View Full Version : New version 1.3.0.0 available


mikelv
07-25-2010, 06:07 AM
The new version is now available on addons.mozilla.org: https://addons.mozilla.org/addon/45281.

Here is what I changed:

Changes

Now it's possible to read the book content in several columns, so it's easier to read if the lines are long. This can be configured in the preferences.
A button for opening the ePub-catalog can now be added to the Firefox toolbar.
Plugins (e.g. for display of SVG images) can now be enabled in the preferences.
Firefox 4.0 is now supported.


Bugfixes

Sometimes the book content wasn't displayed with the configured font size.
Font size changed via the zoom-buttons was reset when the Firefox tab was changed.
On some websites the filename of ePub-files was not displayed in the Firefox "Save as" dialog.
In some cases "ePub-file corrupted" was displayed instead of the loaded page (e.g. login).


As always, please let me know if you experience any problems and for the case you like the new features, I'm also very happy to hear from you ;).

ericshliao
07-25-2010, 09:18 AM
Great.
I like the new feature reading in columns.

ericshliao
07-25-2010, 09:40 AM
Hi,
I think a button to hide/show TOC would be convenient.

ericshliao
07-25-2010, 09:44 AM
The current column config is using minimum width. I think it will be more convenient using number of columns, such as 1, 2, 3 columns with a button on the toolbar. The default is 1 column, a click on the button will toggle 2 columns, and another 3 columns,...

ericshliao
07-25-2010, 09:51 AM
When reading real paper books, we turn page by page. Currently, we still use vertical scrollbar to navigate contents of EPUB. It will make EPUBReader more similiar to real paper book if we can hide vertical scrollbar in EPUBReader. Instead, we can click on the next-page/prev-page button to turn page.

Besides, maybe it's too much, if some animation (the effect of turning page) can be used when turning page...

Dave_S
07-25-2010, 12:16 PM
When reading real paper books, we turn page by page. Currently, we still use vertical scrollbar to navigate contents of EPUB. It will make EPUBReader more similiar to real paper book if we can hide vertical scrollbar in EPUBReader. Instead, we can click on the next-page/prev-page button to turn page.


Here is one vote very much against that kind of change unless it can be only an option. Emulating dead tree technology on an electronic screen is not always good ergonomics. The current method allows smooth scrolling with the mouse scroll wheel, and IMHO is ergonomically better on a computer screen.

mikelv
07-26-2010, 04:52 AM
Hi,
I think a button to hide/show TOC would be convenient.
Hi Eric,

thanks for your feedback!

You can use the "Del" key on the keyboard to hide/show the TOC.

If you make a right click over the EPUBReader navigationbar and select "Help keyboard", you see all available keyboard shortcuts.

mikelv
07-26-2010, 04:59 AM
The current column config is using minimum width. I think it will be more convenient using number of columns, such as 1, 2, 3 columns with a button on the toolbar. The default is 1 column, a click on the button will toggle 2 columns, and another 3 columns,...
When I implemented the columns feature, I thought also about this solution. I decided to implement it like I did, because I think it's more convenient to just tell Firefox how large the columns should be and let do it the rest automatically.

Let's see which other feedback comes in, if many people would like to use it another way, I'll think about changing it.

mikelv
07-26-2010, 05:09 AM
When reading real paper books, we turn page by page. Currently, we still use vertical scrollbar to navigate contents of EPUB. It will make EPUBReader more similiar to real paper book if we can hide vertical scrollbar in EPUBReader. Instead, we can click on the next-page/prev-page button to turn page.

Besides, maybe it's too much, if some animation (the effect of turning page) can be used when turning page...
I know that other readers like the one on the iPad simulate book reading, my intention is not to do this. I want to give the user the best reading experience which is possible with the means of Firefox. This means, that you can scroll pagewise with the page up/down keys on your keyboard, or use the vertical scrollbar if you want to scroll linewise.

Laisvunas
07-26-2010, 02:16 PM
Hi Michael,

Having the possibility to split the text into several columns is very nice and needed feature.

But I think that implementation of scrolling of the page having more than one column isn't right. To scroll vertically isn't good usability. Such page should have not a vertical scrollbar but a horizontal one. This is how splitting text into columns is implemented in Lucifox ePUB reader (https://addons.mozilla.org/en-US/firefox/addon/48906/).

ericshliao
07-26-2010, 03:14 PM
...that implementation of scrolling of the page having more than one column isn't right.

