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Old 02-11-2013, 07:23 PM   #1
edarksword
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Loading eBook Stalls Kobo Glo

Sometimes when sideloading an ebook, my Kobo Glo freezes and then requires the ebook to be removed from the device before the Glo can be used again. There is no error message and if more than one ebook is being loaded, I have to remove them one by one until I find the bad one. Hopefully Kobo will fix this in the firmware so an error message displays the filename of the bad book.

Does anyone know the specific problem with the ebook that causes it? I would like to create a utility that would check for this issue, and thus avoid trying to load it onto the Kobo in the first place.

Failing that, I would like to try to find out what the problem is. I figure it is one of three types of issues: badly formed zip file, Epub content problem, Epub style problem (CSS sheets). I have built a utility to check for the first two issues. I'm holding back on the third, hoping it is not a CSS issue. The problem is that most epubs (retail and free) have mutliple issues, but seem to load fine. It must be a specific issue or issues.

I have a number of epubs that I have loaded successfully. I have a handfull of epubs that I have verified fail when loading. Finding out which issues are preventing the Kobo loading is the problem.

Is there any interest in digging into this further?
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Old 02-11-2013, 11:11 PM   #2
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Quote:
Originally Posted by edarksword View Post
Sometimes when sideloading an ebook, my Kobo Glo freezes and then requires the ebook to be removed from the device before the Glo can be used again. There is no error message and if more than one ebook is being loaded, I have to remove them one by one until I find the bad one. Hopefully Kobo will fix this in the firmware so an error message displays the filename of the bad book.

Does anyone know the specific problem with the ebook that causes it? I would like to create a utility that would check for this issue, and thus avoid trying to load it onto the Kobo in the first place.

Failing that, I would like to try to find out what the problem is. I figure it is one of three types of issues: badly formed zip file, Epub content problem, Epub style problem (CSS sheets). I have built a utility to check for the first two issues. I'm holding back on the third, hoping it is not a CSS issue. The problem is that most epubs (retail and free) have mutliple issues, but seem to load fine. It must be a specific issue or issues.

I have a number of epubs that I have loaded successfully. I have a handfull of epubs that I have verified fail when loading. Finding out which issues are preventing the Kobo loading is the problem.

Is there any interest in digging into this further?
If any of the ebooks that fail to load are public domain, you could upload them here and I could take a look at them. Or you might want to check out Sigil and see what it's FlightCrew epub validator routine has to say about the books. Also useful for editing books when you run into those all too common specimens where the epub style and contents suggest it was created by someone who had absolutely no knowledge of the epub specification.

Regards,
David
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Old 02-12-2013, 01:01 AM   #3
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David answered the key point: we don't know exactly, but look at them individually to see what is wrong. If you can legally share the book, upload it or link to it. Otherwise, you can send a PM to me and we can arrange something else.

From what I know, the problem is very unlikely to be CSS. The device shouldn't be reading the CSS at the point it rejects the file. It should be reading the OPF and NCX files and anything else it needs to find those. I am fairly sure the device is only processing that these files are valid. I don't believe it checks if the files referred to in them exist. That is definitely the case for the NCX, but I don't know about the manifest in the OPF.

On the occasions when I see this or when someone sends me a problem book, I start simple. I open it with the calibre viewer to see if it thinks it is an epub at all. This isn't always useful as the calibre viewer is fairly forgiving for errors. Then I either unzip and inspect the contents or open it in Sigil. As David mentioned, Sigil has an error checker to test. If I can't fix the errors in Sigil, or there are to many, or if the code looks horrible, I do an epub-to-epub conversion in calibre. That usually fixes the epubs enough to be put onto the device. But, I usually edit in Sigil and clean up the code.

Alternatives to the above are EpubCheck to check for errors or epubfixer to make the changes. I have used both in the past, but prefer my process above.
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Old 02-12-2013, 04:26 AM   #4
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Quote:
Originally Posted by edarksword View Post
Sometimes when sideloading an ebook, my Kobo Glo freezes and then requires the ebook to be removed from the device before the Glo can be used again. There is no error message and if more than one ebook is being loaded, I have to remove them one by one until I find the bad one. Hopefully Kobo will fix this in the firmware so an error message displays the filename of the bad book.
maybe a silly suggestion, but have you checked whether there are "strange" characters in the book title? In the past (though with a different reader) I had issues with books with accented letters in the title.
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Old 02-12-2013, 12:38 PM   #5
edarksword
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Thanks for the responses!

Paola: Do you mean strange characters in the File Name, Epub meta data, or the content (xml, html, xhtm) of an Epub?

davidfor: I'm not so so interested it fixing the Epub, as detecting it before I attempt to sideload it to Kobo. I have lots of data from EpubCheck, Sigil (FlightCrew), and a utility I wrote based on the Open Container Format (OCF) 2.0.1 document. I also use the W3C CSS validator. I have a lot of positives (successfully uploaded to KOBO) and a handfull of negatives (froze Kobo while uploading). Both positives and negatives have issues - but so far no pattern that I can build a utility around.

DNSB: I have used both FlightCrew & EpubCheck - no pattern as to type of error that prevents KOBO loading. Epubs that do load have tons of errors too.

I would need more failed Epubs to form a pattern. I built a Windows GUI front end to EpubCheck with an error output to XML. Anyone willing to run it on Epubs they have that failed to load to KOBO? It requires EpubCheck 3.0 to be installed already and .net Framework 3.5 to be installed as well.
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Old 02-12-2013, 04:05 PM   #6
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Originally Posted by edarksword View Post
Thanks for the responses!

Paola: Do you mean strange characters in the File Name, Epub meta data, or the content (xml, html, xhtm) of an Epub?
just in the filename.
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Old 02-12-2013, 11:36 PM   #7
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Originally Posted by edarksword View Post
Thanks for the responses!

DNSB: I have used both FlightCrew & EpubCheck - no pattern as to type of error that prevents KOBO loading. Epubs that do load have tons of errors too.

I would need more failed Epubs to form a pattern. I built a Windows GUI front end to EpubCheck with an error output to XML. Anyone willing to run it on Epubs they have that failed to load to KOBO? It requires EpubCheck 3.0 to be installed already and .net Framework 3.5 to be installed as well.
I've only run into a couple of books that would not load and in both cases, I opened the epub file, extracted the contents and munged them into a single file with minimal formatting. I then used Sigil to regenerate the .epub file with stylesheet, images, chapter splits, etc.

One of the two files I never did find why it was an unhappy camper, the second had issues with zero length chapter files and garbage lines in the content and toc files.

Regards,
David
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