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The give and take between e-publishing standards and innovation

Bill McCoy on EPUB 3 and keeping pace with innovation.

Bill McCoy, executive director of the International Digital Publishing Forum (IDPF), recently sat down with O’Reilly online managing editor Mac Slocum to talk about the Readium Project and EPUB 3. He also addressed the “EPUB-iness” of formats like KF8 and iBooks, and stressed that extending and building upon the EPUB 3 standard is important for ensuring continued innovation:

“There are two ends to the spectrum when you see people taking a standard and doing things that are similar to or based on that standard but extending it. One is the need for innovation. Even a lean and nimble standards group like the IDPF can’t move as rapidly as the pace of innovation at any individual organization or company. So, given the need to innovate, you’re going to go beyond the standard … that is the good side of extending.

“The bad side is when you fork and deviate or when you do things that are unnecessarily different. I think you’re seeing a little of both in those efforts [KF8 and iBooks], but I’m hoping to emphasize and encourage the good. We can’t let standards prevent innovation … but we want that innovation to not lock consumers in to one closed silo.” (Discussed at 4:18.)

You can view the entire interview with McCoy in the following video:

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