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First Look: Apple's new iBooks Author - Page 3

post #81 of 93
Quote:
Originally Posted by digitalclips View Post

Some of the comments are just silly aren't they? One guy is moaning you can't edit the text because he is trying to edit the Latin place holder! One downside of the app being free - everyone is trying it even the clueless ... half the people finding faults on the App Store comments page clearly have never learned to use any iWork app or iWeb.

"I just exported it to PDF because that's the only way to use in on Blackberry and now most of the stuff doesn't work. I'm tired of Apple artificially limiting their products like this."

"The real haunted empire?  It's the New York Times." ~SockRolid

"There is no rule that says the best phones must have the largest screen." ~RoundaboutNow

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"The real haunted empire?  It's the New York Times." ~SockRolid

"There is no rule that says the best phones must have the largest screen." ~RoundaboutNow

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post #82 of 93
Quote:
Originally Posted by mstone View Post

I found some info on running iBooks Author on Snow Leopard:

http://www.digitaltweaker.com/mac/ma...-snow-leopard/

It is about a 20 step hackerish work around.

I haven't tried it and even the author recommends upgrading to Lion for any professional work, just an FYI

Yikes. Literally 29 steps. Amounts to fooling the App Store into thinking you are running Lion.
Please don't be insane.
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Please don't be insane.
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post #83 of 93
Quote:
Originally Posted by darrynlowe View Post

No. What is ridiculous is the amount of people not wanting to upgrade.

I admit there is a need for old software that doesn't run on Lion but if that was me I would ditch the old software and get something that does work for me and on Lion.

Lion is streaks ahead of Snow Leopard and it makes sense that Apple would only develop for Lion because they want everyone to move on.

Snow Leopard is as you say a little under 3 years old now. The world has moved a lot since three years ago.

I have bought Lion but for various reasons I choose not too use it on my i5 iMac and my single core MacBook can't run it anyway. There is a very simple hack (takes 15 secs) to make iBooks Author work in Snow Leopard but it seems to me that Apple's philosophy has markedly changed for the worse. When the first iPhone came out it was amazing and it just got better and better as Apple released new things for it, even after the 3G or 3Gs arrived. They introduced FaceTime with the iPhone 4 and made it work with any iSight Mac or even the iPod if it had a camera. We loved Apple because they bent over backwards to make us happy -but not so any more.
First sign for me was when they disabled WiFifoFum - a really useful App that worked well, why would they do that? Then they acquired Siri (which even worked on the 3GS) and made sure it would no longer work on iPhone 4. iCloud could easily work with Snow Leopard or even Windows but no, we need Lion, this means I can't sync with anything that isn't core2duo at least. And now they're blocking iBooks Author which actually works great in Snow Leopard if you change the plist file to let it run. No, it doesn't 'just work' anymore in fact it's just maliciously crippled. They also dropped support for XP in Bootcamp and left many a corporate Mac user high and dry by making it impossible to put Snow Leopard on a new Mac -even though the hardware was identical to one sold with Snow Leopard just days earlier. Grrrrr!

And btw Phil Schiller shouldn't be allowed to present in public, he was dreadful.
post #84 of 93
Quote:
Originally Posted by mstone View Post

I think his point was that it should have been designed to do that. It would be a nice feature but it is counter productive to Apple's dominate the world agenda.I remember the old days of Quark publishing where you could not import layered Photoshop documents, which meant that you had to save two versions, one flattened tif for importing into Quark and the other as layers in PS for future editing. It was a royal pain in the ass which is why they fixed it.

Similarly it would be nice to be able keep only the finished version of an electronic book and be able to open and edit it. As it is now, you have to keep duplicate versions, one for editing and the other for viewing. The fact that they omitted any support for their former ePub open standards is indicative of their intentions to create an electronic books monopoly which is proprietary to iPad.


Well, as an Apple shareholder, I certainly hope they succeed in cementing iPad's position as the Gorilla of the tablet market, as well as iBooks/iBooks Atuhor as the Gorilla in the book publishing world. It would be Windows Desktop and Microsoft Office redux. I love it. But then combine that with iPhone and iCloud and Siri and iMac and iTV. Wow. You're right; maybe they will dominate the world.
post #85 of 93
Quote:
Originally Posted by Goldenclaw View Post

What I love especially is begging for school funding to get new computers, then having to ask for an OS update 6 months later, then needing to shell out thousands for new versions of all of our software. All because Apple wants to push forward and abandon the existing install base. Sorry but I can't continually justify that.

I work in a school, this is how it is. I can already see the teachers asking me about wanting to use iBooks Author, then not realizing some of our other software won't work on Lion. I mean I can explore running Snow Leopard in a VM, but really?

If Apple was truly interested in accessibility for education, then they would turn the option on in the compiler that says "Snow Leopard" or "Leopard" instead of pretending this app actually needs anything special introduced in Lion.

Have a look here: http://marketshare.hitslink.com/oper...0&qpcustomb=*2

I hate to cloud this announcement with the trivial musings of us education customers, but it is what it is. Half of the OSX install base is using Snow Leopard.

