Calibre Week in Review

It seems that PDF is becoming the never ending format for me. Maybe I should start naming the posts PDF Work instead of Calibre Week in Review…

One minor and one major change to PDF processing this week. The minor change was a fix for bug 2342. German umlauts are now displayed correctly in the output. The major change is PDF output now supports comics. cbz, cbr, cbc are some of the input formats for comics that are support and now you can turn them into a PDF. The huge advantage is for people (like me) who have a Cybook. A comic can be turned into one PDF file sized for the device keeping down the amount of clutter in the library view.

I also worked on the device framework and have pluginized all of the device interfaces (I like the term interfaces better than drivers because it reduces confusion as Windows device drivers are very different). They also sport a new configuration system (though they didn’t have configuration before at all). The user will be able to specify their preferred format order for sending to the device. As well as disable certain formats from being sent to the device at all. I said will because while the configuration code is done there is currently no way to call it in the preferences dialog. However, this will be rectified before 0.6 is released.

eReader output has been put on hold for the foreseeable future. eReader input is complete and working but due to the undocumented nature of the eReader format I have not been able to produce a working output plugin. The main issue I’ve run into is the eReader header (record 0 within the pdb container) is a 132 byte package with 66 sections. There are to many unknown sections. Even with the inspector script I wrote to see what the values are in working eReader files I have not been able to understand how all of the sections interact with the file itself. My guesses have all resulted in files that are not readable by the eReader Pro software.

eReader files uses the PML markup language and while I couldn’t get eReader output working I have added support for PML input and PML output. The PML output can be taken and put into either MakeBook or DropBook to produce a working eReader file.

Two things to note about the the PML support is input can take either a straight .pml file or it can take a zip archive filled with .pml files and PNG images (the images must be in PNG format). The zip archive must have the extension changed to .pmlz for this to work. PML output will produce a zip archive with the extension .pmlz. Within this archive will be all of the image files in PNG format and the produced .pml files.

.pmlz is simply an easy way to group the files and ensure that there is not issues with including missing files or not being able to find referenced files.