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Old 11-08-2010, 05:03 AM   #16
Manichean
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By the virtues of multiple sloppily done conversions, headers and footers might well appear just about anywhere in the text. Just saying.

As to the RTFM part, many of those asking don't appear to have R the FM. Personally, I prefer answering questions like "Okay, so I read $some_tutorials and tried the regexes $fancy_shmancy_regexes, but I still get $unwanted_behaviour. I suspect $something_went_wrong, could someone help?" to questions like "OMG there's crap all over my ebook how do I remove?". The latter, in my eyes deservedly, gets the tip to educate himself. The former, if I know how to, gets help on his specific problem.
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Old 11-08-2010, 07:56 AM   #17
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I think the point is that...

... we all know many, many people who are at the level of:

Instructor:
"OK. For starters, go to the desktop.... You at the desktop?"

Helpless User:
"Yes ... I'm at the desktop ... my computer and keyboard are sitting on it ... now what?"

And while these people may not be calibre users or individuals who want to produce ebooks from PDF, the incremental differences of skill and understanding between there and Programming Professional are infinite leaving some who might be expected over time to become proficient at command-line operations just below being able to adequately follow the limited instructions available.

Having said that of course I must admit I have never met with anything other than helpful advice even if occasionally misguided.
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Old 11-08-2010, 09:02 AM   #18
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Originally Posted by bigpallooka View Post
And while these people may not be calibre users or individuals who want to produce ebooks from PDF, the incremental differences of skill and understanding between there and Programming Professional are infinite leaving some who might be expected over time to become proficient at command-line operations just below being able to adequately follow the limited instructions available.
The answer to that is simple: Write more documentation as you learn, so that the next user will benefit. The regex tutorial in the calibre manual was created that way.
By the way, I find that writing teaching material (or teaching the material...) on something that I somewhat understand to immensely help me coming to a full understanding of the subject.
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Old 11-08-2010, 03:16 PM   #19
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LOL

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The answer to that is simple: Write more documentation as you learn, so that the next user will benefit. The regex tutorial in the calibre manual was created that way.
By the way, I find that writing teaching material (or teaching the material...) on something that I somewhat understand to immensely help me coming to a full understanding of the subject.
I have no plans in the near future of opening myself up to ridicule and abuse for misleading other noobs. I sincerely suggest that other who are still asking a lot of questions in the forum not attempt it.

I have written a tutorial on another forum for ID3 tagging protocol in audiobooks and couldn't agree with you more. When you have to put it down for someone else to use it certainly clarifies your own understanding. That was of course after I had already tagged a substantial library and was confident about where I stood on the matter.
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Old 11-08-2010, 03:32 PM   #20
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Originally Posted by cybmole View Post
a crop function built into calibre would be very useful - - not a geeky command line with data input' but a simple page image + drag top & bottom cut off point tool - just like this one in fact:
So build one.

Or perhaps you are asking the 'geeky' to do the work for you? One must ask why such a person would bother, because s/he already has a solution that works well enough.
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Old 11-08-2010, 04:03 PM   #21
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So build one.

Or perhaps you are asking the 'geeky' to do the work for you? One must ask why such a person would bother, because s/he already has a solution that works well enough.
Generosity, the overwhelming desire to save noobs from themselves, to prove themselves the top geek...
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Old 11-08-2010, 04:50 PM   #22
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One must ask why such a person would bother, because s/he already has a solution that works well enough.
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Originally Posted by bigpallooka View Post
Generosity, the overwhelming desire to save noobs from themselves, to prove themselves the top geek...
If the geeks are being generous, and they often are, I hope they'll provide something new, not another version of something we already have. There's so much to do and so little time to do it.
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Old 11-08-2010, 05:34 PM   #23
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Originally Posted by bigpallooka View Post
I have no plans in the near future of opening myself up to ridicule and abuse for misleading other noobs. I sincerely suggest that other who are still asking a lot of questions in the forum not attempt it.
I sincerely suggest you rethink your position. In my opinion and experience, there's no risk for ridicule on this forum if one tries to contribute whatever, and be it ever so small. You might get a lot of criticism, but you shouldn't confuse that with ridicule.
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Old 11-08-2010, 08:20 PM   #24
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I sincerely suggest you rethink your position. In my opinion and experience, there's no risk for ridicule on this forum if one tries to contribute whatever, and be it ever so small. You might get a lot of criticism, but you shouldn't confuse that with ridicule.
I'll admit I was trying to lighten the mood created by a request couched in not very diplomatic terms and the responses it generated and as such my contribution in this case is questionable. I do however have to take exception to your premise. The difference between ridicule and criticism is entirely in the eyes of the receiver (and I can be very sensitive ) which has been quite adequately demonstrated in this thread. As an observer with neither an axe to grind nor anything to gain it's quite clear that offence was taken from a poorly worded request (or at least exception to wording). So either ridicule was interpreted or criticism was not well received. It's semantics really because personal perception is everything.

