Help:Books/Feedback

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  • please check whether this issue is already known
  • provide a link to an article that is affected by the issue
  • report only one issue per section
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  • consider to prefix the title with Bug, Proposal, Question, Comment, Task ...
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  • consider to warn readers of the problem by placing |bug=... in the {{saved book}} template of relevant books

There is a central page at meta.wikimedia.org gathering all major issues with this extension. Issues that can't be solved and are not yet covered on the page at meta should be added there.

For obvious bugs the issue tracker is the preferred place to directly issue and check tickets.

At IRC #pediapress some immediate support might be available.

Book Splitting[edit]

Wikipedia clearly warns new editors that the Book Creator does not support large books with more than 500 pages. However, an alternative option is to fork a book just prior to the 500 page limit, by saving it under a unique title (or revision), prior to proceeding to adding more pages and subsequent topics, although later saves of the book may fail. Again, as already indicated, this method is highly like to error out for many users and is not recommended. This is not a problem with technology, it is a problem with editorship.

For instance, most users cannot plan their book out in advance, such that each saved volume contains 500 or fewer pages (give or take), because most books grow in an utterly random fashion similar to the Bell Curve of a pile of dung dripping from a cave ceiling, but with a tail that skews to the right. In other words, book size (as number of pages) grows non-linearly as a function of numerous random variables, including the grow of semantic topics included in the book. Perhaps the correlation closest to a linear relationship is the growth RATE in pages, against the growth RATE of topical scope, although this would be difficult to operationalize. Thus, central topics fill more pages added, in early-stage book growth, with topical scope widening at a fast rate, then narrowing again at a slower rate (of pages added per change in scope). Additionally, more fringe topics tend to fill in gaps between central topics, at a nearly steady rate per click throughout the process of book creation, but represent very nearly the ONLY added pages, near the final stages of book creation.

It is significant to note here that most users [whether planned or not] alphabetically organize their books, as a last step before saving them, although almost half of all books do not get saved permanently, and another smaller percentage of books never even get saved. This is theorized to represent compensation for lack of organization of the book. However, a much better method for compensating for lack of organization, is to actually organize the book, which might require segmentation into more manageable chapters and volumes first. Thus, for a typical non-linear, poorly planned, and unpredictable 'non-central growth' model and given the likelihood that few pages will be deleted from most created books, either as drafts or in a final pruning or quality control stage, editors can save lower quality final works as multiple volumes instead of higher quality single volumes, and still retain the option of future refinement, without any immediate compromise in total pages included.

The best approach to content splitting (for the average editor) is to save a work-in-progress multiple times (under 2 titles), and then delete pages from each volume accordingly, prior to adding pages to each volume. By such a method therefore, a multi-volume book might grow indefinitely through iterative splits. For example, at 500 pages, one could save one's book with the title "Big:Volume 1", and then immediately save exactly the same book again as "Big:Volume 2" (still, with exactly the same 500 pages). Next, the user would delete pages 250-500 from Volume 1, and delete pages 1-250 of Volume 2. Then the user could proceed (once again) with the task of randomly surfing and "filling in" their book with accidentally discovered candidate pages for each of the two volumes (technically, now two separate books), via the navigation patterns of click-through behavior documented by web analytic research. Of course, an even superior method (albeit unlikely) would simply be to plan one's editorial work out in advance, in terms of topical coverage, order, audience, goals, etc., and use an iterative PAGE-DELETION methodology with at least two drafts, thus excluding less critical pages and creating a final piece of higher value.

Can't find the way to include pages from different languages in one book[edit]

(I'm sorry if this should be reported elsewhere but I couldn't find this information neither in FAQ nor in Help pages). I'd like to include Wikipedia pages from different languages to single book, but it seems that Book creator is always initialized independently for each language and pages are added independently as well - does it mean that there is no way to combine such pages? Maybe it's worth to include the answer to the FAQ. Thanks.

Rendering fails if Chinese text present[edit]

If I try to make a book (or download as PDF) the article China, I eventually get a message that rendering failed with "Status: ! LaTeX Error: Command \hansfont already defined.". This happens with a few other articles that have Chinese text. Articles without Chinese text seem to download as .PDF fine. I couldn't find anything when I put "\hansfont" in the search box. --Wtshymanski (talk) 03:49, 3 October 2014 (UTC)

Book:Roses[edit]

Hello,
I tried to download Book:Roses yesterday and today, but got a txt-file instead of a pdf. Any ideas why?
Best wishes, Anna reg (talk) 10:09, 3 October 2014 (UTC)

Rendering failed[edit]

While in book creator I used to see 'download as ZIM, ODT, PDF etc. But now its missing for few days. And any type of rendering doesn't work. Thay all fail no matter what the format is. here is a link what happens when i try to render a book - http://en.wikipedia.org/w/index.php?title=Special:Book&bookcmd=rendering&return_to=Book%3A.hack&collection_id=9f773203a915c2c7871ed23e5edffefe8651b69f — Preceding unsigned comment added by 124.123.150.11 (talk) 13:19, 7 October 2014 (UTC)

Additional comment as of Dec 15, 2014: While in book creator I used to see 'download as ZIM, ODT, PDF etc. But now I see PDF Format as the only option. I'm wondering if Wikipedia will be restoring the option to download from book creator using the OpenDocument text format since PDF documents are not very compatible with e-readers. Markpomerantz (talk) 16:26, 15 December 2014 (UTC)

Policy?[edit]

Neither on WP:Books, nor Help:Books can I find any kind of policy regarding books in the Book: namespace. In particular, are such "public" books to be edited by others than their creators, or are they private? QVVERTYVS (hm?) 08:54, 8 October 2014 (UTC)

Those in the Book namespace (or "community books") are like anything else on Wikipedia. Anyone can edit them. Books in userspace ("user books") are like anything else in userspace. The user usually has more or less full control over them, save for attack pages and other similar things. Headbomb {talk / contribs / physics / books} 12:01, 8 October 2014 (UTC)

Non 0 exit code after progress reaches 100%[edit]

I am trying to create a copy of this book (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Book:Machine_Learning_-_The_Complete_Guide). I tried 3 times but the result is the same. After the progress reaches almost 100% the process fails with a non zero exit code.

