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[UpDate 08-18-08] WordStreamer(0.9.2): SpeedReading For All: Feedback for new version

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By werD, Senior Member on 8th April 2008, 10:14 PM
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WordStreamer aka MiniMuncher(0.9.2) A Speed Reading Tool

**Looking for suggestions or feature request or mockups from any interested users. See this post for details.**

0.9.2 Adds the ability to stream any text from your clipboard onto the screen or into a file.
0.9.0 Adds to the Persistent settings and Bookmarking along with AppToDate Support! Enjoy!


Intro: The theory and the why

WordStreamer (aka MiniMuncher) is a speed reading tool that I put together for myself and all of you wonderful people. It works on the principle that our brains only process text when our eyes are not moving. WordStreamer simply streams a text file a set number of words at a time, at a rate specified by you. Since your eyes are not traveling from line to line and across the page, this allows you to read at a faster rate in no time by simply pressing up to increase the rate at which the words are displayed.

I got the idea from a British company that has a desktop program called BookMuncher that they are charging money for. I had planned to download and try out there app because I heard some pretty great success stories on the public radio and they had said "It's a free download". But.. it was free to download and $9.99 to try. I also noted they were going to release a mobile version, but it looked as if they planned to lock it down via the mobile service provider market(i.e. pay AT&T to download, pay AT&T for book). So basically I had to see what the fuss was about.

The goal of this release

The goal of release 0.9.2 is to add the ability to quickly stream content as needed and to correct/add some settings. I FINALLY got me a new screen for my Wizard and got to do some overdue bug hunting.

Big Changes:

0.9.2
1. There's a new menu option labeled "clipboard". You can use it to Stream your clipboard data on the screen or into a file. This should cover the problem with supporting /docs/rtfs/any other text you can select. Let me know if you have any issues with it.
2. I've adjusted the settings code to properly adjust for font size.
3. The "Max Chars/Line" should be quite a bit more accurate now when set to auto


0.9.0
1. Settings are now saved and will persist across reinstalls/updates
2. Bookmarking is now exposed. you can add/update 1 bookmark for each file(you can load/delete bookmarks on 'Manage' menu)
3. AppToDate Support has been added, this is a great way to keep your apps up to date with a rapidly growing list of Supported Apps
4.Support for font sizes up to 72 has been added
5.Corrected Font Size in settings(it was previously linked to Line Font Size)

* You can view/reset your average reading speeds on the About screen

0.7.5
1. Lots of font customizations (color,size,style,alignment,max width per line)
2. Text from the surrounding area is displayed when paused
3. Delays can be triggered from line breaks, word length, or punctuation
4. Average words added to 'About' screen(total isn't yet saved across app exits)
5. The install directory has changed from "WordStreamer" to "WordStreamerPPC" (so you'll need to uninstall the old one manually)
\
The main goal of release 0.5.7 was for me to find out if this kind of thing works.. It does. After a short period, you'll soon find yourself reading at a pretty fast rate with ease. The only complaint I've seen online is a person saying their eyes hurt from focusing on one spot for a while without blinking.. Please people, press pause and blink.
/
The streaming control has matured greatly with release 0.7.5, it is now a complete user control and fully customizable


How To Use
The current target platform is Win CE 5.0 Pocket Pc(compact framework 2.0)

You can jump right in when you start up WordStreamer by choosing 'View Demo File' from the menu or choosing a file via the 'Choose File' option, then hitting 'Go' or Enter to start the process.
Keyboard Controls
*items in red are smartphone only
  • Up,NumPad2,2 - Increase the speed the text is streamed
  • Down,NumPad8,8 - Decrease the speed the text is streamed
  • Left,NumPad4,4 - Lower the Font Size
  • Right,NumPad6,5 - Raise the font size
  • Enter/Return,NumPad5,touch screen,6 - Start/Stop streaming text


Quirks or Issues
  • The settings page tab order is still a little bad, Ill work on it next release.
  • The Status bar per second and per minute timers always reflect values as if only 1 word is displaying at a time (The averages on the About screen reflect the correct totals though)
  • The settings screen is not dynamically drawn(meaning a scroll bar has to be used) I'll be addressing this in 1.0
  • If your having issues with foreign characters such as umlauts try using utf-8 encoding Thanks Boops
  • [0.5.7]I've currently only tested the Smartphone version on an emulators. Testers are needed.

Credits


Future Thoughts(Feel Free to add your own)
  • Ive got some nifty document navigation thoughts for the future
  • What about an RSS reader or a tool for more accurately importing web page body text? If we can ever get some help with getting the AutoHotKey for CE compiler going there will be some great great things coming
  • I know i know the settings page is ugly. im probably going to do a tab view to get rid of the scrolling
  • Fullscreen view with image buttons for the skinners?
  • .rtf/.doc support - Good enough on this one, just select the text and copy it then choose "Clipboard-->Stream" in WordStreamer

Attachments
  • Screen Shots
  • WordStreamerPPCSetup.New.0.9.2.CAB is the install file for WordStreamer
  • WordStreamerPPCA2D.xml.txt - If you use PPC and want to do an easy AppToDate install, just save this file as WordStreamerPPCA2D.xml in your "\ApplicationData\AppToDate\" Folder(the icon in AppToDate will come with the first install)
  • WordStreamerSmartPhoneSetup.0.5.7.CAB is the install file for WordStreamerSmartPhone
  • Myths And Legends Of Greece And Rome.zip An EBook download from Project Gutenburg(A free ebook repository)http://www.gutenberg.org in .txt format and slightly formatted by me(i.e. removed table of contents)

Let me know what you think. On npr people were reporting comfortably reading at rates of 200-400+ words a minute within 5 minutes of starting!


