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Old 05-04-2010, 06:09 AM   #1
DownSouth
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Unhappy Such a shame. Calibre could be great

but currently it is almost useless.

The main problem is the lack of being able to format the metadata when adding/saving books.
The real problem is difficulty in finding the documentation needed to do this.

EX: want to add several books with filenames in the following patterns.
Last, First - Title - Series.txt or First Last - Title.txt

This should be easy, in fact the FAQ says that a file name in the following format will import properly. It does not.
Title - Author's name.txt It only imports the first word of the Author's name.

There is no good reference of common expressions (please don't refer me to the overblown, unusable Phython reference that comes up when clicked on).

Search the forums for "expressions" and/or "metadata" and nothing useful comes up. What does come up is incorrect or incomplete.
Posts such as change the expressions in "Preferences-> Advanced" with NO pointer to the expressions table.

To see how Calibre should handle file name to metadata (MP3 tags are metadata) conversion go take a look at MP3Tag, then come back here and comment. I do appreciate the programming done so far, it's just that the most important aspect is not usable, and it easily could be.

The other problem is not being able to adjust the colors in the reader.

Ybook and many other readers have that simple feature which makes reading, especially at night, much more enjoyable.

Documentation, or the lack thereof, is the current downfall of this project.

A few "sticky" posts with info on ISBNdb access keys and expressions would go a looooooonnggg way towards making this the great program it could become.

OK, blast away. I know many people here will only see the negatives and will ignore the constructive criticism contained herein.
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Old 05-04-2010, 06:49 AM   #2
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OMG. Your first post and this is what you say. Perhaps you're a troll. The shame is all yours.
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Old 05-04-2010, 07:22 AM   #3
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It is also posted in the wrong area. This is for feedback on mobileread.com not calibre. There is a special area for calibre.
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Old 05-04-2010, 07:57 AM   #4
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With respect, old boy, your ignorance of regular expression syntax is not Calibre's fault, is it?
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Old 05-04-2010, 08:38 AM   #5
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What people (including myself) forget is that Calibre's job is to manage your books. It also does conversions. But you don't mass-import on a regular basis, you actually do this only once (in the beginning), then you import as needed.
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Old 05-04-2010, 09:05 AM   #6
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His/her first post...
lol.
probably a hired troll from Amazon or Sony or who knows where... trying to dredge up negativity...
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Old 05-04-2010, 10:10 AM   #7
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Quote:
Originally Posted by DownSouth View Post
OK, blast away. I know many people here will only see the negatives and will ignore the constructive criticism contained herein.
You should be ashamed of yourself. Your behavior is like being invited to dinner and complaining you weren't served on silver and fine china. You don't even have the courtesy to ask the host to provide silver and china before launching into your complaints.

There is a huge collection of Regular Expression imports in the threads here, and multiple people willing to help with your particular problem, when politely asked. I searched "expressions" and one of those threads came up sixth after this one.

Kovid releases improvements almost weekly - MP3Tag was last updated in .... 2004. We'd prefer Kovid work on the code, not constantly update a written manual. You can get help here, directly from the author and many others. If you have what you think is a "constructive criticism" then I suggest you make a "constructive suggestion for improvement". The bug tracker is the place for that. Kovid actively reviews all entries there and implements many of them.
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Old 05-04-2010, 10:39 AM   #8
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Wow. I can't think of a more useful program that Calibre. I wanted something like this for 5 years before it was finally released. I love that it is almost useless because of this one minor issue. Forget all the other stuff this program does for free.
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Old 05-04-2010, 10:47 AM   #9
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I agree, calibre could have better (and more) documentation. Feel free to contribute some.
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Old 05-04-2010, 02:21 PM   #10
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Most of the people on MobileRead are nice, friendly people.

I am an exception.

Do not expect this to be a nice, friendly welcome to MobileRead.

I think stargazertony, Tulsa, etc., are right: this sure does sound like a troll. Specifically the dive-bomber type, the kind that drops in, throws its bombs, and disappears. Someone with no guts and no brains. The signs are all there: first and only post, no profile, and the post itself: every word written to insult and anger, ending with the barb about how if we feel insulted and angry, it's our fault. Oh, what a little charmer. DownSouth, if you're not a troll, now would be a good time to post an abject apology to Kovid and to every member of this forum.

Now, on to the substance of the post, not for the benefit of the troll -- who is busy congratulating himself on how brave and powerful he is for insulting strangers in an online forum, because the only kind of attention he knows how to get is bad -- but for anyone else who happens to read this:

First of all, calibre is currently in version 0.51. ZERO-point-five-one. It is not a release candidate. It is not a beta. It is not an alpha. It is a development build, with a feature request list that will probably keep Kovid from having anything resembling a life for the foreseeable future. And the reason I personally am calling troll is that anybody with two brain cells to rub together realizes that if you download a program that's in version 0.51 from a website that prominently features the changelog, bug tracker, etc., and a call for code contributions, you're not getting a finished, slick commercial product.

I can see you posting about a football game: "Such a shame. Johnny could be a great football player, but he can't kick a 30-yard field goal." Of course, it was a Peewee League game, and Johnny is 9 years old, but don't let that stop you.

Second, there's the matter of Kovid. He's one guy. There are other people working on the development too, but Kovid is the one who does all the heavy lifting. You waltzed in here and started out by insulting a man we all respect very highly, and denigrating his work and the thousands of hours of effort he and the others have put into building something which, I should point out, you got for free. Then you somehow expect people to react positively? You blame us (before seeing a single reply) for not accepting your "constructive criticism"?

