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Old 12-02-2013, 05:12 PM   #46
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Well, that's the impression that I was getting, too, but I still recall that Rubén said -- repeatedly -- that he preferred the CSS method. I guess that's why I'm a bit confused (apart from my apparent "confusion" in getting the CSS method to work, too, of course).
Use the css method when the background image must have a height lower than 100%.
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Old 12-02-2013, 05:38 PM   #47
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You have nothing to thank me.
Well, I'm going to anyway -- thank you again, Rubén, for clearing all that up for me! I don't really have anything else to reply to (I guess you've answered all my questions now), but I did want to at least acknowledge your response(s)...

...and thank you again for that/those.

Cheers!
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Old 12-03-2013, 12:21 PM   #48
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Well, I'm going to anyway -- thank you again, Rubén, for clearing all that up for me! I don't really have anything else to reply to (I guess you've answered all my questions now), but I did want to at least acknowledge your response(s)...

...and thank you again for that/those.

Cheers!
You are very welcome!
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Old 12-06-2013, 02:56 AM   #49
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Mobi is an old kind of format, Dale The future is kf8 (in the kindle world, of course)
You know, Ruben:

You say that all the time, but there are millions--millions--of Kindles, K2's and early K3's out there that will never display 'background image.' I've been sitting here watching this thread, trying for the life of me to understand why on earth it wouldn't have been far simpler to spend 20 minutes in Photoshop to make the image(s) with the chapter text embedded, which could EASILY have been put inside the appropriate alt-tags, to enable TTS, and I still don't understand why it wasn't done, particularly considering that these "chapter heads" won't work for K7 MOBI.

Just because you happen to have a K8 device doesn't mean that it's acceptable to constantly ignore the millions of people out there who do have K7's as if they don't exist. It's quite vexing to me to see you say "this will work in Kindle," when that is flatly not accurate. I would appreciate it if you would modify what you say to state "this will work for K8 Kindle," at the least. Saying that your solutions, which are almost always K8-centric, will "work for Kindle" is really misleading to those who do not know any better.

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Old 12-06-2013, 08:20 AM   #50
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I've been sitting here watching this thread, trying for the life of me to understand why on earth it wouldn't have been far simpler to spend 20 minutes in Photoshop to make the image(s) with the chapter text embedded, which could EASILY have been put inside the appropriate alt-tags, to enable TTS, and I still don't understand why it wasn't done,
I agree, that seems like such an obvious solution and I did think of that, too, but looked for an alternative solution for one simple reason: bandwidth. To do it that way, I'd have to have a separate image for each and every chapter (and this book I'm working on has 20+ chapters), but with this SVG method I only have to include a single image. It's a huge difference in the file size of the book.

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particularly considering that these "chapter heads" won't work for K7 MOBI.
Does everybody out there design just one single version of their books that works on virtually every platform? That seems like a shame, actually. While I would certainly agree that it would be ridiculous to come up with countless different versions geared to work on each and every platform, I don't think it would be unreasonable to do two versions -- a "fancy" version for those platforms that can handle the fancier stuff, and a "plain" version for those that don't.

I know I'm getting a bit off-topic here (from the original subject heading of this thread), but the book I'm currently working on is only my second one, and so far I've pretty much be designing exclusively for iBooks/ADE. Naturally I'd also like to come out with a Kindle version, too (if only for the greater market share that one can reach), but I haven't even begun to look into it -- yet -- and must admit that it seems rather daunting. All I keep hearing is that "you can't do this" and "you can't do that", because earlier Kindles just won't support it -- but hey, at the same time, "you can do it for KF8!"

Well, what the hey, how does one design for Kindle at all, then, if one wants to incorporate any kind of design? What's the point in coming up with a design that'll work in KF8 if anyone with an earlier model won't be able to render it properly? Or does amazon have things set up somehow that if your design incorporates things that will only work in KF8 (or whatever), then you need that in order to even buy the book in the first place?

I have no idea how Amazon/Kindle works -- I have no idea what format the files are in, like, if they're in HTML/CSS like epubs are, or what. I guess I should start googling it and learning about it in my spare time, of course, but in that regard if anyone can point me directly to a really good tutorial on the subject (and hopefully one that's not too confusing) that would be much appreciated.

