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Old 04-18-2013, 08:35 AM   #91
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Also, I see that the Windows Phone shows up in Calibre via USB. If I copy books to the phone from Calibre, how do I get them onto my Freda bookshelf? I'm used to the Library> Add Books function, but I don't see that here.

Thanks.
Unfortunately, because of the way that Windows Phone manages the file system, this is not possible in Freda right now. It is something that I am working on.
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Old 04-18-2013, 03:56 PM   #92
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Unfortunately, because of the way that Windows Phone manages the file system, this is not possible in Freda right now. It is something that I am working on.
Well, that's a bummer. Good luck with a fix. On the use of the Calibre server, I'll try to retest today and let you know. I'm leaving on a trip tonight, so if I don't get it tested before then, it might be a couple of weeks.

Thanks.
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Old 04-18-2013, 04:09 PM   #93
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This symptom 'it works initially but then does not work' is very odd. Just to eliminate the 'obvious' issues, can I ask you to look over the instructions at http://www.turnipsoft.co.uk/freda/calibre-how-to.htm . Perhaps the most essential is the point in step 9 where you ensure the phone is definitely connecting via WiFi (by turning off the mobile data network).

If after going through that checklist, you're still having issues, please post again (or email jim@turnipsoft.co.uk).
Ah, fixed! I added "opds" to the URL, and suddenly it worked. (For some reason, it's not needed in my Droid reader app.)

Thanks, Jim!
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Old 07-14-2013, 01:43 AM   #94
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I was browsing the Windows Phone app store today, and I no longer see Freda listed there. Has it been pulled from distribution?
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Old 07-14-2013, 03:51 AM   #95
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I was browsing the Windows Phone app store today, and I no longer see Freda listed there. Has it been pulled from distribution?
A few days ago, Microsoft made changes to the way that Windows Phone programs must connect to SkyDrive - but they did not tell us developers about it. To resolve the issue, I needed to build a new version of Freda, using a new version of the Live API library. The updated Freda program is going through certification at the moment, and it will be available in about one week,
I hope.

Meanwhile I've hidden the app in the store.
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Old 07-17-2013, 12:42 AM   #96
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I'll bet that made you happy. I noticed my Windows 8 Freda just updated itself. Your new version?

BTW, I was messing around with another Windows Phone ebook app the other day, trying to find something that would work with mobi books. When I tried to hook it up to my books in Dropbox, I was told the app was asking permission to access all files and folders in Dropbox. I canceled. With Freda, I've always used the Calibre server. But if I wanted to download from my library in Dropbox, would I get the same message? I don't like giving any app such blanket permission.
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Old 07-17-2013, 05:10 AM   #97
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BTW, I was messing around with another Windows Phone ebook app the other day, trying to find something that would work with mobi books. When I tried to hook it up to my books in Dropbox, I was told the app was asking permission to access all files and folders in Dropbox. I canceled. With Freda, I've always used the Calibre server. But if I wanted to download from my library in Dropbox, would I get the same message? I don't like giving any app such blanket permission.
My Freda does ask that, I presume it's a dropbox thing.
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Old 07-17-2013, 01:33 PM   #98
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I'll bet that made you happy.
Indeed it was not Microsoft's finest hour
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I noticed my Windows 8 Freda just updated itself. Your new version?
yep.
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BTW, I was messing around with another Windows Phone ebook app the other day, trying to find something that would work with mobi books. When I tried to hook it up to my books in Dropbox, I was told the app was asking permission to access all files and folders in Dropbox. I canceled. With Freda, I've always used the Calibre server. But if I wanted to download from my library in Dropbox, would I get the same message? I don't like giving any app such blanket permission.
Yes Freda will do the same, either with SkyDrive or DropBox. In neither case does the platform let you grant permission to Freda like "do anything you like within a special folder called '/Freda/' but leave all my other stuff alone". That would be logical, but it's not possible. I quite understand your reluctance to grant that kind of permission to an app - because it does mean you're putting a lot of trust in the app developer's (a) honesty and (b) competence.
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Old 07-18-2013, 01:54 AM   #99
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In neither case does the platform let you grant permission to Freda like "do anything you like within a special folder called '/Freda/' but leave all my other stuff alone". That would be logical, but it's not possible. I quite understand your reluctance to grant that kind of permission to an app - because it does mean you're putting a lot of trust in the app developer's (a) honesty and (b) competence.
I find it bizarre that they don't allow for limited permission, given the growing awareness of security issues.

I only just signed up for Skydrive. Maybe I'll just use it for nonsensitive stuff, about which I'm willing to take more of a risk. But unless I move my Calibre library from Dropbox to Skydrive, I guess I'll stick with the Calibre server on my home network for book downloads.
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Old 11-05-2013, 03:39 PM   #100
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Anybody else noticing odd word spacing in the latest Freda update? Here are screenshots of old Freda (actually the current Freda+ version, since it hasn't been updated) and new Freda. The old Freda screenshot uses the non-XNA renderer because the old XNA renderer works poorly with thin serif fonts. In the new Freda, the option to choose XNA or not is gone, so I assume it's a completely new renderer (probably based on the original XNA code?). I've tried to get my settings as close as possible between the two, with font size and borders being roughly equivalent. In the new renderer, words are spaced significantly farther apart. I don't think it's just a more aggressive hyphenation algorithm on the old renderer (the new one will only hyphenate if there are 4 or more characters before and after the hyphen), and letter spacing seems fine. It's just word spacing that's an issue.

