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Old 06-08-2009, 06:42 AM   #1
stisev
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Calibre - An excellent program, but no thanks

Hello everyone,
I've been lurking for a long, long time, but finally decided to register and provide my 2 cents regarding calibre.

First of all, I just want to say 'thank you' to the author for all the effort he has put into it, for releasing it to the public for free, and for the frequent updates. Your software will truly become THE benchmark for all eBook management organization (if it's not already).

So, what's with the title? I just downloaded the latest [stable 0.5*] release of calibre and attempted to read some metadata for a bunch of my files. Calibre decided to rearrange ALL of the folders/naming structure of my eBooks, which (dare I say) annoyed me greatly, creating duplicate entries which took a little time to remove. I also noticed, the absolutely horrid directory structure calibre used. Good lord... Name of book/Author/-file.zip-. To make things worse, there is no way to change this behavior. Calibre is configurable in every other fashion I can think of except this:

http://calibre.kovidgoyal.net/user_manual/faq.html#id23

Quote:
Why doesn’t calibre let me store books in my own directory structure?

The whole point of calibre‘s library management features is that they provide an interface for locating books that is much more efficient than any possible directory scheme you could come up with for your collection. Indeed, once you become comfortable using calibre‘s interface to find, sort and browse your collection, you wont ever feel the need to hunt through the files on your disk to find a book again. By managing books in its own directory struture of Author -> Title -> Book files, calibre is able to achieve a high level of reliability and standardization.

That is why I have decided to "boycott" Calibre until the user the is given the choice. I hope the author considers these pleas.


Also to consider:
-Saving settings in .INI for portable mode. (I know about config dir option command via shortcut)
-Allowing to choose location of database/settings location.

Last edited by stisev; 06-08-2009 at 06:46 AM.
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Old 06-08-2009, 08:54 AM   #2
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It's simple - just treat Calibre's library as a 'black box' & don't go in there - if you want to keep your own files in your own structure outside it, fine, but treat Calibre's as a DB for /it/ to use... If you want to, you can always import, edit, save to disk then delete calibre's copy.
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Old 06-08-2009, 09:11 AM   #3
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Quote:
Originally Posted by stisev View Post
[snip] Calibre decided to rearrange ALL of the folders/naming structure of my eBooks, [snip] the absolutely horrid directory structure calibre used. Good lord... Name of book/Author/-file.zip- [snip]

http://calibre.kovidgoyal.net/user_manual/faq.html#id23

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[snip]By managing books in its own directory struture of Author -> Title -> Book files, calibre is able to achieve a high level of reliability and standardization.
Inconsistency: can't tell if you have something to complain about or not. Goyal seems to be using an intuitively correct structure. You seem to be wrong about what he is using in Calibre.

Both your further complaints are already available for portable mode, using command line switches and an environmental variable.

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Old 06-08-2009, 09:30 AM   #4
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Well, fortuntely you can use Calibre without having to use its GUI. That way you can get all the benefit of easy conversion between formats or easy viewing of e/books without having to worry how will the application mangle your collection. I use Calibre this way, too, and have little to complain about.
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Old 06-08-2009, 09:46 AM   #5
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Quote:
Originally Posted by stisev View Post
Calibre decided to rearrange ALL of the folders/naming structure of my eBooks, which (dare I say) annoyed me greatly, creating duplicate entries which took a little time to remove.
Certainly a noob mistake. You should NOT have told calibre to store your library in your existing folder of ebooks. IF you hadn't of done that you would have been fine. Calibre doesn't edit your original ebooks in any way shape or form.

Quote:
Originally Posted by stisev View Post
I also noticed, the absolutely horrid directory structure calibre used. Good lord... Name of book/Author/-file.zip-. To make things worse, there is no way to change this behavior. Calibre is configurable in every other fashion I can think of except this:
Firstly I think you are incorrect, it is Author/Book/. Not sure why you even care what the file layout is. Do you complain about the way your browser stores your booksmarks? It is just an internal implementation detail.

Quote:
Originally Posted by stisev View Post
Also to consider:
-Saving settings in .INI for portable mode. (I know about config dir option command via shortcut)
-Allowing to choose location of database/settings location.
I think the settings are stored in a .py file so that should be portable.

