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Old 11-20-2009, 08:20 AM   #1
mrmikel
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Feature request

I am reading the Project Gutenberg epub of Prester John by John Buchan. It works fine, but it is formatted with no margins so when it is displayed in Firefox the characters go all the way to both edges and are a bit hard to read.

Would it be possible to add a 1 or 2 character left and right margin?
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Old 11-20-2009, 11:01 AM   #2
mikelv
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Hi Mikel,

thanks for your feature request!

I've already seen that the Project Gutenberg ePubs don't look that nice. The reason is, that the author of the ePub-file didn't format the content pages in a way they look nice .

In my opinion it's not a good idea, if EPUBReader starts to modify the look of the content pages. Where do you start, where do you stop? This is the job of the author.
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Old 11-20-2009, 11:08 AM   #3
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Quote:
Originally Posted by mikelv View Post
...In my opinion it's not a good idea, if EPUBReader starts to modify the look of the content pages. Where do you start, where do you stop? This is the job of the author.
I concur. Show it like it is!
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Old 11-20-2009, 11:30 AM   #4
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Quote:
Originally Posted by mikelv View Post
Hi Mikel,

thanks for your feature request!

I've already seen that the Project Gutenberg ePubs don't look that nice. The reason is, that the author of the ePub-file didn't format the content pages in a way they look nice .

In my opinion it's not a good idea, if EPUBReader starts to modify the look of the content pages. Where do you start, where do you stop? This is the job of the author.
I do think there is a place for some customization for the user. While I agree the eBook has some formatting the question is who is in control. I remember with the browswers first came out (yes, I am considerably older than that) and the idea was that the user controlled the presentation while the source controlled the content. Today this has been largely changed to the source controlling both the content and the presentation and sometimes there are good reasons for this but not always. Some sites even force the width of the window for no apparent reason other than they can control.

Certainly the PG files do not have authors creating them. User customization can go a long way to aid the reading experience. CSS has the word cascading in it to allow overriding settings in certain instances and a CSS approach can allow for user customization. Already there is an ability to change the font size. Changing margins, text indenting for paragraphs, default justification, screen display width, hyphenation preference, default fonts are all candidates for user preferences but there are limits as to what should be changed as it affects the original authors presentation. For example some users force bold font which can lose the authors emphasis capability unless it can be accommodated in some fashion, like switching to italics.)

This is certainly a philosophy discussion but could be interpreted as a user rights issue.

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Old 11-20-2009, 11:49 AM   #5
mrmikel
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Show it like it is?

If it is a lot of work, don't bother. Unlike some people on mobileread, I am delighted when someone like Michael makes his work available for the benefit of others.

My own feeling is I don't care what the author wanted...I doubt there a lot of Mona Lisa quality epubs floating around out there. I'd like for my reading experience to be as easy and pleasant as possible, regardless of whether the author had good taste (according to me)!

Some PG epubs which had highly formatted HTML originals should be delightful. Others, like this one that came from plain text, are part of an automated process which they concede is experimental. In the end, the transcriber may have had a particular device in mind, and it might not come out as well when displayed in a browser.

Since it is your software Michael, you get to decide what controls you want in it. Certainly nobody wants a control panel that covers half the screen!
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