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Mangle - a better manga reader for the kindle
adq
As a slight break from KIF, I decided to fix another annoyance with my kindle: the built in manga reader.

Note: Mangle 0.2 is now available.

I was really quite impressed that it natively supported CBZ files (thanks to whoever on the dev team sneaked that in! ;)
However, it does seem a bit buggy:
  • It  frequently forgets to refresh parts of the page.
  • It frequently forgets to hide the top bar in fullscreen so you have to turn it off and on or you lose the top of the image.
  • It doesn't remember where you got to with multiple-volume CBZs (e.g. individual chapters of something).
  • I don't really want *every* chapter showing up as an individual entry in the main documents list, and moving them into collections is a total pain.
Mangle attempts to fix these:
  • Manga are stored in separate subdirectories of <kindleusb>/development/mangle/work.
  • It remembers where you got to across multiple CBZs.
  • No screen refresh issues (barring bugs, which can be fixed!).
It does currently have a few issues of its own though:
  • I can't see an API to put a kindlet in "full screen" mode so the top bar stays there always.
  • Navigation is a bit limited; you should be able to seek to specific CBZs/pages/etc instead of just page-by-page.
  • Only been tested on a Kindle 3 (so far...).
  • For some reason the "busy" spinner vanishes when it first opens a manga: it sits at a white screen for a few seconds looking like it is doing nothing.
As with KIF 0.1, treat this as an early alpha: functional, but with a fair amount remaining to do.
Note: as I cannot access the normal "documents" folder from a kindlet, you need to put your CBZs in a subdirectory of <kindleusb>/developer/mangle/work. For example, if you have a comic called "fred", put the CBZs for it in the <kindleusb>/developer/mangle/work/fred directory.


To install it: (as with KIF, you will need to jailbreak and install my developer keys)

First of all, lets jailbreak: The kindle jailbreaking was developed over at the mobiread forums, here. The following is a very quick summary, see the mobiread thread for more information:
  1. Download kindle-jailbreak-0.3.N.zip from that thread.
  2. Extract it on your computer.
  3. Copy the correct update_*_install.bin to the root of the kindle over USB. See the thread for information on which. (For my UK Kindle 3 with 3g, I use update_jailbreak_k3gb_install.bin).
  4. Safely remove and disconnect the kindle.
  5. Go to [HOME] -> [MENU] > Settings -> [MENU] > Update Your Kindle.
  6. It'll take a wee while, and the update will fail with a U004 or a U006 error (this is expected).
tada, your kindle is rooted. Now, normally at this point you'd wonder what to do now... well, lets move on to stage 2:
  1. Download kindle-adqdevkeys-0.1.zip from here.
  2. Extract it on your computer.
  3. Copy the correct update_adqdevkeys_*_install.bin to the root of the kindle over USB. It'll be the same code as for the rooting.
  4. Safely remove and disconnect the kindle.
  5. Go to [HOME] -> [MENU] > Settings -> [MENU] > Update Your Kindle.
  6. This time, the update will succeed, and will install my developer keys into /var/local/java/keystore/developer.keystore. In case you already are an official KDK developer, any existing developer.keystore file will be backed up into that directory. 
At this point you should have escaped the maze of twisty updates; installing Mangle can be done entirely by copying files over usb:
  1. Download mangle-0.2.zip from here.
  2. Extract it to your computer with the full directory structure.
  3. Copy the extracted directory structure onto the root of the kindle USB drive. (e.g. "mangle.azw2 should end up in your kindle documents folder). 
  4. Disconnect, and wait for the home screen to refresh.
  5. "mangle" should appear as an option... click it! 
Oh, the source is available from here.

you are a master

(Anonymous)

2010-10-21 05:27 am (UTC)

I'm looking forward for home to test it.

So what we can expect next? bookreader.azw2 (for sorted books) ? or flashSWF.azw2 (for swf games - like chess or sudoku? ).

that would be just a superb, fantastic, wonderfull... etc

Re: you are a master

adq

2010-10-21 11:27 pm (UTC)

Ta :)

I was tempted to see how easy an epub reader would be, but I reckon I should finish off the first two properly first!

rikaichan into Kindle

(Anonymous)

2010-11-03 03:03 pm (UTC)

Hi Andrew,

It seems to be a nice job what you are doing to improve the experience of reading manga in Kindle. Good Job! I think Kindle could become a great tool for learning Japanese.

I would suggest that you try and contact the people behind the rikaichan addon for Firefox. It would be wonderful if one could pop-up a English translation for a Japanese the way rikaichan does.

I definitely would do it myself were I a programmer.

You can find rikaichan at:
https://addons.mozilla.org/en-US/firefox/addon/2471/

Thank you,

Cleber

Re: rikaichan into Kindle

adq

2010-12-05 03:07 pm (UTC)

That IS a good idea actually, but unfortunately there's no official API for modifying the core Kindle apps; all I can do is add new apps that are entirely self contained.

I do hope amazon enhance the platform allow this sort of thing though!

Sorry my english, but this is great site, I wil add to my favorites.

Hi, it says that the kindle-adqdevkeys-0.1.zip file is not found when I click on it? Can I possibly get a reuplaod please?

Thank you so much in advance for creating this btw :D

-Hana

Have a look in the downloads area on the google code project - there's a newer release of the devkeys. Updated link too

Is this still an on-going project?

Carl Bullock

2011-05-26 01:26 am (UTC)

This looks like a really good app, I was just wondering if development was dead or if it's still on-going?

Re: Is this still an on-going project?

adq

2011-06-16 08:42 pm (UTC)

I've not really had the urge to do anything to it recently; too busy redecorating.

Does it work on Kindle Touch (4th generation)?

Lorenzo Nencini

2011-12-29 04:59 pm (UTC)

I have found out only after buying it that the KT doesn't have the Image Viewer so your app seems to be the solution: the jailbreak for the KT is out and I would be really happy if someone has tested it.
I'm a newbie in the Kindle world so I even don't know if an app needs to be programmed for a specific model or if it's universal.

Re: Does it work on Kindle Touch (4th generation)?

adq

2012-04-13 10:55 pm (UTC)

Yeah no idea, don't have one myself.... yet anyway :-)

help!

(Anonymous)

2012-01-01 02:36 am (UTC)

the kindle-adqdevkeys-0.2 won't update, so I can't get mangle to work :( please help!