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Old 09-27-2012, 09:24 AM   #16
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Another thing to check is if the issue/bug/anomaly remains in the final, stand-alone KF8 version of the ebook that gets delivered to customers.

The bug (if it is indeed a bug) could be limited to the hybrid MOBI/KF8 ebook. That's always possible ... since most kindle devices would never see that hybrid file—unless the user "rolls their own" MOBIs.
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Old 09-27-2012, 09:38 AM   #17
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I'm fairly sure the problem is exhibited in Amazon's own mobi files which they provide, for example:
KF8Sample.mobi
KindlePluginForAdobeInDesign_PublishingGuidelines. mobi

But of course those are not distributed via KDP.

To check out what you suggest I would have to publish a book that might not be right, and then buy it, and that seems like throwing money away... Or is there another way?
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Old 09-27-2012, 09:46 AM   #18
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To check out what you suggest I would have to publish a book that might not be right, and then buy it, and that seems like throwing money away... Or is there another way?
MobiUnpack (stand-alone or plugin) will split a hybrid mobi/kf8 into its individual components. There's no guarantee that the resulting file would be 100% identical to what would be produced by the KDP process (although I suspect it's as close as reverse-engineering efforts can get), but if the issue "goes away" on the KF8-only file, it could narrow down where to look.

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Wasn't there a post, somewhere around here, that KG was inserting two "text" Guide items, and that popping the OPF open and removing the second reference solved the issue? And not using "Start" other than as the title? I know that KG has, on a number of occasions, produced two "start" (text) locations for us via Previewer. This seems to resolve when the book is uploaded to KDP.
I was never quite sure if KG was adding two text Guide items, or if that was a glitch produced by whatever tool I used to unpack the MOBI. There's a bit of a catch-22 there, though. One has to unpack the mobi in order to see if there's an extra text Guide item (let alone be able to remove that extra guide item from the OPF) ... but if KG is responsible for adding two text guide items, it's going to put both right back when one rebuilds the MOBI.

I do suspect KG is responsible, though. If only because I have a pretty firm grip on the mobi_unpack code (and also because I don't believe a calibre-built KF8 [hybrid or stand-alone] exhibits the same behavior).

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Old 09-27-2012, 10:36 AM   #19
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My test document has no text items at all in the guide section...

Can I turn the mobi8 folder resulting from mobiunpack into a mobi file that I can then test? How?
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Old 09-27-2012, 01:42 PM   #20
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IMHO, there's either a bug in the Kindle 3.4 firmware or in the current version of KindleGen (V2.5 build 0626-3a91e28).
So far I've mostly used KindleGen V1.1 build 99 to create mobi6 files, because my K3 didn't support KF8.
Now that it does, I started experimenting with KF8 and encountered the same problems that the OP had. I.e. Go to Beginning no longer works in the .mobi and in the KF8 parts.
The Text guide item in my simple test file worked just fine when I compiled the ePub with KindleGen 1.1, however, it no longer worked when I compiled it with current version of KindleGen.
The strange thing is that Go to Beginning works in KP but not on my Kindle 3.4. I'm wondering whether this is a KindleGen bug or a Kindle 3.4 firmware bug.

Can someone with a Kindle Fire please open my combo mobi test file and test whether selecting Go to Beginning displays the first chapter? If it does, this is a K 3.4 firmware bug.

EDIT: For good measure I also compiled my test epub with Calibre. The Go to Beginning guide item works fine in the .azw file generated by Calibre. It really looks more and more as if KindleGen is the culprit.
Attached Files
File Type: epub GuideTest.epub (35.5 KB, 82 views)
File Type: mobi GuideTest_Combo.mobi (67.2 KB, 68 views)
File Type: mobi GuideTest_Mobi6.mobi (22.3 KB, 63 views)
File Type: mobi GuideTest_Calibre.mobi (56.0 KB, 71 views)

Last edited by Doitsu; 09-27-2012 at 02:36 PM.
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Old 09-27-2012, 02:24 PM   #21
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OK... clearly, the extra start item (with no title) in the Guide section of the OPF is being introduced by MobiUnpack. It's not so much a bug as it is maybe a little too much -- thoroughness -- let's say.

The bad news is that it has nothing to do with the issue at hand:

1) The issue affects KF8s built by Kindlegen from source code that has never been touched by MobiUnpack.

2) When re-building code created by MobiUnpack with Kindlegen, it clearly says in the output that it's ignoring the reference item with no title.

