[Sugar-devel] about reader

Gabriel Eirea geirea at gmail.com
Wed Sep 29 09:08:52 EDT 2010


I'm replying to the list for more feedback. Please see below.

2010/9/29 Lucian Branescu <lucian.branescu at gmail.com>:
> On 29 September 2010 13:24, Gabriel Eirea <geirea at gmail.com> wrote:
>> Hi Lucian:
>> I've seen you are actively working on the Read activity. I am from
>> ceibalJAM in Uruguay and we have a request for certain features and I
>> would like to know your opinion about them. We may find a volunteer
>> here to work on them, and maybe we can get some funding but it's still
>> a remote possibility.
>> The request comes from an editor that donated an ebook in pdf for
>> Ceibal and finds it difficult to read in the current version of Read.
> Hi.
> I'm not a Read maintainer, I just lent a hand to fix Read temporarily.
> I'm one of the maintainers of Browse, so my priorities are there. I
> don't mean to discourage you from asking me things about Read and I
> still intend to help out with Read if I find the time, I just wanted
> you to know my position.
> You should also post this to the mailing list, others may have
> better ideas than me. You can just add the mailing list email to the
> CC when you reply.

OK, thank you Lucian.

>> The requested features are:
>> - possibility to include a floating menu for navigation
> No other activity has done this before afaik and I'm not sure the
> Sugar UI guidelines. I also don't know how resource intensive this
> would be, but it may slow down scrolling. I believe keyboard
> shortcuts, the XO game buttons and locking the navigation toolbar are
> better solutions (the latter can already be done by clicking the
> navigation toolbar button).

Apparently this is a pdf feature that has been used before by the
editors of this book before. The idea is to have a button for the
index, the main sections, etc. always visible on top or bottom.

>> - possibility to call one pdf file from inside another
> You mean URLs to other PDFs? The way this might work would be to
> download the PDF from that URL to the Journal and offer the user the
> option to open it from the Journal (in Read). As of right now, the
> Read activity has no internet access and I don't know if it's a good
> idea to add this feature. Others may be able to say more on this

This feature would be needed to speed up the loading of
graphics-intensive books. I imagine there would be a bundle with
several pdf files that would have links among them. I don't know how
to make this compatible with the journal.

>> - possibility to call a web page from inside the pdf
> This scenario has been discussed before, with no useful conclusion.
> The way security works in Sugar, activities are not allowed to open
> other activities. An exception could possibly made for the browser or
> the Sugar API could be extended so that activities declare what URIs
> they accept to open (e.g. http:, file:, apt: magnet:, etc.)

Apparently this would be a very useful feature for learning ebooks,
since they would like to have links to webpages with further
information on certain topics.

>> - add zoom by paragraph to improve legibility with small fonts
> Do you mean automatically zooming on a certain paragraph? I don't know
> if evince (the backend we use for displaying PDFs) is capable of this,
> I'd have to check.

Yes, "automatically zooming" would mean for example using the
navigation keys to select next/previous paragraph and showing the
selected paragraph with a larger font.

>> - possibility to have different page sizes inside a document
> Do you mean pages of different sizes? How would these sizes be
> determined? Do you mean zooming pages independantly?

The page sizes would be defined at the time of creating the pdf. In
this particular case they designed topics consisting of one
illustration and a bunch of text, each topic uses one to two pages in
the paper book, they would like to convert this so that every topic is
one page in the ebook, of variable length so as to include the
illustration and all the text with no blank space at the end.

>> - adapt the xo buttons next to the screen to enable navigation using
>> the floating menu
> Yes, it's possible and relatively easyto add both keyboard shortcuts and use
> the XO buttons for navigation, regardless of the existence of a
> floating menu.

Thank you!


>> Do you think these features are possible using the current code base
>> of Read? How much effort do you think it would take to implement them?
>> Thank you,
>> Gabriel

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