[IAEP] [FM Discuss] Enhancements for BookType

James Simmons nicestep at gmail.com
Tue Feb 14 17:34:11 EST 2012


One advantage OLPC and Sugar has is that we use WebKit to read EPUBs.
Among other things that means that we have better support for HTML and
style sheets than the Nook and the Kindle do, so EPUB format books
from Project Gutenberg, which often look badly formatted on the Kindle
render beautifully in the Read Activity.  We can also use JavaScript
in our EPUBs, which the Nook, Kindle, etc. do not support.

The "cover" image of my book "E-Book Enlightenment" shows that book
being read in the Read Activity:


Note the beautiful drop caps and the correctly aligned image at the
top of the page.  You can't get that on a Kindle!  In fact those same
images look so awful on the Kindle that I was forced to remove them.

As for JavaScript, Sayamindu Dasgupta experimented with that and wrote
about it on his blog a long time ago.  While OBJAVI routinely strips
out style information from your pages before printing them (to avoid
interfering with the printing style sheet you specify) it may leave
JavaScript alone.

Running Python code in a web page would require a specialized
Activity.  Maybe you could make a combination of Read that only did
EPUBs.  You would have a horizontal divider.  In the upper pane you
would have WebKit and in the lower a Python interpreter.  When you
click on a .py link in WebKit code would be loaded into the lower

Not that I'm volunteering to write such a thing, you understand.

James Simmons

On Tue, Feb 14, 2012 at 3:53 PM, Edward Mokurai Cherlin
<mokurai at sugarlabs.org> wrote:
> How are we doing on language support in BookType? I have requirements
> coming up in about a hundred languages in most modern writing systems.
> Even Mongolian, which is not yet properly supported anywhere, so we
> have to use the Cyrillic version for now. Spanish is the highest
> priority.
> My main feature request is the ability to embed software into
> documents, so that Sugar Labs can integrate Sugar and other education
> software into textbooks. It appears to me that integrating software
> into a manual about that software would open up a lot of helpful
> possibilities for FM as well. What options are there for running
> software from a Web page (strong), or a PDF (weak, I believe), or any
> other e-book format (umm...)? I realize that we can't run software in
> a printed book, but I don't care very much. The essence of the
> Replacing Textbooks program is that XOs and other computers with Free
> Software and Creative Commons content cost less than printed
> textbooks, a major consideration for our target countries.
> I need an admin manual. Although our server admin Stefan can install
> and configure booki or BookType, he needs me to be able to take care
> of day-to-day management. Right now I want to know why I get all sorts
> of display oddities while editing, including obvious errors in
> generating HTML, but I get completely different oddities in the read
> view (such as all paragraphs centered). I see nothing in the CSS to
> account for this.
> Also, I can't generate PDFs at all on booki.treehouse.su. It says
> Your books [sic] is being sent to Objavi (Booki's publishing engine),
> converted to book formated pdf.
> Then the progress bar completes and nothing else happens.
> The Django in our booki instance keeps crashing, requiring me to do a
> manual restart.
> http://wiki.sugarlabs.org/go/Machine/booki#known_problems
> I see that my bug about warning the user against closing a session
> without saving changes has been fixed on booki.cc, but not pushed to
> the depository, nor deployed on flossmanuals.net. I need this for
> booki.treehouse.su ASAP.
> http://booki-dev.flossmanuals.net/ticket/570
> --
> Edward Mokurai (默雷/धर्ममेघशब्दगर्ज/دھرممیگھشبدگر ج) Cherlin
> Silent Thunder is my name, and Children are my nation.
> The Cosmos is my dwelling place, the Truth my destination.
> http://wiki.sugarlabs.org/go/Replacing_Textbooks
> _______________________________________________
> Discuss mailing list
> Discuss at lists.flossmanuals.net
> http://lists.flossmanuals.net/listinfo.cgi/discuss-flossmanuals.net

More information about the IAEP mailing list