Thursday, March 5, 2009

Release v1.3


A new release! This one is mostly a bug fix and a clean up of all the old functionality. This includes: 
  • Made the zoom functionality more intuitive based on feedback I got from alot of you. Now you draw a box around what you want to see on the DS. It will use the current orientation and come up with a zoom that fits that box to the DS screen. Try it out, if you don't get it or plain don't like it, leave me some feedback.
  • Made the screen dim whenever you go to open a new file or you open the mini document view.
  • Changed the old god-awful icon to the new god-awful icon for the mini document view. Its now a magnifying glass.
  • Made the current location on the page reset when you go forward or backward a page. 
  • The page number now appears in the little bar on the bottom/left.
Thats all the big stuff, and covers alot of ground in terms of the feedback I've been getting. 

The controls are largely unchanged, but I'll post them here for completeness sake:
  1. 'X' changes the orientation of the page. Starts off in 'book' style orientation.
  2. Right and Left shoulder go to the next or previous page.
  3. Start brings up the dialog to open  a new file.
  4. Select toggles whether or not to show debug messages. Most users won't want this.
  5. 'B' resets the zoom to the default value of 100%. 
One of the peices of feedback I've gotten has to do with this control layout. I want to get a good feel for what people think would be the best way to go on this before I just start changing stuff. What do you think the controls should be? What other controls would you want to see added? 

The next major feature, and major release, is going to involve a reader mode. As it is, this pdf reader is great for viewing and looking at PDF's, and perhaps even grabbing some key facts from it, but noone is going to read a 100 page e-book in it. You'd get arthritis from so much scrolling and the rendering is so slow as to make it really annoying. 

Instead, the plan is to allow you to be able to choose a viewing mode where you can display the textual blocks of a PDF document on its own screen. You'll lose the formatting from the PDF document, but then you'll be able to fit the text in the DS nicely. And if you want to see the formating, just pop back into the normal viewing mode and you'll have the experience that exists now! 

Would this be something you'd want? Leave a comment if you have ideas on how to make this feature work like you'd want or if you just think its a good idea. 

14 comments:

  1. Great project man!

    Keep it up :)

    cheers

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  2. The special viewing mode, just to be able to read texts, is a fantastic idea because the main use I'm gonna do to this program is reading books.
    You are doing a fantastic job, thank you.

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  3. If you want some good ideas about how to improve your great software check out this game 100 Classic Book Collection heres a video on youtube

    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=DYCRoHM6pr0

    and the info and pics from amazon

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  4. ooops sorry i forgot link from amazon.com here it is

    http://www.amazon.co.uk/100-Classic-Book-Collection-Nintendo/dp/B001LK6XKE

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  5. What about the large images? Are you working in make them clear or just working to make them vanish, making PDF with them able to be seen?

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  6. I don't know how hard it is to make but it would be cool if you could type in a page number and skipping a whole lot of loading, cause I saved a file with a lot of images and text into an file with only text and if I want to get to a specific page number I have to scroll very much and sometimes it gives an error and then I have to start all over with scrolling.

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  7. May I suggest that the D-Pad be used for page to page navigation.
    I only say this because the shoulder buttons are the most prone to failure and many people I have spoken to have at least one dead shoulder switch.

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  8. DPAD, YOU STUPID IDIOT. WHY HAVEN'T YOU INCORPORATED IT YET?

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  9. I think the mode to allow you to drop formatting would be great. Look at Adobe Palm Reader for Palm Pilots, it formats things by taking the text and putting it in a format that is viewable, and easily scrollable. I would kill for that on DS!

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  10. I'm intrigued by your project here, but it isn't useful for what I'm needing it for at the moment. I have a ~4MB HP Notebook Service Guide and am working on disassembling the notebook to de-solder the faulty and re-solder a new power plug (very common issue with all sodding notebooks). The only portable device I have with which to view PDFs is the thing I'm working on, so hoped this would allow me to refer to the guide while I'm working, which is in a location far from either of my desktops. I likely don't have enough ink to print out the 200+ pages, nor would I want to buy that much ink for something I hope I'll never need again. I do have Acrobat Professional, so maybe I can edit it to have only the pages I need, but this may not help...
    As is, I can only view the first page. Trying to merely go to page 2 gives an "out of memory" error or somesuch. Don't know how much usable RAM the DS has, but apparently it's not anywhere close to enough to make a project like this nearly as useful as it ought to be. I do have the M3 DS Real, which I made sure came with a slot-2 card for GBA. This was an absolute must, due to the fact that the GBA still has a much higher percentage of real games (not Generic Minigame Compilation #5982 For Non-Gamers, etc.) than the DS does currently, or likely ever will from the looks of it. Would it be feasible to make your app use the RAM on a Slot-2 card such as this, or would it have to be one of those RAM cards designed for using a web browser? I don't know if there's any difference.

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  11. Oh, and a suggestion for D-Pad usage:
    Have it do both panning AND page changes, by use of a modifier button. Looks like the Y button isn't being used for anything...

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  12. I thank you very much for the iniciative, for this is something I´ve been waiting for some time now.
    In the tests I made, the major problem has to do with memory, for it won´t open pdf made of image pages instead of text (they are much heavier).

    About the view and controls, both directions are very pleasing and the touch scroll is also a must. Perhaps the zoom could benifit of specific commands for "zoom in" and "zoom out". And a help page, telling what does each command would also be welcome.

    A menu with less important commands is also something nice. Those would b:
    -Skip 10 pages foward and back
    -Bookmark a page (erase a bookmark)
    -Toggle between bookmars

    and such useful things...

    If you have the opportunity take a look at the PSP's Book Reader, it's layout and functions are almost all that the PSP can offer and even without the DS's advantage it's very good.

    Lastly, I can help but thank you again, for this project. I'm sure that many other people is as pleased with it as I am.

    Good luck with the development. ^^

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  13. I maintain that that there should be two scrolling modes: smooth and jump. Smooth would be as it is now. Jump would jump a full rectangle over or down with 10% overlap. Jumping off the right side of the page would bring you back to the left hand side, but one block down.

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  14. @brendan: I like the idea, esp the going over then down bit. I'll come out with a list soon of features to be put in 1.5, and this will probably make the list. For now check out the scrolling in 1.4

    @anon: I'm looking into the exram stuff. Check in adobe to see if you can strip out all the image elements, and then you might be in business.

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