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Old 10-04-2012, 10:53 PM   #1
davidfor
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Kobo Device Driver Update

In today's build of calibre, there will be an update to support for Kobo devices. There will now be two drivers:
  • The existing driver will only support the older devices. This is the original Kobo and the WiFi.
  • A new driver has been created for the Kobo Touch. This driver also supports the new Glo and Mini.

Firstly, the existing support for the original Kobo and the WiFi is not going away. But, as there have not been any recent firmware updates for these devices, there has not been a need to update the driver. If you find a of a bug, please report so that it can be dealt with. Suggestions for an improvement for these devices are also welcome.

The new driver supports the Touch, Glo and Mini. It supports firmware versions 1.9.x (Touch only) and all versions of 2.x.x.

Touch devices running the 1.9.x firmware will work in the same way as the current driver. The comment above about the older devices applies to this firmware version.

The big change is for the 2.x.x firmware that the Touch, Glo and Mini run. The new driver adds the following:
  • Display current Kobo collections on the device list. These are Im_Reading, Read, Preview, Recommendations and Closed. This works for 1.9.x and later. This exists in the current driver but it doesn't work properly.
  • Current collections or shelves for a book displayed in the device list.
  • Manage bookshelves on the device via a columns in the calibre library.
  • Can create bookshelves for each series.
  • Empty shelves can be automatically deleted from the device.
  • Shelve management is configured via device configuration.
  • Bookshelf management is one way, from calibre to the device. Calibre does not update the library with changes made on the device.
  • Better handling of covers. This applies to the 1.9.x firmware as well.
  • Correctly delete books from the device based on the firmware version.

What the driver does not do:
  • While the device list displays the shelves kepubs are on, it does not allow you to move the kepubs to shelves.
  • It will not send kepubs to the device or add them to the calibre library. They can be deleted using the device list.
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Old 10-04-2012, 10:54 PM   #2
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Acknowledgements, Disclaimer and Support

The new driver is based on the code from the existing Kobo driver. Extensive changes have been made to support the new firmware and devices. Without the work of the previous developer, this would not have been possible. And without Kovid developing calibre, it would be pointless.

Also, thanks to the people who did the beta testing. Without your help and prodding, it wouldn't have gotten done.

While every effort has been made to make sure the drivers works correctly, there is likely to be a problem somewhere. Don't blame the previous developer or Kovid.

If you find a problem, please report it here. I will deal with them as quickly as I can. I will probably ask for more information so I can work out what is going wrong. Polite reports will get a better response.

If you have a suggestion for an improvement, I am happy to hear it. I don't guarantee I will implement it, but I will give it a fair hearing.

Last edited by davidfor; 10-04-2012 at 11:09 PM.
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Old 10-04-2012, 10:54 PM   #3
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Configuring the Driver

