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Old 01-23-2009, 12:26 PM   #1
zelda_pinwheel
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Join Date: Dec 2007
Location: Paris, France
Device: eb1150 & is that a nook in her pocket, or she just happy to see you?
ePub creation tools : what's missing ? wishlist / dialogue

We've been having an interesting discussion in the french forum recently about what is missing in the apps we currently have available to us for creating epub files (i'm talking about editors, not converters), and what we wish we had. In other threads, at least 2 people (that i have seen) have mentioned their intentions to write an epub editor. In still other threads, there have been references to various details that could be done better. calibre is great in many ways, but it's not a fully-featured editor. feedbooks does a brilliant job making valid code and hierarchical structure, but a lot of people want an offline app, and feedbooks doesn't handle images yet.

So, I thought I would create ONE THREAD TO RULE THEM ALL where users can list their desiderata and any interested developpers could discuss what is possible / not possible, their intentions, etc. With a little luck we might even end up creating the ONE APP TO RULE THEM ALL right here ! wouldn't that be brilliant.

Here to start are some of the things we want as users and creators of epub books, taken from the discussion in french in this thread. Please feel free to add your own, and I hope the developpers will be interested in participating / responding as well !! Valloric, llasram, kovid, wallcraft, Komenor, et al. i'm thinking of you, for example. (<-- non-exhaustive list !!)

DESIRED FEATURES

1. epub files must be valid (html tidy, epub check...) and conform to best practices.

2. the editor should be able to accept multiple html / xhtml flows and create one document with a hierarchical TOC. It should also be able to accept one html flow and semantically parse the hierarchy of the document (part, chapter, section...) according to the tags used (h1, h2, h3, etc.), creating logical divisions for a properly structured epub document and a hierarchical TOC, the way that feedbooks does.

3. It should be able to handle images and relatively advanced css markup (dropcaps, for instance).

4. Ideally, it should be accessible even to users with no knowledge of html / css code with a full wysiwyg UI, although advanced options should be available if you do know the code (direct code editing should be possible), again similar to the feedbooks interface.

I'll probably have more to add later but i've got to go for the moment, so i'll stop here and open the discussion. What do you want from an editor ? i'll be looking forward to seeing what comes out of this !
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