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Other posts by Jon Noring

Update Announcement: Digital Publishing Network at LinkedIn
April 14, 2010 | 11:56 am

Digital Publishing Network logoBack in July 2008, I launched the Digital Publishing Network (DPN) at LinkedIn. This free group enables professionals and enthusiasts in the digital publishing universe to connect, network and communicate. DPN has had explosive growth since then, and currently has over 2500 members. If you are a digital publishing/e-book industry professional or enthusiast (and this term is very broad), you are invited to join DPN. Let me know if you need any help in joining the group. (P.s., if you are on LinkedIn and would like to personally connect with me — any reader of TeleRead is my colleague! — send me an...

The flexibility of ePUB
July 28, 2008 | 6:00 pm

Flexibility demonstratedFlexibility helps keep us healthy. We can better enjoy physical activity which, in turn, motivates us to exercise. Keep on stretchin’! Likewise, a flexible digital publication format is much better for the industry—and for readers—than a rigid, limited one. To be more precise, a flexible format is more likely to be embraced, due to business pressures. The IDPF’s new open standard e-book format, ePUB, is rapidly proving its flexibility. And ePUB’s flexibility is, of course, intentional by design. A little history of ePUB's predecessor as a consumer standard Five years, two months and eight days ago, I published the reviewed eBookWeb article: “OEBPS: The Universal...

Digital Publishing Network group started at LinkedIn
July 18, 2008 | 7:29 pm

image Recently I’ve started to build my connections at LinkedIn. From my vantage point LinkedIn appears to be an excellent professionally-oriented online networking service. I’m also active in Facebook, and that has proven to be great for both personal and professional networking. (I don’t bother with MySpace for reasons I won’t explain here.) Anyway, I looked around LinkedIn for a general networking group for anyone involved in the digital publishing universe, and was surprised to find such a group did not exist (or if one does, it is very well hidden.) Thus, to fill the vacuum, I’ve...

David offline, no ETA but hopefully he’ll return soon…
June 11, 2008 | 6:54 pm

David Rothman phoned me saying that Comcast, which provides his online service in Alexandria, VA, is currently down. He does not know when he'll be back online, but hopefully by this evening or tomorrow morning. (Update: 12-June-2008, 11:30 AM EDT: As everyone can see, David is back online. Welcome back, David! His Comcast service was restored early this morning, and knowing David he will connect this event with e-books. <smile/>) ...

ePub demystified – Tomorrow’s e-book reader the web browser?
May 16, 2008 | 11:18 am

Indiana Jones in the Temple of DoomI have been quite perplexed in reading the many comments about IDPF’s “ePub” format following the release late last year of its underlying specs. A number of very smart people, including several developers who naturally dig deeply into tech specs, have painted ePub as a dark and mysterious digital publication (e-book) format, unlike anything else in the Universe™. The way some have discussed ePub, if Indiana Jones were to explore the deep caverns of ePub, he would probably find something exotic and other-worldly, maybe even the remnants of a long-lost civilization. [note 1] In reality, though, the opposite is true. ePub is...

How ePub beats obsolescence
May 15, 2008 | 2:01 pm

Label of Perfect 15126-BWhen I was in college I collected 78 RPM phonograph records, primarily jazz records from the late 1920’s and early 1930’s. Either I was good at collecting, or just lucky. I found and acquired several large jazz and blues collections (a total of over 100,000 records, about 25 tons, passed through my fingers), and didn’t lose a dime in the process. I’ve long since given up massively collecting the “old 78’s”, and today have only kept a few favorites. One favorite I kept, a quite rare classic jazz recording from late 1928, is shown to the right. [note 1] My experience...

AAP supports ePub as a consumer format: A clarification from AAP’s digital policy director
May 15, 2008 | 11:19 am

AAP LogoAAP’s recent open letter strongly supporting the use of ePub by publishers was covered by David Rothman in a separate blog article. Reading the letter, it was unclear to me whether AAP supported ePub as a consumer format. The letter focused mostly on using ePub as an intermediary format to be converted by wholesalers and retailers into various proprietary end-user formats currently in vogue. The letter did imply support of ePub as a consumer format, by the use of the word “IF” in the second paragraph, but it was not explicit and some might have interpreted the letter differently. If so, they...

New e-mail list for .epub fans
April 12, 2008 | 12:35 pm

image Since interest in the new IDPF EPub e-book open standard appears to be growing by leaps and bounds, I've started a new Yahoo Group for detailed discussions about EPub, called EPub Community. EPub Community is intended for publication creators, developers, readers, and anyone else interested in all things related to EPub and the IDPF specifications which underlie EPub (OPS/OPF/OCF). Although the group's focus is likely to be fairly technical, we certainly invite and encourage non-technical discussions. More generic discussions about e-books, and other non-EPub-related discussions, can happen at Book Futures, The eBook Community or Digital Text Community. Subscription info: Sign up...

Be My PAL? Call for annotation/linking open standard
December 21, 2007 | 3:27 am

Moderator’s note: Great timing, Jon. I’ve just posted The Triumph of social sites: Publishers, listen up! Annotation-style capabilities, of course, will make in-book communities possible. - D.R. David Rothman recently called on IDPF to develop an open standard, third-party annotation and linking format. I’ve previously written about the need for such a standard in two TeleRead articles [1, 2]. Hopefully the third time will be a charm! The need for such a standard is pretty obvious. Various companies are already implementing their own proprietary standards for third-party annotation of, and linking between, digital media such as books, music, video, etc. Annotation and...