Note: I find it easier to read at higher rates if i increase the font size a bit and hold the phone back from my face a couple feet(like in my lap or out in front like a book)


Update 4-9-2008(Smart Phone Supp Added to 0.5.7)
See post here:http://forum.xda-developers.com/show...79#post2100279
Attached Thumbnails
Click image for larger version

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Attached Files
File Type: zip Myths And Legends Of Greece And Rome.zip - [Click for QR Code] (236.6 KB, 357 views)
File Type: cab WordStreamerSmartPhoneSetup.0.5.7.CAB - [Click for QR Code] (90.2 KB, 119 views)
File Type: txt WordStreamerPPCA2D.xml.txt - [Click for QR Code] (357 Bytes, 151 views)
File Type: cab WordStreamerPPCSetup.New.0.9.2.CAB - [Click for QR Code] (141.2 KB, 937 views)
 
 
8th April 2008, 10:26 PM |#2  
flaviopac's Avatar
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Wow!
That's incredible!!

8th April 2008, 11:04 PM |#3  
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Thanks, werD!

Your application is great. Working nicely on my Polaris in WM 6.1. Although I haven't read a lot with it yet, it seems as though I'm much faster than when I read a normal book.

Only thing that's not working for me are german umlauts (ä, ö, ü, ß) and maybe some other characters. If you could fix that...

Some other feature that just got into my mind:
Could you make an option to colorize text that is written in double-quotes or these kind of arrows when somebody is talking? I guess that would help a lot.

Again, many thanks and keep it up!

Edit: just realized that the umlaut-problem is solved when I use utf-8 encoded files Nevermind, then!
8th April 2008, 11:12 PM |#4  
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Awesome! What lanuage is this written in? I think this may help with some english revision.
A little thing it would be nice to change is the colours of the text and the
8th April 2008, 11:12 PM |#5  
werD's Avatar
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Boops

Thanks, werD!

Your application is great. Working nicely on my Polaris in WM 6.1. Although I haven't read a lot with it yet, it seems as though I'm much faster than when I read a normal book.

Only thing that's not working for me are german umlauts (ä, ö, ü, ß) and maybe some other characters. If you could fix that...

Some other feature that just got into my mind:
Could you make an option to colorize text that is written in double-quotes or these kind of arrows when somebody is talking? I guess that would help a lot.

Again, many thanks and keep it up!


Thanks for the input, I'll look into the broader text support. I have also been pondering some more automated text formatting to alleviate common phrasing and punctuation that causes words to be strung together such as two dashes--something John Steinbeck seems to be particularly fond of. Adding some coloring for quoted text seems like a good idea too and it would lump in well with that.

Edit:Boops solved his issue with umlauts by using utf-8 encoding
8th April 2008, 11:24 PM |#6  
werD's Avatar
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Quote:
Originally Posted by l3v5y

Awesome! What lanuage is this written in? I think this may help with some english revision.
A little thing it would be nice to change is the colours of the text and the

Thanks. WordStreamer is written in .net(mainly vb.net), I think it will be a great tool for quickly reviewing documents and articles on a commute or break as well as for reading a full book. Text and background coloring will definitely be in the next release.
8th April 2008, 11:29 PM |#7  
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Another thing that would be great:
Stopping the text with a tap on the screen... Thats how I use to pause movies in the movie player... Maybe slide left or right the finger to forward or rewind the text, now that development of everything goes in the "touchstyle" direction - but I think that might be asked a little too much...
8th April 2008, 11:31 PM |#8  
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Now all I need to do is get my Russian presentation written down and I'll use this to help learn it!
8th April 2008, 11:54 PM |#9  
werD's Avatar
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Boops

Another thing that would be great:
Stopping the text with a tap on the screen... Thats how I use to pause movies in the movie player... Maybe slide left or right the finger to forward or rewind the text, now that development of everything goes in the "touchstyle" direction - but I think that might be asked a little too much...

Both good ideas. i had already implemented the tap to pause, but I commented it out before release, because you had to tap outside of the text area(i.e. settings bar or title bar) to get it to work. This is solely due to the "form magic" I did to get a proof of concept out. I'll be improving the process quite a bit by implementing my custom streaming text control which is still under development. At that point, simple touch gesture recognition is no problem. I think I'm going to test this build first with standard windows mobile smart phones, and if no problems arise I'll move on to the dedicated pocket pc code.

Thanks again, I appreciate the feedback
9th April 2008, 12:06 AM |#10  
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Talking
Thanks for you app werD, it works very nicely on my orbit. One thought that occurred to me was that a floating window that read any text on the screen beneath it would be nice, it would be a great asset to people like my Dad who has trouble focusing on the text on a small screen. Also that root would avoid a any complications with different file associations.
9th April 2008, 01:11 AM |#11  
werD's Avatar
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Quote:
Originally Posted by uniqueboy

Thanks for you app werD, it works very nicely on my orbit. One thought that occurred to me was that a floating window that read any text on the screen beneath it would be nice, it would be a great asset to people like my Dad who has trouble focusing on the text on a small screen. Also that root would avoid a any complications with different file associations.

Thanks for your feedback. That sounds like a pretty good idea, although slightly out of the scope of the current project. I'll definitely put it on the table for future thought/
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