Sustainability of Digital Formats
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OEBPS (Open Ebook Forum Publication Structure) 1.2

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Format Description Properties Explanation of format description terms

Identification and description Explanation of format description terms

Full name OEBPS, Open eBook Forum Publication Structure 1.2
Description

Open eBook Publication Structure (OEBPS) is an XML-based specification for the content, structure, and presentation of electronic books. OEBPS was developed by the Open eBook Forum, a group of organizations involved in electronic publishing and now known as the International Digital Publishing Forum (IDPF).

The format comprises a set of files, including a mandatory package file, which incorporates a manifest listing all the other component files and a spine, which indicates logical reading order. In addition to text in XML, a reader for OEB publications must be able to render still images in JPEG and PNG formats. Content components in other formats may be included, but fallback content must be provided in one of the core OEB formats.

OEBPS 1.2 was a tightly constrained update to the prior version (OEBPS 1.0.1). It provided new functionality in the area of presentation control, including, among other things, improvements in the markup vocabulary (now a pure subset of XHTML 1.1), and greatly expanded CSS support. Further details regarding the changes made in 1.2 from 1.0.1 are found in the specification document. Sustainability factors are unchanged from the earlier version.

Production phase This bundle of files was used primarily as a middle-state format, with dissemination to end-users managed through publishers or aggregators who provided ebooks in forms appropriate for different ebook viewers/players. Its successor wrapper, EPUB_2, is more likely to reach end-users as a final-state format, as well as serving as a middle-state format.
Relationship to other formats
    Has earlier version OEBPS_1_0, Open eBook Forum Publication Structure 1.0.1
    Used by EPUB_2, Electronic Publication, Version 2. OEBPS_1_2 is an optional, but deprecated form for content within EPUB_2.
    Defined via XML_DTD, XML Document Type Definition (DTD)
    May contain JFIF, JPEG File Interchange Format
    May contain PNG, Portable Network Graphics

Local use Explanation of format description terms

LC experience or existing holdings No use of this version of the OEBF standard. OEBPS 1.0.1 is incorporated into the standard for the Digital Talking Book standard maintained by the National Library Service for the Blind and Physically Handicapped (NLS), which is part of LC.
LC preference As an XML-based format using a publicly documented schema that represents the logical structure of a publication, OEBPS_1_2 satisfies most of the desired characteristics for formats for textual works. However, as of 2012, the successor format, EPUB_2 would be preferred.

Sustainability factors Explanation of format description terms

Disclosure Open standard
    Documentation Originally an Open eBook Forum Specification. In 2005, the Open eBook Forum became the International Digital Publishing Forum.
. As of early 2012, the documentation for OEBPS version 1.2 is not online through IDPF. The Open eBook Publication Structure Specification Version 1.2 documentation is available from the Internet Archive's Wayback machine.
Adoption Use largely superseded by EPUB_2.
    Licensing and patents None
Transparency Text content must be in XML, which rates highly for transparency.
Self-documentation The Package file can include Dublin Core metadata.
External dependencies None.
Technical protection considerations None in relation to publication structure and component files in the core OEB formats (XML, CSS, JPEG, PNG).

Quality and functionality factors Explanation of format description terms

Text
Normal rendering Good support.
Integrity of document structure The logical structure of a document is an essential feature of OeBPS.
Integrity of layout and display Version 1.2 provides more control for content providers over presentation than the previous version.
Support for mathematics, formulae, etc. Not supported.

File type signifiers Explanation of format description terms

Tag Value Note
Filename extension opf
Recommended extension for the required Package file.
Filename extension xml
For textual content files.
XML DOCTYPE declaration <!DOCTYPE package PUBLIC "+//ISBN 0-9673008-1-9//DTD OEB 1.2 Package//EN" "http://openebook.org/dtds/oeb-1.2/oebpkg12.dtd">
 

Notes Explanation of format description terms

General Conforming reading systems must support XML, CSS, JPEG and PNG files. An OEBPS Publication may contain other kinds of files as well (including audio and video files), but must also provide a fallback version of the content in one of those four formats.
History

Version 1.0 of the Publication Structure was created in the winter, spring, and summer of 1999 by the Open eBook Authoring Group. The Authoring Group consisted of over 25 individuals from organizations participating in the Open eBook initiative, which had been launched in October 1998 and was convened and facilitated by NIST (the National Institute of Standards and Technology.) The Authoring Group included participants representing all aspects of the electronic publishing industry, and was open to any interested individual or organization. Following the release of OEBPS 1.0, the Open eBook Forum (OeBF) was formally incorporated in January 2000. Version 1.0.1, a maintenance release, was brought out in July 2001. OEBPS Version 1.2, incorporating new support for control by content providers over presentation along with other corrections and improvements, was released as a Recommended Specification in August 2002. The three successor modules that constitute EPUB_2 were approved in 2006 and 2007.

In mid-2005, the Open eBook Forum changed its name to the International Digital Publishing Forum.


Format specifications Explanation of format description terms


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Last Updated: 11/04/2013