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Old 11-15-2019, 05:45 PM   #1201
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Originally Posted by Rev. Bob View Post
Riiight.

Well, you’ve just proven that I can ignore you and lose nothing of value. You ought to put those goalposts down; dragging them around like that can’t be good for your back.
Psst I’ve been saying it’s a deficiency this whole time. But I suppose when you realize your own guidelines show your stance is wrong there’s nothing left but to hurl insults.

Not that I’m terribly surprised given your replies to David.

Keep insisting that technical specs can make the word should mean must and other such absurdities.
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Old 11-15-2019, 07:28 PM   #1202
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I read that far and suspected that line was all I needed to read of your response.

I was right. You keep interpreting “should” much more loosely than the RFC 2119 definition allows. In doing so, despite your protests to the contrary, your interpretation is closer to that document’s “may” than its “should.”
Out of a perhaps morbid curiosity, what is the relevance of RFC 2119 definitions for the use of words in IETF documents to this discussion? Last time I looked, none of the epub documents were published as RFCs or other IETF document. Though I did notice that on reading RFC 2119, it does not appear to confuse SHOULD with MUST or REQUIRED or SHALL.

Please leave that barrow of red herrings at the door.
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Old 11-15-2019, 08:54 PM   #1203
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Out of a perhaps morbid curiosity, what is the relevance of RFC 2119 definitions for the use of words in IETF documents to this discussion? Last time I looked, none of the epub documents were published as RFCs or other IETF document.
I’ve already answered that:

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Now, remember how I said there was a significant difference between "should" and "may"?

Both CSS/3.1 and OPS/1.4 specifically state that certain keywords - specifically including "must" and "should" and "may" - are to be interpreted as defined in RFC 2119.
Both of the specs under discussion – EPUB 2.0.1 and CSS 2.0 – specifically reference RFC 2119’s definitions. I even listed the specific sections which do so.
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Old 11-15-2019, 10:28 PM   #1204
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Originally Posted by Rev. Bob View Post
I read that far and suspected that line was all I needed to read of your response.

I was right. You keep interpreting “should” much more loosely than the RFC 2119 definition allows. In doing so, despite your protests to the contrary, your interpretation is closer to that document’s “may” than its “should.”

Simply untrue. Again, the RFC language for “should” says “there may exist valid reasons in particular circumstances to ignore a particular item, but the full implications must be understood and carefully weighed before choosing a different course.”

That’s much more stringent than “it’s a damn good idea to implement X.” It is a dire warning to the developer to think really damned hard and consider all of the ramifications before omitting the feature, because getting rid of it is a really serious matter.
Firstly, please stop calling me an idiot who can't read or think. Yes, that is extreme, but it is effectively what you are doing.

And please stop doing exactly what you accuse me of doing. You are interpreting "should" in this matter as "must".

As I stated, I completely understand what "should" means. And I stand by my crude interpretation. I mean, it actually says this in the the definition of "should":

Quote:
SHOULD This word, or the adjective "RECOMMENDED", mean that there may exist valid reasons in particular circumstances to ignore a particular item, but the full implications must be understood and carefully weighed before choosing a different course.
Well, maybe I should have stated it as: "It would be a damn good idea if you did this, but, if you have a good reason not to, then you don't absolutely have to do it".

And it comes down to, what is a "valid reason". I have no real idea why Kobo decided not to do this, but, I assume they had what they considered were valid reasons. Whether I would agree is a separate matter.

It's time to stop wasting our time arguing about this. You think I am reading this to weakly, and I think you are reading it to strongly. But, it isn't me you need to convince of this. If you really think this is a bug, you need to convince Kobo to fix it.
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Old 11-15-2019, 11:40 PM   #1205
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Well, maybe I should have stated it as: "It would be a damn good idea if you did this, but, if you have a good reason not to, then you don't absolutely have to do it".
That would have been a considerably closer restatement, yes. My issue with even that version is that it conveys the sense that the feature under discussion is a bonus, a nice value-add where losing it is no big deal. That’s not at all how I read 2119. I see their “should” in the same sense as “this is a very important thing, and we strongly urge you to do it, but if your specific situation is truly exceptional, we’ll grudgingly let you go with a stern warning.” It’s not quite the absolute “must,” but it’s extremely close to it.

