August 07, 2012

The Joys of Reading Tech Docs in EPUB

As Willie Favero notes, a growing number of IBM Redbooks are now available in EPUB format.

Having already loaded several PDF copies of Redbooks into iBook for viewing on my iPad, I was curious about EPUB (Electronic Publication). Once I tried it, I was amazed.

Before getting into all the things I like about EPUB, here are a couple of drawbacks: First, EPUB lacks some of the conveniences you normally have when viewing PDFs. For instance, you can't zoom in/out using the common touchscreen finger motion. Also, I don't see a way to print or e-mail an EPUB document.

That said, the good far outweighs the bad. With EPUB you can bookmark any page, make annotations, copy text, lookup definitions and conduct searches within the document or on Wikipedia (or the web in general). You can also adjust text size and font, and set screen contrast. You can even read in sepia color or nighttime mode (the latter provides a black background with white letters, which is meant for easier nighttime reading). EPUB gives you a choice of screen format (e.g., select full-screen mode to get the maximum amount of text on a page), and from any screen you can access your bookmarks and notes, or the table of contents.

In short, I'm an EPUB convert now. In fact, I've been actively looking for DB2-themed Redbooks that are available in the EPUB format. Unfortunately, this is no small task. The only way I know of is to search IBM Redbooks on a topic of interest (like DB2) and then check all the individual links that are returned. Download options are included on each Redbook abstract page.

Here's what I've found so far. Each of these publications is available in EPUB:

 DB2 for z/OS Titles

* Managing IBM DB2 10 for z/OS Using the IBM DB2 Administration Tool for z/OS Version 10
* DB2 10 for z/OS Performance Topics
* Security Functions of IBM DB2 10 for z/OS
* DB2 10 for z/OS: Configuring SSL for Secure Client-Server Communications
* IBM CICS Performance Series: CICS, DB2, and Thread Safety
* DB2 for z/OS and List Prefetch Optimizer
* Running SAP Solutions with IBM DB2 10 for z/OS on the IBM zEnterprise System

DB2 for LUW titles

* Sybase to DB2 Conversion Guide
* DB2 Workload Manager for Linux, UNIX, and Windows
* Up and Running with DB2 on Linux
* MySQL to DB2 Conversion Guide
* DB2 Virtualization
* Getting Started with DB2 Web Query for i
* Database Partitioning, Table Partitioning, and MDC for DB2 9
* Highly Available and Scalable Systems with IBM eX5 and DB2 pureScale

If you're aware of other DB2-themed Redbooks that are now available in EPUB, please let me know in Comments.