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Old 09-19-2013, 06:26 PM   #1
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How to make Sigil live

Actually it is a continuation of a thread:
http://www.mobileread.com/forums/forumdisplay.php?f=203
but I open the new one because the title of the original is not appropriate.
Let us try to be pragmatic.
I know we are all (almost all?) here because we love to read books, which is not exactly a pragmatical occupation (I read SF mostly) but it is also true that a lot of frequent posters in this forum have some programming abilities . Others have a lot of specific knowledge about moving epub field.

user_none clarification:
http://www.mobileread.com/forums/sho...1&postcount=51

My assumptions:
After so much work that he has put into Sigil it would be personally and professionally for him an unpleasant experience to see the program to die.
He is at the moment father of a project as an open source and the only acceptable authority (Valloric?) able to point it into the future.
C++ is from humans for dedicated humans developed: one hopes somebody who is willing to learn it has some level of competence.

My fuzzy proposal for the time being would be:
1. Define essential "must haves" for Sigil to live.
2. Ask/prompt user_none (father has his responsibilities) to specify what in his opinion should be done to achieve that.

and than think about it.

Ad 1. As I see it EPUB 3 is a must.
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Old 09-19-2013, 07:10 PM   #2
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Just a suggestion: why not ask to Toxaris to change his title (if his title bother you) rather than create a new thread?

Last edited by Arios; 09-19-2013 at 07:27 PM.
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Old 09-19-2013, 07:38 PM   #3
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User_none has been pretty clear about it. He has been doing a large part of the development work and those who were working with him have gone on to other projects.

He doesn't want to do the development work (he never did), though is willing to guide the project.

No one else has stepped up to work on the nearly million lines of code in C++.

Unless and until someone does, it will progress no further.

Hitch may create her own private fork for her business, but doesn't want to make it public so she can focus on her business of ebook creation.

There is almost no way for anyone to make any money off this, since the market is small and it is open source, thus no money for anyone to get paid to keep it up, unless it is part of a private fork to support someone business.

It is in large part because of the work by all parties that Sigil has reached this high useful, but not so easy to maintain and improve, state. It is no longer small and simple, though for what it is it is remarkably easy to use. Which has brought interminable requests to make it into something else, or make it more easy because the new user doesn't want to be bothered to learn HTML and CSS which are the foundation of epubs or cope with any real world epub readers.

About the only path I can see out of this for those manufacturers that produce epub readers to form a group to support and develop it, as a counter to Amazon's Kindle. There might be enough money there to do so. However, even Amazon is tending toward a kind of epub with its newer machines. The use of sort of epub3 by Apple only adds to the confusion. Making epub3 a must have at this point when there are still only a few devices that support it doesn't make much sense. It will over time.

This is a mare's nest.
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Old 09-19-2013, 08:45 PM   #4
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A
Ad 1. As I see it EPUB 3 is a must.
EPUB 3. Aye, there's the rub. And that's exactly the Achilles' heel of my doomsday plan to "freeze" a working, relatively bug-free Sigil. Because someday, EPUB3 is going to be required.

And the code changes to Sigil, it has been said, will not be insignificant by a long shot. I think I understand that the current Sigil version politely ignores epub3-related code, so it might be useful in some fashion. But expanding tidy and flight crew, and who knows what else, to be fully epub3 compliant would be a massive task.

So now my doomsday plan is to retire from the business before epub3 becomes mission-critical.

Margarita-ville. Ah, lovely. Here I come!

Albert
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Old 09-19-2013, 08:52 PM   #5
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About the only path I can see out of this for those manufacturers that produce epub readers to form a group to support and develop it, as a counter to Amazon's Kindle. There might be enough money there to do so. However, even Amazon is tending toward a kind of epub with its newer machines. The use of sort of epub3 by Apple only adds to the confusion. Making epub3 a must have at this point when there are still only a few devices that support it doesn't make much sense. It will over time.

This is a mare's nest.
Now that's a very interesting suggestion. But I'd add, given that AFIK the best path to a Kindle file is via epub --> mobi via kindlegen, (and especially so the more mobi8 resembles epub2) why not invite Amazon to the party as well? It'd be chump change for them. IIRC, both FreeBSD and Linux have had some success along these lines. Who will bell the cat?

As an aside: If not via epub -> mobi conversion, how do the big dogs (i.e. major publishers) produce their kindle content? Secret deals with Amazon? Anybody know? Inquiring minds and all that...

Hmm, maybe I should dissect some of my purchased kindle books with kindleunpack and see if there are any clues...

Albert
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Old 09-20-2013, 02:37 AM   #6
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In a fit of depression over the present state of Sigil development I used at couple of hours yesterday to idly search for possible alternatives - there being of course none right out of the box.

But I stumbled over this:

https://blogs.oracle.com/geertjan/en...b_open_toolbox

which looks promising. There are probably more Java programmers out there than C++-ditto willing to delve into such a project (my personal favourite when it comes to translating, OmegaT, is written in Java, and is a very mature and stable product and keeps getting better). I know some people scoff at Java and won't allow it on their machines - well - I don't, it's used by the state and other official institutions, banks and so on for a security system here in Denmark, so there's really no way of getting on without it.

Anyway, with a Java authority like mr. Welenga (if he could be interested in this), it just might be possible to port Sigil's functionality to Java - and develop it further? - or am I being too optimistic?