May I know whether I can do something? Thanks. Sarmadys (talk) 20:07, 13 October 2014 (UTC)

I have been trying to download a book that I compiled and every time I try to download, when it reaches 100%, this pops- up "Generation of document file has failed. STATUS: Rendering the process died with non zero code: 1". I have tried this over a few times and the results are still the same. I hope this problem can be solved in the near future. 119.94.5.46 (talk) 12:31, 17 December 2014 (UTC) Maue Zamora


I am having the same error, progress reaches almost 100% then fails with: "Rendering failed \ Generation of the document file has failed. \ Status: Rendering process died with non zero code: 1". — Preceding unsigned comment added by 50.0.63.254 (talk) 03:58, 21 December 2014 (UTC)

Infoboxes and tables do not appear in PDFs[edit]

I wonder why the infoboxes and tables do not appear in the PDF version of articles, after rendering. I tested a few articles in Wikipedias in English (en) and Portuguese (pt), and the problem persists in both versions. Thanks in advance! Fúlvio (talk) 22:41, 15 October 2014 (UTC)

Same problem on my Mac 10.6.8. PDF rendering worked fine till a couple of weeks ago, then consistently leaves out infoboxes and tables. Have I accidentally changed PDF preferences? Djbcjk (talk) 10:53, 19 October 2014 (UTC)

As you say, it doesn't work currently. There is a discussion at Wikipedia:Village pump (technical)/Archive 131#Download as PDF does not print infoboxes. PrimeHunter (talk) 17:08, 10 November 2014 (UTC)

Now when I go to 'Downland as PDF' it returns a message 'Book rendering failed'. What on earth is going on? Is anybody fixing this mess? Djbcjk (talk) 11:32, 26 November 2014 (UTC)

Looks like it went to village pump technical and got a kiss-off. Apparently they changed the software or something and are now hoping for magic volunteer genies to fix what WMF broke. But as I said there, this still a problem. The tables and infoboxes are still not appearing. I tried this on two different featured articles, and as anyone can see if you do a "download as pdf", critical information is omitted. On Appaloosa, where the breed infobox and a critical illustrated chart of coat color patterns is omitted, and on California Chrome the pdf version omits the infobox and a chart of all his racing statistics (material that is really not easy to render in a simple bulleted list.) I'd say that if WMF broke it, they need to fix is and not wait for volunteers to do it. Montanabw(talk) 20:19, 27 December 2014 (UTC)

bug: no way to disable multi-column output if one does'tn like it[edit]

Sample page: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Cross-origin_resource_sharing PDF is 2-column per page, while all PDFs used to be single column (at an indeterminate number of months in the past, maybe 1yr ago). There is no apparent way to select against this dictat. — Preceding unsigned comment added by 84.14.42.115 (talk) 08:30, 29 October 2014 (UTC)

Download as ZIM??[edit]

I just don't get why you guys removed the feature of downloading an article/book as a ZIM. It's so disappointing, bring it back for god's sake. PDF files are so large in size, takes Megabytes of size for one little article!! You say wikipedia is available offline as ZIM, then why remove it? Bring it back I beg you. — Preceding unsigned comment added by Sree has it (talkcontribs) 03:38, 4 November 2014 (UTC)
yes for me too.it will be very nice if zim feature is available so that we can use it on kiwix.but why you people removed that??? please add this feature The Help:Books page says that the option is enabled but is not true and I think it is necessary for all those who do not have internet access 24 hours.

ZIM has been disabled. Thanks for pointing out the obsolete information at Help:Books. I have updated a caption.[1] https://lists.wikimedia.org/pipermail/wikitech-ambassadors/2014-September/000955.html says: "As part of this change, we will disable ZIM and EPUB export for the time being."
Template talk:Saved book#Template-protected edit request on 10 October 2014 says: "The ePub, ZIM, and Pediapress entries in this template should be commented out (since there is a chance these features will reappear)".
That's all I know. I don't work on the software. PrimeHunter (talk) 17:23, 10 November 2014 (UTC)

EPUB format[edit]

What happened to the EPUB format? From a google search for this feature, it seems that it originally allowed EPUB format, but no current documentation seems to have any reference to EPUB whatsoever... 0x0077BE [talk/contrib] 17:47, 8 November 2014 (UTC)

EPUB was indeed allowed earlier but has been disabled. See #Download as ZIM?? above. PrimeHunter (talk) 17:25, 10 November 2014 (UTC)

Suggested pages[edit]

Why do we have to choose from a list of suggested pages: why is not possible to choose which page to add? I.e. what if I want to add a page that is NOT in this list of suggestions? Why this restriction? — Preceding unsigned comment added by Sclaes (talkcontribs)

When the book creator is active you should have a link saying "Add this page to your book" at top of any page which isn't already in the book. PrimeHunter (talk) 21:31, 25 November 2014 (UTC)