The balance between internet standards and innovation has always been a tenuous one. Browser or ereader manufacturers want to showcase their product and the special things it can do and don’t necessarily want to embrace or restrict themselves to a list of features that others can replicate. But designers and publishers don’t want to have to create—or finance and keep track of—separate versions of a book for what the public imagines should be very similar containers.
We’ll also point out some features from the EPUB3 spec that are not yet supported (and may never be) and talk about the fact that what a standards body says should work in compliant readers and what actually works, or their method of implementation, is often quite different.
In conclusion we’ll give some strategies for deciding when to rely on standards, when it’s worthwhile to stray from them, in order to find the balance between taking advantage of the most interesting innovations without drowning in the work necessary to reproduce them on several different platforms.
Bestselling author of books on EPUB, HTML, CSS, Blogger, Perl and CGI, and more.
Currently self-publishing a series of miniguides on advanced features of EPUB as well as a collection of books about Catalonia in English.
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