ILiad FBReader

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[edit] Update

There is now available an installer for the 0.10.7 version (latest as at 2009-06-11) of FBReader. see

This version uses xepdmgr, and has only a few tweaks to make it more usable on the iliad, It brings a lot of updates to CSS and table support in various formats.

[edit] Introduction


FBReader is an e-book reader for Linux/Windows XP computers.

Main features:

  • Supported formats are
    • ePub format
    • fb2 e-book format (style attributes are not supported yet).
    • HTML format (tables are not supported).
    • CHM format (tables are not supported).
    • plucker format (embedded images are supported, tables are not supported).
    • Palmdoc (aportis doc).
    • zTxt (Weasel format).
    • TCR (psion text) format.
    • RTF format (stylesheets and tables are not supported).
    • OEB format (css and tables are not supported).
    • OpenReader format (css and tables are not supported).
    • mobipocket format (only non-DRM'ed, tables are not supported).
    • Plain text format.
  • Direct reading from tar, zip, gzip and bzip2 archives. (Multiple books in one archive are supported.)
  • Supported encodings: utf-8, us-ascii, windows-1251, windows-1252, koi8-r, ibm866, iso-8859-*, Big5, GBK. Automatic encoding detection is supported.
  • Automatically generated contents table.
  • Embedded images support.
  • Footnotes/hyperlinks support.
  • Position indicator.
  • Keeps the last open book and the last read positions for all opened books between runs.
  • List of last opened books.
  • Automatic hyphenations. Liang's algorithm is used. The same algorithm is used in TeX, and TeX hyphenation patterns are used in FBReader. Patterns for Czech, English, Esperanto, French, German and Russian are included in the current version.
  • Text search.
  • Full-screen mode.
  • Screen rotation by 90, 180 and 270 degrees.

The (very slightly modified) sources I used to create the project can be found here.

[edit] Known Issues

Known Problems:

  1. The first time you use the page bar, it may not respond. Simply press it again and it will work.

(Well, this info should be wrong. I don't have the problem.)

  1. You will need to use the close soft-button in the upper right to exit. If you press one of the News, Books, Docs, Notes, hardware buttons, FBReader will be hidden in the background and continue running. You will need to close it through a shell, or restart for it to be closed.

(That's not the problem of FBReader. Those four buttons are reserved by ContentLister.)

  1. Sometimes the screen may not refresh as expected. Simply tap a black area of the screen with the stylus to force a refresh. You may also edit the iliad_refresh.conf file to change refresh settings.

(I don't have the problem. Besides, editing iliad_refresh.conf will not do anything good, since it's useless when xepdmgr is used.)

  1. The directory "Programs" (case sensitive) must exist in the root directory of the card before installing FBReader. Otherwise, the install will succeed but will silently fail to list FBReader in any sort of menu.

(The creator of the installation package should edit his script to do a mkdir "/media/card/Programs".)

  1. You will need a shell access package installed to launch the program.

(This is not a issue or known problem. Getting shell access is the prerequisite for installing 3rd party software on iLiad.)

[edit] Installation

There are 2 types of installation that can be performed.

The easiest, and safest method, is the standalone installation. With this method, you will simply copy the program to your memory card. From there, you will have to open the program, and then browse to the document you wish to open.

The second method, involves editing files within your filesystem. This is relatively safe with firmware 2.11 and it will allow you to open the normally unsupported files from within the contentlister after it is installed. This allows for a much more seamless installation with the iLiad.

[edit] Standalone Installation

  1. Download the zip file on your PC or Mac. (See also fbreader-0.10.7 Standalone Installer)
  2. unzip it.
  3. copy the directory to the iLiad's CF or MMC card.
  4. Create a directory called Programs on the card
  5. Hit the iLiad's device manager key and you can select it under the CF/MMC card.
  6. The first time it runs it will automatically copy some iLiad specific settings
  7. From them on you can launch it from the Programs directory.

Installation to main memory is not recommended. Also, you may need to reboot after the first use.

By default FBReader uses the same set of icons on all devices, but they were not designed for a gray scale display. An alternative set of Monochrome icons, better suited to the iLiad, can also be downloaded.

[edit] Native Installation

Start with the standalone installation (under firmware 2.11):

Then add the registry installer:

[edit] Usage Notes

If you have fb2, oeb or OpenReader books these will be added automatically to your library if they are in FBReader's book path. To update the path, select the Options panel icon (crossed tools) and then the General tab.

Other book formats need to be added one book at a time. Select the 3rd panel icon (BOOK+) to bring up the file selector. FBReader will remember where it was last time, and come up in the same directory. Only directories and books readable by FBReader will appear. You may need to navigate through directories (under Linux, ".." does down towards the filesystem root). The CF card is /media/cf (or /mnt/cf), the SD/MMC card is /media/card (or /mnt/card), and the user space main memory is /mnt/free. Tapping on the srollbar goes one page forward (or use the flipbar), or drag the scroll handle to jump further. If you bring up the keyboard, you can type in the first few letters of the filename to find it.

An alternative is to use the contentlister, if you have modified the registry to add FBReader for certain filetypes.

Many aspects of the way text is displayed is customizable. See the Margins, Format and Styles tabs under the Options panel icon.

One of the most important customization steps is to bind keys to actions. The Keys options tab does this, but it won't be immediately visible in the Options view. Tap the small right arrow at the right end of the tabs list to navigate through the list and get to the Keys tab. If the arrow does not work, bring up the keyboard and use its right arrow instead. Under the Keys tab, bind the hardware keys to the desired actions from the list (or see the existing bindings). Don't forget that there are long key presses. As usual, the device manager and archive keys are not available to FBReader.

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