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ePUB editions?

PostPosted: Mon Jan 27, 2014 5:33 pm
by ChriThor
Hey all,

We have the occasional request for an ePUB edition of the magazine. What do people think? Useful? Not bothered? I'll run a poll for a month to gauge interest.

PostPosted: Mon Jan 27, 2014 6:04 pm
by Rhakios
On the whole I'm in favour, but would this be an ePUB to download for existing subscribers, or one for a paperless subscription?

PostPosted: Mon Jan 27, 2014 10:43 pm
by ChriThor
I was initially thinking about another version for subscribers to download.

From what I've been told though, we'd incur extra costs getting an ePub made. Every page would need to be flowed in and a greyscale image selected, which would require either muggins here doing it or using our current provider, which is where the cost would come in.

We'll probably tweet a poll too to get a large pool of opinion (so please don't double vote, if you follow us on Twitter),

if the interest suggests that it's worth the extra cost or work then we'll see what can be done. If it's just a vocal handful of people asking for it then, unfortunately, it's not going to be make practical sense but it's worth finding out, I think.

PostPosted: Tue Jan 28, 2014 6:56 pm
by Rhakios
If it's just work for no return, then I'm sure you can find better ways to spend your time. If I have a magazine I don't need to see it on a low power device, the magazine is already a well-nigh zero power device.
However, as a way of providing more options for an electronic subscription, I think it would be a good idea.

PostPosted: Mon Feb 24, 2014 5:34 pm
by ChriThor
Well, I guess that means no then...

PostPosted: Sat Mar 08, 2014 2:25 pm
by net-knave
Just curious why the outcome is 'no'.

It appears to me that the poll results indicate that a significant majority are in favor of an ePub version.

PostPosted: Sat Mar 08, 2014 3:12 pm
by Rhakios
net-knave wrote:Just curious why the outcome is 'no'.

It appears to me that the poll results indicate that a significant majority are in favor of an ePub version.

Perhaps because only six people could be bothered to vote at all. After all the forum has 12,490 members of whom 124 have 100 or more posts, so could be considered regulars. Not even 10% of those seem bothered. <insert shrugging smiley here>

PostPosted: Sat Mar 08, 2014 5:45 pm
by purplepenguin
I can't remember exactly. But I seem to remember voting no on this one.

I prefer my paper version. On the odd occasion that I do want an electronic copy pdf serves me well.

As Chris pointed out there would be additional costs for producing the epub. I would still vote no. The extra costs would most probably mean either a hike in cover/subscription prices or a cut in content.

If it was a simple case of ditching the pdf in favour of epub then I'd probably vote yes. But I imagine the pdf is cheaper to produce that the epub would be.

PostPosted: Mon Mar 24, 2014 11:40 am
by guy
I think the decision was probably correct, at least for the full magazine. ePub still seems to be in a state of flux, with every reader client having its little foibles so you can never really stabilise the display layout even on a given screen size, never mind across the full range of sizes or coping with things like monochrome e-paper.

Some folks who publish to mobile devices resort to a special Mobile edition - ouch!

Some, such as Wikipedia, provide a Mobile stylesheet which gives a very different reading experience. Wikipedia can do that because its page format is pretty stable, but for a paper-based magazine layout it would severely constrict creativity.

And anybody with a big enough screen to read the magazine page format already has access to the PDF.

I'd think that for ePub to be worthwhile, LXF would need to develop a Mobile format and automatically single-source both formats, harmonising the paper and mobile content in such a way that each delivers the best experience for the format. Maybe a mix of layout rules, object types and stylesheets. Would be a nice little project for somebody.