Originally Posted by Sabardeyn
Alright. Suggestions on what to do next to identify and resolve the original error? Should I just send you a copy of the database without any formats attached? The metadata.db file is only 635 Kb. There are still two book entries that suffer from the error, so whatever is going on is still available for testing. (Even if I've gotten into the Edit Metadata for those two books, I've cancelled out to leave them available for testing.)
Sure, send me the metadata.db file. Be sure to tell me which book(s) are still broken. Send it to [calibre2 @ charles dot haleys dot org].
Initial notice of strangeness: Composite column output displayed incorrectly in v9.11.
Create one composite column, like tags, shows in tag browser.
Saving metadata, the book list is updated and the composite column shows the following, incorrect order:
Fifth , First , Fourth , Second , Sixth , Third 
This is by design. Telling calibre that the composite column is to behave like tags means that every comma-separated item is independent of the others. Calibre sorts them in alphabetical order. There is no way to make them dependent on the position in the template other than to choose names that sort in the order you wish. This is the same behavior as the tags column; display order is alphabetic regardless of entry order.
Are you sure you want to use "like tags"?