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Old 08-01-2008, 08:01 AM   #61
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It exists on ALL implementations of the Mobi Reader - it appears to be something deep inside the Mobi "engine" that all the different versions of the reader use.
That's a bug with mobi then that they should fix. Although, without knowing the root cause, it might turn out to be a major flaw with the way their viewer works that would require a complete overhaul and would be unlikely to ever happen.

On the Hanlin, it showed I was on page 330 / 504 when my device crashed. I loaded it again, hit goto page, entered 330 and was back on the exact page I'd previously been reading.

Obviously if I changed the font size that wouldn't have been possible, but with that one exception, I've found page numbers to be very useful.

So far I've only had one crash/reset which required the use of "goto page". Beyond that though I've often used page numbers as a gauge as to how much I've left to read. Which is a little harder to do with percentages only (although still possible). If I open a book and it shows I'm 10% into it, I don't really know how much I've left to read until I've read enough to make it tick over to 11%. Where as with page numbers, (even if they change when you change font size, which imho is a good thing), I see I'm on page 100 / 1000 and know I've a while left on this book yet :P So although it's possible with percentages, it's more effort and something I'd prefer not to have to do when really I'm there to read a book and only want to glance at a quick indicator for what is left, which X / X does perfectly.

Are page numbers critical? No. Do I personally find them useful, Yes. Would I be happy with just a progress bar, no, but I'd settle for a progress bar if the alternative is nothing at all. I still find page numbers more useful in some cases than the progress bar though (fb2 viewer has both).

I don't know what it is that the fb2 viewer on the Hanlin does differently to the mobi viewer on the Cybook. But it's certainly capable of tracking page numbers.

Anyhow, I'm not here to try to force my opinion on others, some will want page numbers, some won't and others won't care either way. I just feel it would be nice for people to have the option. Accepting their limitation in relocating a page when you change font size. But when it comes down to it, the people who count are those that work on the software for the Cybook's viewer. If they don't want page numbers, or see it as a major task to fix their viewer in order to support them, then I guess page numbers are out.

Last edited by JoeD; 08-01-2008 at 08:12 AM.
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Old 08-01-2008, 08:06 AM   #62
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I don't know what it is the fb2 viewer on the Hanlin does differently to the mobi viewer on the Cybook. But it's certainly capable of tracking page numbers.
It uses its own, independently-written, rendering engine for MobiPocket books. The bug in page numbering lies in the standard MobiPocket code that all "official" versions of the Mobi Reader use - that's why the same bug is in all Mobi implementations.

As you rightly say, it needs to be fixed by Mobi themselves.
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Old 08-01-2008, 08:36 AM   #63
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The problem is that Mobipocket moves backwards and forwards in 64k blocks. So if you jump to a specific chanpter, it's going to go frward and back from there in 64k blocks. Now if you go to start reading, it's gojng to go backwards and forward in 64k blocks.

Jump to chapter 5. Then go to page 20
Jump to start reading and go to page 20

You will be on a different part of the book.
That is not how it works. The records contained compressed data. You can instantly jump to any file position in the uncompressed data (that is what happens when you follow a link). So the record size does not matter because you have random file position access. But that is the only thing you have and it is this limitation that causes the symptoms we are seeing.
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Old 08-01-2008, 08:42 AM   #64
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It would be interesting if it were possible for page numbers to be accurate in an ebook, without increasing the time it would take for the cpu to work out...

I would liken a book in an ereader to be similar to a long scroll; where the text flows from the top to the bottom. The reader then looks at a window in the scroll determined by the chosen layout, font style and font size...
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Old 08-01-2008, 09:09 AM   #65
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It would be interesting if it were possible for page numbers to be accurate in an ebook, without increasing the time it would take for the cpu to work out...

I would liken a book in an ereader to be similar to a long scroll; where the text flows from the top to the bottom. The reader then looks at a window in the scroll determined by the chosen layout, font style and font size...
The 500/505 both support page numbers. And they are true page numbers as well. So if you really need/want page number that badly, drop any device which handles Mobipocket for a Sony.
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Old 08-01-2008, 09:12 AM   #66
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The 500/505 both support page numbers. And they are true page numbers as well. So if you really need/want page number that badly, drop any device which handles Mobipocket for a Sony.
SO that's how you get an excuse to buy another one....
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Old 08-05-2008, 11:31 PM   #67
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I recently read a long book on the Cybook - in paperback it is more than 1100 pages long. The gauge along the bottom of the Cybook did not work very well for this long book. At one point, the gauge reset to the beginning. This perplexed me, but I thought maybe it reset to the beginning at the mid-point of the book (how could I really know where I was in the book?). So I read along and the gauge moved forward....then ended abruptly at about a quarter across the page....the book was done.

