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Old 12-17-2015, 01:36 PM   #1
JSWolf
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Empty Spans for iBooks compatibility

Why do you have empty spans? They don't do anything for anyone and all they do is bloat the eBook.
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Old 12-17-2015, 03:13 PM   #2
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Quote:
Originally Posted by JSWolf View Post
Why do you have empty spans? They don't do anything for anyone and all they do is bloat the eBook.
Ah, those are to make iBooks happy.
If nothing has changed since I've last checked, iBooks needs a (semantically unnecessary) tag inside paragraph tags to actually listen to CSS rules about alignment.

EDIT:
http://www.pigsgourdsandwikis.com/20...ooks-bugs.html

Last edited by sbin; 12-17-2015 at 03:18 PM.
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Old 12-17-2015, 03:21 PM   #3
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Originally Posted by sbin View Post
Ah, those are to make iBooks happy.
If nothing has changed since I've last checked, iBooks needs a (semantically unnecessary) tag inside paragraph tags to actually listen to CSS rules about alignment.

EDIT:
http://www.pigsgourdsandwikis.com/20...ooks-bugs.html
Given that the blog post is from 2010, have you actually tried your ePub without the spans? iBooks has been updated since then and might not need them.
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Old 12-17-2015, 03:40 PM   #4
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Originally Posted by JSWolf View Post
Given that the blog post is from 2010, have you actually tried your ePub without the spans? iBooks has been updated since then and might not need them.
Unless you have specific knowledge that they're no longer required, Jon, let's just let people create books in the manner their research indicates is necessary. There's no need for people to experiment if they have a working method (unless they want to).
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Old 12-17-2015, 05:44 PM   #5
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Originally Posted by DiapDealer View Post
Unless you have specific knowledge that they're no longer required, Jon, let's just let people create books in the manner their research indicates is necessary. There's no need for people to experiment if they have a working method (unless they want to).
I just loaded an ePub into iTunes and the chapter titles are centered without empty spans. So that means the empty spans are not needed because text-align works without them. Say goodbye to empty spans in iBooks.
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Old 12-17-2015, 06:00 PM   #6
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Unless you have specific knowledge that they're no longer required, Jon, let's just let people create books in the manner their research indicates is necessary. There's no need for people to experiment if they have a working method (unless they want to).
Quote:
Originally Posted by JSWolf View Post
I just loaded an ePub into iTunes and the chapter titles are centered without empty spans. So that means the empty spans are not needed because text-align works without them. Say goodbye to empty spans in iBooks.
Jon, my sweet?

Are you looking at that on a first-gen iPad, in iBooks?

Because we have found that first-gens still seem to need the empty-span and surrounding empty span trick. You?

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Old 12-17-2015, 06:09 PM   #7
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Originally Posted by Hitch View Post
Jon, my sweet?

Are you looking at that on a first-gen iPad, in iBooks?

Because we have found that first-gens still seem to need the empty-span and surrounding empty span trick. You?

Hitch
I donated my 1st gen iPad to Savers. Basically, it's almost useless. I have a 4th Gen iPad and that works well enough for my needs these days. There comes a time when you have to stop supporting obsolete hardware/software if it causes issues in supporting current hardware/software. In this case, iBooks on a 1st gen ipad is causing enough issues that it's best to just cut it loose and not support it. I know some people won't be happy, but there comes a time when it has to be done.

If we were talking ePub where some feature in the old RMDSK (ADE) used on Sony readers didn't work the same as a feature in newer RMDSK on current Readers, I'd say to cut loose Sony Readers.
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Old 12-17-2015, 06:17 PM   #8
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Quote:
Originally Posted by JSWolf View Post
I donated my 1st gen iPad to Savers. Basically, it's almost useless. There comes a time when you have to stop supporting obsolete hardware/software if it causes issues in supporting current hardware/software. In this case, iBooks on a 1st gen ipad is causing enough issues that it's best to just cut it loose and not support it. I know some people won't be happy, but there comes a time when it has to be done.

If we were talking ePub where some feature in the old RMDSK (ADE) used on Sony readers didn't work the same as a feature in newer RMDSK on current Readers, I'd say to cut loose Sony Readers.
Jon:

Well, that's just great for you. However, I don't have the luxury of telling a client that I'm too snotty to make a book that will work on first-gen iPads. FYI, I lost a nicely lucrative client over this bloody very issue. (FWIW: he had a first-gen iPad. He was promoting and selling autobiographical coffee-table type eBooks to a specific clientele. Long story short, the first-gen didn't [and still does not] support floating images at the top of a page, if there's a column of text next to it. I explained this until I was blue in the face, but because we couldn't make the file look like what he wanted--what his client wanted--he went somewhere else. Don't know how they fixed it, either, but the moral of the story is: there are people out there with 1st-Gen iPads that still work.) There are a large number of authors in the group of 1st-Gen iPad owners.

