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Old 03-25-2008, 01:58 PM   #1
nekokami
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Software Bounty: US$50 for some iPDF enhancements

Hi folks,

I've just recently found out I've been formally admitted to the doctoral program in education at the university I work at (finally). This means I need to start taking my academic reading a lot more seriously. Academic reading is why I bought an iLiad instead of sticking with my trusty eBookwise 1150. But there are some critical features missing from the iLiad software for me to use it fully in my program.

Here's a typical example of what happens in my graduate classes now, and how I work with paper:

- Instructor assigns journal articles and/or books for reading
- I read the documents/books and make notes. I write in the margins of printed PDFs or photocopies, and mark the edges with sticky tabs for key points. I don't write in books, but I do use stickies and write notes on them. (I would scribble on PDFs in a reader. I just can't bring myself to do it with a printed book.)
- In class, I need to be able to discuss key points from the readings (usually several books/documents), flipping back and forth between them at will. I need to be able to find particular passages in readings quickly.
- I also need to be able to take class notes at the same time.
- Several times per semester, I need to be able to pull together references from readings that I've selected previously, with locations and my notes about the references, for constructing research papers.

Here's what I need that the iLiad can't currently do (as far as I know):

1- Ability to switch between multiple open applications, including Notes, PDF Reader, possibly FBreader. This is critical. A split screen running two apps would be a nice-to-have or alternative, but I'd rather have multiple apps and a way to switch between them.

2 - Ability to select text in a PDF and tag with one or more of a set of pre-defined tags or add new tag - similar to "bookmarks" feature http://www.mobileread.com/forums/showthread.php?t=13914 but I need tags and comments (I don't think the comments were completed). Last activity in thread was December 07, last post from developer was October 07. I don't know if this version works with 2.12. Could we get this incorporated into the All-in-One iPDF?

3 - Ability to scribble a note attached to a selection (bookmark comments). Would be extra nice if the note could also have HWR in bg so I could search for it later, but being able to assemble the scribbled notes as images, along with the associated selected text, by tags would be sufficient.

4 - Ability to search within a PDF. (There was a recent thread about this in January, I think, but I haven't seen any status for a while.)

5 - Ability within iPDF to enter metadata for a PDF when opened: author(s), title, publisher, date, volume, etc. and starting page (i.e. what number appears on the first page of the PDF, e.g. a journal page number), so the bookmarks created can have this info and can be assembled into a bibliography tool from the XML generated from the bookmarks. I would prefer to be able to populate the metadata by selecting text within the PDF. My goal is to be able to select one or more tags and output a list of my references including my notes (in graphic form if needed), APA formatted in-line reference, and APA-formatted bibliography entry. That part could happen on my laptop using a script, but the metadata capture should be done on the iLiad, I think. This is essentially adding a little library function to iPDF.

I'm offering a cash bounty of US$50 to a developer who can produce software that will provide these functions, with priority to application switching. I could go higher if needed (but remember I work at a university-- I don't have a lot of spare money myself). I know it will take more than $50 worth of effort to develop all this, but I think the developer who makes this system available could sell it to many researchers, not just me.
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Old 03-26-2008, 05:52 AM   #2
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I want these tooooooo! I know I'm biased but since Cybook and Kindle take away the entertainment market, I do see the Iliad as *the* tool for academic market. (1) An important feature would be "sticky notes" in PDFs, that is a small note area, when clicking it expands to a larger area you can scribble in.

I'd reduce the bounty to 50$ for *one* of these functions, all together is a bit much for 1 developer. As I find time, I am hacking with my iliad, maybe I get to do some things maybe I don't, but it sure will take time ...

