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Old 07-12-2013, 03:46 PM   #61
PeterT
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In my humble opinion, the benefits of moving all content to one location far out-weighs the benefits of leaving content where it was and adding those locations to the database.

By having all content in one location it means that backups / transfers to a different computer or even O/S are trivial matters; you only have to worry about the directory tree that contains the metadata.db.

On the other hand, books being left in their original locations would mean that not only would I have to backup / transfer the metadata.db and it's directory structure, I'd also have to track down each and every book on my system, and ensure they were backed-up / transferred, I'd also have to hope and pray I could use the same directory name as that file was initially in. No hope at all of moving from say Windows to OS/X or Linux, and even on a Windows to Windows move, I'd better hope that the folder for my Desktop was in the same locale.

Also, by leaving items where they originally were, you're now opening yourself to the original location being managed by some other program, and those files being moved to where calibre was not expecting them to go.
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Old 07-12-2013, 04:33 PM   #62
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Quote:
Originally Posted by speakingtohe View Post
I imagine, perhaps wrongly, that if the file system was radically changed at this point there would be a great wailing and gnashing of teeth form the countless number of people like myself who are happy with the way things are now.
Oh, for sure. That's why I think it would have to be an optional setting initial during install, one that perhaps can't be changed once you've started using the program. One option would simply be for it to work the way it is right now, the other option would be for manual storage management, giving the user 100% of the responsibility of managing the storage. Making Calibre less of a self-contained solution, and more of a front-end book browser and data management system.

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One potential problem...
Oh, yes, there are a lot of pitfalls and a lot of problems that users could run into with manual storage. The user would have to be very responsible indeed and be careful not to move files without manually updating Calibre, and also be very organized about how they store their files. But some of us are indeed that careful and that organized and we like it.

Since making this happen would be such a mammoth undertaking I'm not holding my breath, and instead I will continue to use Calibre while also keeping all my books organized how I want them in a separate folder structure.

Yeah, that's right, all my books are stored twice on my computer. Once by Calibre and once by me how I want them.

Why use Calibre then?

Well, I basically use Calibre as a database that keeps track of what books I have, what I've read, where I bought them, etc. It allows me to filter by author, length, year, and a tonne of other data points. Basically, it lets me browse my library and filter my library in ways that I could never do if I just had them stored on the hard drive. And it lets me do a few technical things, like adding covers, converting between formats and stripping DRM.

I realize full well that to some people all this seems pointless and like I'm doing a lot of extra work for no reason. It doesn't seem that way to me, this way I can have the best of both worlds, even if it does require a bit of extra work that wouldn't be necessary if Calibre supported manual file management.

Anyway, I don't want it to sound like I'm bitter and unappreciative. Trust me, I'm not. Calibre is a great program that makes managing the information about my books quite easy.
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Old 07-12-2013, 05:10 PM   #63
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One trick, that might be relatively easy to arrange, could be to create an alternative tree structure on demand, using something similar to the save to disk template, only populate it using symlinks/shortcuts. That means that there only is one copy of the book on disk, but it can be accessed from several places. That way you can either browse using calibre or some intricate tree structure. It would even be possible to have the same book in several folders at once, using more than one template, and it wouldn't take up much space at all. So the tree could have several different structures to navigate at once. You could browse by genre and then series, or by year and then author and then series. Or whatever.

The mirror structures would have to be read only, of course.

I belive that there already are some that are doing something similar?
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Old 07-12-2013, 05:23 PM   #64
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Say I have 2.1 T of local disk and I want to back up my Library with it all over the place as some propose. , Yep either a huge amount of work to cherry pick the folders or I backup (and and later restore) the entire DISK SYSTEM.

Or we can do it Kovids way: ONE Folder (with subs)

Thanks Helen for reminding me of this SIMPLE advantage
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Old 07-12-2013, 05:48 PM   #65
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Originally Posted by K. Molen View Post
Oh, for sure. That's why I think it would have to be an optional setting initial during install, one that perhaps can't be changed once you've started using the program. One option would simply be for it to work the way it is right now, the other option would be for manual storage management, giving the user 100% of the responsibility of managing the storage. Making Calibre less of a self-contained solution, and more of a front-end book browser and data management system.


