17 July 2013
After the talk and opinions on something as exciting as a new eBook format a specification has started to emerge. To help the development effort of E0 Infogrid Pacific has implemented an E0 format infrastructure to allow real evaluation and testing of the various ideas and potential of E0
EPub Zero, eBook Zero or E0 was a solution proposed by Dave Cramer (@dauwhe) to bring a simplified package to the ebook format and reading system world. It has been discussed vigorously and some levels of consensus have emerged.
After considerable discussions and opinions on the E0 eBook format a strawman specification has started to emerge. The concepts and ideas in any specification need to be tested and evaluated in the real world.
To help this effort Infogrid Pacific has implemented an E0 format development infrastructure to allow real evaluation and testing of the various ideas for and potential of E0. (Infogrid Pacific is not part of the discussion. We are "on the side" observers and practioners. )
All of this is subject to change.
The E0 specification is still in "strawman" state and is available on the E0-blog.
If you validate the package index.html page in the samples you will receive errors for the role attribute values which have not been registered with the HTML5 project at this time. Everything else should be valid HTML5.
Note carefully that the E0 specification is not final and will be extended, changed or even just dropped. However assuming the basic index.html packaging remains the same, adapting and updating to any new recommendations and changes is relatively trivial.
For those wanting to dive in without wading through more rhetoric here are the links.
E0 Reading System. AZARDI 21 has now been released. If you are on Windows or Linux and have AZARDI installed it will update automatically next time you use it. Mac users will have to download and install AZARDI 21. Once installed you can drag and drop files with the *.E0 extension directly into the book upload window.
E0 Test Books. There are five simple E0 Index-html navigation test books to prove the different patterns of linear spine inclusion or exclusion and TOC inclusion or exclusion. The introduction page on each book explains what it does and the HTML code is available.
E0/EPub3 Comparison Books. There are eight Gutenberg books that have been converted into both formats and are available.
E0 Simple Online Reader. There is a simple examle online reading system with five test books and Moby Dick to show the instant flexibility of the E0 format.
E0 should be seen as a compliment rather than competitor to ePub (any number). For those who don't have the time to ready the extensive discussions, it is a forward looking HTML5 package that does not try and support legacy ePub2 reading systems, etc.
E0 should be seen as a compliment rather than competitor to ePub
The primary value of E0 for the majority of books is the simple, cost-effective and flexible package that does everything any existing reading system and package can do for standard linear books. Plus a bit more. It uses HTML5 exclusively with no external XML references or other non-HTML5 methods.
Most books do not need the complexity of ePub2 and ePub3 packaging. You will see in the AZARDI E0-Resources page that the ePub3 and E0 formats of books deliver exactly the same reading experience.
It was relatively trivial to incorporate E0 into AZARDI (AZARDI current supports ePub2 and ePub3) because the "spine" reading order and Table of Contents (TOC) navigation structures can be easily processed to match internal ePub navigation structures. From there it is just a matter of loading the sections into the reading viewport.
Putting retrospective format complexity into the reading system is more useful for the publishing industry than trying to capture complexity in the package. E0 demonstrates that simple is sophisticated.
AZARDI supports ePub2, ePub3 and E0 in its current spec state.
E0 is simple. Reader implementation is simple.
If anyone creates any test books or demonstration books and would like them made publicly available please send them along to azardi [at] infogridpacific [dot] com.
Posted by Richard Pipe
Start a real digital content strategy with
The complete digital publishing content management and production solution.
Available as for Small and Medium publisher:
IGP:Digital Publisher is also available as a full site license purchase.
Use one master XHTML file to instantly create multiple print, e-book and Internet formats.