Join Date: Sep 2008
Device: Nokia 770 (fbreader)
(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