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Old 10-28-2013, 03:19 PM   #46
Faterson
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Quote:
Originally Posted by JSWolf View Post
This is (IMHO) a baby feature. This is a feature that's meant to baby the user. I do not want baby features in Marvin.
I believe that whenever software can easily make 10 out of 10 users happy, instead of only 8 out of 10 users, then it should go for it.

This is why most software by Apple infuriates me: it seems to take pleasure in intentionally making only 8 out of 10 users happy, although with little effort, it could make 10 out of 10 users happy. It often feels as if Apple took pleasure and made it a point to spite the user. I for one don't wish Marvin to treat users so disrespectfully; if it did, it would be just another version of iBooks. If it's easy enough to oblige all users in a particular respect, and the feature requested is reasonable, I wish Marvin to go for it.

By all accounts, settings themes are coming to Marvin. Settings themes will associate formatting parameters like font colours and backgrounds with particular font types and font sizes. There is no reason to deny the automatic application of a settings theme upon every opening of a book, if that is what the Marvin user prefers. It's not "babying" the users; it's meeting their reasonable expectations. Most e-readers proceed in this way by default; for Marvin, it would be important to give us the choice: do not force everyone to use either one or the other option for opening books. Every Marvin user should be able to decide for oneself which mode of opening books he or she prefers.

Last edited by Faterson; 10-28-2013 at 03:22 PM.
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Old 10-28-2013, 08:00 PM   #47
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Originally Posted by bestlem View Post
...[SNIPPED]...
You do not need these you just need a global font and size

Currently this is the one readson I have found to stick with Stanza
Reading your post I now realize I have two reasons. Although I will make them a bit less specific.

1. Appliance of user CSS preferences.

In Marvin if you switch from 'publisher formatting' to 'Marvin Formatting' every setting that is at that moment deviating from the book's CSS will be applied to the book. I cannot change just line spacing or paragraph spacing or indentation or alignment without selecting Marvin's formatting.

In Stanza, there is no such choice, you change one preference and only that preference is applied to the book. So if I only want to change margin or font size or alignment or line spacing or paragraph spacing, I can change only that one setting.

2. Book/Library management.

I never realized this before because I never needed to, but due to some experiments in Python I needed to quickly assign a couple of tags (or subjects as Marvin calls them) to a couple of books. I noticed this was a very cumbersome process. I had to actually type the tags myself in an ittybitty field, and of course I made some typos in case, so ended up with the same tag in different case amongst others.

Now, granted, in Stanza it ain't perfect either, but at least I do not need to type the same tag over and over. Also, metadata is a bit spread out, assigning tags should for my feeling be handled the same as collections. Speaking about collections, this is the only thing I can assign multiple books to in one action. But I also want to be able to do the same with tags. I also want to be able to assign tags and collections to a single book from within the book, while I am reading it (check the i icon top-right in stanza to get an idea) select one or more tags from an existing list just by tapping/tickmarking. Vice versa, I want to be able to edit a tag and select one or more books to assign that tag to. Same for collections.

I honestly never realized before why I still stick with Stanza for the most part. It's not because it doesn't have issues, because it certainly has some of its own, however, these I only encounter in specific circumstances, which is different from how certain aspects of a program are implemented, because these you are faced with during every day use.

Nope, I discovered that the main reason why I accept the issues, is because the way I can manage books resembles the way I can manage books in Calibre. That and the way it handles settings without changing other settings in the process resulting from having to choose between two formatting modes.

But in other aspects Marvin beats Stanza by a mile, and if the book/library management and handling of user preferences regarding book CSS someday approaches my ideal, I'll be over permanently like a shot, that is if some bigshot company doesn't think it's becoming too much of a competitor and pulls a Stanza on Marvin before that time, that's another of my worries

PS. And to make the waters even muddier, A while back I found an eReader that had enhanced the 'speak selection' option to make it read constantly so I recently tried having a book read out to me while reading along myself. I've named her 'Caitlin' and she has a very nice voice. I must say, for a built-in voice, she did not sound bad at all. In fact I enjoyed the experience.

