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Old 11-10-2019, 09:18 PM   #16
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I like the idea a lot. I haven't had much luck experimenting with your files yet, but I may have gone through them too fast. On my PaperWhite 3 I haven't been able to find an .sdr folder (does this require jailbreaking, or am I'm just blind?).

Anyway, in my opinion (for what it's worth) this would be the best solution I've seen for page numbering. And I want to look at how you use AsciiDoc for this (in your provided source files), as I've used AsciiDoc for a little website and I like it.
Your PW3 will create the .sdr the first time you open the book. It will be in the same directory the book is in. So, open and close the book, then copy the apnx file into the .sdr directory.

I meant to write up the asciidoc -> epub -> azw3 process today, but did not get around to it.

I'm glad to hear someone is interested in this.

I also think that apnx files can be directly modified to have fractional page numbers inserted, but don't know enough about the format yet.
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Old 11-10-2019, 10:50 PM   #17
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Originally Posted by j.p.s View Post
[...] (decimal) fractional page numbers. This would allow "real page numbers" that match a specific print version for reference purposes (but does have the problem that many books have multiple print editions with varying pagination), and still show change for each ebook page turn.
I would strongly recommend against this.

"Real Page Numbers" (RPNs) do serve an actual purpose for Accessibility reasons, especially for blind readers.

See the ebookcraft 2019 talk "The User's Perspective: Accessibility Features in Action", which was given by a blind person and explained many of the pitfalls of poorly converted ebooks.

Side Note: For all the discussion you would ever want to know about RPNs, I recommend checking out these infamous threads:

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There are already quite a few numbering schemes for showing location in an ebook, but I would like to discuss one more, (decimal) fractional page numbers.
It seems like you're trying to create an absolutely arbitrary numbering that doesn't fit ANY sort of standard, making the fractional numbers even worse than just normal "Real Page Numbers".

If you're going through all this trouble, just stick with RPNs from the physical book.

I would say your new "Fractional Page Numbers" have even more disadvantages than a percentage/screen/byte-based approach. In this case, I would say including no RPNs at all would be better than arbitrary fractions.

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I also prefer page numbers to not be screen numbers, but I understand why others may want that instead. It would be nice if readers had a choice.
Yep, the ultimate is a user-chosen preference between all:
  • Real Page Numbers
  • "Screens" (Book or Chapter)
  • Percentage (Book or Chapter)
  • Byte-based methods (ADE 'pages' or Amazon 'locations')

Since I wrote those in-depth RPN posts above, I've become a bit more lenient towards Screen/Percentage.

The different methods can serve different purposes:
  • RPNs are great for reference/citation (or book clubs).
    • Especially important for Accessibility.
  • Screens/Percentage are much better for estimating reading time.
  • Byte-based are better if you're reading within a single ecosystem (if you only read on ADE/Kindle devices, the numbers will be the same).

which is why allowing all options is so much better, and you can flip between them as needed.

Last edited by Tex2002ans; 11-10-2019 at 11:01 PM.
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Old 11-11-2019, 11:11 AM   #18
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It would be better if format didn't determine that choice, especially when "choosing" ePub to get consistent page numbers means you have to sideload.
To me it seems like an option that would just cause confusion for the average user.

I prefer 1 screen, 1 page. Because I read novels for pleasure and am not planning to attribute a quote as on page 283 only to discover it is actually on page 279 of some other arbitrary edition.

Having said that, I read ePub on my Nooks for years and dealt with what I thought was a wonky page numbering system and lived with it.

I would say the overwhelming majority of reading done on e-ink devices is reading for pleasure and the whole page number kerfuffle is silly. Either system works just fine. It's a tempest in a teapot, really.
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Old 11-11-2019, 11:36 AM   #19
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It seems like you're trying to create an absolutely arbitrary numbering that doesn't fit ANY sort of standard, making the fractional numbers even worse than just normal "Real Page Numbers".