What in the world do you think Apple is "truly interested in"? Do you think this whole iBook Author project was just to sell more copies of Lion for $29.99? Doesn' t make much sense to me.
post #86 of 93
Quote:
Originally Posted by sirozha View Post

I will ignore the troll and will not bite.

It is curious, though, that Pages have been able to export files into the ePub format for a year and a half now, but the newly released iBooks Author cannot do this. This is especially strange because the entire iBooks store is based on the ePub format. I would have liked iBooks Author much more if it could open ePub books, edit them, and then save (or export) in the ePub format.

I have never done any book authoring, but have accumulated thousands of pages of technical documentation that I have written over many years. I have been doing this in MS Word (in Windows and later in Mac OS X). I was really hoping I could use iBooks Author to migrate my documentation to the ePub format and be able to read it both on my Macs and my iOS devices. So, I spent a few hours today researching other tools that could help me do this. Sigil seems to be the tool that I can use for opening, editing (and reading), as well as saving files in ePub. Calibre would be good for converting PDF files into ePub. So, I would have to use MS Word 2011 for Mac to save a file as a PDF, then use Calibre to convert this PDF into ePub, and finally, use Sigil to make corrections and additions to the file if needed. It would have been much more convenient if iBooks Author could do all these functions.

I realize that for aspiring authors - especially for those who want to try and sell their books on the iBooks store - iBooks Author is an awesome app. However, I am not going to convert the tens of thousands of pages I have written over many years into plain text, then import them into iBooks Author, and then spend hundreds of hours reformatting the text back to the way it looked in MS Word just to be able to export it again into a propitiatory .ibooks format so that I can transfer them to my iOS devices. The ePub method described above is a lot more straightforward and less time consuming, if a little convoluted.

Breaking news: this software was created to facilitate authors producing content specifically for the iPad, in a proprietary manner, so as to help the iPad become the Gorilla of the tablet market. Your "hope" for something that makes it easier for you to use to organize thousands of pages of stuff for your own use had absolutely nothing to do with this project. Maybe someday someone will make an app for that, but to fault Apple for simply making as you say, "an awsome app" for the intended market and purpose seems kind of odd.
post #87 of 93
Quote:
Originally Posted by mstone View Post

This actually is a problem in many situations. I have been playing around with the software and also downloaded the 'Life on Earth" textbook. In my opinion iBooks and iBooks Author are beta level of completion. The textbook crashed many times mostly when rotating the perspective while the movie is loading.

The fact that you can't tweak the source code is only an issue when the title grows in size. Textbooks tend to be rather large documents and the more interactive content you place in them the larger they get, potentially reaching gigabytes in size. Opening and exporting those types of documents is very unwieldy. If you are just trying to tweak a line of javascript or a line of CSS, reexporting the entire thing over and over is not a trivial undertaking. That is why I believe they stated that its primary use was for K-12 where the books tend to be a bit smaller. Also Linking to movies is a much better use of disk space rather than embedding them. I believe the main reason that Apple chose not to allow us to edit the code, to embed everything rather than link and to use binary output instead of the traditional zipped archive format is to keep it proprietary.


Of course they want to keep it proprietary.

The only reason to not have it proprietary is when you can't get away with it (for example, if Google came out with GoogleAuthor for Android tablets, and it was proprietary, people would only laugh).

Only by having it proprietary does it open the door for helping iPad get a strangehold on the tablet market, just as Windows/Office did with PC's. Without proprietary, you can't get there from here.
post #88 of 93
Quote:
Originally Posted by Ireland View Post

No doubt the debated bundling it into Pages, but I bet they thought it needed too many of its own custom buttons and its own custom toolbar and that it would be taken far more serious if it was its own app with its own name. Dedicated to education.

Who knows, perhaps the next version of pages will get its own "publish" button capable of getting your first novel into iBooks. I would have thought for certain they'd also include a setting to publish magazines this way though, the general layout of the Our Choice-esque books are perfectly suited to magazines, as I tweeted 10 months ago. And the world would be a better place if all iPad magazines were like this, intuitive, consistent, enjoyable and beautiful. As opposeð to the current situation; unreadable.


Am I missing something? Is this exclusively for textbooks intended for schools?? You can't just publish "your first novel into iBook", as you say? Why not?
post #89 of 93
Apple does it again. They take something with a tremendous potential, design it from a one dimensional point of view, and force feed you their idea of common sense.

With iBooks Author you are forced to use templates that you cannot override and there are no blank themes. If you chose 'Astronomy" you are stuck with title pages that have a permanent black ghost.

Too bad if you want, say, a white ghost and black text. It ain't possible.

You want a dedication page - a small block of text on a white background? It is possible, but when you go to the table of contents, the screen is filled with drag and drop targets that you do not want. It is ugly and quite nuts, but that is the way it is.

You want a white title page with a simple text block? No can do. You have a black ghost.

This shows no understanding of publishing whatsoever.

