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Old 02-06-2012, 08:50 AM   #1
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Add Empty Book from excel list

Is that possible?
I'm using calibre for things other than books, one of which is a list of programs I have, that would benefit from a database like interface.

So have an excel file, can convert to txt etc if needed, can I get calibre to add empty books based off Cell names or something?


Sidenote:
Would be cool if there were some plugins, that were designed to make calibre specific for different purposes for example, a home Inventory DB - would just need to get rid of any references to Authors and books, and maybe a little back end work.
home Inventory
Game List
Recipes
Photo/Image
Loads of things would be possible - and to have the same program do all of them would be nice.
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Old 02-06-2012, 09:42 AM   #2
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You have to pick the right tool for the job. Calibre is not and will never be some jack of all trades collection mgmt application. It is for managing book collections, no more, no less. Yes there is the odd user who "bodges" in some of their other data in there, but they do so knowing it will always be constrained by terminology and limitations that make fundamental sense for books and not for anything else.

Any application out there that tries to be some sort of general collection app becomes a jack of all trades, master of none. How could any general collection application compete with the likes of Adobe for photo mgmt for instance? Or any of the squillions of recipe applications out there?

Sorry but just a *bad* idea. I can sympathise, as obviously the calibre developers have wowed you with what they produced to make you think all things should be so easily managed. But it is impossible to satisfactorily abstract and model "everything" in a common way without constraining and making an utter mess. Let calibre stick to what it is good at - the best book mgmt application out there.
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Old 02-06-2012, 10:32 AM   #3
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Thanks for reply, er, so is there a way to create books from a list?

As to your opinion, sure its valid but only generally.

You make it sound like I'm a little girl jumpin up and down over some new app I have managed to install on my parents desktop, That's not really the case, I'm an IT Professional and work as a Consultant I'm just trying to extend the usefulness of this program.


For my personal use, being able to have a separate library where I have a list of programs (that I use and update for IT Support etc) is going to be more useful than having it in the excel file it is in presently,it will be easier to sort through / display better.
Yes I could get a specific application for each use case, but there is no way I would, unless for instance I have a lot of items to index.

I imagine calibre is a database with a frontend in its simplest form,
Maybe calibre can be made to have a main.exe with sub modules for different use cases, the idea is not beyond the realms of possibility

As I said for storing "My Apps", it already does 95% of what it needs to, I would pull up an image to show you, but am re-installing at present.
It lists all my Apps, when they were updated, links to the website, has columns for many useful things, 32/64bit, portable, price, usage, etc.
So saying its a bad idea is misguided as it's an excellent idea for my use case.

For Home inventory for example, You could use a receipt for the "book" and apart from changing a few titles you would be good to go. For more in-depth use you would need some way to total columns - which is why I suggested a plugin might serve.

Yes for images, Adobe bridge etc is pretty good, I use it often, and there are a sextillion others, but I was thinking of the cover browser function specifically.
Say you had a few images of your family that you wanted to store, have indexed and then display nicely in a full screen view (I know the cover browser at present does not respect the original dimensions/aspect ratio)

There are many applicaitons out there, as you say well most of them are bloated poorly coded, proporiaty lumps of uselessness.

Why use several programs when one would be sufficient - I spend my time convincing people to Not install yet another program.

You say jack of all trades - That's is precisely why I said a plugin, so as not to even change Calibre in anyway for the majority, Maybe in the future some kind of module that's more closely integrated would be needed or more useful.


There are many ways the Calibre can grow going forward and I don't think you should be so dismissive with your "is not and will never be" attitude
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Old 02-06-2012, 11:00 AM   #4
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Add from ISBN has its usage options explained on the entry screen.
direct, clipboard are the modes.

Add from ISBN appears to automatically fetch Metadata (no user interaction permitted)

You can specify a tag to apply (in addition to the ones allowed with the Metadata download)
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Old 02-06-2012, 11:47 AM   #5
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@transmitthis - calibre has baked into it a number of fundamentals, that make sense for books but have to be forced into other usage for anything else. Like every entry requiring an "Author" and a Title". Like ISBN being key to metadata is retrieved (or empty books created from excel input like theDucks just confirmed for you). Like using a file system with a specific directory path, and limitations on what goes where. Like zip and rar files being handled in a specific way. How things get displayed. What things are "core data" and what things are not. Like concepts of Libraries, conversions, formats, devices etc.

Now if people choose to shoehorn non-books into calibre and are happy with the limitations that they face, sure, good luck to them. Audiobooks is an example where there from memory there is even a plugin to help (though ABs are obviously closer to the book metaphor than other ideas). However you started suggesting in your post that calibre should have changes to encourage people to start using it for storing video files, photos, mp3 files and any other stuff people come up with.

With its current database and UI design it could not do any of those jobs remotely well in comparison to dedicated applications - just like MediaMonkey would be a rubbish book mgmt application, and Adobe Lightroom a crappy recipe application. It may be nearly "good enough" for your own purposes, but asking the developers to support your list would introduce complexity to the codebase and UI and dilute progress on calibre's key features of managing books which is why millions of people downloaded the app in the first place.

Right now, all decisions around new features, database design, UI and performance tuning can be made based around the fact that calibre "only" has to represent a book metaphor. As soon as you start to introduce other variables into that, the amount of complexity and bloat it introduces would slow the development to a crawl. Kovid already has a todo list a mile long of supporting book mgmt - why would those of us who chose calibre as an ebook mgmt application want that sacrificed?

