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Old 09-05-2011, 02:16 PM   #1
Philosopher
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Question Publishing an eBook on a WebSite

Hi,

I have used my drupal based sites in the past to try and serve up some of my PDFs. Particularly manuals, etc., when working with others on a project - so we can both read at the same time and have a joint reference. As well as I have tried to do this for books I am working on for research and writing - so that I can access them anywhere, anytime, without having to necessarily carry them all with me (in this case - on my hard drive).

I used to use Adobe FlashPaper. It was a great idea - and I got it to work several times. But I always had some problems. The biggest was compatibility. They never updated the software for Vista and never released a Mac version - so I was always having to wait till I could get to an XP machine to do the work. Now I think they have totally discontinued the product - never upgrading it with the release of Windows 7 and I can't seem to find much out about it at the Adobe site.

Since then a few drupal developers have been creating other options that seem to work - I tried one out for a while and had some success (this was one of the earlier ones). These options tended not to convert the document to flash - but to embed the actual pdf. But I never found it to be as simple and convenient as the flash-based idea that Adobe started with.

As a result I have never really gone as far as I wanted to with this idea and projects. But I am still looking - and now as I am trying it out again - I am wondering what experiences others have had.

I note that there have been a growing number of modules along this line in drupal - but there yet has become a standard - and a lot of them have not kept up with the newer drupal releases. So I am wary of becoming dependent on a drupal-based solution. Plus I might want to host books using other web-based structures.

I note that since then both Google Books and the Internet Archive have developed - and built into them viewers - as well as Scribd. I believe that Scribd uses an open source program to do this, although I like the Internet Archive flipping pages format better. It too I believe is open source and so I am trying it out. I also just found another possible solution from A-PDF. I was really pleased to find that they had a really good PDF cropping tool for my scanned books (so I could take the double pages and make a single paged PDF from it). They have a Page Flip tool that seems to be geared toward this as well so I am going to give that a try.

I am wondering if anyone has tried any other solutions. I'll let you know my experience using the Internet Archive bookreader and A-PDF. If anyone knows what happened to Adobe let me know - as I still have it on my XP computers but would have liked to have tried it in comparison - but I can't justify it unless I can do so on one of my Windows 7 machines (or at least my Mac).

Ideally what I would love to find is a way to deliver the PDF as close to using the original PDF with active links and bookmarks as well as the ability to view it on the flipping pages model, like an open book. Searching within the book - like you can do with Google books and Internet Archive books would also be a big plus. And to be able not just to flip pages one by one - but to skip to any particular page or search for a page. Might be asking a lot - but at least if I can get the kind of results that you find at Internet Archive and be able to embed these into pages, specifically in a drupal site, that is what I am looking for.

Thanks
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