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Old 01-08-2011, 04:19 PM   #1
caluser2011
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New feature request - Sortable Dewey Metadata

A Dewey Metadata field is an absolute requirement. I'm surprised it has not been added yet this far in development. It would be most useful to see this editable field sortable in the list view. Perhaps a collapsible tree with subs, like when categories and sub-categories are created, would be most appropriate.

This, for me, is the only feature missing from this most excellent piece of work. Perhaps you feel the same. Please speak up if you would like to see this type of metadata imported from the web.



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Old 01-08-2011, 04:55 PM   #2
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It would hold absolutely no value for me.
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Old 01-08-2011, 06:34 PM   #3
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I must admit I have no interest in such a feature. The issue is finding someone who has both the neceassary development skills and who wants the feature.

Having said that, I would have thought that custom columns could be used to give this facility within the current calibre?
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Old 01-08-2011, 09:34 PM   #4
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A hierarchical book list, that could display books categorized by the Dewey system would be brilliant! My library is predominately non-fiction and so a method of browsing and finding similar books next to each other would be a great capability.

Oh and YES, it would be great to be able to pickup the Dewey and possibly even the LLC classifications into two columns set aside for those indices, which could be optionally displayed, and optionally sorted on.

Last edited by garcle; 01-08-2011 at 09:37 PM.
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Old 01-08-2011, 11:05 PM   #5
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Yes, I would like a Dewey column.

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Old 01-09-2011, 12:08 AM   #6
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Ok, I'm curious (no, really!). Outside of a public or school library, how would using the Dewey Decimal System benefit a calbre user?
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Old 01-09-2011, 12:55 AM   #7
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Lady Fitzgerald View Post
Ok, I'm curious (no, really!). Outside of a public or school library, how would using the Dewey Decimal System benefit a calibre user?
For me .. exactly the same way as it would if I walked in to a public library and asked the librarian "Where are all the books on, oh let's say, Climatology?" .. the librarian, knowing the Dewey system by heart walks up to the shelves and points and says "here on this shelf".
I thank them and then browse through all of the books looking for the one that seems most applicable to my needs.
In the same way having all the books in calibre sorted by Dewey, I could browse a range of books that are related (and also browsing a little further, shows books partially related to the first, like instead of just climatology, it might be Climatology - history, etc ..) ... So with Dewey you get a grouping that is "fuzzy".
The majority of books have Dewey classification printed near to the ISBN number on the 2nd or 3rd pages inside the book, so, while you could get the effect I described with tagging, the Dewey classification is already done for you. (and its done by experts - not by "social media")

Last edited by garcle; 01-09-2011 at 01:01 AM.
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Old 01-09-2011, 01:04 AM   #8
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Quote:
Originally Posted by garcle View Post
For me .. exactly the same way as it would if I walked in to a public library and asked the librarian "Where are all the books on, oh let's say, Climatology?" .. the librarian, knowing the Dewey system by heart walks up to the shelves and points and says "here on this shelf".
I thank them and then browse through all of the books looking for the one that seems most applicable to my needs.
In the same way having all the books in calibre sorted by Dewey, I could browse a range of books that are related (and also browsing a little further, shows books partially related to the first, like instead of just climatology, it might be Climatology - history, etc ..) ... So with Dewey you get a grouping that is "fuzzy".
The majority of books have Dewey classification printed near to the ISBN number on the 2nd or 3rd pages inside the book, so, while you could get the effect I described with tagging, the Dewey classification is already done for you. (and its done by experts - not by "social media")
Thanks.
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Old 01-09-2011, 06:23 AM   #9
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Quote:
Originally Posted by caluser2011 View Post
A Dewey Metadata field is an absolute requirement. I'm surprised it has not been added yet this far in development. It would be most useful to see this editable field sortable in the list view. Perhaps a collapsible tree with subs, like when categories and sub-categories are created, would be most appropriate.

This, for me, is the only feature missing from this most excellent piece of work. Perhaps you feel the same. Please speak up if you would like to see this type of metadata imported from the web.



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There are two requests here: 1) to have a dewey column, and 2) to be able to collapse and expand the calibre library view (spreadsheet view) based on some sort.

As for 1) use a custom column. That will let your search and sort on them. You can even get subclassification search with saved searches using regexps.

