Petter Reinholdtsen

Entries tagged "docbook".

First rough draft Norwegian and Spanish edition of the book Made with Creative Commons
13th March 2018

I am working on publishing yet another book related to Creative Commons. This time it is a book filled with interviews and histories from those around the globe making a living using Creative Commons.

Yesterday, after many months of hard work by several volunteer translators, the first draft of a Norwegian Bokmål edition of the book Made with Creative Commons from 2017 was complete. The Spanish translation is also complete, while the Dutch, Polish, German and Ukraine edition need a lot of work. Get in touch if you want to help make those happen, or would like to translate into your mother tongue.

The whole book project started when Gunnar Wolf announced that he was going to make a Spanish edition of the book. I noticed, and offered some input on how to make a book, based on my experience with translating the Free Culture and The Debian Administrator's Handbook books to Norwegian Bokmål. To make a long story short, we ended up working on a Bokmål edition, and now the first rough translation is complete, thanks to the hard work of Ole-Erik Yrvin, Ingrid Yrvin, Allan Nordhøy and myself. The first proof reading is almost done, and only the second and third proof reading remains. We will also need to translate the 14 figures and create a book cover. Once it is done we will publish the book on paper, as well as in PDF, ePub and possibly Mobi formats.

The book itself originates as a manuscript on Google Docs, is downloaded as ODT from there and converted to Markdown using pandoc. The Markdown is modified by a script before is converted to DocBook using pandoc. The DocBook is modified again using a script before it is used to create a Gettext POT file for translators. The translated PO file is then combined with the earlier mentioned DocBook file to create a translated DocBook file, which finally is given to dblatex to create the final PDF. The end result is a set of editions of the manuscript, one English and one for each of the translations.

The translation is conducted using the Weblate web based translation system. Please have a look there and get in touch if you would like to help out with proof reading. :)

As usual, if you use Bitcoin and want to show your support of my activities, please send Bitcoin donations to my address 15oWEoG9dUPovwmUL9KWAnYRtNJEkP1u1b.

Tags: docbook, english.
Updated sales number for my Free Culture paper editions
12th June 2017

It is pleasing to see that the work we put down in publishing new editions of the classic Free Culture book by the founder of the Creative Commons movement, Lawrence Lessig, is still being appreciated. I had a look at the latest sales numbers for the paper edition today. Not too impressive, but happy to see some buyers still exist. All the revenue from the books is sent to the Creative Commons Corporation, and they receive the largest cut if you buy directly from Lulu. Most books are sold via Amazon, with Ingram second and only a small fraction directly from Lulu. The ebook edition is available for free from Github.

Title / languageQuantity
2016 jan-jun2016 jul-dec2017 jan-may
Culture Libre / French 3 6 15
Fri kultur / Norwegian 7 1 0
Free Culture / English 14 27 16
Total 24 34 31

A bit sad to see the low sales number on the Norwegian edition, and a bit surprising the English edition still selling so well.

If you would like to translate and publish the book in your native language, I would be happy to help make it happen. Please get in touch.

Tags: docbook, english, freeculture.
Sales number for the Free Culture translation, first half of 2016
5th August 2016

As my regular readers probably remember, the last year I published a French and Norwegian translation of the classic Free Culture book by the founder of the Creative Commons movement, Lawrence Lessig. A bit less known is the fact that due to the way I created the translations, using docbook and po4a, I also recreated the English original. And because I already had created a new the PDF edition, I published it too. The revenue from the books are sent to the Creative Commons Corporation. In other words, I do not earn any money from this project, I just earn the warm fuzzy feeling that the text is available for a wider audience and more people can learn why the Creative Commons is needed.

Today, just for fun, I had a look at the sales number over at, which take care of payment, printing and shipping. Much to my surprise, the English edition is selling better than both the French and Norwegian edition, despite the fact that it has been available in English since it was first published. In total, 24 paper books was sold for USD $19.99 between 2016-01-01 and 2016-07-31:

Title / languageQuantity
Culture Libre / French3
Fri kultur / Norwegian7
Free Culture / English14

The books are available both from and from large book stores like Amazon and Barnes&Noble. Most revenue, around $10 per book, is sent to the Creative Commons project when the book is sold directly by The other channels give less revenue. The summary from Lulu tell me 10 books was sold via the Amazon channel, 10 via Ingram (what is this?) and 4 directly by Lulu. And tells me that the revenue sent so far this year is USD $101.42. No idea what kind of sales numbers to expect, so I do not know if that is a good amount of sales for a 10 year old book or not. But it make me happy that the buyers find the book, and I hope they enjoy reading it as much as I did.

The ebook edition is available for free from Github.

If you would like to translate and publish the book in your native language, I would be happy to help make it happen. Please get in touch.

Tags: docbook, english, freeculture.
French edition of Lawrence Lessigs book Cultura Libre on Amazon and Barnes & Noble
21st May 2016

A few weeks ago the French paperback edition of Lawrence Lessigs 2004 book Cultura Libre was published. Today I noticed that the book is now available from book stores. You can now buy it from Amazon ($19.99), Barnes & Noble ($?) and as always from ($19.99). The revenue is donated to the Creative Commons project. If you buy from, they currently get $10.59, while if you buy from one of the book stores most of the revenue go to the book store and the Creative Commons project get much (not sure how much less).

I was a bit surprised to discover that there is a kindle edition sold by Amazon Digital Services LLC on Amazon. Not quite sure how that edition was created, but if you want to download a electronic edition (PDF, EPUB, Mobi) generated from the same files used to create the paperback edition, they are available from github.

