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Old 07-10-2016, 01:23 PM   #16
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EPUB rendering fidelity

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Originally Posted by sbaylor View Post
[*]Fine-tuned EPUB layout algorithms for rendering fidelity of Publisher's style and enforcing of User's override
The rendering fidelity of EPUB books is the #1 feature I care most. The #2 feature is the preservation of the Publisher's style other than the layout parameters (such as font size, font family, line spacing, etc.) I choose to override.

By #1, I get a reading experience as close to the pbook (paper book) as the publisher has intended. By #2, I get a better personalized reading experience than I can get with number one.

I have been extremely happy about MapleRead in terms of satisfying my strict criteria set for features #1 and #2.

It's hard to cite specific examples of how MapleRead is better than other apps in this aspect without comparing it against other apps' flaws.

However, I do notice that there is very little (or none?) about this rendering fidelity being discussed in threads about BookMaster and MapleRead over the last 6 months since sbaylor introduced himself to this community. This is in stark contrast to what you see in another sub-forum where many rendering problems/errors are posted. Why? I think in this case no news is good news.
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Old 07-10-2016, 02:23 PM   #17
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Agree rendering is perhaps the most important feature and many many apps, usually those that provide options to mess with the CSS, mess it up in someway.

Did a quick test of one ePub in MapleRead iPhone. Sadly it didn't do well. From what i remember of the CSS, it was a "p + h3" margin-top. But that looks to be the only issue with that one ePub so not too bad and better than most. Options to adjust paragraph indents and spaces between paragraphs maybe should just not exist since so far, I don't think I've seen one app with those options without problems.

I did find one other issue. For chapters that span multiple files, it's perhaps best for the scroller to show a heading for next files until it finds a new heading. That might not be best for front matter that might not always have a TOC entry but i believe is safest overall.

Last edited by democrite; 07-10-2016 at 02:31 PM.
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Old 07-10-2016, 02:55 PM   #18
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Originally Posted by democrite View Post
Agree rendering is perhaps the most important feature and many many apps, usually those that provide options to mess with the CSS, mess it up in someway.
You mean apps you mentioned in other threads, such as Marvin, messes it up too?

Quote:
Did a quick test of one ePub in MapleRead iPhone. Sadly it didn't do well. From what i remember of the CSS, it was a "p + h3" margin-top. But that looks to be the only issue with that one ePub so not too bad and better than most.
I'm not sure I understand what you're talking about. Could you please post this example EPUB so that I can see for myself? As you surely know, like lots of Marvin users in other threads post concrete examples so that the developers can actually see if they can reproduce and fix the bugs.

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Options to adjust paragraph indents and spaces between paragraphs maybe should just not exist since so far, I don't think I've seen one app with those options without problems.
I don't understand what you are talking about. Do you have a concrete example that demonstrates the layout problem? If yes, then I'd like to try it too on the many reader apps I own.

Quote:
I did find one other issue. For chapters that span multiple files, it's perhaps best for the scroller to show a heading for next files until it finds a new heading. That might not be best for front matter that might not always have a TOC entry but i believe is safest overall.
This is really not a layout problem per se. It's a problem of how to show TOC metadata. I've seen other apps that handle this case similar to MapleRead does. And I think it's fine.
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Old 07-10-2016, 03:45 PM   #19
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Yes Marvin 2 and 3 have rendering issues with 3 being not as good as 2. CSS can get complicated and likely those that mostly read novels or simply formatted books with endless paragraphs with no formatting other than text indent, they might not notice.

As far as the problem CSS i found in MapleRead, I'm typing from my phone so it's hard to check. But from memory i can describe it. Imagine a file with an H1 heading and many later H2 and H3. Let's say it begins H1 then H2. Then a bunch of paragraphs. Then another H2. If you want that H2 to be formatted differently, you can define an H2 that follows a paragraph like so:

H2 { margin:...}
p + h2 {margin-top: something different. }

Pretty sure that's what it is.

Except for font family, line height, and page margin, I'm not sure if it's wise to mess with an eBook's styling. Who knows what other unknown issues remain. iBooks rendering I've found best so far. Maybe not perfect but no recent issues i can remember except not using iBook's line height when it's specifically defined or other things i can fix by editing the CSS.

Edit: found an issue with full justification. Normally I only want on or off, not to set left and then see centered and right justified now left. I'm not sure if having options other than off and on are common enough to warrant such a setting.

Last edited by democrite; 07-10-2016 at 04:05 PM.
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Old 07-10-2016, 06:19 PM   #20
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Quote:
Originally Posted by democrite View Post
Yes Marvin 2 and 3 have rendering issues with 3 being not as good as 2. CSS can get complicated and likely those that mostly read novels or simply formatted books with endless paragraphs with no formatting other than text indent, they might not notice.
Exactly. What's the point of releasing Marvin 3, which renders worse than Marvin 2, as you've just pointed out?

