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Old 11-22-2006, 04:02 PM   #1
Alexander Turcic
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dotReader releases first public beta

I snapped the early beta of dotReader that's now available for public consumption and made a couple of screenshots for you. The software is still a bit rough around the edges (and I am not happy when you rely on Internet Explorer to display content), but I guess the real point here is that this is the first public e-reader that supports the new OpenReader format which aims to become the standard for e-books (as does Open eBook).

Current version: v0.0.7 (perhaps in tribute to the latest James Bond movie)

PS: David of Teleread points out that you can already download the full sources of the reader. Very nice!
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Old 11-22-2006, 05:19 PM   #2
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Alexander Turcic
The software is still a bit rough around the edges (and I am not happy when you rely on Internet Explorer to display content), but I guess the real point here is that this is the first public e-reader that supports the new OpenReader format which aims to become the standard for e-books.
"Rough around the edges" isn't quite the term I'd use for the Linux version. I "installed" it, then spent about 15 minutes trying to figure out what else it needed (that I didn't have loaded) before wiping it off my hard drive - mainly because I didn't want to load all of Mozilla to view the 1 or 2 eBooks that are in this format.

I don't expect too much from a beta version, but it's got a long way to go before it's useful. The top of the list for me will be the elimination of the web browser to view content.
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Old 11-22-2006, 11:09 PM   #3
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I am unfortunately underwhelmed. Mainly, I don't like the unintuitive interface and there is a noticeable lag displaying long chapters. I am not a big fan of Java anyway. I know it's cross-platform and that's a big plus, but it's also quite sluggish on _all_ platforms.

But I think the EFFORT and the PROMISE is well worth these small issues.
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Old 11-22-2006, 11:44 PM   #4
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Behind the dotReader scenes

Thank you for downloading the dotReader and trying it out. Beta releases are just that - pre-launch evaluations. We take every bit of feedback seriously and I hope that any comments you have will be placed in the dotReader forum under "bugs" or "suggestions" for everyone to read.

The user interface for the dotReader can be skinned to meet individual or business needs. The program is written in Perl and uses an embedded browser to render content. This allows us to play any media content that is supported by the browser. The original ThoutReader was written in Java and used JEditPane to render content. It did not support CSS and was very slow.

We expect to speed up the dotReader as we get closer to version 1.0. It has not been optimized for speed. Right now we are focusing on features and architecture. It could be that based on user feedback, the UI may look totally different. [It's like asking 10 people what kind of car you should buy. You get 10 different answers. Our answer, let people customize it.]

The Linux install was a problem as there were some libraries missing. We think that is fixed and updated the download. We need to spend a little time on that.

For the first day, it went remarkably well. Other than the Linux installer, there were no major bugs and some great suggestions.

The source code was released today along with the beta. We hope that users can evaluate the code and help us make improvements or develop additional plug-ins. Everyone is welcome. The DTD will be released shortly.

Thanks again,
Mark Carey
CEO, OSoft

Last edited by markcarey; 11-22-2006 at 11:48 PM.
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Old 11-23-2006, 01:40 AM   #5
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dotReader

Thank you for the constructive criticisms
I agree that having to install Mozilla on Linux is not desireable. We will eventually use webcore for the XHTML display widget for all platforms.

The lag issues for long chapter will go away as we add support for more optimized book formats. Currently the lag is mostly due to the thout 1.0 format, but this is also early beta and has not been highly optimized. Speed will improve greatly in the final release.

Thanks for downloading the beta, and for the comments.
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