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Wikisource and e-books

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Wikimedia in general can now produce e-books in EPUB format on demand.  However, Wikisource was actually there first and is ahead of the pack in this area.

Wikimedia projects, such as Wikisource’s sister project Wikipedia, use the “book tool” to collect pages into books.  These can be printed and bound as print books via PediaPress, as well as produced into electronic format.  Initially PDF was the main format and recently EPUB has been added.  A problem from the point of view of Wikisource is that this tool does not take into account it’s specific qualities; it was built for Wikipedia and ignores the other projects.  For example, it adds a licence in the back matter of its output that claims a Creative Commons licence.  This is entirely accurate for many projects but amounts to copyfraud when applied to Wikisource’s public domain works.

Anyway, there is an alternative.  France is the technological home of Wikisource.  Hebrew was the first language-specific Wikisource and English is currently the largest but the technology on which Wikisource runs always seems to emanate from French Wikisource.  In this case, the tool WS Export was originally developed by French wikisourcers for French Wikisource and works for all language domains.  It supported EPUB before the book tool and looks likely to support Mobipocket first too.  More importantly, the tool and its output works better with Wikisource and attends to Wikisource’s quirks.

In November 2012, 3,700 EPUB works were produced by this tool.  Not surprisingly, French Wikisource produced the most (1,176), followed by Italian Wikisource (1,049) and English Wikisource (674).  Other EPUBs ranged from Breton (br) to Farsi (fa) to Venetian (vec).

Typos

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I didn’t notice it when I was proofreading the page.

I didn’t notice it when I was transcluding the page.

I did notice it somewhere beneath Belgravia when I was re-reading it on my Bebook One.

Typos or, more accurately, “Scannos“, uncorrected OCR errors, are a constant problem.  At least for me.  Despite all the measures to prevent them, I still find some later on my third re-read of the material I proofread in the first place,

In many ways, proofreading is never necessarily complete.   There is always the chance that you missed something regardless of however many times you read through it.