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[APP] Freda - a new ebook reader

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Jim Chapman

Senior Member
Dec 23, 2007
386
53
London
www.turnipsoft.co.uk
[UPDATE: See http://forum.xda-developers.com/showthread.php?p=7141176 in this thread for an updated version of the program, with links to new screen shots and documentation]

[UPDATE: See http://forum.xda-developers.com/showthread.php?t=795753 for the Windows Phone 7 version of this program.]

I've written a program for reading eBooks on Windows Mobile devices. It can read txt, html and (DRM-free) ePub files.

For other formats you can use Calibre to convert them epub.

The program is called 'Freda' - short for 'free reader', since it is free software (both in the sense of 'free beer', as I am not charging for it, and in the sense of 'free speech', as I am licensing my code under the GPL).

It's released now, so please download it and let me have any feeback. (BTW that link points to the WinMo version of Freda; for the Windows Phone 7 version, please go here)

The program uses three third-party libraries, DotNetZipLib, OpenNetCF and the Majestic-12 HTMLParser library; all are licensed on terms permitting their redistribution for commercial and non-commercial purposes. More information is here

Happy reading!
 

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Last edited:

Jim Chapman

Senior Member
Dec 23, 2007
386
53
London
www.turnipsoft.co.uk
Hi Folks,

It's here: version 1.1 of Freda is now released.

Main new features:
  • CSS Style sheets are recognised
  • Controls/gestures can be customised
  • Line spacing, indent and justification can be customised
  • Bookmarks and annotations are provided
  • Dictionary look-up is implemented (using SlovoEd)

See the freda home page for more details, and for download locations.

Any problems or questions, please let me know.

Discussion for this release can be followed from this post on.

Thanks,

Jim
 
Last edited:

bk227865

Senior Member
Jul 6, 2006
74
14
Briljant,

Its the first epub reader that i found on my diamond that is able to render my epub newspaper correctly. Including links and images.
(the standaard is doing a test this week only with an epub version of its newspaper)

A few remarks to help you with the beta version (witch already is a keeper for me)

I had to install freda into main memory for it to start up.
The splash screen seems to to big, the text on it is cut off left and right, i have a vga screen.
The liberary display setting (icons or details) are not saved.
 

McAndrew73

Senior Member
Jun 2, 2009
140
5
Thanks for this program.
I'm a long time reader on PDAs and there was the need for something new.
I've just installed it now and I'll come back with some comments asap. :)
 

Jim Chapman

Senior Member
Dec 23, 2007
386
53
London
www.turnipsoft.co.uk
Looking forward to your feedback. Over at mobileread, I've been getting some feedback that CSS formatting is an important feature, so I'm particularly keen to hear the forum's view on that (because the beta 0.9 version of the program doesn't handle CSS formatting at all).

Cheers,

Jim
 
Last edited:

fards

Inactive Recognized Developer
this is a really nice app!

I'd like to see an autoscroll in full screen mode if possible, this makes late night reading sessions a bit easier (less chance of being moaned at because of tapping buttons) :p

I'm not certain how easy it would be to control speed of scrolling on something like my touch HD with virtually no buttons though..

it's replaced mobipocket for me.
 

Jim Chapman

Senior Member
Dec 23, 2007
386
53
London
www.turnipsoft.co.uk
Autoscroll speed

Yes I had wondered about implementing autoscroll, but wasn't sure what would be a good mechanism for controlling the speed. I was thinking it would be kind of cool to control it using the acceleromter (gravity sensor) - something like 'tilt more to scoll faster' ... but I've not really throught it through. Ideas welcome.

Jim
 

fards

Inactive Recognized Developer
Yes I had wondered about implementing autoscroll, but wasn't sure what would be a good mechanism for controlling the speed. I was thinking it would be kind of cool to control it using the acceleromter (gravity sensor) - something like 'tilt more to scoll faster' ... but I've not really throught it through. Ideas welcome.

Jim

one option would be to use the volume buttons to speed up and down, but it may not work in the 6.5.x builds as the MS volume control seems to takeover.

accelerometer is an option, but it could be frustrating when you move the device accidentally, unless you set up a control key such as long press talk/send, to enable the gsensor speed control only when the control key is called.
 

