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dufeu
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PostPosted: Wed Jul 14, 2010 10:35 pm    Post subject: Sigil - WYSIWYG ePuB editor - Anyone try it out yet? Reply with quote

I'm interested in trying out the Sigil ePuB editor. It's seem new and no ebuild is available {yet}. I was curious to know if anyone had an ebuild already, possibly in a custom overlay.

From the Sigil website:
Quote:
Sigil is a multi-platform WYSIWYG ebook editor. It is designed to edit books in ePub format.

Now what does it have to offer...

Free and open source software under GPLv3
Multi-platform: runs on Windows, Linux and Mac
Full Unicode support: everything you see in Sigil is in UTF-16
Full EPUB spec support
WYSIWYG editing
Multiple Views: Book View, Code View and Split View
Metadata editor with full support for all possible metadata entries (more than 200) with full descriptions for each
Table Of Contents editor
Multi-level TOC support
Book View fully supports the display of any XHTML document possible under the OPS spec
SVG support
Basic XPGT support
Advanced automatic conversion of all imported documents to Unicode
Currently imports TXT, HTML and EPUB files; more will be added with time
Embedded HTML Tidy; all imported documents are thoroughly cleaned; changing views cleans the document so no matter how much you screw up your code, it will fix it (usually)
An actually usable user interface
Native C++ application
Bugs :)
And a lot more...

I've been doing a lot of work to rationalize my ebook library and there are some ebooks I think I'd like to poke and prod a bit to get them in an easier to read layout/format for my mother (she has vision issues).

It would be ideal if someone has an ebuild already accessible in an overlay. If not, than perhaps someone could share their experiences in installing Sigil. Worst case, if someone were to mentor me in building an ebuild, I think I'd be willing to take responsibility for maintaining such an ebuild. Based on what I read in the online BuildingFromSource Sigil wiki page, I probabably already have all of Sigil's dependencies installed. First level dependencies appear to be cmake-2.8.0, qt-4.6 core and related qt libraries libqt4-gui libqt4-svg libqt4-webkit libqt4-xml libqt4-dev (debian style distros - it's not clear to me what all the portage equivalents are. I'm assuming qt-core, qt-svg, qr-webkit, and qt-qui to start. It's not clear to me what the portage equivalents are for libqt4-xml and libqt4-dev.)
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PostPosted: Fri Jul 16, 2010 2:50 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

I used the binary installer, that worked ok, but not very gentoo-ish.

All in all, it's (currently) not for me, takes about 1min to load up my "Programming Perl" epub(~1.2mb) on a Core i7 - unacceptable. I also found it very clumsy to handle, had an epub where I wanted to delete all images(created from a chm, so the navigation where images), which where about 500-600 and I could only delete one at a time.

In the end, I just unzipped the epub and ran some sed over it and made some fixes in vim.

It's ok if you'd start a book from scratch or with a plain-text source, but then, it's just a little less typing and more clicking, nothing for me, sadly :(

Edit, found an ebuild at b.g.o => https://bugs.gentoo.org/show_bug.cgi?id=285060


Last edited by avx on Fri Jul 16, 2010 4:28 pm; edited 1 time in total
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PostPosted: Fri Jul 16, 2010 2:38 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

avx wrote:
Edit, found an ebuild at b.g.o => https://bugs.gentoo.org/show_bug.cgi?id=285060

Thank you! Actually ... Thank you very much!

I've finally decided to try to learn how to write ebuilds. So I was attempting to write one for Sigil myself. I'm really curious to see how the submitter did it.

Thanks for the comments regarding usability. I'll definitely be trying it out myself. My needs are different in that most of the ebub books I want to clean up were originally converted from text only. So it might be more useful for me than for you.

Upstream seems to be fairly reasonable about incorporating feedback. After I look at / play with it, perhaps I submit some feedback myself.
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PostPosted: Fri Jul 16, 2010 4:35 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

No prob, your welcome :)

Played with epub a little today and since it's mostly html/xml, I found using dreamweaver for my tasks quite pleasant, so in theory, every good editor packed with some scripts/macros should be able to do the stuff quite well, sol to be honest, I fail to see, why "we" need just another editor for this task - espacially since I tried some other epub-editors on Windows and imho they also suck bigtime.

But of course, that's just my opinion, if it satisfies you, go for it :)
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PostPosted: Sat Jul 17, 2010 5:43 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

avx wrote:
... if it satisfies you, go for it :)

I grabbed the updated ebuild from the bugzilla entry and it installed fine. I had been trying {unsuccessfully} to write an ebuild for it myself so the updated ebuild was educational.

I did try it out and it seems basic. However, it might actually be useful for me.