Regards,

Kim
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Old 09-20-2013, 04:22 AM   #7
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My fuzzy proposal for the time being would be:
1. Define essential "must haves" for Sigil to live.
I fail to see the point of this thread and the "Sad Sigil news?" thread. As is it is right now, Sigil is a very mature piece of software and as far as functionality is concerned, it's feature-complete. If you gave book designers a moderate size plain text file with chapter headings in it and a cover image and challenged them to turn it into an ePub, they should be able to easily transform the text into a valid, nice looking basic epub in about 10 minutes flat. (It can even be used to create Kindle source files.)

In fact, I wished my regular text editor had features such as an index editor, group searches, keyboard shortcut accessible text clips, advanced spell check features etc.

IMHO, there's no point in adopting the "featuritis" mentality of commercial software producers that often turned pretty useful software into bloatware.
And even without any further updates Sigil'll useful for years to come. Just because user_none won't add any new features to it, it won't suddenly break down or become obsolete!!!

Quote:
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Ad 1. As I see it EPUB 3 is a must.
Since ePub3 hasn't really caught on and very few ePub3 features are actually adding value to the reader experience (for example, popup footnotes) ePub3 support doesn't really matter. Besides, ePub3 readers should be ePub2 compatible.

If ePub3 actually catches in on in couple of years, someone'll most likely have to create an ePub3 editor from scratch, because of the significant format differences.
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Old 09-20-2013, 06:55 AM   #8
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If ePub3 actually catches in on in couple of years, someone'll most likely have to create an ePub3 editor from scratch, because of the significant format differences.
Right on. Things that are required in epub2 are not required by epub3 and the audio and video features of epub3 make for a considerably different book which will probably be displayed on a different kind of reader (probably a tablet computer with a screen closer to 10".)
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Old 09-20-2013, 07:13 AM   #9
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Right on. Things that are required in epub2 are not required by epub3 and the audio and video features of epub3 make for a considerably different book which will probably be displayed on a different kind of reader (probably a tablet computer with a screen closer to 10".)
And then again. I already se ebooks from some of the other publishers here in Denmark with the epub 3.0 specs, even if the do not use any of the new possibilities in the format (except perhaps the new TOC from epub 3.0).

And some big international houses like O'Reilly already produce ebooks solely in epub 3.0 format.

So the "Day of Doom" might be closer than one think ...

Regards,

Kim
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Old 09-20-2013, 11:21 AM   #10
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And then again. I already se ebooks from some of the other publishers here in Denmark with the epub 3.0 specs, even if the do not use any of the new possibilities in the format (except perhaps the new TOC from epub 3.0).

And some big international houses like O'Reilly already produce ebooks solely in epub 3.0 format.

So the "Day of Doom" might be closer than one think ...

Regards,

Kim
Am I correct in assuming that epub3 will bacKward compatible with epub2? Will an epub3 reader properly display epub2?
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Old 09-20-2013, 11:50 AM   #11
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Am I correct in assuming that epub3 will bacKward compatible with epub2? Will an epub3 reader properly display epub2?
Only if they're interested in selling very many of them.
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Old 09-20-2013, 12:07 PM   #12
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Am I correct in assuming that epub3 will bacKward compatible with epub2? Will an epub3 reader properly display epub2?
Probably, yes. But since when has the hardware/software producers of this industry followed the specs?

A year or two in computer years is like eons, and Sigil may feel old and dusty in a shorter time than most of us probably would want or expect. A little timely care ...

Regards

Kim
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Old 09-20-2013, 12:32 PM   #13
eping
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About the only path I can see out of this for those manufacturers that produce epub readers to form a group to support and develop it, as a counter to Amazon's Kindle.
Adobe even don't want to invest more on it's Digital Editions, comparing to its PDF products.
B&N seems idiot on software, which ruined its good hardware.
Apple cares more on its apps.
Kobo? or even Microsoft?
It seems the ePub market has been neglected or forgotten.
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Old 09-20-2013, 02:21 PM   #14
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Since ePub3 hasn't really caught on and very few ePub3 features are actually adding value to the reader experience (for example, popup footnotes) ePub3 support doesn't really matter. Besides, ePub3 readers should be ePub2 compatible.

If ePub3 actually catches in on in couple of years, someone'll most likely have to create an ePub3 editor from scratch, because of the significant format differences.
I agree with this for the most part. Not because I'm anti-epub3 or anything. The fact of the matter is: changing Sigil into an ePub3 editor probably wouldn't be an insurmountable task. Difficult and very time-consuming, surely, but not insurmountable. I even think there's already a fork out there somewhere doing exactly that. The problem is that to remain truly useful, Sigil would have to be able to create, open, edit and save BOTH ePub2 and ePub3. You'd need to be able do all that as well as being able to convert between the specs (at least the direction of epub2 to epub3). Accomplishing that AND maintaining all the features we've come to know and love is where things would probably get a little too daunting to be practical (not to mention likely).
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Old 09-20-2013, 03:10 PM   #15
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I agree with this for the most part. Not because I'm anti-epub3 or anything. The fact of the matter is: changing Sigil into an ePub3 editor probably wouldn't be an insurmountable task. Difficult and very time-consuming, surely, but not insurmountable. I even think there's already a fork out there somewhere doing exactly that. The problem is that to remain truly useful, Sigil would have to be able to create, open, edit and save BOTH ePub2 and ePub3. You'd need to be able do all that as well as being able to convert between the specs (at least the direction of epub2 to epub3). Accomplishing that AND maintaining all the features we've come to know and love is where things would probably get a little too daunting to be practical (not to mention likely).
It might be simpler to have a separate Sigil_E3 rather than do the If E3 stuff.
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