Tags: docbook, english, freeculture.
A French paperback edition of the book Free Culture by Lawrence Lessig is now available
12th April 2016

I'm happy to report that the French paperback edition of my project to translate the Free Culture book by Lawrence Lessig is now available for sale on Once I have formally verified my proof reading copy, which should be in the mail, the paperback edition should be available in book stores like Amazon and Barnes & Noble too.

This French edition, Culture Libre, is the work of the dblatex developer Benoît Guillon, who created the PO file from the initial translation available from the Wikilivres wiki pages and completed and corrected the translation to match the original docbook edition my project is using, as well as coordinated the proof reading of the final result. I believe the end result look great, but I am biased and do not read French. In addition to the paperback edition, the book is available in PDF, EPUB and Mobi format from the github project page linked to above.

When enabling book store distribution on, I had to nearly triple the price to allow the book stores some profit. I also had to accept that I will get some revenue when a book is sold via But because of the non-commercial clause in the book license (CC-BY-NC), this might be a problem. To bypass the problem I discussed how to handle the revenue with the author, and we agreed that the revenue for these editions go to the Creative Commons non-profit Corporation who handle donations to the Creative Commons project. So far they have earned around USD 70 on sales of the English and Norwegian Bokmål editions, according to They will get the revenue for the French edition too. Their revenue is higher if you buy the book directly from instead of via a book store, so I recommend you buy directly from

Perhaps you would like to get the book published in your language? The translation is done using a web based translator service, so the technical bar to enter is fairly low. Get in touch if you would like to make this happen.

Tags: docbook, english, freeculture.
"Fri kultur" av @lessig - norsk utgave av "Free Culture" tilgjengelig på papir, PDF og ePub
28th October 2015

Klikk her for å kjøpe boken.

I 2004, mens Creative Commons-bevegelsen vokste frem, skrev bevegelsens stifter Lawrence Lessig boken Free Culture for å forklare problemene med økene åndsverksregulering og for å foreslå noen løsninger. Jeg leste boken den gangen, og den både inspirerte meg og endret på hvordan jeg så på opphavsrettslovigving. Jeg skulle ønske flere folk leste denne boken. Den gir en god gjennomgang av hvordan økende åndsverksregulering skader både nyskapning og kulturlivet, og skisserer hvordan både lovgivere og oss vanlige borgere kan bidra for å få slutt på dette.

Derfor bestemte jeg meg sommeren 2012 for å oversette den til norsk bokmål og gjøre den tilgjengelig for de blant mine venner og familie som foretrekker å lese bøker på norsk. Jeg oversatte boken ved hjelp av docbook og en gettext PO-fil, og endte opp med to utgaver, en på norsk og en på engelsk. Den engelske publiserte jeg i forrige uke, og den norske utgaven på papir er nå klar for salg. Jeg fikk heldigvis hjelp med oversetting og korrekturlesing av den norske utgaven fra en rekke frivillige. Se side 245 for en komplett liste. Slik ser omslaget ut:

I tillegg til den norske og engelske utgaven holder vi på med en fransk utgave. Den koordineres av dblatex-utvikleren Benoît Guillon, og oversettelsen var komplett denne uka men må korrekturleses før den kan gis ut. Flere frivillige trengs her, så ta kontakt med Benoît hvis du vil bidra.

Boken er også tilgjengelig i PDF, ePub og MOBI-format fra min github-prosjektside. Merk at ePub og MOBI-utgavene har noen formatteringsproblemer som jeg tror kommer av feil i docbook-verktøyet dbtoepub (Debian BTS-rapporter #795842 og #796871), men jeg har ikke tatt meg tid til å undersøke problemene. For de som vil ha elektronisk kopi anbefaler jeg å bruke PDF- og ePub-utgaven i denne omgang, da de ser ut til å hånderes bra av de fremviserne jeg har tilgjengelig.

Etter at oversettelsen til bokmål var ferdig klarte jeg å overtale NUUG Foundation til å sponse trykking av boken. Det er årsaken til at stiftelsens logo er på baksiden av omslaget. Jeg er svært takknemlig for dette, og bruker bidraget til å gi en kopi av den norske utgaven til alle Stortingsrepresentanter og andre beslutningstakere her i Norge.

Tags: docbook, freeculture, norsk.
"Free Culture" by @lessig - The background story for Creative Commons - new edition available
23rd October 2015

Click here to buy the book.

In 2004, as the Creative Commons movement gained momentum, its creator Lawrence Lessig wrote the book Free Culture to explain the problems with increasing copyright regulation and suggest some solutions. I read the book back then and was very moved by it. Reading the book inspired me and changed the way I looked on copyright law, and I would love it if more people would read it too.

Because of this, I decided in the summer of 2012 to translate it to Norwegian Bokmål and publish it for those of my friends and family that prefer to read books in Norwegian. I translated the book using docbook and a gettext PO file, and a byproduct of this process is a new edition of the English original. I've been in touch with the author during by work, and he said it was fine with him if I also published an English version. So I decided to do so. Today, I made this edition available for sale on, for those interested in a paper book. This is the cover:

The Norwegian Bokmål version will be available for purchase in a few days. I also plan to publish a French version in a few weeks or months, depending on the amount of people with knowledge of French to join the translation project. So far there is only one active person, but the French book is almost completely translated but need some proof reading.

The book is also available in PDF, ePub and MOBI formats from my github project page. Note the ePub and MOBI versions have some formatting problems I believe is due to bugs in the docbook tool dbtoepub (Debian BTS issues #795842 and #796871), but I have not taken the time to investigate. I recommend the PDF and ePub version for now, as they seem to show up fine in the viewers I have available.

