Posts Tagged ‘GnuBook’

New Right-to-Left Capability in Book Reader

By mary murrell

Nearly 11,000 Yiddish books (half of all Yiddish books ever published) recently went online through the Internet Archive in cooperation with the National Yiddish Book Center‘s Steven Spielberg Digital Yiddish Library. As part of this project, we’ve upgraded the Internet Archive Book Reader to support the right-to-left page progression of Yiddish books. Here is an example.

We’ll be working to adjust the metadata of our books from other right-to-left languages, such as Arabic, Hebrew, Urdu, and others, so that they will work in the book reader, too.

Although the book reader is now available to view only through archive.org, we are working to bring the book reader to openlibrary.org as well. Stay tuned!

OLPC Bookreader Demonstration

By webchick

Open Library recently launched a web demonstration designed to illustrate how Internet Archive book collections can be viewed on the OLPC XO Laptop.

We invite you to take a look!

It is still in the early stages, and is built on open source software using an embeddable AJAX reader and a software component known as Carousel which scrolls through the collection of books on the right.

We would like to have feedback on how to improve the user experience of this demonstration and its underlying components for users of the OLPC XO and Open Library.

There are a few known bugs in the collections (i.e., Carousel) navigation:

  • A user cannot quickly scroll to the top and bottom of the collection
  • A user cannot view multiple collections, and sub-collections, or filter book selections on a variable such as author or subject
  • More books should be revealed in the collections carousel on screen rotate
  • Book titles should be truncated so they do not break into two lines (this interferes with the viewable area of the carousel)

At this time, it is not fully functional in tablet mode on the XO yet – this has dependencies on the GnuBook reader (the embeddable reader that enables scrolling through the individual book pages). We need it to:

  • Respond to the arrow keys when in tablet mode (book and collection navigation)
  • The book should zoom to fit width in the book viewable area
  • A two-page view on default is preferable to a single page view

We created an OLPC bundle for browsing books offline on the XO. It currently contains 5 books, and uses low resolution images to improve download speed:

Demo: http://openlibrary.org/static/olpc_bundle/openlibrary/
Bundle: http://openlibrary.org/static/olpc_bundle/openlibrary.xol

We encourage anyone interested in these two projects to help betatest the software components. The primary focus is on GnuBook:

Documentation: http://openlibrary.org/dev/docs/bookreader
Bug Tracker: https://bugs.launchpad.net/gnubook/
Source Code: http://github.com/openlibrary/bookreader/tree/master

We also have a demonstration of the GnuBook reader without the Carousel navigation here.

Enjoy! (And be sure to check out a 2008 Google Summer of Code project for a Sugar app book viewer by Aleksander Kalev!)