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  1. #661  
    I was trying to view/import small .prc file ( 1.29 MB) but got a nerror
    'Failed Book Import'
    Any ideas?

    BTW. I have bunch of pdf and palmPreBook and pReader doesn't see them
  2. #662  
    Quote Originally Posted by afaynerman View Post
    I was trying to view/import small .prc file ( 1.29 MB) but got a nerror
    'Failed Book Import'
    Any ideas?

    BTW. I have bunch of pdf and palmPreBook and pReader doesn't see them
    Welcome to pReader.

    Where did you get the books? Were they from a site that uses DRM (copy protection)? There are several document types that have the .prc extension - not just books that pReader supports - so just a basic check to see if what you're wanting to import is actually something importable. Along with the basics, what webOS device are you using & what version of webOS is it running (open Device Info app to check? Are you using the latest version of pReader native from preware or the Sourceforge link in the first post of this thread?

    You said you are trying to read pdf files in pReader - pReader doesn't support reading pdf (Adobe Acrobat) files. You need to use Adobe Reader or Smart Office to read pdfs on webOS. I'm not sure what you mean by "palmPreBook" - I've never heard that used to describe a book format. Can you describe it more fully? Things like what extension the files have, where do you get them from, what is the application to natively read them.
    Last edited by govotsos; 02/06/2012 at 09:48 PM.
  3. #663  
    Hi There,

    Thanks for all your good work, I love pReader! When will the new version be in the app catalogue? I would really love to have in app book downloading, from either Gutenberg or a pay site! Any hints as to what you might be doing to make getting books onto the device easier and more direct?

    Thanks again!

    -Brian
  4. #664  
    Quote Originally Posted by Brian Gockley View Post
    Hi There,

    Thanks for all your good work, I love pReader! When will the new version be in the app catalogue? I would really love to have in app book downloading, from either Gutenberg or a pay site! Any hints as to what you might be doing to make getting books onto the device easier and more direct?

    Thanks again!

    -Brian
    I can't speak for jappus, but I doubt in-app downloading / purchasing is going to happen - especially considering the amount of coding required & the dwindling webOS community.

    On the other hand, did you know you can download books from Project Gutenberg, Baen, Memoware, eReader, Fictionwise, etc directly on your webOS device? Just go to the download page with the browser, tap & hold on the download link, select Download from the popup menu and the book will be downloaded to the /download directory on your device. (You might need the browser context menu patch for this - it's been so long since I _haven't_ had the patch installed I can't remember if you need it for this ) After you've downloaded them, just select Add Books from the library screen, select book type to import, navigate to the download directory, tap to select books & away you go
  5.    #665  
    Quote Originally Posted by Brian Gockley View Post
    Thanks for all your good work, I love pReader! When will the new version be in the app catalogue?
    Yes, it will be in the App Catalogue at some point. Currently, I'm still fixing a nasty WebOS 1.4.5 bug without which I can't really release it as a replacement for the old pReader.

    After that is done, only four things remain:
    1. Autoscrolling support (medium difficulty)
    2. FictionBook2 support (easy)
    3. Replacing the slow "jsoncpp" library with the much faster "libjson" library (hopefully easy drop-in with just a few find/replace steps.)
    4. Improving the library display regarding categories, searches, orderings, etc.


    I would really love to have in app book downloading, from either Gutenberg or a pay site! Any hints as to what you might be doing to make getting books onto the device easier and more direct?
    I plan to at some point integrate a trawler for the Gutenberg/Baen RSS-feeds and XML catalogues. This would allow a simple download-and-read interface. Pay sites will be much trickier, especially given that the pReader handles DRM by just stripping the DRM away and putting the files in a fast intermediate format.

    But before I do that, I have to greatly improve the library display. Both will come somewhere after v1.0.0 is released to the AppCatalog.

    Of course, Govotsos is quite right; the fact that WebOS is seemingly on the descending branch coupled with the fact that I am not a student anymore means that new features will come in much more slowly than when I first released the pReader v0.5.0 to the world almost 2 years ago.

