Register Guidelines E-Books Search Today's Posts Mark Forums Read

Go Back   MobileRead Forums > E-Book General > News

Notices

Reply
 
Thread Tools Search this Thread
Old 07-09-2006, 08:02 PM   #16
BasilC
Zealot
BasilC is on a distinguished road
 
BasilC's Avatar
 
Posts: 129
Karma: 60
Join Date: Feb 2003
Location: London England
Device: Palm Tungsten T3
Quote:
Originally Posted by CommanderROR
Why do we need a new format?
Why not just use HTML or PDF, formats almost all devices already understand?
PDA's might be able to "understand" PDF files, but there's no way that they can display them satisfactorily if they include images or tables, whereas with html you can convert a document in iSilo, Sunrise or HandStory and be able to read both text and tables.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Liviu_5
I agree that a good ebook format would be a big help.

Something that is:
one file, no folders attached (the failing of html, opf),
zipped or zippable for conserving space
flexible (access a page at a time as opposed to whole document) and as small as possible (the failing of pdf/djvu/fb2),
allows interactivity (clickable table contents, hyperlinks..) (the failing of rtf/txt),
allows diagrams, equations, tables (you can do it in rtf/html/doc, but only pdf/djvu/latex do it well)
allows customization of fonts, colours
allows decent pagination and navigation
allows multiple language encodings
as nonproprietary as possible

I have no idea if some of the above requirements are not contradictory but I wish that OpenReader/DotReader and whatever IDPF comes up will actually become available and be evaluated by the market as soon as possible.

Liviu
I agree with most of that (though I don't actually know that djvu and latex are), except the statement that PDF does diagrams, equations and tables well. It does on a pc, but is hopeless on a pda.
BasilC is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 07-10-2006, 02:31 AM   #17
ath
Addict
ath doesn't litterath doesn't litter
 
Posts: 222
Karma: 110
Join Date: Jun 2006
Location: Malmo, Sweden
Device: iLiad, Sony PRS-505, Kindle
Quote:
Originally Posted by BasilC
PDA's might be able to "understand" PDF files, but there's no way that they can display them satisfactorily if they include images or tables, whereas with html you can convert a document in iSilo, Sunrise or HandStory and be able to read both text and tables.
For PDF to work *well* on a PDA, it has to be produced with the screen size in mind.

That is true for HTML, as well: a table designed to look good on 800 width, will not look good on a PDA, especially not if the table cells are 'largish', with lots of text. And some texts, particularly those involving sesquipedalian words, looks ghastly on a PDA.

I suspect the idea of being able to reuse text/web content on a PDA without any modification is to a large extent bogus. (Though my level of standard is very high: possibly needlessly so. I don't accept badly hyphenated text, for instance.)
ath is offline   Reply With Quote
 
Enthusiast
Old 07-10-2006, 09:37 AM   #18
CommanderROR
eink fanatic
CommanderROR is fluent in JavaScript as well as Klingon.CommanderROR is fluent in JavaScript as well as Klingon.CommanderROR is fluent in JavaScript as well as Klingon.CommanderROR is fluent in JavaScript as well as Klingon.CommanderROR is fluent in JavaScript as well as Klingon.CommanderROR is fluent in JavaScript as well as Klingon.CommanderROR is fluent in JavaScript as well as Klingon.CommanderROR is fluent in JavaScript as well as Klingon.CommanderROR is fluent in JavaScript as well as Klingon.CommanderROR is fluent in JavaScript as well as Klingon.CommanderROR is fluent in JavaScript as well as Klingon.
 
CommanderROR's Avatar
 
Posts: 2,022
Karma: 4924
Join Date: Mar 2006
Location: Germany
Device: STAReBOOK, iRex Iliad, Sony 505, Kindle 2
a PDf can work well on a small screen if it is reflowable.
Of course some formatting will get lost, but for fiction books that is not too important.
CommanderROR is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 07-10-2006, 05:48 PM   #19
BasilC
Zealot
BasilC is on a distinguished road
 
BasilC's Avatar
 
Posts: 129
Karma: 60
Join Date: Feb 2003
Location: London England
Device: Palm Tungsten T3
Quote:
Originally Posted by ath
For PDF to work *well* on a PDA, it has to be produced with the screen size in mind.
But if you produced it with a pda in mind, it would look stupid on a pc or laptop and you'd lose one of the main points of pdf, which is to produce something ready formatted for printing.

