Sugar unusable as an e-book reader

James Simmons jim.simmons at
Mon Oct 27 17:06:29 EDT 2008


As the author of Read Etexts I am grateful for all the mentions of my 
Activity on this mailing list.  To answer David Lang's question, being 
able to read Gutenberg's plain text files without converting them IS the 
feature.  There are hundreds of thousands of books available in this 
format, including some that would be very difficult to obtain at any 
price (Richard Burton's 1001 Nights, a complete English translation of 
the Mahabharata, old science fiction like Edison's Conquest of Mars, and 
so much more).  Plain text files can be easily resized for comfortable 
viewing in either portrait or landscape mode, the font is easier on the 
eyes than PDF fonts generally are, and eventually we'll have reliable 
text to speech with karaoke highlighting that will read the books out 
loud to you.  I have read several books on the XO using my own Activity, 
and other than the fact that it cannot remember the page you left off on 
last time (which will be corrected in time) I find it quite useable.

I also wrote the View Slides Activity, which can be used to read comic 
books, among other things.

The comments about Read being unuseable say more about the PDF format 
than about the Activity.  I think Read does about as well for viewing 
PDFs as anything I've used, but looking at PDFs on a small screen is not 
that great.  When someone gives me a PDF I tend to print it out.

James Simmons

the page for read_etexts doesn't say what it does that makes it better 
than the default read (other than being able to read zip files and 
gutenberg formats)

David Lang

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