[IAEP] [support-gang] ebooks

James Simmons nicestep at gmail.com
Wed Apr 7 11:05:46 EDT 2010


I am finishing up a book "Make Your Own Sugar Activities!" on FLOSS Manuals
(http://flossmanuals.net) and I was thinking about perhaps starting a new
one on the subject you mention.  When I first mentioned the idea of "Make
Your Own Sugar Activities!" a lot of people thought it was a good idea, but
when I mention the idea of a book on getting the most out of Sugar as a
Reading platform not so much.  But your email convinces me it would be a
good idea.

Sugar is already a decent reading platform with tools to search through over
a million free e-books, which is terrific if you speak English, not so good
for others.  Books in other languages exist on Internet Archive and Project
Gutenberg, but there aren't nearly as many.  Books with pictures for small
children are scarce in any language.  For this reason any book on Sugar as a
reading platform needs content on creating e-books as well as reading them.

My thought is such a FLOSS Manual would need chapters on the following:

1).  Book formats supported, advantages and disadvantages.

a). PDF
b). DJVU
c). Plain Text
d). EPub
e). CBZ (Comic books)

2). Sources of free e-books

a). PG
b). IA
c). etc.

4). Sugar Activities For Reading

a). Get Books
b). Get Internet Archive Books
c). Read
d). Read Etexts
e). View Slides
f). Info Slicer

5). Making Your Own E-books

a). Making PDF's and Plain Text with Open Office
b). Making PDF's, CBZ's and DJVU's out of scanned book page images
c). etc.

I see this as a manual which could be translated into many languages rather
than a set of Wiki entries.  FLOSS Manuals is actually much like a Wiki, but
more structured.  When you're done with it you have a website, a PDF, and
possibly a bound and printed book.

One thing I read in your blog posts was you had difficulty downloading PDF's
because they are zipped up.  My own Activity Read Etexts will read plain
text files stored in Zip files.  It would not be difficult to modify Read to
handle PDF's in Zip files.  Perhaps Sayamindu Dasgupta could be persuaded to
do this.  Another alternative is to download the Zips to the Journal, use
the Journal Activity to copy them to a thumb drive, then use the Terminal
Activity to unzip them from the command line.  You would then copy the PDFs
back to the Journal using the Journal Activity.

James Simmons

On Tue, Apr 6, 2010 at 8:10 PM, Marina <verhovzeva at yahoo.com> wrote:

>   Warm greetings from Vietnam,
> After three months of working on XOs in Saigon, I found out that it is not
> easy to find and download ebooks in local language. If there are free books
> available online, they are not easy to find, and then the books are not easy
> to open (there are many different formats). Feel all my pain here:
> http://saigonolpc.wordpress.com/2010/03/14/class-thirteen-scratch-and-more/
> http://saigonolpc.wordpress.com/2010/03/24/class-seventeen-glass-is-half-full/
> One good website for free Viet books is
> http://ebook.vietnamwebsite.net/index.php
> Adam and all,
> why don't we find several subject matter experts to present the following:
> - variety of ebook formats,
> - what software to use to open the files,
> - how to find books quickly in different languages
> - latest news about epub
> - all other possible helpful info related to ebooks...
>  It will be helpful to all local and international teams. I think there is
> a lot of potential in digital literature as 1000 paper books can not travel
> where 1000 digital books can :)
> Thank you,
> Marina.
> PS we will see more of this
> http://www.amazon.com/Boy-Who-Harnessed-Wind-Electricity/dp/0061730327
> _______________________________________________
> support-gang mailing list
> support-gang at lists.laptop.org
> http://lists.laptop.org/listinfo/support-gang
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