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Old 08-06-2009, 06:09 AM   #1
godel10
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Command Line Options for ebook-convert

I have just realized that html2lrf is no longer available, and that now we have to use the command line tool ebook-convert.

In the past I was using
Code:
 html2lrf --bottom-margin=10 file.html
in order to generate my e-books (because the Librie screen is smaller than the PRS). How can I use this option right now? I have tried
Code:
 ebook-convert file.html file.lrf --bottom-margin=10
but it is not working

By the way, is there some place where we can find the command line options for ebook-convert?
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Old 08-06-2009, 06:51 AM   #2
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Quote:
Originally Posted by godel10 View Post
By the way, is there some place where we can find the command line options for ebook-convert?
Code:
ebook-convert <existing_html_file_name> anything.lrf --help
I still think Calibre should print out at least a basic, not-format-specific help with ebook-convert --help
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Old 08-06-2009, 07:11 AM   #3
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Quote:
Originally Posted by pepak View Post
Code:
ebook-convert <existing_html_file_name> anything.lrf --help
I still think Calibre should print out at least a basic, not-format-specific help with ebook-convert --help
That would be confusing because a format can disable general help options.
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Old 08-06-2009, 10:01 AM   #4
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Quote:
Originally Posted by pepak View Post
Code:
ebook-convert <existing_html_file_name> anything.lrf --help
I still think Calibre should print out at least a basic, not-format-specific help with ebook-convert --help
This was helpful. It seems that now the right option is --margin-bottom=10

By the way I suggest to the developers to modify "ebook-convert --help" in such a way that at least it tells you that you can get specific information about a particular format (lrf or any other) using
Code:
ebook-convert <existing_html_file_name> anything.format --help
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Old 08-06-2009, 12:58 PM   #5
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Originally Posted by user_none View Post
That would be confusing because a format can disable general help options.
You mean, more confusing than the fact that unlike any other command line tool ebook-convert does not print help with either --help or -?

Not to mention that I find it strange (to say the least) that to get a command line help, I must not only specify the input and output formats, but the input file must actually exist! It's not as if anything was read from it - if I create a zero-byte HTML file, I will get my help, but if I use a nonexistent filename, I get an error message...
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Old 08-06-2009, 01:06 PM   #6
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Quote:
Originally Posted by pepak View Post
You mean, more confusing than the fact that unlike any other command line tool ebook-convert does not print help with either --help or -?

Not to mention that I find it strange (to say the least) that to get a command line help, I must not only specify the input and output formats, but the input file must actually exist! It's not as if anything was read from it - if I create a zero-byte HTML file, I will get my help, but if I use a nonexistent filename, I get an error message...
You've done a survey of all command line tools in existence, have you?
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Old 08-07-2009, 12:55 AM   #7
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Quote:
Originally Posted by kovidgoyal View Post
You've done a survey of all command line tools in existence, have you?
Debating 101: don't talk about the topic, talk about the words used to describe the topic.

Pepak is not out of line here -- even if there may exist tools that don't do help in the fashion he states. Kovid, have you ever seen the zenity help? It's pretty cool: you could do something similar, like --help-2lrf, --help-2epub, etc.

Nonetheless, I'm sure you're annoyed by the repeated requests to change the help system, something that you have decided is settled. And I've surely annoyed you further.

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Old 08-07-2009, 11:59 AM   #8
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Sigh. Here are some command line tools that dont print a complete help with --help, just like ebook-convert

svn, bzr, mplayer, gnuplot, gcc

Basically any command line tool that does anything non-trivial.

Now if someone has some concrete suggestion as to how to improve the help interface of ebook-convert, keeping in mind the oft repeated constraint that the available options depend on the input and output formats, please say so, otherwise hold your peace.

And I should note that both the concrete suggestions in this thread have been implemented for the next release, in particular:

1) Adding a sentence about how to get more detailed help by specifying input and output formats
2) Not requiring that the input file exists when getting help
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Old 08-07-2009, 02:13 PM   #9
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Including a separate readme.txt for ebook-convert containing all available options/permutations would be much appreciated while you're still working on the online manual. Besides, I think I'd much rather view the help file in my favorite text viewer/editor rather than in shell.

It doesn't even have to be pretty. I'm not sure how ebook-convert limits the options (by input format? output format? both?), but a readme containing the following would probably work well enough for most people:
Code:

Syntax:
ebook-convert .....

