18 June 2013
I've been writing my guide to integrating Stripe with Rails using markdown, as with most textual projects that I work on. Every chapter is a markdown-formatted file living in a git repo, sycned-on-save to my git server and S3 using SparkleShare. When I want to peek at the rendered version I use little previewer app running on a VM on my Mac mini that I talked about previously.
A good eBook needs a PDF version, of course. Awhile back I wrote an open-source service named Docverter that can render XHTML to PDF using a library named Flying Saucer, among other things. All you have to do is pipe in the HTML and other related files and you get back a rendered, self-contained PDF file. There are a few non-trivial aspects to this, of course, because HTML is not primarily intended for printable output. The W3C has worked up a whole CSS module for page-related styles but it's not the most readable document. There's a few simple-ish things that you can do to your document to make it look nice, though.
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