View Full Version : MobileRead Reorganization - Part II (E-Book Tools Forum)


Alexander Turcic
05-29-2008, 06:45 PM
In recent months, we've seen an impressive increase of e-book tools created by talented developers from our community. Many of these tools are not necessarily device-specific; hence the idea to create a brand new forum parent dedicated to them.

I propose: We create a new forum parent labeled "E-Book Tools", which will be positioned between "E-Books" and "E-Book Devices". This new parent will contain subforums dedicated to popular tools, such as calibre, Book Designer, Mobiperl, and so on. We'll decide together which are the "popular" ones. The parent will also contain a catch-all subforum for collecting discussions of less popular or less actively maintained applications.

E-Book Tools
|
-- Book Designer (description)
|
-- calibre (description)
|
...
|
-- Other Tools

Is there anything you would do differently? Something I am missing or forgetting? It's your feedback that will continue to help us improve our community.

Thanks!

Alex

Patricia
05-29-2008, 06:57 PM
Seems a good idea to me.

zelda_pinwheel
05-29-2008, 07:02 PM
yes, excellent idea. ideally (but this does not really concern the reorganisation of the forums, really it will come afterwards) there could be sticky with a step by step tutorial, for each tool. in the case of the python scripts (by nick and others), it would be great to also have an explanation of how exactly to use them with the batch files or individually.

Over
05-29-2008, 07:13 PM
SOunds great!

But instead of "Other tools", I would let the "E-Book Tools" forum contain those topics. Any other topic related with the popular tools would be moved to the respective sub-forum.

Also, would Mobile Read host the latest versions of those tools in a sticky thread in each tool sub-forum?

TadW
05-29-2008, 07:23 PM
I like the direction this is going. It sounds like some kind of formal organization could enhance the usefulness of these tool forums. Maybe having the following three sticky topics everywhere:

- latest download link
- tutorial
- mr wiki link

brewt
05-29-2008, 07:55 PM
As much as people despise it, may I recommend:

--Word

??

I can't keep house without it........try as I might..........

-bjc

Elsi
05-29-2008, 09:43 PM
Also, would Mobile Read host the latest versions of those tools in a sticky thread in each tool sub-forum? If not host the files, at least maintain a sticky thread with a link to the place where they can be downloaded.

kovidgoyal
05-29-2008, 09:44 PM
I'd certainly appreciate having a separate calibre sub-forum, it would make it easier for me to stay on top of calibre related posts, without resorting to search. It will also give me a place I can point to from the calibre website.

TadW
05-30-2008, 04:01 AM
Small suggestion... to me it makes more sense to place the new parent forum between "E-Book Devices" and "E-Book Uploads". It's closer related to the uploads section than to the news section, plus devices should probably remain further on top.

John H
05-30-2008, 06:51 AM
I would like to see tools section dedicated to creation, organization and use (reading) of e-books. right now I'm searching for an organizer for my own documents and non-DRM books and it's not easy to find such.

Alexander Turcic
05-30-2008, 07:47 AM
John, I was thinking about this too, but I am afraid that your solution would be less flexible. What would we do with tools like calibre that allow to create, organize and read e-books? Also, I don't think we will have that many tools with dedicated forums to justify this kind of ordering.

I think the Wiki would be the ideal place to list links to tools the way you suggested.

nrapallo
05-30-2008, 10:22 AM
The Conversion Software (http://wiki.mobileread.com/wiki/E-book_conversion) wiki is not organized like you would want the subforums to be.

I think a closer match to the way to organize these sub-forums would be the Development Hub (https://dev.mobileread.com/trac/hub/) layout with the significant Misc. entries being sub-forums on their own; PDFRead could be in it's own sub-forum and everything else eBookwise specific could be in just one sub-forum.

BTW, the IMP (http://wiki.mobileread.com/wiki/IMP) wiki lists at the bottom of the page all the software/tools that are useful for eBookwise users and can serve as a guide for what should be in the ebookwise software sub-forum.

astrodad
05-30-2008, 10:49 AM
Of course this is a great idea, having suggested one for calibre only minutes before your post. Haha, this forum is great, you all rock!