McAndrew73

Senior Member
Jun 2, 2009
140
5
my 2 cents after one day. :)

Reader is good, fast and has a good pagination system.
It's really confortable to swipe up the thumb to change page, nice idea. Sometimes i was mad using mobipoket because when you tap, it may happen that you highlight the text instead of changing page. (i don't use hardware buttons expecially during night)

I'm gonna use this reader from now on I think.:):):)

Possible improvements from my point of view:
1) i'd like to have an option that allows auto opening of the last read ebook when opening Freda. Why opening the library every time?
2) It would be good to have a couple of presets regarding the color scheme. Usually I use white backgroung and black text during day and black background and grey/red text during night readings. :)
3) add the possibility to change page by tapping the screen. So, hardware button, or swipe thumb or tap.

Other less important improvements:
4) i usually read in portrait....but maybe add the possibility to read in landscape would be appreciated.
5) it would be nice to add the possibility to change also backlight power in the point 2) presets. IE: during night time low backlight, black background and gray text.

Finally let me add that the improvements I pointed out should help to make the program better (from my point of view) but Freda is really good already as it is, so don't consider them as a critic. :)

And congrats for the nice work.
 

Jim Chapman

Senior Member
Dec 23, 2007
386
53
London
www.turnipsoft.co.uk
TypeLoad Exception error

Same error on Touch HD [Energy ROM Leo Build 23081]
Did you get this error after installing the application onto the Storage Card? Because right now (Beta 0.9 version) that doesn't work. The application has to be in main memory. For version 1.0 I will fix that. [fixed in release 1.0]

If you got the error even though the app was installed in main memory, then it's a problem that I haven't seen before. Normally that error message means that one of the program's DLLs or resource files is missing - and I thought that they were all present and correct in the install package. If you could PM me (or email on jim(at)turnip.demon.co.uk) with a listing/screenshot of all the contents of the \Program Files\Freda folder, I will take a look and see if I can spot the problem.

Thanks for the feedback.

Jim
 
Last edited:

Jim Chapman

Senior Member
Dec 23, 2007
386
53
London
www.turnipsoft.co.uk
...
1) i'd like to have an option that allows auto opening of the last read ebook when opening Freda. Why opening the library every time?
Good idea. I will do that for version 1.0
2) It would be good to have a couple of presets regarding the color scheme. Usually I use white backgroung and black text during day and black background and grey/red text during night readings. :)
makes sense. I don't want to add too many presets as it could get confusing ... but I guess I can come up with something for v1.0
3) add the possibility to change page by tapping the screen. So, hardware button, or swipe thumb or tap.
Right now, I need to reserve the 'tap screen' gesture for bringing up the main menu. I guess I could have a mode whereby it's tap-and-hold to bring up the menu, and quick-tap to page forward. I'm a little concerned though that if I have too many different 'command modes' I will end up with something like uBookReader which (though otherwise a fine piece of software) drives me crazy with trying to figure out which mode it is in. Another option would be to reserve tap-near-bottom-of-screen to mean 'page down' and tap-near-top-of-screen to mean scroll up. What do you think?
4) i usually read in portrait....but maybe add the possibility to read in landscape would be appreciated.
This should work already - if you can get the device into landscape mode, Freda will work in landscape mode. Freda relies on the operating system to tell it whether to work in landscape or portrait. On my HTC Touch Pro 2 I can switch modes by flipping the keyboard. For devices without a keyboard, you should try the G-Config application - run G-Config and follow the instructions (i.e. switch to Freda and then insert the stylus, then soft reset). Now, when you hold the device in landscape orientation, Freda should switch to landscape mode. You can find G-Config at http://forum.xda-developers.com/showthread.php?t=487991
5) it would be nice to add the possibility to change also backlight power in the point 2) presets. IE: during night time low backlight, black background and gray text.
Seems like a useful feature. I don't know how to program the backlight settings, but I guess this gives me the opportunity to learn :)

Thanks for using the app, and thankyou also for the feedback - I really appreciate it.

