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Old 12-13-2012, 05:31 AM   #166
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Yes, Kris, that would be 100% ideal.

In connection with the numeric overall-progress percentage indicator rotating with the author name and book title in the header every 3 pages, that thin, Stanza-like progress strip at the bottom of the screen gives readers a very good idea, at any time, of where approximately they are inside a book. This would fully compensate for the inability, in iOS (except, unfairly, in iBooks), to display the exact number of "pages left in book" in the footer.

In fact, I find the combination of exact, numeric "pages left in chapter" and the thin overall-progress strip the best of both worlds. It certainly beats the experience of reading a book printed on paper, where "count down to chapter end" is never possible! The thin overall-progress strip at screen bottom might perhaps be made optional in Marvin's settings, although it's not optional in Stanza and I can't really imagine how it might disturb any reader -- especially because it takes up zero screen real-estate, even on the iPhone!

Plus, of course, readers can also tap the header to see the numeric overall-progress percentage at any time.
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Old 12-13-2012, 05:52 AM   #167
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The problem with adding a new setting to show the "mini" progress bar is that I'm running out of real estate in the settings many. I'd rather stick to a fixed behaviour. My preferred behaviour is:

1) Progress bar is INVISIBLE in full button mode (tap the title to see overall progress). Otherwise the page will be too busy.
2) Progress bar is VISIBLE in minimal mode with titles and footers showing.
3) Progress bar is VISIBLE as well in minimal mode with titles and footers hidden.

What do you think?
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Old 12-13-2012, 06:07 AM   #168
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I fully agree with your preferred behaviour. I think no. 2 and no. 3 are a must.

You're correct that the "mini-bar" could disappear in scenario no. 1, because seeing two different progress bars at the bottom of the screen at the same time might be confusing.

*****

Unrelated suggestion (cosmetic): in the fabulous XHTML output of highlights and notes (Marvin's no. 1 killer feature for me that makes it clear Marvin is superior over Stanza, iBooks, the Kindle app, and the rest), could you please stop adding a period (.) following the time-stamp? It's great that the notes are time-stamped (another among countless clever innovations in Marvin!), but the final period following the time-stamp doesn't make sense syntactically or typographically. Thanks for removing it, if possible.

Last edited by Faterson; 12-13-2012 at 06:10 AM.
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Old 12-13-2012, 06:58 AM   #169
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You mean in the XHTML output?
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Old 12-13-2012, 07:16 AM   #170
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You mean in the XHTML output?
That's right. For example, here is one of my notes from the XHTML output:

Quote:
Unify this spelling across the entire book! (on 13-dec-2012, 07:42).
The final period following the time-stamp doesn't make sense, does it? Especially because the note itself ends with an exclamation mark. But even if it didn't... the period just doesn't belong there. A cosmetic issue, no doubt about it.

A bug report regarding highlights: I seem unable to highlight text stretching across paragraphs. (Stanza has the same bug.) For example, if I want to highlight the final sentence of a paragraph along with the first sentence in the following paragraph, Marvin won't let me do it. Neither via the Extend button (as we mentioned), nor manually by dragging the highlight markers. Marvin only allows me to:
  • highlight the entire 2 paragraphs together; or
  • separately highlight the final sentence of the 1st paragraph, and/or the first sentence of the following paragraph
This is similar to the Stanza bug where it gets difficult to highlight a passage if it extends across pages (screens); but it doesn't work across paragraphs for me in Marvin, either.

It's not a critical bug for me... I've been avoiding it in Stanza for years now, by highlighting the 2 neighbouring passages separately, and attaching a note to the 2nd highlighted passage, saying it's meant to be a single highlight jointly with the previous one. It would be nice to get this highlighting functionality working properly one day, though.
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Old 12-13-2012, 08:45 AM   #171
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The period after the timestamp can be easily removed.

The selection across pages, is not technically a bug - neither in Stanza. Kobo does this too. That is the behaviour of any eBook reader based on Apple's UIWebView (virtually all of them). iBooks is the only UIWebView based reader that I know that doesn't do this (the theory is that Apple keep a special version of UIWebView for themselves).

The extend by a word function was made as an (admittedly) weak compromise.

