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Old 04-12-2009, 06:44 AM   #1
sirbruce
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Amazon "Dot" Progress Bar Is Peculiar

I've noticed some odd peculiarities to the Kindle 2's "dot" progress bar of measuring how large a book is.

Firstly, no book can be less than 9 dots. You can't tell a 1-word file from a 1,000 word short story. Why limit the lower bound at all; why not go all the way down to 1 or 2 dots? And why *9*? Even 10 would make more sense. If you consider the first dot to only fill when you open the book, then even 11 dots would make more sense.

Secondly, the maximum appears to be 65 dots. No way to tell the difference between a large novel and the Holy Bible. Okay, I accept there needs to be an upper limit, but again, why 65? There's no reason why the dots couldn't go all the way to the other side of the screen, yet they stop about 80% of the way there.

Finally, I've noticed on some books the last dot won't fill in even when you reach the end. If you manually enter the last location number, so that the last page is only displayed partially, sometimes that's enough to fill the last circle. But why should it be so particular?

Whoever came up with this system was half-crazy.
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Old 04-12-2009, 09:04 AM   #2
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Why didn't they just do page numbers? The dots seem ridiculous to me.
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Old 04-12-2009, 09:14 AM   #3
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Page numbers require either (a) pre-rendering the entire book at each font size to determine screen-page boundaries or (b) having some sort of content-size based "pages" which are disjoint from "screens of texts."

You can't do (a) statically if you have devices with multiple screen sizes, and doing it dynamically causes a big delay when first opening a book and/or changing font size. And (b) people seem to find confusing.
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Old 04-12-2009, 09:25 AM   #4
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I think you have over analyzed the bar thing lol. While I agree that page numbers (even though they change ad you change font size) would be better (For me) the bar code thing serves the purpose...
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Old 04-12-2009, 10:00 AM   #5
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Some books don't have the dots at all. I'm on my second "In Death" book on my K2 and neither one has dots in the progress bar.
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Old 04-12-2009, 11:12 AM   #6
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I personally don't pay any attention to the dots. As long as my book opens to the last page I was reading I'm happy.
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Old 04-12-2009, 01:07 PM   #7
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Quote:
Originally Posted by lilac_jive View Post
Why didn't they just do page numbers? The dots seem ridiculous to me.
Well then... Anyway... the Kindle uses the dot's as a quick visual indicator and the locations (rather than page numbers) for exact positioning which is consistent no matter what font size you are using.

The dots on the home page give you a good visual indicator of the relative size of the ebook and the position of your last read page.

It actually works very well... even if you think it is ridiculous.

BOb
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Old 04-12-2009, 01:28 PM   #8
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Instead of page numbers they could just list total locations. i.e. one "page" would have something like Locations 106-112/6500.

Along with the status bar (or % read number as another option) you'd be able to tell both how long the book was roughly and how far you were through it.
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Old 04-12-2009, 02:01 PM   #9
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Quote:
Originally Posted by dmaul1114 View Post
Instead of page numbers they could just list total locations. i.e. one "page" would have something like Locations 106-112/6500.

Along with the status bar (or % read number as another option) you'd be able to tell both how long the book was roughly and how far you were through it.
This is what the Kindle 2 does. It gives you the percent read, a visual progress bar at the bottom of the page, and the location number along with the total number of locations in the book. All at the bottom of the screen.

Mike
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Old 04-12-2009, 02:02 PM   #10
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I'm probably repeating what others have said, but the reason for the lack of page numbers is that page/font sizes are not fixed, which would make it impossible. I think the current system is pretty intuitive, but I know there are people who don't particularly like it.
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Old 04-12-2009, 02:47 PM   #11
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Quote:
Originally Posted by rcuadro View Post
I think you have over analyzed the bar thing lol. While I agree that page numbers (even though they change ad you change font size) would be better (For me) the bar code thing serves the purpose...
Over analysis seems to be a raison d'etre for some of the people around here (who are mostly now on my ignore list).
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Old 04-12-2009, 05:37 PM   #12
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Quote:
Originally Posted by S.Canton View Post
I'm probably repeating what others have said, but the reason for the lack of page numbers is that page/font sizes are not fixed, which would make it impossible. I think the current system is pretty intuitive, but I know there are people who don't particularly like it.
It doesn't make it impossible (the Sony reader does it), just variable. As someone already commented, it means the page numbers have to be recalculated every time you change the type size. I prefer the Kindle method in which the location numbers are, to use a math term, invariant under transformation.

Mike
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Old 04-12-2009, 06:24 PM   #13
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I don't mind the dots as an abstraction. But the way they're currently used they don't make sense!!
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Old 04-12-2009, 07:50 PM   #14
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Quote:
Originally Posted by JMikeD View Post
This is what the Kindle 2 does. It gives you the percent read, a visual progress bar at the bottom of the page, and the location number along with the total number of locations in the book. All at the bottom of the screen.

Mike
Good to know. Seems like something they could have added to the K1 with a firmware update.
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Old 04-12-2009, 07:56 PM   #15
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I like the dots just because they help me tell at a glance which books I've already finished and which have yet to be read. Beyond that, I couldn't care less about how many there are. It's easy enough to open a book and check how big it is/how much of it I've read.
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