Quote:
As far as the problem CSS i found in MapleRead, I'm typing from my phone so it's hard to check. But from memory i can describe it. Imagine a file with an H1 heading and many later H2 and H3. Let's say it begins H1 then H2. Then a bunch of paragraphs. Then another H2. If you want that H2 to be formatted differently, you can define an H2 that follows a paragraph like so:

H2 { margin:...}
p + h2 {margin-top: something different. }

Pretty sure that's what it is.
Fine. There is no hurry. I'll wait for you to post your EPUB test case(s).

Quote:
Except for font family, line height, and page margin, I'm not sure if it's wise to mess with an eBook's styling. Who knows what other unknown issues remain. iBooks rendering I've found best so far. Maybe not perfect but no recent issues i can remember except not using iBook's line height when it's specifically defined or other things i can fix by editing the CSS.
It seems that you personally prefer to hack the CSS files of an EPUB (which involves unzipping the EPUB file, and open up a text editor to modify one or more CSS files, and then zipping all the files to create a modified EPUB file again) over letting a good reader app to do the job almost effortlessly for you. Well, the average user don't want to do that.

Quote:
Edit: found an issue with full justification. Normally I only want on or off, not to set left and then see centered and right justified now left. I'm not sure if having options other than off and on are common enough to warrant such a setting.
Perhaps for you, but definitely not for me. Arabic and Hebrew are written horizontally right-to-left instead of left-to-right as in English. Right-justification setting is absolutely essential for these languages. I don't see any harm in putting center setting there for completeness.
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Old 07-10-2016, 09:43 PM   #21
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Quote:
Originally Posted by cedhax View Post
Exactly. What's the point of releasing Marvin 3, which renders worse than Marvin 2, as you've just pointed out?
Ugh. I'm not usually responsive to perhaps unneeded emphasis, and even though you didn't use it in this post, all caps like 'NOT' elsewhere, and I turn elsewhere.

I can understand Kris perhaps had various factors that made him decide to release as such, and perhaps during the beta, no one reported rendering issues. Who knows. It was a complete rewrite and given that it isn't an essential app (well it is, but not that essential), some bugs, even known bugs, left for post-release, by an indie developer, I'm a bit more forgiving for that.

Quote:
I'll wait for you to post your EPUB test case(s).
If the devs ask, I might be persuaded to make one, though it's much quicker for me to post CSS and it'd take only a few minutes for the devs to make up a test case. Sure it'd be just as quick for me, but I just don't feel like it. Looked at the CSS and it is this: one line first unsets and sets defaults, and then other others set only what is needed.

Code:
h1, h2 {
text-align:center; …; margin:0; page-break-after:avoid; …
}
h1 + h2 { margin-top:X }
h2 {
… margin:X X X; line-height:X
}
h2, except when defined h1 + h2 (following afterwards), ends up having 0 margin-top.

Quote:
It seems that you personally prefer to hack the CSS files of an EPUB[/B] (which involves unzipping the EPUB file, and open up a text editor to modify one or more CSS files, and then zipping all the files to create a modified EPUB file again) over letting a good reader app to do the job almost effortlessly for you. [B]Well, the average user don't want to do that.
I didn't suggest average users should need to edit ePubs or that an ePub reader shouldn't try to adjust somethings like fonts and perhaps fix a select few cases of publisher CSS, but merely that iBooks worked most reliably for me, and in the cases when it didn't, me modifying the CSS was ok since I end up not having the other issues that plague many other apps. As far as iBooks, not adjusting line-height when paragraphs have it set, and not changing font for specific styles when they have it set, I can understand their choice and not providing an option. In those cases and others, a quick edit in BBEdit for myself isn't so bad.

Quote:
Perhaps for you, but definitely not for me. Arabic and Hebrew are written horizontally right-to-left instead of left-to-right as in English. Right-justification setting is absolutely essential for these languages. I don't see any harm in putting center setting there for completeness.
Ah. then perhaps an option to toggle justification without needing to set left for all would help. As for right-to-left, understandable though like with a web page, I'd hope that an ePub would have the text-align and language already set. As for other options like left/center, I'm more for making the most used features most easily accessible. As for as you say, MapleRead being as iBooks should have become and having a beautiful UI, that'd be nice, and while it does have some nice features, I don't think of the app as such. To me, it seems inspired by Delicious Library with some choices that make it look more like a web page from the mid-90s. Not everyone might think that but that's how it is to me.

