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Old 03-14-2011, 01:22 PM   #1
Rand Brittain
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Sigil Roadmap?

So, Sigil 4.0 is going to include the ability to edit the OPF and NCX files manually. I can think of some problems I've had in the past that would have been simpler to fix if I'd had that. Doubtless I'll have them again in the future, only not for quite as long.

Is there a roadmap anywhere that shows what the plans are for new features and future releases, or is it all just sort of happening, as it were, unofficially? Sigil is definitely growing into an increasingly useful tool for fixing EPUBs and it would be nice to have an idea of what stages the future might come in.

Thanks for your time and for free software for the good of mankind!
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Old 03-14-2011, 02:15 PM   #2
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There's a general roadmap. It's a piece of paper next to my laptop. No, you can't see it.

There are also very thorough design docs for every feature Sigil has currently and has had previously. There are also lots of design docs on features that are still on the drawing board, features that I've committed myself to implementing and on features that are "would be nice to have, but currently no plans to implement them". All of these docs are in various stacks of notebooks in my computer room.

No, you can't see these either.

Why all this "you can't see them"? Because I've discovered that the more I talk about certain features, the more people want them (and sooner), and the more I get annoyed with endless "when will it be done" questions.

I've talked about some general plans a few times and in a few places, but nothing is official and frankly, I'd much rather you, the userbase, didn't know. I constantly change my mind about what should go where and why and on what schedule. Some of these internal "course corrections" happen because I notice a higher demand for certain features. Sometimes it happens just because the next thing on my list is boring to work on and I frankly don't feel like spending my free time working on something boring right now. The boring stuff thus may get pushed back.

In any case, every course correction to work on certain other features delays the arrival of features that I originally scheduled. Since different people care about different features, this would inevitably lead to anger amongst the people who care more about the features that have been delayed. No matter what I work on, someone's going to get mad that I didn't work on their "biggest missing functionality of Sigil IMO".

So to avoid all this, the roadmap stays private.

When I start working on something, I may tell you if I think it's wise. I usually don't.
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Old 03-15-2011, 12:14 PM   #3
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That's an honest answer, and I thank you for it. I know some people in charge of errata for a tabletop RPG who have also stopped telling people how the work was going for pretty much the same reason, so I can guess how it is.

Also, HMTL links naaaoooooooooooow! /froths at the mouth
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Old 03-16-2011, 10:26 PM   #4
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Maybe this is a useful 'feature', when I open an ePUB, have Sigil REMEMBER that folder so next time I want to do a 'save as...' I directly am in that folder and not in some folder from a previous session, thus browse to the current folder to save a 'new version'. I have had several times I forgot about it and gave the file a new name and saved it and the file ended up in some other folder from a previous session I used Sigil.

<filed under category: useful, intuitive>

Cheers

So what's next? A special checker checking for forbidden words/links that will have an ePUB rejected from iBooks?
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Old 03-17-2011, 03:05 AM   #5
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So what's next? A special checker checking for forbidden words/links that will have an ePUB rejected from iBooks?
I would rather have iBooks accept perfectly good ePub's instead of adjusting the tools to the quirks of a reader program. I think Valloric feels the same way.
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Old 03-17-2011, 01:32 PM   #6
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I agree totally. Its crazy you need to jump through hoops just because Apple has some unfounded problems with content or absurt devirations from the standard.
Having said that, ofcourse publishers want to publish to iBooks and when something isn't working as expected or the book is refused by iBooks they first look at the eBook producer -not apple- for the problem.
From forbidden words to standard CSS issues (and the range of problems might get bigger as Apple seems to create incompatibilities on purpose) one way or the other those issues need to be adressed. And as long as not ALL or most publishers seem to be able to have the issues resolved on Apple's side, what are we to do?? What can we do?

Test on an Apple device and work around issues? Go through the submitting process and see what happens?

Maybe when Sigil in the future will support scripting one could script -if possible- an Apple device optimizer changing things and reporting issues based on a up-to-date list of problems, but for now producers probably need to check everything manually and having to fix -if possible- issues by hand.

Already some publishers focus more on iPAD features than eReaders and with ePUB 3 things could get worse, possibly making future creations incompatible for eReaders, or have seperate eReader and Apple device versions.

Boycott or adapt? Hope for a better future? Ignoring Apple doesn't seem to be an option for now... But this is totally unrelated to Sigil and probably deserves its own discussion.

I also want to state this is in no way Sigil's fault and Sigil is the best eBook software currently available!
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Old 03-17-2011, 04:26 PM   #7
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All the ePub's I make are conform specs. If they work in iBooks, good for them. If it doesn't, complain to Apple. I also make use of small-caps and other specs-allowed tags. Some work, some don't (yet).

