The IDPF today announced that Benetech, a non-profit technology provider based in Palo Alto, California, has become a Readium contributor and is adopting Readium technology for its Bookshare service. The Readium project, sponsored by the IDPF, is developing an open source EPUB 3 reading system. Benetech's Bookshare service will be utilizing Readium components in a new web reader that will work in conjunction with a cloud-based bookshelf, allowing qualified users with print disabilities to access their books and read online, directly in a browser, from school, home, and mobile devices. Benetech is also contributing accessibility features including screen reader integration back to the project.
The IDPF today makes an initial call for participation in a new EPUB conformance test suite project. This newly started open source project is developing materials and methods for the evaluation of feature coverage in EPUB Reading Systems. The goal is to develop a testing paradigm that is comprehensive, objective, and tests all the features in EPUB 3 and its dependent Web Standards that are relevant to content creators. A means to publicly communicate results is also envisioned.
Following the IDPF workshop on advanced/hybrid fixed layout that was held in Tokyo on July 6 2012, an ad hoc group has drafted a working group charter proposal, and the IDPF Board has called a member comment period, which will be from October 5 through October 19, 2012. The proposed Advanced/Hybrid Layouts working group would be chartered to publish a set of modular specifications to extend EPUB 3 functionality to better meet the full needs of the ecosystem with regards to user and context adaptation and reading of image-centric publications such as comics and magazines.
A self-nomination period is now open for an election to fill seven positions on the IDPF Board of Directors. Every primary representative of an IDPF member is eligible to be a candidate to serve on the board. Four incumbent directors have expressed an intention to run for re-election, so it is anticipated that the organization will elect at least three new directors during this cycle. The nomination period will be from October 5 through October 26, 2012. After the nomination period has closed, all nominations will be posted on the IDPF website.
The Readium open source project to develop an EPUB 3 reference implementation, sponsored by IDPF and other supporters, continues to rapidly evolve. The Chrome web app configuration of Readium was recently launched on the Chrome Web Store, and can be installed via https://chrome.google.com/webstore/detail/fepbnnnkkadjhjahcafoaglimekefifl.
On September 6, 2012 the IDPF Board of Directors unanimously approved elevation of EPUB Adaptive Layout to be an IDPF Informational Document. This specification defines a model for template-based adaptive paginated layouts as an extension to CSS. The features described in the EPUB Adaptive Layout specification allow authors to describe precise page appearances that can intelligently adapt to a wide range of device sizes and custom user settings.
IDPF received 8 responses to its recent request for proposals for solutions to potential requirements for standardizing a lightweight copy protection technology for EPUB. Specific proposals were received from DRMinside, FileOpen Systems, Kobo, Marlin Developer Community, RHK, and Sony DADC.
Video of IDPF's EPUB 3 conference last month at the Tokyo International Book Fair is now available, courtesy of Voyager Japan, whose CEO (and IDPF Board member) Masaaki Hagino served as MC for the event.
The Book Industry Study Group (BISG), the leading U.S. book trade association for standardized best practices, research, and educatinon, today issued a press release endorsing EPUB 3 as the "accepted and preferred format" for Web Standards-based digital content. The announcement noted that their endorsment "addresses the critical need for the global book publishing industry to rally around a single standard... in order to impede ... fragmentation".