@Mastercore: My understanding, as it stands now, is that Scrivener can compile ebook formats such as epub and “pdf”.
But it will never be able to bridge the ever changeing landscape of ebook readers, ebook reading apps on phones tablets and computers, or whatever other devices appear (vr?)
Mmm, maybe? I don’t know if I quite understand what is meant by “bridging”, in this sense. Perhaps you mean that successful book design as a concept rarely involves one single tool? If so I would agree with that.
Scrivener produces an .epub file at a level of sophistication that few writing tools can match; as such, with a refined workflow, one would be able to use it and only it. However to get to that level of refinement we often need to be able to develop our designs in tools that show us the actual inner workings of the ePub itself. A generator, like Scrivener, doesn’t do that. It takes source data and uses instructions to generate a book procedurally—in order to understand what it generates we need a tool that can more correctly examine it, rather than simple view it (in an often very opinionated fashion, as reader-focused software will tend to do, displaying special fonts, themes and so forth).
Not only is that more efficient for troubleshooting, but for design as well. Implementing a custom book design in Scrivener alone would entail dozens of wasted hours spent waiting for the compiler to finish, while in Sigil changes made to the CSS happen instantaneously, right in the preview pane as you type in formatting attributes.
Here’s the key though, once you figure out what needs to be adjusted, you can take those adjustments back into Scrivener—either at the data level (what you type in) or the instructions (compile settings, like pasting some custom CSS into the CSS compile format pane). Test that, and if the new compiled result looks the way you want now, you’re one step closer to not needing a “bridge”, as I interpret it. Thus Sigil is more like a tool to help us refine the compile settings toward a point where we no longer need the helper tool, and have a simple one-click workflow.
I am assuming that I can edit the HTML and CSS in these files and export from Sigil, then check the resulting epub in Adobe Digital Editions.
Almost! Since Sigil is an ePub editor there is no export. You just save the result right in place and then refresh your reader to see the changes.
If this is all true, then I had better brush up on my HTML understanding.
Yup! And that’s what I mean about not flying blind. A blank space might not even exist at all in the original HTML/CSS of the ePub—it might be something introduced by the layout choices of the book reader’s theme settings. You’ll never know until you’re looking at the reference copy itself.