Tagged: ereader

New Aladore EPUB!

If you have been following along, all that prototyping, testing, and tweaking eventually brings us to a NEW Aladore EPUB! I am calling it DigitalAladore1.0, because there might be some more versions to come (for example conversion to epub3 standard)…

This is an EPUB2 file which should render well on dedicated e-ink readers for a high quality reading experience. The text is much better than the auto-generated editions I encountered at the beginning of this project (here is one of the source editions on Internet Archive with a crummy PDF and epub available). We have done a lot of work to go beyond the first Digital Aladore draft edition. The images are nicer, the underlying mark up is sensible, the metadata is complete, and the epub package is put together correctly. And we did it all with Free software.

This is a major milestone for Digital Aladore, but I still have more to say (of course).  For example, I uploaded the new epub to Internet Archive, which I think is an amazing resource: we need to talk more about free distribution and the public domain. Lets save it for another day! For now:

DigitalAladore 1.0: Aladore, by Henry Newbolt (1914), https://archive.org/details/AladoreHenryNewbolt

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HR issues

Iterative user testing of the ebook styling pointed out a few more flaws that needed to be ironed out.  Basically, after the steps outlined in the last few posts, things looked great in Readium, but dedicated reading devices have some frustrating rendering limitations that I want to work around.

For example, check out the first page of Aladore:

aladoren00newbuoft_0021I recreated the cute little line below the title with a <hr> with this CSS styling {width: 5em; border-width: 0.1em; margin-top: 2em; text-align: center;}.  This looks pretty good on Readium:

page1However, no other reading app seems to support text-align: center for <hr>, resulting in a silly looking short horizontal rule aligned on the left side of the screen. There are two other <hr> in the book, under the contents and illustrations in the TOC, which look equally ridiculous. So, the options are to 1) leave the nicely styled horizontal rule and let it look stupid on older devices, 2) delete the hr completely, or 3) remove centering and length from the hr styling. I decided to go with option 3 in the TOC and option 2 for Chapter 1, even though its not entirely satisfying.

As we have found throughout Digital Aladore, sometimes practicality overrides other design ideals…