Jim
 

McAndrew73

Senior Member
Jun 2, 2009
140
5
Good idea. I will do that for version 1.0

COOL!

makes sense. I don't want to add too many presets as it could get confusing ... but I guess I can come up with something for v1.0
Yes, I can understand. Reading a book should be sometihing really smooth and easy.

Right now, I need to reserve the 'tap screen' gesture for bringing up the main menu. I guess I could have a mode whereby it's tap-and-hold to bring up the menu, and quick-tap to page forward. I'm a little concerned though that if I have too many different 'command modes' I will end up with something like uBookReader which (though otherwise a fine piece of software) drives me crazy with trying to figure out which mode it is in. Another option would be to reserve tap-near-bottom-of-screen to mean 'page down' and tap-near-top-of-screen to mean scroll up. What do you think?
Well.....I think that both options are good.....so you should choose the easiest to implement.
I think I would slightly prefer the second one: tap the bottom for one page increase, tap the upper part for one page decrease.

This should work already - if you can get the device into landscape mode, Freda will work in landscape mode. Freda relies on the operating system to tell it whether to work in landscape or portrait. On my HTC Touch Pro 2 I can switch modes by flipping the keyboard. For devices without a keyboard, you should try the G-Config application - run G-Config and follow the instructions (i.e. switch to Freda and then insert the stylus, then soft reset). Now, when you hold the device in landscape orientation, Freda should switch to landscape mode. You can find G-Config at http://forum.xda-developers.com/showthread.php?t=487991
:)
As I said, I read in potrait so no problem with that. I was just trying to brainstorm in order to get some possible enanchements to Freda. :)

Seems like a useful feature. I don't know how to program the backlight settings, but I guess this gives me the opportunity to learn :)

Thanks for using the app, and thankyou also for the feedback - I really appreciate it.

Jim
Thank YOU for the program and listening to my comments. :) :)
 

Jim Chapman

Senior Member
Dec 23, 2007
386
53
London
www.turnipsoft.co.uk

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  • 3
    [UPDATE: See http://forum.xda-developers.com/showthread.php?p=7141176 in this thread for an updated version of the program, with links to new screen shots and documentation]

    [UPDATE: See http://forum.xda-developers.com/showthread.php?t=795753 for the Windows Phone 7 version of this program.]

    I've written a program for reading eBooks on Windows Mobile devices. It can read txt, html and (DRM-free) ePub files.

    For other formats you can use Calibre to convert them epub.

    The program is called 'Freda' - short for 'free reader', since it is free software (both in the sense of 'free beer', as I am not charging for it, and in the sense of 'free speech', as I am licensing my code under the GPL).

    It's released now, so please download it and let me have any feeback. (BTW that link points to the WinMo version of Freda; for the Windows Phone 7 version, please go here)

    The program uses three third-party libraries, DotNetZipLib, OpenNetCF and the Majestic-12 HTMLParser library; all are licensed on terms permitting their redistribution for commercial and non-commercial purposes. More information is here

    Happy reading!
    2
    Hey, any chance you're thinking of making a Windows 8 app? I've had to buy a kindle book so far to tide me over lol. Was just curious. Thanks again, its a great app!

    Yes, I am planning to do that. Not yet sure when it will be released, though (right now, I am working on releasing the latest version of the Windows Phone 7 app).
    2
    It was intentional, in that there is a problem with the latest updated version and, until I have fixed that, Freda is off the Marketplace.

    It should take no more than a couple of days to sort out.

    Sorry for any inconvenience.

    Jim
    2
    I have tried all settings but nothing can do the trick. Did I miss something about setting?
    I'm afraid I don't have any suggestions to offer. I guess you need to use a font that includes code points for all the Chinese characters and all the phonetic symbols. If you can find such a font, and tell Freda to use it, it should be fine.

    Because you can, with one font selected, see the phonetic symbols and, with another font selected, see the Chinese characters, I conclude that there is no problem with the encoding settings - it is just a matter of finding the right font (and installing it, as you note, in \Windows\Fonts, so that Freda can see it). But I don't really know anything about Chinese fonts, or fonts providing phonetic symbols.

    Sorry,

    Jim
    2
    Hi, i would really love to try v2 too:D:D:D:D

    The version that's on the website is v2. Freda (for Windows Mobile 6/5/2003) has been v2 for quite a while now.