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Old 10-27-2009, 04:21 AM   #1
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Bounty for Linux ePub Reader Software

Let's face it, Linux dweebs. Our favorite OS has dreck for software readers.

FBReader is trying to be a swiss-army knife. Coolreader is beta at best. It drops off seriously after that to PG text-readers.

Would anyone consider pledging to a bounty to pay a programmer to make an ePub (and zipped HTML) reader? Not a Mobipocket-eReader-MicrosoftReader-PDF-Doc-RTF-EtcReader-all-in-one-wunderkammer?

Just a good, solid, ePub reader that has complete CSS support and per-book bookmarks. Decent library handling, with folders. Fullscreen rotation. Lightweight, with a good interface that works with touchscreens or keyboards. (any other features?)

It doesn't have to be from scratch. I'd say take a look at Calibre's reader, myself, and at FBreader's library interface. Dillo has a super-fast renderer, and they're working on CSS right now. (Actually a dillo-based reader would be awesome!)

I'd definitely throw $ at this. We'd need a good set of specs, and some ideas on how to find applicants, and a sense of what sort of money is reasonable.

Let's call it the MobileReader.

m a r

Last edited by rogue_ronin; 10-27-2009 at 04:37 AM.
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Old 10-27-2009, 01:55 PM   #2
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Sounds a damn good idea.

Shame I don't have the technical skills to do this myself as I'd love to give it a go.

You are right about it needs to be dedicated to just getting the one thing right first, i.e displaying & managing epub books. Once this is accomplished, then start expanding the feature set.
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Old 10-28-2009, 04:21 PM   #3
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You might want to look toward Calibre and Sigil. They both can read ePUB as well as write it.

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Old 10-28-2009, 06:03 PM   #4
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@DaleDe: I know about Sigil and Calibre. How could anyone that comes to this site not know about it?

The point of the post is that there is a need for a simple, dedicated reader on linux. Sigil is an epub editor and Calibre is a library manager and converter. Yes, you can see the books while running them, but you are running a massive amount of unnecessary code -- code that would choke a device like a Smart Q7 or a Nokia MID. And they don't do what is necessary anyhow for a pleasant, easy experience of reading.

I really don't like it when people come into a post (not even mine, any post) on a topic that is looking for help and opinions on doing something specific, and suggest that the OP do something else. It's demonstrative of a complete lack of understanding, or a casual contempt for other people's context.

eg:

Quote:
OP: "I'm looking for some ideas on how to convert my car to electricity."

PINGUIS CAPUT CAPITIS: "You should get a bicycle!"
Did you even read the original post? I discuss Calibre in it, and how its reader has some good value.

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Old 10-28-2009, 06:42 PM   #5
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Sorry for trying to help. You must know that the Calibre reader is a separate executable without all the overhead of the parent app. It is a pretty good reader.

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Old 10-28-2009, 07:01 PM   #6
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What I really want is for %#@$(&$^* Adobe to port its DE to (i386/x86_64) Linux!

Since I can not have that, I am content with the calibre viewer on my desktop.
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Old 10-28-2009, 11:35 PM   #7
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I picked up the source for the Azardi reader the other day. It's all Python, and as far as I can tell, it almost works in Linux. They have most of the file handling hooks, not quite right yet though. It starts up and displays their help page, but the Library handling is borked.

I hope to work on it this weekend and get it all sorted out. I'll post my progress on Sunday.
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Old 10-29-2009, 12:15 AM   #8
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I would chip in for that reader too!

I have gotten Calibre installed and functioning on my Q7, but glaciers could have danced rings around it during launch!

Pholy, I place my laptop, Q7 and myself at your disposal for beta testing. If you need someone to try your reader projects, let me know. Package it for ubuntu/debian installation and there should be a good stable of testers.
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Old 10-29-2009, 01:57 AM   #9
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I think that Calibre's ebook viewer (a separate application from Calibre and able to work without the managing bit) does a damn good on my netbook. The only problem I do have is the sidebar that can't be hidden.
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Old 11-01-2009, 08:17 AM   #10
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Quote:
Originally Posted by rogue_ronin View Post

Would anyone consider pledging to a bounty to pay a programmer to make an ePub (and zipped HTML) reader? Not a Mobipocket-eReader-MicrosoftReader-PDF-Doc-RTF-EtcReader-all-in-one-wunderkammer?
Yuk! Why would I want another program to have to lean and use. I'd much rather see a sable reading program extend it's format support to included ePUB. Just like Okular Which supports formats like PDF, DIV, Images, text, ePUB, etc.... and have sofisticated features like. Book annotation, Text-to-Speach, Reviewer tools, copy and paste, etc...

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Last edited by =X=; 11-02-2009 at 05:31 PM.
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Old 11-02-2009, 11:20 PM   #11
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An ePub reader that has full CSS and SVG and XTHML support will have to have nearly all the resources of a web browser anyway. Why not just use your web browser? I imagine some plugins could be made to handle your other desired features like rotation and touchscreen support, etc.

Jellby's bash script here can be used to read ePubs on your web browser on linux. I prefer that to Calibre's viewer, which has never quite worked perfectly for me.

All that's missing is support for DRMed ePubs.

I'm not sure I understand your points about Sigil and Calibre. You can run the calibre viewer without running the library software. In fact, I almost never run the library thingy. I haven't used Sigil, but I doubt the editing features add much to how much is going into memory.

Last edited by frabjous; 11-02-2009 at 11:24 PM.
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Old 11-03-2009, 10:45 AM   #12
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Quote:
Originally Posted by frabjous View Post
An ePub reader that has full CSS and SVG and XTHML support will have to have nearly all the resources of a web browser anyway. Why not just use your web browser? I imagine some plugins could be made to handle your other desired features like rotation and touchscreen support, etc.

Jellby's bash script here can be used to read ePubs on your web browser on linux. I prefer that to Calibre's viewer, which has never quite worked perfectly for me.

All that's missing is support for DRMed ePubs.

I'm not sure I understand your points about Sigil and Calibre. You can run the calibre viewer without running the library software. In fact, I almost never run the library thingy. I haven't used Sigil, but I doubt the editing features add much to how much is going into memory.
You might also try EPUBReader. It is an upcoming browser addon for Firefox and already support Linux in the latest version.

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Old 11-03-2009, 10:55 AM   #13
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All epub reading software except ADE use a browser engine to do rendering anyway.
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Old 11-08-2009, 08:24 AM   #14
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I'm interested in alternatives as well. It sounds like I'm not the only one with a Smart Q7.

For everyone else, the Smart Q7 is an *ARM* based Linux MID tablet with 128 MB RAM. By default, it runs a version of Ubuntu. There are ports of Mer, Android and even Windows CE for it.

It has Python (I'm running Comix on it). Firefox is too much IMO for it so plugins are not a good fit. Flash isn't on it & probably never will be.

It comes with FBReader. I'll have to look at the Calibre reader.
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Old 11-09-2009, 06:01 AM   #15
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I am not quite sure what the problem is here. There is a firefox epub reader here though I have not tried it. ADE works on my Linux box though I tend not to use it, the standalone Calibre reader is my reader of choice though it does not come as a separate install and may take to many resources for some people to install it. I have recently started using Sigil and it makes a fair reader with a low resource overhead if you can ignore the editing tools at the top of the screen.
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