As for 2) this request and its siblings row coloring and row hiding have been around for a long time. It is hard to do and would be extremely invasive. The only way to make it happen is for a developer both to have the interest in doing it and the time/skill to tear apart and rebuild calibre's gui in fundamental ways. I am not saying the feature wouldn't be useful, only that it probably won't happen soon.
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Old 01-09-2011, 11:38 AM   #10
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Quote:
Originally Posted by chaley View Post
There are two requests here: 1) to have a dewey column, and 2) to be able to collapse and expand the calibre library view (spreadsheet view) based on some sort.

As for 1) use a custom column. That will let your search and sort on them. You can even get subclassification search with saved searches using regexps...

While I personally would have little or no use for Dewey Decimal entries (and probably the same for the average calibre user), after reading garcle's explanation, I can see how it would be useful to have a column that listed the Dewey system number. I also agree it would be superior in some ways to tags derived from social media since often the tags available that way are inadequate or nonexistant (the latter especially with older books). However, having to make a custom column, then manually populate each book would be a magnificent hurt in the donkey, especially for a new user with a few hundred to a few thousand books to import into calibre as well as for a current user with the same number of books already imported. Contrary to garcle's statement that most books have the Dewey Decimal printed inside books near the ISBN, when I checked the last couple of dozen books I scanned (I haven't destroyed and discarded them yet), only one, a fiction book, had a Dewey Decimal in it. Many older books didn't even have the ISBN and calibre had to to get the meta data from the title and author (those were the ones that were most likely to have inadequate or nonexistant meta data. Both of the "history" books (two books that were essentially autobiographies by a man who participated in Ireland's Revolution and
Civil War and have been used as textbooks in classes on Irish history). For a custom column to practical, calibre would have to be able to look up the Dewey Decimal online, similar to how it gets meta data. I seriously doubt that could be accomplished with a custom column and I'm guessing programming calibre to do the job would be less than simple. Still, I would think it would be worthy of consideration, especially since it would make calibre a more attractive alternative for budget strapped libraries to use in place of expensive commercial programs for managing e-books.
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Old 01-09-2011, 12:36 PM   #11
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Assuming that there is a database somewhere that maps title/author to the dewey classification (a quick google search did not find one), this sounds like a job for a plugin writer. The plugin could put the identifier in any column the user indicates.

All the work is in the lookup. Storing in the custom column would be trivial.
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Old 01-09-2011, 12:44 PM   #12
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Quote:
Originally Posted by chaley View Post
Assuming that there is a database somewhere that maps title/author to the dewey classification (a quick google search did not find one), this sounds like a job for a plugin writer. The plugin could put the identifier in any column the user indicates.

All the work is in the lookup. Storing in the custom column would be trivial.
Exactly.
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Old 01-09-2011, 04:47 PM   #13
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isbndb has Dewey classification numbers for some titles, but I have no idea how comprehensive it is or whether the API is set up for that info to be collected. I do know that there are software applications for cataloging pbooks that include this functionality, but as I no longer have any of them (gave up because I didn't want to buy an ISBN scanner) I don't know where the information is being collected from.

As much as I dislike LOC classifications, at least with LOC there's a verifiable database already in place, though I don't know what the API details are for that either. I imagine the info is on the LOC website but I have a headache and my brain isn't up to it.
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Old 01-09-2011, 08:24 PM   #14
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Assuming that there is a database somewhere that maps title/author to the dewey classification (a quick google search did not find one), this sounds like a job for a plugin writer. The plugin could put the identifier in any column the user indicates.

All the work is in the lookup. Storing in the custom column would be trivial.
There is a web service (with sample python code!) at the OCLC called "Classify" which returns both the Dewey and LOC numbers for an ISBN.

http://classify.oclc.org/classify2/api_docs/index.html
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Old 01-10-2011, 03:58 AM   #15
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Just having a look into the calibre database. the Books table already has an LCCN column in it. (interestingly however, the column isn't listed as an option to switch on in the customize column preferences dialog).

I think anyone concerned that adding Dewey and or LCCN columns would somehow mangle the Calibre interface, are not considering the preferences capability that already exists within Calibre. It would be quite easy to simply switch these columns off if one had no use for them. It would also be the same to disable a plug-in that was put in place to look up this information. Hence no impact on either performance or look and feel.

While I think having an optional folding hierarchy based on Dewey would be ideal, its certainly not imo critical. Having the information on the other hand would be a great benefit.
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