Register Guidelines E-Books Search Today's Posts Mark Forums Read

Go Back   MobileRead Forums > E-Book Software > Calibre > Related Tools

Notices

Reply
 
Thread Tools Search this Thread
Old 04-22-2014, 10:12 PM   #1
Marty_B
Member
Marty_B began at the beginning.
 
Posts: 17
Karma: 10
Join Date: Apr 2014
Device: Kindle DX
Minimalist Windows App for Calibre

I created a windows store app to view calibre databases. I did this mostly because no one else had gone through the trouble, and for my work I happen to manage a large collection of archival material. Since I prefer writing books away from the internet, arranging web access wouldn't help.

The app is called Calibre Viewer and it just passed certification today, meaning that it's available now. I'll add the link below for anyone who's interested.

What it can do is the following: it can open a Calibre library and display all the documents contained therein. It will display details about any given book (cover, comments, and so on). It allows you to search by title and author. It also displays tags and allows you to search books by tag. Since I don't use tags very much myself, there is a switch in the settings flyout to turn them off and gain some screen real estate. It implements a full screen view, portrait mode, and snapped mode. Double tapping any book will launch that book in whatever viewer you have associated with that filetype.

What it cannot do is edit. This is a viewer that allows you to view, search, and use your collection in metro. Also, at this time, it can handle one library at a time. If there is sufficient interest, I may work towards a more complex version that can handle multiple libraries and maybe allow edits. I'm sure I'll discover other things that may prove helpful.

Moreover, I'm a historian, not a developer. As such, it's very minimalist, but that was rather the point for me (the last time I programmed anything was over a decade ago). If this thing seems useful to you, or if you find a bug of some sort, or you have a suggestion, please don't hesitate to let me know.

It's listed in the store at 99 cents -- in hopes of recouping the stupid developer's license I had to purchase (otherwise I could not even deploy it to my own machine). However, the trial version is 100% identical and has no time limit. I.e. that 99 cents is completely voluntary. There are no ads, because I hate ads with a vengeance.

Here's the link in case anyone's interested: http://apps.microsoft.com/windows/ap...6-3b1b38265c2a
Marty_B is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 04-25-2014, 01:58 AM   #2
robcohen
Enthusiast
robcohen began at the beginning.
 
Posts: 34
Karma: 10
Join Date: Jun 2008
Device: Kindle and Kindle Touch
Thumbs up

Quote:
Originally Posted by Marty_B View Post
Since this effort appears to have died, and I manage a large database of archival material using Calibre, I decided to write one myself for use on my surface RT. It just appeared in the store this morning under the name Calibre Viewer. I would include a link to it, but don't want to run afoul of self-promotion rules on this forum.

I should note that the listed price (99c) is effectively a suggested donation. The trial version is 100% identical and not time limited. I only added the price in hopes of defraying the cost of the developer's license, but again, it's voluntary.

In terms of the database lock: due to the oddness of windows store apps and the limitations of the sqlite implementation for store apps, a local copy has to be created within the sandbox. I check on startup to see whether the original metadata.db has changed, and if so a new copy is created. This is read-only: no changes can be made from the app itself. Maybe in future versions.
Marty - just seeing your posting tonight. This sounds most interesting. I downloaded a trial copy for now and will give it a shot this coming week.

Thanks for taking this on. I can't wait to play with your app in the next few days. Will be nice to show the family a Modern app I can actually show off as useful. So far there's been nothing really compelling there to get me using the Modern side, but I guess Microsoft is figuring that's the case for a few people if recent updates and rumors are correct.

Not that sure the read-only DB business will be an issue for me and I like your compromise of making a copy for your app. If I recall correctly (?) there's no way of telling if the DB is open or not so this seems like a good start. I keep read-only copies elsewhere anyway so this seems interesting. Of course it would be really great someday to be able to share the entire library via the network or Dropbox or Google Drive in full read/write.

Will get you some feedback when I've had some time to use it.

