Mobileread
What is EPUB all about?
#1  lizardcry 10-01-2008, 09:50 AM
Can someone point me to a resource / link that explains the benefits of EPUB versus Sony's lrf format, or otherwise just plain gets me up to speed on these formats. Much obliged.
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#2  Slite 10-01-2008, 09:52 AM
Quote lizardcry
Can someone point me to a resource / link that explains the benefits of EPUB versus Sony's lrf format, or otherwise just plain gets me up to speed on these formats. Much obliged.
Check out the excellent Wikipages available here on a multitude of different subjects about and around e-books and readers:

Here is a link to the ePUB format part of it:

http://wiki.mobileread.com/wiki/EPUB
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#3  Hadrien 10-01-2008, 09:56 AM
EPUB is an industry standard and an open standard, while LRF is a proprietary format.
Compared to the other reflowable formats, EPUB is more advanced, supporting CSS stylesheets, SVG images, a real multi-level table of contents etc...
But the most important point is that EPUB will be used at an industrial level by the publishing industry and available across a large selection of devices.
Currently, it's still early days for the format, and the number of devices/reading systems that support EPUB are limited, but it'll change in the upcoming months.

Take a look at our EPUB help page on Feedbooks: http://www.feedbooks.com/help/epub
Or at the official specs on the IDPF website: http://idpf.org
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#4  pepak 10-02-2008, 01:41 AM
If I may modify the original question a bit: I create all books myself (right from buying the paper book to scan it). Once done, I store them in HTML format. For the purpose of reading them on my Sony Reader, I wrote a series of utilities (which mostly use Calibre to do the dirty job) to convert them. It makes little difference for me whether I convert to LRF or to EPUB.

In this situation, and with today's hardware (I use PRS-505) - does EPUB have any distinct advantage over LRF?

I mean, I chose LRF months ago because the reader rendered it a lot faster than PDF or RTF, because it had perfect support for UTF-8 (I use Eastern European charset) etc. Should I switch to EPUB now, what kind of advantages can I expect from it?
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#5  Hadrien 10-02-2008, 02:23 AM
Quote pepak
If I may modify the original question a bit: I create all books myself (right from buying the paper book to scan it). Once done, I store them in HTML format. For the purpose of reading them on my Sony Reader, I wrote a series of utilities (which mostly use Calibre to do the dirty job) to convert them. It makes little difference for me whether I convert to LRF or to EPUB.

In this situation, and with today's hardware (I use PRS-505) - does EPUB have any distinct advantage over LRF?

I mean, I chose LRF months ago because the reader rendered it a lot faster than PDF or RTF, because it had perfect support for UTF-8 (I use Eastern European charset) etc. Should I switch to EPUB now, what kind of advantages can I expect from it?
One of the 3 standards in ePub, OPS is basically XHTML+CSS. An ePub file would be much closer to what you already store.
Files in ePub MUST be in UTF-8 actually, and you can embed the font directly inside the file too.

The main advantage is probably the fact that you won't really have to do a lot of format shifting in the upcoming years if you start using ePub rather than LRF. You can also use far more advanced layouts and formatting in ePub thanks to the CSS 2.0 support.
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#6  pepak 10-02-2008, 03:14 AM
Quote Hadrien
The main advantage is probably the fact that you won't really have to do a lot of format shifting in the upcoming years if you start using ePub rather than LRF.
Actually, that's doesn't matter to me - the only place where I would put the LRF (or the EPUB) is the Reader itself. The source files would remain in HTML on my computer in either case. If I choose to switch to a new format, I can do it all with just one command.

My uncertainty whether to use LRF or EPUB is mostly about "which format is easier for my device's firmware" - speed of rendering, power consumption, stuff like that. Multilevel TOC would be a point in favor of EPUB, as would be CSS2 support, but not if it meant reduced lifetime on battery or prolonged page turns.
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#7  pilotbob 10-02-2008, 07:30 AM
Quote pepak
My uncertainty whether to use LRF or EPUB is mostly about "which format is easier for my device's firmware" - speed of rendering, power consumption, stuff like that.
I would suggest creating the same ebook in both formats and see which works better. Let us know.

BOb
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#8  pepak 10-02-2008, 08:43 AM
Guess I will stay with LRF. I have just converted a book to EPUB using the default settings of HTML2EPUB, and I am quite disappointed. The speed is pretty good, except that the Reader does not parse the whole file at once - instead it "reformats" the book every time I try to follow a link. Apparently only some parts of my CSS file get interpreted (e.g. blockquotes are beautifuly formatted according to my specs while regular paragraphs are not). It seems images are displayed in full size while in LRF generated from the same HTML file the images are resized to fit the screen. But the most serious issue is that in EPUB, certain national characters are not displayed correctly - but they work perfectly in LRF. It may be that HTML2EPUB incorrectly detects encoding (the incorrect characters seem to be those few which are different in Windows-1250 and ISO-8859-2), I don't know. Still, the poor formatting and very poor performance with links seem like a serious problems with the Reader itself.
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#9  DaleDe 10-02-2008, 11:23 AM
Quote pepak
Guess I will stay with LRF. I have just converted a book to EPUB using the default settings of HTML2EPUB, and I am quite disappointed. The speed is pretty good, except that the Reader does not parse the whole file at once - instead it "reformats" the book every time I try to follow a link. Apparently only some parts of my CSS file get interpreted (e.g. blockquotes are beautifuly formatted according to my specs while regular paragraphs are not). It seems images are displayed in full size while in LRF generated from the same HTML file the images are resized to fit the screen. But the most serious issue is that in EPUB, certain national characters are not displayed correctly - but they work perfectly in LRF. It may be that HTML2EPUB incorrectly detects encoding (the incorrect characters seem to be those few which are different in Windows-1250 and ISO-8859-2), I don't know. Still, the poor formatting and very poor performance with links seem like a serious problems with the Reader itself.
Thanks for posting. This is exactly the kind of information that needs to come to light. This is the first release of the ePUB product and it is clear that this version is not done yet. This kind of feedback is needed for all of us to see a better product in the future. You should provide the feedback to adobe in more detail as to exactly what is wrong as they are the authors of this software.

Dale
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#10  vivaldirules 10-02-2008, 11:33 AM
Not mentioned yet in the thread but elsewhere, I would add that the firmware that currently runs on the Sony 505 does not display the text from epub files as fully justified - they are only left-justified. And columns of text that would probably appear nicely in a Sony LR* format file appear as a long, run-on sentence in epub format on the Reader. If Sony would fix this, then epub would be an added benefit to 505 owners because it might mean a lot more titles available for their Readers. Until Sony fixes the problem, I find these problems just too annoying and will stick with the Sony format.
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