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Old 09-30-2006, 07:27 PM   #1
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Sunrise for Sony Reader planned?

Laurens mentioned that he was interested in adding support for the Sony Reader in Sunrise. Laurens, any news on this?
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Old 09-30-2006, 10:30 PM   #2
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Here, here! That would be great... no wait, that would be awesome!!!!
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Old 10-01-2006, 03:16 AM   #3
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Pardon my ignorance, but what's Sunrise? Some format I've missed over the years?
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Old 10-01-2006, 04:59 AM   #4
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Quote:
Originally Posted by TadW
Laurens mentioned that he was interested in adding support for the Sony Reader in Sunrise. Laurens, any news on this?
Well, there will be no PRS support added to Sunrise as such. Rather, I want to start from scratch with an entirely new product, which will most likely use PDF as the output format so it can support the Iliad and other devices as well. That's about the only thing I can tell you right now. I don't even know if I'll actually get round to writing it at all. Don't expect anything anytime soon.
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Old 10-01-2006, 05:25 AM   #5
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Quote:
Originally Posted by TadW
Laurens mentioned that he was interested in adding support for the Sony Reader in Sunrise. Laurens, any news on this?
You you mean "Plucker" support?

Sunrise will create the Plucker files. All we really need is the reader on our devices.

Seeing how a reader is already available for the Zaurus, it shoud be a small job to port it.
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Old 10-01-2006, 05:37 AM   #6
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@tekchic: Check here

@Laurens: Good luck! Whatever you come up with, I know it will set our geeky hearts aflutter

@rlauzon: I actually meant what I said (at least this time, surprisingly). While your approach would also work, what I had in mind was for Sunrise to produce output files in BBeB format that the Sony Reader could handle natively. Since Laurens is the guy for Sunrise and not necessarily for Plucker, I thought this would be perhaps easier than the way around.
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Old 10-01-2006, 06:06 AM   #7
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Quote:
Originally Posted by TadW
I actually meant what I said (at least this time, surprisingly). While your approach would also work, what I had in mind was for Sunrise to produce output files in BBeB format that the Sony Reader could handle natively. Since Laurens is the guy for Sunrise and not necessarily for Plucker, I thought this would be perhaps easier than the way around.
I'll re-iterate what I've said many times before:
Proprietary formats are always bad for the consumer.

IHMO, any 3rd party support for such a format is definately the Wrong Thing. If for nothing else that it sends the wrong message to Sony.
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Old 10-01-2006, 06:47 AM   #8
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Quote:
Originally Posted by rlauzon
I'll re-iterate what I've said many times before:
Proprietary formats are always bad for the consumer.

IHMO, any 3rd party support for such a format is definately the Wrong Thing. If for nothing else that it sends the wrong message to Sony.
There are dozens, probably hundreds of tools that output PDF, so I'm not sure how one single application is going to make much of a difference. As it stands, PDF is the richest, most capable document format currently supported on both the Iliad and PRS. (I would say the Iliad implementation is somewhat lacking ATM, but let's hope they improve on it soon.)
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Old 10-01-2006, 08:35 AM   #9
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Laurens
There are dozens, probably hundreds of tools that output PDF, so I'm not sure how one single application is going to make much of a difference. As it stands, PDF is the richest, most capable document format currently supported on both the Iliad and PRS. (I would say the Iliad implementation is somewhat lacking ATM, but let's hope they improve on it soon.)
1. I was speaking about BBeB, not PDF, in my message.
2. PDF is a page layout format - not an eBook format - and is still a poor choice for making content that's viewable across different devices. I agree that it's the best we have right now for the readers, but that doesn't make PDF a good format.
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Old 10-01-2006, 08:50 AM   #10
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rlauzon, you were speaking of "proprietary formats", which includes PDF.

And if rumors are true, Sony is going to open up BBeB.
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Old 10-01-2006, 09:33 AM   #11
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Quote:
Originally Posted by rlauzon
1. I was speaking about BBeB, not PDF, in my message.
2. PDF is a page layout format - not an eBook format - and is still a poor choice for making content that's viewable across different devices. I agree that it's the best we have right now for the readers, but that doesn't make PDF a good format.
True, but PDF is still a very good fit for downloading and reading news offline. Aside from the content being of a temporary nature (meaning that you'll read it once and then delete it, just like you don't keep newspapers around), the documents are for personal use only, since you're not allowed to redistribute a site's content publically anyway. In other words: it doesn't matter that the PDFs are formatted specifically for a particular device for this type of application.
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Old 10-01-2006, 09:33 AM   #12
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Quote:
Originally Posted by TadW
rlauzon, you were speaking of "proprietary formats", which includes PDF.