Rob
robcohen is offline   Reply With Quote
 
Enthusiast
Old 04-30-2014, 01:28 AM   #3
Marty_B
Member
Marty_B began at the beginning.
 
Posts: 17
Karma: 10
Join Date: Apr 2014
Device: Kindle DX
Quote:
Originally Posted by robcohen View Post
Marty - just seeing your posting tonight. This sounds most interesting. I downloaded a trial copy for now and will give it a shot this coming week.

Thanks for taking this on. I can't wait to play with your app in the next few days. Will be nice to show the family a Modern app I can actually show off as useful. So far there's been nothing really compelling there to get me using the Modern side, but I guess Microsoft is figuring that's the case for a few people if recent updates and rumors are correct.

Not that sure the read-only DB business will be an issue for me and I like your compromise of making a copy for your app. If I recall correctly (?) there's no way of telling if the DB is open or not so this seems like a good start. I keep read-only copies elsewhere anyway so this seems interesting. Of course it would be really great someday to be able to share the entire library via the network or Dropbox or Google Drive in full read/write.

Will get you some feedback when I've had some time to use it.

Rob
I appreciate that. Do let me know if this is useful and if there is anything in particular that bothers you, needs changing, or otherwise constitutes a problem. As I said, I wrote it primarily because I had a need for something like this myself. Frankly, windows metro should have come with something to organize and read ebooks. For a tablet format, I can see metro really working, but the apps aren't there. Unlike many, I don't hate it. I just hate that the appstore is 99% utter garbage.

In principle, this can run in a networked way. It may be read only, but since the app checks for changes to the original database, it will sync to the most recent metadata.db in the folder selected. Mine is located on OneDrive, so that changes I make on my PC automatically propagate to this thing, assuming I have connectivity--I have my onedrive fully synced to a local copy, so in the absence of an active connection, it still works. I would not recommend using a remote-only Calibre library, since I expect it will lead to trouble in the absence of connectivity.

The one thing I am seriously considering is allowing it to work with multiple libraries, which I do have. I should be able to do that in a way to allow searches and sorting across libraries.
Marty_B is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 04-30-2014, 03:15 AM   #4
AnotherCat
Addict
AnotherCat ought to be getting tired of karma fortunes by now.AnotherCat ought to be getting tired of karma fortunes by now.AnotherCat ought to be getting tired of karma fortunes by now.AnotherCat ought to be getting tired of karma fortunes by now.AnotherCat ought to be getting tired of karma fortunes by now.AnotherCat ought to be getting tired of karma fortunes by now.AnotherCat ought to be getting tired of karma fortunes by now.AnotherCat ought to be getting tired of karma fortunes by now.AnotherCat ought to be getting tired of karma fortunes by now.AnotherCat ought to be getting tired of karma fortunes by now.AnotherCat ought to be getting tired of karma fortunes by now.
 
Posts: 398
Karma: 599183
Join Date: May 2012
Device: Sony PRS-T1
Hi Marty

While the link you gave states that your App is x86 and x64 capable I do not see it in the Store when browsing with Windows 8 PCs. Perhaps the App is RT only, in which case it will not be served; I do not have any RT devices so I cannot search with those.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Marty_B View Post
...Frankly, windows metro should have come with something to organize and read ebooks. For a tablet format, I can see metro really working, but the apps aren't there...
For Windows 8 (not Windows RT) there are quite a number of integrated library manager/readers Modern Apps in the Store. As well as Microsoft's own offering (which is installed by default with Windows 8) and the Kindle and Kobo ones, there are many others. Freda is one that looks very interesting, but I have not tried many of the others.

I also like the Modern Apps and they look nice for reading but as a Calibre user I have no interest in the readers that manage their own libraries or no library at all. So if yours does do x86 & x64 (and from your link it looks as if it has some reading ability as well as the Calibre integration) I would be interested in working out why I cannot see it in the store in order to give it a try. Otherwise, if it is RT only, perhaps you could be encouraged to do a Windows 8 version .

As you are likely aware, RT has been struggling a lot in the market (as far as I know, now abandoned by all manufacturers except for Microsoft/Nokia itself, all others now just doing Windows 8 for tabs).

