Saturday, January 10, 2009

E-Book Formats: OEB (Open eBook)

Open eBook (or OEB) is the e-book format based on XML format and defined by Open Publication Structure (OPS) specification.

In its essence, it is a JAR package (a zip file plus a manifest). Inside the package a defined subset of XHTML may be used, along with other CSS and the Dublin Core metadata. The default file extension is .opf (OEB Package Format).

The Open eBook Publication Structure (OEBPS) is a specification for representing the content of electronic books. Specifically:

  • The specification is intended to give content providers (e.g. publishers, authors, and others who have content to be displayed) and tool providers minimal and common guidelines which ensure fidelity, accuracy, accessibility, and adequate presentation of electronic content over various electronic book platforms.

  • The specification seeks to reflect established content format standards.

  • The goal of this specification is to define a standard means of content description for use by purveyors of electronic books (publishers, agents, authors et al.) allowing such content to be provided to multiple Reading Systems.



OEBPS is based on XML because of its generality and simplicity, and because XML documents are likely to adapt well to future technologies and uses. XML also provides well-defined rules for the syntax of documents, which decreases the cost to implementers and reduces incompatibility across systems. Further, XML is extensible: it is not tied to any particular set of element types, it supports internationalization, and it encourages document markup that can represent a document's internal parts more directly, making them amenable to automated formatting and other types of computer processing.

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