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Old 08-19-2009, 12:02 AM   #361
Hellmark
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Hans, yeah, reported many times, but is still good news.
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Old 08-19-2009, 12:19 AM   #362
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Good, I saw a few times that people "hoped" it would happen, not that it was actually confirmed.
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Old 08-20-2009, 01:28 AM   #363
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I don't usually comment, but after reading 362 messages in this thread over the course of a few hours I felt compelled to offer my opinion.

I think it is great that Sony is going to epub + ADE. No, I don't like DRM, but at least it is more portable and I can always strip the DRM if necessary. Even if Adobe goes out of business there are several bookstores using the format and I'm sure that at least a few would continue to do so for at least a while afterwords.

In reference to ahi's many posts, I know PDF is great for formatting for a specific document size and it will look the same on any device that looks at it, but I seriously doubt they will modify it to contain multiple sizes with multiple fonts for you to download to any ereader. And if they did I can imagine that even a properly formatted PDF would be a very unreasonable size by the time you have accounted for 6 screen sizes and 6 font sizes, you would have 36 or more versions in every PDF.

I am a programmer and I have created a few mobipocket and epub books. I have become a bit familiar with typography because of this. The biggest drawback for Adobe's epub in general is the inability to support soft-hyphens in a consistent manner. See http://www.mobileread.com/forums/showthread.php?t=28139 I don't think you want the ereader to have to perform the task of auto-hyphenation, not because it can't be done, but considering the low processing power of such devices, it is impractical. It would be better for the publisher to go through and pre-process the document and mark any words that can be reasonably hyphenated with the soft-hyphens.

Not every book can be properly rendered in epub and maintain the author's original vision. But for any book that consists of only text and only a few different fonts it can be made indistinguishable from the original except that it is reflowable. Again, how it is rendered is dependent on the epub viewer implementation. The biggest problem with mobipocket, which uses a subset of epub, was that you could not flow text around a graphic. epub supports this and increases the number of books that can be reproduced in a reasonable facsimile of the original printed book.

Textbooks are still the hardest things to produce in epub and for the near future will almost certainly need to remain in PDF format. Using ebooks for textbooks brings in a whole different set of problems since they are not necessarily read linearly. The ereader would need to allow for some sort of tabbed bookmarking so that you can switch to different parts easily and quickly. They also need to have an easy interface for making notes on the document, be it a keyboard or stylus. However I think the epub standard and typography will change enough to overlap and allow for reasonable reproduction of textbooks.

While on the subject of PDF, I've seen at least a few PDFs from Google's book scanning project. Although the results look good, the underlying text that you can't see contains many typographic errors that may prevent you from searching the document or using a dictionary in your ereader. I'm sure that ahi wouldn't allow such bad workmanship to pass without correction though.

b0ned0me showed an excellent example of a bible that would be hard to do in epub format. I'm not sure how well text reflow is when it is boxed in like that. I would need to study the epub format a bit more, but I suspect that it is either possible or could be made possible. It would be easier if not every page was like these two though.

How good or bad the epub is, in the end, relies upon the same thing a printed edition would: the typography, proofreading and editing. epub does not eliminate the need for any of this, it merely changes how it is done. It is no different than when linotype machines ceased being used and they started using computers. Any unillustrated book that was produced on a linotype can be reproduced with equal or better formatting in epub.

I'm sure ahi would disagree with this, but I would like him to show an example of what he is talking about. Don't just say I'm wrong, back it up. As an example of what I'm talking about look at my post for Gogol, Nikolai: The Mantle and Other stories and compare that to the PDF located at The Internet Archive. The only problem with my copy is the lack of soft-hyphens. Plus it would be handy to have publishing software that would assist in the pre-processing.

I currently have a Kindle 2. I'm now considering buying a prs600, but I wonder if Sony will come out with a large format ereader which can make use of those PDFs. After all they do work better for textbooks.

Thanks,
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Old 08-20-2009, 08:30 AM   #364
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There's not much I could or would add to such a long thread. But I ran across this:

Quote:
Xenophon
(You're both right. It's a floor wax AND a desert topping!!)
The mind boggles....
Please, please, tell me that is two different products sharing the same trade name!

