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Old 11-10-2012, 01:52 PM   #1
alikayn
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Help With Books Sorted on Disc

Okay, I failed python programming so I'm lost here.

My requirement is simple, I want books sorted on disc as they would be on bookshelf, that is lastname, firstname. I thought that I had selected that in preferences, but when I just loaded a set of directories (folders) into calibre there they are all renamed.

Now I was loving the renaming function until it crossed me.

This is a make or break for me, I thought Calibre was great until I discovered I can't seem to organise my folders as I want them. I don't care how the books are sorted within the author folders, I can live with whatever, but I do care how the authors are sorted.

Maybe the instructions are already here, but if so they are too high level for me.
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Old 11-10-2012, 02:46 PM   #2
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Originally Posted by alikayn View Post
Okay, I failed python programming so I'm lost here.

My requirement is simple, I want books sorted on disc as they would be on bookshelf, that is lastname, firstname. I thought that I had selected that in preferences, but when I just loaded a set of directories (folders) into calibre there they are all renamed.

Now I was loving the renaming function until it crossed me.

This is a make or break for me, I thought Calibre was great until I discovered I can't seem to organise my folders as I want them. I don't care how the books are sorted within the author folders, I can live with whatever, but I do care how the authors are sorted.

Maybe the instructions are already here, but if so they are too high level for me.
Read this sticky. http://www.mobileread.com/forums/sho...d.php?t=119175

Bottom line is it does not matter how Calibre STORES books.
Calibre will deliver the selected titlles (and set format) to your device with a click of a mouse.
Pteferences (and tweaks) control how things are displayed in the Bookshelf.
Plugboards and device templates control how the SENT book is named
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Old 11-10-2012, 04:12 PM   #3
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Read this sticky. http://www.mobileread.com/forums/sho...d.php?t=119175

Bottom line is it does not matter how Calibre STORES books.
Calibre will deliver the selected titlles (and set format) to your device with a click of a mouse.
Pteferences (and tweaks) control how things are displayed in the Bookshelf.
Plugboards and device templates control how the SENT book is named
Thanks for your quick reply.

Actually it does matter, I want my hard drive organised logically as I have a great many files (and quite a few drives).

I don't understand why a library program doesn't store files like a library does. Yes, I've noticed the piss-off-and-don't-ask message. I mistakenly thought the save to disk option was the godsend I wanted.

I also thought that somewhere in the tweaks was the magic that enabled me to store my files in author lastname,firstname order and that it was my lack of python that was holding me back.

I've just spent 6 hours cleaning up the e-books folders and experimenting, guess I'll just have to find something else.

Thanks
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Old 11-10-2012, 04:31 PM   #4
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@alikayn: If you were using a program (say Outlook) to organize Contacts, would you expect to see on your computer directories and files corresponding to each individual contact? No... you would be content in the understanding that you only access the contacts VIA Outlook.

If you use Quicken to manage financial transactions, would you expect to see files on your computer where you could access an individual payment? No... you would be content in the understanding that you only access the contacts VIA Quicken.

Calibre is no different; it is designed to allow you to access material from within it, via it's interfaces. The fact that it stores books in directories named after the author and book title is purely irrelevant. These structures are for ITs usage; not ours.

If we want to access material in calibre by our own means, then, as in either of the above examples, we need to export the material at which point we can organize it how WE want.
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Old 11-10-2012, 04:42 PM   #5
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@alikayn
Would you tell the Public Librarian where to shelve the books? Don't think so (they get very feisty if you mess with their domain )

Calibre is your Librarian, let it do it's job.
You simply go to the desk(top) and request your book.

(BTW CXalibre does let you mess with the Card Catalog, if I did that, I would have broken fingers from the drawer slamming closed (and a whispered 'Get OUT")
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Old 11-10-2012, 07:55 PM   #6
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Quote:
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@alikayn: If you were using a program (say Outlook) to organize Contacts,

Calibre is no different; it is designed to allow you to access material from within it, via it's interfaces.
@Peter T. IMO that is an invalid comparison.

Outlook keeps its all data (content & indices) in personal & offline storage table's (pst & ost files), there is one file for each mail account - arguably the equivalent of a library. These files can only be 'made sense of' with Outlook itself or a program using the relevant API libraries. On Vista/Win7 the default location for the files is "C:\Users\<myuserid>\AppData\Local\Microsoft\Outlo ok" which is not a location users normally browse with their file manager. If a user wants the pst/ost files to be stored in a different location then he/she will have to get Outlook move them - but they I will still have to use Outlook or a program that uses the relevant APIs to access them in any meaningful way.

By contrast Calibre keeps its content (the books) as well known files types in a vanilla folder structure (i.e. no special attributes or permissions) with meaningful folder and file names, its indices are kept in the same folder structure as a sqllite databases - metadata.db. On Vista/Win7 the default location for Calibre's data is C:\Users\<myuserid>\Documents - which is definitely a location users browse with their file managers. given that it's often 'aliased' to Possessive Personal Pronoun Documents i.e. My Documents

IMO its not unreasonable to assume that if an application puts thousands of folders and files, with meaningful & familiar names, into a users My Documents directory, which can be read and written by many off the shelf programs then the user is going to start poking around and wanting more control.

If Calibre defaulted to keeping all its data in Appdata, or even in the users home directory (as it does for linux and os/x) then the author and book folders would not be as visible to the user and the number of 'complaints' on this issue would probably be a lot fewer.

Yes I know the user can relocate the Calibre libraries to a somewhere more obscure. But that is also the opposite of Outlook, which defaults to an obscure location.

