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Old 01-10-2012, 06:42 PM   #1
IorekB
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Question Sony PRS-T1 - Prevent collections from being created from the tags of news items

Hello,
I only recently bought my first ebook reader (Sony PRS-T1) and subsequently joined the forums. I am now exploring the wonderful depths of calibre ! So far, almost everything worked out fine. I am especially thrilled about how useful the news download option turned out to be. I love to sit in my armchair and comfortly read at leisure the news article collections compiled by calibre . The only thing that struck me as slightly inconvenient is the following:

What I really do like about my PRS-T1 is the way it distinguishes between periodicals and books. It is a pretty nifty feature of calibre that it manages to have its news compilations recognized by the Sony as periodicals, nicely collected in folders hidden behind the “Periodicals” button and not showing up in the “Books” section.

What ever so slightly spoils this neat arrangement is the fact that the exact same structure contained in the “Periodicals” section of the device (All news items sorted into “folders”, one created for each news source) gets redundantly replicated in the “Collections” section of the PRS-T1. Since news items get tagged by calibre by “news” and “name of the news source” by default, corresponding Sony collections are created by the automatic collection creation function. Thus, collections named according to genres and according to news source titles mingle, making for a pretty cluttered collections list.

What I would love calibre (or, moreso, the device driver?) to have is an option to prevent collections from being created off the tags of library items tagged as "news". I tried to achieve the desired behaviour on my own by delving into the manual and searching through forum posts, but every attempt brought its own share of new issues.

This is what I tried:

1. Configure the news sources not to add title tags
When fiddling with the settings in the news download selection menu, I discovered the tick box allowing for the title of the news source not to be added as a tag.
Advantages:
  • Only one superfluous collection shows up on the device ("news").
Disadvantages:
  • I am losing the ability to effectively browse the news section in the tag browser since no individual sources would show up anymore. This will be especially inconvenient when a larger number of sources with many issues is managed.
  • There is still the collection named "news" mingling with genre-based collections in the list on the device.

2. Bracketing of tags
I discovered that tags can be excluded from collection creation by bracketing them in angular brackets.
Advantage: With all news source title tags bracketed, they don't lead to collections being created on the device anymore, but can be shown in the tag browser in a user-defined category based on the bracketed tags.
Disadvantages:
  • The "News" tag itself cannot be bracketed, otherwise the news items end up as books and not as periodicals on the device. Thus, the collection "news" remains.
  • I found no way to automate the bracketing, I had to manipulate the tags manually everytime a news item is created by calibre.

3. Configuring the device driver plugin
When searching through all options in preferences, I discovered that column entries leading to collection creation could be specified within the device driver plugin. But I found no way to have singular tags excluded.

I came to the conclusion that asking experienced users for help might be a good idea, so here I am ! While I do realize that some of the ideas above do solve parts of the problem, I think one might want to strive for a more intuitive, "one-click solution". This might be especially convenient for first-time users wondering about the news-related collections added on their T1 and cluttering the collections list, despite the periodicals section featuring the exact same organisational structure. "Scientific American" mingling with "Science Fiction" at least does strike me as odd...

My suggestions for a solution:
Considering the issues mentioned above, the most elegant solution would seem to be a modification of the device driver (?). Perhaps one of the options below would seem suitable:
  1. The inclusion of a tick box in the device driver preferences itself, labeled with something like:
    • "Prevent collections from being created based on library items featuring the "news" tag" or
    • "Exclude library items featuring the "news" tag from collection creation."
  2. Adding a new keyword (like "nonews") to the list of allowed keywords (Up to now: "series, tags, authors") specified in the driver configuration window.

If one of the above would be activated, the device driver would then skip the creation of collections for all tags (including the "news" tag) of any library entry tagged with "news".

I hope you don't mind my somewhat extensive post, in retrospect, I got a bit carried away... . I would love to hear some feedback to my suggestions. Maybe there even is a simple solution I overlooked which is possible within the present state of calibre?
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Old 01-10-2012, 10:14 PM   #2
kovidgoyal
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It certainly seems like a good idea to have an option to exclude the periodicals from the collections. However, as I don't have a T1 it is not possible for me to make the change myself. There is a long thread in this forum about adding T1 support to calibre, in whcih the person who wrote the driver hangs out, try making a post there to attract his attention.
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