If you're going through all this trouble, just stick with RPNs from the physical book.
But I am sticking with and augmenting page numbers from physical books.

All I have done is point out that existing devices will display, in addition to roman numerals and ascii integers, page numbers such as 4.5 (and I assume 13b).

I have not tried to predict characters per screen or anything like that, just inserting anchors with fractional page ids in between the existing anchors with integer page ids, then inserting references to those anchors into either the pagelist section of toc.ncx or the page-map.xml file.

kindlegen will work with either, and kindles handle the resulting book apnx files just fine.

So far, epub devices that I have tried only seem to work with page-map EPUBs, whether fractions are involved or not.
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Old 11-11-2019, 11:36 AM   #20
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I have been slowly changing my mind to "word count" rather than "pages" for "how long is this book".

BUT -- man....I'd really like to know "how many pages is this book" to some reasonable standard of the hardback or paperback release of the book. It's like switching from miles to km....of Fahrenheit to Celcius. You just know how far 10 miles is our how cold 24deg F is from a lifetime of habit forming.

I'm a reader of thick books...and there was always a since of pride watching the book mark make it's way through the book. I MISS that feeling reading ebooks. One of the few things I miss.
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Old 11-11-2019, 01:59 PM   #21
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I agree the conversion from page numbers to word counts is much the same as metric to imperial. There’s no real good reason not to convert, we simply don’t because we’re all accustom to the system we use.

Of course going by word count has the benefit of not being subject to the medium. I’m sure there are drawbacks such as longer works getting unwieldy in terms of the numbers. But that can be worked around.

Not that I want to get into the debate over systems used to measure progress in ebooks again.
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Old 11-11-2019, 03:07 PM   #22
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I can see going to metric (in the USA), it is a widely held standard for most of the world. But I don't see the parellel for word count; it doesn't have any advantage over the current systems.
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Old 11-11-2019, 03:38 PM   #23
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I can see going to metric (in the USA), it is a widely held standard for most of the world. But I don't see the parellel for word count; it doesn't have any advantage over the current systems.
The problem is "page" isn't that useful a concept when readers of the same book might be reading on a small phone, a large phone, an 6" eInk reader, a 13" eInk reader, or 7-12" tablets.

And...what size has the user/reader app set the font?
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Old 11-11-2019, 04:19 PM   #24
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BUT -- man....I'd really like to know "how many pages is this book" to some reasonable standard of the hardback or paperback release of the book.

I'm a reader of thick books...and there was always a since of pride watching the book mark make it's way through the book. I MISS that feeling reading ebooks. One of the few things I miss.
I must lead a very different (reading) life than everyone else on this board. I read novels for pleasure and have never once felt compelled to go to a paper copy of a book I'm reading to make sure my screen 264 matched identically to the hardback, trade or mass market paperback. Honestly, I just don't get it.

My better half, mother-in-law and I all decided to read Stephen King's Revival. One on a Kindle, one on a Nook and one on a Kobo. And when we would talk about the book, none of us ever said 'oh, remember on page 128?' and suddenly had the conversation collapse into confusion.

If your ereader shows you are on page 750 of 1,500 you are just as in the middle of the book as your paperback that has a bookmark in the middle.

Both e- and paper books may or may not have front or back matter. In a paper book that front and back material might be included in the page count, or it might not. But either way, looking at that bookmark in the middle isn't going to immediately lead to you thinking that due to the appendices, you are actually 64% through the book.