After the translation to Norwegian Bokmål was complete, I was able to secure some sponsoring from the NUUG Foundation to print the book. This is the reason their logo is located on the back cover. I am very grateful for their contribution, and will use it to give a copy of the Norwegian edition to members of the Norwegian Parliament and other decision makers here in Norway.

Tags: docbook, english, freeculture.
French Docbook/PDF/EPUB/MOBI edition of the Free Culture book
1st October 2015

As I wrap up the Norwegian version of Free Culture book by Lawrence Lessig (still waiting for my final proof reading copy to arrive in the mail), my great dblatex helper and developer of the dblatex docbook processor, Benoît Guillon, decided a to try to create a French version of the book. He started with the French translation available from the Wikilivres wiki pages, and wrote a program to convert it into a PO file, allowing the translation to be integrated into the po4a based framework I use to create the Norwegian translation from the English edition. We meet on the #dblatex IRC channel to discuss the work. If you want to help create a French edition, check out his git repository and join us on IRC. If the French edition look good, we might publish it as a paper book on A French version of the drawings and the cover need to be provided for this to happen.

Tags: docbook, english, freeculture.
Book cover for the Free Culture book finally done
3rd September 2015

Creating a good looking book cover proved harder than I expected. I wanted to create a cover looking similar to the original cover of the Free Culture book we are translating to Norwegian, and I wanted it in vector format for high resolution printing. But my inkscape knowledge were not nearly good enough to pull that off.

But thanks to the great inkscape community, I was able to wrap up the cover yesterday evening. I asked on the #inkscape IRC channel on Freenode for help and clues, and Marc Jeanmougin (Mc-) volunteered to try to recreate it based on the PDF of the cover from the HTML version. Not only did he create a SVG document with the original and his vector version side by side, he even provided an instruction video explaining how he did it. But the instruction video is not easy to follow for an untrained inkscape user. The video is a recording on how he did it, and he is obviously very experienced as the menu selections are very quick and he mentioned on IRC that he did use some keyboard shortcuts that can't be seen on the video, but it give a good idea about the inkscape operations to use to create the stripes with the embossed copyright sign in the center.

I took his SVG file, copied the vector image and re-sized it to fit on the cover I was drawing. I am happy with the end result, and the current english version look like this:

I am not quite sure about the text on the back, but guess it will do. I picked three quotes from the official site for the book, and hope it will work to trigger the interest of potential readers. The Norwegian cover will look the same, but with the texts and bar code replaced with the Norwegian version.

The book is very close to being ready for publication, and I expect to upload the final draft to Lulu in the next few days and order a final proof reading copy to verify that everything look like it should before allowing everyone to order their own copy of Free Culture, in English or Norwegian Bokmål. I'm waiting to give the the productive proof readers a chance to complete their work.

Tags: docbook, english, freeculture.
In my hand, a pocket book edition of the Norwegian Free Culture book!
19th August 2015

Today, finally, my first printed draft edition of the Norwegian translation of Free Culture I have been working on for the last few years arrived in the mail. I had to fake a cover to get the interior printed, and the exterior of the book look awful, but that is irrelevant at this point. I asked for a printed pocket book version to get an idea about the font sizes and paper format as well as how good the figures and images look in print, but also to test what the pocket book version would look like. After receiving the 500 page pocket book, it became obvious to me that that pocket book size is too small for this book. I believe the book is too thick, and several tables and figures do not look good in the size they get with that small page sizes. I believe I will go with the 5.5x8.5 inch size instead. A surprise discovery from the paper version was how bad the URLs look in print. They are very hard to read in the colophon page. The URLs are red in the PDF, but light gray on paper. I need to change the color of links somehow to look better. But there is a printed book in my hand, and it feels great. :)

Now I only need to fix the cover, wrap up the postscript with the store behind the book, and collect the last corrections from the proof readers before the book is ready for proper printing. Cover artists willing to work for free and create a Creative Commons licensed vector file looking similar to the original is most welcome, as my skills as a graphics designer are mostly missing.

Tags: docbook, english, freeculture.
First paper version of the Norwegian Free Culture book heading my way
9th August 2015

Typesetting a book is harder than I hoped. As the translation is mostly done, and a volunteer proof reader was going to check the text on paper, it was time this summer to focus on formatting my translated docbook based version of the Free Culture book by Lawrence Lessig. I've been trying to get both docboox-xsl+fop and dblatex to give me a good looking PDF, but in the end I went with dblatex, because its Debian maintainer and upstream developer were responsive and very helpful in solving my formatting challenges.

Last night, I finally managed to create a PDF that no longer made complain after uploading, and I ordered a text version of the book on paper. It is lacking a proper book cover and is not tagged with the correct ISBN number, but should give me an idea what the finished book will look like.

Instead of using Lulu, I did consider printing the book using CreateSpace, but ended up using Lulu because it had smaller book size options (CreateSpace seem to lack pocket book with extended distribution). I looked for a similar service in Norway, but have not seen anything so far. Please let me know if I am missing out on something here.

But I still struggle to decide the book size. Should I go for pocket book (4.25x6.875 inches / 10.8x17.5 cm) with 556 pages, Digest (5.5x8.5 inches / 14x21.6 cm) with 323 pages or US Trade (6x8 inches / 15.3x22.9 cm) with 280 pages? Fewer pager give a cheaper book, and a smaller book is easier to carry around. The test book I ordered was pocket book sized, to give me an idea how well that fit in my hand, but I suspect I will end up using a digest sized book in the end to bring the prize down further.

