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Old 03-12-2013, 01:17 PM   #1
rplantz
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Best workflow for programming book

I wish to write a book on assembly language programming that will be available in both electronic and print versions. I currently sell one (another computer architecture) on Lulu. I used LaTeX to write the book and learned last year that there is no reasonable way to convert it to epub. So I sell it both in pdf and paperback. (This is a 568-page book. I'm taking on a big project here, so I want to plan carefully.)

One of the big problems with pdf is that this severely limits the market. As far as I know, Lulu is the only place that will sell both paperback and pdf. Amazon, Apple, and Kobo will not accept books in pdf.

It seems like the most universal format for an ebook is xhtml, the basis of epub. The problem, of course, it that epub (on current readers) does not do a good job of supporting math, line drawings, and computer code listings. This means that I would need to "dumb down" the look of these elements in my book.

Has anyone had good luck producing a technical book (math, line drawings, etc.) in epub? If so, what workflow tools did you use? At this point would it be better to simply stay with pdf?

BTW, I do use smaller, uniform (no binding gutter) margins on the pdf version of my current book, which does improve readability on mobile devices. It has the advantage of preserving pagination between the electronic and print versions, thus making it easier for instructors to refer to the book when students have the two different formats.
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Old 03-13-2013, 03:14 AM   #2
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Maybe this will help: Maths and EPUB - best option? But again with the "best"...

The "best" is bullsh*t (see Penn and Teller's Bullshit S03E13).
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Old 03-13-2013, 10:22 AM   #3
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You can try tex4ebook (I am developer). It uses tex4ht to convert LaTeX files to xhtml and then epub or mobi.

Regarding formats, for technical documents is great epub3, which has unfortunately bad support in e-readers, but it supports mathml for math, svg for drawings etc. You can see epub3 sample converted with tex4ebook. For old epub and mobi, it uses png images for math and drawings.

I can help you with the conversion if you want, I need some real world test cases and in case of full book there will be probably need of some customizations.
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