Introduction to the Thoutreader ebook reader

I might be one of the last people to know about this, but here goes anyway.

I was (yet again) at the MySQL website looking for the place to download the latest documentation, when I noticed this curious download link called Thoutreader format. Intrigued, I clicked on the link and it took me to the MySQL documentation download link at http://www.osoft.com .

Turns out that the OSoft ThoutReader is an opensource (GPL) Java based cross-platform ebook reader (Sourceforge project). This was exciting - this company gives away the reader, the authoring tools etc. for free, and makes money by providing a valued service - selling DRMed ebook versions of paper books. Now this is not all, as a service to OSS developers it has already created free (non-DRMed) reference packages for the complete Perl, PHP, Python, Apache and MySQL documentation! The Python section of the store not only has the official documentation but also copies of the excellent Dive Into Python by Mark Pilgrim, and the popular A Byte of Python by our very own Swaroop CH.

Browsing documentation in Thoutreader

The features section of Thoutreader talks about the improvements of the reader over other ebook readers. I am directly quoting some important features here:

Package library in Thoutreader

I have already downloaded several of the free available packages. The download process involves accepting a licence which I found odd because the packages I was downloading were free documentation. True to my reputation I didnt bother reading through the legalese and blindly accepted it. But I am sure that licence document requires some inspection.

A grouse I had with the download process was that it prevented me from using a download manager to download the files. So when Firefox died on me in the middle, I had to restart the download from scratch. I am sure a transition from a cookie based shopping cart to one with the sessionid in URL would prevent such an annoyance.

The upcoming titles list is really impressive! Compared to the present paid-for packages(books), this list had some which I can spend money on.

I never thought that being a read-from-printout-only kind that I was, I would be excited by an ebook reader! But there are some reasons behind it.

In conclusion, I am really impressed with this latest addition to the Linux platform of an OSS tool I always wanted. I sincerely wish Osoft success in this venture and hope that this ebook platform catches on like wild fire.

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