MartinJ's Posts

Not German, please!
Web Features

For some reason Blurb.com insists on serving me German pages! I’m fine with German and read and speak the language, but I’m in Denmark, which is close, but certainly not Germany.

I prefer my pages to be English and have selected English several times in the menu top right, but it seems that ever so often the site decides that I’m better off with German.

So once I select English, please make the system remember – you know cookies, don’t you?

Martin

Posted by
MartinJ
Mar 7, 2012 8:32am PDT
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MartinJ
 
Bugs in 2.9 - two monitors, pane status
BookSmart

And could you at the same time tell the Web-folks that the editor they use have a fundamental flaw: it eats and adds spaces as it pleases!

Press enter to get a new (emtyp) line, and you get a free space character at the end of the line!

If you on the other hand leave a space at the end of a line, press enter and then backspace, that space character disappears.´But of course you still have the free one that the editor added – it’s just at the end of the line, and not where you expect… ;-)

Martin

 

Posted by
MartinJ
Mar 2, 2012 2:48am PDT
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MartinJ
 
Bugs in 2.9 - two monitors, pane status
BookSmart

Craig,

Thanks for the reply. SMall improvements are also improvements! I’ll be looking forward to the next update.

And thanks for an excellent service. In spite of mymoaning about the software, I still enjoy every book I make!

Martin

Posted by
MartinJ
Mar 2, 2012 2:40am PDT
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MartinJ
 
Bugs in 2.9 - two monitors, pane status
BookSmart

Craig,

Thanks for your reply. Being a software developer myself, I realize that such problems are not always easy to fix, but being a software developer I also know that when programs act like this and it can’t be fixed, there’s somthing fundamentally wrong…

And the problem is not a two monitor issue only. The page navigator consistently pops back after I disable it, go into edit mode and apply or cancel the edit. Now that’s a bug! 

Right now I just did this:
1) Enabled the Page navigator and set it to a suitable size
2) Enabled the Content Library (which also enables the Apply page layout although it’s a separate menu item = bug)
3) Disabled the Content Library Apply page layout (has to be done separately)
4) Went into edit mode (Ctrl-E)
5) Cancelled

This reenabled both left side tools and made the page navigator so small it is invisible.

Whatever combinatios of enabling and diabling I do, it seems that BookSmart will return to a different state after I leave edit mode.This has nothing to do with using two monitors, but is consistent on a single screen and can bereplicated time after time in the different strange patterns.

Saving  the user’s choices and reestablishing the workspace accordingly shouldn’t be rocket science…

Martin

 

Posted by
MartinJ
Feb 29, 2012 2:29pm PDT
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MartinJ
 
Bugs in 2.9 - two monitors, pane status
BookSmart

I have now moved to a new computer system and the latest version of Booksmart (3.2) and I simply cannot believe that this hasn’t been fixed!

IT’S EXTREMELY ANNOYING

I have a large second monitor, and maximizing the program to utilize it makes the work SOOOO much easier. But I simply can’t edit the layout! As soon as I do that the whole program flips back to the smaller screen and reinstates all the previously disabled panes!

SHEESH! How difficult can it be to save the user’s UI choices and leave the bleedin’ window where it is? It’s a really counterproductive and fundamental flaw in the software, and very close to making me quit my project and find some other way to make my book.

Please, developers! Do something about this. Please!

Martin

Posted by
MartinJ
Feb 28, 2012 10:07am PDT
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MartinJ
 
Bugs in 2.9 - two monitors, pane status
BookSmart

As a supplement to the above remarks, I can add the the "Page navigator" pane also gets enabled when I change Page View by clicking the symbols to the right under my book. If I am in single page mode and click single page, the Page Navigation appears in spite of the fact that nothing at all should happen!

Almost the same thing happens when using the menu or the shortcut keys (Ctrl-1-2-3) to change view mode apart from selecting the current view mode, which has nof effect… as expected.

