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Old 06-21-2014, 04:33 PM   #1
DaltonST
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[GUI Plugin] Author Book Count

This plugin updates a new custom column for the total number of books written by each author. This is done for every book in your library.


Main Features ABC:

This plugin updates a custom column for the total number of books for an author for each book of each author in your library. It always updates all books in the open library. The results are displayed in the left browser pane under "ABC". A menu selection to "Read Instructions" is available.

Installation Notes:
  1. Calibre > Preferences > Custom Columns > Add a new custom column called "author_book_count" with a title of "ABC" and with the default "text, with column shown in the tag browser". Uncheck the new column to hide it. Save your work and restart Calibre. Refer to the attached configuration image file.
  2. Calibre > Preferences > Plugins > Load Plugin from File and load the attached zip file. Save your work and restart Calibre.
  3. Calibre > Preferences > Toolbar > Main Menu Toolbar and then add the icon for Author Book Count. Save your work. Close the window.
  4. If you don't want to see the count in the Book Details view, go to Calibre > Preferences > Look and Feel > Book Details and customize the view to your taste.
  5. The Calibre tag-browser defaults to sorting by Text instead of by Numbers within Text. To change this: Calibre > Preferences > Tweaks > Recognize Numbers Within Text When Sorting > and set numeric_collation = True. See the attached image file for reference.
  6. Optionally, you may create a second new custom column called “abc_numeric”. Choose the type as “integer”. This custom
    column will be populated with the integer version of author_book_count, but only if the column exists. Search criteria valid only for integers would then be possible, such as: #abc_numeric:">7"


Execution Notes:
  1. Click the icon for Author Book Count. Agree to a restart after it finishes, and it will execute. It has been optimized for speed, so it is very fast. Allow it to Restart Calibre when it asks.
  2. This plugin requires you to agree to allow it to restart upon job completion. If you accidentally click the icon, it will give you the option of aborting the execution and doing nothing, or continuing.
  3. As this runs as a job in the background, you must not execute other tasks either in the foreground or background while it is running. That means that you should not be running any other jobs when you run ABC. You must restart Calibre when it finishes. Since it is very fast (averaging in testing ~1 second per ~1,000 ebooks), you likely will not have any time to get any other tasks properly begun before it finishes anyway.


Special Notes:
  1. Requires Calibre version 1.48.0 or later.

  2. Bear in mind that a single book has a single author book count, so anthologies with a dozen authors will show the count for the author that has the lowest Calibre author id, which is to say the author that was first added to Calibre. If you see a discrepancy between the tag browser for ABC and the books shown in the window, simply right click one of their books and then > Similar Books > Books by Same Author. You should then see the books for which that author was one of multiple authors, and was not the first author listed in the list of authors. This behavior is not a bug, but rather the nature of having only a single value for a single custom column for a single book in Calibre. The count is correct, but the browser pane info on the left of the main gui has to be interpreted properly for books with multiple authors.
  3. Remember to back up your metadata.db file(s) not infrequently, and especially before starting Installation Step 1, above.
  4. This plugin does not update any ebooks or "real" metadata other than the linked new custom column that you defined in Installation Step 1, above.
  5. This plugin can be safely and simply uninstalled and the custom column and associated custom column data deleted via Preferences > Plugins > Remove and also Preferences > Custom Columns > Delete if you so desire.
  6. It is advisable to compact your Calibre metadata.db database periodically. The menu path is Calibre > Library > Library Maintenance > Check Library. It will perform a SQLite Vacuum operation to condense/compact/defrag the database. Example before and after a Vacuum:

    Before compacting<<<----------->>>After compacting:
    Page Count = 118,342<<<---------->>>Page Count = 3,606
    Database Size = 121,182,208 bytes<<>>Database Size = 3,692,544 bytes
    So, the metadata.db file went from over 121mb to less than 4mb in size.
  7. This plugin does not directly interact with the ABC Hierarchy plugin. Each has a different purpose. Use one or both; it is up to you.


