Talk:Reading/Web/PDF Functionality

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About this board

About giving feedback

Update: (15 July 2019) We’ve launched the new PDF renderer. We’re looking at feedback, but haven't so far seen any significant issues. We might incorporate some suggestions, but want to note that this is not an ongoing project with continuous development. In other words, now that it's deployed and proven to work, the new renderer is entering maintenance mode. This page won’t be abandoned, but it could take a while before anyone reacts, simply because everyone's got so much else to do.  

In terms of books, we've left it in the hands of volunteer developers and PediaPress. We'll be glad to reach out to them with questions, but we're not planning any involvement in terms of the technical implementation.

Gemlog (talkcontribs)

I did read the warning at the top, but the update said it was working and deployed, so I went ahead and made a book.

I can't choose a download format (greyed out), so I can't d/l a pdf (also greyed out).

And I can't save all my work to my user location of User:Gemlog/Books/ nor to

Both produce an API error.

[Xb@-swpAIC4AALGGnJMAAAAS] 2019-11-04 06:05:39: Fatal exception of type "ApiUsageException"

I can, of course, give money to PediaPress. That link works perfectly and the books look amazing.

It would be a wonderful thing if the pdf worked like the July 2019 note says though...

Dirk Hünniger (talkcontribs)

any rendering functionality of books or collection to any downloadable format has been decommissioned. Any funds for any development of a replace or repair of any such functionality have been withdrawn. To say it the German language used by the miners in the area I live in: "Et is im Aasch". I try to develop a free alternative in my free time without any funding. Good Luck

Gemlog (talkcontribs)

Thank you very much for replying me!

The note to the right of this page is extremely misleading to say the least. Well. Now I know not to bother.

However, I may have just learned of a new tool! So there's that :-)

KDE Neon can't find wb2pdf with apt, but I'll find it.

Thanks again!

Steelpillow (talkcontribs)

The page pdf renderer has been updated and deployed, the Book pdf renderer has been decommissioned. On a Book page this can be misleading, as the "Download as PDF" link only downloads the page and not the whole book. On the other hand, it should not be greyed out and you should also be able to save your new page to your user pages or the Book: namespace as desired.

If your experience differs from this, can you give more precise details?

Another volunteer is writing a new Book pdf renderer and says they will release it as open source for us, but we have been waiting a long time.

Gemlog (talkcontribs)


I pasted the errors I received into the first post I made ;-)

Gemlog (talkcontribs)

Also, I see that the misleading box on the right of this page that I was referring to is now gone, so... yay :-)

Steelpillow (talkcontribs)

Still we need more precise information. I cannot find a book "PDF Download" option you say is greyed out. Can you give the url of the page you see it on? Or, is it the "Download as PDF" Print/export option in the lefthand menu (which is for article download, not whole books)? Was it perhaps in the strange misleading dialog that vanished? If you do not tell us accurately where it is, we cannot diagnose it for you!

Again, when you received the error message you pasted, was this in the Book Creator when you tried to save the book? I just created and saved a new book and it all worked fine. Did you add any extra code to your book, such as chapter headings or meta-information? If you post a list of the articles in your book, I can try to see if it will work for me.

Guentheralex (talkcontribs)

In Book Creator, there is a "PDF Download" option in a box to the lower right that is greyed out and cannot be used. There is really no simpler way to explain it.

Steelpillow (talkcontribs)

Do you you mean the "Download" box which offers several formats besides PDF? In English, quote marks indicate exact wording. Yes, as I explained above, that is meant to be greyed out.

Otherwise, please post or email me a screenshot to show the option I am not seeing on my PC.

Guentheralex (talkcontribs)

In English, superfluous pedantry is insulting. Please insert that in your "Download" box. Thank you.

Steelpillow (talkcontribs)

My apologies, no insult is intended. I suppose that my approach to problem diagnosis is highly pedantic, but I get better results that way. May I take it that you have no problem with this software which remains to be diagnosed.

Reply to "PDF download is greyed out"
Steelpillow (talkcontribs)

There is a proposal to Suppress rendering of Template:Wikipedia books on the English Wikipedia.

