Mobileread
Fractional Page Numbering
#1  j.p.s 11-09-2019, 02:48 PM
There are already quite a few numbering schemes for showing location in an ebook, but I would like to discuss one more, (decimal) fractional page numbers. This would allow "real page numbers" that match a specific print version for reference purposes (but does have the problem that many books have multiple print editions with varying pagination), and still show change for each ebook page turn.

I did some experimenting and it can already work on some EPUB and Kindle readers (example screen shots attached).

I started with the plain text for Henry Ford's autobiography My Life and Work and added asciidoc formatting markup. Next page number link targets were added based on a scan at archive.org, and when that was working, half-page link targets were inserted between each pair of "real page numbers".

Also attached EPUB, KF8 (azw3), and KF7 (mobi) formats and Kindle apnx files to the next post. The uncompressed mobi8 apnx file needs to be copied to the .sdr folder the kindle creates for the book and the mobi7 apnx needs to be copied to the same place as the book. The EPUB uses the page-map method for page numbers (none of my readers support pagelist numbering), but it would be easy to make a pagelist version.

The devices I tested that supported the fractional page numbering were Pocketbook 360, K4NT, PW3, Voyage, Oasis 2, Onyx Boox M92, and iriver story HD.

It did not work on original Kobo H2O with original firmware, koreader on Voyage, or Calibre.

The asciidoc and other support files will be attached to the second post.
voyage_pn1.png voyage_pn2.png pb360pn1.png pb360pn2.png 
[azw3] mobi8-Ford_MyLife.azw3 (343.8 KB, 11 views)
[gz] mobi8-Ford_MyLife.apnx.gz (4.6 KB, 10 views)
[mobi] mobi7-Ford_MyLife.mobi (294.9 KB, 10 views)
[gz] mobi7-Ford_MyLife.apnx.gz (4.5 KB, 9 views)
[epub] mobi8-Ford_MyLife.epub (223.8 KB, 11 views)
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#2  j.p.s 11-09-2019, 02:50 PM
I wanted to have an entire book available with fractional page numbering so people could see what reading with fractional page numbers would be like and saw asciidoc as the quickest and easiest way for me to get there. Inserting a page number target (e.g. anchor) is done by placing the characters (without quotes) "[[page_2]]" between the last character of page 1 and the first character of page 2 in the pbook. The exact text of the ID is not critical, it could be "p2", "page-2", whatever. Even the "2" is not essential, but to use anything else seems ill advised.

After that the anchors for fractional pages can be placed between the anchors for integer pages. In my opinion it is not critical for these to be placed mathematically exactly and I did not do so for this example book.

The next step is to convert to EPUB. The python script asciidoc (or the ruby script asciidoctor) generate HTML, but the asciidoc project also provides a2x which can generate PDF or EPUB from the same source file. I used:
Code
a2x -f epub -a toc Ford_MyLife.adoc
Next a pagelist needs to be added to toc.ncx in the EPUB or a page-map.xml file added to the EPUB and a reference to page-map.xml added to content.opf. A script to generate a pagelist is in my thread on repairing defective apnx files in the kindle formats forum.

If a kindle format is desired, kindlegen can convert the EPUB to a fat mobi and kindleunpack can split that into KF7 and KF8 versions complete with matching apnx files.
[gz] Ford_MyLife.adoc.gz (186.3 KB, 8 views)
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#3  FrustratedReader 11-09-2019, 04:25 PM
Fadedpage on some books puts a floating at right margin in a box faint real page number (of edition used) using cunning CSS. Dr Dolittle some titles? and C.S. Lewis 'Till We Have Faces'
I figured out the regex to bulk delete it.

Note that many Fadedpage books are only out of copyright in countries that are +50 or didn't retrospectively implement +75. Not PD in USA.

If you want real page numbers, that works. No need for fractions.

Page numbering is like Trump, Brexit or Nationalists/Republicans vs Unionists in N.I. There are two camps on eBooks and I doubt any scheme will convince those that want "real page numbers" or that point out that only a percentage progress works on ebooks (unlike PDFs).

Interesting idea. The giant thread illustrates the two camps thesis.
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#4  jhowell 11-09-2019, 06:30 PM
I am curious, what is the purpose of fractional page numbers?

