CSS3’s new Paged Media spec provides us with a set of tools to craft all book formats—including print—from the same HTML source, establishing a fresh, flexible, and attainable route to single-source publishing.
Framed around the research and implementation of a CSS-based workflow at O’Reilly, O'Reilly's own Nellie McKesson introduces some of the new features in the Paged Media spec that make print-book production with CSS possible, as well as discusses the prerequisites and potential pitfalls of implementing an HTML- and CSS-centric workflow. Single-source publishing models are particularly important given the recent move towards cloud-based authoring platforms. Nellie talks about some ways to get HTML source without requiring all authors to know how to code. She also gives some suggestions on how to standardize HTML source files for scalable publishing models, and presents some additional tools you may need to create professional-quality books from HTML source.
During the technical portion of the talk, Nellie reviews some of the key pieces in the Paged Media spec, such as the page and box models, generated content, folios and running elements, floats, and printer elements (bleeds, crop marks), and she provides some guidelines for structuring source files to achieve the best cross-platform compatibility (print, ePub, mobi, Web).
Finally, she discusses the potential impact the Paged Media spec has on digital publishing, now and in the near future.