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Old 12-26-2012, 07:01 PM   #1
ichrispa
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KT kepub structure

Hi everyone,

I recently bought myself a KT and I am generally very pleased with the device. What bugs me (and from what I have read many other users as well) is the fact that newspapers, magazines and previews are only purchasable from Kobo and not sideloadable. Like many others I use calibre to create newsfeeds and seing them as ebooks really annoys me.

I have taken a glance at how to make my KT classifeis an epub as news or previews. From what I see, magazines and previews are just epubs, stripped of their .epub extension and renamed with a long identifier, which are found in the .kobo/kepub folder.

My strong suspicion is that the .kobo/KoboReader sqlite database is responsible for classifying the contents of the kepub folder as newspaper or preview, thus making them available in the appropriate menu sections of the KT. In particular the table named "content" in the sqlite database should be the one making that distiction.

My problem is that I do not know how they are marked as such. My KT came without visible previews and in germany, there are no newspapers that can be purchased in the kobo store (marked as "coming soon"). So I have no template on deciphering the database relations.

Here's my appeal: I need to see how the database links the contents of the kepub folder with what fields in the database to make them appear as newspaper. To do that one would need a KT which has contents stored and visible in the "Newspapers & Magazines" category. One obvious solution would be if anyone (especially one of those US Kobo owners whose newpaper subscriptons are working) could provide me with a directory listing of their .kobo/kepub folder and their sqlite database, I might be able to figure this one out.

Word of warning: Yes, I know that user credentials are stored in that sqlite database. I would prefer if I could get a database with blank user names and access credentials. However I might need the User ID Field from that table...

Alternatively, if you are familiar with sqlite, maybe you could just take a look for yourself and provide us with your insights?

Kind regards,

ichrispa
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Old 12-28-2012, 05:15 PM   #2
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I would be interested in this as well...

(btw, i think your thread title could be more descriptive to get people's help....i would never have guessed what your ultimate goal was if i'd just read that....)
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Old 12-28-2012, 07:35 PM   #3
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I don't know how I missed this yesterday.

This was briefly discussed a little while ago and I did some investigation. Someone with a trial subscription to a paper sent me the database from their device. It looks simple, but I didn't have enough test cases or the source paper to experiment properly.

When a book is processed into the devices database, rows are put into various tables. The "content" table holds a row for each book that describes it (location, type, title, author etc) plus a row for each chapter in it. The value of the ContentType column differentiates these rows. For most books, the book row has ContentType=6 and the chapter rows have ContentType=9. For the newspapers, the ContentType was 10 for all rows.

There were two other differences I saw. The files within the paper all had extension of "xml", which didn't seem to matter. The other difference was that they had multiple levels. All other epubs I have looked at have the container with files inside. The database rows for these had a reference back to the root. For the paper, the articles referred back to a sub-section row that referred back to section that referred back to the paper. There were at least three levels, I don't know if there were more.

As an experiment, I changed the ContentType to 10 for a book. When I disconnected, the book appeared in the Newspaper section and behaved as a newspaper. Or at least I assume it did as I had never read a newspaper on my Touch.

So, that sounds easy, set the ContentType to 10 and you have a newspaper. But, it isn't. The only way to get the book/newspaper into the devices database is to put it onto the device and let the device process it. It decides what type of book it has and what settings to use in the database to describe the book.

The next obvious thing is to create the rows when putting the book onto the device. Again easy, except that I don't know where some of the data comes from (mainly _NumPages). And, if I have a book on the device and in the database and replace it with a slightly changed version the device probably completely remove it. That last behaviour has change with firmware version but it means if I created the rows for a newspaper, it is likely to disappear when the device is disconnected.

After finding the above, I stopped and found other things to distract me But, I have been doing some work on something and adding an option to "convert" a book that is already on the device to a newspaper would be easy. There is an issue with the driver, but that can be fixed later. And probably should be anyway.

I little experimentation is in order. I may send a PM to you later.
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Old 12-29-2012, 01:38 AM   #4
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Well, I have had a play.

Changing the contenttype for an epub is enough to get it displayed in the "News & Magazines" section. But, it is read just like any other epub.

So, I tried changing the extension to .kepub.epub. That worked as well. Opening it from the "News & Magazines" section and the reader app used was different to the normal kepub. But, the TOC and a few other things didn't work correctly.

The example database I have is from firmware 2.0.0 (I think). The database entries for the newspaper has hierarchical TOC entries. I could reproduce this, but the TOC rows created for a kepub book have changed in one of the recent firmware versions. There are extra rows for the TOC and I don't know how to handle them when turning it into a newspaper. I tried a couple of guesses, but they didn't work. And one of them caused my Glo to believe it didn't have any books on it.

