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Old 08-07-2013, 12:40 PM   #16
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Quote:
Originally Posted by ibu View Post
Please tell me, which of my "ideas" are strange in your opinion.
The idea that classes are only used to provide "private joy."

Even if that were true (and I don't believe it is), the very act of reading, for me, is a private joy. So while I do prefer a more conservative coding approach to my ebooks, I'm not interested in presenting said texts in the most austere and ascetic manner possible. Most people still prefer a balance of form and function in that regard... and to eliminate the use of classes would seriously inhibit someone's ability to achieve that balance (with respect to the current crop of reading devices at our disposal).

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Old 08-07-2013, 01:27 PM   #17
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@DipDealer

You would miss my point, when you think I'm someone who resents someone it's joy.

But private things are to distinguish from standard conformity in regards of semantics like they are publically defined by the W3C.

No more, no less.

And semantic markup stands not against suggestions (CSS is a suggestion, which a user can accept or overwrite - by the cascading concept of that language) for the layout.

CSS and the concept of ancestors, neighbors, cascading, ... is very very powerfull.

The most use of classes can be easily avoided without any disadvantage for reaching a specific design goal.
I gave an example in my posting before.

Of course I used "private joy" to provoke.
To emphasize the difference between the intended (by W3C) use of elements and the private ideas of markup.

Some minutes ago I cleaned my first epub completly. It's free of embedded CSS.

And the presentation of it by my Kobo is perfect for my taste!

Even an margin between paragraphs is added automatically by the Kobos internal basic default style sheet. Good luck for me. No need to add any rule at all.

The bad news:
The cleaning needed a lot of time. Sure, now I'm unexperienced in cleaning still.

My next "project": Learning to clean the *.OPF

Little annotation:
Kobo Glo does not recognize a /images/cover.jpg as such.
content.opf: <item href="Images/cover.jpg" id="cover.jpg" media-type="image/jpeg" />

I will habe to place an ugly redundant cover.xhtml
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Old 08-07-2013, 01:30 PM   #18
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This might give you an idea; convert the ePub to TEXT with markdown in calibre, and then convert the resulting txt file back to ePub.

Yes; there will still be some CSS and styles added by calibre, but a minimum number that might be easier to weed out.
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Old 08-07-2013, 04:54 PM   #19
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Quote:
Originally Posted by ibu View Post
@Jellby
Well, to be honest I don't want to go to deep into a general discussion on "what is the best markup".

But because two of you asked, of course I answer in short to that.

Sure there are markup situation, where a span/div is appropriate.

Because there's no specific element for "number" and if you really need to distinguish between the word "chapter" and "the number", than

Code:
<h1>Chapter <span>4</span></h1>
is OK.

Code:
class="number"
is superfluous.

If you need a selektor: "h1 span { }" does the job.

I would prefer another markup.

Code:
<h1>Chapter <em>4</em></h1>
class="number" is not necessarily superfluous because you wlll end up restyling all h1 spans. <em> will emphasise the text but you have no idea that this is the author's intention.

For the best markup you have to ask, what you want to express.

In such a heading the number is the specific part. The word "chapter" is the general part.

For the eye it is importan to recognize the number.
Therefore it's good to emphasize it.

How do you know this? The author may have designed class="number" to de-emphasise numbers.

@Agame

OK, some example for bad markup:

Code:
<p class="h1"><samp>...</samp></p>
Why is this bad?

<h2 class="h2" id="heading_id_2">...</h2>
Why is this bad?

<span class="italic">...</span> (just to emphasized words inside sentences)

<p class="text_noindent_top">...</p> (Neighbor selector can match it)
<p class="text_indent">...</p> (each paragraph has that useless class)
<p class="text_indent">...</p>
The list can be continued endless.

"Semantic" means that, what is declared in the W3C Specs.
To talk about semantic in our context, the semantic must be declared publically and authoritative.

It is. We are using the subset of XHTML associated with the ePub specification.

Only when it's authoritative, producer of interfaces for example blind people can offer a useful output for e.g. headings.

All an author adds with classes or ids it's private joy.

Really? I don't agree. I think that a carefully styled book is easier to read and not just private joy.
Maybe you should convert your books to plain text or markdown and use these on your reader. This would seem to achieve the minimalist approach that you prefer. This could be achieved with existing tools.

