Merry Christmas!

Sunday 22nd December 2013

Christmas is almost here and we just wanted to send our best wishes to all our great customers we have had this year. With our classic viewer continuing to be a popular choice we have also seen our Zine viewer make great progress with thousands of flip books published using Zine.

2013 has been a great year for FlexPaper and with some great ideas we hope to to make 2014 even better! 

Merry Christmas!

FlexPaper 2.2.1 Release Notes

Tuesday 10th December 2013

We have started rolling out version 2.2.1 today. Our Zine viewer is the first viewer to be updated. Annotations and Classic builds will be updated at the beginning of next week.

  • Issue fixed where performing a search in FlexPaper Zine flash followed by switching into a different view would cause the viewer not to show the document
  • Improvements to the annotations build making the note widget easier to resize on touch devices
  • Issue fixed where a selection from a lower point to a higher point would create an incorrect annotation mark in the Classic Annotations viewer
  • Issue fixed where it wasn’t possible to select text inside annotation notes on iPad
  • Issue fixed where annotations would not be repositioned properly on resize of the browser window in HTML5 mode
  • Regression issue fixed where the annotations viewer would not resize on rotating a device
  • Fixed an issue related to external urls missing the leading “http://” which would not work in the flash mode of Zine
  • Optimizations for landscape documents in Flash mode within FlexPaper Zine
  • Issue fixed where publications with their thumbnails hidden in Zine would in some scenarios not show in IE10
  • Fisheye thumbnails improved for Zine in IE9 and IE10 when using FlexPaper in flip book mode with rendering mode set to HTML4 or HTML5
  • Mouse wheel support added for Zine (when viewing your publication as a flip book)
  • Issue fixed where fisheye thumbnails in Zine would appear in full screen even if turned off if the viewer was using PreviewMode. This was affecting the flash viewer only
  • Validation of documents containing non-JSON (non printable, control characters) compatible characters further improved in Desktop Publisher
  • Improved accuracy of selections in HTML4 and HTML5
  • FlexPaper in HTML5 mode now allows documents to be loaded from a Uint8Array. An example of how this is done will be posted on our blog.
  • Improved android pinching support in FlexPaper flip book mode
  • Rendering quality further improved for Android devices in flip book mode
  • Rendering quality further improved for iOS retina devices in flip book mode
  • Issue fixed where Zine would zoom unintentionally when dragging the corners of the pages in HTML5 and HTML4 mode
  • Links will now give a link hint when hovering a page in Zine in both Flash and HTML5
  • New Zine style property: Link color. Use this to set the desired link color in your publications
  • Issue fixed where the mobile preview in Desktop Publisher would respond to single clicks as opposed to double clicking which is what mobile devices do

HTML5 browser support : a study using the ability to create PDF flip book publications for the web

Monday 9th December 2013

The support for HTML5 is still growing rapidly and while it is quite easy to estimate how large the market share is for HTML5 compatible browsers, it is much more difficult to make an estimate as to which devices that are powerful enough to really make use of the HTML5 technologies that are being used.

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Mobile browser market share November 2013, source: netmarketshare.com

 

While most Android devices are using the latest super competent versions of Google Chrome, they still lack in CPU to really be able to make use of all features. Mobile Safari is in our experience still the most performant mobile browser, but is still to date (5 years from its initial release) experiencing stability problems and intermittent crashes when you push it to use more advanced HTML5 features. There are no official statistics on how frequent these crashes occur, but many studies point to Safari as one of the most crash prone browsers.

To overcome problems with memory and CPU usage, a mobile version which reduces the CPU usage is still the only real way through this. As an example, FlexPaper uses a mobile-optimized version of its HTML5 flip book viewer (see example here). This version only uses browser features which have been proven to be less power and memory hungry.

 

OUR ESTIMATE OF THE ACTUAL MARKET SHARE VERSUS THE USABLE
There are many different sources for browser statistics. For example W3Schools, StatCounter Global Statistics. Together with statistics over browser features, from sites like HTML5Readiness and findMeByIP, it is relatively easy to  make an estimate as to how large the market share is for browsers supporting the majority of HTML5 features is today. Our current estimate is that 90% of all browsers are HTML5 compatible in a reasonable sense.

image

To get some sort of sense of how large portion of the market that can really use these features, you then have to take a look at the devices that are out in use. From looking at these statistics, we believe that an accurate estimate today is somewhere in the range of 70-80% of how many browsers that are actually useful in a HTML5 sense. You can find the above illustration in more detail on our “HTML4, Flash or HTML5” page. This page also outlines which features that are supported on the major devices and browsers.

 

CONTINUOS FLEXPAPER IMPROVEMENTS

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We’re continuously improving our HTML5 rendering mode for mobile devices. Our upcoming December release gets to enjoy even higher rendering quality for retina devices. Contact us for a pre-release!

