Ming the Mechanic:
Writing books in HTML/CSS

The NewsLog of Flemming Funch
 Writing books in HTML/CSS2007-02-24 14:20
by Flemming Funch

"Opera CTO Håkon Wium Lie hit back today at Microsoft's push to fast track Office Open XML into an ISO standard, in a
blistering article on CNET. He also took a swipe at Open Document Format: 'I'm no fan of either specification. Both are basically memory dumps with angle brackets around them. If forced to choose one, I'd pick the 700-page specification (ODF) over the 6,000-page specification (OOXML). But I think there is a better way.' The better way being the existing universally understood standards of HTML and CSS. Putting this to the test, Håkon has published a book using HTML and CSS."
Just posting this to remember the thing about making books in HTML and CSS, which actually seems to be quite possible, and probably a better idea than those horrendous document formats.

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7 Mar 2007 @ 00:51 by David Ing @ : Books are easier in Drupal
I've been working with two co-authors on a book using Dokuwiki. The younger co-author adapted to it pretty quickly, but the older one couldn't get the knack.

We're now moving over to using the Book module on Drupal. This might seem extreme, because it would seem that writing HTML is more difficult than wiki markup ... except that the older co-author goes back to green screen days, and is used to writing markup of that style. It's not far from GML to XHTML!

The real cincher, though, is that there's WYSIWYG support in Drupal. I was using TinyMCE, which worked okay, but likes to mush the source together, making it unreadable. I've now switched to FCKeditor, which has the nice feature of opening in a subwindow, giving the full screen for WYSIWYG editing. After 20 minutes of trying to make TinyMCE not format the source text, I switched to FCKeditor immediately ... because it does the text cleanly.

I'm also finding the hierarchical structure in the Drupal book module to be helpful. Dokuwiki would put headers on the side ... but it leads to having one very long page per chapter, and then we're always flipping between chapters.

A few years back, I had tried writing a book using Amaya. What a mistake. Spending time correcting browser-specific issues is a real waste!  

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