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Old 08-22-2014, 06:56 PM   #91
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As far as compensation goes, can't you sell a CC Pro license instead of using an in-app purchase?
I'm all for this, although with the stupid changes that google has made, people who keep their books on the SD card will have to re-download.
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Old 08-22-2014, 07:16 PM   #92
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I'm all for this, although with the stupid changes that google has made, people who keep their books on the SD card will have to re-download.
What changes? I got Supersu Pro not that long ago and didn't need to do anything. I also recently upgraded to pro on another app and it just unlocks features on the existing app.
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Old 08-22-2014, 09:34 PM   #93
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What changes? I got Supersu Pro not that long ago and didn't need to do anything. I also recently upgraded to pro on another app and it just unlocks features on the existing app.
2 issues:

1) there are two types of pro apps. One type unlocks existing functionality on an existing app. The other is a totally different app that contains extra functionality. Chaley has said that he doesn't like the first type because it is so easy for pirates to fake the unlocking mechanism. You are correct in that apps that apps that use an unlocker will not have a problem, but apps that are really a separate app will not be able to write to the data directory of the non-pro version if it is stored on the External SD card.

2) Many apps have very limited amounts of data. an app like Supersu doesn't need to store anything on the external SD card, and even if it did, it wouldn't be more than a few meg of data. If a pro version of an app was installed, it could just copy the few meg of data and the user would be none the wiser. I have almost 5GB of books on my SD card. Some people have more and some less. It would not be feasible for the pro version to copy that much data from the standard version's directory to the pro's version. Chances are, Chaley would just force people to re-download their books.

Not a huge deal, but definitely an annoyance.
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Old 08-23-2014, 04:07 AM   #94
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As far as compensation goes, can't you sell a CC Pro license instead of using an in-app purchase? This is how I got the Titanium backup pro and Supersu pro versions.
I have considered this approach many times, and am still doing so. It solves many problems, for example removing the need to have two different in-app purchasing systems for Google and Amazon and removing the strange license check timing constraints. Such apps are common enough now that I don't think the confusion factor is still an issue.

The only real problem for me is as Kaufman said below: the ease of piracy. Unless the unlocker app changes frequently perhaps with the main app, the scumbag pirate need only crack it once. It is small, making the analysis easy. On the other hand and as I said above, perhaps it isn't worth worrying about because the bottom feeders will find a way around anything we do regardless.
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2 issues:

1) there are two types of pro apps. One type unlocks existing functionality on an existing app. The other is a totally different app that contains extra functionality. Chaley has said that he doesn't like the first type because it is so easy for pirates to fake the unlocking mechanism. You are correct in that apps that apps that use an unlocker will not have a problem, but apps that are really a separate app will not be able to write to the data directory of the non-pro version if it is stored on the External SD card.
We would use an unlocker, not a separate app.
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2) Many apps have very limited amounts of data. an app like Supersu doesn't need to store anything on the external SD card, and even if it did, it wouldn't be more than a few meg of data. If a pro version of an app was installed, it could just copy the few meg of data and the user would be none the wiser. I have almost 5GB of books on my SD card. Some people have more and some less. It would not be feasible for the pro version to copy that much data from the standard version's directory to the pro's version. Chances are, Chaley would just force people to re-download their books.
This is what we do with the demo CC app, assuming the person changes the default books folder. However, given that it is limited to 10 books, the possible second download isn't a big deal.
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Old 08-23-2014, 08:01 AM   #95
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why not go with the donations system as calibre does, rather than try to outwit those who want to pirate a one-dollar app, & who will see anything you do as a challenge, not a barrier ?
Then there's no unlocker, no licence verification stuff to code, no demo versions to maintain....

maybe a poll here would give a clue as to what &% would donate voluntarily ?
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Old 08-23-2014, 08:49 AM   #96
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why not go with the donations system as calibre does, rather than try to outwit those who want to pirate a one-dollar app, & who will see anything you do as a challenge, not a barrier ?
Then there's no unlocker, no licence verification stuff to code, no demo versions to maintain....

maybe a poll here would give a clue as to what &% would donate voluntarily ?
Sorry, but I have no faith that given the number of CC users that we could depend on a donation system. Calibre has millions of active users, so small numbers can lead to large results. Perhaps I am wrong, but once that experiment has started there is no way to back out of it. And finally, doing such a thing would be unfair to all the current purchasers who bought in good faith.

We already know that somewhere between 30% and 50% of CC users are running pirated versions. That says something about the willingness of a significant number of people to pay even a small amount of money for something they want, and about their moral position on theft. Oh, I forgot. Pirating software isn't stealing because it is only bits. How silly of me.

Bottom line: we aren't going there. No way, no how.
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Old 08-23-2014, 09:13 AM   #97
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ok - well go the other way then & make it rally hard to pirate & get away with. g
given that the app is only useful if it can make a regular remote connection to a calibre instance, have it "phone home" at the same time with some unique bits that will let you name & shame whoever distributed the cracked version ? Or do server-side serial number validation & blacklisting.

OR ( my unethical favourite) , anon. "upload" your own "cracked" & booby trapped version, with a suitably destructive payload, to the most notorious sites.... sit back & grin evilly
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Old 08-24-2014, 08:01 PM   #98
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This is a good time to summarize what I think I am hearing.

The options:

Add a function to CC that can import a book from a calibre-style folder on the device, which is one that contains formats, metadata.opf, and cover.jpg. The principle advantage is that from CC's point of view, there is no cloud service involved. The folder appears and can be imported. The disadvantages are that the folder must somehow get to the device, and that the metadata.opf file in the folder must be up-to-date.

