Ebooks, WordPress and OpenOffice

by Robert Nagle on 11/18/2006

in General

I was using this page to troubleshoot the wordpress rich text editor. The editor seriously messed up my ebook creation links page. But it’s fixed now.

I really hate the WordPress rich text editor. It really messes up my format, layout and markup. Inserting extra tags, validating and converting ampersands (so you don’t see messy code in the editor). I appreciate the effort to hide messy stuff from users, but I want a good client application, and client applications are more inclined to view raw code.

I’m performing a story tomorrow at the Houston Museum of Natural Science.

Zamzar, the universal file format converter. Sounds cool, haven’t tried it yet. Now if only they could convert contacts and calendaring formats.
Hresumecreator page . It’s based on the hresume microformat . There’s a wordpress plugin for this.

Xoygen editor has a major release. Funny how it’s become the most popular editor these days.

Dotreader is close to releasing its beta software. Here’s a post by founder Marc Carey on creating content for dotreader. How? Create xml/open reader format, or create an odt file and convert. Carey writes:

A recommended solution would be to create your offline content in Open Office, which is already XML-based, or in Word with the dotReader | Thout 1.0 xsd, which will soon be released. We will also be releasing the Thout 1.0 DTD which can be used in other xml authoring tools such as Quanta or Oxygen. Eventually the dotReader will be able to handle multiple formats natively which will allow you to choose your favorite off-line authoring application. We are aware of several groups working on an offline XML/XHTML creation tool but I don’t expect that for some time.

It’s interesting how so many ebook toolchains involve OpenOffice in it. That’s my next project–investigating OpenOffice. There’s really a dearth of good documentation about Openoffice + Ebooks. I may try to rectify that.

To get started authoring in Open Office, check this wiki page . For something more technical about the XML format, check this specification document.

From the dotReader page, I learned about DPP Press. For a fee/percentage, they’ll convert your content to ebooks and distribute/sell. However, you can also upload your own ebook and receive 60% royalties. That sounds like an excellent deal.

Update on proposed SXSW ebook panel. Well, the people have voted; No dice to the panel. But the accepted panels sound cool. Truthfully, about half of them sound like things I’ve already sat through. But others sound cool; I’m particularly looking forward to hearing Henry Jenkins.

SXSW has grown cumbersomely big. Some of the talks are so large that you really can’t interact with panelists. (Yogi Berra said something about that, I think). Last year they had a Barcamp conference in a nearby area, and truthfully, I’m pretty sure I’ll be sharing my wisdom/knowledge at a session there. (By that time, I will know a lot about ebooks!).

Going to this year’s event won’t be that big a deal for me. However, it will be fun to meet people; (hopefully my finances won’t be a wreck by then!). I’m toying with the notion of bringing nothing (not even paper!) with me to the events. Last year I was weighed down with laptops/pda’s, recorders, etc. It was really a pain.

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