Docbook, XML and ebooks:Creating eBooks the old fashioned way

One of the most traditional ways to author content for multiple distribution channels is to roll up your sleeves, write XML and then convert it to your target format. For this exercise we will use Docbook. Without going into too much detail, Docbook was initially created in 1991 as a means to create computer software manuals and other technical documentation. Over the years Docbook has evolved into a general purpose XML authoring language. Along with the authoring standard, what structures we can use to author our content, the authors of the Docbook standard have also created a set of stylesheets

Rethinking the future of books

With the introduction of all iPads and other tablet readers we are left with some big question: Are books still relevant? If they are still relevant, how do they need to change? Craig Mod has written and spoken about the future of books and what we can do with books online with the new technologies for both creating the content and financing the production of the content. Craig presented the Do Lecture below in 2011 and it caught my attention for a variety of reasons. How do we leverage the new technologies for books and the new devices we use

Why ePub matters

eBooks are way more than text Currently eBooks are a combination of both images and text… except for the Apple iBook reader. iBook borrowed from the draft ePub 3 specification (or was it the ePub standard group who simply adopted Apple’s technology?) and allowed for the inclusion of audio and video using HTML5 audio and video embedding technologies. As a result of this early adoption ePub-based ebooks for the iPad, iPhone and iPod touch can view embedded audio and video content directly on the device. With the ePub standard now being considered a Proposed Specification (See http://idpf.org/epub3_proposed_spec_released For more information)