This option was modified to include a second app that could browse (somehow) the calibre db in the cloud, download calibre folders, and ask CC to import them. The app would be pay-for, obviating the problem of adding in-app payments to CC.

The arguments for include ease of implementation, not being tied to a fixed set of cloud services, and straightforward "monetization". The arguments against include a more difficult user experience and potential unhappiness if the second app isn't as capable as the user wants.

Several people have expressed preference for #1, others for #2. What isn't clear to me is whether the people expressing preference for #2 really prefer it or were indicating that they could accept it under some set of conditions.
I prefer this (#2) because it seems the most elegant way to do this.

It is very flexible, allowing you to transfer books via USB from calibre with just as much capability as the wireless connection (minus syncing back to calibredb) by selecting a folder in which to save books to disk.
Or to import from Dropbox -- surely supporting one cloud provider (the most popular) should be enough and if not, updating new cloud service APIs should be much simpler than certain other problems around here...

There is no need to worry about the temptation to sync the latest data from the calibre database. Just treat the book folder as a snapshot from a specific time and let the wireless connection worry about updating.

The basic functionality (minus possible integration with Dropbox) doesn't require messing around with other apps. And if you need to, you can always extend it later (since apparently you have no self-control )...

People who are looking for functionality to import from Dropbox will surely be able to also figure out how to maneuver the file hierarchy to get /{author}/{title} {id}/ -- and if they can't, there is a simple support answer "navigate to the folder calibre stores the book in". For a feature that I suspect will mainly be used by power users, this is a fair compromise.

Basically, the only reason there is to use option #1/#3 is to make it prettier, something you cannot do with just a folder full of subdirectories with OPF/FMT/covers. But that implies a great deal more usage than I see happening. Granted, if you build this then it will see enough usage that it may become the default () but that is hardly an excuse.

So I think that is the question -- is this change meant to supplement the wireless driver connection, or replace it?
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Old 08-25-2014, 04:05 AM   #99
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Thanks for the feedback.
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It is very flexible, allowing you to transfer books via USB from calibre with just as much capability as the wireless connection (minus syncing back to calibredb) by selecting a folder in which to save books to disk.
Or to import from Dropbox -- surely supporting one cloud provider (the most popular) should be enough and if not, updating new cloud service APIs should be much simpler than certain other problems around here...
Both true.
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People who are looking for functionality to import from Dropbox will surely be able to also figure out how to maneuver the file hierarchy to get /{author}/{title} {id}/ -- and if they can't, there is a simple support answer "navigate to the folder calibre stores the book in". For a feature that I suspect will mainly be used by power users, this is a fair compromise.
This is less certain. As for "only power users", the free version of calibre cloud has had 10,000-50,000 downloads. That is a lot of people to all be power users.
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Basically, the only reason there is to use option #1/#3 is to make it prettier, something you cannot do with just a folder full of subdirectories with OPF/FMT/covers. But that implies a great deal more usage than I see happening. Granted, if you build this then it will see enough usage that it may become the default () but that is hardly an excuse.
There is also what the android folks call "user experience". An app's "polish" matters a lot. We get criticized for all sorts of things that have nothing to do with real functionality, such as spacing between items and colors of separators. App developers ignore these things at their peril.
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So I think that is the question -- is this change meant to supplement the wireless driver connection, or replace it?
Option 3 clearly supplants it. Options 1 and 2 are similar to the content server connection we offer today in that they offer another way to get books but require the WD connection to sync metadata.
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Old 08-25-2014, 06:09 AM   #100
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quoting: "... As for "only power users", the free version of calibre cloud has had 10,000-50,000 downloads. That is a lot of people to all be power users."

but what % of free app downloaders actually keep & use an app.
surely the calibre cloud pro downloads count is a better guide to how many would buy, & that is at only 500-1000 installs. ( google)
so whatever option chaley goes for - 1000 sales is a more reasonable estimate ?
I may be underestimating though as an ipad version could bring in a few more 1000s?
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Old 08-25-2014, 06:44 AM   #101
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quoting: "... As for "only power users", the free version of calibre cloud has had 10,000-50,000 downloads. That is a lot of people to all be power users."

but what % of free app downloaders actually keep & use an app.
surely the calibre cloud pro downloads count is a better guide to how many would buy, & that is at only 500-1000 installs. ( google)
I don't agree. There is no reason for many people, perhaps most people, to buy Calibre Cloud Pro because the free version does enough. As corroboration, we have reason to believe that there are many thousands of active Calibre Sync users out there, so even though it doesn't do anywhere near as much as CC and (in my experience playing with it) is quite unreliable, it does enough.

The "free version does enough" issue is why we put such a draconian book limit on CCDemo. We wanted to give people a way to test CC for free while not satisfying peoples' needs over the long term. It seems to be working. Our refund requests have plummeted to near zero and our sales haven't changed.
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Old 08-25-2014, 10:17 PM   #102
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The free users of Calibre Cloud are using the freely available app. If CC was free, they'd use that instead.

I think, given the choice of connecting via wireless/content server in CC, and importing via save to disk folders, most people will opt to store lots of books via wireless/content server. The ones importing from a saved folder will be doing something special.

Regarding polish. I am sure you will be able to cook up something simple yet nice. There is no need to build a full-blown cloud interface to the calibre db just to give this feature polish.
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