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Old 05-15-2008, 02:29 AM   #46
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what happens when ADOBE decides your reader device is no longer worth supporting? Yet it works just fine thank you very much...
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Old 05-15-2008, 03:15 AM   #47
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what happens when ADOBE decides your reader device is no longer worth supporting? Yet it works just fine thank you very much...
That's a hard question. Even in the desktop software business one has to pick the new platforms and drop the old ones just to survive, unfortunately. Mobile world is much more fragmented, which makes the problem even worse. And many of these platforms are closed solutions, so there are cases when it is not even possible for us to update the software/firmware unilaterally.

It would have been nice to have a handful of standard mobile platforms, but that would commoditize the mobile hardware, so there is resistance to that...
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Old 05-15-2008, 03:29 AM   #48
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Hmmm by the way... Still no support for justification in DE ? For multi-column documents using XSL-FO, justification is necessary. Multi-column without justification is just plain ugly...

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That's a hard question. Even in the desktop software business one has to pick the new platforms and drop the old ones just to survive, unfortunately. Mobile world is much more fragmented, which makes the problem even worse. And many of these platforms are closed solutions, so there are cases when it is not even possible for us to update the software/firmware unilaterally.

It would have been nice to have a handful of standard mobile platforms, but that would commoditize the mobile hardware, so there is resistance to that...
Maybe Android will succeed ?
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Old 05-15-2008, 03:33 AM   #49
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Peter explained why multi-flows are necessary months ago (on this forum too). That's the reason why I switched the ePub output from Feedbooks to multi-flow. Aside from Adobe or Feedbooks, anyone else could do the same as long as they use elements that indicate the subdivision of a book, or use some page-break CSS properties. It only took me a day or two to change this on Feedbooks.
But I agree: for some books it's almost impossible to divide them into multiple flows. For example, open a book from Proust: you won't find a single page break and they're barely divided into 2 or 3 parts.
Yeah, Proust, Joyce, Miller, Burroughs, Kerouac... we could make a Modern Library of titles that have to be altered. If it's a software thing, fine, but "Best Practices?" Where's the honesty?
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Old 05-15-2008, 03:41 AM   #50
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Yeah, Proust, Joyce, Miller, Burroughs, Kerouac... we could make a Modern Library of titles that have to be altered. If it's a software thing, fine, but "Best Practices?" Where's the honesty?
It's both a software and a hardware thing. Mobile devices have limited CPU cycles and RAM, and the normal way to parse XTML/CSS is to parse the whole flow. With limited CPU cycles, this can take time, and with limited RAM it's hard to cache this.

While it's technically possible to parse the data in another way, it's a lot harder to implement compared to the usual techniques.

But if you can divide your text into multiple flows, then it is definitely a best practice to divide it into multiple flows instead of using a CSS property for page breaks.
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Old 05-15-2008, 05:06 AM   #51
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It's both a software and a hardware thing. Mobile devices have limited CPU cycles and RAM, and the normal way to parse XTML/CSS is to parse the whole flow. With limited CPU cycles, this can take time, and with limited RAM it's hard to cache this.

While it's technically possible to parse the data in another way, it's a lot harder to implement compared to the usual techniques.

But if you can divide your text into multiple flows, then it is definitely a best practice to divide it into multiple flows instead of using a CSS property for page breaks.
Yeah, but there is nothing in the .epub specification which requires the division of text. It's certainly possible; anyone who's lived with Sony has done it, but it's not in the spec and by definition not the fault of the content provider. This need to divide should be properly labeled, and other open-source programmers (like DAISY, if they still care about .epub) should be informed.

Come on, we're talking text. Just... text. In 2008. Compare the hardware in the average smartphone to the hardware in a typical PC running Windows 95...

/Aside, ever noticed that books from the Sony store by major publishers appear not to have any divisions or tables of contents whatsoever? I'm probably not the only one who will resent this attitude...
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Old 05-15-2008, 05:16 AM   #52
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Yeah, but there is nothing in the .epub specification which requires the division of text. It's certainly possible; anyone who's lived with Sony has done it, but it's not in the spec and by definition not the fault of the content provider. This need to divide should be properly labeled, and other open-source programmers (like DAISY, if they still care about .epub) should be informed.

Come on, we're talking text. Just... text. In 2008. Compare the hardware in the average smartphone to the hardware in a typical PC running Windows 95...

/Aside, ever noticed that books from the Sony store by major publishers appear not to have any divisions or tables of contents whatsoever? I'm probably not the only one who will resent this attitude...
Yes, I fully agree with you regarding the specs. It is an issue that should be discussed within IDPF. I think that the main problem here is that IDPF designed ePub as both a source format and an end-user format.

From a source format perspective, there's no reason to discuss these sort of issues. But from an end-user perspective, you really need to think about these sorts of problems.

