HP Touchpad apps

Discussions around the WebOS (Palm Pre, Palm Pixi, HP Touchpad) versions of the Gospel Library application.
afanofosc
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Postby afanofosc » Sat Jan 21, 2012 11:30 pm

I have made some additional changes to the test version of a Gospel Library for webos app that supports multiple languages as previously mentioned. Now it includes full support for downloading all the content over the web. It does not yet support deleting the content once it has been downloaded, though you can swipe to delete a book from the list with a confirmation prompt. As of yet it makes no permanent changes to the content on your device.

You can start off with nothing on your device other than the IPK. It will check if you have an internet connection and, if so, it will download anything it needs that is missing from the device. It starts with the config.json file that has all the URLs for getting the catalogs for each language. It then downloads the languages.json file using the URL from config.json. It uses this to populate the 13 currently supported languages drop-down list. Then it tries to load the catalog for the selected language from a local file. If it can't load it locally then it will download it and use it to build the menu structure. When you tap on a book it tries to load it from a local file. If it can't load it locally then it will download it and then try to load it locally again. If it succeeds on the second attempt then it will display the book's contents.

The catalogs for platform 10 (webos) are not identical to the IOS and Android catalogs that I had previously been using as static files. One of the differences is in the naming convention used for the json content vs the IOS/Android zbook content. Because the filenames in the webos catalog files are different there is no reason to keep any of the static content json files that I previously provided via zip files.

I don't have a separate "manage library" mode at all currently and no mechanism to "download all" or anything like that yet.

Also, as previously mentioned, this version of the app is a test bed for implementing multi-language, interface building from catalog, and in-app content management features so it doesn't do all the extra stuff that the official app does with respect to study notes, searching, highlighting, etc... My plan is to merge the new capabilities that I've put into this app back into the official Gospel Library application.

So I am hoping I can get some people with non-TouchPad devices to try this out to see whether it works properly or not with older versions of webos and other devices. I hope that it will but perhaps the download manager service is not as good in previous OS releases.

If you have previously installed the GLCatalog IPK on your device then I would delete the .ldswebos folder and all of the files below it and then uninstall the previous build of this application. Once you have done that you can install the new build, which you can download from this link:

http://dl.dropbox.com/u/53437658/org.lds.webos.glcatalog_1.0.1_all.ipk

If you don't have an active internet connection (either wifi or wan) then it won't do much since it doesn't have any catalog files or the config and languages content either. Once you have downloaded content it should work fine even if you don't have an active internet connection.

John Hansen

kmartind
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Postby kmartind » Mon Jan 23, 2012 12:12 am

It looks like you've made a ton of progress here and a big step forward. Since I already have Preware on my Pre3 I tried downloading the .ipk file directly from the link in this forum using the browser on the device via a 3G connection (while waiting for Sunday School to start in fact). It installed without a hitch and started right up; downloading content on the fly as I browsed to each item, which is great.

That confirms the basic functionality at least works on a Pre3 with webOS 2.2.4. I tested the audio option and that even worked too. I know it doesn't yet have all the bells-and-whistles so I won't go on about most of those, but I did especially miss the book/chapter/verse navigation in the title bar, and the ability to rotate the screen. Being able to rotate to landscape mode is particuarly nice on a phone because some of the book titles are too wide for the screen. For example I see a screen full of items named "Teachings of Presidents of the," which makes it impossible to tell which one is which without the ability to either rotate or pan/zoom. Abbreviating or (horizontally) auto-scrolling particularly long titles could be an alternate workaround. Also, the menus use a sans-serif font, but the content itself seems to currently be rendered in serif, which could potentially reduce readability somewhat, although it seemed fine to me (the Pre3 is a 3.6" 800x480x24bit). One other thing I noticed was absent was the image version of the hymn book (though the text-only version is there). That never worked properly for the second page of 2-page hymns in the original app, but was still very handy at times.

If it would be helpful I could also test on a Pre+ with webOS 1.4.5 as well as a Pre2 and Veer. I don't have anything older than that around, but the Pre+ would test compatbility with 1.4.5 and the Veer could show usability on a tiny 2.6" 320x400 screen, which is the same size as the Pixi. Performance on a Pixi would be noticeably slower though.

Speaking of performance, the Pre3 is pretty fast (1.4GHz Snapdragon), but there is still sometimes a noticable delay when opening the Old Testment (with its content already downloaded). It appears to average about 1 to 3 seconds, which isn't bad, but for some reason, a couple of times it was > 10 seconds and I started to wonder if it was hung.

