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Old 10-26-2009, 10:53 AM   #1
mikelv
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New ePub addon for Firefox

Hi there,

I just wanted to inform you about a new addon for Firefox with which you can read ePub-files. It is called "EPUBReader". I finished the addon last week and uploaded it here: https://addons.mozilla.org/en-US/firefox/addon/45281.

Before I started the development, I checked if something similar exists. Of course I found OpenBerg, but OpenBerg seems not to support Firefox 3.*. I checked the source code of OpenBerg and decided to write the addon from scratch, because it's not so easy to understand the code somebody else has written.

I would be very happy, if you would try it and give me your feedback.

UPDATE:
I've just uploaded the new version 1.1.0.

Here is what I changed:

- Now it's possible to navigate through the ePub-file using navigation buttons at the bottom. This is the most important and most requested change . The navigation is available for all epub's loaded with version 1.1.0. So please reload epub's which you loaded with previous versions.

- In the navigationbar is now a link to every page in the ePub-file displayed. In previous versions sometimes missed a link.

- The navigationbar can now be toggled at the bottom, using the "+/-" link.

- The author of the ePub-file is now displayed if he is specified in the ePub-file. In previous versions he was sometimes not displayed even though specified in the file.


Michael

Last edited by mikelv; 11-05-2009 at 12:59 PM.
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Old 10-26-2009, 07:45 PM   #2
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I get an error trying to install it.
It complains about it not being a valid installationpackage.

Firefox 3.5.3:
Mozilla/5.0 (X11; U; Linux i686; nb-NO; rv:1.9.1.3) Gecko/20091020 Ubuntu/9.10 (karmic) Firefox/3.5.3


Looks cool on the screenshot, I hope to be able to try it out someday.

Last edited by tovare; 10-26-2009 at 07:47 PM. Reason: Changed mozilla -> firefox
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Old 10-26-2009, 07:52 PM   #3
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It installed OK for me, but I can't get it to display an ePub, when I try and open one Firefox keeps trying to download it instead.


Firefox 3.0.14
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Old 10-26-2009, 08:16 PM   #4
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Quote:
Originally Posted by mikelv View Post
I would be very happy, if you would try it and give me your feedback.
Installation error.

Running Vista Ultimate with Firefox 3.5.3

Mozilla/5.0 (Windows; U; Windows NT 6.0; en-US; rv:1.9.1.3) Gecko/20090824 Firefox/3.5.3 (.NET CLR 3.5.30729)
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Old 10-27-2009, 05:00 AM   #5
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Quote:
Originally Posted by AnemicOak View Post
It installed OK for me, but I can't get it to display an ePub, when I try and open one Firefox keeps trying to download it instead.


Firefox 3.0.14
Thanks for your feedback! Could you send me a link to the ePub-file (if it's free)?

Unfortunately some webservers are not configured the right way, so they don't send the right mime-type for ePub-files. The result is, that EPUBReader doesn't recognize that it is ePub-file which you to try to open and doesn't process it. I have already fixed this in a new version which I'm testing in the moment.

P.S. In the meantime you could just download the file to your disk and open it in Firefox via "File/File open".

Last edited by mikelv; 10-27-2009 at 05:21 AM.
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Old 10-27-2009, 05:35 AM   #6
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Quote:
Originally Posted by tovare View Post
I get an error trying to install it.
It complains about it not being a valid installationpackage.

Firefox 3.5.3:
Mozilla/5.0 (X11; U; Linux i686; nb-NO; rv:1.9.1.3) Gecko/20091020 Ubuntu/9.10 (karmic) Firefox/3.5.3


Looks cool on the screenshot, I hope to be able to try it out someday.
@tovare + kenmark

Thanks for your feedback and sorry, that the installation didn't work . I'm running XP and didn't have problems. When I uploaded the file to the Mozilla-website, they did run several tests on it and all of them were passed. So I'm really surprised about these problems.

I'll check this with the Mozilla guys and will fix this a soon as possible.
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Old 10-27-2009, 06:02 AM   #7
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Quote:
Originally Posted by tovare View Post
I get an error trying to install it.
It complains about it not being a valid installationpackage.

Firefox 3.5.3:
Mozilla/5.0 (X11; U; Linux i686; nb-NO; rv:1.9.1.3) Gecko/20091020 Ubuntu/9.10 (karmic) Firefox/3.5.3


Looks cool on the screenshot, I hope to be able to try it out someday.
@tovare + kenmark
This seems to be a known firefox bug. Here is the workaround:

1. Just try the installation again after you have deleted your cache

Or

2. Download the addon first (right click, "save as") and save it to your desktop or somewhere else. After the download is complete, drag the downloaded .xpi file icon from the desktop (or other location) and drop it onto an open Firefox "Add-ons" window.

Hope this solves the problem. Would be great if you give me feedback.
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Old 10-27-2009, 10:46 AM   #8
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This add-on is working for me now. I opened an existing ePub file on my PC: the left panel shows the TOC; the right panel shows the text/images with proper justification and all.

