Get Over It: ePub Is Dead And HTML5 Wins

What Nixonland means for EPUB

Second, it marks Apple’s, and perhaps EPUB’s, path toward HTML5. It is no coincidence that the one non-complying piece of Nixonland is a tag from HTML5. Not an Apple proprietary extension, not a weird JavaScript, but part of the language that both Apple and Google have been heavily promoting for the last year or so. How long can it be before EPUB supports HTML5, EpubCheck validates HTML5, and Nixonland and other video-containing ebooks are legitimate entries in the iBookstore?

Apple joined the IDPF. Google and HP (Palm) are also members. So is Nokia.

iOs, Android, webOS, Symbian — all use the WebKit rendering engine. That’s four broad global mobile operating systems that basically define the walk-around go-anywhere Internet today.

With WebKit available, why would any of these companies agree to further the cause of ePub for eBooks?

Why would any of them agree to a spec that keeps changing and that has always — and will always be — behind the spec of the Internet itself?

Why would any of them agree that eBooks should be in the grip of one company — Adobe! — for its rendering engine (as well as DRM!)?

There is no plausible reason whatsoever for these big-footprint members of the IDPF to agree to the continuation of ePub.

ePub is going to be put to death. My own wish is that it will be a swift beheading so everyone can get on with their lives. My fear is that it will be a piece-by-piece dismantling that leaves eBooks in an absolute mess.

Whichever way it happens, ePub is just dead.

Amazon has won the war for eBooks that can use a purpose-built device.

Everyone else will go with HTML5 for eBooks.

And don’t forget: the Kindle 3 now has a WebKit-based browser inside.

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