My biggest challenge at the moment is making nice cover art. My inkscape skills are not yet up to the task of replicating the original cover in SVG format. I also need to figure out what to write about the book on the back (will most likely use the same text as the description on web based book stores). I would love help with this, if you are willing to license the art source and final version using the same CC license as the book. My artistic skills are not really up to the task.

I plan to publish the book in both English and Norwegian and on paper, in PDF form as well as EPUB and MOBI format. The current status can as usual be found on github in the archive/ directory. So far I have spent all time on making the PDF version look good. Someone should probably do the same with the dbtoepub generated e-book. Help is definitely needed here, as I expect to run out of steem before I find time to improve the epub formatting.

Please let me know via github if you find typos in the book or discover translations that should be improved. The final proof reading is being done right now, and I expect to publish the finished result in a few months.

Tags: docbook, english, freeculture.
Typesetting DocBook footnotes as endnotes with dblatex
16th July 2015

I'm still working on the Norwegian version of the Free Culture book by Lawrence Lessig, and is now working on the final typesetting and layout. One of the features I want to get the structure similar to the original book is to typeset the footnotes as endnotes in the notes chapter. Based on the feedback from the Debian maintainer and the dblatex developer, I came up with this recipe I would like to share with you. The proposal was to create a new LaTeX class file and add the LaTeX code there, but this is not always practical, when I want to be able to replace the class using a make file variable. So my proposal misuses the latex.begindocument XSL parameter value, to get a small fragment into the correct location in the generated LaTeX File.

First, decide where in the DocBook document to place the endnotes, and add this text there:

<?latex \theendnotes ?>

Next, create a xsl stylesheet file dblatex-endnotes.xsl to add the code needed to add the endnote instructions in the preamble of the generated LaTeX document, with content like this:

<?xml version='1.0'?>
<xsl:stylesheet xmlns:xsl="" version='1.0'>
  <xsl:param name="latex.begindocument">
\def\enoteheading{\mbox{}\par\vskip-\baselineskip }

Finally, load this xsl file when running dblatex, for example like this:

dblatex --xsl-user=dblatex-endnotes.xsl freeculture.nb.xml

The end result can be seen on github, where my book project is located.

Tags: docbook, english, freeculture.
Proof reading the Norwegian translation of Free Culture by Lessig
4th April 2015

During eastern I had some time to continue working on the Norwegian docbook version of the 2004 book Free Culture by Lawrence Lessig. At the moment I am proof reading the finished text, looking for typos, inconsistent wordings and sentences that do not flow as they should. I'm more than two thirds done with the text, and welcome others to check the text up to chapter 13. The current status is available on the github project pages. You can also check out the PDF, EPUB and HTML version available in the archive directory.

Please report typos, bugs and improvements to the github project if you find any.

Tags: docbook, english, freeculture.
98.6 percent done with the Norwegian draft translation of Free Culture
23rd July 2014

This summer I finally had time to continue working on the Norwegian docbook version of the 2004 book Free Culture by Lawrence Lessig, to get a Norwegian text explaining the problems with todays copyright law. Yesterday, I finally completed translated the book text. There are still some foot/end notes left to translate, the colophon page need to be rewritten, and a few words and phrases still need to be translated, but the Norwegian text is ready for the first proof reading. :) More spell checking is needed, and several illustrations need to be cleaned up. The work stopped up because I had to give priority to other projects the last year, and the progress graph of the translation show this very well:

If you want to read the result, check out the github project pages and the PDF, EPUB and HTML version available in the archive directory.

Please report typos, bugs and improvements to the github project if you find any.

Tags: docbook, english, freeculture.
From English wiki to translated PDF and epub via Docbook
17th June 2014

The Debian Edu / Skolelinux project provide an instruction manual for teachers, system administrators and other users that contain useful tips for setting up and maintaining a Debian Edu installation. This text is about how the text processing of this manual is handled in the project.

One goal of the project is to provide information in the native language of its users, and for this we need to handle translations. But we also want to make sure each language contain the same information, so for this we need a good way to keep the translations in sync. And we want it to be easy for our users to improve the documentation, avoiding the need to learn special formats or tools to contribute, and the obvious way to do this is to make it possible to edit the documentation using a web browser. We also want it to be easy for translators to keep the translation up to date, and give them help in figuring out what need to be translated. Here is the list of tools and the process we have found trying to reach all these goals.

We maintain the authoritative source of our manual in the Debian wiki, as several wiki pages written in English. It consist of one front page with references to the different chapters, several pages for each chapter, and finally one "collection page" gluing all the chapters together into one large web page (aka the AllInOne page). The AllInOne page is the one used for further processing and translations. Thanks to the fact that the MoinMoin installation on support exporting pages in the Docbook format, we can fetch the list of pages to export using the raw version of the AllInOne page, loop over each of them to generate a Docbook XML version of the manual. This process also download images and transform image references to use the locally downloaded images. The generated Docbook XML files are slightly broken, so some post-processing is done using the documentation/scripts/get_manual program, and the result is a nice Docbook XML file (debian-edu-wheezy-manual.xml) and a handfull of images. The XML file can now be used to generate PDF, HTML and epub versions of the English manual. This is the basic step of our process, making PDF (using dblatex), HTML (using xsltproc) and epub (using dbtoepub) version from Docbook XML, and the resulting files are placed in the debian-edu-doc-en binary package.

