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Old 05-07-2013, 07:03 PM   #1
emanuensis
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Question Calibre compatible collections

i would like to set up "several" instances of Calibre. Using C Portable i can have multiple instances.

All is fine and good, however i am running into some difficulty with porting collections around. It seems that Calibre does not like to eat its own dog food. Ie if i "save to disk" any collection it puts it out in a hierarchy of folders. Fine. BUT when i try to read it in again Calibre will only read files (or collections of files) NOT folders.

So is there any way of modifying either the input or output of C to get a compatible collection?
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Old 05-07-2013, 07:29 PM   #2
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Quote:
Originally Posted by emanuensis View Post
i would like to set up "several" instances of Calibre. Using C Portable i can have multiple instances.

All is fine and good, however i am running into some difficulty with porting collections around. It seems that Calibre does not like to eat its own dog food. Ie if i "save to disk" any collection it puts it out in a hierarchy of folders. Fine. BUT when i try to read it in again Calibre will only read files (or collections of files) NOT folders.

So is there any way of modifying either the input or output of C to get a compatible collection?
STD is not the way to move books between Libraries (portable or regular)

Multiple (separate) Portable Libraries only adds a bit of confusion in that the primary in each instance is all named the same (Calibre Library).

With the USB stick (or drive) for Both Libraries inserted, Start Calibre from the SOURCE Library: then select books: Right-click: Copy to Library

This make an Metadata entry AND moves/copies the book to the destination Library.
Done
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Old 05-07-2013, 10:14 PM   #3
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Originally Posted by emanuensis View Post
All is fine and good, however i am running into some difficulty with porting collections around.
Since calibre doesn't have "collections" I'll guess that you mean tags? If my answer that follows has nothing to do with your question then please define what you mean by collections.

Quote:
Originally Posted by emanuensis View Post
It seems that Calibre does not like to eat its own dog food. Ie if i "save to disk" any collection it puts it out in a hierarchy of folders. Fine. BUT when i try to read it in again Calibre will only read files (or collections of files) NOT folders.
Folders have nothing to do with how calibre stores metadata (author, title, tags, publisher, etc...).

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Originally Posted by emanuensis View Post
So is there any way of modifying either the input or output of C to get a compatible collection?
Since calibre stores all tags in the metadata as the book is saved to disk you must ensure that when you go to re-add the book to a new library that you have the Read metadata from file contents rather than file name box checked under Preferences - Adding books.

Quote:
Originally Posted by emanuensis View Post
i would like to set up "several" instances of Calibre. Using C Portable i can have multiple instances.
I have no idea why you want to do this and your idea may in fact be the absolute best solution for you. But on the surface it seems as if you are creating a lot of work for yourself. If you want any further input explain your situation to us, there might be a better way to accomplish your goal.

Last edited by DoctorOhh; 05-07-2013 at 10:19 PM.
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Old 05-08-2013, 01:36 PM   #4
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@theducks

>theducks: Start Calibre from the SOURCE Library: then select books: Right-click: Copy to Library

>theducks: This make an Metadata entry AND moves/copies the book to the destination Library. Done

Unfortunately clicking on "Calibre Library" does not allow one to specify WHICH (ie there is no subsequential dialogue), so it is useless for that purpose.

HOWEVER in the same right click menu there is a "save to disk" | "save to disk in a single directory" which does allow the creation of an output which can also serve as an input to Calibre! Ie Calibre can be coerced to eat its own dog food, and thus the program i outlined originally is feasible.

>theducks: all named the same (Calibre Library).

There are at least 4 naming violations Calibre forces: 1) the creation of an extra layer as you mentioned 2) the creation of a folder with a blank in it 3) missed case names 4) names over 255 characters in length. All of these cause various types of headaches.

>DoctorOhh: Since calibre doesn't have "collections"

i used "collection" as a short hand for a higher level of organization than can be afforded by Calibre.

DB approaches which work on blobs are only useful (for hefty home sized computers) to about 10^5. my library is approaching 10^6 and it is necessary to find a higher level of organization. At the high end they take too long, and are thus increasingly vulnerable to faults. Though often (unfortunately for safety not always) the faults are repairable, this again takes time. Calibre makes it difficult, as more than one instance cannot be run in the same operating system. Not even the "portable" version.

Thanks for the insights, i do hope to come to a stable and convenient system. i see such DB systems as a good intermediate step down system twixt collections and readers, but are vulnerable on both fronts, unfortunately. my impression is that much more thought and effort has been placed in the reader end. Which i am very thankful for!
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Old 05-08-2013, 02:45 PM   #5
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Quote:
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@theducks

>theducks: Start Calibre from the SOURCE Library: then select books: Right-click: Copy to Library

>theducks: This make an Metadata entry AND moves/copies the book to the destination Library. Done

Unfortunately clicking on "Calibre Library" does not allow one to specify WHICH (ie there is no subsequential dialogue), so it is useless for that purpose.
You may have to perform the following to populate the 'available libraries' (quick switch) list
Right click the Libraries Icon:
Create/Switch: Use Existing: <navigate to the one you want> (repeat for additional libraries: (there is a Max # that can be shown) )

(Quick) SWITCH BACK to the Source Library... Now you should see the choices following my previous instructions.