This has all been discussed before if you do a search through the threads, so it isn't just my opinions . I just attempted to head off at the pass another discussion on it.
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Old 02-06-2012, 12:46 PM   #6
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You have to pick the right tool for the job
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Old 02-06-2012, 03:11 PM   #7
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I was going to reply kiwi, but you seem to want to dissuade discussion on this, and "I" have no interest in winning an argument

ps In a world of dogmatic specialists, it’s the generalist who ends up running the show.
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Old 02-06-2012, 05:10 PM   #8
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Quote:
Originally Posted by transmitthis View Post
I was going to reply kiwi, but you seem to want to dissuade discussion on this, and "I" have no interest in winning an argument

ps In a world of dogmatic specialists, it’s the generalist who ends up running the show.
I have to side with the Calibre developers.
I want a finely tuned, dedicated book tool.
Shopsmith's (Think Transformers for the Wood shop) are OK for light duty, but anyone who makes fine furniture will use dedicated tools rather that continually changing over.
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Old 02-06-2012, 05:51 PM   #9
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Skipping the interceding debate and addressing your query - theducks mentioned ISBN import, which I believe is the only list-based method available, and which won't do you any good for non-isbn items.

The only thing I can think of is kicking that Excel spreadsheet over to Access, then googling for the needed code to export each record to a custom-named html file, which you can then add to calibre like a book, pulling the metadata from the file name.

This is NOT one of my areas at all - my Access use goes no further than using spreadsheets to create basic dbs so I can use the data more effectively and output simple reports. I just know that it's possible so I thought I'd mention it.
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Old 02-07-2012, 05:31 AM   #10
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Thanks Miss LeBrat,
I managed to do it by exporting to txt, then using a program to make txt files based off a list. Then it was just a case of using the built in import tool, author title and series etc. then I just swapped Author to Item, Title to Descrip and series to price. Hiding all columns I didn't need after that and all is great.

Works great for what I want it to do.
I'm a great believer in having multifunctional devices, programs, tools etc (minimalist - and anti consumer culture)

@theducks
"anyone who makes fine furniture will use dedicated tools "
Point seems to be flying high
Me wanting to pop in 50 odd entries for exe's to have them organised and easily viewable, searchable is not comparable to a fine furniture maker.
(I have to side with the Calibre developers.)
I didn't know kiwidude - represents the entirety of the Calibre development community

There are plenty of use cases for using a multi-purpose tool than going to the expense of a one off highly specialised item, esp if the usage requirement is minimal

If you rarely took photos and occasionally listened to mp3's - you would be more than happy with a smart phone - you would not go buy an ipod and a Digital SLR (despite them being obviously better for the intended purpose)

Anyway all besides the point jobs done, thanks for all you help.
I still belive there is great opportunity for a DaterBase with separate front-ends esp open sorce, but will gladly agree to disagree with your opinions on the matter

Last edited by transmitthis; 02-07-2012 at 05:34 AM.
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Old 02-07-2012, 03:31 PM   #11
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@transmitthis, to import excel lists into calibre as empty books, see posts 5, 6, & 7 in this thread:

http://www.mobileread.com/forums/sho...61#post1312261

Like others said, calibre is designed to be book specific so title and author fields are required when importing a list from excel. Put whatever data you want in those fields.

Using empty books whose "title" and "author" metadata are filled from excel is simple. It gets a little more complicated if you want each database record to point to an actual file in the file system (eg, for the programs you mentioned in your OP, the sourcecode or binary files), but it's doable by enclosing each file or group of files that are in a format calibre can't handle in an incoming format that calibre can handle, such as RAR.
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Old 02-11-2012, 09:25 AM   #12
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Why not write a database in Access to do this?

That is what I do, and I am not an IT professional.
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Old 02-11-2012, 10:02 AM   #13
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@unboggling thanks Unboggling, if I hadn't already done it - that would have been very helpful, u still deserve thanks though.

@Pinecone, sorry I didn't mean to come off as a male chicken by saying that, but I also didn't want to be perceived as a pigtailed schoolgirl jumping up and down over Calibre either.
If you actually wanted an answer, well, this is for my home sys, and I don't have Access installed, I like to keep a very minimal install, in fact I have many little programs that I hardly ever use, (but want to keep) installed on a Vhd, just to keep them from bloating my rig.
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Old 02-23-2012, 03:11 PM   #14
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Just as an update, here is an easy way to do this, instead of messing about with other programs or cmd.

Create a new folder called test in C:\
open your list in excel - see image
Alt+F11 to open up the VBA editor.
Select insert Module - In the box add this code
Code:
Sub Test()
For N = 1 To Cells(Rows.Count, 1).End(xlUp).Row
    Open "C:\temp\" & Cells(N, 1) & ".txt" For Output As #1
    Close #1
Next N
End Sub
switch back to sheet, Alt+F11 (or close editor)
Click on view then macros, and run it

Go to that test folder you created, and you will see its full of txt files (all named from each cell ready for you to add to calibre



Don't ask me about the code, as I just edited some I found, (as you do) and don't fully understand it.

one tip, just use alphanumeric . and - are ok, but dont have a ":" in the text




Oh - while I'm here:
This is probably relevent to anyone coming here from a search
Create File list from folder structure ie Text list of Folders
Quote:
1. run cmd
2. cd to the folder you want the list of (Type CD then space then the folder, for example "CD C:\Storage\BFG\Allthefiles\
3. paste this no quotes "dir /b /s > c:\filelist.txt" then enter
4. list is in c:\filelist.txt

remove the /s if you don't want subdirectories

Last edited by transmitthis; 02-23-2012 at 03:25 PM.
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