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  Change Log v5.00
Posted by: jim_chapman - 08-17-2023, 06:21 PM - Forum: Discussion - No Replies

The major update to version 5 is now live, and being progressively distributed to Windows and Android users. 

Changes include:

  • Application settings have been overhauled and rationalised, introducing a broad class of settings that allow you to tell the app to extract a value from the book file if provided (with a default if not) or else to override the value from the book with some specific value.
  • Other settings have been renamed or removed, where this makes sense.
  • Legacy mode rendering is removed (but an option is offered to instruct the renderer to use a simplified layout if you need it).
  • Popup ribbons, menus and dialogs now have ‘drag handles’ so you can move them around the screen.  The ‘read aloud’ (etc.) ribbon has been redesigned.
  • Reading page UI has been improved, adding a ‘magnifying glass’ for selected text, and offering additional options for text scrolling and page turning.
  • There is an ‘accessible menu’ mode, in which the book navigation (etc.) tasks can be done using a single menu, and the ribbons are disabled.  The other app pages use a page-level app bar menu for their various tasks.
  • Book synchronisation is entirely reworked, allowing you to tell the app to continuously synchronise reading position, library contents, book sources, bookmarks etc. across multiple devices – or to perform such synchronisation on demand if you prefer.
  • Hyphenation now uses proper hyphenation rules (selected according to the language of the book).
  • CODE and PRE content is now handled more accurately, so that whitespace doesn’t get accidently skipped or wrongly added.
After the update, Freda will display a ‘first run’ popup, and will offer to load your old (version 4) Freda content – this is optional, and if you choose not to load it, Freda will discard the old content, and re-initialise its bookshelf, settings and book sources.  If you do wish to keep your existing Freda content, please be sure to complete this ‘first run’ task when prompted.  If you should, subsequently, want to go through the 'first run' process again, it's available as an option on the 'support' menu.

Impact on the Freda+ app:
For historical reasons, there is a paid-for Freda app (called Freda+) on the Microsoft Store.  That’s not going to be upgraded to version 5, so if you’ve already bought it on the Store, you can continue to use it for as long as you want, though it will not receive further updates and will eventually become obsolete.  If you’re using Freda+ at the moment you should NOT remove it from your device(s), even if you decide to install the new Freda version 5 app.  This is because right now, the Freda app will be unable to recognise the past purchase of Freda+, and it will therefore disable the premium features package.  Within a few weeks, a new capability will be added to Freda (and the old Freda+ app) to connect to the Freda licence server, so as to allow existing users of Freda+ to use Freda's premium features without having to pay for them again - but this capability will not work if Freda+ is no longer installed on any of your devices.

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  Freda and Privacy: (Update for Freda version 5)
Posted by: jim_chapman - 08-17-2023, 05:37 PM - Forum: Discussion - No Replies

Up until now (August 2023) Freda has been advertising supported.  For me, as the app’s author this has become increasingly troublesome:

  • Back in the day, on-line advertising worked like TV and billboard advertising, the business model being ‘I rent out some display space, and in that space the advertiser shows an appealing product description, which may induce the viewer to buy their product’.
  • But that has morphed, over the years, into something much more objectionable – these days it isn’t really ‘advertising’ at all, as I used to understand the word; rather, the app is becoming a conduit for the harvesting and correlating of personal data, for purposes that we mere netizens cannot understand but would probably disapprove of if we did understand them.
  • Assorted initiatives (GDPR for instance) have tried to restrict this data harvesting (or at least make sure it happens only with the subject’s consent) but mainly what they’ve achieved is to make the process more cumbersome, without really making it any less insidious.
So I’ve finally had enough of all that.  Freda is no longer advertising supported.  The app won’t participate in the harvesting and selling of your personal data to anyone.  Instead, Freda is now freemium/nagware: you can use Freda free of charge for as long as you like, and all that will happen is that you see occasional nagging messages, and certain features are restricted.  In the current release, the restrictions are:
  • You can’t create more than ten bookmarks or highlights in one day
  • The read-aloud function will stop at the end of each chapter
  • Automatic sync of book position and other details from one device to another will not be available.
To remove these restrictions, you can buy the ‘premium features’ package.  At present, Freda is available only from the app stores (Microsoft Store and Google Play, with Apple App Store coming soon).  The ‘premium features’ package will be available as an in-app purchase item in these stores.

