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Old 06-22-2013, 01:14 PM   #1
DMcCunney
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Posts: 5,113
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Join Date: Aug 2007
Device: Palm TX, Azpen A727 tablet, Fujitsu Lifebook p2110 w/ FBReader
Conversion to Plucker using Calibre

I'm a dinosaur. I still use a PalmOS PDA as my primary ebook viewer device. (A TX at the moment, but the model is irrelevant.) The PDA can view anything save ePub.

By preference, I get HTML source and convert for Plucker, an open source offline HTML viewer for Palm devices. I've been doing this for years, and I have about 4,700 Plucker volumes and counting, including the complete Baen Free Library and a lot of Project Gutenberg.

The problem is when I can't get HTML source. I'm accumulating an assortment of stuff in ePub and Mobi format I'd like to convert to Plucker. I can get a start by converting to HTMLZ, and I can get the index.html file and use it, but it tends to have problems as is. One is HTML constructs Plucker doesn't support which get improperly rendered on device. Accented characters are an example, and things work better if I just insert the character itself instead of the HTML entity representing it. Stuff like that can be handled by something like a sed script (though it appears regular expressions in Plucker might do it without resorting to sed.)

A bigger issue is the Table of Contents. The input file will often have one, but it winds up at the end of the HTML document. I really need it at the beginning.

I can do that manually, but I'd like to automate as much as possible.

The obvious question is "Why not use MobiPocket instead?" Mobi did originate on Palm devices, and I have the last (5.3.582) Mobi viewer for Palm on the PDA. But it's no longer supported, and has quirks. I've encountered cases where Mobi files that are recognized and open just fine in the Mobi viewer or in FBReader on my desktop are not even seen by the Palm viewer, or hang the Update Library operation on the device and require a device soft reset. The Mobi viewer on Palm devices also has issues in maintaining Reading Lists, and some books that are classified don't stay classified. They revert to Unfiled after an Update Library operation.

Another issue is file size. Mobi uses the equivalent of Palm DOC compression, for a 40% size reduction. Plucker can use a Palm port port of Zlib for gzip compatible compression and a 70% file size reduction. SD card space is finite, so smaller is better.

And I really prefer Plucker for most reading. I have a fair bit in Mobi format, but my convention is to reserve it for non-fiction, and use Plucker for fiction.

I've been going through the Plucker docs, but I have an edge-case usage and it's not clear thus far how much Plucker can do and how much is something else's job. The big issue is getting the ToC where I want it.

Suggestions (and pointers to the proper sections of the Calibre docs) are welcome.
______
Dennis

Last edited by DMcCunney; 06-28-2013 at 02:58 PM.
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