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Amazon Kindle Publishing Guidelines 2019.2
#1  jhowell 11-05-2019, 04:54 PM
Version 2019.2 of the Amazon Kindle Publishing Guidelines is now available. (Refresh the web broswer if an old version is shown.) Listed changes are:

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It will take a bit of reading to see if any of these changes are really significant.
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#2  j.p.s 11-05-2019, 05:51 PM
It's interesting that they mention markdown, but insulting that they imply that only blind people would find it less cumbersome than wysiwyg.
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#3  jhowell 11-05-2019, 09:29 PM
The changes revolve around accessibility features. I wonder if they updated the Guidelines in order to claim that they have met some accessibility mandate. It seems to be mostly about paying lip service to accessibility without actually doing anything.

For example the Guidelines says to use MathML, but as has been pointed out in other threads here, Amazon's implementation of MathML is broken to the point of being unusable.

It says to make sure that source files pass external accessibility checks. For EPUB source files it says to use the the ACE Accessibility Checker from the DAISY Consortium. But does not indicate which accessibility features, if any, will be made available to readers on the Kindle platform. I know that Amazon's conversion to KFX format for Enhanced Typesetting ignores almost all non-visible HTML content in the source document so added accessibility markup won't actually make it to reading apps and devices.

It states that books should be tested using the Kindle Previewer and discourages testing on actual devices, but as far as I can tell the Previewer provides no method for testing of accessibility features. For example, use of alt text for images is encouraged in the Guidelines, but I don't see any way to view them in the Previewer.

Listing markdown as an accessibility option for authors is really grasping at straws.

(Unrelated, but I noticed that the Guidelines has lots of broken links to EPUB specs at the now defunct idpf.org site.)
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#4  Hitch 11-19-2019, 01:24 AM
Quote jhowell
The changes revolve around accessibility features. I wonder if they updated the Guidelines in order to claim that they have met some accessibility mandate. It seems to be mostly about paying lip service to accessibility without actually doing anything.

For example the Guidelines says to use MathML, but as has been pointed out in other threads here, Amazon's implementation of MathML is broken to the point of being unusable.

It says to make sure that source files pass external accessibility checks. For EPUB source files it says to use the the ACE Accessibility Checker from the DAISY Consortium. But does not indicate which accessibility features, if any, will be made available to readers on the Kindle platform. I know that Amazon's conversion to KFX format for Enhanced Typesetting ignores almost all non-visible HTML content in the source document so added accessibility markup won't actually make it to reading apps and devices.

It states that books should be tested using the Kindle Previewer and discourages testing on actual devices,
Over my dead body....

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but as far as I can tell the Previewer provides no method for testing of accessibility features. For example, use of alt text for images is encouraged in the Guidelines, but I don't see any way to view them in the Previewer.

Listing markdown as an accessibility option for authors is really grasping at straws.

(Unrelated, but I noticed that the Guidelines has lots of broken links to EPUB specs at the now defunct idpf.org site.)
Yes, I noted the myriad broken links some months back. It's annoying.

Hitch
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