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Re: EPUB-Experiences making them?

for

From: Alastair Campbell
Date: Dec 5, 2014 3:47AM


Duff Johnson wrote:

> Don’t author tables, lists, paragraphs, etc that span pages. Unlike PDF,
> EPUB has (so far as I am aware, happy to be corrected) no means of
> associating semantic structures that span multiple pages.
>

I'm fairly sure that is not the case, although it depends on how you author
it, and how you read it.

I've authored all of one epub so far [1], and I started by creating a basic
HTML website, with headings, paragraphs, images, links, and tables. The
core format is based on XHTML, with many peculiarities. Once I'd packaged
an epub, I used Calibre to finish it and create a .mobi version.

I think some of the confusion comes from the tools, which vary in how they
deal with things. For example, InDesign would (I assume) lead you to a more
page-oriented approach, and iBooks author definitely does. InDesign allows
for structure, iBooks author doesn't even do headings as far as I can tell.

On the client side, I found some annoying differences between iBooks and
Kindle apps, where iBooks skips alt text, and Kindle doesn't announce
headings. Something I did in the CSS that works fine for websites seemed to
fix the textsize in iBooks (but not Kindle).

The core format (XHTML) obviously supports the basics, but the current
user-agent support is all over the place, just from a bit of testing.

The accessible epub book someone mentioned was helpful, but it was the
basic "how do you package an epub" that is really fiddly. Calibre is very
helpful if you've taken the hand-coding approach.

Cheers,

-Alastair

1] http://www.nomensa.com/insights/improving-travel-website-accessibility