That means there isn't much that can be done without knowing what Kobo now puts into the database. I'll second ichrispa's request for a copy of the database from a device that has at least one newspaper in it. And a copy of the actual newspaper file would be good. It will probably be encrypted and I won't be able to read it, but I should be able to glean the structure and compare it to the database. It doesn't matter if it comes from a Touch, a Glo or a Mini and any firmware version after 2.1.1 should be suitable. But a 2.3.1 or 2.3.2 would ideal.
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Old 12-29-2012, 11:29 AM   #5
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Sigh ... I just finished deleting the trial entries from my unit (using current f/w). Will see if I can get them back...
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Old 12-30-2012, 02:37 PM   #6
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I'm curious *where* the setting ContentType is located...i'm assuming this is something you are doing with calibre??
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Old 12-30-2012, 03:13 PM   #7
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Uschiekid View Post
I'm curious *where* the setting ContentType is located...i'm assuming this is something you are doing with calibre??
That setting is in the SQLite database Kobo uses for storing information. It's fun to take a look at the database with a browser and seeing just what is stored and how but I've been steering clear of mucking with the database. I know enough about database structures and programming to know when keeping my fingers off is a good idea.

Regards,
David
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Old 12-30-2012, 03:15 PM   #8
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That setting is in the SQLite database Kobo uses for storing information. It's fun to take a look at the database with a browser and seeing just what is stored and how but I've been steering clear of mucking with the database. I know enough about database structures and programming to know when keeping my fingers off is a good idea.

Regards,
David
rats! i thought it might not be too complicated. i'm definitely not one who should be messing around with it then.
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Old 12-30-2012, 05:52 PM   #9
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That setting is in the SQLite database Kobo uses for storing information. It's fun to take a look at the database with a browser and seeing just what is stored and how but I've been steering clear of mucking with the database. I know enough about database structures and programming to know when keeping my fingers off is a good idea.
Well, I couldn't resist Though it was a while before I started making changes. Mainly I observed what happened as I used the device. Nowadays, I think I am making more changes in the database than Kobo is And I really have to stop that and write some documentation.
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Old 01-04-2013, 09:23 AM   #10
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Hi everyone,

first off: wow. I didn't think I would get this much interest. Thanks

Secondly @Uschiekid: You are absolutely right about the title. I apologize.

Thirdly, seeing Uschiekid question I realizise I might have not been all to clear on what I am trying to accomplish here: I want to analyze the onboard database of the Kobo Touch reader (possibly shared among other devices like the kobo mini or glo). This database is located under .kobo/KoboReader.sqlite. Attempting to alter with this database can impede the functionality of your reader. Do not attempt to open/edit this file unless you know what you are doing. The discussion here is not centered on the userinterface side or stuff you can do with calibre or other management tools; this is strictly a development discussion.

If we can find out how to do this, I will propably write a python script with the ability to "sideload" a publication already on the Kobo to the newspaper category. I seriously doubt however that this will be very user friendly.

Now, on to the interesting stuff...

I suggest we define some common ground for looking into this topic. First off, I am running Firmware Version: 2.3.2

I do not strictly object to people contributing knowledge on older firmware versions. As an engineer I have rarely seen database structures change over the time of a product's deployment, because it makes a userside conversion during firmware updates manditory. And there is soooo much that can go wrong there. So I don't think that versions >=2.0.0 should differ to much on the subject.

Now davidfor has raised an interesting point. The ContentType table would obviously index the content type of a kepub that flags it as paper. To be on the same page here, my 2.3.0 and 2.3.2 database structure had the following tables:

Code:
AbTest              Event               content_keys        user              
Achievement         Rules               content_settings    volume_shortcovers
Bookmark            Shelf               publications        volume_tabs       
DbVersion           ShelfContent        ratings           
Dictionary          content             shortcover_page
We will not get around analyzing how the primary keys are cross indexed in the various tables, but the content table would obviously hold the "interesting" stuff. My columns of the table content look like this:

