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Project Baker

The HTML5 ebook framework to publish interactive books & magazines on iPad & iPhone using simply open web standards


To this day, ebooks have been limited by an old standard created in the pre-Kindle and pre-iPad era. Baker is the first stepping stone to show that we could already be using the powerful HTML5 language to create books with real typography, real layouts and high-quality design.


Creating an ebook in HTML5 to be used with Baker is a three-steps operation. It's easier done than said! ;)


    • Create you publication as one or more HTML5 files like a standalone website
    • Design your publication to fit multiple screen (using CSS media-queries)
    • You can use any feature in WebKit: HTML5, CSS3, JavaScript (video, audio, fonts, jQuery, Google Maps, etc)
    • On iPad/iPhone you can constrain the height to match the page size or make it scrollable if you need longer pages
    • For best results, consider having 1 HTML for each chapter/section/article and use the native vertical scrolling.
    • ...remember: it's a publication. If you want to build an app, check PhoneGap. ;)

    • The publication must be contained in a single Hpub file
    • Each chapter/section/article (horizontally swiped on the iPad) should be a single HTML file inside the Hpub
    • Create a Hpub book.json file: title, author, pages, etc. (see below)
    • All the assets must be contained within the publication folder or its subfolders
    • Check the example book from the website for an hands-on example
    • See either Standalone tutorial or Newsstand tutorial for free subscriptions or Newsstand tutorial for paid subscriptions for more information

    • Download the Baker Framework Xcode project from (or GitHub).
    • Download Xcode from the Mac App Store or from the Apple Developer website.
    • Decide if you want to release using the Standalone tutorial or Newsstand tutorial mode and follow the tutorial accordingly.
    • Select the Baker Scheme (Simulator or Device) from the toolbar dropdown.
    • Run and check that everything works correctly both on simulator and device.
    • Check this page if you encounter any problem.
    • Create an Apple iPhone Developer account to publish on the App Store.
    • If you are using Newsstand, follow the instructions on the Apple iPhone Developer website to create either your free subscription or paid subscription / issue In App Purchases
    • Follow the instructions on the Apple iPhone Developer website to submit your book to the app store.


This is an example of a minimal book.json file:

  "title": "The Study in Scarlet",
  "author": "Arthur Conan Doyle",
  "url": "book://",

  "contents": [

For all the details and the advanced options, check the Hpub specification on the wiki.


This is an example of the shelf.json file that is downloaded by Baker in Newsstand mode to check the available publications:

    "name": "a-study-in-scarlet",
    "title": "A Study in Scarlet",
    "info": "The original masterpiece by Sir Arthur Conan Doyle",
    "date": "1887-10-10 10:10:10",
    "cover": "",
    "url": "",
    "product_id": "com.bakerframework.Baker.issues.a_study_in_scarlet"

For all the details on how to create and use it, check the Newsstand publications.


With Baker Framework you can create books and magazines for the iPhone too.

To compile your application for iPhone follow these steps:

  • Open the Baker Framework Xcode project with Xcode.
  • Click on the "Baker" project in the leftmost column of the project navigator.
  • On the column just left, click under Projects on "Baker"
  • In the "Build Settings" tab locate the section Deployment for the configuration you would like to use for compiling.
  • Under the Deployment section change the Target Device Family entry to match the devices you would like to target (only iPhone, only iPad or iPhone/iPad).
  • Update your publications to manage multiple orientations (using CSS media-queries).
  • Compile and test the application.



  • 4.3 (11/12/2014)

    • Added support for iOS 8, iOS 8.1, iPhone 6 and iPhone 6 Plus
    • The Baker app is now a universal app
    • Support for iOS 6 is dropped, Baker now requires iOS 7 or newer
    • The shelf header is now a separate view that can be customized
    • The embedded book "A Study Of Scarlet" is now responsive
    • The shelf view now supports categories
    • Newsstand icon is now updated dynamically
    • Autoplay on UIWebView is now allowed
    • Settings are now defined in the settings.plist file instead of code
    • Many new config settings to customize the shelf
    • Full cleanup of the code, move to ARC and move to modern Objective-C syntax
    • Minor bug fixes and other resolved GitHub reported issues
  • 4.2.1 (26/01/2014)

    • Branding changes. New Baker Framework logo assets
    • Open local files in modal view. Action button not shown. Useful if you have local documents (html, pdf, etc...) related to the content of your Baker HPub
    • Bugfixes related to iOS 7 app validation (Asset Catalog Errors)
  • 4.2 (28/10/2013)

    • iOS 7 support
    • Text Kit support
    • Support for analytics/tracking frameworks
    • Info box in shelf
    • init JS event for Info box with user_id and app_id
    • Asset Catalog support
    • Added environment parameter to Baker API calls
    • Made most remote calls asynchronous
    • Support for removing issues from shelf.json
    • Replaced AQGridView with UICollectionView
    • Minor improvements and bugfixes
  • 4.1 (06/05/2013)

