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Published on Jan 8, 2012
By Mark Howe (Jalfrezi Software), Tony Graham (Mentea)
The link between the Bible and publishing technology is at least as old as Gutenberg's press. 400 years after the publication of the King James Bible, we were asked to convert five modern French Bible translations from a widely-used ad hoc TROFF-like markup scheme used to produce printed Bibles to a standard XML vocabulary, and then to EPUB. We opted to use XSLT 2.0 and ant to perform all stages of the conversion process. Along the way we discovered previously unimagined creativity in the original markup, even within a single translation. We cursed the medieval scholars and the modern editors who have colluded to produce several mutually incompatible document hierarchies. We struggled to map various typesetting features to EPUB. E-Reader compatibility made us nostalgic for browser wars of the 90s. The result is osisbyxsl, a soon-to-be open source solution for Bible EPUB origination.