Talk:Reading/Web/PDF Functionality

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Please read Reading/Web/PDF Functionality and comment on the plans we lay out there, to tell us what you need from the PDF service. We're especially interested in what you need in the future that doesn't exist in the plans laid out there – if there's a bug with something that should work right now (e.g. you get an error message when you try to create a PDF), we need to fix it, of course, but that would have been on the agenda anyway.

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Recent problems in printing out Wikipedia RDT line templates

Xenophon Philosopher (talkcontribs)

I am now informed that owing to what appears to be some life-expired Wikipedia equipment, it is now only possible to print out such templates as a PDF instead of the printability version that existed until recently. What is the truth of the matter and if that be the case, will Wikipedia obtain equipment to allow the printing out as before.?

TheDJ (talkcontribs)

Where are you getting this information, because it's not true. Also, if you have a problem with a type of content, please LINK to an article and the template in question, so that people can look at it.

Xenophon Philosopher (talkcontribs)

I think that Jc86035 is also addressing parts of the points that I endeavour to make, in his recent comments on this page.

Johan (WMF) (talkcontribs)

Or use a screenshot to show what the problem is. (: The one thing that's been removed for now is the ability to create PDF books by combining articles and then turn them into a PDF. How other services you use look might have changed a bit, though.

(It's not equipment per se, it's just that code doesn't live forever. It ages, for various reasons.)

Xenophon Philosopher (talkcontribs)

I note your final sentence above and indeed it is the code, not the equipment, that seems to have been the problem. I would like it noted that I regard the PDF sanserif print typeface as a retrograde step when compared to the typeface used in the printable version on the RDT templates.

Xenophon Philosopher (talkcontribs)

I am sorry if I have not expressed myself with clarity. My main complaint is the "Printable Version" option no longer seems to exist on the various Wikipedia RDT template options that were once so readily available, Whilst not many seem to use this facility, I actually do use it in tasks that I perform.


TheDJ (talkcontribs)

> My main complaint is the "Printable Version" option no longer seems to exist

Hmm, i don't remember we changed anything about the presence of printable version/Print page, but there is indeed no printable version link on Template pages... That seems like a bug.

Xenophon Philosopher (talkcontribs)

Is this a bug that can be fixed, so the "printable version" on RDT templates can be made available.

Reply to "Recent problems in printing out Wikipedia RDT line templates"

click the pdf download link in aside,then there is no way to Modify default language

ImAmelie (talkcontribs)

click the pdf download link in aside,then there is no way to Modify default language

Reply to "click the pdf download link in aside,then there is no way to Modify default language"
Jc86035 (talkcontribs)
  • Images are shown at far too low a resolution for print documents (should have maybe doubled or quadrupled resolution).
  • Sometimes not all the images are downloaded and the page has to be reloaded and purged for the PDF to be rendered properly.
  • There is extremely weird spacing and kerning for me; maybe this is because the documents aren't actually supposed to be rendered with the Liberation fonts. References being floated on top of text, characters being given zero(?) width, and so on. I am using macOS 10.13 but downloaded the Liberation fonts separately.
  • The hlist class should not be rendered smaller than other text because it is frequently used next to non-hlist text in infoboxes and templates. Most of the use cases for making it smaller (navboxes and sidebars) are hidden from PDF downloads anyway so it is not necessary here IMO.
  • On some template pages with no text and a floated table (e.g. RDTs), the licensing text appears next to the rest of the content and there appear to be two thick black horizontal lines below the header. Is this deliberate?
TheDJ (talkcontribs)

Can you please link to examples and per case specify if it was a 'download as PDF' or normal print ?

Jc86035 (talkcontribs)

@TheDJ All of these were from "download as PDF". Regular "printable version" was not changed along with the move to Electron, AFAIK.

  • The first two were on w:en:Template:Tsuen Wan Line RDT but any page with pictures would do (although it might be difficult to reproduce the image placeholder). All images are clearly pixelated, but this is particularly bad with BSicons since the details are very fine to begin with and some of them were not drawn to match the 20×20 grid (but some match the 40×40 grid better). (Naturally with SVGs using the original SVG instead of a PNG would be better, but this would be problematic because librsvg renders them differently to basically everything else, so errors would pop up in some files.)
  • The third and fourth were on w:en:Songs About Jane. The third is on every page (it appears in the licensing text), and the fourth is on many musical album articles.
  • The fifth seems to have been fixed in the meantime but would have appeared on w:en:Template:Political corruption sidebar.

In addition, I was inexplicably unable to download w:en:Special:ElectronPdf/Songs About Jane for at least five minutes (it never completed) but downloaded it through Tor in about half a minute. This was also the case for every other page I tested today; maybe this is my ISP or the WMF's servers in the Asia region.

Another issue is that there are thin white lines between the images in the RDT, which usually shouldn't happen. This is probably because the rounding on the image transform functions is a bit off (though I might be wrong since I'm looking at the PDF file through Inkscape, which converted it to an SVG).

If Phabricator bugs are filed I will upload images there.