(1) Maybe this new A4 device in development will be *the* academic tool in future... but who knows how open and useful it will be beside being A4.
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Old 03-26-2008, 09:15 AM   #3
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axel77, you're right that this is too much to ask for at $50, but $50 is what I can afford right now, and I figured it was best to describe the needs as accurately as possible. I was hoping maybe some other academics would each offer to chip in some more bounty money so we could get a developer interested in the whole package. What do you think?
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Old 03-26-2008, 09:20 AM   #4
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Quote:
Originally Posted by nekokami View Post
[...]
1- Ability to switch between multiple open applications, including Notes, PDF Reader, possibly FBreader. This is critical. A split screen running two apps would be a nice-to-have or alternative, but I'd rather have multiple apps and a way to switch between them.
[...]
Well, there are two ways:
[1] I read the matchbox manual/compiled the src during Easter holidays.
One light bulb moment was:
You can switch between open apps in iLiad`s default window manager matchbox all the time!
ALT+P, or ALT+N [p=previous, n=next] do the job nicely.
On my iLiad runs the current matchbox version 1.2, but it should work with iLiad`s version 0.9.5, too.
So you can use a USB keyboard or edit the Shortcut keys config [/usr/etc/matchbox/kbdconfig] for shortcuts with are clickable with software keyboard.
The port of the full keyboard xvkbd isn`t finished yet.
[2] You can use the window manager fluxbox.
[the odds: I have to post the configuration files I use to make it usable. ]

Code:
#
# This is an example keyboard config file for matchbox
#
# You can edit this file or change per user by copying to 
#  ~/.matchbox/kbdconfig
#
# Se the matchbox manual for more info ( http://projects.o-hand.com/matchbox )

### Window operation short cuts 

<Alt>n=next
<Alt>p=prev
<Alt>c=close
<Alt>d=desktop
<Alt>m=!matchbox-remote -mbmenu

### windows style key shortcuts

<alt>Tab=next
<alt><shift>Tab=prev

Last edited by yokos; 03-26-2008 at 11:53 AM. Reason: /usr/share != /usr/etc
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Old 03-26-2008, 09:42 AM   #5
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OK, that's a good start. How do you get more than one program running, e.g. notes and iPDF?
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Old 03-26-2008, 09:47 AM   #6
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with default window manager matchbox:
[1] start app 1
[2] ALT-P [getting back to Contentlister]
[3] start app 2
[2] switching with ALT-P/ALT-N

not shy ones can start a shell script with
Code:
killall matchbox-window-manager && /usr/bin/matchbox-window-manager -use_titlebar yes -use_cursor no -use_dialog_mode free &
to get windowed apps.
But warning:
# iRex`s apps are not designed for a windowed mode. [It's discussed in the fluxbox thread]
# the apps switcher in titlebar [triangle in the left] doesn't refresh screen, so choosing app is tricky.

Last edited by yokos; 03-26-2008 at 09:53 AM.
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Old 03-26-2008, 10:24 AM   #7
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This is very interesting yokos. Do you think there any way to map the next/prev to one of the hardware keys, instead of having to call up the keyboard? Might just need one of them, e.g. next, to cycle through.
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Old 03-26-2008, 10:31 AM   #8
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Quote:
Originally Posted by daudi View Post
This is very interesting yokos. Do you think there any way to map the next/prev to one of the hardware keys, instead of having to call up the keyboard? Might just need one of them, e.g. next, to cycle through.
I thought of this, too. But I didn't checked it yet.
I don't need the long down button pressing = F3.

[EDIT]
First try didn't work.
Code:
### Window operation short cuts 

<Alt>n=next
#<Alt>p=prev
f1=prev
# F1=iLiad Page Forward [long]
ipdf ignores this.

Last edited by yokos; 03-26-2008 at 11:59 AM.
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Old 03-26-2008, 03:23 PM   #9
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Don't the arrow keys map to next and prev? or could they be configured to do so?
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Old 07-10-2010, 06:59 PM   #10
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As the iLiad is more or less dead now, I'm considering Android as a possible platform for this functionality. More discussion (I hope) here:

http://www.mobileread.com/forums/sho....php?p=1002924
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