And thanks in advance for that!
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Old 12-06-2013, 11:29 AM   #51
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Old 12-06-2013, 12:51 PM   #52
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You know, Ruben:

You say that all the time, but there are millions--millions--of Kindles, K2's and early K3's out there that will never display 'background image.' I've been sitting here watching this thread, trying for the life of me to understand why on earth it wouldn't have been far simpler to spend 20 minutes in Photoshop to make the image(s) with the chapter text embedded, which could EASILY have been put inside the appropriate alt-tags, to enable TTS, and I still don't understand why it wasn't done, particularly considering that these "chapter heads" won't work for K7 MOBI.

Just because you happen to have a K8 device doesn't mean that it's acceptable to constantly ignore the millions of people out there who do have K7's as if they don't exist. It's quite vexing to me to see you say "this will work in Kindle," when that is flatly not accurate. I would appreciate it if you would modify what you say to state "this will work for K8 Kindle," at the least. Saying that your solutions, which are almost always K8-centric, will "work for Kindle" is really misleading to those who do not know any better.

Hitch
Hi Hitch;

I knew you were going to say that But if you read again my previous post:

http://www.mobileread.com/forums/sho...0&postcount=44

then you'll see that there I apologize (to you) in advance for my opinion. Yes, of course I know what you think and I respect it; please don't be angry, I didn't want to offend you when I wrote that. In fact, in that previous post I also stated that my code only works for K3 (updated K3) and newer models of Kindle. Also is true that .mobi (the old kind of .mobi) is still a valid format and it must be considered, especially if the book is planned to be supported for the majority of ereaders. But you have to agreed with me that .kf8 is the future (speaking of Kindle).

The best for you.
Rubén

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Old 12-06-2013, 03:07 PM   #53
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Does everybody out there design just one single version of their books that works on virtually every platform? That seems like a shame, actually.
Well, there are multiple cases, involving a lot more manpower, and those that involve a lot less.

Case #1: Some people create completely separate versions per store (Usually the "big 3": One for Amazon, one for Apple, one for B&N/everything else). Some even go much further than this, and start designing for specific devices.

Case #2: Some people on MobileRead will just have the same code, but swap out different CSS files depending on if this is an EPUB, or if this is an EPUB that is being fed through KindleGen (for sale on Amazon). So you can have a:

- KindleCSS.css
- EPUBCSS.css

Case #3: Some people just design EPUBs that work everywhere (but of course, you cannot go too far in any direction with "fancier" CSS/code/SVG)).

The reason is economics, and you get the most "bang for your buck" if you create one version to rule them all! I personally would rather spend time getting more higher quality conversions of books out there (that looks pretty damn good on nearly all devices), than spending so much time per book by creating dedicated versions, to MAYBE get it looking "WOW THIS IS THE GREATEST EPUB I HAVE EVER SEEN ON MY IPAD" (and then Apple comes out with a new ipad/ibooks and some quirk your EPUB was dependent on makes it not look so great any more ).

Plus, you need a lot of different devices to test on... and most of us mere humans just have one, two, maybe four devices to test on. Not everything under the sun (and each of these devices all have their own little weird quirks, where things break where you don't expect them to).

Anyway, the books that I handle (non-fiction economics books), case #3 works perfectly fine for me. All I need is images, tables, footnotes, headers, justification, and bold/italics.

You start going too far in one direction or the other with your design decisions, and chances are more likely you will start breaking in the fringe cases (think reading on a tiny cellphone, or reading with a very large font, ...)

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While I would certainly agree that it would be ridiculous to come up with countless different versions geared to work on each and every platform, I don't think it would be unreasonable to do two versions -- a "fancy" version for those platforms that can handle the fancier stuff, and a "plain" version for those that don't.
You should always keep in mind "degrading gracefully" (for example, in the books where you embed a font that has fancy ligatures, IF the device cannot understand this, it should degrade to their individual characters, and not weird symbols).

And some people DO do this, putting in KF8 specific code, and MOBI specific code, etc. etc. BUT, you have to keep in mind, that MOBI is pathetic, and almost all of the fancy stuff you want to do is just NOT supported by it at all.

Also, much of the ebook mentality is about USER PREFERENCES, NOT publisher preferences. So the user typically gets to decide how THEY are most comfortable reading (what fonts, margins, line-spacing, etc. etc.). This tends to break a lot of "design decisions" that you try to foist on them.

