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Old 01-23-2009, 01:13 PM   #5
Valloric
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Join Date: Feb 2008
Device: Sony Reader PRS 505
Quote:
Originally Posted by zelda_pinwheel View Post
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.
This is a very good idea.

Quote:
Originally Posted by zelda_pinwheel View Post
1. epub files must be valid (html tidy, epub check...) and conform to best practices.
I've been thinking about this and writing down ideas in my "epub editor idea book"... there are certain problems here.

For one, we have the epub standard. Naturally, all editors should output valid epub, that's a given, but the best practices... currently, the Sony Reader--more specifically, mobile DE--has limits on chapter length (content file limit is 300KB). While this is unfortunate, I can live with it. But there are other problems and flukes of mobile DE that one has to take into account. The page numbers on the side, for instance. One needs to add margins so the numbers don't overlap the text, etc.

So a standards compliant epub may not work in mobile DE, and if it does, it may not look as nice as one specifically tailored to it. And I'm not blaming DE on certain limitations (like the 300KB limit) that are the result of the platform it runs on. Other epub reading applications for the Reader (or other devices) would probably hit a similar wall.

My current working idea is this: the editor exports two types of epub files. Both are standards compliant. One follows the standard and nothing else. No size limits, no special margins etc. Pure epub, without any consideration for the reading application or the platform. Let's call this "Standards Epub".

Then there's the second output option. This epub type is also fully compliant, but has the size limitations, special margins and other necessities for an enjoyable read on something like the Sony Reader. Let's call this "Mobile Epub".

I know no one likes the idea of two different epub files. One risks the creation of a sub-format. But I don't see a way around this. A purely standards compliant epub is a must; current practical limitations may (and will) disappear with time. But one must also be realistic: there's no point in high-horsing around with compliant epubs that nobody can read on portable devices like the Sony Reader.

I am very much interested in what other people think about this.

Quote:
Originally Posted by zelda_pinwheel View Post
3. It should be able to handle images and relatively advanced css markup (dropcaps, for instance).
I've been following the dropcaps thread(s), and it's a good example of why I would want an editor to export two kinds of epub files: one that follows the standard, and one that's tailored around flukes and idiosyncrasies of certain reading software.

Quote:
Originally Posted by zelda_pinwheel View Post
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.
My working idea is to have a WYSIWYG interface, but with a "view code" view, like for instance in Dreamweaver. If someone wants to mess with it directly, they should be able to.

Last edited by Valloric; 01-23-2009 at 02:20 PM.
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