Before using the driver, you need to configure it. The following is how to do this and what the options mean.
  1. Open the driver configuration dialog by either:
    • If the device is not connected:
      1. Open the preferences in calibre.
      2. Click the "Plugins" button in the advanced section.
      3. Find the driver in the list and select it.
      4. Press the "Customize plugin" button
    • If the device is connected:
      1. Click the down arrow next to the device button
      2. Select "Configure this device"
  2. With the "Configure Kobo Touch" dialog open, you can set the options you want to use.
    1. The top section, down to the "Save template", of the driver is the same as the old driver. These can be left at the default, or the options copied from the configuration of the old driver if you changed it.
    2. The first field below this, is where to specify columns to be used for bookshelves. More than one column can be entered separated by a comma. If a custom column is used, the lookup name needs to be entered with a hash (#). Some columns that can be used are:
      1. A custom tag type column. This will have a lookup name something like "#bookshelves".
      2. The series column. If this is used, a shelf will be created for each series that is put onto the Touch. This is specified with the lookup name "series".
      3. A text column with a single name.
      4. The calibre tags column. The lookup name for this is "tags".
      5. If the custom column above and the series column are used, this will be entered as "#bookshelves, series".
    3. Check or uncheck the other options as you desire. The options are:
      • Create Bookshelves. Select this if you want new shelves to be created on the Touch if they do not already exist. Do not select this if you want to maintain the shelf list only on the Touch itself.
      • Delete Empty Bookshelves. Select this if you want empty bookshelves to be deleted from the Touch. To use this, you must have selected the above option.
      • Upload covers for books. If you want the driver to generate covers for the books and put them on the Touch. Normally, the KOBO readers create the cover image from the ebook file itself. With this option, calibre will send a separate cover image to the reader. This is useful if you have modified the cover without putting into the book. With only this option selected, the covers are only copied if the covers already exist on the Touch.
      • Upload Black and White Covers. If uploading covers, they will be converted to black and white.
      • Always upload covers. This extends the cover uploading to upload them even if they do not exist on the Touch.
      • Keep cover aspect ratio. When sending covers to the device, they are sized to fit on the device. This option keeps the aspect ratio of the book so they don't get stretched. Firmware 2.3.1 and later will display these covers undistorted.
      • Show archived books. Purchased kepubs can be archived to remove the actual book file from the device. Check this option to show these books in the device list. If they match books in the library, the library will show the book as on the device.
      • Show Previews. Kobo previews are included on the Touch. Enable if you wish to see or delete them.
      • Show Recommendations. Kobo now shows recommendations on the device. In some case these have files but in other cases they are just pointers to the web site to buy. Enable if you wish to see or delete them.
      • Set Series information. With firmware 2.2.0, the devices support series! When this option is enabled, the driver will check the series information and update any that has changed. Warning: The first time this is enabled, the device will be updated with series information for all books that have it. If the device has a lot of books, this could take some time.
      • Modify CSS. Modify the stylesheets in ePubs when they are sent to the device. Reads CSS rules from the file "kobo_extra.css" in the root directory of the device. See this post for details.
      • Attempt to support newer firmware. Kobo routinely updates the firmware and the database version. With this option Calibre will attempt to perform full read-write functionality. The driver supports the current firmware version, so this can be left unchecked.
    4. The last option is Title to test when debugging. This is used by the driver developer to help debug problems. Ignore this option unless asked.
  3. Once the configuration is how you want it, press the OK button to save the changes. If the Kobo device is connected, you will be prompted to restart calibre for the changes to take effect.
  4. Other preferences to that might need to changed:
    • Metadata management. This is on "Sending books to devices" page of the preferences. The options are described on the page, but for this driver, the options mean:
      • Manual management - Displays book state including current shelves in the device list when the device is connected. Only changes shelves when a book is sent to the device. Never deletes a shelf even if the option is chosen on the driver configuration.
      • Only on send - Displays book state including current shelf state in device list when device is connected. Only changes shelves when a book is sent to the device.
      • Automatic management - When the device is connected, the current shelves and series information will be updated on the device based on the calibre library and the driver options. After the shelves are updated, any empty shelves will be deleted if that option is chosen on the driver configuration.
    • Metadata plugboard. If you are using a metadata plugboard with the current driver, you will need to create a copy of this for the new driver. As the most common plugboard is to add the series information to the title of the books, if this is not done, books already on the device might not be matched correctly with the library.

Last edited by davidfor; 08-02-2013 at 01:32 AM. Reason: Added option "Modify CSS"
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Old 10-04-2012, 10:55 PM   #4
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Using the Driver

With the driver configured, except for the shelves, the use is no different to the existing driver. With the device connected, the device list will show the shelves the books are currently on.

If a shelf column is specified, the contents of this column will be used as shelves on the Touch. If a tag type column is used, one or more shelf names can be entered in the column for each book. The names should be separated by a comma. When calibre sends a book to the Touch that has shelves set in the column, the book will be added to the shelf.

You can use the Tags column as the bookshelf column. But, if you do, you probably don't want to automatically create shelves. One of my libraries has 145 tags. I don't find creating all 145 shelves to be very useful.

The series column is another that might be useful for shelves. If you have series with a lot of books, it might be useful. If you have only one or two books from a series on the Touch at a time, it might not be as useful.

Last edited by davidfor; 10-04-2012 at 11:13 PM.
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Old 10-04-2012, 10:55 PM   #5
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Known problems

The following are some problems I know about. I'll deal with them as I work out the best way.
  • Bookshelves on the Touch can have leading and trailing spaces as part of the name. I consider this to be a bug in the Touch's firmware. The driver will only match to bookshelves that have no leading or trailing spaces. This might change in a later version of the driver.
  • Bookshelves names on the Touch are case sensitive. That means that both "Mystery" and "mystery" can be created as bookshelves. I have not coded for this situation as I am not sure if it is a bug or deliberate behaviour on the Touch. The driver will only match a bookshelf on the Touch if it has exactly the same case as that used in the calibre library.