Oh, yes, there are a lot of pitfalls and a lot of problems that users could run into with manual storage. The user would have to be very responsible indeed and be careful not to move files without manually updating Calibre, and also be very organized about how they store their files. But some of us are indeed that careful and that organized and we like it.

Since making this happen would be such a mammoth undertaking I'm not holding my breath, and instead I will continue to use Calibre while also keeping all my books organized how I want them in a separate folder structure.

Yeah, that's right, all my books are stored twice on my computer. Once by Calibre and once by me how I want them.

Why use Calibre then?

Well, I basically use Calibre as a database that keeps track of what books I have, what I've read, where I bought them, etc. It allows me to filter by author, length, year, and a tonne of other data points. Basically, it lets me browse my library and filter my library in ways that I could never do if I just had them stored on the hard drive. And it lets me do a few technical things, like adding covers, converting between formats and stripping DRM.

I realize full well that to some people all this seems pointless and like I'm doing a lot of extra work for no reason. It doesn't seem that way to me, this way I can have the best of both worlds, even if it does require a bit of extra work that wouldn't be necessary if Calibre supported manual file management.

Anyway, I don't want it to sound like I'm bitter and unappreciative. Trust me, I'm not. Calibre is a great program that makes managing the information about my books quite easy.
I have my books stored at least 7 times (or is it 27 times). I went through the save as, the everything in the filename stage, and probably some more bizarre stages, before saying aha, I don't have to do this.

And the things I have gone through with various conversion problems, only to have a big improvement in calibre make all that bother obsolete I am currently fussing over numerous PDF files to get them just right, but I am sure Kovid will perfect the PDF processing the very minute I am through

Calibre has progressed mightily since 2010 when I got my first ereader and it was pretty swell then, and if I counted all the times that Kovid and/or chaley have taken time to help me personally, I would need more digits than are on my hands and feet, and if I included all of the help I have received from other developers and users I would need an abacus.

Helen
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Old 07-12-2013, 08:08 PM   #66
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How To Point Calibre at Your Very Own Book Folders

Hopefully the picture tells the story - the path and URI for My PDF - English are

Code:
C:\Users\BetterRed\Quick Docs\Greece TFGR, McK etc\McKinsey Greece Executive_summary_English.pdf

file:///C:/Users/BetterRed/Quick%20Docs/Greece%20TFGR%2C%20McK%20etc/McKinsey%20Greece%20Executive_summary_English.pdf/
I use Lopes Filetools gadget to get the file URI into my paste buffer. You must have file:/// - (ie triple slash, not double slash)

Also illustrates another way to have more than one file of the same format for the same book

BR
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Old 07-12-2013, 08:40 PM   #67
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Hopefully the picture tells the story - the path and URI for My PDF - English are

Code:
C:\Users\BetterRed\Quick Docs\Greece TFGR, McK etc\McKinsey Greece Executive_summary_English.pdf

file:///C:/Users/BetterRed/Quick%20Docs/Greece%20TFGR%2C%20McK%20etc/McKinsey%20Greece%20Executive_summary_English.pdf/
I use Lopes Filetools gadget to get the file URI into my paste buffer. You must have file:/// - (ie triple slash, not double slash)

Also illustrates another way to have more than one file of the same format for the same book

BR
So being unfamiliar with Filetools Gadget, I am in the dark.

What is the end result? Can you convert books stored in nonstandard locations using calibre, or open them, send to device etc. using calibre? If you move or rename their file location is it automatically updated in calibre?

If so you could provide the answer to some peoples prayers. I'm fine with the way things are, but if others can have their wishes granted, that would be wonderful as well.

Helen
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Old 07-12-2013, 09:55 PM   #68
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Quote:
Originally Posted by speakingtohe View Post
So being unfamiliar with Filetools Gadget, I am in the dark.

What is the end result? Can you convert books stored in nonstandard locations using calibre, or open them, send to device etc. using calibre? If you move or rename their file location is it automatically updated in calibre?

If so you could provide the answer to some peoples prayers. I'm fine with the way things are, but if others can have their wishes granted, that would be wonderful as well.

