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Old 09-20-2017, 12:32 AM   #46
Terisa de morgan
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We can play that Monty Python game where they argued about who grew up in poorer conditions. And, I'm sure in many regions of the world, €5000 per year would be perceived as unimaginable wealth.
I agree, and I don't really complain. I always say that I'm lucky having been born where and when I've been. And, really, minimum wage at any country is always a joke.
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Old 09-27-2017, 12:48 PM   #47
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Hi,

This is in response to something Faterson and Ferante1 have suggested earlier.

I have done some eReader testing recently, and I believe Marvin 3 could easily be the top eReader out there if it weren't for a few missing features.

For me, if I had to choose, it would simply be:
  • Highlight/Bookmark syncing across devices
  • Marking those highlights that have a comment! This is the case in practically every other eReader I can think of.

It appears I am not alone with this request. I'm not a programmer, but recent other eReaders (Hyphen, other cross-platform syncing software...) show this is not an impossibility. Moreover, location-Sync in Marvin works perfectly fine across devices via iCould?

So my question would be, since I am apparently not the only one dearly missing this functionality: what about the idea of asking the developer how much it would cost him to implement this, and then see if we could raise the funds via this messageboard?

I myself would surely be willing to invest into this functionality, but am not in touch with the developer. Is anybody else? What do you guys think? I think it would be worth finding out how much an overhaul of the annotation functionalities would be, in order to estimate if this is worth raising funds for.
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Old 09-30-2017, 09:53 PM   #48
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Nice dreams, Fralippo. Of course, I agree with all of your suggestions (in the other thread, too), but they've already been made in years past, as far back as in 2011 when Marvin 1.0 first came out, but as you can see, nothing in terms of annotations syncing has happened since then. So, the situation doesn't look very optimistic. (You can examine this thread for potential reasons why; and nope, it ain't the bitching of certain MobileRead users.)

As to marking the presence of an annotation in a highlight, that's one of the features we lost during the transition from Marvin 2 to Marvin 3. This used to be indicated in Marvin 2 with a dotted underline. Again, this was pointed out as a missing/lost feature when Marvin 3 was released a couple of years ago, but the feature (and others that got lost) hasn't been restored so far.

You can always try and email Kris at hello@appstafarian.com. He's an extremely friendly and forthcoming person, but it just appears that developing Marvin hasn't been his priority in recent years. More like a side-project, tweaked on an occasional basis, by the looks of it. That's real life, we must accept that and bear no grudges.

By the way, the first sign of this shift in Kris's focus (to pwalker8, in particular, be it said) came when Kris, suddenly, instead of developing Marvin further, started releasing other apps such as Gerty and Sift which never met with a fraction of the positive echo that Marvin encountered, I'd venture to say. Obviously, when a developer starts developing other apps in addition to the original one, the original one will suffer – a day only has 24 hours. The birth of Gerty and Sift was the very start of Marvin's... well, I'm not gonna say "downfall", but of the current stagnant situation, most definitely. And, pwalker8, you can hardly seriously blame user feedback on Kris's decision to develop other apps instead of improving Marvin, right?

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Problem is: no reader can give me (without manual tweaking) no indent in first line after chapter AND separator scene, that I like, so although the ereader gives you all the formatting in the world, it cannot do that.
That's only temporary, Terisa, because this could certainly be programmed in a way that would satisfy you. It appears that not many users are desiring that formatting feature, or it would already have been implemented by Marvin and other e-readers, I suppose. I confess that I, too, consider this a negligible, cosmetic matter (I mean, compared to the non-availability of annotations syncing, something like a superfluous first-line indent strikes me as a bug of microscopic proportions). Naturally, you are perfectly correct in posing this as a user request because that would be, indeed, the proper and professional formatting.
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Old 01-02-2019, 01:29 AM   #49
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Hmm.. following this thread after so long
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Old 04-06-2019, 07:46 PM   #50
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Red face

Not much if any development in recent years, eh?

It's too bad Kris stopped Marvin's development midway, so to speak, but it is what it is. We must certainly be grateful to Kris for what Marvin already delivers.

The last iPad I purchased was in the fall of 2015. Well, all three of them, actually: the 8-inch mini 4, the 10-inch Air 2, and the 13-inch Pro.

I ditched the iPhone in the fall of 2017, switching to Samsung's Note 8, subsequently also purchasing Samsung and Huawei tablets. A very good decision. iOS has been getting dumber with every annual release, whereas Android has been getting better – primarily thanks to offering freedom to its users, whereas Apple has been taking more and more freedom away from its users each year.

I vowed never to purchase another Apple device again, but I may, tomorrow, purchase the iPad mini 5 that has just been released. I digitize books, and my favourite app to do that, on the handy mini, is the Russian app ABBYY Book Scanner (from the makers of the world's best OCR software, FineReader). ABBYY's Book Scanner only exists on iOS, not on Android; ABBYY's FineScanner mobile app exists on both platforms, but is more advanced on iOS.