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Originally Posted by davidfor
And it comes down to, what is a "valid reason". I have no real idea why Kobo decided not to do this, but, I assume they had what they considered were valid reasons. Whether I would agree is a separate matter.
Consider this datum: The key specifications put forth by W3C – HTML, XHTML, CSS, everything – get finalized as “Recommendations.” There is no higher level over there; that’s the top. So when they say compliance with a given rule is “recommended,” that’s considerably stronger than the take-it-or-leave-it advice of “it looks like rain, so I recommend bringing an umbrella.”

That’s the context of these documents. That’s the environment and the mindset for the people formulating them. No, it’s not an absolute “must” – but it’s considerably stronger than “get a note from Mom and we’ll let you slide.” When you (and others) water that down to “meh, it’s not absolutely required, so it’s technically optional,” you misrepresent the intent of the specs.

Programmers are extremely wary of absolutes. We tend to avoid them, even in our documentation, because we know it’s a big wide world out there with a lot of weird situations. On occasion, exceptions need to be made, and 2119-should allows for that. No reputable programmer of my acquaintance would even consider breaking a should-level rule unless there really is no other option.

Nothing about leaving monospace support out of a dedicated e-reader approaches that level.

See, I look at those should-not-must exceptions I’ve cited and think, “what if someone’s writing an EPUB reader for an old PalmPilot?” Well, different fonts probably wouldn’t be an option there. Such an app would have to undergo some brutal cutting to be feasible, and in that context… yeah, map everything to the one available system font and ignore embeds. Sucks to do it, but there you go. How about non-visual rendering engines, like voice or Braille? Hard to speak in monospace or serif, but even then, I’d look into using different voices or inflections before caving and saying that there’s no way to obey the rule.

Those are the sorts of “valid reasons in particular circumstances” that “should” means. Serious technical limitations… and those simply don’t exist in this case.

Last edited by Rev. Bob; 11-15-2019 at 11:49 PM.
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Old 11-16-2019, 03:16 AM   #1206
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@Rev. Bob: I'm giving up. You are the one who is being insistent on following these standards. You are the one who is quoting what "should", which clearly allows for exceptions and insisting on the meaning. My opinion after reading this, Kobo are completely in their rights to decide how to implement this or whether to at all. They have their reasons, and unless they want to come here and tell us, we won't know what it is. The only thing I know is that it is a deliberate decision. And of course, they have actually implemented rendering of classes with "monospace" as their font face. Which is a "must". What they haven't done is to include an actual monospace font, which is allowed under the "should"

Personally, this is not a bug. At the most it is missing function. And, in my opinion, a pretty unimportant function.

If you have more to say about this, please take it up with Kobo. Or with whoever controls these specs so that can go after Kobo for claiming support for EPUB and EPUB3 without actually following the specs.
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Old 11-16-2019, 06:18 AM   #1207
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Originally Posted by davidfor View Post
Firstly, please stop calling me an idiot ...
Please keep calm. Here we are all civilized people and there is no need to give an outburst.

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SHOULD This word, or the adjective "RECOMMENDED", mean that there may exist valid reasons in particular circumstances to ignore a particular item, but the full implications must be understood and carefully weighed before choosing a different course.
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Originally Posted by davidfor View Post
I have no real idea why Kobo decided not to do this ...
You know well why kobo did it. Right you said to us:

Quote:
And I have asked kobo the question about monospace support. Basically, "not important" ...
So Kobo did not have valid reasons to break the standard, nor the circumstances were particular, nor they were carefully weighted.

So the lack of support for monospace text is a bug.

kobo can destroy well tested software, has the freedom of bugging the equipment, ignore the universally accepted rules and produce mediocre devices. But they must warn the buyer about the real value of his products. An "epub reader" is a device whose purpose is to render in a standard way any standard epub, and every person in good faith understands the sense of the standard. (font-family: monospace is standard) Kobo devices don't render standard ebooks, so they are not "epub reader" (but something else) or they are bugged. If someone needs a proper "ebook-reader", it is better to consult other manufacturers.

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And, as I always say at this point, if you have a problem, report it to Kobo. If you don't, then there is no reason for them to fix or change something as it is obviously not important to you.
For the record, two weeks ago I sent to kobo a formal report about monospaced font, but (till today) without any feedback.

