@xmlgeek: All fair points. XML is an admirable starting point for open, interoperable formats that can survive archival pretty well. I’m fond of using plain text as much as possible when considering the long term.
But technical writing is a very different beast from complex page layout software. And while standard publishing may be a solved problem for the former, it is far from it for the latter. That is what this essay concerns — and its publication in A List Apart was in part because the same issues are addressed by modern web developers.
To be clear, I’m not advocating ePub 3 as The One True Path where everyone must fall in line. ePub 3 is the best way to handle modern digital publishing concerns _right now_, and the best hope to spread across e-reading platforms _right now_. That will change someday. When that day comes, we’ll hopefully have conversion tools and an easy way to read older formats —Â and (to be heinously reductive about it) I reckon that’s roughly how the web plays out today.