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Old 09-02-2010, 01:13 PM   #1
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Q's for those using Multiple Libraries

Recently a user of the new Multiple Library features (and specifically the Copy to Library feature) posted a bug report stating that it did not honor the option "If books with similar authors and titles found, merge the new files automatically." I typically refer to this as the "autosort/automerge" option.

The bug report was accurate - setting that option had no effect on Copy to Library operations. When I wrote it, multiple libraries and the Copy to Library option were not around. The purpose of that option was to improve the 'Add book' process by recognizing when you are trying to add a new format of an existing book and automatically sort it into the existing book record (which usually already has lots of lovely metadata)

Kovid passed the bug report to me, and although I don't use multiple libraries, it made sense to have the autosort/automerge operate during a "Copy to Library" operation. New code has recently been added to the trunk to do this (for those who run from source) (And Kovid - if you read this, yes, all of your improvements to my code passed all my tests and the new code seems to work great.)

The new code does exactly what the autosort/automerge option did - namely when the author matches exactly and the title is similar enough to an existing book in the destination library, it puts any new format(s) found in the source library into the existing record in the destination library.

The autosort/automerge option only deals with two items of metadata - author and title. That was fine when doing an "Add Book."

However, when doing a "Copy to Library" it's entirely possible that the source Library has more metadata than the destination library. If the destination library has no matching book, then the entire record from the source library is copied over, with all the metadata.

However, if you have a minimal record in the destination library (only basic metadata) and you Copy over a book, the metadata in the Source Library will not go with it, only the formats will move.

I also wrote the Merge code, which merges two book records. The Copy to Library function is a bit like both chunks of code when the same book is in both libraries. It's adding formats to existing records (like the autosort/automerge option) and it could coordinate or Merge metadata from the two records back and forth.

So, at last we've arrived at my question for those who use multiple libraries. In addition to autosorting/automerging, should the "Copy to Library" function perform the same function as "Merge-Keep others" when the autosort/automerge option is on? Do you want metadata from the source library to fill in blank metadata for the matching book in the destination library?

Would you go even further - should it do a reverse merge where metadata in the destination library gets brought back into the source library to fill in any blanks in the metadata there?
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Old 09-02-2010, 05:10 PM   #2
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Originally Posted by Starson17 View Post
Do you want metadata from the source library to fill in blank metadata for the matching book in the destination library?
That would be great

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Would you go even further - should it do a reverse merge where metadata in the destination library gets brought back into the source library to fill in any blanks in the metadata there?
No. I rather switch to the dest library and make the reverse copy to cover situations where it want my original library untouched.
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Old 09-02-2010, 05:43 PM   #3
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So, at last we've arrived at my question for those who use multiple libraries. In addition to autosorting/automerging, should the "Copy to Library" function perform the same function as "Merge-Keep others" when the autosort/automerge option is on? Do you want metadata from the source library to fill in blank metadata for the matching book in the destination library?
Yes, this makes sense.

I don't think I'd go the reverse route, though. This is actually something I hadn't thought about, as I'm the only one using my multiple libraries, and so far the books are only going in one place; as in I'm not cross-referencing them. I could probably drive my OCD self crazy that way....
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Old 09-02-2010, 06:26 PM   #4
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I agree with the former posters. I would like it to go one way only. I have whittled my library down to 1475, and have a 50 book library for each of my husband and my daughter. Since there libraries weren't very big, it wasn't a big deal to delete the multiples. But I don't want them touching my library.
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Old 09-02-2010, 10:24 PM   #5
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Originally Posted by Starson17 View Post
So, at last we've arrived at my question for those who use multiple libraries. In addition to autosorting/automerging, should the "Copy to Library" function perform the same function as "Merge-Keep others" when the autosort/automerge option is on? Do you want metadata from the source library to fill in blank metadata for the matching book in the destination library?
Filling in empty fields would be a plus, but I wouldn't want it adding any extra tags or changing series etc...

Maybe an option, either the standard merge you do now or a complete additive merge which would include filling in the blanks and adding any extra tags.
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Old 09-02-2010, 11:13 PM   #6
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To be honest with you, Starson17, you went completely over my head so I have no idea what to answer.
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Old 09-03-2010, 10:01 AM   #7
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Filling in empty fields would be a plus, but I wouldn't want it adding any extra tags or changing series etc...
I'm going to have to do some tests, but from what I recall of Kovid's code, when there is no matching book already in the destination library, (or when my autosort option is not checked, which defaults to Kovid's original code), the entire record from the source library is brought over. That certainly means that all the tags from the source library come with it, along with all data from the non-custom fields (comments, publisher, rating, etc.). Since I haven't yet tested it, I'm not totally sure what happens to custom fields, but I suspect they come along only if they are defined in the destination library.

Responding to your post, and to be consistent with what happens when the entire record is brought over (along with all of its tags) doesn't that mean that you'd want the tags brought over from the source library and added to the tags in the matching record of your destination library? Any field that was already filled in in the destination would never be overwritten (that's how the Merge function works), so you wouldn't have to worry about the series being changed. But if the destination library has a record for the same book, and that book has an empty series, and an empty Publisher, should they be filled in with the new data?

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Maybe an option, either the standard merge you do now or a complete additive merge which would include filling in the blanks and adding any extra tags.
Hmmm. I'm not sure this would be very easy for the user to understand. This proposed option would only have meaning when the autosort option is turned on and it won't do anything even then unless there is already a book in the destination library that matches (author exact match, title fuzzy match) . I think it would lead to confusion.
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Old 09-03-2010, 10:38 AM   #8
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To be honest with you, Starson17, you went completely over my head so I have no idea what to answer.
You're about to send a book from your library to the small library you keep for your brother. Normally, you'd use Copy to Library and send it, and it's done. However, suppose your brother says: "Last week you gave me a great book on 'The Art of Applying Clown Makeup,' but it's in rtf format, and I really want it in EPUB."

You reply: "Oh, that book is really tricky to convert, but you're in luck, I converted it last week, it's in my big library and I also downloaded a review of the book in that's in my 'comments'" You now want to send it to him.

Here's your choices:

Currently: select the book in your library and choose Copy to Library. He will get a second book entry (a duplicate of yours), with all the formats you have, including your new converted format. and your new metadata in comments. He can use Merge to combine his two records for that book or leave them as duplicates. Merge would append your comments into his record.

Next release (code is already in the main trunk): select the book in your library and choose Copy to Library. If you have the autosort/automerge option turned on, your new format will move directly into his existing record for that book. Your same format will not go to him. Your other metadata will not go into his library. If you do not have the autosort/automerge option turned on, the same thing described above under "Currently" will occur and he'll have a duplicate record in his library. He could then do a Merge as described above to get the metadata from you into his record.

Question I am asking: If you have the autosort/automerge option turned on, do you want your metadata to go to him, with your new format, exactly as if he had received a duplicate record and done a Merge?
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Old 09-03-2010, 04:45 PM   #9
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Any field that was already filled in in the destination would never be overwritten (that's how the Merge function works)
That works fine for me.
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Old 09-03-2010, 05:26 PM   #10
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I can't ever see myself using the autosort/automerge option so 'tis moot for me. Thanks for the explaination; I don't feel as stupid now.
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