Quote:
Originally Posted by ath
That is true for HTML, as well: a table designed to look good on 800 width, will not look good on a PDA, especially not if the table cells are 'largish', with lots of text. And some texts, particularly those involving sesquipedalian words, looks ghastly on a PDA.
Both these points are true, but I'm not looking for perfection, but for something which is easily intelligible. In any case, iSilo can do a very good job with tables and it can also resize graphics as required.

Quote:
Originally Posted by CommanderROR
a PDf can work well on a small screen if it is reflowable.
Of course some formatting will get lost, but for fiction books that is not too important.
This also is true, but only for books or documents which are predominantly text. On a Palm handheld PalmPDF, Repligo and PDFtoGo do a good job of reflowing text (though, of course, for DRM ebooks you're forced to use the far inferior Adobe Reader). The big problem is with academic papers, non-fiction books etc with graphics or tables. The majority of which are pdf files or pdf ebooks, and there is no satisfactory way of reading these on a pda, because if you use page view (to see an image of the complete page), the text is far too small to read. If you try using Adobe Reader to convert a pdf academic paper for a pda, it cannot properly distinguish between tables and normal text or between captions to diagrams and normal text and the result can be a complete dog's dinner.
BasilC is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 07-11-2006, 03:12 AM   #20
ath
Addict
ath doesn't litterath doesn't litter
 
Posts: 222
Karma: 110
Join Date: Jun 2006
Location: Malmo, Sweden
Device: iLiad, Sony PRS-505, Kindle
Quote:
Originally Posted by BasilC
But if you produced it with a pda in mind, it would look stupid on a pc or laptop and you'd lose one of the main points of pdf, which is to produce something ready formatted for printing.
If I use PDF for book-work, it may be a useful benefit to be able to look at it on a PC screen. But using a PDA is not of the slightest importance. It's like trying to drive in a 9in nail with a pocket hammer -- it's something you attempt only where there are no other alternatives, and once you have got rid of the initial frustration, it's something you realize is not going to work anyway.

If I use PDF to design a eBook intended for PDA reading, that's where that text should be read. Looking on it on a PC screen may be useful, but it will won't look good, and it may work almost as awkwardly as trying to read a tabloid page on a 15in screen. Printing it is entirely out of the question: it has not been designed for the resolution of a phototypesetter, it's been designed for the resolution of a PDA screen.

And, of course, if I design a eBook for the PC screen ... it's not going to read well on a PDA, and it's certainly not going to print particularly well either. PDF is not the platform for trying to achieve that kind of portability, unless you are prepared to drop quality -- and accept that it looks 'stupid', as you say.

Me, quality is what I go for. If that means dropping reader platform portability, that's someting I'd cheerfully do. That's why I said "For PDF to work *well* on a PDA...": I meant and mean 'well', not 'acceptably', or even 'at all'.

Last edited by ath; 07-11-2006 at 06:15 AM.
ath is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 07-11-2006, 06:15 AM   #21
ath
Addict
ath doesn't litterath doesn't litter
 
Posts: 222
Karma: 110
Join Date: Jun 2006
Location: Malmo, Sweden
Device: iLiad, Sony PRS-505, Kindle
Quote:
Originally Posted by CommanderROR
a PDf can work well on a small screen if it is reflowable.
Of course some formatting will get lost, but for fiction books that is not too important.
Losing intended formatting, to me, means 'does not work well at all'.

