Calibre, the eBook reader and management software developed for multiple platforms, including Linux, has just reached version 1.27 and features a lot of small, but important changes.
The Calibre developer is pushing out updates almost on a weekly basis, with very few exceptions. The last update released today didn't bring any major new features, but instead we got a lot of smaller changes that are important nonetheless.
One of the most interesting changes in Calibre 1.27 is the improvement made for the extraction of DJVU documents. This is not a widely spread format, but it's still found and used today.
This particular format can be employed to store a combination of images, text, and drawings. If it sounds a lot like the PDF format, that's because it's actually an alternative and it was considered once to be a suitable replacement for PDF. It didn't really catch on, but it's still in use.
If you ever used Calibre to convert PDF files to text, then you know that it can be a real pain, and most of the time the results are not entirely satisfactory. Unfortunately, this is the same for DJVU format. The latest version of the application, the one made available today, has sped up extraction of text from DJVU files by implementing the BZZ decoder algorithm in C.
Users are now able to extract multiple books from inside a ZIP or RAR file. This can be done very easily by selecting “Add multiple books from archive” from the main menu.
The database backend of Calibre has been improved so that if an I/O error (read / write) happens when the app is writing into the database, the connection to the database is closed and re-opened and the operation is started again.
A number of bugfixes have also been implemented. For example, the empty <a> tags are now handled correctly by the application when the HTML parser is being used, the correct names for non-BMP unicode characters are now shown correctly, a regression that prevented Calibre from working with the Calibre Sync Android app has been fixed, and more.
If you decided to compile your own version of Calibre, be warned. It has a lot of dependencies and it can be quite tricky. Fortunately, the developer also provides a complete list of dependencies, if you feel brave enough.