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FYI...

Lulu.com has converted our "Getting Started with LibreOffice 3" book
to ePub format. I finally got around to downloading the ePub to see
what it looked like. (For newcomers to this list: printed copies of
the LibO user guides are made available through Lulu.com.)

The good news is that the ePub is not nearly as bad as I expected from
my own trial conversions of OOo books over a year ago; the text is
readable and the figures are in place and sized reasonably.

There is a lot of bad news, however. First, the layout has suffered.
For example, the Tip/Note/Caution tables look both wrong and silly (a
box with the Tip/Note/Caution words as a sort of heading, then a big
gap, and then the text). Another example: The bullets and numbers on
lists are offset into what would be the left-hand margin, but there
really isn't a margin on the left, so they fall off the edge of the
"page". At some magnifications, two "columns" or "pages" appear
side-by-side, so numbers and bullets on lists in the right-hand column
are visible. There are other conspicuous problems as well. Most or all
can probably be solved by making some changes in our styles and
template, if we decide that's worth doing at some point in the future
-- and when someone works out what needs to be done.

Another problem is that Lulu is using a form of DRM that requires use
of Adobe Digital Reader to download the ePub from Lulu's website, and
they didn't tell me that until after I had purchased the book. I
object to this in principle, especially given the CC-BY license on the
books, and the fact that ADR apparently doesn't run on Linux. I may
pull the ePub from Lulu because of that, and try producing our own
(DRM-free) ePubs for distribution through our own website.

The Adobe website says that one can move (copy?) ePubs from ADR to
various ebook readers, including iPads, but I haven't attempted to do
that yet.

--Jean

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