Do investigate the new 'Virtual Libraries' feature it may offer what you are looking for in a single Library.
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Old 05-08-2013, 04:04 PM   #6
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@theducks

Great! Thanks! That should be a much better solution. i should note that on my installations, at least, what you are calling the "library" icon is labeled as "nnn books". i did set it up with libraries fic, nf, and sf with my token couple hundred volumes. So far it has worked well. Hopefully each library will sit on its own bottom and will thus be invulnerable to crashes in other libraries.

>theducks: 'Virtual Libraries'

i think by this you mean like 'genres'..? Yes i did toy with that. It does suffer from all of the problems i alluded to before in that all eggs are in one basket - with its attendant timing and risk problems.
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Old 05-08-2013, 07:04 PM   #7
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Quote:
Originally Posted by emanuensis View Post
There are at least 4 naming violations Calibre forces: 1) the creation of an extra layer as you mentioned 2) the creation of a folder with a blank in it 3) missed case names 4) names over 255 characters in length. All of these cause various types of headaches.
The use of the word 'violation' implies that there exists a written de-facto statute.

Item 1 - extra layers of ??? is a design issue, there are no de-facto design standards in the field of software engineering. There are various de-jure conventions based on various 'models and theories' but they are as hotly contested as similar things are in the world of economics.

AFAIK items 2, 3 and 4 are governed by the Institute of Electrical and Electronics Engineers (IEEE) standards known as POSIX (Portable Operating System Interface). To my knowledge, POSIX does not mandate that file system object names cannot have spaces, nor does it mandate that they cannot have mixed case and its mandated maximum path length is 32K bytes.

Quote:
Originally Posted by emanuensis View Post
DB approaches which work on blobs are only useful (for hefty home sized computers) to about 10^5. my library is approaching 10^6 and it is necessary to find a higher level of organization. At the high end they take too long, and are thus increasingly vulnerable to faults. Though often (unfortunately for safety not always) the faults are repairable, this again takes time. Calibre makes it difficult, as more than one instance cannot be run in the same operating system. Not even the "portable" version.
The only data I can imagine that your suggesting Calibre might store as database BLOBs are the book cover image and the actual book in what ever format(s) you have it.

But the fact is, Calibre does not store those things in its database, they are stored as regular files in the host operating systems (Windows, OS/X, Linux) file system (NTFS, HFS+, Ext3 etc).

It may be that it is the database technology used by Calibre (SQLlite) that prevents the execution of more than instance of Calibre. But that has nothing to do with BLOB's — I don't know for certain that SQLite is the roadblock, I maybe maligning an innocent party, barking up the wrong tree, whatever...

BR
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Old 05-09-2013, 09:30 PM   #8
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@BetterRed

Neato! It is good that the DB in Calibre only manipulates pointers, and thus is kept quite small even with very large subject sets.

It does seem like you were mixing de jure & de facto. Jure has some basis in law or codification, and facto just has a basis in practice.

The four in practice violations i was bemoaning make it more difficult for an individual, be he a regular user or a programmer, to port files and pathnames, especially across systems. While it may be true that there is a standard that allows filenames to be up to 32k in size, what practical use is it? And further how portable would it be? Even 256 character filenames cause errors! A name should be visible and type able.

In another area at least uSoft is now backing off their insistent use of spaces in most folder names (My Junk, etc), thank god. Word break characters in the middle of a name require quotes all over to guard against them.

The extra layer of folder naming (with mixed case and a word break!) that Calibre puts in for every library causes one to be unable to see the actual name one applied and gives the confusion of apparent sameness.
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Old 05-09-2013, 09:40 PM   #9
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@BetterRed

Neato! It is good that the DB in Calibre only manipulates pointers, and thus is kept quite small even with very large subject sets.

It does seem like you were mixing de jure & de facto. Jure has some basis in law or codification, and facto just has a basis in practice.

The four in practice violations i was bemoaning make it more difficult for an individual, be he a regular user or a programmer, to port files and pathnames, especially across systems. While it may be true that there is a standard that allows filenames to be up to 32k in size, what practical use is it? And further how portable would it be? Even 256 character filenames cause errors! A name should be visible and type able.

In another area at least uSoft is now backing off their insistent use of spaces in most folder names (My Junk, etc), thank god. Word break characters in the middle of a name require quotes all over to guard against them.

