Home » Tuck Talk » Announcements » Important new Tucknote at Ellen's
Important new Tucknote at Ellen's [message #5333] Wed, 19 September 2007 13:04 Go to next message
Erin Halfelven  is currently offline Erin Halfelven
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http://www.barkingduck.net/ehayes/ if you've forgotten. Smile

- Erin
Re: Important new Tucknote at Ellen's [message #5334] Wed, 19 September 2007 21:25 Go to previous messageGo to next message
rachel.greenham  is currently offline rachel.greenham
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And to think I had a nice clean HTML+CSS version (and software to make it) in 1992, that fixed all the quotes and everything... She didn't want it then. Razz Looks like the last time I ran it (probably to check if it still worked against newer chapters) was when Chapter 99 was the most recent...

Some techie observations...

Backups: Optical disks degrade, particularly consumer-grade writables/rewritables. They're not actually a good archival solution. As long as it's only for short-term rolling backups, probably OK. Personally I do it by rsync (from various machines of mine, and my family's now) to a server with lots of hard drives, although I've been toying with the idea of using a combination of cron, mad shell scripting and subversion to make a poor-person's Time Machine (for the non-Macs still in my domain).

Irony Ellen may appreciate: These days my primary work machine is a linux box again. This time it's Ubuntu, which is almost Debian but prettier and actually works. Razz

In more irony, I gave up on pretty wordprocessors and now write in glorious text of plain... But that's only because I found an easy way to make it pretty. Very Happy Have to say, importing it into OpenOffice wasn't it; and it was the first thing I tried, although not with print in mind... All right if you're only going to do it once. Once you've imported, and done all the cleanup, consider that your master. You won't want to do it again.

I would agree, that OpenOffice suffers from trying a bit too hard not to be too scarily different for people already used to MS Office. Sad You know, there was always LaTeX. You know Tuck would approve. Very Happy Can be a right bastard if you don't grok it (I never really got that far, but I did try LyX for a good long while) but the typesetting is reputedly superb.

Oh, I switched to plaintext not just to make it pretty; it also let me use subversion for revision control (doubling as backup to my colo box) and to keep things in sync across the different machines I write on, including the phone...

Hm, let's see, what else?

OpenOffice has its own direct PDF export sitting in the File menu. I presume this was tried and found to be lacking in some way? I know my dad used it when he printed a book through Lulu and it seemed to come out OK to my eyes. He might have been keeping (strictly or accidentally) to Lulu's standard fonts though, which looks like it would make things simpler. It might save a lot of hassle if you first decide whether Lulu's standard fonts are sufficient; if they are, it all seems to become much easier. But I also note in the FAQ that he (the FAQwriter) does show a way to print to PS direct from OpenOffice with font-embedding... I saw the FAQ linked to from Lulu says they switched to only accepting Adobe-generated PDFs, but it's more than a year old and Lulu's own site doesn't say that, so maybe they backtracked on that one, as it seems now only to be "recommended".

Of course, if you have Distiller available, and you can make the workflow smooth, then you might as well... Smile

OpenOffice 2 can open, work on, and save, OpenOffice 1 files. You can even make it its default, I believe. (Tools->Options->Load/Save->General->Always save as...) Still, managing the upgrade is probably to be preferred anyway. I don't know of any specific ones, but there may be limitations on the older format that might bite you.

I agree about the artwork difficulties; the loss of Pacchi hurts. Sad


Rachel
Re: Important new Tucknote at Ellen's [message #5335] Wed, 19 September 2007 22:15 Go to previous messageGo to next message
rachel.greenham  is currently offline rachel.greenham
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Also, heh, you know I said it should be possible to go directly from HTML with CSS to PDF (using a media=print stylesheet)? Well, now I think that even more, because these guys did it, and not using a browser as a HTML-PDF tool, but by using an application called Prince. Does font-embedding too (but only takes Truetype or OpenType-encapsulated TTF fonts).

Looks good to me, and free (as in beer) at the level you'd need it. (I think all licenses have the same capabilities; they differ on how you want to deploy the application, on a server, site-license, etc. One person using it interactively is free.)

