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Old 03-10-2013, 01:54 PM   #901
Micah
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I'm just so glad we finally figured out how to fix the problem with Jailbroken devices and Bleufire Reader. That was KILLING ME (figuratively)
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Old 03-10-2013, 02:20 PM   #902
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Current Bluefire Reader iOS dev priorities

Sync Reading Location across devices
Read Aloud/Accessibility
multi column control
line spacing control
hyphentation control
para spacing control
indent control
OPDS catalogs
video tag support
live preview of settings (rather than preview panel)
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Old 03-10-2013, 03:28 PM   #903
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I did update the Wikipedia page to correctly reflect current iOS features
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Old 03-10-2013, 03:46 PM   #904
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Worth noting that our efforts to develop an EPUB3 rendering engine is a somewhat separate initiative than updates to our existing EPUB2 apps, so they are not mutually exclusive. That is, happening in tandem.
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Old 03-10-2013, 04:53 PM   #905
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Micah, I see you've edited the comparison on Wikipedia, thanks. I appreciate any help with that. I'm trying to follow development for all listed readers but that's a challenge. :-)

A few question to ensure a common understanding:

- Where in BFR do I find the browser for downloading ebooks or any other facility for manually downloading ebooks?

- How do I download epubs using BFR which are not part of any store or library? ("ePub Downloading" would have to be "Yes" for, e. g. iBooks, too, otherwise)

- "OPDS catalog" refers to the reader allowing for adding any spec-compliant OPDS catalogue which, I think, BFR doesn't support at the moment, right?

- I seem to remember the "Built-in Web Server" but I can't seem to find it in BFR's interface. [A few minutes later] Just found it in your FAQ. Would be nice to expose that feature in the GUI.
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Old 03-10-2013, 06:00 PM   #906
Micah
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Philantrop View Post
Micah, I see you've edited the comparison on Wikipedia, thanks. I appreciate any help with that. I'm trying to follow development for all listed readers but that's a challenge. :-)

A few question to ensure a common understanding:
- Where in BFR do I find the browser for downloading ebooks or any other facility for manually downloading ebooks?
mb--Ah, I interpreted that as supporting downloads initiated by links in the browser on the device. Bluefire registers the epub mime type with the OS when installed, which will include Bluefire in the list within the "Open In" Browser dialog for links to EPUB in web pages. Also, in the "Get Books" tab, when you tap on "free ebooks" at the top, you can browse and search the Feedbooks public domain ebook feeds, and tap on links to download direct from that catalog. We also support "scheme" links (bluefirereader://download/<url to epub> that when tapped in the browser will directly launch the app and begin downloading the epub. Also, we support a bluefirereader://nav/web/<url of site/library> that allows epub distributors to offer links for browsing their site within a web view of the app. This results in one-tap downloading of EPUBs, including from public libraries. Perhaps I misunderstood the nature of that category. If so, please clarify, and if necessary, I will update to remove.

- How do I download epubs using BFR which are not part of any store or library? ("ePub Downloading" would have to be "Yes" for, e. g. iBooks, too, otherwise)
mb-- please see my answer above. I'm not clear on exactly how this differs from the category above.

- "OPDS catalog" refers to the reader allowing for adding any spec-compliant OPDS catalogue which, I think, BFR doesn't support at the moment, right?
mb--Bluefire does support browsing the Feedbooks OPDS feeds, which I specified. It is correct that the app does not currently have a means to add/access other OPDS catalogs.

- I seem to remember the "Built-in Web Server" but I can't seem to find it in BFR's interface. [A few minutes later] Just found it in your FAQ. Would be nice to expose that feature in the GUI
mb--Yes. We found the feature difficult to support due to the complexity of the work flow as as well as user problems with their home Wifi networks. Also, the feature is not as polished as I would like yet.
-Micah
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Old 03-10-2013, 06:22 PM   #907
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I see that several other apps support Calibre. I'd like to do that too. Any tips on how to do that are appreciated.
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Old 03-12-2013, 12:46 PM   #908
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Micah, you get all those things happening *and* calibre support as well, I'll be using bluefire again. My local lending library uses a not-Overdrive system, and apart from ADE and my Sony reader, Bluefire is the alternative. Having multiple choices is nice but having everything in one application would be good.
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Old 03-12-2013, 01:55 PM   #909
Micah
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Micah considers 'yay' to be a thoroughly cromulent word.Micah considers 'yay' to be a thoroughly cromulent word.Micah considers 'yay' to be a thoroughly cromulent word.Micah considers 'yay' to be a thoroughly cromulent word.Micah considers 'yay' to be a thoroughly cromulent word.Micah considers 'yay' to be a thoroughly cromulent word.Micah considers 'yay' to be a thoroughly cromulent word.Micah considers 'yay' to be a thoroughly cromulent word.Micah considers 'yay' to be a thoroughly cromulent word.Micah considers 'yay' to be a thoroughly cromulent word.Micah considers 'yay' to be a thoroughly cromulent word.
 
