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Old 09-10-2009, 10:13 PM   #1
khalleron
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Complete n00b

So, I was reading the PG ePub of George MacDonald's 'Malcolm' and finding it somewhat wanting (there's a chapter missing from the TOC and there's only breaks every 10 chapters). It's not bad, but I wondered if I could do better.

I don't know anything about what goes into an epub, although I've unzipped a few and looked at them. I don't know what a style sheet is, I know practically nothing about any of the inward workings. I know almost no html, so I'm about as close to a complete n00b at this as you could find. I have made some quick ebooks for myself years ago using Mobipocket Creator, but even then it did practically all the work for you.

So, I downloaded Sigil, a bit intimidated by the lack of documentation, but thought I'd give it a whirl. It was much easier to figure out than I expected, given it's only in alpha. You've done an amazing job here.

But, please, I need Search. Do you have any idea how nervewracking it is finding all 70 chapter headings in a long text file by eyeball?

But I did it! I even managed to attach a cover, of sorts. If anyone has advice on the proper way to do that, I'd be grateful. All I did was insert a .jpg before the title page.

I'm going to do the sequel, 'The Marquis of Lossie' next. Neither of these are in the library here. I hope to upload them when I'm done, but if people start spotting mistakes I probably won't know how to fix them.

Thanks, valloric! This is a great tool!
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Old 09-11-2009, 01:33 PM   #2
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Originally Posted by khalleron View Post
So, I downloaded Sigil, a bit intimidated by the lack of documentation, but thought I'd give it a whirl. It was much easier to figure out than I expected, given it's only in alpha. You've done an amazing job here.
No documentation has yet been written, but I plan on writing a FAQ which would be updated as some common questions start rising up. But no hard docs for now. As you've discovered, most things are pretty intuitive.

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But, please, I need Search. Do you have any idea how nervewracking it is finding all 70 chapter headings in a long text file by eyeball?
Yes, I know. It's the number one most requested feature. I'm aiming to introduce it with 0.1.5. There are a few fundamental technical barriers that will make this more difficult to implement than it should be (Qt's WebKit integration is... well it needs work), but it will get done.

The amount of time I can dedicate to Sigil in a day has gone down by about 70% since classes started this week (I'm a full-time graduate student), so it will take a while.

After 0.1.5 I'm starting work on a redesign of Sigil... the whole "one flow for editing" idea would work wonders if WebKit could cope with the strain of huge 50k+ LOC of XHTML, but it can't. I can't really blame it for that though. So I'll be switching Sigil from this concept to one that respects the flows in the original epub. Each would be shown in a separate tab with only the first flow loaded on file load. The user will be able to click some kind of button that would list all the available flows, and clicking on one flow filename would open it in a new tab. You will be able to close, open and rearrange these tabs. Very firefoxy.

This will do wonders for both CPU and memory consumption. Memory consumption in particular will go way down, since only the flows currently viewed in tabs will be loaded into RAM. It should also fix all the problems stemming from Sigil not rewriting conflicting CSS styles (which conflict because Sigil puts them all together).

Point being, it's a work in progress.

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Originally Posted by khalleron View Post
But I did it! I even managed to attach a cover, of sorts. If anyone has advice on the proper way to do that, I'd be grateful. All I did was insert a .jpg before the title page.
That's the way I do it. There is no "official" way.
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Old 09-11-2009, 02:08 PM   #3
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That's the way I do it. There is no "official" way.
It's being discussed by the ePUB working group of IDPF, though.
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Old 09-11-2009, 02:24 PM   #4
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It's being discussed by the ePUB working group of IDPF, though.
And they have yet to agree. After they agree, they have to add it to the spec, and then it needs to be implemented in various Reading Systems.

So no, there is no official way. And there probably won't be one for a few years.
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Old 09-11-2009, 02:24 PM   #5
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Kate, I'm almost as much a noob as you (I know HTML, but am a complete novice at ePub) and have also just finished my first "conversion" using Sigil.

Getting the cover right was a bit of a challenge, but I have a couple of suggestions:

1 - Use an image with an aspect ratio of 0.75 or greater. (That's width to height, for example, 600x800 pixels.) Doing that will prevent the bottom from getting cut off when the picture is expanded to fit the width of the screen. It'll be cut off if the aspect ratio of the screen is larger than that of the cover image, but you're not likely to run up against a device with a screen that wide in portrait mode. In landscape mode, all bets are off.

2 - Set the image width to 100%, which will force the reader to expand it to the full width of the screen. (In your img tag, include: width="100%".)

3 - Put a chapter break after the picture. I suppose that's obvious, but don't forget to do it.
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Old 09-11-2009, 04:29 PM   #6
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Quote:
Originally Posted by DTM View Post
Kate, I'm almost as much a noob as you (I know HTML, but am a complete novice at ePub) and have also just finished my first "conversion" using Sigil.

Getting the cover right was a bit of a challenge, but I have a couple of suggestions:

1 - Use an image with an aspect ratio of 0.75 or greater. (That's width to height, for example, 600x800 pixels.) Doing that will prevent the bottom from getting cut off when the picture is expanded to fit the width of the screen. It'll be cut off if the aspect ratio of the screen is larger than that of the cover image, but you're not likely to run up against a device with a screen that wide in portrait mode. In landscape mode, all bets are off.

2 - Set the image width to 100%, which will force the reader to expand it to the full width of the screen. (In your img tag, include: width="100%".)

3 - Put a chapter break after the picture. I suppose that's obvious, but don't forget to do it.

Thanks for the tips - my pic had a ratio of .79, so that was good. I've (gingerly) edited the tag (I told you I don't know much about html), and it seems to be working. I'll put it on my Sony when I get home from work and see how it looks there.

It looks good in ADE.

Thanks again!
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