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Nayanika: History

"The study and the documentation of the past", is a definition of history.

Nayanika was the longest side-project that I’ve worked on. The intention to work on it already started back in 2020. Before I start working on the new era of Nayanika, I want to write down its history of Nayanika. This will make a good reminder whenever I’m facing a roadblock in the future.


What is your childhood entertainment?

For me, it was reading comic books. I remember the first comic books I have is Batman: Year One. I loved that book and still, have it at my parent’s house. Besides American Comic Books, I also loved reading Japanese Manga. The drawing style and the story are different, but I still like them.

But, I couldn’t freely read any comic books. I lived and grow up in a small city. The nearby local bookstore doesn’t have many collections. Japanese Manga was slightly better compared with American comic books. For Japanese Manga gap between each series could be 3-6 months. And for the American Comic Book could take 12-18 months.

But, everything changed during my 2nd year in high school. I was invited by my best friend to a place, that has an extensive collection of Japanese Manga. This place also provides computers with internet access. Later on, I found out it was called Manga Cafe. The good thing about this place is, that I could borrow Mangas for one or two weeks.

I always visit this place during the weekend to borrow two or three series But, it only last until I graduated from high school After graduating, I moved to a different city to continue my study at Brawijaya University.

The city is bigger compared to my hometown But, there is no Manga Cafe like in my hometown. The bookstore collection is slightly better, but still too small. I confirmed this with my friends who have the same hobbies as me.

So, the story started. Friends of mine who have the same hobbies, introduce me to a certain website. This website has a lot of Japanese Manga there. Some websites offer the Bahasa language and others offer the English language. It answers my question about how my friends still could enjoy reading Manga. Later, I just realized that website is publishing pirated mangas.

I remember downloading the manga using my university internet connection. So later on I could read it offline during my break.

Well…​ This is the story of how Nayanika’s idea was born.

The Driving Idea

Wait, I didn’t see any correlation in your story?

It’s there my cyber friends. The part that I could read offline was the driving idea.

Basically, I was collecting Manga series from those pirated websites. Even though now I would buy from the official store if possible. But, sometimes when it’s not available from the stores I will back to those websites.

What I have is a collection from an image of the Manga series. To view it, I was using Windows Photo Viewer which is already included in my Windows 7 Home Edition. I was quite happy using this application.

Sadly, Windows Photo Viewer is only last on Windows version 7. When you upgrade to Windows 8 onwards, what you will get is Microsoft Photos.

But, I’m not the only one who loved Windows Photo Viewer. Because there is a hack on bringing back the Windows Photo Viewer on Windows 10.

Windows Photo Viewer is clearly abandoned by Microsoft. Using a hack to bring it back is wrong. It’s like bringing back something that has already been forgotten back to life. You can’t complain if it’s buggy. Or the performance is not on par during its golden time.

Do I try different applications? Yes, I do. But, I’m limited to the built-in app on the Operating System itself. For your reference, I need to wise spend my money at that time. I have tried Windows Photo on Windows 10, Gweenview from KDE, and Preview from Mac OS. For your information, I’m borrowing my friend’s MacBook to try the Preview.

But, none of its checked my boxes, so I am building one myself.

Digital Comic Books

In the beginning, I thought what I want is a picture viewer application. Since what I have is just a collection of images. But, when I learn deeper about this domain. I was wrong.

Reading official American Comic Books and Japanese Manga digitally is possible. Not from the pirated website, of course. Nowadays, these comic books have digital versions alongside their paperbacks release. Many stores sell it, for example, Amazon has quite a lot of American Comic Books and Japanese Manga in digital versions.

How ignorant I am to only realized this after 1.5 years of developing Nayanika.

The digital comic books from these official stores are bundled into files with the format CBZ / CBR. Sometimes, a PDF file. So rare for stores to provide a collection of images. Thus, Nayanika should evolve to become a comic book reader application.

The Present

At the present, I already have a working Minimum Viable Product (MVP). I have two actually. The first project is already archived. And the second is ready to be archived as well. I know how absurd I am. But, let me defend myself.

The decision to archived it is because of how immature I am. I just sit and start to code. Without any prior knowledge and proper preparation. I think of this project the same as my other side projects And, this leads me to see current Nayanika have many flaws.

How Nayanika is about comic book readers instead of picture viewers I don’t have a proper release plan. I couldn’t rank the features. I feel lost and don’t have any vision.

I could say that my perfection is clearly shown in this project. But, I want to live and accept it. Even though I need to rebuild Nayanika again from scratch.

I also want to use my knowledge about software development for this project. From requirements gatherings, designing, coding and then releasing it. I know that maybe what I build next is not be better than what I have right now. But, this will be a valuable experience for me and people who are also interested.

Good things, I already have proper knowledge about how to implement important features. I’m hoping the journey of the new Nayanika will be smoother.

The Future

I will write my journey publicly. Share everything including blocker and my doubt along the way. As for the technology not much change. I will still use Java & JavaFX technology.

And for the feature and the rest could be different. It will depend during my requirement gatherings and designing process.

For once, I was really hype and couldn’t wait to start and share with you, my cyber friends. Hope, a little history about my Nayanika could hook you up. Let’s see on the next installment.

If you have any comments or corrections please feel free to email them to me. Also, if you found any of the content on this website useful consider buy me a coffee ;)