There should be a sticky in each forum that has the basic details:

- what is the tool supposed to do
- what platforms (computer and readers) does it support
- where to get more info (websites, wiki, etc.)
- posting guidelines (there is a possibility that the authors of the tools may want a different posting guidelines, especially for support)
- author profile
- donate links (if the authors have one)

Alexander Turcic
05-30-2008, 11:10 AM
Nick, if I understood you right, you want to categorize tools by device... but this is exactly what we're trying to avoid by creating the new parent forum. Often if not most of the time, tools are format-, but not device-specific. The new forum parent should be the place to discuss the most prominent e-book tools here; the subforums shouldn't be linked to specific devices, or we'll encounter even more difficulties as new e-readers enter the market.

nrapallo
05-30-2008, 11:43 AM
Nick, if I understood you right, you want to categorize tools by device... but this is exactly what we're trying to avoid by creating the new parent forum. Often if not most of the time, tools are format-, but not device-specific. The new forum parent should be the place to discuss the most prominent e-book tools here; the subforums shouldn't be linked to specific devices, or we'll encounter even more difficulties as new e-readers enter the market.

I think what would be appropriate is to organise the sub-forums by popularity first; the more popular software with its own subforum.

And then for the lesser known (popular) software that IS device specific, to be "lumped" together as part of that device specific subforum. Being device specific is tied to being a specific format in the case of .IMP and .LRF; but not for .PRC.

Any lesser known (popular) software that IS NOT device specific could go to a Misc sub-forum.

Now the hard part is defining "popular"; but I guess the user base can voice their opinions here if their software is missing from your sub-forums list.

Your idea of listing these tools in a non-device specific way works primarily for the mobipocket format and not for the Sony or eBookwise formats, so I think a combination of popularity and device specific formats can co-exist as a criteria for the sub-forum list.

We need to flush out the contenders for this sub-forum list, so from my prospective, I nominate:

PDFRead
Mobi2IMP
Using perl scripts to produce .IMP ebooks


Kovidgoyal has already confirmed his affirmation of a Calibre sub-forum and the Mobiperl sub-forum is an obvious choice.

What else belongs there? Anyone care to suggest anything not yet apparent from discussions in this thead?

DaleDe
05-30-2008, 11:55 AM
I think what would be appropriate is to organise the sub-forums by popularity first; the more popular software with its own subforum.

And then for the lesser known (popular) software that IS device specific, to be "lumped" together as part of that device specific subforum. Being device specific is tied to being a specific format in the case of .IMP and .LRF; but not for .PRC.

Any lesser known (popular) software that IS NOT device specific could go to a Misc sub-forum.

Now the hard part is defining "popular"; but I guess the user base can voice their opinions here if their software is missing from your sub-forums list.

Your idea of listing these tools in a non-device specific way works primarily for the mobipocket format and not for the Sony or eBookwise formats, so I think a combination of popularity and device specific formats can co-exist as a criteria for the sub-forum list.

We need to flush out the contenders for this sub-forum list, so from my prospective, I nominate:

PDFRead
Mobi2IMP
Using perl scripts to produce .IMP ebooks


Kovidgoyal has already confirmed his affirmation of a Calibre sub-forum and the Mobiperl sub-forum is an obvious choice.

What else belongs there? Anyone care to suggest anything not yet apparent from discussions in this thead?

Well certainly book designer comes to mind. There are several others. Word macros could be useful. There are several PDF converters, not just yours. Mobi2IMP is an perl program to produce IMP eBooks so it could be there. I think encouraging tools is a good thing and having a group will help encourage more development.

Dale

Alexander Turcic
05-30-2008, 12:31 PM
And then for the lesser known (popular) software that IS device specific, to be "lumped" together as part of that device specific subforum. Being device specific is tied to being a specific format in the case of .IMP and .LRF; but not for .PRC.

I see. This may work for certain tools today, but what about tomorrow? A tool may only support LRF today, but it could add support for Mobi tomorrow. What I am trying to say is that device-specific organization is very inflexible.

I totally agree with you that we could sort subforums by tool popularity.

PDFRead, Mobi2IMP and calibre are definitely great examples for tools that deserve their own subforum. On the other hand, I wouldn't make "Using perl scripts to produce .IMP ebooks" its own subforum because it's really very specific, not really tool-development related, and could work just as well in a single thread in the catch-all category or in the Fictionwise forum.

nrapallo
05-30-2008, 01:04 PM
I see. This may work for certain tools today, but what about tomorrow? A tool may only support LRF today, but it could add support for Mobi tomorrow. What I am trying to say is that device-specific organization is very inflexible.

I totally agree with you that we could sort subforums by tool popularity.

PDFRead, Mobi2IMP and calibre are definitely great examples for tools that deserve their own subforum. On the other hand, I wouldn't make "Using perl scripts to produce .IMP ebooks" its own subforum because it's really very specific, not really tool-development related, and could work just as well in a single thread in the catch-all category or in the Fictionwise forum.

