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Old 04-13-2010, 02:54 PM   #1
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Secondary Sort

The way I see it Calibre, when opened up, automatically sorts by author, then by title.
Can I somehow make it ALWAYS sort by author, then publishing date without manually selecting the pub.date, then the author to get that "secondary" sorting done?

Am I clear on what I want ?
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Old 04-13-2010, 06:36 PM   #2
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That might be a useful setup option.

My dream would be to have it sort by author_sort. Or perhaps a button like the one in bulk edit to swap author and title, to swap author and author_sort. That would make my life with my PRS-505 a lot easier, too, since it doesn't respect author_sort.
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Old 04-13-2010, 06:48 PM   #3
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Worldwalker View Post
My dream would be to have it sort by author_sort.
When you sort by author, you are really sorting by author_sort. As far as I have seen in the code, calibre never sorts by author.
Quote:
Or perhaps a button like the one in bulk edit to swap author and title, to swap author and author_sort. That would make my life with my PRS-505 a lot easier, too, since it doesn't respect author_sort.
I think you want a button to copy author_sort to author. Exchanging them would lead to chaos, because lists would start sorting by first name.

To the OP: calibre remembers the last sort. Unfortunately for your scenario, it doesn't remember the last sequence of sorts.
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Old 04-14-2010, 01:56 AM   #4
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What Worldwalker means, I think, is that while the sorting is done by author_sort, it still displays the Author like Firstname Lastname. I too find that kind of distracting, to see a
Paolo Bacigalupi listed before a
David Baldacci.
But that's a minor gripe - most of the time I read the same authors and since I somehow have a bad book title memory I'd like to see the book that I still need to read, or just simply see the list the way they were published.

I'm sure it's a minor update since the system does something similar now, anyway (author_title THEN title) ... just make it user-changeable even if it means entering an sql code or something.
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Old 04-14-2010, 04:03 AM   #5
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Quote:
Originally Posted by mores View Post
What Worldwalker means, I think, is that while the sorting is done by author_sort, it still displays the Author like Firstname Lastname. I too find that kind of distracting, to see a
Paolo Bacigalupi listed before a
David Baldacci.
I am not quite sure what you are asking for.

Assume we Paolo Bacigalupi, David Baldacci, and Peter Anderson. Should they be displayed in the order Peter Anderson, Paolo Bacigalupi, then David Baldacci (as they will be today, sorted ln, fn), David Baldacci, Paolo Bacigalupi, Peter Anderson (as they would be if sorted fn ln), or something else?

The first you have today. The second you can have by setting the author_sort tweak to cause calibre to copy the author directly to author_sort without reversing the names, then using the bulk metadata editor to reset all the author_sort fields. The third ...

I avoid the problem by entering my authors in library order (ln, fn). That way author and author sort are the same, so sorting and seeing is the same.

BTW: my post where I said that calibre "never sorts by author": I should have said "never sorts book lists by author". Calibre does sort author lists by author.
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Old 04-14-2010, 05:36 AM   #6
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Well, in my Authors list right now, I have A.E. Merritt, A.E. Van Vogt, Aaron Allston, and Abraham Lincoln at the top. So I'm a little unclear on how "Calibre does sort author lists by author". And yes, author and author_sort are set correctly in the metadata (I just double checked).

The reason I'd like a swap button to swap author and author_sort is the PRS-505 doesn't respect author_sort. So if I go into "Books by Author" there, it starts with, guess who, A.E. Merritt. If I could swap author and author_sort, transfer the books, then swap it back for calibre use, that would get around the PRS probelm.
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Old 04-14-2010, 06:07 AM   #7
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Worldwalker View Post
Well, in my Authors list right now, I have A.E. Merritt, A.E. Van Vogt, Aaron Allston, and Abraham Lincoln at the top. So I'm a little unclear on how "Calibre does sort author lists by author". And yes, author and author_sort are set correctly in the metadata (I just double checked).
As I noted above, my earlier response was missing some words. I meant to say that book lists are never sorted by author. As you noted, lists of authors, such as authors in the tags pane and lists generated by the command line tools, are sorted by author, not author_sort.

