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Full Version: Can I open multiple books at the same time, or run more than one copy of Freda?
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I often read the same book in two or more languages at the same time, side by side. In Windows, I can do that using Firefox, Calibre, or Edge (you just tile the multiple windows side by side)B ut I want to use Freda because it has better features than those other options.

So: Is there any way in Freda to open more than one book at the same time or to run more than one copy of Freda simultaneously? If not, please consider adding that ability.

It's crazy to me that nobody seems to support this basic functionality--not Adobe DE, not Kindle, not Kobo--when most serious Windows applications, of all sorts, permit you to have multiple files open at the same time.

Thank you,
Steve
(01-10-2019, 05:28 PM)Hamilton Burger Wrote: [ -> ]I often read the same book in two or more languages at the same time, side by side. In Windows, I can do that using Firefox, Calibre, or Edge (you just tile the multiple windows side by side)B  ut I want to use Freda because it has better features than those other options.

So: Is there any way in Freda to open more than one book at the same time or to run more than one copy of Freda simultaneously? If not, please consider adding that ability.

It's crazy to me that nobody seems to support this basic functionality--not Adobe DE, not Kindle, not Kobo--when most serious Windows applications, of all sorts, permit you to have multiple files open at the same time.

Thank you,
Steve

Opening multiple copies (instances) of the same app in Windows 10 has historically been problematic - specifically, it used not to work for 'Windows Universal Apps' (the type of app that is designed to be installed from the Windows Store).  A recent update to Windows (1803) does make it possible for apps to support it, and it is on my 'to do' list for Freda development in the coming months.  It will take a while because (1) I need to wait until most of my users are updated to 1803 (2) application activation is a tricky process, and changing the way that it works could break many things (for instance, OneDrive and DropBox sign-in, the 'position sync' logic, saving and restoring content, writing the log file ... ).

So it is on the list, and I will be looking at it ... but do not expect immediate results.
(01-11-2019, 12:52 PM)jim_chapman Wrote: [ -> ]
(01-10-2019, 05:28 PM)Hamilton Burger Wrote: [ -> ]I often read the same book in two or more languages at the same time, side by side. In Windows, I can do that using Firefox, Calibre, or Edge (you just tile the multiple windows side by side). But I want to use Freda because it has better features than those other options.

So: Is there any way in Freda to open more than one book at the same time or to run more than one copy of Freda simultaneously? If not, please consider adding that ability.

It's crazy to me that nobody seems to support this basic functionality--not Adobe DE, not Kindle, not Kobo--when most serious Windows applications, of all sorts, permit you to have multiple files open at the same time.

Thank you,
Steve

Opening multiple copies (instances) of the same app in Windows 10 has historically been problematic - specifically, it used not to work for 'Windows Universal Apps' (the type of app that is designed to be installed from the Windows Store).  A recent update to Windows (1803) does make it possible for apps to support it, and it is on my 'to do' list for Freda development in the coming months.  It will take a while because (1) I need to wait until most of my users are updated to 1803 (2) application activation is a tricky process, and changing the way that it works could break many things (for instance, OneDrive and DropBox sign-in, the 'position sync' logic, saving and restoring content, writing the log file ... ).

So it is on the list, and I will be looking at it ... but do not expect immediate results.
Great to hear that you're working towards a solution.

The UWP multiple-instance issues sound nasty, but what about multiple windows within a single instance of Freda? On cursory search I found this example of a multiple-file, multiple-window UWP app that was last updated in 2017, so pre the 1803 release: https://www.microsoft.com/store/productId/9NBLGGH51JPM


I may be barking up the wrong tree with this example--I bet it's some sort of UWP wrapper around a standard application--but at least it suggests that multiple windows, each with its own file, might be possible. That app's interface is crude but workable, and if Freda did just that much I'd be happy and quite willing to set up my own 'tiled window experience.' But if Freda displayed child windows without their own toolbars and provided control of their arrangement on the screen, well that would be fantastic. I'd be glad to make more detailed suggestions and to do testing.

[I'm currently reading in parallel three different English translations of Freud's Interpretation of Dreams, plus translations in two other languages (but not in the original German, since I have none). On a larger screen I can achieve side-by-side views of all of these versions in calibre and in browsers, but only pretty crudely.]

Thanks very much for your work and for being so responsive.
(01-11-2019, 04:18 PM)Hamilton Burger Wrote: [ -> ]Great to hear that you're working towards a solution.

The UWP multiple-instance issues sound nasty, but what about multiple windows within a single instance of Freda? On cursory search I found this example of a multiple-file, multiple-window UWP app that was last updated in 2017, so pre the 1803 release: https://www.microsoft.com/store/productId/9NBLGGH51JPM


I may be barking up the wrong tree with this example--I bet it's some sort of UWP wrapper around a standard application--but at least it suggests that multiple windows, each with its own file, might be possible. That app's interface is crude but workable, and if Freda did just that much I'd be happy and quite willing to set up my own 'tiled window experience.' But if Freda displayed child windows without their own toolbars and provided control of their arrangement on the screen, well that would be fantastic. I'd be glad to make more detailed suggestions and to do testing.

