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Old 01-16-2012, 04:48 PM   #1
danrodney
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Force on Publisher Defaults on Nook Color

Prior to the latest 1.4.1 update I was able to get embedded fonts to work great on the Nook Color. The update added new features for end users to customize the font etc. but now it's ignoring my font and using theirs unless they choose to turn on Publisher Defaults. Then it looks great.

Is there anyone to force Publisher Defaults to be on by default unless a user decides to turn it off?

Thanks in advance.
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Old 01-16-2012, 05:14 PM   #2
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No, the default for all nook clients is what the user has selected (as well margins, line spacing and color).

Note that the 1.4.1 update didn't add this feature, it did however enable better enforcing of the CSS overrides to make sure that the user selections for styling would actually be used, and prevents 'ransom noting' among other things that I've seen with mixed styling (Night Mode not working). As you have already noted turning on the Publisher Defaults turns off the CSS overriding.

[Note to Mods - this would be better in one of the B&N forums (while he said Nook Color - this applies to all the Nook clients)]
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Old 01-16-2012, 05:39 PM   #3
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This does not apply to all Nooks. For instance it does NOT affect the 1st generation Nook, which still exhibits the older behavior and displays the embedded font without the user doing anything. So maybe it's just new Nook devices (including the Nook Color).

I am aware that the Nook Color originally would override some things, such as the eBook's margins, but now they have gone too far! Embedded fonts and colors have now been wiped out. The reality is many consumers would think that's how the book is supposed to look and not know they should choose Publisher Defaults. And why should they have to do that? The book looks so much worse with the "user's" choice being enforced! Apple at least is now defaulting to the Original formatting, with the option the user can change things "if" they want to. Apple got their themes working without having to kill an eBook's formatting, so should B&N be able to.

This is truly a sad day for design is B&N thinks this is the way it should be. Since when do consumers know more about design than designers? I think it should default to the designer's choice, and "if" they want, then they can change it. Not the other way around. Webpages don't default to one standard font, and "if" the user wants the original design they can choose it. Why in the world would eBooks work this way?
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Old 01-16-2012, 05:48 PM   #4
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And just to be clear... As you said Jim, while the update didn't add the Publisher Default feature, it is enforcing it differently.

Now I think it's gone too far. Is there no solution to bland looking books now?
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Old 01-16-2012, 06:34 PM   #5
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Beyond a design issue, incomplete utf character display issues

I can understand a give-and-take between the designer controlling the reading experience and the reader controlling the experience.

BUT. . . with "publisher defualts" turned off, cyrillic characters in my current project don't display. (L, l, t and n with caron).

If they're going limit font choices, shouldn't the fonts at least have a big utf charactor set?

Anyone know a work around that is less ugly than using in-line images?
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Old 01-16-2012, 08:40 PM   #6
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Quote:
Originally Posted by danrodney View Post
This does not apply to all Nooks. For instance it does NOT affect the 1st generation Nook, which still exhibits the older behavior and displays the embedded font without the user doing anything. So maybe it's just new Nook devices (including the Nook Color).
Quote:
Originally Posted by danrodney
Now I think it's gone too far. Is there no solution to bland looking books now?
The CSS override is not new. However, if you had your CSS at a level of specificity higher than the CSS we used to override, then it would win, which was how you were getting it to work. Unfortunately there was enough content (and tools such as InDesign) that was abusing this (basic body text being styled with a p.class rule, and the class being applied to almost all of the p tags in the document instead of just styling p or even better body and creating classes for the exceptions, for instance), and breaking major features (such as font and color selection that I mentioned before) for the reader.

Starting the 1.4.1 release (and this approach will start making it out to all of the clients) the CSS selectors at any level of specificity are being overridden to use the users choice instead of the author's choice. Or to put it another way the user complaint of "I can't see the content" trumps "This looks bland"
Until the 1.4.1 update the first couldn't be fixed, while as you already noted the user can potentially fix the last using the the Publisher Defaults (admittedly if they know that it is there - and the styling on the content is interesting enough for them to want to).

