles Apps Websites
    15. 15. The Open Web Platform Technology “Stack” Courtesy of W3C
    16. 16. Open Web Platform Specifications HTML 5  SVG 1.1  XMLHttpRequest CSS 2.1  WAI-ARIA 1.0  Selectors API CSS 3 Selectors  MathML 2.0  CSSOM View Module CSS 3 Media  ECMAScript 5 Queries  Cross-Origin  2D Context Resource Sharing CSS 3 Text  WebGL  File API CSS 3 Backgrounds  Web Storage and Borders  RDFa  Indexed Database CSS 3 Colors  Microdata  Web Workers CSS 3 2D  WOFF  Web Sockets Transformations  HTTP 1.1 part 1 to Protocol/API CSS 3 3D part 7  Geolocation Transformations  TLS 1.2 (updated) CSS 3 Transitions  Server-Sent Events  IRI (updated) CSS 3 Animations  Element Traversal  … CSS 3 Multi-  DOM Level 3 Columns Events CSS Namespaces  Media Fragments
    17. 17. EPUB 3 beyond HTML5• A road-map for using the Open Web Platform to reliably deliver structured, interoperable, offline-usable content• Specifies minimum required functionality for • Global language support • Accessibility • CSS layout and fonts • Core media types• Defines capabilities needed for portable documents • Packaging • Logical structure and navigation • Metadata (publication- and element-level) • Declarative event bindings • Extensible media type support via structured JavaScript • Fine-grained references to content fragments • Synchronization of media playback with content rendering
    18. 18. EPUB 3 Directly Includes… HTML 5  SVG 1.1  XMLHttpRequest CSS 2.1  WAI-ARIA 1.0  Selectors API CSS 3 Selectors  MathML 2.0  CSSOM View Module CSS 3 Media  ECMAScript 5 Queries  Cross-Origin  2D Context Resource Sharing CSS 3 Text  WebGL  File API CSS 3 Backgrounds  Web Storage and Borders  RDFa  Indexed Database CSS 3 Colors  Microdata  Web Workers CSS 3 2D  WOFF  Web Sockets Transformations  HTTP 1.1 Protocol/API CSS 3 3D  TLS 1.2  Geolocation Transformations  IRI CSS 3 Transitions  Server-Sent Events  Element Traversal  … CSS 3 Animations CSS 3 Multi-  DOM Level 3 Columns Events CSS Namespaces  Media Fragments
    19. 19. EPUB 3 vs. EPUB 2 in 5 bullets• Styling & layout improvements for reflow content • CSS 2.1 + Select CSS 3 Modules • Embedded fonts • Alternate stylesheets (day/night, etc) • MathML• Fixed-layout content • Including SVG as first-class citizen• Interactivity and rich media • Scripting support• Accessibility support• Global Language support
    20. 20. EPUB 3 Early Adoption Being Driven By Need for New Capabilities • Fixed-layout eBooks • Comics, manga, “coffee table” books • Enhanced eBooks • Children’s, e-textbooks • Japanese market
    21. 21. Categories of Digital Books Semantics Heavy Dictionaries Encyclopaedias Travel guides Management Textbooks Wine guides University, Cooking professionalContent Layoutdriven driven History books Practical, health Comics, Mangas Essays Graphic novels Novels, Romance Juvenile fiction Children « Beaux livres » Courtesy: Hachette-LIvre 25
    22. 22. EPUB 3 Will Be Universally Supported•Incremental improvements in styling & layout are broadly useful•Accessibility is necessary for many, and provides benefits for all •Semantic markup, equations, text-to-speech, …•Handling nuggets of fixed content within reflowable eBooks•Alignment with modern browsers & the Open Web Platform•Better specification of content & reading system conformance•Publishers need a single unified workflow for content production
    23. 23. But, We Aren’t Quite There Yet!•For novels and text-only linear non-fiction, in North America andEurope, EPUB 2 is “good enough”•EPUB 2 will get to Kindle and other platforms more easily for now•More EPUB 2 authoring & generation tools available•“Chicken and egg” syndrome thus lessens urgency for ReadingSystems to upgrade (a huge effort for Reading System developers) •Most used custom renderers not browser engine for EPUB 2•Flash and native mobile/tablet eBook apps not dead yet•Vendors still promoting proprietary “HTML5-based” alternatives •iBooks Author, Amazon Kindle KF8, Inkling Habitat, …
    24. 24. The Most Deceptive Three Words from a Proprietary Platform Vendor: “We’re HTML5 Based” •Innovations shouldn’t wait for standardization but there’s a fine line between nimble “innovating” and greedy “privatizing” •Vendors of proprietary solutions seek the cachet of openness and skill-set-transfer without actually being open or interoperable •Forks of Web Standards have generally failed or become niches •Mozilla XUL •OpenLaszlo •Adobe Flex & AIR •Adobe PDF XFA forms
    25. 25. Open Web Platform for Apps: The Landscape Is Still Messy•Widgets •Apple Dashboard •SmartTV (inc. Yahoo! Widgets) •Facebook 3rd-Party Web Apps•Full applications •Palm/HP WebOS •Windows 8 “Metro” apps •Chrome Installable Web Apps •Firefox OS (aka Boot-to-Gecko)•Native app frameworks wrapping web-standards-based content •PhoneGap (now Adobe PhoneGap Build and Apache Cordova) •Brightcove App Cloud •Appcelerator Titanium •W3C has just chartered a System Applications WG
    26. 26. Open Web Platform for Apps Headaches (With Implications for EPUB 3) •iOS UIWebView performance is disadvantaged by lack of Nitro JS •Currently restricted to Safari and iBooks for “security” reasons •HW acceleration support varies significantly by platform •Esp. for SVG, HW acceleration is critical to performance, but is not enabled on iOS Safari/UIWebView •Patent issues and browser vendor foot-dragging killed W3C Widgets WG •The browser vendors are also the OS platform vendors so have mixed motivations •HTML5/JS tools and frameworks far less mature than native app and Flash ecosystems, particularly for designers •The good news – competition between platforms and pressure from across the IT industry are combining to spur progress
    27. 27. Growing Industry Support for EPUB 3
    28. 28. IDPF Focus for 2013: Delivering on thePromise of EPUB 3 as Portable Documents for the Open Web Platform •Best practices documentation, samples, training, evangelism •Tools •Validator for content, preflight, test suite for reading systems •Open source implementation - Readium •Continuing to evolve EPUB to meet publishing industry requirements •Adaptive layout, dictionaries, indexes, advanced/hybrid fixed layout, lightweight content protection (DRM), annotations •Collaboration with other stakeholders •W3C, DAISY, BISG, EDItEUR, IMS Global Learning, … •EPUB to become an ISO-level International Standard
    29. 29. “The PC revolution … invited innovation by others. So too with theInternet. Both were generative: they were designed to accept anycontribution that followed a basic set of rules… Both overwhelmedtheir respective proprietary, non-generative competitors, such as… online services like CompuServe and AOL.”But our future could be “sterile appliances tethered to a network ofcontrol.”Jonathan Zittrain (The Future of the Internet – And How to Stop It)