The One with the Thoughts of Frans

Archive for September, 2019

KOReader 2019.09 “I Scream For Ice Cream”

As one of the maintainers of KOReader, a versatile a document and image viewer, I’m proud to announce the latest release.


I was never a big fan of the Android code names. They didn’t have that Ubuntu flair, and I always struggled to couple them to version numbers. But learning that the next version will simply be called 10? It seems to be illustrative of losing a certain kind of fun. In response, I scream for ice cream!

There’s been a fair bit of work on documentation and internationalization. The GitHub landing page was made more welcoming to make it easier to find the information you need, with developer-oriented information moved into a separate file (#5217), while the translation code was updated to allow for proper pluralization in languages like Polish and Russian (#5257). Furthermore, the release package filename has been simplified to exclude excessive compiler information (#5268). This should make it easier to find the package you need.

2019.08 2019.09
koreader-android-arm-linux-androideabi-v2019.08.apk koreader-android-arm-v2019.09.apk
koreader-android-i686-linux-android-v2019.08.apk koreader-android-x86-v2019.09.apk

For Android, we’ve changed our resource bundle from lzma to zip (#5264). Unfortunately, this would make the package size slightly larger and the first time start ever so slightly slower, but we were able to drop the Noto fonts from our package (#5310). On Android these already come with the system. It’s all for a good purpose, because the switch from lzma to zip resolves unexplained first-startup crashes on some systems, improving reliability.

You can now select your keyboard layout independently from your language, because display language and keyboard layout shouldn’t be tied together. (#5318). On Kobo there’s a new crash screen that displays the last few lines of the log (#5328), which looks so neat you’ll want to crash! But hopefully you’ll never see it. 😉

Of course the usual performance improvements and bug fixes are also present. See the full changelog for details, but various CSS parsing optimizations (#5239) can be quite noticeable on affected documents. The gesture manager received some further polish (#5202, #5225, #5294). For the curious who’ve been using MuPDF to read FB2 or EPUB, it’s now finally possible to change the font size without crutches (#5282). Be warned, however, that it’s no less experimental. The document will have to be reloaded to update the total number of pages after font size changes, and bookmarks and highlights will not be in the right location.

Last but not least, accessibility is an often overlooked aspect of design. On a touch screen device without physical buttons the hardware doesn’t exactly contribute to ease of use. Hopefully the new automatic page turner plugin (#5295) will enable more people to enjoy reading. Please let us know about any suggestions you have or resources we can use to do better!

PS Remember, if you don’t use a plugin you can disable it in the plugin manager for a slightly faster startup and a cleaner menu. That’s in Tools (screwdriver & wrench) → Plugin management, which might be on page 2.

Image credit: “Cute Anthropomorphic Ice Cream Cone” from openclipart.

We’d like to thank all contributors for their efforts. Some highlights since the previous release include:

Full changelogclosed milestone issues

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The Mono repo broke my apt (and how I fixed it)

Apparently this is not completely unusual, see here. The only solution I found was to manually remove a whole bunch of oddly codependent Mono packages manually with sudo dpkg --remove --force-remove-reinstreq mono-this mono-that mono-whatever-else-shows-up. apt and apt-get were pretty stumped.

Hopefully this helps someone else.

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