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Quote:
Originally Posted by kyteflyer View Post
Micah, you get all those things happening *and* calibre support as well, I'll be using bluefire again. My local lending library uses a not-Overdrive system, and apart from ADE and my Sony reader, Bluefire is the alternative. Having multiple choices is nice but having everything in one application would be good.
Cool. I'm not sure I completely understand what is needed to make Calibre work with the app. Need to research that a bit.

FYI, we just released an update yesterday on Apple App Store that adds new UI elements for managing library loans. Now you can sort by expiration date, and the days remaining on the loan appear in the library view. Made a few other related tweaks as well related to early returns, dialogs, etc.
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Old 03-12-2013, 02:49 PM   #910
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Micah View Post
- Where in BFR do I find the browser for downloading ebooks or any other facility for manually downloading ebooks?
mb--Ah, I interpreted that as supporting downloads initiated by links in the browser on the device. Bluefire registers the epub mime type with the OS when installed, which will include Bluefire in the list within the "Open In" Browser dialog for links to EPUB in web pages.
MIME type support is the "Other Import" method "eMail". It's not the perfect term, of course, but it's what most people understand.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Micah View Post
We also support "scheme" links (bluefirereader://download/<url to epub> that when tapped in the browser will directly launch the app and begin downloading the epub. Also, we support a bluefirereader://nav/web/<url of site/library> that allows epub distributors to offer links for browsing their site within a web view of the app. This results in one-tap downloading of EPUBs, including from public libraries. Perhaps I misunderstood the nature of that category. If so, please clarify, and if necessary, I will update to remove.
That could either be a kind of "Other Import" or "Manual Downloading". See below.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Micah View Post
- How do I download epubs using BFR which are not part of any store or library? ("ePub Downloading" would have to be "Yes" for, e. g. iBooks, too, otherwise)
mb-- please see my answer above. I'm not clear on exactly how this differs from the category above.
Here's an explanation for every column in "Book source management features":
- Book store(s): Either a professional store (which would be a "Yes") or some kind of limited library ("Yes2"). Feedbooks for example fits that as a "Yes2".

- Book search: The app allows for searching for ebooks. Typically, if the value of "Book store(s)" is "Yes" or "Yes2", this will have "Yes", too.

- Epub downloading: Does the app have any kind of UI for actively (in-app) importing ebooks from 3rd-party sources (IOW: *not* only the integrated book store)? I think, BFR does not allow for that at the moment.

- Browser downloading: Does the app have an integrated web browser for downloading ebooks from arbitrary web sites?

- Manual downloading: Does the app allow for other weird ;) methods of getting ebooks. I2Reader has an FTP facility for example.

- OPDS catalog: This is rather important - does the app allow for adding 3rd-party OPDS catalogues. This is not meant to duplicate the "Book Store(s)" value. BFR doesn't support this feature yet.

- Other import via: Any other means of getting ebooks into the app that are important enough not to be "Manual downloading".

- Tag books: Does the app allow for assigning tags/categories/etc.?

- Sort books: Can books be sorted in the library?
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Old 03-12-2013, 03:49 PM   #911
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Oh, forgot about Calibre support: That's Bonjour support. I'll fix both the "eMail" and "Calibre" values to make things more obvious to everyone.
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Old 03-12-2013, 04:14 PM   #912
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Thanks for the clarifications and for updating the matrix data. That's page is a great service to the community.

I totally get the value of things like integration with the Dropbox API, and support for user-added OPDS feeds. I know that if we invested the time/money to add that, we'd get/keep a LOT more users (though that isn't really our goal.) Having a "vanilla" browser in the app (e.g. URL address field) does not make as much sense to me. As there are just so many advantages to using the primary browser (bookmarks/bookmarklets, etc)

Our goals are a little different than some of the other ebook app makers. Many of them are trying to build a huge user base as part of their long term, venture funded business model. Though often times the actual business model is a bit unclear to me. I would assume that most will either eventually sell user generated data to third parties, or begin monetizing their user base by delivering targeted advertising to them. Some others, like Subtext are now focused on the education market. I would guess some of the others will similarly pivot moving forwards.