Martin

Posted by
MartinJ
Oct 3, 2010 9:35am PDT
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MartinJ
 
Another 2.9 bug, text/image box lower edge creep
BookSmart

When I edit a text or an image box size and move the top edge using the central or corner "handles", the lower nedge will creep a fraction too. This means that my meticolously placed lower edges may get out of alignment or too close to other text boxes without me ever touching them.

No matter whether I expand or contract an upper edge, the lower edge will slowly nudge downwards and expand the textbox.

A pretty annoying error!

When I manipulate the lower edge, nothing similar happens and all is well.

Martin

 

Posted by
MartinJ
Oct 2, 2010 8:18am PDT
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MartinJ
 
Another 2.9 bug, formerly linked text boxes
BookSmart

I split two text boxes in a linked text layout to be able to manipulate them, but they still seemed linked in some odd way. I have added two different texts in them, but every time I edit and apply a layout to the page, Booksmart will empty the one that used to be the last one in the chain and append the text to the first one, so that I have to cut the text, insert in and format it again.

Very annoying!

Martin

Posted by
MartinJ
Sep 30, 2010 6:38am PDT
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MartinJ
 
Bugs in 2.9 - two monitors, pane status
BookSmart

I have noted this before and will do it again. I work with two monitors and would love to run Booksmart on my second and larger screen, but very time I apply a layout it shifts back to the primary screen. Very annoying! I’m NOT after a "two screen mode" but jkust want the program to stay where I put it!

I’m also annoyed by the fact that I constantly have to disable the panes "Content library", "Apply page layout" and "Page navigator" to get a full screen view. Booksmart keeps turning them on again when I apply a layout. That must definitely be considered a bug!

The program ought to save my setup and recreate the exact screen every time I return to my work screen – even after restarting the program.

As a side not I can warmly recommend to add a shortcut to toggle all panes (Like Photoshop’s use of the Tab key) . At the same time you could at shortcuts to hide and show them individually.

I would also love to see a linked text frames feature. This only seems to be available in the predefined layouts where the frames are locked. The basic function is obviously somewhere in the deep, but I can’t control it sufficiently to make it really useful.

I generally like the program, and I’m in the process of making my fourth and fifth book. Keep up the good work.

Martin



Posted by
MartinJ
Sep 30, 2010 5:33am PDT
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MartinJ
 
Suggestion: update book facility
Web Features

Craig,

I fully understand the complexity of such a function. Being a developer myself, I can imagine the difficulties just seen from the user’s end. And you have all the "backoffice" parts to wrestle with too.

But I atill think it would be worth the effort for all the reasons that I sketched in my original post.

 Martin

 

Posted by
MartinJ
Aug 27, 2010 3:08pm PDT
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MartinJ
 
Suggestion: update book facility
Web Features

what_it_is,

Yes, I’m a bit surprised over the silence myself. I have made three books and two need changes. I haven’t got a huge following or lots of embedded views all over the web, but I would still like to be able to just exchange the current pages with new ones, and keep all the rest.

I have been using Booksmart for all three books, and even though the features are limited, I have been able to live with it, not least because they are all "simple" photo books. But my next project is a much more complex book with lots of text and illustrations and much more demand on the dtp-program. I used to use Indesign, but haven’t got a copy myself. It’s pretty expensive and not really interesting for me to buy. I have looked into Scribus, and might follow this open source line in stead.

Haven’t looked at Lulu, and would actually prefer that Blurb updated their features—both online and in Booksmart. I like both the company and the products.

Martin

 

Posted by
MartinJ
Aug 24, 2010 1:36pm PDT
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MartinJ
 
Two quick ones and one really slow delivery
Ordering and Shipping

Just to follow up on this story, here’s the continuation:

A week ago I got tired of waiting, and simply ordered a second copy! That came within a week, so now I have my book. The first copy of the book hasn’t come yet.

I contacted Blurb customer support to report on the fact that this second book arrived with no pain and that I didn’t expect to see the first copy ever. They replied with a form to fill out, which when returned should lead to a reprint of the book.

