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I’m frustrated

Sony Reader Problems.

Yesterday I bought 3 ebooks from you, for a total cost of more than 60$ (Learning UML 2.0, Ruby Programming Language and JRuby Cookbook). I have done that because Sony Reader support for those ebooks were advertised. Your webpage literally says that the ebooks in ePub format "works well" with my device:

However, after uploading the books to my Reader I have found that it's impossible to read them properly. Two examples of this are:

- When code is shown the line continues over the edge of the screen, rendering some of it invisible, since no proper line-break is introduced. The text is out of bounds.
- When big images are shown almost always the images are cut, so the edges of those images are also invisible, out of bounds of the displayed page.

Please, don't advertise your ebooks as Sony Reader compatible if they are not. A simple proofread of one of these books (the problems exist in the three books) would have prevented that. I have completely wasted 60$, don't make more people do that. It is not a good idea to have angry customers.
2 people have
this problem
  • Hi Rodrigo,

    That issue with lines of code is a bug in Adobe Digital Edtions, which is the software used on the Sony Reader to read EPUB files. We have reported the bug to Adobe, but they have not said when there will be a fix.

    Images are a challenge with a reflowable format like EPUB. We do review our ebooks on a Sony Reader, Kindle 1 and Kindle 2, the iPhone, and on Bookworm. Unfortunately optimizing each book for all possible devices is quite difficult. That's why our Ebook bundles include the PDF version as well, so that if there are issues with a particular book or device, the PDF is available in a format that matches the print layout.

    We will review the books you mentioned to see if anything can be done to improve the image issue. As I said before, the code lines is a bug in Digital Editions that we don't have any control over, unfortunately.

    I'm sorry to hear you were disappointed in your ebook experience with O'Reilly. If you feel you didn't get what you paid for, we do offer a 100% satisfaction guarantee, so we'd be happy to refund your purchase.
    • I don't agree with your assessment that the code formatting issue is a bug in Adobe Digital Editions. I just bought a Sony PRS-600 and Programming Erlang from O'Reilly. I experienced the same code formatting issue. So, I unzipped the epub file to inspect what was going on. The code is enclosed in pre elements, which does not do line wrapping (unless a style sheet overrides this behaviour). So by not wrapping the lines, the Sony Reader is in fact only doing what the HTML and CSS are telling it to. I edited the CSS for the relevant pre elements, and added:

      white-space: pre-wrap;

      I then re-zipped everything to create a new epub file identical to the original except for the one-line change in the CSS file, and voilà—I get line wrapping in the code listings.

      I don't know if this works on older Sony Readers, but AFAICT, the bug is in the production of the epub, and not in the reader.

      I hope you might consider using pre-wrap as the standard white-space style for all code in your epub versions. For me, this change made my epubs usable on my Sony Reader. I've also bought many ebooks from The Pragmatic Programmers, and their ebook originally suffered from the same problem. They have, however, corrected this and use "white-space: pre-wrap" for code listings now.
    • @Todd: We've been struggling with the whitespace issue for a long time and have more or less come to the same conclusion you have (pre-wrap). It's still something I'm a little worried about just because the whitespace-sensitivity across all of the languages represented in all of our titles is so diverse, but I think pre-wrap would be a better compromise. We'll be updating our titles soon (I think).
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  • @Todd: pre-wrap has been added to the default, and a re-rendering of every EPUB has started.

    @Rodrigo: Learning UML 2.0, Ruby Programming Language, and JRuby Cookbook have all been updated with a change to the CSS that should make the code more readable. Please download the update from and let us know what you think.
    • Keith, I've been reading Erlang Programming and just downloaded a fresh copy (that fixes another problem I reported regarding images with black backgrounds). The line wrapping on program listings was fixed, which was great to see. But I think the fix also includes a new bug: "white-space: pre-wrap" was added to both pre elements and code elements. As code elements are formatted inline, they shouldn't have the pre-wrap style. I'm seeing lots of unnatural line break inside code elements when there happens to be a line break in the source HTML.
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