Some questions.

1. I can already view ePub files via ADE or the eBook Library. Therefore, other than being able to view an ePub from my Firefox browser, can you explain why I would need to use this add-on?

2. The chapters seem to be all one page and are read by using the scroll bar or wheel to advance through the entire chapter. Was this your intention?

3. To continue to the next chapter, I must click the TOC in the left panel to continue reading. Is this how the reader is supposed to work?

Nicely done, I just have to figure out a need for it.

Ken
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Old 10-27-2009, 10:47 AM   #9
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Quote:
Originally Posted by mikelv View Post
Thanks for your feedback! Could you send me a link to the ePub-file (if it's free)?

Unfortunately some webservers are not configured the right way, so they don't send the right mime-type for ePub-files. The result is, that EPUBReader doesn't recognize that it is ePub-file which you to try to open and doesn't process it. I have already fixed this in a new version which I'm testing in the moment.

P.S. In the meantime you could just download the file to your disk and open it in Firefox via "File/File open".
It wasn't on a server. I was doing File-->Open.
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Old 10-27-2009, 11:12 AM   #10
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Works great

I just installed the plug-in and started to download todays ePub version of NRC-Handelsblad newspaper
IMHO this is even better than Adobe's Digital Editions
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Old 10-27-2009, 11:26 AM   #11
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I just installed the plug-in and started to download todays ePub version of NRC-Handelsblad newspaper
IMHO this is even better than Adobe's Digital Editions
I never thought of giving a newspaper a try. Do you need a subscription?
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Old 10-27-2009, 11:39 AM   #12
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Quote:
Originally Posted by kenmark View Post
This add-on is working for me now. I opened an existing ePub file on my PC: the left panel shows the TOC; the right panel shows the text/images with proper justification and all.

Some questions.

1. I can already view ePub files via ADE or the eBook Library. Therefore, other than being able to view an ePub from my Firefox browser, can you explain why I would need to use this add-on?

2. The chapters seem to be all one page and are read by using the scroll bar or wheel to advance through the entire chapter. Was this your intention?

3. To continue to the next chapter, I must click the TOC in the left panel to continue reading. Is this how the reader is supposed to work?

Nicely done, I just have to figure out a need for it.

Ken
Great that's it's working now for you! Which one of the workarounds did you use?

Here are the answers to your questions:

ad 1.)
Of course there is free software out there to read ePub-files on your PC. The difference is that you have to install and start a new software, in case of my addon you can just use a program you probably use anyway.

The main reason why I thought it would be a good idea to create the ePub-reader as an Firefox addon is, that an ePub-file is basically an archive of HTML-files. So why not use a program which is specialized in displaying HTML-files and many people have already installed? The great benefit is, that in that way you don't have to bother with rendering and display of the HTML-files because Firefox does this for you. So the limit of what is possible to display is set by Firefox and not by a special ePub-software. And I think Firefox is always at the cutting edge .

ad 2 + 3.)
Yes, that's the way the reader is supposed to work. This is of course the main difference between my addon and other reader-software. My addon just displays the ePub-file as it is: there are several HTML-pages with the content and a TOC which links the HTML-pages, that's it. Other reader-software simulates pages which don't exist in reality to give you the feeling you read a real book. To reach this goal they have to do calculations which decreases performance.

My decision was to keep it as simple as possible which also means as fast as possible. This resulted in the navigation you described. For me this is no problem, let's see what other users think .
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Old 10-27-2009, 12:13 PM   #13
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It wasn't on a server. I was doing File-->Open.
Is the file protected by DRM? If so, you can't use my addon to read it. In this case you need a reader which supports DRM, e.g. Adobe Digital Editions.

What's the extension of the filename? "epub"? If not, please rename it to "*.epub" and try it again.
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Old 10-27-2009, 12:19 PM   #14
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Quote:
Originally Posted by mikelv View Post
Is the file protected by DRM? If so, you can't use my addon to read it. In this case you need a reader which supports DRM, e.g. Adobe Digital Editions.

What's the extension of the filename? "epub"? If not, please rename it to "*.epub" and try it again.
It's just an ePub from here at Mobile Read, no DRM involved. I'm going to try the plug-in on my work computer, FF 3.5.3, and see how that works.


Thanks

Last edited by AnemicOak; 10-27-2009 at 12:26 PM.
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Old 10-27-2009, 12:23 PM   #15
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Great that's it's working now for you! Which one of the workarounds did you use?
Thanks for the response.

I'm not sure which solution worked. Not knowing the language, I think I just had to tick off a box (let me try this experimental addon) near 'Download Now' that changed the 'Download Now' from grey to green. Then I saved to desktop and installed manually.

Another question. I've downloaded some ePubs to test with your plug-in. How do I delete them from your index?

Last edited by kenmark; 10-29-2009 at 09:23 PM. Reason: Spelling
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