Last edited by At_Libitum; 10-28-2013 at 08:18 PM.
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Old 10-28-2013, 09:31 PM   #48
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Quote:
Originally Posted by At_Libitum View Post
In Stanza, there is no such choice, you change one preference and only that preference is applied to the book.
In my experience, this is only an appearance. In reality, as far as I could observe it, Stanza changes/disregards CSS properties by default a lot more than Marvin -- even without the Stanza user touching any settings button. Marvin at least is upfront about any changes made -- and you can always refer to the default HTML look for a comparison (called "publisher settings" in Marvin). Stanza offers no such comparison feature, and on the quiet it hides the layout changes it makes, creating the impression as if no layout changes had been applied... Yet they are there.

I uploaded a picture gallery where you can compare how Stanza and Marvin handle the display of the same EPUB test file. Stanza is currently more faithful in preserving the font and background colour properties specified in CSS. But in every other regard, "Marvin's formatting" is more faithful to the publisher's original CSS -- whereas Stanza modifies/disregards the publisher's CSS even without being prompted to do so by the user.

Summary: by default, Stanza changes/disregards the original CSS a lot more than "Marvin's formatting" does so, but Stanza does it "secretly", without notifying the user.
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Old 10-30-2013, 12:53 PM   #49
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Originally Posted by Faterson View Post
I
I uploaded a picture gallery where you can compare how Stanza and Marvin handle the display of the same EPUB test file. Stanza is currently more faithful in preserving the font and background colour properties specified in CSS. But in every other regard, "Marvin's formatting" is more faithful to the publisher's original CSS -- whereas Stanza modifies/disregards the publisher's CSS even without being prompted to do so by the user.
The last sentance I think explains why I prefer Stanza it "disregards the publisher's CSS". I want the book to be formatted so it is easy to read for me. This is the main reason I prefer HTML/markup to pdf as it is the renderer that choses how to format not the publisher who has no idea what I want. This still requires the publisher to produce reasonable formatting of paragraghs and dialogue etc.

Note we are mainly talking about fiction books here are textual non-fiction. There are non fiction books (and the odd fiction) book that requires differences in fonts and fixed formats but even the better rendering of e.g. Mathematics sghould make the number of books requiing this to decreas in the future.
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Old 10-30-2013, 08:45 PM   #50
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The last sentance I think explains why I prefer Stanza it "disregards the publisher's CSS".
Many users (like Jon) find that unacceptable, though.

Here is what bad software does: it enforces one option for everyone. That attitude is typical of Apple software of all kinds.

Here is what good software does: it gives every user the choice, as to how the software should behave.

I'm like you, bestlem: I like overwriting the publisher's CSS with my own formatting. But that's just me. For other users, the exact opposite is important: for Marvin's display to stay as close to the original CSS as possible.

Marvin will be an e-reader of top quality if it gives both types of users what they want. One size never fits all.
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Old 11-03-2013, 11:16 PM   #51
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What I think is best is not to override the CSS but to start with the CSS and allow the settings to be changed. So if I want to change just the line height, I can and all the rest of the settings will be as is from the CSS.
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Old 11-04-2013, 02:35 AM   #52
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That is your personal preference, Jon, but many Marvin users expressly wish to avoid that. They have made it loud and clear in this thread and elsewhere, and I agree with them: theirs is a legitimate preference, and Marvin could be smart and user-friendly enough to oblige them.

Both your preference, and theirs, is a legitimate user request/expectation. Remember that even if their preference were activated in Marvin settings, there would be a button even for these users to return to Marvin's default formatting. You know, I myself might prefer one way, or the other, depending on the particular book. Marvin will be top quality software if it gives every user the free choice of preference in this regard. One size never fits all. Here, too, Marvin would be a pioneer among e-readers in giving its users a complete and transparent freedom of choice, because most (all?) e-readers don't do that.

Currently, debating this issue is rather fruitless, because Marvin currently does not support any true settings themes. (See GitHub #19.) We can currently only store font and background colour combinations, and only 3 of them.

By the way, this is a variation of the ancient dilemma about "inherit paragraph spacing from previous book: yes or no?", but in a comprehensive, larger sense, applied to all formatting settings.

Last edited by Faterson; 11-04-2013 at 02:37 AM.
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