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Old 07-21-2010, 12:21 PM   #16
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Please, please, Kovid, puhleeease never incorporate hovering as way to do anything more than pop up a description of a button or, possibly, dropdown a menu (and then, don't make the menu persistant). It's too easy for some people, like me, to accidentally open something not wanted that way.

While I can understand your objection to unsupported statements saying most people are used to this and that, if a major OS like Windows uses certain ways of doing things, it stands to reason a large percentage of people will be used to it.

Btw, I'm not criticizing you. I'm just playing Devil's Advocate ('tis the Irish in me, don'cha know).
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Old 07-21-2010, 12:42 PM   #17
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Hit Nail on the head.

I do think some of this is from where, when and what UI you started with

Me, I started using computers with Teletypes and "dumb" terminals.
Blink, Bright were your options (Monochrome in those days).

I hate the interface of this MR BBS ( I started with and still haunt USENET, and use a simple threaded newsreader: Forte Agent (PAN is a poor imitation ). I can read my ~50 subscribed groups and never touch a mouse. )

I would say that if it was possible to have and use "Saved" preferences, do so and let the user customize the cr*p out of their UI.

Saved is important, so if another person uses MY system, the default UI can be put back in place for them without destroying the other set customization (think of Windows (Advanced, customized) desktop themes).
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Old 07-21-2010, 01:22 PM   #18
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Okay, I'm steamed. I'm beyond steamed.

Cfp, you have a lot of nerve.

You use free software for a few days -- the icon size problem you're talking about is specific to 0.7.9, so you can't have been using it before the 17th of this month -- and you have the unmitigated gall to waltz in here and say, if I understand the headline changes correctly, that calibre sucks. If there was any commercial alternative to calibre, I'd take up a collection around the forum to buy you a copy.

Like theducks, I've been around programming for a while. I remember the joy of first time I got to use a CRT terminal; dumb terminals were such a huge advance over cards and TTY. I've done UI design professionally for everything from command lines and text menus to completely textless environments. Right now, I'm a professional website designer, and website design is GUI design. So unlike you, I have actually not only used but designed multiple styles of user interface. There is no one true way.

Y'know, I don't happen to like some things about the calibre GUI. I've posted about things I dislike here on occasion (check the thread about the icons for an example). Unlike you, I've been using calibre longer than 4 days. Unlike you, I have contributed money to the project, and when my life is less chaotic, I'll probably be contributing code. As you might note from my karma, I'm considered to be a respected user around here. And I would never in a million years, never, ever consider telling Kovid that calibre (or any part of it) "sucks" and needs to be rewritten to conform to my expectations. Seriously, what is this with people who would never go to Microsoft and demand that Office be redesigned just for them, but feel perfectly free to barge in make just such demands of independent developers?

Calibre is open source. If there's something I dislike so badly, then I'm perfectly within my rights to follow the instructions on how to set up a development environment and change it so it works the way I like, or to hire some coder to do it for me. The one thing I don't have a right to do is insult the developer, demand that he throw out his design and use mine instead, and generally act like an arrogant so-and-so with a world-class ego. Don't you have to be at the gym in 26 minutes or something?
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Old 07-21-2010, 01:32 PM   #19
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@Worldwalker; I suspect it's because when it's a big organization doing the design, people automatically assume the organization knows better. When it's an independent developer, they automatically assume the reverse.

Plus, an independent developer is actually more likely to listen
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Old 07-21-2010, 01:33 PM   #20
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Quote:
Originally Posted by cfp View Post
More precisely, the delete key simply deletes the book title for me
You're double clicking on the title. Double-clicking on any metadata dispalyed allows it to be edited or deleted (if deletion is allowed for that type of data.) Single-click selecting allows the book to be deleted.

Quote:
I don't know of many applications that use huge icons today. The lack of proportion between the arrow and the image is too important imo.
The option of resizing will be returned soon. That said, the icons were recently changed and the poll confirms that most users like them. I just don't agree with many of your comments about the UI,a nd to the extent that I do agree, they seem to be minor tweaks that won't improve my experience at all.

