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Old 08-03-2017, 08:55 PM   #1
slowsmile
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New plugin for KF7(mobi) image compatibility ?

Just wondering whether it would be useful to write an epub-only edit or output plugin that automatically inserts all the necessary media query code into the CSS and epub html to allow separate and different image formatting for the older Kindle KF7(or mobi) devices in pixels and for Kindle KF8 devices as a % of screen width.

By automating this task, this should also help to eliminate one of the worst manual jobs out there for any indie author formatting for Kindle who has alot of ebook images in their epubs. This plugin should help maintain proper image format compatibility for both KF7 and KF8 devices for your ebooks on Kindle.

Anyone interested in a plugin like this?

Last edited by slowsmile; 08-04-2017 at 04:38 AM.
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Old 08-05-2017, 11:55 PM   #2
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ANYONE that makes eBooks would, of course, like a plugin like this. Nobody in their right mind who's doing books with dozens or hundreds of images wants to sit there and do the image coding manually.

FWIW.
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Old 08-06-2017, 01:41 AM   #3
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@Hitch...I certainly agree with what you say, though the response has been somewhat silent otherwise. I'll try and get this plugin done anyway for those few that want it.

I'll also be upfront about this and say that I don't have an eInk to test it on. This plugin is already up and running but as I have found when testing it on the old Kindle Prevewer app and even the new Kindle Previewer 3 app -- they both have Ink displays that display KF8 images. I used the normal media queries to do this so I was somewhat p*ssed off when I saw this because this means thatI'm working blind and have no idea whether it works in real life on a KF7 device.

Here's what the plugin does. This epub-only plugin will first ask you via a dialog which stylesheet you would like to contain the two media queries. After you press OK the plugin will then parse all the internal epub files and all the ebook image lines in your ebook will then be duplicated with appropriate KF8 or KF7 image entries in the normal way using the appropriate media query which will contain either 'mobionly' or 'kf8only' classes. The media queries regulate which image line is displayed by appropriately implementing 'display: none' and 'display: inline' in the relevant classes within the media query. Anyway, just have a look inside your test epub in the relevant CSS after you run this new plugin. That will tell all. And if I've done it wrong -- please let me know and I'll change it for you.

All input image values should initially be in pixels(ie styled for KF7). The net result of running this plugin will be that all KF8 ebook images height and width values will be converted to % values. Whereas all KF7 ebook images will be displayed normally as height and width in pixels only(like the original input img tag line).

If I do create this plugin would it be OK for you to quickly test it on one of your KF7 devices and let me know if its OK or has problems? It irks me greatly that I am unable to test this new plugin but there you go.

It'll be a short while before I release this plugin. When I release it I will send you a private email on MR to let you know. Currently, I must add the dialog and finish off all the testing....yeah, I know -- please don't laugh

Last edited by slowsmile; 08-06-2017 at 02:19 AM.
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Old 08-06-2017, 01:18 PM   #4
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Hmm, I have the previewer version 2.8 which provides an e-ink Kindle DX emulation. I was under the impression that the DX was never upgraded to handle kf8 format files, unlike the K3 kindles, which were eventually upgraded.

Assuming I'm not wrong about this, are you saying that the Kindle DX in the "old emulator" is also kf8 compatible? And if so could you work around it by using Kindleunpack to split out the kf7 part of a kindlegen-created dual-format mobi and feed it to the emulator?

Albert
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Old 08-06-2017, 05:50 PM   #5
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Quote:
Originally Posted by slowsmile View Post
@Hitch...I certainly agree with what you say, though the response has been somewhat silent otherwise. I'll try and get this plugin done anyway for those few that want it.
I'm not surprised. I mean...think of it this way. Who knows that they need it--until they do? We have a veritable ocean of clips, programs and other doodads all over our shop, all written/created/borrowed (ha) for things just like this.
Quote:
I'll also be upfront about this and say that I don't have an eInk to test it on. This plugin is already up and running but as I have found when testing it on the old Kindle Prevewer app and even the new Kindle Previewer 3 app -- they both have Ink displays that display KF8 images. I used the normal media queries to do this so I was somewhat p*ssed off when I saw this because this means thatI'm working blind and have no idea whether it works in real life on a KF7 device.
??? I'm confused. I guess I haven't actually stared at the DX emulation in 2.94 (or whatever the current number is), but are you saying that the % CSS that you've written, for KF8, is "working" correctly in the DX emulation? Because I can absolutely, positively say that in real life, on real devices, man, that dog don't hunt, as they say in the South. Crap, now I'll have to go look at that...

