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Old 01-14-2011, 05:46 PM   #1
Frank Lowney
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Wanted: Plug-in to do ODPS via DropBox

I wanted to suggest an expanded feature regarding the OPDS service. At my university, it is very difficult to get the IT landlords to allow one to put up even a simple web server. Faculty who would otherwise use calibre's excellent server for themselves and their students simply cannot. There is a DropBox option but it is a klugy solution IMO. Most faculty are unable to do this on their own. However, if calibre were to have an option to write an OPDS catalog to their DropBox, that would solve the problem. Would that be very hard and time consuming to do? Are there any Calibre developers interested in this as a Plug-in perhaps?
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Old 01-14-2011, 07:34 PM   #2
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You can already do this using the calibre2opds utility. Is there a problem in using this?
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Old 01-21-2011, 06:38 PM   #3
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Calibre2OPDS

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Originally Posted by itimpi View Post
You can already do this using the calibre2opds utility. Is there a problem in using this?
Yes, this solution is well beyond what most university faculty are willing/able to attempt.

Since Calibre already generates an OPDS catalog, it should not be necessary or difficult to develop a plug-in for Calibre to save at least a static instance of such a catalog to a DropBox (or other) folder.
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Old 01-21-2011, 06:53 PM   #4
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Frank Lowney View Post
Since Calibre already generates an OPDS catalog, it should not be necessary or difficult to develop a plug-in for Calibre to save at least a static instance of such a catalog to a DropBox (or other) folder.
You're right, it isn't necessary to develop anything. Calibre2OPDS already generates a static HTML version of the Calibre library as an OPDS catalog that you can then put on any hosting or cloud storage service you like. So, to restate the question: What is the problem in using Calibre2OPDS? If even having a static version of the catalog somewhere is, as you say, beyond what the uni is willing to put up with, how is having that as a plugin going to change anything at all?
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Old 01-28-2011, 10:45 AM   #5
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... So, to restate the question: What is the problem in using Calibre2OPDS? If even having a static version of the catalog somewhere is, as you say, beyond what the uni is willing to put up with, how is having that as a plugin going to change anything at all?
Calibre has a built-in server that generates an ODPS catalog dynamically. Here's an example:
Stanza: http://grumpy.gcsu.edu:8080
This is running on a faculty workstation with a fixed IP, FQDN and access through the firewall granted. This is not typical for faculty. Typically their IP address is dynamically assigned and subject to change (DHCP) and they don't have the firewall permissions to accept inbound HTTP requests.

A Plug-in could leverage this Caliber Server functionality saving a static version of the ODPS catalog to a cloud service such as DropBox at a regular interval, say, daily.

It should be a simple matter of downloading the plug-in, installing it with a double-click and then configuring it to point to a specific cloud service and replace the catalog code at a specific interval. Contrast this with the current procedure described here: http://dearauthor.com/wordpress/2010...-opds-dropbox/ especially David's instructions to Mac users in the comments and you will see the need for this.
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Old 01-28-2011, 11:25 AM   #6
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I've given the link you posted a quick once-over. From what I see it is possible to create a OPDS catalog from your Calibre library on a Dropbox server using a Mac. So, again, what exactly is the problem? Granted, the solution doesn't work from Calibre internally and requires some manual labour to set up, but it works. It should work behind whatever network infrastructure Dropbox works from, so it ought to work for your case as well.
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Old 01-28-2011, 01:36 PM   #7
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It is also worth pointing out that the Calibre2opds documentation gives some guidance on how to set up calibre2opds to be run in a batch mode at regular intervals from a system Task Scheduler.

Bearing in mind that calibre2opds already exists, and adding the facility to generate a static OPDS catalog would require development in Calibre I do not see why using calibre2opds is not the obvious solution at this point in time?
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Old 02-01-2011, 09:26 PM   #8
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I would love to see a plugin as well. I, for some reason I can't figure out, cannot get calibre2opds to create a catalog in Dropbox or locally. I have searched for days and tried everything I have found to get it to work but no joy.
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Old 02-04-2011, 08:40 AM   #9
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Originally Posted by itimpi View Post
It is also worth pointing out that the Calibre2opds documentation gives some guidance on how to set up calibre2opds to be run in a batch mode at regular intervals from a system Task Scheduler.

Bearing in mind that calibre2opds already exists, and adding the facility to generate a static OPDS catalog would require development in Calibre I do not see why using calibre2opds is not the obvious solution at this point in time?
The problem is that these methods are not accessible to the average university faculty person. Help for esoteric tasks such as this from technology staff is rare to non-existant in all but the largest research institutions. As it is, getting a fixed IP address and permission to accept incoming requests (firewall) is very hard to get but still easier than implementing Calibre2opds as written. Otherwise, using Calibre Server to put an OPDS catalog online for students to access would be the best option for non-technical users.
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Old 02-07-2011, 10:09 AM   #10
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As it is, getting a fixed IP address and permission to accept incoming requests (firewall) is very hard to get
Just saying: You only need that if you intend to host the catalog locally in your faculty network. Host the catalog somewhere else on the internet, and noone from IT staff cares.
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