Quote:
I believe that new users should not have to learn a whole bunch of new shortcuts. Reusing the ones they already know sounds much simpler to me. The default action when pressing the enter key in their file explorer (whichever os they use) is to open the file. So calibre should do the same I believe.
Generally, I agree that pressing "Enter" ought to do something - but what? There are two obvious choices - View the book and Edit the metadata. Actually, Calibre is a database, so the most logical action is not to open the book, it's to open the database record. That said, I slightly prefer having it open the book for viewing (i.e. duplicate the function of the "V" shortcut).

Quote:
* The program shortcuts are frustrating: while keeping the current shortcuts as they are, for backward compatibility, you may want to use Ctrl+... shortcuts.
I disagree. I don't know why I would want CTR+V to be "View" when under Windows it means "Paste" CTRL+C in Windows is "Copy" but "C" in Calibre is "Convert."

Quote:
* The program is overall too slow. Importing ebooks should be faster ; it could and should be made a background task in the first place, as in any music library manager. You could use the space on the bottom left to display the job currently running.
There have been numerous speed improvements in the last few months that have dramatically improved my experience with Calibre. That said, Calibre is optimized for rapid development. I think that's the right approach.

Quote:
* There should be some way to update an ebook. Suppose you're working on a document, and suppose you want to proofread it on you ereader. Then you will inevitably need at some point to update the doc, as the writing advances. Having to delete, then retag the doc is a pain. There might be an option already, but then it needs to be more obvious (why not compare the file name of added files to those of files already in the library?)
I actually wrote code that did this. There's an option labeled 'If books with similar author/title found ... merge' When I wrote it, it allowed a user to simply drag a revised version of a pdf or epub into the GUI and it automatically overwrote the old pdf or epub. I was editing lots of books, and each time I did, I would simply replace the old version. I found it very useful. Kovid took it out before adding this code to Calibre. He revised it so that it never overwrites an existing format, it only adds formats that currently don't exist for the record..

After thinking about it, I agreed and now think he was 100% correct. To the extent possible, Calibre will preserve the ebook unchanged in the database and prevent it from inadvertently being overwritten with potentially the wrong book. Some of your other suggestions relating to automatic syncing seem to violate that basic premise.
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Old 07-21-2010, 01:40 PM   #21
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Plus, an independent developer is actually more likely to listen
Which is one of the reasons we calibre users send you donations and hugs: You listen. That doesn't obligate you to listen to any donkey that wants to bray, though.

When anyone tries to tell me Microsoft always knows what they're doing, I have one word for them: Bob.
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Old 07-21-2010, 01:57 PM   #22
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Starson17 View Post

I actually wrote code that did this. There's an option labeled 'If books with similar author/title found ... merge' When I wrote it, it allowed a user to simply drag a revised version of a pdf or epub into the GUI and it automatically overwrote the old pdf or epub. I was editing lots of books, and each time I did, I would simply replace the old version. I found it very useful. Kovid took it out before adding this code to Calibre. He revised it so that it never overwrites an existing format, it only adds formats that currently don't exist for the record..
Unless you recently broke it, you can drag an updated version into the Formats section of the metadata editor. No other confirmations done. It simply updated that format with the one dropped.

Deleting a format (even ALL Formats) from within the Metadata browser, causes No loss of tags, .

Calibre has Awesome flexibility.
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Old 07-21-2010, 02:15 PM   #23
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Unless you recently broke it, you can drag an updated version into the Formats section of the metadata editor. No other confirmations done. It simply updated that format with the one dropped.
Yes, you can do this with the edit metadata screen open. What I was referring to was doing it with that screen closed. If you drag a book to the GUI (edit metadata screen closed) and have the "find and automatically merge" option on, Calibre will find the matching book entry (if there is one) and add the new book to that entry - the same as if you had the edit metadata screen open and dragged the book into the upper right corner.