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Old 11-16-2019, 07:09 AM   #1208
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Please keep calm. Here we are all civilized people and there is no need to give an outburst.
My apologies for expressing an opinion that I believe was rightly held. His language was clearly expressing the opinion that I had no idea what I was talking about. Just as you seem to know exactly what mood people are in when posting.
Quote:

You know well why kobo did it. Right you said to us:
Yes, I did say that. But, that covers a lot of sins.
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So Kobo did not have valid reasons to break the standard, nor the circumstances were particular, nor they were carefully weighted.
Why do you think they didn't carefully consider what they were doing?
Quote:
So the lack of support for monospace text is a bug.
If they have deliberately not done something, it is not a bug.
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kobo can destroy well tested software, has the freedom of bugging the equipment, ignore the universally accepted rules and produce mediocre devices. But they must warn the buyer about the real value of his products. An "epub reader" is a device whose purpose is to render in a standard way any standard epub, and every person in good faith understands the sense of the standard. (font-family: monospace is standard) Kobo devices don't render standard ebooks, so they are not "epub reader" (but something else) or they are bugged. If someone needs a proper "ebook-reader", it is better to consult other manufacturers.
Can you point to any ereader app or device that this is done for? None are rendering books the same, so they must all be ignoring some part of the standard. And no, I don't expect anyone to do what you are saying. u
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For the record, two weeks ago I sent to kobo a formal report about monospaced font, but (till today) without any feedback.
Good. I'm glad someone has done this.
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Old 11-16-2019, 09:13 AM   #1209
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Why do you think they didn't carefully consider what they were doing?
They said "it's not important". But it is important, as everyone can see here and here.

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If they have deliberately not done something, it is not a bug.
You are wrong:

Quote:
A software bug is a problem causing a program to crash or produce invalid output. The problem is caused by insufficient or erroneous logic. A bug can be an error, mistake, defect or fault, which may cause failure or deviation from expected results. (tecnopedia)
The expected result of an epub reader is standard-rendering the standard-formatted epubs.

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Bug: A problem that causes a program to produce invalid output or to crash (lock up). The problem is either insufficient logic or erroneous logic. ... A program with bad logic may produce bad output without crashing, which is the reason extensive testing is required. (PC Encyclopaedia)
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A software bug is an error, flaw or fault in a computer program or system that causes it to produce an incorrect or unexpected result, or to behave in unintended ways. ... [Bugs can be of "conceptual" type] ... Conceptual errors are a developer's misunderstanding of what the software must do. The resulting software may perform according to the developer's understanding, but not what is really needed. (Wikipedia)
The epub-reader whose software doesn't render in a standard way a standard epub is buggy.

Last edited by PenguinCEO; 11-16-2019 at 09:16 AM.
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Old 11-16-2019, 09:46 AM   #1210
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My apologies for expressing an opinion that I believe was rightly held. His language was clearly expressing the opinion that I had no idea what I was talking about.
In this situation, I don’t think you correctly understand the context. Doesn’t make you an idiot, just not a specialist… and in this case, I am a specialist. Similarly, if my car breaks down, I’m damned near useless and have to employ a mechanic for anything more involved than adding fluids or changing wiper blades.

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Originally Posted by davidfor
Why do you think they didn't carefully consider what they were doing?

If they have deliberately not done something, it is not a bug.
Why do you think they did, or that this was deliberate?

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Originally Posted by davidfor
Can you point to any ereader app or device that this is done for? None are rendering books the same, so they must all be ignoring some part of the standard. And no, I don't expect anyone to do what you are saying.
Statements like that tell me that you are not a programmer and are therefore an amateur at best when it comes to interpreting these standards.

EPUBs are fundamentally simple things, although the details can and do get complex. They’re web pages wrapped up in a special package, with a few extensions and omissions for spice. I’ve been dealing with those standards for damned near a quarter-century. I’ve got my campaign ribbons from the Browser Wars, and I ran (read: maintained and rebuilt) a corporate website for nearly seven years.

One of the first things any web geek learns is that there is no One True Rendering. The same document can look different on different platforms, or even on the same platform with different users, even if all of them are completely compliant with the standards.

As a trivial example, Helvetica, Times, and Courier look different from Arial, Times New Roman, and Courier New. A Mac using the former set will display a page differently than a Windows box using the latter, but both triples fall well within the CSS standard for sans-serif, serif, and monospace fonts. Neither set is “wrong” and many more compliant sets exist… all of which are “right.” Even if a designer controls for that by specifying and embedding specific fonts, there are countless other ways that multiple platforms can both be fully compliant with the standards AND yield different results.

