Definition of reading system / reading device

3 posts / 0 new
Last post

I stumbled across different definitions of "EPUB reading system" and "EPUB reading device" in EPUB 2.0.1 and EPUB 3.0 specifications while researching background information for my bachelorthesis.

In EPUB 2.0.1 specifications it is said:
"EPUB Reading System: A combination of hardware and/or software that accepts EPUB Publications and makes them available to consumers of the content. Great variety is possible in the architecture of Reading Systems. A Reading System may be implemented entirely on one device, or it may be split among several computers. In particular, a reading device that is a component of a Reading System need not directly accept OCF-Packaged EPUB Publications, but all Reading Systems must do so. Reading Systems may include additional processing functions, such as compression, indexing, encryption, rights management, and distribution."
"Reading device: The physical platform (hardware and software) on which publications are rendered."

In EPUB 3.0 overview it is just said: "EPUB Reading System: A system that processes EPUB Publications for presentation to a User in a manner conformant with the EPUB 3 specifications." Reading device isn’t defined anymore.

Can anyone explain to me why there is just this short definition in EPUB 3.0 specifications?

A key problem with the definition you're citing from 2.0 is that it mixes normative statements in it. A definition is not the place to be making requirements.

It's also not the case that we wanted to make those kinds of statements about what a reading system must or may be moving forward. Those decisions are better left to developers. So long as they create reading systems that are conformant with all the specification requirements, what else they might choose to build into their systems is their discretion.

Some of this information has also been moved into the body, as appropriate. For example, section 2.2 of the Publications spec ends with this similar-sounding note:

A conforming Reading System is not necessarily a single dedicated program or device, but may exist as a distributed system.

In that light, I don't know that I see that that much has changed. Compare the first sentence of the reading system definition from 2.0:

A combination of hardware and/or software that accepts EPUB Publications and makes them available to consumers of the content.

to the definition we used in 3.0:

A system that processes EPUB Publications for presentation to a User in a manner conformant with the EPUB 3 specifications.

It's basically the same statement with some slight adjustments. We don't speak to the device any reading system might run on in the new specs, hence the exclusion of that term.

Hope this helps.

Thank you very much for your statement! I think I got what the reasons are.

Secondary menu