    That was also the entire point why I released the source code under the GPL v3. If someone is eager to implement a new feature (or at some future point take on the role of principal developer) they can very easily do so. For example the MobiPocket and eReader DRM were basically implemented by another developer, which can still be seen in the in-app info page.
    Last edited by Jappus; 02/08/2012 at 06:37 PM.
  6. #666  
    Quote Originally Posted by Jappus View Post
    So, that hopefully only leaves the WebOS 1.4.5 loading bug. I'll take a closer look at the startup sequence to check if there's still something obvious left. But it'd greatly help if everyone who is affected by that issue would send me their "/var/log/messages" files.
    I've attached my startup-log. The application hangs on Loading app settings...
    Attached Files Attached Files
  7.    #667  
    Quote Originally Posted by cloudyster View Post
    I've attached my startup-log. The application hangs on Loading app settings...
    Yup, just like I expected; the exact same issue that the other users have, too. For some reason, the back-end executable does not start right or crashes immediately. As such, the front-end waits eternally for it to respond.

    I hope that either govotsos or jbusnengo can help me out with that by running a debugging-enabled executable in GDB (the GNU Debugger). That should tell me exactly which call causes the crash and will then hopefully directly lead to a solution.


    Thanks again for the file anyway, as it supports the notion that I only deal with a single bug, instead of many different variants.
  8. alan sh's Avatar
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    #668  
    Any chance of you putting a timeout in for that bug so that the rest of us (OK, just me???) can get the fixed layout version?
  9. alan sh's Avatar
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    #669  
    and now a serious request. Can we have the library sorted by 'last read' date/time?

    alan
  10.    #670  
    Quote Originally Posted by alan sh View Post
    Any chance of you putting a timeout in for that bug so that the rest of us (OK, just me???) can get the fixed layout version?
    I should have an update out by tomorrow.

    I spent most of the weekend replacing the JSON implementation in the back-end from jsoncpp -- which has a nice and clean interface, but is slow, with libjson, which has a horrible interface and design but is much faster. It was quite a lot of lifting and hacking the library to actually do something sensible, but now the library loads a good deal faster even with many books (~600 books load in 1 second on my TouchPad where it took around 5 before).

    During this I also noticed some smaller eReader bugs and just for good measure recompiled all the back-end libraries- That's libxml2, cryptopp, ICU and Boost. That alone took 4 hours straight compile time on my 4-core PC and produced some 16GB of intermediate data for all 4 platforms (Pre/Touchpad, Pixi, Win32 and Emulator).

    And all that to just produce four 3 MB large binaries. Isn't C++ great?

    Quote Originally Posted by alan sh View Post
    and now a serious request. Can we have the library sorted by 'last read' date/time?
    Another good idea for my ToDo list.

    Basically, as soon as I have finished the last few remaining features blocking a v1.0.0 release, I will as a last step completely replace the current library display implementation. This straight list is simply not cutting it any more; especially on the TouchPad.

    Of course, I still lack the final spark of inspiration with what to replace it, that won't cost me half an arm and leg to implement.
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    #671  
    Hi, the answer is probably there but I skipped around and couldn't find it, sooo... Is support for Nook epub formatted books still a possibility?
  12. alan sh's Avatar
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    #672  
    Quote Originally Posted by Jappus View Post
    I should have an update out by tomorrow.

    I spent most of the weekend replacing the JSON implementation in the back-end from jsoncpp -- which has a nice and clean interface, but is slow, with libjson, which has a horrible interface and design but is much faster. It was quite a lot of lifting and hacking the library to actually do something sensible, but now the library loads a good deal faster even with many books (~600 books load in 1 second on my TouchPad where it took around 5 before).

    During this I also noticed some smaller eReader bugs and just for good measure recompiled all the back-end libraries- That's libxml2, cryptopp, ICU and Boost. That alone took 4 hours straight compile time on my 4-core PC and produced some 16GB of intermediate data for all 4 platforms (Pre/Touchpad, Pixi, Win32 and Emulator).

    And all that to just produce four 3 MB large binaries. Isn't C++ great?


    Another good idea for my ToDo list.

    Basically, as soon as I have finished the last few remaining features blocking a v1.0.0 release, I will as a last step completely replace the current library display implementation. This straight list is simply not cutting it any more; especially on the TouchPad.

    Of course, I still lack the final spark of inspiration with what to replace it, that won't cost me half an arm and leg to implement.
    Ouch - that's a whole bunch of work. But well done for whats gone so far.

