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Old 02-09-2019, 11:27 PM   #46
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Some retailers let you do that, just not any of the big major ones.
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Old 02-10-2019, 12:26 AM   #47
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Unfortunately Amazon has been going in the direction of becoming increasingly proprietary with each of their ebook formats.

MOBI was based on HTML 3 and the propriety packaging was actually fairly standard for the Palm platform that it first appeared on.

KF8 is a lot like EPUB 2, but with the ZIP package replaced by something more like the Palm database used by MOBI. Proprietary but with standard underpinnings. Converting KF8 to EPUB is more a matter of repackaging than rebuilding.

And now with KFX Amazon has gone in a far more propriety direction, eliminating HTML as the basis of the format. Apparently being different mainly for the sake of making conversion difficult. Added to that KFX comes with a new, more effective, DRM scheme that they quickly took steps to improve when it was broken recently.

Added: In fairness I think the goal in making KFX not based on HTML was increased rendering efficiency in low powered devices, and that difficulty in conversion was just an added bonus from their point of view.

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Old 02-10-2019, 12:31 AM   #48
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Almost makes me wonder when Amazon might remove support for sideloading. But I'm a bit paranoid by nature.
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Old 02-10-2019, 01:46 AM   #49
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And now with KFX Amazon has gone in a far more propriety direction, eliminating HTML as the basis of the format. Apparently being different mainly for the sake of making conversion difficult. Added to that KFX comes with a new, more effective, DRM scheme that they quickly took steps to improve when it was broken recently.
And this trend should worry anyone who thinks about it for very long. Amazon's trajectory (and not just them, but Google, Facebook, others) is AWAY from the open web, and away from giving the individual more control over his own data and files.

A bit off-topic from the main point of the thread--but germane in that it indicates the trajectory of Amazon away from open and toward closed formats that keep you from accessing and controlling your own data--is this article about Tim Berners-Lee, the actual inventor of the worldwide web. He has created an initiative to take back the open web from the companies like Amazon and Google that are destroying it. One piece of that effort would be restoring the use of open, standard file formats for easy data exchange and interop between applications and cloud services.

https://www.popularmechanics.com/tec...t-magna-carta/

http://webfoundation.org/docs/2018/1...Web-Report.pdf
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Old 02-10-2019, 05:43 AM   #50
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Epub is the only format endorsed by the W3 (https://www.w3.org/AudioVideo/ebook/), the web standards body, and the only format that despite all its many imperfections, has any chance of widespread adoption.
That rather ignores the observed reality that MOBI and its derived formats have achieved widespread adoption, wider then ePub.
Endorsed also seems a little strong for what appears to be a rather slanted working draft that doesn't appear to be linked from its parent page, and the number of spelling mistakes doesn't inspire confidence.
I don't have any particular interest in what a web standards body says about my eBooks, it doesn't seem particularly relevant, as far as I can see. HTML is a pretty crappy basis for a book format, but unfortunately it is ubiquitous.
In an alternate universe a semantic-based format like TEI would have predominated, but we are were we are.

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Old 02-10-2019, 07:28 AM   #51
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That rather ignores the observed reality that MOBI and its derived formats have achieved widespread adoption, wider then ePub.
I think you've hit the nail on the head, there. It is an undeniable fact that Amazon have been extremely successful in the eBook market, and in the UK at least, "Kindle" is now pretty much synonymous with "eBook reader". Why on Earth would they want to change a formula which has been a winning one for both them as a company and for their customers?

The fact that Kindle books are a proprietary standard is of little concern to me as the fact that the CD standard is also proprietary (owned by Philips). Both have tools freely available to read and write the format, and that's really all that matters.
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Old 02-10-2019, 02:15 PM   #52
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Personal documents will not show a cover thumbnail in some cases. (MOBI-both/Master MOBI delivered to an e-ink Kindle device.)

Personal documents are not delivered in KFX format so the features of that format are not available. (Enhanced typesetting, Page Flip, adjustable right margin, continuous scrolling, etc.)

All my mobi files show their cover.
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Old 02-10-2019, 02:48 PM   #53
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All my mobi files show their cover.
Plain mobi yes, but not mobi/both. With plain mobi you cannot use custom fonts etc. So many people use mobi/both, but then you'll lose covers.
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Old 02-10-2019, 05:22 PM   #54
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When my Paperwhite was my only reader I sent some books to Amazon to see how it worked, but I did not like the fact that I had books with inferior characteristics compared to books bought from Amazon. And after all, I did not need to synchronize, my books are in calibre and in a USB key for eventual problems.
Then I tried to understand how to have the hyphenation and ligatures on my books bought elsewhere and I discovered a couple of calibre plugins including the one for the output kfx for which I thank Jhowell.
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Old 02-10-2019, 07:00 PM   #55
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That rather ignores the observed reality that MOBI and its derived formats have achieved widespread adoption, wider then ePub.
You're equivocating on the meaning of 'standard' and not using it the way I was. I do not mean an informal, de facto standard as in 'what is most commonly used by consumers.' I mean a formal standard that is a written specification, that can be adhered to (or not), is followed by a large number of publishers, and can be used to evaluate artifacts. The only thing close to a cross-industry standard I'm aware of in ebooks right now is epub, though I'm interested to hear if there are others.