The accompanying discussion is suggesting that support for the longstanding PediaPress print-on-demand service should be removed because it is a pay-for service. I am sure that the WMF have some arrangement with PediaPress about this, and the last I heard PediaPress were also working on a replacement PDF renderer. Then there is Dirk Huenniger's MediWiki2LaTeX which is currently hosted by wmflabs at both and . Although the current proposal does not affect them immediately, it is also being argued that no support for any external services should be given. That would reduce the current Wikipedia Books function to nothing more than passive reading lists.

You are invited to join the discussion. Steelpillow (talk) 10:28, 6 September 2019 (UTC)

Reply to "Wikipedia Books discussion"

mediawiki2latex server now parallel

Dirk Hünniger (talkcontribs)
Steelpillow (talkcontribs)

Can you clarify, do you mean that the two servers can run in parallel or that each server can run multiple conversion requests in parallel?

Dirk Hünniger (talkcontribs)

the large server can run up to two requests in parallel. The normal can run up to four requests in parallel.

Reply to "mediawiki2latex server now parallel"

The benefits to PediaPress of Going Open Source

MJL (talkcontribs)

@Ckepper asked about the potential benefits of PediaPress going open source with this project in this thread. I wanted to give them some good takeaways to bring back to their company as it relates to this specific project.

Commercialization of a given project is an important reason to want to keep it closed source. However, I believe it would impede the success of the renderer long term were it to remain closed source. As things stand, I do not think it will be as successful as Extension:Collection because, for starters, it would not be free to install for most. Small wikis would not be able to afford much in licensing. Open source also instills a kind of trust that any large company, nonprofit, or single individual can rely on. It shows you are so confident with your product that you will extend that to showing it for the world to see in its most basic form: code.

On a different note, as is reported on the company's website, "[you] offer consulting, customization, and support for advanced document transformation solutions." This is nothing small right here, and I am confident in that business model. If, however, you believe otherwise, there is still ways to protect copyright without going closed source. In this case, I would look to Chromium for guidance in what potential path you can take. Not every one of your ideas needs to be included in an open source repository, so you can still maintain the parts you want secret or just to yourselves.

The principle rendering service should, however, be available to the public to do bug tests and the like. It's a win-win. Consulting and customization are where the real money is anyways. You could also branch into hosting this rendering service for others similar to how you already offer print-on-demand books to any mediawiki-wiki. Wikis will always need to pay for this if they want the product beyond what is already offered out there.

Finally, it is a strong selling point for a company with such strong ties to the open-source movement! I hope this helps you make the right decision on this matter.

Ckepper (talkcontribs)

Thank you for your comment. After talking with colleagues and other stakeholders, we have made the decision to release mwlib.html as open source when the project is sufficiently mature. This should help to ensure its long-term viability.

Also, I enabled the new render server so that rendering on should work again (and be more stable).

MJL (talkcontribs)

That's awesome news! Major thanks goes out to your organisation for its willingness to do that. If there is anything you all need from the community (like press releases*, bug testing, etc.) please reach out! I just tried the collector on Simple:Spooky Scary Skeletons, and I think it really looks great!! Very elegant! :D

*I run Wikisource News (en) now, so I can help with publishing and writing it!

Ckepper (talkcontribs)

I have added Wikibooks (en) and Wikisource (en) to the test renderer. The output is still far from perfect but PediaPress was never able to generate PDFs from those sites before.

Helmoony (talkcontribs)

Hi @Ckepper, is it possible for you to add Wikipedia (ar), Wikibooks (ar) and Wikisource (ar). It's going to be a good test for right-to-left issues.

Ckepper (talkcontribs)

Hi @Helmoony, I have added Wikipedia (ar). A few years ago (for Wikimania Haifa 2011) we created a LTR export with our old PDF renderer and that was really painful - especially since no one on our team knew Hebrew. You can start playing around with the export, but this is definitely not a priority for us right now.

Helmoony (talkcontribs)

Thank you Ckepper, I tested the version, it's not working great. When it doesn't show ''Failed to load PDF document.'', errors are mainly: text format should start from right, wikidata-based infoboxes are not showing wikidata data including OSM-based map, some terms need to be translated (e.g. Image Sources, Licenses and Contributors). But at least we know what we need to do now.

