Annotations are kind of a weird thing to me, at least from a format perspective. Being able to create them is an integral part of the reading experience for many readers, no doubt, but technically they have nothing to do with the structure of an ebook itself. They’re more like a layer that lives on top of the format.
Seen in that light, it’s hard to argue that EPUB itself has to define an annotation framework. Leave it to the reading system developers to figure out annotations in EPUB or any other format they might support, right?
Of course, therein lies a big problem. Leave it the vendors and you get proprietary implementations that can’t travel with your content across devices and apps. You also can’t distribute annotations separately from the content. That’s effectively the world we live in now; another brick in the wall of the walled gardens.
So, it’s not surprising that the IDPF has been working on a framework for annotations in EPUB, based on the W3C Open Annotation work. It walks an interesting line between presentation and storage, which is what I’m going to look at today.
Continue Reading EPUB Annotations
With the first working draft of the EDUPUB profile released, I figured it was worth looking at exactly what is EDUPUB.
I’m not going to give a marketing spin on the profile; it should at least somewhat speak for itself what an educational profile of EPUB is aiming to achieve. If not, go give the original IDPF announcement a skim.
Rather, I’m going to look at all the pieces that make up the profile, for those trying to practically wrap their heads around how it works.
Continue Reading What is EDUPUB?
Ugh! EPUB CFIs…
It’s not a topic I grew up dreaming of writing about one day, but it seems like a useful topic to cover, since questions about how to read them come up from time to time (see this recent thread on CFIs in the IDPF forums). I squeezed a quick explanation of them into the Best Practices book, but I had to keep it short, so maybe I can do better justice to them here.
I will say that the specification can be much more daunting to read than CFIs actually are, but that’s not an indictment of the specification. It’s just that CFIs are one of the more technically complex features that were included in EPUB 3.
But let’s start at the beginning: what is a “CFI”?Continue Reading Navigating EPUB CFIs – Part 1