FBReader Future: a Look from the Early 2024

Published: 22nd January 2024


This post presents my vision of the app’s future. I list the key enhancements that could make FBReader even better. Please note that while I believe that these features are most important, their implementation is not immediate or exclusive; we may also focus on other areas. The plans could evolve. Due to limited resources, some goals might take time to be realized.

One more note. This list concerns significant changes and does not cover routine bug fixes or minor improvements.

The Wishlist

All Platforms
  • The Readium LCP support. The feature will allow the users to connect more catalogues and read more books.
  • Replacing our current position format with an open standard, ePub CFI. The feature opens possibilities to interchange FBReader info with other ebook readers.
  • Tables support in ePubs. This feature has been missing since the beginning of the app and was not so important as FBReader was mainly for fiction books. In the changing world, tables have become much more common.
  • Right-to-left languages support. Earlier versions of FBReader had a function of bidirectional text rendering. It was lost during the app evolution and must be implemented again.
  • Transparent cloud sync, like it is done on other platforms. This feature probably requires additional effort on the server side, as the new implementation would be more popular among the users.
  • The reading aloud for PDFs. This is a missing feature that makes the app look incomplete. The problem is that the “default” text order in a PDF might surprise the users.
  • The PDF reflow. The feature is necessary to make FBReader a powerful PDF viewer.
  • Colour themes for the window decoration. At the very least, we need to implement different themes for day and night and a special e-ink theme. The implementation in beta is weird and must be re-designed before appearing in the release branch.
  • The OPDS (network catalogues) support. The AppStore review may restrict the features list. However, the MacOS version with OPDS is already in the store.
  • PDF support. There are a number of good PDF viewers on iOS. However, FBReader must support the same set of formats on all platforms as it has the sync feature.
  • Reading aloud. Again, it would be nice to have the same feature set on all platforms.
  • PDF support. The Qt library includes a PDF widget; we could use it.
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