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pReader Native Alpha Release
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Old 02/07/2011, 04:08 PM   #1 (permalink)
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This is the thread for the native alpha release of the pReader eBook reading software.

It's a radical rewrite of the Javascript pReader found in the AppCatalog and uses the new capabilities offered by the WebOS PDK. It should work on both Pre and Pixi, but it was only tested on the Pre.

It should be available through the PreCentral Homebrew feed:
pReader Native Alpha | PreCentral.net | The #1 Palm Pre and Pixi Community

Alternatively, you can download the IPK file from here and install it manually:
https://sourceforge.net/projects/preader/files/


If you find any bugs, please file a bug report on the Sourceforge Bug Tracker:
SourceForge.net: pReader: Bugs


It already contains almost all the features found in the old Javascript version, but it might still randomly crash your device and produce a few visual glitches here or there. It shouldn't cause any data loss, but as it's an alpha release there can be no guarantee for that. Furthermore, since this version is under active development, you might lose any books you have added to your library if you install an update to this alpha version.

In a nutshell: If you want reliability, use the pReader found in the App Catalog. If you want to live on the bleeding edge of development, use this version. Both versions can coexist peacefully on the same device.


Have fun!

Last edited by Jappus; 09/24/2011 at 09:39 AM.
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Old 02/08/2011, 04:06 AM   #2 (permalink)
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Cool, I definitely want to try it out. I just have one question: it won't mess with the library on the stable version, will it? You mentioned both versions can coexist, but you also mentioned that I can lose books added to the library if I install an update. Just for clarification, that will only happen to the alpha version, right?

Otherwise, I'm excited to try this out. Thanks!

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Old 02/08/2011, 04:15 AM   #3 (permalink)
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Originally Posted by rsanchez1 View Post
Cool, I definitely want to try it out. I just have one question: it won't mess with the library on the stable version, will it? You mentioned both versions can coexist, but you also mentioned that I can lose books added to the library if I install an update. Just for clarification, that will only happen to the alpha version, right?
Yup. Since they use a completely different library system, they won't interfere with each other in any way.

I probably should clarify that a bit more in the app description.
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Old 02/08/2011, 08:36 AM   #4 (permalink)
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I added a cp-1250 not working bug to the tracker...
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Old 02/08/2011, 10:20 AM   #5 (permalink)
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Bug:
I have some Calibre-created ePUBs that on import causes the native app to reboot the phone (Sprint Pre-). The ePubs are downloads of my personal google site and are ~1MB. The ePubs works fine on the standard app. If you want it, I can either email you the epubs or post it to the forums later tonight.

Can anyone else say if they have Calibre created epubs that work with the alpha? It's possible there's some javascript from the google site still in the HTML that's causing the problem. That would make this a low priority bug. (Yeah, I use them on a regular basis but I was kind of amazed that it worked at all. There's a lot of code buried in the HTMLs)

Oh, and it's not my install. I tested with a Baen.com epub ("Fortune's Stroke") and the native alpha imported & displayed the book fine, once I changed encoding to UTF8. Bold, italics, etc all come through. I loaded a Baen palmdoc ("Dance of Time") and it loaded successfully as well, complete with cover art.
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Old 02/08/2011, 12:55 PM   #6 (permalink)
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I added a cp-1250 not working bug to the tracker...
Could you add a test-file for that issue. I can of course replicate it by just using a brute-force file testing every possible 8-bit char (and sequential combination thereof), but I'd rather do it on a "real" file, just to make sure I'm not missing an obscure side-effect.

Thanks!
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Old 02/08/2011, 01:04 PM   #7 (permalink)
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Originally Posted by kigmatzomat View Post
Bug:
I have some Calibre-created ePUBs that on import causes the native app to reboot the phone (Sprint Pre-). The ePubs are downloads of my personal google site and are ~1MB. The ePubs works fine on the standard app. If you want it, I can either email you the epubs or post it to the forums later tonight.
Could you open a bug report on the Sourceforge Tracker I linked to in the OP? It allows you to attach test-files and allows me to track the number of outstanding bugs.

Thanks!


P.S: As for rebooting your phone: That's a nasty side-effect of the 1.4.5 WebOS PDK. If a native PDK plugin crashes while it is under control of a Javascript app, Luna (the WebOS-GUI) simply crashes along with it. So much for everything being sandboxed, if an app can still easily set fire to the entire playground.

Of course, this is a non-issue as soon as I've fixed all the bugs that cause the back-end to crash, but you know, this is an alpha, so such crashes will unfortunately be the normal fare for the immediate future.

Quote:
Oh, and it's not my install. I tested with a Baen.com epub ("Fortune's Stroke") and the native alpha imported & displayed the book fine, once I changed encoding to UTF8. Bold, italics, etc all come through. I loaded a Baen palmdoc ("Dance of Time") and it loaded successfully as well, complete with cover art.
Yeah, I tested it mostly with international Gutenberg Project files, many of which were created with Calibre, so I think it's something inside your file that horribly confuses my ePub importer and/or the libxml2 library used by it.

