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Old 10-28-2009, 08:17 AM   #1
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HTML and CSS for Dummies

Can anyone suggest good ebooks for beginners to learn HTML and CSS. I am sure these will be useful to many new Sigil users.

I last used HTML about 10 years ago and things have moved on a lot since then, so I classify myself as a beginner again.
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Old 10-28-2009, 08:43 AM   #2
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It doesn't appear to be available as an e-book, but I'd recommend this one. Note, however, that a new edition will be released in early December, so you might want to wait for that.
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Old 10-30-2009, 06:03 PM   #3
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Can anyone suggest good ebooks for beginners to learn HTML and CSS. I am sure these will be useful to many new Sigil users.

I last used HTML about 10 years ago and things have moved on a lot since then, so I classify myself as a beginner again.
Do you mean you cannot use Sigil without all this tech knowledge? Is not it as simple as using Book Designer?
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Old 10-30-2009, 06:11 PM   #4
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You can use Sigil without ever looking at the code behind the text. But since it's still only an early alpha, there will be many things that you won't be able to do without the code view. (e.g. drop caps).

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Do you mean you cannot use Sigil without all this tech knowledge? Is not it as simple as using Book Designer?
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Old 10-30-2009, 06:20 PM   #5
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OK. Then I should wait.
I like a total freedom in what I can do with text in ebook with many nice features like in BD.
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Old 10-30-2009, 06:59 PM   #6
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You can use Sigil without ever looking at the code behind the text. But since it's still only an early alpha, there will be many things that you won't be able to do without the code view. (e.g. drop caps).
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OK. Then I should wait.
I like a total freedom in what I can do with text in ebook with many nice features like in BD.
As pdurrant said, it's still early.

The development plan goes something like this:

1. Bugs. Bugs always come first. The faster I can fix them, the better. Some complicated bugs that depend on heavy architectural changes usually have to wait.
2. Get the 0.2.0 redesign done. This will take time, but will fix some massive problems and provide a foundation for a lot of great features.
3. Get RTF import working. Should be fairly straightforward.
4. Get the next "major format" import working. Haven't yet decided what that will be. Probably mobi, but I'm interested in what others think. I'm looking for the ebook format with the broadest user base.
5. Start improving the WYSIWYG experience. This is what you are referring to.

This is purely a general framework of how I imagine things will develop. Many smaller improvements planned are not listed.

The reason why WYSIWYG improvements are not at the top is because you can still work with the Code View if you know HTML and CSS. Currently you cannot import RTF no matter what you do. So the things you can work around get lower priority.

Basically it's triage. There are a lot of important things to work on, but some are more critical than others.
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Old 10-30-2009, 07:05 PM   #7
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As pdurrant said, it's still early.

Basically it's triage. There are a lot of important things to work on, but some are more critical than others.
Please, don't get me wrong. I am not saying it is your fault or anything like that. What you are doing is a fantastic project. I am sure BD was not coded in one day. I am just too stupid and at the same control freak, so I must wait. But it is my problem.
Thanks for coding Sigil!
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Old 10-31-2009, 05:53 AM   #8
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Assuming by saying ebook you're ruling out PDF, I'd suggest that Mobipocket is the next most common.

There's no point in looking at LRF - Sony seems to be moving away from that format. Microsoft .LIT also seems to have died (although it's probably one of the easier ones to convert from.) The only other contender is Fictionwise's eReader .pdb format. That might be an interesting one.

I wonder if anything can be used from the Calibre code base? Perhaps not - IIRC, Calibre is all in Python, and Sigil is all C++.



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4. Get the next "major format" import working. Haven't yet decided what that will be. Probably mobi, but I'm interested in what others think. I'm looking for the ebook format with the broadest user base.
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Old 10-31-2009, 11:46 AM   #9
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Assuming by saying ebook you're ruling out PDF, I'd suggest that Mobipocket is the next most common
Ideal ebook format is LRF for me.
Reflowable, very good looking, bugless performance, instantaneous response times, such as changing font size, turning a page, going to menu, etc., on my Sony Reader PRS-505.
What is equally important about LRF it is easy to make with Book Designer, where I can mark parts of the text as epigraph, verse, bold, italic, different font type, titles. I can do all of this without any technical knowledge about codding. Just learning how to use the s/w package.

