February 9, 2009

ePub eBooks On The Palm Pre?

Filed under: Groundwork — mikecane @ 3:16 pm

The illustrious Kat Meyer retweeted a link that made my jaw drop: Introducing epubjs

To celebrate TOC I’m announcing an early prototype of epubjs: a pure Javascript ePub reader. The entire application is only 11K (plus 53K for jQuery 1.3).

This is a pretty rough release, still very messy, but I’m hoping to evolve it into a lightweight reader that authors or publishers could add to their websites with minimal technical expertise.

Currently the reader works only in Firefox and requires that the ePub be expanded out in the top-level folder containing the JS code. (There are some issues related to browser security, and that it’s only been tested with this single ePub, and that I wrote a lot of this on the train ride down to New York).

Red emphasis by me.

Today, everyone has heard about the debut of the abominable Kindle 2 from Amazon.

It has a dirty secret: It cannot do ePub file format ebooks. ePub is what all of the major — and many independent — publishers have chosen for eBooks.

Previously, I’ve whined about my desire for Stanza to port its eBook reader to the Palm Pre. Stanza can do ePub.

But right now, this sample application — in JavaScript, which the Pre uses — shows that ePub is possible on the Palm Pre.

Who will give it to us?



  1. Its too bad you can’t use native code on the Pre, because I’d absolutely love FBreader, a Linux eBook app that runs great on my n800, to be on the Pre.

    Comment by Joe — February 10, 2009 @ 9:15 pm | Reply

  2. I’m not sure why everyone is so excited about ePub…. It stinks imho…

    I only use PRC files for my ebooks….with the Mobi GUI as my reader…which works great on Windows Mobile and Palm OS…maybe a bit better on the Windows Mobile…but so what..

    Now, I am getting a Palm Pre in about a week…and I’ve found that there isn’t ANY ebook reader I can use on it?? The Shortcovers App is a joke…or at least what i read makes it seem ridiculous… You can only read your books when linked to the internet?? Why?? That’s plain shortsighted isn’t it?? Pun intended..

    At least I can use the Palm Classics emulator to read my PRC files…but I take exception to the belief that all publishers are going the route of ePub…when I’ve seen WAY WAY more PRC files coming out than ePub.

    I believe that some publishers want Adobe ePub because the other formats…lit, pdb, prc, lrf(sony) have all had the DRM cracked..and the ePub won’t be crackable…LOL…yeah right!!
    Well…got news for you….the ePub DRM is cracked as well!!

    For people who want to share their books, there is no simple way to keep them from doing it.. Most of us will still end up purchasing our own copies of the book anyway so why bother with ePub which is an ugly format.. Mobi PRC has all sorts of cool stuff you can do with it.. Changing text color…and background.. Fonts…everything….and ePUB can’t do anything. It’s bland…and I really don’t see too many publishers jumping on that bandwagon..
    I think it’s reporters who don’t read ebooks who are promoting that fallacy…

    But anyway…please keep us informed for a new webOS ereader…


    Comment by Alex — June 29, 2009 @ 6:43 am | Reply

    • Alex – I’ve been using the shortcovers (now kobo) app for a while, and I can assure you that it does permit you to read your books offline. Actually, I have used my Pre on the airplane (in airplane mode of course) to read all of my books from that app.

      I will, however, make no assertions other than that one regarding the app, because I’ve had various glitches with it… and am looking forward to testing out the other ebook reader that has manifested on the catalog recently.

      Comment by Chris — October 18, 2010 @ 1:41 pm | Reply

  3. […] […]

    Pingback by App Request: E-book reader - Page 5 - PreCentral Forums — September 1, 2009 @ 11:06 am | Reply

  4. May we hope & wait for a DRMed ePub reader for the Palm TX? We recommend the TX as best hardware device for reading. You can install: eReader, mobipocket and 2 readers for adobe pdf. The Adobe pdf reader can’t push away the digital keyboard, leaves only a square field for reading, text reflows. The other pdf reader by Softonic ( has static text and full screen view. Both pdf readers are without color. Once you’ve been reading fiction in color you dont want to read b&w anymore. It feels somehow restricted, like whatching tv on a b&w screen. The Mobipocket reading software works fine with mobi DRM. But it doesn’t recognize my non-DRMed ePubs. So far DRMed ePubs are not supported by any Palm compatible reader so far.

    Comment by pauline van de ven — November 27, 2009 @ 1:37 pm | Reply

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