How to make text content readily useable for Android Apps?
January 21, 2011 9:50 AM   Subscribe

How do I prepare a reference book with footnotes and an index so that it can easily be converted into an Android app?

At some point I plan on making a legal reference Android app for attorneys in the courtroom. Unlike the apps I see on the market today, I would want this one to be annotated with footnotes and an index as well as hyperlinks to referenced statutes. This would be a simpler version of what Westlaw/LexisNexis offers.

I get a sense I can accomplish this by creating a ebook/kindle version of this text. But I think an app version would be easier to navigate as a reference source.

In Microsoft Word, for example, I would use footnotes to add the annotations to the text. But I don't want to use a wordprocessor and create this lengthy publication only to start all over because it can't be fed into the constraints of a phone app.

I have no programming experience at all. I started reading books on computer science and Java last night. I have heard I need to have some knowledge of XML, SQL, and Java to understand how to structure the data. I get a sense I need to know how to make databases.

So where would you start? I would like to start writing the content as soon as possible in a manner that can be easily integrated into an app. I don't necessarily wish to do the app programming - I would be happy to hire someone to do that - but I am willing to figure out how to structure the data so that app developer can just drop it in when ready.
posted by abdulf to Computers & Internet (3 answers total) 2 users marked this as a favorite
The longer I think about it, the more the answer to this is LaTeX. LaTeX can look a bit scary, but it's actually really simple. The nice thing about it is that it's well defined, so that if you decide you need a different format later on, it should be straightforward to convert it.
posted by anaelith at 11:24 AM on January 21, 2011

LaTeX is a typesetting specification language. That would be useful for reproducing on screen in an e-book format or suchlike, but not for this application.

I think it might be worth investigating SCORM for this, and you'll need an authoring tool such as eXe. I am quite interested in this particular application as well, feel free to me/gmail me.
posted by anigbrowl at 5:45 PM on January 21, 2011

Oops, I omitted to mention MediaWiki.
posted by anigbrowl at 7:38 PM on January 21, 2011

« Older Help me identify these half-remembered video games...   |   Help finding or coining a term Newer »
This thread is closed to new comments.