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Old 03-28-2013, 07:09 AM   #1
totsubo
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How to code furigana (ruby) for mobi / Paperwhite

I'm writing a Japanese book and am wondering how to add furigana (ruby) for the Kindle Paperwhite?

I know it can be done because I have some Japanese book with furigana. However I read the Amazon Kindle Publishing Guidelines clearly say it is not possible:

"There is no support for right to left vertical scripts and no support for Japanese Ruby script." (p. 11)

The guidelines are obviously wrong but I couldn't find anything in the mobi documentation either about furigana/ruby support.
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Old 03-28-2013, 09:41 AM   #2
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I don't know anything about furigana, but I do know that you have to be careful about the way you interpret the KPG. The KF8 devices use a custom version of webkit to render HTML and CSS. If you assume a slightly older version of webkit without javascript, you will have a decent idea of what you can do.

I would start with the assumption that if furigana was supported by webkit and you can embed a font with the proper support, it will work. You would have to use the @media {amzn-mobi} to control what happens with the downlevel version of your book.
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Old 03-28-2013, 10:04 AM   #3
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Did some testing and the Paperwhite supports the <ruby>, <rb>, and <rp> tags. Looks like the KPG is wrong.

Using the Previewer though it looks like the Kindle and Kindle DX don't support ruby, and neither does the Kindle for iOS (though Kindle for iPad does).
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Old 03-28-2013, 02:55 PM   #4
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If it works for the Paperwhite, it almost certainly works for the Kindle 3, 4, and 5. The previewer is just totally broken for those devices. The previewer shows you the old mobi format for all eink devices except the Paperwhite even though all of them except the first and second generation devices should have been upgraded to use the KF8 format.

All of the Kindle eink devices that accept the KF8 format use the a customized webkit browser to render HTML/CSS. As best I can tell, they are pretty much feature compatible. For something like furigana, you will definitely have to test on actual devices.
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Old 03-28-2013, 09:46 PM   #5
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The previewer shows you the old mobi format for all eink devices except the Paperwhite even though all of them except the first and second generation devices should have been upgraded to use the KF8 format.
Ah! Good to know, thanks for pointing it out.

I can't really afford to go an buy all the various Kindle versions to test on so I rely a lot on the Previewer - and I put a disclaimer on my amazon book's page that it's only guaranteed to work on the Paperwhite.

I wonder what the number/percentage of Kindle users are on the Fire? It might be worth my while to invest in a Kindle Fire if it's large enough ...
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Old 03-28-2013, 10:17 PM   #6
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and neither does the Kindle for iOS (though Kindle for iPad does).
Kindle for iPad is Kindle for iOS as the iPad uses iOS.
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Old 03-28-2013, 10:23 PM   #7
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Kindle for iPad is Kindle for iOS as the iPad uses iOS.
You'd think ... but the Previewer specifically has a category for each. So for some reason Amazon distinguishes between the two.

Doesn't make sense to me either ...
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Old 03-29-2013, 11:09 AM   #8
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You'd think ... but the Previewer specifically has a category for each. So for some reason Amazon distinguishes between the two.

Doesn't make sense to me either ...
Likely the difference between iPhone (iPod Touch) and iPad.
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Old 04-01-2013, 02:02 AM   #9
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You'd think ... but the Previewer specifically has a category for each. So for some reason Amazon distinguishes between the two.

Doesn't make sense to me either ...
The screen aspect ratio on other iOS devices is different, which can cause various subtle layout differences. So if you really care about making sure there aren't any layout problems on either device, it is worth checking both. That said, is their iOS preview mode using the iPhone 4 or iPhone 5 resolution?
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