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More formatting issues with "Cooking for Geeks" epub ebook

OK, I see some formatting issues with the "Cooking for Geeks" epub formatted ebook. Before I get into the issues, let me first let you know the readers and platforms I am using:
* My reader is the Sony PRS-300.
* Sony library - Sony reader Desktop companion (Windows).
* Calibre - an open-source ereader software - Linux OS.
* Okalur - a Linux/KDE PDF/epub reader.

Issues I see:
1) I'll start at the beginning: The cover - it appears on the Sony reader, and the Sony Desktop Library as a tad too small. This is not too big of a deal - its just inconsistent with how O'Reilly formats all of its other books' covers. The Calibre does not even display covers, but that is a normal behavior. The Okalur App has yet to get any books' covers to display properly.

2) Pictures: In general appear small but very readable on the PC applications. On the Sony reader however, they are generally pretty clear, and are a little on the small size. Is there any way you can increase the size to make them more visible?

3) Drawings, charts, graphs: They are clear and very readable on the PC applications. But on the Sony reader, they are not readable. As above, can you please increase the size and definition of these images to make them more readable on the reader?

4) This is the first real issue I have seen so far: On chapter 2 -> "Prepping ingredients" -> page forward until you get to get to "Storage Tips for Perishable Foods" -> In that table, under the "Avocados" section on the left side, and "Blackberries, raspberries and strawberries" section on the right side, it appears that table was abruptly cutoff at the end of the page. The next page has the section: "Questions about Other Produce?". The Sony Desktop has a similar issue but cuts off the table a little later - under "blueberries" on the left side, and "Carrots" on the right side of the table. The next page is the same as the Sony reader. With respect to Okalur, I can see the full table - including the cutoff sections from the reader - the remainder of "Avocados", "Blueberries", "Tomatoes", and "Potatoes" on the left column, and remainder of "Blackberries, raspberries and strawberries", Broccoli, Cabbage, Collard greens, kale, leeks, Swiss chard", and "Onions". Calibre sees the entire table as well.

Anyway, I hope you can understand this - if not, I can try to re-word, and/or take pictures..

Also, I do understand how complex the epub file can be, but other than the the few issues above, the ebook renders very well on my reader.

If I see other formatting issues - such as other tables that do not show up, I will let you know.

As always, I am generally very happy with how O'Reilly publishes its books.

Cheers!
Larry Brown
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  • Hi Larry,

    Thanks very much for taking the time to write up your feedback on the Cooking for Geeks EPUB. We do our best to ensure that the EPUB files we supply display optimally on as many ereading platforms (both hardware like the Sony Reader and software like Adobe Digital Editions) as possible.

    However, as you've noticed through your own experimentation with Sony, Calibre, and Okalur, different ereaders can vary quite a bit in the features they offer (some have grayscale displays; some have color displays) and how they display the HTML content embedded in an EPUB (for example, how elements like tables are broken across pages).

    With respect to the images we embed in our EPUB files, we limit them to a maximum width/height of 1,000 pixels, as we've found that's an image size that generally works well across most popular ereaders. It also helps limit the file size of our EPUBs so that they don't take up as much storage space on your device.

    We'll take another look at the EPUB files for Cooking for Geeks and see if there are any further improvements we can make to image and table rendering for the Sony Reader.

    Again, thanks for your feedback. We're glad you're generally pleased with our ebook quality, and are committed to regularly reviewing and refining our digital products to make sure they look as good as possible.

    Best,
    Sanders
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  • I’m happy
    Sanders,
    Thank you very much for your reply.

    I'm curious if these problems exist on any of the other epub compatible e-readers on the market... Do you have more problems from say, Sony e-readers than other epub e-readers? Anyway, I would like to add three more points:

    * This is just an FYI: Of the 31 O'reilly e-books (epub) I own, this is the only one that seems to have this issue for the Sony e-reader. That does not mean that they do not exist, it just means I have not detected them while reading.

    * The pictures and illustrations seem to be very small as compared to other O'reilly-published e-books - Just an observation.

    * Please understand, I would rather have a "bigger" book that has clearer illustrations/pictures/etc.

    I thank you again for the reply and for looking at "Cooking for Geeks" again. I do hope there will be another update for it. It really is a great book And you guys really do a good job when formatting your e-books - hands down. Please take that under consideration with the rest of this note.

    Cheers!
    Larry
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  • Hi Larry,

    To answer your question above about different ereaders, we have generally found the Sony Reader to render O'Reilly EPUBs very well. We further reviewed the EPUB version of Cooking for Geeks, and we've done some rework to improve the formatting in the Cooking for Geeks EPUB and Mobi files that should improve rendering of the book in all ereaders. If you go to your emedia page (https://members.oreilly.com/account/e..., you should be able to download a new version of the EPUB (and Mobi, if you so desire).

    In this revision, we've done our best to improve formatting throughout, especially in tables. We are continuing to review image quality as well, and will keep you apprised of any further revisions made to the EPUB. If you have any additional comments on the revised EPUB, please feel free to send it our way.

    Thank you again for all your feedback, as it's been extremely helpful to us in improving electronic versions of the book for all customers.

    Best,
    Sanders
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  • I’m happy
    Sanders,
    Thank you for the update! I Downloaded a copy this morning and can confirm that the issue with the table that I first noticed is gone.

    Cheers!
    Larry
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  • Hi Larry,

    Just an FYI that we've done another update to the Cooking for Geeks EPUB and Mobi files to improve image size and quality throughout the book.

    If you go to your emedia page (https://members.oreilly.com/account/e..., you should be able to download the latest EPUB file.

    I hope this further improves the reading experience of the book for you.

    Best,
    Sanders
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  • Sanders,
    Thank you for the updates! The pictures, charts, graphs - are much bigger and clear!.. But - sorry, but there is just one last "But".... :) - it seams that pictures which are inside of tables overflow outside of the right side of the table. A few examples:
    • Chapter 2 --> Approaching the kitchen --> Prepping Ingredients: Sony reader says that its page 80. picture of the bowl of "melted sugar"
    • Chapter 2 --> Kitchen Equipment --> Bare Minimum Equipment --> Knives --> knife skills - 101 --> picture of the guy cutting the potatoes on the cutting board.
    • The next page on the above item - picture of someone scraping some chopped potatoes from a chopping board to a bowl.

    Now, if the picture is not in a table, it is perfect....

    Again, this is all coming from a Sony reader.. I wander what it is like on a nook, IPAD, or other EPUB reader....

    I really want to stress how much I appreciate all of your work on the formatting of this - and other books. The work you and others do to perfect O'reilly ebooks is what puts your company, in my opinion, above all others in the book and ebook publishing field.

    Cheers!
    Larry Brown
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