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View Full Version : Lightwave Docs in ebook format?



Brötje
09-26-2012, 01:58 PM
Just a suggestion and I don't know if I'm in the right place to write it down.

I think with the rise of tablets ( iPad and such ) that it would be cool to have the LW docs in an ebook format like ePub or Mobi. I know they are available in PDF form, but publishing them in an ebook format would give the docs a little extra flexibilty. I have my tablet ready next to my pc to search the docs when needed and I think ePub would be a nice addition.

Feel free to delete if not appropriate.

kopperdrake
09-26-2012, 02:23 PM
Sounds like a great idea! Mind you, I've never installed the PDF either, going to do that tonight - thanks for the idea :)

jeric_synergy
09-26-2012, 07:07 PM
If I had any money I'd buy a 10" tablet tomorrow: 7" just seems too small. I >>do<< worry about the formatting of the PDFs in a surface as small as a tablet. :(

Brötje
09-27-2012, 01:56 AM
If I had any money I'd buy a 10" tablet tomorrow: 7" just seems too small. I >>do<< worry about the formatting of the PDFs in a surface as small as a tablet. :(

I have a 7" Samsung Galaxy Tab 2 and it fits my needs perfectly. It's a bit smaller but in a way it's more handy than a 10". PDF formatting stays the same as on any other machine, but because of the smaller screen size you need to zoom and scroll a whole lot more. That's why I proposed the eBook format. You can alter the font sizes and readability iproves a whole lot, without messing up the formatting and layout.

I think this would be a nice addition. I hate it when I'm searching for something in the manual and I have to to switch between the PDF and LW constantly. It just breaks my concentration.

jeric_synergy
09-27-2012, 12:14 PM
..... because of the smaller screen size you need to zoom and scroll a whole lot more.
yeah, that's my big fear. Even on my desktop's screens, the PDFs can sometimes be a pain to read. (Here's where a portrait oriented screen would be nice.)

That's why I proposed the eBook format. You can alter the font sizes and readability iproves a whole lot, without messing up the formatting and layout.
It's a good idea.

Besides your point about switching, I also like to read dox in coffeeshops. Right now, I can't, because I don't have the print versions (and won't).

Brötje
09-27-2012, 12:38 PM
Besides your point about switching, I also like to read dox in coffeeshops.

Haha! I read my docs while riding the bus home :)

CaptainMarlowe
09-28-2012, 02:59 AM
I have the docs on my tablet (8.9") and I agree that ebook format would be a great idea.

SBowie
09-28-2012, 07:12 AM
I spent a little time investigating EPUB this week, and I can't say I'm really sold on it yet. I'd be interested in the thoughts of others.

The one main advantage EPUB has is that it can reflow the document (it also supports easy font resizing). On the other hand, it seems quite cumbersome to prepare when dealing with more complex materials, and does not support a great deal of the formatting options I frequently use in docs (and which pdfs do support). And its nature makes it considerably more troublesome to maintain over time. Bearing in mind that a number of mobile reader apps seem to provide support for reflowing pdfs now, I'm not quite convinced EPUB is worth the trouble.

BeeVee
09-28-2012, 07:20 AM
I am a great user of ePub for my reading and I had a look at InDesign's export to ePub. I'm not happy with the results and the amount of time it would take to wrangle the format into something nicer would be something of a waste I feel? If tablets and phones can read PDFs and even reflow them, where's the need for ePub in this? It certainly isn't going to save space - right now the PDF stands at about 20 MB and the ePub version is 18 and looks much weaker.

B

SBowie
09-28-2012, 07:26 AM
There are a number of free and commercial utilities for creating EPUB docs or converting other types to them, and I've looked into a few ... but even setting aside the fact that they seem to need to be designed specifically to target specific platforms, there are cumbersome issues around cross-references, TOCs, chapters, etc. I just don't see myself having the luxury of the time needed to manually tweak all of these things every time I update a >300 page manual with nearly twenty chapters. It would be different for a novel or similar work, of course. For technical publications, EPUB seems quite weak, however.

BeeVee
09-28-2012, 07:47 AM
I use Calibre all the time for converting between ebook formats and adding covers and the like, it's very good. But you're right about ePub's weaknesses for technical material. What's worse is that the sheer variety of display sizes and readers there are means that it would be near impossible to create a "one size fits all" ePub. If that means we need to do one for telephone screens , one for 7" tablets and one for 10" tablets as well, that put it even further out of reach.

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BeeVee
09-28-2012, 07:47 AM
I use Calibre all the time for converting between ebook formats and adding covers and the like, it's very good. But you're right about ePub's weaknesses for technical material. What's worse is that the sheer variety of display sizes and readers there are means that it would be near impossible to create a "one size fits all" ePub. If that means we need to do one for telephone screens , one for 7" tablets and one for 10" tablets as well, that put it even further out of reach.

B

SBowie
09-28-2012, 08:07 AM
I have Calibre installed as well, and it seems quite capable - but still ... I can see a lot time time spent doing this -:bangwall: - that I'd much prefer to spend doing this - :beerchug:.

As it is, TriCaster and associated applications provide QR codes in their respective UIs. Users can pull up Acrobat manuals on their mobile devices using their favorite QR code scanner, and the same files are linked on the website support pages. I have mixed feelings about QR codes, but I do love the ability to quickly revise a manual and then publish the update to all users in minutes, without recourse to either MIS or software updates. EPUB is just not sufficiently author-friendly at this time to fit into this workflow, as far as I can see.

jeric_synergy
09-28-2012, 08:31 AM
I am extremely encouraged that this conversation is happening. :thumbsup:

SBowie
09-28-2012, 08:51 AM
I am extremely encouraged that this conversation is happening. :thumbsup:you sir, are an optimist. (Not that there's anything wrong with that; some of my best friends ... yadda, yadda.) :D

jeric_synergy
09-28-2012, 09:00 AM
As a user (though I'm available as a writer) I don't care so much about the details as the end product. If PDFs can be successfully flowed on a tablet, great, that looks like less work all around.

I just want a good tablet solution. For when I can afford a tablet. :)

BeeVee
09-28-2012, 09:09 AM
I am extremely encouraged that this conversation is happening. :thumbsup:

It's not as though it hasn't already been examined... ;)

B

jeric_synergy
09-28-2012, 09:18 AM
It's not as though it hasn't already been examined... ;)
B
In public?

SBowie
09-28-2012, 09:32 AM
In public?Just a friendly chat, since the tools and topic arose ... we may not always speak up, but we always listen.