Now, even though many things were getting wrapped up in the 100 or so pages before the book ended so abruptly, I was not prepared for it to end. I expected the gauge to work properly and was surprised, disoriented, and disappointed when I got to the end of the book. Now I feel that I cannot rely on this gauge as a way to pace myself through a book.

Last edited by ProfJulie; 08-05-2008 at 11:33 PM.
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Old 08-06-2008, 01:42 AM   #68
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I was a it disappointed when I found the Cybook had no page numbers. Then I got used to it and no longer care. I used page numbers with p books to remember where I was. No need now. Page numbers are a bit like car power being measured by the power of a horse. I mean really. There are no pages to a e book really. Just text delivered up to you in chunks that will fit in one go on your reading device. Wasn't it Jack Kerouac that stuck pages together and made a long roll of paper that he fed into his typewriter? Well that is how I think of e books. Its not like when the book runs out you need to dash off to a store to buy another. We probably all have heaps of books on our readers ready to roll.
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Old 08-06-2008, 02:48 AM   #69
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How about of the software put an invisible, or visible, bookmark where you were reading? This would change when you flipped to page. Then you could Go to where I was last reading" and it would. That would be independent of font size etc...
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Old 08-06-2008, 03:32 AM   #70
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How about of the software put an invisible, or visible, bookmark where you were reading? This would change when you flipped to page. Then you could Go to where I was last reading" and it would. That would be independent of font size etc...
it already does something like that.

It was also useless in my case, when my cybook crashed and lost every records of the last session of reading
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Old 08-06-2008, 04:09 AM   #71
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Petterbbb / elena - the Cybook has bookmarks and remembers where you left of reading the next time you start, so finding your way back is not an issue (unless the file system is corrupt).

Martin - The concept of horsepower was invented as a measurement that people could relate to. Last time I checked there were no horses inside my car, neither could I find traces of James Watt or James P. Joule in there. It is however convenient to have something else than a progress bar to refer to when driving (and when bragging to others).

The ebooks (actually more than pbooks since they are not physical) need some kind of measurement to inform the person reading of how long the text is and at what position the text currently displayed is related to the full text.
When operated carefully, most ebook readers (the machine) can show a screenfull of text, this could be referred to as a "page" or "rendered page" and used by the SW in the reader to communicate quantitative qualities of the ebook and the reading session. Of course other suggestions have been put forward in this thread and the other threads concerning this topic on this forum and also the wiki regarding page numbers.

The progress bar is better than nothing for sure, but besides being buggy implemented, it lacks precision and flexibility and it does not give any information about the actual length of the text.
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Old 08-06-2008, 04:49 AM   #72
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I didn't mean to suggest that there are horses in your car. I was just trying to point out that pages as such are a legacy thing like the measurement of power in horses. We want pages because we are used to them. I think it would be more useful to tell you the size of the file in kb and then tell you how many kb you had read so far. Actually for myself I don't care. I am reading for fun and when the book finishes it finishes and I will start the next one. I think of what the reader displays as a screen of information rather than a page.
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Old 08-06-2008, 08:32 AM   #73
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That's an interesting idea but would present even more problems I think. Not so problematic if you are dealing with a strictly text document but if it contains pictures? Ah, now THAT would cause progress jumps galore.

I must side with the page numbered folk. Like dealing with remaining debt from a loan or amount of time left at work before clocking out, I would rather see actual data telling me something rather than a vague suggestion of how much is left. ("Where did he say that?" "Oh, 'bout a squinch under the halfish point.")
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Old 08-06-2008, 08:47 AM   #74
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Why not a progress measure like "12345 word out of 5678905 total" ?
It would be even more precise, and wouldn't depend on pages.
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Old 08-06-2008, 10:51 AM   #75
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Using bytes would most certainly be possible.

I do not think that images or would be a problem since (at least to my knowledge) most ebook formats (at least mobi and epub) are container formats where the images are not saved together with the text referred to and saved elsewhere (the same way as html and images in a zip archive). And in every case it would be simple to count only text and not the binary data.

There could be issues with different encodings (eg unicode vs ASCII), compression and how to handle markup. If the players agree with each how to handle this, a system based on bytes of text could be used as absolute page numbers.

In my opinion the same could be archived counting words or characters, and this would probably be easier to understand implement and be more precise.
Regardless of what metrics lies behind I would suggest that the word "page" (or horse?) is used easy reference: 1 page = 1 (or 2?) kb, 100 words, 1000 characters or whatever. It is a wonderful word.

Dose anybody know how these kinds of problems was handled back in the old days of the scroll?

Last edited by Prospect; 08-06-2008 at 10:53 AM.
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