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FRESH MEADOWS, NY—NOVEMBER 6, 2000—Some professional publishers are pursuing a short-sighted path that will limit their flexibility, restrict product functionality and cost them more money near-term, according to Mark Gross, president of Data Conversion Laboratory.  DCL is an industry leader in converting and repurposing data for publishers.

“Today’s e-book technologies use first-generation data formats ill-suited for complex professional content with charts and graphics and advanced search requirements. These early stage e-book technologies are best suited to novels, which are straightforward, unstructured text,” Gross says.

Gross notes that more advanced e-book formats are now being developed by groups such as Open E-book Forum (OEBF) and will be available in the not-too-distant future. “If publishers convert their content in the ‘dumbed down’ formats currently available, they will likely need to go back and retool content for the more suitable technologies now under development,” Gross adds. He predicts this process will add another layer of expense and take valuable time to accomplish--a competitive disadvantage for the publisher.

What’s the Smart Solution?

Gross says publishers should adopt widely accepted, robust and easily customizable markup languages already in place, such as XML and SGML.

“At DCL, we systematically download from our conversion hub, using a rich SGML hybrid, to create custom formats for publishers, including PDF and all the popular e-book formats. These powerful, core SGML and XML formats can be continually leveraged as new delivery formats; and, as technologies develop, will enable publishers to adapt quickly, and with minimal expense going forward,” Gross concludes.

Data Conversion Laboratory is the leader in implementing complex data conversion solutions for such publishing giants as McGraw-Hill, Wiley, Harcourt, Wolters Kluwer, Lippincott and Reed Elsevier (Reference), as well as the Library of Congress, Lockheed Martin, McDonnell Douglas, Gulfstream Aerospace, United Technologies, John Deere, the New York Public Library and New York University.

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