    • In-App Purchases for your magazine issues (server required)
    • Paid Subscriptions support (server required)
    • Push notifications capabilit (server required)
    • Baker API defined to allow third-party servers
    • Vertical pagination flexibility with <meta name="paged" content="YES">
    • Issue data can now be refreshed
    • book: protocol now works within the issues on the shelf
    • Index handling improvements
    • Removed JSONKit, using iOS5+ parser
    • Memory enhancements
    • Cleaned up the debug console log and error messages
    • Bugs and fixes
  • 4.0 (22/12/2012)

    • Full Newsstand support
    • Shelf to manage multiple publications
    • Free subscriptions support
    • Orientation handling improvement
  • 3.2.3 (25/10/2012)

    • Added more complete user-agent to work with JS that do user-agent detection for features
    • Fix: HTML5 Video playback now uses the Audio session
    • Fix: long touch doesn't trigger the index bar anymore
  • 3.2.2 (10/10/2012)

    • iOS 6 and iPhone 5 display support
    • Improved modal web view offline handling
    • Fixed orientation bug and javascript property
    • Fixed modal web view crash when interrupted and other minor fixes
    • For developers: now Baker view is a separate class
    • User agent and status bar tweaks (thanks to @jcampbell05)
  • 3.2.1 (20/08/2012)

    • Internal release
  • 3.2 (20/03/2012)

    • iOS 5.1 and Retina display support
    • External links now open in internal browser, see referrer=Baker (thanks to @steiny2k)
    • Custom events fired on window blur and focus
    • Book.json parameters to disable tap and swipe: -baker-page-turn-tap/swipe
    • Index bar dynamically sized from index.html size. Use viewport meta property to configure
    • Change: referrer=Baker variable now not passed to destination website
    • Fix: "white flash" workaround found
    • Fix: solved issue with pre-compiled screenshots and books with more than 50 pages
    • Fix: rare bug of content loaded into index view instead of page
  • 3.1 (20/12/2011)

    • Newsstand basic support
    • iOS5/iCloud data storage guidelines support
    • Pre-build screenshots in screenshot mode using -baker-page-screenshots in book.json
    • Retina display support in screenshot mode (thanks to @zenz)
    • Manga support: start from the last page, or any arbitrary page using -baker-start-at-page in book.json
    • Email protocol support
    • Change JSON library to JSONKit (thanks to @zenz)
    • Fix: block idle when downloading
    • Fix: spinner color and iOS4.x support
    • Change: -baker-background-image-* properties are now relative to ./book/ folder, see Issue #247
  • 3.0.2 (29/10/2011)

    • Fix: iOS 4 support for the spinner feature available only in iOS 5
  • 3.0 (18/10/2011)

    • Two rendering modes to improve performances: screenshots (thanks to @pugpig) and three-cards
    • index.html view on double-tap to manage navigation and menu
    • Full Hpub 1.0 support
    • Improved rendering speed and responsiveness
    • Improved handling of internal and external links
    • Memory optimization
    • iOS 5 and Xcode 4.2 compatibility
    • Minimum supported version: iOS 4.0
    • Minor fixes and improvements
    • Thanks to @francesctovar @therabidbanana @eaglejohn @ffranke for the great support
  • 2.0 (28/04/2011)

    • Multi-orientation books support: portrait, landscape, both (thanks to @svdgraaf)
    • iPhone support
    • Xcode 4 compatibility
    • Added support to open a specific page of a downloaded book
    • Added support to remove vertical bounce (for non-scrolling books)
    • Added support to enable automatic media playback
    • Changed the gesture to open the status bar to the more reliable doubletap
    • Fix: page anchors now handled in internal links
    • Fix: orientationchange event now fires
    • Minimum supported version: iOS 3.2
    • Minor fixes
  • 1.1 (19/01/2011)

    • Added book:// protocol to allow downloadable HPub books
    • Support for zipped HPub books (to allow downloading)
    • Link support (internal/external)
    • Multitap page navigation
    • Alphabetical ordering (WARNING: breaks previous books, check before upgrading)
    • Statusbar on tap
    • Full screen swipes
    • Fix: now the previous page doesn't flash anymore when you change page
    • Minor fixes
  • 1.0 (03/11/2010)

    • First release


Copyright (C) 2010-2013, Davide Casali, Marco Colombo, Alessandro Morandi Licensed under BSD Opensource License (free for personal and commercial use)

Elementary, my dear Watson.


The HTML5 ebook framework to publish interactive books & magazines on iPad & iPhone using simply open web standards


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