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Old 02-12-2011, 03:31 PM   #1
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So, we really can't speak anymore

You explained why you think this work. Less about the the what is stopping changing it.
Why would having the option to change the library structure pose a problem ? Those who like it that way would let that way. Or would it just be too much work because calibre is too linked to it and it would requires re-doing almost everything ?

And see my point, I'm trying to speak calmly, but every time someone speaks about this it ends up by . Kind of stupid.
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Old 02-12-2011, 03:36 PM   #2
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Old 02-12-2011, 03:37 PM   #3
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Worldwalker is in my ignore list, so whatever he said, i can't read it.
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Old 02-12-2011, 03:40 PM   #4
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Worldwalker View Post
The simple version:

You can't. Not yours.

The detailed version:

You are probably accustomed to storing your metadata in your computer's filesystem. That is, you are using the names of the folders to keep track of information about your books. That's how we all started. Calibre is why we stopped.

For example, you might have a folder called /ebooks, and under that you have /ebooks/nonfiction, /ebooks/fiction, etc. One of those, in turn, might have /ebooks/fiction/fantasy, and under that /ebooks/fiction/fantasy/lackey. The name of the folder gives you the type, genre, and author. So far, so good ... if you want all your Mercedes Lackey fantasy novels, you can find them right there. And you've probably got a folder called /ebooks/fiction/fantasy/flint where Eric Flint's books are stored.

But where do you put Shadow of the Lion? Under /lackey, /flint, or /freer? How about a book that has both fantasy and SF short stories? Where does a SF mystery, a historical fantasy, or a near-future thriller go? And that's just fiction. Non-fiction gets even hairier. Filesystems are actually a pretty crappy way to store metadata.

That's where calibre comes in. Calibre stores metadata as metadata, as much of it as you want. You can tag Shadow of the Lion as fiction, fantasy, historical fiction, and to-be-read, if you like, and it will come up in the list when you select any or all of those. It can be listed simultaneously under Lackey, Flint, and Freer. You can also note that you got it from Baen. And none of this has anything to do with the filesystem.

Calibre organizes books. Calibre is not a file organization program. Calibre is a book organization program. It's more than just the card catalog to your library -- it's the librarian who goes back to the stacks and brings you the book you're looking for.

The reason calibre copies all those ebooks over into its own set of folders is so that it can have exclusive access to them, and so it can know exactly what they are, where they are, and what they're named. Think of it as a black box, one with a big warning label stating "NO USER SERVICEABLE PARTS INSIDE!" Or maybe a storage room with a locked door with a sign on it saying "PRIVATE - Calibre Only".

You don't need to find those files with your computer's file manager. Calibre is there to do that for you -- or, rather, calibre is there to find your books for you. It will display your books, put them on your ebook reader, whatever you need, without you having to care about the actual computer files, only the books. If you actually do need one or more files -- perhaps you want to pack up all of the Harvard Classics to give to a friend -- calibre can collect them from its black box and put them wherever you want them -- and in whatever format you need to have them in.

The transition can be a bit hard. You're used to thinking of your ebooks as files and your filesystem as their metadata. Using calibre means thinking of them as books, abstracted from their computer representation, and with much more comprehensive metadata. It's a different way of looking at them, yes. But once you've made the jump, you won't want to go back.

You see, I started out the same way you did. I had all my neat hierarchical folders, my metadata in the filesystem, and I liked it that way. Then I found calibre. It took me a while to get my head around the whole idea of dealing with books instead of files, but once I did, I've never gone back. And now I'm explaining it to people who are where I was a few months ago. Give calibre a try, and you may end up doing the same!
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Old 02-12-2011, 03:41 PM   #5
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Last edited by AndrewH; 02-12-2011 at 03:42 PM. Reason: Diana beat me to it.
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Old 02-12-2011, 03:54 PM   #6
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Quote:
You don't need to find those files with your computer's file manager.
I need to do that. I like to have the possibility of using a software. But, i don't want to be "forced" into it. Keep the possibility to copy / past file with the file browser if I wish.
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Old 02-12-2011, 03:56 PM   #7
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Old 02-12-2011, 04:02 PM   #8
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Old 02-12-2011, 04:07 PM   #9
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Eowyn, read the whole thread AndrewH has linked to, not only the beginning by Worldwalker. It's worth it. And it's always good to see a problem from different sides, so discuss it with some of your "real life" friends in Paris who know something about databases/data storage, but have enough distance to this special program. They will have the patience that some of us here are missing sometimes.
Try to understand it, otherwise you'll never be lucky with Calibre. Or use this program only for converting and organize your files in folders as you like it.
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Old 02-12-2011, 04:08 PM   #10
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Quote:
Originally Posted by EowynCarter View Post
I need to do that. I like to have the possibility of using a software. But, i don't want to be "forced" into it. Keep the possibility to copy / past file with the file browser if I wish.
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Old 02-12-2011, 04:14 PM   #11
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Moderator Notice
A preemptive warning, since I've seen where this can lead to: Keep it civil, all of you. If not, this thread is getting closed as well.
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Old 02-12-2011, 04:46 PM   #12
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Quote:
Originally Posted by AndrewH View Post
Read this
Ooh, thank you for that! I wondered about the file structure, but because it worked so well and I could sort on just about anything, I decided not to wonder why it was done that way. I have no problem finding just about any book by looking at the file structure anyway. It's logical enough.

