Francesc Tovar explains how they created their book for iPad using Baker ebook framework

Francesc Tovar explains how they created their book for iPad using Baker ebook framework

My name is Francesc Tovar, I am responsible for the Web and Multimedia department of the Catalan design agency, Play Creatividad. If you have questions about this article, I will be happy to answer them. You can follow me on Twitter or join the book page on Facebook If you are interested in the subject and want an invitation to install the book that we mentioned in the article for free, we are raffling 10 promo-codes among the comments on this post made until 04/09/2011 at 8:00 p.m. in Spain.

The process to publish a book for iPad can be quite complex… if you add to this the fact that you have never published an application in the AppStore and have no knowledge of objective-c programming, it can become a real hell. Luckily for me, I managed to come up with Baker ebook framework, a tool for publishing ebooks in HTML5 format that has allowed me to simplify the whole process and publish my project successfully in a short time. In addition to being an Open Source project, it has an excellent community and developers who are constantly working to improve it. I hope that my experience serves to clarify some doubts and to publicize this fantastic tool.

Is Baker valid for my project?

Before starting, I want to clarify that Baker uses open web standards to visualize the content so you can use the same techniques that you would use for a current web project, including advanced CSS3 techniques and Javascript to develop your book. On the other hand, the result that We will obtain with Baker it is an application for iPad, at no time can we publish it within the iBook Store, but it will be one more application within the Books section of the App Store. An important detail is that Apple will not publish any book-type application that does not have interactive elements – videos, audio, etc … – so, if your book has only text, you will have to cheat to add any of these elements or consider publishing it in the iBook Store.Those who wish to make an interactive book using more complex functions of the device, such as the accelerometer, Open GL graphics, etc … should consider looking for a different solution – See Cocos2D-. In our case, for the adaptation of the illustrated book. Forgotten Colors and Other Illustrated Stories We have included JQuery animations and audio effects to add value to the digital version of the book.

This is what you will need to get started

Xcode: The Apple development environment required to prepare your application and submit it to the App Store. If you are registered as a developer you can download it for free but you can buy it in the Mac App Store for 3.99.‚ÄďBaker Framework: You can download the latest version from the official website. This is a project for Xcode with everything you need to get started.Style sheet and test book: Also available on Baker’s page, it will serve as an example to start testing. -Knowledge in HTML / CSS / JavaScript and really want to start! -To publish your application you will have to be registered in the Apple development program.

Start up

Unzip Baker and locate the Book folder. This is the directory where you will have to place your content, images, html, css, etc. Now you can copy the content of the sample book into the Book folder. If you don’t have Xcode installed yet, it’s time to do it, when you have it , open the Baker.xcodeproj file. You should have a structure similar to this:

With your test project configured you can now run the application and test it in the simulator or on the iPad.

Some tips to layout your book

– You can do some tests with the simulator but it is vital that you do the test on a real device since the simulator does not reflect exactly how your book will be displayed and a font size, easily readable on it, may not be on the iPad. If you want to use animations with JavaScript, you have to take into account that, for some strange reason, iOS does not seem to optimize its operation 100% and slow effects can occur. – In the latest versions of iOS Apple has blocked the automatic reproduction of audio in the browser, the playback of sounds and video will have to be started by the user when clicking on the item.