The Travails of Cafe Alpha

11 Sep

Hey there!

This is not an update post! If it is, the title would be different now. 

Hahaha... anyways.


Well, for starters, i wouldn't be doing this if the current epubs aggregators are satisfactory to read. Well, particularly to wuxia novels. Okay, back to the point.

Nowadays, there are plenty of aggregators that one can use to create their own epubs. Chrome or firefox extensions. Then there's another in github and other similar sites. There's even one in the android, also in Discord. And, in a way, that's good. Some works well, and others are just messy to use. Still, beyond all the bells and whistles, it gets the main job done.

Having said all that, it should have been enough to break the camel's back, right?

Some are already content with the quality they produce. I'm not mad. I've been there before. I even have a couple of epubs, mostly japanese novels, right now. 

Have i read it? Not yet. Will i read it? ..... i think the more appropriate question is, when will i have the time to read it? Between the time i have in a day, i spend close to 11 hours for work (including travel time), another 2 hours for physical activities (exercise, workout, etc.), another hour for personal time and/or meals, and the remaining time will be consumed either 1) studying (a new language),  2) leisure (i own a switch, currently playing dragon quest builders), 3) social life 4) updating the epubs, before i go to sleep. The list was in the order of priority, btw. And my remaining time is usually 2 hours before i stop myself and go to sleep.

I think it's safe to say that i'm not really satisfied with the output of the aggregators. If you want a quick read or two, or just want to read the content without minding the other details, then that's fine. I did that for a while, but was jarred at the experience of reading one. Needless to say, that was one of the reasons why i created my own. Plus among others...

  • Inconsistency
    • some have repeating titles
    • chapters within the epubs contains different formats
    • there are extra baggages such as author's notes (subjective, i know. but most are irrelevant)
    • lazy footnotes
  • Glaring errors
    • halfway while you're reading the chapter, you're greeted with gibberish characters.
    • worst experience ever
  • Missing chapters. Skipping chapters
  • No covers
  • No/partial metadata

Well, i've listed most of the pain points that i can think of. Not every epub do this though, but the worst offenders almost hit everything i mentioned.

Which is why this exist.

I can guarantee that 99% of all epubs that came from my delicate fingers have eliminated those pain points. The last 1% is for improvement and mistakes. And besides, i don't want perfection. Because perfection only results to no room for growth.

  • Consistent content
    • Titles are now properly formatted. And no repeating titles present.
    • Chapters have consistent formatting.
    • Extra baggages are eliminated, when possible, and if possible.
    • Pop-up footnotes
  • Errors are eliminated
    • This was the very thing i want to eliminate, compared to the aggregators
    • No more unwanted experiences. Unfortunately, even i cannot prevent cliffhangers. \p/
  • Proper sequencing of chapters
  • Consistent covers
  • Metadata support

Additional bonus is the EPUB3 support for the newer titles on the site. Also one thing to mention is the EPUBCHECK I initially perform for new ePubs to ensure that it complies to the ePUB standards. The majority of the aggregators fail on this (in fact, i have yet to encounter one that can pass this test). This usually means that you can upload the epub in Google Play Books, and it will work without errors.

While all is well and good, ever since i've started this, until this point, it is quite obvious that there are just too many titles to update on the site, on a daily basis. Hence why i opted to update every few days or so. I still need a few more titles before i can reach 200 titles, and it should be possible before this year ends.

I have no set schedule on the updates. Even some suggestions are a pain to create due to the complexity of the source formatting. Instead of relying on aggregators, i usually go to the main site to capture the chapters, so there's that, too. Dem's the breaks, i guess.

I haven't been reading that much novels as of late, but if i'm gonna read, then i prefer reading them in my epub versions. I guess the only series that i've been following as of late is Emperor's Domination, as i've stopped reading Release That Witch, so that the chapters gets accumulated. Other than that, they get accumulated as time goes by. I'm quite sure each and every series has their own addictive content, but i just don't have the time to sample all of them.

I think i've ranted for long enough. So let's end this here for now.

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