I love my Kindle 3. It's a great little gadget which has increased the amount of books I read - which is by itself an outstanding accomplishment. I feel I don't need to describe its many benefits here because the interested reader either already has it or knows how to use Google well enough to find out all about it.
But, there is one very significant feature from Kindle which I very much miss - a simple text editor. I'm not a passive content consumer and I write a lot, and so since I haven't found (to my great surprise) any such thing already, available, I'd like to offer a bounty of $60 to anyone who can create a working text editor for Kindle 3, with the required features describe in the rest of this blog post.
I don't really care how such a text editor will be done - either as a native app with God knows what hacks, or a Java SDK app, as long as it has the following features important to me:
- Supports editing text files of at least 256 KiB in size (Yes, I do have such long text files. I write.)
- Is completely compatible with the rest of the Kindle's features (i.e. it doesn't disable any of its existing features, including the link to the Amazon store, etc.)
- Supports "soft word wraps" (i.e. lines wrapped to screen width without actually being wrapped in the text file itself)
- Supports UTF-8 file encoding, preserves line end encoding (LF/CRLF)
- Implements Amazon's conventions of device usability (i.e. the direction pad "arrows" allows the cursor to move up, down, left, right, the "back" and "forward" page buttons work, symbol characters can be inserted, etc.)
- Has a status bar displaying the current line number (relative to the file, not soft-wrapped) and column (character) positions, the total file size in KB and the number of lines
- Has an integrated mini file selection "dialog" for opening and saving files on the internal flash storage (accessible when mounted via USB), automatically saves when the app is exited / swapped or the device goes to sleep
- Does not require Amazon's Kindle software delivery services for installation on the device (because that service is not available in my country)
- The author is available to maintain it and create small bug fixes for the app at least 12 months after its public release
- Optional: Can toggle between fixed-width (monospaced) font and a variable-width font, copy & paste
This is it - the basic features for a text editor.
The reason why I want a text editor is that I would really like to be able to write something in the same circumstances where I read something - in the train, in bed, in a park, etc., and the Kindle's keyboard is not really that bad for a device of its purpose (I don't know of its durability). The Kindle is lighter and more convenient to use than plain tablets, and (maybe more importantly), it can be used in daylight. As far as I'm concerned, the Kindle is not complete without a means to create content on it.
This bounty is valid from today, 2012-03-04, until someone approaches me with at least 50% of the implementation, but it's only payable when the application implements all the features numbered 1-9 in the above list. I will pay it out via PayPal.
I would appreciate (and encourage it) if the proposed solution is released as Open source, but I will not mandate it, as long as I get to use it unlimitedly.
If anyone's interested, please contact me for any details and clarifications you may require! Also, if anyone has a better idea / place to put this bounty on, or wants to contribute, contact me!