But English documentation is not enough for us. We want translated documentation too, and we want to make it easy for translators to track the English original. For this we use the poxml package, which allow us to transform the English Docbook XML file into a translation file (a .pot file), usable with the normal gettext based translation tools used by those translating free software. The pot file is used to create and maintain translation files (several .po files), which the translations update with the native language translations of all titles, paragraphs and blocks of text in the original. The next step is combining the original English Docbook XML and the translation file (say debian-edu-wheezy-manual.nb.po), to create a translated Docbook XML file (in this case debian-edu-wheezy-manual.nb.xml). This translated (or partly translated, if the translation is not complete) Docbook XML file can then be used like the original to create a PDF, HTML and epub version of the documentation.

The translators use different tools to edit the .po files. We recommend using lokalize, while some use emacs and vi, others can use web based editors like Poodle or Transifex. All we care about is where the .po file end up, in our git repository. Updated translations can either be committed directly to git, or submitted as bug reports against the debian-edu-doc package.

One challenge is images, which both might need to be translated (if they show translated user applications), and are needed in different formats when creating PDF and HTML versions (epub is a HTML version in this regard). For this we transform the original PNG images to the needed density and format during build, and have a way to provide translated images by storing translated versions in images/$LANGUAGECODE/. I am a bit unsure about the details here. The package maintainers know more.

If you wonder what the result look like, we provide the content of the documentation packages on the web. See for example the Italian PDF version or the German HTML version. We do not yet build the epub version by default, but perhaps it will be done in the future.

To learn more, check out the debian-edu-doc package, the manual on the wiki and the translation instructions in the manual.

Tags: debian, debian edu, docbook, english.
90 percent done with the Norwegian draft translation of Free Culture
2nd August 2013

It has been a while since my last update. Since last summer, I have worked on a Norwegian docbook version of the 2004 book Free Culture by Lawrence Lessig, to get a Norwegian text explaining the problems with the copyright law. Yesterday, I finally broken the 90% mark, when counting the number of strings to translate. Due to real life constraints, I have not had time to work on it since March, but when the summer broke out, I found time to work on it again. Still lots of work left, but the first draft is nearing completion. I created a graph to show the progress of the translation:

When the first draft is done, the translated text need to be proof read, and the remaining formatting problems with images and SVG drawings need to be fixed. There are probably also some index entries missing that need to be added. This can be done by comparing the index entries listed in the SiSU version of the book, or comparing the English docbook version with the paper version. Last, the colophon page with ISBN numbers etc need to be wrapped up before the release is done. I should also figure out how to get correct Norwegian sorting of the index pages. All docbook tools I have tried so far (xmlto, docbook-xsl, dblatex) get the order of symbols and the special Norwegian letters ÆØÅ wrong.

There is still need for translators and people with docbook knowledge, to be able to get a good looking book (I still struggle with dblatex, xmlto and docbook-xsl) as well as to do the draft translation and proof reading. And I would like the figures to be redrawn as SVGs to make it easy to translate them. Any SVG master around? There are also some legal terms that are unfamiliar to me. If you want to help, please get in touch with me, and check out the project files currently available from github.

If you are curious what the translated book currently look like, the updated PDF and EPUB are published on github. The HTML version is published as well, but github hand it out with MIME type text/plain, confusing browsers, so I saw no point in linking to that version.

Tags: docbook, english, freeculture.
EFN nyutgir novellen Kodémus av Tor Åge Bringsværd
27th March 2013

For noen dager siden nevnte jeg at vi jobbet med å typesette en novelle med DocBook. I dag ble utgivelsen annonsert med følgende pressemelding fra Elektronisk Forpost Norge), som jeg gjengir i sin helhet:

EFN nyutgir Kodémus:

Tor Åge Bringsværd-novelle om IT og overvåkning fra informasjonsteknologiens spedbarndom får nytt liv

Elektronisk Forpost Norge (EFN) er veldig glad for anledningen til å nyutgi Tor Åge Bringsværds novelle Kodémus i digitalt format for nye (og gamle) generasjoner. Novellen ble skrevet så tidlig som vinteren 1968, og første gang trykt i novellesamlingen Probok på Gyldendal samme år.

Informasjonsteknologi spiller en sentral rolle i Kodémus, og det er spennende å sammenligne beskrivelsen av IT fra 1968 med dagens IT i 2013. Forskjellene er mange -- men det er jammen likhetene også. Ikke minst det at idag går jo nesten alle rundt med lillebrødre på seg!

"Riktignok er det ikke påbudt å ha mobil," sier Thomas Gramstad, leder i EFN. "Men vi holder på å lage et samfunn der det blir så upraktisk eller tungvint å ikke ha det, at man i praksis ikke slipper unna. Og disse lillebrødrene sladrer hele tiden til staten (og til mange andre) om hvor vi er, hva vi gjør, hva vi bryr oss om, hva vi liker..."

Det at Kodémus åpenbart er skrevet i en annen tid med en annen type IT og likevel virker så relevant idag, er i seg selv et hardtslående tankekors.

Tross sitt IT-tema fantes ikke Kodémus i elektronisk form, og frivillige i EFN har skannet inn, OCR-tolket og korrekturlest novellen, og deretter kodet den i en rekke digitale formater.

Forfatteren har gitt tillatelse til publisering av Kodémus under ny lisens, og novellen utgis av EFN med en Creative Commons (CC) fribrukslisens (nærmere bestemt lisensen CC-BY-NC-ND). For leserne eller brukerne innebærer dette at de får en klar og standardisert beskjed om hvilke rettigheter de har til å dele novellen videre med andre. For forfatteren innebærer dette økt synlighet og tilgjengelighet for verket, slik at det ikke blir glemt, da søkemotorer og nettlesere inneholder egne søkevalg for CC-lisenser, og mange brukere søker etter verk som de vet de kan dele og bruke på lovlig vis.

