[NTG-context] EPUB workflow from ConTeXt source?

Daniel Lyons fusion at storytotell.org
Thu Feb 17 09:10:42 CET 2011

On Feb 17, 2011, at 12:59 AM, Hans Hagen wrote:

> On 17-2-2011 8:14, Gerben Wierda wrote:
>> On 16 Feb 2011, at 17:47, Wolfgang Schuster wrote:
>>> Am 16.02.2011 um 17:42 schrieb Gerben.Wierda at rna.nl:
>>>> I'd like to keep working in one format so I was wondering if there is a
>>>> ConTeXt based workflow/setup that can produce EPUB (next to normal PDF)?
>>> With MkIV you can get a xml version of document with \setupbackend[export=yes].
>> But that XML is not ePUB's XML, I assume.
> no, but one can of course convert one kind of xml into another
> for epub one has to provice css etc anyway (and epub is not much more than packaged html + css)

This would also be useful to me. In my experience, the unpleasant part of generating ePub is making correctly formatted manifests and putting them in the right places inside the right kinds of zip files. If ConTeXt could do this for me, it would certainly make life easier. On the other hand, it may not be appropriate to bother because there are other tools that will convert HTML to ePub for you and make the manifests (Calibre, for example). 

I consider CSS intractable so that's not something I would worry about ConTeXt generating for me, if it were on the table.

> going the other way around, processing an epub file also demands some handywork as the source code is not by definition well structured

ePub is definitely structured. I would say too structured, since it makes you provide both a ToC manifest and a navigation manifest that necessarily must include almost identical information ;) Of course, depending on a simplified browser for your document viewing and having lots of secret failover modes to handle poorly formatted documents makes the structure less meaningful than it ought to be.

You are free to break your document into as many HTML chunks as you wish, but you are limited to fairly prosaic HTML and CSS. I'm of the impression the HTML documents generally map onto chapters so as not to distress the hardware's memory constraints too much.

Overall, ePub and Kindle's format strike me as too much and too little respectively. I should be able to change the font and the formatting, but I definitely consider HTML + CSS is too much complexity.

Daniel Lyons

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