View Full Version : A basic question


SomeNewGuy
05-12-2011, 07:08 PM
Can someone explain how exactly the process of converting works?? Why does it take so long to finish?? And why is it that difficult??

theducks
05-13-2011, 12:22 AM
Can someone explain how exactly the process of converting works?? Why does it take so long to finish?? And why is it that difficult??

GIGO is why it takes long(er)

Convert from :eek: what?

PDF is probably the worst. (OK, Clay tablets.They won't fit into any floppy drive :p )
PDF is a finished PAGE. How the page is put together does not need to be assembled in Linear order. It is like a Puzzle. You keep placing pieces until it is done. Same with PDF.
Guessing the Order the pieces need to appear can be a challange :eek:

Some formats don't allow flexibility on style and layout. Simple TXT (like made with Notepad.exe) have nothing but spaces and characters. No font faces or font sizes. (HTML is a text file with markup tags that the viewer can interpert).

DOC files are loaded with all the fonts and stuff, the problem is the messy internals result in huge sized (files) conversions.

Some of the other source types are somewhere in between TXT and (X)HTML(the core of EPUB) with detectable, formatting content.

neilmarr
05-13-2011, 08:08 AM
Good to have your company, SNG. Have you tried using the free Calibre Library software (download here: http://www.calibre-ebook.com)?

As TheDucks says, though, it's often a matter of Garbage-In-Garbage-Out. A badly prepared digital file will not convert well and a file padlocked bty DRM software won't convert at all without first stripping the DRM (morally justified, I feel, but still not legal).

Good luck and best wishes. Neil

jbcohen
05-13-2011, 09:11 AM
This is actually a good question that I have not been able to come up with a satisfactory answer for and depends on how far one wants to go in understanding the conversion process. Please feel free to correct me as what follows may be flawed:

The process, on a software level, involves the use of multiple conversion tables. which table gets used depends on what format the file is in to begin with and what format the file needs to wind up in. For example there is one table for pdf to epub and another for html to epub. What is a table? A spreadsheet with row A being individual characters in the input format and B is the characters in the output format. When a conversion is completed each individual character in the file is compared against the table, spreadsheet, and the oposite value is subsituted in the converted file. As the file to be converted gets longer so does the conversion process as each character needs to be converted one by one. Obviously computers are better at this an faster at it then humans are but it still takes a while. The dificulties come in when special characters such as !@#$% are used in the source file and sometimes do not have a corresponding value in the table. Other times there may not be a one to one conversion as the output format may not have a character corresponding to it, however this is rare.

SomeNewGuy
05-13-2011, 10:16 AM
For now I just want to be able to do this one that I need to finish, but I`m looking into all possibilities, since I`m job-less at the moment and this is something new, maybe an opportunity for something.

theducks
05-13-2011, 01:38 PM
For now I just want to be able to do this one that I need to finish, but I`m looking into all possibilities, since I`m job-less at the moment and this is something new, maybe an opportunity for something.

So what format is your source in?
Calibre will convert straight Text fairly nicely if you prepare you source.
Go read the conversion suggestions at: http://calibre-ebook.com/help
and see what has the best fit.
If you have 'Open Office',and have a DOC file, look at Writer2EPUB plugin.:thumbsup:

Then fine tune the output with a Text/XHTML editor (EPubs are Zip files in a with rules) or Sigil to K.I.S.S.

SomeNewGuy
05-13-2011, 02:03 PM
They haven`t told me what the format is, yet. I know that it`s a Front Page book, that`s all. This is just a preparation for me, since I took a job I didn`t know how to do :o but I think that I`m doing fine for now, I`ll read those suggestions for now :)