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.
The sixty-second recap of what’s happening goes something like this:
- The really big exciting news is that the HTML syntax of HTML5 is now supported
- CSS and scripting support have been clarified
- EPUB extensions to HTML are being dropped:
- content switching (epub:switch) is gone
- declarative media playback (epub:trigger) is gone
- scripted fallback documents for the object tag (bindings) is gone
- A bunch of EPUB 2 compatibility features are being tossed:
- the ncx, the EPUB 2 table of contents, is gone
- the old EPUB 2 meta tag is gone (allowed an epub 2 cover to be identified)
- the deprecated guide element has shuffled off this mortal coil
There’s a whole lot of other little things, too, of course: the core metadata in the package document is changing, some more font types are being added as core media types, and, near and dear to my heart, the specifications have undergone some significant reorganization, including the addition of a top-level EPUB 3.1 spec that is the new entry point. There are also a number of changes to come.
The key thing to note at this point is that none of these changes are final. The point of putting out an editor’s draft instead of a formal draft specification is to gauge community reaction to these changes.
If you want more detail about the proposed changes so far, jump on over to the EPUB 3.1 Changes from EPUB 3.0.1 document. You’ll also find links there to where you can provide feedback.