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Making an ebook app just got easier

Over the past couple days I’ve been playing with Laker, a new ebook framework. This is a collection of of bits and peices of HTML5 that gives you a number of shortcuts in designing your own ebook app.

It’s based on a number of other projects, including  Baker ebook Framework the Less CSS Framework, and it’s coded in HTML5 (needed for the really cool effects). If you’re into ebook development then you might want to look into the Less framework; this is the first I’ve heard of it and it’s rather fascinating.

The Laker Framework is the work of Florian Franke, and it’s a significant improvement on Baker. It has most of the navigation that Baker lacked built in,and it’s set up to enable a fair amount of the formatting found in the Wired app I reviewed last week including sidebars, embedded audio and video, and action buttons.

You can’t use it to copy the Wired app, no. But that’s a good thing. There’s enough here that you can use it to provide a custom look without copying any specific style.

Check it out.


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Tablazines April 28, 2011 um 2:41 pm

Looks nice. I was aware of Baker.. but this looks a lot better.

Laker compendium – Designing digital publications in HTML5 » Laker featured on April 28, 2011 um 2:45 pm

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elmonica April 28, 2011 um 2:52 pm

It frakin says I need A Mac and xCode.

Nate Hoffelder April 28, 2011 um 2:57 pm

If you want to make an app, yes. But if you just want to play with it a little, you can open up the book folder and try the html files in your browser.

elmonica April 28, 2011 um 3:00 pm

Now you tell me. I want to make an app on a PC. Guess I will have to wait on that one.

In any case, I am satisfied making EPUBs for now using ATLANTIS WORD PROCESSOR and SIGIL.

Nate Hoffelder April 28, 2011 um 3:03 pm

You can use this to make a PC app. But why would you want to? It would be faster and cheaper to modify Laker to work better in your browser.

Moriah Jovan April 29, 2011 um 12:47 pm

Right now I’m very, very bitter because I can’t upload my EPUBs to iBooks without a Mac. And I don’t have one.

So best I not even go here.

I’m bitter.

Did I say I was bitter?

I’m bitter.

Michael April 29, 2011 um 7:08 pm

I’ve been there.

Bitter didn’t get my book in the iBookstore though, so I finally decided to pick up a copy of OS X and install it in a virtual machine on my PC.

Cost me $30 for the OS X DVD, and a couple hours to get set up and figure out what I was doing. Then I subbed to Apple and had my book accepted soon after.

Felt ridiculous resorting to such shenanigans to get in, but I’ve made back that $30 many times over since then. And I don’t have to share my book’s earnings with Smashwords, Lulu or any other party besides Apple.

Moriah Jovan April 30, 2011 um 10:57 am

OMG I love you. If this works, I shall hunt you down and buy you a hot fudge sundae.

Tablazines April 28, 2011 um 3:01 pm

The only thing with these kind of frameworks is that you’ll still need to hire a programmer to create a container for your issues unless you plan on doing what Esquire does an publish each issue as a separate app which I absolutely HATE.

I priced around for programmers to do just such a task for Baker and it was quite expensive.

Davide 'Folletto' Casali April 28, 2011 um 3:56 pm

Hello Tablazines!

I’m one of the developers of Baker. We are surely thinking of implementing a feature like that, but our resources are still limited (as you’ve seen by the prices you got around to add that one) and so I can’t tell you when we’ll start coding that feature.

But that said, we also use the community feedback to prioritize upcoming features, so I can suggest to you and everyone else to give your opinion on our community page in order to help us to understand what’s needed more 🙂

Tablazines April 29, 2011 um 9:19 am

Thanks for the response. It’s always good to see how really involved you guys are with this project to take the time to respond.

Makes me feel better when the time comes to utilize this that I’ve made the right choice.

abdou December 27, 2014 um 11:26 am

Hello there,my nam’s abdou and i’m an IT student, and i want to make a book reader web app as a part of my graduation project…
technically it’s a"one book reader",i want it to read one specific book,with audio ,and translation for selected words,and search and a couple of other options,the problem is i don’t know where to start,what tools do i have to use ,and what skills do i have to learn,ebook makers are too limited for my needs,so they are not an option ,i know html5/CSS3;and i just started learning flash,but i don’t know if it’s the best way,or how much time it will take me to be able to build my own book reader in flash,if you can please tell me where to start,it would be great thanks!

Erica Dickens December 13, 2016 um 8:25 am

hey techies. I am a book store owner and I need someone to build an e-book app so my clients can purchase e-books as well. Please contact me if you are aware of how to successfully build ebook apps. My email is [email protected].

Margaret October 9, 2017 um 8:22 pm

Hu, i am wondering whether there is anyone who can update the ereader readng software that was used by fictionwise or ereader to read drm pdb books. They have gone out of business but i have many books still in this format and the app no longer works with iso 11.

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