corrupted ePub files

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corrupted ePub files

Postby Isleofgough on Fri Mar 19, 2021 8:52 am

I've been fighting the corruption of ePub files created by MadCap Flare for about six years and have submitted multiple bug reports. For most of the years, Flare compressed the MIME type, which did not meet standards. But it also transfers over print related designations in the CSS and adds other CSS designations not in the original CSS file if you are using tables. You can see that if you open your ePub in Sigil, Calibre, Jutoh, or OxygenXML. Sometimes the ePubs can be uploaded to Amazon Kindle, but sometimes they generate errors. Specifically equations in LaTeX as well as MathML do not generate properly in ePubs from Flare (unlike the clean output I get from Oxygen XML) and I end up having to do a hack of creating mathematical image files for the ePub conditions and use LaTeX for the pdf conditions in Flare.

With the current version of MadCap Flare, ePubs cannot be opened in Apple Books and generate errors in Sigil. I can go through and fix the various errors, but the code generated from Flare is not clean and often corrupted. Has anyone else found these issues? Attached are the error messages from Apple Books and from Sigil.
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Isleofgough
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Re: corrupted ePub files

Postby Isleofgough on Mon Mar 22, 2021 4:15 pm

To show some of the specific issues I'm having with Flare (and have had for years with submissions for tech support from Flare). The attachments show too much line spacing in tables of contents from pdf output in Flare, vs LaTeX. The Flare settings were tweaked by tech support to have the least line spacing, but it is still more than I would like. The other attachments show specific issues with equations from Flare with pdf and ePub targets. In some parts of the ePub, the equations completely fail to show when generated from Flare, but the same equation elsewhere will work. Strange. To compare, I also include the equations from LaTeX in pdf and from Oxygen XML in ePub.
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Isleofgough
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Re: corrupted ePub files

Postby Isleofgough on Mon Mar 22, 2021 6:40 pm

Flare missing equation and another section from better OxygenXML ePub output is shown below (I submitted a bug report to Flare a year ago but they said it was some ePub specific viewing issue, which it is not):
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Isleofgough
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Re: corrupted ePub files

Postby Isleofgough on Wed Mar 31, 2021 11:56 am

Looking a MadCap Flare generated ePub and Oxygen XML generated ePubs side by side, I think I know why Flare generates so many errors.
When Flare creates an ePub, it transfers over all designation for print output in the CSS file, rather than clean it up to just be the base and ePub specific CSS designations. Even though the print designations are not used, they still generate errors.
Flare also transfers over a lot of old MadCap Blaze code, including the CSS for Blaze in addition to any custom CSS you have created. The Blaze code has a lot of designations that do not meet current ePub quality standards.
I'm not sure why MathML code is not handled correctly in Flare, but that is a separate issue. Deleting the analyze directory certainly does not fix that.

For me, I've transferred all books that require ePub output over to Oxygen XML, which handles them much better.
Isleofgough
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