Yet again, Apple is acting like a 12-year- old genius who has tons of brains but no wisdom, no common sense, and a serious lack of familiarity with the real world.

Remember the Tom Hanks intros at the beginning of each episode of From the Earth to the Moon? The set is just a bunch of odd shapes until the camera reaches its final position and you see the pieces form a picture of the sun god Apollo. That final camera position is Apple. They put the camera in one position then slide a bunch of pieces into place to make something cool. Don't try to move the camera to see a different point of view, because the whole thing falls apart.

Apple's solution: lock down the camera, because it is impossible to imagine that any other point of view possible.

It is institutionalized insanity. That one free meal that they feed to brand new Apple employees includes a glass of a very strange kind of Kool-Aid.

This is yet another iMovie 08, Final Cut X, and more....
post #90 of 93
Quote:
Originally Posted by commoncents View Post

What in the world do you think Apple is "truly interested in"? Do you think this whole iBook Author project was just to sell more copies of Lion for $29.99? Doesn' t make much sense to me.

Apple made a number of idiotic changes with various apps that can only be remedied by creatively downgrading to previous versions. The elimination of the "save as" command is a big one.

Some things with Lion are just godawful. I opened an old Keynote project so that I would export a png of a slide. I removed one unwanted element from the slide, did the export and closed it without saving it. The whole operation took around 30 seconds. The next time I opened the file, the item was missing.

I then had to dig through things and open the previous version and then save that.

Why should we have to go through this kind of nonsense? It is because Apple knows best.

This reminds me of Hitler furiously commanding non-existent armies when Berlin was surrounded by the Russians. It is good for Apple to get out of its artificial self-indulgent world once in a while.
post #91 of 93
Quote:
Originally Posted by TYancy View Post

With iBooks Author you are forced to use templates that you cannot override and there are no blank themes.

From iBooks Author help:

"When you create a book, you begin with a template. A template includes everything you need to create a book: a set of book elements and a variety of layouts for chapters, sections, and pages. Using a template, you can create a professional-looking book with a consistent design across all of its elements. You can modify the elements of any template to suit your needs. If you want to reuse a modified template in the future, you can save the template so that its available in the Template Chooser. If you want to save your template without having it appear in the Template Chooser, you need to save a document."
post #92 of 93
Quote:
Originally Posted by TYancy View Post

Some things with Lion are just godawful. I opened an old Keynote project so that I would export a png of a slide. I removed one unwanted element from the slide, did the export and closed it without saving it.

In Snow Leopard, you would have complained that the unwanted item you removed was still there!
post #93 of 93
Quote:
Originally Posted by chabig View Post

From iBooks Author help:

"When you create a book, you begin with a template. A template includes everything you need to create a book: a set of book elements and a variety of layouts for chapters, sections, and pages. Using a template, you can create a professional-looking book with a consistent design across all of its elements. You can modify the elements of any template to suit your needs. If you want to reuse a modified template in the future, you can save the template so that it’s available in the Template Chooser. If you want to save your template without having it appear in the Template Chooser, you need to save a document."

Actually, this feature is so restraining that you can't humanly design templates this way. You'd better code them from scratch. Seriously.
Besides, "save as template" is technically "hybrid". It doesn't save an ibooks author template, it saves a book template. Let me explain to make things clear :
  • you have designed a magazine with sections, this feature is great.
  • you want to design a template so that others can use them like Apple templates, you're doomed.

In the format > Advanced menu, you got something called "Define object for Current Master" (which happens to become "Update Object for current layout" when your object is defined). This allows you to alter Apple-designed templates in depth. If you don't define objects one by one, pages you'll add in your custom template will "use" the templates of the standard Apple ibatemplate.
In fact, when you're saving a template in iba, you're sort of duplicating your book and making it available in the templates chooser. Custom templates you're saving are not working like standard templates shipping with the app. If you want to make a real ibooks author template, you have to define objects for Master one by one, you can't define a page layout for Master. But there's no logic at all : you can't edit page numbers nor backgrounds, updating objects behaves strangely (sometimes it brings your object back to its original state, sometimes not), you can't get rid of some objects and so on and so forth.
We get used to it since designing templates for OS X apps has always been a pain in the neck. It's never been easy to create templates from scratch, you must edit Apple-designed templates and that's it. No matter the "save as template" feature could be insanely powerful, it has always been restraining. No matter this contradicts the good old "Mac makes it easy to create", which is obviously untrue in this particular case.

As a matter of consequence, if you want to make real ibooks author templates (and not book templates), you have two choices :
  • create a blank ibatemplate, which means you'll alter an existing template or code it from scratch and waste days of your life defining each object for Master.
  • code templates from scratch and pray they work. Anyone trying to code mail templates knows sometimes it doesn't work and you'll never discover why.

In other words, creating a real template is time-consuming. I thought it would be easy, I was wrong. I thought I could distribute templates so that everyone can use them, I was wrong. Now, I'm coding templates and it will take months to achieve this instead of days because the in-app feature is incredibly limited. And I don't count on Apple to improve it, they have never done this before for other OS X apps….
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