It's been months since I last checked for a possible solution to this. I'll check again but I'm not hopeful.
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Old 12-13-2012, 09:02 AM   #172
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See, that's one area where the digital would distinctly lag behind the traditional, old paper world; the metaphor would collapse here. It's sad if it was true that Apple out of all companies would hinder progress in this regard, or make it impossible for their competitors. There's nothing more natural, while reading a paper book and highlighting passages in it, than to highlight text spanning several paragraphs, or parts of paragraphs. For Apple, to make this natural mode of studying and marking up digital texts on their devices, very difficult or impossible, defies reason.
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Old 12-13-2012, 09:13 AM   #173
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The selection across pages
Oh, by the way, I want to make it clear I was reporting a bug regarding text selection across paragraphs, not pages. The non-working text selection across pages can be circumvented by various means, such as temporarily switching from portrait to landscape, changing the font size or font type, etc., so that you eventually get to see the whole passage you wish to highlight, on a single page.

The non-working text selection across paragraphs is a separate bug, and a lot worse, because it can't be circumvented by any means, as far as I know. There's only the awkward workaround described earlier: highlighing the two neighbouring passages separately, then attaching a manual note to the 2nd highlight to clarify that it's supposed to form a single unit with the previous highlight. That's surely a suboptimal solution unbecoming of the advanced iOS platform, to put it mildly.
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Old 12-13-2012, 09:14 AM   #174
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Just a note... My comments regarding iBooks are just speculation from my part. Nonetheless, it is an educated guess - iBooks has some rendering bugs that are typical of UIWebview (see the last text line in the attachment).

To be fair, Kindle for iOS doesn't do this. They must have built their own text rendering engine from scratch.

On the other hand, using UIWebView lets me offer a much wider selection of book formatting options.
Attached Thumbnails
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Old 12-13-2012, 09:16 AM   #175
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It is very cumbersome, and certainly not optimal, but you can circumvent it using the "+word" option.
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Old 12-13-2012, 09:29 AM   #176
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It is very cumbersome, and certainly not optimal, but you can circumvent it using the "+word" option.
This is great, many thanks! It turns out that your "experimental feature" (the +Word button) accomplishes more than Apple's long-established "home-grown" feature (moving the text selection markers manually).

Using the +Word button is still a workaround rather than the solution, but it will in many cases be a better workaround than the one described earlier. It might get similarly (or even more) cumbersome, though, if the passage spanning paragraphs that you wish to highlight, is very long -- such as containing several long sentences. Imagine having to click through each and every word in them...

I hope there can one day be a true solution to this even within UIWebvew. As you say, Kris, highlighting works properly in the Kindle app (and on the hardware Kindles, too), so it would seem that the display of dictionary definitions and text selection capabilities are two areas where Amazon is distinctly ahead of Apple in the e-books world.

Last edited by Faterson; 12-13-2012 at 09:34 AM.
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Old 12-13-2012, 09:35 AM   #177
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I've downloaded this app but I'm confused, I have ePub, PDF and mobi files in Dropbox, in all sorts of sub folders, is this app just recognising the epub's? If its just an ePub app its not much use to me, sorry. I'm still looking for an app that can read all files, especially PDF.
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Old 12-13-2012, 09:36 AM   #178
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Sorry Josieb1. For now, Marvin only reads ePubs.
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Old 12-13-2012, 09:39 AM   #179
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Sorry Josieb1. For now, Marvin only reads ePubs.
Thanks, I guessed so, I did read the thread title, but a girl has to hope doesn't she
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Old 12-13-2012, 09:48 AM   #180
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Josieb, why read PDFs in apps that aren't really intended for handling them? I assure you that if you insist on finding a single, universal app to handle all those different formats, you're only punishing yourself. You will get a diminished reading experience from all formats, instead of the best possible reading experience for every format.

For MOBI files, just convert them to EPUB using (for example) Calibre, which only takes a few seconds, and then read them in Marvin along with original EPUB files. I assure you that the Marvin reading experience is worth the few seconds needed to convert from MOBI to EPUB!

For PDFs, the world agrees that GoodReader is the finest app to serve all your PDF needs, and it would be senseless for Kris to want to compete with it. I can also heartily recommend the neu.Annotate app to you for reading, and especially marking up PDF files.
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