I wonder how many people have noticed this scary banner on the epubcheck Github repository:
We’re running out of code maintainers by the end of 2017 and are actively looking for new developers!
You have to scroll down to find it, which makes me think not many. The alternative that it’s being ignored is even more frightening.
Continue Reading Who cries for epubcheck?
With the publishing of the EPUB Accessibility specification, there’s been a noticeable up-tick in people looking to produce accessible content. Normally, that would be a great thing, but it also means more people are hitting on the limitations of reading systems for accessibility. It’s true, EPUB reading systems aren’t just a headache for designers!
Providing extended descriptions is one of the more problematic areas, as we’ve been searching for years now for solutions that meet publishers’ needs and are also broadly supported enough that they can be reliably used. That headache popped up again this last week, so I thought I’d detail the anatomy of finding a solution.
Continue Reading Extended Description Whack-a-Mole
So is a book cover just a decorative image, or does it merit a description?
I had this discussion with a couple of people at TPAC, and it seems like the only answer we could agree on is: it depends. It’s hard to argue that an ebook should fail WCAG conformance for not describing its cover, but there are some compelling reasons to consider adding a description.
Continue Reading Cover This
If you haven’t heard, there’s a new set of guidelines in town: the Accessible Publishing Knowledge Base.
It’s not new, new, though, as these are based off the old work I did for DAISY writing the EPUB Accessibility Guidelines. They’ve just been generalized a bit as we look forward to web publications, and they are now the official source of documentation for the Ace accessibility checker.
Continue Reading Accessible Publishing Knowledge Base
The first editor’s draft of EPUB 3.1 was released last weekend, so it seemed like a good time to add a quick post on what is changing.
The revision so far has been about scaling back features and aligning with the web, so despite a lot of working going into the new drafts, there’s not a lot in the way of drastic changes. EPUB is going through a phase of better integration that will allow epub and html and reading systems and browsers to live together in better harmony moving forward.
Continue Reading EPUB 3.1 Update
Think you’ve finally got your bearings in the shifting world of publishing semantics? Well, get ready for another change. One of the things I’ve been working on over the last year is to help develop a specification that will bring many of the semantics defined in the EPUB Structural Semantics Vocabulary more directly into the HTML/accessibility world via integration with the ARIA role attribute.
A first draft of what is now called the Digital Publishing WAI-ARIA Module is available for review — but it’s still too early for use, so don’t rush out to use it after reading. What is being sought at this time is feedback, so I’m going to give a little rundown of it and its development for this post for anyone not familiar with its development.Continue Reading Evolution of Publishing Semantics
Always wanted to put more than one rendering of your publication in a single EPUB file but couldn’t figure out how to? Never fear, here comes EPUB Multiple-Rendition Publications 1.0 to save the day!
Now that the spec is finally wending its way to recommendation, I figured it was a good time to get back to the blog and have a look at how it works.
Continue Reading The Making of Multiple Renditions
main element was a late addition to HTML 5.0, so late we didn’t even make mention of it in the EPUB Best Practices guide as it had gone to print by the time the element got accepted. The omission left me wondering if there are any cases in ebooks where including the element in publishing contexts would make sense, and I’m still drawing a blank.
Nothing about it seems pertinent to publishing, but it feels weird to say there’s an HTML element to avoid in ebooks. I’m going to see if I can talk my way into some use for it in this post, but I’m not feeling too hopeful right now. If nothing else, you’ll see clear evidence I rarely think my posts through before writing them.
Continue Reading My main point is?
The Phoenix EDUPUB meetings reminded me that the EPUB universe is growing rapidly, and becoming harder to keep track of. I was going to try and put up a nice graphical representation of how the specs fit together, but then I remembered how bad I am at all things graphics.
Instead, I’m going to chart out a table of current specifications, and then list all the various bits and pieces that you can’t always find without scouring the spec documents.
Continue Reading The EPUB Universe
A quick note that I’ve added another conversion tool to the site.
No time to explain it today — I’ll expand this post later — but if you’ve followed the Distributable Objects or Scriptable Components specs, it’s a quick and dirty XSLT that will convert a package document to a
collection element for embedding.
As the specs are still under development, don’t expect it to be perfect out of the box. There’s no place to put the
prefix attribute if it’s specified on the
package element, for example, so it comes out on the
collection for now.