Development Courses

DEV101 – Introduction to Coding

Time: 1.5 hours
Instructor: Joshua Tallent
Before you can learn about building ebooks you need to have a solid understanding of file management, good coding practices, and version control. In this course you will learn:

  • Necessary Software (choosing the right code editor)
  • Opening HTML, CSS, and other files for editing
  • File management (archiving, zipping, etc.)
  • Keyboard shortcuts and tips
  • Using FTP client software and connecting to servers
  • Basic introduction to version control

DEV102 – Introduction to XHTML for Ebooks

Time: 1.5 hours
Instructor: Joshua Tallent
While HTML is the common language of the Web, ebook design uses XHTML in some different ways than you see in web design. In this course you will learn:

  • HTML history, versions, and future development
  • Writing HTML
  • Clean code and basic semantic markup
  • Differences between HTML and XHTML
  • (X)HTML5 coding (new tags, special features, etc.)
  • How ebooks use HTML
  • Suggested Prerequisites: DEV101

DEV103 – Introduction to CSS for Ebooks

Time: 1.5 hours
Instructor: Joshua Tallent
Cascading Style Sheets (CSS) is the core design code used in all ebooks. In this course you will learn:

  • CSS history, versions, and future development
  • Writing CSS
  • Applying CSS to HTML
  • Media Queries
  • CSS3 – new options and current development
  • Ebook-specific CSS coding
  • Suggested Prerequisites: DEV101, DEV102
  • Note: CSS animations are covered in FXL204 – CSS Animation

DEV104 – Introduction to Unicode

Time: 1 hour
Instructor: Joshua Tallent
The Unicode character encoding standard is how text is displayed in ebooks. Whatever the language, Unicode is designed to provide the ability to display the text properly and allow the use of different fonts. In this course you will learn:

  • History of character encodings (ASCII and Unicode)
  • Characters versus glyphs
  • How Unicode works
  • Special Uses
  • Unicode support in ebooks
  • Suggested Prerequisites: DEV101, DEV102, DEV103 (optional)
  • Note: Using fonts in ebooks is covered in DES102 – Typography for Ebooks.

DEV105 – Content Extraction Techniques

Time: 1.5 hours
Instructor: Joshua Tallent
Before you can start developing ebook files, you must be able to get the contents into a usable format. The process you choose will depend on a variety of factors, including the source formats available, possible issues in those source files, and more. In this course you will learn:

  • Basic styling in Microsoft Word
  • Extracting HTML from Microsoft Word
  • Extracting EPUB from InDesign
  • Extracting HTML from PDF
  • Fundamentals of Optical Character Recognition (OCR)
  • Suggested Prerequisites: DEV101, DEV102, DEV103
  • Note: The details of using InDesign as a source format are covered in DES202 – Introduction to InDesign Best Practices.

DEV106 – Introduction to EPUB 2 and EPUB 3

Time: 2 hours
Instructor: Joshua Tallent
EPUB is an open source format developed and maintained by the International Digital Publishing Forum (IDPF). Most retailers accept one or more versions of the EPUB format, whether EPUB 2 or EPUB 3 or both. In this course you will learn:

  • EPUB history
  • EPUB File structure
  • OPF and NCX/HTML Nav
  • Differences between EPUB 2 and EPUB 3
  • Creating backwards compatible EPUB 3 files
  • Suggested Prerequisites: DEV101-DEV104, DEV105 (optional)

DEV107 – Introduction to Kindle Format 8

Time: 1 hour
Instructor: Joshua Tallent
Kindle Format 8 is Amazon’s proprietary ebook format used in Kindle devices. While it is similar to EPUB, it does require some special attention in development. In this course you will learn:

  • Kindle format history and structure
  • Relationship to EPUB 2 and EPUB 3
  • Unique HTML and other common issues
  • Building KF8 files
  • Using KF8-specific Media queries in EPUB files
  • Suggested Prerequisites: DEV101-DEV104, DEV105 (optional), DEV106
  • Note: Fixed Layout KF8 development is covered in FXL202 – Fixed-layout Children’s Ebooks for Amazon and FXL206 – Fixed-layout Non-fiction

DEV108 – eBook Quality Control Testing

Time: 1.5.hours
Instructor: Joshua Tallent
Whether you are an ebook developer or a production manager, whether you create your own ebooks or outsource them to another company, you need to know how to perform quality control testing on your ebook files. In this course you will learn:

  • Common issues encountered in ebook QC
  • File validation (ePubCheck, ePubPreflight, etc.)
  • Side-loading ebooks on devices
  • Creating QC checklists
  • Logging and reporting errors to developers
  • Suggested Prerequisites: DEV106

DEV109 – Semantic Coding and Accessibility in EPUB 3

Time: 1.5 hours
Instructor: Joshua Tallent
This course will delve into the theory and implementation of accessibility features in EPUB 3, including:

  • Purpose of accessibility
  • Semantic HTML
  • epub:type attributes
  • Image alt text, captions, and descriptions
  • Table descriptions
  • Other best practices
  • Suggested Prerequisites: DEV101-DEV104, DEV106

DEV110 – Ebook Development Lab

Time: 4 hours
Instructor: Joshua Tallent
This is a hands-on lab, not a training course. It is intended to be a place to apply ebook development skills learned previously and get feedback from the instructor on that implementation. Students will be given an ebook development project and will be tasked with completing a set of objectives with that project. The instructor will be available to answer questions and explain concepts as needed.


More Development courses will be added in the future.