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Old 02-07-2011, 01:16 PM   #121
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I had created 2 custom columns 'section' (as text) and 'subsection' (as text) for creating my own categories. Using this create_kindle_collections plug-in, I could create collections in my Kindle DX using the 'section' column.

I then created a new column called 'kindle' which was defined as a column built from other columns with a template as {#section}{#subsection:| - |}. This would allow me to create collections based on categories defined by me. However, I have a similar problem to a previous post, wherein, no collections were defined. It seems that columns based on other columns are displayed in the plug-in GUI but do not work.

Reverting to 'section' based collections worked.

Interestingly, I changed the column from 'kindle' to 'kindle_col' and both can be seen in the plug in GUI. Maybe there is a bug here.
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Old 02-08-2011, 12:34 PM   #122
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Just to clarify: am I correct that every single time I add or remove a book from a collection in Calibre (i.e., change a tag, or change the data in a column to which the collections are linked in the plug-in) I have to restart my Kindle?

I'm sure this is a constraint imposed by the Kindle, but if, like for me, it takes a good 4-5 minutes to restart, it makes the plug-in of limited use if you tend to constantly move things in and out of collections - e.g., to use collections for regular, day-to-day (or even more-than-one-time-a-day) tasks like moving books in or out of a "To-read" collection. Could I possibly (hopefully) be missing something?
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Old 02-08-2011, 12:49 PM   #123
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Quote:
Originally Posted by jesscat View Post
Just to clarify: am I correct that every single time I add or remove a book from a collection in Calibre (i.e., change a tag, or change the data in a column to which the collections are linked in the plug-in) I have to restart my Kindle?

I'm sure this is a constraint imposed by the Kindle, but if, like for me, it takes a good 4-5 minutes to restart, it makes the plug-in of limited use if you tend to constantly move things in and out of collections - e.g., to use collections for regular, day-to-day (or even more-than-one-time-a-day) tasks like moving books in or out of a "To-read" collection. Could I possibly (hopefully) be missing something?
Yes, you must restart for the changes to take effect on the Kindle and yes, this is a constraint imposed by the Kindle. It loads the collections.json file upon booting and thereafter reflects only those changes made using the Kindle, and a restart is required to get it to read and display the changes made outside of the device. It's kind of a tradeoff - things that make the Kindle's regular use more efficient also make it less efficient when using non-Amazon functionality like collections manipulation.

I usually update my collections just before taking out the dog. By the time I'm back, it's restarted and ready to go. Edited to add - I've found that I've started updating less often - and you don't need to update the collections every time unless you really need to see the changes on the Kindle immediately.
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Old 02-08-2011, 12:55 PM   #124
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I guess it all has to do with preferences, while I usually update my library every couple of days, unless I have made changes to 10 or more books, I just update my kindle once a week and as CWatkinsNash does, I will set my kindle to restart when I am walking away to go do something else, that way when I return the k2 is ready to go.
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Old 02-08-2011, 08:15 PM   #125
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Thank you!

I've been a sony prs-505 user for a while so was used to the collections feature, so was a bit disappointed when I bought a kindle for the better screen that it didn't have collections built in. So as I use calibre anyway, I was more than pleased to eventually find this thread and a solution to my problem.

Thanks for the calibre plugin. It's worked great for me at the first attempt.
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Old 02-09-2011, 02:23 AM   #126
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Quote:
Originally Posted by seaquay View Post
I had created 2 custom columns 'section' (as text) and 'subsection' (as text) for creating my own categories. Using this create_kindle_collections plug-in, I could create collections in my Kindle DX using the 'section' column.

I then created a new column called 'kindle' which was defined as a column built from other columns with a template as {#section}{#subsection:| - |}. This would allow me to create collections based on categories defined by me. However, I have a similar problem to a previous post, wherein, no collections were defined. It seems that columns based on other columns are displayed in the plug-in GUI but do not work.

Reverting to 'section' based collections worked.

Interestingly, I changed the column from 'kindle' to 'kindle_col' and both can be seen in the plug in GUI. Maybe there is a bug here.
Folks, has anyone used a column built on other columns as a collection list?
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Old 02-09-2011, 08:08 AM   #127
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Quote:
Originally Posted by seaquay View Post
Folks, has anyone used a column built on other columns as a collection list?
It won't work, at least at the moment.

