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Old 07-22-2013, 04:13 PM   #1
Hitch
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RE: Zipping/Mimetype/?

Hey, gang:

Well...another ponderment. As some of you may have seen, I've been trying to help someone on another thread here with font-embedding issues. However, in both the course of that, and some abrupt startlements at Kindle's DP since last Friday, certain things seem to have changed at Amazon and I could use some help in figuring "what's what." The font-guy has other issues, unrelated to this, but this also affects him and anyone else uploading at KDP.

Can someone, speaking very, very slowly and in small words, explain to me what we do, in Sigil, for zipping up the ePUB? We've run into something odd that I can't quite explain, but to get (some) of our fonts to work (Type1/postscript) in books that were uploaded this past week, we've had to take our usual epub, but then unzip it into its constituent parts, do some (pre-mobi) editing, and then rezip those same constituent parts, using WinRAR, to get to a filename.zip file, and then rename filename.zip to filename.epub--which then works at KDP with the fonts. If we open the zipped file (renamed) in Sigil, the resulting file won't work (at KDP). Doesn't work really as an ePUB, either, but....this also seems to have some part of what's going on with MOBI's made from Sigil-made ePUBs. MOBI's made from Sigil-made ePUBs aren't "carrying" the fonts at KDP, either; when you mobiunpack the (resulting preview) mobi, the fonts are still in the kindlegensrc.zip, but they are MIA, in toto, from the resulting MOBI file. No display, no option, zip. (No pun intended). However, if we take the ePUB, tweak it as described, and use WinRAR to zip, then simply rename, the resulting "ePUB" works as a conveyor mechanism at KDP.

Something is obviously different about zipping with WinRAR versus whatever Sigil does. Remembering that I'm not a steely-eyed coder, can someone give this a thought and see if anything obvious springs to mind? User_none, if you're around, or one of the guys? Meme, or...? I know this may not simply be the zipping/compression mechanism, but I thought I'd start at the most obvious point and work my way in. Other things are afoot (obviously, the postscript fonts are history now, but I have MOBI's that have to be made to work this week), but this is patently part of it, it seems.

I know, I know..I always have the weird stuff, don't I?

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Old 07-22-2013, 04:33 PM   #2
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The first file in the ZIP Container MUST be a file by the ASCII name of ‘mimetype’ which holds the MIME type for the ZIP Container (i.e., “application/epub+zip” as an ASCII string; no padding, white-space or case change). The file MUST be neither compressed nor encrypted and there MUST NOT be an extra field in its ZIP header. If this is done, then the ZIP Container offers
When you do a typical Zip, everything gets compressed. There are tricks... But Why?


Why are you editing outside of Sigil? Is it because of the non-TTF/OTF fonts?

Have you tried 'Tweak EPUB' (A version is embedded in Calibre), It takes care of unpackaging- Allowing your edits (and additiions as long as you take care of the OPF changes)-and repackaging into a valid EPUB

The folk at Atlantis have a stand alone version
http://www.atlantiswordprocessor.com...tweak_epub.htm
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Old 07-22-2013, 04:33 PM   #3
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Wow! How bizzarre. So in order to get a kindlebook with working, embedded fonts through KDP, you actually have to submit/convert an invalid ePub? But a valid ePub will result in a perfectly functioning kindlebook (just minus the fonts)? That's nucking futs. Sounds to me like you may've stumbled upon a loophole around a new (but undocumented) "scorched earth" policy concerning embedded fonts and KDP.

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Old 07-22-2013, 04:38 PM   #4
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Quote:
Originally Posted by DiapDealer View Post
Wow! How bizzarre. So in order to get a kindlebook with working, embedded fonts through KDP, you actually have to submit/convert an invalid ePub? But a valid ePub will result in a perfectly functioning kindlebook (just minus the fonts)? That's nucking futs.
Where did that come from? No one said the submitted file should be invalid? Quite the contrary, it must always be a valid ePub file.