TheDJ (talkcontribs)

> Regular "printable version" was not changed along with the move to Electron, AFAIK.

It was, it got new styling as well, as announced on the village pumps.

  • image resolution: I think this is dpi mismatch between image and print.. We should probably check if dpi is set correctly, and if it is perhaps possible to get the higher res retina versions of images. And indeed using the SVG version for should be looked into (but that's not an new issue). Not sure if this is due to the new styling, or due to electron
  • That's a serious problem... Maybe it has to do with the image fallback chain... Likely an Electron problem.
  • I can definitely reproduce the kerning issues: I don't remember this in the old stylesheets+electron, so presume it has something to do with the font selection now being different after the new styles. We might be missing a font (or font variant) on the rendering server.
  • Are you referring to the size of the dot here ????
  • The fifth I fixed locally on en.wp already and should come to other other wikis in the future.

The white lines.. is probably hard to fix. I think it's a subpixel rendering problem of the PDF engine of Electron...

Jc86035 (talkcontribs)

I believe the print styling for enwiki was actually mostly changed in July, but I don't think it was announced until last month or so. Not a lot of bugs popped up, aside from some spacing errors in RDTs (I think).

  • For the fourth: No, the size of the text (in the track listing). The hlist text is slightly smaller than the regular text, which doesn't look very good since {{hlist}} was omitted for the single-item cells.
TheDJ (talkcontribs)

A found it. Due to '.vector-experimental-print-styles ul li' changing the font sizes for lists, which does not account for hlist being an inline list.. Seems a bit dangerous rule in general, as li is also used for galleries and a few other things... If need be, we can fix it specifically for en.wp (as hlist is en.wp specific). But hm... not sure what's the best course here....

Jc86035 (talkcontribs)

Is hlist enwiki-only? FWIW there's a liste-horizontale on frwiki which seems to do roughly the same thing (and there are always cases of templates and probably CSS classes being mass-exported to other wikis). I think you could plausibly get away with making the text smaller only if the list isn't inside a table or div, but I'm not sure what side effects there would be. Alternately you could apply the rule only to "galleries and a few other things" and not to other lists.

Reply to "Problems"
2007Nasir (talkcontribs)

Sometimes the feature don't get downloaded and many downloaded features can't get opened.

Please solve the problem.

However many many thanks to wikipedia team. (talkcontribs)

The table of cabinet members in the John F Kennedy article came out narrow.

Glymmung (talkcontribs)

the file does not open

Reply to "File Opening Problem"
Manuel7703030 (talkcontribs)

When I try to download the documents sometimes I don't see the option of download with two columns, but other than that, I'm very apleased with the function, thanks Wikipedia!

Johan (WMF) (talkcontribs)

Thank you. Please do be aware that we're unfortunately removing one of the functions because of maintenance and security problems.

Reply to "I had some problems"
2001:DA8:D800:139:2EC7:264B:EB1F:813A (talkcontribs)

I do not have a reliable Internet connection, but I do want to read Wikipedia pages. Book Creator is just what I want. Please fix it soon! Thanks!

Johan (WMF) (talkcontribs)

We're working on it.

Reply to "Desperate for Book Creator"

Cannot copy or save the document for use later

6 (talkcontribs)

There is no capability to save the document for later use. the save button is inactive. This is a huge issue for continuing to use this site.

Ingenuity Arts (talkcontribs)

I have had the same problem. The print book links take me to the book publishing page, etc. and seem to work just fine. The download page, however, shows a greyed out, non-functioning link.

I've just started exploring the book function and think it's a great idea.

Var-sasha (talkcontribs)


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Reply to "Cannot copy or save the document for use later" (talkcontribs)

The section with the contributors on the last page of a 2-column document expands to the whole width of the document instead of also being 2 half-size columns.

This comment was hidden by Gpc62 (history)
Reply to "Contibutors on 2-column-document"

What about bringing back ePub as a download option?

Deltaquadboi (talkcontribs)

Downloading PDFs is great and all, but it's easier to read an ePub book on a cell phone while on the go than PDFs.

Dirk Hünniger (talkcontribs)

epub featuer allready works. See here

Evanwolf (talkcontribs)

@Dirk Hünniger, I don't see any mention of epub at the page you mention.

I second, @Deltaquadboi's desire for books in epub and kindle formats.

Dirk Hünniger (talkcontribs)

in the combo box "Output Format" choose "Epub"

Var-sasha (talkcontribs)

+ (talkcontribs)

What is the tool chain used? Both the DocBook and DITA can support conversion on the fly to epub, ODT, DJVU, CHM, and other similar formats.

Wikipedia must have an option for epub. It opens up WP to a bunch of attached book readers, and is the only way I can read longer articles on my phone. It also makes import into calligra more accurate, since PDF botches line endings.

Reply to "What about bringing back ePub as a download option?" (talkcontribs)

Today it is missing...

Johan (WMF) (talkcontribs)

Hi, see Reading/Web/PDF Functionality.

Reply to "where is the two column option?"