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Old 03-16-2017, 05:02 PM   #1
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Footnotes

So I did a quick test - with the same book, footnotes (yes small superscripted ones!) are unusable in epub, but convert to kepub and everything is perfect.
Interesting.
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Old 03-16-2017, 06:52 PM   #2
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It's why I read only kepubs now. I read a lot of books with footnotes and/or endnotes, and you are correct: unusable in epub; perfectly usable in kepub, even with tiny, superscripted links. Now if Kobo would only allow italics and bold in the popups...
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Old 03-16-2017, 09:15 PM   #3
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Stevex View Post
So I did a quick test - with the same book, footnotes (yes small superscripted ones!) are unusable in epub, but convert to kepub and everything is perfect.
Interesting.
They work in epubs, it is just that the size of the links is the size of the tiny superscripted number and is difficult to hit. If you increase the font size until the link is a decent size it works. But, it doesn't show a popup like for kepubs. It will act as a link and take you to the footnote.
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Old 03-17-2017, 12:23 AM   #4
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Originally Posted by davidfor View Post
They work in epubs, it is just that the size of the links is the size of the tiny superscripted number and is difficult to hit. If you increase the font size until the link is a decent size it works. But, it doesn't show a popup like for kepubs. It will act as a link and take you to the footnote.
Is the ability to select a specific, tiny area of the screen a function of the reading software then? I always assumed that touches would be handled by either the hardware or possibly the firmware. The difference between epubs and kepubs in this respect is like night and day. Footnotes in epubs are frustratingly impossible for me to use, while kepub footnote links are hassle-free. Just wondering what is behind the two methods.
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Old 03-17-2017, 02:49 AM   #5
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Originally Posted by icallaci View Post
Is the ability to select a specific, tiny area of the screen a function of the reading software then? I always assumed that touches would be handled by either the hardware or possibly the firmware. The difference between epubs and kepubs in this respect is like night and day. Footnotes in epubs are frustratingly impossible for me to use, while kepub footnote links are hassle-free. Just wondering what is behind the two methods.
Detecting the tap is hardware. What to do with the tap is software. Tapping the right spot is wetware.

When you tap, the hardware detects where and reports to the interested software there was a tap and the coordinates of the tap. The software is listening for the reports and maps the coordinates reported to the controls on the screen. In a book, this is the tap zones for turning the page, opening the menus, setting a bookmark and links (can't think of anything else - I'm ignoring long presses). Each tap zone will have coordinates describing its shape. The software finds which tap zone the coordinates for the tap fall into and take the appropriate action.

Basically all that means is the smaller the size of the tap zone, the harder it is to hit and trigger the action. For epubs, the tap zone for a link seems to be the size of the link as displayed. So, it is the size of the letters it contains and for a superscript 1, it is tiny. For an kepub, they must make it bigger and hence easier to tap. I don't know how much bigger. It could be a minimum size is used, or they could be adding a fixed number of pixels around all links.

Another factor is the resolution of the touch sensor. The lower the resolution, the larger the tap zone needs to be. If the touch resolution is the same as the screen resolution, then each pixel can be a separate tap zone but it would be virtually impossible to actually tap. But, if the touch resolution is to low, then the software can't determine accurately where you tap. For IR touch you are basically breaking IR beams across the screen. These will be a grid. The smaller the grid, the more accurate the touch detection.

And of course the last factor in this is the wetware - how accurately we tap. I know how inaccurate I am. I can get that tiny little 1 if I concentrate and use my little finger, but usually I miss. If I increase the font size, I can get them every time.
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Old 03-17-2017, 05:25 AM   #6
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Quote:
Originally Posted by icallaci View Post
It's why I read only kepubs now. I read a lot of books with footnotes and/or endnotes, and you are correct: unusable in epub; perfectly usable in kepub, even with tiny, superscripted links. Now if Kobo would only allow italics and bold in the popups...
Same here. I read a lot of non-fiction, which tends to be footnote-heavy. And I prefer the layout of kepubs too, but the footnote thing was the primary reason I switched to kepubs ( for the Toch Extended Driver!).
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Old 03-17-2017, 09:51 AM   #7
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Thanks for that explanation, davidfor. Sometimes I wonder if the people who design things (hardware and/or software) actually use what they design. That goes for other things too (like automobiles...don't get me started on why almost every car on the road seems to have the gas tank on the same side, causing long lines on only ONE side of the gas pumps).
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Old 03-17-2017, 11:53 AM   #8
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David
I understand why the epub acts as it does, but have 2 questions
- would it not be possible to have the epub work like the kepub ("epub spec" or not, after all the reality is that a superscripted link is always a footnote). I mean the kepub must be isomorphic to the epub but works differently.
- it seems to me that with epubs, the kobo looks first if you have hit an area of the screen for a kobo-defined action, i.e page forwards etc and only second if you hit a link in the epub

By the way I noticed that in the book I converted EVERY link got treated in the kepub as a footnote, is that a function of the conversion or the reader?

