Mellel + ePub - your thoughts and requests

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Eyal Redler
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Mellel + ePub - your thoughts and requests

Post by Eyal Redler » Fri Nov 22, 2019 12:41 pm

We would love to hear your thoughts regarding epub and Mellel.
Some guiding questions:
a. Did you publish works with epub?
b. If so, how did you produce your epubs? What applications did you use (with or without Mellel), techniques etc.
c. Would adding epub export make Mellel more appealing to you? Is this an important feature for you?
d. What are the things you like and or dislike about the application/s you're currently using to produce epub?
e. Which features would you like to see in a Mellel epub export?
of-course, feel free to answer just a few of these questions or none at all but do let us know your thoughts and requests for epub with Mellel.
Eyal Redler
----------------------
Co-Founder and Developer at Mellel AAR LTD
Facebook: http://www.facebook.com/mellelwordprocessor
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Bulow
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Re: Mellel + ePub - your thoughts and requests

Post by Bulow » Fri Nov 29, 2019 11:03 am

a) No. I have for many years used Mellel for editing the classiscs journal AIGIS (http://aigis.igl.ku.dk/aigis/) which is in Scandinavian languages only. I use Mellel for in-house editing. Most articles I receive are, of course, in .docx and the import into Mellel is now very good. I then send out proofs, and finally publish, in pdf. I have never used ePub - in fact I had to look up what it is.
Since I do not use ePub, this takes care of the rest of the questions, but PLEASE, could I have Mellel to docx export? It has been promised for a long time, but still no signs of it.
Bülow

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Re: Mellel + ePub - your thoughts and requests

Post by ealvarez » Mon Dec 02, 2019 4:59 pm

I'm in the process of publishing a book written with Mellel. Not going to use the epub format immediately, but should I do it would surely be useful.

[Edit]

The professional working on the visual of my book told me that she likes Mellel. However, the issue is to export to InDesign. So, people still work with Word and I might have to buy it to ease my work in this process. Maybe “Exporting to Indesign” should be a priority before the ePub format.
Last edited by ealvarez on Tue Dec 03, 2019 3:23 pm, edited 1 time in total.

vinesy
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Re: Mellel + ePub - your thoughts and requests

Post by vinesy » Tue Dec 03, 2019 4:36 am

I made an eBook a couple of years ago,

I created an ePub in Pages.app. It did a good job of auto-creating a table of contents accessible through the iBooks menu, clickable footnotes, and allowed the first page to become a cover image.

From memory I then used Calibre.app to convert it to .mobi , for kindle. But from memory, first I had to do some manual html editing within calibre>edit book, to get the table of contents working properly in .mobi format.

Eyal Redler
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Re: Mellel + ePub - your thoughts and requests

Post by Eyal Redler » Wed Dec 11, 2019 2:53 pm

Thanks for the replies. I would like to encourage everyone reading to chime in. Even if all you have to say is that you would like/won't like to have ePub in Mellel.
Eyal Redler
----------------------
Co-Founder and Developer at Mellel AAR LTD
Facebook: http://www.facebook.com/mellelwordprocessor
YouTube: http://www.youtube.com/user/MellelRedlex

Icelander
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Re: Mellel + ePub - your thoughts and requests

Post by Icelander » Wed Dec 11, 2019 3:06 pm

Eyal Redler wrote:
Wed Dec 11, 2019 2:53 pm
I would like to encourage everyone reading to chime in.
Hello Eyal,

Judging from the number of replies, epub doesn't seem to be on the top of the wishlist. Wouldn't it be wiser to concentrate on true word processing enhancements that everybody needs and people have been repeatedly asking for here: such as Drop Caps, making the Remarks-field in the Outline searchable, and perhaps even more importantly, exportable. I have taken copious notes in the Remarks field, and later found out that I can't find that information again because it is hidden somewhere among the many Remarks. I know we can toggle showing Remarks, but that's not enough to quickly find what I'm looking for.

I also wished colors could be assigned to the items in the Outline, not just colored underlines.

I wish the Find and Replace box could be made floating so it could be moved around. Image caption is also desperately needed.

Wish I could search for paragraph styles; and I wish I could search for *two* or more character styles simultaneously (by using OR.)

My documents usually have several languages. I wish I were able to search for more than one langage at a time, for example "SWEDISH or GERMAN or NORWEGIAN". Presently this requires 3 different searches.

I wished I could vertically select text by holding the option key down and dragging the mouse (like in Nisus.) This is extremely useful if one needs to quickly remove numbers, for example, or leading spaces from the beginning of list-like paragraphs after import, i.e. those paragraphs that show up after import beginning with a number but that are not recognized as a list in Mellel. Example:
1. Text, text, text…
2. Text, text, text…
3. Text, text, text…
4. Text, text, text…
If these paragraphs are assigned a list style in Mellel, without manually removing the numbers first (or use time consuming Find and Replace), they would look like this:
1.1. Text, text, text…
2.2. Text, text, text…
3.3. Text, text, text…
4.4. Text, text, text…

I wished I could use Mellel for interlinear text, the same text in different languages printed on alternate lines.

