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Old 05-06-2009, 09:51 AM   #121
rhadin
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But, the new Adobe SDK provides support for reflow-able pages. . . . [ePub] has no clear benefits to offer over a de-facto document standard (PDF), and it will just confuse and fragment the market, and possibly slow adoption.
If the industry is not going to adopt PDF as the industry standard, then ePub gets my vote. However . . .

Although many on MR do not agree that PDF is an ebook format, I think it could become one and that if it publishers properly formatted their books for PDF distribution on ereading devices, then PDF could work well. I think PDF has lots of advantages once you get past straight-text novels. I also think that as ereading device screens become larger PDF will gain adherents among the publishing community and will become a de facto standard.
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Old 05-06-2009, 10:01 AM   #122
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If the industry is not going to adopt PDF as the industry standard, then ePub gets my vote. However . . .

Although many on MR do not agree that PDF is an ebook format, I think it could become one and that if it publishers properly formatted their books for PDF distribution on ereading devices, then PDF could work well. I think PDF has lots of advantages once you get past straight-text novels. I also think that as ereading device screens become larger PDF will gain adherents among the publishing community and will become a de facto standard.
I never liked PDF for ebooks. Especially not for novels. It's fine for textbooks, but for novels it's too rigid (which is the nature of PDF and the strong point of PDF).
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Old 05-06-2009, 10:01 AM   #123
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It is also a lot easier to create a PDF document -- especially if the book is not already in an electronic format.
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Old 05-06-2009, 10:42 AM   #124
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PDF is fine - if created correctly (and I rarely see correct PDF (not excluding my own)) and if created specifically for the display size (and you dont really believe publishers would go through the hazzle of producing a 5'',6'',9,7'',.. version, do you?)
I've yet to see a nice "resizeable" PDF-solution (theoretical possibilities or not). Apart from that PDF are less usable for accessibility-solutions (e.g. braille readers) and require more computational power (and storage) then html-based solutions (not to speak of font-resizing, zooming is just not the same).
Really - there is not much advantage of a PDF for free-flowing text over HTML (requires full (and real, standard-conform) CSS-support, but thats an error of the software publishers, not of the format)

--edit: And its only easier to create a PDF (especially out of analog material) if you accept "not good" PDF (e.g. scans or PDFs containing lots of "move here move there" definitions, w/o containing the font (text as image), etc)
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Old 05-06-2009, 10:48 AM   #125
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Originally Posted by tirsales View Post
PDF is fine - if created correctly (and I rarely see correct PDF (not excluding my own)) and if created specifically for the display size (and you dont really believe publishers would go through the hazzle of producing a 5'',6'',9,7'',.. version, do you?)
I've yet to see a nice "resizeable" PDF-solution (theoretical possibilities or not). Apart from that PDF are less usable for accessibility-solutions (e.g. braille readers) and require more computational power (and storage) then html-based solutions (not to speak of font-resizing, zooming is just not the same).
Really - there is not much advantage of a PDF for free-flowing text over HTML (requires full (and real, standard-conform) CSS-support, but thats an error of the software publishers, not of the format)

--edit: And its only easier to create a PDF (especially out of analog material) if you accept "not good" PDF (e.g. scans or PDFs containing lots of "move here move there" definitions, w/o containing the font (text as image), etc)
Good points. Another gotcha for PDF is direct editing of the PDF file itself. This practice really complicates the file and can make the edit area unreadable on some devices. Tagging can help a PDF and reflow can work fairly well if it is done properly. The latest strategy of reflowing untagged files as used on ADE isn't as good.

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Old 05-06-2009, 01:51 PM   #126
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I agree with you that the MOBI/AZW format will eventually become obsolete. The ebook (at least, hardware-wise) is really just starting out. What's going to be important, I think, is what the transition to the next format looks like. Ideally, Amazon (or some other vendor) would be able to provide a device with support for both AZW and the Next Big Thing (whether that's epub or something else). But vendors won't do that unless they feel like they don't have a choice.
I really think it's just dependent on what kind of market share the Kindle and the Amazon bookstore gets.

If it dominates like iTunes did with music, Mobi/AZW will likely stick around, just like AAC files have in iTunes. At most Amazon will just remove DRM eventually like Apple did to allow people to convert them to other formats if they so choose, while sticking with their format.

But again, it's a non-issue for me since I just get stuff I'll read once. And even if the Kindle and mobi/AZW did totally die off at some point in the future, it's easy enough to strip the DRM and convert it to some other format for use on whatever device/format took over.
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Old 05-08-2009, 06:47 AM   #127
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PDF is fine - if created correctly (and I rarely see correct PDF (not excluding my own)) and if created specifically for the display size (and you dont really believe publishers would go through the hazzle of producing a 5'',6'',9,7'',.. version, do you?)
I've yet to see a nice "resizeable" PDF-solution (theoretical possibilities or not). Apart from that PDF are less usable for accessibility-solutions (e.g. braille readers) and require more computational power (and storage) then html-based solutions (not to speak of font-resizing, zooming is just not the same).
Really - there is not much advantage of a PDF for free-flowing text over HTML (requires full (and real, standard-conform) CSS-support, but thats an error of the software publishers, not of the format)

--edit: And its only easier to create a PDF (especially out of analog material) if you accept "not good" PDF (e.g. scans or PDFs containing lots of "move here move there" definitions, w/o containing the font (text as image), etc)
Something to keep in mind here though is that, in academia, it is often necessary to refer to page numbers. If you put a book in a reflowable format that will become nearly impossible (unless you integrate the page numbers into the text directly), so I'm not sure it is something that would be appreciated.
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Old 05-08-2009, 06:57 AM   #128
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Something to keep in mind here though is that, in academia, it is often necessary to refer to page numbers. If you put a book in a reflowable format that will become nearly impossible (unless you integrate the page numbers into the text directly), so I'm not sure it is something that would be appreciated.
I agree - but then "the art of quotation" would have to change - e.g. paragraph numbering would be an option.
It's already happening (see the growing number of internet quotations)
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Old 05-08-2009, 01:05 PM   #129
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Yeah, citing would be an issue. One way around it is for eventually all ebooks and readers to use the same location system. On the kindle the locations are the same regardless of the font size etc..

So then you could site the location number in place of the page number for the direct quotes.

Paragraph numbers wouldn't work so well, unless readers all had an option to display the paragraph numbers on the screen. I hate with citations of internet articles now, it's a real pain for longer articles. I end up having to print them out and go through and write the paragraph numbers in the margins for longer articles that I'm quoting from multiple times.

But for PDFs, it's probably just easiest to have a standard maximum size and only have one size version of each document, and people who want an ereader for them will just have to buy a reader that supports PDFs up to the maximum size.
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Old 05-15-2009, 05:35 AM   #130
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Remember, it's not size that matters. (I heard that from somewhere.)

Amazon should concentrate on other issues, such as DRM-related issues and "control" issues. (Does anyone remember Radio Shack's Tandy computer series? Also: What would have happened if Apple had licensed its proprietary software back before Windows had existed?)

Don
I agree perfectly. Imagine having an upgrade on the screen size but have the same problem existing.
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