I do like my ePubs to be tidy but the external result, (as rendered on a reader), is more important than the internal, (XHTML).
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Old 08-07-2013, 04:57 PM   #20
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Quote:
Originally Posted by PeterT View Post
This might give you an idea; convert the ePub to TEXT with markdown in calibre, and then convert the resulting txt file back to ePub.

Yes; there will still be some CSS and styles added by calibre, but a minimum number that might be easier to weed out.
My post-conversion plugin tidies up all the calibre generated styles as part of its processing. It does not remove them but replaces them with a meaninful set of named classes designed to work with Markdown conversions.
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Old 08-07-2013, 05:57 PM   #21
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@Agame
It seems that we don't agree in fundamentals about markup. That's OK. No offense.
But we will not find a consensus in this area, I suppose.

We are asking very different questions, from a very different point of view.

You ask: Why isn't that extra class OK?

I ask: Why do you need an extra class?

About "plain text":
That does not fit my needs.
I need and want markup in books.
Headers.
Emphasized text.
Ordered lists.
Footnotes (Links).
Blockquotes.
Images.
Data tables.
...

Your post-conversion plugin:
I'm not sure, if I could use it, when the source isn't a markdown format.

Do you have please a complex example of "before" and "after" (the conversion).
I'm interested in what your plugin does
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Old 08-07-2013, 06:03 PM   #22
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Quote:
Originally Posted by DiapDealer View Post
I
Sounds like the "Open With" feature of Sigil might be helpful to you. It will allow you to use external editors on files within the epub without all the unzip/rezip nonsense.
"Open with" does only work for a single highlighted file.
But "save as" for the one direction and "add existing files" work very fine.
Thanks for your hint

Sure it would be nicer to perform cleanings in Sigil, but using an external tool (like Dreamweaver) is OK.
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Old 08-07-2013, 06:21 PM   #23
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Quote:
The consequent use of elegant selectors? Negative report.
The motive of the authors of the css to present a clear and lean set of rules? Negativ report.
Well, I can tell you, from a commercial bookmaker's perspective, that many books--the vast bulk of which are deliberately made in ePUB to be subsequently converted with KindleGen for Amazon--will not use "elegant selectors," because there are millions--MILLIONS--of e-ink Kindles out there that will not recognize them. For that matter, Padawan Learner, there are millions of Nooks out there that won't recognize many "elegant selectors," either.

So, while "elegant selectors" and other specific sets of CSS that you've seemed to latch onto as "right," versus less exotic CSS that you seem to have decided is not, might give you joy, they bring no joy to people who labor for hours to make books, only to have reports back that "such and such" doesn't work on Nook, or Sony, or Kobo, or {insert device name here}. And the increasing amount of reader-control that is given over to the human readers, like in many, many iPad-based and Droid-based reading apps, means that it's LESS likely that "elegant selectors," et al, will ever be used again, because increasingly, users simply override them, and bitch and complain that someone "forced" a heading font on them.

And frankly, some of your "shoulds" versus your "should nots" are not formed from a genuine understanding of XHTML and ePUB standards. You should spend more time making some ebooks from scratch, and trying them on myriad devices, before deciding that a span for X is wrong, versus not using one is right. I would cringe to have many of our epubs or books looked at by "experts" here on MR, because they might decry that we'd done such-and-such, which should "not" be done, but maybe we did it because the client expressly needed something for Kobo, or for Nook, or even Sony. So, seriously, you should try some distribution, and using books commercially, before you decide that what another bookmaker has done is garbage. Trust me, I've SEEN a lot of "commercial garbage," much of it using Calibre style tags, (or Indesign tags) and most of what you've listed doesn't come close to describing some of the "bad" I've seen.

Hell, where's our resident curmudgeon, Wolfie? He's got a list of truly dreadful CSS and styling from a book--I forget where he got it--but THAT is truly awful, no matter WHAT the desired outcome or result or vendor would be.

Try making and distributing some books, before you decide the "shoulds" and "should nots." That's a whole different mile in someone else's shoes. As it happens, my firm does not do a lot of your "should nots," but that doesn't mean that the "should nots" are all wrong. Many are simply preference.