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Old 07-22-2013, 04:49 PM   #5
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Quote:
Originally Posted by DaleDe View Post
Where did that come from? No one said the submitted file should be invalid? Quite the contrary, it must always be a valid ePub file.

Dale
Uh... correct me if I'm wrong, but wouldn't unzipping an epub, rezipping the contents with WinRar, and then renaming from *.zip to *.epub result in a compressed mimetype file? Hence an invalid ePub?

I'm not trying to give anyone one a hard time, or anything (especially Hitch), but it seemed pretty clear to me from the description of her process that a valid ePub being submitted/converted was failing (no embedded fonts), and an invalid (compressed mimetype file) ePub being submitted/converted was succeeding (fonts were working/included). Did I read it wrong?

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Old 07-22-2013, 04:57 PM   #6
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No, actually I got the same impression as Diap did. It almost looks like KDP doesn't check if it is a valid ePUB.

There are various methods of storing data in a zip file. I am not quite sure which method Sigil uses.
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Old 07-22-2013, 05:23 PM   #7
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Quote:
Originally Posted by theducks View Post
The first file in the ZIP Container MUST be a file by the ASCII name of ‘mimetype’ which holds the MIME type for the ZIP Container (i.e., “application/epub+zip” as an ASCII string; no padding, white-space or case change). The file MUST be neither compressed nor encrypted and there MUST NOT be an extra field in its ZIP header. If this is done, then the ZIP Container offers
When you do a typical Zip, everything gets compressed. There are tricks... But Why?
Ducks, my dear:

If everyone could calm down, please? Please don't assume that we're half-assing stuff just for the fun of it, TY.
  1. Firstly, this all started because mobi's being uploaded by clients suddenly started having fonts stripped--all fonts.
  2. Then, we started trying to figure out what on earth was happening.
  3. As part of this, we tried uploading VALID ePUBS, in lieu of mobi's.
  4. That didn't work.
  5. Then we tried downloading the Preview mobi, and unpacking it, to see WT* was going on in the final mobi.
  6. But lo...although fonts were in the kindlegensrc.zip, no fonts in the mobi.
  7. No fonts on display, nada, zip. No "publisher fonts" option at Paperwhite. ZIP, pun intended.
  8. So, then, being US--the "Pirate Radio" of ebook-makers (I'm talking about the movie, not book piracy, please), we started trying some hairball s**t.
  9. We tried zipped html files.
  10. We tried all sorts of stuff.
  11. What worked was an INVALID epub, made as previously described.


Quote:
Why are you editing outside of Sigil? Is it because of the non-TTF/OTF fonts?
See above, love. Wouldn't dream of it if suddenly KDP hadn't gone batsh*t. And, Ducky, shame on you for thinking I've gone rogue.

Quote:
Have you tried 'Tweak EPUB' (A version is embedded in Calibre), It takes care of unpackaging- Allowing your edits (and additiions as long as you take care of the OPF changes)-and repackaging into a valid EPUB

The folk at Atlantis have a stand alone version
http://www.atlantiswordprocessor.com...tweak_epub.htm
I guess I should have added, to my initial description:
  1. I tried epubpack.
  2. I tried epubtweak.
  3. I tried CALIBRE!!! For the love of heaven!
  4. I tried WinZip. (Yes, of COURSE I dragged the mimetype in first, etc.)
  5. I tried 7Zip. (Ditto)
  6. I tried...you know what, Ducky? I tried EVERYTHING ELSE!!!

@DaleDe:

Quote:
Where did that come from? No one said the submitted file should be invalid? Quite the contrary, it must always be a valid ePub file.
Not this week, brother.