So: she's not "wrong" to use the empty span trick. Nobody is. That it doesn't agree with your ideas of right and wrong, sure. But it's not "wrong" any more than using empty paragraphs is actually "wrong" by the standards. It may not fit our ideas of elegance in the code/markup, but...it is what it is, Jon. Don't castigate her for trying to make her book work across ALL major devices.

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Old 12-17-2015, 06:23 PM   #9
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I don't recall needing to span stuff to get alignment to work and that was when I had my 1st gen iPad. Is that correct with that version iBooks?
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Old 12-17-2015, 07:01 PM   #10
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Quote:
Originally Posted by JSWolf View Post
I don't recall needing to span stuff to get alignment to work and that was when I had my 1st gen iPad. Is that correct with that version iBooks?
Wolfie, mon sweetie:

Recollect ye not the kerfuffle with iBooks? The bloody thing wouldn't align text--rather notoriously, centering, specifically--without empty spans around the element. It had two big bugs: it ignored any font information conveyed in spans, IIRC, (and...paragraphs and divs, I think--not 100% sure I remember everything), and it absolutely, positively, ignored the text-align CSS when full-justification was on. That presented pretty much everyone with a huge problem because the default shipping value for iBooks in 1st-Gen iPads was, you guessed it--ON.

For reasons that nobody--anywhere--understands, you had to put empty spans inside the <p></p> tags surrounding the paragraph element--and then iBooks would honor the text-align instructions that were carried on the P tags. (IIRC, you also had to do this for any of the h1-h6 tags, too). I kid thee not. I don't believe that it's ever been fixed. We have fallen out of the habit of doing it for each and every ePUB, for most of our clients aren't distributing to iBooks. We ask; if they are, or are using SW, etc., we put those little buggers right back in.

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Old 12-18-2015, 01:57 AM   #11
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Without looking at the stylesheet its impossible to decide if spans are unnecessary or not.

Code:
span {
  font-weight: 500;
}
will have definitely an effect on spans.

Code:
div span {
  font-style: italic;
}
will have definitely an effect on spans.

And both will not be listed in Sogil's reporting as they do not have a class.

@Hitch: would a plugin put any value which adds empty spans to <p> and <divs> and <h1>?

Last edited by rubeus; 12-18-2015 at 02:08 AM.
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Old 12-18-2015, 03:39 PM   #12
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Quote:
Originally Posted by rubeus View Post
Without looking at the stylesheet its impossible to decide if spans are unnecessary or not.

Code:
span {
  font-weight: 500;
}
will have definitely an effect on spans.

Code:
div span {
  font-style: italic;
}
will have definitely an effect on spans.
True. Without going back and re-reading, I think that the OP said that there were blank spans included, for iBooks, but my brain could be fried. It's Friday, Xmas is in a few days...nobody here has slept since Halloween..y'know. The usual.

Quote:
And both will not be listed in Sogil's reporting as they do not have a class.

@Hitch: would a plugin put any value which adds empty spans to <p> and <divs> and <h1>?
Well, that's an interesting question. I guess a clip of regex, rather than a plugin, might be fabulous for that. I'm not sure that a plugin needs to be created. I gotta think about that.

It seems silly to want someone to do all that work when, as Wolfie rightly points out, with Apple's penchant for dropping hardware, software, OSes, etc., it's realistic to think that sometime in the near future, all the 1stGen iPads will be placed on a space-bound craft heading for the heart of the Sun. Or something like that.

Lemme cogitate on that one. Good idea, Rube.

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Old 12-19-2015, 03:44 AM   #13
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Quote:
Originally Posted by rubeus View Post
Without looking at the stylesheet its impossible to decide if spans are unnecessary or not.

Code:
span {
  font-weight: 500;
}
That font-weight doesn't work. Is should be bold instead of 500.
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Old 12-19-2015, 04:14 AM   #14
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That font-weight doesn't work. Is should be bold instead of 500.
You're, yet again, wrong. font-weight can have a numerical value.
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Old 12-19-2015, 04:16 AM   #15
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You're, yet again, wrong. font-weight can have a numerical value.
But in ePub, it doesn't work.
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