I have worries for the ePub3 standard as it is published now. I am not the only one. Read the blog by Valloric about it, I agree with most points with him.

I refuse to work around deliberate bad support and programming. Since most ePub's I create are for personal use or for a small group, I can be.

I would find it degrading if Sigil would support work-arounds for the various reading engines, deviating from the supported specs.
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Old 03-17-2011, 05:33 PM   #8
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@ LGN

If Apple wants to screw the standard people creating std-conform fils shouldn't bent over and spread their cheeks IMO.

I'd rather add a warning to said files - this should make people complain to apple about their misbehaviour. or make them vote with their wallets next time.
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Old 03-18-2011, 03:40 AM   #9
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Quote:
Originally Posted by LGN View Post
Maybe this is a useful 'feature', when I open an ePUB, have Sigil REMEMBER that folder so next time I want to do a 'save as...' I directly am in that folder and not in some folder from a previous session, thus browse to the current folder to save a 'new version'. I have had several times I forgot about it and gave the file a new name and saved it and the file ended up in some other folder from a previous session I used Sigil.

<filed under category: useful, intuitive>

Cheers

So what's next? A special checker checking for forbidden words/links that will have an ePUB rejected from iBooks?
Warning! FROTH ALERT!
As some of you who follow my tweets/FB heard this past week, I literally had two books rejected by Apple--books from a NYTimes Bestselling author, mind you--because my tagline on the copyright page said "Digital editions for Nook™, Kindle™ and iBooks™ produced by...."

Now, the reason I did this--specifically stating those platforms--was because when I first started out, just putting "Ebooks produced by.." had people thinking I'd made PDF's, which is still what a shocking number of people consider to be "ebooks." So, then I tried "epub and mobi (or prc)," but that confused them. So finally I stuck the tradenames in there, and shrugged.

Enter Apple, who has dillied around (yes, that's a euphemism) for THREE MONTHS with those damned books, and have now announced (after first insisting for TWO months that they were being refused because they didn't have "TOC's," even whilst I sent them screenshots SHOWING the bloody things), that it's the words--the words--"Nook" and "Kindle" on the bloody copyright page. Not links, mind you--just the WORDS in my credit line.

Apple has, in the words of one of my clients, starting drinking waaaay too much of its own Kool-Aid. I'm infuriated that my client had to go through this; I'm absolutely gobsmacked at Apple, which clearly has lost its mind; and I'm aghast at how much epub3 has rolled over for--who else?--Apple.

I don't have a choice; I have to change my tagline and play by their rules, because I have several clients that have small imprints that do nothing but video books (good, bad, indifferent...that's their business). Making their books IS my business, and I have employees to support. But if I were a hobbyist or dilettante, I wouldn't be playing along.

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Old 03-18-2011, 05:15 AM   #10
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Why am I not surprised...
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Old 03-18-2011, 06:39 AM   #11
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What would they do if you had a line something like....

I tried to Kindle the fire in the Nook of the fireplace.

Would they refuse it then?

You probably wouldn't be able to have it on the copyright page, but on a summary page?)

They really do take the *iss
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Old 03-18-2011, 09:47 AM   #12
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@Hitch: I read that, and it sounds stupid, hope it's not an April fools joke you pulled on us.
On the other hand there are much more eReaders, and maybe you can use a small graphic. But silly, it's like the word Microsoft would be forbidden, and you just make a technical book about 'using Microsoft Windows 3.1 in 2011' or whatever.

And we all heard about the book of Moby Dick. They sencored the D word as being improper. But then again, What about books from Phillip K. Dick??? Or some Dutch books about a police inspector that's actually revolving around police inspector De Cock... (In English publications they renamed him into DeKok)

Where do we draw the line? Where does Apple?
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Old 03-18-2011, 10:08 AM   #13
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Hitch I'm so sorry for you.

the 12th commandment?: Thou shalt not use names of other deities companies in Our presence.

what comes next? Vovel omission? PPL?

That's just beyond my lingual abilities to comment on. Really.
Thats even beyond any

Now we wait for the day Hitch gets a contract with some writing lass whose parents gifted her with the name Maryanne, and see what happens.
No, no kidding...
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Old 03-18-2011, 09:53 PM   #14
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Nope, gang, it's no April Fool's Day joke, it's the real deal. Last year, they (Apple, who is probably going to sue Gwyneth Paltrow next), had me yank a book that had LINKY-poos to the heinous 900-lb. gorilla, Kindle. {shrug}, okay, I can actually SEE that.

But, y'know, my busines name is actually BOOKNOOK. I keep waiting....

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