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Old 07-25-2010, 03:03 PM   #1
Hrant
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PDF Zoom

My second post in as many minutes!
(Can you tell I'm excited to be here?)

What would it take to break free from
the very limited zoom-level choices in
Kindle when viewing a PDF? I'm thinking
even have keys controlling the degree
of zoom in real-time...

hhp
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Old 07-25-2010, 05:49 PM   #2
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Probably patching/overriding the PDF rendered/viewer. (It's in java, and we don't have the source, so... :/).

Granted, I'm not a java developper, so I may be completely off .
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Old 07-25-2010, 08:08 PM   #3
Hrant
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If we over-ride it, could the replacement be written in anything and spliced into the main Java code (without having the source)?

BTW, over at Kindleboards there's an entire section called "Kindle App Discussions"; does that mean it's possible to write a stand-alone app (think: PDF viewer) and install that in a Kindle?

hhp
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Old 07-25-2010, 09:07 PM   #4
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Can't say about how to hack/plug into the java framework, like I said, java + me == utter fail. ^^ (Plus, we don't have the sources of the framework)

The 'Kindle Apps' @ KB refer to the Kindle SDK, which is apparently still in beta right now... (https://kindlepublishing.amazon.com/...kindlepubs/kdk)
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Old 07-26-2010, 10:36 AM   #5
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I would say it is definitely possible to write a stand-alone PDF viewer for the Kindle. It all depends on what Amazon is willing to do with the framework and SDK. If they are not crippled in any way, it would be just a matter of time before developers are able to write a better PDF viewer (and other applications too).

My opinion is that the existence of the SDK is a great step forward. That means that is only a matter of time before add-ons can be written, including a better PDF reader.
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Old 07-26-2010, 06:18 PM   #6
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I think the only thing Amazon won't/can't do is upset AT&T, I mean by: congesting its network with Kindle traffic* AND draining paying customers with Kindle's free 3G. This is the same sort of thing that Apple goes through in restricting the iPhone's webcam action to WiFi... If it worked over 3G, everybody and their grandma's dog would be making video calls instead of voice calls**, bringing AT&T's network to its knees in 5 seconds.

* I realized something fascinating yesterday: we owe the Kindle's free 3G to the slow refresh of eInk! If the screen were fast enough to watch videos, AT&T would never allow all that free bandwidth. So the slow refresh is a blessing in disguise!

** Yes, most people think they're worth looking at. Nevermind that most are not even worth listening to! :-)

You can get a glimpse of Amazon needing to keep AT&T happy in the *first* restriction under "Developer Guidelines" on the KDK page*: No VOIP!! :-)

* www.amazon.com/kdk/

--

Yes, I love the KDK being out there. I hope a better PDF viewer is released ASAP, although it's *wonderful* that we have one at all now (in fact it's one of the two main reasons I bought the thing).

hhp
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Old 07-27-2010, 10:31 AM   #7
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Hrant View Post
I think the only thing Amazon won't/can't do is upset AT&T...
Amazon is partnered with Sprint not AT&T, but otherwise what you said seems correct.
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Old 07-27-2010, 11:14 AM   #8
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AFAIK in 2009 Amazon switched from Sprint to AT&T.
(I presume because the latter is more international.)

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Old 07-27-2010, 01:20 PM   #9
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Sprint (CDMA) was used for Kindle US, the Kindle International models use AT&T (3G).
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Old 07-27-2010, 01:35 PM   #10
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And the latter is the only one now made (same for the DX). BTW, besides the international angle, it's possible Sprint balked at the KDK idea (although AT&T is more know for that sort of thing).

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Old 07-27-2010, 01:41 PM   #11
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Hrant View Post
And the latter is the only one now made (same for the DX). BTW, besides the international angle, it's possible Sprint balked at the KDK idea (although AT&T is more know for that sort of thing).

hhp
nah, most likely Amazon went with Sprint first with the greater coverage per cell tower, or cheaper implementation(since Sprint is an underdog)

then they had to move to GSM for internationalization (since not many countries use CDMA)...
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Old 08-01-2010, 01:23 AM   #12
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About PDF zooming:
From actual use I'm realizing that for almost any document there's a combination of zoom level (150, 200, 300 or Actual) and aspect (portrait or landscape) that makes it pretty readable.

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Old 08-01-2010, 12:03 PM   #13
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Hrant View Post
About PDF zooming:
From actual use I'm realizing that for almost any document there's a combination of zoom level (150, 200, 300 or Actual) and aspect (portrait or landscape) that makes it pretty readable.

hhp
More zooming options would be useful:

- a "smart" zoom cropping out areas with non-textual information (magazine-layout graphics) or page numbers. At the moment i am forced to crop manually each document to maximise the text size once on my DX.
- additional zoom options for landscape mode: in particular zooming so that the page is split in only 2 half-pages (often, it is split in 3 just to display 1 or 2 lines of text)
- a rotate option, so that landscape pdfs could be displayed properly (currently they are not, and i have to rotate them 90 degrees before transferring them)

I could go on, but I think a lot could improve with some openness: we would move from an "ok" product to an excellent one
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Old 08-01-2010, 12:14 PM   #14
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Certainly.
Also:
- The 5-way could easily be made to draw zoom boxes.
- Keyboard shortcuts could be used, for example to gradually zoom in/out.
- An option to *not* automatically crop the margins (which seems to be done in a very unpredictable way).

hhp
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Old 08-01-2010, 12:21 PM   #15
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By the way, I understand the different set of issues for users of a 6" screen vs. 9.7"...
I wonder whether there could be a market for a "pdf app"? I would definitely be happy to pay a few dollars for an application drastically improving the levels of control over PDFs, and taking users' feedback in serious consideration..
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