I'm of the opinion that it's a bug in the device firmware, myself.
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Old 09-27-2012, 02:35 PM   #22
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Originally Posted by DiapDealer View Post
I'm of the opinion that it's a bug in the device firmware, myself.
That's definitely a possibility, however, since I just successfully generated an .azw3 file with Calibre that doesn't have these guide problems, I strongly suspect that there's a bug in the current KindleGen version.

Do you happen to know whether Amazon offers older KindleGen versions for download hidden on their server somewhere?
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Old 09-27-2012, 02:52 PM   #23
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I could email you KG2.4
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Old 09-27-2012, 02:54 PM   #24
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Do you happen to know whether Amazon offers older KindleGen versions for download hidden on their server somewhere?
Not that I know of.

Let me ask this (since we're leaning toward Kindlegen -- you've convinced me)... has anyone verified that both the command-line version of Kindlegen 2.5 and the embedded version in KindlePreviewer produce the same wonky behavior?
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Old 09-27-2012, 03:22 PM   #25
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has anyone verified that both the command-line version of Kindlegen 2.5 and the embedded version in KindlePreviewer produce the same wonky behavior?
I just downloaded the standalone Windows version, which has the same version number as the one that comes with KP (V2.5 build 0626-3a91e28) and compiled my test epub with it with the same results. (I also tested V2.4 with the same results.)
I.e. Go to Beginning works in KP but not on my K3.

Last edited by Doitsu; 09-27-2012 at 06:28 PM.
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Old 09-28-2012, 01:33 AM   #26
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It looks like KG 2.5 puts more than one StartOffset in the exth metadata:

In Doitsu's example, the TOC, then the Start.

So, yeah, if what's in there isn't bogus (and it doesn't look like it), and the K3 chokes on this (or only honors the first entry: you start on the TOC instead of the 'proper' start), probably a K3 bug. (Calibre only puts a single entry in there: the start).

On Mobi Unpack's side, it was doing some stuff with it for KF8 files (pop'ing the list to get the last one), so you ended up with only half of it in the OPF meta. And it was indeed building guide entries from those, without a title, even if the proper guide extraction was successful. (On the other hand, it later tries to do this again a dozen of lines after having deleted it o_O).

Here's a small patch against MU 0.54. Take with a grain of salt, it's 7 AM, it was mostly to try to understand what's going on, and why I had an incomplete header dump (saw the dual StartOffset with Calibre but not MU), and I'm a bit shaky on the whole OPF thing to begin with .

I'll check tomorrow on my Touch how it handles those files with dual StartOffsets...

Also check if KG 2.5 stops at two entries (TOC & Start), or if will happily create one for every reference in the guide...

FWIW, I dimly remember seeing those kind of double StartOffsets on stuff straight from Amazon, so a KDP pass probably doesn't change a thing .

EDIT: Updated patch in #41.

Last edited by NiLuJe; 09-28-2012 at 04:46 PM.
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Old 09-28-2012, 03:00 AM   #27
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So, yeah, if what's in there isn't bogus (and it doesn't look like it), and the K3 chokes on this (or only honors the first entry: you start on the TOC instead of the 'proper' start), probably a K3 bug. (Calibre only puts a single entry in there: the start).
I really appreciate you investigating this. Another mystery solved. To be honest, I hardly ever use Go to Beginning anyway, but this information might be useful to KDP publishers, if they get complaints from K3 FW3.4 users about this issue.
But then again, most K3 users probably won't notice this problem.
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Old 09-28-2012, 03:47 AM   #28
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I don't think it is a simple as you suggest, the mystery is not solved.

On real books, with a long toc and setting the start to the first chapter, just after the toc, I have seen several different results, with different but similar books, with a K3 (in all cases correct in the Previewer):
1. Works perfectly.
2. Shows the bottom end of the toc.
3. Starts about 4 lines down on chapter 1.
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Old 09-28-2012, 04:32 AM   #29
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I don't think it is a simple as you suggest, the mystery is not solved.
Maybe, but it looks like the K3 is not the best device to test KF8 files with, because there seems to be a bug in the firmware possibly compounded by a KindleGen bug/feature that seems to be ignored by K4s, K5s and KFires.

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On real books, with a long toc and setting the start to the first chapter, just after the toc, I have seen several different results [...]
2. Shows the bottom end of the toc.
3. Starts about 4 lines down on chapter 1.
To exclude other errors, you also may want to generate azw3 files of the files that exhibited behaviors 2 & 3 with Calibre and re-rest the guide items both with KP and on your K3.

The file structure might also play a role. For example, did you use a single .html source file with toc and text anchors or separate .html toc and chapter files?
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Old 09-28-2012, 05:18 AM   #30
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The file structure might also play a role. For example, did you use a single .html source file with toc and text anchors or separate .html toc and chapter files?
I have tried both. Same results.
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