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Old 07-09-2011, 02:26 PM   #1
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Easy hacks for calibre?

I know the to-do list for the calibre developers is long. Do any of you developers have a list of easy hacks that you can share for the less experienced developers such as me? Maybe we can make it a sticky post if there are a lot of them.

I'm inspired to ask this after reading the easy hacks page for LibreOffice. What may be boring, repetitive grunt work for you might be exciting and challenging for me. I've started by cleaning up the user manual and hope to be done with that in a week or two. I'd like to move on to simple things that would introduce me to the codebase and help me develop my Python skills.
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Old 07-09-2011, 02:33 PM   #2
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Problem: when things I want to do are easy, I do them. That leaves only the harder stuff.

One thing you can do is go through the plugin ideas list, find a few that interest you, and build them. That would introduce you to calibre's API, and would let you release your code without involving calibre's source. Later, you could propose merging the changes.
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Old 07-09-2011, 03:01 PM   #3
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As chaley said, given calibre's rapid development cycle, things that are easy tend to get done very quickly.

One thing you can try is do a search for bugs marked wontfix in the bug tracker. Many of them are things that I personally have no interest in implementing, but you might like to tackle some of them.

Also if you indicate what are some of the areas you are interested in working on, I may be able to give you a list of things to do. Are you interested in the GUI/library management/conversion/metadata download/the content server/ebook viewer/etc. ?

Last edited by kovidgoyal; 07-09-2011 at 03:06 PM.
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Old 07-09-2011, 04:13 PM   #4
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Another thought: specialized device support. There is continuous call for support of particular reading apps on android phones. If you have access to such a device and the interest in reverse-engineering its database, I think you might be a popular person.

A second thought: the Manage Authors dialog. It is quite primitive at the moment, which is unfortunate because it is really a quite important dialog. For example, there are problems with context menus, operation buttons, and sorting. If you feel like having UI battles, then I would happily cede that dialog to you.

A third thought: the user drMerry is a fountain of enhancement ideas. Not all of them are implementable (or IHO desirable), but that is neither here nor there. You might consider contacting him to see if there is some way you can collaborate.
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Old 07-09-2011, 05:34 PM   #5
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Thanks for all the great ideas guys. Working on the Manage Authors dialog sounds interesting. I'll take a look at it and see what I can do.

Kovid, one of the things that I want to work on is fit and finish of the GUI. I don't want to change everything around, but instead clean up what is there. For example, there are some dialogs where buttons and labels don't quite line up and could be adjusted by a few pixels so that they do.

And while I have your attention: is there a Windows-based IDE that you would recommend for working on calibre? I used to work with a guy that had an IDE for C code that let him do things such as double click on a function call and it would open the file with the function definition and put his cursor at the top of it. If I had something like that for exploring calibre's source it would help a lot. Even something that would take the source and hyperlink it like that in a set of HTML pages would be welcome. Right now I'm using grep, less, and vim.
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Old 07-09-2011, 05:51 PM   #6
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Quote:
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And while I have your attention: is there a Windows-based IDE that you would recommend for working on calibre?
I use eclipse with pydev, which works reasonably well. Some others use aptana (spelling?).
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Old 07-09-2011, 08:15 PM   #7
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Cleaning up is good, but be aware that the GUI in calibre uses layouts and styles and the styles vary on every platform calibre is run, so doing pixel level adjustments is not always a good idea, they might make it look nicer on one platform and break it on others.

Pydev should offer you those kinds of features, but note that since python is dynamic it isn't always possible to do method resolution like it is in C/C++.
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Old 07-12-2011, 09:44 PM   #8
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Another idea for you involves Heuristic processing. There a number of options currently but there could be a lot more added. ldolse and I spent a lot of time working with Project Gutenberg texts to make it very easy to take one and produce a nicely formatted EPUB. One quick idea is a heuristic to remove PG boiler plate text.

One other idea. A user requested to have page number in the recipe viewer. A while back I wrote a blog post for adding line numbers to a QPlainTextEdit. This can easily be used by calibre. I haven't had the time to do anything with integrating this.

For IDEs I personally use Aptana Studio 3. It is Eclipse based and is made the the company behind PyDev. PyDev is part of Aptana. Take a look at this thread. It includes information for setting up Apatana/Eclipse with PyDev for working with calibre.

Last edited by user_none; 07-12-2011 at 09:46 PM.
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Old 07-13-2011, 09:15 AM   #9
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i installed eclips also set the PyDev environement, i need to know now how to open and work with calibre within this environement and how would i be able to debug and trace using it ? ?
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