Originally Posted by Starson17
Did you notice the tiny change I made a while back to add a "Formats only manual merge"? That addition came from your comments. It allows people to keep a perfect metadata record and merge formats into it without also bringing in any additional tags, comments, etc.
I did indeed, many thanks for that, it certainly helps with the issue of merging duplicates once they are in Calibre and is one less local Calibre patch I can undo. However unless you intentionally/accidentally give files different names (or turn off automerge) you won't have two versions of the format to merge because the automerge has already thrown the latest one away
Appreciate the update from Kovid on the merge stuff etc, look forward to the results in future.
There were a couple of ideas I had a while ago in the absence of a full-on dialog. I think the dialog will be great for when you have multiple book records in Calibre and want to merge them.
However I am curious to see where it's involvement may be in the processing of actually adding books. IMHO I am not sure I *always* want to be interactively prompted when doing bulk adds. Importing can already be a fairly involved and time consuming process of cleaning up filenames, adding certain subdirectories of files, separating html folder imports of one per folder from multiple books per folder to use different add menus, deleting your input folders once in Calibre etc. If you were adding a lot of books with a lot of duplicates, any interactive dialog forcing you to make choices then and there might not be practical given how time consuming it can be to open each version up and decide a "winner".
Now if you are only adding a single or small number of books, an interactive choice might be desirable - don't put off until tomorrow what can be done today and all that.
But what if you need to stop/do something else partway through? What does Calibre do with all the "unresolved" conflicts? Any kind of "abort" in the process can leave you with a messy mish-mash of partially imported books from a subfolder tree, and an absolute nightmare to "continue on" from.
So one approach to this which I briefly mentioned in a previous thread would be an additional option for the automerge. Currently when you turn it on, any new formats for an existing book get merged, and any duplicate formats get thrown away. What I would like is the same behaviour for new formats, but that duplicate formats get created as a new book entry in Calibre, and that the two books then get marked as being duplicates. For instance just add a "Duplicate" tag to both entries.
Then on my rainy day when I finally get around to cleaning up my Calibre entries I can just do a search for the "Duplicate" tag. Sort by author/title to see the conflicts I need to resolve and go through a review/merge process in my own time with them. That way I have both formats safely stored in Calibre, can safely delete my source folders and can continue adding stuff in bulk. Additional duplications of the same format would create further "Duplicate" tagged books in Calibre.
Just random rambling thoughts. As I said in a previous post I think I am going to have to start again with a fresh library and change the way I add books as the way Calibre handles this "today" isn't quite working for me. An additional option such as I suggested above to the automerge would dramatically improve things. Then the final icing would be an addition to your "merge formats only" menu option to popup a dialog in the case of conflicts of formats, allows me to launch viewers for each duplicate format (a side-by-side mode in ebook-viewer.exe would be amazing but that's a pipe dream), select/tick which versions to keep, I remove the "Duplicate" tag and job done...