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Jammrock
14th April 2005, 12:51
Here's the deal. I am currently working on a web project for Jammrock.com called The StoryCenter (J.SC). J.SC will allow authors/writters to ePublish their literary works for free, allow people to read those stories for free, and the forums will be open to provide feedback of those works, if the author so requests, for free. I've run into a snag, though.

I want to keep the service free for the main portion of the site, i.e. you can always ePublish, read, and discuss stories, completely free. Eventually I'll add some pay for "Premium" services if the site takes off ... but I'm not holding my breath. This also means I need to find a way to ePublish stories for free. So I need eBook (i.e. static web document maker/viewer) software that fits the following needs:

1) It must be free, via GNU/GPL type licences.

2) Must be able to both create and read for free.

3) Must support: Windows, Macintosh, and Linux.

4) Cannot be Adobe Acrobat, because you have to pay to make legal PDF files.

5) Cannot be MS Word or MS Reader, because it excludes Linux and Mac (for reader).

6) Cannot be OpenOffice ... because it sucks... though I may have to use it since it is free and can be used on all three platforms...

Tall order I know, but I hope someone knows of one.

Thanks, Jammrock

Tjalfe
14th April 2005, 13:01
.txt files? :D

Jammrock
14th April 2005, 13:03
.txt files? :D
Not dynamic enough. I would like something that people could potentially add in artwork, graphics, special fonts and whatnot, as some of the options people can submit are comics and graphic novels.

Jammrock

Tjalfe
14th April 2005, 13:28
how about postscipt?... googleing for such, there appears to be both readers and writers available.. since it was originally made by adobe, it is possible there are regulations in place for legal use

Jessterw
14th April 2005, 13:48
Creating and viewing postscript documents with non-Adobe applications is perfectly legal.

xortam
14th April 2005, 15:16
I used to use Ghostview on Unix as well as Windows ages ago. They provide executables for many different platforms.

agallag
14th April 2005, 19:04
What's wrong with plain HTML? I think microsoft's .lit format is just html in a wrapper, and it works quite well. Lose the wrapper and it's compatible with every OS and device on the planet.

Tjalfe
14th April 2005, 19:31
all images in, say a comic, would then have to be seperate from the main html file. it would work, but not as convenient if people are to download and view it offline.. at least so I think :)
then again, postscript would require a postscript reader, so it has a defenite disadvantage too

RichL
15th April 2005, 01:12
What's wrong with plain HTML?

Because paragraph indents are bloody hard to do in HTML.

How about .RTF?

edit : remembered what the indent was called

Sasq
15th April 2005, 01:28
4) You have to pay to use acrobat to make pdf files, however you are not restricted to just acrobat for making them

VJ
15th April 2005, 05:25
4) Cannot be Adobe Acrobat, because you have to pay to make legal PDF files.

nope: PDF Creator is legal and free (and open source)
http://sourceforge.net/projects/pdfcreator
There also are free PS to PDF converters (commonly available with LaTeX distribution and/or Ghostview), and ways to convert LaTeX to PDF while still maintaining content links.

Other alternatives might be:
RTF: http://www.biblioscape.com/rtf15_spec.htm
TXT (as mentioned before, but no graphics)
PS (but slower viewing if there are graphics)
HTML (beware of proper rendering on different browsers)
XML



Jörg

Jammrock
15th April 2005, 05:53
4) You have to pay to use acrobat to make pdf files, however you are not restricted to just acrobat for making them


nope: PDF Creator is legal and free (and open source)
http://sourceforge.net/projects/pdfcreator
There also are free PS to PDF converters (commonly available with LaTeX distribution and/or Ghostview), and ways to convert LaTeX to PDF while still maintaining content links.

Jörg

These things we did not know my precious. That changes everything. I shall research this more deeply.

Thanks gang!

Jammrock

VJ
15th April 2005, 05:58
These things we did not know my precious. That changes everything. I shall research this more deeply.

Precious? :eek:
No problem, surely... :D

Only downside to PDF Creator: it acts as a printer. As a result you can't have links in the PDF file (i.e. contents table linking to pages in the file).


Jörg

Jammrock
15th April 2005, 07:52
We have our winner!

http://www.lowagie.com/iText/

A free Java program that converts documents to PDF. Now that's platform independant!

A big thanks to Sasq for the heads up :D

Jammrock

VJ
15th April 2005, 08:27
Apparently, a colleague of mine also uses iText in a software of his. :rolleyes: Sorry, I didn't know...

He uses a library inbetween iText and his software, so that he doesn't have to do everything (positioning text, fonts, ...) manually. If you are interested, I can ask him about it.


Jörg

xortam
15th April 2005, 08:51
... A free Java program that converts documents to PDF. ...Sounds like a good approach.

Jammrock
15th April 2005, 13:13
Apparently, a colleague of mine also uses iText in a software of his. :rolleyes: Sorry, I didn't know...

He uses a library inbetween iText and his software, so that he doesn't have to do everything (positioning text, fonts, ...) manually. If you are interested, I can ask him about it.


Jörg
Absolutely

Jammrock.at.Jammrock.dot.com ... make sure he puts in "NOT SPAM:" in the subject or I will probably accidently kill it.

Thanks,
Jammrock