Last edited by Stevex; 03-17-2017 at 11:55 AM.
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Old 03-17-2017, 01:50 PM   #9
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Stevex View Post
By the way I noticed that in the book I converted EVERY link got treated in the kepub as a footnote, is that a function of the conversion or the reader?
If you have a book that has a HTML table of contents, sending it as kepub pops up the chapter. It's a function of the renderer.
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Old 03-17-2017, 09:04 PM   #10
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David
I understand why the epub acts as it does, but have 2 questions
- would it not be possible to have the epub work like the kepub ("epub spec" or not, after all the reality is that a superscripted link is always a footnote). I mean the kepub must be isomorphic to the epub but works differently.
- it seems to me that with epubs, the kobo looks first if you have hit an area of the screen for a kobo-defined action, i.e page forwards etc and only second if you hit a link in the epub
I don't really know how all this is implemented. My description above is an educated guess. But, the epub and kepub renderers are based on completely different libraries. What and how they implement things affects what can be done elsewhere. And of course someone at Kobo decides exactly what to implement and how.

But I doubt that it is looking at the Kobo defined actions first. If it did, no links in the text would work. I'm pretty sure this is a place where size does matter.

And we are mixing up two different thinks: link detection and activation with footnotes. The problem is that the smaller the link is, the harder it is to hit. For kepubs, Kobo does something to make it easier to hit. Handling the link as a footnote instead of a navigation link is a different thing. The epub renderer treats all links as navigation links. The kepub differentiates between them somehow.
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By the way I noticed that in the book I converted EVERY link got treated in the kepub as a footnote, is that a function of the conversion or the reader?
The driver/conversion isn't doing anything with the links. The kepub renderer is using heuristics to work out what they are. I don't know what they heuristics are, but, they seem to be based on where the link goes to more than the actual link. I think it respects epub3 notation, but my test case for this would match the destination heuristics that I think are in use. And, I've just tested a book on my Aura H2O. The contents page works as links, not footnotes as expected.
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Old 03-17-2017, 10:56 PM   #11
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I don't know the answer to kepub links vs. footnotes either, but might it be something to do with one or more of the following?
- footnote links are 2-way, i.e. the destination anchor also has a 'matching link' back to the starting anchor
- footnote links don't point to a destination in the same file
- how much text would need to be stuffed into the footnote pop-up. Too much text may trigger a link rather than a footnote.

I long ago removed all Contents files (and associated anchor links) from my epubs so I can't easily test 1-way links.

Last edited by jackie_w; 03-17-2017 at 11:01 PM. Reason: added 3rd item
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Old 03-18-2017, 12:33 AM   #12
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- how much text would need to be stuffed into the footnote pop-up. Too much text may trigger a link rather than a footnote.
IIRC an oversize footnote in a popup just stuffs what it can into the pop-up and allows you to jump to the location if you need the rest text.
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Old 03-18-2017, 11:19 AM   #13
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Stevex is as sexy as a twisted cruller doughtnut.Stevex is as sexy as a twisted cruller doughtnut.Stevex is as sexy as a twisted cruller doughtnut.Stevex is as sexy as a twisted cruller doughtnut.Stevex is as sexy as a twisted cruller doughtnut.Stevex is as sexy as a twisted cruller doughtnut.Stevex is as sexy as a twisted cruller doughtnut.Stevex is as sexy as a twisted cruller doughtnut.Stevex is as sexy as a twisted cruller doughtnut.Stevex is as sexy as a twisted cruller doughtnut.Stevex is as sexy as a twisted cruller doughtnut.
 
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Jackie the 2-way thing fits the facts, the particular book i tried it out on has chapter headings that link back to the contents page. And if I go to the footnotes page first, it treats the return links as footnotes. I think that's one mystery solved!
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Old 03-18-2017, 11:26 AM   #14
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Stevex is as sexy as a twisted cruller doughtnut.Stevex is as sexy as a twisted cruller doughtnut.Stevex is as sexy as a twisted cruller doughtnut.Stevex is as sexy as a twisted cruller doughtnut.Stevex is as sexy as a twisted cruller doughtnut.Stevex is as sexy as a twisted cruller doughtnut.Stevex is as sexy as a twisted cruller doughtnut.Stevex is as sexy as a twisted cruller doughtnut.Stevex is as sexy as a twisted cruller doughtnut.Stevex is as sexy as a twisted cruller doughtnut.Stevex is as sexy as a twisted cruller doughtnut.
 
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David I think maybe it is the case that a link falling wholly within a hot area becomes unreachable. Not sure, need to test!!
One other totally unrelated q as i am just lazing around far from calibre. I just noticed my converted kepub is missing / cut off a few pixels at the right hand margin. Anyone can tell me the no doubt obvious reason?! Thank you so much!
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Old 03-18-2017, 11:41 AM   #15
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Stevex is as sexy as a twisted cruller doughtnut.Stevex is as sexy as a twisted cruller doughtnut.Stevex is as sexy as a twisted cruller doughtnut.Stevex is as sexy as a twisted cruller doughtnut.Stevex is as sexy as a twisted cruller doughtnut.Stevex is as sexy as a twisted cruller doughtnut.Stevex is as sexy as a twisted cruller doughtnut.Stevex is as sexy as a twisted cruller doughtnut.Stevex is as sexy as a twisted cruller doughtnut.Stevex is as sexy as a twisted cruller doughtnut.Stevex is as sexy as a twisted cruller doughtnut.
 
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Ps is there a kepub spec anywhere? I was just browsing round and the only info I could find was this
https://wiki.mobileread.com/wiki/Kepub
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