Needless to say, I find the less-dense renderer to be much more difficult to read due to the rivers created by the extreme word spacing. I know I could switch to a ragged right edge, but I prefer to read justified (and I actually have Freda set to use the book's justification, which in this case is full).

Edit: Also, completely unrelated to word spacing, I'm no longer able to see the "pages read / total number of pages per chapter" in the context menu screen. I like to have the "full book pages read / total pages in the book" in the footer of each page, but with the old Freda I could go into settings and see where I was at in the current chapter.

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Old 11-06-2013, 04:36 AM   #101
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In the new Freda, the option to choose XNA or not is gone, so I assume it's a completely new renderer (probably based on the original XNA code?).
It is indeed a completely new renderer. The new Freda version is a Windows Phone 8 app (as opposed to a WP7 app running in compatibility mode). And WP8 does not support XNA. The new renderer actually shares quite a lot of code with the one for the Windows 8/RT version of Freda.
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It's just word spacing that's an issue.
I see your point. All that this version of Freda is doing is to insist that words have at least one en-space between them. The old version was actually meant to do that too, but because of a bug it would allow narrower word spacing than that. But I do agree that the 'buggy' code was actually giving a better looking page. So what I've now done is add yet another optional setting to Freda, so you can manually customise word spacing. That should let you set the word spacing you want.

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I'm no longer able to see the "pages read / total number of pages per chapter" in the context menu screen.
I was having trouble figuring out where best to put that information (plus title and author) on the new controls screen. But I will find somewhere suitable, because I agree it is useful information.

These changes should come in version 3.3 of Freda, within a couple of weeks.
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Old 11-06-2013, 05:11 AM   #102
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So, if I understand correctly, the free Freda is now a WinP8 app? And the full version sill come in a couple of weeks?

(oh, and now I know I'll be able to run Freda when I get my Windows 8 tablet!)

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Old 11-06-2013, 06:23 AM   #103
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So, if I understand correctly, the free Freda is now a WinP8 app? And the full version will come in a couple of weeks?

(oh, and now I know I'll be able to run Freda when I get my Windows 8 tablet!)
This is all correct. In fact I was under some deadline pressure from Microsoft and Nokia to put out an update. So I pushed out an update (v3.1) to the free app. As it happens that version 3.1 was not a complete joy ... there was in particular a nasty concurrency bug that meant book downloads did not work on some phones, for some book sources. So, though 3.1 did add some useful new features (a new more Modern/Metro look, ability to highlight text ... ) on balance I think the users of the paid-for app will be glad to have missed out on that version. Release 3.2 of the free app (now just appeared on the Store) fixes that bug, and tidies up a few other things.

When I roll out the v3.3 update, I will be updating both the paid-for and the free apps to v3.3; I expect that to happen in the next couple of weeks. Exact timing will depend on how much of a task it turns out to be to add the ability to load books from the storage card. If that work goes quickly, you'll get that feature in v3.3 (but the release will take longer); if the storage card feature proves problematic, I'll hold it over to v3.4, but put out the v3.3 update that much more quicky.
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Old 11-06-2013, 08:27 AM   #104
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That 3.3 update sounds awesome. (considering I don't have a storage card, I'll be selfish and say put that off to 3.4 )
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Old 11-06-2013, 01:07 PM   #105
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I see your point. All that this version of Freda is doing is to insist that words have at least one en-space between them. The old version was actually meant to do that too, but because of a bug it would allow narrower word spacing than that. But I do agree that the 'buggy' code was actually giving a better looking page. So what I've now done is add yet another optional setting to Freda, so you can manually customise word spacing. That should let you set the word spacing you want.
On a small screen, enforcing en-space width between words seems like a poor idea. There's not enough room on the screen to get proper word density.

It's a little hard to search the web for font word space width recommendations, but I did come up with this, from which I quote:

Quote:
Space
Unicode: U+0020[List]
Advance width rule : The space's advance width is set by visually selecting a value that is appropriate for the current font. The general guidelines for the advance widths are:
  • The minimum value should be no less than 1/5 the em, which is equivalent to the value of a thin space in traditional typesetting.
  • For an average width font a good value is ~1/4 the em.
Examples given include Times New Roman, where space is 512 units vs em's 2048 and en's 1024. So perhaps rather than enforcing a full en-space between words, maybe enforce half en-space (or just regular unicode space and let the font sort it out)?

Either way, I look forward to a configuration setting for that. I really like the new UI (minus the missing chapter progress, but I trust you'll find a good place for it) and the new renderer seems much better with the smooth page turn benefits of XNA but the proper anti-aliased text rendering of non-XNA. Once I can adjust word spacing myself, it'll be near perfect.
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