Hal Vaughan wrote:
I’m working on an e-reader for special purposes. While I don’t want to go into a discussion of the
point of this program and why I’m doing another, a brief summary may help. As a writer, I don’t
like sending my work over email or other insecure methods of internet transfer. This e-reader
would let me (and my writer friends) share our work easily with our friends while keeping it
encrypted during transfer and even on the reader’s computer. The file is read in and decrypted
when displayed for reading. This would also let me make early drafts expire so they can be ditched
when they’re obsolete.
I still haven’t decided what language to use for this. Initially it’ll work on OSX, Windows, and
Linux. I’d like to expand it to Android and iOS. There’s a good chance it’d be in C++ or Java,
but it would be great if I could do it in Python. (I know of Kivy and other efforts that would
make it easy for me to transport Python to at least Android.)
The problem is I need some kind of portable document format. I know that implies, immediately,
PDF. However, there seems to be only one library that handles PDF display, and that’s Poppler.
I’m not an expert programmer (at least not in C++), and when I’ve asked for help from the Poppler
people, they’ve been abrupt and less than helpful.
I’d like to be able to write in LO, then save or export my file, and have it in a format I can
easily display on the different operating systems.
I tried saving some files in HTML. The plain text ones were no problem at all. Margins and
formatting was preserved just as I needed it. But then I tried one that was part of a pitch, so it
had a page of text, then a page of pictures, basically two columns of pictures with captions below
each picture. I loaded that in a browser and the formatting was okay on the first page, but was
totally messed up on the 2nd page with the pictures.
I don't know much about e-reader formats, but Calibre
(http://calibre-ebook.com/) can convert various file types (including
ODT) into various formats used on e-readers (EPUB, MOBI, AZW3, ...) So
far I've only used it to convert a few files to view on my Kindle, so
not sure about support for adding encryption / DRM, but it might be
worth a look as a starting point to modify or just for ideas.
As best I can tell, at this point, there is not a portable library out there that I can use from
within a program to easily display ODT files, but that would be a great solution.
So what format can I use when exporting from LibreOffice, other than PDF, that can be easily
displayed by any libraries in either Java, C++, or Python?
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