A test-file would be really great.
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Old 02/08/2011, 01:28 PM   #8 (permalink)
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Very cool! Still playing around with it, will let you know if I find any bugs!
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Old 02/08/2011, 01:52 PM   #9 (permalink)
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Originally Posted by kigmatzomat View Post
Can anyone else say if they have Calibre created epubs that work with the alpha?
I tried it with a few pdf-converted Calibre epubs. They were imported and I could read them just fine.
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Old 02/08/2011, 03:34 PM   #10 (permalink)
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I just tried to install .9 with preware and it stays on the download / install screen with the spinner spinning and never completes installation. I let it sit for 30 minutes with no change. I have a US Verizon Wireless Pre Plus w/ 1.4.5.

Any ideas or things I can try?

Thanks
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Old 02/08/2011, 03:58 PM   #11 (permalink)
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I just tried to install .9 with preware and it stays on the download / install screen with the spinner spinning and never completes installation. I let it sit for 30 minutes with no change. I have a US Verizon Wireless Pre Plus w/ 1.4.5.

Any ideas or things I can try?
I can't influence the installation in any way. I just upload the IPK and that's it.

Anyway, I had the same thing happening to me earlier today with an update to Navit, but that was cured after a reboot and doing it again a few hours later.

So, I guess ... try it again later? Or simply download the IPK from Sourceforge or the PreCentral page and use PreWare / InternalZ / WebOS Quick Install or whatever.
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Old 02/08/2011, 05:10 PM   #12 (permalink)
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Originally Posted by Jappus View Post
Could you add a test-file for that issue. I can of course replicate it by just using a brute-force file testing every possible 8-bit char (and sequential combination thereof), but I'd rather do it on a "real" file, just to make sure I'm not missing an obscure side-effect.

Thanks!

done...
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Old 02/08/2011, 05:25 PM   #13 (permalink)
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I just added a new bug to the tracker on SourceForge regarding the failure to import a book and the subsequent refusal of pReader to start up.
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Old 02/08/2011, 05:56 PM   #14 (permalink)
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I just added a new bug to the tracker on SourceForge regarding the failure to import a book and the subsequent refusal of pReader to start up.
I just fixed the bug that caused the crash. It was a simple oversight during post-processing of the file. "table"-HTML tags were marked as to be replaced with another tag, but the replacement node was not initialized, which caused a segfault.

Both errors are now fixed. Replacement tags are now always initialized to NULL (which means the node that should be replaced is instead dropped) and table-tags are marked as to be kept till I figure out what to do with them, as they don't actually work as is.

The old solution was to replace them with line-breaks and spaces, but I was never all too thrilled about that solution. Thus, I've marked your bug report as FIXED but PENDING.



But I could not reproduce the issue of the pReader not opening again after the crash. What you could try is to delete the "pReader-Library" folder, which will completely wipe the library away.
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Old 02/08/2011, 06:12 PM   #15 (permalink)
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I can't influence the installation in any way. I just upload the IPK and that's it.

Anyway, I had the same thing happening to me earlier today with an update to Navit, but that was cured after a reboot and doing it again a few hours later.

So, I guess ... try it again later? Or simply download the IPK from Sourceforge or the PreCentral page and use PreWare / InternalZ / WebOS Quick Install or whatever.
That's what I already did. Downloaded from Sourceforge on phone. Tried to install with preware. Symptoms as above. Tried to install with Internalz - it opened the install screen ghosted behind the spinner (it was displaying the package info screen with no fields filled). Screen stayed ghosted and spinner never stopped. Install button never became available. If spinner keeps spinning that means the process didn't crash, right?
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Old 02/08/2011, 06:19 PM   #16 (permalink)
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I downloaded the updated .9 and everything worked. YAY!
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Old 02/09/2011, 04:24 PM   #17 (permalink)
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But I could not reproduce the issue of the pReader not opening again after the crash. What you could try is to delete the "pReader-Library" folder, which will completely wipe the library away.
I can't seem to find a "pReader-Library" folder. Where should it be located?
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Old 02/09/2011, 07:28 PM   #18 (permalink)
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I can't seem to find a "pReader-Library" folder. Where should it be located?
Your normal USB disc: /media/internal

If it's not there (or a file with the same name is there), then you have your reason why the pReader fails to start. It expects to be able to create, read from and write to that directory. If not, the back-end probably croaks.

I guess I should probably handle that case a bit more gracefully...
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Old 02/09/2011, 07:30 PM   #19 (permalink)
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Loaded a few smaller epub files and they work perfectly (and import very very quickly - awesome work).

Unfortunately, I tried to import a larger epub (38.85 megabytes) and it didn't work. Specifically, it says "importing 1 file(s)" and the screen goes gray, then it comes back to the library but the book isn't imported and in the library. If I attempt to add it again, the phone crashes and reboots.

I'd send you the file in question, but it is a copyright protected work (no DRM, but still gotta stay on the up and up). Haven't had a chance to try other similarly large epubs, anyone able to load a large epub?

EDIT: Just checked the pReader-library, and there is a folder for the new book, but it has a data.zip and metadata.json file that are both 0b in size. Attempted renaming the epub and trying again, with the same result.
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Old 02/09/2011, 07:32 PM   #20 (permalink)
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Your normal USB disc: /media/internal

If it's not there (or a file with the same name is there), then you have your reason why the pReader fails to start. It expects to be able to create, read from and write to that directory. If not, the back-end probably croaks.

I guess I should probably handle that case a bit more gracefully...
Hmmm... Internalz shows no such folder or file, nor can I see one when it's connected as a USB drive. Can you think of any particular reason why pReader wouldn't be able to create it? Thanks!
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