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One problem and five suggestions - Printable Version

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One problem and five suggestions - fredafan - 06-15-2020

Hello! Sorry for my English.

First of all, I want to say thanks to the entire development team and those who help to develop Freda! I have been using freda on a tablet with Windows 10 x64 for several years now, I switched from another program where there was a stupid restriction on the maximum font size (max 35pt, not enough for me) and not enough settings. I liked Freda instantly!

I want to report on one problem (№ 1) and offer some ideas. Current version is 4.33 UWP.

1. When reading books in fb2 several times I came across the fact that freda does not display text inside certain tags, for example:
Code:
<poem>
<stanza>
<v>text in these tags is not displayed</v>
</stanza>
</poem>
Probably some kind of filtering of unknown tags? Can you add <v> tags to the list of allowed ones and, for example, highlight them in italics?

2. In the settings parameter "page change motion", can you add an option for completely disable animation? Now I have selected option "none" that disables the animation with a single tap on the edges of the screen, but does not disable it when swapping right-left, up-down. Because of this, I can’t hold the tablet in my left hand and flip pages forward (animation interferes). I know that without animation there will be no visual change of pages, but I tried this method in another app and quickly got used to it.

3. In the process of reading a book, I sometimes get distracted to find out the current reading progress or current time (I have to call up the Windows taskbar). It would be nice to always see this information.
Now freda allows me to fix the area with the name of the book and the current position ("Ch. X / y, Pg. X / y") however I do not activate this function because
a) the area takes up extra space (reduces the number of lines of text in the book by one). I would like to see this area in the inside of the fields (which are set in the settings "border height").
b) The area cannot be customized according to the content. For example, I do not need the title of the book (I would prefer to remove the first line because the landscape option is selected and there are a lot of horizontal places), but the current reading progress and the clock would be very useful, maybe in the future it will be possible to add new useful parameters, for example, the battery charge.
c) The area cannot be customized by design, I would like to make it minimally noticeable (not distracting from reading): remove the background, change the color and font size.

Perhaps you will answer that in the settings there is a function "page number style", which adds information at the bottom of the page. I do not activate it because the number of lines of text is also reduced, and the font is the same as the main text (I have a fairly large 50pt).

4. Add the ability to disable the selection of text in the settings or fix the activation method. I never use text selection, but while reading when changing pages with a swipe left-right, the selection is often activated and very distracting. Although it seemed to me that it should be activated only after a long tap on the word.

5. Text search function. I would like to save old search queries (at least 5-10) so that I would not have to re-enter.

6. Function "Speed read". I am not a fan of this way of reading, but I tried it a couple of times and it seems to me that the original text in the background is not needed (because all attention is focused on the area at the bottom) and it would be better to stretch the bottom area to the entire screen, center the words and significantly increase font size (or add a second range element to select the font size)


RE: One problem and five suggestions - jim_chapman - 06-15-2020

Hi, and thank you for your suggestions.

Concerning FB2 'v' elements within a poem, indeed, there was a bug that meant those tags weren't parsed right.  I've fixed the code, and it should work better after the next update (within a week, I hope).  More generally, FB2 support in Freda is a problem (ever since they made a bunch of breaking changes to the FB2 spec).  The old FB2 spec was backward-compatible, in the sense that even if they added new tags that Freda did not understand, the words would still show up on the page (though maybe missing some formatting). The new spec doesn't work like that, and I have a nasty suspicion that the owners of the FB2 standard did this deliberately, to make it harder for competing ebook reader apps to stay compatible :-) !  Anyhow, the FB2 format does seem to be dying out - for best results, I'd recommend you to use Calibre to convert your FB2 books to EPUB.

Regarding your other suggestions, I'll add them to the list. To address them in turn:
2: is complicated for two reasons: firstly, actually coming up with the right setting name and description for this feature is not trivial.  It's not really 'disable animations' because you're also wanting to disable the behaviour "drag the page half way down and leave it there" - which allows the user to see the bottom of this page and the top of the next, on the same screen.  It's more "disable manual scrolling" and that's a bit hard to explain.  Secondly, the way that Freda detects a 'page flick' motion is the same as the way it detects 'manual scrolling', so adding code to detect 'page flick' would not be simple.  It's doable, but not simple ... and that's why I have not done it yet.
3: it's going to be very hard to provide all the customisation options that anyone could ever want, unless I actually implement a completely general 'language' for defining what content someone wants to see in (1) the page info ribbon (2) the page number area on the page.  It is on my 'to do' list, but getting it right won't be simple.
4: The setting 'swipe to' on the controls screen should do what you need, when set to 'change page'.  Is it not working?
5: It's on the to-do list.
6: You can increase the font size of the speed read text by increasing Freda's font size.  Allowing the user to separately customise the size of the speed-read text is on my to-do list.


RE: One problem and five suggestions - fredafan - 06-16-2020

Thanks for the quick reply! I am very pleased to see your feedback and that the Freda continues to be updated periodically!