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Old 03-08-2012, 05:25 PM   #1
barncat
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Problems with Springy and Mobi

I've generated my mobi file and it's up on Amazon - no prob. But when I try to get inside the file now to check out the html, springy tells me

<em>The archive is invalid or of a type that Springy cannot handle.</em>

The file is complete - there wasn't a second's hitch uploading it to Amazon. And I can read it just fine on my Kindle Fire.

So is there a trick to getting inside of this thing with Springy?
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Old 03-08-2012, 05:43 PM   #2
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So is there a trick to getting inside of this thing with Springy?
There's no trick... the final MOBI isn't an archive. It's a compiled binary file. You can't just open it and view the html. It doesn't work like that.

(You can "unzip" the source portion of the output of kindlegen, but that gets stripped out before Amazon delivers the ebook to anyone)
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Old 03-09-2012, 11:06 AM   #3
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No, but -

I have two mobi files. One a friend did for me. One I did myself. Both were acceptable to Amazon. I can see the stuff inside of my friend's Mobi, and I've even edited the html and saved it, just fine. But the one I did myself, also acceptable, when I try to crack it open with Springy, won't allow Springy to open it. Both were generated by inDesign - hers on a PC, mine on a Mac. I'm wondering why Springy would work on one but not on the other.
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Old 03-09-2012, 11:08 AM   #4
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Oh - and it wasn't made with KindleGen; my mobi is output through the InDesign plug in - that worked marvelously well. But could that be the problem, now I think of it? I've watched A-M's Lynda from start to finish, but it was done before the plug-in came online.
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Old 03-09-2012, 12:33 PM   #5
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If you were able to open a MOBI with springy and alter the html inside... that was only the original source (x)html you were editing and not the MOBI itself. MOBIs have to be "rebuilt" each time from the modified source. There is no way (currently) to edit a MOBI (like you can edit the contents of an ePub).

I would guess your friend's MOBI (that you could open with Springy) was built with kindlegen. That's why you could access the source. Your MOBI (which you can't open with Springy) was built with the ID plugin and doesn't have the source package included.

When you upload a MOBI that includes the source to Amazon, that source is stripped out before it gets delivered to anyone.

Last edited by DiapDealer; 03-09-2012 at 12:36 PM.
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Old 03-09-2012, 01:56 PM   #6
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Ah. Okay. Springy presented me with this result from the mobi:
folder: META-INF
file: mimetype
folder: OEBPS

I opened the OEBPS folder to find
file: content.opf
Text? file: gardener.xhtml
Folder: Images
And two files, the Css template and the toc.ncx

So - this is the source material? Or a combination of source and binary file?

When I used Springy to open MY ebpub (saved out of InD 5.5) I got the same first three items.

However, when I opened the OEBPS, I got a number of files - I assume html files, since they have Safari icons - ordered stupidly - 1, 10-19 etc. Why would they program it that way, I wonder? It's so hard to use a 0 before the single digits? If I open one of those files I get (which you'd expect) a web page thing - not the presentation of html, which I assume I could get to by accessing source in Safari. I didn't like that. I really liked the way I could access it from my friend's .mobi.

So are you telling me that if I make changes in the .mobi html - or for that matter, in the epub html - and save them, they will not be reflected in the uploaded file unless I generate a new file - no, wait, then I'd have to simply go back to the indd file and do the changes there?

How stupid is this: I have a little icon I stick in when there are pauses in the narrative - I'd use a double return in a print file for that. But when I look in the image folder, even though each usage has the same paragraph style indicated in inD - each one of these things seems to have been given a DIFFERENT CSS styling? They're numbered with a fmt-1 etc.

This really is junky html. That's why I stopped using Dreamweaver's user side and tried to write my own as much as I could.
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Old 03-09-2012, 02:14 PM   #7
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Quote:
So - this is the source material? Or a combination of source and binary file?
Any part of the MOBI that can be accessed using an archive tool (Springy, WinZip, etc..) is the source... and nothing but the source.

Quote:
So are you telling me that if I make changes in the .mobi html - or for that matter, in the epub html - and save them, they will not be reflected in the uploaded file unless I generate a new file - no, wait, then I'd have to simply go back to the indd file and do the changes there?
That's exactly what I'm suggesting. Modifying the (x)html source that's included in some MOBI files doesn't alter the MOBI itself one bit.

