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Old 02-16-2013, 03:40 PM   #1
Katsunami
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Maybe it's better not to know

I've been thinking about the thread where I ranted about bad markup, coding, and typography of ebooks. In the end, I came to the conclusion that the old saying could very well be true:

"Ignorance is bliss."

I'm thinking that people who don't know *anything* about the creation of ebooks are probably more accepting with regard to problems or things that "just don't look that good". I know that I've read quite some paper books with crappy fonts or any number of problems such as enourmous chapter headings way too much margin, too much spacing between paragraphs, and that sort of thing.

Mostly I've just shrugged my shoulders at it, read the book, and went to the next one, but in ebooks, it sometimes irritates me to no end.

I'm thinking that this is because I actually understand how to create an ebook, and that I'm (mostly) able to fix it if I really want to (with regard to time, and such), something which is not the case in a paper book. I obviously can't fix that.

OK... this thread has three polls in it. What I'd like to determine is:

1. How many people know how to create ebooks?
2. How many people who know how to create ebooks actually look at the code before they are going to read the book?
3. How many people who look at the code are so annoyed that they actually go in and try to fix it?

So, everyone can answer the first poll. That will split people up into the ones who can, and cannot create ebooks.

Please only answer the second only if you said "Yes" to the first poll. It's of no use to look at code when you don't actually understand it of course; so this will determine the number of people who know about ebook creation will actually open one up to check.

And only fill out the third poll if you said "Yes" to both of the ones above: it'll sort out the people who can create ebooks, AND actually look at the code, AND actually fix it (or not).

I hope to get something like this:
- 70% of the peopel here can create ebooks.
- 50% (of the above 70%) checks code before reading.
- 30% (of the above 50% of 70%) actually tries to fix a book.

Thanks

Poll: Do you know how to create eBooks?[*]Yes[*]No
Result:


Poll: Do you compulsively check the code (before reading)?[*]Yes[*]No
Result:


Poll: Are you bothered by crappy code (and try to fix it)?[*]Yes[*]No
Result:

Last edited by Katsunami; 02-16-2013 at 03:53 PM.
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Old 02-16-2013, 03:56 PM   #2
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It seems this is going wrong. People who don't read at a reader's forum....

There are 4 people who said Yes in the first poll, so there shouldn't have been more than 4 votes in the second. 4 of them in the second said No (everybody except me at this point, it seems), so there should have been only one vote in the third poll (mine).

It seems people are answering all three polls regardless of the answers in the first two.
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Old 02-16-2013, 04:03 PM   #3
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I don't see that the questions are mutually exclusive. "Fixing the code" could be just people running it through Calibre.
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Old 02-16-2013, 04:06 PM   #4
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Katsunami View Post
Do you know how to create eBooks?
Yes

Quote:
Do you compulsively check the code (before reading)?
No, not compulsively although if a book has glaring problems with it's formatting when I first open it I'll then check the code.

Quote:
Are you bothered by crappy code (and try to fix it)?
I am only really bothered by it when it causes a book to display poorly and will then try and fix it. Otherwise I'm unaware of how crappy it is, because if it displays OK on my devices I'd rather just read than monkey with code or even look at it.
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Old 02-16-2013, 04:28 PM   #5
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I agree with mr ploppy that they really aren't mutually exclusive. But for a clearer response than the poll can indicate:

- Yes, I know how to create ebooks. (In code view.)
- No, I do not look at the code unless the presentation on my reader indicates that there is something wrong with the code.
- I fix the code if I can clearly see that it's broken or just wrong before even looking at it.

So my knowledge of the "guts" of an ebook does not cause me to care about the code unless, as I said, I can clearly see it does not display properly. It has to cause a readability issue before I'll even bother glancing at the code. And if I only need to shrink the margins, I'll just do a calibre quickie. I don't care if it makes the code "worse" - I just care that I can read the book.
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Old 02-16-2013, 04:33 PM   #6
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Might help if the messages were in english. Anyway, I don't see the problem, just ignore any answers you think shouldn't have been given, or that were given under the influence of too much wine with supper.
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Old 02-16-2013, 05:30 PM   #7
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I think it goes along with a quote by the 16th President.