Quote:
Originally Posted by seneu
If they're going limit font choices, shouldn't the fonts at least have a big utf charactor set?
We are definitely looking into expanding the glyph set on the fonts as we go international. However the current font set should handle most Western European languages, and as you noted they do not have the glyphs for Cyrillic, Hebrew, Arabic or any of the Asian languages. The size of the font files is a definite problem for some of the clients (iOS and Google Marketplace Android application), and so here I can definitely see the case for using the language tag of the ePub or potentially the element to do something interesting. The counter argument for that is that the setting for using Publisher Defaults is sticky on the device, which takes care of most of the problems for users.
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Old 01-17-2012, 02:48 AM   #7
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Jim Lester View Post
Or to put it another way the user complaint of "I can't see the content" trumps "This looks bland"
I believe Publisher Defaults is turned OFF by default, correct? If it were turned ON for all users as a default I would not have a problem.

Assuming Publisher Defaults is turned OFF by default, here's what I have to say:
The problem with this approach is that the Nook is making all eBooks look bland/bad by default. That makes Apple and Amazon's eReaders look better than the Nook. By default they honor styling that the Nooks overrides. Amazon's new KF8 is dramatically better than Mobi was it, even supports embedded fonts which automatically work, like the Nook used to.

With iBooks, Apple lets us tell it to start with our settings, and THEN users can switch to their own look. Apple got their themes working even without having to initially remove all original font and colors, why can't B&N? And it never removes all the colors applied to text like the Nook is now doing.

I guess it's about priorities. B&N is saying they'll make all eBooks look bland/bad by default because the ability of users to change their look trumps the designer's ability to make good looking eBooks. If B&N had a priority on allowing good design, it would ship the Nook honoring Publisher Defaults (and get the themes issue figured out like Apple did). And to be clear, this should be a book by book preference. Some books may look best with Publisher Defaults on, some with it off. I think it should NOT be an app/system wide preference. Turning it on/off book by book is annoying (to me as a user).

I'll close by saying that I've championed the Nook because I like a competitive marketplace. The Nook seemed to do a really good job of honoring styling in eBooks without making me jump through the hoops that iBooks does (with a proprietary .xml file to honor fonts). But I can get iBooks to display things properly, Amazon's KF8 is a huge improvement, and now the Nook is going backwards and making the eBooks look worse by default. This is a step backward, not forward. Yeah it's just one setting, but many users will not know about it and now B&N is forcing content creators to add instructions to every eBook saying "If you're on a Nook be sure to turn on Publisher Defaults." That's not good usability (software changes, but the eBook doesn't, so this isn't good practice) and doesn't encourage content creators to enjoy supporting the Nook. Hopefully B&N figures out a better way before pushing this change out to all their eReaders.
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Old 01-17-2012, 09:03 AM   #8
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I agree with danrodney. The ability to override the content creator's CSS is a handy feature... but there's just no way that ignoring the content creator's CSS by default makes any kind of sense.

Punishing the many (who are creating tasteful content with embedded fonts for chapter headers or other special text) because of the few that are causing more tech support calls...
Quote:
Or to put it another way the user complaint of "I can't see the content" trumps "This looks bland"
... seems quite draconian.

Unless I've completely misread the situation (which is always possible).

The way I'm reading this, is that the font I embedded to use for dropcaps at the beginning of chapters would now be ignored by default. Same with chapter headings. If so: making the user jump through hoops in order to see exactly what the content creator intended them to see seems incredibly presumptuous and short-sighted.

I agree that some overuse font embedding in an attempt to micro-manage every single aspect of the reader's experience with their book—and there needs to be a way to circumvent that—but punishing the vast majority that are doing it "right" doesn't make a whole lot of sense to me.

Again... maybe I'm misreading.
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Old 01-17-2012, 01:58 PM   #9
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The user changes to the text customization options persist on the device (ie across books and across boots) - so there isn't much in the way of 'defaults' going on, except for the out of box experience (which does have the Publisher Default button as off).

And Yes, Diap, the change is quite draconian - but if the user wants the content rendered in Trebuchet with text in white and background in black, I feel the content should be rendered in Trebuchet with text in white and background in black. Unfortunately there was sufficient content that was preventing the previous, more cooperative, method of CSS override (on the body/p/div tags), that a more thorough method needed to be used.

Last edited by Jim Lester; 01-17-2012 at 02:02 PM.
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Old 01-17-2012, 06:57 PM   #10
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Quote:
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but if the user wants the content rendered in Trebuchet with text in white and background in black, I feel the content should be rendered in Trebuchet with text in white and background in black.
Well in iBooks, Apple has figured out a way to allow designers to make good looking eBooks that look that way by default. Then, "if" the user wants to change the font or theme they can and "it just works." I don't understand why the Nook can't do the same. Sounds in it might just be a programming issue they haven't figured out.

