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Old 09-01-2009, 12:49 PM   #1
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Why E-Books Look So Ugly

update

Last edited by jankovicgood; 12-16-2009 at 09:33 AM.
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Old 09-01-2009, 01:08 PM   #2
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It may be true for Kindle and especially Kindle 1, but Sony's designs are bangerang!
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Old 09-01-2009, 01:26 PM   #3
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“People want more than just plain text and the technology will have to change and keep up with this need,” says Sene Yee. “It won’t stay ugly forever.”
Yes, but not much more--and, as people never cease to make it clear, the technology is already good enough. The consumer pressure they imagine toward improvement really doesn't exist.

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Old 09-01-2009, 01:28 PM   #4
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It may be true for Kindle and especially Kindle 1, but Sony's designs are bangerang!
Er, is that good or bad?
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Old 09-01-2009, 01:35 PM   #5
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The author of the Wired article is talking about the actual formatting (e.g. font, grayscale, covers etc), not the devices.
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Old 09-01-2009, 01:47 PM   #6
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A good story always overcomes the limitations of the display device. However, there *are* some marginal works which benefit - maybe even greatly - from the enhancements of multiple fonts, styles and graphics. Plus, the author of the article completely ignores that as the e-ink medium advances, the levels of grayscale available will improve, the memory for storing of multiple font families will expand and we will even see color.

Of course, the breadth and depth of photographic art that was-and is being-created using solely black & white film and paper shows how lazy these designers have become.

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Old 09-01-2009, 01:54 PM   #7
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Quote:
Originally Posted by ahi View Post
Yes, but not much more--and, as people never cease to make it clear, the technology is already good enough. The consumer pressure they imagine toward improvement really doesn't exist.

- Ahi
I think there's a certain amount of blind acceptance, which may be more concentrated in communities like this (which are often founded and developed largely based on justification bias). I think there's also quite a bit of discontent in the populace, and many don't participate actively in communities because they've just decided to abandon ebook readers altogether until something good comes out in the future.

I, like you, suppose it will not really lead towards high-end ebooks, but it may lead to somewhat less awful ones. The article basically is just suggesting improvements on the basis of font diversity and cover design. Those are issues that may in fact be remedied in the future.

The things I worry about:
a) being complacent with low-quality e-paper
b) ignoring advanced book typography (including general novels)
c) focusing on gimmickry rather than on qualitative improvements

Last edited by LDBoblo; 09-01-2009 at 01:57 PM.
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Old 09-01-2009, 02:08 PM   #8
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The article basically is just suggesting improvements on the basis of font diversity and cover design. Those are issues that may in fact be remedied in the future.
True. Assuming either:

1) foundries stop being paranoid about their expensive high-quality fonts.
2) customers accept DRM formats instead of stripping them (in which case font licensing is a non-issue due to legal "embedding")
3) nothing changes except customers' qualms about "illegally" extracting expensive high-quality fonts from the DRM'd eBooks they purchased in order to use with the (possibly already also illegal) de-DRM'd eBook.

Quote:
Originally Posted by LDBoblo View Post
The things I worry about:
a) being complacent with low-quality e-paper
Remarkably, my impression is that this is one area where consumers do actually expect meaningful improvements.

Quote:
Originally Posted by LDBoblo View Post
b) ignoring advanced book typography (including general novels)
Fortunately I do not see this being a choice that is influenced by customers. Publishers can and do get away with printing utterly garbage books, and they still sell... sometimes exceedingly well.

But despite that, respectable publishing houses still put reasonable efforts into the quality of their products.

As you know, my expectation is that eBooks will follow down that same road once the market matures.

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c) focusing on gimmickry rather than on qualitative improvements
Methinks, that ship has sailed.

- Ahi
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Old 09-01-2009, 03:24 PM   #9
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This thread seems familiar somehow. Perhaps someone ought to bring up PDF, possibly in relation to its viability as an ebook format.

I wonder though, does a 5-month old article still quality as "news"?
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Old 09-01-2009, 03:59 PM   #10
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This thread seems familiar somehow. Perhaps someone ought to bring up PDF, possibly in relation to its viability as an ebook format.

I wonder though, does a 5-month old article still quality as "news"?
Perhaps not news, but how about commentary?
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Old 09-01-2009, 04:01 PM   #11
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Perhaps not news, but how about commentary?
Doubt it as well.
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Old 09-01-2009, 04:39 PM   #12
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Doubt it as well.
Why is that?
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Old 09-01-2009, 04:40 PM   #13
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I'm not picky, if I can read it I'm happy. I don't care much about how good the formatting is
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Old 09-01-2009, 04:43 PM   #14
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This thread seems familiar somehow.
Same plot, same actors... somehow déjà vu
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Old 09-01-2009, 04:43 PM   #15
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Why is that?
Likely because it is the very definition of commentary.
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