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Old 01-12-2008, 03:10 PM   #16
kovidgoyal
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LRF > other proprietary formats
epub > LRF
SONY supports both LRF and epub
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Old 01-12-2008, 03:12 PM   #17
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Quote:
Originally Posted by bojan View Post
I must admit that I don't know much about LRF format, but lots of people are complaining that the font sizes in the LRF e-books are limited (imposed by the book creator) -- that doesn't sound like very superior format to me.
That's because they dont know what they are talking about. The font sizes are not imposed by the ebook creator, only the relative font sizes are. Any ebook rendering software is free to multiply all font sizes by any factor it likes. The SONY software for example has 3 settings S, M and L
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Old 01-12-2008, 03:15 PM   #18
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Originally Posted by kovidgoyal View Post
LRF > other proprietary formats
epub > LRF
SONY supports both LRF and epub
I do not understand the context of this message.

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Old 01-12-2008, 03:32 PM   #19
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Originally Posted by DaleDe View Post
I do not understand the context of this message.

Dale
It looks like it can be restated as

epub -> LRF -> other proprietary formats

(Do I understand you correctly, kovidgoyal?)

You can generate an LRF file from an ebub file, and you can generate other formats from an LRF file.

So either makes a good starting point, and the Sony Reader can read both.

Kovidgoyal, what do you feel makes LRF a technically superior format?
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Old 01-12-2008, 04:48 PM   #20
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LRF > other proprietary formats means that LRF is superior to other proprietary formats (by this I mean mobi/azw/prc/pdb, pdf, rtf)

epub > LRF means that epub is superior to LRF.

Sony supports both means that SONY supports the superiors formats and not only that unlike the case of the betamax, these formats are actually more "open", in an operational sense, than the competition.

By superior I mean technically superior.

As for why I think it's superior, PDF and RTF are obviously inferior ebook formats (I know a lot of you love RTF, but that's only because it's old and therefore relatively better supported. Technically, it's crap)

As for the Palm format, I've studied it a little and it was originally designed by one guy to enable him to read ebooks on his ancient CPU limited Palm handheld. Its base design is thus optimized for extremely CPU/memory limited devices. Since then various people, Mobipocket/Amazon being the last, have bolted extra functionality on top of it in a very haphazard manner. Contrast this to the development process that went into the design of LRF and epub, both of which were designed from the ground up to be modern ebook formats.

As for the question of conversion tools. LRF is undoubtedly the best supported at this time. And epub, by its design is very easy to write conversion tools for, so if it ever takes off, I anticipate it being well supported as well.
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Old 01-12-2008, 05:06 PM   #21
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Quote:
Originally Posted by kovidgoyal View Post
LRF > other proprietary formats means that LRF is superior to other proprietary formats (by this I mean mobi/azw/prc/pdb, pdf, rtf)

epub > LRF means that epub is superior to LRF.
OK, thank you for the clarification.

Quote:
By superior I mean technically superior.
That much I gathered. What I didn't (and don't) know was what features you feel make it superior.

Quote:
As for why I think it's superior, PDF and RTF are obviously inferior ebook formats (I know a lot of you love RTF, but that's only because it's old and therefore relatively better supported. Technically, it's crap)
As it happens, I think I agree with you, but "obvious" is not the term I'd apply.

I don't care for PDFs because they don't display well on handhelds as a rule. I like RTF files a bit better, as they are well supported, in that a large number of programs can read and write them, and they can be used as a starting point for conversions.

You like LRF better. Why? What does it bring to the table that other formats don't?

Quote:
As for the Palm format, I've studied it a little and it was originally designed by one guy to enable him to read ebooks on his ancient CPU limited Palm handheld. Its base design is thus optimized for extremely CPU/memory limited devices. Since then various people, Mobipocket/Amazon being the last, have bolted extra functionality on top of it in a very haphazard manner. Contrast this to the development process that went into the design of LRF and epub, both of which were designed from the ground up to be modern ebook formats.
Er, which Palm format? If you mean the "doc" file, it's a plain text file with compression, decompressed on the fly by Palm doc viewers.

The advantage is that it's a lowest common denominator format that just about every Palm document viewer can display in addition to the native format it supports. PalmReader/eReader and MobiPocket on PalmOS display doc files as well as their own files, as does Documents to Go, Quick Office, iSilo, and an assortment of other things.

The disadvantage is that it's plain text (and really needs to be generated from files with *nix line endings -- embedded CRs mess up reflow), with no support for images, fonts, text attributes, or links.

The current twist on it is the zTXT file, still plain text, but using a Palm shared library port of Zlib for gzip compatible compression.

The Palm Database file format is a different animal, and just about anything might be in one.

Quote:
As for the question of conversion tools. LRF is undoubtedly the best supported at this time. And epub, by its design is very easy to write conversion tools for, so if it ever takes off, I anticipate it being well supported as well.
Assuming the design takes off.
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Old 01-12-2008, 05:27 PM   #22
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LRF simply supports more features than any other reflowable format short of full-blown HTML+CSS. RTF might actually support most of the same feature set, but I find its design to be a nightmare (I know because I've tried writing parsers for RTF). LRF on the other hand is based on an XML format, so writing parsers for it is relatively easy, I know, because I've written one.