We make our living selling ebook software and services to indie and regional booksellers, as well as some publishers, and we don't have any investors to please. Bluefire Reader itself is largely for fun as I really enjoy having some direct contact with people who love reading as much as I do. I'm really gratified when people find the app useful, particularly for library books as I think libraries are really important to a civil society. It is also really great to get feedback on how to improve the app. As you have done so well (Thanks!)

Things like line and para spacing, indenting, hyphenation controls are VERY high on our wish list, as at the end of the day for me, it is all about reading, and what makes that most pleasant, productive and immersive.
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Old 03-12-2013, 05:07 PM   #913
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Micah, I won't discuss your priorities in detail again. I know what you mean, I respect your goals and I really appreciate your openness.

Just one comment about BFR in comparison with its competition: There are basically two different kinds there - apps with a clear, strong commercial background (which isn't negative at all) like BFR or MegaReader and hobbyist apps that are developed by individual developers or (very) small teams. (Marvin is of the latter type. Single developer, hobbyist.)
(iBooks is an entirely different matter again; its primarily a means to sell eBooks for Apple.)

Of course, both types of apps (usually) have vastly different priorities and challenges. BFR is undoubtedly the most successful of the commercial category. As you stated, just getting/keeping tons of users can't be your primary business model or you'd be out of business faster than it takes me to write this post. ;-)

The second kind of app (free or paid) simply doesn't have any real business model. Their developers usually have a regular full-time job and don't depend on AppStore income (this is the case for e. g. Marvin and, AFAIK, eBookMobi). This kind of app survives due to the individual developer's enthusiasm and his enjoyment of user reactions. If such an app doesn't appeal to a lot of people, it is highly likely to perish sooner or later (cf. eBookMobi's update frequency in the AppStore).

Personally, I much prefer to support the "lonesome hero" type of developer for both ideological reasons as well as the simple fact that they - metaphorically speaking - scratch their own and their users' itches much more directly. They don't have to take into account booksellers, publishers, investors, their rent or their responsibility for their employees.

I admit, my disappointment with BFR does in part stem from mistaking it for a hobbyist app early on. Only recently did I realise it's a solid commercial app with - consequentially - very different priorities from my personal ones.

Nevertheless, I wish you, Micah, the best of luck with BFR - and maybe, if my beloved hobbyist apps are gone, I'll re-visit BFR myself.
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Old 03-12-2013, 06:36 PM   #914
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I hear you. I like to root for the hobbyists too. Do you know much about the developer of Marvin? my understanding is that he is an ex-Googler, and it looks to me like it is a startup vs hobby http://marvinapp.com/. Don't know the biz model plan, but seems focused on search, and we know how that is usually monetized. Still an awesome app in any case and I wish him the best. I really appreciate the various ereader apps and they inspire me to keep working hard. Readmill is currently one of my faves on iPad, and Aldiko on Android. My long time favorite was Stanza, until it fell into the hands of you-know-who.

And yes, Bluefire falls into the commercial camp, though we are not trying to monetize our users, and in many ways, it is kind of like a hobby in the sense that we do some features just for users based on their requests, that our commercial customers don't care about (e.g. Collections, swipe up/down for brightness, system font support, registering the mime type, etc)

And actually, please DO keep pushing me on priorities, as it is really easy to get sucked into the daily need to make sales/happy customers, and I do want to keep my eye on what makes the app great for people who love to read.
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Old 03-13-2013, 12:35 AM   #915
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Quote:
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Things like line and para spacing, indenting, hyphenation controls are VERY high on our wish list, as at the end of the day for me, it is all about reading, and what makes that most pleasant, productive and immersive.
Quote:
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And actually, please DO keep pushing me on priorities, as it is really easy to get sucked into the daily need to make sales/happy customers, and I do want to keep my eye on what makes the app great for people who love to read.
Hi Micah,

I'm thrilled that line and para spacing, indenting and hyphenation controls are high on your wish list. As soon as those features are implemented, I plan to say good-bye to Stanza and finally, finally update to iOS 6.

Thanks for all your hard work! It is appreciated!

- Jane
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