Sugar unusable as an e-book reader

John Gilmore gnu at
Mon Oct 27 04:32:36 EDT 2008

> Surely the solution for reading books is to ignore pdf 

That's pretty limiting.  There are more legal downloadable books
available in PDF than in any other format, about 600,000 on the
Internet Archive alone.  Scanned-in paper books are still the most
popular sort.  Producing text, rtf, or html by converting them with
99% accurate OCR produces roughly one error per line :-(.

> See:

There have been a variety of efforts to make a good book reader for
the XO.  So far, all have foundered, largely stumbling on molehills
rather than mountains.  The 10-button XO tablet with the buttons in
inconvenient places, lack of standardization of their keycodes and
intended functions, lack of system-wide access to GUI controls when
the XO is in tablet mode, volunteer developer burnout, all have
contributed.  I think a new developer who just decided to define his
own damn standards for these buttons could blast through the very low
barrier to entry and quickly have the best book viewer on the XO.

Browse (or Firefox, if you have it) does best for most things.

I found it much easier to read Cory Doctorow's novel "Little Brother"
(, or the novels of Arthur Conan Doyle (
on a Nokia N800 than on an OLPC (in html in both cases).  The N800 was
designed to be operated with one hand, and its global zoom and system
GUI controls are pretty well thought out.  It runs the gui
and a version of Opera.


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