That's why I came up with the idea of pagewise scrolling, instead of vertical scroll-bar. For one-column reading, vertical scrollbar is ok, but for columns more than one, vertical scrollbar may be obsurd.

mikelv
07-26-2010, 04:31 PM
Hi Michael,

Having the possibility to split the text into several columns is very nice and needed feature.

But I think that implementation of scrolling of the page having more than one column isn't right. To scroll vertically isn't good usability. Such page should have not a vertical scrollbar but a horizontal one.

Perhaps this is a matter of taste. In my opinion vertical scrolling is no bad usability when a multicolumn layout is used. This is how it works on all websites which use a multicolumn layout. You read the text more like in a newspaper than in a book.

In my opinion horizontal scrolling is bad usability, I've seen this never before.

Laisvunas
07-27-2010, 05:00 AM
Hi Michael,

Vertical scrolling of multicolumn text is OK, but only in cases when the height of the page is comparable to the height of the screen (i.e. multicolumn text height does not exceed more than 1.5-2 x compared to the height of the screen). When the height of the multicolumn text exceed the height of the screen many times (this will always happen while reading long chapters) the poor usability will result: the reader will scroll one column to the end then to begin to read the next column he will be forced to scroll back to the beginning of the first column.

In my opinion horizontal scrolling is bad usability, I've seen this never before.

Please try Lucifox add-on for Firefox (https://addons.mozilla.org/en-US/firefox/addon/48906/) or standalone Lucidor ePUB reader (http://lucidor.org/lucidor/): in then multicolumn text has horizontal scrollbar.

mikelv
07-27-2010, 05:42 AM
Hi Michael,

Vertical scrolling of multicolumn text is OK, but only in cases when the height of the page is comparable to the height of the screen (i.e. multicolumn text height does not exceed more than 1.5-2 x compared to the height of the screen).
Let's see, what the other 28,000 users think about this ;).

adun
07-27-2010, 06:24 AM
Sorry, English is not my mother tongue. May be that is
why I do not understand. When referring to scrolling I
assume a more or less smooth sliding of the viewing area.
If this is the case, then horizontal scrolling is definitively
bad usability. On the other side, I agree with Laisvunas,
vertical scrolling is not very convenient for book reading.

There is however, another possibility. I will call it
horizontal scroll jump, to differentiate it from the widely
used on the web called pagination.
What I mean is that it may possible to display two facing
pages that would fit in the existing viewer area and then
scroll jump (left or right) by two pages, pressing the
corresponding arrow keys on the key board. One could
even add some arrows that would appear on mouse
hovering over the right or left most zones of the viewing
area, to facilitate the scroll jump on touch screens.

I am not a programmer; I have no idea how difficult could
it be to implement, but that, I think, would improve a lot
the usability of the reader.

As I mentioned before, there is someone in the calibre
forum that did something similar for the calibre viewer.

theducks
07-27-2010, 09:57 AM
1 user here :D

Vertical scrolling in Multi-column (Serpentine). Yec'th
Down Up-Down Up-Down Up-Down :angry:

(Smooth) Horizontal scrolling is probably for eyes tracking text.

A full screenfull jump/flip (skip the page turn animation please) allows the eyes to quickly locate the new starting point and continue reading (do not overlap by single a line, either please. It fits on this page or it is on the next one, not both).

pollito pito
07-27-2010, 12:34 PM
Vertical scrolling in Multi-column (Serpentine). Yec'th



Could you elaborate or better, give an example of what you mean ?

thanks

theducks
07-27-2010, 12:49 PM
Could you elaborate or better, give an example of what you mean ?

thanks


Reading like an inverted N with a scroll to get to the bottom of the column. Your eyes must follow the path of the stroke.

The case where the bottom of the column is not the bottom of the screen (A Portrait layout on a Landscape screen)

Give me on a page turn (Next)
1 + 2
3 + 4
5 + 6

Maybe it is just me. I read FAST 600-800 WPM (Fiction speed :D )when I am on a roll :p
I could never drop into the groove on a tiny phone screen.:rolleyes:

I read on my PEz.
I Flick the thumb switch about 6-10 times a minute, just a tiny bit more often than a dead tree book page turn.

Dave_S
07-27-2010, 01:06 PM
Reading like an inverted N with a scroll to get to the bottom of the column. Your eyes must follow the path of the stroke.


