DAISY book format

T. Joseph CARTER knghtbrd at bluecherry.net
Thu Dec 1 22:06:11 UTC 2005

Janina Sajka wrote:
> No, I'm not aware of a primer on how to markup DAISY. I'm afraid you
> need to delve into the specs.

*gulp*  Hopefully it's less insane than the HTML specs at this point.

More from Janina:
> Are you comfortable with HTML at least? If so, I would go at itas
> follows:

Yeah, as I said I write my XHTML in vim, the hard way, because it's not
really that hard to do.  I still use tables for layout, so I'm technically
using XHTML Transitional, but I'll spare you the rant as to precisely how
CSS mandates broken behavior.  *grin*

> Let me ask this--What are you going to use to "play" this file?

The best choice right now is probably daisy_player, since it actually will
take a text ebook and feed it to Lynx.  My long-term plan is to produce a
module for my big PDA project called Epic that will put the text ebook
into the same format as is used by Tangle.  Tangle is a WAP/web browser
component for the same project that turns HTML into something not unlike
the binary format used by Plucker, a sortof offline web browser and book
reader for Palm PDAs.  In fact, while Tangle is still very immature, I am
using a modified version of Plucker Distiller to produce Tangle output
files to use with Scrawl's buffers.

Think of the whole thing as emacspeak without the elisp and designed for a
PDA where you won't be able to tie your fingers in knots with Escape Meta
Alt Control Shift key combinations.  *grin*

> Or, are you expecting you will also record audio and sync it to the XML
> markup? That would be fairly non trivial except in a pretty coarse way,
> by hand.

I wouldn't even try.  I just recently got handed a bunch of plain text
extracted carefully from PDFs that needs to be edited by hand to clean up
after it having been typeset.  There's just enough of it I would like to
restore the hyperlinks, particularly the index.  I could HTMLify the whole
mess in a semi-automatic way since the typesetting is somewhat predictable
manner, but it seems like HTML is the wrong tool for the job.

As it happens, sooner or later I have to learn something about the format
so that Epic can become more than a page in a design notebook.  In a lot
of ways, Epic should be easier to write than Tangle.  That's my current
theory, anyway.

Thanks for the link to the perl stuff.  Between that and daisy_reader, I
think  may have what I need.  *smile*

"We are what we repeatedly do.  Excellence, therefore, is not an act,
but a habit."
	-- Aristotle

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