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Endorsed also seems a little strong for what appears to be a rather slanted working draft that doesn't appear to be linked from its parent page, and the number of spelling mistakes doesn't inspire confidence.
Agreed, it's not a finalized standard yet. But that's not unusual, many of the W3 standards can be in 'draft' status for years, even as many companies and organizations adopt and adhere to them. In fact HTML and XHTML before it worked like that, until HTML5 finally became the locked-down standard. You, and every other web user on the planet, BENEFITED directly from the development of those standards, as the leading browser developers gradually over time got to support increasingly 'standard' HTML, so you could visit any web page and things would render more or less the same. EPUB is under consideration, which is why it's hosted on their W3 site as a standards draft, and it's why they have a working group working on it with industry publishing organizations like the IDPF and the many publishing companies that are using it. There is no other ebook format that has any cross-industry working group committed to defining standards other than epub. Their current working draft on 3.2 is here: https://w3c.github.io/publ-epub-revi...epub-spec.html. If I were a publishing company putting out content today, or a software developer building tools and apps, I would absolutely support epub 3.2 format and be well aware of how the W3 working group is developing the standard.

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I don't have any particular interest in what a web standards body says about my eBooks,
I can see that.

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In an alternate universe a semantic-based format like TEI would have predominated, but we are were we are.
Agreed that HTML has limited semantics, but complex schemas like DocBook, TEI, DITA, etc, are unlikely to ever gain much traction as ebook publishing standards. First of all, there's a distinction between what you use as your authoring format, and what you use as your publishing format. You could conceivably author in any schema you want, including TEI, but still publish in an output format such as HTML, PDF, or EPUB. My company does this very thing. Secondly, the complex schemas like TEI, though they have their place in some specialized usage especially academic types of content, are unlikely to ever be standardized as a universal authoring scheme due to the complexity and cost of doing the authoring itself, and of creating tools to author, validate, transform, and publish the validated source into various formats. My company (a software company whose software everybody here has used) publishes tens of thousands of technical documents a year, and we went through a whole research effort recently to update our authoring format. We looked at everything, including DITA for our authoring markup schema, and in the end we concluded the industry as a whole is moving away from heavy markup schemes, and more toward markdown. In fact, we author technical source content in markdown, and then transform and publish to the web as HTML5. By analogy, I expect most ebook publishing will not embrace complex markup schemes as 'standard' for authoring the source content--except within specialized niche organizations such as academic ones. But I do think there will be continued effort around standardization of the OUTPUT formats--such as epub. But clearly, companies like Amazon do not see the larger picture and will not be helping with such efforts.

Last edited by maximus83; 02-10-2019 at 07:10 PM.
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Old 02-10-2019, 08:10 PM   #56
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Personal documents will not show a cover thumbnail in some cases. (MOBI-both/Master MOBI delivered to an e-ink Kindle device.)

Personal documents are not delivered in KFX format so the features of that format are not available. (Enhanced typesetting, Page Flip, adjustable right margin, continuous scrolling, etc.)
ETA: Updated since I found an exception in my old Azon book collection.

Which Amazon formats explicitly support footnote preview (popup footnotes) and which don't?

Lots and lots of my books have footnotes, and I know from a few years ago when still using Amazon a lot, it really was a pain always having to hop to somewhere else in the book. I only found 1 exception in my library of older Azon books where footnote preview works. Is this KFX only?

This was something I really liked about the new Kobo Forma and the .kepub format I'm trying out, they enable the footnote preview and it's a great feature.

Last edited by maximus83; 02-10-2019 at 08:17 PM.
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Old 02-10-2019, 08:32 PM   #57
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I only found 1 exception in my library of older Azon books where footnote preview works. Is this KFX only?
As far as I know that feature is is only available in KFX format, but I haven’t tested it extensively. If anyone has an example of it working in another format I would like to hear about it.

Edit: Upon further testing I see that it works for other formats, not just KFX.

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Old 02-10-2019, 10:07 PM   #58
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As far as I know that feature is is only available in KFX format, but I haven’t tested it extensively. If anyone has an example of it working in another format I would like to hear about it.

Edit: Upon further testing I see that it works for other formats, not just KFX.
If it does not work with a specific book (and here, I'm talking about even the original Amazon version downloaded directly to my android kindle app), then do I conclude it's just a book-specific issue? Because I have a number of Amazon-original books where it's not working, and now actually 2, where I see it does.
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Old 02-10-2019, 10:27 PM   #59
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If it does not work with a specific book (and here, I'm talking about even the original Amazon version downloaded directly to my android kindle app), then do I conclude it's just a book-specific issue? Because I have a number of Amazon-original books where it's not working, and now actually 2, where I see it does.
The situation is complicated. The footnote has to be coded properly, with a link back to the part of the book where it is called out. Also the device and book format may be significant. I just did some testing with the same footnote in the same book using a Kindle Oasis and the iOS and Android apps. That particular pop-up footnote only worked for me on the Oasis and the iOS app, but not the Android app.
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Old 02-10-2019, 10:55 PM   #60
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The situation is complicated. The footnote has to be coded properly, with a link back to the part of the book where it is called out. Also the device and book format may be significant. I just did some testing with the same footnote in the same book using a Kindle Oasis and the iOS and Android apps. That particular pop-up footnote only worked for me on the Oasis and the iOS app, but not the Android app.
OK makes sense, I guess it's per-book anomalies then. Or maybe even per READING APP anomalies, based on your last. That one is slightly disturbing. I assume the option is to just live with it manually clicking links back and forth from page, to footnote, and back to page (unfortunately, that only works when the footnotes are ALSO linked back to the original page; they aren't always). Or of course, use good ole' Calibre, and if I can figure out specifically what's causing the popup footnotes to fail in android, reconvert the offending books and then sideload them back into Kindle cloud. What's worrisome about going that route is, you wonder if fixing it in one reading app will break it in another.
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