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Old 06-15-2011, 12:49 AM   #1
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Thought: Authors Database

In thinking about the many possible uses - beyond what already exists (and there is no doubt that this is an extremely powerful tool already) - I had a thought.

It would be nice if there could be a feature so that one could build an authors database that is connected/associated with the books library.

What I mean is a place where information on the particular author could be stored and added to - beyond just the name (or being able to sort the books by author).

In this biographical information and related material could be placed - and could easily be accessed while using the library.

Its just a thought - I know it goes a little beyond the library functionality - but I think it is related and would make this an even more productive tool - particularly for those who use it for research based reading.

I'd be happy to hear any thoughts (and criticisms) of my idea.

I don't have the ability to program this - so its just thrown out there in case someone who sees the merits and has that skill might take it on as a project.
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Old 06-15-2011, 02:39 PM   #2
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Old 06-15-2011, 07:44 PM   #3
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I like this idea
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Old 06-15-2011, 08:06 PM   #4
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This would take a major design philosophy change.
Currently, unused (or renamed?) Authors are purged from the Authors Table.
Change a Author name (id) and you orphan the notes.
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Old 06-16-2011, 01:35 AM   #5
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This is whats used in the music manager application program "Helium"
They have an "Artist" Database seperate from the Albums etc, its a nice idea.

Would be nice to have a database with Author pictures, and a link to their homepage or wiki page. and general notes.

Maybe running two versions of Calibre concurrently, one of which is stripped down to only the parts needed for such a venture would work?
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Old 06-16-2011, 02:00 AM   #6
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I think I remember reading another discussion about this some time ago, however, I don't remember the results or the thread it was in. If you're interested, searching for the thread might be interesting.
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Old 06-16-2011, 04:14 AM   #7
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It was discussed in the plugin ideas thread. It is indexed from the first post in that thread.
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Old 06-17-2011, 12:02 PM   #8
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I would like to see something like this as well.

I select books primarily by authors I enjoy, and then choose series, genre etc.
In ancient times (last year) I would go to library, scans shelves for books by authors I liked and take what I hadn't read. Then I would try and find an interesting looking book or two by a new to me author.

Now with an ebook reader and calibre (really the greatest thing since sliced bread) I can do this from home.
An author database that linked to calibre or was part of calibre would be monumental.

If it could show you what books you had, what books you were missing, and which of the missing books were available from calibre supported online stores, well that would be pure genious.

Just a wish mind you, not a priority in my mind.

calibre is already so feature packed that I am discovering new ones all the time.

calibre developers are world class programmers and my hope is that they will all achieve the recognition and monetary rewards they well deserve.

Helen
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Old 06-18-2011, 04:11 PM   #9
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Maybe whole author database is too much work. I would surely appreciate even a simple text file with basic info - if it's accessible from Calibre. And to have author's picture would also be nice.

It *is* possible to use custom column (like comments), but I'd like to have it only once for every author...
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Old 06-18-2011, 04:24 PM   #10
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You got me thinking there, speakingtohe A croud sorced database of Authors that can be linked to you calibre... Then I thought actually most of that has already been done ie the great old Wikipedia.

Sooo....

All that's needed is to have the Author hotlink to the corresponding Wiki page?

Ok, would be nice to have it off line and editable, but small steps...
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Old 06-18-2011, 04:35 PM   #11
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@transmitthis - if you just want to get to the Wikipedia page for an author, you can use the "Search the Internet" plugin.
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Old 06-18-2011, 04:43 PM   #12
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Quote:
Originally Posted by travger View Post
Maybe whole author database is too much work. I would surely appreciate even a simple text file with basic info - if it's accessible from Calibre. And to have author's picture would also be nice.

It *is* possible to use custom column (like comments), but I'd like to have it only once for every author...
Something that might be doable with the amount of effort I am willing to spend is to make it possible to add a link to an author. This link could point at whatever you want. My thought is that it would point at an author's page on fantastic fiction, goodreads, or what-have-you, but it could just as easily point at a word document on the local machine. The link would be added in the manage authors dialog. Right-clicking in an author's field would result in a context menu item offering the links associated with the author(s) of a book.

This isn't something I would use, so I am not particularly interested in getting too fancy with it. I would be willing to investigate the above if the assembled multitudes think it might be useful, but I am worried about the fall out. For example, allowing links on authors will almost certainly create pressure to add links on titles, publishers, series, and the like (no good deed goes unpunished), will create maintenance headaches, and will create backwards compatibility problems. Setting an expectation that something can happen is sometimes worse than doing nothing.

Another thought that might work out, especially in terms of expectations: a new custom column of type 'link'. The column would contain (tah dah) a link. Double clicking on the column would open the link using whatever program is associated with the link type (file:// http:// ???). F2 or edit metadata or whatever the edit key is would permit changing the link. This would allow a user to create as many link types as needed by creating columns. I imagine that the column would display with an icon, not the text, so it would be visually compact. Of course, this doesn't work particularly well with multiple authors. (I can see the responses now -- "Do both!")

(Just noticed transmitthis's post. I could interpret that as interest in the author link solution. )

(Just noticed kiwidude's answer. This is similar to the link column -- it handles searching for book data, but does not handle associating specific links with a category item such as an author. However, it might be the right way to go, given that it exists and is customizable.)
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Old 06-18-2011, 04:43 PM   #13
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Does that just search the internet for the authors name?, will have a look.

But was more thinking that, wouldn't it be nice if when you clicked on an Authors name in an actual column it linked straight to that authors wikipedia entry (we could maintain a database of the relevant wiki pages if needed)

Maybe not the column, but instead the Author in the tagbrowser could be linked - I know its in use at present - but the little icon/images could be linked separate to the Actual name. Could even have thumbnails of the author there (small ones I know)

Personally I always have Chrome open, so its nothing to open a tab, but would be nice to have it integrated somehow.
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Old 06-18-2011, 04:47 PM   #14
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Just noticed chaley's post.

That got me thinking - what about simplifying it a bit, and
just having a empty book entry for each author

If it could be made to always stay at the top? It would then be simple to have a Author image (Cover) and any number of comments and html displayed in the preview pane.
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Old 06-18-2011, 04:52 PM   #15
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Quote:
Originally Posted by transmitthis View Post
Just noticed chaley's post.

That got me thinking - what about simplifying it a bit, and
just having a empty book entry for each author

If it could be made to always stay at the top? It would then be simple to have a Author image (Cover) and any number of comments and html displayed in the preview pane.
It is generally not a good idea to use one kind of entity to represent another completely different thing. The operations don't make sense (title sort on authors?), and the correspondence between the item and its real meaning is lost.

That shouldn't stop you from doing it should you wish, but it shouldn't become a recommended process. That would lead to much more confusion that any of us wants to deal with.
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