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Old 07-17-2017, 07:44 AM   #1
Andys
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[Request] External bookmark file for calibre viewer

Hi, this feature would be very helpful for library used in sync on two or more PC.
Basically, I need a setting which will override iterator.pickle, and read external file located in the same foder as book file (for example, main file "book.fb2" with bookmark file "book.bkm")
Current functionality is very limited and does not support any sane sync process:
1. on different PCs, books folder can be located on different drives so syncing iterator.pickle would be pointless.
2. not all books are stored in epub format (so no internal bookmarks)
3. even if converted to epub format, modifying epub with internal bookmarks.txt is bad for checksum
4. from what I read on forum, iterator.pickle always have precedence over internal epub bookmarks

Or, make iterator.pickle bookmarks relative to database location so I could sync it between PCs?

Or, is there any way to 'auto-import' bookmarks from file when starting viewer and auto-export when exiting and/or modifying bookmarks?

Last edited by Andys; 07-17-2017 at 07:46 AM.
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Old 07-17-2017, 08:26 AM   #2
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Simply store bookmarks in the epub file. I have no idea what bad for checksum means. I assume you eman the checksum of the epub file changes, though I dont see what is bad about that.

Last edited by kovidgoyal; 07-17-2017 at 08:30 AM.
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Old 07-17-2017, 09:00 AM   #3
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Originally Posted by kovidgoyal View Post
I assume you mean the checksum of the epub file changes, though I dont see what is bad about that.
1. I am not sure if the book is intact and needs recovering from backup
2. Comparing ebooks to another collection/folder can't be done
3. There are some plugins that overwrite epub completely when downloading from online source and I suppose this way of storing bookmarks isn't in epub definition so I have to beg each plugin author to support it.
4. What if I prefer html of fb2 format?
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Old 07-17-2017, 10:17 AM   #4
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1) Umm why would the book not be intact? If you are worried about data on your disk being randomly corrupted, you have bigger problems. By that logic, any file on your disk that is changed by any program at any time could possibly be corrupt and need restoring from backups.

2) Exact binary matches of ebooks are pretty useless, unless they are the exact same file, in which case, they will also match on lots of other dimensions, not affected by the presence of a bookmarks file.

3) Since the bookmarks are file specific, replacing the epub file with another means the bookmarks wont work anyway.

4) Since you are reading the books in the viewer and the viewer internally converts all formats to an epub like format anyway, it doesn't matter if you prefer reading another format, you are effectively reading epub in any case.
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Old 07-17-2017, 10:18 AM   #5
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Oh and in any case, it is on my TODO list to add proper annotations support to the new in browser viewer (which will also form the basis of a replacement for calibre viewer) and when that happens the annotations will be stored in the database itself.
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Old 07-17-2017, 05:37 PM   #6
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Quote:
Originally Posted by kovidgoyal View Post
Oh and in any case, it is on my TODO list to add proper annotations support to the new in browser viewer (which will also form the basis of a replacement for calibre viewer) and when that happens the annotations will be stored in the database itself.
Should I worry that a future version of the calibre viewer (i.e. the one that doesn't run inside a browser) will not be usable to view ePubs that are not in a library (notionally in a database) - or will annotations be disabled when used in that mode?

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Old 07-17-2017, 09:53 PM   #7
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Andys View Post
3. There are some plugins that overwrite epub completely when downloading from online source and I suppose this way of storing bookmarks isn't in epub definition so I have to beg each plugin author to support it.
Which plugins are you talking about? The only one I can immediately think of is FanFicFare, and it should be handling the annotations and reading position. If it isn't, then it has been broken in a recent version and should be reported.

For other plugins, don't beg, ask politely. Most of us plugin developers are willing to listen to suggestions. Whether we implement them, will depend on whether they can be implemented, whether they fit the plugin and time. For this, it's probably not hard to save the file with the bookmarks in them and then restore it later. But, if the structure of the epub changes, keeping the references in the bookmarks valid will be the problem.
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Old 07-17-2017, 11:11 PM   #8
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Originally Posted by BetterRed View Post
Should I worry that a future version of the calibre viewer (i.e. the one that doesn't run inside a browser) will not be usable to view ePubs that are not in a library (notionally in a database) - or will annotations be disabled when used in that mode?

BR
No, they will simply fallback to being stored in the config file, when viewing books not in a library.
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Old 07-17-2017, 11:45 PM   #9
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Originally Posted by kovidgoyal View Post
No, they will simply fallback to being stored in the config file, when viewing books not in a library.
Can you consider providing an option to store annotations in same location as the epub file (eg <whatever>.calan) so that they can be moved, copied, shared etc as a 'matched pair'.

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Old 07-18-2017, 12:33 AM   #10
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They will still be stored inside the epub as well.
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Old 07-20-2017, 03:16 AM   #11
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Originally Posted by kovidgoyal View Post
Oh and in any case, it is on my TODO list to add proper annotations support to the new in browser viewer (which will also form the basis of a replacement for calibre viewer) and when that happens the annotations will be stored in the database itself.
Well, this would be very very nice, storing it in database would be the solution to almost all bookmark problems.
But a suggesion - when you write browser viewer please make it possible to open it from actual calibre app too, not only from server web interface. Maybe like passing direct web link to browser so it would skip library view and open the book immediately in web reader. That's because browsing library and finding books in web interface is so much clunkier and slower than in native calibre app so I'd avoid web interface entirely.

Quote:
Originally Posted by davidfor View Post
Which plugins are you talking about? The only one I can immediately think of is FanFicFare, and it should be handling the annotations and reading position. If it isn't, then it has been broken in a recent version and should be reported.
You pinpointed it correctly. I don't really like to always remember that I should extract and re-insert bookmarks on full epub redownload which is required in some specific situations. Of course, external bookmarks would be likely broken anyway when I do that but at least I would keep annotations so I could search for text and readd bookmark at new position

Last edited by Andys; 07-20-2017 at 03:26 AM.
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Old 07-20-2017, 07:25 AM   #12
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You pinpointed it correctly. I don't really like to always remember that I should extract and re-insert bookmarks on full epub redownload which is required in some specific situations. Of course, external bookmarks would be likely broken anyway when I do that but at least I would keep annotations so I could search for text and readd bookmark at new position
I suggest asking if it is intended. The structure FFF creates is consistent, so, unless there are extra chapters added early in the book, the bookmarks will probably be OK.
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Old 07-20-2017, 06:57 PM   #13
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They will still be stored inside the epub as well.
Then no need to worry

Moderator Notice
This thread doesn't appear to conform to the Purpose of Development subforum sticky, i.e. the OP is not proposing to do any actual development, so I've moved it to the main calibre forum.


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Old 07-21-2017, 05:49 PM   #14
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@kovidgoyal

I think the annotations feature would be awesome. How will the annotation files be formatted? Will it be easily readable in a text viewer? I tend to make notes and often summaries and ideas for concepts in a text book. If the annotations file is easily readable outside calibre, it would be great if you make an option for the annotations as a separate file instead of in the database or inside the epub file. That way I can just easily open the folder and copy of it, email to myself and read it later on my phone when I'm away from my computer or when my computer is turned off. Thanks.
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