Edit source... then rebuild the MOBI (whether that rebuild is done with the indd plugin, kindlegen, mobipocket creator, or whatever). That's how MOBIs are altered: change the source.... rebuild the MOBI... each time. You can't modify them on the fly.
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Old 03-09-2012, 03:30 PM   #8
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Well then -

That pretty much clarifies things. Hmmm. But with epub, you can mess around? Or is it the same thing?

One thing I'd LOVE to do is change the CSS and html for the stupid TOC - they use H1 tags, and the thing is gigantic. But now that I'm writing this, maybe they do it because fingertips are gigantic. So maybe I don't need to change anything.

No. There is one thing that I wanted to be able to change - page breaks. I found code in the friend's mobi that allowed a good, dependable page break and I wanted to be able to add that to the html generated by inD. But then, maybe I could access that from inside InD. Hmmmm. Talking to myself, I know. I think, the way Anne-Marie talks about editing the code for epubs, I'm going to end up going to epub and converting anyway, then.

You are wonderful for explaining this. But I've got SO much to learn. my head hurts.
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Old 03-09-2012, 03:40 PM   #9
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By the way - how the devil do you subscribe to these things so you know someone's answered you?
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Old 03-09-2012, 04:29 PM   #10
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Quote:
Originally Posted by barncat View Post
...
One thing I'd LOVE to do is change the CSS and html for the stupid TOC ...
That is a pretty common lament. The ebook export functions in most word processors and page layout programs are prone to creating some odd results. You'll find that it is a very common workflow to convert to ePub first and then from the ePub to MOBI. This way you can easily correct any odd behavior present in the document>ePub conversion by editing the ePub.

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How stupid is this: I have a little icon I stick in when there are pauses in the narrative - I'd use a double return in a print file for that.
Double-returns are never a good idea. They are an antique typewriter kluge and should only still be used with text editors and the like (e.g. comments editors on forums like this). They shouldn't be used with modern page layout apps, word processors, HTML, ... . You should use a style instead; one with extra "leading" (proper typographic term usually used in word processors and page layout apps) or "margin" ("margin-top" is the usualy method in HTML+CSS) before the paragraph that begins the new scene.
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Old 03-10-2012, 02:52 PM   #11
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Originally Posted by barncat View Post
That pretty much clarifies things. Hmmm. But with epub, you can mess around? Or is it the same thing?
No, ePub is not compiled, only compressed. Any zip uncompressor can open an ePub file and the contents can be modified and recompressed. This is not at all like a Amazon compiled file. Non DRM ePub files can be directly accessed and modified without uncompressing them using Sigil although the internal content may be rearranged in the the process.

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Old 03-11-2012, 02:29 PM   #12
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Double-returns are never a good idea. .
Thank you for your help. I knew that about double-returns. I've used them all my novel-writing life without a hitch, but in this arena, I have learned. But I'm glad you reminded me. That's why I created the icon - that has its own style. I just don't understand why the inD CSS felt it had to make a separate definition for each usage of the icon.
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Old 03-11-2012, 02:33 PM   #13
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Originally Posted by DaleDe View Post
Non DRM ePub files can be directly accessed and modified without uncompressing them using Sigil although the internal content may be rearranged in the the process.

Dale
Okay. YAY, I get this now. Yesterday I spent hours exploring this difference. And I had heard that Sigil plays with file organization and can add some code. What I came up with yesterday was this: Spring open the archive with Springy, then select files to be edited in Text Wrangler. You can do this without extraction. Springy just shows you what's inside of the archive, and you can option click (on a mac) to get the contextual menu. I was afraid, at first, of selecting any of the functions, not knowing exactly what they'd do. But it turned out to be very straight forward. When you're finished editing a file, save - and close Text Wrangler. The archive is still intact, but the edits are done. At least, when I was finished I was pretty confident that I had done permanent edits to the files.

I know that most of you already know these things. But there will be another person like me, floundering and looking for specific help - so I thought I should record here plainly what I had discovered.

Last edited by barncat; 03-11-2012 at 02:36 PM.
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Old 03-11-2012, 11:11 PM   #14
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Yes, I use 7zip in exactly the same way when I want to make a minor change and preserve the layout. I can extract and then replace individual files that I edit somewhere else such as Notepad++.

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Old 03-12-2012, 03:16 PM   #15
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You guys are very kind.
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