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Old 02-23-2009, 08:12 PM   #1
mikew
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[Old Thread] Remote library support (not content server)

Hi all,

I was wondering if anyone else has had the idea/need for a remote library. I have several pc's/laptops/servers in the house, and I never really know where I'll be sitting down when I decide to add some more content to my prs-505. I was thinking that if one copy of Calibre could connect to the content server of another one and download the metadata.db, it would know all the books available and list them as though they are in the local library. The only thing left to do after that is to allow (authenticated by login or certificates?) other "trusted" copies of Calibre to http POST a box either with or without the indexing information and let the master server add it to the database.

I originally though of using something like DropBox to do this, but already some of the larger stuff I have that I need only rarely on my reader have exceeded the 2GB limit you get for free.

Does this make sense to anyone else? Would anyone else find this useful?
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Old 02-23-2009, 08:23 PM   #2
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You have a couple of options...

1. You can put the calibre library on a shared volume and install calibre on each of your PCs to access it. Just make sure you only have it running on 1 PC at a time.

2. Run the content server on one PC and you will have access to your library via a web browser. Granted, you can only use the browser to view/download stuff... you can't edit or add (unless Kovid added this without me knowing).

i'm not sure you need more than those two options.

BOb
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Old 02-23-2009, 08:27 PM   #3
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You have a couple of options...

1. You can put the calibre library on a shared volume and install calibre on each of your PCs to access it. Just make sure you only have it running on 1 PC at a time.

2. Run the content server on one PC and you will have access to your library via a web browser. Granted, you can only use the browser to view/download stuff... you can't edit or add (unless Kovid added this without me knowing).

i'm not sure you need more than those two options.

BOb
Yea,

That's where I'm at right now, but it isn't really optimal. I know none of this exists right now, I'm just asking to see if others would find this useful as well and then we can beg Kovid to implement it :>
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Old 02-23-2009, 08:30 PM   #4
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Yea,

That's where I'm at right now, but it isn't really optimal. I know none of this exists right now, I'm just asking to see if others would find this useful as well and then we can beg Kovid to implement it :>
It would be cool if the whole UI was switched to an Ajax front end that runs in a browser so you could hit it from any PC you wanted. Just running the server/service on one PC. You could even run it on your web server in the "cloud" if you were so equipped... as I am, but I don't like to brag.

This might actually make the cross platform stuff a little easier too.

BOb
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Old 02-23-2009, 08:36 PM   #5
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Quote:
Originally Posted by pilotbob View Post
It would be cool if the whole UI was switched to an Ajax front end that runs in a browser so you could hit it from any PC you wanted. Just running the server/service on one PC. You could even run it on your web server in the "cloud" if you were so equipped... as I am, but I don't like to brag.

This might actually make the cross platform stuff a little easier too.

BOb
Eventually the web interface to the content server will become more capable, but that's rather low down on my priority list. In any case things like device integration with USB devices wont be possible with a javascript interface.
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Old 02-23-2009, 08:37 PM   #6
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Originally Posted by pilotbob View Post
It would be cool if the whole UI was switched to an Ajax front end that runs in a browser so you could hit it from any PC you wanted. Just running the server/service on one PC. You could even run it on your web server in the "cloud" if you were so equipped... as I am, but I don't like to brag.

This might actually make the cross platform stuff a little easier too.

BOb
That might be cool, but that's re-inventing the wheel. I really like Calibre as it is, I just would like to see a remote library. Since most of the work to serve books via the content server is already done, I don't think this would be a major redesign. The Calibre client would just need to know the url/authentication of the remote server, request the metadata.db, display the books locally, and then request the books the user wants to send to the reader. The part that would require a bit more coding (IMO) is the sending of books to the central server.

Thanks for bouncing ideas around though, I really think this is a great program with even more amazing things to come.
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Old 02-23-2009, 08:41 PM   #7
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In any case things like device integration with USB devices wont be possible with a javascript interface.
Doh... that's a good point, I totally didn't think of that. I would say ActiveX would be an answer here, but that is windows only.

Oh well, it was just a pipe dream. I like it as it is too.

BOb
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Old 02-23-2009, 08:49 PM   #8
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The best long term solution to this is, IMO, really to do two things

1) Support connecting to multiple libraries in the GUI with a default sqlite library as it is now

2) Add support for a MySQL server backend
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Old 02-23-2009, 08:54 PM   #9
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Quote:
Originally Posted by kovidgoyal View Post
The best long term solution to this is, IMO, really to do two things

1) Support connecting to multiple libraries in the GUI with a default sqlite library as it is now

2) Add support for a MySQL server backend
Can MySql allow for the books being in the file system?

What about going multi-server. Having the UI be a seperate process that talks to the server. There can be multiple clients talking to the server so as to not have any corruption. This would be more a 3-tier rather than two tier as you suggest above.

BOb
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Old 02-23-2009, 08:58 PM   #10
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Originally Posted by pilotbob View Post
Can MySql allow for the books being in the file system?

What about going multi-server. Having the UI be a seperate process that talks to the server. There can be multiple clients talking to the server so as to not have any corruption. This would be more a 3-tier rather than two tier as you suggest above.

BOb
Yeah MySQL will allow the files to be in the filesystem, the rest of the setup would be identical to what it is now, the only difference being that to backup your library would not be as simple as just copying a folder hierarchy.

I'd rather not code a custom content server and have the UI connect to it since that is alot of work for relatively little gain.
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Old 02-23-2009, 09:01 PM   #11
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Yeah MySQL will allow the files to be in the filesystem, the rest of the setup would be identical to what it is now, the only difference being that to backup your library would not be as simple as just copying a folder hierarchy.
Wow... cool that it does this, because SQL server just got this ability in the 2008 release. Before that you kind of had to roll your own, storing links. Then the files weren't really part of the db, not backed up, etc.

Sounds like moving to MySQL would be the way to go. How much work is it to move form sqlite to MySQL. Would you support both or just move 100% over?

BOb
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Old 02-23-2009, 09:18 PM   #12
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Yeah MySQL will allow the files to be in the filesystem, the rest of the setup would be identical to what it is now, the only difference being that to backup your library would not be as simple as just copying a folder hierarchy.

I'd rather not code a custom content server and have the UI connect to it since that is alot of work for relatively little gain.
Would you have to code much in the content server if the remote clients only downloaded the metadata and the required books though? To me it seems like everything except the database is already there. I could totally live without posting new content to the server (that situation doesn't come up that often).
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Old 02-23-2009, 09:30 PM   #13
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Wow... cool that it does this, because SQL server just got this ability in the 2008 release. Before that you kind of had to roll your own, storing links. Then the files weren't really part of the db, not backed up, etc.

Sounds like moving to MySQL would be the way to go. How much work is it to move form sqlite to MySQL. Would you support both or just move 100% over?

BOb
I'd have to think about it. It's not going to happen any time soon as I have plenty more pressing features to implement.
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Old 02-23-2009, 09:32 PM   #14
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Would you have to code much in the content server if the remote clients only downloaded the metadata and the required books though? To me it seems like everything except the database is already there. I could totally live without posting new content to the server (that situation doesn't come up that often).
It would be reasonably easy to do for read only acees, much harder for read write access since you'd have to worry about concurrency.
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Old 02-23-2009, 10:20 PM   #15
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It would be reasonably easy to do for read only acees, much harder for read write access since you'd have to worry about concurrency.
How easy? That'd be something that would be really awesome for myself and the two friends I convinced to buy a prs505/install calibre
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