[IAEP] Redesigning: Library, Read, Get-Books, and Content bundles

Gary Martin garycmartin at googlemail.com
Tue Jul 20 17:25:31 EDT 2010

On 20 Jul 2010, at 19:33, "Reuben K. Caron" <reuben at laptop.org> wrote:

> There has been a lot of great progress with the Read and Get-Books  
> (IA) activities. However, we have neglected to think about how we can  
> better fit all of these pieces together. For instance, consider  
> deployments that would like to install content bundles. They package  
> these files into .xol packages and these packages get installed into  
> the "Library," which is contained on the left hand side of the Browse  
> activity. Yes, you read that correctly..."the BROWSE activity," an  
> activity intended for online exploration is used to view offline  
> content. Every deployment that I have shown this to has found it very  
> unintuitive. Consider another example: You want to use Get-Books to  
> get a new book. So you open Get-Books search for a book and download  
> the book. But where did it go? I guess one could assume (correctly)  
> that it went to the journal. So you close Get-Books. Go to the  
> Journal. Find the book you downloaded. Open the book (in Read.) IMHO,  
> a series of needless steps.
> So what if we created a "Library Activity"
> The activity would:
> -Open a book from within the activity
> -Highlight and annotate books
> -List all of the books you have downloaded
> -Allow you to search and download additional books from Feed Books,  
> Internet Archive, the XS, etc..
> -List the resources in /home/olpc/Library (so this can be removed from  
> Browse)
> -Allow one to synchronously or asynchronously share a book to their  
> Neighborhood so anyone can download and read it.
> I have filed a bug here if anyone would like to follow it: http://bugs.sugarlabs.org/ticket/2110
> I look forward to hearing your thoughts.

I'm all for keeping activities simple, and then trying to smooth the workflow path when you need to use several in conjunction; however Apple did much as you suggest for their iBooks, a single app that has an epub book shelf, a PDF book shelf, and a store mode for downloading commercial and free ebooks. Read could be extended with a book shelf grid view of all (supported format) books in the Journal, and perhaps integrate download code from one of the get book activities. Would need support from the community as this would make Read harder/larger to maintain...

I'd lean towards improving the Journal with a grid view and background sharing, as it could provide much the same thing for _all_ activities not just books (Alekseys Library was along this vector, as are I think his plans for future Journal). Journal is really in need of love, and a plan, for so long now :)


> Regards,
> Reuben
> _______________________________________________
> IAEP -- It's An Education Project (not a laptop project!)
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