Maggie Zhao | Daryn Wright | Susmita Dey | Joshua Oliveira | Kathleen Burckhardt | Alison Strobel
The eWeavers’ vision is to create an ebook for “What is Code?” using the iBooks application and marketing it on that platform. We chose this platform because iBooks works on multiple Apple devices, including iPads, iPods, iPhones, and computers. The application can be synced across all the platforms enabling transition from one device to another. In addition, these devices provide multiple features, not only book reading. For example, you can have access to your music library on the same device that carries your books. This is something that cannot be done on a Kindle or other dedicated eReaders.
We believe that the subject of “What is Code?” attracts a particular reader, one that is interested in learning more about coding to better understand how it is used in a professional setting. The iBooks application is particularly appropriate for this type of audience with busy lifestyles because of its accessibility from different locations (work computer, iPhone, home iPad etc.). With this audience in mind, we will transform the original article into an ebook that informs and entertains, maintaining its colorful and playful nature.
From online article to ebook:
Our aim is to maintain the spirit of the original article. The playfulness of the article is its main selling point, and our primary goal is to maintain the integrity of the original article while considering ways of making it better – and more enjoyable to read – than the original.
Our goal is to create an epub3 file that will be more interactive and will allow us to include moving GIFs and functional videos.
The original Pandoc-converted file reads on iBooks as a scrambled, less-than-cohesive mass of information and photos – and all under a single chapter. Chapter headings appear at the bottom of the previous page – rather than at the true start of a chapter – or between paragraphs, appearing more as a long-form article (its original form) than a book. Enabling chapter splits and starting each chapter on a fresh page will give the text room to breathe, and allow the reader to pause and absorb what she just read. In addition, the spacing of words and the alignment of paragraphs is inconsistent for a book. Put simply, we will make the text look like it fits in a book, rather than on a website.
There is also a problem with the way photographs are currently appearing. Most of them are left justified, which doesn’t always play to the strengths of the image or to the copy, particularly when the photos are small. It appears as if they were shoved aside and forgotten. We plan to amend this problem, and either place images center justified or create space for them within the text, as we see fit. We will also remove any images or graphics that don’t contribute to the book’s overall design or readability; the original imagining of the article was the right format for some of these graphics, but we find that they don’t necessarily work in this context. Another issue with the images is that they are not all automatically resized to fit the page or section, but instead some photos take up the whole page while others are small and hard to see. We aim to fix this inconsistency.
Design and style:
We value the importance of the design and original artwork and are interested in investigating how it relates to, and enhances, the article itself. This means we will incorporate elements of colour, where appropriate, and graphics into the body of our ebook. We believe this will maintain the spirit of the text’s playfulness. The overall presentation of the book is important to us, so we plan to spend a considerable amount of time working on the design and format.
We want to keep the epub reflowable, as is the default in iBooks. However, we intend to investigate the sizing of the pictures and the formatting of additional elements around the text so that the reflowable feature works well and maintains the readability of the book.
Table of Contents:
The book will feature a table of contents due to the text’s many subheadings and unwieldy length. To increase interactivity, and the ease of reading, the table of contents – main headings as well as the sub-headings – would link to the locations of their respective entries.
Moreover, having a TOC will also create a strong foundation for the form of the book. This will move away from the original long-form article style and give it the more traditional structure of a book.
We are also aware that the purpose the article serves is largely educational, and we feel that including clear chapters and subheadings will lend better to an audience that is looking for a clear answer to the question “what is code?”
In order to do this, we will split the document into individual chapters and then link these sections to the table of contents.
The pop-up question:
We plan to include the pop-up message that originally appeared at the beginning of the article as an epigraph. This will make the transition from website to ebook more apparent, and will contribute to the “bookiness” of the text as an ebook rather than as an article.
In regards to the pop-up side notes throughout the original piece, our goal is to use the epub3 pop-up feature to create a similar effect.
For the footnotes, our goal is to have them open up in a new window, so readers have the option to read them or not. This is less distracting than traditional footnotes at the bottom of the page and also lends to the appeal of the interactivity of the ebook.
The background on the original webpage for “What is Code?” is very colourful, something we believe works well with the dot com aesthetic. We plan to create a title page for our ebook based on these colours and the original typeface used for the title. This will act as a signal to readers that this ebook is, indeed, related to the online version. It is also a colour palette that is suitable for the content. Our initial approach to this will be to play with the html and see if we can create this colourful patterning. We might also look into the possibility of utilizing Photoshop if the html proves to be limiting.
We have assigned roles for each group member to research and test. While we each will be focusing individually on specific tasks, there will be overlap and support as needed. We plan to meet together as a group at least three times in the next two weeks to coordinate and discuss difficulties in person. In addition, we will work remotely with each other using email and Dropbox. These roles will be broken down as follows:
Text Formatting: Susmita, Alison, Kathleen
- reflowable text
- epub3 research
- table of contents
- chapter & subheading breaks
- chapter alignment and presentation
- text wrap around images
Graphics: Josh, Maggie
- graphs, tables, and footnotes
- removing unnecessary logos, gifs, graphics
- incorporating videos where appropriate
- resizing images
Design: Daryn, Maggie
- cover page
- alignment of photos, graphics
- colour framing in body of text
|• gathering resources||Friday, Sep. 18|
|• testing various readers/deciding on one||Friday, Sep. 18|
|• finalizing division of tasks/overall focus||Monday, Sep. 21|
|• draft I of proposal due||Wednesday, Sep. 24|
|• decide on file format (epub3 vs. epub)||Friday, Sep. 25|
|• draft II of proposal done||Monday, Sep. 28|
|• removing unnecessary logos & graphs||Monday, Sep. 28|
|• Submit final proposal||Wednesday, Sep. 30|
|• cover page||Thursday, Oct 1|
|• finish table of contents||Sunday, Oct.4|
|• chapter, subheading breaks||Sunday, Oct. 4|
|• epigraph||Sunday, Oct. 4|
|• reflowable text||Monday, Oct. 5|
|• pop-up footnotes||Monday, Oct. 5|
|• alignment of photos, graphics||Monday, Oct. 5|
|• colour-framing in body of text||Monday, Oct. 5|
|• inserting videos, where appropriate||Monday, Oct. 5|
|• report/documentation draft I||Monday, Oct. 5|
|• testing of eBook on Apple platforms||Tuesday, Oct. 6|
|• finished final written report||Friday, Oct. 9|
|• presentation preparation||Saturday, Oct 10|
*Note that this timeline indicated due dates for tasks but most tasks were started in mid September that are “completed by” early October.