Quote:
If you look for the bad in mankind and expect to find it, you surely will.
- Abraham Lincoln
Likewise if you go looking for problems in ebooks you're sure to find some that are less than up to par. Per the poll I might have misread the posting or clicked on the wrong link for different questions.
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Old 02-16-2013, 11:23 PM   #8
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If there's space between paragraphs, or the lines are double-spaced or other weird stuff like that, I fix it before I read it. I fix or make the table of contents if it needs it. And I make notes of misspelled/missing/extra words in my Nook as I read, then go back and fix it later.
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Old 02-17-2013, 12:09 AM   #9
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My first reaction was that your surveys constituted more work than I was willing to do. I'll meet you part way: I know how to create ebooks (epub), but I wouldn't look at the code, and I especially wouldn't try to fix the code, unless there was a problem with reading it on my ereader. (I've only done it a couple of times -- hasn't come up yet.)
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Old 02-17-2013, 12:42 AM   #10
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Quote:
Originally Posted by CWatkinsNash View Post
I agree with mr ploppy that they really aren't mutually exclusive. But for a clearer response than the poll can indicate:

- Yes, I know how to create ebooks. (In code view.)
- No, I do not look at the code unless the presentation on my reader indicates that there is something wrong with the code.
- I fix the code if I can clearly see that it's broken or just wrong before even looking at it.

So my knowledge of the "guts" of an ebook does not cause me to care about the code unless, as I said, I can clearly see it does not display properly. It has to cause a readability issue before I'll even bother glancing at the code. And if I only need to shrink the margins, I'll just do a calibre quickie. I don't care if it makes the code "worse" - I just care that I can read the book.
Perfectly said.

Yes I can create, no I don't care about the code unless there is a problem, yes I will fix it.

Sometimes I just don't like the way it came from the publisher, and I fix to suit my taste, but that is very rare....Star Trek SCE I didn't like so I fixed those, that was a LOT of work because I've got all of them lol
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Old 02-17-2013, 01:25 AM   #11
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Quote:
Do you know how to create eBooks?
Yes, both ePub and mobi/KF8. These days, I tweak the HTML code, CSS, OPF, NCX, etc., using Sigil, although I have created e-books completely "from scratch" too.

Quote:
Do you compulsively check the code (before reading)?
No, never. I don't use Calibre or similar programs. I just read on my Kindle or tablet.

Quote:
Are you bothered by crappy code (and try to fix it)?
Yes, very much, but not to the point that I feel compelled to fix the code. I've come across a few e-books with bad formatting and was able to get through them because the story was engrossing. The formatting problems were distracting (and mildly annoying), though.

If I encountered an e-book that was so poorly formatted that I found it impossible to read, I'd just move on to another book. I already have thousands of e-books waiting to be read.
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Old 02-17-2013, 02:43 AM   #12
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My answers:

yes, I know how to make ebooks
Yes, I will look at the actual code to fix it

I've yet to buy a book I didn't change
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Old 02-17-2013, 03:18 AM   #13
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I rebuild entire websites on my own personal servers before I'll read the rendered content. I pay upwards of $50 a month for that shoddy crap!

(of course the content isn't usually relevant any more by the time I'm done thoroughly shooting the messenger, but still… it makes me feel better)

Last edited by DiapDealer; 02-17-2013 at 03:27 AM.
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Old 02-17-2013, 04:29 AM   #14
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I know how to create a ebook but I will only look at the code if something is wrong in the display of the book and needs to be fixed.
Most of the time Calibre can do this automatically with Search and Replace. Sometimes it can't and I have to open the book up in Word and fix it up nicely.

Every book I run through Calibre to add navigation, indentation, smarten punctuation and remove fonts and colors. I also add a blank line after every paragraph to make it more readable for me.
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Old 02-17-2013, 05:54 AM   #15
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I'm with AnemicOak (post #4) and exactly for the same reasons. Yes-No-Yes.

I had my first look at html because I wanted to make changes in the books. Now I can throw some pages into Sigil and get a simple epub out.

I almost never look at the code before reading, except when I know what to expect. For example in case of series - they tend to have similar formatting, so when I'm fixing #1, I'll check the others too. Or PG downloads where I add indent and remove space between paragraphs. After reading I fix all the bookmarked places and change for example poetry to smaller font etc.
Maybe I'm control freak, but I don't trust Calibre conversions - I want to know the changes I make. It's so easy in Sigil, and changing css takes less time than trying for right conversion settings in Calibre. I do use Modify Epub plugin.

Even thinking how Calibre adds some code during epub>epub conversion bothers me to no ends, so I avoid it. But crappy code doesn't bother me so much that I feel compelled to fix it if the book looks ok. Though sometimes I succumb to the temptation with the excuse that I need to learn. Depends on the book - how long it is, did I like it, can I be sure that the code is not needed....
So ideally, I'd like to fix the crappy code, but don't know enough to always recognize it or skill to fix it quickly.
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