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Old 04-29-2005, 04:46 AM   #1
Colin Dunstan
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Tutorial on converting e-books to open formats

LinuxJournal wrote a marvellous tutorial explaining how to convert e-books of various proprietary formats to HTML. E-books in HTML should allow you to view them on your choice of device. The tutorial covers:
Non-Linux users be warned: this tutorial makes heavy use of the command line.
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Old 04-29-2005, 10:13 AM   #2
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Aw you're spoiling my fun now... I have a stealth project in progress that should obsolete most of these. I just wanted to mention a few buglets:
  1. Their "perl" script doesn't work like they think it does. Its the equivalent of taking the entire body of the document and wrapping it in <pre></pre> tags, which forces a monospace font in most recent readers. Thats hard on the eyes.
  2. The link to ConvertLit is for a much older (and broken) release. The stable version is actually ConvertLit 1.8, not 1.4.
  3. I don't think you can convert Mobipocket books to HTML with RBmake, but I might be mistaken there. Their project page doesn't seem to indicate that functionality.
It looks like the author just googled quickly (and with the wrong keywords in some cases) to come up with the material for the article.

It might be worthwhile to post a follow-up (or a better version with more accurate detail), on how to do this with the 17 ebook formats out there, including TomeRaider (I have a converter from TomeRaider to text or html), PalmReader, Palm PDF, and others.
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Old 04-29-2005, 10:16 AM   #3
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Quote:
Originally Posted by hacker
It might be worthwhile to post a follow-up (or a better version with more accurate detail), on how to do this with the 17 ebook formats out there, including TomeRaider (I have a converter from TomeRaider to text or html), PalmReader, Palm PDF, and others.
Ahhh that would be the Holy Grail for every e-book fan.
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Old 04-29-2005, 10:45 AM   #4
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Now we're all on the edge of our seats!

BTW, if I remember right there are legacy versions of Microsoft's DRM. They upgraded the reader because of ConvertLit. Then gave away free books to get people to use the upgrade (their Summer Spectacular, I think). Then ConvertLit was upgraded and it was all for nought. But if you have .lit ebooks from before that change, you might need the older version of ConvertLit also. Not positive.

The whole thing reminds you a lot of Apples iTunes and PyMusique, doesn't it?! Except Apple didn't give anything to its customers.
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Old 04-30-2005, 12:53 AM   #5
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Quote:
Originally Posted by hacker
Aw you're spoiling my fun now... I have a stealth project in progress that should obsolete most of these. I just wanted to mention a few buglets:
Tell us more! I'd like to see this, it would make all my christmases come at once.... µbook to read everything <in homer voice>mmmmm..... µbook...</in homer voice>

Craig.
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Old 06-30-2005, 06:19 PM   #6
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Give give....

Quote:
Originally Posted by hacker
(I have a converter from TomeRaider to text or html),
If you are going to tease like that, at least post a link to it... I've been looking for that for a while.
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Old 06-30-2005, 06:40 PM   #7
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I would like an ereader converter, but I haven't found one out in the wild.
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Old 04-29-2007, 04:27 AM   #8
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RE: converting e-books to open formats

if u want to know the methods of convert e-books to other formats thn click here

http://linuxera.com/content/view/186/2/

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Old 04-29-2007, 08:37 PM   #9
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But not a single mention of any Free formats...

I'm not sure what you call "open", but for me, that means:
  1. Fully documented (API, SDK, conversion tools)
  2. Available (optionally with source code)
None of the formats you've linked to in this article meet those criteria. You also missed the top two, most-popular eBook formats out there (in terms of number of readers and number of items available in that format):
  1. Plucker (with some samples over here)
  2. iSilo
For non-open, non-free formats though, your blog post is quite informative.

Last edited by hacker; 09-13-2007 at 12:15 PM.
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Old 04-30-2007, 12:39 AM   #10
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Plucker is Open Source without DRM so no need for cracker tools.
The new .mobi format is problematic because the HTML is changed to achieve better compression. All lineends get removed and also all anchor destinations.
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Old 04-30-2007, 01:24 AM   #11
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Quote:
Originally Posted by hacker
Aw you're spoiling my fun now... I have a stealth project in progress that should obsolete most of these. I just wanted to mention a few buglets:
If you do, can you please make it in something that will be cross-platform ie. will run on Linux or OS X with a minimum of hassle?
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