MarkAHershberger (talkcontribs)

The render worked for me just now for arwiki. There are still some RTL issues, but I didn't see the "Failed to load" issue.

Is the source available so that we can contribute?

Ckepper (talkcontribs)

Not yet, I'd like to clean it up a little bit before making it available.

MarkAHershberger (talkcontribs)

I hope you can release it soon. The book functionality is needed! Thank you for your quick reply!

Ckepper (talkcontribs)

I hear you. Maybe I don't do the full cleanup to publish it sooner.

MarkAHershberger (talkcontribs)

That would be awesome! Ugly code that works is better than no code.

MarkAHershberger (talkcontribs)

There are, among those of us who use MediaWiki to run KM systems outside of Wikipedia, some absolutely essential extensions whose code is hideous.

I'm glad you want clean code, but I would hope that you can release the code as soon as possible and then clean up the code later.

Steelpillow (talkcontribs)

Yes, absolutely. A buggy alpha release v0.01 is better than no release at all. Thank you so much for keeping on with this work.

Reply to "The benefits to PediaPress of Going Open Source"

Including Capability for right-to-left Langauges (Arabic)

Sky xe (talkcontribs)

Hello team,

I tried to creat a book by exporting Arabic wiki pages using the PediaPress previw, as it was not possible to download directly as pdf for the moment due to bug. However, I noticed that the whole content is aligned left-to-right, although it comes from a right-to-left language (Arabic). Would it be possible to consider that and use the "open-righ" function as well (if not done yet)?

Best thanks

Reply to "Including Capability for right-to-left Langauges (Arabic)"

Please install additional font on the pdf services for CJK characters.

Viztor (talkcontribs)

Default font looks terrible. Source Hans Sans + Source Hans Serif would be a great option. All it takes is to install the font set.

Tgr (WMF) (talkcontribs)
Reply to "Please install additional font on the pdf services for CJK characters." (talkcontribs)

Come on already.  Every single app out there supports PDF.  How difficult is this? The whole paper usage while printing is a total red herring.

Dirk Hünniger (talkcontribs)

Looking at the last paragraph the update on 15 of July it is very clear that there is currently no development going on in rendering books in any downloadable format, in particular including PDF. Furthermore it is also stated there, that no such development is currently planned.

If you refer to mediawikil2atex (one hour ≈ 200 pages in PDF) with your comment on paper usage, I can assure you that the limit is necessary since the hardware resources allocated by WMF together with the current implementation of mediawiki2latex don't reasonably allow for converting significantly bigger documents.

Still the downloadable command line version of mediawkiki2latex does not include any such limits, and should be able to fulfil everyone needs in terms of PDF size on a reasonably priced personal computer made for consumer use.

Reply to "No updates since June?"

¿Cuándo va a estar disponible la opción de descargar libros? Ya lleva mucho tiempo sin funcionar.

2 (talkcontribs)

Hace mucho tiempo que no está disponible la posibilidad de descargar libros creados, pero el aviso dice que el proceso será breve. ¿Qué entienden por "breve"? ¿Cuándo estará de nuevo disponible esa opción. Gracias.

Dirk Hünniger (talkcontribs)

El trabajo en esta función ha sido descontinuado. No está claro si alguna vez habrá tal función nuevamente. Hay un proyecto de código abierto que intenta resolver el problema de forma independiente.

Reply to "¿Cuándo va a estar disponible la opción de descargar libros? Ya lleva mucho tiempo sin funcionar."
2A01:CB00:865C:AE00:B9:47D3:8F37:7153 (talkcontribs)

Très simple : vous n'avez qu'à aller sur la "version imprimable" et demander que le texte soit imprimer en version pdf.... Cela fonctionne sans aucun souci .En tout cas, sur Mac...

Reply to "Pb avec le téléchargement PDF"

2001:16B8:5C64:FA00:C0BE:7F14:48C8:A226 (talkcontribs)
2001:16B8:5C64:FA00:C0BE:7F14:48C8:A226 (talkcontribs)

However, the EPUB book download is legibly complete at least.

Reply to ""