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Old 08-14-2009, 10:12 AM   #301
b0ned0me
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Originally Posted by ahi View Post
So humanity will discard the vast bulk of the centuries old art of typography and bookmaking in the transition to electronic books (arts which are, by the way, totally and completely about making reading a more pleasant experience), for the sake of people being able to change font-sizes arbitrarily and for the sake of publishers not having to make multiple files for different sized devices?
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I mere dabbler but still...handmade papers, leather, sewen binds truly should still be considered true art.
Beautiful books ARE works of art, but craftsmanship is scary expensive. Once upon a time all books were hand-written and hand-illustrated on hand-scraped vellum. A skilled craftsman might produce one copy of a book every few years, and if you were reasonably wealthy you might be able to own as many as a dozen books. Pretty much every change since then has been to make books less artistic, less attractive, easier to produce and easier to own. Likewise for shoes, underwear, furniture and pretty much everything else that people like to have. If ebook software and hardware cuts the odd corner here and there with pagination and justification to let me get several thousand works by several hundred authors into my briefcase for a reasonable amount of money, I'm just fine with that. Spellchecking and editing is a lot more important IMO, but then that's going downhill for real books anyway.

At the end of the day, given the choice I'd rather read a poorly formatted e-book by Jim Butcher, CJ Cherry or Jules Verne than the most beautifully crafted hardback by Clive Cussler or Dan Brown (in fact, I'd pay a substantial premium!).

Given a choice between the usual mediocre-quality physcial book and an ebook, I'm starting to lean more and more towards ebooks providing they have some amount of longevity and future-proofing. So for me, standardising on ePub seems a good idea - I'm far more bothered by lack of book availability than minor visual shortcomings.
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Old 08-14-2009, 10:14 AM   #302
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Originally Posted by EowynCarter View Post
ahi, do you think publisher can make multiple version of pdf ? They can't edit even one version properly !
And, if you don't see the point of changing font size, you'll change your mind when your eyes gets old and you don't see that well anymore.
And once again, the problem is not ePub itself, but the fact it's used badly.
It is frightening that you think you are making cogent points.

Publishers have historically done far more complex work than it takes to create professional PDFs. And it takes actually remarkable little effort to create multiple PDFs for devices of multiple screen-sizes. In a day, professional PDFs could easily be created for as many as a dozen different screen sizes.

The solution to poor eyesight is the large-print edition. With PDF eBooks, they are precious little extra effort--so if publishers can manage the task with some print books, there is no reason they couldn't readily integrate the generation of large print editions (potentially automatically included/embedded in the regular edition) into their eBook workflow.

As for ePub (i.e.: reflow formats) not being the problem. As I pointed out to JSWolf, unless you are both a computer programmer and a typographer, you really lack the basis for forming sound opinions on the subject.

- Ahi
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Old 08-14-2009, 10:21 AM   #303
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Originally Posted by b0ned0me View Post
Beautiful books ARE works of art, but craftsmanship is scary expensive. Once upon a time all books were hand-written and hand-illustrated on hand-scraped vellum. A skilled craftsman might produce one copy of a book every few years, and if you were reasonably wealthy you might be able to own as many as a dozen books. Pretty much every change since then has been to make books less artistic, less attractive, easier to produce and easier to own. Likewise for shoes, underwear, furniture and pretty much everything else that people like to have. If ebook software and hardware cuts the odd corner here and there with pagination and justification to let me get several thousand works by several hundred authors into my briefcase for a reasonable amount of money, I'm just fine with that. Spellchecking and editing is a lot more important IMO, but then that's going downhill for real books anyway.

At the end of the day, given the choice I'd rather read a poorly formatted e-book by Jim Butcher, CJ Cherry or Jules Verne than the most beautifully crafted hardback by Clive Cussler or Dan Brown (in fact, I'd pay a substantial premium!).

Given a choice between the usual mediocre-quality physcial book and an ebook, I'm starting to lean more and more towards ebooks providing they have some amount of longevity and future-proofing. So for me, standardising on ePub seems a good idea - I'm far more bothered by lack of book availability than minor visual shortcomings.
Beautiful books are becoming increasing quick and simple to create. The same amount of time it takes to hack together an ePub, I can use the same source file and create a far more professional looking PDF via LaTeX. Add a few more hours, and I can generate an equally good looking PDF for all the popular eBook screen sizes, with two or three font-sizes for each, to accommodate people's font size preferences.