In terms of e-reader software, I'm afraid no professional-grade e-reader software currently exists – neither on iOS nor on Android. Marvin is very good, but not great (lacking certain essential functionality); the same can be said of Moon+ Reader on Android. MapleRead on iOS has been (unlike Marvin) making steady progress in recent years, surpassing Marvin in quite a few areas, but it's not there yet, either. All 3 of these apps are, to me, 3-star software (or 3.5 stars, to be generous); Kindle or Apple Books would be 2-star; but there is, I'm afraid, currently no e-reader software that I'd rate 4 stars, let alone 5 stars.

In terms of missing functionality and Marvin, the elephant in the room is (and has been since Marvin's initial release in 2012 or so), of course, the lack of annotations syncing. This is must-have functionality offered by practically every Marvin competitor, but Marvin still lacks it. It was said to be in development 5 years ago or so, but it just never happened. Again, I'm not blaming anyone, just stating the facts.

In spite of this glaring hole in functionality, I still use Marvin (but not just Marvin) to this day to read e-books on iPads. I can't help it, but e-books (not all of them, but many) simply look better, to me, in Marvin than in MapleRead (let alone the odious Kindle or Apple Books). This, of course, has a lot to do with the wealth of customization options available in Marvin. Marvin's killer feature in this respect, to me, is the option to customize the book's headers and footers to your liking. This is severely lacking in MapleRead, for example (let alone the dumb Kindle or Apple Books).

But, I must say, some (not all) books look even nicer in Moon+ Reader on Android than in Marvin. Again, thanks to the wealth of customization options available in Moon – many of which surpass those in Marvin. Then again, Marvin seems to execute the books' internal code in a more faithful manner than Moon does it (not always, but typically). One area where both Marvin and MapleRead painfully lag behind Moon, is the inability to use your own custom fonts. Whereas in Moon, you can easily use dozens of your own fonts – it's unlimited.

A similar and very bad shortcoming in Marvin is the ability to store only 5 custom backgrounds – and inability to use custom background textures to do so. MapleRead is much better here, but the real star and model for everyone else in this functionality is Moon+ Reader: again, it gives you the option to store an unlimited amount of custom backgrounds, and use your own custom background textures to do so, if that's what you prefer.

Now, a common glaring hole in functionality that all three of these – Marvin, MapleRead and Moon+ Reader – share and that prevent them from being "professional-grade", is the inability to export annotations in a reasonable manner. All three apps ruthlessly mangle annotations upon exporting them: forcefully converting everything to plain-text (deleting bold or italic from the source text, for example), deleting paragraph breaks in the exported excerpts, etc. This is completely unacceptable to any professional user – student, scholar, or connoisseur of literature. Until this dysfunctionality is seriously addressed by the app makers, you can't even begin to talk of "professional-grade" in relation to an e-reader app.

Well, that about sums up my overview of the e-reader apps landscape as of spring 2019. A rather sad state of things, isn't it? Well, let's not despair – it's "only" 2019, after all. I'm pretty confident that by the time 2039, or 2050, arrives, the world will have at least one truly great, professional-grade e-reader app at its disposal. It may well be one of the 3 current front-runners – or a completely new app. On a current platform or a new one yet to be born. We shall see!

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Old 04-07-2019, 12:12 PM   #51
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I suspect that if you said "There is no e-reader software that does exactly what I want it to exactly the way I want it to" you would be a lot closer to accurate than a blanket "professional grade".
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Old 04-07-2019, 12:24 PM   #52
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No, I wouldn't. Failing to sync annotations, or mangling annotations upon export is not professional, no matter how you cut it.
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Old 04-07-2019, 12:50 PM   #53
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Faterson, the biggest problem with all of the reading apps you've mentioned is that they do not 100% respect the CSS. And the overrides override too much. The proper way to do it is to be able to turn every override off and have the CSS 100% respected. Then you can turn on each override as you see fit. That's how to do it. None of those apps do it. And Marvin has some major bugs if you are not in publisher mode (which itself is buggy). So while Marvin is OK, it's not wonderful and needs a lot of fixing to be very good.
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Old 04-07-2019, 02:15 PM   #54
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Jon, I basically agree with you. But whereas those CSS deficiencies are typically invisible, or at least inconspicuous, to the naked/non-expert eye, missing or buggy functionality – such as no option to sync annotations in Marvin, or the corruption of source text when exporting annotations in every e-reader app I've yet encountered – is glaringly obvious to everyone.

So, yes: Marvin is very good, and so is MapleRead on iOS and Moon+ Reader on Android – but none of these apps is truly "great", or "5-star software", or "professional-grade" software (whichever epithet one might prefer).
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Old 04-07-2019, 02:34 PM   #55
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I think Marvin is done. At least it is for me and has been for a long time. I’m back on Books. Is it the app I want to use? No, but it does automatic syncing and that’s more important to me than anything else these days. Only thing I need from  now is for Books to have feature parity across iOS and macOS. Also, I recently bought an 11” iPad Pro and I know it would drive me crazy that it doesn’t fit the screen.