But a bigger issue is that B&N is saying their themes, default font choice, etc are better "by default" than any eBook design. Sorry, but that's a wrong assumption and leads to all eBooks boringly looking the same. That is not a good thing. This only serves to set back the design of eBooks which is already hard enough as it is.

Words can't explain how wrong I think this approach is
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Old 01-18-2012, 11:40 AM   #11
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Jim,
So glad B&N is looking into expanding globally and adding more characters. (On further testing, the Century Schoolbook and Dutch fonts don't display the cyrillic, the others do.)

Sometimes publishers do know what they are doing when they format a book a certain way. Design decisions are purposeful especially in Young Adult and Emerging Reader titles, with visual cues helping comprehension and clarity. Font, color, and text size among other things are important tools.

What do you suggest for this book? Are people responding well to publishers suggesting that they view books with a particular setting?
Thanks again for your help!
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Old 01-19-2012, 04:49 PM   #12
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Quote:
Originally Posted by danrodney View Post
But a bigger issue is that B&N is saying their themes, default font choice, etc are better "by default" than any eBook design.
No, what I said and am saying is that the reader (the person using a device, not the device itself) should have the final say on how they view content (for the items where we can give them control for the content they are viewing). It is up to the reader to decide if she wants the author's/publisher's intended look of the book, or if she wants to customize it to her own taste. Also those preferences are best set at the reading system level and not on the individual book basis, so that the 'default' view of any book is the reader's preferred view. This isn't about what I want, or what B&N wants, this is about what the reader wants.

My take on what you are asking is that you want the 'default' view of any book to be the original formatting, instead of the reader's preference. ( in the most charitable take as a discovery mechanism for better formatted books ). Necessarily this takes some of the control away from the reader, making this about what the author wants to the detriment of what the reader wants.

Quote:
Originally Posted by sueneu
What do you suggest for this book? Are people responding well to publishers suggesting that they view books with a particular setting?
Asking the reader is much different than forcing the reader, however I haven't heard of anybody doing a 'This content is best viewed on Nook with 'Publisher Defaults' on' or similar pitch, either within the content or on a website, yet, so I don't have any data about the results of doing so, sorry. If you do decide to go with this, please tell me about the results.

Last edited by Jim Lester; 01-19-2012 at 11:18 PM.
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Old 01-20-2012, 05:53 AM   #13
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As a reader, I like how Nook STR handles the defaults (mostly). I prefer reading with font-size 1.0em at size notch 2, justified paragraphs with hyphenation(the main reason I bought Nook for), first-line indented and with no extra space between paragraphs, line height at notch 2 using Malabar font, page margins at notch 1 on the reader. I never turn on Publisher Defaults while reading.

I am happy that Publisher Defaults option is set at reader level instead of individual books, because my viewing pleasure is my own business, and I know it better than the best book designer out there.

My .02
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Old 01-20-2012, 10:08 AM   #14
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Isn't a book a dialog between the author and the reader?

Timur,
You have every right to read your Nook books the way you like. You approach reading on the Nook thoughtfully and with a thorough understanding of its capabilities.

I'm not sure everyone does. As a default, readers of my latest title will see little rectangles in place of cyrillic characters in proper nouns.

Does that make a better reading experience for anyone?

If Nook defaults can't show all of the text of a book, I believe they are not the ideal. Savvy readers will adjust the reading experience, let's let the casual readers see what the author intended.
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Old 01-20-2012, 10:13 AM   #15
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Quote:
Originally Posted by sueneu View Post
Timur,
You have every right to read your Nook books the way you like. You approach reading on the Nook thoughtfully and with a thorough understanding of its capabilities.

I'm not sure everyone does. As a default, readers of my latest title will see little rectangles in place of cyrillic characters in proper nouns.

Does that make a better reading experience for anyone?

If Nook defaults can't show all of the text of a book, I believe they are not the ideal. Savvy readers will adjust the reading experience, let's let the casual readers see what the author intended.

You know, a white-on-white text entry at the start saying something like:
"If you can read this, the publisher formatting on this book is not showing and some text may not be visible in its intended form"
could make most of this conversation irrelevant
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