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Q&A

What is the Current State-of-the-Art / Any Successful Experiements with EPUB Format?

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As a zipped web-page, EPUB has long offered the possibility of completely changing how a book looks and feels with dynamic content and interactive content.

But since EPUB came out (2007), I really have seen little - other than the use of hyperlinks within content to direct to a glossary or a reference - that tests the limits of what can be done with the technology.

Is anyone aware of some writing product that has tried to push what can be done with the EPUB format?

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I wouldn't call Adobe InDesign a writing product but it has allowed the integration of animations, movies, audio for quite some time already.

The caveat is that I believe this only applies to fixed layout ePub as it would be way complex to plan for something that can reflow. You would lost a lot of the useful features of the format by making it fixed.

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Thank you for letting me know about that! (1 comment)
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EPub 3 has some interesting additions to the format, but most readers don't handle it yet (especially e-ink).

And some glaring issues remain. For example, ePub really needs a way to mark an image "show this on the next page", rather than the current "show this here" that cuts off text at odd places because of where an image happens to have been included.

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I experimented a bit this week with hand-made epubs.

The following is supported in Apple iBook reader. Haven't checked others --

  • SELECT tag inputs
  • SCRIPT tags
  • functions within scripts
  • events from SELECT tags calling on javascript funcrions
  • document.body.innerHTML , and the ability to change the body from script
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