Part of the true beauty of HTML and CSS is that it is not all the same; much of it is highly personalized, and subject to its own elegance in that regard. What you want will actually suck all the joy OUT of the making of books.

And, no: there's no magic bullet. Just like there's no magic bullet to making a book, there's no magic bullet to "fixing it." Spend $40 and buy RegexBuddy, and learn how to remake the books as you want them using Regex. Regex is your friend.

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Old 08-07-2013, 06:22 PM   #24
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Quote:
Originally Posted by ibu View Post
"Open with" does only work for a single highlighted file.
Well, yes. But I assumed that working with each individual file within Sigil would still be considered more efficient than unzipping the ePub and working with each individual file and then rebuilding the ePub.

Do you not have to work on files one at a time with Dreamweaver regardless of whether you do so by first unzipping the ePub or by using it in conjunction with the "Open With" feature of Sigil? (I mean when actually cleaning the files and not just simply having them all open within Dreamweaver at the same time)

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Old 08-07-2013, 06:45 PM   #25
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@Hitch
Ok, I'm a newbie with eReaders and didn't now how poor their CSS compatibility is. Thanks for correcting me.

Is there a large data table (like for internet brower CSS compatibility) for eReaders and CSS selectors, properties, values?

That would help to guide creators or cleaners of epubs, which CSS could be used without letting a lot users standing in the rain.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Hitch
What you want will actually suck all the joy OUT of the making of books.
Not at all.
I have a deep respect to all book designer, typographs who work with dedication and expertise.
I like to see their suggestions for a book layout as a reader.
When I like it, will enjoy to read the book in the suggested layout.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Hitch
Regex is your friend
I'm not perfect in Regex, but I agree to you: it's extremly powerful to manipulate text.
Without any question.

But my point of view for this thread was different.

For a valid xml document RegEx is not the best. It's more elegant to use a tool, which interpretes the tree.

Last edited by ibu; 08-07-2013 at 06:52 PM.
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Old 08-07-2013, 07:26 PM   #26
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Quote:
Originally Posted by ibu View Post
@Hitch
Ok, I'm a newbie with eReaders and didn't now how poor their CSS compatibility is. Thanks for correcting me.

Is there a large data table (like for internet brower CSS compatibility) for eReaders and CSS selectors, properties, values?
LOL! From your lips to God's ears, or as my Jewish friends say, "Aleyveh," which means the same thing, essentially. Sadly, no: this is a knowledge born of hard knocks, by finding out the hard way that Nook, for example, will hyphenate headers wherever it runs out of room--instead of at a syllable--unless you expressly tell it not to, while it's hyphenating paragraphical text just fine in the same book. (As will Goodreads' online ePUB-reader, FWIW).

Quote:
That would help to guide creators or cleaners of epubs, which CSS could be used without letting a lot users standing in the rain.
Yup. But...there's just, IME, no easy way to learn to make epubs or MOBI's. There just isn't. They're not cookies coming out of a cookie-cutter machine. Lo, I wish they were! It would make my life easier and more profitable. But they're just NOT. I mean, for fiction, sure, we could all try to do that; make them all look like Vanilla Word files...but where's the joy in that? The only way to learn to make them, and find out what works, what doesn't, is...try it. Hell, we've discovered stuff that should NOT work, simply by not knowing enough, when we tried it, to know it shouldn't. Then, hang out here, hang out at other places, and swap digital spit with other bookmakers, as in "hey, I tried this, but that didn't work, what did you do?" It's just a process. It's probably one of the last professions standing that still (essentially) has an apprenticeship. ;-)


Quote:
Not at all.
I have a deep respect to all book designer, typographs who work with dedication and expertise.
I like to see their suggestions for a book layout as a reader.
When I like it, will enjoy to read the book in the suggested layout.
Okay. I'm not really sure that your posts have quite made that clear.

Quote:
I'm not perfect in Regex, but I agree to you: it's extremly powerful to manipulate text.
Without any question.

But my point of view for this thread was different.

