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Old 04-07-2011, 05:24 AM   #8
kiwidude
calibre/Sigil Developer
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FWIW, I agree with Manichean, the developers forum is not the place for this thread.

To be honest, when I first saw this thread my first instinct was to put it on the ignore list. I don't believe we haven't had a post related to this topic for months (outside of people screwing up their library by going into the folders and doing things). Despite perhaps what the OP posts as their intentions the temptation may be for certain posters to come in here and turn this thread into another emotion filled rant/rave fest as has happened previously.

However, call me a sucker but as long as this thread remains civil and emotion free I will consider it and contribute to the debate.

So - to return to the actual topic - the big question is WHY? You need to convince a Calibre developer like myself or one of the others here as to some valid reasons to make the effort. Here are some of the "why not" reasons that come to mind:
  • Encouraging users to "play" inside Calibre's folders has always been and will forever be a bad thing. If you accidentally or intentionally move/delete/rename files or folders, your Calibre database becomes corrupted. This fact is not up for debate imho.
  • If it ain't broke don't fix it. Calibre runs perfectly fine as is. Allowing users to customise something as significant as this could lead to them trashing their library, creating additional support issues. There will be users who will complain about it being Calibre's fault, despite all the warnings.
  • It may take a lot of development effort and certainly testing - which for valuable development resources like Kovid is better spent on higher priority features that the majority of Calibre users want, not the minority.

So, what are your reasons *why* you want to change the folder structure? And please don't just say "because it's MY library" as that is an emotional reason, not a usability one. It is Calibre's library, not yours. You can use Save to Disk to create YOUR own library structure. Had Kovid chosen to store the books in a database you wouldn't even see the folders and be asking this question in the first place, it is a technical design decision that you happen to be able to see them via windows explorer etc.

So like I say, please list *why* you would like to change the structure, stating use cases for tasks that you would want to perform that a different library folder structure would help. For instance is it that you want to browse them that way over a network from a machine not running Calibre or whatever.

Now before you think that I am totally against the idea of a change, I am not. I actually have one reason as follows:

I sometimes use Open Folder to view a books location to make a temporary copy of the file before doing an EPUB->EPUB conversion in Calibre, if I don't have the original stored elsewhere. Just in case Calibre does something nasty to it. When I am done, if I intend to re-use that Windows Explorer window I will often click on the top level library folder name to collapse the tree. However Windows Explorer sees that click as a reason to first expand all the folders underneath it. When you have thousands of authors on a slow machine or over the network, this is annoyingly slow.

It could be solved by having an A-Z etc type structure underneath the root of the folder. So in the above situation (or when I accidentally click on the folder during general windows explorer browsing) there is only 30 or so folders to read/display, rather than thousands of authors.

Now even this "simple" request raises questions. For instance, a-z is fine, maybe numbers go in a 0-9, but what about all the other author name variations? Where people still have brackets, dashes or various other nasty characters due to not yet cleaning up their author names? Or indeed the "Unknown" author? Not insurmountable problems, but they have to be considered.

Now if in itself this was the only change to be made to the folder structure then assuming agreement someone might work on it. However I suspect that is NOT what Eowyn etc had in mind.

For instance, I have seen people complaining about underscores in author names. Well, what are you going to do about invalid directory name characters that happen to be part of your data?

Another complaint is seeing the book id in brackets after the name of the title. Well, what are you going to do about duplicate titles that exist in your library?

A third complaint I have seen is that they want the filename to be Author-Title or Author-Series-Title or whatever. Again, what will you do about non-valid filename characters? What will you do about file/path names becoming too long? And if you include series, that means every time you change the series you have to rename files which slows down Calibre usage.

So - I return to the theme of this post - why? What exactly is it that you hope to achieve?
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