The matter of contribution is another altogether. Having read your excellent Regex tutorial I am even more determined not to hang myself out to dry by attempting something I am not currently equipped to do. My meagre offerings of advice have always been followed by more detailed and more accurate posts. I will be sure however to couch any of my own requests in the most respectful terms to make sure I don't offend the very people most like to consider it's merits.

In future I'll also attempt not being such a 'Nosy Parker' as 'opinion pieces' are for commentators and not the purpose of this forum. I'll try to restrict my comments to factual matters. It will be hard as I have a lot of opinions.

Just another lonely lurker with nothing worthwhile to contribute ... except my astounding perceptions
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Old 11-09-2010, 06:43 AM   #25
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[...] I do however have to take exception to your premise. The difference between ridicule and criticism is entirely in the eyes of the receiver (and I can be very sensitive ) which has been quite adequately demonstrated in this thread.[...]
I disagree. Although I have to say that my background is from what has been called "geek culture" and academia and, as such, my experience might differ. That being said, ridicule would be "You're an idiot for not knowing $subject" or "You're stupid for getting $fact wrong", whereas criticism would be along the lines of "You got $fact wrong, it should be $correct_fact". I'll admit there's a difference between constructive criticism, which is a Good Thing, and destructive criticism, which I personally consider to be A Slightly Less Good Thing Still, criticism, together with admitting your mistakes, is the way you learn.
I mentioned my experience background above. That's because I wanted to note that, again in my experience, you can have extremely heated discussions and criticisms of various subjects with people without ever ridiculing them. Criticism can appear quite harshly at times, especially if one has just about any aspect of something subjected to criticism, one might feel unfairly dealt with. But in those cases it pays to remember that the people offering criticism try to help you become better.

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The matter of contribution is another altogether. Having read your excellent Regex tutorial I am even more determined not to hang myself out to dry by attempting something I am not currently equipped to do.
Thanks for the compliment. Since you mentioned it, I'd like to use the tutorial as an example. I don't know if you've read it in the manual or in it's thread. If it's the former, I urge you to have a quick read through the thread, and you'll notice that I got quite a large amount of critique and suggestions. It may surprise you, but in hindsight, at the point of starting the tutorial, I didn't understand regular expressions very much. After finishing it, I feel confident in using them, although I often still learn new things about them. That's largely due to the criticism I got in the thread (thanks again, you guys!).

Quote:
My meagre offerings of advice have always been followed by more detailed and more accurate posts. I will be sure however to couch any of my own requests in the most respectful terms to make sure I don't offend the very people most like to consider it's merits.[...]
You'll almost always find that there is someone who knows more about any particular subject than you yourself do. That won't change unless you become a Wizard yourself... That doesn't mean that you shouldn't contribute to that subject. Again, use the improvements others offer as a source of learning, and as for the ridicule part, see the above.
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Old 11-09-2010, 07:11 AM   #26
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In future I'll also attempt not being such a 'Nosy Parker' as 'opinion pieces' are for commentators and not the purpose of this forum. I'll try to restrict my comments to factual matters. It will be hard as I have a lot of opinions.

Just another lonely lurker with nothing worthwhile to contribute ... except my astounding perceptions
Don't go away. Diverse opinions are good, as long as they aren't expressed ad hominem.

For example, it is likely that Starson17's comment (post #22) is a mild criticism of my PHP-Calibre web server work. He didn't say I was a bad person, but instead said (assuming I am not inventing things) that my time could have been more productively used elsewhere. In this case we probably have different ideas of 'productive', but even such a short discussion causes some reflection on the matter.

As for getting things wrong, we all do that. In almost all cases, the ignorance will be shared by *many* people, and the clarification effort helps everyone. Sometimes the ignorance points to how something should be done, resulting in changes to calibre. On the other hand, sometimes one sees the combination of ignorance and hostility (e.g., "how could anyone think that XXYY is acceptable!" or "My way is the only way."), and this is unfortunate.