I think, if Lulu (or similar) can take the file, that's what I'd do, if I was trying to do this. Smile It does mean learning CSS, but it's probably less frustrating than OpenOffice; especially as you don't have to make it work on Internet Explorer Smile


Rachel
Re: Important new Tucknote at Ellen's [message #5336] Wed, 19 September 2007 22:16 Go to previous messageGo to next message
Sir Lee  is currently offline Sir Lee
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rachel.greenham wrote on Wed, 19 September 2007 22:25

And to think I had a nice clean HTML+CSS version (and software to make it) in 1992,


That's REALLY amazing! Can you lend me your time machine? I would like to get a copy of Tuck #200... Laughing


Don't call me Shirley. You will surely make me surly.
Re: Important new Tucknote at Ellen's [message #5338] Wed, 19 September 2007 23:17 Go to previous messageGo to next message
Ellen Hayes  is currently offline Ellen Hayes
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rachel.greenham wrote on Thu, 20 September 2007 02:25

And to think I had a nice clean HTML+CSS version (and software to make it) in 1992, that fixed all the quotes and everything... She didn't want it then.

For the inadvertently clueless, Rachel is being... sarcastic? Ironic? (evil? terroristic?)
Because I didn't start writing Tuck until 1996, and that was long before it was put up on the Internet.

rachel.greenham wrote on Thu, 20 September 2007 02:25

Backups: Optical disks degrade, particularly consumer-grade writables/rewritables. They're not actually a good archival solution.

But they do work FAR better than the usual method most people use, which is "hope that it doesn't break, and then pay someone to fix it if it does break".

rachel.greenham wrote on Thu, 20 September 2007 02:25

I would agree, that OpenOffice suffers from trying a bit too hard not to be too scarily different for people already used to MS Office. Sad

Bug for bug compatible!

rachel.greenham wrote on Thu, 20 September 2007 02:25

You know, there was always LaTeX. You know Tuck would approve. Very Happy

And what I don't know, is what Lulu's ever-so-carefully-delimited-as-Not-Us (and therefore Lulu can disclaim most knowledge and all responsibility) physical printers for some options, would do with such a thing. If I COULD do it in LaTeX, I would. What I do NOT want to do is fiddle around with hoping that multiple conversions actually work.

rachel.greenham wrote on Thu, 20 September 2007 02:25

OpenOffice has its own direct PDF export sitting in the File menu. I presume this was tried and found to be lacking in some way?

I'm not going to spend $20 per idea seeing what works and what doesn't (and how well each one does versus the others, for specific things...). If you want to do some experimentation, with your money and your time and your texts, PLEASE do. I can't be the only one out there who would like to know the results, and has found Lulu less than responsive.

rachel.greenham wrote on Thu, 20 September 2007 02:25

But I also note in the FAQ that he (the FAQwriter) does show a way to print to PS direct from OpenOffice with font-embedding...

That's what I was thinking.

rachel.greenham wrote on Thu, 20 September 2007 02:25

I saw the FAQ linked to from Lulu says they switched to only accepting Adobe-generated PDFs, but it's more than a year old and Lulu's own site doesn't say that

Lulu's own site says that, for the used-to-be-called-Global Distribution program (which is what I'm looking at), you MUST purchase a printed proof copy before allowing it to be bought by others; and then if you change things you have to buy another proof copy.
It doesn't seem entirely paranoid to actually think they haven't bothered to write down the correct answer to this, as not saying anything allows them some claim to innocence and increases their revenue. They seem unresponsive generally on their own forum.

rachel.greenham wrote on Thu, 20 September 2007 02:25

OpenOffice 2 can open, work on, and save, OpenOffice 1 files.

That was the hope.

rachel.greenham wrote on Thu, 20 September 2007 02:25

Still, managing the upgrade is probably to be preferred anyway. I don't know of any specific ones, but there may be limitations on the older format that might bite you.

I'd expect there are. And yes, it would be preferable... but it's entirely possible that the "new installer" that OpenOffice2 wanted, is not available for Win98SE, and I'm not going to install another @$*&@# version of Windoze just to do this.
At least this way, I don't have to deal with WINDOZE's stupidity until later in the process, and RELATIVELY little at that.

rachel.greenham wrote on Thu, 20 September 2007 02:25

I agree about the artwork difficulties; the loss of Pacchi hurts. Sad

*sighs* Just two dozen good pix... is that too much to ask? =)


Ellen
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Re: Important new Tucknote at Ellen's [message #5340] Thu, 20 September 2007 05:23 Go to previous messageGo to next message
rachel.greenham  is currently offline rachel.greenham
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Ellen Hayes wrote on Thu, 20 September 2007 04:17

rachel.greenham wrote on Thu, 20 September 2007 02:25

And to think I had a nice clean HTML+CSS version (and software to make it) in 1992, that fixed all the quotes and everything... She didn't want it then.

