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Old 05-18-2009, 01:17 AM   #1
rogue_ronin
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rogue_ronin has learned how to read e-booksrogue_ronin has learned how to read e-booksrogue_ronin has learned how to read e-booksrogue_ronin has learned how to read e-booksrogue_ronin has learned how to read e-booksrogue_ronin has learned how to read e-booksrogue_ronin has learned how to read e-books
 
Posts: 475
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Join Date: Sep 2008
Location: Honolulu
Device: Nokia 770 (fbreader)
Lightbulb (x)html ebook specification

I'd like to get some brains on this subject.

I'm (slowly) assembling and editing a giant library of HTML ebooks. I've been using an idiosyncratic mix of HTML 3.2 and XHTML that I've picked up over the years.

I use an obsolete reader -- but a very functional one! (The REB1100.) I'm looking to upgrade, though, soon. And I'd like to do this only once, the editing/organizing.

I use an awesome text editor, NoteTab Pro, which lets you assemble libraries of macros -- anything you can do to text, you can do with the macros, it's got an enormous language. So I've built a library with a hundred or two macros, that do everything from regex to boilerplate to file manipulation and database entries.

So I need some advice on a better 'spec' for the format -- I should be able to rewrite the macros to the new one, and write a few that auto-adapt the old stuff I've done already. Creating macros to write CSS for any reader should be dead-simple, or writing converters to straight HTML, also -- once the format is set and consistent. There are a lot of ideas out there, and I have my own, which I'll start with:

This spec should use XHTML, and CSS. But the document markup should be as simple as possible.

Here are the elements that I think are important in an ebook, primarily fiction books -- a mix of meta-data and structure -- the meta is often explicitly expressed in the book: please add on if I've missed something.

Book Meta: Author(s), Illustrator(s), Publisher, ISBN, Publishing Date, Publishing City, Copyright Owner, Copyright Date, Series Name, Title, Sub-Title

File Meta: Version Number, Version Date, Original Conversion Date, Scanner, Proofreader(s), Original Source

Structure: Cover, Front Matter, Title Page, Verso Page (book meta info page), Inscription, Acknowledgments, Preface, Foreword, Table of Illustrations/Maps, Table of Contents, Prologue, Parts, Chapters, Epigrams, Sections, Sub-Sections, Paragraphs, Epilogue, Afterword, Endnotes, Glossary, Index, End Matter

If I've missed anything, please add or suggest. In my next post, I'm going to add my current methods, and ask for advice on improvements.

Thanks for reading!

m a r
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