Sugar unusable as an e-book reader

david at david at
Mon Oct 27 01:14:52 EDT 2008

On Mon, 27 Oct 2008, Benjamin M. Schwartz wrote:

> I have no response to many of your points, but I do have responses for a few.
> david at wrote:
>> opening the document in .rtf sometimes works, but about half the time the
>> XO sits and works for about 30 seconds then goes back to the screen you
>> were on before.
> This is definitely a bug.  Please file it, and we will try to fix it.
>> even when it does work it opens the document in write, not
>> in reader, so you have the cursor moving around (for editing) and it's
>> very hard to page through things to just read the document
> Do Page Up and Page Down not work?  If they do not, then that is a bug
> too.  Please file it.

not well, it gets especially bad if you want to move just a couple of 
lines to ctch the end of a paragraph (again, it's moving the cursor on the 
assumption that you are wanting to edit the page)

it also doesn't zoom and center well (again, the difference between 
editing and viewing)

>> I was completly unable to copy the doument from the USB stick to the local
>> system and have it show up in the journal. when I hit copy things blinked
>> for a few seconds and then nothng.
> That's also a bug.  Please file it.
>> opening the book in .html just produces a lot of errors becouse the book
>> is spread across lots of files, and the jurnal isolation mechanisms copy
>> the file being opened to a temporary directory, where all the links to the
>> other files don't work.
> Definitely true.  This is a fundamental limitation with our datastore.
> Several solutions have been proposed, but none have gained momentum.
>> even worse, it produces what look like multiple overlapping error
>> messages, but the first one just keep reappearing when you try to clear
>> it, so it's impossible to see what the other errors are.
> It sounds like this is also a bug.  Please file it with a screenshot.

how do I do screenshots on the XO?

>> opening the book in .pdf comes the closest to working. I was still unable
>> to copy the document,
> That is still a bug.
>> so I had to try and read with the USB stick haning
>> out of the machine. I could zoom so that the text is the width of the
>> screen, but after doing so I was unable to center the text (the arrow
>> buttons move the text in overly large steps.
> An interesting usability problem.

combining shift/control/etc/ with the arrow/game keys is one way to 
address it.

>> the fit-to-screen option works well if the text goes all the way to the
>> margins, but most documents don't do that.
> You were making this PDF yourself, correct?  You could have set any
> margins you like...

I made another stab at reading it by doing exactly that, but it still 
doesn't work well.

even after I made the document go all the way to the edge of the page, and 
did the 'zoom to fit screen' the fact that it wouldn't page down a full 
page at a time make it unusable. you need an option to move a full page at 
a time.

in this case I created the pdf myself, but there are _many_ cases where I 
would want to read a pdf supplied by others where I would not have an easy 
way to re-format them

>> the full-screen mode is useless as the large icon to revert back to normal
>> covers up the text in the upper corner.
> That icon is tiny, at least on my copy of Read.  It certainly occupies
> less vertical space than the toolbar.  What do you propose instead?

it's about as tall as three lines of text.

having something in the frame to go back from fullscreen could work.

I've now converted the rtf to a .html file and am reading that through the 

for some reason it has a scrollbar on the bottom of the screen indicating 
that it things that there is 10% or so off to the right.

I am happy to report problems like I have in this message, and am willing 
to test fixes, etc. but the bug tracking mechanism is enough of a pain to 
deal with that I am not going to take the time to submit the half dozen 
seperate bugs reports that you are asking for. if you want them in that 
system feel free to add my e-mail to the report and I will respond to 

David Lang

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