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Old 12-11-2023, 07:04 AM   #1
Mycroft88
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Problem reading Asimov's & Analog Sci-Fi magazines

Amazon recently stopped selling magazine subscriptions, trying to rope people into their service where you can't own anything - just keep subscribing. Anyway, I can subscribe to the magazines on the Analog website and they provide both the epub and pdf versions for downloading. But the Viewer does not properly display the epub. If I upload the epub to my kindle via Amazon, it displays perfectly.

You can try it from here:
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Maybe there's a setting in the viewer that I need to set?

Thanks.

Last edited by theducks; 12-12-2023 at 02:08 PM. Reason: removed link
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Old 12-11-2023, 09:11 AM   #2
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It will be a fixed layout publication, switch the viewer to flow mode and it will likely render fine.
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Old 12-12-2023, 07:48 AM   #3
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Thanks K. I'd never heard of or used "flow mode" before. Yes, I can read the magazine almost as well as Kindle this way.
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Old 12-12-2023, 01:55 PM   #4
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[QUOTE=Mycroft88;4379705]You can try it from here:
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You may want to remove that link since it allows downloading a copyrighted magazine.

Last edited by theducks; 12-12-2023 at 02:09 PM.
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Old 02-08-2024, 04:06 PM   #5
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I have the same issue and already created a redacted file to share, but I guess the mystery is solved.

Kovid, can you please help me understand how the ePub is defined as "fixed layout"? I couldn't find any of the meta tags mentioned in the wiki.

I can share the file if it helps (I prefer privately, even though I redacted all of the text).
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Old 02-08-2024, 05:59 PM   #6
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If you look in the OPF document, you will see in the meta properties, rendition:layout for a fixed layout document. In theory, it has two possible values, pre-paginated for fixed layout and reflowable. Though I've never seen reflowable used since that is the default. In the same area will be other meta properties such as page size in pixels, default viewing mode, etc. Some of these values can be specified in the <head>...</head> for individual files.

And then you have the mess inside each xhtml file where the positioning of everything is done. This can vary from images to individual letters. See the sample below for locating words that are part of a sentence.

Code:
<meta property="rendition:layout">pre-paginated</meta>

<meta name="fixed-layout" content="true"/>
<meta name="original-resolution" content="1216x1849"/>
<meta name="orientation-lock" content="none"/>
<meta property="rendition:orientation">portrait</meta>
Code:
  <div class="liw c44 c45 c46 c47 c48 c17A c6F c7 c70 cAC cAD cAE cAF cB0 c17D" style="top:1382px">
    <span class="w c76 c7F f22 c71"> holds </span><span class="w c18 f22 c71">a </span><span class="w cA5 c81 f22 c71">bag </span><span class="w c7F f22 c71" style="width:46px">of </span><span class="w cA3 c89 f22 c71">what </span><span class="w c7F c23 f22 c71">look </span><span class="w c21 c11F c18A f22 c71">like</span>
  </div>
On one occasion, I converted a fixed layout to a reflowable and will say never again. It was a total pain much like converting a PDF to ePub
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Old 02-09-2024, 05:19 AM   #7
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I think I can share the redacted file, as it has no text beyond a few sentences. Will delete it once I get an answer:
https://www.dropbox.com/scl/fi/qavob...91xf611yr&dl=0

None of these meta tags are in the epub. I see these:
Code:
$ ack -iw meta
OPS/section2_article1.xhtml
8:<meta content="text/html; charset=UTF-8" http-equiv="Content-Type" />

OPS/section1_article2.xhtml
8:<meta content="text/html; charset=UTF-8" http-equiv="Content-Type" />

OPS/pub.opf
10:    <meta xmlns="" name="PPContentKind" content="magazine"/>
11:    <meta name="cover" content="i-00001"/>

OPS/section1_article1.xhtml
8:<meta content="text/html; charset=UTF-8" http-equiv="Content-Type" />

OPS/section2_article2.xhtml
8:<meta content="text/html; charset=UTF-8" http-equiv="Content-Type" />

OPS/toc.ncx
4:    <meta name="dtb:uid" content="xxx"/>
5:    <meta name="dtb:depth" content="3"/>
6:    <meta name="dtb:generator" content="calibre (7.4.0)"/>
7:    <meta name="dtb:totalPageCount" content="0"/>
8:    <meta name="dtb:maxPageNumber" content="0"/>
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Old 02-09-2024, 01:48 PM   #8
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The ePub is not a fixed layout as such but it does attempt to use the CSS to come close to emulating a FLO ePub.
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Old 02-10-2024, 12:48 PM   #9
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Quote:
Originally Posted by DNSB View Post
The ePub is not a fixed layout as such but it does attempt to use the CSS to come close to emulating a FLO ePub.
Can you be more specific?
Is it just the use of "overflow: hidden;" on articles?
If I remove it, the file displays fine with the Calibre viewer's Paged mode.

I can ask the publisher to remove it from future publications - I'm not sure what it is useful for (in this context), and how ePub readers usually handle it.
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Old 02-11-2024, 12:37 AM   #10
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Overflow:hidden basically says anything trying to display outside the defined box will not be visible and there will be no scrollbars. See Overflow on Mozilla's site for a fairly detailed explanation.
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Old 02-11-2024, 04:31 AM   #11
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Quote:
Originally Posted by DNSB View Post
Overflow:hidden basically says anything trying to display outside the defined box will not be visible and there will be no scrollbars. See Overflow on Mozilla's site for a fairly detailed explanation.
I know what overflow: hidden does. I don't understand the purpose of using it in the context of an ebook - what is the effect they're trying to achieve with it? My Kobo ebook reader appears to ignore it.
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Old 02-11-2024, 07:58 AM   #12
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Overflow:hidden is really for web pages. I've never seen scroll bars on an ereader or epub app. They either reflow or clip (=Overflow:hidden) anyway.
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Old 02-11-2024, 12:44 PM   #13
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It feels like a mistaken style rather than a deliberate choice.

I don't think it's correct to describe the epub as "fixed layout" or even "emulating fixed layout". There are no defined page dimensions, and there's no attempt to position text at specific areas of the page.
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