I suppose that all I am really saying is 'hang around and contribute'. We need people who care.

Last edited by chaley; 11-09-2010 at 09:26 AM. Reason: grammar
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Old 11-09-2010, 09:18 AM   #27
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For example, it is likely that Starson17's comment (post #22) is a mild criticism of my PHP-Calibre web server work.
It always amazes me how poor I can be at expressing myself I'll be generous to myself and say it's partly due to the limitations of text as the communication channel and the limits on time.

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He didn't say I was a bad person, but instead said (assuming I am not inventing things) that my time could have been more productively used elsewhere. In this case we probably different ideas of 'productive', but even such a short discussion causes some reflection on the matter.
I read the quotes above and thought "What the heck is he talking about ...?" and looked up #22. Ah yes, says I, I can see why he might have seen mild criticism in that, even though the PHP/Apache content server had not even crossed my mind.

The discussion in progress was about code that could do a certain job, but had a somewhat geeky interface and why a developer might spend time working on a different interface. It was proposed that the developer might do such work out of "generosity" to the community at large. My comment was "If the geeks are being generous, and they often are, I hope they'll provide something new, not another version of something we already have. There's so much to do and so little time to do it."

I'm saying that if a developer looks to the wishes of the community to maximize his "generosity," I think he'll make more people happier by adding a new capability, not a new interface. However, I also strongly believe that developers should give what they want to give, not what others want them to give. Even if no one wants a feature beyond the developer, if that's the feature he wants to work on, that's the end of it - and he should work on what he enjoys/wants. Only if he's casting around for the desires of the users to find something to give, should my comment be considered (and others may disagree).

So, Charles, it wasn't a criticism, mild or otherwise, unless you think you should work on what I (or others) want you to work on in preference to what you want to work on. Once you start doing that, I think you'd stop enjoying it.

Quote:
As for getting things wrong, we all do that. In almost all cases, the ignorance will be shared by *many* people, and the clarification effort helps everyone. Sometimes the ignorance points to how something should be done, resulting in changes to calibre. On the other hand, sometimes one sees the combination of ignorance and hostility (e.g., "how could that anyone think that XXYY is acceptable!" or "My way is the only way."), and this is unfortunate.

I suppose that all I am really saying is 'hang around and contribute'. We need people who care.
Yes!

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Old 11-09-2010, 09:42 AM   #28
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LOL! What a crack!

This isn't a criticism just an opinion of this and other threads:

Curt 1 liners in response to a request that could easily be interpreted as ridicule of the request, yet;
Verbose defence of intent.

I'm glad I'm not the only one who likes to be expansive when I have an opinion to express. But I do have a better defence than some for curt advice (if I chose to use it) - ignorance.

Yes I'm fully aware that prolific posters who actually have information to impart are often also very busy. It doesn't make it any less ironic in a funny way of course.
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Old 11-09-2010, 09:54 AM   #29
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As for the one liners, see post #16 and add to that having to answer the same questions over and over and over again. If someone writes a question providing meaningful detail that implies some thinking on his (or her) own, I'll gladly write a lengthy answer. If, on the other hand, someone writes along the lines of "LOL how do I convert stuff?" (For most effect, imagine this to be the first post. Also, take note: This is ridicule ), I'll write a similarly short answer.
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Old 11-11-2010, 12:42 AM   #30
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Canti (see this thread) works reasonably well, though I used it on individual image scans, not PDFs. (I don't reacall if it works directly on PDFs or not.) On my machine I had to install the Apple Dev Tools so I could run MacPorts so I could install ImageMagick so I could run Canti but once I did all that it seemed to do a pretty good job of cropping my scans.

For those on OS X who don't want to mess with the command line, I've found that the default Preview app to be surprisingly capable for cropping, and IMHO easier to use than Acrobat Pro. Just select all the pages you want to affect from the thumbnail sidebar, select the area on the page that you want to keep, and command-K will crop the whole thing at once for you. Since I work mostly with manual book scans, I usually have to scoot up and down the document a bit making sure that none of the pages extend beyond the cropping box I've defined. Hardly automatic, but it works simply enough.

Then I save it as a separate cropped PDF like Filename C.pdf so that it's forced to not save it as a "soft" crop.
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