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Old 12-01-2018, 12:51 PM   #1
Chaihana Joe
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Skeleton CSS

One would think that, somewhere out there, somebody would have posted an elegant barebones ePub CSS file for novice book designers to base their work on. Try as I might, though, I haven't been able to find one.

Can anyone point me to such a thing? I'm looking for a minimal approach - maybe a hundred lines of code, max. I don't care if not every eventuality is catered for, in fact I'd see working under the constraints of something so simple to be a good discipline.

I would be looking for something that worked pretty much universally across platforms.

TIA
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Old 12-01-2018, 02:11 PM   #2
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Chaihana Joe View Post
I would be looking for something that worked pretty much universally across platforms.
And therein lies the problem. If such a unicorn existed, you'd have no difficulty finding it. Because everyone would be using it. But it doesn't exist. There is no one-size-fits-all solution. Concessions must be made, and platform-specific exemptions and special cases must be accounted for (ever-changing exemptions and special cases, no less). The book content itself often dictates wide variances as well.

Every ebook designer seems to eventually come up with something that works reasonably well for most of their own needs, but as a result, the same css doesn't often lend itself well to anyone else's personal ebook coding/naming practices.
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Old 12-01-2018, 02:18 PM   #3
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Well you might look in our wiki along with 19,000 other people. CSS template. There are several articles such as CSS and it point to others.

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Old 12-01-2018, 02:37 PM   #4
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or google "github epub template"?
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Old 12-01-2018, 03:08 PM   #5
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Well you might look in our wiki along with 19,000 other people. CSS template. There are several articles such as CSS and it point to others.

Dale
Very useful, thank you. I haven't been seeing wiki.mobileread. pages coming up in my Google searches.
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Old 12-01-2018, 04:07 PM   #6
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Old 12-02-2018, 12:52 AM   #7
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Quote:
Originally Posted by DiapDealer View Post
Every ebook designer seems to eventually come up with something that works reasonably well for most of their own needs, but as a result, the same css doesn't often lend itself well to anyone else's personal ebook coding/naming practices.
Or you end with the stylesheets used by some publishing houses with so many special case entries that the file becomes unreadable and difficult to maintain.
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Old 12-02-2018, 01:16 AM   #8
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Quote:
One would think that, somewhere out there, somebody would have posted an elegant barebones ePub CSS file for novice book designers to base their work on. Try as I might, though, I haven't been able to find one.
There's a CSS sheet in every single published ePUB, right? Why not start there? Or, as others have pointed out, the Wiki here. OR, one of the thousands of ePUBs published here. That's how pretty much everyone here, and everyone in the business, learned.

Quote:
Can anyone point me to such a thing? I'm looking for a minimal approach - maybe a hundred lines of code, max. I don't care if not every eventuality is catered for, in fact I'd see working under the constraints of something so simple to be a good discipline.
Well, unless you're talking about the world's simplest ePUB, it's going to be more than 100lines of code. You might also look for a Wayback Machine copy of the CSS Zen Garden, which had LOTS of CSS for a variety of ePUBs, and the developers of that cheerfully made it available for public consumption. You could also spend a few bucks and buy Liz Castro's "ePUB: Straight to the Point," which, while a teeny bit dated now, has all the essentials for learning the fundies of ePUB-building.

Quote:
I would be looking for something that worked pretty much universally across platforms.
As DiapDealer explained, that's a Grail Quest--and really, it's more than that, you're Quixotically tilting at windmills. No such thing exists, because the retailers and device-makers and those who just HADDA make a new ePUB reader all created different readers, that respond differently to CSS. Apple's pretty big on ignoring the standards, and some of the nine bajillion software readers out there either completely ignore the CSS, or allow the end user to override it. Welcome to the joys of eBookmaking!

Unasked-for-comment: if you plan to use your ePUB for Kindle-building, don't use the Blitz CSS. You need a lot more experience under your belt to understand what's happening with all the inheritance functionality in that, and a lot of it will not work for MOBI and it certainly won't for KF7.

Paul (BBeBooks) does a very nice job, and his is likely the closest to what you'll want. I've worked with him and respect his work.

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Old 12-03-2018, 10:05 AM   #9
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EPUB is not a semantic format, so it is unlikely it could be created. For example, it doesn't even require you to make a book of paragraphs: DIVs can be used instead just fine. The format doesn't allow for book-specific metadata, footnotes, chapter headers (!!), proper illustrations, etc.
If there were a sematic XML-based format, we would have dozens of such templates/themes, like some proprietary book readers have.
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Old 12-03-2018, 01:27 PM   #10
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You are welcome to use or adapt mine:

https://notjohnkdp.blogspot.com/2013...yle-sheet.html
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Old 12-03-2018, 04:37 PM   #11
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You are welcome to use or adapt mine:

https://notjohnkdp.blogspot.com/2013...yle-sheet.html
Exactly what I was after. Thank you, NJ.
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