Helen
ops: its Lopesoft Filetools - Google for it, its free has lots of other useful features

From the Calibre GUI all you can do click on the link and open the file in whatever you told your OS to open it in - in my case those PDF's open in Trackers PDF XChange Viewer.

But the link could be to a folder, in which case your file manager (Windows Explorer, Finder, Nautilus etc) will open the folder. From there you can use the Calibres CLI programs and whatever else takes your fancy; same as you can if you click on Click to Open in Book Details or press o on your keyboard (sometimes you might have to press it twice - dunno why)

If you change the file path in any way the link will no longer work - its the equivalent of an Error 404 Not Found condition.

Calibre cannot be expected to detect these sort of changes, the Insert Link feature can handle any URI; file system link, a web link, an ftp link, whatever you want - even a WAIS link if such things still exist.

In my real library for that "Greece 10 years Ahead" book I have the English PDF in Calibre's folder. In My Comments I have a link to the McKinsey page from where I downloaded the PDF's, and I also have a link to a folder where I keep the Greek Language version, and a whole bunch of URLs to media and blog web pages where the report is gets a mention.

So for me its not a case of Calibre's Way or My Way - its Both Ways.

BR

Last edited by BetterRed; 07-12-2013 at 09:57 PM.
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Old 07-12-2013, 10:55 PM   #69
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Quote:
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Say I have 2.1 T of local disk and I want to back up my Library with it all over the place as some propose...

Or we can do it Kovids way: ONE Folder (with subs)
Just to clarify, I don't believe anyone is proposing storing your files all over the place, only the ability to be able to do so, should we choose to. I, too, would store all my books in one folder with subs, but that folder tree would use my preferred structure and (more importantly, to me) my naming conventions.

Anyway, this horse is pretty dead, I just wanted to clarify that one point.

Also, thanks for that primer BetterRed. I'll look into that for sure.
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Old 07-13-2013, 12:51 AM   #70
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Hi All

I'm pretty sure Calibre holds the monopoly so the author can impose any draconian rules they feel like, but are there any alternate aplications that do more or less the same thing?

The reason I'm looking at jumping ship is due to the 'do it my way, or bugger off' attatute to directory structure. Yes I've read the FAQ, and yes I've seen his thinking on it, but that does NOT cover every eventuality.

I want to access my library directly from one of my android devices, I know EXACTLY the structure I want, and no, I won't be magicly wanting to do something differnt with the stuctre once it is in place as the FAQ claims you will in its excuse/defence of the 'do it my way' rule. So I have three options the way I see it:
1) Wait for Calibre to come out on Android.
2) Sift through an increadly badly designed file structure every time I need to find something.
3) Jump ship.

I can't see '1' happening any time soon, '2' is what I'm suffering with now, and '3' looks more and more atractive every time I add a new aurthor.

I know this annoys the hell out of a LOT of people, is there any software that will allow me to organise MY library the way I want it?

-Mex

My, my, talk about looking a gift horse in the mouth!

No one is forcing you to use Calibre - you're perfectly free to either write your own program or hire someone to write it for you, if you can't find one that does similar things. Nor are you required to pay for using the program, so its developer and contributors are not obliged to conform to your (or anyone else's) concept of how the program should operate.

There is no deliberate "monopoly"; it's simply that no one else has bothered to devote the time and effort into creating a similar program that does as much or works as well as this program does.

Draconian rules? Hyperbole, much?
--------------------

Go ahead and jump ship....
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Old 07-13-2013, 05:27 AM   #71
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So being unfamiliar with Filetools Gadget, I am in the dark.

What is the end result? Can you convert books stored in nonstandard locations using calibre, or open them, send to device etc. using calibre?
It is actually very clever trick and goes half way to solution of non-standard file structure.

1. You have a book at a non-standard place, say C:\selected_books\foo\bar\John_Doe_-_How_to_be_a_good_corpse.epub

2. You create a new entry to the Calibre, fill in author, book name, drop in a cover

3. (optional) You also drop in the book file, so Calibre does have file in case you need to do some conversion or access it through standard Calibre tools.

