[Server-devel] [XSCE] End User Documentation / Basic Setup Guide / How to upload PDFs etc

Anna aschoolf at gmail.com
Sun Nov 17 23:16:37 EST 2013

If possible, deploy epubs rather than pdfs.

You can always convert an epub to a pdf.  You can't easily do it the other
way round.  Go ahead and search, the pdf format is a bane for people who
use ereaders.

Also, epubs open from the Journal in the Read Activity, where kids can use
bookmarks.  PDFs open in Browse and there's no bookmarking mechanism.  So
you're halfway through a PDF, shut down your XO for the day, then the next
morning open the PDF back up and have to scroll to where you left off.  Not

On Sun, Nov 17, 2013 at 8:38 PM, Curt Thompson <curtathompson at gmail.com>wrote:

> In the short term, I just followed Anna's suggestion and put the PDFs in
> a directory I made "/var/www/html/science".  I tested it out with the
> Browse activity in the XO-1 James is lending me as a client and it seems
> to work relatively well - opens in-browser, which is nice.
> Not super fast but the images/text load up within a few seconds and it's
> scrollable with the buttons near the monitor (once you click inside the
> PDF).  I'm considering whether it's worth it to extract each page as an
> image and convert all these PDFs into essentially an HTML-based "e-book"
> to make it more responsive.
> In the long term, I'd like to be able to train teachers in how to add
> content.  If we can send them a USB stick with PDFs, for example, it'd
> be nice for them to be able to simply copy it into place and enjoy the
> updated content.  Would this be the case once I got Pathagar set up and
> working?
> I'll also work on documentation when I can.  I started to write setup
> documentation but the online install info on the wiki is pretty good.
> What's missing (in my humble opinion) is what to do with XSCE once it's
> up and running.  I'll try to make some time to document the things I
> learn as I go.
> Thanks for the help
> On 11/17/2013 12:05 PM, Sameer Verma wrote:
> > On Sat, Nov 16, 2013 at 8:15 PM, Anna <aschoolf at gmail.com> wrote:
> >> Pathagar is still a work in progress.  I'm not sure if it can handle
> pdfs,
> >> though.  Last I saw, it was just epubs.
> >>
> > By design, Pathagar will serve *any* kind of file. The file serving is
> > done via HTTP (Can be apache, nginx, or lighttpd, etc). Here is an
> > example of PDF: and here's an
> > example of epub: Pathagar itself
> > doesn't care about the file format, as long as the http server has a
> > way (MIME) to handle it. As far as the Pathagar software itself is
> > concerned, there are no showstopping bugs that I know of.
> >
> > A couple of notes on the *installation* of Pathagar, where we do have
> > a bunch of problems:
> >
> > 1) The *current* version of Pathagar is borked. I haven't gone back to
> > see where it fails or how, but there should be a prior version that
> > works. There is also a version (patch) that apparently fixes the book
> > edit and upload problem. I have not tested it. I hope someone else can
> > take a look?
> >
> > https://github.com/PathagarBooks/pathagar/issues
> >
> > 2) There seem to be multiple deployment approaches. We have PIP, RPM,
> > fabric, and the good old way of installing and configuring by hand
> > (which is what I follow, because I haven't had the time to test the
> > other methods). At the OLPC SF Summit, Jerry told me that they have
> > the RPM part addressed, but the current bug (cannot add/edit books)
> > gets in the way.
> >
> > Hopefully the latest patch can address these things.
> >
> >> For your immediate purposes, I'd suggest `mkdir /var/www/html/science`
> and
> >> put the pdfs there.  Then clients can go to http://schoolserver/scienceto
> >> download them.
> >>
> >> Anna
> >>
> >>
> >> On Sat, Nov 16, 2013 at 10:05 PM, Curt Thompson <
> curtathompson at gmail.com>
> >> wrote:
> >>> So I've been tinkering around XSCE School Server for a while now - I
> >>> have it set up with Internet-in-a-box via USB drive and I spent a while
> >>> trying to get my laptop to work as AP/server.
> >>>
> >>> I've also been poking around looking for basic setup info.  In
> >>> particular, I'm trying to upload these ~36 Science Textbook PDFs and
> I'm
> >>> not sure where to put them, if I should just be copying them to some
> >>> directory (etc/Moodle or etc/pathagar or /library/pathagar/media?) or
> >>> uploading them via one of these systems.  Any advice on which method is
> >>> best?
> >>>
> >>> I've looked around the Wiki but I can't find anything like a basic
> setup
> >>> guide (such as a reference that could be used by teachers, students,
> >>> and/or volunteers in the field.)  Is there such a guide?
> >>
> >
> >
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