The Publishing Project

XML workflows: Introduction

One of the biggest limitations of markup languages, in my opinion, is how confining they are. Even large vocabularies like Docbook have limited functionality out of the box. HTML4 is non-extensible and HTML5 limits how you can extend it (web components are the only way to extend HTML5 I’m aware of that doesn’t need an update to the HTML specification.) By creating our own markup vocabulary we can be as expressive as we need without adding complexity for writers and users and without adding unnecessary complexity for the developers building the tools to interact with the markup. Why create our

Creating a Github publishing workflow

Lord of the Files: How GitHub Tamed Free Software (And More) was an article first published in Wired in February of 2012. It was an interesting article about a company which work I value enough to pay for the service. The article itself wasn’t what caught my attention. It was the Github repository that Wired created to go with the article. Their experience highlights a big potential of technology for the publishing process: It makes collaboration at all stages of the process easier. While researching this idea I came across this blog post All this made me think about how

Athena: What an ofline web reading experience may look like

With the latest set of web technologies coming down the W3C/WHATWG pipeline it is now possible to create top-of-the-line responsive experiences that can also work as ofline applications. HTML5 web is more than capable of competing with native applications. Chrome and Windows apps have shown as much capability as native apps, if we let them. What needs to happen now is the developer shift to thinking about the web in terms of application logic rather than the rules we want the web to play by. Athena is a proof of concept for such an application. It uses ServiceWorkers for caching

Video in ePub: Captioning, Storage and Other Thoughts

Note: While I talk primarily about ePub e-books, the same process, markup and scripts apply to a standard web page. After finishing a draft of my fixed layout ePub I went back and researched the accessibility requirements for video on the web and how well supported they are in ePub e-books. I will present both the rationale and coding based on my ePub-based research and the article I wrote for the Web Platform Documentation project Working with video in your ePub book presumes that you’re familiar, if not comfortable, with the process of manually creating an e-book. If you’re

The Trap of CDNs

The problem There is a tricky issue when working with CDN during development. CDN requires an active Internet connection to actually load the script referenced as the source. If you are not online then jQuery will not load the first time you access the page or application and all other scripts will fail as they depend on jQuery (which couldn’t load from the CDN and had not local backup) I first came across this issue when building a site that used carousels and jQuery based animations. I started working on the project while on the train and using the standard