There is no real world reason that necessitates reflow formats, or even has them make sense with all things considered. If PDFs could include multiple PDF files, from which the user could pick which to view, font-size adjustment with perfect typography would be a reality today. And, unlike ePub viewers getting typography and hyphenation right, changing the PDF format and its viewers thusly is a software improvement that is actually possible.

Oh... and where you say "usual mediocre-quality physical book" leaves me confused. Are you not aware that 99.9% of physical books are, typographically, far higher quality than reflow formats can possibly achieve?

- Ahi
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Old 08-14-2009, 10:29 AM   #304
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Oh... and where you say "usual mediocre-quality physical book" leaves me confused. Are you not aware that 99.9% of physical books are, typographically, far higher quality than reflow formats can possibly achieve?
Probably so; i've seen some very bad eBook. Then what ? The average customers wants something nice to read, why should he care about typo rules he don't even know about ?
Mobi, ePub, lxf can be properly formated and rendered. ePub is not used at full extent. Some css info are not understood at all.. Kind of a shame.

Quote:
And, unlike ePub viewers getting typography and hyphenation right
The ePub viewer don't do it's job properly, we agree. But it's some lines of codes, can be fixed. But alas, as long as we the publishers insist on adobe drm, we're dependent on adobe's good will.
Well, hyphenation looks like a programmer's nightmare, but it can work. (the mobipocket reader does it right)

Last edited by EowynCarter; 08-14-2009 at 10:37 AM.
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Old 08-14-2009, 10:45 AM   #305
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Originally Posted by ahi View Post
It is frightening that you think you are making cogent points.

Publishers have historically done far more complex work than it takes to create professional PDFs. And it takes actually remarkable little effort to create multiple PDFs for devices of multiple screen-sizes. In a day, professional PDFs could easily be created for as many as a dozen different screen sizes.

The solution to poor eyesight is the large-print edition. With PDF eBooks, they are precious little extra effort--so if publishers can manage the task with some print books, there is no reason they couldn't readily integrate the generation of large print editions (potentially automatically included/embedded in the regular edition) into their eBook workflow.

As for ePub (i.e.: reflow formats) not being the problem. As I pointed out to JSWolf, unless you are both a computer programmer and a typographer, you really lack the basis for forming sound opinions on the subject.

- Ahi
I will try not to be as offensive as you are.
But you making no cohesive points what so ever. In all your previous posts you saying that typesetting is such an art, that no machine can do it . Now you saying machine generated pdfs of different sizes and resolution are just fine.

Please leave condescending tone about not being a typographer, you don't have to be a composer to appreciate good music or discern the bad, nor do you have to be a publisher to understand if you like book layout or not.
You don't even have to be a programer to see if application is good or bad, that I know as a programer. I always take my customer word for how good my application is.
So as far as enjoying reading experience and layout I can tell you I enjoy many many web sites (reflow format) and have no interest in format that doesn't allow me control of layout on my device.
So take the word of the customer (and other customers whose opinion you carfully ignore) for it, dynamic format is good for us.
I can go on with examples on why reflow is better on Mobile Reading devices, but they are all been listed and ignored, so why.

Ok I cannot resist Advantages of Mobile Reading as glimpsed from many posts through a span of few years.

1. Portable size format for carrying anywhere.
2. Ability to change font size.
3. Big storage.
4. Arguably - dictionary and notes)

You want to remove top 2, for the typography/kerning which nobody even mentioned before this post?
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Old 08-14-2009, 10:47 AM   #306
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BBC News story about Sony selling ePubs:

http://news.bbc.co.uk/1/hi/technology/8201093.stm
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Old 08-14-2009, 10:51 AM   #307
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Yes - I agree - it's an excellent solution. It will allow me to make personal 'fair use' of my purchase - I'd use my Reader when at home, but will be able to pop a current book on my iPod touch to take with me, instead of having to buy 2 copies, which I have done on occasion.
Until the company that issued the DRM-ed format goes bust. Then you lose your content.
DRM violates your rights as a customer. Buy it at your own risk, I am going to stay away.

