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Old 10-11-2017, 08:25 AM   #1
Katja_hbg
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using plugboard to customize comments

I am using plugboard to customize the title and author. Works very well for my kobo. Also changes afterwards are easy possible with kobo utility and feature update metadata.
Later I use to send specific comments i.e. some dynamic data followed by given comments. Also that works well but of course only after the books are on the reader.

So far so good.

Is there any chance for adding comments in the plugboard target field list like for title etc to avoid the initial extra work (unplug, plug, update comments)?

I hope that any html specialities are not a showstoper for this.
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Old 10-12-2017, 02:51 PM   #2
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@kovidgoyal
David ask me to address my question in the calibre forum. Maybe you did not see this as it looks now twice as there are already some entries in the other one https://www.mobileread.com/forums/sh...08#post3591808.

Perhaps someone should merge and move them.

But I am more interested in a positive reply.
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Old 10-12-2017, 03:23 PM   #3
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{Comments} (as downloaded metadata) can be huge. Not a great plan in the plugboard for general release.
A user column at least, has better control of what is put there.
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Old 10-12-2017, 05:40 PM   #4
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Perhaps someone should merge and move them.
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Old 10-12-2017, 10:52 PM   #5
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{Comments} (as downloaded metadata) can be huge. Not a great plan in the plugboard for general release.
A user column at least, has better control of what is put there.
I can't see how that affects this. Yes, the comments can be huge, but they are already put into the book when it is sent to the device (if the format supports it). That size might actually be why someone wants to fiddle with the comments. Maybe they want to clear the field when sending to the device as their device cannot display the comments or limit it to the first 500 characters. Or to strip the HTML from the comments because the device doesn't support them. For me, I want to be able to add the information that the the device doesn't display to the comments. Most of this is in custom columns, but I also add the rating which is a calibre standard column.

The only thought of two reasons that the comments field is not supported in the metadata plugboard. Firstly, not enough devices actually display the comments and hence it wasn't worth it. The other is the risk of broken HTML going into the field. But, calibre already has code that can be used to mitigate this (type incorrect HTML into the metadata editor and save it and then look at what is produced). I don't find either of these very compelling reasons for not including the comments in the metadata plugboard, so maybe I am missing some other reason.

As to user columns, they are great for the calibre library. If you want to store extra information about the books, in the library, they are probably the way to go. But, they are pretty much useless anywhere else. I don't know of anything other than Calibre Companion that uses them in any way.
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Old 10-13-2017, 12:15 AM   #6
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Originally Posted by davidfor View Post
I can't see how that affects this. Yes, the comments can be huge, but they are already put into the book when it is sent to the device (if the format supports it). That size might actually be why someone wants to fiddle with the comments. Maybe they want to clear the field when sending to the device as their device cannot display the comments or limit it to the first 500 characters. Or to strip the HTML from the comments because the device doesn't support them. For me, I want to be able to add the information that the the device doesn't display to the comments. Most of this is in custom columns, but I also add the rating which is a calibre standard column.

The only thought of two reasons that the comments field is not supported in the metadata plugboard. Firstly, not enough devices actually display the comments and hence it wasn't worth it. The other is the risk of broken HTML going into the field. But, calibre already has code that can be used to mitigate this (type incorrect HTML into the metadata editor and save it and then look at what is produced). I don't find either of these very compelling reasons for not including the comments in the metadata plugboard, so maybe I am missing some other reason.

As to user columns, they are great for the calibre library. If you want to store extra information about the books, in the library, they are probably the way to go. But, they are pretty much useless anywhere else. I don't know of anything other than Calibre Companion that uses them in any way.
I thought the whole purpose of the plugboard was to Jam data from other (unsupported) fields into a standard field , otherwise, the standard file name templates would suffice
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Old 10-13-2017, 12:24 AM   #7
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Quote:
Originally Posted by theducks View Post
I thought the whole purpose of the plugboard was to Jam data from other (unsupported) fields into a standard field , otherwise, the standard file name templates would suffice
And why do you think that comments is different? I join some fields there when I send the comments to the device.
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Old 10-13-2017, 12:57 AM   #8
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No idea, you'd have have to ask chaley why comments are not included. He's the one who developed the metadata plugboards system.
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Old 10-13-2017, 01:55 AM   #9
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I thought the whole purpose of the plugboard was to Jam data from other (unsupported) fields into a standard field , otherwise, the standard file name templates would suffice
I though that was what I said.