    As to a library inspiration, let me (and others???) put something together in the next few days and see if you like it. But don't let us stop you issuing a 0.9.17 (or whatever the next number is).

    cheers

    Alan

    PS - do you need any more books to test - I just got a few more free ones which are actually quite good to read.
  13.    #673  
    Quote Originally Posted by khampton View Post
    Hi, the answer is probably there but I skipped around and couldn't find it, sooo... Is support for Nook epub formatted books still a possibility?
    As long as it has no DRM (or you've already stripped it away with, say, Calibre), the pReader will eat it just fine.

    Now, it has DRM, it heavily depends on how it's implemented. For obvious reasons, I can't use the approach Calibre goes by reading out the decryption keys from an application stored on your PC (for example Kindle4PC). So unless the key-derivation is known -- like it is for Barnes&Nobles-- I can't do anything in that regard.

    Quote Originally Posted by alan sh View Post
    As to a library inspiration, let me (and others???) put something together in the next few days and see if you like it. But don't let us stop you issuing a 0.9.17 (or whatever the next number is).
    I will gladly accept any inspiration. Of course, actual code contributions are much better, but I' not picky.

    PS - do you need any more books to test - I just got a few more free ones which are actually quite good to read.
    Naah. At the moment I have quite enough books. I may need some B&N books at some point to validate if the decryption engine will work, but that's still some time away.

    I'll post a notice here as soon as I need some testing material.


    As for reading books: I currently have a back-log of >10 dead-tree books and several eBooks I downloaded from Project Gutenberg. So ... it might be some time until I am ready to accept new stuff.


    And of course, at some point next month Mass Effect 3 will be released which might ... sidetrack me a bit.
  14. alan sh's Avatar
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    #674  
    Quote Originally Posted by Jappus View Post
    As long as it has no DRM (or you've already stripped it away with, say, Calibre), the pReader will eat it just fine.

    Now, it has DRM, it heavily depends on how it's implemented. For obvious reasons, I can't use the approach Calibre goes by reading out the decryption keys from an application stored on your PC (for example Kindle4PC). So unless the key-derivation is known -- like it is for Barnes&Nobles-- I can't do anything in that regard.


    I will gladly accept any inspiration. Of course, actual code contributions are much better, but I' not picky.


    Naah. At the moment I have quite enough books. I may need some B&N books at some point to validate if the decryption engine will work, but that's still some time away.

    I'll post a notice here as soon as I need some testing material.


    As for reading books: I currently have a back-log of >10 dead-tree books and several eBooks I downloaded from Project Gutenberg. So ... it might be some time until I am ready to accept new stuff.


    And of course, at some point next month Mass Effect 3 will be released which might ... sidetrack me a bit.
    So, first thoughts at a library structure and "look & feel":

    Structure.

    Needs to be sortable by last book read, author, title, catagory. What else?
    Need to be able to subdivide it into viewable groups (so I don't scroll down 600 books to find the one I want).
    Be useful to store the metadata (last book read, last page read etc) on the web somewhere so I can keep different devices in sync.
    Be interesting to try and create a web based library with downloadable books (like Kindle).

    Look & Feel (how's your graphics programming?)

    My bookshelf at home shows the spines of books with the title and author on it. Can you do something similar? When you "touch" a book, it comes out and show the front cover. If you touch and hold, it opens the book to the last page read.

    Ovbiously, the shelves are divided by the sort order (as above).

    What do you think?

    regards

    Alan
  15. #675  
    I like some of your ideas alan_sh. I guess I might as well pile onto the "idea train".

    My first one is that if jappus makes the gui you suggest, I hope he makes it optional. I know lots of people go gaga over fancy gui (see all the posts bemoaning the lack of a gui like Moon+, Aldiko, etc), but personally, I prefer a minimalist UI that lets me do what I want to do & gets out of my way. For _me_, something like what pReader has is ideal.

    One thing that would be nice (but is probably a headache to code) concerns book import. I have my books stored on disk with a lot of directories. Top level is a coarse sort of the first letters of authors' names. What I mean is I have directories A_E, F_L, etc. Under that would be the individual letters (in A_E would be A, B, C, D, E). Next could be the author's name Last_First as the directory name ( Asimov would be Asimov_Isaac). If a particular letter has many authors, I add a level between 2 & 3 that breaks 3 up into manageable groups (Aa_Am, An_Az). Inside the author's folder are the books themselves with leading "the"s moved to the end of the file name. So the book "The Red Sun" by Marion Zimmer Bradley would be stored in /B/Bn_Bz/Bradley_Marion_Zimmer/Red_Sun,_The.pdb. I hope that's clear enough to make sense.