Version History:
Spoiler:


Version 2.0.2 - 5 September 2014 Changes due to Calibre 2.2.0 Refactor
Version 2.0.1 - 24 August 2014 Max ABC Increased to 5000
Version 2.0.0 - 7 August 2014
Optional new custom column abc_numeric
Version 1.1.0 - 28 July 2014
Minor Technical and Functional enhancements.
Version 0.1.0 - 21 June 2014 Initial release of the Author Book Count plugin. The actual plugin name is: author_book_count
Attached Thumbnails
Click image for larger version

Name:	Using_ABC_plus_ABCHierarchy_plus_3d_Custom_Column_Simultaneously.JPG
Views:	246
Size:	50.9 KB
ID:	126382  
Attached Files
File Type: pdf abc_instructions.pdf (531.9 KB, 93 views)
File Type: zip author_book_count.zip (718.0 KB, 4738 views)

Last edited by DaltonST; 11-01-2014 at 11:16 PM. Reason: Version 2.0.2 Released Due to Calibre 2.2.0 Refactor
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Old 07-22-2014, 12:16 PM   #2
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multiple authors

I like the plugin.

Of course, it would be nice if you could account for multiple authors.
Aren't you essentially collecting this information anyway? Since ABC is a single text field, can't you just list counts for authors in order of id, separated by commas, e. g. Mikado, Rogers & Hammerstein, ABC= "7, 9" => "Rogers, Hammerstein"?

Of course, I ask out of ignorance, as I am not a programmer, and haven't the slightest idea how you are doing the counting, and perhaps it would necessitate a few additional passes, thereby taking a bit longer, but it seems to be fast enough anyway.

Steps:
list individual authors
assign a count to each, including wherever they appear
for each book, assemble ABC value by stringing together values for each authors in order.

Is that much different than what you do now?

Any, nice plugin. It has come in quite handy. If the ABC were clickable in the book details, that would be a plus, of course...
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Old 07-22-2014, 12:39 PM   #3
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Calibre > Preferences > Look and Feel > Book Details

Glad you like it.

The instructions tell you how to customize Calibre for Book Details: "If you don't want to see the count in the Book Details view, go to Calibre > Preferences > Look and Feel > Book Details and customize the view to your taste." You must have turned it off, because the default is "on".

This plugin handles only the first author for the single custom column, which is ""text, with column shown in the tag browser". Adding multiple author counts in the existing column would be confusing to the user, to say the least. After I finish building another new plugin, I will think about adding an optional second new custom_column to deal with multiple authors in such a way that it will be intuitive to use.
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Old 07-22-2014, 01:18 PM   #4
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confusing?

Wow that was a quick reply!

Quote:
You must have turned it off, because the default is "on".
No, it seems to be working. It is "on". I probably wasn't being clear...unless, did something say make you think it's not working as it should?

Quote:
Adding multiple author counts in the existing column would be confusing to the user, to say the least.
It would be clearer for users like myself, cause we would see the parity between authors and the values and understood it right away. Now is what's confusing for us; I got all mixed up enough to suggest changing it.

I'll point out that not all users will have come to the forum and read your instructions first, clear as they are. Many of us install from within Calibre, and don't see the special directions til after we install it. I installed the plugin, it didn't work, naturally, and left it at that for a long time til on a whim I tried again when I had a little time to spare. Others might not have.


Quote:
I will think about adding an optional second new custom_column to deal with multiple authors in such a way that it will be intuitive to use.
Whatever you do, it's a nice plugin, so thanks. If you do go ahead, I'll get my two cents in now while the getting is good :

comma separated hyperlinked values, with tooltips indicating which author, and clickable individually for each author. Simple and intuitive. You very likely have better ideas, but I'd settle for that. On the other hand, this may be impossible under whatever limitations calibre's API has, so I'll just share my dream and let it all go....