Pagination can be a real resource hog: ask Kovid for example, when he wrote his LRF viewer. That's also one of the reasons why LRF books are pre-processed on the desktop if you use Sony's software to transfer books to your PRS.
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Old 05-15-2008, 08:38 AM   #53
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I'm waiting to see if DE shows up on more open hardware, such as the Iliad. I've been seriously burned before by orphaned DRMed PDFs and will not purchase anymore until I *know* that I'm not just purchasing a limited license.

ePub with the capability to convert to my favorite format is possible okay but what about the DRM? How would that convert? IMO, it won't and if you want a DRMed ePub ebook you'll be stuck with DE. Too bad that 90% of the technical ebooks I want are in such a restrictive format. I spend all day on the computer I want to able to do actual reading on an eInk device. Don't say Sony because I'm not buying *another* piece of hardware just to read a locked in format. Put DE on more than the Sony Reader.
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Old 05-15-2008, 11:00 AM   #54
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Originally Posted by Hadrien View Post
Yes, I fully agree with you regarding the specs. It is an issue that should be discussed within IDPF. I think that the main problem here is that IDPF designed ePub as both a source format and an end-user format.

From a source format perspective, there's no reason to discuss these sort of issues. But from an end-user perspective, you really need to think about these sorts of problems.

Pagination can be a real resource hog: ask Kovid for example, when he wrote his LRF viewer. That's also one of the reasons why LRF books are pre-processed on the desktop if you use Sony's software to transfer books to your PRS.
I'm hoping that people are going to get rid of the concept of pages. THey dont really add anything to the reading experience (of a reflowable format) and make reading software a lot more resource intensive. If I ever write an epub viewer it will be without pages and wont suffer from the need for the epub to be sliced into parts.
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Old 05-15-2008, 11:14 AM   #55
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I wonder how hard it is to get customer support to authorize DE to more than 6 devices. I can imagine installing it on my laptop, desktop and perhaps a reader if and when that option becomes available. Count in a few reformatting of the computers, os upgrades or device upgrades and I would reach the original 6 allowed authorizations in probably a year or two. I know some users might reach this cap faster if the software becomes available on more mobile devices.

I just hope it isn't too much of a hassle. Wish it was like the sony software where you have the ability to de-authorize a device that needs to be upgraded or formatted so it didn't count against the 6 original allowed authorizations.

I read almost all my PDF files on DE's and I love the way it looks and it does all the things I need but the DRM thing is so annoying. It's like a punishment for those who legitimately bought their books.

I'm not that knowledgeable on tech but I just wish there was one standardized format for ebooks and if I purchased it, I could read it on any device that handles ebooks for as long as I want. The inability to do this is the only reason I haven't been to enthusiastic about ebooks.

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Old 05-15-2008, 11:24 AM   #56
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I'm hoping that people are going to get rid of the concept of pages. THey dont really add anything to the reading experience.
I fervently hope they don't.
I cannot imagine reading a book without a page count.

I think the day they do it I will be back to paper books.
For me reading it is not just the content, it is also the procedure itself and removing page count will totaly destroy the atmosphere.
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Old 05-15-2008, 11:25 AM   #57
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I fervently hope they don't.
I cannot imagine reading a book without a page count.

I think the day they do it I will be back to paper books.
For me reading it is not just the content, it is also the procedure itself and removing page count will totaly destroy the atmosphere.
Try it, after 10 minutes you wont even notice there isn't a page count, as long as there is a progress indicator.
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Old 05-15-2008, 11:31 AM   #58
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Try it, after 10 minutes you wont even notice there isn't a page count, as long as there is a progress indicator.
Don't want to.
Moreover, quite often I go to TOC and check how many pages are left until the end of the chapter, either to understand how soon the event is going to resolve or should I stop right now and go to sleep or should I proceed another 10-15 minutes and finish the chapter etc.
I never read books with less than 300 pages, but usually no less than 400+. Don't like short stories.
It is an important part of reading experience for me. I am not saying it is a good or bad trait of me, however, it is part of the enjoyment and I don't see any reason why should I force myself to give up on it. It is my hobby and I like it as it is.
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Old 05-15-2008, 11:55 AM   #59
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Silkpag, I apologize for the wackjob label. I just get so frustrated with the pervasive negativity I find on forums sometimes. I'm in software, and know how hard everyone works, and how thankless it can be. Seems like no matter what improvements you put other there, the immediate response is always complaints and suspicion.

All I'm saying is lets occasionally recognize efforts, be positive, be gracious and grateful. We are people, not corporate pawns.
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Old 05-15-2008, 12:17 PM   #60
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Don't want to.
Moreover, quite often I go to TOC and check how many pages are left until the end of the chapter, either to understand how soon the event is going to resolve or should I stop right now and go to sleep or should I proceed another 10-15 minutes and finish the chapter etc.
I never read books with less than 300 pages, but usually no less than 400+. Don't like short stories.
It is an important part of reading experience for me. I am not saying it is a good or bad trait of me, however, it is part of the enjoyment and I don't see any reason why should I force myself to give up on it. It is my hobby and I like it as it is.
You THINK it's an important part of reading, but that's your perception now. I thought so too, but after using my Cybook for a while, my perception has changed.

The Cybook does not use page numbers and, really, for an electronic book on an electronic book reader, page numbers are not very relevant - at least the page numbers that are associated with a paper book. The progress indicator that runs along the bottom of the screen is a much better indicator for an electronic reading device.

I was reading a PDF book the other day on my Pocket PC and Adobe Reader does not provide a progress indicator. Adobe Reader preserves the page number of the paper version of the book. On my Pocket PC one paper page spans many pages. The page number really was meaningless and I really missed the progress indicator. On my Pocket PC, I had no sense of where I was in the book and how much further I had to go to complete it. I had to check the bookmarks to gauge my progress through the book and that disrupted my reading experience.
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