HTML5 can transform eBooks even if authors don't code

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HTML5 can transform eBooks even if authors don't code

Aptara Editorial | Posted on 16th Feb 2015

Accessibility across a number of devices has become a primary objective of content producers in just about every field. For any industry that generates informational documents, whether these are meant to be read by officials at other businesses or consumers at home, there is a great advantage in ensuring viewers won't be locked out just because they've opted to go with Android instead of iOS or decided to open the materials on a mobile display in the first place. This quest for openness has led to an age of HTML5 conversion and usage that may transform the way companies operate their media production arms.

Flexible books
DBW contributor Joe Lennon recently explained his feelings about HTML5 as a publishing medium - he's strongly in favor of it. He noted, however, that he disagrees with the assertion that all authors should be expected to write in this language. Instead, he pointed out there is plenty of room for these professionals to work in simple markup programs and later have their work converted to HTML5. Instead of less HTML5 use in publishing, this half-measure could point to more of it - with no need to teach creative personnel to work directly in HTML5, the whole process of conversion could occur more quickly, leading to more publishing.

The nature of HTML is behind Lennon's partial solution. He explained there are input and output languages, and HTML is the former. While some in the IT industry think that it is up to eBook authors to begin their work in the final format, these individuals can instead lean on an input language and have the work end up in HTML. He noted that this can cut down on inconsistency that in turn leads to publishers limiting what their authors can do. When using tools specifically suited to their purposes, creative professionals can see their work in flexible HTML5 more easily.

As for why businesses creating eBooks should give HTML5 a look in the first place, Lennon listed several advantages of the format. He noted that the simplicity and compatibility of HTML makes it an ideal complement to the process of turning content into a finished book. The technical details of making a manuscript appear correctly at different parts of the production enterprise are easier when there is a commonly used set of elements such as this one. While input methods may vary, HTML5 as an output medium could streamline the process of putting information in viewers' hands.

The official standard
Adding to the reasons why companies may feel confident publishing their longer digital documents in HTML5 format, the language recently received official recommendation status. As InfoWorld explained, this decision is a way to create confidence that HTML5 can work for whatever various projects developers have in mind. The source noted that although the status was just bestowed upon HTML5, the technology has been part of Web browsers for some time now. With plenty of support for HTML5 in the environment, there's little reason to imagine that publishing a document in this format will cause any issues.

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Digital Content Development, Information Technology, B2B Publishing, Professional Publishing, Consumer & Trade Publishing