PDF is not reflowable and was never intended to be reflowable. It's just not an ebook format. And PDF tends to be a blackhole, once content ends up in PDF it almost never escapes from it.

The "doc" format is again technically inferior, in fact because it's plain text, I dont see it ever becoming a dominant ebook format. However, the format I was talking about is prc which became mobi which became azw.

Even if epub doesn't take off, SONY is still left with LRF which thanks to community efforts is still the most "open" format out there. I define "openness" in an operational sense. i.e. there are open cross-platform tools to get content in and out of the format. SONY got this advantage because it was a first mover.
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Old 01-12-2008, 05:40 PM   #23
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Quote:
Originally Posted by kovidgoyal View Post
Even if epub doesn't take off, SONY is still left with LRF which thanks to community efforts is still the most "open" format out there. I define "openness" in an operational sense. i.e. there are open cross-platform tools to get content in and out of the format. SONY got this advantage because it was a first mover.
So is the lrf format documented anywhere? I tried google but the first hit I got was a page claiming that the format was undocumented. MobiPocket format (the HTML part) is at least documented.
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Old 01-12-2008, 05:47 PM   #24
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The underlying XML is fully documented. The binary LRF is not, but it's been documented by the people that first reverse engineered it. To see the XML documentation you need to sign up for a free account at prslabs.com.

The binary part is documented at http://www.sven.de/librie/Librie/LrfFormat

and I am days away from releasing an open source cross platform LRS->LRF compiler which means all you really need to care about is the XML part.
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Old 01-12-2008, 05:55 PM   #25
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Quote:
Originally Posted by kovidgoyal View Post
LRF simply supports more features than any other reflowable format short of full-blown HTML+CSS. RTF might actually support most of the same feature set, but I find its design to be a nightmare (I know because I've tried writing parsers for RTF). LRF on the other hand is based on an XML format, so writing parsers for it is relatively easy, I know, because I've written one.
OK. That's the sort of comment I was looking for.

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PDF is not reflowable and was never intended to be reflowable. It's just not an ebook format. And PDF tends to be a blackhole, once content ends up in PDF it almost never escapes from it.
Which is another reason I prefer to get content in any other format. I see PDF as a portable, device independant format for data whose final destination is intended to be a printed page.

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The "doc" format is again technically inferior, in fact because it's plain text, I dont see it ever becoming a dominant ebook format. However, the format I was talking about is prc which became mobi which became azw.
Again, the advantage to plain text is that just about anything can display it. The disadvantage is the limit on what there is to display.

PRC is simply a Palm "resource" database (and the format is also used for programs). Mobi chose to use it for documents on a Palm platform. Most document viewers use PDB. But the PRC is simply the container, because PalmOS requires that everything in RAM be in Palm Database format. What's in that container is another matter.

As I understand it, Mobi is a markup language, along the lines of the Palm Markup Language used by PalmReader/eReader. Viewers that can display it have been implemented on a variety of other platforms besides Palm.

If LRF is superior, the next step will be creation of viewers for LRF files for other devices besides Sony Readers.

Quote:
Even if epub doesn't take off, SONY is still left with LRF which thanks to community efforts is still the most "open" format out there. I define "openness" in an operational sense. i.e. there are open cross-platform tools to get content in and out of the format. SONY got this advantage because it was a first mover.
And I gather Sony provided sufficient technical information that third parties could write tools to create and manipulate LRF files.
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Old 01-12-2008, 06:02 PM   #26
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Originally Posted by kovidgoyal View Post
...and I am days away from releasing an open source cross platform LRS->LRF compiler which means all you really need to care about is the XML part.
What about lRF->LRS so you can write converters to other formats?
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Old 01-12-2008, 06:08 PM   #27
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There's already a opensource lrf viewer as part of libprs500 as well as an lrf2lrs tool, and writing lrf2html will be about a days work for me, if I can ever find that day. mobi is a set of proprietary extensions to HTML to do things that could have been done anyway in a standards based fashion using html+css.
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Old 01-12-2008, 06:14 PM   #28
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There's already a opensource lrf viewer as part of libprs500 as well as an lrf2lrs tool, and writing lrf2html will be about a days work for me, if I can ever find that day. mobi is a set of proprietary extensions to HTML to do things that could have been done anyway in a standards based fashion using html+css.
Are you saying that lrs is not proprietary? i got the impression it was.
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Old 01-12-2008, 06:17 PM   #29
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SONY already supports LRF, which is the technically superior format. And thanks to the efforts of the community, it's as easy if not easier to generate content in LRF format as any other format.
You can't be serious.
LRF? Superior?
It is MUCH more easier to generate rtf file.

I have one simple requirement.
I want to have the text in the book left justified and not full justified. It looks like LRF does not support this VERY basic requirement.

I am not arguing about what kind of justification is better. I just say that such a basic formating possibility seems to be unsupported.
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Old 01-12-2008, 06:38 PM   #30
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Are you saying that lrs is not proprietary? i got the impression it was.
No I'm saying it is fully documented.
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