Last edited by davidfor; 10-04-2012 at 11:16 PM.
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Old 10-04-2012, 11:09 PM   #6
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As one of David's very early testers, I can assure you all it will make life a whole lot easier

David has been a pleasure to work with on this driver, has been ultra-responsive to issues (and trust me... we have both done a lot of head scratching a few times over this)
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Old 10-04-2012, 11:12 PM   #7
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With the release of this to the main stream of calibre and updates, should I delete the exiting beta Kobo Touch driver before the upgrade of calibre?
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Old 10-04-2012, 11:19 PM   #8
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Quote:
Originally Posted by PeterT View Post
With the release of this to the main stream of calibre and updates, should I delete the exiting beta Kobo Touch driver before the upgrade of calibre?
Thanks for reminding me about this. Yes, uninstall it. I would do it before installing the new calibre release. I don't think it will break anything, but I don't know which version of the driver calibre would actually use.
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Old 10-04-2012, 11:56 PM   #9
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My usage has been to create a new column in the database myshelves and then to set the driver to use #myshelves, series for the shelf names, along with Create Bookshelves and Delete Empty Bookshelves ticked.

Most of the time for books in series, I don't bother to set a value for myshelves, relying on the driver to use the series info.

Some times I HAVE added values to myshelves as well, for instance when I was testing books in different formats.
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Old 10-05-2012, 05:11 AM   #10
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my thanks for adding the Kobo Glo driver so quickly. I picked up the new device last night and knew that you were updating Calibre today to recognize it. Downloaded the new version this morning and it worked perfectly.
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Old 10-05-2012, 09:35 AM   #11
Paul Oldroyd
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Thanks

David,

Thank you very much for this. It makes managing my device from Calibre so much easier!

Paul
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Old 10-05-2012, 09:36 AM   #12
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Quote:
Originally Posted by davidfor View Post
Metadata plugboard.[/b] If you are using a metadata plugboard with the current driver, you will need to create a copy of this for the new driver. As the most common plugboard is to add the series information to the title of the books, if this is not done, books already on the device might not be matched correctly with the library.
How do I use a plugboard with a new driver?
I thought plugboards are connected to a file format, not a driver...


And, is there a way to add shelves for my existing books on the device without having to resend them? With a few thousand books already on my card this will take forever... Does it work at all with books on the SD card?
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Old 10-05-2012, 10:15 AM   #13
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How do I use a plugboard with a new driver?
I thought plugboards are connected to a file format, not a driver...
They are associated with both. When you create one, you select a format and then you select a device. But, and I hadn't noticed this before, there is an option for "any device".
Quote:
And, is there a way to add shelves for my existing books on the device without having to resend them? With a few thousand books already on my card this will take forever... Does it work at all with books on the SD card?
If you have metadata management set to automatic, it should do the shelf setup the next time you connect. The card has to be in the Kobo when it is connected. But, with "a few thousand books" on the card, the driver will take a while to do this. I'm pretty sure it will be faster than doing it manually.
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Old 10-05-2012, 10:24 AM   #14
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[message deleted]

Last edited by MyInnerShelf; 10-05-2012 at 12:17 PM.
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Old 10-05-2012, 12:18 PM   #15
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Hello,

I've just received my Kobo Glo this morning
I installed the newest version of Calibre with the driver for Kobo Glo, mini...
I've got custom shelves : #pal,#achats,#seriesencours
I configured Calibre by adding these shelves, following your above instructions, but, whenever I connect my Kobo, I have an error message saying there is a communication error...
Quote:
'bool' object has no attribute 'strip'

Traceback (most recent call last):
File "site-packages\calibre\gui2\device.py", line 85, in run
File "site-packages\calibre\gui2\device.py", line 498, in _sync_booklists
File "site-packages\calibre\devices\kobo\driver.py", line 870, in sync_booklists
File "site-packages\calibre\devices\kobo\driver.py", line 1828, in update_device_database_collections
File "site-packages\calibre\devices\kobo\books.py", line 192, in get_collections
AttributeError: 'bool' object has no attribute 'strip'

and the shelves are not created on the Kobo, the books are transfered, but no shelves.
I'm afraid I've done something wrong, somewhere, or missed something
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