Mastering Perl for the Kindle iPhone app doesn't suck (too much).

Not thinking that any Perl books would be available for Kindle, I searched anyway. I can get at least Learning Perl and Mastering Perl from the Kindle store. I'm thinking about this because I'd like to see what I can do with an iPad Kindle app.

I'm on a trip with severe weight requirements for luggage, so I've been trying the Kindle app for the iPhone. It seemed weird at first, but after a couple chapters of the first book, I don't mind it anymore. The tech books are a bit different. If you're used to the beautiful and understated typography that is one of O'Reilly's hallmarks, you're going to think the Kindle is a bit odd. I think I have it slightly nicer on the iPhone, but it's still different.

The version I have uses multiple font faces, so you can get the monospaced font for inline code and code sections. The iPhone code wrapping is odd, and the paragraph spacing is set up for novels: that is, there's no extra space between the start of a code section and a body section. I don't think I'd want to read a tech book for the first time this way, but it's a nice reference.

Here a screenshot from the portrait orientation. The code is severely wrapped, but the text looks decent :


And one from the landscape orientation:


Now I just need to figure out how to map something I see in the Kindle app to the physical page number so I can respond to errata (which are reported by page numbers instead of chapter and section). I guess I could develop that index myself, and I've often thought of doing that, but I'm hoping it comes as a feature to Kindle.

I should note that the books aren't any cheaper from the Kindle store. The Kindle is not about saving money: it's about convenience. If you want to save money, you can get the very cheap PDF versions of books from O'Reilly. Those should look just like the physical book, although they are probably harder to read on the iPhone.

1 Comment

As I recall, you can get a Kindle-format .mobi book from O'Reilly for free if you've bought the book in any ebook format, including PDF. So, the only convenience from the Kindle store is probably over-the-air delivery.

Leave a comment

About brian d foy

user-pic I'm the author of Mastering Perl, and the co-author of Learning Perl (6th Edition), Intermediate Perl, Programming Perl (4th Edition) and Effective Perl Programming (2nd Edition).