Maybe...

The comments is a standard field. And I do want to "jam" other unsupported fields into it. I currently use the Kobo Utilities plugin to do this, but directly updates the database on the device. This post has a screenshot of this from a Kobo device. That has rating, page and word count and tags added at the start of the comments.

To do that, I have to send the book to the device, eject the device and let it process the books. Then, connect the device and update the comments using the plugin. If I could do this via a metadata plugboard, it would happen whenever I sent a new book to the device.

And for the record, I have added comments to the metadata plugboard in my dev environment. It is a very, very simple change and I have been using it for a long time with no problems. But, I haven't tested it with anything other than a Kobo device.

But, lets wait and see if chaley had a reason
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Old 10-13-2017, 08:35 AM   #10
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But, lets wait and see if chaley had a reason
Because I didn't see the point, and TBH I still don't see the point. Plugboards exist to permit people to put non-standard data into standard device-specific fields that readers use to categorize books. No reader that I know of uses comments for that purpose. Adding comments means a maintenance problem, feature requests e.g., to do html processing in the plugboard, and who-knows-what such as "Why stop with comments? Why not allow plugboards to change any metadata field?"

You can use search/replace to change comments or construct another custom field however you want, especially with template mode. If needed keep the "real" comments in a custom column and modify the built-in comments field. If the changes are per-device then you can use Reading List to help manage which S/R to run. You can use Cleaning Comments to remove HTML.

Bottom line: I am not convinced that it is worth my trouble. @davidfor: you are welcome to take this on, committing your existing change.
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Old 10-13-2017, 11:20 PM   #11
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Because I didn't see the point, and TBH I still don't see the point. Plugboards exist to permit people to put non-standard data into standard device-specific fields that readers use to categorize books. No reader that I know of uses comments for that purpose.
I think the difference of opinion here is the word "categorize". To me, the plugboards are so that the device can display information. When I was putting the series info the title, that is all I wanted. I wanted to be able to see what series a book belonged to. Being able to sort the series books together was almost just a side benefit.

I'm using the comments to show information that the device won't otherwise show. That information is used when choosing a book. Page and word counts are much better indication of book length than file size. And the device doesn't display tags, so having them in the comments is useful. I could create collections for the tags, but, that doesn't show all the tags associated with a book in one glance.
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Adding comments means a maintenance problem, feature requests e.g., to do html processing in the plugboard, and who-knows-what such as "Why stop with comments? Why not allow plugboards to change any metadata field?"
True, but as good a question is, "Why not?" I don't think there is much use fiddling with a field that no device uses or displays. And that is pretty much any custom column. But, I could imagine someone wanting to set a timestamp somewhere to indicate when the book was sent out of calibre. Otherwise, the comments is the only one that I see as missing, but someone else might have a reason for something else.
Quote:
You can use search/replace to change comments or construct another custom field however you want, especially with template mode. If needed keep the "real" comments in a custom column and modify the built-in comments field. If the changes are per-device then you can use Reading List to help manage which S/R to run. You can use Cleaning Comments to remove HTML.
Sorry, that's a really ugly idea. It's similar to the common question new users about how to add the series information into the title in the calibre library. And a bit impractical. All the metadata source plugins want to put something in the comments field, and explicitly can't populate custom columns. If I do a metadata download, I have to then copy it elsewhere and then copy back the information I want.
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Bottom line: I am not convinced that it is worth my trouble. @davidfor: you are welcome to take this on, committing your existing change.
OK. I haven't really looked through the code that applies the plugboard. I've been careful with the HTML my template produced, so I haven't worried much about what happens next.
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Old 10-14-2017, 03:33 AM   #12
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I'm adding values from other meta data fields like (but not only) number of books I have from that author in front of the given comments. Some of them are static and some are dynamic. So I have to use update metadata anyhow from time to time (thanks @davidfor for kobo utilities). To get the «extended» comments during sending the book would be comfortable.
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