Testing this (and remembering to send the books with the new section/subsection/kindle columns to the device) shows me that the Calibre metadata is updated with the general column information.

Unfortunately, when using a custom column built from other columns with a template, Calibre only saves the template definition in the metadata.calibre file in the field 'display', and leaves the 'value' field blank. The plugin uses the 'value' field as the collection name.

Its possible that I could call the template parsing code to determine what the value should be - that wouldn't be for a while. Alternatively it could be considered a bug in Calibre - it should write out the value of the column as its known at the time it saves the metadata. Something we can ask Kovid.

I suspect there might be a similar issue with enumerated values - I haven't tested these and I can see that use the same display field to hold the template.
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Old 02-09-2011, 08:16 AM   #128
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rew25, waller4343, vicaet - thanks for the Thanks

@vicaet - yes, you need to send the Calibre data to the Kindle - the column info is extracted from a file Calibre stores on the Kindle. I did this as it was an easy way to get the column information as I already had to read the file, and its usually there. I'll add an extra check/warning about the file.
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Old 02-09-2011, 08:24 AM   #129
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Originally Posted by CWatkinsNash View Post
I support your kludgery and here is my contribution: 5 games and the 2 dictionaries included with US Kindles.
Thanks for sending this, and for the help with questions.

I've decided to drop the dictionary feature - too messy always trying to get all the information.

The good news is that it can be replaced with a preserve collection feature, and I've got it mostly worked out. Every time I'm about done, I find another scenario that needs to be dealt with So you'll be able to keep any collection on the Kindle that isn't being updated by Calibre, and to provide a list of names/patterns to always preserve on the Kindle. The current hurdle is dealing with someone who writes out the collections with prefixes, and then changes the prefix to see what happens - right now it duplicates the collections because they look like they are only on the Kindle. The preview function I've added to the next version helps with this, but its not sufficient.
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Old 02-09-2011, 09:02 AM   #130
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Quote:
Originally Posted by rew25 View Post
I've been a sony prs-505 user for a while so was used to the collections feature, so was a bit disappointed when I bought a kindle for the better screen that it didn't have collections built in.
Better screen? At best equal to the 650, but I guess you could have bought it during the gap between the old and new Sony lines.

Quote:
Originally Posted by rew25 View Post
So as I use calibre anyway, I was more than pleased to eventually find this thread and a solution to my problem.
This must be a life saver to a former Sony user. Definitely a great plus to all Kindle users.
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Old 02-09-2011, 11:30 AM   #131
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Red face

I have read this thread several times.

I have the plugin installed in Calibre and it works. I think. Well it does work. I set it so all the collections would be made from the tags I have in Calibre. I only have 23 tags that I use. However when I have Calibre make the collections I end up with way more than the 23 tags.

Is the plugin collecting tags that are in the books? Can I stop it from doing this? Can I have the plugin only use my 23 tags? Dang. . . Sorry I have to ask for an explanation. Thanks for the help.

I am using PC with Vista on it. Calibre is updated. Thanks again for all the help. My Kindle is a Kindle2i. Do you need more information to help me. Or did I miss read what this plugin will do.

Last edited by Rie142; 02-09-2011 at 11:32 AM. Reason: spelling and wording
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Old 02-09-2011, 12:00 PM   #132
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Originally Posted by Rie142 View Post
I have read this thread several times.

I have the plugin installed in Calibre and it works. I think. Well it does work. I set it so all the collections would be made from the tags I have in Calibre. I only have 23 tags that I use. However when I have Calibre make the collections I end up with way more than the 23 tags.

Is the plugin collecting tags that are in the books? Can I stop it from doing this? Can I have the plugin only use my 23 tags? Dang. . . Sorry I have to ask for an explanation. Thanks for the help.