This is precisely why there are two basic schools of thought on web design. One school looks at CSS and says, “Great! Now I can control everything, right down to the pixel! My pages will look the same everywhere!” The other, to which I adhere, takes the opposite approach. In our view, it is best to respect the differences between compliant platforms, honor the choices made by individual users as much as possible, and serve them a page that works no matter what options they’ve changed… so long as those changes are within the specs.

That latter viewpoint shines through over and over again in the specs that define the web (and, therefore, EPUBs). It is precisely because such wide variety exists that the fallbacks become really important, not to be broken lightly and preferably not to be violated at all.

I know I’ve quoted it, so go back and look at how the CSS spec talks about the generic font families. Don’t just hunt for a phrase to support your viewpoint – read the paragraph. Notice the high value it places on preserving the author’s intent, and (yes, I’m about to say it again) consider the use of “should” over “may” in that context. That paragraph is telling developers to make their best efforts to implement this, and while some situations may make compromises unavoidable, for God’s sake be careful with them!

And that’s why I say that Kobo’s omission of a monospace font is a bug. They licensed an engine which includes such a font: the Adobe RMSDK. Their hardware is demonstrably capable of rendering monospace. Their devices have ample memory to store the font. Even if it were a matter of licensing fees, there are monospace font families which are free for commercial use; a quick search yields several. Surely at least one of them is aesthetically acceptable and reasonably complete.

Therefore, from a programming perspective, there is no justifiable reason for this omission. Therefore, given the RFC 2119 definition of “should” and the weight placed on conforming to authorial intent in the CSS 2.0 and 2.1 specs (for EPUB 2 and 3, respectively), this aspect of Kobo’s rendering engine is deficient to the point that it qualifies as a bug. As unusual as it may be for me to agree with JSWolf, he does get this right:

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The reason it's a bug is because a monospace font is part of ADE (RMSDK) and Kobo has chosen to leave this out. This means that monospace does not work when it should work. I don't know of any other RMSDK (ADE) that does not work with monospace out of the box. If it was not part of RMSDK, then fair enough, it is and Kobo changed it so monospace does not work.
I might quibble with the wording, but that’s as close to the textbook example of a bug as I’ve ever seen:

1. Existing Software X correctly accomplishes Task Y.
2. Manufacturer R licenses Software X for implementation on Platform K.
3. On Platform K, Software X fails at Task Y.
4. Therefore, Manufacturer R broke Software X when implementing it on Platform K.

This breakage must be either deliberate or accidental. I am thoroughly unconvinced that a rational manufacturer would deliberately cripple this one aspect of their device; why would they? What purpose does it serve? Who benefits from the change, and how?

That leaves only accidental breakage, otherwise known as… a bug.

Last edited by Rev. Bob; 11-16-2019 at 09:50 AM.
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Old 11-16-2019, 11:53 AM   #1211
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Originally Posted by Rev. Bob View Post
And that’s why I say that Kobo’s omission of a monospace font is a bug. They licensed an engine which includes such a font: the Adobe RMSDK. Their hardware is demonstrably capable of rendering monospace. Their devices have ample memory to store the font. Even if it were a matter of licensing fees, there are monospace font families which are free for commercial use; a quick search yields several. Surely at least one of them is aesthetically acceptable and reasonably complete.
An interesting claim that RMSDK includes a monospace font. Support for monospace fonts is a definite yes but actually including a monospace font? The last time I looked at the Datalogics RMSDK documentation for v11.0, the phrases "device resident" and "system fonts" was used with no mention of any fonts being supplied with the SDK.
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Old 11-16-2019, 03:15 PM   #1212
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An interesting claim that RMSDK includes a monospace font. Support for monospace fonts is a definite yes but actually including a monospace font? The last time I looked at the Datalogics RMSDK documentation for v11.0, the phrases "device resident" and "system fonts" was used with no mention of any fonts being supplied with the SDK.
JSWolf and jackie_w discuss this a few posts back; I refer you to that subthread.
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Old 11-16-2019, 05:47 PM   #1213
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Rev. Bob View Post
JSWolf and jackie_w discuss this a few posts back; I refer you to that subthread.
you mean the one ending with

Quote:
Originally Posted by jackie_w View Post
Well, not really. It doesn't prove that Adobe were willing to include the CourierStd font files for mass distribution at no extra cost. We just don't know.

