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Week 2 COAP 2180

On week two we will look at XML from an End-user point of view.

  • Create eBooks using the ePub format
  • In addition we also may start preparing work for your own DTD (project 3/ week 3)
Tour de XML
  • This week: DocX and docbook

Introduction to Electronic books (Monday)

Ebooks and ebook formats
  • E-book and E-book reader (Overview pages with links, both need some updating)
  • ePub (overview page for the popular e-book format)
ePub tools


  • Each tool (Calibre, Sigil) has extensive help + tutorials in various forms ....

Wednesday (e-books cont. and XML Schemas)

  • Monday work continued...
  • Recall of well-formed vs. valid
  • What is a schema ? What is a DTD ?
  • DTD tutorial (wiki lecture notes)
  • Discussion of possible XML "applications" for HW3 (week 3)

Homework 2 (EPub)


  • Before start of class, Wednesday week 3


(1) Create an e-book in ePub format

  • We suggest using the Calibre converting tool (or similar), but you also can "handcraft" the e-pub file or use an authoring tool like Sigil i.e. write a text from start (including some copy/paste of prior work).
  • Content suggestion: A term paper you wrote for a non technical class, a technical manual made from open-content tutorials found on the web. A compilation of interesting News. Avoid creating e-books from "complex" HTML pages.
  • You can take contents that you didn't create yourself, but in this case your name must appear in the e-book, e.g. as the creator of e-book version and you should write a short foreword for this edition. In addition, materials being uses should be free of copyright or use a creative commons license (or similar)

(2) If you aim for a high grade, turn in an optional report that describes the intended audience of the e-book, its making (shortly) and other useful comments you may have.


Prior to creating an e-book, download an e-book in ePub format and display it with a reader. You also can unzip the file and study its contents.

Calibre's help should include enough information to get you started. Before picking up one tutorial, you also can have look at the The official "Grand Tour Video"

EduTechWiki also includes a shortE-book conversion with Calibre article. The only useful information so far concerns cleaning up HTML, how to deal with multiple files (i.e. creating a "tables of content file") and there are some links.

If you use other tools, you are on your own for finding help and other useful information. If you want to start from scratch, Sigil is supposed to be a fairly easy to learn/use authoring tool. It is basically a specialized HTML editor that will package files, images and meta-information into an epub file.


  • Only turn in the ePUB file (no need to upload any source materials) and your report.