In fact, author lists cannot be sorted by author_sort, because author_sort is a property of a book, not an author. A reasonable case can be made for storing a sort string with each author, but then the tools would need to be extended to permit setting and editing them.
Quote:
The reason I'd like a swap button to swap author and author_sort is the PRS-505 doesn't respect author_sort. So if I go into "Books by Author" there, it starts with, guess who, A.E. Merritt. If I could swap author and author_sort, transfer the books, then swap it back for calibre use, that would get around the PRS probelm.
Why not store authors in ln, fn format? That would make calibre and your sony have the same behavior. Alternatively, you could ask for an enhancement to the device plugin, telling it to use the first author from author_sort instead of from author. Note though that this choice could be problematic for the reasons given below.

One difficulty with your button is that calibre uses the author field in interesting ways, such as setting up its internal folder structure. Changing the author also changes the paths. Pushing a 'swap' button would cause calibre to move all the books in the library to different folders and to rename all the book files. Although one can argue that calibre shouldn't do this, the fact is that it does, and that won't change soon if ever.

In addition, author_sort does not have a fixed relationship to author(s). It is generated once, and then can be changed by the user, making copying it back to author somewhat problematic. For example, for names like 'de Quelquechose, Pierre', I change author_sort to remove the 'de', because the name should sort under Q but should display as originally written. Similar kinds of things happen with names like 'Joe Blogs 2nd' and 'Joe Blogs 1st'; they require adjustment to sort the way I want (younger person before older in an ascending sort). In these cases, swapping back and forth would play havoc with the names.

Well, off my soapbox now.

Last edited by chaley; 04-14-2010 at 06:26 AM.
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Old 04-14-2010, 06:07 AM   #8
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There IS a button to swap author and author sort on the Edit Metadata dialogs.
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Old 04-14-2010, 06:09 AM   #9
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There IS a button to swap author and author sort on the Edit Metadata dialogs.
That button copies author to author_sort, applying any transformations. It does not copy author_sort to author.
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Old 04-14-2010, 06:21 AM   #10
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That button copies author to author_sort, applying any transformations. It does not copy author_sort to author.
That was not the button I was thinking of. However you are still right in that there is no button - I was thinking of the one that says "Swap author and Title" on the bulk edit dialog. For some reason I thought there was also one for swapping Author and AuthorSort. If there was going to be such a button I guess that would be the obvious place to add it?
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Old 04-14-2010, 07:11 AM   #11
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I would like to see my authors listed like

Bacigalupi, Paolo
Baldacci, Brad
Meltzer, Brad

WITHOUT writing it like this into the author field. A person is normally named FN LN.
Hello, I am firstname lastname. You don't say "hello, I am lastname comma firstname"

Hence it should be natural to enter an author's name in a natural way.
But when viewing the list I'd like to be able to chose if I want to see it in one way or the other.

I realize it is possible to solve the issue of author sorting by messing with the way I enter a name - but I don't want to

But back to the original question, my question : Does anyone else agree that there should be a way to handle "secondary" sorting?
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Old 04-14-2010, 08:15 AM   #12
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I realize it is possible to solve the issue of author sorting by messing with the way I enter a name - but I don't want to
Fair enough.

Quote:
But back to the original question, my question : Does anyone else agree that there should be a way to handle "secondary" sorting?
To be sure that I understand your question...

Calibre today handles secondary sorting while running. As you point out, clicking on pubdate, then clicking on author, shows you what you want.

When Calibre starts, it sorts on the last column used, but does not remember any of the previous sorts. In your case, this seems to be author. This first sort, and only this first sort, calibre 'for free' automatically uses title as the secondary sort, meaning that books are sorted by title within whatever column you last used. I think that what you are asking for is to have calibre use pubdate instead of title for this 'free' secondary sort.

To generalize slightly while repeating myself:

Alternative 1: you are asking for the ability to set the column used as the secondary sort when calibre starts. If you set this column to rating and last sorted on pubdate, then when calibre starts you would get rating within pubdate.

Alternative 2: you could be asking that calibre remember the last 2 (or N) sorts, and reproduce these upon start up.

Alternative 3: you could be asking to be able to set the primary and secondary sort columns to be used when calibre starts. Calibre would ignore the saved search.

The first and third are easier to implement, but that doesn't affect what you want. It might, however, affect what you will accept.

The best thing for you to do is to file an enhancement 'ticket' specifying what you want. That would start the approval debate and, eventually, the implementation process.
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Old 04-14-2010, 09:27 AM   #13
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Yes, correct.

I just realized that when launching Calibre it sorts by Author, then nothing. No idea what parameter it uses within this author-sort because it is not the title.

I then tried to move the pub_date column to the second position but that didn't change anything.

Will do that ticket thing.
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