For the inadvertently clueless, Rachel is being... sarcastic? Ironic? (evil? terroristic?)


try 'idiotic'. Embarassed

Quote:


Because I didn't start writing Tuck until 1996, and that was long before it was put up on the Internet.


Utter brainfart on my part. 2002 of course. Smile It was late when I wrote that line. Smile


Rachel
Re: Important new Tucknote at Ellen's [message #5341] Thu, 20 September 2007 10:00 Go to previous messageGo to next message
Ellen Hayes  is currently offline Ellen Hayes
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I rechecked Lulu this morning, and page
http://www.lulu.com/help/index.php?fSymbol=distro_requirements
claims that: "Text must be an Adobe distilled PDF. (if you provide your own PDF it must be distilled using Adobe; if you upload a word processing document, Lulu will distill it using Adobe.)" {parenthesis in original; see the section headed "Book Interiors"}
Zo. They may be lying or out of date, but...


Ellen
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Re: Important new Tucknote at Ellen's [message #5348] Thu, 20 September 2007 14:00 Go to previous messageGo to next message
Erin Halfelven  is currently offline Erin Halfelven
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Three years ago, I did the "Kelly Girl" book with a Mac-generated .pdf for what that info is worth.

- Erin
Re: Important new Tucknote at Ellen's [message #5350] Thu, 20 September 2007 14:52 Go to previous messageGo to next message
rachel.greenham  is currently offline rachel.greenham
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Erin Halfelven wrote on Thu, 20 September 2007 19:00

Three years ago, I did the "Kelly Girl" book with a Mac-generated .pdf for what that info is worth.

- Erin


Yes, I imagine this may be a Lulu-specific issue, and I can kind of see where they're coming from. Every time a customer raises a dispute because something didn't quite come out the way they wanted, and they'd produced the PDF using - god-knows-what - it comes out of their profit margins. Add to that, the way, presumably, the actual print-work is contracted out to diverse printers all over the world, and being able to specify a very strict standard becomes, I'm sure, very enticing.

I happen to think they could do it better. They could, for instance, have an online facility for registered customers that lets them upload a PDF and it rasterises it to a high-resolution TIFF (or PNG I suppose, these days) and by having the software that does that accurately reflect what their printers would do, given the PDF, you could allow the customer to discover and resolve these issues, or discover they can't with their current PDF creating software, by themselves; or at least sign off on it that it's their responsibility as long as the print matches the preview.

But... they're not doing that, and you have to live by their rules or find someone else; and I'm not sure anyone else has Lulu.com's global reach.

If one were to persist with my preferred solution (which has the benefit of being scriptable and not having to mess about with OpenOffice), it seems as if a Prince-generated PDF would be loadable into Adobe Acrobat itself, and then saved (and thus converted to an Adobe-blessed form) from there. That seems to be the way to get XHTML/CSS content to print through Lulu.com. But Acrobat is an annoying amount of money to have to spend just to use as a rubber-stamp on an already-perfectly-good PDF. Sad It looks like the makers of Prince rather stupidly removed Postscript-output as an option from their software; stupidly because it would have entirely resolved this.

Hm, use Adobe Acrobat Reader to print to Postscript and upload that? Very Happy That might be the least offensively inefficient and expensive solution (assuming it works)...


Rachel
Re: Important new Tucknote at Ellen's [message #5353] Thu, 20 September 2007 15:31 Go to previous message
Ellen Hayes  is currently offline Ellen Hayes
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Erin Halfelven wrote on Thu, 20 September 2007 19:00

Three years ago, I did the "Kelly Girl" book with a Mac-generated .pdf for what that info is worth.

Unfortunately, it's worth zero.
You did not use the then-named Global Distribution (now either "Printed By Lulu" or "Printed By You"). That has stricter requirements - in fact, the ones I outlined - than the normal sell-ONLY-through-Lulu.com books.

I really want to offer this through Amazon, B&N, Borders, etc. both online purchase and through-special-order.


Ellen
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