EPUB2... or EPUB3?

Hey there!

Last time, i wrote about PDFs and EPUBs. This time, i'll take some time to talk about the different versions of EPUBs.

Wait... what?

EPUB readers may not know it, but there are currently 3 2 active versions of EPUB on the internet. The 1st, of course is the EPUB, or technically the 1st version, (which is no longer used btw) then there's EPUB2, which is the successor to the 1st version, and currently most prevalent, accounting for more than 70% of the EPUB. Lastly, there's EPUB3, which is the latest version.

Technical people would want to visit this site instead.

In a nutshell, EPUB3 is the better, faster, more-updated version of the EPUB format. It offers more customizations and optimizations which was not possible on the previous version.

And while i just made up those flowery words above, it doesn't really tell you anything. By golly, i could be a politician at this rate!

Anyways, i'm not gonna do an info dump, but just select a few that i think is important.

  • HTML5

This is a big one, and it separates the previous version by a lot. Basically HTML5 is the newest version of the HTML standard that is used to display content in the internet. Youtube? Google? yep, they are using the latest standard, and the EPUB3 version supports it.

  • Improved CSS

Want to create an epub that flows from right to left? Now you can. Useful for japanese novels.

  • SVG (Scalable Vector Graphics)

Usually, SVG can be displayed via an inline link for EPUB2. Now, it can be displayed just like the rest of the image formats.

  • Audio and Video

Oh, boy! EPUB2 cannot support this, but now, it is supported by EPUB3! You can basically add videos and audio sounds in your epubs!

  • Semantic Inflection

Pop-up footnotes? Give thanks for semantic inflection for that.

Okay, so there are plenty more that i've not mentioned, and there are some minor things that have been removed from EPUB2 as well,  but overall, EPUB3 is the better deal.


And it is a very good practice to check your EPUBs for compliance. And i strongly recommend this one. (the author is one of those who maintains the EPUB Standards)



And so, what EPUB version i am currently using?




EPUB2 version.

*gasps* *faint*

Yep, i'm still using the old version.


Which makes me a liar since i have pop-up footnotes, which is EPUB3 exclusive, right?

Hmm... not really.

Anyways, with the power of magic (and a lot of research online on how to make it work),  pop-up footnotes can and do work for an EPUB2 version file.


Which brings me to my second point. Are my EPUBS Standard compliant?

Well, sadly no.

Technically, all my EPUBS that uses pop-up footnotes are flagged when ran through the validation process. (yep. just learned that today, thanks to Omar!) This brings problems to other e-readers out there.


Okay. Now what?

.........................Well, nothing really. At least on your side. As far as readers (that's you) are concerned. Everything's the same.


However, I will be converting my EPUBS to EPUB3, and make it standards compliant. So that's another list in my bucket.