    What would be nice is when I do a bulk import there was a way to maintain that (or whatever someone has) directory structure. Like I said, it's probably a pain to code. It'd probably require a more graphical UI going against what I said above

    Whatever he ends up with, I would definitely casts vote to keep a similar UI to what's currently there as an option.
  16. alan sh's Avatar
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    #676  
    I have no objection to the minimalist approach. When you get to 1000's of books (as I have in reality - see attachment), then you need some better way of managing the libary. I'm not sure two levels of alphabetic are necessary personally, but if it's an option, then fine.

    I agree about the "The's" moving to the end. But I would like to make that one optional as well.

    But we need to hear from the great man himself - or has he flung his hands in the air in horror and gone down the pub???

    Alan
    PS - the picture is of one wall in my study - that's not the only bookshelf in the house..... [and the mess is because I am in the middle of a kitchen extension and have just installed a new monior - it all adds up!!!]
    Attached Images Attached Images
  17. #677  
    Yeah, I know about the space issue. My wife & I are voracious readers. We have a 14' x 16' two story library and had to covert another room when that wasn't enough At last count, we have 5,700+ books so maximum organization is a must. Fiction books I usually read 2 a day. Yes (like you it sounds like) retirement is nice except for those, all to frequent, senior moments.
  18.    #678  
    Quote Originally Posted by alan sh View Post
    Look & Feel (how's your graphics programming?)

    My bookshelf at home shows the spines of books with the title and author on it. Can you do something similar? When you "touch" a book, it comes out and show the front cover. If you touch and hold, it opens the book to the last page read.
    My graphics programming -- as in graphical user interface? Atrocious, especially in HTML+JavaScript.

    The issue with such a bookshelf-based view is simple: It looks extremely nice. It's something you can show all your friends and they will go "ohhh" and "ahhh" -- until they actually use it. For a touchscreen device -- and this goes doubly triply for small devices like the Pre/Pixi -- a book shelf is about the worst UI you can imagine.

    You usually waste lots of space for each book, just to show a nice image. A pyhsical shelf has to be that way, because books waste this space by their very nature, which is fine if you have 10 meter bookshelves ... but try a 20cm bookshelf (~the size of the Touchpad) and it turns out you can only fit a hand-full of books on each screen. Have fun scrolling with your fingers until they are raw.


    Of course, if you slightly tweak that -- combined with sorting -- it might work. First, show broad categories. This could be alphabetical ranges for author/title or straight category names like "Fiction" (the latter depending on the user creating them, though).
    Only after that, show the finer details (single letters) before you show the actual book.

    But then again, you can easily just type parts of the title/author and have it immediately display them to you. That's one of the advantages of a computer compared to a real bookshelf.


    But then again, straight lists are ugly -- especially if I continue using Mojo Widgets. There has to be something in-between the beautiful but hard-to-use bookshelf idea and the functional, but ugly filtered list.



    Hhhm, I'll think about it a bit more over the weekend, as I think that I've finally cracked the problem with the pReader not starting on WebOS 1.4.5. It was a simply GCC incompatibility -- the new CodeSourcery compiler uses a different C/C++-library than is installed on WebOS 1.4.5, whereas 2.x and 3.x have the newer libraries.

    So, after re-installing CodeSourcery and another 2-3 hours of compiling the backend libraries, the bug should be gone.
  19.    #679  
    Quote Originally Posted by govotsos View Post
    What would be nice is when I do a bulk import there was a way to maintain that (or whatever someone has) directory structure. Like I said, it's probably a pain to code. It'd probably require a more graphical UI going against what I said above
    Actually, using the directory structure is relatively straightforward, as I have to be aware of it anyway.

    For example, I can take apart the directory tree, and add all directory names as categories for the book -- of course after splitting off the obligatory "/media/internal".

    I added the idea to my pile.
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  20. #680  
    Jappus, you've said before in the past that you'd take coding help where you could get it. I haven't tried coding in WebOS before, but I want to tackle another problem in it and I think it would be interesting to see if I can learn what I need to learn to make it work while doing minor bits on someone else's baby.

    Would that be at all useful to you, or would you prefer just experienced WebOS programmers diving into your code?

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