Posted on by & filed under Product Updates & Tips.

Here’s a letter that the Director of Product Management wrote to address the issues that some users are experiencing with release 6.0.

To Our Valued Customers, 

Since the launch of Safari Books Online 6.0 on October 27, many of you have taken the time to give us your thoughts about the new release and its features.  We really appreciate your feedback and want you to know we’re listening.

We’ve received a lot of positive feedback from many of you about the new interface and features in 6.0.  We’re very happy to hear it, particularly because we incorporated literally thousands of customer suggestions in a design that was built to meet your evolving needs.

We have also received requests for changes in the new release and we want to assure you that we are taking these very seriously.  Some are easy fixes and we’re already working on them.  For example, we have had some questions about functionality in areas such as copy and paste, zoom toolbar improvements, scroll wheel and bar issues, SOM links and settings in the Favorites Folders.  We want to assure you that we are already working to address these issues and we expect to complete that work in the very near future.

Other requests will take more thought and consideration.   For example, a number of you have asked why we switched from HTML to Flash.   We made this decision after careful consideration based on a variety of inputs and because we wanted to unify the HTML and Print Fidelity experiences.   We continue to believe that this new interface is the future.  Nevertheless, because a significant portion of our user base is more comfortable with HTML, we will make that available as an option as soon as possible.  Please stay tuned. 

Meanwhile we will continue to build on 6.0 because we fervently believe that this UI represents the future of our business.  We truly value the input and support of our customers.  If you‘d like to be part of our user testing program moving forward, please let us know.  We thank you for your passion for Safari Books Online and willingness to provide us with frank and valuable feedback.   We are committed to making Safari Books Online the place to go to find, organize and use the information you need to succeed.


 John Chodacki
Director, Product Management


Tags: release 6.0, Safari Books Online,

18 Responses to “6.0 Update Message from Safari Books Online”

  1. julienperez59


    “We continue to believe that this new interface is the future” even though a significant portion of your customer base say otherwise ?
    Really, if it is your future, well please tell us, cause many of us will just leave right away without having the frustration of waiting with a complete useless interface that allow us to read the content on 10% of a page. I mean, come on, just compare the amount of content available for reading on this blog to the one available in your online library (screenshots available on the facebook group ‘Safari Books Online’).

    You said you care about customers but did you allow us to be able to keep the old interface and give the new one a try before forcing all of us into this ? I didn’t pay for that and I do know I’m not alone.

    Could you even explain why you think it’s the future ? I would maybe be able to agree but without any argumentation, this is just an empty sentence. “You believe this [..] is the future”, “you wanted to unify [..]”, really I don’t even see where you care about your customers in that way of thinking.

    Today Im really disappointed as I believe one of the greatest and quite old service on the net disappeared.
    R.I.P. Safari.

    Julien, an old disapppointed fan

    • aoleynikov

      I couldn’t agree more with Julien
      The new Safari 6.0 is totally useless!!! The content is viewable through some pinhole, but there is plenty of flashy veneer around it that keeps distracting your attention. I don’t know what stone-age “professional” is behind this new UI. Complete disaster!
      I am sooooo frustrated that I will probably cancel my subscription unless the old HTML view is back.
      The search is a joke – it cannot find squat in the book I am reading, even though I know that the search phrase appears in the book multiple times.
      This is the worst “upgrade” ever! Even Windows Vista was less of a flop.

      Give us the old Safari BACK!!!!!!

      Very angry user.

  2. taipalag


    Thank you listening to your customers and bringing us the html view back. I really appreciate it. And I will continue to monitor the evolution of the new interface.


    Christophe Keller

  3. sfmove

    I love the new interface. It incorporates all the issues that angered me with the old version. I am so happy I can now organize my favorites. And I just discovered the new notes feature exports. Well done!
    Its good to see you are listening to customers. Moving to include HTML again is a good move, but thank for not bringing the old site back. The new version is 1000x better.
    Steve Moven

  4. bananaguyc

    It’s important to note that a significant portion of the user base is not necessarily more “more comfortable with HTML”, but rather the functionality and usability that it provides. If you’re reading a large amount of text in the browser, it’s nice to have the text automatically scale width and heightwise to fit the window size when it’s resized. Also, having the books sections together without breaks was also an unmatched feature, especially important in books with a lot of code. Both of those items are missing from the new interface. Maybe it’s possible to actually accomplish that functionality with Flash, since flash is clearly where your company wants to put its resources?

  5. chambery


    I’ve posted elsewhere, angrily and at length, but let me say again:

    The sole job of Safari Books is _display the text of the books_. If you don’t get that right,
    nothing else matters.


    PS Julien is spot on.

  6. alexfarran

    Do you have an ETA for the fix? Is there anything I can use in the meantime?

  7. Stefano

    Among the advantages of the Html view there was the possibility of performing a search in page using the browser’s functionality.

    Maybe this could be a new feature for the flash version, which can select text, copy, highlight and create notes, but cannot search the displayed text.


    • julienperez59

      Or maybe the development team could stop being unridiculous and give back the HTML view.

  8. khatsalano


    There are too many problems with the new UI for me to list here. I find it completely useless. Please bring the old one back if you want to keep me as a customer.
    Alain (subscriber since Jan 05)

    • Safari Books Online

      Hi Alain,

      We are working on bringing back the html view. I hope to know more re: timing in a day or two. Thank you for voicing your concern.


  9. rubybanshee

    “We made this decision after careful consideration based on a variety of inputs and because we wanted to unify the HTML and Print Fidelity experiences.”

    Why in the world did you think this was important? Even a tiny bit important? It’s completely irrelevant to readers. Completely. Utterly. Really meaningless. Not the slightest bit interesting. Zero. Nada. Shall I go on?

  10. thedaego

    Thank you for reconsidering HTML view. It was a very functional and usable feature that I preferred over print fidelity view. The flash view would at the very least be tolerable (but still not preferred) if some of the book text did not appear garbled. For instance, take a look at “Flash CS4: The Missing Manual, 1st Edition”. Many of the Menu interface descriptions in the book are unreadable, effectively rendering many aspects of the book frustrating at best and useless at worst.

    Thank you again for bringing back HTML view. I have enjoyed using your service for many years and will continue to do so.


  11. alanshutko

    I notice that there are still problems with scrolling via mouse wheel on the fidelity view. Are improvements still planned?

    HTML view is a big improvement, but we need to fix fidelity view for those books which only offer that view.

      • Alan Shutko

        It’s now October 2011, and using my MacBook’s touchpad to scroll still overshoots by five or more pages. It’s been almost two years since the original blog mentioned problems with scroll wheels. Have you just given up trying to make a usable interface on a computer?