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Old 07-31-2010, 06:12 PM   #1
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File rejected by Apple

One of our users submitted an EPUB book for inclusion into the iBookstore. The file passed the epubcheck validation test. But this file was rejected by Apple with the following error message:

Apple ERROR ITMS-4000: Line 89 column 63: bad character content for element at XPath/package/book/assets/asset[2]/data_file/file_name.

I googled for this error. The only site page where it is mentioned is a bug report page of Calibre:
http://bugs.calibre-ebook.com/ticket/5773

I do not have the "guilty" EPUB file (there are privacy concerns I guess).

Can anyone say what this error could mean?

Thanks.
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Old 08-01-2010, 04:33 AM   #2
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Could some file(s) inside the ePUB have a name with non-ascii characters?
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Old 08-01-2010, 07:58 AM   #3
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It's very difficult to say without seeing the actual epub. Since it's coming from a Word file there shouldn't be any encoding issues in the file names, since they're all generated by AWP. Maybe ask if they can extract just the .opf file and send it to you.
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Old 08-01-2010, 08:40 AM   #4
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From experience passing epubcheck is no guarantee of anything .... Pity the error message was not more expressive .... !
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Old 08-01-2010, 06:14 PM   #5
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Quote:
Originally Posted by charleski View Post
Since it's coming from a Word file there shouldn't be any encoding issues in the file names, since they're all generated by AWP.
Exactly. The EPUB file contains multiple HTML files. Their names are 1.html, 2.html, and so on.

Quote:
Originally Posted by charleski View Post
It's very difficult to say without seeing the actual epub. Since it's coming from a Word file there shouldn't be any encoding issues in the file names, since they're all generated by AWP.
The user agreed to send me the EPUB file. It is copyrighted. I will have to remove it from my computer after examining it. So regrettably I cannot post it to the forum.

It contains 31 HTMLs (chapters). All use a very basic formatting. I have checked all the files from the EPUB package. There is nothing suspicious in any of them at "line 89 column 63". Only plain English text.

Quote:
Originally Posted by charleski View Post
Maybe ask if they can extract just the .opf file and send it to you.
I suppose that posting the .opf file is not a problem since it is rather a "technical file" (please see attachment). But it is unlikely that the .opf file could be the problem.
Attached Files
File Type: opf content.opf (3.7 KB, 77 views)
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Old 08-01-2010, 07:51 PM   #6
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It looks perfectly fine, they haven't added anything else to the package after it was generated, which is why I suggested looking at the opf.

Right now I think the primary suspicion must be some bug in Apple's system.
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Old 08-02-2010, 11:40 AM   #7
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and there is no line "89" in the .opf
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Old 08-02-2010, 11:42 AM   #8
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Your problem is that the NCX specification does not allow filenames to start with numbers. Valid identifiers have to start with a letter and use only letters, numbers and underscores.

As far as I know Apple is the only organization simple minded enough to impose this restriction.
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Old 08-02-2010, 01:40 PM   #9
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Quote:
Originally Posted by kovidgoyal View Post
Your problem is that the NCX specification does not allow filenames to start with numbers.
Are you sure about that? Section 3.3.1 doesn't mention anything special about the first character of a filename. You might be thinking of ids.
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Old 08-02-2010, 03:06 PM   #10
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I've had people open tickets about it and changing the filename got the epub accepted by Apple. You're probably right in that the spec doesn't specify that convention for the filename, but I'm fairly certain Apple does.

Of course, as with any closed system, no way to be sure, so I could be wrong, but given that the original error message points to a file_name...
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Old 08-02-2010, 04:35 PM   #11
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I have just sent a test version of Atlantis Word Processor to that user. It generates HTML filenames starting with a letter. I will let you know if it worked.

Thanks.
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Old 08-02-2010, 07:03 PM   #12
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Quote:
Originally Posted by awp View Post
I have just sent a test version of Atlantis Word Processor to that user. It generates HTML filenames starting with a letter. I will let you know if it worked.

Thanks.
Hmm, I am looking forward to the answer to this. We have submitted several epubs to Apple that were initially created from .rtf via Atlantis, and -- I just checked -- they have filenames starting with numbers (1.html, etc.). So far they have been accepted by Apple, and AFIK are offered for sale on iBooks.
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Old 08-02-2010, 10:59 PM   #13
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Quote:
Originally Posted by kovidgoyal View Post
As far as I know Apple is the only organization simple minded enough to impose this restriction.
I agree. I found Apple is also silly enough to report error if there's additional characters after </html>
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Old 08-03-2010, 06:21 PM   #14
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I have a reply from the user (she is a production manager at a publishing company). Filenames starting with numbers are not a problem, even to Apple (to iPad and iTunes Producer). She said that they have 102 titles currently active at Apple and 136 that have been submitted and are awaiting acceptance, and all were created with Atlantis Word Processor. They always submit Atlantis EPUBs "as is", without "tweaking" them. That "faulty" eBook is the only file that keeps rejecting. By the way, that eBook contains adult material. Maybe this is why iTunes Producer does not want it to get through.

She also said that she will start the file over from scratch and rebuild it to see if that will fix it.
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Old 08-07-2010, 02:32 AM   #15
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Given that it's Apple, chances are the book is fine and that it's the content that gets it rejected.
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