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Old 11-12-2011, 04:19 PM   #1
Tango Mike
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Newbie needs to understand something

I'm using Mac OS 10.5.8, Word 2008, and Calibre to prepare an ePub for upload to PubIt for the Nook and iTunes for the iPad.

The ePub file I've created is viewable with absolutely no formatting errors of any kind on my computer with ADE, a Nook, and an iPad.

But when I try to deliver the file to iTunes, it fails due to errors that I'm sure many other forum members understand but I do not. I've tried and so far failed to find a source to help me understand the errors so that I can learn how to find and fix them. How cool would that be for the novice to copy and paste in the error and get the solution in plain language?

In the meantime, my question is: Why does ePub validation fail on a file that works as intended on the devices used to read it? That seems to apply a standard far more restrictive than required to obtain the desired result.

Can anyone explain this to me?

Thank you in advance for your time.
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Old 11-12-2011, 04:39 PM   #2
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It would help to say what you used to validate. Epubcheck, FlightCrew? The latter usually gives good error messages.

It would also help if you list the actual errors you get.
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Old 11-12-2011, 05:50 PM   #3
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Quote:
In the meantime, my question is: Why does ePub validation fail on a file that works as intended on the devices used to read it? That seems to apply a standard far more restrictive than required to obtain the desired result.
If you're asking why the validation services/programs are more strict than most rendering engines seem to be about ePub coding conventions, the answer is quite simple: because the opposite would be a disaster and "just as strict" is unattainable.
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Old 11-12-2011, 06:14 PM   #4
Tango Mike
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Sorry for not being specific enough:

The first validation failure occurred when "delivering" the ePub to iTunes using the iTunes Producer, the application on my computer that allows me to produce the "package" that is uploaded to iTunes. They don't say what the validator is, so I tried the ePubcheck on my computer to see if there was a difference. As far as I can tell, the long list of errors is identical, so I'm guessing that iTunes uses ePubcheck as well.

To test whether the doc>htm>Calibre>ePub flow might be part or all od the problem, I just finished an experiment by using InDesign to export the indd version of my novel to ePub, then used ePubcheck to validate it. I got no errors, only warnings about fonts that weren't embedded. (I expected that, because the indd version of the novel was created for the print version rather than the ePub. It has more fonts and styles than the doc version, but I wanted to see what would happen.)

With that experiment done, I then tried to deliver to iTunes the ePub file created from the indd file. I expected a different result because this file had (as I understand it) "passed" the ePubcheck on my computer because there were no errors in the result.

But no, this file failed the iTunes validation with what appears to be the same previous long list of errors. I've pasted in examples from two sections of errors below and one complete section that doesn't repeat the same error multiple times. (I read in a thread that we are supposed to replace certain text with "dummy" text when sharing it here, so I did that where I thought that refers to.

"parameter ErrorMessage = ERROR ITMS-9000:Invalid URI in manifest dummy_split_000.htm : Illegal character in path at index 5: dummy_split_000.htm" at Book (MZItmspBookPackage)" Note: There are a bunch of these with increasing three digit numbers following the "split_" text and prior to the ".htm" text. The numbers increase to "038".

"ERROR ITMS-9000: "Invalid URI in NCX file dummy_split_005.htm : Illegal character in path at index 5: dummy_split_005.htm" at Book (MZItmspBookPackage)" Note: These also repeat with the same increasing numbers up to "038" within the error message.

Then the following block:

