New Update to The Keep - New EBook Support!

General discussion about NBOS's information manager for gamers, The Keep.

New Update to The Keep - New EBook Support!

Postby Ed_NBOS » Thu Feb 23, 2012 1:00 am

Hi All,

There's a new update, 1.10d, available for The Keep:

http://www.nbos.com/nox/index.php?action=1001&id=422

This new build of the Keep can export text and image topics to EPUB formatted eBooks, for reading on eReaders and tablets such as the Nook, iPad, Sony Reader, and the Kindle (with further processing). This support is experimental! As such, this is considered a Beta release - you should only download this if this new feature appeals to you.

I dont have access to a wide variety of eReaders, so if you do create eBooks with the Keep, please let me know how they work on the devices you try them on.

Covers
You can assign a cover image by placing an image entry as the first 'child' under the root topic. The first image entry found will be used as the ebook cover. So your book should look like this:

keepsc1.gif
keepsc1.gif (3.54 KiB) Viewed 1826 times


Tables
Be aware that table rendering on most eReaders is fairly rudimentary, so topics with complex or wide tables may not display well.

Fonts
The eBooks created by the Keep ignore the base selected font you have assigned (though bolding and other formatting still apply). Most eReader devices ignore font faces anyways, and use their own built in fonts.

Metadata
Titles and Authors are required by the file format. Books without them may not load in eReaders. The book id will be generated for you if you leave the field blank. Though if on the remote chance you happen to have an isbn for your book, you can assign that as the id.

Kindles
The Kindle, unlike most eReaders, does not support the EPUB format. But Amazon has a tool called KindleGen which will convert an EPUB book into a .Mobi book for use on the Kindle. I have not tried the conversion process yet, but if you do let me know how it goes. You should also be able to email your .epub book to your kindle's email address, and the conversion will be done automatically.

PDF's, Maps, and others
The Keep can only export Text entries (including log entries) and images into EPUB books. Maps, PDFs, Character Sheets, and other types of entries will not be exported. They will simply be ignored. There's no intention to have it support PDF's, as thats simply not a document type epub supports, but I may expand the support to maps and character sheets in the future (by converting them to images first).
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Re: New Update to The Keep - New EBook Support!

Postby JohnTaber » Mon Feb 27, 2012 12:52 pm

Hi Ed: I'm not sure how to put this and not come off wrong so I am just gonna put it out there...

I was kinda disappointed by this post. There is this huge list of 2.0 features most of which would help anyone using the Keep but instead you guys do a release for people who want to use The Keep with an eReader. That has got to be a smaller subset of an already small set of people who use The Keep. I guess I would have spent precious development time on some of those other more general improvements... :cry:

I realize there might be other reasons for this release...just wanted you to know my take...
GAME ON!
John T>
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Re: New Update to The Keep - New EBook Support!

Postby Ed_NBOS » Mon Feb 27, 2012 3:30 pm

This update isnt version 2.0. Its a proof of concept for functionality intended to be included in 2.0 and other projects. Dont read any more into it than that. But since it was a discreet piece of functionality that needed to be implemented early on in Keep 2.0's development for a number of reasons, I didnt see a particular reason not to make it available to people who might want to try it in v1.0. This way I can gather feedback on the experimental feature, so that by the time v2.0 comes out, any major problems can be addressed.
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Re: New Update to The Keep - New EBook Support!

Postby JohnTaber » Mon Feb 27, 2012 4:08 pm

Ed_NBOS wrote:This update isnt version 2.0. Its a proof of concept for functionality intended to be included in 2.0 and other projects. Dont read any more into it than that. But since it was a discreet piece of functionality that needed to be implemented early on in Keep 2.0's development for a number of reasons, I didnt see a particular reason not to make it available to people who might want to try it in v1.0. This way I can gather feedback on the experimental feature, so that by the time v2.0 comes out, any major problems can be addressed.


Thanks for the details. Gotcha. :)
GAME ON!
John T>
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Re: New Update to The Keep - New EBook Support!

Postby esmale » Sat Mar 17, 2012 9:09 am

Hi Ed,

I'm experimenting with this feature, particularly for use in exporting rulesets (as opposed to campaign notes).

I don't own an eBook device - can you suggest an eBook viewer for the PC?

Cheers,
- Erin
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Campaign Development for Busy GMs - http://www.welshpiper.com
Chimera RPG - http://www.chimerarpg.com
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Re: New Update to The Keep - New EBook Support!

Postby Ed_NBOS » Sat Mar 17, 2012 11:18 pm

Hi Erin,

I've been testing it with:

Adobe Digital Editions
Sony Reader for PC
Barnes & Noble Nook for PC
Barnes & Noble Nook for Android

Kobo is also another popular reader, though I havent installed it yet.

Ed
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Re: New Update to The Keep - New EBook Support!

Postby erroneousgrog » Sun Mar 18, 2012 7:21 am

I think this is a great addition to anyone who is interested in self publishing their own material.

I noticed one thing, on export to epub if a page has more than one embedded graphic it will use only one and repeat it several times. I cut and pasted a bunch of small images from my clipboard into the text in TK. I only get one image for all of them.

I had put a carriage return between paragraphs in TK but that results in extra spaces between paras in the ePub. It puts <p class="sgc-3"><br /></p> between the paras which is only natural since the line was blank. Note to self, clean that up in TK first!

I used Sigil to look at the ePub and edit it.

I used Calibre to view the ePub.
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Re: New Update to The Keep - New EBook Support!

Postby erroneousgrog » Sun Mar 18, 2012 3:10 pm

Hi Ed,

Here's some more feedback for you. I noticed that the hyperlinks are not encoded in the epub.

I get

<span class="sgc-8">Dunghills</span>

My previous HTML output was

<a style=" font-size: 12pt; font-family: 'Times New Roman', 'Times', serif; font-style: normal; font-weight: normal; color: #008000; background-color: transparent; text-decoration: underline;" href="Dunghills.html">Dunghills</a>
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Re: New Update to The Keep - New EBook Support!

Postby erroneousgrog » Sun Mar 18, 2012 3:37 pm

I should mention that before you came out with this update I did try converting an html export to epub. I used Sigil to bring in the HTML, graphics, etc. In that route you have to create the toc manually so this update is a real treat.
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Re: New Update to The Keep - New EBook Support!

Postby Ed_NBOS » Mon Mar 26, 2012 12:49 am

http://www.nbos.com/nox/index.php?action=1001&id=422

(3/27/12) The beta has been updated with:

[fixed] Information was not being saved in text & log entries if a new log entry was created.
[added] Hyperlinking support in ePub books, and the option to use the reader device's default font rather than embedding font information
[fixed] ePub export, text entries with multiple images were not exporting correctly.
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