The extra layer of folder naming (with mixed case and a word break!) that Calibre puts in for every library causes one to be unable to see the actual name one applied and gives the confusion of apparent sameness.
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Old 05-10-2013, 04:33 AM   #10
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@emanuensis - You're right I did swap facto & jure - my excuse is that it was early morning and I was low on caffeine

What aggravated me that it was obvious that you had not bothered to browse the database schema. Had you done so then it should have been immediately apparent that there were no Large Binary Objects in it - I'm not even certain SQLite even supports them, in the sense that Oracle and DB2 do.

As to the other items, de jure standards do exist, your use of word 'violate' implied that Calibre does not conform to those standards - which is palpably untrue. To write that it violates them might be regarded as unlawful in some jurisdictions under the laws of libel.

As to the 'gist' of your complaint - the Calibre source code is available for download, and you can make whatever changes you want so that it conform to your requirements, for your personal use.

I bet most users of Calibre (here are the usage statistics ==>> http://status.calibre-ebook.com/) don't give a rat's left elbow about folder names being mixed case or having spaces in them - because they never look them, because under normal circumstances there is no need to do so.

Now imagine someone decides to stop using calibre. They will find their ebooks stored in a folders whose names are comprehensible, maybe not to programmers, but a mere mortal should have no difficulty finding their books.

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Old 05-10-2013, 11:07 AM   #11
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@BetterRed

May i take this moment to suggest you try Theobromine instead? Chocolates producer is every bit as endangered as Coffees but the bean does lead, some say, to ~chocolate_nobels... But statistician are even above Great liars, so saith the Great Mark on the Twine (or Twain by some accents or dialects). Besides it is oh so lovely! Or at least so think its acolytes.

i am afraid my familiarity with DBs is primarily with column oriented schemes (such as Q or KDB) which are used universally by those who need speed. One could get easily caught in an endless loop de loop which would make one loopy if one were hesitant about consulting the natives for direction before digging out the currently de jure map for its oracular definition.

i admit i am a scofflaw. It is endemic to my culture, after all if one can improve a program endlessly why not yourself? And as Go:del showed there is no end to such an enterprise. We tend to look at what is actual, the facts on the ground. As Hippocrates said if it worked before it might work again! And it is quite evident in the real world that codifying things gets one into all kinds of knots. i live in a Jurisdiction that treats scofflaws with humourless rancour so i am a bit circumspect around them. But here surely that Cosmic Lila prevails!

i do feel for that hapless rat so i will only bend his ear a bit (maybe just a tweak or two). After all it did help lead Van Gogh on to greatness.

my tweaking of said ear is in wonderment as to how best to recover from a devastation to an installation of Calibre...? At that point i am left with a sea of folders. We know Calibre cannot eat its own dog food ... so straight out of the box that sea of folders is not useful to a new installation of C. But that legacy is very important to me, even though i be a lowly rat, i must find a way out of this maze.

Help?

---~
u.tgu.ca/
chocolate_nobels

~same as~
medpagetoday com
PrimaryCare/DietNutrition/35281

greg

Last edited by emanuensis; 06-06-2013 at 07:22 PM. Reason: expanded shortened URL
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Old 05-12-2013, 07:32 PM   #12
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>i am still looking for guidance on how to have a naive session of Calibre get the files/folders left behind by a (possibly failed) instance of Calibre? The problem seems to be that straight out of the box Calibre can not eat its own dog food.

>On my previous missive i should note (for all you non/chocaholics that my method of footnoting (for ~chocolate_nobels) was broken by an editor. i can repeat that note, hopefully legally, below until i am allowed to fix the original

---~
u.tgu.ca/
chocolate_nobels

~same as~
medpagetoday com
PrimaryCare/DietNutrition/35281

greg

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Old 05-12-2013, 10:23 PM   #13
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I don't really understand what you want to do. I tried to reread the thread, but I still don't understand.

You have some books stored somewhere and now you wish to add them to calibre? Why not just add the books to the calibre library? What is the problem?

http://manual.calibre-ebook.com/gui.html#add-books

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Old 05-12-2013, 10:52 PM   #14
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Well in its normal state a Calibre library consists of (possibly very very very) long vector of folders with some (shallow) structure of folders under them terminated by files. The Calibre input mechanism (which is user point and click driven) allows multiple selection through the shift and control mechanism... but ONLY for files. Perhaps i am missing something but there is no wildcard for multiple folders.
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Old 05-12-2013, 11:01 PM   #15
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Well in its normal state a Calibre library consists of (possibly very very very) long vector of folders with some (shallow) structure of folders under them terminated by files. The Calibre input mechanism (which is user point and click driven) allows multiple selection through the shift and control mechanism... but ONLY for files. Perhaps i am missing something but there is no wildcard for multiple folders.
Add Books from Directories INCLUDING sub-directories is a right-click option
of Add books. No wild card needed, just sart with a folder closest to the root and calibre will look in the sub folders for books
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