Slow going…

Sometimes I feel like our little friend on the left here… making progress, but it’s slow going.

I figured I was way overdue for an update on PageTurner development, so here’s a bit about what’s going on.

TextToSpeech: this has cost me much more time than I had originally planned… I really love it as a feature, since it fits the “read anytime, anywhere” mindset of PageTurner so well. I’ve been using it to get an extra 30 minutes of reading time in the car when driving to and from work.

I managed to get it to integrate nicely with bluetooth headsets and carkits, so that you can use the play / pause button on them to pause and resume the TTS playback. It also has a nice GUI:

This allows you to skip back a bit and also allows you to play / pause the playback.

Right now it still has 2 major issues though:

  • It takes long to start
  • If a sentence extends on to the next page it isn’t read nice and fluidly

I have fixes in mind for both, but it will take some more time to implement… considering the time I already invested I’m wondering if I should fix it now, or release it as-is for now and improve it in the next version. It’s functional, it’s just not as good as I want it to be yet.

Improved catalog: I’ve mostly been fixing bugs here and cleaning up the code structure… it still needs some work. This is completely functional right now, but I would like to add some nicer functionality for configuring your own Calibre OPDS server.

I find that this can be a big challenge for users, since the current app requires you to get the URL exactly right, which leaves a lot of room for error. I did improve the feedback, but ideally I’d want to offer a more guided way for users to add the different kinds of OPDS servers out there, while still allowing power users to just add a raw URL.

Unit testing: This isn’t really something that is directly visible for end users, but I’ve also been spending time on getting automated testing up and running on the PageTurner sources. For the past year it was generally easier to just test through the UI, especially since a lot of the functionality was still maturing and getting fleshed out.

We’ve gotten to the point where I’ll need a proper set of unit tests to get us ready for the coming year and the ones after that. Don’t worry, I don’t intend to spend the next couple of months just writing tests without adding functionality… but I am adding tests whenever I encounter a bug or change some code.

Anyway, I appreciate your patience and I’ll do my best to keep you all updated on the progress… in the mean time: keep reading :)

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Your friendly neighbourhood Code Monkey.... I develop PageTurner.

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