code formating

Wednesday, June 19, 2013

The esence of epub it's HTML

How simple an invaluable do eBooks look, when you can download them from the internet, often weighting less than a Megabyte? The story, content and even knowledge,  it's still there but it lacks matter and as a results it seems temporal, sometimes even cheap or fragile. It's easier to get it and therefore it seems less painful to dispose.

The truth is that still takes the same effort and energy to create the content. However, from the technological point of view, the distribution it's easier and the same medium in which the product is created, can be used for distribution and consumption. That gives as great advantage: Not having to print.

Reality it's always made more cumbersome, and we find lots of different eBook reader devices with very different requirements. The problem here, lies on the second statement of the previous sentence. Many different devices are not a problem on there own. Their required formats usually are on the other hand.

In order to avoid a war on proprietary formats, I am just going to focus on the epub format. This open format, uses essentially HTML as content. Then adds some formatting and content information and zips it all into one file. The essence, it's reuse existing formats, essentially  standing on the shoulders of giants.

This has a tremendous power because anything on the web could potentially be made an eBook very easily. An example of this can be achieved by using the wget tool and calibre software.

1.- Pick any site
2.- wget --mirror --convert-links -nd 'http://url-of-content'
3.- Import that to calibre

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