The difference is that you can drag a hundred books to the GUI, and it will identify them all and put them where they belong. However, it won't replace an existing format when done that way. When I wrote it, it would. It originally acted exactly as it does when the edit metadata screen is open - new formats were added and existing formats were overwritten. Now it only adds new formats, it won't replace existing ones.
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Old 07-21-2010, 04:30 PM   #24
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For what it's worth, to me calibre is the greatest thing since sliced bread. I recommend it to people all the time. I don't pretend to be any kind of expert -- I'm just a satisfied user.
I second this. I love Calibre. And I am as anal-retentive as they come.

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Old 07-21-2010, 06:38 PM   #25
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cfp - you come across to me as a corporate developer. I am a programmer/developer also, and have been for 40 years. I would have to strongly disagree with a lot of your interface design statements.

There are design standards for Windows applications (specified by Microsoft, of course!). But these are guidelines, nothing more. Since I develop in nothing but Windows, some of the interface issues in Calibre irk me a little. Unless I really have to, I will not use a java application for pretty much the same reason - it is just not 'Windows standard'.

I am very forgiving when it comes to Calibre though - I fully realize that it is cross platform - so I understand the problems. It is also written in Python - I image the available tools/libraries for that would be more limited - again - I understand. But having said all that - Calibre has done a really good job of satisfying the most people.

So - I suggest that you are not as good at interface design as you might think. A lot of this stuff is personal opinion -and of course we all have one of those!
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Old 07-21-2010, 07:59 PM   #26
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I think Calibre is lovely and it is getting better (mostly)
I cannot see much point in taking excessive umbrage at a users suggestions/complaints as being really a valid use of ones time and mental energy.
Certainly it has discouraged me from providing feedback recently and no one has been belligerent or offensive to me personally.
A lot of work has gone and is going into Calibre and if it had stopped at the first version I used (around 6.42) it was still way beyond anything else I have tried and I have tried a few.
It is human nature to poke holes in perfection and occasionally this results in improvement (oxymoron).
I somehow doubt the op meant to be offensive. (me either )
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Old 07-21-2010, 08:05 PM   #27
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The way people jumped all over a guy who posted "calibre sucks" should not discourage you from providing feedback, unless you're someone who has used calibre for a few days and decided it was your duty to register for MobileRead solely to announce to the world that it sucks. And I'm damn sure he did mean to be offensive, or he would have chosen a less offensive and inflammatory title for his post. He wanted attention, and he got it.
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Old 07-21-2010, 08:26 PM   #28
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@worldwalker
Since gettting a Sony ebook reader in April and finding calibre, it is almost an obsession.
Perhaps you are right about the offensive, but the most I could detect was a smidgeon of "perhaps I could do better if I could be bothered" condescension?
I shall reread it again tomorrow.
Probably my perspective is off. I spent the better part of today dealing with people who wanted to know if the orange juice was fresh squeezed and the oranges picked this morning. I live in a small isolated town in the Yukon (right next to Alaska) and have a wide number of responses to this
Only ocasionally do I say we got no stinking oranges in Teslin. (which is true by the way)
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Old 07-21-2010, 10:32 PM   #29
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works for me, nuff said
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Old 09-10-2010, 11:11 AM   #30
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Not a flaw, just a poor operator [me]

I'm a newbie, a mechanical engineer, not a software engineer. Much of this thread is beyond me, but I do have three questions about using calibre with XP Pro. 1 - How do I delete files from the reader as pressing delete only deletes the file name. 2 - How do I import MP3 audio files. 3 - How do I arrange the files by file type and or file name.
I only received the Sony PRS 600 a week ago and initially was very disappointed with the Sony software. Then I found calibre. It really impressed, has a good manual and its free.
I will be very grateful if one of you experts out there can help solve these beginners problems. My thanks in advance.
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