For a valid xml document RegEx is not the best. It's more elegant to use a tool, which interpretes the tree.
Well, that sounds really spiffy, but you're making a LOT of assumptions there, as I think either Diap or one of the other guys mentioned. And, honestly, I disagree with you; I think that for a valid XHTML document--not an XML-only document, mind you--that RegEx is the best that is currently available. As far as I know, there is no silver-bullet application that can analyze a digital tree and then adjust the CSS/HTML styling as it "should" be. The number of possible shoulds...it's an exponentially large number. Or at least, arithmetically large. And the issue is, the market for it is very small, really, as the guys here will (Sigil) would tell you. I don't know what the total downloads for Sigil are, or donations, but I wouldn't care to guess. Or for Jutoh, or AWP (Atlantis Word Processor). Whereas the number of books "self-published" at Amazon last year were, what, 700,000, all made from uploading Word and PDF files? Some 2million in 2 years? Of which, probably less than 10,000 were professionally produced, if that? Maybe 100,000, if I go hog-wild and include all the BPH books made in India?

So...somehow, I doubt that a tool like that will come into existence. Sounds fabulous, don't get me wrong...but I think I'll have to put that one on a wishlist to Santa, right up there with "Dear Santa, please deliver me some reasonable clients who don't want us to make 355 edits, 200+ of which are scene dividers, now with a fleuron that they didn't have yesterday, in a print book that we got today to have it ready to GO TO PRINT ON FRIDAY." (Yes, taken from a real client, on a real book, just today, a Wednesday, for those of you who will see this many moons later.)

So, Santa, that's what I want--a magic tool for trees and structure and CSS and HTML, and reasonable clients. Then I can die happy. Or at least, possibly retire, and stop haunting my fellow inmates here at MR.

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Old 08-07-2013, 07:35 PM   #27
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Something I can't help but wonder... Would anyone buy a paperback or hardback book and disect it with a scalpel, and then reassemble it to meet their own likes?
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Old 08-07-2013, 07:54 PM   #28
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@Hitch
I feared that there's no such table

May be I would be a good practice of all professionel ePub producers to demonstrate their disrespect against ignorant eReader producers, when they deliver all their work in two files:
one clean, crisp, beautiful coded epub.
and another ugly one for all the bad devices.

To blame them. Not the users of course. But the eReader producer.

When I understand you correctly, than the situation is like the web in the stone age.

"Best viewed with".

I still disagree with you about the sources of joy in professionell work.

And be sure, I have I great respect for all (you of course included) who struggle with ugly technology. Who try their best.

Joy, in my humble opinion, comes out of great layouts, great typografy. And it starts, after a professionell has overcome all the boring defects.

To the "software which interpretes the tree of an XML file":

May be you're right and it will never come to the market. Bad luck for me and for many others.

I'm not at all an expert in estimate the software market situation under that special aspect.

But even a guro of RegEx like Jeffrey Friedel writes, that RegEx is not a good tool for editing html.

I wonder that languages like XLST exist but still there's no tool to perform things in a simple gui like:

Delete all childs of the elemtent foo which contain the class "zot".
Strange.
I say to Santa.
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Old 08-07-2013, 07:59 PM   #29
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Quote:
Originally Posted by PeterT View Post
Something I can't help but wonder... Would anyone buy a paperback or hardback book and disect it with a scalpel, and then reassemble it to meet their own likes?
No. Of course not.

Physical stuff is stiff.
Digital stuff is elastic.
If it is good stuff.

My beloved ePub Software Stanza on my iPhone (my first and only love in the epub world) didn't force me at all to use a scalpel.
All my reading options dominate all the CSS suggestions of epub producers.
Perfect. Nothing to talk about.

My Kobo is different.
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Old 08-07-2013, 08:17 PM   #30
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Just for the heck of it, I took a book from the Patricia Clark Memorial Library here, converted it to text using calibre (and marked up with markdown), then reconverted to ePub (via calibre). Then I took about 10 minutes to head through that newly converted book, changed the calibre created CSS style sheet to element level CSS, removed all the id=".calibre" from the (x)HTML files, inserted Sigil chapter breaks and split the book into chapters, and finally renamed all the (x)HTML files to reflect their contents.

Here's the resulting book.
Attached Files
File Type: epub Three Men in a Boat (Simplified) - Jerome K. Jerome.epub (199.8 KB, 35 views)
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