EFN oppfordrer andre forfattere om å gi ut sine gamle tekster med en fribrukslisens, slik at tekstene ikke blir glemt og for å stimulere lovlig deling på nettet. EFN kan være behjelpelig med digitalisering og utlegging på nett, i den grad det finnes kapasitet blant EFNs medlemmer til dette. Vi mener at nyutgivelser av tekster under frie lisenser kan øke interessen rundt forfatterskapet, og vil gjerne bidra til dette.

EFN utgir og deler med dette en novelle fra den digitale informasjonsteknologiens tidligste barndom. En novelle som fortsatt er full av vitalitet og aktualitet, og som derfor kan bidra til, og gi ettertanke i dagens debatter om IT, personvern, overvåkning og individets frihet og integritet.

Du finner novellen her:

i flere forskjellige formater, for ulike plattformer. Per idag finnes novellen i disse formatene: EPUB, MOBI, XML, HTML, PDF og txt. Det kan bli flere formater senere, og evt. frivillige bidragsytere til dette er velkommen.

Kontaktperson for denne pressemeldingen,

Thomas Gramstad
4817 6875

EFN arbeider for dine borgerrettigheter i IT-samfunnet, for nettverks- og delingskultur, personvern og frihet fra overvåkning, åpne standarder, brukerstyrt programvare, retten til å kopiere, og styrking av det digitale sivilsamfunnet m.m.

Jeg håper flere forfattere ser verdien av å gjøre kulturen tilgjengelig for flere, og slår følge med Hr. Bringsværd i å gi ut sine verker med bruksvilkår med færre bruksbegrensinger enn opphavsretten legger opp til. Selv om jeg gjerne skulle sett at han hadde brukt en Creative Commons-lisens som tillot avledede verker og kommersiell bruk.

Tags: docbook, norsk, opphavsrett.
Typesetting a short story using docbook for PDF, HTML and EPUB
24th March 2013

A few days ago, during a discussion in EFN about interesting books to read about copyright and the data retention directive, a suggestion to read the 1968 short story Kodémus by Tore Åge Bringsværd came up. The text was only available in old paper books, and thus not easily available for current and future generations. Some of the people participating in the discussion contacted the author, and reported back 2013-03-19 that the author was OK with releasing the short story using a Creative Commons license. The text was quickly scanned and OCR-ed, and we were ready to start on the editing and typesetting.

As I already had some experience formatting text in my project to provide a Norwegian version of the Free Culture book by Lawrence Lessig, I chipped in and set up a DocBook processing framework to generate PDF, HTML and EPUB version of the short story. The tools to transform DocBook to different formats are already in my Linux distribution of choice, Debian, so all I had to do was to use the dblatex, dbtoepub and xmlto tools to do the conversion. After a few days, we decided to replace dblatex with xsltproc/fop (aka docbook-xsl), to get the copyright information to show up in the PDF and to get a nicer <variablelist> typesetting, but that is just a minor technical detail.

There were a few challenges, of course. We want to typeset the short story to look like the original, and that require fairly good control over the layout. The original short story have three parts/scenes separated by a single horizontally centred star (*), and the paragraphs do not contain only flowing text, but dialogs and text that started on a new line in the middle of the paragraph.

I initially solved the first challenge by using a paragraph with a single star in it, ie <para>*</para>, but it made sure a placeholder indicated where the scene shifted. This did not look too good without the centring. The next approach was to create a new preprocessor directive <?newscene?>, mapping to "<hr/>" for HTML and "<fo:block text-align="center"><fo:leader leader-pattern="rule" rule-thickness="0.5pt"/></fo:block>" for FO/PDF output (did not try to implement this in dblatex, as we had switched at this time). The HTML XSL file looked like this:

<?xml version='1.0'?> 
<xsl:stylesheet xmlns:xsl="" version='1.0'>
  <xsl:template match="processing-instruction('newscene')">

And the FO/PDF XSL file looked like this:

<?xml version='1.0'?> 
<xsl:stylesheet xmlns:xsl="" version='1.0'>
  <xsl:template match="processing-instruction('newscene')">
    <fo:block text-align="center">
      <fo:leader leader-pattern="rule" rule-thickness="0.5pt"/>

Finally, I came across the <bridgehead> tag, which seem to be a good fit for the task at hand, and I replaced <?newscene?> with <bridgehead>*</bridgehead>. It isn't centred, but we can fix it with some XSL rule if the current visual layout isn't enough.

I did not find a good DocBook compliant way to solve the linebreak/paragraph challenge, so I ended up creating a new processor directive <?linebreak?>, mapping to <br/> in HTML, and <fo:block/> in FO/PDF. I suspect there are better ways to do this, and welcome ideas and patches on github. The HTML XSL file now look like this:

<?xml version='1.0'?> 
<xsl:stylesheet xmlns:xsl="" version='1.0'>
  <xsl:template match="processing-instruction('linebreak)">

And the FO/PDF XSL file looked like this:

<?xml version='1.0'?> 
<xsl:stylesheet xmlns:xsl="" version='1.0'
  <xsl:template match="processing-instruction('linebreak)">

One unsolved challenge is our wish to expose different ISBN numbers per publication format, while keeping all of them in some conditional structure in the DocBook source. No idea how to do this, so we ended up listing all the ISBN numbers next to their format in the colophon page.

If you want to check out the finished result, check out the source repository at github (future/new/official repository). We expect it to be ready and announced in a few days.

