I’ve been trying to find a good digital comic reader for a while. While there are good desktop options, I’ve found that web-based ones often fall short. Maybe that’s for a reason–is there a good, solid reason to use a browser-based reader when desktop readers work just fine? Maybe not. That’s a question that is important to sit and ask yourself before beginning any project–especially in a time when more and more companies, designers and developers are jumping on the “web app” bandwagon. Making a web application just for the sake of making one is almost as ill-fated as making a design responsive just because that’s the current buzzword.
In this case, I tabled the project for a few days while I earnestly thought about why I might need to use a web-based solution. The solution was in front of me all along–the Chromebook sitting on my coffee table. Often times when traveling, I might take the Chromebook instead of my MBP to save on space and weight, in which case it would be nice to have a web application for browsing digital comics.
In my research, I came across Kthoom, but it hadn’t been updated in a very long time. Aside from that, it was functionally serviceable if not a little bit garish/not user friendly. I ended up forking this project and molding it into my own spinoff titled Webhead(github).
My goals with this project are to:
- Clean up the existing UI from Kthoom (this includes bringing in bootstrap and responsive elements)
- Modernize the code to use LESS
- Update the overall UX of the application–this will rely on some heavy workflow modifications
- Implement more desktop features into the web app (gutter previews and 2-page display being the big ones)
- Clean up some bugs that came with the fork (Google Drive integration)
I don’t have a release date in mind, I’ll be using this as a learning experience and plan to step through it when I have time and am able. I’ll keep my github repository updated as I meet different milestones and may wait to post about the project again here until it is finished.