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Well, what the hey, how does one design for Kindle at all, then, if one wants to incorporate any kind of design? What's the point in coming up with a design that'll work in KF8 if anyone with an earlier model won't be able to render it properly?
Meh... it is just that old Kindles are still a HUGE chunk of the marketshare, but the format was still really designed for fiction novels, basic non-fiction, mostly text works, etc. etc. At the time, it was NOT designed for super complex, perfect typography "olde" works. :P

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Or does amazon have things set up somehow that if your design incorporates things that will only work in KF8 (or whatever), then you need that in order to even buy the book in the first place?
Sadly nope, there is no way that you can say "KF8 only". You CAN, just ignore MOBI completely (and write code that does not "degrade gracefully"), but I believe you might get a lot of customer complaints, and Amazon might take your book down for being formatted poorly.

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I have no idea how Amazon/Kindle works -- I have no idea what format the files are in, like, if they're in HTML/CSS like epubs are, or what. I guess I should start googling it and learning about it in my spare time, of course, but in that regard if anyone can point me directly to a really good tutorial on the subject (and hopefully one that's not too confusing) that would be much appreciated.
Well, just imagine KF8 as exactly like EPUB (it pretty much is). And MOBI as the hideous plaintext cousin, that can barely do anything.
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Old 12-06-2013, 03:26 PM   #54
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I agree, that seems like such an obvious solution and I did think of that, too, but looked for an alternative solution for one simple reason: bandwidth. To do it that way, I'd have to have a separate image for each and every chapter (and this book I'm working on has 20+ chapters), but with this SVG method I only have to include a single image. It's a huge difference in the file size of the book.
That, I can understand. File-size, at least for MOBI and Amazon, matters a great deal. Of course, Amazon's going to compress those images to 128kb anyway, so.... it won't be a "massive" file no matter what you do, not with "only" 20 images. But naturally, it will be smaller with one.



Quote:
Does everybody out there design just one single version of their books that works on virtually every platform? That seems like a shame, actually. While I would certainly agree that it would be ridiculous to come up with countless different versions geared to work on each and every platform, I don't think it would be unreasonable to do two versions -- a "fancy" version for those platforms that can handle the fancier stuff, and a "plain" version for those that don't.
I'm going to try to refrain from saying, "are you out of your mind?" here. We've made multiple "versions" of a book, with separate ISBN's, which is fine for putting one book on one retailer platform and one on another (say, iBooks and Nook, for example). What gets wonky is when someone tries to put two versions of a book up on the same retailer, to accommodate a retailer that has various devices that have various capabilities (e.g. Amazon).

I'd also remind you that most bookmakers are either donors of time (PD, for PG or here), authors doing their own books (like you), both of which naturally have all the time in the world, or commercial bookmakers, like me, who on average, are paid less than the price of dinner for two without booze in Los Angeles at a decent restaurant for the total conversion, start to finish. Making yet a fourth format...that's a bit much. We are already having to make an ePUB, a Smashwords ePUB, and a MOBI with a crapload of fallback styling to work "right," so we can't just make one ePUB to rule them all, any longer; not since the advent of K8. Seriously, other than embedded multimedia, it seems ridiculous to me to add another ePUB just for...whatever.

Quote:
I know I'm getting a bit off-topic here (from the original subject heading of this thread), but the book I'm currently working on is only my second one, and so far I've pretty much be designing exclusively for iBooks/ADE. Naturally I'd also like to come out with a Kindle version, too (if only for the greater market share that one can reach), but I haven't even begun to look into it -- yet -- and must admit that it seems rather daunting. All I keep hearing is that "you can't do this" and "you can't do that", because earlier Kindles just won't support it -- but hey, at the same time, "you can do it for KF8!"
Yes? You'll have to learn "fallback coding," so that your book can do what Ruben will tell you can be done (ahem) for Kindle8, and a "fallback" so that the devices/readers that cannot display the K8 stuff (like background images) will still look good. AFAIK, there are not a lot of tutorials around on 'fallback coding," that's a bit of a newish thing, relatively speaking, and most of it is skinned knees and "road scholar" type stuff. I'm quite sure Ruben will be helpful to you.