Oh, and one added advantage of having both applications installed is the ability to leave one open to the scriptures and the other to an article or manual. I would actually really like to be able to launch the Gospel Library application in multiple cards at once, but depending how it's implemented, that could bring up potential problems with concurrency, which I assume was never in the original design. Still it seems a bit sad that the iOS Gospel Library application actually implemented a card-like feature in the app itself while the webOS app, on an OS that's entirely based on that concept, hasn't. That's probably more of a wishlist feature than a necessity though.

afanofosc
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Postby afanofosc » Mon Jan 23, 2012 11:19 pm

Thanks for testing this on a Pre3. I really appreciate it. I would love to hear how/if it works on any other devices you may have.

On my TouchPad I can use the app in either landscape or portrait mode. If I understand you correctly, you are saying that the screen does not rotate on the Pre3?

I have the book/chapter/verse menu code in place in my jsonchap scene assistant (copied from the chapterview assistant in the official version) but it is currently commented out. I will sort that all out ASAP, as I also miss it a lot. I also will figure out how to add a A-Z index view for the Bible Dictionary, Topical Guide, Guide to the Scriptures, and Triple index books like the official version has. Along with that I may switch to using the official version's numeric chapter button view rather than the current vertical list of chapters, though I don't mind the way it works right now, which more closely matches the IOS and Android apps.

The long book titles are, I think, supposed to wrap but I will try to figure out a way to auto-shorten them in a sensible fashion.

I will also work toward incorporating user preferences for such things as font style (serif/sans-serif) and size and justification along the lines of how this works in the official application.

On my TouchPad the image-based Hymns feature works great for 1 or 2 page hymns. Does it not let you swipe from the 1st page to the 2nd page on a Pre3? The reason currently why it and other things are not in this test application is because the app builds all the menu structure straight from the catalog returned from the online web services and the catalog doesn't have an image-based hymn book. When I merge my changes back into the official app I will have to figure out the right/best way to insert these non-catalog features back into the application menu structure.

In terms of performance, I'm not sure what I can do unless I process the downloaded JSON content and put the nodes from the JSON content into a sqlite database. Then I would not need to load the entire JSON for the old testament before you can even list all of the books from the old testament. If I stick with a pure json file solution then really large json files will take longer to load and display.

I would like to add support for multiple cards but it will likely take quite a bit of work to get the current code to work correctly when there are multiple cards.

The ipk I uploaded Sunday morning had a couple of problems with single chapter books (e.g., Enos). It also suffers from some invalid JSON content up on the web that can only be fixed in the short term by side-loading a replacement json file. I have replacements for the Family Proclamation book, the Living Christ book, the Instructors Guide for Temple and Family History and the Member's Guide for Temple and Family History books (in English). I have replaced it with a newer build that fixes the code problems and I can upload the 4 books that I have seen that are messed up online if there is sufficient interest. The online content will eventually be fixed but it might take a few days.

John Hansen

kmartind
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Postby kmartind » Tue Jan 24, 2012 1:13 am

afanofosc wrote:Thanks for testing this on a Pre3. I really appreciate it. I would love to hear how/if it works on any other devices you may have.

A quick test on the Pre+ and Pre2 had promising results. It seemed to work as expected, though somewhat slower on the Pre+ at the stock underclocked 500MHz. Still quite usable though.

On my TouchPad I can use the app in either landscape or portrait mode. If I understand you correctly, you are saying that the screen does not rotate on the Pre3?

Correct. On the phones, glcatalog comes up in portrait mode and rotating the device seems to have no effect on the ortientation of the application. Rotation does work OK in Gospel Library on the same devices.

The long book titles are, I think, supposed to wrap but I will try to figure out a way to auto-shorten them in a sensible fashion.

Perhaps. I've never noticed any wrapping, and the only ones that seem to present a problem are "Teachings of Presidents of the Church...," although "Duties and Blessings of the Priesthood...," and some others also get cut off before hitting a unique word, but in most such cases there are only two to choose from.

On my TouchPad the image-based Hymns feature works great for 1 or 2 page hymns. Does it not let you swipe from the 1st page to the 2nd page on a Pre3?