-------------------

Some people here were writing about a new non-breakable DRM. SUCH thing does not exist.
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Old 08-14-2009, 10:54 AM   #308
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If you are not both a programmer and a typographer of some half-decent level of expertise, you are as likely to be correct in your assumptions about these issues as an English major is about the finer details of orbital interactions.
And I believe you are both of it?!

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What is it that makes people assume their opinions are necessarily insightful and authoritative on what are essentially computer science and typography expert-issues, just because they like reading books and can throw together HTML documents?
Show me a page and I tell you if I like it or not... (and I can't even make HTML pages)

BTW: For me it's just a decent looking font (with good kerning/line spacing) and justification (no need for hyphenation at all).
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Old 08-14-2009, 10:56 AM   #309
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BTW: For me it's just a decent looking font (with good kerning/line spacing) and justification (no need for hyphenation at all).
Small screens and long words are not a happy combination when it comes to having no hyphenation. You can end up with only two or three words on a line with huge spaces between them.
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Old 08-14-2009, 10:59 AM   #310
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Is there a website where I can search for a book, and it will send out a search through a vast majority of the ebook sellers online, and come back with the websites that sell this ebook?

This would make hunting for a specific ebook much less taxing, and ensure that you don't miss a possible site.
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Old 08-14-2009, 11:00 AM   #311
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Is there a website where I can search for a book, and it will send out a search through a vast majority of the ebook sellers online, and come back with the websites that sell this ebook?

This would make hunting for a specific ebook much less taxing, and ensure that you don't miss a possible site.
Not meaning to be funny, but doing a Google search for "book title" + "ebook" will do pretty much that.
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Old 08-14-2009, 11:03 AM   #312
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Is there a website where I can search for a book, and it will send out a search through a vast majority of the ebook sellers online, and come back with the websites that sell this ebook?

This would make hunting for a specific ebook much less taxing, and ensure that you don't miss a possible site.
I use www.ebookprice.info to find eBooks and also compare prices.
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Old 08-14-2009, 11:07 AM   #313
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Not meaning to be funny, but doing a Google search for "book title" + "ebook" will do pretty much that.
hehe. thanks. i've done this, but with there being many many sites that sell ebooks and books, you can good "harry potter" and "ebook" (as an example) and find places that sell Harry Potter pbooks, and have a link for some other 'ebook' on that page.

Google is good for some searches, but I find it difficult for others.
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Old 08-14-2009, 11:10 AM   #314
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I use www.ebookprice.info to find eBooks and also compare prices.
Thanks. I'll bookmark that site!
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Old 08-14-2009, 12:05 PM   #315
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Beautiful books are becoming increasing quick and simple to create. The same amount of time it takes to hack together an ePub, I can use the same source file and create a far more professional looking PDF via LaTeX. Add a few more hours, and I can generate an equally good looking PDF for all the popular eBook screen sizes, with two or three font-sizes for each, to accommodate people's font size preferences.

There is no real world reason that necessitates reflow formats, or even has them make sense with all things considered. If PDFs could include multiple PDF files, from which the user could pick which to view, font-size adjustment with perfect typography would be a reality today. And, unlike ePub viewers getting typography and hyphenation right, changing the PDF format and its viewers thusly is a software improvement that is actually possible.

Oh... and where you say "usual mediocre-quality physical book" leaves me confused. Are you not aware that 99.9% of physical books are, typographically, far higher quality than reflow formats can possibly achieve?

- Ahi
Good Lord! How big would those files be? I'd like to have more than 2 or 3 books on my reader, thank you very much!

And stop the condescending tone. Your "I have standards, so therefor I am superior to you" crap is getting really offensive.

I have some incredibly beautiful books in my collection - I take them out and admire them periodically. I don't see ebooks replacing beautifully crafted books anymore than computer graphics can replace oil painting. Your demanding that ebooks, which are mostly for convenience, be as big and beautiful as the most finely crafted pbooks, is puzzling. Especially since most commercially sold hardbacks are crap anyway - most fall apart in a few years time. Ask any librarian.

You love PDF for it's artistic qualities? Fine. Allow us to enjoy ePub for it's convenience and portability without talking to us as though we're Philistines, or idiots. Most of us have been booklovers all our lives.
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