ePub

I spent some time this weekend playing around with the ePub format, actually I had a copy of a book of genetic traits sitting around from a previous consulting gig, along with a script designed to turn the ascii text (with some markup, a mixture of Wordstar style tags and XML) into HTML. It took be a few hours to update the HTML into XHTML, generate the various XML files which are required in an ePub package and I had an ebook. Very cool.

If you are interested in this I would strongly recommend reading the Wikipedia article on ePub, along with this post on Bob DuCharme’s weblog about creating epub files, specifically the bits about creating the the zip file itself. You will also need the epubcheck application which proved invaluable in weeding out issues with the eBook (which in my case turned out to be XHTML issues), and you are going to want to download some sort of ebook reader to view your masterpiece. I am on Mac OS X so I tried out Stanza and Adobe Digital Editions. There is a list of ebook readers at the end of the Wikipedia article on ePub.

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