October 11, 2012
John Gruber is right — there is no excuse for a dedicated reader like the Kindle to produce justified text without hyphenation. It makes for unsightly, amateurish gaps between the words. The Kindle should be the epitome of good typography, not just another run-of-the-mill, good-enough device.
Amazon’s goal should be for Kindle typography to equal print typography. They’re not even close. They get a pass on this only because all their competitors are just as bad or worse. Amazon should hire a world-class book designer to serve as product manager for the Kindle.
As I’ve said before, this is a deal-breaker for me. But my fear is that hyphenation may soon become a dead art for no other reason than a lack of protest from readers. When old people in the future speak wistfully about the bygone days of hyphenation, the young ones will give a patronizing smile and change the subject.
Be sure to read the rest of Gruber’s Kindle review over at Daring Fireball.