Quote:
Here's what the plugin does. This epub-only plugin will first ask you via a dialog which stylesheet you would like to contain the two media queries. After you press OK the plugin will then parse all the internal epub files and all the ebook image lines in your ebook will then be duplicated with appropriate KF8 or KF7 image entries in the normal way using the appropriate media query which will contain either 'mobionly' or 'kf8only' classes. The media queries regulate which image line is displayed by appropriately implementing 'display: none' and 'display: inline' in the relevant classes within the media query. Anyway, just have a look inside your test epub in the relevant CSS after you run this new plugin. That will tell all. And if I've done it wrong -- please let me know and I'll change it for you.
So far, that seems sensible. That's what we would have crafted, in terms of the logic, so...sounds right.
Quote:
All input image values should initially be in pixels(ie styled for KF7). The net result of running this plugin will be that all KF8 ebook images height and width values will be converted to % values. Whereas all KF7 ebook images will be displayed normally as height and width in pixels only(like the original input img tag line).
OK...I think. I'm not quite perfectly clear what you mean here, so I'll have to see it do its thing.

Quote:
If I do create this plugin would it be OK for you to quickly test it on one of your KF7 devices and let me know if its OK or has problems? It irks me greatly that I am unable to test this new plugin but there you go.
Of course. That's not a problem.

Quote:
It'll be a short while before I release this plugin. When I release it I will send you a private email on MR to let you know. Currently, I must add the dialog and finish off all the testing....yeah, I know -- please don't laugh
Sorry--laugh at what? I must have missed something. But, no, not laughing.

Quote:
Originally Posted by st_albert View Post
Hmm, I have the previewer version 2.8 which provides an e-ink Kindle DX emulation. I was under the impression that the DX was never upgraded to handle kf8 format files, unlike the K3 kindles, which were eventually upgraded.
As far as I know, that's right. If the DX was upgraded, I'm damned if I know it. I've used the DX emulation as my quickie, instead of the manual xfer to my K7 devices. I actually might be slightly PO'ed if that was changed. I mean...good for the devices, but sucky for us.

Quote:
Assuming I'm not wrong about this, are you saying that the Kindle DX in the "old emulator" is also kf8 compatible? And if so could you work around it by using Kindleunpack to split out the kf7 part of a kindlegen-created dual-format mobi and feed it to the emulator?

Albert
You mean, use the Calibre plugin, rip out the KF7-mobi, and feed THAT to the DX? If the scenario is indeed right--if the DX emulator has been upgraded to display KF8 images based on CSS (this makes NO sense, y'all know?), then the idea is clever as hell, Albert. Good thinking!

I could SWEAR that I'd just seen a book that had px images that worked in the DX, but...hell, guys.
Spoiler:
With my newer minion hired away by Amazon (note to Amazon: we're STILL gonna talk about this, boys...), and my newest guy not remotely up to speed yet, my head's going round like the Exorcist Chick, so...I could be utterly delusional. My weeks are nuts--by the time I leave the office on Weds nights, I've already been "at the office" for ~39 hours since I started on Monday morning...and there's STILL three days of our workweek to go. So, I'm pretty ragged and non compos mentis lately. Sorry 'bout that.


I'll have to look again.

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Old 08-06-2017, 08:00 PM   #6
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@Hitch and @st_albert...

