View Full Version : Some FBReader wishlist items


rsperberg
01-06-2006, 01:45 PM
I've been using FBReader (http://www.mobileread.com/forums/forumdisplay.php?f=96) on the Nokia 770 for a while now, and my feature wishlist has grown somewhat. Because the program is at version 0.71b and not 1.0, I know it's still a work in progress, and their absence doesn't concern me.

I wanted to make this list public, so others could chime in or disabuse me of impractical aspects.

The formatting/styling controls in FBReader are already superior to those in other e-readers. Yet I've been conditioned by word-processors and browsers to expect paragraph-level controls for spacing between grafs and for indenting. When I started reading the Plucker version of Cory Doctorow's 'Someone Comes to Town, Someone Leaves Town,' grafs weren't differentiated by either, and boy did I want some way to make the paragraphing clear.

I also wish that a section title could be specified with a page break before it -- and an automatic bookmark, so that I could skip through the book chapter by chapter. And of course, with Cory's books and those from Project Gutenberg, that would allow for skipping over the lengthy intro/boilerplate material before the start of the book proper.

Edited to add -- hey this does work, but in FB2 and not in Plucker. And any html heading -- <h1>, <h2>, etc. -- seems to have a page-break-before built-in.

Speaking of bookmarks, I realize I want both the Textpad kind, that just mark a spot, and a Word-like insert-a-comment kind, for taking notes. And I want the ability both to export the notes (and import) and to keep and reactivate them if I remove and then re-add a title (I guess saving and importing would provide for that manually).

Same for highlighting, of course -- I want to be able to export whatever text is highlighted in the book in one fell step, sort of a super copy-and-paste. Yes, I'm well beyond a word-processing capability here, but this suits books. How you highlight across page boundaries I don't know. I think in MS Reader you're stuck with two highlights.

Do I just want skipping, or do I want Plucker Viewer-like named bookmarks I can jump to directly? (Is this just the 770 version of Plucker?) Well, me, I want both, though perhaps that isn't really necessary. And I'd like to be able to skip by bookmark, highlight or chapter, combined or separately, so maybe a menu could let me choose whether the zoom+/- key takes me to the next/previous page or bookmark, highlight or chapter.

The library capabilities are another place where FBReader exceeds other e-readers and where I want more. I'd like to be able to add a title, drag it to an author's name in the library and pick up that metadata -- author name and sort -- automatically. And again, if I remove and re-add the book I don't want to have to respecify this. By the way, why isn't this info carried in the Plucker file -- or is it and book-makers are omitting it?

Edited to add -- hey this does work, too, but in FB2 and not in Plucker. If the information is in the FB2 ook file, the library reads and uses it.

Moreover, I'd like to be able to list my library by title as well as author, make categories I can assign to books -- science fiction, history, research reports, etc. -- and list my library titles that way (sorted within categories by author or title). And not lose that metadata either. IIRC, these are things MS Reader does.

BTW, I have literally thousands of e-books. I really do expect to add and remove and then re-add titles a fair amount. In this regard, I'm probably the extreme, and not a typical user. But just moving from one machine to another, from 770 to laptop or vice-versa, I know I don't want to lose my notes, highlights, or metadata, and if I add something, I want to be able to get it to the other machine so I don't end up reading a copy with no-long-current annotations.

Oh, one more library thing. I sometimes get e-books from the University of Adelaide library, and what works best is to download a single zip archive containing separate html files for each chapter (and usually unhelpfully named chapter1.html, chapter2.html, etc.) What would work best with these would be to be able to add each zip as one book in the library, and not each html file. (Right now, I remove and combine the files to read them. Shouldn't be necessary.)

I know it seems as though I expect FBReader to do everything other e-readers do, but really I don't. I think. Or maybe I do. At any rate, when I was using FBReader, I wanted these things, and maybe that's because I was conditioned by other programs.

I hope Misha and Nikolay agree that these features belong in FBReader and that they can implement them easily.

Next thing I want is for FBReader to be able to play a Flash animation embedded in an e-book. I'm willing to wait for ver 1.1, however. :)

Roger Sperberg

TadW
01-07-2006, 07:14 PM
The library capabilities are another place where FBReader exceeds other e-readers and where I want more. I'd like to be able to add a title, drag it to an author's name in the library and pick up that metadata -- author name and sort -- automatically. And again, if I remove and re-add the book I don't want to have to respecify this. By the way, why isn't this info carried in the Plucker file -- or is it and book-makers are omitting it?
Roger, out of all your interesting ideas, this is the best of all. I currently have around 60-70 e-books stored on my sd card all in one folder, and believe, it isn't pretty when I have to find a particular book. I am using Vace M. to read Plucker documents on a PPC; it's too complicated to sort books as it is right now. Your method, dragging to an author's name and collecting metadata (for instance by autorefreshing through ISBN from Amazon) sounds like a wonderful way to get some order in my system.

remjax
02-06-2006, 01:24 PM
Reading HTML with images & tables from within a ZIP file would be great as well as RTF support, maybe even some amount of PDF support.

Another biggie for me is an improved file management system. I think the one uBook has is great especially when you have 4gig of files on a CF Hard drive. With drive sizes increasing and the price dropping it will only get worse trying to keep track of large amounts of files.

OK, OK so I want the world!

rsperberg
02-06-2006, 02:35 PM
Reading HTML with images & tables from within a ZIP file would be great as well as RTF support, maybe even some amount of PDF support.FBReader already does have the capability of reading an HTML file with images from within a zip archive.

So that part of your wish is already true.

Tables are promised for a future release. Right now, FBReader is at 0.71b; I'm hopeful tables will be part of version 1.0.

The FictionBook format itself could only support XHTML if it added that namespace specifically or provided for a mechanism by which e-readers would know what to do with these additional tags. But there's only a format standard (if that's the right word; it's not a formal standard) for FB2. There are no e-reader stipulations, and if you want HTML or RTF support, that's an e-reader issue. On the other hand, there are tools for converting from Word doc to FB2, so you only have to open the RTF file in Word and save it out as a .doc file to be able to make an FB2 file.

As for PDF, I don't believe FB2 or FBReader will add that. You're better off with a dedicated PDF reader I'd say.

Also -- the library feature in FBReader is quite powerful, although it may not do the same things uBook does. But that request, again, is for the e-reader makers and not the format makers.