[Sugar-devel] [ANNOUNCE] Get Books Activity 3, now with SneakerNet/ChappalNet support

Jim Simmons nicestep at gmail.com
Sun Nov 8 17:46:53 EST 2009


I'm not sure why you think you'd need to use multithreading to deal
with the multiple chunks.  Can't you just bring them in one at a time,
parse as you go, and then display the finished result set all at once?

I saw your Get Books activity got praised on the OLPC blog as being a
key part of their latest efforts with Internet Archive books.  (My
name was listed also, but it was clearly your Activity they were
praising).  It just seemed to me that it would be a good idea to give
your efforts an official status (its own git repository, wiki page,
ASLO downloads, etc.) as soon as possible.  Even with the shortcomings
you mention it deserves that much.

If you want to keep the original around for awhile it's fine with me.
In the short run it won;'t hurt anything.  In the long term it makes
more sense to have just one Activity to find and get books on the
Internet and just one Activity to read them.  I understood from you
that eventually Read would be able to use the formats I wrote View
Slides and Read Etexts for.  Those Activities could also stay around
but they might be of more use to teachers and other adults than they
would be to the young students Sugar is targetted at.

James Simmons

On Sun, Nov 8, 2009 at 2:22 PM, Sayamindu Dasgupta <sayamindu at gmail.com> wrote:
> Hi Jim,
> I think GIAB should stay. Get Books still has a few deficiencies :
> * Metadata: GIAB seems to pull in more metadata that what is currently
> offered by OPDS.
> * Large resultsets: The OPDS results returned by IA are chunked into
> segments of 50 items each. Get Books only handles the first segment.
> Getting it to handle the other segments (essentially, loading them
> automagically as the user scrolls down) requires quite a bit of coding
> effort (and the optimal way here would be probably to use threading,
> and threading in PyGTK can be a dangerous thing to tread on) - there
> is no timeframe for its implementation yet.
> * Formats: While the current format code is hardcoded, and I will
> offer whatever is there in the OPDS data from next version, it will
> not cover all the formats from IA. I would prefer not to hard-code
> anything (since I'm handling a number of sources, hardcoding for a
> particular source will lead to a lot of messy code)
> Let me know what you think.
> Thanks,
> Sayamindu
> On Sat, Nov 7, 2009 at 2:15 AM, Jim Simmons <nicestep at gmail.com> wrote:
>> Sayamindu,
>> Regarding the "friendly fork" of Get Internet Archive Books, I'm
>> thinking that perhaps you will soon have Get Books in good enough
>> shape that the original Activity will no longer be needed, and at that
>> point you should merge your clone with the mainline and take over the
>> Activity.  About the only thing that GIAB can do that you can't (yet)
>> is give the user a choice of download formats.  It shouldn't be too
>> tough to implement that option if you restrict it to the Internet
>> Archive.
>> I could rename the original Activity in ASLO and rename its wiki page,
>> then give you authority in git to update the mainline.  You would need
>> to renumber your Activity version to number 4, as GIAB is currently at
>> version 3.
>> It's pretty clear that GIAB is a dead end and what you're doing is the
>> future.  You've even addressed the future needs of the Rural Design
>> Collective for distributing children's books on a thumb drive, which
>> was something I had hoped to do with GIAB at some point.
>> Let me know what you think.
>> James Simmons
>>> Date: Fri, 6 Nov 2009 04:26:07 +0530
>>> From: Sayamindu Dasgupta <sayamindu at gmail.com>
>>> Subject: [Sugar-devel] [ANNOUNCE] Get Books Activity 3, now with
>>>        SneakerNet/ChappalNet   support
>>> To: OLPC Bookreader list <bookreader at lists.laptop.org>,         Sugar devel
>>>        <sugar-devel at lists.sugarlabs.org>
>>> Message-ID:
>>>        <a1314bfe0911051456k2e7791a8h989e41265d127b17 at mail.gmail.com>
>>> Content-Type: text/plain; charset=UTF-8
>>> Hello,
>>> Get Books Activity is a friendly fork of Jim Simmon's Get Internet
>>> Archive Books activity and it allows Sugar users to search for and
>>> download Ebooks from various sources. One of the major points of
>>> concern for many was this activity required Internet access, and I
>>> have tried to address that issue with this release.
>>> The activity can now access catalogs in removable devices (pen drives,
>>> etc) and lets the user search through these catalogs. A removable
>>> device with a catalog will show up in the list of sources from which
>>> the books can be downloaded/copied. Utilizing this feature, one will
>>> be able to copy thousands of ebooks in a pen-drive, put a catalog file
>>> (catalog.xml) in the root[1] directory of the device, and send it to
>>> bandwidth starved areas. (think of a library on a stick ;-)
>>> Apart from the above features, this release also has some subtle
>>> changes in the behavior which will hopefully make the overall use
>>> experience better. (for example, changing the source in the middle of
>>> a search will trigger a new search within the new selected source)
>>> I do not consider this release to be stable, so I have not uploaded it
>>> to ASLO yet (I had to do a lot more refactoring that I would have
>>> liked to get the removable device support working). To download the
>>> activity (it should work with Sucrose 0.82 upwards), follow the link:
>>> http://dev.laptop.org/~sayamindu/GetBooks-3.xo
>>> To test the removable device support, in a USB drive, unzip
>>> http://dev.laptop.org/~sayamindu/books_on_a_stick.zip [2] (make sure
>>> that the catalog.xml file stays in the toplevel directory of the
>>> drive), and plug the USB drive in wherever you are running Sugar. Get
>>> Books is _supposed_ to detect removable devices as and when they are
>>> plugged in/removed, but if your device does not show up, try
>>> restarting the activity before trying anything else.
>>> Thanks,
>>> Sayamindu
> --
> Sayamindu Dasgupta
> [http://sayamindu.randomink.org/ramblings]

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