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I’m frustrated

Formatting issues in Kindle versions

I bought a Kindle a few days ago, and although I'm glad that some of the ebooks I had from O'Reilly have mobi versions for the Kindle, they unfortunately have some formatting problems. Both of the books I tried (Real World Haskell and Learning GNU Emacs 3rd ed.) have some problems with table of contents entries clobbered together, with bulletted lists and tables displaying badly. It's readable, but could be better, and the problem with the toc is especially annoying.

I have ebooks from other publishers with mobi/kindle versions (for instance, Pragmatic Programmers books) and they look better in the Kindle than the O'Reilly ones.
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  • Hi Andrei,

    Thank you for your feedback regarding the MOBI versions of Real World Haskell and Learning GNU Emacs. I agree that the formatting in the TOC and the bulleted lists could be improved. We're continuing to investigate ways to improve all of our mobile formats, and the things that you mentioned are among the top priorities for presentation on the Kindle.

    Thanks again,
    Adam
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  • I’m annoyed
    The update to Kindle versions that O'Reilly released on January 5, 2001, was a big improvement. But I still have one problem that really annoys me: the lack of vertical whitespace above headers and around some code samples.

    When I look at headers that immediately follow paragraph text, it looks like the header is only separated by a newline. There should be the same amount of whitespace above the header as there is below it. Same for code blocks.

    Funny thing is, the improvements you've made to the formatting have made this annoyance even more glaring. But I appreciate the last ebook formatting update, especially the TOC navigation.
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  • I’m disappointed
    I just bought "97 things every programmer should know" and the formatting in places is terrible.

    E.g. The beginning of chapter 28 "try...catch" fonts sizing, placement etc is terrible :-(
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  • Hi Rob,
    In order to help the ebooks team troubleshoot the issue, can you tell me please which version of the Kindle or Kindle reader software you are using? Did you purchase the ebook from us or from the Kindle store?
    As much info you are able to give would be most helpful in finding a solution.

    Thanks!

    Cheers,
    Tai Hake
    Customer Service Rep,
    O'Reilly Media
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  • Tai,

    I downloaded it from the O'Reilly website. I loaded it into the Kindle app on my Mac. The display was horrible as mentioned.

    I also loaded the same file into Calibre and IIRC it displayed fine.

    In my experience the Kindle is great for simple books but the fonts and sizes and layouts are often really terrible for simple math symbols. In the instance above however that is not the reason since it was not math.
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  • Hi Rob,
    thanks for that information. I've updated the support ticket so that the ebooks team can use that to help find a solution for you.

    Cheers,
    Tai Hake
    Customer Service Rep,
    O'Reilly Media
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  • Hi Rob,

    I'm sorry that you've experienced formatting problems reading 97 Things Every Programmer Should Know for Kindle. However, I was unable to reproduce this specific issue on Kindle for Mac. Please see the screenshot below I took in Kindle for Mac.

    I looked through the full book in both Kindle for Mac, as well as a couple other Kindle platforms, and was unable to find any formatting problems like the one in your screenshot. So I'm fairly sure there are no problems with the Mobi file itself.

    Are you interested in reading this book on your desktop computer? If so, you may want to consider using the PDF or EPUB file included in the ebook bundle, which may give you better results than the Mobi (which we've designed primarily for reading on Kindle hardware, Kindle for iPad, and Kindle for mobile devices).

    And of course, we have a 100% satisfaction guarantee, so if you'd like a refund, please contact customerservice@oreilly.com, and we will assist you.

    Best,
    Sanders

    ---
    Sanders Kleinfeld
    Publishing Technologies Specialist
    O'Reilly Media, Inc.

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  • Sanders,

    Thanks 4 the reply.

    Ok, try changing the font size to a smaller font and look at the bit of chapter 28 that I posted.

    If I make the font bigger the problem indeed disappears.

    Rob
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  • Sanders,

    I have just upgraded the Kindle app for Mac from 1.2.3 to 1.4.0 and the font problem above is now gone.

    I am really surprised how poor Amazon's Kindle is when it comes to rendering text. I have had numerous problems like this on the device itself and the computer based programs. Perhaps the new version is better !

    Rob
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