[maemo-developers] GSoC 2010, eBook reader. Looking for feedback and ideas.

From: Juhana Jauhiainen juhana.jauhiainen at gmail.com
Date: Fri Apr 30 11:46:17 EEST 2010
On Thu, Apr 29, 2010 at 7:45 PM, Marco Ballesio <gibrovacco at gmail.com>

> - Adjustable font size.
> - Automatic scrolling (maybe using QKineticScroller, it's hw accelerated in
> embedded devices so power consumption is really limited).
> - Text-to-speech (espeak is good, Festival is better).
 Changing font size is a very useful feature so it should be included. What
comes to scrolling, I was planning to use paging instead of a continuous
scrollable textview. When using a book reader with scrolling I often loose
the spot I was at when I need to scroll, but of course automatic scrolling
wouldn't have the same problem. Do most people prefer scrolling or paging?

As for text-to-speech, another GSoC student David Jordan is making an
application for blind and visually impaired people. We talked a little about
this in IRC and sure it would be a nice feature but it might go a bit
outside the scope of this project. I'll have a chat with him to find out how
hard it would be to implement it.

 On Thu, Apr 29, 2010 at 10:00 PM, Aniello Del Sorbo <anidel at gmail.com>

> Anyway... I am about to get an eBook reader next week and I've been
> reading about Ebook readers quite a lot lately.
> What seems to be important is the font.
> The default font has to be really nice on the N900 screen and look
> gorgeous and easy to read on the chosen background.
> Of course, one has to be able to choose, but the default one has to be
> the one most people will use.
> So please, take particular care on choosing it.
Fonts are of course very important for readability. I haven't made any
decisions yet on default or other fonts, maybe the community could be of
help in finding a good set of fonts.

> Last, how do you plan to swipe through pages?
> Gestures, overlay buttons (a la PDF reader) or continuous read?
I plan to use gestures here. Swipe left or right on the textview to change
the page, in landscape perhaps up or down.

On Fri, Apr 30, 2010 at 1:09 AM, Ryan Abel <rabelg5 at gmail.com> wrote:
> Implementing format handling from-scratch is going to be a herculean
> undertaking, so I wonder if you could've borrow FBReader's handling (as
> their format support is strong and fairly extensive). As that not only gives
> you a lot of quality format support, but also a long-term solution to format
> handling (assuming you don't have to deviate overly far from their code to
> implement it).
> As for formatting, having easily configurable formatting options is
> important to ensuring that all of your users can get their optimal
> experience. This is one area where devices like Kindle and iPad fall flat on
> their faces (setting the default margin to 1" always seemed rather insane to
> me). Again, this is another area where I would mostly just borrow from
> FBReader (options, not code ;)), but see if it can't be implemented in a
> more mobile-friendly manner. Having a number of useful default profiles will
> help here.
As Ville mentioned Okular has good format support including epub and djvu.
Okular will probably be used as starting point or reference for this
project. As for formatting, I'll take look at what options FBReader has and
see what I can do.

On Fri, Apr 30, 2010 at 6:15 AM, Aniello Del Sorbo <anidel at gmail.com> wrote:
> Holding the device in portrait mode feels more natural and solid, but
> I was never been able to read in portrait
> (and, indeed, i never even use the browser in portrait mode).
> Anyway... full support for both modes then :)
I don't think supporting both portrait and landscape should be a problem. I
use portrait mode more when reading (though hardly ever in the browser) but
landscape would be useful also.
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