More Steps Towards Realistic Digital Reading

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Based upon what we know about Opera’s new paged media and Adobe’s earlier CSS regions specifications, the future looks pretty bright for publishing to move into an HTML5 standard.

Amazon’s pushing things one step further with its recent unveiling of their Silk browser and an announcement that they’re supporting HTML5 as the underlying technology for the new Kindle ebook standard (version 8, if you’re keeping score). Kindle formatted books have always been created supporting HTML and JavaScript, but this new version will be the first to use nearly all parts of HTML5, including its snazzier CSS3 and SVG (that’s vector graphics for the web) technologies.

If you’re curious about Opera’s Paged Media, it’s supported in an experimental download at their site. And if you’re scratching your head wondering why you should care, that’s totally understandable. Publishing’s been a wild ride for the past couple of years, and for the most part, our only venues have been Adobe’s Digital publisher tools (which are pricey), or JavaScript frameworks like Treesaver (which don’t always render content quickly or reliably). This essentially offloads a lot of the pagination and page sectioning into the browser’s core technology, rather than relying upon JavaScript to render it in real time.