New ePub and PDF Files

New Formatting for the ePub and PDF Files of the RCV

Published: Wed, 30 Aug 2023

In my previous article, I mentioned that the RCV has been relicensed to the Eclipse Public License 2.0, and with that came another big change to the RCV project.

The second big change to the RCV comes in the form of a complete rewrite of the text's base format. I now keep the base, or source, text in AsciiDoc format. In a nutshell AsciiDoc is a way of adding markup to plain text in order to process it later for presentation. This means the files remain small and portable, and I now have a base text from which I can convert to a large range of file formats—and I only have to maintain one set of files. The two formats I mainly target for the RCV are the PDF and the ePub file formats.

With this move to AsciiDoc format, the PDF and ePub files available for download on the RCV website underwent an overhaul. This means each of the two formats not only got a visual upgrade, but also a functional upgrade. The ePub file has been upgraded to the ePub 3 standard and, in my opinion, it looks much better. The PDF, though not larger in file size, has a much larger number of pages. This is due to making it single-column and giving it a larger font size, making it more readable and convenient to use. Another nice addition to both of these files is working cross references. The AsciiDoc syntax allows me to establish links within the files. So, when you see an Old Testament quote referenced at the end of a New Testament chapter, you can click or tap it, and you will be taken to that referenced verse.

Another nice change that occurred with the move to the AsciiDoc format is that I now have all of these source text files on an online version control system, where you can not only see the "source code" of these files, but also see the changes I make when I commit changes to the RCV text. So basically, you get to see the AsciiDoc files I work with, and you get a change log showing what changes I make to the RCV when I make them. You can see all of this at[➚]. (That link will take you to a website called Codeberg.)

One more thing I'd like to mention in this article is the addition of a text database of the RCV. If you go to the source code website linked above, you'll notice I mention a database file. This file is a pipe-delimited text file of every verse of the RCV, with each verse on a separate line. Since it is in plain text format, you can view it on any computer or device with a plain text editor (e.g., Notepad, TextEdit, Vim, Gedit, Kate, Mousepad, Xed, etc.). This database file is great for searching the RCV text for key words or search text patterns (i.e., regular expressions). Any time I'm looking for instances of a word to update or a pattern of text, I'm using this database file.

Overall, I am very happy with these changes. They were a lot of work, but I think they were very necessary for the preservation and availability of the RCV text.