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Old 11-11-2019, 04:22 PM   #25
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until there is a standard as to what counts as 1 page, this debate will never end. even with paper books, if there are two different editions, the page number will get out of sync. and with the same paper books from different publishers, the page numbers are even more likely to not agree. i believe that the only standard i've seen is to reference by chapter and verse, which is what the christian bible uses. even with this, page numbers are not used. whoever decided on this system recognizes that font size and page size is going to vary and that referencing by page numbers will never be resolved because of this. if you are to set the page marks by referencing an actual paper book, again, this will differ based on publisher and edition.

so the closest thing to a standard without using the chapter/verse method would be to use percentage and/or the location method used by amazon. amazon's location method counts each line of text. so it's really the chapter and verse method without the chapter.
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Old 11-11-2019, 04:24 PM   #26
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Your PW3 will create the .sdr the first time you open the book. It will be in the same directory the book is in. So, open and close the book, then copy the apnx file into the .sdr directory. ...
Got it. Thanks! I was just blind. It works on both the PW3 and my Voyage. Always a whole number or x.5. (Never any other fraction.) Every ten pages or so it'll jump from x.5 to the next x.5 (skipping of the whole number). I guess it rounds up. I don't know how much work this is, but I like it.

On the three ePub devices I've tried — a Tolino Shine 2, Nook Glowlight Plus (2015) and Sony PRS-T2, each get pretty much the same result. They all "double" the page numbers (557 pages instead of 562). The Tolino and Nook then always use a whole page number. At the "standard" font size, each screen tap changes the page number. Bigger fonts result in the number staying the same for more than one screen tap, smaller fonts result in page jumps with screen taps. (41 to 44, etc.) — these are at the extreme settings. The T2 does its "thing" with page numbers. Where it straddles a page it'll have something like 34-35 (it very rarely lands on a whole number). But like the others, it doubles the page number (556 instead of 557?).

The ePub information is probably all useless but I thought you might be interested in the results.
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Old 11-11-2019, 04:28 PM   #27
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The problem is "page" isn't that useful a concept when readers of the same book might be reading on a small phone, a large phone, an 6" eInk reader, a 13" eInk reader, or 7-12" tablets.

And...what size has the user/reader app set the font?
Of course, you could argue that a "page" isn't a useful concept when readers of the same book might be reading on a small mass-market paperback, a hard cover, or a trade paperback.

And is it a large print copy?
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Old 11-11-2019, 04:32 PM   #28
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To me it seems like an option that would just cause confusion for the average user.
I think it's the opposite myself. Page numbers that change with font sizes are not page numbers. But I've gone on about this before.

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I would say the overwhelming majority of reading done on e-ink devices is reading for pleasure and the whole page number kerfuffle is silly. Either system works just fine. It's a tempest in a teapot, really.
I mostly read novels also. I still want page numbers that don't change with font sizes or screen sizes and, more or less, correlate with paper page numbers. But you've got to admit that for those who are studying, to have the same page numbers as a specific paper edition book would make referencing much, much easier and consistent.
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Old 11-11-2019, 04:37 PM   #29
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I can see going to metric (in the USA), it is a widely held standard for most of the world. But I don't see the parellel for word count; it doesn't have any advantage over the current systems.
Except that word count is a set amount that doesn't change based on the medium the book is in, nor the typography used.

"Page" on the other hand isn't even consistent between different physical editions of books, to say nothing of when you add in ebooks.

What constitutes a "page"? Which edition will you use as the 'standard'?

Word count will tell you exactly where in a book you are, and exactly where a citation starts and ends. Something a page citation fails to do even when using the same edition.
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Old 11-11-2019, 04:41 PM   #30
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I think it's the opposite myself. Page numbers that change with font sizes are not page numbers. But I've gone on about this before.

I mostly read novels also. I still want page numbers that don't change with font sizes or screen sizes and, more or less, correlate with paper page numbers.
So when a hard cover is published as a mass-market paperback where the page numbers change due to the size of the font used, does that mean the paperback doesn't have actual pages?

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But you've got to admit that for those who are studying, to have the same page numbers as a specific paper edition book would make referencing much, much easier and consistent.
Okay, but for all that people say that, I have seen no proof that Adobe page numbers actually do correlate to a specific paper version of a book.

From memory, even ePubs tend to label title and copyright pages as pages. Perhaps I am mistaken, but I don't think so.

And, even if that is so, what percentage of e-reading is done by people that are studying?
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