Quote:
??? I'm confused. I guess I haven't actually stared at the DX emulation in 2.94 (or whatever the current number is), but are you saying that the % CSS that you've written, for KF8, is "working" correctly in the DX emulation? Because I can absolutely, positively say that in real life, on real devices, man, that dog don't hunt, as they say in the South. Crap, now I'll have to go look at that...
To clarify -- the way I tested the above was that I first ran a test epub through my new plugin that only had one smaller image below the title. Then I just manually changed the normal KF8 version width size(inside the epub) from 25% to 50% to make any differences stand out. This means that the KF8 display will be double the size of the KF7 display and very noticeable. Then I tested the epub on the old Kindle Previewer and on the newer KP 3 and when I switched to KF7 emulation -- hey presto -- the KF8 version(which is using % values) was displayed on both these Kindle test apps...

@st_albert...I also really don't hold anyone responsible for perhaps not knowing that KF8 % images may now be displayed on KF7s. This is a bad way to go. To my way of thinking, Hitch and the folks on this forum are all pretty knowledgeable about Kindle requirements, formatting etc. And if anyone is responsible I would say that it's probably the Kindle team for not telling anybody about this possible change(think about the non-existent Kindle LITB info for instance).

For some more clarity, here are the media queries and code that my plugin inserts at the end of the main html stylesheet and in the html respectively on a normal plugin test run:

Spoiler:

In the CSS:

@media amzn-mobi {
.kf8only {
display: none;
}
.mobionly {
display: inline;
}
}
@media not amzn-mobi {
.kf8only {
display: inline;
}
.mobionly {
display: none;
}
}

In the html:

<p class="scrivener8"><img alt=" " class="mobionly" height="100" src="../Images/Image1.jpeg" width="105"/></p>

<p class="scrivener8"><img alt=" " class="kf8only" src="../Images/Image1.jpeg" style="width: 25%;height: auto;"/></p>


Everyone also seems to be assuming that the old KP and new KP 3 apps are telling the truth ie that they were both correctly emulating the KF7. Perhaps that's also a bad assumption. Perhaps its the fault of both KP's apps which may not be emulating the KF7 imaging accurately or correctly. That's why, IMHO, we will only really know the truth by testing the epub, after a plugin run, on an actual KF7 device.

Last edited by slowsmile; 08-06-2017 at 08:57 PM.
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Old 08-06-2017, 08:50 PM   #7
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Quote:
Originally Posted by slowsmile View Post
@Hitch and @st_albert...



To clarify -- the way I tested the above was that I first ran a test epub through my new plugin that only had one smaller image below the title. Then I just manually changed the normal KF8 version width size(inside the epub) from 25% to 50% to make any differences stand out. This means that the KF8 display will be double the size of the KF7 display and very noticeable. Then I tested the epub on the old Kindle Previewer and on the newer KP 3 and when I switched to KF7 emulation -- hey presto -- the KF8 version(which is using % values) was displayed on both these Kindle test apps...

@st_albert...I also really don't hold anyone responsible for perhaps not knowing that KF8 % images may now be displayed on KF7s. This is a bad way to go. To my way of thinking, Hitch and the folks on this forum are all pretty knowledgeable about Kindle requirements, formatting etc. And if anyone is responsible I would say that it's probably the Kindle team for not telling anybody about this possible change(think about the non-existent Kindle LITB info for instance).

For some more clarity, here are the media queries and code that my plugin inserts at the end of the main html stylesheet and in the html respectively on a normal plugin test run:

Spoiler:

In the CSS:

@media amzn-mobi {
.kf8only {
display: none;
}
.mobionly {
display: inline;
}
}
@media not amzn-mobi {
.kf8only {
display: inline;
}
.mobionly {
display: none;
}
}

In the html:

<p class="scrivener8"><img alt=" " class="mobionly" height="100" src="../Images/Image1.jpeg" width="105"/></p>

<p class="scrivener8"><img alt=" " class="kf8only" src="../Images/Image1.jpeg" style="width: 25%;height: auto;"/></p>


Everyone also seems to be assuming that the old KP and new KP 3 are telling the truth ie that they were both correctly emulating the KF7. Perhaps that's also a bad assumption. Perhaps its the fault of both KP's which may not be emulating the KF7 imaging accurately or correctly. That's why, IMHI, we will only really find out the truth by testing the epub, after a plugin run, on an actual KF7 device.