Tags: docbook, english, freeculture, opphavsrett.
Seventy percent done with Norwegian docbook version of Free Culture
23rd September 2012

Since this summer, I have worked in my spare time on a Norwegian docbook version of the 2004 book Free Culture by Lawrence Lessig. The reason is that this book is a great primer on what problems exist in the current copyright laws, and I want it to be available also for those that are reluctant do read an English book. When I started, I called for volunteers to help me, but too few have volunteered so far, and progress is a bit slow. Anyway, today I broken the 70 percent mark for the first rough translation. At the moment, less than 700 strings (paragraphs, index terms, titles) are left to translate. With my current progress of 10-20 strings per day, it will take a while to complete the translation. This graph show the updated progress:

Progress have slowed down lately due to family and work commitments. If you want to help, please get in touch, and check out the project files currently available from github.

If you are curious what the translated book currently look like, the updated PDF and EPUB are published on github. The HTML version is published as well, but github hand it out with MIME type text/plain, confusing browsers, so I saw no point in linking to that version.

Tags: docbook, english, freeculture.
Half way there with translated docbook version of Free Culture
17th August 2012

In my spare time, I currently work on a Norwegian docbook version of the 2004 book Free Culture by Lawrence Lessig, to get a Norwegian text explaining the problems with the copyright law I can give to my parents and others that are reluctant to read an English book. It is a marvellous set of examples on how the ever expanding copyright regulations hurt culture and society. When the translation is done, I hope to find funding to print and ship a copy to all the members of the Norwegian parliament, before they sit down to debate the latest revisions to the Norwegian copyright law. This summer I called for volunteers to help me, and I have been able to secure the valuable contribution from at least one other Norwegian.

Two days ago, we finally broke the 50% mark. Then more than 50% of the number of strings to translate (normally paragraphs, but also titles and index entries are also counted). All parts from the beginning up to and including chapter four is translated. So is chapters six, seven and the conclusion. I created a graph to show the progress:

The number of strings to translate increase as I insert the index entries into the docbook. They were missing with the docbook version I initially started with. There are still quite a few index entries missing, but everyone starting with A, B, O, Z and Y are done. I currently focus on completing the index entries, to get a complete english version of the docbook source.

There is still need for translators and people with docbook knowledge, to be able to get a good looking book (I still struggle with dblatex, xmlto and docbook-xsl) as well as to do the draft translation and proof reading. And I would like the figures to be redrawn as SVGs to make it easy to translate them. Any SVG master around? I am sure there are some legal terms that are unfamiliar to me. If you want to help, please get in touch, and check out the project files currently available from github.

If you are curious what the translated book currently look like, the updated PDF and EPUB are published on github. The HTML version is published as well, but github hand it out with MIME type text/plain, confusing browsers, so I saw no point in linking to that version.

Tags: docbook, english, freeculture.
Notes on language codes for Norwegian docbook processing...
10th August 2012

In docbook one can specify the language used at the top, and the processing pipeline will use this information to pick the correct translations for 'chapter', 'see also', 'index' etc. And for most languages used with docbook, I guess this work just fine. For example a German user can start the document with <book lang="de">, and the document will show up with the correct content with any of the docbook processors. This is not the case for the language I am working with at the moment, Norwegian Bokmål.

For a while, I was confused about which language code to use, because I was unable to find any language code that would work across all tools. I am currently testing dblatex, xmlto, docbook-xsl, and dbtoepub, and they do not handle Norwegian Bokmål the same way. Some of them do not handle it at all.

A bit of background information is probably needed to understand this mess. Norwegian is not one, but two written variants. The variants are Norwegian Nynorsk and Norwegian Bokmål. There are three two letter language codes associated with these languages, Norwegian is 'no', Norwegian Nynorsk is 'nn' and Norwegian Bokmål is 'nb'. Historically the 'no' language code was used for Norwegian Bokmål, but many years ago this was found to be å bad idea, and the recommendation is to use the most specific language code instead, to avoid confusion. In the transition period it is a good idea to make sure 'no' was an alias for 'nb'.

Back to docbook processing tools in Debian. The dblatex tool only understand 'nn'. There are translations for 'no', but not 'nb' (BTS #684391), but due to a bug (BTS #682936) the 'no' language code is not recognised. The docbook-xsl tool chain only recognise 'nn' and 'nb', but not 'no'. The xmlto tool only recognise 'nn' and 'nb', but not 'no'. The end result that there is no language code I can use to get the docbook file working with all of these tools at the same time. :(

The correct solution is to use <book lang="nb">, but it will take time before that will work with all the free software docbook processors. :(

Oh, the joy of well integrated tools. :/

Tags: docbook, english, freeculture.
Best way to create a docbook book?
31st July 2012

I tried to send this text to the docbook-apps mailing list at, but it only accept messages from subscribers and rejected my post, and I completely lack the bandwidth required to subscribe to another mailing list, so instead I try to post my message here and hope my blog readers can help me out.

I am quite new to docbook processing, and am climbing a steep learning curve at the moment.

To give you some background, I am working on a Norwegian translation of the book Free Culture by Lawrence Lessig, and I use docbook to handle the process. The files to build the book are available from github. The book got around 400 pages with parts, images, footnotes, tables, index entries etc, which has proven to be a challenge for the free software docbook processors. My build platform is Debian GNU/Linux Squeeze.

I want to build PDF, EPUB and HTML version of the book, and have tried different tool chains to do the conversion from docbook to these formats. I am currently focusing on the PDF version, and have a few problems.

