View Full Version : ebook creation: should the master document be one file or many?

hapax legomenon
10-26-2007, 03:49 AM
Hi, I read the thread about .epub format about memory issues.

I think ADE treats each XHTML stream as a logical page that is then split up into separate pages depending on font size and screen size. It keeps a single logical page in memory at one time. As a result having a single very long logical page is likely to cause swapping and slow down page turns. The same is true for LRF (except that there it is <Page> elements than should not be too long instead of individual files.

I thinking of putting together a master document and had never considered that the idea of one file vs. multiple files might have an impact upon memory and pagination on the device.

I'm guessing that for my source I could use xinclude to combine several xml documents into a single xml file to convert into an ebook (whether as .epub or as a converted binary format). Or I could use a publishing program (like Open Office or In Design) to create a master document and drop several files ("chapters") into the master document. Then the single master document could be converted.

But if there are memory issues, would that be a good reason to split my output into multiple xhtml files?

Apart from memory issues, can you think of any advantages of splitting the output into multiple files?

I personally find the mobipocket GUI program does a pretty horrible job of preserving hyperlinks when you import several html files into a project. The only time I can feel certain the links will work is if the output is a single file, not a group of files. But the .epub discussion seems to imply that reading systems vary in how they read and paginate files deriving from a single file.

Does anyone have that experience with mobipocket also? Hyperlinks are so easy in web browsers; how could the mobipocket creation tool screw it up so often?

Nate the great
10-26-2007, 09:27 AM
I don't think anyone here actually uses the Mobipocket software. It's that bad.

I use Book Designer, and keep the ebook master as a single file. Not all devices can handle multiple files.

10-26-2007, 11:22 AM
I use multiple pages on many documents. TOC is easier to generate on multiple documents and easier to maintain as a separate document for me. Also chapters in separate documents automatically force a new page for the Chapter which is useful. I only occasionally use book designer as it prefers one file. MobiPocket Creator seems to prefer multiple files particularly to control the location of the generated toc. I have not tried to test the hyperlink problem you experienced. I mostly use ebook publisher for my eb1150 files as it gives me the most control.


hapax legomenon
10-26-2007, 03:19 PM
i am somewhat reluctant to use book designer because I've been told the html output is not good. But it's a robust program, no doubt about that.

Dealing with multiple files is easier because you can deal with components rather than one gigantic component. But when translating from source to binary you can sometimes obscure paths and link references.

At least with .epub you know exactly how xhmtl hyperlinks are supposed to behave.

10-26-2007, 03:24 PM
Book Designer can write out books in multiple formats so you don't really need HTML output. It can do Sony Reader LRF and Mobipocket PRC and Reb 1150 IMG. So it's one program to do most of what you want. But if you have an HTML file with more complex formatting needed and tables, use html2lrf to make LRF. It just works better in those cases.