It does seem to work on the phones now that I try it again. I was sure it didn't work some time ago when I ran into a two-page hymn and tried swiping to no avail, but now I don't remember which version of the application I was using at the time. Perhaps the webOS 2.2.4 update fixed something, but in any case it seems that one was just a false alarm.

In terms of performance, I'm not sure what I can do unless I process the downloaded JSON content and put the nodes from the JSON content into a sqlite database.

I can definitely see the appeal and simplicity of not having to deal with the db, and performance seems OK for the most part, although perhaps a little processing indicator (similar to the "working..." when it downloads conetent) might be helpful for some of the slower devices. The exceptionally-long wait time seems to be some kind of very intermittent event. I can't reliably reproduce it but I've seen it occur on both the Pre3 (webOS 2.2.4) and Pre+ (webOS 1.4.5) at least twice. The first time it happened on the Pre+ it sat for a few seconds and then the phone restarted itself. It wasn't running overclocked or with any third-party patches and no other applications were open so I don't have an easy culprit to blame it on.

I would like to add support for multiple cards but it will likely take quite a bit of work to get the current code to work correctly when there are multiple cards.

I'd imagine so, which makes it kind of a wishlist feature. Actually, having both applications on the device and opening them at the same time seems to work surprisingly well for now.

The online content will eventually be fixed but it might take a few days.

While I can't speak for others, it seems like if it's only a matter of days, it's probably not a big deal.

Thanks!

afanofosc
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Postby afanofosc » Fri Jan 27, 2012 6:23 pm

I've uploaded a new GLCatalog IPK which should fix the rotation problem.

It also has a fallback to the user's Default language if you try to switch to a language that for whatever reason the app can't find a catalog for. I haven't yet exposed the ability to set a default language or to read the locale from the device itself.

http://dl.dropbox.com/u/53437658/org.lds.webos.glcatalog_1.0.1_all.ipk

Has anyone tried out the power swipe (two fingers vertically) that lets you jump either up to the start of a chapter or down to the very end of the chapter without lots of scrolling?

John Hansen

kmartind
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Postby kmartind » Sat Jan 28, 2012 2:04 pm

Confirmed. Rotation is now functioning on all devices.
The power swipe feature also seems to be enabled on all devices (including 1.4.5) and works well.

Thanks.

jjtamayob
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Not avalible SPA Content.

Postby jjtamayob » Sat Mar 10, 2012 9:55 am

afanofosc wrote:I have re-uploaded my revised build of the Gospel Library for webos application. This build should include the media links, when available, at the end of a document. One version that made it out into the wild recently had broken the media links capability. I also replaced the book icon with a folder icon for menu items that are not books and moved the Teachings of the Presidents folder under Manuals where it belongs.

http://dl.dropbox.com/u/53437658/org.lds.webos.gospellibrary_1.0.4_all.ipk

If you need non-English content you might want to try out my GLCatalog application, which includes menus and static content for English, Spanish, German, French, and Portuguese. I’ve made a number of changes to that application and you can grab the IPK here:

http://dl.dropbox.com/u/53437658/org.lds.webos.glcatalog_1.0.1_all.ipk

The content for each language supported by this version of the Gospel Library application (which does not use any of the original XML content) can be grabbed from the same dropbox folder via these links:

http://dl.dropbox.com/u/53437658/webos_content_deu.zip
http://dl.dropbox.com/u/53437658/webos_content_eng.zip
http://dl.dropbox.com/u/53437658/webos_content_fra.zip
http://dl.dropbox.com/u/53437658/webos_content_por.zip
http://dl.dropbox.com/u/53437658/webos_content_spa.zip

Going forward I will gradually be merging these two applications into one – which, hopefully soon, will be able to manage the content from within the application. For now it is all still static content that you have to load manually outside the app. The filenames in the content zips above do not match the filenames in the content zips that work with my revision to the 1.0.4 Gospel Library app so you can’t mix the two. The GLCatalog content files have filenames that are based off of the zbook filenames from the Android and IOS platform catalogs for the 5 languages that are supported in my webos app. They are also stored in .ldswebos rather than .ldssa. This is just while my naming conventions are different between the two apps, which I hope to fix this week so that the content files between the two apps wind up being exactly the same for English. One that happens I’ll move them to the same folder (probably .ldssa).

John Hansen

Where can i get this content in Spanish?
And a lot of thanks for the work, is a bless.

kmartind
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Postby kmartind » Sat Mar 10, 2012 11:07 am

joc2tb wrote:Where can i get this content in Spanish?
And a lot of thanks for the work, is a bless.