@Diap and @Toxaris:

Exactly correct. Valid fails to convey the fonts; invalid conveys the fonts. Of course it's Bizarro-World. In what universe would you guys think I would voluntarily come on a forum and say, "I'm knowingly submitting invalid ePUB files to KDP," on a forum that shows up top of the Google hit parade in searches? Patently, something is amiss, and that something started this past week, after the KDP was down for a few days. Now, we are reworking mobis that were previously made with some postscript fonts (fortuitously, we only had a few in-house where we'd been unable to get the client to use an OT), but I have a couple that just can't be "fixed" that way, there's no adequately similar OT font to achieve the "artistic vision" of the publisher-author. Thus, the kluge you have read about thus far, for these few that cannot be altered.

OK? Everybody got the picture? Titanic, meet iceberg. Iceberg...etc.

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Old 07-22-2013, 05:59 PM   #8
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After further thought... it doesn't surprise me that kindegen/KDP doesn't care about the ePub being valid or not (mimetype compression). It tries its best to convert everything you throw at it after all. So like you initially suggested, it probably has something to do with the compression algorithms. But judging how everything seems to work just fine EXCEPT the embedded fonts, it would seem KDP might be sensitive to how the font files themselves are compressed inside the ePub, and very little else. I wish I was set up to submit to KDP so I could experiment a bit, but I'm not. Unless locally built MOBIs that are then subsequently submitted to KDP exhibit the same behavior?
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Old 07-22-2013, 06:06 PM   #9
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Originally Posted by DiapDealer View Post
After further thought... it doesn't surprise me that kindegen/KDP doesn't care about the ePub being valid or not (mimetype compression). It tries its best to convert everything you throw at it after all. So like you initially suggested, it probably has something to do with the compression algorithms. But judging how everything seems to work just fine EXCEPT the embedded fonts, it would seem KDP might be sensitive to how the font files themselves are compressed inside the ePub, and very little else. I wish I was set up to submit to KDP so I could experiment a bit, but I'm not. Unless locally built MOBIs that are then subsequently submitted to KDP exhibit the same behavior?
Well, hell, who knows? When you say, "locally built mobis," you mean mobis built at KDP from ePUBS? Then the answer is yes, they are exhibiting the same behavior. We submitted tons of perfectly valid ePUBs to KDP, made the mobi on the fly, as it were, and POOF!, still no fonts. If you mean something else, then I don't know until I am clear on what you mean.

Amazon's been goosey about Postscripts for a while, saying "recommended" not to use, but this is the first outright nuking behavior, and it isn't just nuking the Type1's, it's nuking all of them. But if you take the Type1's out, then the normal process works--(I may not have said this earlier). You can upload an ePUB or a MOBI, and Bob's-yer-uncle. But if a Type1 is present, the whole thing goes Gaga, and it ain't no Lady.

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Old 07-22-2013, 06:14 PM   #10
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Quote:
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Well, hell, who knows? When you say, "locally built mobis," you mean mobis built at KDP from ePUBS? Then the answer is yes, they are exhibiting the same behavior. We submitted tons of perfectly valid ePUBs to KDP, made the mobi on the fly, as it were, and POOF!, still no fonts. If you mean something else, then I don't know until I am clear on what you mean.
No. I meant building the MOBI from the ePub on my PC with Kindlegen/Previewer and then uploading the resulting MOBI to KDP. Does that follow the same "Type1 fonts being present kills ALL embedded fonts unless zipped with WinRar" rule? Or are all bets off under that scenario?

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Old 07-22-2013, 07:17 PM   #11
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Quote:
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No. I meant building the MOBI from the ePub on my PC with Kindlegen/Previewer and then uploading the resulting MOBI to KDP. Does that follow the same "Type1 fonts being present kills ALL embedded fonts unless zipped with WinRar" rule? Or are all bets off under that scenario?
Howdy:

oh, hell, sorry. (). I don't think, sometimes. Yes, that follows the same rule. In our normal course of business, we build all our client mobi's locally, both with KG and KP, and that's what the first indicator was, a "locally-built" mobi that had vanishing fonts. That one was built with KindleGen from the CL running via a PERL script. We then tried it every other possible way; ePUB->KP (just in case) to KDP; ePUB to KDP; zipped HTML to KDP; etc. No combination of "normal" worked. Only the abnormal via WinRAR has "worked" in resulting in a mobi file with Type1 fonts.