So I wonder, what would be the best way to create the PDF version of this book? Are some of the bugs found above solved in new or experimental versions of some docbook tool chain?

What about HTML and EPUB versions?

Tags: docbook, english, freeculture.
Free Culture in Norwegian - 5 chapters done, 74 percent left to do
21st July 2012

I reported earlier that I am working on a norwegian version of the book Free Culture by Lawrence Lessig. Progress is good, and yesterday I got a major contribution from Anders Hagen Jarmund completing chapter six. The source files as well as a PDF and EPUB version of this book are available from github.

I am happy to report that the draft for the first two chapters (preface, introduction) is complete, and three other chapters are also completely translated. This completes 26 percent of the number of strings (equivalent to paragraphs) in the book, and there is thus 74 percent left to translate. A graph of the progress is present at the bottom of the github project page. There is still room for more contributors. Get in touch or send github pull requests with fixes if you got time and are willing to help make this book make it to print. :)

The book translation framework could also be a good basis for other translations, if you want the book to be available in your language.

Tags: docbook, english, freeculture, nuug, opphavsrett.
Call for help from docbook expert to tag Free Culture by Lawrence Lessig
16th July 2012

I am currently working on a project to translate the book Free Culture by Lawrence Lessig to Norwegian. And the source we base our translation on is the docbook version, to allow us to use po4a and .po files to handle the translation, and for this to work well the docbook source document need to be properly tagged. The source files of this project is available from github.

The problem is that the docbook source have flaws, and we have no-one involved in the project that is a docbook expert. Is there a docbook expert somewhere that is interested in helping us create a well tagged docbook version of the book, and adjust our build process for the PDF, EPUB and HTML version of the book? This will provide a well tagged English version (our source document), and make it a lot easier for us to create a good Norwegian version. If you can and want to help, please get in touch with me or fork the github project and send pull requests with fixes. :)

Tags: docbook, english, freeculture, nuug, opphavsrett.
Dugnad for å sende norsk versjon av Free Culture til stortingets representanter!
11th July 2012

Da opphavsrettsloven ble revidert i forrige runde rundt 2005, var det skummelt å se hvor lite stortingsrepresentantene forsto hvordan Internet påvirket folks forhold til kulturuttrykk, og min venn Vidar og jeg spekulert på at det hadde kanskje vært fornuftig om samtlige representanter fikk en norsk utgave av boken Free Culture av Lawrence Lessig som forklarte litt om problemstillingene. Vi endte opp med å prioritere utvikling i Skolelinux-prosjektet i stedet, så den oversatte boken så aldri dagens lys. Men i forrige uke ble jeg inspirert til å ta opp tråden og se om det er mulig å få til bokprosjektet denne gang, da det er tydelig at kulturdepartementet i sitt nye forsøk på å gjøre opphavsrettsloven enda mer ubalansert til fordel for forlag og store mediehus fortsatt trenger en annen vinkling i debatten.

Planen min er å oversette boka på dugnad, sette den opp for trykking med en av de mange trykk på forespørsel-tjenestene, skaffe sponsor til å finansiere trykking til stortingsrepresentantene og alle som har bidratt med oversettelser. Kanskje vi også kan få en avtale med et forlag om publisering når boka er ferdig? Kommentarene til Eirik Newth og Espen Andersen om erfaringene med selvpublisering og trykk på forespørsel er interessante og ikke avskrekkende, og jeg mistenker at Lulu er en grei leverandør av trykketjenester til prosjektet.

Jeg har satt opp et Github-prosjekt for a lage boken, basert på Docbook-utgaven jeg fant fra Hans Schou. Skolelinux har hatt byggesystem for å lage oversatt HTML og PDF-utgave av Docbook-bøker i en årrekke, så jeg har kopiert og utvidet dette oppsettet. Originalteksten er i Docbook, og oversettelsen gjøres i .po-filer med hjelp av vanlige oversetterverktøy brukt i fri programvareverden. Dernest tar byggesystemet over og lager PDF og EPUB-utgave av den oversatte teksten. Resultatet kan ses i Github-prosjektet. For å komme raskt igang har jeg brukt maskinoversettelse av alle tekstbitene fra engelsk til norsk, noe som grovoversatte ca. 1300 av de ca. 1700 tekstbitene boken består av. Jeg håper nå at flere kan bidra med å få oversettelsen på plass, slik at teksten kan være klar i løpet av høsten. Når alt er oversatt må teksten gjennomgås for feil og konsistent språk. Totalt er det nok mange timer som trengs for å gjennomføre oversettelsen.

Økonomien i dette er ikke avskrekkende. 169 stortingsrepresentanter og nesten like mange varamedlemmer bør få bøker, og estimert produduksjonskostnad for hver bok er rundt 6 EURO i følge et raskt estimat fra Lulu. Jeg vet ennå ikke hvor mange sider det blir i størrelsen 5,5" x 8.5" (det er ca. 140 sider i A4-format), så jeg gjettet på 400 sider. Jeg tror originalutgaven har nesten 400 sider. For 169*2 eksemplarer snakker vi om en trykkekostnad på ca. 2000 EURO, dvs. ca 15 000 NOK. Det burde være mulig å finne en sponsor for å dekke en slik sum. I tillegg kommer distribusjon og porto, som antagelig kommer på like mye.

Kan du bidra med oversettelse og docbook-typesetting? Ta kontakt og send patcher i github. Jeg legger gjerne inn folk i prosjektet slik at du kan oppdatere direkte.

Tags: docbook, freeculture, norsk, nuug, opphavsrett.

RSS Feed

Created by Chronicle v4.6