Last edited by asllearner; 07-22-2014 at 01:23 PM.
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Old 07-27-2014, 05:12 PM   #5
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ABC Release 1.1.0 Uploaded

Author Book Count Release 1.1.0 is now available. It has an Adobe Acrobat .pdf instruction file linked to a sub-menu of the main icon. The instruction file is also attached to the primary post of this thread. Technical changes for the upcoming Calibre 2.0 release were also implemented.
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Old 07-28-2014, 01:52 AM   #6
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Quote:
Originally Posted by DaltonST View Post
It has an Adobe Acrobat .pdf instruction file linked to a sub-menu of the main icon.
I believe it is far more common to use HTML instructions, which have the advantage of being able to be embedded within the plugin GUI.

Also, PDF is a horrible format which invariably invokes laggy viewers.
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Old 07-28-2014, 10:06 AM   #7
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Quote:
Originally Posted by eschwartz View Post
I believe it is far more common to use HTML instructions, which have the advantage of being able to be embedded within the plugin GUI.

Also, PDF is a horrible format which invariably invokes laggy viewers.

Kiwidude Quality Check for examples
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Old 07-28-2014, 12:07 PM   #8
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Forum Rules Disallow Zip Attachments Except For The Plugin Itself

My choice of .pdf was not at all arbitrary.

The reason there is a .pdf file attached to this thread is that the Forum Rules disallow any zip attachments except for the PI itself in order to not confuse the scraper that automatically updates the PI Index.

A .pdf file is a single file, and does not need to be zipped. Neither do .rtf or .docx documents, for that matter.

When I converted the original MS Word document in which I wrote the instructions into HTML, multiple files were produced due to the images contained in the instructions. I cannot zip them per the Forum Rules. So, I converted my MS Word document to .pdf instead. Hence the attached .pdf file.

I did try converting the Word docx into a single-file .mht format that could simply be attached to this thread, but the result was a 1.1 megabyte .mht file instead of a 292KB .pdf file.

Within the PI itself, I could certainly use HTML instead of .pdf, since I can extract the HTML files just as I do the .pdf file when the user clicks on the "read instructions" sub-menu icon. It just seems like punishment to have to have 2 different formats because I cannot add an "HTML_Instructions.zip" file to this thread.

I am working on a new plugin that has an 18 page Word document filled with screen snippets and Powerpoint graphics. That PI has the same issue as this one. Also, I hope the Forum Rules concerning max-size of attachments is not bumped against for that PI, since even as a .pdf (and not .mht) it still will be over 1mb in size.


Regarding your suggestion to embed the viewer in the gui, I launch the instructions file (in both plugins) in a sub-process of the operating system that is independent of Calibre so that the instructions can be read even if Calibre is exited. That is why it is not embedded in the gui per you suggestion. Again, my decision was not arbitrary.
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Old 07-28-2014, 12:19 PM   #9
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The only things in the PDF that aren't in the OP are the pictures. Why not just attach the pictures? No need for the PDF in the thread.

I doubt anyone needs to view the PI help outside of calibre.
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Old 07-28-2014, 02:03 PM   #10
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Attaching Dozens of Images to OP Because Only 1 Zip Allowed by Forum Rules ???

You suggestion to attach the images to the OP and not make them available within the PI itself is not scalable at all to larger and more complex PIs that have large instruction manuals. My upcoming PI has dozens of images embedded within text, and they form a cohesive whole. Uploading them per your suggestion and expecting the users to download all of them, and then rearrange them in logical sequence, and then read them in the exact sequence they are intended to be read in, would be wishful thinking, and also quite abusive to the users themselves.

You opinion "I doubt anyone needs to view the PI help outside of Calibre" implicitly contradicts your first post that "PDF is a horrible format which invariably invokes laggy viewers". The instructions require the new users of the PI to Restart Calibre two (2) times, because there is a Custom Column involved. If the instructions were not a sub-process of the operating system, they would be closed when Calibre restarted. The user would suffer "lagginess" unnecessarily because the instructions would have to be reopened ("with lagginess") after Calibre restarted. That is not true for using an external viewer that is independent of Calibre, and remains open while Calibre restarts.

