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Discussion on: Qwyre.com - What does a minimum lovable product even look like?

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radhyr profile image
Radhy • Edited on

Looking great Gavin! Thanks for sharing your work with us!

I'm definitely very interested in hearing this since my project also targeted for indie writers, though not for indie publishing specifically, it's all about e-reader nonetheless, which is an open-sourced publishing website/webapp that's more suitable for online novel publishing rather than WordPress.

What I'm developing is also PWA but rather than using Nuxt and other UI frameworks for development, I decided to move to Svelte last year and now settled with Sapper (which I tried to migrate to SvelteKit but somehow it wasn't successful due to error in Vite). I'm also developing offline reading with IndexedDB and Service Workers since last year before my project's grant began, so right now I'm focused in developing for other features, which is revenue share that has been a highlight in my project's grant roadmap. But still I'd like to hear more about your progress with epub.js since generally, while PWA and IndexedDB is awesome and a must have feature for any online e-reader, I found that the offline data persistent isn't reliable enough for now and sometimes it gets wiped out based on browsers' whim (Chrome, specifically).

While it's not the original scope of my project, allowing to convert from online posted novels to a EPUB/PDF for persistent offline reading would be also a plus for me (the experimental browser feature Web Bundle would be also a great option though it's still to early to consider that for now). It'd be great if we can share our experiences and learn together somehow.

One thing I'd like to know, though (for those who read this far) ... what is your favourite ereader app (not device), and what features makes it special for you?

While it's not entirely an e-reader for EPUB, I'd like to mention that online novel platforms from Asian companies are well-designed though they aren't still developing for PWA (their users mainly in their mobileapp so they don't have to). If I'm to pick one or two then it probably webnovel.com, and kakaopage for their bold design on their main page although it is not entirely an actual e-reader for novel.

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turukawa profile image
Gavin Chait Author

Definitely, would love to collaborate. May help both of us :)

I reviewed Svelte a year ago and felt, at the time, it wasn't mature enough for production code, but - obvs - these are all rapidly evolving stacks. epub.js is, well, hard ... the API is documented, just not with any definitions so you don't know what parameters you need to provide, or what you're going to get back. Trial and error to figure it out, and I'm probably not using a fraction of what it can do (or even need all of it). Getting reading position and saving it is very, very janky.

I open-sourced my epub converter here: github.com/whythawk/chapisha

Email me direct and we can maybe go through it in more detail... I'm still to start learning the webmonetisation stack, so maybe you already know a few gotchas to avoid?

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radhyr profile image
Radhy

I reviewed Svelte a year ago and felt, at the time, it wasn't mature enough for production code, but - obvs - these are all rapidly evolving stacks.

It takes me back when Svelte 3 just released... VS Code didn't even have an icon for svelte files...

epub.js is, well, hard ... the API is documented, just not with any definitions so you don't know what parameters you need to provide, or what you're going to get back. Trial and error to figure it out, and I'm probably not using a fraction of what it can do (or even need all of it). Getting reading position and saving it is very, very janky.

I open-sourced my epub converter here: github.com/whythawk/chapisha

Ah, yes, converting to epub is what I'm looking for. I'm trying to look for library that can be used in browser since my project is a JAMstack. It's unfortunate that I don't know Python so currently my only option is epub library made in JavaScript or Wasm.

I'm still to start learning the webmonetisation stack, so maybe you already know a few gotchas to avoid?

I'm also not very far on exploring WM. I did create a library on WM which specialize in revshare (github.com/prognoveljs/webfunding), but that doesn't require much interaction with actual payment made in Web Monetization to develop. Others have experimenting with WM's advanced feature like receipt verification and I recall Simon from Audiotarky ported it for Python early this year.

Definitely, would love to collaborate. May help both of us :)

Sure. I'm currently trying my luck to reach out to fellow WM devs that have projects on novels for epubs, but there's definitely other areas where we can put our efforts together. I'm currently exploring the idea of Web Components for novel ereaders (like subscription banners and such) that heavily based from my learning like implementing UX from findings in Denisa's researches for something to do for the next few months. Maybe you have some idea in mind? I'll shot you an email for more discussions later.