ERROR ITMS-9000: "image file cover.jpeg is too short" at Book (MZItmspBookPackage)
ERROR ITMS-9000: "dummy_split_000.htm(1309): attribute "link" not allowed here; expected attribute "class", "dir", "id", "style", "title" or "xml:lang". This error occurs 39 times." at Book (MZItmspBookPackage)
ERROR ITMS-9000: "dummy_split_000.htm(1309): attribute "vlink" not allowed here; expected attribute "class", "dir", "id", "style", "title" or "xml:lang". This error occurs 39 times." at Book (MZItmspBookPackage)
ERROR ITMS-9000: "dummy_split_001.htm(1310): element "span" not allowed here; expected element "address", "blockquote", "del", "div", "dl", "h1", "h2", "h3", "h4", "h5", "h6", "hr", "ins", "noscript", "ns:svg", "ol", "p", "pre", "script", "table" or "ul" (with xmlns:ns="http://www.w3.org/2000/svg"). This error occurs 3 times." at Book (MZItmspBookPackage)
ERROR ITMS-9000: "dummy_split_001.htm(1310): attribute "clear" not allowed here; expected attribute "class", "id", "style" or "title". This error occurs 4 times." at Book (MZItmspBookPackage)
ERROR ITMS-9000: "dummy_split_004.htm(1310): element "b" not allowed here; expected element "address", "blockquote", "del", "div", "dl", "h1", "h2", "h3", "h4", "h5", "h6", "hr", "ins", "noscript", "ns:svg", "ol", "p", "pre", "script", "table" or "ul" (with xmlns:ns="http://www.w3.org/2000/svg")" at Book (MZItmspBookPackage)
ERROR ITMS-9000: "dummy_split_004.htm(1312): attribute "name" not allowed here; expected attribute "accesskey", "charset", "class", "coords", "dir", "href", "hreflang", "id", "rel", "rev", "shape", "style", "tabindex", "target", "title", "type" or "xml:lang". This error occurs 35 times." at Book (MZItmspBookPackage

So, when I see all this with a file that works beautifully on the iPad, I'm more than a little confused, to put it mildly.
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Old 11-13-2011, 04:10 AM   #5
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Open up the epub in Sigil and run validation there. Most of them are easily solved. On of the issues you are having, is that you are using HTML instead of XHTML. There some differences. Sigil will help you here.
You can also try opening you first HTML from Word in Sigil and do the splitting there.

Just as a reminder, if you save HMTL from Word, do use the 'filtered HTML' option. It will save tons of garbage in the file.
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Old 11-13-2011, 10:05 AM   #6
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Thank you, Toxaris:

My version of Word doesn't offer a "save as filtered HTML" option, which I've been led to believe is a difference in Word for Mac versus that for PCs. The selection is "save only display information into HTML," which I've read is the same thing, so I've been doing that all along.

I'll take a deep breath and do as you suggest. Thanks again.
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Old 11-13-2011, 11:04 AM   #7
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Tango Mike View Post
...
In the meantime, my question is: Why does ePub validation fail on a file that works as intended on the devices used to read it? That seems to apply a standard far more restrictive than required to obtain the desired result.

Can anyone explain this to me?
...
To address this question:

I think your main issue with understanding this is that you don't realize exactly what the issue is.

The real question is: "Why does my incorrectly constructed ePub actually work at all in the popular reading apps I tried."

The answer is that many ePubs, like many HTML web pages, are poorly constructed, containing many errors, and developers of readers have designed their apps to tolerate and correct for as many of these errors as possible.

The validation tools exist to aid in removing these errors. Testing in popular reading apps should still be done to find and possibly address issues with flaws in those apps' ability to handle some proper ePub structures (all of the reading apps are broken in one way or another). Flaws seen when testing a file in a reader is as likely to be a bug in the reader software as a flaw in the ebook itself and flaws in the ebook's structure are likely to go unseen.
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Old 11-14-2011, 12:07 AM   #8
Tango Mike
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Thank you, dwig. I appreciate your explanation, and I get the point.

With more time than discretionary income, I've been unable to hire someone to help me convert my Word manuscript into MOBI and ePub, design the layout for the print version, and create the covers for both. During the learning process with Calibre, Photoshop, and InDesign, and working with Kindle Direct Publishing, PubIt, and CreateSpace, it's been a matter of trial and error to teach myself how to solve problems. So when I tried to deliver the ePub to iTunes and received the long list of error codes, I began trying to figure out what they were telling me so I could fix them.

Since code is a mysterious and undecipherable language to this dinosaur, I searched for plain language explanations for the error codes to help me return to the source Word document, fix the offending text item by item, reconvert the file to ePub and revalidate it. I've found no such source of help.

If I can't produce an ePub that will validate, selling the novel on iTunes is a lost cause. And although it represents a relatively small portion of the total market, I hate to abandon the attempt just because the path got a little rougher.

As suggested by Toxaris, I'm going to try Sigil. Here we go . . .
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