4. You Edit the book data and you enter a description. In the description (that normally holds some blurb and / or info about author, book, ratings you also insert a link to your file C:\selected_books\foo\bar\John_Doe_-_How_to_be_a_good_corpse.epub. Depending on your operating system you might need to use some program, so that when you click on a link a file manager would open with the location of the file or something. Poster BetterRed is using program called Lopes Filetools to make his links work
Now that I think about it, you could also make a custom column.

5. Calibre now manages your book records, but you can use it to access the file stored elsewhere, you just can't use some of the functionality.
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Old 07-13-2013, 05:42 AM   #72
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My previous reply has made me think ...

If I wanted to use Calibre with my custom file structure without keeping an extra copy of the book in its internal directory I might do something like this:

- Install Calibre on Linux (I am already on Linux) or install it on Mac OSx, or install it on recent version of Windows (Win 7 or newer) and study http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Symboli..._symbolic_link

- Create my own directory structure.

- Copy the book there

- Create a:
-- link or a symlink to the file (Linux)
-- an Alias (on Mac OSX)
-- NTFS symbolic link http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/NTFS_symbolic_link , you might need an external software here to make it bearable

- drop link / symlink / an alias / NTFS symmbolic link to the Calibre and create a book record.

- you might also create a custom column to store the location(s) of the file in your alternative location, so you can automate some operations

This way you can have your own file structure. There ani't such thing as free lunch. So your use of Calibre got just more complicated. When you use conversion tools, for example, you would need to copy the files over to the alternative place.
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Old 07-13-2013, 06:03 AM   #73
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Originally Posted by gbm View Post
Why are you doing this the hard way. Use the User Interface the way it was designed and that is easy.

bernie

P.S.

That is not a badly designed file structure, it is a very well designed data base that is not meant for you to use.
I have to agree. The user interface is one of the worst I have seen so far. I'm still not able to control Calibre (e.g. Calibre still wants to sync everything to an E-Book Reader connected with an USB cable).

And don't start with all the functionality. Other programs can integrate complex functionality better into the GUI.

Yes you could just fork Calibre and develop it for your own.
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Old 07-13-2013, 08:00 AM   #74
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- drop link / symlink / an alias / NTFS symmbolic link to the Calibre and create a book record.
And on Windows it will copy the content of the symlink (folder or file), so you end up in the same situation

btw I think an OS/X Alias is more akin to a Windows Shortut than to an NTFS or EXT4 symbolic link, however HFS+ supports symbolic links - so in that respect they're much of a muchness.

One drawback with symlinks is - if the target path changes then the link is broken - I don't know of anything that will jump in and repair the link for you. There are utilities that will find and report broken links and others that will allow you to define a new target to effect a repair.

Another challenge with symlinks is how to handle Inner and Outer Links...

If your Calibre library book folders are stable once you've sorted out the author and title and put the book into your 'Main' library, then you could create a symlink of the calibre book folder in an alternative directory hierarchy.

You would have full control over the naming and structure of that folder hierarchy, but the contents of the folder symlink would carry the same caveats as the calibre folders - don't change any file names or delete any files.

And if you wanted multiple folder hierarchies you could have multiple folder symlinks targeting the same Calibre folders.

If you're using Windows and you want to explore this 'stuff' then the best place to start (and end) is with Link Shell Extension (LSE) like Calibre it has a GUI (shell extension) and a command line implementation. Its not open source but it is free. The author of LSE wrote the following on the Total Commander forum last year in respect of incorporating the features of LSE into TC.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Herman Shinagl @ TC forum
The only thing I can tell from the experience I gained during the last few years, is that if I knew all the pitfalls in advance I would not have developed it
LSE is my second favourite item of software - Herman is one of the few people I know of in the 'file management space' (outside of MS) working with the new Windows Server ReFS file system. I have an interest in LSE - I gave Herman some assist during its early development.

BR

ps : If you decide to 'play' with LSE you'll probably find it easier with a two pane file manager - xplorer2 Lite is pretty good and gets along well with LSE.

Last edited by BetterRed; 07-13-2013 at 08:49 AM.
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Old 07-13-2013, 08:34 AM   #75
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Originally Posted by BetterRed View Post
And it will copy the content of the symlink (folder or file)
Opps ... right.
You would have to go into the directory manually, remove the copied file and replace it with a symlink. Sigh ...
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