Mobileread
Sigil 1.4.3 - Validation Not Catching Errors Now
#1  lisashea 01-31-2021, 04:28 PM
I’ve been using Sigil for quite a long time – at least 10 years. I have over 450 books published on Amazon D2D etc., plus I help other authors with their publishing, so I have generated boatloads of EPUBs over this time period. So I’m in general comfortable with Sigil and its operations.

I recently had to upgrade to a new computer which got me onto Sigil 1.4.3 on Windows 10. With this change, Sigil altered how it handled the validation process. Where before I could create perfect EPUB files for Google Publish and Draft2Digital, now I get errors from those systems. I also get errors from standard online validation processes.

I realize these errors are not “caused” by Sigil. I’m sad, though, that the “easy fix” I used to get out of Sigil is no longer happening.

Here’s what I do.

I write my books in Word. When I’m ready, I export my Word document into a filtered HTM file. Word generates a flawed filtered HTM file. I bring that into Calibre, where I generate an EPUB file. Calibre is not introducing the problems. It’s simply translating a flawed file into EPUB, which I understand.

I used to then bring that EPUB into Sigil to fix those problems. The problems were well known to me. You can see them here, in my search-and-replace dropdown.

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First, any links would have a pair of attributes – link=”color” and vlink=”color – which had to be stripped off. Images would often have a border=0 which had to be stripped. Pictures would have an id=”Picture X” and the space caused a problem, so I stripped out that space. And finally, there would be a clear=”all” in various spots which I had to remove.

The built-in Sigil validation tool easily found all of these problems. I’d run the validator, see which issues were in my particular EPUB, search-and-replace to fix them, and then revalidate it. Once it passed, everything was fine, and my file was good to go.

That no longer happens with this latest version of Sigil.

The validation tool, which used to be a green checkmark in the top right of the menu bar, is no longer there. When I manually run the validation tool it claims everything is fine. But the EPUB is not fine – it chokes on any other external validator.

I even had a YouTube video where I explained to others how to do this:

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=nKNPMsHC5xg

Am I missing where the actual validation tool is hiding now? Why did that old functionality go away? That was a key part of my process to make a globally accepted EPUB.

Many thanks in advance for any assistance!
sigil-fixes.jpg 
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#2  KevinH 01-31-2021, 05:09 PM
Flightcrew has been moved to into a plugin, so that users who choose to can use the epubcheck plugin in its place.

The green check just performs a "is it well-formed enough to parse" check. Just download and install either the FlightCrew plugin for epub2 only or the epubCheck plugin (and java) if you work on both epub2 and epub3.

See the Plugin Index thread inside Sigil for links. Or go to Sigil github and download the flightcrew plugin from here:

https://github.com/Sigil-Ebook/flightcrew/releases


Both are completely free.
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#3  KevinH 01-31-2021, 05:18 PM
Here is the info about it in our Wiki page.

https://github.com/Sigil-Ebook/Sigil/wiki/FlightCrew-Validation-Plugin
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#4  Tex2002ans 01-31-2021, 06:25 PM
As KevinH has said, a while back, FlightCrew changed into a Sigil Plugin.

* * *

To install the new plugin version of FlightCrew:

Step 1. Go here:

https://github.com/Sigil-Ebook/flightcrew/releases/tag/0.9.2

and download the ZIP file for your operating system (Windows, Mac, Linux).

So if you have Windows, download the file:

Step 2. In Sigil, press Edit > Preferences > Plugins.

Step 3. Press the Add Plugin button on the right side:

show attachment »

and select the ZIP file you just downloaded.

(In this case, wherever you put the "FlightCrew_v0.9.2win.zip" file. It may exist in your Downloads folder.)

After you add it successfully, FlightCrew should appear in your list:

show attachment »

Step 4 (Optional). After FlightCrew is installed, you can assign FlightCrew to one of Sigil's "plugin buttons".

Press the "Shortcuts" tab.

Then click the dropdown for "Plugin 1:" and select FlightCrew:

show attachment »

Step 5. FlightCrew can now be found under Plugins > Validation > FlightCrew:

show attachment »

Or, if you followed Step 4, you can press the "Plugin #" button you assigned:

show attachment »

(In this case, the "Plugin #1" button will act like the old "checkmark" button in older versions of Sigil.)

* * *

Side Note: I would also recommend installing Doitsu's EpubCheck plugin for Sigil.

FlightCrew is great for catching some basic errors, but epubcheck is the actual tool that's used by the vendors to make sure EPUBs are compliant.

Doitsu's plugin lets you easily run epubcheck within Sigil in a "FlightCrew-like" way.

All you have to do is download his ZIP from that MobileRead thread, and install it using the same steps as above.
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#5  Tex2002ans 01-31-2021, 06:47 PM
Quote lisashea
I recently had to upgrade to a new computer which got me onto Sigil 1.4.3 on Windows 10. With this change, Sigil altered how it handled the validation process.

[...]

I’m sad, though, that the “easy fix” I used to get out of Sigil is no longer happening.

[...]

Am I missing where the actual validation tool is hiding now? Why did that old functionality go away? That was a key part of my process to make a globally accepted EPUB.
It's all still there, just handled in a slightly different way.

Note: The change from FlightCrew dedicated button -> plugin actually happened quite a few YEARS back now (2015)...

Quote lisashea
I write my books in Word. When I’m ready, I export my Word document into a filtered HTM file. Word generates a flawed filtered HTM file. I bring that into Calibre, where I generate an EPUB file.
You may want to think about upgrading your workflow.

Direct DOCX -> EPUB conversion will most likely be better, and save you lots of headaches. (Using Toxaris's EPUB Tools [Windows version of Word only] or the various other DOCX import plugins.)

I wrote a bit about this a few months ago in "eBook Formatting in Sigil" (especially Posts #50+#52+#60).

Most important thing to do though is... learn to use Styles!!!

Clean input is the most important step in any of these conversion steps.

Quote lisashea
First, any links would have a pair of attributes – link=”color” and vlink=”color – which had to be stripped off. Images would often have a border=0 which had to be stripped. Pictures would have an id=”Picture X” and the space caused a problem, so I stripped out that space. And finally, there would be a clear=”all” in various spots which I had to remove.
This is the kind of cruft you wouldn't deal with with superior DOCX->EPUB methods. :P
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#6  exaltedwombat 02-01-2021, 11:46 AM
Try cutting out the conversion to filtered HTM, drop the docx straight into Calibre.
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#7  KevinH 02-01-2021, 05:17 PM
Or use the Sigil plugins to do that same thing.
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#8  exaltedwombat 02-02-2021, 07:37 AM
Whatever conversion method you choose, the key to success is a well-structured DOCX. Consistent use of Paragraph Styles will produce a clean EPUB. Even footnotes, if properly created in Word, come through a Calibre conversion with sensible positioning and fully operating backlinks. I'm just off to try out the Sigil plugins. I'm sure they're good too.
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#9  exaltedwombat 02-02-2021, 08:16 AM
OK. Just installed the plugin DOCXImport_v0.2.8.

Try it. No disrespect to the author (who admits it's a 'work in progress') but I think you'll end up using Calibre for now.
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#10  KevinH 02-02-2021, 09:32 AM
Did you take advantage of its ability to map styles to stylesheets? Works quite well every time I have used it, but as you said using styles in Word while creating the doc is very important. And once you create that mapping, future imports using your Word styles works well.
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