@ksynwa
link
fedilink
82Y

As an owner of an ebook-reader I second this motion

Like the article says, only useful for print.

@lnxprcy
link
fedilink
62Y

Am I the only one that finds PDFs great?

@abbenm
link
fedilink
7
edit-2
2Y

All I want out of a doc is for text to remain in a static position in a document so it feels ‘solid’ like a real page that’s consistent with intended formatting of whoever produced it. I feel like I only reliably get that with a PDF.

Epub and html and docs reflow, have different default fonts and spacing, and feel like your text is water spilled across a countertop more than something intentionally designed that you can trust to remain where it is. With docs your cursor changes depending on the context and you have layers of menu items that load that assume you want to either edit or customize things. Depending on what program you use for HTML it will make web-browsing related assumptions that shape your experience.

I don’t care for the file format of PDFs, but I like the idea that you have a page that was intended to be viewed a certain way and can be rendered that way, so you don’t have to american ninja warrior your way through viewing settings and fonts and spacing and customization to get things just right.

@dreeg_ocedam
link
fedilink
8
edit-2
8M

deleted by creator

@abbenm
link
fedilink
42Y

Oh don’t get me wrong. All of my pirated 100% legally purchased ebooks are Epub, and the fact that PDF is an adobe product is enough for me to want an alternative. I’ve just found that customization options with Epubs jostle things around and make them weird in some cases and it would be nice to know that there’s an intended experience of the text that stays consistent across devices.

@dreeg_ocedam
link
fedilink
2
edit-2
8M

deleted by creator

@lnxprcy
link
fedilink
22Y

That is understandable, but I guess it is just preference for me. I do love epubs too, just not for everything.

We should just switch over to EPUB.

@jsgohac
link
fedilink
42Y

Hmm … back in the days of adobe acrobat pdfs were web cancer, but these days they seem pretty OK. Being able to convert on command line between docx/odt, html, markdown and pdf is pretty useful.

If pdf UX on smartphones is not great, is that really a pdf problem or a viewer issue?

Ephera
link
fedilink
42Y

PDF Viewers can definitely do a lot of things with PDFs, e.g.:

  • auto-trim the margins
  • if it’s a multi-column PDF, put the columns beneath each other
  • switch to landscape mode
  • try to extract the text and reflow it.

By now, I’ve seen all of these features somewhere, but I’ve never seen them applied automatically and so it always requires a bit of faffing around until I have a reasonable viewing experience. And in particular images are often a problem.

What I could maybe see as a solution for this, would be a “Mobile First”-approach like in UX design, i.e. we would make PDFs that are not suitable for full pages, but rather for quarter pages (so that they fit on a phone screen), and then on the desktop, you should be able to either just piece them together (two-column seems to be a popular layout for scientific papers already), or reflow them with less trouble, because the single-column layout makes it easy to figure out where certain images belong.

Now we just need the whole industry to switch over, which of course should be no problem.

@cheer
link
fedilink
4
edit-2
2Y

The problem is that pdf wasn’t really designed to be modified in this way, if at all–at least according to my understanding. These problems would be alleviated if people switched to a different, more modular format, e.g. epub, and improved that rather than continue to use pdf in this way.

Edit: To add, pdfs are great for printing, but very annoying to work with on desktop–Windows especially–or edit.

@jsgohac
link
fedilink
2
edit-2
2Y

Brilliant proposal to leverage existing capabilities and a mobile first mantra designers already know.

I have a folder with 160 random pdfs with following count of producersI guess hitting up Adobe first with a feature request might be a starting point.

[(‘Adobe’, 39), (‘cairo’, 16), (‘Recoded’, 14), (‘ABBYY’, 10), (‘LibreOffice’, 8), (‘Skia/PDF’, 6), (‘GPL’, 6), (‘Microsoft®’, 6), (‘calibre’, 6), (‘Qt’, 5), (‘Mac’, 5), (‘imagemagick. org’, 4), (‘OpenOffice .org’, 4), (‘Producer,’, 4), (‘iText’, 2), (‘iText®’, 2), (‘xdvipdfmx’, 2), (‘pdfTeX-1.40.17’, 2), (‘iOS’, 2), (‘iPhone’, 1), (‘PDFlib’, 1), (‘PDFsharp’, 1), (‘pdfTeX-0.13d’, 1), (‘CVISION’, 1), (‘BnF’, 1), (‘Prince’, 1), (‘pdfTeX-1.40.19’, 1), (‘Google’, 1), (‘freepdfconvert. com’, 1), (‘PDFium’, 1), (‘mPDF’, 1), (‘Some’, 1), (‘AFPL’, 1), (‘KONICA’, 1), (‘QuarkXPress®’, 1), (‘Nitro’, 1), (‘Python’, 1)]

@thinktankjf
link
fedilink
11Y

I strongly disagree.

Future Me
link
fedilink
32Y

people often use PDF when they ideally would use HTML

IMHO, this is the central argument. It’s not talking about mobi at all.

@Echedenyan
admin
link
fedilink
12Y

Just use DJVU for static content.

@Echedenyan
admin
link
fedilink
12Y

For the issue of online viewing I would not deny using some XML (or XHTML but in this case it is the same) based format.

Ephera
link
fedilink
1
edit-2
2Y

My last experience with exporting HTML from an office suite wasn’t particularly responsive, so I’m not sure, if changing the format will fix the problem. It’s just not trivial to design something in a responsive way.

html is the only way, the most wuwei way to achieve the greatest

@wraptile
banned
link
fedilink
-32Y

Question: if you’re going to such trouble to harden your phone, why not just root it?

@pavot
link
fedilink
5
edit-2
1Y

deleted by creator

All about open source! Feel free to ask questions, and share news, and interesting stuff!

Useful Links

Rules

  • Posts must be relevant to the open source ideology
  • No NSFW content
  • No hate speech, bigotry, etc

Related Communities

Community icon from opensource.org, but we are not affiliated with them.

  • 0 users online
  • 11 users / day
  • 40 users / week
  • 95 users / month
  • 502 users / 6 months
  • 5.22K subscribers
  • 1.82K Posts
  • 6.37K Comments
  • Modlog