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Old 05-02-2011, 03:44 PM   #1
gdgibson
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"From the ground up"?

I see that Joshua Tallent at ebookarchitects describes his conversions as having been done "from the ground up" - I get that this means that he produces ePubs by writing xhtml code (as opposed to Word or InDesign, I suppose), but when he says he avoids using automatic conversion software like Calibre to produce .mobi files, he loses me.

According to his book, he uses Mobipocket Creator. What are the advantages to using that over Calibre, Sigil, or KindleGen? And what's the best Mac alternative to Mobipocket Creator?

Finally, when folks around here are writing code, are they using a text editor, or something more like Dreamweaver?
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Old 05-02-2011, 05:20 PM   #2
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1) Auto-conversion does it according to presets, which you may be able to tweak to a certain extent, but tend not to provide the same degree of control over the finished product as using a dedicated tool and writing your file to meet its expectations. Mind you, "control" is relative, given how buggy KindleGen tends to be.

2) Use KindleGen. The core of it is a modified mobigen, which was the backend of Mobipocket Creator. Mind you, one of MBPC's advantages is that apparently it does a pretty decent job of PDF conversion, if you don't have a good OCR program, and can use it to get a not-too-shoddy base file to clean up less than you might otherwise have to.

3) Text editor all the way*. I used to use mainly Smultron when it was open-source and free via Souceforge (still available at their website; I might spend the $5 the developer asks for the newest version if it really does fix up the Snow Leopard bugs). Slowly switching over to BareBones' proprietary free TextWrangler.

Hope this helps.

* I'm cheap and picky about how my underlying source is formatted, which I understand are not universal traits.

Last edited by ATDrake; 05-02-2011 at 05:22 PM. Reason: Greengrocer's apostrophe.
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Old 05-03-2011, 01:30 PM   #3
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Wonderful, thanks!
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Old 05-04-2011, 05:17 AM   #4
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Believe it or not you can write an entire webpage in Notepad if you know your tags. Same with an ePUB. But using a text editor with syntax highlighting (Notepad++ comes to mind) would help tremendously.

Common sense tells me that working with XHTML code instead of converting is a much better option. Conversion software, while it usually works ok, it tends to have various problems from time to time, problems which sometimes you won't even spot while proof-reading them. For instance if the code is all messed up from the conversion process but it looks "ok" on your end (and on your device), it may NOT look ok for someone else. But if the code is properly formatted and syntax correct, it has a much better shot of looking the same.
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Old 05-11-2011, 10:07 AM   #5
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Quote:
Originally Posted by ATDrake View Post
2) Use KindleGen. The core of it is a modified mobigen, which was the backend of Mobipocket Creator. Mind you, one of MBPC's advantages is that apparently it does a pretty decent job of PDF conversion, if you don't have a good OCR program, and can use it to get a not-too-shoddy base file to clean up less than you might otherwise have to.
Where can I find KindleGen?

The location mentioned in http://wiki.mobileread.com/wiki/KindleGen (
http://www.amazon.com/gp/feature.htm...cId=1000234621 ) says

Quote:
Oops!

We're very sorry, but we're having trouble doing what you just asked us to do. Please give us another chance--click the Back button on your browser and try your request again. Or start from the beginning on our homepage.
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Old 05-12-2011, 04:42 AM   #6
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Yesterday evening the side was reachable again. I was able to fetch KindleGen (in a new version I think).
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