Tuesday, August 16, 2016

Peruse 1.1 "The Cuppa Release"

Slightly later than the 21st of June this year, the inaugural release of the Peruse comic book reader was made, and received with while not wide spread excitement, then certainly with mostly positive comments (and some very good suggestions). If you are a software developer yourself, you will know exactly how much this means to me. If you are not: This is what sustains us, what encourages us to continue working on the things we do. Thank you all very much!

Today marks the day at which some of those suggestions have been turned into reality. Obviously by no means all of them, some will take longer to surface than others, but even then, today marks the official release of Peruse 1.1, entitled The Cuppa Release, because hey, who doesn't like a nice cuppa, with their comics, eh? ;)

Get Peruse Now

What happened?

During the last month or so, a fair few little bits changed in Peruse, but perhaps the biggest change was not Peruse itself, but rather the Kirigami framework on which the user interface in Peruse is based. This has now also had its inaugural release, and the 1.0 release announcement included mentions of Peruse (and a quote from yours truly). Not only that, but Heise.de decided to use Peruse as the pull-in, and had a screenshot of that as their image. So, you know, that's pretty neat.

Peruse itself, of course, has not sat still while waiting for that to happen. It would not be worthy of a 1.1 version if that were the case, then it would have simply been version 1 with updated libraries. What follows is a condensed list of the changes in Peruse itself, in no particular order (since people of course will consider different things more important):
  • More natural keyboard controls (f to enter full screen, escape to exit, book details closed with escape, and navigation through the book details screen now functions as expected as well with arrow keys changing the book and enter opening the book)
  • Settings page is now a top level page, same as the bookshelves and so on, making it feel much more natural
  • The sidebar now shows which page you are currently on
  • Make the context drawer able to host subitems, and use that for the first view option (Right To Left and Left To Right navigation, aka Manga Mode)
  • Fullscreen enter/exit is now more solid (and ensures the current page is restored when switching, as that would fail sometimes)
  • Fix the page-change animation (which was never stopped like it was supposed to, causing a certain amount of heaviness where none needed to exist)
  • Don't allow dragging the pagestack around when there aren't any controls (as that's simply jarring)

My sister Liv, reading a comic, with a nice cuppa, in mum and dad's garden.
Yup, i'm visiting the parents ;)

And finally, we have another couple of options for people who want to run the application:

Firstly, people asked about packages for Arch, and a it was within the abilities of the Open Build Service to create Arch binaries, we are happy to say that such packages now exist.

Secondly, and perhaps more interestingly for a larger number of people, and part of the reason it has taken so long to get 1.1 out the door: We now have an AppImage of Peruse, available right beside all the other options on the website. Don't want to install Peruse packages, or don't have them available for your distribution? Well, if it's modern enough, you should be able to run Peruse without needing to install anything. And the size? Well, with more space optimisation to be done, and considering the sheer amount of dependencies that Okular brings with it, at 86 MiB, i don't think that it's at all bad.

What happens now?

So, what is next for Peruse? Well, other than making it better, faster, smaller, stronger and all those lovely things that might be considered a bit fluffy, there are still plenty of items on the Work Board over on the project page. One item, however, which is missing from that board right now is a little tool which is slowly taking shape in the git repository, called Peruse Creator.

Having talked with people who make comics (both hobbyists and self published full timers), one thing they've mentioned is that while they would certainly like to make it easy for people to get their comics for use in something like Peruse, and while it is fairly straightforward to create cbz archives (literally just a zip file with pictures in it), the problem remains that it is still not quite point and click easy. So, enter Peruse Creator, a tool which initially just creates those cbz files with a sprinkling of useful metainfo, the format of which is hinted at in this task. Initially that work will not include the viewports - but if we don't build the foundations, castles in the sky tend to fall down rather hard. Since that is where we are headed, let's get that foundation nice and solid, and ready to hold up all our dreams.

So, what happens now? The future? The future is full of speech bubbles and beautiful vistas and tight closeups and, above all, amazing stories told by creators throughout the world. Watch this space (and drop by QtCon if you want to know something more).

The word of the day is: Green (because that's the colour of all the pretty things in my parents' garden i can see through the window i am sat next to ;) )

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Blogger Ubiman said...

Hello I tried to start the Appimage and I got this error:

peruse: error while loading shared libraries: libselinux.so.1: cannot open shared object file: No such file or directory

My system is Manjato Rolling x64.

16 August 2016 at 22:37  
Blogger leinir said...


Thank you for giving it a shot! :) Right, any AppImage is likely to require selinux to be installed on the system it runs on. Personally i thought it was, in fact, just a given on any modern system, but i guess it isn't on Arch and some of the derivatives, like Manjaro... The reason for that suspicion was that suse, which is not necessarily the fastest to adopt such things, as had at least basic support (and consequently the library) since 11.1. The default excludelist that's used when creating AppImages is https://raw.githubusercontent.com/probonopd/AppImages/master/excludelist and as you can see, libselinux.so.1 is a part of that list. Not entirely certain how to fix that, but i shall confer with people on the topic, thank you for noticing it :)

17 August 2016 at 11:09  
Blogger Unknown said...

Congratulations, can't wait to give it a try!

22 August 2016 at 09:22  
Blogger leinir said...


Thank you so much! :D Really hope you like it :)

23 August 2016 at 10:18  

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