William:

If you change your HTML to

Code:
 <p class="scrivener8"><img alt=" " class="mobionly" height="100px" src="../Images/Image1.jpeg" width="105px"/></p>
Do you get the same result? (I'm assuming those are the dimensions? 100x105px?)

Something is DEFINITELY hinky here. I promise you, in the real world, the KF7s are not displaying % or KF8. We were just testing something, on this, with some books we have inhouse, one with 378 images, that is moving into production this very week.

Albert, are you seeing anything different than what I am seeing, vis-a-vis KF7/8?

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Old 08-07-2017, 06:20 AM   #8
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@Hitch...I've just sent you a barebones version of this Sigil plugin(it won't have a window dialog for selecting the css file for media query insertion) via your regular email because I can't send attachments by email on MR.

The plugin is called AddKindleMediaQueries. I have also implemented the change you wanted to the KF7 image line. My email will also contain simple instructions on how to use this plugin. I've sent you this plugin now because, judging from your comments above, it seems quite urgent.

All I need to know is whether or not the smaller ebook images render correctly both on your KF7 devices(in pixels) and on KF8 devices(as a %).
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Old 08-07-2017, 06:43 AM   #9
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The problem with putting in image dimensions is you are setting the image at a fixed size. You'll have no idea what the size of the screen being used is going to be. You want to set % and not px.
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Old 08-07-2017, 11:41 AM   #10
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Quote:
Originally Posted by slowsmile View Post
@Hitch and @st_albert...


@st_albert...I also really don't hold anyone responsible for perhaps not knowing that KF8 % images may now be displayed on KF7s. This is a bad way to go. To my way of thinking, Hitch and the folks on this forum are all pretty knowledgeable about Kindle requirements, formatting etc. And if anyone is responsible I would say that it's probably the Kindle team for not telling anybody about this possible change(think about the non-existent Kindle LITB info for instance).
For what it's worth, I just ran the following experiment.

I took a dual-format mobi file (from kindlegen) just as we would submit to KDP. I split it using kindleunpack (stand-alone version, not the Calibre plugin) into a mobi7 .mobi file and a mobi8 .azw3 file, and tried each of them separately in the kindle previewer, version 2.8.

the "mobi7" file looked reasonable in DX, Kindle3, and paperwhite, with roughly the same look and feel. the "mobi8" file looked good in Pw and K3 but the DX emulation had lots of problems in formatting paragraphs, page breaks, and so on. The images were displayed, but not the way we intended.

So I conclude that the DX emulator cannot "cheat" and read the mobi8 file from a dual-format mobi in order to look good. Unfortunately I can't say whether the DX emulation, when reading the azw3 file, messed up in the same way as a real-workd DX would.

BTW, the book in question was published in 2011, when IIRC there was no kf8 format in production yet. In the epub, the images were coded like so:

Code:
<p class="center"><img alt="images/image002.jpg" src="../Images/image002.jpg" style="width:77%"/></p>
and were tweaked in the epub, then converted with kindlegen (cmd line version, not the previewer), and tested on a real-world K3 (which hadn't been upgraded for kf8).

All of which makes me very grateful that of the couple of hundred ebooks I've formatted since then, only 2 or 3 have had images other than the cover

Albert
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Old 08-07-2017, 01:14 PM   #11
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Originally Posted by JSWolf View Post
The problem with putting in image dimensions is you are setting the image at a fixed size. You'll have no idea what the size of the screen being used is going to be. You want to set % and not px.
Wolfie:

You know I love ya, but in this instance, you know not whereof you speak. You cannot format images, in KF7, using %; it's not recognized. For images smaller than the full width of the screen, we have NO alternative but to use px.

