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TOPIC: Web-based ComicViewer for iPad (and other tablets)

Web-based ComicViewer for iPad (and other tablets) 5 years 4 months ago #23208

  • jeroenwalter
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Click here for the released version of Badaap Comic Reader


Hi all,

For the last couple of weeks I've been developing a web-based comic book reader for my iPad.
The main reason for doing so is because I'm not satisfied with most comic readers on the iPad, because they all store the comics locally, which is a problem if you have a large library and don't want to transfer comics constantly between your PC and the tablet.
Also I don't want to remember which comics I've read and which I haven't.

This lead me to develop a web application using a server-side script in php and a client-side script using the Sencha Touch 2.0 library.

I organize my comics myself with a folder per Series or Author, whatever takes my fancy, as long as I can swiftly navigate with my comic viewer, it's fine by me.
For me this seems to be sufficient, but lately I've been wondering how far I can take my comic viewer, as I enjoy developing it and I'm learning a lot of cool things about web development (for my daytime job I program mainly C++).

So only last week did I seriously take a look at ComicRack for organizing comics and I was pleasantly surprised :)
Not only is ComicRack an excellent program (though not open source...), its community and support here are excellent as well.

I found the Web Viewer plugin, but I can't seem to get it to work properly on the iPad (got it working now, stupid firewall rules), which is nice, but not good enough for me.
Also I don't like the way most of the pages are hard-coded in .cs files instead of HTML files and some Ajax requests. This makes it hard to customize or alter the layout or functionality of the web viewer (correct me if I'm wrong, please).
On top of that, it needs to have ComicRack constantly running, which I don't want to do, because my web server is stressed enough as it is.
Maybe some day there can be some collaboration or communication between my comic viewer and Neep's Web Viewer, I definitely see some possibilities here.

This convinced me to go ahead and make my comic viewer public and open source.
I've created a GitHub repository on https://github.com/jeroenwalter/Badaap-Comic-Reader
I've also setup a demo website on http://www.badaap.nl/

Right now, I've not published the source code, as it's not yet ready for deployment.
I plan to publish it by the end of next week, time permitting.

In the mean time, I'd like it if you can take a look and give me some feedback (bugs, feature requests, tips).

PS:
I don't have a lot of experience with ComicRack, so please take that into account.
Also my experience with GitHub is 0.0, I've just created an empty project, but that's about it. Guess I'll be learning that soon enough.

Enjoy,

Jeroen Walter

[update 2012/06/07]

Currently I have most functionality working for a first public release on GitHub.
You can now view the comic's info from the embedded ComicInfo.xml file via the comic view navigation bar.
The settings view via that navigation bar now also works.

I will now focus on packaging all files for GitHub and make an manual for installing it.
I have decided to release the application under the GPL3 license.

You will need a recent Apache 2.2 and PHP >= 5.3 install, at least, that's what I am running.
Last Edit: 5 years 4 months ago by jeroenwalter.
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Re: Web-based ComicViewer for iPad (and other tablets) 5 years 4 months ago #23209

  • RevQuixo
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So far so good on my Ipad2 on the demo site...although the thumbnails aren't showing.

Feature requests:

1) Full Screen viewing with disappearing navigation controls.

2) Support for multiple file locations (I have my collection spanning multiple HDDs)

3) If you have more than one issue in a folder when you are reading issue 1 and finish it goes straight to issue 2

4) support for non-mobile browsers (IE, Firefox, etc) could be cool for times when my iPad isn't around
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Re: Web-based ComicViewer for iPad (and other tablets) 5 years 4 months ago #23225

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Hi

Thanks for taking the time to look at the demo site.

Thumbnails should be fixed.

1)
If you double tap on the image, the navigation controls should be shown/hidden. This will be a per user settings (single tap or double tap).
Full screen viewing can be achieved either by adding a shortcut to the website on the iPad's homescreen or by using a different iPad browser (I use Atomic Browser for this).

2)
Currently the application stores the comic filelocation as a relative path from a single root. It shouldn't be so hard to store absolute paths. In the mean time you can also map those HDDs to a folder in the comic root via a ntfs junction or symbolic link.

3)
This is already on my todo list. This will be a user setting, so you can enable/disable this behavior.

4)
It should work on Chrome and Safari. I develop it mainly on Chrome.
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Re: Web-based ComicViewer for iPad (and other tablets) 5 years 4 months ago #23228

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Thumbnails definitely working now.

Is there a way to make it so the image defaults to a size that doesn't involve the need to scroll up or down?
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Re: Web-based ComicViewer for iPad (and other tablets) 5 years 4 months ago #23229

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Not yet, but it's easy to add.
Basically I just have to set the zoom factor to the minimum allowed.

I assume you want to read it in portrait mode?
I've not yet added code to detect a switch from portrait to landscape and vice versa, so turning the tablet is a little buggy, but it's on my todo list.
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Re: Web-based ComicViewer for iPad (and other tablets) 5 years 4 months ago #23230

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I think my default reading would be in portrait mode with pinch to zoom when needed and switching to landscape mode for two page spreads.
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Re: Web-based ComicViewer for iPad (and other tablets) 5 years 4 months ago #23232

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This is looking good. Would it be possible to add access to the comicinfo.xml data in the CBZ files?
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Re: Web-based ComicViewer for iPad (and other tablets) 5 years 4 months ago #23233

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Hi,

Yes, I already extract the metadata from comicinfo.xml and put them in the SQLite database, but I don't do anything with it yet.

Before I release the project I plan to make a page that will show the metadata for a comic.
There is also an update function, that will rescan the comicinfo.xml if you have changed it in ComicRack.
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Re: Web-based ComicViewer for iPad (and other tablets) 5 years 4 months ago #23234

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Great! It would be wonderful if, besides the full info view, some of the info (like date - title - authors) could be shown in the comics list pages...

Thanks
jeroenwalter wrote:
Hi,

Yes, I already extract the metadata from comicinfo.xml and put them in the SQLite database, but I don't do anything with it yet.

Before I release the project I plan to make a page that will show the metadata for a comic.
There is also an update function, that will rescan the comicinfo.xml if you have changed it in ComicRack.
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Re: Web-based ComicViewer for iPad (and other tablets) 5 years 4 months ago #23235

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Definitely, I also plan on making (smart)lists instead of only browsing the folder structures.

Maybe I can get the (smart)lists from ComicRack's database.
But this would require me to copy the list functionality of ComicRack, which seems like a waste.
It would be better if I can directly communicate with ComicRack, while it's running.
The Web Viewer plugin does this, as does the other plugin from Neep. Maybe I should look into that.
perezmu wrote:
Great! It would be wonderful if, besides the full info view, some of the info (like date - title - authors) could be shown in the comics list pages...

Thanks
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