Whatever, you are to be congratulated for having a go.

John
AnotherCat is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 04-30-2014, 10:04 AM   #5
Marty_B
Member
Marty_B began at the beginning.
 
Posts: 17
Karma: 10
Join Date: Apr 2014
Device: Kindle DX
Quote:
Originally Posted by AnotherCat View Post
Hi Marty

While the link you gave states that your App is x86 and x64 capable I do not see it in the Store when browsing with Windows 8 PCs. Perhaps the App is RT only, in which case it will not be served; I do not have any RT devices so I cannot search with those.



For Windows 8 (not Windows RT) there are quite a number of integrated library manager/readers Modern Apps in the Store. As well as Microsoft's own offering (which is installed by default with Windows 8) and the Kindle and Kobo ones, there are many others. Freda is one that looks very interesting, but I have not tried many of the others.

I also like the Modern Apps and they look nice for reading but as a Calibre user I have no interest in the readers that manage their own libraries or no library at all. So if yours does do x86 & x64 (and from your link it looks as if it has some reading ability as well as the Calibre integration) I would be interested in working out why I cannot see it in the store in order to give it a try. Otherwise, if it is RT only, perhaps you could be encouraged to do a Windows 8 version .

As you are likely aware, RT has been struggling a lot in the market (as far as I know, now abandoned by all manufacturers except for Microsoft/Nokia itself, all others now just doing Windows 8 for tabs).

Whatever, you are to be congratulated for having a go.

John
Thank you for bringing that to my intention. I can guarantee you that it does show up and install on x64 and x86 on this end (I am running it myself on all three). I should note that due to the use of some components in it, it is an 8.1 app and will not show up for any machine running 8.0. Let me know if that happens to be the case.

In terms of reading ability, I should note that it has no integrated reader. It will launch books using the associated app on your machine.
Marty_B is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 04-30-2014, 05:27 PM   #6
AnotherCat
Addict
AnotherCat ought to be getting tired of karma fortunes by now.AnotherCat ought to be getting tired of karma fortunes by now.AnotherCat ought to be getting tired of karma fortunes by now.AnotherCat ought to be getting tired of karma fortunes by now.AnotherCat ought to be getting tired of karma fortunes by now.AnotherCat ought to be getting tired of karma fortunes by now.AnotherCat ought to be getting tired of karma fortunes by now.AnotherCat ought to be getting tired of karma fortunes by now.AnotherCat ought to be getting tired of karma fortunes by now.AnotherCat ought to be getting tired of karma fortunes by now.AnotherCat ought to be getting tired of karma fortunes by now.
 
Posts: 398
Karma: 599183
Join Date: May 2012
Device: Sony PRS-T1
Thanks for the response Marty. Now solved .

The machines I had tried searching and general hunting in the Store for the App with are indeed both Win 8.1, that inclusive of the big update last Patch Tuesday. Had tried both 32 bit and 64 bit PCs and two different internet service providers all with the same outcome. Links direct to the App also failed.

However, knowing now that it is not an RT App raised the possibility that is may have been geo restricted in some way. I am in New Zealand and a search gives no result. However, if I change my PC's location to the USA Calibre Viewer comes up straight away in the search of the Store and installs fine.

I am away from home at the moment so will install it on a Calibre PC later in the day. On the face of it, from the Store page presentation, it looks very interesting and will give it a go - it may end up on my travelling notebook which I generally only use as read only with a copy from my master Calibre database on a spinning USB drive, so no editing needed and the desktop Calibre display being cramped on a 15 inch screen.

I'll come back in a few days with any comments.

John
AnotherCat is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 04-30-2014, 05:48 PM   #7
Marty_B
Member
Marty_B began at the beginning.
 
Posts: 17
Karma: 10
Join Date: Apr 2014
Device: Kindle DX
Quote:
Originally Posted by AnotherCat View Post
Thanks for the response Marty. Now solved .

