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Old 12-22-2012, 04:58 PM   #301
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Kris, as for the OPDS feature; I hope you're including support for basic authentication over https?
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Old 12-22-2012, 05:29 PM   #302
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Yes. Working on it.
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Old 12-23-2012, 05:23 AM   #303
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Philantrop, it is my understanding that Calibre uses challenge/response authentication rather than basic http authentication (which is too insecure). That is what Marvin will be supporting (even for https).
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Old 12-23-2012, 05:37 AM   #304
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Kris, well, Calibre server might do that by default but it only supports http out-of-the-box either. For https support, Kovid Goyal, its author, recommends integrating Calibre server into other servers: http://manual.calibre-ebook.com/server.html

I did that using WSGI (the reverse proxy idea will cause http/https mixtures and, thus, cause at least warnings on practically all platforms and errors on iOS >= 5.0).

Since basic authentication is just fine when used over a secure SSL connection, I'm using that and I think a lot of people do, too.

The OPDS spec says the following:

Quote:
13. Securing OPDS Catalogs
OPDS Catalogs are delivered over HTTP. Authentication requirements for HTTP are covered in Section 11 of [RFC2616].

The type of authentication required for any OPDS Catalog is a decision to be made by the OPDS Catalog provider. OPDS Catalog clients are likely to face authentication schemes that vary across OPDS Catalogs. At a minimum, client and server implementations MUST be capable of being configured to use HTTP Basic Authentication [RFC2617] in conjunction with a connection made with TLS 1.0 [RFC2246] or a subsequent standards-track version of TLS supporting the conventions for using HTTP over TLS described in [RFC2818]. It is RECOMMENDED that OPDS Catalog clients be implemented in such a way that new authentication schemes can be deployed.

Because this protocol uses HTTP response status codes as the primary means of reporting the result of a request, OPDS Catalog providers are advised to respond to unauthorized or unauthenticated requests using an appropriate 4xx HTTP response code (e.g., 401 "Unauthorized" or 403 "Forbidden") in accordance with [RFC2617].
(Source: http://opds-spec.org/specs/opds-catalog-1-0-20100830/)

This is important in so far as Calibre isn't the only OPDS implementation. If you want to support it fully, you really should support basic authentication as well.

Personally, I absolutely need OPDS with basic authentication support because there's really no other option for me. All the font, themes, etc. details are secondary to me because some things might not be perfect yet but this is absolutely vital.

Please, please, please - support it. :)
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Old 12-23-2012, 06:00 AM   #305
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Philantrop, the method I'm using will support both HTTP Basic Authentication as well as HTTP Digest Authentication. If you like, when I have something that is reasonably stable, I can send you a beta to try out.
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Old 12-23-2012, 06:21 AM   #306
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Phew, thanks, Kris, that's a relief. :-)

I'll gladly test a beta. Just let me know when you're ready and I'll send you my UUID privately. I can test both methods.
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Old 12-23-2012, 06:23 AM   #307
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Cool. That's great. Will get back to you.
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Old 12-23-2012, 08:06 AM   #308
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Feature suggestion:

Regarding the upcoming integration of German/Spanish/French dictionaries in the eagerly awaited Marvin 1.2 version in January, please make it possible (if it can be done) to switch the dictionary not just as an app-wide setting, but also on-the-fly. When you read Tolstoy's War and Peace -- no matter if in the Russian original or in an English translation -- you have whole sentences in French included in the novel. Readers might wish to look up words from those sentences, and changing the dictionary for the entire Marvin app just because of that, wouldn't be efficient.

Again, the Kindle app can serve as a role model when it comes to dictionary integration. Whenever a dictionary definition pops up in the Kindle app (and it's great that it pops up without your having to press any "Define" button -- that's a big time-saver!), there's also a small "i" button next to the definition. You can press that, and this allows you to change the dictionary language on-the-fly. Please make a similar arrangement in Marvin, if possible.

(The Kindle app is well ahead of iOS in that it already supports 10 dictionary languages. Russian as a big language in particular is sorely missing in the list for both Kindle and iOS.)

