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Old 02-15-2017, 07:45 PM   #1
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How to contact developer of Marvin?

Can someone suggest how I can contact the developer of Marvin? I purchased a copy of Marvin 3.1 and have been unable to get tech support. Tried email and twitter to no avail. Would appreciate any help.
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Old 02-15-2017, 09:10 PM   #2
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You can try sending him a personal message here on the forum, but he doesn't hang out here much anymore. His username is kguil

That's about all I can think of if the contact methods on his website aren't working for you...
http://www.appstafarian.com/
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Old 02-15-2017, 09:27 PM   #3
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Thanks much. I wonder if you might have any thoughts about my topic here on 2/11 about not being able to share a book's annotations with a friend. It's the reason I purchased Marvin, so not being able to get support for the app has been frustrating. Thanks.
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Old 02-18-2017, 11:58 PM   #4
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Unfortunately, no matter how much we love Marvin or appreciate Kris's work in creating it (and we do, both), we just need to recognize that Marvin is a half-dead app, and has been for a couple of years now. That is, it's not being developed consistently. There was a short burst of activity around the Marvin 3 release, but it really was brief – a one-off occurrence. Marvin 3 features many flaws that remain unresolved; lost features from Marvin 2 still haven't been restored, etc.

No need to blame anyone. It's obvious Kris has other priorities in life now, and that's OK. Let's just keep it real here.

For myself, I no longer expect anything at all from Marvin at this point. If it just remains alive – well, that will be OK enough for me. Marvin is a half-finished app, but that's better than no app.

I purchased MapleRead today and Hyphen a few months ago, but as of right now, I still prefer Marvin over them, despite Marvin's half-finished state and no consistent development.
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Old 02-19-2017, 12:57 AM   #5
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Thanks for this. Do you know if MapleRead or Hyphen allow for sharing of notes/annotations?
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Old 02-19-2017, 04:38 PM   #6
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Exclamation

Yes, they do. And so does Marvin, but it's entirely manual on Marvin's part for now, so, really, an unworkable and impractical long-term solution.

However, all three of these promising e-readers share the same serious flaw, when it comes to exporting annotations. I just alerted MapleRead's developer to this last night:

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[...]
  • Highlights are corrupted upon exporting them. This is a flaw shared with Marvin, Hyphen, and likely all other e-readers out there. I understand that this is very tough for app developers to get right, but there's no way around it, if it's to be done properly. Right now, highlights are corrupted in that they do not preserve basic and fundamental text formatting features such as paragraph breaks, italics or bold. I tried it with your Alice test e-book, and upon exporting a highlight from it that contains italics or multiple paragraphs, everything gets converted to plain-text and merged into a single paragraph. That's just unacceptable, if you need to deal with literature on a scholarly level, as I do.
I also alerted Marvin's Kris of this a couple of years ago, but there's been no improvement. Similarly, I drew Hyphen developer's attention to this a few months ago, and he expressed interest in fixing the flaw. If that ever happens (I know he's working on a major new version of Hyphen), that would instantly put Hyphen on a higher level in my estimation, perhaps the highest of all three of these e-readers.
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Old 02-19-2017, 05:03 PM   #7
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Thanks for telling me about this. Btw, how do the other e-readers share annotations if not through the emailing of an interchange file?
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Old 02-19-2017, 05:36 PM   #8
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Lightbulb

Hyphen uses iCloud (and I think it gives you the option to sync only annotations, or entire books along with annotations).

For MapleRead, you create your own "MaplePop" user account, whatever that is. And that, apparently, allows you to sync annotations.

And, in both, you can email your annotations to anyone, just like from Marvin.

I haven't tested Hyphen or MapleRead in terms of annotations syncing so far, because for the time being, Marvin remains my "daily driver" e-reader, so I continue doing this manually for now. That is, by exporting annotations from Marvin manually, via HTML, from all of my iPhone/iPad devices, then manually checking and fixing all the corruption errors mentioned above, in the HTML files, and finally arriving at a "clean" annotations list by manually merging the HTML annotation files from all devices. (I use the SeaMonkey Composer for the manual merge, although Word or LibreOffice would likely accomplish it as well.)