You can choose the location of the database. Just go into the settings. But keep in mind the "database" is the .db file AND all of the folders/files also which you should 100% dedicate to calibre and not expect it to keep any type of layout that you have or want.

BOb

Last edited by pilotbob; 06-08-2009 at 10:03 AM.
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Old 06-08-2009, 09:51 AM   #6
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Quote:
Originally Posted by pilotbob View Post
Not sure why you even care what the file layout is. Do you complain about the way your browser stores your booksmarks? It is just an internal implementation detail.
Actually, it may be an important issue. I, for example, like to create compressed backups (where it is very useful that the source files are not compressed, to allow for better compression ratio) and also compressed differential backups (where it is essential that different items are stored in different files).

Yes, I do complain about the way my browser stores my bookmarks - when they are in one file,
1) my backups are larger, and
2) I can't restore or synchronize specific bookmarks easily.
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Old 06-08-2009, 09:53 AM   #7
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Quote:
Originally Posted by pepak View Post
Actually, it may be an important issue. I, for example, like to create compressed backups (where it is very useful that the source files are not compressed, to allow for better compression ratio) and also compressed differential backups (where it is essential that different items are stored in different files).
So, I am confused, how does the current file folder layout that calibre uses to store your ebooks preclude you from backing them up?

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Old 06-08-2009, 10:10 AM   #8
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Quote:
Originally Posted by pilotbob View Post
So, I am confused, how does the current file folder layout that calibre uses to store your ebooks preclude you from backing them up?
It doesn't prevent me, because I don't use Calibre as a library application. But if I did, the fact that it compresses the books would prevent me from achieving better compression ratios through solid compression and it would force me to backup a whole book archive every time a small piece of one book in it changed.
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Old 06-08-2009, 10:12 AM   #9
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Quote:
Originally Posted by pepak View Post
It doesn't prevent me, because I don't use Calibre as a library application. But if I did, the fact that it compresses the books would prevent me from achieving better compression ratios through solid compression and it would force me to backup a whole book archive every time a small piece of one book in it changed.
You must be confusing it with some other app. Calibre doesn't compress the ebooks in any way.

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Old 06-08-2009, 10:20 AM   #10
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Could be - I kind of expected that what the OP wrote reflected facts.

Anyway, it doesn't change the point - that a file layout that seems optimal to one person could easily be poor to other person.
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Old 06-08-2009, 10:27 AM   #11
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I personally wouldn't care how Calibre saved the files, in what directory structure. But I do care that it won't show the authors correct. All my ebooks have "Lastname, Firstname". And Calibre will make two authors out of that...

I do wonder what a directory structure has to do with whether you don't like the application... It's a library, with a folder structure as a database...
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Old 06-08-2009, 11:40 AM   #12
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Could be - I kind of expected that what the OP wrote reflected facts.
He was wrong about everything else, he may be wrong about whether the files get zipped too.

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Old 06-08-2009, 11:47 AM   #13
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HTML files get zipped. This is because there may be many linked files and/or graphics so they are zipped into a single file for ease of management.

Other files could be compressed if the book format demands it. As an example epub files are zipped archives.
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Old 06-08-2009, 12:05 PM   #14
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calibre does not compress files, it does not store all books in one file, it is perfectly possible to do differential backups with calibre's library (I do it all the time). You can change where calibre stores its books, in fact you can have multiple libraries at different locations. You can run calibre entirely off a USB key if you want to.

The OP really should ask about things before making assumptions and then complaining.

And I defy anyone to give me a single use case where having calibre support their pet folder structure is better.
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Old 06-08-2009, 12:07 PM   #15
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Quote:
Originally Posted by kovidgoyal View Post
calibre does not compress files, it does not store all books in one file, it is perfectly possible to do differential backups with calibre's library (I do it all the time). You can change where calibre stores its books, in fact you can have multiple libraries at different locations. You can run calibre entirely off a USB key if you want to.

The OP really should ask about things before making assumptions and then complaining.

Well actually the OP only complained about the folder layout. Pepak later came in and complained about the backup issue.

BOb
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