Refinement suggestion: among metadata editable in Marvin, you might include a "Book Language" field. Even if Marvin weren't able to detect a book's language automatically, users might set the book language manually. That way, if you opened an English book in Marvin, English dictionary definitions would pop up; for French books, French definitions, etc. The dictionary selection would become automated. I don't know about other Marvin users, but I frequently read books in various languages every day, and having to select the appropriate dictionary language manually in Marvin every time won't be optimal. Even if the dictionary selection were automated in Marvin, the option to change dictionaries on-the-fly would still be useful for looking up (say) those French words embedded in books written in a different language.

Last edited by Faterson; 12-23-2012 at 08:09 AM.
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Old 12-23-2012, 08:30 AM   #309
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Faterson, Marvin is already reading the book language so that shouldn't be too much of a problem.

Regarding dictionaries, unless I go all the way and use custom dictionaries, I'll have to depend on iOS services. I cannot support custom dictionaries yet because of the licensing costs and the freely available ones I experimented with have some issues with iOS. The iOS API doesn't let you switch dictionary languages directly but so far I managed to emulate this behaviour (somewhat). I'm still developing this area so I might have good news in the future.

As a side note, I managed to get in touch with the guys at Abbyy to make Marvin integrate with their multi-language dictionary better.
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Old 12-23-2012, 08:41 AM   #310
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Quote:
Originally Posted by kguil View Post
Regarding dictionaries, unless I go all the way and use custom dictionaries, I'll have to depend on iOS services.
Yes, that's fine. It should be in Apple's interest to integrate more dictionary languages into iOS than they do now. 4 is a small number compared to Kindle's 10, although it's certainly a better number than 1, which is what we had all the way through iOS 5.

Quote:
Originally Posted by kguil View Post
As a side note, I managed to get in touch with the guys at Abbyy to make Marvin integrate with their multi-language dictionary better.
Thank you! I'll be interested in seeing how that turns out in (reading) practice.
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Old 12-23-2012, 03:08 PM   #311
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Some feedback from the Save Stanza group on Facebook:

Quote:
I don't know if it's something he'd be interested in, but I'm going to suggest Readmill API support! The Readmill app is great and I love the tracking too much to switch away, but Marvin has a lot more options. If it had tracking, there'd be no reason for me not to switch!
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Old 12-23-2012, 05:00 PM   #312
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Got it.
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Old 12-23-2012, 08:34 PM   #313
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Would it be possible to support epub3?

It seems that latex to epub3 conversion is making progress, see for instance https://github.com/jgm/pandoc/issues/601
With epub3 support, marvin would be a real alternative to the standard pdf viewing of mathematics or physics papers on the iPad.
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Old 12-23-2012, 08:39 PM   #314
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Hi fekhner, that is something I definitely want to do. However, so far I haven't looked at ePub 3 seriously. After the next few updates are out, I'll probably start working on an iPhone version. ePub 3 is something I've scheduled after that.
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Old 12-23-2012, 11:36 PM   #315
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Feature suggestion:

Right now in Marvin, it's difficult to estimate any book's relative length when compared to other books. You basically just stumble into a book but have no clear idea how long it's going to be. Even in the expanded mode of Marvin's Library view, the little dots meant to indicate your reading progress have the same combined length of 100%, from screen edge to screen edge, for every book -- no matter if it's a 100-page or a 500-page book. The mini progress-bar announced for Marvin, version 1.2, will help alleviate this problem, but not quite.

On this issue, too, I would recommend Kris to try and emulate the Kindle app. Amazon came up with the ingenious "locations" for Kindle books (later even "real paper page numbers" for some titles), which is an exact way of indicating every book's length, but this is not applicable to EPUBs and Marvin.

However, Marvin might employ the Kindle app's way of indicating book length in Library view: if a book has 500 pages, it might have 25 dots to indicate 100%. However, if a book only has 100 pages, then only 5 dots indicate 100%. That way you can see at a glance approximately how long each book is. Reading progress through the books is indicated in the Kindle app by white dots gradually appearing in a different colour (blue). Blue dots = read; white dots = unread; a full row of blue dots = you've finished reading this book; a full row of white dots = you haven't started reading this book yet.

Thank you for considering this, Kris.
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