[Bookreader] [ANNOUNCE] Get Books Activity 3, now with SneakerNet/ChappalNet support

Sayamindu Dasgupta sayamindu at gmail.com
Thu Nov 5 17:56:07 EST 2009

Get Books Activity is a friendly fork of Jim Simmon's Get Internet
Archive Books activity and it allows Sugar users to search for and
download Ebooks from various sources. One of the major points of
concern for many was this activity required Internet access, and I
have tried to address that issue with this release.

The activity can now access catalogs in removable devices (pen drives,
etc) and lets the user search through these catalogs. A removable
device with a catalog will show up in the list of sources from which
the books can be downloaded/copied. Utilizing this feature, one will
be able to copy thousands of ebooks in a pen-drive, put a catalog file
(catalog.xml) in the root[1] directory of the device, and send it to
bandwidth starved areas. (think of a library on a stick ;-)

Apart from the above features, this release also has some subtle
changes in the behavior which will hopefully make the overall use
experience better. (for example, changing the source in the middle of
a search will trigger a new search within the new selected source)

I do not consider this release to be stable, so I have not uploaded it
to ASLO yet (I had to do a lot more refactoring that I would have
liked to get the removable device support working). To download the
activity (it should work with Sucrose 0.82 upwards), follow the link:

To test the removable device support, in a USB drive, unzip
http://dev.laptop.org/~sayamindu/books_on_a_stick.zip [2] (make sure
that the catalog.xml file stays in the toplevel directory of the
drive), and plug the USB drive in wherever you are running Sugar. Get
Books is _supposed_ to detect removable devices as and when they are
plugged in/removed, but if your device does not show up, try
restarting the activity before trying anything else.


[1] Of course, manually cataloging thousands of books is a PITA, so I
will soon release something like the Fedora LiveCD script - which will
let you choose a directory of EPUB files and a USB disk, and generate
the catalog, as well as convert the EPUBs to PDFs (with the
corresponding linking in the catalog) so that older builds can read
the files.

[2] After uploading the zip I realized that the PDFs in the zip might
be a bit too heavy for the XO and similar machines - apologies for
that. The Epubs work fine on XO-1.5 and newer versions of Sugar

[3] Chappal, in case you are wondering is the South Asian generic term
for flip-flops/sandals. I hate wearing sneakers :-)

Sayamindu Dasgupta

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