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Old 04-07-2019, 02:38 PM   #56
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Jon, I basically agree with you. But whereas those CSS deficiencies are typically invisible, or at least inconspicuous, to the naked/non-expert eye, missing or buggy functionality – such as no option to sync annotations in Marvin, or the corruption of source text when exporting annotations in every e-reader app I've yet encountered – is glaringly obvious to everyone.

So, yes: Marvin is very good, and so is MapleRead on iOS and Moon+ Reader on Android – but none of these apps is truly "great", or "5-star software", or "professional-grade" software (whichever epithet one might prefer).
First off, lets fix the rendering bugs and then work on the annotations.

The CSS deficiencies are not invisible. They are very very noticeable. For example, with Marvin, in publisher layout, if you don't have a good embedded font, whatever the default font is, it's AWFUL! You don't get hyphenation. There's no reason not to allow a choice of default font. Then there are the major bugs in the override mode.I've seen simulated blockquotes not display properly (left/right margins ignored). This is a major bug.

So we need all ePub reading software to start off respecting the CSS. Then allowing overrides from there with all the overrides being able to be turned off and the CSS values being used.

I want to know why it is most ePub reading software feels it's OK to toss out the CSS?
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Old 04-07-2019, 04:00 PM   #57
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...

I want to know why it is most ePub reading software feels it's OK to toss out the CSS?
You've seen most of the CSS out there....it's junk...and that's being unfair to junk. The easiest way for an app reader to display a book "well" is to ignore the junk and go with some basic css that it applies to all books.

Unfortunately, not all people like the same viewing options those readers use...so, to some, iBooks or Moon+ are acceptable, while others think they are trash. I clean up the css on all books that I read. That means, like you, I want a reader app that honors the publisher's (me -ish) css. The vast majority of people don't even know what css IS and are happy with the basic functions that you get with Books or Kindle or whatever.

...Then you have the 1, or 2, people out there - the VERY vocal few - who are never happy with anything unless it does exactly what they want, how they want it, when they want it, in the right color...or it's "unprofessional" and "unfinished".

Yes, there are things I would like to have fixed in Marvin but nothing else has come out that can hold a candle to Marvin's functionality as an ePub reading App.... until there is I'm happy using Marvin to read books - which is what it was intended to do despite the desires of some - and I don't feel the need to whine about it!
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Old 04-07-2019, 06:06 PM   #58
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You've seen most of the CSS out there....it's junk...and that's being unfair to junk. The easiest way for an app reader to display a book "well" is to ignore the junk and go with some basic css that it applies to all books.

Unfortunately, not all people like the same viewing options those readers use...so, to some, iBooks or Moon+ are acceptable, while others think they are trash. I clean up the css on all books that I read. That means, like you, I want a reader app that honors the publisher's (me -ish) css. The vast majority of people don't even know what css IS and are happy with the basic functions that you get with Books or Kindle or whatever.

...Then you have the 1, or 2, people out there - the VERY vocal few - who are never happy with anything unless it does exactly what they want, how they want it, when they want it, in the right color...or it's "unprofessional" and "unfinished".

Yes, there are things I would like to have fixed in Marvin but nothing else has come out that can hold a candle to Marvin's functionality as an ePub reading App.... until there is I'm happy using Marvin to read books - which is what it was intended to do despite the desires of some - and I don't feel the need to whine about it!
I do fix the CSS and it looks good after I'm done. If Marvin did not use one hell of a piss poor default font in Publisher Layout, I'd use that. But I can't because the font used os very poor for reading on my iPhone. Then when not in Publisher Layout, the fake blockquotes don't work. So in either mode, there are bugs and other crap that needs fixing.

I can give a list of things that need fixing and how to redo Marvin so it's awesome. Instead it's just OK.
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Old 04-08-2019, 02:12 AM   #59
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Sorry I am at odds with the comments about CSS and respecting the publishers layout. I wish that Marvin would replace it all if I want it to. I read in night mode all the time, there is one series of books that come with hard coded black text, set to night mode and no text is visible regardless of the settings. So over to Sigil, edit out all the color tags inline styles and save then reload and I can start reading. Other than that purely as a book reader Marvin does all I need, I don't annotate or anything else so that functionality is not necessary for me and I suspect quite a few others too.
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Old 04-08-2019, 08:42 AM   #60
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No, I wouldn't. Failing to sync annotations, or mangling annotations upon export is not professional, no matter how you cut it.
I am aware that your personal whims are your standard for "professional", that doesn't make it anyone else's standard though. Both iBooks and Kindle are professional, no matter how you cut it. They may not have the features that you personally want and demand, but in the real world, professional is how well an app appeals to the vast majority of users.
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