[Sugar-devel] Making Read read everything [WAS: Re: FBReader]

Sayamindu Dasgupta sayamindu at gmail.com
Tue Mar 17 18:16:06 EDT 2009

[Summarizing and cleaning up the cruft of the older discussions]

Hello all,
Currently, we have a number of ways to read ebooks (which includes a
variety of formats, starting from plaintext to PDF to archived HTML in
the form of epub, etc).. We have Read - which handles PDFs, DJVU, CBZ,
PS, etc. We have ReadEtext, which does a nice job with text files, and
the latest addition to the lot is an somewhat experimental activity
based on FBReader[1][2].

SJ and I were wondering if it may make sense to try to unify these
activities in some way, so that the "Read" activity in Sugar can
handle all formats (going by the "verbs" concept that is central to
the Sugar concept). While the most elegant way to do this would be
perhaps to have dynamic backends for Read, which would be loaded on
demand, based on the format of the file being opened, this would be a
non trivial exercise. (to begin with, for example, there are subtle
differences with respect to pagination for different formats: eg,
PDF/DJVU offers a very clear distinction between pages, while this can
be quite flexible, or even non existent for a plain text file)

Is there a easier way we can do this ? SJ suggests that we rename the
existing the Read activity to something else (ReadPDF ??) and then use
some kind of "wrapper activity" to launch the relevant activity as and
when required. Will this be useful/possible ?


[1] http://lists.laptop.org/pipermail/bookreader/2009-March/000030.html
[2] http://dev.laptop.org/~sayamindu/fbreader_sugar_v2.png

Sayamindu Dasgupta

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