World’s Leading E-Book Standard Moves to Address Japanese Vertical Writing Style

World’s Leading E-Book Standard Moves to Address Japanese Vertical Writing Style
Yomiuri Shimbun: 電子書籍の世界規格、縦書きの日本語にも対応へ
September 24, 2011

EPUB, which has become the world’s leading e-book standard, will become compatible with Japanese, which is traditionally written up-to-down and right-to-left, it was learned on the 24th.

Standards in the domestic e-book market vary between end users and mass media distributors, and this has handicapped the market’s growth. Electronic media distributors like Sony and Rakuten are seeking a single standard for large distributors. They hope a unification of world standards would increase users’ convenience. It could also possibly revolutionize the domestic publishing industry and ratchet up the heat on bookstores.

Sony and other companies are awaiting the American IDPF (International Digital Publishing Forum) in mid-October, when the new “EPUB 3” system will be launched. EPUB 3 is expected to reach the market by the end of the year.

International and Domestic E-Book Standards
The Current State of E-Book Standards
EPUB is the leading international standard. It is used by the American companies Apple, Google, and the like, but not by Japanese publishers. EPUB is investigating how to handle Japanese.
Inside Japan, the two leading systems are XMDF, used by Shogakukan and other companies, and Dotbook, employed by Kodansha and other firms. These two are headed toward mutual compatibility, as well.
Mass media companies themselves, like Sony and Rakuten, are also trying to bring about mutual compatibility between systems.




(2011年9月24日14時35分 読売新聞)

Explore posts in the same categories: Business, Japan, Literature, Translations

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