Altogether an excellent service and yet another reason for me to keep on using Blurb.

Thanks

Martin

Posted by
MartinJ
Aug 24, 2010 1:05pm PDT
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MartinJ
 
Using Scribus? We'd like to hear from you
PDF to Book
betsubetsu,
 
I have been fooling around with Scribus-templates myself, but would love to try yours. I have a project in the pipeline, where BookSmart sets some severe limits, and would like to use Scribus in stead.
 
This system obviously doesn’t like mail addresses, so decipher this and contact me there if you want: martin-at-vertikal.dk
 
Martin
Posted by
MartinJ
Aug 20, 2010 1:42am PDT
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MartinJ
 
Two quick ones and one really slow delivery
Ordering and Shipping

I have made three books now. Three copies of the first one was delivered within a couple of weeks my order in March.

My next two books were ordered almost three weeks apart. The latest one came today, just a couple of days after being shipped and less than a week after my order. Nice!

But the one that I ordered on July 5th was shipped July the 13th and still hasn’t arrived.

It seems like these books are mailed off from Switzerland, and I’m wondering why there’s such a difference in the mail service. I used economy shipping and can’t track the orders.

Mail delivery here is usually very smooth and efficient, and I would expect less than a week in the mail within northern Europe.

I gues that’s the price for using economy shipping, but it still seems strange.

Martin

 

Posted by
MartinJ
Jul 31, 2010 6:52am PDT
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MartinJ
 
Using Scribus? We'd like to hear from you
PDF to Book

I have been playing around with Scribus lately as a possible replacement to Booksmart, which does have some limitations. I used to use Indesign, but it’s a bit too expensive for my small business and apart from that I like the Open Source principle.

I haven’t done any serious work in Scribus yet, but just tried out the options and tried to get to know the features. It seems like a nice enough program, and as far as I can see it produces OK PDF’s. Submitting to Blurb should just be a question of the right page formats as far as I can see.

But I’m still a bit hesitant to make and order a book, not really knowing what to anticipate. The Booksmart solution might be limited in its layout options, but the workflow is really smooth.

 

Martin

Posted by
MartinJ
Jul 31, 2010 6:39am PDT
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MartinJ
 
Suggestion: update book facility
Web Features

I have a couple of books on Blurb, but in spite of the fact that I meticolously proof read them, there are of course a couple of errors in each.

Now, I have read that it’s very easy to update a book: Upload the edited book as a new book and delete the old one.

But that is a pretty bad solution in most cases if you ask me!

- All current links to the book will break since its ID changes
– All embedded previews will break
– All the search engine cred it might have earned will be lost
– I will loose all information added to the old book and have to reenter it
– All comments to the old book will be lost
and almost worst of all
– A copy of the new book will have to be purchased before it pops up in the bookstore. In other words: if I don’t have a buyer for the book, I will have to buy a second copy myself for it to be exposed and hopefully start selling to the public!

All this makes very little sense in my eyes, and does not encourage you to publish new editions.

Is there smarter way to update a book with a new edition, which I haven’t found?

It would be much neater if I could just update the current book and replace the one on Blurb with my newly corrected edition. All information, comments and links would be preserved, and I would be able to continue with whatever advantages my book had built up after its first publishing.

If the online-ID of the book was saved together with my local copy, the Booksmart software would be able to ask whether I wanted to replace the old or create a new book. Being a developer myself I know that this will not be a trivial feature to build, but it would in my opinion be worth the work.

I would strongly suggest that such a facility was considered for the system. If it’s a financial problem (development costs, bandwidth or whatnot), then charge a fee for the update. I would personally be more than willing to pay such a fee of say 10-20 USD, rather than having to order a second copy of a 50-60 dollar (or more) book – which I already have.

 

Thanks a bunch anyway for Booksmart and Blurb, which is already a very nice and easy way to publish books. But there’s always room for improvements!

 

Martin

Posted by
MartinJ
Jul 28, 2010 2:32am PDT
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MartinJ