There are excuses for reflowing. But to base the entire reading on it ... no.
ath is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 07-11-2006, 05:47 PM   #22
CommanderROR
eink fanatic
CommanderROR is fluent in JavaScript as well as Klingon.CommanderROR is fluent in JavaScript as well as Klingon.CommanderROR is fluent in JavaScript as well as Klingon.CommanderROR is fluent in JavaScript as well as Klingon.CommanderROR is fluent in JavaScript as well as Klingon.CommanderROR is fluent in JavaScript as well as Klingon.CommanderROR is fluent in JavaScript as well as Klingon.CommanderROR is fluent in JavaScript as well as Klingon.CommanderROR is fluent in JavaScript as well as Klingon.CommanderROR is fluent in JavaScript as well as Klingon.CommanderROR is fluent in JavaScript as well as Klingon.
 
CommanderROR's Avatar
 
Posts: 2,022
Karma: 4924
Join Date: Mar 2006
Location: Germany
Device: STAReBOOK, iRex Iliad, Sony 505, Kindle 2
@ath
I think you have to make a distinction there...

As I said, for fiction books that use text only, minimal "fixed" formatting is enough. For PDF with charts, pictures and all that it doesn't make a lot of sense to reflow.
CommanderROR is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 07-13-2006, 06:35 PM   #23
BasilC
Zealot
BasilC is on a distinguished road
 
BasilC's Avatar
 
Posts: 129
Karma: 60
Join Date: Feb 2003
Location: London England
Device: Palm Tungsten T3
Quote:
Originally Posted by ath
If I use PDF for book-work, it may be a useful benefit to be able to look at it on a PC screen. But using a PDA is not of the slightest importance. It's like trying to drive in a 9in nail with a pocket hammer -- it's something you attempt only where there are no other alternatives, and once you have got rid of the initial frustration, it's something you realize is not going to work anyway.
I guess that's where we differ. Believe it or not, I actually find it easier to read books on a pda than on a laptop or pc, especially using autoscroll in iSilo or Plucker. Even at home I would use the pda in preference to a pc. Not for Internet work, true, but for books and documents yes. And the other nice thing about a pda is that I spend a lot of time on trains and buses. My pda is always with me, so I can get out the pda and read an article or a book at the drop of a hat. And I don't have to find where I left off, like on a pc.

So I think the ideal is a format that can be easily adapted for a pda if that's what the user wants. Would it not be possible to have a pdf file optimised for printing/reading on a pc where there are tags showing what is text, what is tables etc, so that a conversion program could quickly adapt it for a pda?
BasilC is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 07-14-2006, 03:30 AM   #24
ath
Addict
ath doesn't litterath doesn't litter
 
Posts: 222
Karma: 110
Join Date: Jun 2006
Location: Malmo, Sweden
Device: iLiad, Sony PRS-505, Kindle
Quote:
Originally Posted by BasilC
Would it not be possible to have a pdf file optimised for printing/reading on a pc where there are tags showing what is text, what is tables etc, so that a conversion program could quickly adapt it for a pda?
It would be possible to do quite a lot -- one thing I would like to see reflowing maintaining the line spacing of the original. It would also be possible to do zooming/scaling in terms of the page CropBox (I think it is)-- that would make it possible to set personal page margin preferences.

Unfortunately ... some of it rather gets away from PDF as a page description language: it wasn't really designed for this. I think other solutions are better for the situation where the same 'book' will be read on different devices, at least for now. Sony Reader will not use tagging, at least not initially -- I suspect that's more or less the case for the iLiad as well.

Bill McCoy notes somewhere that matching a print master PDF to a PDF reading device with a different format is a challenge -- but that Adobe is working on it. (Pan and scan?:-) Unfortunately there seem to more info on what that involves.
ath is offline   Reply With Quote
Reply

Thread Tools Search this Thread
Search this Thread:

Advanced Search

Forum Jump

Similar Threads
Thread Thread Starter Forum Replies Last Post
Why Adobe may be good for the new ePub standard e-book format Bob Russell News 51 10-07-2007 09:01 PM
IDPF invites input on new e-book standard file format (OPS 2.0) Bob Russell News 0 04-16-2007 07:35 PM
IDPF - New digital book standard released: OEBPS (XML format) & OCF (container) CommanderROR News 13 11-04-2006 08:49 AM
Add your voice to free audiobooks Brian News 2 09-13-2005 10:08 AM


All times are GMT -4. The time now is 04:49 AM.


MobileRead.com is a privately owned, operated and funded community.