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Old 08-07-2017, 01:18 PM   #12
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Quote:
Originally Posted by st_albert View Post
For what it's worth, I just ran the following experiment.

I took a dual-format mobi file (from kindlegen) just as we would submit to KDP. I split it using kindleunpack (stand-alone version, not the Calibre plugin) into a mobi7 .mobi file and a mobi8 .azw3 file, and tried each of them separately in the kindle previewer, version 2.8.

the "mobi7" file looked reasonable in DX, Kindle3, and paperwhite, with roughly the same look and feel. the "mobi8" file looked good in Pw and K3 but the DX emulation had lots of problems in formatting paragraphs, page breaks, and so on. The images were displayed, but not the way we intended.
Albert: presumably, this was a "dual" mobi that had images, that had been formatted for KF8, using %, yes? (nm: I just saw below that that's right.)

Quote:
So I conclude that the DX emulator cannot "cheat" and read the mobi8 file from a dual-format mobi in order to look good. Unfortunately I can't say whether the DX emulation, when reading the azw3 file, messed up in the same way as a real-workd DX would.
OK. That's good to know; that's been our comprehension, here. The alternative, honestly, was sort of freaking me out, as the KF7 devices we have here say that they are still KF7, through and through.

Quote:
BTW, the book in question was published in 2011, when IIRC there was no kf8 format in production yet. In the epub, the images were coded like so:

Code:
<p class="center"><img alt="images/image002.jpg" src="../Images/image002.jpg" style="width:77%"/></p>
and were tweaked in the epub, then converted with kindlegen (cmd line version, not the previewer), and tested on a real-world K3 (which hadn't been upgraded for kf8).
Hmmm....so, coded wrong, back then? As KF7 never could display %? Meh, Albert, I'd hate to have our 2011 books come back and haunt us (although they do!).

Quote:
All of which makes me very grateful that of the couple of hundred ebooks I've formatted since then, only 2 or 3 have had images other than the cover

Albert
I feel ya. We have thousands--hell, tens of thousands of images, formatted, out there. I spend a lot of time thinking about what we'd do, if something happened and all our clients demanded that the images be REformatted....


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Old 08-07-2017, 04:14 PM   #13
JSWolf
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DX only does Mobi. So if you feed the previewer a KF8 and the DX emulation looks odd, it doesn't count because it cannot happen.
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Old 08-07-2017, 05:12 PM   #14
Hitch
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Quote:
Originally Posted by JSWolf View Post
DX only does Mobi. So if you feed the previewer a KF8 and the DX emulation looks odd, it doesn't count because it cannot happen.
Jon! You are being especially obstreperous today. We know that. I mean, we know that, normally.

But slowsmile reported that when he used his plugin, he was seeing images, that had been sized in %, in KF8, size that way in KF7. Albert was testing the premise, using a split dual-mobi.

We (Albert) was testing, to ensure that to the best of our collective knowledge, no change had been made to the DX emulator, vis-a-vis the rendering. He confirmed that. Now, we can look to the plugin, to figure out WHY the KF7 rendering is hinky.

Right? Sweetie? It's troubleshooting via bracket navigation.

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Old 08-07-2017, 08:37 PM   #15
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I also think that's its worthing bearing in mind something which I mentioned earlier. I have already said that both the old KP and the newer KP 3 Kindle test apps do not display ebook KF7 images correctly.

I tested this by first running my plugin on an epub with an ebook image. Afterwards I then changed the KF8 image line entry and doubled the percentage value. I did this so I could more easily distinguish between KF7 and KF8 displays in KP and KP3. When I loaded this epub in KP and KP3 both app displays showed the larger image for all eInk emulations This means that both KP and KP 3 will display KF8 images(as a %) for all their eInk emulations. And this is completely wrong, so these Kindle apps cannot be trusted accurately to test KF7/KF8 displays. I also think that this fact may have caused some confusion. So I agree with Hitch, the only way to properly test this appears to be on an actual KF7 device. Worth remembering.

Last edited by slowsmile; 08-07-2017 at 09:13 PM.
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