Digital Text Community — new forum on digitizing “ink-on-paper” texts
December 13, 2007 | 8:08 pm

Picture of various type of ink-on-paper publications(This article announces the launch of the Digital Text Community, a new mailing list for serious discussion on the digitization of "ink-on-paper" texts, such as books, periodicals, documents, etc. Please join our community!) Like many of you, I daily follow and contribute to dozens of blogs, mailing lists and forums to keep abreast of digital publication related news, opinions, and developments. David Rothman should be happy to know that the TeleRead blog is the first place I go to every day to stay up-to-the-minute on digital publishing news and views. Considering the vast number of blogs, mailing lists, and forums...

E-book standards article redux: A comparison between 2003 dreams and 2007 reality
August 29, 2007 | 5:53 pm

Picture of a DeLorean automobileOver four years ago I published an eBookWeb article entitled “OEBPS: The Universal Consumer eBook Format?” Unfortunately, due to eBookWeb going defunct (a casualty of the “E-book Dark Ages” that resulted after the dotcom collapse), that article has essentially disappeared from the Internet. So I am reposting the eBookWeb article here, not only for preservation purposes, but because its themes are stil very relevant today as will be briefly explained in this foreword. DeLorean jokes When I wrote that article, e-books were considered a lot like the DeLorean automobile — weird and impractical — the butt of many jokes. The DeLorean even played a...

Hurry! Final call for feedback on IDPF’s OPS 2.0 spec
May 15, 2007 | 9:11 pm

IDPF LogoTomorrow (the 16th) is the last day for the public and IDPF members to provide feedback on the draft OPS 2.0 standard (the XML-based framework behind the upcoming “epub” e-book open standard). OPS 2.0 is currently in its last public review stage before moving on to final tweaking and approval by the IDPF membership. Speak now or forever hold your peace! Thus, it is important that anyone planning to use OPS 2.0 in any manner — from authoring to presentation — should go over the OPS 2.0 draft spec (and the auxiliary OPF 2.0 draft spec) and provide feedback. Your feedback...

DPP is first publisher of e-book in the new IDPF ‘epub’ open standard format
May 4, 2007 | 12:53 pm

IDPF LogoDigitalPulp Publishing (DPP), a member of IDPF, is the first publisher (as far as we know) to release an e-book in IDPF’s new “epub” format: My Ántonia by Willa S. Cather. This e-book is being freely distributed under a Creative Commons Attribution-ShareAlike 3.0 License. At present our e-book is only downloadable from IDPF’s web site, but will soon be available through DPP’s site. In addition, I’ve posted a message to the public IDPF Standards Forum summarizing, in gory detail, which features of OPS 2.0 are and are not supported (OPS 2.0 is the backbone specification underlying “epub” — currently OPS 2.0...

Opera CTO on Microsoft Office and Open Document Format — E-books using XHTML+CSS
February 24, 2007 | 1:52 pm

Picture of Håkon Wium LieToday on CNET, Opera’s CTO Håkon Wium Lie (portrait at right) critically looks at both Microsoft’s Office Open XML and the Open Document Format. He describes both as essentially “memory dumps with angle brackets.” Instead, he believes that the better way is to build upon the long-universal standards of XHTML and CSS. To demonstrate this, he and co-author Bert Bos wrote a book (published by Addison-Wesley Professional) entirely mastered in XHTML and CSS3, using the powerful Prince application for direct conversion of the master to PDF for the print book edition. An example chapter from their book is available online: one view...

Belated congratulations to Distributed Proofreaders for non-profit status
February 20, 2007 | 8:10 pm

Distributed Proofreaders LogoTeleRead apparently did not announce when, last October, the Distributed Proofreaders Foundation (DP) secured tax exempt status by the IRS under section 501(c)3 of the U.S. Internal Revenue Code. Congratulations! This milestone means that donations to Distributed Proofreaders by U.S. residents may be tax deductible. The DP Foundation Board of Directors includes Charles Franks, Juliet Sutherland, and Dr. Greg Newby (Director and CEO of PGLAF). Do consider financially contributing to DP. And of course, do your “one page a day!” (which reminds me…)...

Generalized Container Format — multiple e-book formats in one package
February 19, 2007 | 7:00 pm

Kangaroo with a joeyThe last few months I’ve posted several TeleRead blog articles providing overviews of a number of projects I’m involved with related to the digital publication industry. Since I also work for DigitalPulp Publishing (a great group of people!), some may wonder if I actually have a life, or even find time to sleep. Fortunately, the answer to both is "yes"… This article provides a summary overview of another project three of us are actively working on which has matured enough to announce at this time: the open standard “Generalized Container Format” or GCF. The first draft of the GCF specification is...

‘Digital Text Masters’ (Digitizing the classic public domain books)
February 13, 2007 | 12:46 am

Self Portrait of Rembrandt van RijnThe recent TeleBlog articles about the Project Gutenberg (PG) text Tarzan of the Apes (see 1, 2), suggest that not all is well in the existing corpus of public domain digital texts. My personal experience the last twelve years in digitizing several public domain books has helped me to see a number of problems which I’ve mentioned in various forums, including the PG forums, and The eBook Community. For the sake of not turning this already long article into a whole book, I won’t cover here the complete list of problems I found, plus those found by others. To summarize what I...

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