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Subject: Unicode characters in epub


I successfully generated an epub file with the epub stylesheets and tested
it on various e-readers (or emulators of e-readers). I have some annoying
problems with Unicode characters though and wonder what others do or

1. My book is about C++. Unfortunately "C++" is not a word - so e-readers
seem to break "C++" wherever they like. A line could end with "C+" or "C",
and the plus sign(s) is on the next line. I turned "C++" into
"C++" (which is already crazy as I don't know how often I
refer to C++ in my book). However this had some unfortunate side effects: If
 is used in the book title or titles which appear in the table of
contents, the Sony Reader displays rectangles (not in the body text though).
If I use  somewhere else like in "--option" in the body text
(to avoid that a command line option is broken after the double minus), the
Sony Reader displays something like "--`option" (and still breaks after the
double minus). I don't know whether this is only a problem with the Sony
Reader. But if in doubt I prefer line breaks than having some readers to see
rectangles or other funny characters everywhere. 

2. Some e-readers like the Sony Reader and the Kobo Touch don't break long
words. If you have a book about C++, you can have very long paths to header
files or very long macros. The Kindle does the right thing and puts a line
break into a word which you can't read anymore otherwise. I tried different
CSS properties like word-wrap and overflow-warp but to no avail. Is there
any trick to make e-readers break words by all means if they are too long? 

3. I use a table with three columns in my book which is already difficult to
display on a narrow e-reader. If there are some long words, e-readers can
mess up completely (because of 2.). So I added ­ here and there to
insert soft hyphens. The Sony Reader, Kobo Touch and Adobe Digital Editions
do break the words now where I put ­ - but they don't display a hyphen!
Adobe Digital Editions does display a hyphen in the table of contents if I
add ­ to a chapter title - although the chapter title doesn't need to
be and isn't broken in the table of contents. Only the Kindle seems to do
the right thing. 

My conclusion is that one better doesn't try to beautify an epub with
Unicode characters? I think I'll use ­ where it's absolutely required
to break words (like in a table with three columns) because I know that some
parts of the text will not be displayed at all. Otherwise it's probably
better to blame the e-reader? ;) 


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