I agree with your suggestions!

That's exactly why the Fictionwise/ebookwise subforum would be necessary here; for less popular software or software that is very specific.

EDIT: added a .zip of a .html file that details the most downloaded (>150) .zip attachments from Mobileread.com in E-Books and E-Book Devices forums compiled today by me. It is sorted by Forum, Thread and Downloads. This is overkill (includes more than just software), but can be used to base which software should be included. A nice start for those that don't have access to Moderators' tools...

Alexander Turcic
05-31-2008, 05:08 AM
Thanks Nick.

Let us all consider the tools that require their own forum section. As a prerequisite, a tool must be

a) actively maintained
b) used by a larger user base

All other tools that don't match these two criteria should go in a related collective subforum. Thread prefixes in these subforums will help to identify the tools.

Out of my head I say calibre gets its own section. What other tools? :chinscratch:

Alexander Turcic
05-31-2008, 05:20 AM
SOunds great!

But instead of "Other tools", I would let the "E-Book Tools" forum contain those topics. Any other topic related with the popular tools would be moved to the respective sub-forum.

This would break with the logic of how our forums are currently set up... none of the MR parent sections contain topics. :o

pilotbob
05-31-2008, 11:34 AM
Out of my head I say calibre gets its own section. What other tools? :chinscratch:

I agree... I would say Calibre and Book Designer seem to get the most traffic... Is there some way to count the threads for each software to decide? Will you be able to move all the threads to the appropriate forums. Perhaps just start a calibre one, and then from thread prefixes (is that new?) others can break out naturally.

So, would you do like a parent eBook Software topic and calibre would be a sub-topic?

BOb

Alexander Turcic
05-31-2008, 11:45 AM
I don't think we should look at hard figures to decide whether a tool requires its own forum section. It's easy to look at the past posts to see which software receives constant attention in both regards, user support and development.

Perhaps your suggestion is the best... start with the most obvious software tools and then add new sections as demand seems fit.

Yeah, moving the threads to the appropriate forum sections is what we would do. We would also decide on the thread prefixes for the catch-all section; the prefixes will contain the names of the more popular tools.

I think having a parent E-Book Tools forum and specific tool subforums works best here.

We do not want to add any restrictions in regard to device type or file format because it would add inflexibility (tools change, devices change, and so would the categories).

Alexander Turcic
06-03-2008, 05:07 PM
Just a small follow-up: We'll launch the E-Book Tools forum tomorrow, and start with calibre (our most obvious choice). From there we can see how it goes and expand as necessary.

DaleDe
06-03-2008, 05:23 PM
Just a small follow-up: We'll launch the E-Book Tools forum tomorrow, and start with calibre (our most obvious choice). From there we can see how it goes and expand as necessary.

I would like to see Book Designer added if only because it is currently in a very poor location since it is clearly not just a Sony format tool.

Dale

Alexander Turcic
06-03-2008, 05:28 PM
Dale, is this (http://www.mobileread.com/forums/showthread.php?t=10313) the only current thread on Book Designer? If yes, it would probably make more sense to add Book Designer to the list of tools that go in the generic E-Book Tools section, applied with a thread prefix called "Book Designer". We want to avoid dedicated forum sections with little to no traffic.

DaleDe
06-03-2008, 07:38 PM
Dale, is this (http://www.mobileread.com/forums/showthread.php?t=10313) the only current thread on Book Designer? If yes, it would probably make more sense to add Book Designer to the list of tools that go in the generic E-Book Tools section, applied with a thread prefix called "Book Designer". We want to avoid dedicated forum sections with little to no traffic.

There are several stickies in the Sony forum such as: http://www.mobileread.com/forums/showthread.php?t=11786

there is also threads on book cleaner which is related to book designer in the Sony forum. I suspect there would be more discussion from other threads it the Sony stuff had more visibility.

Dale

Alexander Turcic
06-04-2008, 02:50 AM
Alrighty, we can give it a try.

Alexander Turcic
07-09-2008, 05:53 AM
A follow-up:

You may have noticed that we're finally continuing our forum reorganization, and we started to add and move around some sections (mainly in the tools/software category). Expect this to take another two or three days.

Cheers
Alex

Leep
07-09-2008, 03:08 PM
As a newcomer to Mobileread I think a tools section is a wonderful idea. I can't tell you how many irrelevant threads I read to get the basics of how to install and use both Igorsk's scripts and the mobiperl tools. My next foray is Calibre so having everything is one place and "help for dummies" would be awesome!

Can I tell you again what a great forum this is!

cheers