I wished it were possible to search for characters preceded or followed by certain letters (see this thread <viewtopic.php?f=2&t=3653&p=19579&hilit=preceded#p19579>)

Most of all I wished an official person would read the messages posted here and help out when necessary. The posting frequency is extremely low (compared to the Nisus forum, for example.) One post every three or four weeks is now the norm, it seems. By such a low frequency it really wouldn't take much of your time to read the few posts and provide assistance when needed. Of 3307 forum members, only a handful of beginners are taking part in the discussion, mostly people writing their theses with Mellel; but as soon as they are finished with their theses, they vanish into thin air, obviously not more interested in sharing their experience and helping others. — The presence of an official person on the forum is also a strong motivational factor and should not be underestimated by the makers of Mellel.
Last edited by Icelander on Sun Feb 02, 2020 2:07 am, edited 1 time in total.

rwg
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Re: Mellel + ePub - your thoughts and requests

Post by rwg » Sat Dec 14, 2019 2:42 am

I would like to second the comments by Icelander. And I would also like to reiterate (yet again) my wish that Mellel would support Indic scripts.

Stefan Green
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Re: Mellel + ePub - your thoughts and requests

Post by Stefan Green » Sat Dec 14, 2019 7:28 pm

I also second the comments by Icelander, and add a wish for the function to split a document into two views for editing. This has been a request before several times but as far as I know no response from the Redlers.
/Stefan Green 8)

Et cetera
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Re: Mellel + ePub - your thoughts and requests

Post by Et cetera » Sun Dec 15, 2019 5:38 am

I also agree with the request that there be quick and efficient and helpful responses from official Mellel folks when an issue is posted in the forums. Fact is, if I had a problem, I don't know if I'd even post it here – seems as if the official Mellel folks don't do much to respond to them. I don't sense a responsiveness to the needs/wants of the users.

I think development resources would best be invested in bringing more features that have been requested frequently into the software.

I sense that the development of Mellel is not very much influenced by the needs of the users who post on this forum – maybe I'm wrong on that. There are some feature requests that are from years and years ago and seem (to me) to have good reasons and use cases behind them, but those requested features just don't ever seem to be included in the software's new versions. Some feature requests, have, thankfully, been addressed, but how many?

As for ePub, I have no need for it at this time. It doesn't seem that many others really need ePub, either. Or, maybe they just stopped visiting the forums since the chance of getting a response from the developers seems small.

Pharaoh
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Re: Mellel + ePub - your thoughts and requests

Post by Pharaoh » Sun Dec 15, 2019 4:37 pm

I believe that ePub is not an issue, at least not for me, still writing for a printed format. The ability to work with MS Word files should be a must. Also the ability to split documents will be a nice addition. I like Mellel for its interaction with Bookends, but I confess that some of the features of the software are still lagging behind MS Word.

MS Word is far from being the best academic word processor, but it it contains features that make difficult the passage to different kinds of word processors.

I cannot comment about the presence of moderators and Mellel team in this forum, but I understand that some features have been requested quite some time ago.

macsailor
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Re: Mellel + ePub - your thoughts and requests

Post by macsailor » Sun Dec 15, 2019 8:40 pm

Since I'm using my iPad Air 3 more and more, and my MBP not so often nowadays, I would very much like the iPad version of Mellel to be on par with the macOS version of Mellel.

I would very much like to have features like hyphenation, auto-title management, keyboard shortcuts, be able to create TOC from the auto-titles also within Mellel on my iPad.

It would also be nice to be able to sort the documents in different ways (date, name, size) in the Mellel folder and also be able to have subfolders within the Mellel iCloud folder (will be a lot easier to manage the hundreds of files there). I also want to be able to use the export features of the iPad version of Mellel for Mellel files that are stored outside the Mellel iCloud folder.

Spellchecking should be great to be able to activate and/or change between different languages from within Mellel iPad while typing. If it’s already working, I need to know how to use the feature.

I do not need features like ePub. I need features to be able to work with Mellel on both iPadOS and macOS on a daily basis.
Peter Edwardsson
..............................
Truth is not always popular, but it is always right.

Eyal Redler
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Re: Mellel + ePub - your thoughts and requests

