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03 Nov 2011, 23:23
Chuck van der Linden (11 posts)

OK, so I’m a die hard e-reader nut, hence am reading the beta on my nook touch. I’ll try to give feedback as I go along.

Item the zeroth, Text for the Cucumber Acceptance Test looks good, stands out against the body text even if I select any of the sans serif fonts on the reader (something I never do but other users might).

Item the first, Figure 1. Cucumber Testing Stack is a bit tiny and hard to make out the words inside the boxes. it could stand to be bigger. Especially since many readers have no easy way to zoom in on figures.

Liking the voice and what I’ve read so far, but then I’ve only just started.

04 Nov 2011, 17:18
Chuck van der Linden (11 posts)

The headers over various files the user is creating are very very hard to make out. In the PDF file on a color screen this is shown as dark green text on a light green background. On a monochrome ereader using the epub format this turns into white text that is very skinny and against the medium grey background. It is difficult to make out unless I take the e-ink screen into very bright light. Not sure what causes this, but if it could be rendered as dark text against a light grey background it would be much easier to read.

The first of these appears when we are creating features/adding.feature in chapter 2

Let me know if someone wants a picture of this sent to them or something.

14 Nov 2011, 21:23
Chuck van der Linden (11 posts)

Bit more feedback accumulated as I’ve been reading (as time allows) All these are for the e-pub version.

Some of the sample text is very small at the smaller font size choices on the nook. (fortunately 7 font size choices are available on the nook simple touch)

pg 67 of 367: Header is cut off and does not wrap.. shows as “Replacing Given / When / Then with Bul-“ when using Amasis font in the 4th size (of 7 available) on the nook. If I bump the text size, then it wraps correctly, if I drop the size, doesn’t need to wrap. (not sure if this is your formatting, or a bug in the nook?)

pg 68 of 367: spelling error “..using Guven steps to set up” (Guven is in italics)

pg 72 of 367: examples show using a switch “–i18n” but the text says “ the –i18 switch” which is correct?

pg 82 of 367: The contents of Figure 4 “Cucumber ignores keywords…” is nearly impossible to read, I can barely make out the words like ‘given’ but the highlighted text to the right of that is pretty much impossible to make out. As the figure does not scale, changing font size makes no difference.

pg 117 of 367: minor quibble, but given that the 1 and l are so close to one another visually, perhaps using the number 2 in the password examples (instead of 1) would make the objective of the examples just a tiny bit more apparent to the reader.

Also the tester in me points out that you really ought to have an example of 4321 invalid e.g all numbers, in the section for letters and numbers, and maybe change abcd1 to 432a to show an example that has only one letter.

pg 124 of 367: presenting both versions of how to organize directories in the style of

dir/ subdir subdir2 subdir1

would better allow the reader to contrast the two approaches. Having the directories listed in the middle of the text (in ‘do your organize by feature type’) just makes it hard for the reader to visualize the directory structure.

Also: “If you think about your features as a book that describes what your system does, then the sub-folders are like the chapters in that book…“ I experienced a total lightbulb, face-smack, I could have had a V8 moment when reading that. It’s a great way to view how to organize the features that also guides you in terms of where to put new work as well (make it part of the story, not tacked onto the end). little gems like that make this ride worth the price of admission. Bravo and hats off to whoever came up with that analogy.

22 Dec 2011, 12:12
Matt Wynne (91 posts)

Thanks for the feedback Chuck. I’ll take the credit for that analogy, too :)

I think many of these issues have been resolved, but the formatting ones I’ll point the publishers at. The book is being typeset now so it might not be too late to resolve them.

Mike shappell_pragsmall
23 Jan 2012, 19:35
Mike Shappell (1 post)

I just recently purchased the ebook and I know that I am very late to the party, but my experience with the epub format has been very poor. I will provide some quick configuration information for the iBook settings on my iPad.

I am using v2 iBooks application. It is configured with the default Palatino font. Font size seems unrelated to my issues. I have enabled fullscreen mode and am using the normal theme. I will point out that my issues occur using a variety of settings, and I have not found a setting which works without issue.

Since the epub format does not have “page numbers” I will need to refer to chapters and sections. That brings up the first nit (not major issue). The section is considered a chapter in this book. When I am reading a section, it tells me I have n pages left in the chapter (which is not true, it is instead reporting the number of pages remaining in the section).

Let’s use chapter 4 as an example. In section 4.1, in the box “Avoiding Regular Expressions”, there is a huge black box above the line with the text “… about in Section 4.2, Capturing …”. This black rectangle is common in these callouts/sidebars.

It is also common for these sidebars/callouts to break across pages, regardless of the font/size being used.

In section 4.5, “Returning Results”, there is a flowchart, which is not (easily) readable. Since this is an inline graphic, it does not adjust with font size. Double-tapping the graphic to give it focus works, but because this is a low resolution image, it just pixelates as the size of the image is increased (not significantly increasing its readability).

There is another example of a smaller black square in the “Choosing Your Assertion Library” sidebar.

These issues make the epub format far less usable than the PDF. This is unfortunate since you would expect the native format of the reader to be better than a lesser supported format. I will be using the PDF format for now, as it provides a much better book experience at this time.


26 Jan 2012, 14:24
Dave Thomas (366 posts)


Thanks for the feedback.

Formatting for eReaders is something of a challenge—basically iBooks is a web browser, and we give it HTML. We’d love to be able to tell it “keep this all together on a page” but we can’t—it just doesn’t give us that control. We’d love to be able to tell it “this is a section, not a chapter” but, again, that’s out of our hands.

However, the black square issue is indeed very strange—this is not something we’ve seen before, and clearly escaped our quality control. It’s a bug in iBooks, but one that we’ll have to find a way to work around. I’ll get our layout folks to look into it and report back.

06 Feb 2012, 04:27
Joey Geiger (1 post)

I’ve got an issue where I’m reading the mobi version with Kindle for Mac and I’m also seeing black squares where the images of the authors should be.

The main reason I came here though was because when I’m in the middle of Chapter 10 - Databases, location 4218 in the reader app, I get a consistent crash of the Kindle app. It lasts to about 4400ish. If I start at the next section, everything works.

I just tried viewing the pdf version as well, and wow… it’s a lot better than the kindle version. I guess you have to deal with lowest common denominator in kindles.

06 Feb 2012, 17:50
Matt Wynne (91 posts)

Sorry to hear about this Joey. Thanks for the feedback.

04 Feb 2013, 17:41
Yong Bakos (5 posts)

Apologies for butting in. The main problem, Chuck, is that technical books are almost always crap in epub/mobi format, unless they are specifically designed for eReading from the start.

I use pdf versions just for this reason.