Part of the problem is simply finding a reasonable, standalone epub viewer. Calibre doesn't cut it for us. One reason is this insistence on copying whatever book you want to look at into it's own 'library' even though the book is already local. When there are multiple users on the computer, and each is using calibre or most other ebook readers, that means there can potentially be as many copies of the same ebook files as there are users plus 1 for each different ebook. The apparent concept is that each user is a 'device' and each 'device' gets loaded with it's own 'library' of books.

The other part of the problem is that my mother has vision problems. The net result is that she needs control of font size. 'html' based ebooks work really well for her because the separation between text and presentation. PDFs don't work well because increasing the font size to a point she can comfortably read means that she's perpetually scrolling left and right for every line.

A reasonable epub editor should allow me to gobally update the associated css page so that I can get the type to display as larger fonts with proper wrapping. Indeed, I should be able to also change the font face to a font that's easier to read as well. Generally, for the vision impaired, Verdana is about the clearest font for legibility. I've tested this with several people.

At the moment, I can at least read the epub files without making multiple copies. Whether I can update the css style sheets the way I want remains to be seen as does whether the text will wrap properly.

Any suggestions on other {free} editors which can do this kind of thing would be appreciated.
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PostPosted: Sat Jul 17, 2010 2:02 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Quote:
Part of the problem is simply finding a reasonable, standalone epub viewer
You might want to have a look at app-text/fbreader. It's quite lightweigth, can be build against GTK or QT4(depending on what you prefer), is reasonably fast and you can define custom fonts/sizes/css in general.

Do I get this right, you need to make copies of your epubs with changes in font size/type, so that your mother can use them? If so, maybe there's a really simple way...How about creating a custom .css with the settings pleasing your mother and using css's 'include' feature? So the way to go would be a) unzip the epub, b) copy your .css to the appropriate dir, c) run some sed over the original provided css to include your custom one, d) re-zip the dir.

That should work, at least I fail to see why it shouldn't.

BTW, if I haven't missed it, you didn't tell what kind of reader you/your mother has(or are we talking plain pc-monitor here)? I've got a Sony PRS-600 and at least for (iirc) all Sony readers, there's a way to define you prefered fonts and sizes globally as a base-factor, thus the zoom options adding to it.
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PostPosted: Sun Jul 18, 2010 3:29 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

avx wrote:
You might want to have a look at app-text/fbreader.

I have this installed on my systems, but currently not using it. It doesn't open all the epub files I have.

Point of reference. The epub wikipedia entry has a list of readers and 'editing systems'. The fbreader entry has the notation: "Incomplete ePub support." {followed by [citation needed]}. Based on personal experience, I'd say the notation is most likely correct.

Quote:
Do I get this right, you need to make copies of your epubs with changes in font size/type, so that your mother can use them?

Basically, yes. You have that correct. I've gotten very interested in reading issues for the vision impaired. I have a lot of commentary I could make about that but should probably move that to a separate post in a different forum. If you're interested, let me know and I will.
Quote:
BTW, if I haven't missed it, you didn't tell what kind of reader you/your mother has(or are we talking plain pc-monitor here)?

My mother has a pair of 21" LCD monitors {her Linux running KDE based WM and Windoze {for a dingle activedX requiring website and for her scanner) desktop PCs}, a 19" analog monitor on the house server and an eee netbook for reading in bed. html based ebooks are about the only reasonable option on the netbook for her.

Of interest, the listed 'editiing systems' in the wikipedia entry are almost all converters when it comes to epub files. i.e. Edit in other formats, convert to epub. Or, like calibre, convert only. Sigil is listed as the only true editor {limited as it is} which opens epub files for editing all elements of the ebook. Under readers, there is apparently a FireFox addon called EPUBReader. I'll definitely be looking at that too.
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PostPosted: Sun Jul 18, 2010 11:47 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Quote:
The epub wikipedia entry has a list of readers and 'editing systems'. The fbreader entry has the notation: "Incomplete ePub support." {followed by [citation needed]}. Based on personal experience, I'd say the notation is most likely correct.
Haven't tested much of my books in fbreader, but I've yet to find a problem. If you've got a problematic book, which you can share, I'd like to have a look at it.

Quote:
I have a lot of commentary I could make about that but should probably move that to a separate post in a different forum. If you're interested, let me know and I will.
Hehe, I'm far from being hawk-eyed myself, though it's just -5.5/-6.0, but I guess you're talking more about partial blindness or (green) catacaract(hope the latter is correct, got that from a translation site).

Quote:
html based ebooks are about the only reasonable option on the netbook for her.
Hm, dunno if it helps, but maybe you could wrap some zooming with JS around it? Something like readability from arc90? At least that helps my father a lot, who's got -9/-9.5 + green catacaract.
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