Daniel Reetz, the founder of the DIY Book Scanner community, has recently started making videos of prototyping and shop tips. If you are tinkering with a book scanner (or any other project) in your home shop, these tips will come in handy. https://www.youtube.com/channel/UCn0gq8 ... g_8K1nfInQ

Daniel Learns About Spreads (on Windows, at least)

General discussion about software packages and releases, new software you've found, and threads by programmers and script writers.
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Re: Daniel Learns About Spreads (on Windows, at least)

Post by spamsickle » 02 Sep 2013, 14:13

jbaiter wrote: Windows seems to do some stuff with the cameras in the background at all times, which prevents VirtualBox from accessing them. It does, however, correctly handle every USB device *besides* the cameras :roll: .
Probably some NSA Peepshow back door.

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Re: Daniel Learns About Spreads (on Windows, at least)

Post by daniel_reetz » 02 Sep 2013, 14:41

I've installed Linux Mint on my laptop - was unhappy with my Ubuntu install- I'm going to install Spreads there and test it. I'm not going to delete any posts but I want to keep the topic of these threads on Spreads please.

I'll make a new thread for trying it out on Linux Mint.

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Re: Daniel Learns About Spreads (on Windows, at least)

Post by jbaiter » 02 Sep 2013, 16:45

spamsickle wrote:Based on your implied recommendation, I took a look at the Spreads documentation. It looks to me like Spreads is a wrapper for Scan Tailor, with post-Scan Tailor options for creating a variety of ebook formats.
That's only part of it. At its core, spreads is a fairly small framework that retrieves images from devices (using device-specific plugins), calls some plugins which modify the pictures in some way and calls some other plugins that that generate some kind of output format from those modified images. You can do pretty much anything you want (custom UI, new devices, custom post-processing or output procedures) by implementing a plugin. I currently mainly use ScanTailor for post-processing, but there's no stopping you from creating one for your preferred method . Same goes for devices, the code is open enough to support all kinds, from flatbed scanners to mobile phones. (Although currently the API is limited to USB peripherals, but that might change in the future)
I'm currently using CHDK scripts which fire my cameras in-sync every five seconds, so a setup tethered to my computer which requires me to press a button is not desirable. After I've scanned a book, I'm manually copying the memory chip images to Left and Right folders on my computer; it looks like Spreads could automate this step, if I connect both cameras to the computer with a pair of USB cables or a USB hub.
The method of triggering is up to the UI implementation (also a plugin...). A command-line switch that would automatically trigger a capture on both devices every "n" seconds would be trivial to implement, I just didn't see a need for it yet, that's why it isn't there. As far as I know I'm currently the only regular user of spreads, that's why it's still far away from a 1.0 and might look a little dodgy and immature in parts.
I'm convinced that, long-term, ebooks will be stored as marked-up text, images, and optionally (in formats like PDF) some way of specifying the original layout. To go from a physical book to that ebook will require highly accurate OCR. I have Omnipage, Abbyy, I.R.I.S., and Acrobat. I would like to correlate the OCR output from all four, accept the text for which all agree, and present the text alternatives along with the original page image to allow human decision where they differ. Is it conceivable that Spreads would be able to facilitate something like that? I'm saving all my original JPEGs when I scan, for the day when that will become possible. In the meantime, I'm content to read YASW's JPEG output. Disk space is cheap. 64 GB thumb drives are affordable, and can easily hold all the books I'm reading at any given time even when each "ebook" requires several hundred megabytes.
It could of course be possible to realize that kind of functionality with a postprocessing plugin. One problem here is that OCR engines differ vastly in their output formats (ABBY only produces XML in their super-expensive enterprise version, Tesseract and Ocropus can do hOCR, I have no clue what formats Omnipage offers), so there will be a whole lot of conversion with possible loss of information (what if one OCR engine operates on the character-level, but the other on the word-level? What about encoding? What if only one engine includes formatting beyond bold/italics?). It would be a nice thing to experiment with, though, for sure!
It's not my intention to derail this thread or annoy anyone. Feel free to move or delete this question if it doesn't belong here. I haven't explored Spreads at all, and I realize my own direction hasn't been mainstream for quite a while now.
I'm not exactly sure what your "own direction" is, but I 100% agree with your opinion on storage and am not annoyed at all :-)
spreads: Command-line workflow assistant

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