Sorry... I'm a Lounge Lizard at heart :-)
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Old 08-20-2009, 11:03 AM   #365
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Quote:
Originally Posted by pholy View Post
There's not much I could or would add to such a long thread. But I ran across this:



The mind boggles....
Please, please, tell me that is two different products sharing the same trade name!

Sorry... I'm a Lounge Lizard at heart :-)
It's a quote from a Saturday Night Live fake ad for a "product" called Shimmer. Husband and wife are arguing: "It's a floor wax!" "It's a dessert topping!" (etc.) Announcer voice-over: "You're BOTH right! It's a floor wax and a dessert topping!!!" (etc. etc.)
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Old 08-20-2009, 11:05 AM   #366
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Originally Posted by etienne66 View Post
While on the subject of PDF, I've seen at least a few PDFs from Google's book scanning project. Although the results look good, the underlying text that you can't see contains many typographic errors that may prevent you from searching the document or using a dictionary in your ereader. I'm sure that ahi wouldn't allow such bad workmanship to pass without correction though.
Googlebooks are run through an automatic OCR program; no manual corrections are done. For most books, the process gets mostly-searchable text--except for odd terms that aren't in whatever dictionary they're using, which includes mathematical notation, and likely any medical or other scientific terms. This makes the process useful for novels and considerably less useful for technical texts.

As far as we've been able to establish, their epubs are made by converting the text from those OCR'd works. Shudder.

If Google gets their way, "ebook" will come to mean "crappy digital version of the Real Thing" in most people's mind.
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Old 08-20-2009, 11:16 AM   #367
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Doesn't google books allow people to submit error corrections? I know they do that for their translator.
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Old 08-21-2009, 12:00 PM   #368
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Originally Posted by Hellmark View Post
Doesn't google books allow people to submit error corrections? I know they do that for their translator.
The closest thing I can find is about reporting bad scans...
Quote:
I spotted a problem with one of your pages. Whom do I tell?

We carefully check the pages we scan, but occasionally errors do sneak through. To report an error, just navigate to the page in question, and click the "Flag this page as unreadable" link at the bottom of the right-hand panel. We'll automatically send the page in question to our technical specialists for review. We appreciate your help, and we'll do our best to resolve it.

Can't find anything about submitting corrections.
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Old 08-21-2009, 12:12 PM   #369
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The most annoying thing about Google book scans is that it seems to be not uncommon for pages to stick together, and for half a dozen pages to be consequently missing from the book. I find Google scans, though, to be a superb resource for proof-reading a "classic" book.
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Old 08-22-2009, 03:20 PM   #370
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Very cool! Another reason to get the sony.. I think I'll be moving either to Apple tablet or a new Sony reader. Both choices looking good, if the Apple tablet does come out though, you know the DRM will be v tight.
Why wouldn't Stanza and the other eReaders work on the Apple tablet?

Lee
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Old 08-26-2009, 08:25 PM   #371
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Well, I finally broke down and converted a new book to Epub instead of LRF using Calibre. I now understand people's frustration with Epub. First of all the page numbers are annoying. Using the M font size on my Sony 700 reader, I can have as many as 2 1/2 pages with the same page number. The small number on the right hand side of the screen is not distracting, although completely unnecessary. As for justification, I much prefer the full justification in the LRF format, even with big gaps between words. If I only had Epub as an output format, it would be fine; but for now, I'm sticking with LRF.
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Old 08-29-2009, 02:35 PM   #372
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Originally Posted by kazbates View Post
Well, I finally broke down and converted a new book to Epub instead of LRF using Calibre. I now understand people's frustration with Epub. First of all the page numbers are annoying. Using the M font size on my Sony 700 reader, I can have as many as 2 1/2 pages with the same page number. The small number on the right hand side of the screen is not distracting, although completely unnecessary. As for justification, I much prefer the full justification in the LRF format, even with big gaps between words. If I only had Epub as an output format, it would be fine; but for now, I'm sticking with LRF.
I really like that Amazon uses "locations" to mark places in a book so any location is always the same no matter the font size. I think Sony should implement a similar idea. "Page numbers" make no sense with ebooks.

So has it been reported yet when Sony will make the change to ePub? I may start buying my books from the Sony store if the price of a book is the same or lower than on Amazon.
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