[I'm currently reading in parallel three different English translations of Freud's Interpretation of Dreams, plus translations in two other languages (but not in the original German, since I have none). On a larger screen I can achieve side-by-side views of all of these versions in calibre and in browsers, but only pretty crudely.]

Thanks very much for your work and for being so responsive.

Yes, I have thought also about a Freda implementation that could have multiple reader windows open simultaneously.  The problem is that Freda was built initially for phone and tablet, and so its design is very much centred on having a single 'page stack' - where there is only ever one page on top at any time, and all user interaction happens via that page.  A different UI organisation would mean I had to completely re-think the way that one navigates through the app's functions.  It's not impossible, but it is painful.  And I still have to address the same issue as with the 'UWP multiple instance' setup - namely that I now have multiple separate UIs that need to update, and be updated by, the same single shared underlying Freda database.

I am working on it, but I don't expect quick results.

As a work-around, I can point out that there are actually four quite separate Freda apps that you could install individually and run together at the same time:
  1. Freda (the orginal one)
  2. Freda+ (you'd have to pay 99 cents or so for this one)
  3. Freda-Chinese (it used to be a different app, providing specific support for Asian fonts, but these days there is no difference between it and regular Freda, except that it's a separate distinct install
  4. Freda on Android (which is of course only for Android devices, but if you were so minded you could install BlueStacks on your PC, and that would give you a way to run Android apps on the PC - I have tried it with Freda and it does basically work)
(01-11-2019, 04:49 PM)jim_chapman Wrote: [ -> ]
(01-11-2019, 04:18 PM)Hamilton Burger Wrote: [ -> ]Great to hear that you're working towards a solution.

The UWP multiple-instance issues sound nasty, but what about multiple windows within a single instance of Freda? On cursory search I found this example of a multiple-file, multiple-window UWP app that was last updated in 2017, so pre the 1803 release: https://www.microsoft.com/store/productId/9NBLGGH51JPM


I may be barking up the wrong tree with this example--I bet it's some sort of UWP wrapper around a standard application--but at least it suggests that multiple windows, each with its own file, might be possible. That app's interface is crude but workable, and if Freda did just that much I'd be happy and quite willing to set up my own 'tiled window experience.' But if Freda displayed child windows without their own toolbars and provided control of their arrangement on the screen, well that would be fantastic. I'd be glad to make more detailed suggestions and to do testing.

[I'm currently reading in parallel three different English translations of Freud's Interpretation of Dreams, plus translations in two other languages (but not in the original German, since I have none). On a larger screen I can achieve side-by-side views of all of these versions in calibre and in browsers, but only pretty crudely.]

Thanks very much for your work and for being so responsive.

Yes, I have thought also about a Freda implementation that could have multiple reader windows open simultaneously.  The problem is that Freda was built initially for phone and tablet, and so its design is very much centred on having a single 'page stack' - where there is only ever one page on top at any time, and all user interaction happens via that page.  A different UI organisation would mean I had to completely re-think the way that one navigates through the app's functions.  It's not impossible, but it is painful.  And I still have to address the same issue as with the 'UWP multiple instance' setup - namely that I now have multiple separate UIs that need to update, and be updated by, the same single shared underlying Freda database.

I am working on it, but I don't expect quick results.

As a work-around, I can point out that there are actually four quite separate Freda apps that you could install individually and run together at the same time:
  1. Freda (the orginal one)
  2. Freda+ (you'd have to pay 99 cents or so for this one)
  3. Freda-Chinese (it used to be a different app, providing specific support for Asian fonts, but these days there is no difference between it and regular Freda, except that it's a separate distinct install
  4. Freda on Android (which is of course only for Android devices, but if you were so minded you could install BlueStacks on your PC, and that would give you a way to run Android apps on the PC - I have tried it with Freda and it does basically work)

Thanks for the clever suggestions. I don't know about the Android bit but I already have both versions of English Freda, so next comes the Chinese one--is it being updated? If I tile up Freda x 3 with a Kindle window I'll be pretty close.

As for the pain involved in changing the application I'm entirely understanding, and I recognize that you may decide it's too much work.

Since I first wrote to you on this subject I've found I think three other ereaders that do support multiple files open at the same time, but none of them are really any good for parallel reading, their dictionary look-ups are sketchy to non-existent, and none have Freda's coolness. They do serve as proof of concept: they save space with just one menu/toolbar set functioning across all books, and with a single navigation interface that refreshes whenever you switch books to show that book's TOC, and it's very easy to bounce around among the books.

As for users on smaller devices, for what it's worth, even on a smallish Windows tablet I've wanted to split the screen to read ebooks in parallel, and thought it would be practical. And I suspect that were Freda available on iOS I'd be wanting to open multiple books at once on my iPhone, sliding from one to the next with some modified gesture not used for turning pages.

If you do pursue this effort, perhaps the multiple-window thing should be a separate mode only activated at the user's request, so that 'regular' readers would never have to deal with the alternative setup.

Finally, on the details side, I might as well get in one suggestion for the ideal implementation: the ability to switch back and forth between tabbed and tiled windows when more than one book is open, so that you can focus on one or read two or more side by side as circumstances require. Well, a related suggestion: the ability to open the same book in two different windows. And of course shortcuts/gestures to swith between books. I see why you're expecting pain.