We’ve released Digital Editions 1.7:
Adobe has updated its popular Digital Editions software, a lightweight, rich Internet application for reading, acquiring, and organizing digital books and other publications. Digital Editions 1.7 greatly expands language support.
Recently I mentioned that I’m working on improving epubcheck, but then I was asked, “what about the items that don’t relate to validation, but really should be checked anyway?”
The issues at hand are things like the 300k file size limit on content files, 10MB limit on images, and complexity issues with CSS.
The solution is a tool tentatively called “stylecheck” that would run much like the epubcheck tool, but would look for issues that are important to the reading systems, but are not necessarily issues of conformance.
An initial release of the tool alert the user to problems if it found:
* 300k or bigger chapter files.
* 10MB or larger images.
* CSS stylesheet with more than some number of styles (150?)
I could see other uses for the tool, checks to make sure that the package for a NIMAS submission has DTBook content rather than XHTML, or checks to make sure the publisher information in metadata is in the approved format. However the first step will be to create the tool and get the basic checks working.
Which is a work underway, and you should see something relatively soon on the epubcheck project pages.
The epubcheck is a validation tool for ePub documents. It should determine whether the ePub under inspection conforms to the rules laid out in the IDPF specifications. In many circumstances it does just that, but it’s not always clear what’s happening, and sometimes the tool out and out fails. Of course the community is working to bring the tool forward and make it better.
Here I will give an outline of current and ongoing changes that I’m planning to make. Of course I would also like to put out a call for additional contribution/involvement in the process. There’s plenty of room for more people to contribute, whether it be in the form of development, testing, review, or documentation. Anyone looking to get involved should head on over to the discussion group.
So here’s the current changes I’ve added, and things I’ll be working on:
Adobe is pleased to announce that we today pushed live the newest version of Digital Editions, 1.6. You can get it here:
Or you will be automatically upgraded the next time you launch Digital Editions.
This version of DE does not appear much different on the surface. The real difference in this version is under the covers. Digital Editions 1.6 supports fulfillment from the new Adobe Content Server 4. You can read about Content Server here:
But what does fulfillment from Content Server mean to the end user, you might ask? The answer is that it provides ebook vendors with a modern, reliable system for protecting publishers books. This translates into more content from more publishers. Both in PDF and now in EPUB. Up to now, although publishers have been strongly voicing their support for EPUB, there hasn’t been a solution that would allow them to protect their books. The release of DE 1.6 and Content Server provides that solution. We are currently hard at work helping the publishers and ebook sellers to get their content ready for stores and libraries.
In addition, the new servers are much more reliable and bug-free than the old systems. This will mean more hassle-free downloads and less support issues. This won’t happen immediately as not all the ebook distributors will switch over right away. But it will steadily improve.
Now that the solution is ready it means there will be more content in more formats and more device support as well, such as the Sony Reader. The Digital Publishing team is working hard on supporting additional devices and will release them as soon as possible.
Adobe is pleased to announce, in conjunction with Sony, that Adobe Digital
Editions now supports the Sony Reader 505. On July 24th, Sony posted
the firmware updater to their website. Now people owning the Sony 505
can upgrade their Sony 505 and use it with Digital Editions.
The updater is available here:
Be sure to get the full update. You need to upgrade your Sony EBook
Library (EBL) FIRST, then should automatically download and run the
updater for your 505. Doing the steps this way ensures that you have
the right drivers for Digital Editions and the Sony Reader to
communicates with. Once you have done this, Digital Editions will
automatically recognize the Sony Reader and it will appear as a new
bookshelf (or up to 3 if you have smart cards inserted) in your library.
You will need to authorize your Sony Reader in order to use it with
protected books that you have bought or borrowed online. Note that this
also means that you will need to authorize Digital Editions if you have
not already done so. Digital Editions will walk you through these steps
with a wizard.
Once you have authorized your Reader you can drag and drop books back
and forth between your PC and your Reader. You can even read books off
of your friend’s Reader (though you cannot transfer books from his
Reader to your PC or vice versa).
The full text of the Sony press release is here:
The new Sony Reader supports display of PDF in both normal and “reflowed” modes. In the reflowed modes, the reader takes the original content and reflows it at a larger font size. The result is surprisingly good. Most books such as novels reflow almost perfectly (though the odd word will be split or two words run together). But you will find that the more complex the content, the less satisfactory the result.
EPUB is also supported by the Sony Reader and there is lots of EPUB content appearing, both public domain like feedbooks.com and elsewhere. Most of the major publishers have also promised to support EPUB and there is a lot of content in the pipeline.
This is an exciting time and we are looking forward to being part of it.