Up a Level
The hard way to do things

Fluffy surprised me yesterday. Instead of leaving EDM with me when she went to the hospital to visit her father, she dropped the little one off at her parents and gave me the night alone. I told her she didn't have to do that. She did anyways.

So, I had a night of alone time. I considered going to CRineta but I spent the entire weekend trying to get some time to Get Things Done™ that I decided to go home and get things done.

I have way too many projects at the moment. I strive to get my weekly obligations done by Sunday so I can have fun, but it doesn't always happen. On Monday, the new obligations start up so I naturally had to do work instead of playing Final Fantasy XIII.

XKCD comic

One of my many projects is helping Sam's Dot Publishing get their books on Kindle. It gives me a lot of experience with making Kindle books and it is fun, but tedious work. It doesn't help that I work on systems, not a single document. This means I'm spending my energy trying to write a program that does all the work for me, so in the future, I won't have to work as hard.

Over the last six months, I've been working on a set of manipulation programs (in Perl) to convert the files they give me (a Word document without styles) into HTML and then to Kindle. At the same time, I have my own internal process of converting Creole to Docbook 5 to Kindle (and ePUB, PDF, HTML, etc). I always intended for these two processes to converge to create my own personal form of Smashword's Meatgrinder.

Since I had time, I thought it shouldn't be that hard, why don't I do it now?

Five hours later, I think I have an almost workable conversion from SDP's Word format to Docbook which then feeds into my Docbook pipeline. I had to expand my pipeline a fair amount to get it working, but that's also a good thing.

I can only hope that the work I'm today this week is going to help in the long run. If anything to speed up the process and reduce my load. Getting everything automated wouldn't be bad either, but I doubt that will happen since SDP's editors don't use Docbook already. Oh well, while I think it is a great format for what they are doing, I can understand why they don't.