The side trip that I’m making with JHOVE Tips for Developers is really showing its worth in getting the rough stuff out of the way on a smaller Smashwords project. Smashwords accepts a Word file as a submission and uses a software application called Meatgrinder to turn it into many different e-book formats. For it to work properly, I have to follow some very strict style guidelines.

The biggest problem is that spaces and tabs aren’t allowed at the beginning of lines. This isn’t a problem for normal text, where styles take care of needed indentation, but it makes it impossible to put properly formatted program code and XML into the book. Files that Last won’t have as much preformatted code as JHOVE Tips, proportionally, but it will have some. The best I can think of doing is to use indentation styles to make the code look right in the book, and reference text files for the real code. Since there’s already a Github project to go with JHOVE Tips, adding a folder of code samples won’t be a problem.

There are a lot of other formatting details, though the others seem comparatively minor, but doubtless there will be a few rough spots when this booklet is released. Files that Last will be the better for this experience.

It’s still a holiday, but tomorrow I’ll have a post leading off the second act of the Kickstarter drive and urging everyone supporting it to help bring it to a successful finish.