[rfc-i] Fwd: New Version Notification for draft-flanagan-plaintext-00.txt

George, Wes wesley.george at twcable.com
Fri Jun 27 07:09:58 PDT 2014

On 6/27/14, 9:05 AM, "Dave Crocker" <dhc at dcrocker.net> wrote:

>On 6/27/2014 4:47 AM, George, Wes wrote:
>> WG] Well, no, but the problem with the current format, especially the
>> ASCII art, is that it actually doesn't render properly on some eReaders
>> due to the width+font requirements, where a graphic will.
>What are the specifications of these problematic ereaders?
WG] Ok, fair enough. I shouldn't have assumed that people were familiar
with this issue.
My google-fu is not enough to find me a pointer in the documentation that
tells me what the row x column text limitations are, and I don't have my
kindle with me to count it, but based on trying to view previous I-Ds on
the Kindle 3 via someone's conversion of the RFC series to ebook format, I
can say for certain that the monospace font, even at smallest size, is
capable of <70 columns in portrait mode, and less than the 55-ish rows we
paginate at today. For example, I was able to find that the default font
setting displays ~26 lines per page in portrait. There are two smaller
font settings, but they're not going to double the number of lines
displayed, and monospace fonts take up more screen real-estate than
proportional ones.
>Which ereaders?
WG] The e-ink kind. My personal example is an Amazon Kindle 3 with the
600x800 display. Haven't played with this on the newer paperwhite/touch or
nook (but still e-ink) versions to know if it has materially improved or
not, but I know the paperwhite is ~768x1024, so definitely not in the same
category as a modern tablet (or even mobile phone) display resolution.

>What exactly is the manifestation of the problem with displaying the
>ascii art?
Full-width (72-column) tables and diagrams wrap across two lines, which
ruins the text alignment, making them illegible, and if the display is
switched to landscape, it can't display enough rows for any but the
smallest of tables. Given the way that e-ink displays must handle page
turns, by repainting to a completely new page (or if the pagination
doesn't line up, section of the page), rather than being able to scroll
line-by-line, it's difficult to impossible to see an entire table/drawing
on the screen at once. Tablets are much better at handling these
limitations because they tend to have higher resolution, touch screens
that allow for as much scrolling/zooming as you'd like to do, etc. I've
found that the Kindle deals a little better with PDFs because it can zoom
in and out on any graphical content and use the directional pad to scroll
around within the displayed area, but you lose the ability to annotate a
PDF like you can with a native e-book. It doesn't have a non word-wrapped
mode for displaying text in a native e-book format like AZW. With a vector
graphic, it could be treated as its own page and then zoomed in and out to
see either the full view or specific parts if it was too small to have
legible text when zoomed out.

Wes George

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