Other Things

(a blog)

Eucalyptus FAQ

How often will the 'Picks' change?

We plan to add a couple more every week or so. We like to have a good mix, from well known classics to the more esoteric. If you have a book you'd like to recommend, please send us a "Reader Pick"! Details are on the blog, here.

Why doesn't Eucalyptus support languages other than English?

The algorithms that analyze the books for chapters, headings etc. - even things like hyphenation - are all heavily dependent on the books being in English.  As it is, if Eucalyptus downloaded books in non-English languages, they'd be badly formatted and hard to read.

Why are so few results shown in the list above the 'Get Books' search keyboard?

The list that appears in Get Books' search panel, above the keyboard while you type, is just a list of suggestions. If you tap the "Search" button on the keyboard instead of choosing a suggestion, you will be shown a full set of results for your search (other search functions on the iPhone - for example the iPhone App Store's search - work in the same manner, incidentally).

Can I import my own book files into Eucalyptus?

No. Eucalyptus text layout routines are all highly tuned to ASCII format books from the Project Gutenberg archive.  Ease of reading and quality of rendering are two of Eucalyptus' defining attributes. If we do this in the future, we'd want to take the time to make the reading experience at least as good as it is for the books Eucalyptus currently supports. 

Can I tap to turn the pages instead of swiping?

No, but you can just give a very tiny flick anywhere on the page, and it'll turn with its own momentum - you don't need to drag the whole screen width if you don't want to. Anecdotally, I often fully turn the page with my thumb, finding myself still reading the bottom couple of lines as I turn, just like I would on a paper book. 

Why can I find books on the Project Gutenberg web site that I can't find in Eucalyptus?

Eucalyptus accesses the English-language, non-copyright, "plain text" formatted books from Project Gutenberg's collection. If the book you're looking for is available in "plain text" English, and you can't find it in Eucalyptus, it's likely that it's a copyrighted book that Project Gutenberg has been given permission to distribute on a non-profit basis. This can even be the case with older non-English works if they're modern, copyrighted, translations into English. We do plan to look in to whether Eucalyptus can support reading these books in the future.

When will new books added to Project Gutenberg be available through Eucalyptus?

Providing they meet the requirements in the previous answer, new books are automatically available in Eucalyptus shortly after Project Gutenberg makes them available - usually no longer than a week. If it's taking longer than that for you to be able to access them, see the answer to "Why do I never seem to see any new Picks in my copy of Eucalyptus?", below - book information is synced from our server via the same mechanism as "Picks" information.

Does Eucalyptus show illustrations?

It does not - books are text only.

Why can't I browse the books by genre?

Implementing this is a bit of an engineering challenge, because there's not much bookstore-style genre information available. The Library of Congress classification scheme, which the books are cataloged under, is frustratingly hard to map to bookstore genres.  It is something we're considering solutions for.

Can I add bookmarks or annotations?

Not specifically. Eucalyptus does keep track of the last page you read for every book in your library, and always re-opens the books at that page.

Do I need Wi-Fi or network access to read the books?

No. After downloading a book, it's saved on your phone and you can read it at any time. It's perfect for airplanes!

Does Eucalyptus ever use the network when I'm reading?

Eucalyptus will use the network in the background, if it's available, to update Pick and search index information from our servers (so it may use a little bandwidth over the phone or Wi-Fi network, unless your iPhone's data transfer is disabled).

Why do I never seem to see any new Picks in my copy of Eucalyptus?

Eucalyptus syncs the Picks with our server in the background, while you're using the app (see "Does Eucalyptus ever use the network...," above). If you haven't used Eucalyptus in a while, it can take a little time until the new Picks are available. Take a break and read a book for five or ten minutes (with a network connection available) and things should sync up.

Any plans to make a version for Android/Blackberry/My phone?

No, none at this time.

Are any books in Eucalyptus filtered for 'objectionable content'?

No; not in any way. All the English-language, non-copyright books from Project Gutenberg's collection should be available.

How can I send feedback, or ask another question?

You can use the feedback button in Eucalyptus at any time (the leaf icon at the bottom left of the reading interface). Feel free to send email to eucalyptus@th.ingsmadeoutofotherthin.gs too.