8 Responses to “What is needed”

  1. [...] same rules can be applied through HTML markup and Javascript. Likewise, a set of rules called “keep & break controls” can be used to determine which elements should stay together and which can be broken up onto a [...]

  2. [...] from John D. Berry’s blog May 18, 2012 Ron Dionne Leave a comment Go to comments What is needed – Blog – John D. Berry dot com. Share this:RedditFacebookMorePrintStumbleUponDiggEmailTwitterLike this:LikeBe the first to like [...]

  3. Phil Goetz says:

    These are all good observations about the task of making an eBook act like a book does; but there’s nothing about what new things an eBook reader should do. For instance, I want eBook readers to:

    - Enable readers to highlight passages, make comments on passages, and see the highlighting and comments made by other readers

    - Report anonymous statistics to a server on how far readers read, where they stop temporarily, where they give up, and which parts read faster than others, so that I can identify problem areas in my writing

    - Enable readers to report typos and factual errors

    - Enable hyperlinks

    - Embed video or audio

    - Embed forms, so that a book can contain things such as interactive graphs

  4. Joe Graham says:

    Excellent synopsis John. I’ll never be truly happy with eBooks until the smell of print can be incorporated into the reading experience.

  5. Excellent description of what needs to be incorporated into eReaders as soon as possible.

    Having worked for a typesetting software developer (not Adobe/Quark), I know it will take quite a bit of effort by the ‘firmware’ developers to deliver more sophisticated typographic controls into the eReaders of the future. Of course, there will be a cost to developments like these and then the questions as to who pays for that work? The end-user through higher eReader costs?

    However, it will happen, but as with all technologies it will take just take a bit of time. We’ll all look back in a few years time and wonder why we put up with such bad quality (typographically) for so long. I’ve sent a link of this page to a couple of relevant software developers contacts that I have to add to their understanding as to why these aspects are so important to all of us.

  6. I will echo Cecilia’s sentiments!!

    You are spot on, John. We should be reading eBooks with the typography and text control that they deserve. The technology exists for that. Actually it is the 30 year old technology of TeX (which had “paragraph composer” long before InDesign was even conceived!). TeX has all the controls that text designers dream of and more. It is a batch process, not interactive, so ideal for automated line and page breaking. And because it was written 30 years ago by the world’s greatest computer scientist (Knuth), it is very efficient and compact.

    We have already ported TeX to the iPhone (http://river-valley.tv/tex-as-an-ebook-reader/), so it works and as fast as any other eBook reader on the iPhone.

    With the right design parameters from a layout designer I think this might be the solution to the eBook problem.

  7. Excellent – I have been reading Rupert Sheldrake *The Science Delusion* on my Kindle and have been told the Earth is 109 years old – even Creationists believe it’s older than that. I think it’s supposed to be 10 [to the power of, i.e. superscript] 9. As a professional producer of books I get angry at the laziness of the software – no superscripts?! The *anti*-hyphenation leaves me speechless – even a hard (non-discretionary) end-of-line hyphen is apparently too difficult for us feeble readers and is banned … Who decided this?

    The prices for non-typesetting and non-printing and non-paper and non-store are extraordinarily high too. If you can get some results from the people who can change these things reading e-books may yet be enjoyable. I don’t even know how to leave feedback on Amazon e-books, where the customer-to-seller communication pathways are designed to be difficult … More power to your virtual elbow.

  8. Cecilia Tan says:

    I was going to write a really long reply, but really it all boiled down to: HEAR HEAR. HALLELUJAH.

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