To use an analogy - If you don't want your child to eat candy/sweets/lollies then you don't put a bowl of them under your child's nose :lol:

BR

Last edited by BetterRed; 11-10-2012 at 08:02 PM.
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Old 11-10-2012, 08:56 PM   #7
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Whatever...
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Old 11-10-2012, 09:47 PM   #8
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Quote:
Originally Posted by alikayn View Post
My requirement is simple, I want books sorted on disc as they would be on bookshelf, that is lastname, firstname. I thought that I had selected that in preferences, but when I just loaded a set of directories (folders) into calibre there they are all renamed.
You can store the books on disk any way you want. You just can't change the way calibre stores books in its database. The Save to disk feature will allow you to create the folder structure you want outside of calibre.

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This is a make or break for me
It was nice having you around. Enjoy whatever program you get to replace calibre.

Quote:
Originally Posted by alikayn View Post
I thought Calibre was great until I discovered I can't seem to organise my folders as I want them. I don't care how the books are sorted within the author folders, I can live with whatever, but I do care how the authors are sorted.
You've already read info on why this is the case. I have used calibre for 4 years and there is never a reason for me to review the file structure or care how it is setup. I frequently edit book files and cover images directly, but never have to know where the book is located. This is one of the most flexible programs I've come across.

Additionally since the books in these folders frequently do not have their metadata updated it is ill advised to use OS file level tools for moving these files elsewhere. On the other hand using the Save to disk feature to export books from the database updates the metadata when saving any book.

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If Calibre defaulted to keeping all its data in Appdata, or even in the users home directory (as it does for linux and os/x) then the author and book folders would not be as visible to the user and the number of 'complaints' on this issue would probably be a lot fewer.
True, but it seems as if all book managers have decided that My Documents is the place to store the books. Do any of those other book managers (K4PC or ADE) give you the kind of file level control?
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Old 11-12-2012, 09:39 PM   #9
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... it seems as if all book managers have decided that My Documents is the place to store the books. Do any of those other book managers (K4PC or ADE) give you the kind of file level control?
Dunno Doc - I've never used them because they are a bit device specific or targeted towards only having one format of any given book. Given ADE is an Adobe el-cheapo Flash jury-rigged program, and K4PC comes from a company that doesn't even know what books it has the right to publish (Animal Farm, Nineteen Eighty-Four) then nothing would surprise me.

I'm a relative newcomer to ebook managers, so I'm inclined to compare Calibre with my photo (iMatch) and music (Quod Libet) managers. Neither of them default to putting anything into the Documents folder, or the Pictures or Music folders. iMatch likes to put its database in the home directory, and Quod Libet (a python app, that runs on all the usual suspects) puts its data into \AppData\Roaming\Quod Libet.

However, both iMatch & Quod Libet operate on whatever folder structure I use to store the data files. Given that photo & music managers have been around for longer than eBook managers, I suspect that this is the paradigm many newcomers bring with them - I know I did.

It doesn't bother me too much that Calibre imposes its own library/author/title folder structure with its particular naming conventions - but I do think it should do it somewhere other than the Documents folder.

The raison d'etre for the Documents folder seems to have been forgotten, it was created by MS in Win 95 as the place where the user is encouraged to put files that they will access via Windows Explorer, by double clicking a file to Open it - or right clicking it to 'Edit', 'Print', 'Convert' etc.

Which is precisely what Calibre wants to discourage its users from doing

BR

Last edited by BetterRed; 11-12-2012 at 09:45 PM. Reason: clarity
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Old 11-12-2012, 11:10 PM   #10
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ADE 2.0 is not flash based....
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Old 11-12-2012, 11:12 PM   #11
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I think, although I could be wrong that calibre directory structure is largely the way it is because of the conversion capabilities. A file structure was chosen so that book files could be grouped together, and easily differentiated between if there were multiple copies of the same title/author etc. Maybe it is not what I would have used, but it seems to be pretty compact and accessible if one really wants to access it in different ways. And the guy who wrote the program gets to choose.

BTW my calibre library has never been in My Documents folder. It defaulted to C:\calibre I beleive. But it can be anywhere in your file system you want it to be.

Helen
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Old 11-13-2012, 12:31 AM   #12
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but I do think it should do it somewhere other than the Documents folder.

The raison d'etre for the Documents folder seems to have been forgotten, it was created by MS in Win 95 as the place where the user is encouraged to put files that they will access via Windows Explorer, by double clicking a file to Open it - or right clicking it to 'Edit', 'Print', 'Convert' etc.

Which is precisely what Calibre wants to discourage its users from doing
I don't think the primary purpose of the Documents folder ever had anything to do with folks being encouraged to access the documents via Windows explorer. Windows explorer is an equal access file fingering encourager, regardless of the files location.

From day one the documents folder was a place to save your documents created using Microsoft office products. A one stop shop for your Word, Excel, Access, Power Point, etc... documents.

For many years I supported users of Microsoft OS computers and rarely did they realize that their documents from Word, Excel etc... were saved in the Documents folder. The closest they came was using the Recent Documents to reopen items. There have been multiple times that I received a call from folks who complained that we deleted their documents when we upgraded their Microsoft Office product. What they were really saying was the history on their application went away and they have no idea the file is stored or can be found elsewhere on their computer.

What the Documents folder did do was place a one stop place for applications to store your documents, pictures, music etc... This made it easier for support and easier for Backup programs to effectively locate the more important items that a user cares about. Thus the Documents folder, by default, is backed up by every consumer backup program on the market.

The big thing that throw folks for a loop isn't where calibre puts the books, but the fact that it does insist on keeping its own copy of the book. If I understood you correctly in your other program examples it allowed you to put your music or pictures anywhere.

This was just a long winded way of saying that I disagree. The application data area is for configuration, cache etc... but not for libraries. I think the default library should be in the Documents folder so the folks who are smart enough to try and back their info up will by default be backing up their calibre library.

Good Reading.
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