Last edited by democrite; 07-10-2016 at 09:55 PM.
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Old 07-11-2016, 12:03 AM   #22
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Quote:
Originally Posted by cedhax View Post
... What's the point of releasing Marvin 3, which renders worse than Marvin 2 ...
Actually, I like Marvin 3 better than Marvin 2. It's a welcome improvement IMO

For me, it's a tough choice between Marvin 3 and MapleRead. On the one hand, I love the in-app brightness control of MapleRead, which Marvin lacks. However, Marvin syncs through iCloud, which I prefer to syncing through a private server. I also prefer how Marvin syncs. MapleRead's sync is ... well ... kind of clunky in comparison.
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Old 07-11-2016, 06:04 PM   #23
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@sbaylor - Please look at this link. It should be helpful for improving MapleRead's excellent FAQ.
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Old 07-11-2016, 06:38 PM   #24
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@sbaylor - Please look at this link. It should be helpful for improving MapleRead's excellent FAQ.
This is indeed very helpful. FAQ updated.
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Old 07-18-2016, 11:50 AM   #25
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I tried MapleRead on my phone, and got really impressed. It's everything that iBooks should be by now. Love the layout control options. Already upgraded to the pro version.

As soon as I get to my iPad, I'll purchase the SE version there as well. Great work!

EDIT: Done! Now I'm a SE user on the iPad.

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Old 07-22-2016, 02:18 AM   #26
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I continue to love using this program daily on my iPhone and iPad. I was wondering if we could get the lock rotation feature moved from the catalog screen to some place accessible from inside books (ie the fonts/brightness menu). It can be bothersome to open a book and realize you have the rotation option on the wrong setting and then you need to leave your book to change it.
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Old 07-23-2016, 10:05 PM   #27
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I continue to love using this program daily on my iPhone and iPad. I was wondering if we could get the lock rotation feature moved from the catalog screen to some place accessible from inside books (ie the fonts/brightness menu). It can be bothersome to open a book and realize you have the rotation option on the wrong setting and then you need to leave your book to change it.
Thanks for your suggestion. Let's look at it from other angles.

The "Lock Rotation" switch is accessible via the Settings button in the Library View. It is applicable to every view of the app, including Library views, exchange views and reading views. It works like an app-specific rotation lock (vs. system-wide hardware or software rotation lock).

The "Lock Rotation" switch has always been there and works like that since v1.0. If the switch were moved from there to somewhere inside a book-reading view, it might be convenient in the cited case, but it would be inconvenient and would look odd for other currently supported use cases. ("Why do I have to open a book first in order to prevent my library view from rotating?", etc.)

Duplicating the switch or adding a new switch seems a bad idea, as it would complicate things unnecessarily.
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Old 07-25-2016, 05:50 PM   #28
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Quote:
Originally Posted by sbaylor View Post
Thanks for your suggestion. Let's look at it from other angles.

The "Lock Rotation" switch is accessible via the Settings button in the Library View. It is applicable to every view of the app, including Library views, exchange views and reading views. It works like an app-specific rotation lock (vs. system-wide hardware or software rotation lock).

The "Lock Rotation" switch has always been there and works like that since v1.0. If the switch were moved from there to somewhere inside a book-reading view, it might be convenient in the cited case, but it would be inconvenient and would look odd for other currently supported use cases. ("Why do I have to open a book first in order to prevent my library view from rotating?", etc.)

Duplicating the switch or adding a new switch seems a bad idea, as it would complicate things unnecessarily.
You make a very valid point. An alternative method to do this would be to have a settings menu/dialog that is available in a standard location throughout MapleRead. It has always struck me as a bit odd that the "gear" menu has only ever been available from the library screen and only contains two options - rotation lock and mapleread account login.

Of course, such concern regarding small details of UI is good news imo because it means that the program overall is pretty amazing. I can understand that changing this is not something you will do but thought it might affect other users and deserved discussion.

Again, thanks for the development of MapleRead - it's great and I appreciate that you spend time in the forum responding to the users suggestions/issues.
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Old 07-28-2016, 09:49 PM   #29
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I downloaded MapleRead CX onto my iPhone 6Plus, and read the ebooks I buy through Calibre Companion on it.

I see where CX is limited to 5 ebook downloads.

But nowhere can I find the difference between the other two versions. One of those versions will undoubtedly be the one I need, but how do I find out?
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Old 07-29-2016, 01:26 AM   #30
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@Leo78256 - The limit of 5 applies to the number of books you can download via MapleRead CX's PC Upload feature, if you're using the free version. To get unlimited access, you can easily in-app purchase "Pro Upgrade". (Tap the Library Settings icon)

If you're going to read also on iPad, then get SE or CE, depending on your need. For a very detailed description of the features of SE, CE, CX, please read this webpage on our website.
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