In the case of the new iWork files, changing the file extension to .zip and expanding the archive reveals the as-expected XML document and plist files (for the document and its formatting) as well as a little PDF surprise — a preview version of the file. What this means for you is that you can send an iWork file to a friend or co-worker and regardless of their operating system choice or installed software base, they can “view” your document by unzipping it and opening the PDF.
Yes! It’s true!
It’s XML down there! An unZipped Pages file:
Zipped up just like any ePub eBook file! Except it can do much more!
This is XML from Keynote:
Notice the capabilities: animation, UI status, and soundtrack!
This is XML from Pages:
Notice the capabilities: video, footnote, bibliography, annotations!
Check out Apple’s developer page about XML — this one is about Keynote (notice especially how they changed the 1.x file format for total XML!).
Let me spell out what this means.
You will not need a developer to create a digital book.
You will be able to do something just like what Vook:
and Enhanced Editions:
and CSI creator Anthony Zuiker:
are doing — using iWork, iMovie, and all standard software tools on any Mac!
No programming required!
Going all XML like this, making things simple, is how Steve Jobs wins:
Hop to 3:22 in this video to see a demo of Pages:
Creating a digital book will be that simple. The only things currently not in Pages are Preview and Create Digital Book menu options.
These digital books will be launchable, just like apps. Apple will not go the file route, making people first launch a reading application and then scroll scroll scroll through a list of files.
People might object that this will fill Home Screens with too many things. I insist that Apple has already thought of that and there will be a method to segregate and organize digital books.
All of this is the fatal stake in the heart of ePub and all eInk devices.
Because once people see digital books, they won’t settle for tarted-up text files.
If you’re a writer who has been sitting impatiently, thinking the digital book movement has been passing you by due to its expense and complexity, your day is coming. Get your plans together to bring them into creation.