09 Mar 2013, 00:15
Generic-user-small

Eric Christopherson (4 posts)

I’m having a lot of trouble with this particular book on my Toshiba Android tablet using the Nook reader app. Most likely this boils down to a bug in the reader at some level, but I wonder if anything could be done to the epub itself to work around this bug until B&N can fix it.

I haven’t noticed these problems in other ebooks, including the one other PragProg book I have. And with this book, the PDF looks flawless, but the Kindle version has a few problems of its own (which I will describe soon in another post).

Here are some details about my problem:

  1. When I select some text and the menu comes up, and I choose “Add Highlight”, it takes several seconds before the highlighting appears on the page. I haven’t successfully timed it, but the amount of time seems to vary between maybe 2 and 10 seconds (or maybe longer sometimes).

  2. The same lag occurs when I long-press on highlighted text and choose to remove highlighting.

  3. While I’m waiting for the highlighting to appear or disappear, other tap events don’t have any effect. E.g. the single tap on the middle of the view doesn’t bring up the teal menu along the bottom.

  4. Contrary to #3, swiping does allow me to switch pages while I’m waiting. But sometimes if I swipe more than about two pages, the additional pages are flat gray.

  5. If I wait long enough, even if I’ve moved many pages forward or back, my highlighting does eventually appear where I requested it (or, if I chose to remove highlighting, it disappears).

  6. Every so often, the time I have to wait for highlighting becomes very short again, but temporarily. Once this happened after I uninstalled the Nook app and reinstalled it, but I don’t know if this is a coincidence.

  7. Often when I use the Contents menu and click on Notes & Highlights, there are only a few (5-10) highlighted passages listed; certainly not all the places where I’ve actually highlighted.

7a. Some of these times, Nook crashes almost immediately (with a force-close dialog saying “The application NOOK (process bn.ereader) has stopped unexpectedly. Please try again.”); I am left back at the Nook library home screen.

7b. Other times, there is no crash, and if I wait a few seconds and then go back into Contents>Notes & Highlights, more (or possibly all) of my highlighted passages are then listed. But usually if I keep going back into that listing, Nook does eventually crash.

  1. The ebook takes a lot longer to show its starting pages than other ebooks I have, especially if I’ve just had to force-close it. (Before it shows the starting page there is just a white screen with a progress spinner in the middle.)

I’ve noted other problems here and there with different ebooks from different publishers in different reader apps, and I’m never sure where to turn. Hopefully there is some dialog between PragProg and B&N on issues like this. Please let me know if I should submit this report to them also.

FYI, my tablet, OS, and Nook app information, in case it helps anyone:

Tablet information

“About tablet” screen

Model number AT100 Android version 3.1 Kernel version 2.6.36.3-ga750373 android-toshiba@dps3build2 #1 Build number HMJ37.01.5.0018

“System information” screen (submenu of “About tablet”)

Manufacture TOSHIBA Product Name TOSHIBA AT105 Product Version PDA01U-00101F OEM Strings PDA01U-00101F,TI10616000K

Nook app version

3.3.1.14.ANDTBL

09 Mar 2013, 23:56
Mr_sketchy_pragsmall

Ian Dees (195 posts)

Hi, Eric.

Sorry to hear of the trouble. I’ve written the Prags to ask if there’s something specific to this title that’s causing it to crash.

In the meantime, I’m curious—does it work better in a different ebook app, such as Aldiko Reader? Or does the PDF version work any better? Of course, it’s not a long-term solution to ask readers to make an exception and use different software for this one book—but a short-term workaround could at least get you reading/annotating again.

Sincerely,

Ian

10 Mar 2013, 17:48
Generic-user-small

Eric Christopherson (4 posts)

Thanks for your response.

It does work in Aldiko and Moon+ Reader, and in Moon+ Reader I can even highlight (with Aldiko you need the paid version to do that). There are some formatting differences, but nothing major.

The PDF version is fine, although again I don’t have an app that can highlight PDFs; and the .mobi is mostly fine but in the Kindle app has a rendering bug in a few code/interaction examples.

21 Mar 2013, 22:41
Generic-user-small

Eric Christopherson (4 posts)

Ian, have you found anything out?

I think I will report this as a bug to B&N. I don’t know how well that goes over when it’s not a book sold through their store, but we’ll see. If they pursue it at all they’ll probably want a copy of their own to examine.

I’m using the mobi version for now, and have noticed a few oddities with it in the Kindle app; but I’ll save that for another thread (which will have to wait until I get screenshots I can share).

Finally, I’m curious about how the ebooks are made in general. Is there one version in a unified markup format that the epub and mobi and PDF are all generated from? Or does each one require some massaging?

22 Mar 2013, 06:05
Generic-user-small

Eric Christopherson (4 posts)

I just successfully converted the epub to a second epub file in Calibre, and so far the formatting looks just the same (as it should) and the highlighting isn’t giving me trouble.

24 Mar 2013, 20:20
Mr_sketchy_pragsmall

Ian Dees (195 posts)

Hi, Eric.

The Prags wrote back to me and said they’d send a re-typeset version of the book (using a newer typesetting system) to the e-mail address you registered on pragprog.com with. Did anything come through?

If not, please write me at undees@gmail.com with your e-mail address, and I’ll ask them to resend it.

Sincerely,

Ian

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