Did I clear that up? Sorry...it's been a very, very long weekend, with a lot of very distressed clients who don't understand why what they got from us suddenly turned into big piles of unrecognizable books post-upload. I'm probably not as clear as usual.

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Old 07-22-2013, 07:43 PM   #12
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That clears it up, thanks! Can you point me toward an easily accessible/available Type1 font? I'm fairly font-agnostic.

Also, what happens if you skip the re-zipping with WinRar altogether? Do the embedded fonts work (assuming there's a Type1 font present) if you just feed the OPF file of an unzipped Sigil ePub to Kindlegen?
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Old 07-22-2013, 09:09 PM   #13
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That clears it up, thanks! Can you point me toward an easily accessible/available Type1 font? I'm fairly font-agnostic.

Also, what happens if you skip the re-zipping with WinRar altogether? Do the embedded fonts work (assuming there's a Type1 font present) if you just feed the OPF file of an unzipped Sigil ePub to Kindlegen?
Yeah, sure, GandhiSans is a type1. Easy to find and easy to use.

To be hyper-clear, the only way we've found to get the type1's to show up, or, for that matter, to get ANY fonts to show up at all in any title that has any Type1 font in it, is to use the WinRAR-->zip-->rename to ePUB route. Using the WinRAR zipped file as a zip hasn't worked. If we feed the OPF of an uzipped Sigil ePUB to KG, yes, it makes a perfectly good mobi, but again: the fonts get stripped at Step 5 at KDP. All the methods described, previously, make perfectly lovely mobi files, on your desktop. They all look and work great; they simply all get stripped at the KDP post Step-5.

Right? So: mobi's, at home, are making just fine. Whether it's ePUB->KP or ePUB-->KG, or OPF-->KG, or even a zipped HTML file to KG, they all make just fine. Type1 fonts, etc., all display. But not once that same file, or the same source file(s), are uploaded at Step5 at KDP. Then, the pre-existing, perfectly visible fonts disappear. As if they never existed or were improperly coded in the first place. If you replace the Type1's with fonts that aren't Type1, the books build and the fonts hold, post Step-5 (except for the other guy's book--the guy on the other thread? He has something hinky going on with his book that I haven't tracked down yet.)

So, at home, books build like usual. No issues, all methods, regardless of the type of font. At the KDP, only books not using any Type1 fonts "hold," no matter the source, UNLESS you use the hinky WinRAR-->zip-->ePUB route discussed earlier.

I know it's confusing. {sigh}.

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Old 07-22-2013, 09:39 PM   #14
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That crystalizes my understanding of the situ, believe it or not.

Given that everything appears to be working as intended until some point in the KDP process ... that means there has to be something quantifiably different about the mobi built from a normal (valid) Sigil epub, and the mobi built from the "hinky," ePub-ish WinRar beast. It's possible that some of the raw, debug output of KindleUnpack might shed some light on what that difference might be. There's got to be something there (or not there) that KDP notices and says; "this we like," or "this we don't like." It's either that, or you've truly stumbled across a loophole that allows you to achieve something that they have no intention of supporting any more (embedded Type1 fonts).

Thanks for the GhandiSans pointer. I'll poke around and see if there's anything obvious to infer from any differences in the mobis built using the two different methods, but I'm certainly no authority. I just have a decent working knowledge of the "guts" of a kindlebook and of KindleUnpack's (formerly MobiUnpack) codebase. I'm a noodler.
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Old 07-22-2013, 09:52 PM   #15
DaleDe
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Posts: 9,397
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Join Date: Aug 2007
Location: Grass Valley, CA
Device: EB 1150, EZ Reader, Literati, iPad 2
Well it looks like I got it wrong. Sorry, it was and still is quite confusing. Perhaps 2 wrongs do make a right after all.

Dale
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