Code:
CREATE TABLE content( ContentID TEXT NOT NULL,               
                      ContentType TEXT NOT NULL, 
                      MimeType TEXT NOT NULL,
                      BookID TEXT,BookTitle TEXT,
                      ImageId TEXT,  
                      Title TEXT COLLATE NOCASE,
                      Attribution TEXT COLLATE NOCASE,
                        Description TEXT,
                      DateCreated TEXT,      
                      ShortCoverKey TEXT, 
                      adobe_location TEXT,
                      Publisher TEXT,  
                      IsEncrypted BOOL,   
                      DateLastRead TEXT, 
                      FirstTimeReading BOOL,
                      ChapterIDBookmarked TEXT, 
                      ParagraphBookmarked INTEGER, 
                      BookmarkWordOffset INTEGER, 
                      NumShortcovers INTEGER,  
                      VolumeIndex INTEGER,   
                      ___NumPages INTEGER,  
                      ReadStatus INTEGER,  
                      ___SyncTime TEXT,   
                      ___UserID TEXT NOT NULL,
                      PublicationId TEXT,
                      ___FileOffset INTEGER,
                      ___FileSize INTEGER,
                      ___PercentRead INTEGER,
                      ___ExpirationStatus INTEGER,
                      FavouritesIndex NOT NULL DEFAULT -1,
                      Accessibility INTEGER DEFAULT 1,
                      ContentURL TEXT, 
                      Language TEXT,
                      BookshelfTags TEXT,
                      IsDownloaded BIT NOT NULL DEFAULT 1,
                      FeedbackType INTEGER DEFAULT 0,
                      AverageRating INTEGER DEFAULT 0, 
                      Depth INTEGER,
                      PageProgressDirection TEXT, 
                      InWishlist BOOL NOT NULL DEFAULT FALSE,
                      ISBN TEXT,
                      WishlistedDate TEXT DEFAULT "0000-00-00T00??.000",
                      FeedbackTypeSynced INTEGER DEFAULT 0,
                      IsSocialEnabled BOOL NOT NULL DEFAULT TRUE,
                      EpubType INT NOT NULL DEFAULT -1, 
                      Monetization INTEGER DEFAULT 2,
                      ExternalId TEXT, 
                      Series TEXT, 
                      SeriesNumber TEXT,
                      Subtitle TEXTWordCount INTEGER DEFAULT -1,   
                      PRIMARY KEY (ContentID)   
);

CREATE INDEX content_attribution_index ON content (Attribution);
CREATE INDEX content_bookid_index ON content (BookID);
CREATE INDEX content_date_last_read_index ON content (DateLastRead);
CREATE INDEX content_mime_type ON content (MimeType);
CREATE INDEX content_title_index ON content (Title);
Infering from davidfor post and crossreferencing with my contents of the database, the column contentType is:

Code:
1   - unknown
2   - unknown
3   - unknown
4   - unknown
5   - unknown
6   - EBook, epub (sideloaded)
7   - unknown
8   - unknown
9   - EBook, pdf (sideloaded)
10 - Newspaper, epub
It is logical to deduce that images, html files, text files, previews, etc. etc. alls have there own content type. It might also be true that Kobo purchased/encrypted books and papers are a different content type than sideloaded books. Unfortunately I cannot try that out, as I have not purchased any ebooks from kobo.

For epubs and html the entry can also identify a chapter, as long as it is in a seperate file in the epub archive and the heading contains an anchor. For example:

Code:
sqlite> select ContentID,ContentType,MimeType from content;
...
file:///mnt/onboard/Zeit Online [Wed, 26 Dec 2012]_2012-12-26.epub#(132)feed_13/article_0/index_u136.html|9|application/epub+zip
...
is a chapter from a calibre synthesized newspaper, which is correctly flagged as ContentType epub.

To summarize: ContentType does affect where the kobo interface places the epub, but not the reader application.

Quote:
So, I tried changing the extension to .kepub.epub. That worked as well. Opening it from the "News & Magazines" section and the reader app used was different to the normal kepub. But, the TOC and a few other things didn't work correctly.
@davidfor: When you change the suffix to .kepub.epub, is the contentType being detected automatically? How is the EpubType entry affected by this change? Mine is stuck at -1, but this might affect the reader application.

Regards,

ichrispa
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Old 01-07-2013, 05:50 PM   #11
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Quote:
Originally Posted by ichrispa View Post

I suggest we define some common ground for looking into this topic. First off, I am running Firmware Version: 2.3.2

I do not strictly object to people contributing knowledge on older firmware versions. As an engineer I have rarely seen database structures change over the time of a product's deployment, because it makes a userside conversion during firmware updates manditory. And there is soooo much that can go wrong there. So I don't think that versions >=2.0.0 should differ to much on the subject.
The database structure changes with most firmware releases, but it is rare for the new database not to be backwardly compatible with the previous one. They add tables and columns. I've never seen them remove anything and I've only seen two or three changes in datatype.
Quote:


Infering from davidfor post and crossreferencing with my contents of the database, the column contentType is:

Code:
1   - unknown
2   - unknown
3   - unknown
4   - unknown
5   - unknown
6   - EBook, epub (sideloaded)
7   - unknown
8   - unknown
9   - EBook, pdf (sideloaded)
10 - Newspaper, epub
It is logical to deduce that images, html files, text files, previews, etc. etc. alls have there own content type. It might also be true that Kobo purchased/encrypted books and papers are a different content type than sideloaded books. Unfortunately I cannot try that out, as I have not purchased any ebooks from kobo.
For epubs and html the entry can also identify a chapter, as long as it is in a seperate file in the epub archive and the heading contains an anchor. For example:

Code:
sqlite> select ContentID,ContentType,MimeType from content;
...
file:///mnt/onboard/Zeit Online [Wed, 26 Dec 2012]_2012-12-26.epub#(132)feed_13/article_0/index_u136.html|9|application/epub+zip
...
is a chapter from a calibre synthesized newspaper, which is correctly flagged as ContentType epub.

