I’m working on a project which other may find interesting. I’m trying to replicate a publication from 1798 (Malthus’ Essay on the Principle of Population as it affects the future improvement of society). The source files are HTML (from Project Gutenberg) and I’ve added a CSS style sheet to produce a PDF file as close to the printed edition as possible, while still keeping the HTML in a browsable form. Here are links to my edition:
And here’s the original from 1798:
The PDF is produced with Prince.
The printed first edition uses long s. I didn’t feel like changing the HTML source files for this purpose and instead uses the ‘text-replace’ property in CSS to achieve this:
text-replace: “s” “\017F”
Now, the long s should not be used at the end of a word, so exceptions must also be coded:
text-replace: “\017F\20” “s\20”
There are more such exceptions, see the HTML source for the set I’ve been using. I know that some fonts also encode these substitutions. However, I believe it is easier for authors/replicators to edit the CSS source. Changing font files is frowned upon, no? Also, some other interesting substitutions are encoded. For example, to change “etc.” to “&c.”, one can use:
text-replace: “etc.” “\26 c.”
And “economist” to “œconomist”:
text-replace: “economist” “\153 conomist”
The ‘text-replace’ property is described here:
It would be interesting to hear of similar projects and how presentational substitutions are encoded.
In the past, I’ve also replicated Henrik Ibsen’s poems from 1871 in the same manner, it’s linked from here: