Jens Krämer

Come on O'Reilly, you can do better than that

 |  books

To forbid cut’n’paste in a PDF book full of code snippets is really stupid.

I just bought the Rough Cuts version of the upcoming Ruby Cookbook. Nice book, from the first few pages I’ve read, but the PDF itself simply can’t be compared to those I got from Manning (Lucene in Action) or the Pragmatic Programmers (the Pickaxe and Agile Web Development with Rails).

All those other PDFs feature cut’n’paste and a TOC accessible on the ‘Bookmarks’ tab in Adobe Reader. Not to mention that they have better fonts and a more book-like look, especially the Pragmatic Programmers’ books. Seems it’s not easy to beat LaTex when it comes to books where the PDF should look like the printed version.

Ok, the Rough Cuts program is labelled beta, and I can read an HTML version of the book online, including a TOC to the left and cut’n’paste. But that doesn’t help much, as I tend to read such books when I’m offline.


I sent an email containing basically the same rant as above to the safari program’s feedback mail address, and received an answer by Dejan Nenov (CTO at safari Books online) the next day. He assured me that my comments were taken seriously.

Don’t know if it’s because of my mail or not, but now cut’n paste is allowed in the book :-)