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Old 09-23-2013, 01:49 PM   #1
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BookONO wants to be a Calibre alternative

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Has anybody looked into this? I've not seen any topics on the forums about this new software.

German Article on Lesen.net

Google Translate (Not perfect, but quite readable.)

Quote:
The highly popular ebook management software Calibre has a new competitor. BookONO promises a more open approach than Calibre and scores already in the alpha version with additional features such as a built-in browser, but is still recognizable in its infancy.
A more open approach than being open source, running on about every existing platform in the world and having a plugin-structure to extend functionality? Hard to imagine.

The author himself posted in the thread (real English):

Quote:
I am one of the authors of the software. Sorry to not reply in German, I believe it's German. Yes the software does handle at least 5,000 items without a problem. The software will always be 100% free (the desktop part of it), but it's probably not going to be open source, though I may change my mind in the future.

Where Calibre uses Python, this uses C + +. The toolkit for both is the same and it's called QT. The Calibre software calls on the backend to do things like convert books, HOWEVER we might write some C + + code later on to do some of that better. The main reason for writing it is personal. We want an integrated solution that works both on the desktop, web, and mobile and functions the way we want it to function and Calibre does not do that and it does not seem to me that it will ever do that. Currently I am writing the desktop component and the web components. When those are done I will write the mobile component.

Thanks for all of your interest.
- Not open source. Big disadvantage.
- Using C++ instead of Python, which (probably) would make it faster, but development much slower.
- It actually uses Calibre as its backend. How's that for kicks? Using the core of the software you want to replace as the business part of your own so you can actually get stuff done. If you want to replace Calibre, then replace it, not use it to drive your own product. At this point in time, this software only seems to be a new front-end / user-interface for Calibre.
- He wants to "rewrite parts of Calibre in C++", such as conversion, to do it "better" [than Calibre].

I for one, am very sceptical that any e-book manager started today can ever catch up to Calibre, let alone overtake it, assuming Calibre stays in development.

True, Calibre is not a pretty program to look at, but that is probably its only disadvantage. For everything else, at this point in time, Calibre is to e-books what Photoshop is to image editing: if you need the options, the kitchen AND the sink to get stuff done, it's the only option.

Last edited by WT Sharpe; 09-24-2013 at 12:04 PM. Reason: Needed to modify graphic for move to MobileRead's Front Page.
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Old 09-23-2013, 01:52 PM   #2
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I agree, but why post about this at all?
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Old 09-23-2013, 02:03 PM   #3
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Because it's news? At least it was to me.
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Old 09-23-2013, 02:16 PM   #4
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Quote:
Originally Posted by holymadness View Post
I agree, but why post about this at all?
Uh... maybe because a program that fancies itself to become a competitor or even replacement to Calibre would be news to one of the biggest e-reading forums in the world?
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Old 09-23-2013, 02:24 PM   #5
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They have big shoes to fill if they hope to compete with Calibre.
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Old 09-23-2013, 02:31 PM   #6
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I sure would like some calibre competition.
Competition is good, choice is good

Quote:
Toolkit. It isdifferent from Calibre in that it makes a few different design decisions than Calibre, for instance it does not attempt to put all your books in its own library or change their names. Where Calibre attempts to take complete control over your books, BookONO gives you control over your book
I like the sound of that. It is THE problem i have with calibre.

And a linux version is planned. I sure will keep a look on that one.

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Old 09-23-2013, 02:55 PM   #7
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I think Dear Author had a post about this a few weeks ago. While competition is always good I personally have no plans to quit using Calibre.

One of the DA commenters mentioned it is only for ePub and they were unable to access their kindle books at least so far.
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Old 09-23-2013, 03:08 PM   #8
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Quote:
Originally Posted by crich70 View Post
They have big shoes to fill if they hope to compete with Calibre.
Not just big shoes to fill, but also socks, pants, shirt and hat!
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Old 09-23-2013, 03:12 PM   #9
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Quote:
Originally Posted by library addict View Post
I think Dear Author had a post about this a few weeks ago. While competition is always good I personally have no plans to quit using Calibre.

One of the DA commenters mentioned it is only for ePub and they were unable to access their kindle books at least so far.
Tried it a bit, definitively alpha, lots of not working stuff. But at least you can use YOUR folders.

