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Old 08-07-2013, 05:52 AM   #1
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To cite ePubs: Do you recommend an ID attribute for every single element?

If you want to cite a specific part of an epub, e.g. in a scientific work, you have no standard way to do that - like in paper books, where you have static page numbers.

Do you recommend - for creating an own epub or the editing of an existing epub - to add an id attribut to every single element of the book?


Example:

Code:
<h1 id="id00001">Lorem ipsum</h1>

<p id="id00002">Dolor sit amet, consectetur adipisicing elit, sed do eiusmod tempor incididunt ut labore et <em id="id00003"> dolore</em> magna aliqua.</p> 

<p id="id00004"><img id="id00005" src="/images/01.jpg" \></p>

<p id="id00006">Ut enim ad minim veniam, quis nostrud exercitation ullamco laboris nisi ut aliquip ex ea commodo consequat.</p>
Thanks.
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Old 08-07-2013, 08:08 AM   #2
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That's unnecessary, I believe.

Usually, chapter number and paragraph number should be enough (even if paragraphs are not explicitly numbered, they're easy to count). Plus, ebooks can be searched, so adding a fragment when referring to some ebook can make it easy to locate the exact location.
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Old 08-07-2013, 08:28 AM   #3
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I mainly think of footnotes of that type:

* See the arguments about "Large Scale Structure" [Hawking, 1975] page 113 ff.
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Old 08-07-2013, 09:50 AM   #4
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If you are not trying to sell in the mass market, pdf is probably the best way to go. It is displayed by many of the devices and its page numbers are fixed.
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Old 08-07-2013, 10:09 AM   #5
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Originally Posted by ibu View Post
I mainly think of footnotes of that type:

* See the arguments about "Large Scale Structure" [Hawking, 1975] page 113 ff.
* See the arguments about "Large Scale Structure" [Hawking, 1975] chapter 5, par. 23 ff.

The page reference is pretty useless unless I have the exact same edition used by this author. References to other structures inherent to the book (chapters, sections, paragraphs) can even be valid across translations.
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Old 08-07-2013, 10:51 AM   #6
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@Jellby
You missunderstood my example and my intention. My fault.
1
The footnote is one which refers to a paperbook

2
The reference style "[Hawking, 1975]" is the "Harvard Style". https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Harvard_style
It is just an abbreviation of the complete part in the bibliography.


Your example with "chapter 5, par. 23 ff." is exactly what I meant.
I've no strong opinions, if it's appropriate to mention the chapter.

May be a shorter "[Hawking, 1975] par. 1145 ff. is fine.

But back to the topic:
Do you recommend to number all paragraphs here and now?
Or is such referencing style so unusual, that only a very few readers know what that means?
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Old 08-07-2013, 10:54 AM   #7
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Originally Posted by mrmikel View Post
If you are not trying to sell in the mass market, pdf is probably the best way to go. It is displayed by many of the devices and its page numbers are fixed.
Yes.
But I never liked PDF. I'm just curious what's best practice for epubs in an academic context.
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Old 08-07-2013, 08:22 PM   #8
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Paragraphs can be numbered, but not lines, since the size of the text can be changed.

There is really no consensus yet about the ideal way to handle references, nor the ideal reader either, since displaying formulae, etc is not something many readers do well. If they all share the same device, or something like that...

But my device does not connect to the internet, so a link is worthless to me, so referencing that way doesn't help me.

Welcome to the Wild West.
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Old 08-07-2013, 08:45 PM   #9
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@mrmikel
When there's no consensus: Which solutions are in front of the race?
Which do you like best? (I myself know only the solution of numbering paragraphs, no else)

To the links:
Does your device support internal links (to other places in the document, to end notes e.g.)?
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Old 08-08-2013, 03:27 AM   #10
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Quote:
Originally Posted by ibu View Post
@Jellby
You missunderstood my example and my intention. My fault.
1
The footnote is one which refers to a paperbook
That's fine, I just tried to give one example of how you could do something similar with an ebook (or a paperbook, for that matter).

Quote:
Your example with "chapter 5, par. 23 ff." is exactly what I meant.
I've no strong opinions, if it's appropriate to mention the chapter.

May be a shorter "[Hawking, 1975] par. 1145 ff. is fine.
Shorter, but less useful. You may expect a reader to count 23 paragraphs, but not 1145. And the paragraph number may vary slightly between editions (the odd paragraph break introduced or removed here and there) or translations, and one may count equations, headings, etc. as paragraphs or not... still, with a short paragraph count a reader (the human kind) can at least find the approximate location quite easily.

Quote:
Do you recommend to number all paragraphs here and now?
Or is such referencing style so unusual, that only a very few readers know what that means?
Gosh, no! At least, do not make the numbers visible (unless it's a very technical document that you expect to be referenced very often). And, if the numbers are not visible, they will not be easily accessible My idea with paragraph numbers is that the user can count the paragraphs him/herself. And, if "par." is not recognized, you can use "paragraph" or "¶" (but I'd say anyone who understands "ff." will be able to guess "par.").
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Old 08-08-2013, 04:30 AM   #11
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@Jellby
Thanks for your arguments for chapters.
I will think about it.
In books with numbers in front of the header of each chapter and not a to high number of paragraphs in each chapter I agree.

Do you use a script for Sigil to add numbers to the paragraphs automatically?

When I understand it correctly there's at the moment no reader which offers a navigation interface with "Go to paragraph number 1456", right?
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Old 08-08-2013, 04:53 AM   #12
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Quote:
Originally Posted by ibu View Post
When I understand it correctly there's at the moment no reader which offers a navigation interface with "Go to paragraph number 1456", right?
Right, and I don't think there will ever be. Also, as far as I know there is no reader that lets you enter an arbitrary id to "go to" there.

But many readers have a search facility, so you could write something like:

* See the arguments about "Large Scale Structure" [Hawking, 1975] chapter 5, par. 23 ff. ("When we consider the facts carefully [...]")

And the interested user could search for "When we consider the facts carefully" and arrive to the desired location.
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Old 08-08-2013, 05:03 AM   #13
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@Jellby
Thanks for your affirmation of my assumption.

I hope the whole ecosystem of ereading will get more "adult" in the future.
In my humble opinion it is important to be able to reference to paragraphs precisely and consisely. And to reach those places easily with a jump.
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