Sausage & Laws; or, Making P+E books with CSS & HTML
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Sausage & Laws; or, Making P+E books with CSS & HTML

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A talk at Books in Browsers 2013, about making print books (& ebooks) with HTML & CSS using PressBooks.

A talk at Books in Browsers 2013, about making print books (& ebooks) with HTML & CSS using PressBooks.

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    Sausage & Laws; or, Making P+E books with CSS & HTML Sausage & Laws; or, Making P+E books with CSS & HTML Presentation Transcript

    • Sausage & Laws
    • or...
    • In the trenches building print books & ebooks using HTML + CSS
    • @hughmguire @pressbooks pressbooks.com
    • PressBooks is a: content management system & export system for books.
    • Input your book once, we output: * * * * * PDF (typeset) EPUB (for iBooks, Nook etc) MOBI (for Kindle) Web other XML
    • For every book, customizable template ebook & PDF output: ibooks kindle print (pdf)
    • Some things that I think are really interesting about PressBooks:
    • 1. All PressBooks books have a native web version, out of the box.
    • (publishers, authors and readers don’t care)
    • 2. PressBooks is open source.
    • (publishers, authors and readers don’t care)
    • 3. With an online system like PressBooks it’s easy to make an API for books.
    • (publishers, authors and readers don’t care)
    • except...
    • 4. PressBooks is a single-source book production system that produces PDF, EPUB & MOBI...
    • !!interesting!!
    • publishers, authors want to hear more!! (readers don’t care)
    • ... using HTML + CSS!!
    • (publishers, authors and readers don’t care)
    • Conclusion:
    • Publishers and authors are interested in ways to: a) save money b) make money
    • "If you like laws and sausages, you should never watch either one being made." -- (mis)attributed to Otto van Bismarck
    • A couple of PDFs built with CSS + HTML
    • Another one...
    • The Power of Stylesheets & a CMS
    • The Catch.
    • CSS doesn’t handle fine-tuned typography vey well.
    • ... widows ... orphans ... bottom-balancing(!) ... bad breaks ... flowing text around strange stuff.
    • ... widows & orphans can be controlled with: p { widows: 2; orphans: 2; }
    • ... but the penalty is bad bottom-balancing:
    • .loose { letter-spacing: 0.25px; word-spacing: 0.075em; }
    • .tight { letter-spacing: -0.25px; word-spacing: -0.075em; }
    • If the W3C (et al) can figure out how to solve/address bottom-balancing with CSS... CSS will become an obvious choice for typesetting print/pages.
    • It might happen anyway.
    • @hughmguire @pressbooks pressbooks.com