Extra cost would certainly be a reason on devices with already thin profit margins, at least to a business. To the end consumer maybe not, but we're not the one making the decision.
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Old 11-16-2019, 08:17 PM   #1214
davidfor
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Quote:
Originally Posted by PenguinCEO View Post
They said "it's not important". But it is important, as everyone can see here and here.
And you also might want to go back and read what I said. I paraphrased what I was told. How about if I had said, "Not important enough to go to the extra work of doing this instead of doing something that would affect a whole lot more users of the devices". Still completely my words, but it is the overall gist.
Quote:
You are wrong:
So important that the only screenshots you can find about the issue are the ones you posted. So important that it is a topic that has rarely been discussed here. So important that no-one seems to have reported the error in the standard paths as a bug.
Quote:
The expected result of an epub reader is standard-rendering the standard-formatted epubs.

The epub-reader whose software doesn't render in a standard way a standard epub is buggy.
Your middle quote actually proves my point. There is no bad logic, the "problem" was removed in design. And you keep ignoring the fact that using a monospace font for this is not a "must". The text you have is rendered. It may be rendered suboptimally, but it is rendered. So, it doesn't fit either of the other two.

And, we obviously aren't going to agree on this, so lets stop.
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Old 11-16-2019, 09:04 PM   #1215
davidfor
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Rev. Bob View Post
In this situation, I don’t think you correctly understand the context. Doesn’t make you an idiot, just not a specialist… and in this case, I am a specialist. Similarly, if my car breaks down, I’m damned near useless and have to employ a mechanic for anything more involved than adding fluids or changing wiper blades.
Sorry Rev, but based on your responses, especially that first one, have been that you are of that opinion.
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Why do you think they did, or that this was deliberate?
Is because they told me good enough?
Quote:
Statements like that tell me that you are not a programmer and are therefore an amateur at best when it comes to interpreting these standards.
If that is the case, please don't tell my my boss. He's paying me for to much to think I can't write code. As with all my other employers for the last 33 years.

But, I am usually coding in a corporate environment where I tend to not code to standards like this. Except as a consumer of API or data packet of some sort and need to work out what is in it, what is supposed to be in it and how to handle the fact that nothing seems to actually follow standards. Or deliberately use the loopholes. And this includes corporations that publish specs of what theirs software or devices do but don't actually stick to it.
Quote:
EPUBs are fundamentally simple things, although the details can and do get complex. They’re web pages wrapped up in a special package, with a few extensions and omissions for spice. I’ve been dealing with those standards for damned near a quarter-century. I’ve got my campaign ribbons from the Browser Wars, and I ran (read: maintained and rebuilt) a corporate website for nearly seven years.
And just like you, I stopped reading here as you are again treating me as an idiot who has no idea what is going on. Alright I read it, but, it only left me wondering when you were going to get to the point. And yes, I did know all that, and have discussed just about every point in it over the years in various places.

And to the mods, I'll stop after this post.
Quote:
I know I’ve quoted it, so go back and look at how the CSS spec talks about the generic font families. Don’t just hunt for a phrase to support your viewpoint – read the paragraph. Notice the high value it places on preserving the author’s intent, and (yes, I’m about to say it again) consider the use of “should” over “may” in that context. That paragraph is telling developers to make their best efforts to implement this, and while some situations may make compromises unavoidable, for God’s sake be careful with them!
Firstly, I read the paragraph. Several times. I even quoted it back to you in full as you excluded an important part. So, I understand it. And, I understand what you have written here. And honestly, what you state here proves my point. "Should" still means that it can be excluded. You have actually stated this every time that you try to state that they are not allowed to do this. So, please read what you are typing.

And honestly, don't you think the Kobo developers know all this? They made the decision years ago not to do this. They obviously haven't seen a reason to change that decision.
Quote:
Therefore, from a programming perspective, there is no justifiable reason for this omission. Therefore, given the RFC 2119 definition of “should” and the weight placed on conforming to authorial intent in the CSS 2.0 and 2.1 specs (for EPUB 2 and 3, respectively), this aspect of Kobo’s rendering engine is deficient to the point that it qualifies as a bug.
And there we are just going to have to disagree. It is a deliberate implementation choice, it is not a bug.

Quote:
I might quibble with the wording, but that’s as close to the textbook example of a bug as I’ve ever seen:
And until Jon can demonstrates that the RMSDK comes with a monospace font that Kobo didn't include and every other RMSDK user did, then I will continue to disagree.

Last edited by davidfor; 11-17-2019 at 08:11 AM.
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