Within the next few months, I will release a version of the app that’s designed for side-loading – so you can just download an installation file (APK, MSIX or whatever) from Turnipsoft’s website and install it yourself, without using an app store at all.  Licencing for such a Freda setup will be managed via a licence server running on the Azure cloud.  To buy the ‘premium features’ licence for this kind of installation, you’ll need to sign in to OneDrive using Freda, and make a PayPal payment to Turnipsoft.  The OneDrive sign-in is needed to give me a verified email address for the person who bought the licence and – if you should lose or re-install Freda – we can grant you the licence again without you having to pay for it.  One payment (whether on an app store, or via PayPal) will allow you to use Freda on multiple devices (the limit will be about ten devices).
From a privacy perspective, your options will be:
  1. If you’re OK to share your personal details with an app store operator (Microsoft/Google/Apple): download Freda from the app store, and buy the  premium features’ add on if you wish.
  2. If you don’t want to share personal data with an app store operator: download the Freda installer from Turnipsoft’s website.
  3. If you’re willing to share personal data (your OneDrive user name / email) with Turnipsoft, then you can acquire a Freda ‘premium features’ licence, and share it between your devices, by paying me for it (either using PayPal, or via an app store).
  4. If you don’t want to share personal data at all, you can still use Freda, but you won’t be able to use the premium features.
What about existing users of the old (version 4) Freda?
If you’ve been using the old version of Freda for a while, the upgrade process will notice this fact, and will grant you a licence to use the premium features without making any payment.  My reasoning: you’ve already ‘paid’ me by putting up with advertising for some time; it wouldn’t be right to make you pay again.  Note that very recent installations of Freda version 4 will not benefit from this concession, unless you’ve actually paid for the ’no advertising’ feature.

What about existing users of the old (version 4) Freda+ app?
For historical reasons, there is a paid-for Freda app (called Freda+) on the Microsoft Store.  That’s not going to be upgraded to version 5, so if you’ve already bought it on the Store, you can continue to use it for as long as you want, though it will not receive further updates and will eventually become obsolete.  If you’re using Freda+ at the moment you should NOT remove it from your device(s), even if you decide to install the new Freda version 5 app.  This is because right now, the Freda app will be unable to recognise the past purchase of Freda+, and it will therefore disable the premium features package.  Within a few weeks, a new capability will be added to Freda (and the old Freda+ app) to connect to the Freda licence server, so as to allow existing users of Freda+ to use Freda's premium features without having to pay for them again - but this capability will not work if Freda+ is no longer installed on any of your devices.

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  Cycle through highlights in a book
Posted by: fredaz - 08-15-2023, 02:48 PM - Forum: Suggestions - Replies (2)

Hi,

Thanks for Freda. It is wonderful and i use it a lot. I like to highlight sentences and revisit them later. Is there a way to cycle through highlights? As in, go to next or previous highlight.

If not, could you please considering supporting it?

Thank You
fredaz

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  Change Log v4.41
Posted by: jim_chapman - 08-08-2023, 10:38 AM - Forum: Discussion - No Replies

  • Minor bug fixes and updates to the versions of some third party libraries
  • Changes to support the imminent update to Freda version 5
Freda will be updated to version 5 in the coming days.

After the update, Freda will display a ‘first run’ popup, and will offer to load your old (version 4) Freda content – this is optional, and if you choose not to load it, Freda will discard the old content, and re-initialise its bookshelf, settings and book sources. If you do wish to keep your existing Freda content, please be sure to complete this ‘first run’ task when prompted.

Additionally, to reduce the risk of problems you may: (1) using Freda’s backup function, make a backup of your bookshelf and other Freda content to your OneDrive (2) in addition, if you have bookmarks that are important to you, open each book that contains bookmarks, view the bookmark list for that book and then close it again.

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  Problems Saving & Loading
Posted by: drnebula - 08-05-2023, 02:12 AM - Forum: Support - Replies (1)

I've been using Freda for quite a while and it is a wonderful ebook program.  I like using it to read on my PC and then open the books with the accompanying highlights on my tablet for book discussions.  But recently I have run in to a lot of problems getting Freda to work when saving or loading using onedrive.  

I just installed Freda on a new laptop using Win 11.  If I try to set up onedrive I get a message saying "We can't connect to the service right now."  So I save and load by going to the onedrive folder manually. But after loading and saving, I get a lot of books that do not download.  

I've tried to set Freda up with multiple onedrive accounts, reinstalling both onedrive and freda on both the PC and Android tablet.  I've gone into the onedrive folders, both on the PC and the online onedrive folders and tried various things, but none of them have worked.  