Post by Eyal Redler » Tue Dec 17, 2019 9:11 am

Thanks for the comments. We hoped the discussion would focus on ePub rather than a general-requests thread but I'll comment on a few of the issues raised here.
Forum presence of a Mellel official: We are currently a bit short-handed and while we are monitoring the forum, we're not always able to respond. The main purpose of the forum was to allow discussion between users, and also allow users to help each other and not as direct support channel. For that we have our actual support channel which is accessible here www.mellel.com/support or by choosing Help->Support in Mellel. Still, point taken. We'll try to increase our presence in the forum.
Unfulfilled Request: When thinking about what to include in an update we need to strike a balance between things that existing users will be happy with (and recommend Mellel to others), things that will perhaps appeal to new users. The time needed to think of a feature and suggest it to us can be five minutes. Implementing the feature may take months. In other words, some backlog is inevitable. We don't expect you to make these considerations when requesting features - tell us what you need or want but please understand that we cannot fulfil any or all requests. Also, while a request for a feature that does what you need is just fine, we would really love to hear what you think others would like. What kind of things would new users to Mellel be expecting? What might effect their decision to use Mellel or not?
Mellel on iOS: The Mellel iOS app was initially designed as a companion to the Mac version and less as a stand-alone app. As a stand alone app its capabilities are more basic. Our plan was to bring the iOS version up to par with the Mac version. But the gap between the two did not shrink at the pace we hoped. We are planning to continue working on this, but the iOS platform poses some serious problems from a "business-plan" angle. Namely, it is impossible to charge for updates on the app-store, and the prices for apps on the store are typically very low. Mellel is currently selling for $20 on the iOS app store and while this is considered a high price point for an iOS app, it barely covers the mere cost of developing the app. There is another option — namely, subscriptions — but we're not sure this is a viable for an app that is not cloud centric. Would you be willing to pay for Mellel on iOS as a subscription?
ePub: We've received quite a few requests for ePub recently, some even in this forum so we were a bit surprised by the [non]-reponse to this thread. We started making Mellel in 2002, back when there were just printed books, and brick-and-mortar book stores. Kindle was born in 2007, and the landscape changed considerably since then, and Mellel needs to address the needs of people for which printing (or PDF) is the not the real or only final destination. We belive Mellel must expend to other relevant forms of publishing, and we thought ePub would be a natural starting point. Since ePub is also based on HTML, this also means that you'll be getting html support "for free." Perhaps we should have picked a different starting point for e-print? What do you think?
Please don't consider this as a thread terminator. To the contrary: it's a thread starter: let us know what you think. We're reading and will appreciate any input.
Eyal Redler
----------------------
Co-Founder and Developer at Mellel AAR LTD
Facebook: http://www.facebook.com/mellelwordprocessor
YouTube: http://www.youtube.com/user/MellelRedlex

Stefan Green
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Re: Mellel + ePub - your thoughts and requests

Post by Stefan Green » Tue Dec 17, 2019 1:49 pm

Thank you for your response, Eyal

I did try to answer your question about the need for ePub, and that it is not my need. I could have been more clear, but I motivated my answer by giving an example of what I really need in future upgrades of Mellel. Based on the fact that others have come with the same request of feature, that is, to be able to split a document for editing, I am not speaking for my own sake only but what others also need in the daily use of Mellel of long documents. I am writing my dissertation in Mellel, and I feel very secure that nothing will happen to that document that I have no control over when working with it. But being able to split such a large document for editing would save me some time and enable me to do a better job. So, my need right now is not ePub export, but other things. However, the export capabilities to MS Word (which is promised in future upgrades by you Eyal) will be very welcomed when it comes.
/Stefan Green 8)

Et cetera
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Re: Mellel + ePub - your thoughts and requests

Post by Et cetera » Wed Dec 18, 2019 5:58 am

Thank you, Eyal, for your response. It means a lot to me to know you are accessible and listening! Sometimes that means more than the actual features, since if one really "likes" an app, he's more likely to settle for workarounds to accomplish what needs to be done and stay with the app he likes.

I've not yet used the iOS app, but I can see that having a companion iOS app is very important for the future, and I might just use it sometime. If I had to travel more, I probably would use the iOS app. As for subscription models, hmm. They don't appeal to me, and when I do pay for a subscription I feel "trapped" and it lowers my estimation of the software (i.e., it lowers the "emotional capital" I feel for the software, and, hence, my willingness or zeal to recommend it to others). When there is a good, foolproof way to export from one format to another and "round-trip" the data, the dislike for subscriptions is lessened, since part of the fear of subscriptions is that one will lose access to his own data in the future since it's in a proprietary format.

I could see myself needing / wanting ePub within the next 10 years, but not now. But it would not seem that big a deal to me if I could just export to some other format or app (say, Calibre) and make the ePub that way. Does a word processor itself need to have its own native ePub export capabilities? I don't know. Is it something potential new users would really like? I don't know.

macsailor
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Re: Mellel + ePub - your thoughts and requests

Post by macsailor » Wed Dec 18, 2019 6:23 am

Eyal Redler wrote:
Tue Dec 17, 2019 9:11 am
Mellel on iOS: The Mellel iOS app was initially designed as a companion to the Mac version and less as a stand-alone app. As a stand alone app its capabilities are more basic. Our plan was to bring the iOS version up to par with the Mac version. But the gap between the two did not shrink at the pace we hoped. We are planning to continue working on this, but the iOS platform poses some serious problems from a "business-plan" angle. Namely, it is impossible to charge for updates on the app-store, and the prices for apps on the store are typically very low. Mellel is currently selling for $20 on the iOS app store and while this is considered a high price point for an iOS app, it barely covers the mere cost of developing the app. There is another option — namely, subscriptions — but we're not sure this is a viable for an app that is not cloud centric. Would you be willing to pay for Mellel on iOS as a subscription?
For me, a subscription is not an option. I always buy my licenses and upgrade to the next upgradeable versions when I need to.
Peter Edwardsson
..............................
Truth is not always popular, but it is always right.

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