Daniel Glazman, co-chairman of the W3C CSS Working Group, writes of Apple’s new iBooks Author file format:
When a piece of software is so well designed from a UI point of view and could become such an attractor in terms of usage, I feel this is a totally wrong strategy. Opening up everything and using only carefully chosen standards and matching the version of WebKit used by Safari would have given an immense and almost unbeatable competitive advantage to Apple, would have attracted even more people to the Mac platform and would have turned the iBooks Store into the primary online choice of publication for all new books.
Daring Fireballs’ John Gruber writes, “As with the end-user licensing kerfuffle, it’s worth noting that the app’s name is iBooks Author, not eBooks Author. Just because there’s demand for an open-standards-based e-book production and layout tool of the scope and caliber of iBooks Author, doesn’t mean Apple has any interest in making such a tool.”
“If Apple had taken this [ePub] route, the books generated by iBooks Author today wouldn’t have any of the layout features Glazman cited [of ePub],” Gruber writes. “The iBooks format isn’t different just for the sake of being different, it’s different for the sake of being better — not better in the future, after a W3C review period and approval, but better today, in the textbooks you can download and read in iBooks right now.”
Gruber writes, “iBooks still offers full support for the open standard ePub format. So as a loose analogy, I see ePub being as to the new iBooks format as mobile web apps are to native iOS App Store apps — one is an open industry standard fully supported by Apple, the other a closed proprietary platform with superior creation tools and end-user experience, which if you want to use, you must use on Apple’s terms.”
Much more in the full article – recommended – here.
MacDailyNews Take: Apple’s iBooks Store has a better chance than most people seem to grasp of becoming the primary online choice of publication for all new books.
[Thanks to MacDailyNews Reader “Fred Mertz” for the heads up.]