Quote:
Well, what the hey, how does one design for Kindle at all, then, if one wants to incorporate any kind of design? What's the point in coming up with a design that'll work in KF8 if anyone with an earlier model won't be able to render it properly? Or does amazon have things set up somehow that if your design incorporates things that will only work in KF8 (or whatever), then you need that in order to even buy the book in the first place?
Amazon's servers determine the device that is ordering the book and "ships" the correct "version." When you build a mobi, 3 files are actually incorporated inside; an archival copy of the source material (in my case, an ePUB); a K8-optimized version (mobi); and a K7 version (prc). If I were to order a book to be sent to 'Hitch's Kindle 1," it would send me the K7 version. When I download the same book to my Fire, it sends me the K8 version. All in all, it's rather sophisticated. Amazon uses "media queries" to create the fallback coding for the K7's...rather, I mean, YOU use media queries to create the fallback coding. Media queries are actually pretty simple.

Quote:
I have no idea how Amazon/Kindle works -- I have no idea what format the files are in, like, if they're in HTML/CSS like epubs are, or what. I guess I should start googling it and learning about it in my spare time, of course, but in that regard if anyone can point me directly to a really good tutorial on the subject (and hopefully one that's not too confusing) that would be much appreciated.

And thanks in advance for that!
Well, I'd suggest you start with the wiki here, then the MOBI forum, and work your way out. There are scads of blogs with utterly useless and/or outdated advice, or people who say to use Calibre, yadda, so...start here. Then work outward for the bits and pieces that you cannot find here. That's my best advice.

@Ruben: I really, really, just want you to be clear when you say "works on Kindle." Not everyone who reads here instantly knows what you actually mean, or can tell at a glance that the CSS won't work on K7. I think it would be more helpful to the community on a whole if you clarified it by saying "works on Kindle K8 format." That's all I'm asking.

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Old 12-06-2013, 04:46 PM   #55
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Old 12-06-2013, 06:17 PM   #56
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Not everyone who reads here instantly knows what you actually mean, or can tell at a glance that the CSS won't work on K7. I think it would be more helpful to the community on a whole if you clarified it by saying "works on Kindle K8 format."
I agree.. might be better to specify it working only on KF8 instead of "Kindle".

Not everyone has followed all of the Sigil/EPUB/MOBI boards closely for months/years like us. Someone seeing it for the first time, won't have all the knowledge us old-timers have absorbed over the months/years!

And imagine someone stumbling upon this topic a few years from now trying to learn.

I wish when I first got into this, someone told me that "bah, that tutorial is outdated and garbage now." Ugh... so many old topics/sites I read that gave me worthless information.

I believe almost all of us here have learned the hard way by a lot of trial/error, and picking apart code, seeing what works and what didn't, and testing everything on our individual devices...

I settled into my nice little workflow, doing what works really well for the kinds of books that I need to convert... but I am glad that there are people like Ruben out there too who ARE pushing the boundaries.

Sooner or later those old Kindles WILL die/stop being supported, and then we can move on (just like the ebook market has moved on from FB2, LIT, PRC, ...). Then stumbling upon RbnJrg's code and using it would be great.

Sadly, I don't see MOBI dying for a very long time. Maybe RbnJrg is just a cyborg from the future.

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When somebody comes up with a great idea I have to shove it into the Sony Reader Library to see if it actually works.
Always a good idea... which is why most of us typically stress testing on physical devices (and not trusting ADE alone, or Kindle Emulation alone). Hopefully with all of us testing on our individual devices, we can catch oddities, and seeing where certain code breaks, or if it is a problem with our specific device, or if we are just going crazy.

You do run into weird stuff like:

2-bit, 4-bit PNG bug: http://www.mobileread.com/forums/sho...d.php?t=222916
or the transparent PNG bug: http://www.mobileread.com/forums/sho...5&postcount=12

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Old 12-06-2013, 07:01 PM   #57
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I recall that technical people often go into the field because everything is by rule and clearly defined!
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Old 12-06-2013, 07:17 PM   #58
Hitch
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Quote:
Originally Posted by mrmikel View Post
I recall that technical people often go into the field because everything is by rule and clearly defined!
Not me. Stupidly, I got into this because I ran out of room in my house for more books. I moved, buying a house 2x the size, and then ran out of room again. Got a Kindle. Been doing this almost ever since.

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Old 12-06-2013, 07:52 PM   #59
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Led on the devil, Amazon! Horrors!
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Old 12-06-2013, 09:31 PM   #60
DaleDe
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It should also be pointed out that all that is mobi is not necessarily Kindle. The older mobi format is supported by a number of dedicated eBook readers although none that I know of support the new KF8 format.

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