I am using PC with Vista on it. Calibre is updated. Thanks again for all the help. My Kindle is a Kindle2i. Do you need more information to help me. Or did I miss read what this plugin will do.
When you set up the plugin to create your tags, are you sure the only option checked is the tags field??
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Old 02-09-2011, 01:31 PM   #133
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Quote:
Originally Posted by meme View Post
Thanks for sending this, and for the help with questions.

I've decided to drop the dictionary feature - too messy always trying to get all the information.

The good news is that it can be replaced with a preserve collection feature, and I've got it mostly worked out. Every time I'm about done, I find another scenario that needs to be dealt with So you'll be able to keep any collection on the Kindle that isn't being updated by Calibre, and to provide a list of names/patterns to always preserve on the Kindle. The current hurdle is dealing with someone who writes out the collections with prefixes, and then changes the prefix to see what happens - right now it duplicates the collections because they look like they are only on the Kindle. The preview function I've added to the next version helps with this, but its not sufficient.
You're very welcome. As for your current hurdle, I would probably be one of those prefix changing people. The only thing that I can think of (on my first cup of coffee) is to have a "delete all calibre-managed collections" to be run before making prefix changes. Not sure the best way to implement it, though. Or, make doing a collections rebuild a condition of changing the prefix. Or, (if this is possible) have a checkbox that enables the prefix changes but turns off the kindle-only collection preservation. As a user, I'd be willing to have that sort of trade-off of one feature for another.
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Old 02-09-2011, 07:19 PM   #134
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Originally Posted by nynaevelan View Post
When you set up the plugin to create your tags, are you sure the only option checked is the tags field??
I thought it was I will try it again and see what the results are. Thank you for reminding me to check this.
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Old 02-10-2011, 10:23 AM   #135
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Updated to Version 1.3.0

Version 1.3.0 has been released. Now with more fun
  • Added option to never delete or overwrite selected Kindle collections with Calibre data
  • Added option to keep existing Kindle-only collections (those not updated by Calibre)
  • Added option to ignore prefix when checking if a match to Calibre collection
  • Added option to display a detailed report after running to show before/after changes
  • Added ability to preview collections without saving to Kindle (that's the fun bit )
  • Added check for first time use to force user to see Customize window
  • Added check for Automatic management setting
  • Changed case-sensitive to global option to avoid confusion
  • Changed prefix patterns to keep trailing/leading spaces
  • Removed Dictionary references since new keep Kindle-only will do similar function

See the first post for updated information, images, and the zip file.

If you have used Version 1.2, the per-column case-sensitive option has changed to a general case-sensitive option so recheck your settings. With a new general never delete/overwrite pattern having the option per column was confusing. The dictionary setting has also been removed since it wasn't flexible enough and would always need constant updates. The never overwrite/delete patterns can serve the same function.

I used to use the debug facility to see the collection changes, but of course that's not the easiest thing to read for most people. So I created a report to show exactly what is on your Kindle and what changed. And I added a Preview option to show the same report but without saving the collections to your Kindle - it makes it a lot easier to trust and see what's happening without restarting your Kindle every time. No updates are made to the Kindle files when Preview is used (although customizations are saved in order to allow it to preview your current customizations). Now it can be run safely to tryout the plugin (see the images attached to the first post). And I make sure you use the Customization option at least once before allowing you to generate collections so that you know the option is available.

The option to never overwrite or delete Kindle collections with Calibre data is implemented basically using an ignore all pattern matching. Its not really necessary since we have the per column ignore, but I added it just to be extra clear. I figured it was safer to have a separate entry to avoid putting special collections you want to keep in the wrong column and having them deleted or forgetting to check the keep kindle-only collections.

I could have done away with the per column ignore settings, but they seemed useful too since they are controlling something slightly different (what collections to create versus what collections to not overwrite). I could have used a checklist, but unlike the column selection you would have to scroll through a lot and probably miss things. Technically the keep Kindle-only checkbox isn't needed if you use the patterns - but I like it there in case a pattern is forgotten or you just want a simple approach of keeping only collections not updated by Calibre. If it needs adjustments let me know.

Sorting on the Kindle is still something odd - the report may not always match the sorting the Kindle does since it ignores certain characters (depending on if they are followed by a space or not for some), ignores 'a' and 'the' at the start.

Enjoy.
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