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Old 09-09-2013, 09:54 AM   #1
AlPe
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EPUB3Reader open-source Android App released

EPUB3Reader is a proof-of-concept Android App optimized for reading complex EPUB 2/3 ebooks, e.g. books with many internal/external links and/or with parallel texts.

The project has been developed by three students, under my supervision, at the Department of Information Engineering, University of Padova, Padova (Padua), Italy.

You can get the APK, the code (MIT license) and some EPUB ebooks featuring parallel texts (CC BY-NC-SA 3.0 license) from the GitHub public repo:

https://github.com/pettarin/epub3reader

Screenshots are here:

https://github.com/pettarin/epub3rea...SCREENSHOTS.md

The app is not production-grade yet, but I think it shows some interesting UI tricks novel or not widely adopted in EPUB reading systems. Please see the README for a discussion.

Comments are welcome.
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Last edited by Alexander Turcic; 09-10-2013 at 07:34 AM. Reason: moved to frontpage
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Old 09-09-2013, 03:14 PM   #2
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Added screenshots to GitHub repo, with "real" adb-taken screenshots:

https://github.com/pettarin/epub3rea...SCREENSHOTS.md
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Old 09-10-2013, 12:35 PM   #3
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AlPe, when I launch the install from the APK package, I get an error: "There was a problem parsing the package". I have an HTC One X with Android 4.1.1. I launched the APK install from EsFile Explorer.
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Old 09-10-2013, 12:36 PM   #4
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Looks good what I see so far. I can't give it a real test drive at this point in time as I need to root my tablet first. But from what I see so far it looks like something I have thought would be very handy (the ability to check two locations in a single or multiple books at one time). Keep up the great work.
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Old 09-10-2013, 01:48 PM   #5
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Moe The Cat View Post
AlPe, when I launch the install from the APK package, I get an error: "There was a problem parsing the package". I have an HTC One X with Android 4.1.1. I launched the APK install from EsFile Explorer.
Hi, I have an Android 4.1.2 tablet and I can install the APK, and 4.1.1 and 4.1.2 should be on the same Android API Level, so I guess we are good on that.

Please check that:

1) the downloaded APK file is not damaged (i.e., download it again), and
2) you enabled the "Unknown sources" option in the "Security Settings" (since the APK is not signed)

I hope these steps solve your problem.

EDIT: a user confirmed that the APK installs on Nexus 7, in case you want to try it there. But I hope it was just a problem with the first APK file.

Last edited by AlPe; 09-10-2013 at 01:57 PM.
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Old 09-10-2013, 01:50 PM   #6
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Quote:
Originally Posted by DBDigital View Post
I can't give it a real test drive at this point in time as I need to root my tablet first.
This app does not require root privileges, you just need to be able to install APKs from unknown sources --- does your tablet prevent that, so you need rooting?

EDIT: BTW, thanks for your kind words!

Last edited by AlPe; 09-10-2013 at 01:55 PM.
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Old 09-10-2013, 02:21 PM   #7
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Quote:
Originally Posted by AlPe View Post

1) the downloaded APK file is not damaged (i.e., download it again)
Yes, that was it. I re-downloaded the apk file and it installed fine.

Thanks!

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Old 09-10-2013, 03:15 PM   #8
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Great news, enjoy!
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Old 09-13-2013, 01:19 AM   #9
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Quote:
Originally Posted by AlPe View Post
This app does not require root privileges, you just need to be able to install APKs from unknown sources --- does your tablet prevent that, so you need rooting?

EDIT: BTW, thanks for your kind words!
Yes sadly. It is a B&N Nook Tablet (the model after Color but before HD). It is locked down to only accept apps from their appstore and many of the apps are not being updated like they were since the newer tablets now have Google Play, so I will be rooting because of this anyway).

There use to be a easy "hack" to allow unknown sources, but it was removed with a B&N update two days after I bought my tablet and the update didn't even prompt me, just told me it was done (figures eh?).

Anyway I will give it a try as soon as I can get this rooted. And you are welcome.
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Old 09-13-2013, 02:08 PM   #10
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I also had problems in getting the apk to install (parse error). What was happening was that when I right clicked on the apk in Github and clicked on download I ended up with a 24Kb file named Epubreader.apk. If I tried to open it with a zip archiver it wouldn't do it.

Examining the file itself it rapidly became apparent it was actually a html file rather than a apk, although it was named as an apk.

I then downloaded the entire repository as a zip file and extracted the apk from that. This works fine on my Android 4.1 tablet.

It may be a browser issue or I may have missed the point of how to download a single file, however if anyone else is having the problem a first check is the size of the file - 24Kb is not what you want; the apk that works is 347Kb.

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Old 09-14-2013, 01:50 PM   #11
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Hi BobC,

I guess the inconvenient is caused by the way GitHub serves files. By selecting "Raw" one should get the raw file (347 KB) instead of the GitHub page (24 KB). I will add a notice in the README, thank you for pointing this issue out.
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Old 01-05-2014, 03:54 AM   #12
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This looks interesting. I haven't tried it yet, but by reading the description I have a small suggestion for the "naming conventions": instead of the filenames, could the manifest "id" attributes be used for setting parallel texts? That would make it easier to modify existing books, since all the internal structure (filenames, directories, links) can remain unchanged, only the OPF has to be modified.
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Old 01-05-2014, 08:14 AM   #13
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You are absolutely right.

Right now there is only a student actively coding, and he is busy on refactoring the source code and adding a better panel management, but I will list this suggestion for the next student joining the project.

(I actually tried to propose the IDPF to address the issue (e.g., by defining a standard mechanism and/or vocabulary to mark the translations), because in Italy parallel texts are quite popular (both for contemporary, foreign literature and for Greek/Latin classics) and publishers are striving to delivery them as ebooks, but the IDPF AHL group clearly prefers to address magazines and comics stuff...)
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Old 02-09-2014, 04:40 AM   #14
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Interesting app, thanks for sharing it. There's a bug to do with covers. If you open a new book with "open book 1" (or 2) it shows the same cover image although the text itself is correct.
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Old 02-09-2014, 03:44 PM   #15
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Thank you for letting us know.

I have opened an issue on our bug tracker:

https://github.com/pettarin/epub3reader/issues/14

We will investigate the issue --- it looks like a bad unzipping/caching problem.
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