View Single Post
Old 10-02-2008, 12:39 PM   #11
Hadrien Co-Founder
Hadrien understands the importance of being earnest.Hadrien understands the importance of being earnest.Hadrien understands the importance of being earnest.Hadrien understands the importance of being earnest.Hadrien understands the importance of being earnest.Hadrien understands the importance of being earnest.Hadrien understands the importance of being earnest.Hadrien understands the importance of being earnest.Hadrien understands the importance of being earnest.Hadrien understands the importance of being earnest.Hadrien understands the importance of being earnest.
Hadrien's Avatar
Posts: 2,263
Karma: 145123
Join Date: Nov 2006
Location: Paris, France
Device: Sony PRS-t-1/350/300/500/505/600/700, Nexus S, iPad
I did such a list too on my blog:

The Good

ePub support: Now that the PRS-505 supports this new e-book standard, it is much more future-proof than any other similar device on the market. Sure, ePub as a standard will evolve in the upcoming years, but in its current form, ePub is already very flexible (thanks to the OCF-OPF duo) and much more standard than the rest of the e-books formats on the market (XHTML, DTBook, CSS…). It’s good to finally get a mobile device with almost full ePub support (previous reading system usually didn’t supported the CSS part of the standard).

Improved PDF support: The previous version of the PRS-505 firmware and the PRS-500 both had terrible PDF support compared to the rest of the e-ink readers because of a grey-ish background and bad font rendering. You’ll instantly notice the difference: the background is now almost white and the fonts are much more crisp. While you were limited to large fonts on the previous firmware, you can now use much smaller fonts too.

PDF reflow: As an e-book format, PDF is always quite problematic for the average end-user. Most of them don’t quite understand why correctly displaying a letter sized document on a 6″ screen is almost impossible. Hopefully, they’ll be able to reflow those files now, although the results could look better.
Digital Editions: The official Sony Library software is awful and is probably one of the worst problem with the PRS products. Hopefully, we can now use Digital Editions to manage those files (at least if you’re using Windows) or the good old UMS support.
New DRM support: Thanks to the new DRM system from Adobe, it’ll be possible to borrow books from various online libraries or to buy books from all sorts of online retailers rather than strictly on the Sony e-book store.
To compete with Amazon, Sony needed to open their product to every online retailer out there, and they did the right move.

Speed: In the menu or while reading a book, you’ll notice a speed improvement with the new firmware.

The Bad

Lack of justified text: While we can display advanced ePub files on the PRS-505, with embedded fonts, CSS, SVG and even XSL-FO, Adobe doesn’t provide any sort of support for justified text yet. Justification and hyphenation are the two main reasons why I’m still using PDF files on my device. Sure, it should be fairly easy to add support for justified text in the future, but it doesn’t make any sense to support something as advanced as XSL-FO first.

Page numbers in the right column: I love how DE rely on a real page system as opposed to the progress bar that we usually get with Mobipocket support. Increasing or decreasing the size of the font, won’t change the total number of pages or your current page number. Publishers can even link those page numbers to the real pages of a paper edition.
Unfortunately, Sony/Adobe decided than those page numbers should also be displayed in the right column. If you don’t have a CSS margin in your book (using @page or XSL-FO won’t work), you’ll end up with those same page numbers displayed OVER your text.
To-do list for the next firmware upgrade: an option to turn this on/off.

Only 3 font sizes: While LRF files were limited to 3 different font sizes due to technical limitations, we should be able to select any font size for ePub files. Unfortunately, Sony decided to limit this choice to 3 different font sizes. It doesn’t make any sense, and once again, should be fairly easy to fix.

Ugly PDF reflow: Sure, I don’t expect PDF reflow to be perfect. But what’s the point of dividing a word on 2 different lines without any sort of hyphenation rules or even a proper hyphen character ?

The Ugly

No PRS-500 support, AT ALL: While I can understand why, for technical reasons it might be hard to add ePub support on the PRS-500 (limited CPU and RAM resources), Sony could at least fix the PDF support on the PRS-500 (background and font bug).

No support for DE on OS X & Linux: In order to use DE on your computer, you need an upgraded driver for the PRS-505. The driver is strictly available on Windows: for those of you using OS X or Linux, you won’t be able to buy DRMed books or to use Digital Editions to manage your files.

XML flow size limit: That’s probably the worst problem with the current mobile version of Digital Editions.
While it is correct according to the ePub specs to use a single XML flow for your whole book, Adobe recommended in their best practice guide to divide your book into multiple XML flows. If your book is divided into multiple chapters, of course, this is a best practice: parsing and processing a large XML flow can be very difficult in a mobile environment.
But how can you properly divide Ulysses or any book from Proust ? Those books do not even use page breaks. To create a book with multiple XML flows for such books, you’d have to add page breaks in the middle of the text.
On the desktop version of Digital Editions, if one of your XML flow is larger than 300k (unencrypted), you get a warning message but it still works. Open the same file on the PRS-505 and you get a cryptic “Paging Error” message.
With the current software, it’s simply impossible to display Ulysses without butchering the text (page breaks where there should be none).
Hadrien is offline   Reply With Quote