However, knowing now that it is not an RT App raised the possibility that is may have been geo restricted in some way. I am in New Zealand and a search gives no result. However, if I change my PC's location to the USA Calibre Viewer comes up straight away in the search of the Store and installs fine.

John
I should have thought of that myself. For me to make it available in other countries, MS requires me to fill out tax paperwork for each and every single one. I wasn't in the mood. In addition, there's the localization requirements. For any updated versions, I make an effort to add localization (and file some tax forms and all that garbage). Honestly, the app store is a massive pain in the ass -- although in certification, I'll admit they actually found something dumb I'd done.
Marty_B is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 04-30-2014, 06:23 PM   #8
AnotherCat
Addict
AnotherCat ought to be getting tired of karma fortunes by now.AnotherCat ought to be getting tired of karma fortunes by now.AnotherCat ought to be getting tired of karma fortunes by now.AnotherCat ought to be getting tired of karma fortunes by now.AnotherCat ought to be getting tired of karma fortunes by now.AnotherCat ought to be getting tired of karma fortunes by now.AnotherCat ought to be getting tired of karma fortunes by now.AnotherCat ought to be getting tired of karma fortunes by now.AnotherCat ought to be getting tired of karma fortunes by now.AnotherCat ought to be getting tired of karma fortunes by now.AnotherCat ought to be getting tired of karma fortunes by now.
 
Posts: 398
Karma: 599183
Join Date: May 2012
Device: Sony PRS-T1
My understanding is that you only have to provide a tax profile for the 6 countries plus the EU ones in Exhibit A of the Developer Agreement (should you want to sell in them). However, I may be mistaken.

But still certainly a pain and likely to become a very much bigger pain and very, very complicated as well for all internet and other international sellers if the international tax gathering activists get their way.

Last edited by AnotherCat; 04-30-2014 at 06:26 PM.
AnotherCat is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 05-01-2014, 06:11 PM   #9
Marty_B
Member
Marty_B began at the beginning.
 
Posts: 17
Karma: 10
Join Date: Apr 2014
Device: Kindle DX
Quote:
Originally Posted by AnotherCat View Post
My understanding is that you only have to provide a tax profile for the 6 countries plus the EU ones in Exhibit A of the Developer Agreement (should you want to sell in them). However, I may be mistaken.

But still certainly a pain and likely to become a very much bigger pain and very, very complicated as well for all internet and other international sellers if the international tax gathering activists get their way.
You read that with a more careful eye than I did. Even better. When I submit an update based on comments I receive, I'll add a bunch of markets and see how that goes.
Marty_B is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 05-03-2014, 10:38 PM   #10
AnotherCat
Addict
AnotherCat ought to be getting tired of karma fortunes by now.AnotherCat ought to be getting tired of karma fortunes by now.AnotherCat ought to be getting tired of karma fortunes by now.AnotherCat ought to be getting tired of karma fortunes by now.AnotherCat ought to be getting tired of karma fortunes by now.AnotherCat ought to be getting tired of karma fortunes by now.AnotherCat ought to be getting tired of karma fortunes by now.AnotherCat ought to be getting tired of karma fortunes by now.AnotherCat ought to be getting tired of karma fortunes by now.AnotherCat ought to be getting tired of karma fortunes by now.AnotherCat ought to be getting tired of karma fortunes by now.
 
Posts: 398
Karma: 599183
Join Date: May 2012
Device: Sony PRS-T1
Hi Marty

I have given this a good run. It works just as you describe and with no gremlins found so far . Here are my comments (written in a way that also may help others looking at using the app).

While not so useful for me with a big screened PC as, in my case, that is used predominantly for maintaining the Calibre libraries, building books, and loading my eReader, it is great on a notebook (non touch, so mouse or touchpad in my case); well for those of us who have an open minded outlook that is not blindly tied to the desktop, anyway .

As I said earlier, on my travelling notebook (a quite old 1.86GHz HP which I dare not replace as it has been totally reliable during a hard life) I use a spinning USB drive with my Calibre libraries on it which I load to my eReader or read on the notebook. And it was on this, especially also with its smaller screen compared to a desktop, that use of Calibre Viewer was attractive.