And if rumors are true, Sony is going to open up BBeB.
Nice. Depending on what "open up" means.

Right now, Sony has a proprietary format. I would assume that they have a patent on it or in some other way legally secured that they own the format.

Now, if "open up" means dropping all patents and giving the ownership of the format up (like putting it in the Public Domain or giving the format to an independant standards organization), this would definately be a good thing. It means that BBeB could actually become a viable eBook format.

However, if "open up" means that Sony provides the specifications of the format so that people can create programs that make BBeB content, but require you to license the format to create a reader for it, then BBeB remains a valueless format that serves only to lock you into a Sony (or Sony-approved) device.

When you add DRM to this, the problem gets stickier. If they go with the first "open up" option, this will effectively create an open DRM scheme - which I have already proven cannot exist.

So, what I figure will happen is "open up" option 2. Sony will publish the specifications to allow people to create non-protected content. "Protected" (remember, the content is protected from you - the customer) content will have to be created by a Sony tool (effectively locking Publishers into Sony too). Readers will have to be licensed, if they want to read "protected" content - which will probably happen. As someone else said, users load up a Word document and expect it to work and if it doesn't, it's the program's fault - not the data's fault. So all readers of the BBeB format will be approved by Sony - sort of like giving GM veto power over what kind of cars Ford makes.
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Old 10-01-2006, 09:39 AM   #13
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Laurens
True, but PDF is still a very good fit for downloading and reading news offline. Aside from the content being of a temporary nature (meaning that you'll read it once and then delete it, just like you don't keep newspapers around), the documents are for personal use only, since you're not allowed to redistribute a site's content publically anyway. In other words: it doesn't matter that the PDFs are formatted specifically for a particular device for this type of application.
I agree with that. I'm not worried about the longevity of that. I use Sunrise today for such information and I really don't care if I can't read it tomorrow.

But, as I said, PDF is a page layout format. Your software will have to accept as input the size of the page to be formatted or the page will be unreadable on small devices.

Since this topic started off as a Sunrise question, I assumed that we wanted to stick with the ideas there. Plucker content is viewable on devices of different screen sizes (putting graphics aside for a moment). You can't really create a PDF that works like that. Some people tell me that tagged PDFs can work well, but my experiments with creating tagged PDFs in OpenOffice 2 hasn't shown that tagged PDFs are any different (other than being significantly larger).
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Old 10-01-2006, 10:04 AM   #14
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Quote:
Originally Posted by rlauzon
I agree with that. I'm not worried about the longevity of that. I use Sunrise today for such information and I really don't care if I can't read it tomorrow.

But, as I said, PDF is a page layout format. Your software will have to accept as input the size of the page to be formatted or the page will be unreadable on small devices.

Since this topic started off as a Sunrise question, I assumed that we wanted to stick with the ideas there. Plucker content is viewable on devices of different screen sizes (putting graphics aside for a moment). You can't really create a PDF that works like that. Some people tell me that tagged PDFs can work well, but my experiments with creating tagged PDFs in OpenOffice 2 hasn't shown that tagged PDFs are any different (other than being significantly larger).
True. Cross-device viewability goes out the door by choosing PDF. Even if they did work as advertised, tagged PDFs are not supported by the PRS anyway, so that's not even an option. Also, converting and formatting HTML into a good-looking PDF requires layouting to be done in advance, which is an order of magnitude more difficult than creating a relatively simple Plucker document. Anyway, it's going to be an interesting problem to tackle.
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Old 10-01-2006, 12:57 PM   #15
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I've been busy the last several days writing a tool for the iLiad that consumes an RSS file from a site like the NY Times and then grabs and re-writes the linked HTML to work locally on the iLiad. I got the code working this morning to process NYT "Page M of N" links without picking up all the other stuff like advertising and unrelated pages. CNET's links are next.

I can easily convert the tool to output BBeB using the code I wrote to crunch HTML to re-flowable BBeB. I've been using it to process Fictionwise and Baen ebooks for my Librie for 18 months so its very stable at this point. You can expect to see this tool a few days after Sony gets me my Reader. I'm pretty steamed with Sony right now, take my money (including the outrageous $112 expedite fee), don't send me my reader. That kind of thing isn't conducive to my writing process.
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