A guide on creating interactive PDF flip book publications: adding images or videos with jQuery or with an app

Sunday 1st December 2013

Creating interactive PDF publications with videos or overlaying the PDF document with images or links often requires programming or other technical skills. With this guide, we try to clarify and explain the different ways you can make your PDF interactive both for offline and online scenarios. 

CREATING INTERACTIVE ONLINE PDF PUBLICATIONS

If you want to publish your PDF document to the web, then using a solution with support for multiple formats (HTML5, Adobe flash, HTML4) is a must in order to reach all devices and browsers.

Most if not all commercially available solutions places a requirement on the end user to either have flash installed on their desktop or for the end user to use one of the later versions of one of the modern browsers (for HTML5 to work) to enable this type of functionality. We decided not to restrict our users to one technology but rather give you the choice of which technology to use. This also makes it possible for your users to gracefully fall back to one or the other technologies if one is not supported in their browser. 

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To add a video, link or image using FlexPaper desktop publisher, simply click one of the buttons located at the lower right corner of the desktop publisher design screen. This will make your cursor into a crosshair allowing you to draw an area on your PDF document where you would like to place your interactive content.

image

A dialog window will pop up after creating your selection. We have pasted a YouTube url into the add video dialog as seen above. Clicking OK will finalise this process. 

CREATING INTERACTIVE PDF PUBLICATIONS FOR OFFLINE DISTRIBUTION

There are numerous tools available to add videos or images to PDF documents for offline use. Even Adobe Acrobat offers some functionality on doing this.

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* Screenshot from Adobe Acrobat X

If you’re after exporting your interactive material into a PDF document and distributing this as a file then Adobe FireWorks in CS4 is a really good way to go about doing this. The video tutorial below from Adobe is a great start on creating interactive PDF documents (and saving them as PDF).

http://tv.adobe.com/embed/107/1404/

FlexPaper 2.2.0 Release Notes

Monday 25th November 2013

  • Search abstracts added to the FlexPaper Classic viewer

  • New flat design implemented for FlexPaper Classic customizable build
  • Page loader position corrected in FlexPaper Classic
  • Touch/swipe regression issue corrected for FlexPaper Classic
  • New init view mode added for touch devices. Supplying “TouchInitViewMode” will use the supplied view mode for touch only devices such as tablets, phones. If nothing is supplied then the viewer will assume “SinglePage” for tablets/phones
  • Touch/swipe improved in SinglePage mode for FlexPaper Classic
  • +/- buttons now zooming on touch devices too, were previously using fit width/fit height
  • Pinch/Zoom for SinglePage mode on touch devices improved
  • Margin adjustments to annotation tool bars
  • Mixed Mode (optimized HTML5 loading) added to modes: ‘Portrait’, ‘TwoPage’, ‘BookView’ and ‘ThumbView’. Split mode is required to take advantage of MixedMode.
  • Issue related to loading document files across domains in Flash split mode fixed
  • Issue fixed related to loading different size documents in Flash (Portrait mode) where the resulting page would be too large (causing extra white space around the page)
  • Issue corrected where pages were not being unloaded properly in some scenarios for the HTML4 portrait and single page rendering mode
  • Fixed an issue where the selectable text would not be added properly when using split mode in TwoPage and SinglePage for the HTML4 rendering mode
  • Minor corrections for the HTML4 mode when using the Flip Book mode.
  • PDF2JSON updated to version 0.66 improving with the ability to fully describe external links
  • Issue fixed where link hints (hovering over a page) in HTML5/HTML4 mode would not be removed when rolling out of the page
  • New publication preview mode added which shows the front page of the publication with a clickable arrow. Set the ‘PreviewMode’ parameter to ‘FrontPage’ to use this new mode. The parameter ‘PublicationTitle’ can also be set in conjunction to this which will display a title for the publication if set.
  • Issue fixed where onCurrentPageChanged was not being fired in Portrait when using Zine (the turn page/flip book) in flash mode
  • Retina rendering mode for iPad in Zine improved further in performance in particular as to how dom elements are created
  • Publication preview can now be configured in the style section inside FlexPaper Desktop Publisher
  • Fixed an issue where certain links would not be clickable in very specific scenarios when using FlexPaper flash in flip book mode
  • Various performance optimizations
  • Improved dispose method for Zine in HTML5/HTML4 mode as some references to events were still undisposed after calling dispose
  • Reduced memory footprint on the flip book in HTML5 and HTML4 mode

How to : preview your page flip PDF publication in iPad without a real device

Monday 18th November 2013

With FlexPaper Desktop Publisher, publishing a PDF to web flip book no longer requires any form of programming skills or manual conversion tricks to add interactive page turning animations to your PDF documents and convert the PDF to HTML5. 

But how do you test how your PDF publication will look like on a device when you don’t have one lying around? You may not even have a final web site to copy your publication to. We have solved this in Desktop Publisher by adding a preview mode for mobile devices. You can access this preview mode from within Desktop Publisher by simply publishing your publication and then clicking on the “Mobile Preview” button in the publishing dialog window as seen below. 

