Programming on Kindle!

Amazon's Kindle is not just an ebook reader anymore. It is a programmable ebook reader now. Amazon has just released programming tools for the Web technologists out there to work on making the Kindle experience better, their way. The programming tools such as HTML (Hypertext Markup Language) and CSS (Cascading Style Sheets) have been released for Kindle. HTML will be used to create and describe webpages while CSS is the style guide for the webpage's formatting.

The command line tool released is called 'KindleGen'. It is automated environment on which source code can be written in HTML, XHTML or EPUB. This code can then be converted into Kindle-compatible format via a single source file.

Amazon officially announced, "Through the use of HTML5 and CSS3, KF8 allows publishers to create great-looking books in all categories, particularly those that require rich formatting and design, such as technical & engineering books and cookbooks. Other features are well suited to graphic novels, comics, and kids' books"

This move by Amazon paves a new way forward into textual content combined with visual content on e-readers. Now with the need to attract both young and old readers, visual content is absolutely necessary as the next step forward from plain text.

Kindle Fire: Out of the Box
Image courtesy: flickr

The new content will be read by Kindle Fire tablets first. Kindle Fire tablets are powered by Google's Android OS and was released last year in October. The new book format of Kindle is called KF8 (or Kindle Format 8). Using KindleGen, developers will be able to convert all source content into KF8 format.

Amazon has also announced that, "In the coming months KF8 will be rolled out to our latest generation Kindle e-ink devices as well as our free Kindle reading apps."

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