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Re: Agenda for next Texinfo release [EPUB3]

From: Per Bothner
Subject: Re: Agenda for next Texinfo release [EPUB3]
Date: Tue, 12 Jan 2021 14:33:07 -0800
User-agent: Mozilla/5.0 (X11; Linux x86_64; rv:78.0) Gecko/20100101 Thunderbird/78.6.0

An item which is longer-term than the "next" release, but
I think a good goal would be the ability to generate e-books
in EPUB3 format.  As I understand it, that would be xhtml
files with some extra index files combined in a .zip archive.
The TexInfo project is about creating e-books (with a focus
on Free technical documentation), and EPUB is the primary modern
Free e-book format.

The Kawa manual is built in EPUB format, by going via DocBook.
It would be nice to drop the need for the docbook tools.
It may not make sense for texinfo to build the epub archive
directly, but at least the goal should be to create the [x]html
files ready for a suitable tool to bundle them into an epub archive.

I haven't looked closely at what would be needed.  A small
issue is making sure the generated html is xml-compatible.
There may also be structural conventions. In addition suitable
index files must be generated, but external tools might be available.
Perhaps a good project for a volunteer or a Google Summer of Code student.

Note this has nice synergy with the js-info tools: Including
the js-into files in an epub archive allows the manual to
be read by "any browser" (assuming a server that can serve
from a zip archive or a browser than can handle jar: URLs).
        --Per Bothner
per@bothner.com   http://per.bothner.com/

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