I will ask a few questions that might help me to figure out what is going on.  What is the file structure that Freda needs in the onedrive folder.  It seems to be freda/save and then sometimes I see freda/save/books and freda/save/thumbnails.  The folder setup that seems to get close is freda/save where there are bookmarks.xml, library.xml setting.xml, and sources.xml.  An then a directory books where the epub files are stored.  But after working nearly perfectly on a load one time, the next time the books do not download.  If I then place the books in the freda/save folder, the books download but I get a lot of other stuff in the book list.  

I have attached a pic of the file structure that has worked the best.  I had to take a mess of files out of the onedrive folder and clean it up to get this. I've also attached a pic of the error message I get inside Freda on the PC that pops up whenever I try to attach to the onedrive folder.

Any help anyone could give to get Freda back in operation would be much appreciated.  It seems odd to me that there is no good app for reading epubs using cross platform Android and PC.  Freda does it superbly when it works along with a nice interface and lots of notes and highlighting tools.  I would certainly be willing to pay to get such a program.

Thanks in advance.

Steve



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  Unable to Connect to calibre Server Using SSL with Self-Signed Certificate
Posted by: TheKidzKid - 05-23-2023, 04:14 PM - Forum: Support - Replies (2)

Hey All-

I just downloaded Freda and tried to connect it to my established and accessible calibre server and receive an error message rather than a catalog after entering my login info. The message just says "Failed to donwload"... I'm assuming this has something to do with the fact that I'm using a Self-Signed Certificate for SSL. I have no issue reaching my calibre server in a web browser, but I must agree upon first connection to "Proceed" past the security warning because the certificate is not issued by a trusted authority. I believe this is where Freda is failing, but that is only my assumption. Also, I don't believe this should matter, but calibre is running on a non-standard port, which I inserted in the appropriate box in Freda.

The only log file I found at AppData\Local\Packages\5957Turnipsoft.freda_ypmq2qh89vmny\LocalState\Freda only seems to contain one associated entry:
2023-05-23 08:55:01.739: INFO: OpdsCatalogBookSource.Navigate callback: download has failed 'https://calibre.{someDomain}.com:{Port}/opds'

This message doesn't really give much to go by. Just to reiterate, I have no issues accessing the calibre server via a web browser on the same computer as the server, or from other hosts on the network, or even over the Internet. I have tried to connect with Freda from multiple hosts as well, to no avail.

Thanks in advance for your help!

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  Allow hiding the bottom for speed reading
Posted by: nkormanik - 03-11-2023, 08:12 AM - Forum: Suggestions - Replies (1)

I find it distracting to see at bottom the speedreading additional window.

Please allow hiding that.  Just show the page changes in main window.

Hitting the x, as you know, not only closes the speed reading additional window, it also stops the speed reading itself.

Thanks!
Nicholas Kormanik

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  Enhancement Requests
Posted by: nkormanik - 01-04-2023, 10:11 AM - Forum: Suggestions - No Replies

-- Give option to avoid garish green screen at open.  Open straight to document.

-- Give option to define all four margins of document separately:  Top, Bottom, Left, Right.  And allow for plenty of white space there, if user desires such.

-- Like the top competition for best epub reader -- Moon Reader + -- please try to implement auto-next-page scrolling.  Speed can be set on overall scale 1-to-100.  Or, time per page, like, 3 seconds, whatever.

Freda is really a welcome program.  Thanks!

Nicholas Kormanik

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  Export Highlights as Plain Text
Posted by: jbhjbhjbh - 10-24-2022, 11:12 PM - Forum: Support - Replies (1)

Hi,

I'm wondering if there is any way to export highlights as plain text? I can only seem to export it as a table with formatting. 

I export of my book notes to edit them later and that's almost impossible to do with a lot of notes in the current format it's exported as. Would be very helpful if there was a way to do this.

Many thanks

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  Offline Dictionary?
Posted by: midas32 - 09-20-2022, 02:56 PM - Forum: Support - Replies (2)

Hi Jim,

I know that the Freda Windows app is supposed to have good integration with Perfect Dictionary from the Microsoft Store. Unfortunately, Perfect Dictionary seems to be abandoned and unsupported, and for new users it is impossible to download dictionary files due to errors within the app.

Other than Perfect Dictionary, are you aware of any other offline dictionaries that integrates well with Freda on Windows?

Thanks.

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