The environment I created for myself was Calibre Viewer with the app Freda for epubs, and with Microsoft's Reader app for pdfs. I found some other epub reading apps did not play nicely when played side by side on the screen with Calibre Viewer, they appearing shrunk up into a very narrow vertical window and so not filling the space available (that not Calibre Viewer's fault. In my view, Freda is the pick of the bunch anyway). All three apps can be run together with the reading one swapping on its half of the screen according to the format of the book currently selected from the Calibre library next to it.

Freda, like most other epub reading apps creates a bookshelf which is redundant for this purpose (as the Calibre Library becomes the "bookshelf"), but the books that appear on it can be deleted easily. Doing so doesn't remove the book from the Calibre library, just from Freda's bookshelf. Also,when one selects a book in the Calibre library for reading Freda presents that book itself for reading, one is not led to Freda's Bookshelf first. So from the selection of the book from the Calibre library to reading it in Freda is seamless.

Microsoft's Reader app, opens pdfs in the same manner.

I had no difficulty navigating between my various Calibre libraries with the app as it is.

As far as I am aware it is not possible in Windows to have a different default program/app according to whether one is working from the desktop interface or from the Modern interface. For example, one may want to use as defaults Microsoft's Reader app for pdfs while in the Modern interface but use Adobe's PDF Reader when in the desktop interface. But I am prepared to be surprised.

However, it is easy enough to have the Program Defaults in Control Panel set to the Modern apps (so in my case Freda and Microsoft's Reader), and if wanting to open from Calibre on the desktop to use the "Open With" plugin (with one's preferred desktop pdf reader loaded in it) or, if opening from File Explorer to just do a right click "Open With" (in my case to ADE for epubs and and PDF-XChange Viewer for pdfs).

John

Last edited by AnotherCat; 05-03-2014 at 10:41 PM.
AnotherCat is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 05-04-2014, 09:47 PM   #11
Marty_B
Member
Marty_B began at the beginning.
 
Posts: 17
Karma: 10
Join Date: Apr 2014
Device: Kindle DX
Quote:
Originally Posted by AnotherCat View Post
Hi Marty

I have given this a good run. It works just as you describe and with no gremlins found so far . Here are my comments (written in a way that also may help others looking at using the app).

John
John,

I appreciate that, thank you. The idea was to make exactly what you are doing possible. There's not much use for this independently on a full-blown PC--that's where Calibre itself is of more use--but rather for mobile solutions. I'm using it on an eight inch tablet as well as on my surface, so that I can lug my libraries with me. On a small tablet, quite frankly, this works much better for me than full-blown desktop Calibre. I really think that that's where the metro interface shines.

I've started working on the next release, where I plan to do a few things. Mostly, it's about adding more complex search and sorting. Also, I plan to add the ability to use multiple libraries. I'd still work with one library at a time, but would add a search function that could handle a search across libraries. I may implement a search contract for that -- although I think it's deprecated. And maybe a more refined help page ...

Of course, if there are special requests for any particular feature, I'm happy to see what I can do.

Last edited by Marty_B; 05-04-2014 at 09:55 PM.
Marty_B is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 05-05-2014, 01:36 PM   #12
Glorfindel
Wizard
Glorfindel ought to be getting tired of karma fortunes by now.Glorfindel ought to be getting tired of karma fortunes by now.Glorfindel ought to be getting tired of karma fortunes by now.Glorfindel ought to be getting tired of karma fortunes by now.Glorfindel ought to be getting tired of karma fortunes by now.Glorfindel ought to be getting tired of karma fortunes by now.Glorfindel ought to be getting tired of karma fortunes by now.Glorfindel ought to be getting tired of karma fortunes by now.Glorfindel ought to be getting tired of karma fortunes by now.Glorfindel ought to be getting tired of karma fortunes by now.Glorfindel ought to be getting tired of karma fortunes by now.
 
