Wednesday, 2 November 2016

follow-up to week 7

This week's lecture slides are now posted on BB. This week the slides were in PowerPoint, not Prezi, so they're available only on BB instead of also being embedded here.

Hope everyone enjoyed our dissection of an EPUB file in our Monday class. Looking at unfamiliar lines of code can be daunting, but your experience with TEI in the encoding challenge should make it easier to make sense of the relatively simple markup that's usually found in ebooks. If you'd like to download some public-domain EPUB files that are free of DRM, there are lots of places to find them on the web, but Project Gutenberg is a good place to start. (And that's probably the only time I'll recommend Project Gutenberg for anything in this course.) For example, you can download a DRM-free version of the 1611 King James Bible, which we've examined in class, from this link: . The PDF standard we looked at briefly can be found here:

One you've saved one of the EPUB files to a local folder, you can rename the file suffix from .epub to .zip and decompress it. (In OSX I find StuffIt Expander works better than the other utilities for some reason.) Decompressing the file should create a new folder that will look a lot like the one we examined in class, and you can poke around using a web browser and text editor. (A good reference to the parts of an EPUB file can be found here: As an alternative to looking at the various EPUB sub-files directly, you can also open the .epub file itself (not the .zip file you created) in an EPUB editor such as Sigil or Calibre.

As an example of forward-thinking book design, I also mentioned Oliver Byrne's 1847 version of the Elements of Euclid (pictured above). You can find it in the library catalogue, along with a link to order a print-on-demand version, here: The same link from the catalogue page will also take you to a downloadable PDF version.

I'll have the next blogging question posted shortly. In the meantime, for those who aren't quite done with Hallowe'en, here's that excellent spooky Tumblr blog that I mentioned in class: . As we'll see when we come back from reading week, some new digital forms are reinventing traditional book-ish formats, including cartoons, but in very subtle ways. This blog is a great example of the subtle use of animation in a cartoon, while also making brilliant use of traditional features like static images and captions.

Hope to see you at the upcoming Toronto Centre for the Book talk this Thursday, which deals with the very relevant topic of public domain: