I have a large amount of highly structured data (Bible verse translations and commentary) in an SQL database that I would like to make available in as widely usable an ebook format (or formats) as possible. The formatting is going to require a little bit more that a flat text rendering to include section headings, verse numbering, clear delineation between types of content (translated text of Scripture formatted differently than commentary), linked cross references, and a Table of Contents.
I presume that I should be generating an in-between format of some sort such as an XML file based on my data set that can then be transformed using XSLT or a similar system to a finished ebook format, but I don't know what this should be. I don't want to re-invent the wheel any more than necessary.
- Is this generally the right workflow or am I missing the boat somewhere?
- What should the in-between format be? Are there standards for this that will make the secondary transformation easier than others?
I suppose I should note that this is not a one time project that I can hack together using some GUI tools or web services — the whole process must be scriptable from start to finish. I intend to make the ebook generation an option from an extant site as an export option with customizable data ranges, translations, etc.