I understand the start point of each numbered page being marked in the content.
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#5  j.p.s 11-09-2019, 07:21 PM
Quote jhowell
I am curious, what is the purpose of fractional page numbers?

I understand the start point of each numbered page being marked in the content.
Some people like for the position in book to update with each screen and never really got all that comfortable with amazon location numbers, even after 10 years. In the great page numbering debates, % often gets touted as a solution, but integer % updates slower than "real page numbers" for books longer than around 150 print pages. The intent of fractional page numbers is to give frequent updates while preserving compatibility with "a" print edition.

It's not for everyone, but maybe for some.

There's also the because it can be done factor.
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#6  barryem 11-09-2019, 09:26 PM
I like the scheme used by Moon+ reader. It shows a count of screens instead of page numbers. For novels where there's not usually a need to make references this seems nearly perfect.

It can show the number of pages in the book and the number left till the end of the book like this (152/42) or it can be chapterized and show the number of pages in the chapter and the number left to go. It also gives a percentage for the book. This is the method I use.

A page of course means a screen full of text. Change the margins or line font size and the count changes. I rarely change these things so I'm getting constant and accurate information on where I am and how close I am to the end of the chapter. This lets me keep reading if I'm near the end of the chapter instead of stopping when I get the urge to stop.

Barry
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#7  JSWolf 11-09-2019, 09:37 PM
Quote barryem
I like the scheme used by Moon+ reader. It shows a count of screens instead of page numbers. For novels where there's not usually a need to make references this seems nearly perfect.

It can show the number of pages in the book and the number left till the end of the book like this (152/42) or it can be chapterized and show the number of pages in the chapter and the number left to go. It also gives a percentage for the book. This is the method I use.

A page of course means a screen full of text. Change the margins or line font size and the count changes. I rarely change these things so I'm getting constant and accurate information on where I am and how close I am to the end of the chapter. This lets me keep reading if I'm near the end of the chapter instead of stopping when I get the urge to stop.

Barry
I don't like 1 screen = 1 page because it can change. It's not something you can look at and get a sense of how long the book is. ADE page numbers let me get a sense of how long the book is. Also, sometimes I may change the font size and in that case, I'd also be changing the page numbers.

I'll admit it was a bit odd not to see the page number change all the time, but I got used to it and I don't mind it at all. In fact, I do like it. Sometimes the page number jumps and skips showing a number. Again, you get used to it.
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#8  jhowell 11-09-2019, 10:56 PM
Quote JSWolf
I'll admit it was a bit odd not to see the page number change all the time, but I got used to it and I don't mind it at all. In fact, I do like it. Sometimes the page number jumps and skips showing a number. Again, you get used to it.
I also prefer page numbers to not be screen numbers, but I understand why others may want that instead. It would be nice if readers had a choice.
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#9  j.p.s 11-09-2019, 11:23 PM
Quote barryem
I like the scheme used by Moon+ reader. It shows a count of screens instead of page numbers. For novels where there's not usually a need to make references this seems nearly perfect.

It can show the number of pages in the book and the number left till the end of the book like this (152/42) or it can be chapterized and show the number of pages in the chapter and the number left to go. It also gives a percentage for the book. This is the method I use.

A page of course means a screen full of text. Change the margins or line font size and the count changes. I rarely change these things so I'm getting constant and accurate information on where I am and how close I am to the end of the chapter. This lets me keep reading if I'm near the end of the chapter instead of stopping when I get the urge to stop.

Barry
Sure, and there are plenty of hw/sw combinations that do just that, except on non-jailbroken kindles.

Some people are in book clubs, which migh want to reference locations in novels, so standardized page numbers have uses, even in novels.

If your current system meets your needs, good for you.
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#10  j.p.s 11-09-2019, 11:26 PM
Quote JSWolf
I don't like 1 screen = 1 page because it can change. It's not something you can look at and get a sense of how long the book is. ADE page numbers let me get a sense of how long the book is. Also, sometimes I may change the font size and in that case, I'd also be changing the page numbers.

I'll admit it was a bit odd not to see the page number change all the time, but I got used to it and I don't mind it at all. In fact, I do like it. Sometimes the page number jumps and skips showing a number. Again, you get used to it.
I thought I was used to amazon locations, but I'm starting to get spoiled by "real page numbers". I see nothing wrong with good enough getting even better (without ramming anything down people's throats).
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