You opinion "I doubt anyone needs to view the PI help outside of Calibre" also is flatly incorrect when it comes to more complex PIs that involve the use of other PC tools (such as MS Excel or OpenOffice Calc or Google Docs) simultaneously with the perusal of the instructions. Calibre may not even be running for long periods of time when they need to perform PI-related tasks outside of Calibre.

In short, your comments and suggestions are either (a) not scalable to more complex PIs with more complex instructions; or (b) impractical; or (c) abusive to the users.

Again, my decisions about the instructions were not at all arbitrary or capricious or based on speculation or "doubts". The root criterion that forced the .pdf instruction file format is the Forum Rule about multiple zip files in the Original Post.

If the Forum Admins ever change that Rule, I will then convert all of my MS Word instructions into HTML rather than Adobe's Portable Document Format.

Regardless of the format, the viewer will be an external sub-process to Calibre for the reasons cited above. It might even be Calibre's ebook Viewer itself, which of course is an external sub-process to Calibre, and remains open when Calibre closes, as it should.
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Old 08-02-2014, 03:14 PM   #11
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New Plugin: "ABC Hierarchy" Released

Dear asllearner,

Please see http://www.mobileread.com/forums/sho...d.php?t=243873 for the new ABC Hierarchy plugin that I wrote based upon your post.


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Last edited by DaltonST; 08-04-2014 at 05:28 PM. Reason: New Plugin: "ABC Hierarchy"
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Old 08-05-2014, 11:18 AM   #12
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See new attached image showing how ABC can be used simultaneously with ABCH to yield 3 different views of your Authors.
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Old 08-06-2014, 02:14 PM   #13
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I've been trying to give this a whirl and it works as intended however now that I have results I am not able to perform any numeric searches on the column. For example if I use #author_book_count:5, I of course get results with all that have a 5 in the column. If I try to search #author_book_count:>=5, I get nothing. Is there some change I have to make in Calibre in order for this to allow me to search based on numbers?? Does this make sense to you?
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Old 08-06-2014, 03:24 PM   #14
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I think the issue is that the column added is TEXTUAL and not NUMERIC.

Unfortunately I haven't been able to find a template function that would allow the creation of a custom column based on that one which would be numeric.
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Old 08-06-2014, 03:35 PM   #15
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ABC Is Used From The Tag Browser

Quote:
Originally Posted by nynaevelan View Post
I've been trying to give this a whirl and it works as intended however now that I have results I am not able to perform any numeric searches on the column. For example if I use #author_book_count:5, I of course get results with all that have a 5 in the column. If I try to search #author_book_count:>=5, I get nothing. Is there some change I have to make in Calibre in order for this to allow me to search based on numbers?? Does this make sense to you?

ABC was designed to be used from the Tag Browser, not through searching. The column should be hidden as stated in the instructions, and the type of column should be as shown in the example in the instructions. ABC actually is not an integer; it is text. That is why the instructions indicate the need to change the Tweaks within Preferences to sort text as numeric so it sorts properly.

If you click in the Tag Browser for "ABC [nnnn] 5", the Calibre-built search criterion in the search bar becomes #author_book_count:"=5". For more complex operators, you need Regular Expressions, see http://drmfree.calibre-ebook.com/search for the Calibre requirement for syntax when using REs within Calibre, and then http://www.zytrax.com/tech/web/regex.htm for a tutorial on REs.

The very fast and easy way to get your results is not through searching, but by CNTL + double-clicking each of the ABC subgroups in the Tag Browser from 1 through 4 so they have a red minus sign. The search bar will automatically be populated with "not #author_book_count:"=1" and not #author_book_count:"=2" and not #author_book_count:"=3" and not #author_book_count:"=4" and not #author_book_count:"=5"". (Be sure your Search Type option is set to "all of the items", and not "any of the items"). You can then save the search, or press CTL+* to create a Virtual Library.

Regular Expressions can also become a Saved Search. Again, REs are explained at http://www.zytrax.com/tech/web/regex.htm
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