To summarize: ContentType does affect where the kobo interface places the epub, but not the reader application.
The meaning of 6 and 9 isn't correct. There is a ContentType 6 row for every item on the device except the newspapers. This describes the item. It doesn't matter the type of book or if it s an image or HTML or something else. Other columns describe the type of book. Look at MimeType for the type,

The ContentType 9 row describes the chapters in the book. For an epubs this is the TOC. It doesn't matter if the chapters are in a single file in the epub, or separate files. It is one 9 per chapter. For other types, there is usually one 9 record.

For a kepubs, there are also ContentType 899 rows. As with the 9 rows, these seem to be TOC entries. These are new. I think they started being created with 2.2.0. The 899's have the chapter title, but the 9's have the file names. The TOC and navigation use these somehow.

ContentType 10 appears to be for newspapers and the articles in them. They seem to be either epubs or kepubs. But they have a multilevel structure that is reflected in the database. The "BookId" is used to do this.
Quote:

@davidfor: When you change the suffix to .kepub.epub, is the contentType being detected automatically? How is the EpubType entry affected by this change? Mine is stuck at -1, but this might affect the reader application.
When the epub is renamed to "kepub.epub", everything is automatic. All the appropriate rows were created automatically. I haven't paid attention to the EpubType. Looking right now, all the downloaded kepubs have 1 except for the previews. For these, EpubType is 3.
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Old 01-10-2013, 02:28 PM   #12
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You could create your own example by temporarily changing your home address in your Kobo account to a canadian address, and then starting a free 14 day trial subscription to one of the papers or magazines...
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Old 01-10-2013, 07:52 PM   #13
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You could create your own example by temporarily changing your home address in your Kobo account to a canadian address, and then starting a free 14 day trial subscription to one of the papers or magazines...
Not a bad idea. I'll try it over the weekend. Hopefully it will help me to feel cool as the weekend temperature here is supposed to be 37ºC.
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Old 01-11-2013, 04:04 PM   #14
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Hopefully it will help me to feel cool as the weekend temperature here is supposed to be 37ºC.
UGH!!! Good luck with that Anything above 25°C is too much for me.
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Old 01-12-2013, 08:08 AM   #15
ichrispa
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Posts: 40
Karma: 8604
Join Date: Dec 2012
Location: Germany
Device: Kobo Touch
You'd feel right at home here in germany. Just barely above 0°C.

Quote:
Originally Posted by davidfor

The meaning of 6 and 9 isn't correct. There is a ContentType 6 row for every item on the device except the newspapers. This describes the item. It doesn't matter the type of book or if it s an image or HTML or something else. Other columns describe the type of book. Look at MimeType for the type,

The ContentType 9 row describes the chapters in the book. For an epubs this is the TOC. It doesn't matter if the chapters are in a single file in the epub, or separate files. It is one 9 per chapter. For other types, there is usually one 9 record.
In that case my kobo would be recognizing a whole lot of books that consist of a single chapter. More precicesly PDF Documents get registered as a single chapter while epubs would not contain a chapter at all!? I can't agree with you here davidfor. I believe that the ContentType is closely linked with the MimeType, possibly extending it's meaning beyond that of "which filetype is the document".

9 could just as well be "fixed formatted document" or something alike. But I don't think it is a chapter. Chapters get referenced by their document name, the html file in the zipped epub and the head anchor - but even those are flagged the same contenttype as the epub file itself.



Quote:
Originally Posted by davidfor
For a kepubs, there are also ContentType 899 rows. As with the 9 rows, these seem to be TOC entries. These are new. I think they started being created with 2.2.0. The 899's have the chapter title, but the 9's have the file names. The TOC and navigation use these somehow.
I see that contenttype as well. And I can't use it As soon as something becomes a kepub.epub, my reader won't open it anymore.


Quote:
Originally Posted by davidfor
ContentType 10 appears to be for newspapers and the articles in them. They seem to be either epubs or kepubs. But they have a multilevel structure that is reflected in the database. The "BookId" is used to do this.
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When a kepub get's detected, it is CT 899; but when I force it back to 10 (which does make it a newspaper), it does not end up in the newspaper section... it remains in books. And it crashes the reader when clicked.

Turning something into a newspaper so far only works with normal epubs for me.
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