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Community Wishlist Survey 2019/Multimedia and Commons/Improve the PDF/book reader

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Improve the PDF/book reader

  • Problem: When we view a scanned book in PDF or DjVu format in Commons or Wikisource, its always single-page view. Every-time we go to the next page, we need to click on the drop down menu of pages. See this book in Commons for example. For book readers, its more like viewing images than reading books. This not only creates difficulty in reading, but also in identifying missing, duplicated pages etc. if the file needs to be corrected.
  • Who would benefit: Commons & Wikisource editors and readers


  • Random-access page selection should remain possible (i.e., if I want page 234, I should not have to click 234 times to turn 234 pages). An interface allowing page turning either by scrolling or by clicking would be good, as some people find the one or the other physically difficult. Something which would aid OCR copyediting/transcription might also be nice. The phab page has some examples of interfaces. HLHJ (talk) 01:26, 31 October 2018 (UTC)[reply]
  • Hi Bodhisattwa. This problem is something Community Tech would love to work on. It's not clear that the proposed solution is the only or best way to fix it, however. I'd like to invite you to change the title of the proposal to focus more on the problem you want addressed than on the specific software you have in mind as a fix. This will not only make the title more accurately reflect how Community Tech would tackle this problem, it will make the proposal more appealing to the many people who've never tried the IA BookReader but who may have experienced sub-parr pdf reading. Good luck! —JMatazzoni (WMF) (talk) 17:09, 31 October 2018 (UTC)[reply]
  • An alternative proposal would be to integrate an IIIF service for serving Commons files (phab:T187872). There are a number of different viewers out there than can present content from IIIF sources, including ones offering views quite similar to the IA viewer, and ones that can have their appearance configured using optional stylesheets. I would agree that the IA viewer interface is particularly good, and should be a recommended model for such things. Jheald (talk) 20:47, 5 November 2018 (UTC)[reply]
In fact, I've since learnt that the IA viewer itself can take an IIIF Manifest to specify its input data. So if we could get that going, it would simply be a matter of including a choice for the user to see IIIF content rendered in/by the IA viewer. Jheald (talk) 15:14, 14 November 2018 (UTC)[reply]

Bodhisattwa I am going to rename this proposal so the title is more generic (many people may not be familiar with the Internet Archive BookReader) and also so it gives us more room to experiment with different PDF readers in case implementing a different one is easier/better. I hope that is okay. Please do let me know if you have any concerns. Thank you for the proposal. -- NKohli (WMF) (talk) 18:56, 14 November 2018 (UTC)[reply]