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This will open a new window with the publication visible in a “emulated” iPad window. Please note that this is not a real emulation and that the resolution is most likely reduced compared to a real device. What FlexPaper does to preview your PDF flip book is to “fake” the user agent and convert the touch events to mouse events so that the viewer treats it as if it was a iPad device even if its running on a desktop PC without touch support. 

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What most people don’t know, is that the same can be done by simply adding a “#mobilepreview” parameter to the url of the viewer. For example to initiate the same preview mode in any browser simply append this parameter like so:

http://devaldi.com/zine/NZ_Tourism_2007.php?ro=html5,flash#mobilepreview=ipad

How to : open a PDF document in the browser at a specific page (flip book or classic portrait)

Wednesday 13th November 2013

This week we’re starting a new how-to series which will demonstrate a number of common practices using our classic and pdf flip book viewer. 

There are a number of different ways of opening your online pdf publication at a specific page. If you do not want to configure this manually then desktop Publisher helps you do this work for you as can be seen in the screen shot below. You can also see that I have selected flip book as the starting mode for my pdf publication. You can select any starting mode you like. 
image

If you publish a document and take a look at the javascript code that FlexPaper Publisher has produced for you, then you will see the page parameter being set in javascript as well. We have removed the surrounding parameters to avoid cluttering the example. 

$('#documentViewer').FlexPaperViewer(
...
{ config : { StartAtPage : 5
...
}});

The last but not least important way of opening a document at a specific page in the browser is through the URL. By simply supplying a #page parameter as part of your url you can have the browser open the document at a desired page. This is especially useful when you want to send a url to a work mate or friend and point out a specific page. You can see an example of how to do this with our html5 flip book viewer below:

http://devaldi.com/zine/NZ_Tourism_2007.php?ro=html5,flash#page=5

New icon set for FlexPaper classic

Tuesday 5th November 2013

We’re have added a new icon set for the FlexPaper classic document viewer and have added two more examples of our viewer on our demo page. It will be available in our upcoming release this month.

Let us know what you think!

http://devaldi.com/adaptiveui_customizable/Classic_Customizable_Document_Viewer.php?ro=flash,html5

FlexPaper 2.1.9 Release notes

Sunday 3rd November 2013

This maintenance release fixes a number of minor bugs and two security issues in some of our PHP and ASP.NET example scripts. A special thanks to Craig Arendt for identifying these issues!

We encourage you to update to this version.

  • onDocumentLoadedError now supplying error text in HTML4 & HTML5 mode

  • CSS performance improvements from removing unnessecary > * selectors
  • Improved security restrictions for how documents are loaded in our PHP/ASP.NET/JAVA examples
  • onInitializationComplete event added which fires when the viewer has initialized
  • Issue fixed for the annotations bottom toolbar on touch based devices
  • Issue corrected related to not being able to draw on visible pages on iOS7 devices in some scenarios
  • Slight corrections in relation to touch support for iPad (HTML4/HTML5) mode when viewing the document in portait mode
  • Issue fixed where certain user defined links would not appear properly in Zine (HTML4/HTML5 mode)
  • Fixed an issue where the Zine viewer in HTML4/HTML5 mode would shrink too much when resizing the window
  • FlexPaper Desktop Publisher now escapes all non-ascii characters (for example, ‘å’ becomes ’u00e5’) when exporting JSON files which will help in making more PDF files IE7 compatible when using the HTML4/HTML5 modes

  • Issue fixed where PDF files would not be downloadable in Zine flash version even if the download icon had been included
  • Issue corrected in a scenario where setting MaxZoomSize caused viewer not to be able to zoom when using Zine in HTML5/HTML4
  • Issue corrected where slider input controls in desktop publisher were not initialized properly
  • New style property added to FlexPaper Zine: ability to turn stretching of background on or off
  • Fixed an issue where custmo background color was not being set properly for tablet devices in Zine

In creating PDF flip books – supporting retina displays without crippling the browser

Sunday 27th October 2013

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While the iOS platform provides a excellent platform for publishing documents, it also presents a number of problems due to its limitations in memory and CPU. Providing a clear zoom without having to have the end user download very large documents can be a rather tricky problem to deal with. For example, there are limitations to both file sizes as well as image sizes in iOS as outlined by Apple’s developer guidelines.

FlexPaper Zine 2.1.8 implements a new method of sharpening text and image quality further on touch based devices. By creating a grid like structure over the document, the viewer determines what parts of a visible page that needs to be downloaded and downloads only these segments of the page in high resolution. 

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To use this new method, simply tick the “optimize publication using PHP” checkbox when publishing your document from the desktop publisher app. 

Have a look at a example PDF document which has been converted to a pdf flip book with support for the grid high res loading method

This method currently requires the server you use to host your documents to support PHP5 (or higher) together with GD.