John's most recent version of the multi-lingual "GL Catalog" application no longer needs the separate content files. You just install the application and it downloads the content from the church's servers on demand as you access it. The link is still (as far as I know):

http://dl.dropbox.com/u/53437658/org.lds.webos.glcatalog_1.0.1_all.ipk

If you need further instructions on installing an application that's not in the HP App Catalog, check the wiki:
http://tech.lds.org/wiki/Gospel_Library_support_-_WebOS
Or refer to previous posts in this thread, such as:
https://tech.lds.org/forum/showthread.php?8413-HP-Touchpad-apps&p=74587&viewfull=1#post74587

Note that the above instructions are for the Gospel Library application, plus extra content, but the same process will also work for the GL Catalog app. You just download the above glcatalog IPK file instead of the Gospel Library one, and there's no need to download a content ZIP file in this case.

Once you have the GL Catalog application installed, you select the language by tapping on the current language (by default English) on the main application screen. That opens a pull down menu with a list of available langauges. Pick your desired language, and it should display the folders for that langauge and allow you to browse to the content you want. The first time you try to access a particular book it should attempt to automatically download it. If you have an active Internet connection on your device that should work, and the book will appear within a few seconds (or possibly up to a few minutes at most). If it appears to be hung up for a long time, go back to the previous menu and then try again. It will most often work the second time. Also, if you switch langages, and then switch back, and the folders still show the previous langauge, you can exit the application and then open it again. That should get it back into sync.

Once it has downloaded a book, that book should be available offline thereafter, so if you will be in a location without Internet access, you can browse to each of the books/manuals you will need beforehand so that they will be available later.

Note that John's GL Catalog application is still a work in progress. If you run into problems, feel free to post here and we will try to help, or you can try contacting John directly at the email address he has posted previously in this forum.

sumchow
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What happened to the Chinese scriptures?

Postby sumchow » Sat Mar 10, 2012 10:50 pm

I used to be able to read the scripture in chinese on my touchpad. But I just found today that for some reason chinese is no longer on the list of languages. Any idea why this so? I have the latest version of the glcatalog. I checked the Gospel Library on my rooted Nook Color and Chinese is still working. Thanks for the hard work in getting GL to work on the touchpad.

kmartind
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Postby kmartind » Wed Mar 28, 2012 9:21 pm

sumchow wrote:I used to be able to read the scripture in chinese on my touchpad. But I just found today that for some reason chinese is no longer on the list of languages. Any idea why this so? I have the latest version of the glcatalog. I checked the Gospel Library on my rooted Nook Color and Chinese is still working. Thanks for the hard work in getting GL to work on the touchpad.


You might have already solved the problem, but if not here's my suggestion. I think Chinese should still be available from GL Catalog, but it's possible there might be a problem with the application. If so, then reinstalling it completely would probably help.

First, download the .ipk file to your computer again to make sure you have the most recent changes (the file name will still be the same but it might have been updated since the last time you downloaded it):
http://dl.dropbox.com/u/53437658/org.lds.webos.glcatalog_1.0.1_all.ipk

You could try simply using WebOS Quick Install to install the application again, but that might not fix the problem. If not, the app could be reinstalled completely/cleanly by doing something like the following:

Connect the TouchPad to your PC and select USB drive mode.
Browse to the new drive icon that represents the connected TouchPad and delete the ".ldswebos" folder from within it.
Now (assuming Windows) right-click the drive icon that represents the TouchPad and "eject" it, but leave the USB cable connected.
On the TouchPad itself, go to the Software Manager (found on the Settings page), tap the GL Catalog entry, and tap "Delete" to remove the app from your device.
From your PC run WebOS Quick Install and use it to install the new .ipk file containing GL Catalog onto your device.

You can refer to previous posts and/or the wiki for further information on installing a .ipk, but since you already had it installed I assume you are familiar with the process.

The first time you run the GL Catalog app after installing or reinstalling, it might sit for a little while "Working..." but if it takes more than a few minutes, you might need to close the program, and then re open it. If that still doesn't work, try completely shutting down and rebooting your TouchPad and then run the app again. It should regenerate the folder and language selections, and hopefully any missing langauges should then be listed and items will once again be downloaded as you browse to them.

The same process could also be used to force the menus to rebuild for any other missing content (for example, if the latest English language magazines aren't being listed).


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