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Old 05-10-2009, 04:05 PM   #61
pdurrant
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The Bookeen CyBook Gen 3 offers a choice of 12 font sizes.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Elfwreck View Post
No e-Ink reader currently offers the option that meant most to me on the Clié: font size control. A choice of six sizes, regardless of the original file's settings.
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Old 05-10-2009, 09:22 PM   #62
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Ankh View Post
Why is that? Correct me if I am wrong, PDF's look fine on the bigger screens , the opposite is not the case.
I would guess it's kind of like photocopying a mass market paperback. Either you end up with large amounts of white space, and text just on a portion of the screen, or you "enlarge the mass market page to fill the 8 1/2 X 11 page" so to speak, and you get a huge font.

Either way you end up with fewer words per page than the device can display comfortably, and thus extra page turns, and since page turns take a little longer on e-Ink screens, a lot of users don't like that.

(Also to cover the e-book reading market you'll need versions formatted for PDA/cell phone sized screens--which means either *another* pdf, or an even more exaggerated enlargement of a pdf meant for a three inch screen to fit a six inch or nine inch screen.)
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Old 05-10-2009, 09:27 PM   #63
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Sonist View Post
I never....!
Okay, I accept that you were carried away by the force of your argument and the implication was unintended.

BTW--if I were minded to argue for pdfs, rather than trying to suggest that people who don't care about design are uncultured oafs, I might try the argument that *good* design makes it easier for the reader to understand and remember the content. Check out some of the technical writing/graphic design/information architecture stuff. Just sayin' ;-)
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Old 05-10-2009, 10:21 PM   #64
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Quote:
Originally Posted by catsittingstill View Post
Either way you end up with fewer words per page than the device can display comfortably, and thus extra page turns, and since page turns take a little longer on e-Ink screens, a lot of users don't like that.
I am definitely not an expert, but in my recent (and brief) foray into the typesetters part of the Web I was surprised to learn that they consider A4/letter page format to be "large" and worthy of two columns almost as a rule of thumb. That school of thought says that book format is smaller for a reason, that it is uncomfortable to deal with overly long lines of text.

This is a minefield of a subject, the safest thing is to declare "de gustibus non est disputandum" and leave personal preferences aside. But I am definitely curious to see what will come from all this drive to A4/letter sized readers, and how reading software will handle that increased real-estate. I wouldn't be surprised to find that my personal preferences, for example, differ based on the size of the reader. That slightly bigger font "feels right" on letter-sized device, and so on.
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Old 05-11-2009, 01:05 AM   #65
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Ankh View Post
I am definitely not an expert, but in my recent (and brief) foray into the typesetters part of the Web I was surprised to learn that they consider A4/letter page format to be "large" and worthy of two columns almost as a rule of thumb. That school of thought says that book format is smaller for a reason, that it is uncomfortable to deal with overly long lines of text.

This is a minefield of a subject, the safest thing is to declare "de gustibus non est disputandum" and leave personal preferences aside. But I am definitely curious to see what will come from all this drive to A4/letter sized readers, and how reading software will handle that increased real-estate. I wouldn't be surprised to find that my personal preferences, for example, differ based on the size of the reader. That slightly bigger font "feels right" on letter-sized device, and so on.
Interesting comment and there is already talk of having a double column capability in the KDX, particularly in landscape more. I can see this coming. Of course the idea of a large screen reader is to handle PDF and it may already be multi-column and newspapers certainly are. The fact that the page is too wide to comfortably read in single column in no way detracts from the need for the larger device. Many text books in the larger sizes are also multi-column and have large pictures also.

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Old 05-11-2009, 01:42 AM   #66
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Quote:
Originally Posted by pdurrant View Post
The Bookeen CyBook Gen 3 offers a choice of 12 font sizes.
I stand corrected.

I know that PalmDOCs, PDBs & text files don't have "font sizes;" that's controlled by the reader. I believe Mobi is the same, but I'm not sure. I'm more thinking about filetypes that include font sizes--PDFs, Word/RTF, HTML, ePub, and maybe the proprietary filetypes.

Will it show PDFs and HTML in smaller than the original font size? If a PDF's pages are sized to ~3.5x4.5 with 12-pt txt, will it shrink the font down to ~10 pt? 8pt, if I've got good lighting and it's a font that shows up well at that size?
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Old 05-11-2009, 12:47 PM   #67
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Quote:
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... But I am definitely curious to see what will come from all this drive to A4/letter sized readers, and how reading software will handle that increased real-estate....
I don't see any A4-sized e-ink readers around the corner.

You'd need a reader with about 11" diagonal size to duplicate the size of a hard-cover edition's page. It would take about 14" diagonal to duplicate A4.

I wouldn't worry about readability problems, due to too large a size, with these 9.7" screens :-)
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Old 05-19-2009, 01:46 PM   #68
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Originally Posted by JSWolf View Post
My wife prefers to read with a larger size font then I do. That's fine. That means if I format an eBook, I only have to do it ONCE. She can increase the size easily. But if I had chosen PDF, I would have to make two copies. One for her and one for me. I'd rather one nice looking reflowable copy that I can make and that we can both use.

Now lets say I make PDF for my 505. They would look fine. Now Sony comes out with a reader that uses a larger screen and I get that. My PDF then are no good for it. But had I made it in ePub, it would be fine for a larger screen.
This all seems to be about the immaturity of the technology and the inadequacy of the available products (i.e.: eBooks).

It takes me 3-5 minutes for a 60 page book to create a second (or a third, or a sixth) PDF that uses a different font size, once the book is typeset for a given font size. It would be trivial to let people download PDFs for as many as 10 different font-sizes upon purchase and let them decide which one(s) to load onto their viewers. (i.e.: regular vs. large print -- would work like it does with dead-tree books, but better)

Given a bit of intelligent development work, font size choice could be easily made possible with PDFs--just have them include the content's typesetting information for a number specific sizes (without duplicating data like images and such), and let the reader choose which one to view.

Reflow-capable formats might be better than poorly formatted PDFs--in much the same way that a good hamburger is better than a burnt filet mignon--but they'll *never* be able to maintain typographic correctness unless they have rigid instructions embedded on how exactly to do so for every given viewable font size... at which point it is no longer reflow, but a series of preset flows.

Quote:
Originally Posted by JSWolf View Post
PDF is fixed. ePub is not. The sample that I posted looks very nice on my 505 and on my computer screen. A PDF for a 6" screen is not going to look nice on a 9.7" screen.
But a reflow-capable format is not going to look like a professionally produced document on any screen---even if it does look better than a PDF file produced for one display size and viewed on another.

I think the fact that publisher's today are incompetent to create high quality eBooks does not mean we should settle for a "good enough" solution, even if we are forced to use them to compensate for now.
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