I installed Calibre back before I had a Kindle and only a handful of ebooks and didn't see the point to it. Now it's utterly indispensable for me, and I'd be lost without it. Add in the tweaks and such people have been teaching me about and it's turned into an absolute awesome piece of software.

And now I'm to the point where I'm apparently teaching others how to use it. There's an amusing thread over on the Kindle Board at Amazon.com about Calibre recipes that I've been helping with. And in another thread on the same forum I learned how to make my series name show up on my Kindle as part of the title (which I REALLY wanted but hadn't yet figured out).

So, in short, I'm not having any problems speaking my mind on Calibre. The subject of file structure has been more than adequately explained. It seems to me that no one is stopping the OP from complaining about it, but by doing so he risks getting ignored by everyone on the forum. And while I didn't want to contribute to a trollish thread, I do want to thank AndrewH for the link to that excellent thread explaining the file structure, because I found it useful despite the OP's complaints.
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Old 02-12-2011, 06:02 PM   #13
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Quote:
Originally Posted by EowynCarter View Post
You explained why you think this work. Less about the the what is stopping changing it.
Why would having the option to change the library structure pose a problem ? Those who like it that way would let that way. Or would it just be too much work because calibre is too linked to it and it would requires re-doing almost everything ?
Yes it's possible. There are no technical reasons it cannot be done. All reasons boil down to complexity.

Having a reference system takes more logic and more work to implement. It also makes managing the files more complex for users.

The best example illustrating user complexity is backing up or moving a library. Currently it comprises pointing your backup software to to the library or copy and pasting it some place else. This would become much harder the more locations the user is using.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Tegan
It seems to me that no one is stopping the OP from complaining about it, but by doing so he risks getting ignored by everyone on the forum.
The issue isn't that he's complaining. The issue is almost every post from him in the calibre sub forum (even in unrelated posts) is a complaint about the file structure. No dev wants to change it, members are tired of hearing him complain about it. We know he is capable of doing the work to implement and calibre being open source allows him to yet he won't.
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Old 02-12-2011, 06:19 PM   #14
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Originally Posted by user_none View Post
The best example illustrating user complexity is backing up or moving a library. Currently it comprises pointing your backup software to to the library or copy and pasting it some place else. This would become much harder the more locations the user is using.
I just finally figured out how to use multiple libraries without messing up my news downloads, and now I love the way that Calibre builds libraries even more. I just have to set up a folder with the name of the library I want, and Calibre does the rest for me. I'd *hate* having to find files from all over my computer to move them if I wanted to quickly move my library. This way, if I need to move a library from my laptop to my external drive, I just move the folder and all subfolders, point Calibre to the new location, and I'm done.

Quote:
Originally Posted by user_none View Post
The issue isn't that he's complaining. The issue is almost every post from him in the calibre sub forum (even in unrelated posts) is a complaint about the file structure. No dev wants to change it, members are tired of hearing him complain about it. We know he is capable of doing the work to implement and calibre being open source allows him to yet he won't.
Yup. But *he's* the one complaining about being silenced for some reason. I was trying to point out that he's not been silenced, he's just being annoying.

And, is he capable of doing the work himself? I just kind of assumed that he's complaining so loudly because he hasn't got a clue how to do it. If I felt so strongly about something and had the ability to change it, especially with open source like Calibre, I'd just get on with it and change it. Frankly, if he has the know-how and is still complaining, that just makes him look... lazy? Perhaps trollish, but certainly lazy.
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Old 02-12-2011, 06:19 PM   #15
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Originally Posted by user_none View Post
Yes it's possible. There are no technical reasons it cannot be done. All reasons boil down to complexity.

Having a reference system takes more logic and more work to implement. It also makes managing the files more complex for users.

The best example illustrating user complexity is backing up or moving a library. Currently it comprises pointing your backup software to to the library or copy and pasting it some place else. This would become much harder the more locations the user is using.



The issue isn't that he's complaining. The issue is almost every post from him in the calibre sub forum (even in unrelated posts) is a complaint about the file structure. No dev wants to change it, members are tired of hearing him complain about it. We know he is capable of doing the work to implement and calibre being open source allows him to yet he won't.
Great explanation, and a good note to end on.
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