Hey, if someone can share decent PDF versions of Matthew Butterick books, I'll love you forever pls thx a lot 💗💗💗

@hirnbrot @espectalll this is exactly what I’ve been saying since forever about “reading” PDFs. Lack of reflow on PDF is shit and nobody should really consider using PDF as a serious format for reading documents.

Invoices and legal documents maybe.

50+ page-long books, HELL NO.

@L1Cafe @hirnbrot as a counter argument, I claim that it's a very clean offline document format with excellent layout and typography features that always displays as beautifully as originally intended and can be printed on demand – I actually WANT to see documents like if they were paper, at least as long as it's not (easily) possible to have packaged, offline HTML documents with proper dynamic layouts and font rendering options (ePub doesn't meet the requirements)

@espectalll @hirnbrot no you do not. You do not have A4 screens. You want text to reflow properly.

@L1Cafe @hirnbrot I don't care as I can zoom properly, I will much rather have a good presentation than text reflowing with a generic and limited one

@espectalll @hirnbrot ePubs can have good presentation. This is a false dilemma.

@L1Cafe @hirnbrot So, how do you create a custom layout, make text reflow over borders of pictures and areas of any shape, set font variations?

@L1Cafe @hirnbrot I know what it is. The problem lies within the fact that an usual ePub reader will absolutely not have the proper CSS3 features for responsive layouts and font rendering (the standards only demand CSS2) and people neither want to make books with dynamic layouts because of the huge technical complexity over designing fixed layouts on a WYSIWYG editor or with a typesetting system like (La)TeX.

@L1Cafe @hirnbrot If I were to "fix" the situation, I would upgrade the ePub standards to support and enforce CSS3 features like flexbox, grid, relative units, OpenType variarions, so on – and make sure there's a simple way to design e.g. constrained layouts with a GUI. *Then* I will find myself comfortable with something that I find better than PDFs.

@L1Cafe @hirnbrot That's, however, not an universal format that you can easily download, backup, read on any device, so on. Particularly with the books I want to get, I would have to download a whole tree of directories and navigate like it's... well, a website. That will hardly fit well on my PDFs collection.

@espectalll @hirnbrot It’s a single file. You don’t browse directories of XML files when you open an OOXML file do you? That’s why it’s called an “archive”.

@L1Cafe @hirnbrot I thought you meant an HTML5 website there, not an ePub (absolutely not the same!)

@L1Cafe @hirnbrot also yeah... don't expect any reader to properly support HTML5 embedding in ePub, and rather a dirty mess.

@espectalll @hirnbrot PDF is a hostile format for anything that is not a high refresh, high density display. PDF is a terrible choice for eReaders, for example.

Text reflow and responsive design are utterly important to a good reading experience. Zooming and panning makes the reader lose context.

@L1Cafe @hirnbrot yeah, I tend to agree, but at least I can still use them somewhat reasonably. I still store ePubs when possible for that particular case, but I tend to dislike (and I don't own) eBooks exactly because of being grayscale only, of very slow refresh rates and usually small sizes (most are definitely too small for paper-like PDFs!) – let's hope we get electrowetting eInks one day.

@espectalll @hirnbrot e-ink display is much better on the eyes. You don’t really need full colour RGB spectrum for reading books, honestly.

@L1Cafe @hirnbrot Well, books with pictures (like anything particularly stylized, such as the Head First series) and colored text (take for instance Cryptography Made Simple) sure try to take advantage of colors. Refresh rates may be more important, though, because of how annoying it can get and the overall delay it adds. And size definitely is something to take into account.

BTW can we, like, just get good eInk displays so we can replace LCD and LED displays :blobcatsip:

@hirnbrot I'm aware of both, if you have a Mac to run the latter on, I'd thank you a lot

@espectalll Alternatively, the only thing this needs a Mac for is Safari, and that only to do printing?

So you should be able to get by with cups-pdf and the right `lpr` invocation. Be aware that cups' CLI is utter crap, though.

@hirnbrot no, it's a very poorly written script, I tried porting it but it doesn't seem like a great idea

anyway I have a Mac with Mojave, it's just that it's hard for me to remember to and switch to macOS for that one task

@hirnbrot (and like, I don't have it at hand that much, it's a desktop)

@espectalll (Sure. Still handier than my mac, which just flat out doesn't exist. I don't even know someone with one nearby)

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