[Bookreader] Annotations is read activity

Andreas Gros info at andreasgros.net
Fri Nov 20 14:42:44 EST 2009


On 20.11.2009 20:04, Sayamindu Dasgupta wrote:
> On Sat, Nov 21, 2009 at 12:04 AM, Andreas Gros<info at andreasgros.net>  wrote:
>> dear all,
>> about annotations in ebooks/pdfs:
>> what do you think would be the best place to integrate that?
>> there's one option of integrating annotations into evince (option 1) and
>> one option of integrating that into the read activity itself as a module
>> (option 2). are there more?
>> as we want to exchange annotations and comments we need (for both
>> options) some standard format for doing so (preferably some xml flavor).
>> did you have something in mind already?
>> now about the options:
>> option 1:
>> pros:
>> - larger community support because also the gnome folks want to do
>> something in this direction [1]
>> - possibly easier of integration of the annotations into the "work" (pdf
>> or ebook)
>> cons:
>> - solution gets locked in into evince
>> - evince also needs to get a "give me your/take these annotation data"
>> interface so that annotations can be exchanged
>> - one has to get into the evince development process
>> option 2:
>> pros:
>> - possibly easier development -- as python could be used; e.g. use
>> something like a SVG python rendering engine on a "glass layer" on top
>> of the actual "work" (pdf/ebook) to implement that; so that annotations
>> and comments can become independent of the "work" and can be shared
>> easily but maintain a spatial reference to the actual text they refer
>> to; SVG could then still be integrated into the PDF in one of its
>> metadata fields (needs to be tested).
>> -SVG could also serve as an exchange format directly
>> cons:
>> - have to implement some assurance mechanism that the annotations
>> actually apply to a certain manifestation of a work as once annotations
>> become rather independent from a manifestation of that work they tend to
>> live a life of their own.
>> - text highlighting becomes rather difficult as a spatial reference to
>> the line of text in the manifestation needs to be established, for which
>> one would have to interface with evince again.
>> please feel free to send your input on this. i also would like to put
>> this on some wiki or another. is there a good place for doing so? the
>> last input on this one: http://wiki.laptop.org/go/Read, has been given
>> some time ago.
>> thanks a lot!
> Hmm - I just sent a reply to you on the other thread :-). As for
> format - we are currently storing annotations into sqlite databases
> (the reason being that I want to make it easier later on to search
> through annotations, and at that moment, using sqlite seemed to be the
> best choice). Your thoughts about a SVG layer sounds promising, but it
> may be tricky to implement, given various zoom-levels, reflowing text,
> etc etc.
Yes, that's a good point!

> One semi-crazy idea of mine was to allow editable ebooks (at least for
> EPUB). That is actually quite easily done. I see editing support as
> "annotation on steriods" (you can highlight, italicize, insert your
> own comments at random positions, etc etc) - and of course, I would
> have also made sure that there was a way to rollback to the original
> pristine edition of the ebook if one wanted to.
Sounds very good to me :-) (we still need a good system for integrating 
comments that do not obstruct the text in an annoying way, as I think it 
would be good to maintain the underlying text in its original form (you 
can easier work with it that way, I think)).

  I just discovered the git repository of the read activity 
(http://git.sugarlabs.org/projects/read/repos/mainline -- i guess you 
are talking about the "mainline") and cloned it on my machine and will 
look into the code there.

Thanks a lot!

> Thanks,
> Sayamindu
> PS: Regarding the wiki - I think we should use
> http://wiki.sugarlabs.org/go/Activities/Read as much as possible. Much
> of the relevant sugar and sugar activity related information has
> already been migrated to wiki.sugarlabs.org, and I think maintaining
> the wiki.laptop.org/Read page would just add to the confusion.

Dr. Andreas Gros
Pettenkoferstr. 23
80336 München

More information about the Bookreader mailing list