Glorfindel's Avatar
 
Posts: 2,511
Karma: 3465730
Join Date: Feb 2014
Location: Valinor
Device: Kindle 4 w/SO
Add a viewer?
Glorfindel is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 05-05-2014, 11:25 PM   #13
Marty_B
Member
Marty_B began at the beginning.
 
Posts: 17
Karma: 10
Join Date: Apr 2014
Device: Kindle DX
Quote:
Originally Posted by Glorfindel View Post
Add a viewer?
That's a rather non-trivial task, given the amount of formats it would have to handle and the complexity of getting it right. There's a reason for the dearth of epub and mobi viewers for metro.

I did think about that, but decided against it for two reasons:
1. This is a crazy complex task for one person, and I'd much rather have no viewer than a terrible one;
2. For metro, there is a distinct advantage to not having an incorporated viewer due to the fact that two apps can share a screen. That way, the library app can run in snapped mode, while a reader app can run alongside it. That solution, in my mind, is more satisfying than an integrated one that runs between views. What we need is a good app that serves as a viewer for multiple formats, but I'm probably not the guy to write it. At the same time, for a number of formats, the viewers we have are perfectly acceptable: my calibre viewer app works very nicely with the integrated PDF viewer. Viewers are available for other formats that are good enough. Much as yourself, though, I am waiting for a good one that can handle multiple formats.

That is to say that even if I were to write a document viewer, it would be as a separate app, due to the ability of the system to run two alongside each other and the advantages inherent to that. And I'd be happy to help with that, but there's relatively little chance of me accomplishing that on my own.
Marty_B is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 05-06-2014, 12:42 AM   #14
AnotherCat
Addict
AnotherCat ought to be getting tired of karma fortunes by now.AnotherCat ought to be getting tired of karma fortunes by now.AnotherCat ought to be getting tired of karma fortunes by now.AnotherCat ought to be getting tired of karma fortunes by now.AnotherCat ought to be getting tired of karma fortunes by now.AnotherCat ought to be getting tired of karma fortunes by now.AnotherCat ought to be getting tired of karma fortunes by now.AnotherCat ought to be getting tired of karma fortunes by now.AnotherCat ought to be getting tired of karma fortunes by now.AnotherCat ought to be getting tired of karma fortunes by now.AnotherCat ought to be getting tired of karma fortunes by now.
 
Posts: 398
Karma: 599183
Join Date: May 2012
Device: Sony PRS-T1
I had considered this too, also coming to the conclusion that there is much more flexibility if the reader is a separate app (especially if Win 8.1 is used so both the reader and Calibre Viewer can be run side by side).
AnotherCat is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 05-14-2014, 08:55 PM   #15
Marty_B
Member
Marty_B began at the beginning.
 
Posts: 17
Karma: 10
Join Date: Apr 2014
Device: Kindle DX
Now that you've all had some time to play with it, could anyone let me know whether they have encountered issues with this? Unexpected crashes, anything of the sort. I'm working on v2 -- alongside a fulltime job, so bear with me -- so any input with regard to stability would be helpful. My app also received its first (and still only) rating. Apparently from someone who didn't appreciate it that much, although without any indication as to why.

Again, any input would be appreciated. The next release will be open in more markets.
Marty_B is offline   Reply With Quote
Reply

Thread Tools Search this Thread
Search this Thread:

Advanced Search

Forum Jump

Similar Threads
Thread Thread Starter Forum Replies Last Post
Moving Calibre Library from Windows 7 to Windows 8 - json code issue DramaQueenLucy Devices 14 11-12-2013 11:47 AM
Seeking a minimalist solution meursault General Discussions 0 10-16-2013 09:22 PM
Kobo Windows 8 App nogle Kobo Reader 1 05-31-2013 10:00 PM
Windows RT app? rakulos Sigil 1 11-04-2012 09:51 AM
New minimalist theme, feedback wanted rogue_librarian PocketBook 6 12-06-2010 03:57 PM


All times are GMT -4. The time now is 04:43 AM.


MobileRead.com is a privately owned, operated and funded community.