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Old 10-31-2007, 04:21 PM   #1
jbenny
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epub creation tools

Considering the current lack of epub creation tools, other than InDesign or a text editor, I would like to get some input from everyone here.

In a tool designed specifically for epub creation, what features would you think most important? I'm not thinking about some WYSIWYG tool, like InDesign, but something for a more automatic and streamlined method of creating epubs, either singly or in bulk. Possibly building on existing Open Source tools.

Some basic markup capabilities could also be included. How do you think this could best be accomplished? What input formats do you think would be the most important to have, to accomodate a wide variety of already existing document formats (not just fiction)?

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Old 10-31-2007, 04:25 PM   #2
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I will be writing LRF->epub, txt(with lightweight markup)->epub, rtf->epub and of course plain html to epub.

The creation tools will have the ability to specify metadata and a table of contents and will of course attempt to automatically detect metadata and semantic information where possible.

These converters will leverage all the exisiting tools/infrastructure in libprs500
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Old 10-31-2007, 04:58 PM   #3
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On the level of "converters", I would like to see .opf to .epub. You get a .opf (OEB) e-book by exploding a .LIT e-book, or as the working files of MobiPocket Creator. This command line converter would essentially be mobigen (.html or .opf to .mobi), but for .epub (epubgen?).

A difference to mobigen, though, is that this would not necessarily be the end point of the process. Once you have an initial .epub document, then a .epub editor (once available) could be used to further refine the e-book.
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Old 10-31-2007, 05:03 PM   #4
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My html->epub converter will support opf (it already supports it for html->lrf conversion).
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Old 10-31-2007, 05:35 PM   #5
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There are plenty of tools for converting to html, or for checking and validating the (x)html (and IIRC an epub validator is on the way). To me what would be most useful would be a tool that would producing the other package contents once you have a valid xhtml file.
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Old 10-31-2007, 05:36 PM   #6
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Quote:
Originally Posted by kovidgoyal View Post
I will be writing LRF->epub, txt(with lightweight markup)->epub, rtf->epub and of course plain html to epub.

The creation tools will have the ability to specify metadata and a table of contents and will of course attempt to automatically detect metadata and semantic information where possible.

These converters will leverage all the exisiting tools/infrastructure in libprs500
Great news. Always good to see more epub support available. What time frame are you looking at for a first version? If you need someone to help with testing and suggestions, I'll gladly help.
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Old 10-31-2007, 05:41 PM   #7
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Once my TODO stack shortens a little I'll start work on this, so a first version of lrf->epub should see the light of day in about 1-2 months, depending on how my Ph.D. is progressing :-)
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Old 10-31-2007, 05:50 PM   #8
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Originally Posted by andym View Post
There are plenty of tools for converting to html, or for checking and validating the (x)html (and IIRC an epub validator is on the way). To me what would be most useful would be a tool that would producing the other package contents once you have a valid xhtml file.
My thinking on this is: Not counting the XHTML content itself, there are only a handful of needed files which comprise an epub. These files all have a very well defined structure that is very much the same from one epub to another. This would make some type of templating system very possible.

Assuming you already had valid XHTML 1.1 content, filling in some form with certain meta information about the ebook (along with the reading order) would allow automatic creation of these other files and then the packaging into a Zip archive. Of course, the use of either an ISBN, a UUID or some other identifier would also have to be handled and perhaps generated.

BTW, you can break up the ebook into multiple chapters/sections and in fact, this is recommended. You could use one large XHTML file for the entire book, but this may not render (or page) as fast. If one file is used, you could still provide the navigation points (navpoints) needed by using bookmarks inside the document, instead of linking to separate files.

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Old 10-31-2007, 05:53 PM   #9
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(and IIRC an epub validator is on the way)
Where did you hear about a validator? I have been suggesting this myself, but haven't heard any news about someone (IDPF maybe?) doing it.
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Old 10-31-2007, 05:58 PM   #10
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The extensions to the current libprs500 that kovidgoyal mentioned should more than meet my needs for epub publishing tools for the near future. I will keep a look out for it.
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Old 10-31-2007, 07:52 PM   #11
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Quote:
Originally Posted by kovidgoyal View Post
I will be writing LRF->epub, txt(with lightweight markup)->epub, rtf->epub and of course plain html to epub.

The creation tools will have the ability to specify metadata and a table of contents and will of course attempt to automatically detect metadata and semantic information where possible.

These converters will leverage all the exisiting tools/infrastructure in libprs500
Can we get epub > LRF?
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Old 10-31-2007, 08:10 PM   #12
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Here is a link to a epub construction document.
http://www.hxa7241.org/articles/cont...7241_2007.html

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Old 10-31-2007, 08:31 PM   #13
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Sure i doubt epub to lrf will be feature complete, since LRF supports only a subset of the epub features, but basically yeah.
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Old 10-31-2007, 08:31 PM   #14
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Here is a link to a epub construction document.
http://www.hxa7241.org/articles/cont...7241_2007.html

Dale
Yes, That article is very helpful. Another, more recent article can be found here: http://www.teleread.org/blog/?p=7442

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Old 10-31-2007, 09:55 PM   #15
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Of course, if the 505 does get epub support, we won't need epub to LRF.
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