General Options:
blah...             //output of ebook-convert --help

List of Supported Input Formats:

List of Supported Output Formats:


FORMAT-SPECIFIC OPTIONS

EPUB                //if options change based on output format
HTML to EPUB        //if options change based on both input and output formats
blah...             //output of ebook-convert file.html .epub --help

LRF                 //if options change based on output format
HTML to LRF         //if options change based on both input and output formats
blah...             //output of ebook-convert file.html .lrf --help

etc...
I've made an MS-DOS batch file that creates something similar to the above for myself.
Code:

@echo off
ebook-convert --help>ebook-convert-readme.txt
echo  >>ebook-convert-readme.txt
echo **********************>>ebook-convert-readme.txt
echo *                    *>>ebook-convert-readme.txt
echo *  EPUB (html2epub)  *>>ebook-convert-readme.txt
echo *                    *>>ebook-convert-readme.txt
echo **********************>>ebook-convert-readme.txt
ebook-convert file.html .epub --help>>ebook-convert-readme.txt
echo  >>ebook-convert-readme.txt
echo *******************>>ebook-convert-readme.txt
echo *                 *>>ebook-convert-readme.txt
echo *  LIT (any2lit)  *>>ebook-convert-readme.txt
echo *                 *>>ebook-convert-readme.txt
echo *******************>>ebook-convert-readme.txt
ebook-convert file.html .lit --help>>ebook-convert-readme.txt
echo  >>ebook-convert-readme.txt
echo *********************>>ebook-convert-readme.txt
echo *                   *>>ebook-convert-readme.txt
echo *  MOBI (any2mobi)  *>>ebook-convert-readme.txt
echo *                   *>>ebook-convert-readme.txt
echo *********************>>ebook-convert-readme.txt
ebook-convert file.html .mobi --help>>ebook-convert-readme.txt
echo  >>ebook-convert-readme.txt
echo ************************>>ebook-convert-readme.txt
echo *                      *>>ebook-convert-readme.txt
echo *  OEBPS (html2oebps)  *>>ebook-convert-readme.txt
echo *                      *>>ebook-convert-readme.txt
echo ************************>>ebook-convert-readme.txt
ebook-convert file.html folder --help>>ebook-convert-readme.txt
My source files are primarily in HTML format and the ones in the batch file are the only formats I convert to. I also added the old names of the corresponding command-line utilities (at least the ones I used) for my convenience.
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Old 08-07-2009, 08:21 PM   #10
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You mean like this?

http://calibre.kovidgoyal.net/user_m...k-convert.html
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Old 08-07-2009, 08:31 PM   #11
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I really aprreciate Kovid's humor!!
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Old 08-07-2009, 08:53 PM   #12
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Whoops. Guess I'm behind the times. Last time I went to that link, it was empty. Well, it wasn't but it only contained general help info. Granted, I think it was still back when I was beta testing 0.6.

Still, I think including a copy of that HTML file with the Calibre install would be a good idea, specially for people who occasionally need to work on ebooks when they don't have internet access. Then, just point people to that HTML file.

I also suggest switching the link in ebook-convert --help from:
http://calibre.kovidgoyal.net/user_m...onversion.html

to:
http://calibre.kovidgoyal.net/user_m...k-convert.html

At least, temporarily, while the first link is still empty.
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Old 08-07-2009, 08:56 PM   #13
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That HTML file is 2.2MB I don't think I want to distribute it. People that want to refer to it offline can just save it from their browsers.

I'll add a link to the main conversion documentation pointing to the ebook-convert docs until that is ready.
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Old 08-07-2009, 09:00 PM   #14
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Quote:
Originally Posted by kovidgoyal View Post
That HTML file is 2.2MB I don't think I want to distribute it. People that want to refer to it offline can just save it from their browsers.

I'll add a link to the main conversion documentation pointing to the ebook-convert docs until that is ready.
Oh, wow. 2.2MB? That's bigger than most my ebooks.
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Old 08-08-2009, 08:28 AM   #15
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Sigh.
Sorry, man. Didn't mean to pile on.

Believe me, when I want to pile on, I do. I think I just ate a guy's spleen in another thread.

So, don't change it -- change it; it's all okay.

You've done plenty of good,

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