Since this thread is about an epub reader on a computer screen the whole topic of multicolumn text scrolling seems rather contrived to me. What possible use is multicolumn text in a reflowable format on a computer screen anyway? It just seems like a throwback to archaic dead tree technology. The reading area can be as wide or narrow as the user desires in Firefox, and then it is possible to read rapidly with just casual flicks of the mouse scroll wheel for vertical scrolling. My $0.02 :)

theducks
07-27-2010, 01:25 PM
Since this thread is about an epub reader on a computer screen the whole topic of multicolumn text scrolling seems rather contrived to me. What possible use is multicolumn text in a reflowable format on a computer screen anyway? It just seems like a throwback to archaic dead tree technology. The reading area can be as wide or narrow as the user desires in Firefox, and then it is possible to read rapidly with just casual flicks of the mouse scroll wheel for vertical scrolling. My $0.02 :)

Here is a 2 column chapter. The turn arrows go to the next/previous chapter.
The second column start is the 50% point in the chapter.
Serpentine Scrolling is mandatory in 2 col view :(
Simple scrolling (wheel) in 1 col view Your eyes still have to track the last point while scrolling to keep reading.
If there were a horizontal scroll bar that would advance page (or page sets) as displayed. Using the mouse scroll wheel (with context switched to page) would be cool .

adun
07-27-2010, 01:52 PM
....
What possible use is multicolumn text in a reflowable format on a computer screen anyway? [...] The reading area can be as wide or narrow as the user desires in Firefox, and then it is possible to read rapidly with just casual flicks of the mouse scroll wheel for vertical scrolling. My $0.02 :)


Most computer displays are wide. To have a comfortable reading width, you
would need to resize the Firefox window in a portrait shape. On one side you would see
a lot of distracting elements (for instance from the desktop) and on the other side you are
wasting potentially useful for reading space.
Please check this site using FF in full screen mode (F11).
http://kenneth.kufluk.com/google/js-columns/ . Click on the last paragraph. Now, imagine instead of 4, just 2 columns. You can also see this site:
http://www.arpia.be/2010/02/tutorial-multi-page-multi-column-web-pages/#

Do you still prefer a long/tall page per chapter?

Dave_S
07-27-2010, 01:58 PM
Serpentine Scrolling is mandatory in 2 col view :(


That was the whole point of my post, that multi columnrequires more eye movement and distraction, while a single column of a comfortable width is much simpler and more efficient to read, and only requires gentle scroll wheel flicks to keep going with no annoying page jumps.

Dave_S
07-27-2010, 02:02 PM
Do you still prefer a long/tall page per chapter?

Of course, otherwise I would have voted my preference for multicolumn.
When I read, nothing else on the screen is a distraction because the text is what I focus on. Multiple columns require more mobile focus, so they are distractions in themselves.

pollito pito
07-27-2010, 02:12 PM
That was the whole point of my post, that multi columnrequires more eye movement and distraction, while a single column of a comfortable width is much simpler and more efficient to read, and only requires gentle scroll wheel flicks to keep going with no annoying page jumps.

Define “gentle scrolling”. How do you do not to over or under scroll? Because
if you do any, you’ll miss your reading point with the consequent delay and
eye movement.

Dave_S
07-27-2010, 03:02 PM
Define “gentle scrolling”.

Hmm, just argumentative ? :chinscratch: I thought mikelv was looking for opinions?
I think that my opinion has been stated as well as I can manage, so I will call it a night and let others give their opinions.

mikelv
07-28-2010, 06:33 AM
Thanks for your feedback!

Let me first of all explain again what the purpose of the multicolumn layout is: if the lines are too long, it's pretty hard to read. Using a multicolumn layout shortens the lines. The intention is not to change anything concerning scrolling/paging, this works as before by vertical scrolling or vertical paging (page up/down keys on the keyboard).

I understand that some don't like the serpentine reading (read column 1 to the bottom and then go up to the beginning of column 2), maybe because they expected that it works different like in readers known from the iPad or they just find it hard to use. But page simulation/vertical scrolling is a different story. This brings in a new complexity concerning rendering and navigation.

For now I start with the "simple" multicolumn layout and will see which feedback I'll get when the new version is available to everybody. Perhaps I'll add vertical scrolling or something like that in one of the next versions but right now I don't promise it ;).

Laisvunas
08-06-2010, 09:03 AM
Hi Michael,

It seems that the purpose of multicolumn layaut is to display more relevent text on the screen area.

But current implementation of multicolumn text in ePUBreader which forces the reader to do serpantine-like scrolling defeats this purpose because in cases when chapter is long the fragments of columns which will be displayed on screen area will not be relevant to each other.

The implementation of multicolumn layout is done right in Lucifox/Lucidor - there multicolumn text is only so much high as the screen and the reeader sees only pieces of text which are relevant to each other. In this inplementation scrolling is done horizontally.