Adaptive layout - more info

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I work for an illustrated publisher and have been faced with all the usual challanges of refashioning highly illustrated content into ePub. We've been working recently to create a number of Fixed Layout ePubs and have seen mixed reviews from consumers.

I was very interested to read in the BISG's 'Field Guide to Fixed Layout" that the IDPF are working on Adaptive Layout (formerly Advanced Adpative Layout). It sounds like a really interesting solution and I was wondering if anyone has more information about the format and the progress of the project? How would AL work? How far down the development line is it?

Many thanks,

Kjell Eldor

Confusingly, Advanced Adaptive Layout (AAL) and Advanced/Hybrid Layout (AHL) WGs are working on two very different things. The former has been working on page-template-based adaptive layout, the latter on more advanced packaging and mapping between multiple renditions of content, one or more of them being fixed-layout (prepaginated). 

AAL is slightly on hold now because the experimental extension, documented as a non-normative Technical Note at , has fallen out of synch with related work that has been going on at W3C CSS WG, especially CSS Regions and Exclusions and potentially also CSS Pagination Templates. We are working to coordinate w/ W3C and hopefully a solution will emerge that will enable high-design adaptively paginated publications that can work both in the browser and for packaged publications. But CSS WG has many priorities and many opinions so timing can't be predicted at this point.

AHL is actively moving forward, as well some related work to add more metadata properties to the fixed-layout metadata spec defined here: . We expect all this to mature during this year. The wiki for the WG in case you want to track the work is here: . And I would encourage you to consider your publisher joining IDPF so you could directly participate and help make sure any requirements you have are being addressed.


Thank you Bill for such a clear explanation. AHL is a very exciting prospect and I can see it solving many problems for us. I'll certainly investige how the Group I work for are engaging with these projects. As we no doubt will be in someway already.

Thanks again,


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