Oh, and actually, one of the setting is the path to calibre installation (for conversion)
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Old 09-23-2013, 03:13 PM   #10
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I don't see any problem with using Calibre as a backend as long as they abide by the terms of its license (GPLv3?) which if they're just executing it, is fine.

Makes a lot of sense to not constantly re-invent the wheel. Reuse what you can, improve on the rest. Would be nice if the result was an open source project too though. All things being equal (sadly they often aren't), I'd rather use an open source product than closed.
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Old 09-23-2013, 04:01 PM   #11
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Sounds like it's presenting a new C++-based Qt library management interface/database system and then simply using calibre for (optional) conversions to different formats (for now).

If it fills a need and doesn't violate calibre's GPL (which it doesn't sound like it does) then more power to them. Options are always good.

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Old 09-23-2013, 04:50 PM   #12
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Quote:
Originally Posted by DiapDealer View Post
If it fills a need and doesn't violate calibre's GPL (which it doesn't sound like it does) then more power to them. Options are always good.
That's fine with me, but in my opinion it doesn't fly. Not the way they're presenting it.

You can't say "I don't like this piece of software [Calibre] because it doesn't work like I want it to work, and it doesn't do what I want it to do", and then turn around and use that exact same piece of software to get your own product started. To make matters worse, that new product is not open source. In my view, that's just opportunistic and very lame.

If they had said something like this: "We like Calibre's functionality a lot, but we do not like its user interface and the fact that it is written in Python. We're going to fork it, and then implement a new user interface on top of the Calibre core. After that, we're going to replace some parts with new C++ code to make it faster. This product will be open source, and we'll maintain full compatibility with Calibre itself and its plugins."

I could have respected that. Calibre could then actually use parts of the new code where Mr. Goyal sees it as a substantial improvement.

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Old 09-23-2013, 04:56 PM   #13
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Katsunami View Post
That's fine with me, but in my opinion it doesn't fly. Not the way they're presenting it.

You can't say "I don't like this piece of software [Calibre] because it doesn't work like I want it to work, and it doesn't do what I want it to do", and then turn around and use that exact piece of software to get your own product started. To make matters worse, that new product is not open source. In my view, that's just opportunistic and very lame.

If they had said something like this: "We like Calibre's functionality a lot, but we do not like its user interface and the fact that it is written in Python. We're going to fork it, and then implement a new user interface on top of the Calibre core. After that, we're going to replace some parts with new C++ code to make it faster. This product will be open source, and we'll maintain full compatibility with Calibre itself and it's plugins."

I could have respected that. Calibre could then actually use parts of the new code where Mr. Goyal sees it as a substantial improvement.
Actually, they are just using calibre for conversion, requiring calibre to be installed for that.

As for the rest, yeah, might seam a bit rude, but it voice what quite people have been thinking about calibre.

I wish them the best of luck, i could use some program to sort my books, and calibre is unusable for me.

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Old 09-23-2013, 04:58 PM   #14
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Having more than one viable application can be good for innovation, and I find it fun to use different programs for stuff now and then. I'd give it a shot, though I'm happy with Calibre and respect the close ties it has with the ebook community.
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Old 09-23-2013, 05:04 PM   #15
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Quote:
Originally Posted by EowynCarter View Post
Actually, they are just using calibre for conversion, requiring calibre to be installed for that.

As for the rest, yeah, might seam a bit rude, but it voice what quite people have been thinking about calibre.

I wish them the best of luck, i could use some program to sort my books, and calibre is unusable for me.
Calibre can be a bit overwhelming with all of its options, but the secret is to not try and use everything at once. You just sort of grow into it, just like with a large program such as Photoshop (if you use it enough).

It may be unusable for you, but to me...
I might not even want to read e-books anymore without it.

The UI is not pretty, and it doesn't look like any other program, but to be honest, I scarcely notice that now. I think that many long-time Calibre users would have had a huge WTF-moment if Calibre 1.0 had come with a new, slick, hyper-modern GUI that worked completely different compared to the current one.

Last edited by Katsunami; 09-23-2013 at 05:07 PM.
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