By the way, that bug/corruption I mentioned occurs, at least in Marvin (but perhaps in the other two as well), not just for the highlights quoted from the book texts, but for user-written annotations, it happens as well: all paragraphs in a user-authored annotation get merged into a single paragraph (meaning, all line breaks get deleted). That's doubly inexcusable... This corruption of highlights/annotations upon export simply needs to stop, if any of the three e-readers – Marvin, MapleRead, or Hyphen – seriously wish to call themselves "top-quality e-reader software" one day.

Last edited by Faterson; 02-19-2017 at 05:41 PM.
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Old 02-19-2017, 07:33 PM   #9
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Just to confirm: When you write about "syncing" of annotations, you're referring to syncing from one of your devices to another one of your iOS devices, yes? Because I'm more interested in "syncing" my annotations with a friend's (who lives 300 miles away). I probably shouldn't use that word in this case, but I thought maybe there's some server we could both be connected to, and it would "sync" our annotations...?

But it sounds like that for all three e-readers, emailing a file and then having the other person import it into the app is the only way to do this.
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Old 02-20-2017, 05:32 PM   #10
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This definitely works in Marvin, as long as you and the person you're sharing your annotations with are both using Marvin and the exact same EPUB file containing the book, as mentioned in the other thread. Marvin, as of today, offers no server capabilities for syncing or sharing annotations, but this manual way of emailing the annotations file to someone else has worked fine for me in the past.

I'm not even sure Hyphen or MapleRead offer the option to share one's annotations with someone else using an annotations interchange file. They do allow the (buggy) export of annotations via email, but I'm not sure if there are any other, more advanced annotations export/sharing options apart from that, in Hyphen or MapleRead. But, as opposed to Marvin, those two do allow the server-based syncing of annotations between various devices owned by the same user.

As can be seen, each app offers some things that the other app(s) do not, and vice versa. It's perhaps natural to a degree, but it's also frustrating. Because, of course, the ideal situation would be where you have one e-reader app that offers all the useful features, not just some of them.
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Old 02-20-2017, 06:44 PM   #11
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I agree with your last observation. I started with iBooks and came to Marvin specifically for the sharing of annotations. But there are still things that I think iBooks does better. For instance, just doing a search in the book for a string of text. In iBooks, there is a search icon right there at the top display bar that is there all the time. In Marvin, you have to (1) tap in the middle of the screen to bring up the top and bottom display bars, then (2) tap the menu icon, then (3) choose Search. Why can't we have a Seach icon on the top bar? -- there's plenty of room for it to the left of the text (Aa) icon.

And you can't seem to keep the top and bottom display bars visible as you're reading -- if you do the bottom bar cut off the last line of text.
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Old 02-21-2017, 06:21 PM   #12
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I agree that Marvin 3 interface is, in some respects, worse than the previous Marvin 2 & 1 interface. I don't get this obsession with text menu items instead of icons. I absolutely prefer icons, because they save space, and so they allow access to a lot more functionality at a single glance. Unfortunately, this is the way Marvin 3 went – "destroy all icons wherever possible". Overall, I think Marvin 3's interface is an improvement over the interface of Marvin 2 & 1, but not in this particular aspect – that all menu icons got destroyed.

This unfortunate trend has even continued within Marvin 3 – so it's only getting worse in this respect. The most recent Marvin 3 version from December, I think, changed the behavior of books in the library. Previously, when you left-swiped a book, you got a set of icons to choose from, to perform frequent actions. Now, all the icons are gone from there as well, and they're replaced with a long, difficult-to-parse list of text-only menu items. That's a lot less clear to me than previously, I'm afraid.

The ideal app would give users the choice of an interface: do you prefer icons or textual commands? And each of us could choose one or the other.
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Old 02-22-2017, 02:36 AM   #13
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This unfortunate trend has even continued within Marvin 3 – so it's only getting worse in this respect. The most recent Marvin 3 version from December, I think, changed the behavior of books in the library. Previously, when you left-swiped a book, you got a set of icons to choose from, to perform frequent actions. Now, all the icons are gone from there as well, and they're replaced with a long, difficult-to-parse list of text-only menu items. That's a lot less clear to me than previously, I'm afraid.
I agree that this is a backward step in usability, I can't see a reason for the change.
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