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Old 06-07-2010, 01:33 AM   #1
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Question Wikipedia articles -> ePub

I saved a couple wikipedia articles to HTML, and made ePubs out of them using Sigil (it did a better job than Calibre with the formatting and structure).

The resulting epubs look great on the Kobo, but they take forever to open. Even the processing time when I loaded these two on my Kobo was unusually long (about 2 minutes). This is strange because overall, they are pretty tiny.

I'm thinking it has something to do with the heavy CSS, but since it takes so long to load and open them, I haven't found the patience to try and narrow it down to what specifically is causing this.

EDIT: Even flipping past sections, which are are separate HTML files within the epub takes a good 10 seconds.

If anyone feels like playing detective, I've attached the two epubs.
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File Type: epub Government Of Canada.epub (158.9 KB, 165 views)
File Type: epub Politics of Canada.epub (207.0 KB, 153 views)

Last edited by Stinger; 06-07-2010 at 01:38 AM.
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Old 06-07-2010, 01:39 AM   #2
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Check out Instapaper.com. I just grabbed both wikipedia articles in about 20 seconds and created an ePub of them. Of course you can spend time adding metadata and giving it a cover image in Calibre but this works and looks well enough.
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File Type: epub Instapaper-ReadLater-2010-06-07.epub (141.7 KB, 197 views)
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Old 06-07-2010, 01:59 AM   #3
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Ahh yes, I saw the thread regarding Instapaper and filed it away, at least now I have a reason to test it out.

Have you saved many Wikipedia articles RR? I tried saving the article on Canada to test it out myself, and I keep getting a blank epub with only the link the original article...
I've tried a couple other articles, and they worked fine. So I'm just curious if you've experienced this on some thing, and how common it is. (I don't want to have to check every epub from there for this kind of stuff)
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Old 06-07-2010, 07:01 AM   #4
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Smile

Wikipedia has an book creator that turns books into PDFs.
Its under Print/export on the sidebar.

I tested it out, so far it looks good. I downloaded 3 pages; "Ferendi", "England" and "Wollemi Pine" and they came out as a 10mb PDF. It does take awhile though.
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Old 06-07-2010, 07:38 PM   #5
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Stinger View Post
Ahh yes, I saw the thread regarding Instapaper and filed it away, at least now I have a reason to test it out.

Have you saved many Wikipedia articles RR? I tried saving the article on Canada to test it out myself, and I keep getting a blank epub with only the link the original article...
I've tried a couple other articles, and they worked fine. So I'm just curious if you've experienced this on some thing, and how common it is. (I don't want to have to check every epub from there for this kind of stuff)
Actually that was my first attempt at saving a Wikipedia article. I might save more now that I can.

The issue with the Canada article must have something to do with the way Instapaper creates the ePub. If I click the "text" box on Instapaper the link works properly but if I create an ePub I only get the link to the article as you found. Interesting.
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Old 06-07-2010, 10:26 PM   #6
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Quote:
Originally Posted by RedRoverJ View Post
The issue with the Canada article must have something to do with the way Instapaper creates the ePub. If I click the "text" box on Instapaper the link works properly but if I create an ePub I only get the link to the article as you found. Interesting.
I found the same thing.

I think it must be the nature of how Instapaper extracts content from web pages. It seems to try and grab only the content of an article, and ditch the rest. For example when converting a blog I've notied it ditches all of the comments and sidebar content.

I guess certain Wikipedia articles trip Instapaper up, and it can't find anything on the page that it considers to be the "main content"?

I see this as the big drawback of Instapaper - it should have an option to convert the entire web page, ignoring Instapaper's inbuilt content extraction algorithm.
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