Testing the EPUB3 / MathML Support of the E-Book Reader

One subject which I wrote about before was, that while the MathML standard exists, as well as E-Book Readers capable of parsing at least a subset of the EPUB3 standard, most E-Book Readers that people can download and use fully, for free, under Android, fail to do so.

Specifically, I was disappointed that ‘FBReader’ fails to do so. OTOH, I had already written that ‘Infinity Reader’, an Android app that requires an in-app purchase to get rid of the advertisements, at least does support that part of the standard.

The following is a document, which the reader of this blog can use, to test this ability:

http://dirkmittler.homeip.net/MathML-Test_1.epub

(Update 1/31/2020, 20h05 … )

(As of 1/29/2020, 14h30 : )

On this blog, unless I really need to typeset Math perfectly, I’ve been using the EPUB2 posting-tag, and encoding Math to standard HTML, without any MathML. In case the reader did not know, an EPUB File is really a collection of HTML Files (in addition to other file-types one would find on a Web-site, as well as a manifest file), that have been Zipped. (:2) When I tell my software to output Math notation to this form of HTML, what it will often do is to generate PNG Image Files, and to flow those in-line with text. And the evil with that is, that an image flowed in that way, can be commanded by the HTML in question, or the CSS File (more probably), to align with the text, so that the text will be at the Top, in the Middle, or with the Bottom of the image. Why is that a problem? Because even though I have given the appropriate HTML directives in the past, the way some EPUB-capable E-Book Readers render it, ignores the specific instructions…

Screenshot_20200130_162746

… (:1)

One step which I always take, is to preview the (main) HTML File using Firefox, before generating an EPUB File.

Continue reading Testing the EPUB3 / MathML Support of the E-Book Reader

I’ve just received my 13.3″ Onyx BOOX Max2 e-Reader.

And so far I’m happy with it.

There exists an underlying issue with Android-based e-Readers, where these e-Readers are 4 years in the making, and where the issue is something I’m just learning about in recent weeks. As a security precaution, Google has toughened the requirements on the Google Play Store app, and on the Google Services app, which made numerous e-Readers, that were once proud to offer a working Google Play app, unable to connect to Google Play in the short term. This measure became effective as of March in 2018. However, certain manufacturers of such devices have been struggling to make their devices compliant with the new Google Store, and as far as I know, the BOOX Max2 which I just received, may be able to connect to the Google Play store fully.

(This posting has been revised, as of 4/14/2019, 10h15 : )

Out-of-the-box, the Max2 had a firmware version from April in 2018. But the latest Firmware update is from December in 2018.

  • I am glad to say that I found out how to set a PIN Code for this device because if there had truly been no way, then the cloud resources that I’m logged in to would be just as vulnerable, as an unlocked tablet. With the latest firmware, I found this setting under ‘Settings -> (Arrow to the Right) -> Screen Lock PIN Code’.
  • Apparently, the way to activate Google Play on this device, is now to go into “Settings -> Application” and to check “Activate Google Play”.

Instead of activating the Google Play Store, I have been focusing on using the Onyx app store for the time being. In days gone by, their in-house app store had a reputation of only offering apps in Chinese. But what the users of the Max2 can now do, is download e-Ink optimized apps in English. Those apps include the Amazon Kindle Android app.

This is a huge find for me because it also implies less of a security compromise, than what I’d have, if I was just to log the Max2 into Google Play.

I can side-load Free APK-Files to install software, and can install some additional proprietary, non-free apps from Onyx. APKs include the ‘OverDrive’ app, which allows me to check out books from my public library, in e-Book format. And what installs from the Onyx app store includes the ‘Kindle’ Android app, optimized for e-Ink.

I’ve tested both apps, and they seem to work fine.

But then again, speaking of side-loading… This can imply that files need to be transferred via USB-cable from a PC, to the device, and the device uses MTP as its protocol. There are some reports of issues in getting this to work from the Linux GUI, and I just ran in to such an issue…

(Updated 6/21/2019, 7h35 … )

Continue reading I’ve just received my 13.3″ Onyx BOOX Max2 e-Reader.