- by PERCE-NEIGE, 8 months agoRated 2 out of 5That's a very good idea, but I really hate the fact it imposes the .zim format only. If I want it with .zip for instance, I cannot. In my opinion, it should allow .epub or .pdf download, as a way to select articles to make a book. That's a pity they don't offer this option.
- by Firefox user 14168464, 3 years agoRated 2 out of 5Mixed reactions: the only cross-platform (Linux mint & Windows 10) kiwix viewer that works reliably when loading ZIM archives ad-hoc - SD cards, USB sticks, external and internal HDDs - but it wastes screen space like a maniac.
Either it was purposely designed to waste 50% of the depth of the screen (even when using firefox's F11 full-screen option) on the basis no one uses 'legacy' hardware that comes with a landscape screen, keyboard and touchpad or there is a pressing technical reason for the two-tier front end, but if so I can't work out what it is:
One banner (about 15% of the screen) is taken up with a version number and three buttons, all of them huge beyond reason even for touch screens) another 15% is consumed by a huge search box large enough to scrawl a signature; the bottom 15% is visible but only just, as it is used to frame the buttons that could fit - together with the search box - into the top tier and still have it fit into 10% of the screen (just like it does in the 'real' Kiwix app). The net effect is fully half the area that might otherwise display the selected article is rendered useless and none of this can be altered or hidden by the user.
For my money this is where an otherwise brilliant solution that fails miserably compared to native Kiwix installations run on identical hardware: in this respect content is key and that content is mostly in writing, where this looks more like a media player.
Traditional Kiwix might promise the earth but it does deliver, kinda: it's impossibly difficult to work oot where all the downloads, indexes etc are hidden, it's easy to waste huge amounts of data only for it to vanish into a labyrinthine file tree where the library management and indexing happens in a roaming profile that only works on one specific system but at least you can read the bl**dy content.
By that measure this viewer doesn't cut it: the net effect is a portable, system-independent ZIM archive reader that actively prevents the user putting it to its intended purpose by presenting Wikipedia as if the user is peering through a mail slot at Wikipedia on a neighbour's computer... which might possibly explain the huge, clunky GUI: it's intended to be used with a TV-size touch screen while sitting on a couch using a stylus taped to a pool cue.