Now, to rip that screed apart point by point:

"Almost useless"? Thousands of people would beg to differ with you, because there are thousands of people out here using calibre and finding it very, very useful. I use it on a daily basis, and I sure as hell don't find it "almost useless". Just because you are too clueless to be able to use it does not mean that it is "almost useless" -- it means that you're a clueless wonder who blames the world for his own failings.

Your inability to write a valid regex is not calibre's fault. Your inability to read standard documentation on how to write a valid regex is not calibre's fault. (on this note I should add that O'Reilly sells a fine ebook on the subject) A poor workman blames his tools. If you really had a problem like that, you could have posted here with a title like "Help! Book metadata import problem!" and all the people who are currently wishing they were somewhere other than MobileRead so they could flame you to a crisp would be solving your problem for you.

And "the most important aspect"? I've never even used that particular feature, because I get my books as epubs and they come with their metadata ready-built. You think it's the most important feature. I think there are a lot more features that are more important, like, um, most of them.

You honestly think not being able to change the colors is a major problem? It's so far below "trivial" that they'd have to invent a whole new word for that level of unimportance. In a development project where things like file sync are still in the queue, you're whining because you can't change the flippin' colors? Who besides a troll would pick such a trivial reason to insult Kovid, the other devs, and every happy calibre user?

Y'know, I hate the calibre menus with a passion. I wish there was a plain, normal, ordinary menu bar. I really do. But Kovid doesn't work for me. He's written this awesome software that he lets me use for free, and I'm grateful for that. I'm not about to say "hey, thanks for calibre, but rewrite it so it's the way I like it, not the way you like it, because I'm the most important person in the world." No civilized person would do that. If I don't like how calibre does things, I can get a full refund of every penny I paid for it. All zero of them.

I could also write my own ebook management software. Or I could write myself a little hack to change the menu bar, and just patch it into my copy of calibre. I could even submit it and try to convince Kovid that there should be an option for menu style. Any one of those would be a valid response. Coming in here and insulting everyone in sight because the menus are not the way I would like them to be is not.

Quote:
OK, blast away. I know many people here will only see the negatives and will ignore the constructive criticism contained herein.
There is no constructive criticism. There is nothing but negativity, insults, and trolling. There is nothing in that post which was not meant to rile people up and get them to -- as you say -- "blast away". You clearly expected exactly the response you're getting. It's the result you wanted. Because you're a troll.

Somewhere, you're no doubt patting yourself on the back for how successfully you insulted a total stranger who has done more for the ebook community than you ever could, and many people you riled up by doing so. You think you've done a great thing. You've insulted someone a lot of people like and admire, and they told you where to get off. Only you everyone could have done that. It's just that most people are too civilized to think of doing it, and most people know how to get attention that is not negative. You were probably the kid who acted up in class because you'd rather be punished than ignored.

If by some remote chance you are actually the most clueless user to ever stumble into these forums, here's what to do: Write the most heartfelt, abject, humble apology to Kovid, to the other devs, and to the forum members (and possibly to everyone and everything else that breathes oxygen), that you possibly can. Post it here. Including a photo of yourself chowing down on a big plate of humble pie (yes, there really is such a thing) would help. We're going to take a lot of convincing. Then repost your regex problem as a help request, and the color change issue as a feature request, like you should have in the first place.

The people in this forum will fall over themselves trying to help anyone with a problem. I've seen it happen over and over again. It doesn't matter how big or how small the problem is, or how hard they have to work to solve it (though I think most people would prefer not having to drag the details out of the poster one by one), they'll bust their butts to help other calibre users. People like to help, because calibre is awesome and we want everyone to be able to enjoy it. People here will do anything for anyone.

Except trolls.
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Old 05-04-2010, 02:41 PM   #11
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I like Calibre very much.
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Old 05-04-2010, 03:10 PM   #12
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Old 05-04-2010, 03:18 PM   #13
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You know, despite ploughing my way through the O'Reilly book on regex I'm still useless (euphemism) in that area. I don't find that makes Calibre any less great for me. It's a good product, but if you don't like it, you can always use something else, yes?.
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Old 05-04-2010, 03:28 PM   #14
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Quote:
Originally Posted by alecE View Post
You know, despite ploughing my way through the O'Reilly book on regex I'm still useless (euphemism) in that area. I don't find that makes Calibre any less great for me. It's a good product, but if you don't like it, you can always use something else, yes?.
I'm also useless (also a euphemism) in that area. I mostly use pre-written regexes or code my way around the need for them, and swear a lot. Mine tend to be write-only: when I look at the thing six months later, I'm rarely sure what I actually did and usually terrified of trying to change it.

That said, the ones calibre uses tend to be fairly simple. This handy cheat sheet covers most of what I need, and there are plenty of people here with much better regex-fu than me who will help me out if I ever need one more complicated than I can write myself. Mostly, due to my galloping regexphobia, I try to avoid the need for them entirely.
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Old 05-04-2010, 03:40 PM   #15
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Quote:
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I mostly use pre-written regexes
On the calibre todo list is a save or history function for the filename import regex. With luck we'll be able to save them with a name that tells us what type of filename it will decode. Even without a named save, we'll be able to enter a sample filename, as we do now, then try each of the saved regexes until we find one that properly decodes it. It should simplify the process a lot.
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