Saturday, October 13, 2012

v1.1, text selection and dictionary integration (finally!)

Hi guys,

    Long time no see! A lot things has happened since my last post, and we're almost crossing 10,000 downloads now, and it's only been a month from the 0.1 beta release. What a month!

    It's been a while since we have a major version update. Today, I think it's time to do just that. So here it is, version 1.1, with the hardest feature I've ever done since 0.1 beta: text selection. And when you got text selection, it also means you got the long waited dictionary integration as well.

    Trust me, text selection is easier said than done. It's mainly because Fabrik use its own text render engine, which means I cannot simply use the text selection feature that comes with android. I had to re-implement the whole stuff (and maybe I don't need to? please let me know if you got a better idea). And that's a lot of calculation, a lot of scenario to consider and a lot of code. It's more or less working now, but definitely not stable. Yet I really want you guys to have this feature as soon as it's available (buggy than nothing I think). So please consider this feature experimental, and let me know if you saw any bug so I can improve it.

    Text selection looks like the screenshots above, when you long hold on a word, it gets highlighted, and you got two handles to drag around to change the selected area. And as you can see, a popup panel with three buttons will show up when you select some text. The first button is the search button, which will try to search whatever you selected. And if you got ColorDict (a nice free dictionary app) installed on your device, the search button will bring up ColorDict, otherwise it'll just start googling. The share button is for sharing, obviously. If you read some great paragraph that you wanted to share with your friends, just select them and client the share button. The last button will copy whatever you selected to clipboard, I'm sure you know how that works.

    Alright, let's stop here. I really need to head out and get some fresh air now. Enjoy your quality reading time!



  1. Nice feature, I will try it.

    I like this app, it's a great idea to sync books with dropbox, but I would like to ask for a feature: It would be nice if we could group the books in 3 "tabs", for example, "Readed/Reading/Not readed". It's difficult to manage a big library.

    Very good job!

  2. Very neat selection feature, I've been waiting for it. If I may suggest my two cents that may not be that hard to implement: I'd love to see the string truncated, i. e. the commas, question marks etc. removed before dictionary lookup.Also, would be nice if popup buttons disappeared after hitting back key in the dictionary and it went to the reading mode. I wouldn't mind seeing an option to bring up dictionary after long tap too. Then I'd definitely switch to your app for sure)) keep up good work and many thanks for your wonderful app!

  3. Very nice app. And now my idea:
    Usually epub files have quite long names (name, surname - the title of the book.epub - at least that's how I got my epubs). In main Fabrik "shelf" view the book has 2 rows of metadata. How about splitting in 3 (first row - the name of the book, second - the author and 3rd the reading progression). Maybe implementing a template of the file name (something like what is before - to be the name and go to second line, what is after the - the title to go to the first line).

    1. If you wanted to go further than this, you could look into supporting metadata files. For example, my Calibre library is synced to Dropbox - each book is in it's own folder, with a cover.jpg and a metadata.opf, which is a simple XML format. You could look to see if the book is the only one in a folder and use these files, or if there are multiple than use any .jpg and .opf files that have the same name as the book.

  4. I use your app almost every day. I'm very satisfied. I've got one request: could you please add the possibility to let a new chapter begin at a new page. I would be very delightful.

  5. Hey, just wanted to give you some positive feedback. Found Fabrik through and Android Police review and I'm loving it. I'm holding out to uninstall Aldiko till you have more sorting options on the main page though. I have over a hundred books I keep synced, so I need some folders and options to sort and rename books. Amazing design though. Can't wait for this to be my daily driver for books.

  6. Hi Eric

    Loving Fabrik, especially with the more recent updates. I have one suggestion I'd like to see implemented.

    I'd like to have the ability to tell Fabrik to only sync booklist.fabrik automatically - this way, Fabrik doesn't have to look through my giant library every time I open the application or close a book. If this option is enabled, an extra button or menu option could be added to sync everything manually. It can take a couple of minutes with my library (or longer if not on WiFi).

    Other than that, the app is perfect in my mind since you added the search ability.

    Thanks, and keep up the good work.

  7. Hello, I like Fabrik a much, and find it one of the best reader I've used. The only problem, quite serious is, that it happens very often that paragraph has been eaten by it. I mostly read .epub books. After change of page forward and backwards the missing paragraph appears in correct position. please repair that issue.

  8. Really nice!! Congratulations!

    And a highlight function or dictionary integration? Any perspective?