PDF cannot compete with it. It is not reflowable, thus I cannot change font size and retain the same layout.

I realise that LRF will be gone and replaced by epub, all I can do is hope that one day there will be a tool similar to Book Designer for creating epubs. Although, I would not use epub today anyway because Sony Readers do not support full justification and right handed ragged ends drive me crazy, even more than meaningless page numbers in the middle of the text (I know that they are meaningful, but I don't see any use for them in my current Sony Reader.)

Last edited by astra; 10-31-2009 at 11:50 AM.
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Old 10-31-2009, 01:28 PM   #10
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Assuming by saying ebook you're ruling out PDF, I'd suggest that Mobipocket is the next most common.
Yeah, Mobipocket is the current favorite.

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There's no point in looking at LRF - Sony seems to be moving away from that format. Microsoft .LIT also seems to have died (although it's probably one of the easier ones to convert from.) The only other contender is Fictionwise's eReader .pdb format. That might be an interesting one.
LIT is pretty much dead, I agree. I'm guessing PDB will become even more interesting once the Nook launches.

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I wonder if anything can be used from the Calibre code base? Perhaps not - IIRC, Calibre is all in Python, and Sigil is all C++.
As you said, different languages are used so no code reuse. But I might take a look at the algorithms in calibre to see how Kovid goes about things. It's actually been two years since the last time I looked at calibre's source code.

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Ideal ebook format is LRF for me.
LRF is peculiar. Sony certainly seems to be abandoning it, but there are a lot of books in that format... with DRM (as LRX). Since no one has figured out how to strip that DRM and make a normal LRF out of a LRX, all those LRX files are basically gone. You can't convert DRMed files.

So the LRF files out there are usually those that have been converted from something else by the users themselves.

Of course, most of these will be added some time, the question is which to add first.

Last edited by Valloric; 10-31-2009 at 03:38 PM. Reason: typo
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Old 10-31-2009, 04:18 PM   #11
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Perhaps it would be better to develop the methods and interface to allow other people to do the import code. This would free you up to do the internal stuff. Doing RTF does allow you to figure out what the interface needs in order to support this idea.

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Old 10-31-2009, 04:51 PM   #12
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Perhaps it would be better to develop the methods and interface to allow other people to do the import code. This would free you up to do the internal stuff. Doing RTF does allow you to figure out what the interface needs in order to support this idea.
Yes Dale, developing the RTF import will also include creating an importer plugin system with Qt plugins. That's been the idea all along. I'll also be switching the current SGF, HTML and EPUB importers to plugins.

Writing them so that they can be dynamically loaded into Sigil should be fairly straightforward. You can get an overview of how Qt plugins work here.
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Old 11-02-2009, 01:28 PM   #13
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Can anyone suggest good ebooks for beginners to learn HTML and CSS. I am sure these will be useful to many new Sigil users.
Getting back to the original question, I had learned HTML back in the early days, but recently re-taught myself HTML 4.0 and CSS using the tutorials here:

http://www.w3schools.com/

Quick and painless, but still close to comprehensive. There are also tutorials for Javascript, X(HT)ML, and PHP and others. Not a book, but a nice resource, and completely free.
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Old 11-03-2009, 09:05 AM   #14
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Getting back to the original question, I had learned HTML back in the early days, but recently re-taught myself HTML 4.0 and CSS using the tutorials here:

http://www.w3schools.com/

Quick and painless, but still close to comprehensive. There are also tutorials for Javascript, X(HT)ML, and PHP and others. Not a book, but a nice resource, and completely free.
I agree the w3school.com is a good resource - hopefully kept more to date than a paper-version of the coding would be....
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Old 11-05-2009, 08:31 AM   #15
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Thanks for the tips guys, and the nice excursion into the programing mind behind the project.
While experimenting I found the need for a find and replace, or at least find function while editing which seems to be missing.
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