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Old 02-01-2019, 09:51 AM   #1
akailiajade
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Comment Field Blank in Calibre Companion?

I have comments on all of my books in Calibre. Basically, I paste the book plot summaries from the metadata into the comments so that when I'm browsing my unread books looking for a new book to read on my phone or tablet, I can see a summary of what it's about.

Previously, those comments were carried over to Calibre Companion. Now they're not. None of my Calibre comments are visible in Calibre Companion. What happened? Is there a setting I can change to get them back?
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Old 02-01-2019, 10:10 AM   #2
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Quote:
Originally Posted by akailiajade View Post
I have comments on all of my books in Calibre. Basically, I paste the book plot summaries from the metadata into the comments so that when I'm browsing my unread books looking for a new book to read on my phone or tablet, I can see a summary of what it's about.

Previously, those comments were carried over to Calibre Companion. Now they're not. None of my Calibre comments are visible in Calibre Companion. What happened? Is there a setting I can change to get them back?
Some thoughts:
  • First question: what changed between when the comments worked and then not?
  • If the HTML is invalid then CC might fail to show the comments. Does unchecking the box CC Settings / Book details / Formatting in comments change anything?
  • Are the missing comments fields selected (checked) in CC Book details / Choose items to display?
  • What kind of comments field are they? By that I mean which option is chosen in calibre for "Interpret this column as" in the column setup?
  • You must do a "Connect as a wireless device" if you changed the lookup names.
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Old 02-01-2019, 09:50 PM   #3
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This happened to me day before yesterday. I unchecked the "formatting in comments" option in the book details settings and got them back. That might work for you?

Now the comments only appear when that setting is unchecked. Not when it is checked. I don't know why. And I'm not sure what triggered it.

I posted about it here: https://www.mobileread.com/forums/sh....php?p=3805752
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Old 02-02-2019, 07:42 AM   #4
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I cannot make CC fail in this way. I have test books with plain and complex HTML comments, and the comments all display on the two devices I currently have access to.

@ienosos and @akailiajade: it would help me debug this if you:
  • set the options so that it fails (comments don't display)
  • open book details on a book with "missing" comments
  • then send me a CC debug log (Settings / Other / Email a debug log to MultiPie.

Questions:
  • Are you using the wireless device to put the books on your device, or are you using the cloud connection?
  • Have you enabled any of the Android "developer options"?
  • Did your device do any sort of upgrade before the comments stopped displaying?
  • Do you use Chrome or a different browser? There are rumors that in later versions of Android, if Chrome is never started (set up) then html displays can fail.
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Old 02-02-2019, 11:07 AM   #5
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I just emailed you the debug log following your instructions.

Personally, I don't believe it's a CC issue, because I'm also missing (book description) comments on my nook now and it's an e-ink, running the stock OS and no calibre companion anywhere near it.

As for the other questions, I'll answer anyway, because you never know!

I use connect as a wireless device (only)
I don't have developer options enabled
No device update, but there was an Android System WebView update 3 days ago according to the list in My apps & games
I use Chrome and Firefox on this particular device, Firefox is default but I do use Chrome sometimes

Hope it helps.
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Old 02-02-2019, 01:16 PM   #6
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Quote:
Originally Posted by ienosos View Post
I just emailed you the debug log following your instructions.
Thanks. Unfortunately it says nothing helpful. No errors were reported. Sigh.

I see that your device is running Lollipop (Android 5) so most of the Chrome/Webview changes don't affect you. However, the fact that there was a recent webview update is intriguing. To (try to) test this I started a Lollipop Android emulator and forced the webview to update. Everything worked fine. Sigh again.

Another question: does the column label appear with two grey lines under it? The missing text is supposed to be between the lines. If this is the case then we now know that the System Webview is no longer working correctly. Clutching at straws, try starting Chrome then check if the comments have come back.
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Old 02-02-2019, 02:50 PM   #7
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The column label does have the gray lines that the text should appear between.

When I uncheck "Formatting in comments" the comment text appears between the lines.

When I go back into settings and check "Formatting in comments" the comment text disappears but the lines are still there.

I tried looking after opening and using Chrome for a second as you suggest but it didn't change anything.

I also tried checking and unchecking "formatting in comments" and the "comments use full width" boxes but that also didn't change anything.

Here's something else too: I also run CC on my Kindle Fire tablet and the comments are showing up there with the formatting in comments box checked.

I have the whole library on it just like I do on my phone and it's updated with all books as of today, same as the library on my phone. It uses the same CC app because I use amazon app store to put it on all my android devices. Version 5.4.3.3 (391)

The thing about the Android WebView and this issue that doesn't make sense to me is that my nook has been in airplane mode for years because I do all my reading on it from sideloaded books. There's no android updates happening there. The missing comments just started on the nook, too.

I definitely am thinking something in Calibre did it. I just can't figure out if I did something that triggered a glitch that won't reverse itself or if it's something else. And, honestly, I guess there is a chance that it's different issues that just happened to occur around the same time. Seems remote, but weirder things have happened to me.

Last edited by ienosos; 02-02-2019 at 03:01 PM.
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Old 02-02-2019, 04:40 PM   #8
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I've had the same issue, and unticking the 'formatting in comments' box has at least brought the text back.
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Old 02-03-2019, 11:06 AM   #9
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There is something you can try if you are adventurous. Android has a bunch of options hidden under "Developer Settings". You expose these options by enabling developer settings as described here. Open the newly available Settings option and scroll down until you find "Webview Implementation" (it could be that not all android versions have that setting). Tap it and, if given a choice, select the one that isn't currently selected (probably Chrome).
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Old 02-07-2019, 05:01 AM   #10
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I have Calibre Companion on both of my tablets. My older tablet running Android 6.0.1 (Marshmallow) the comments display the book blurbs with no issue.

I just noticed today that my newer tablet running Android 8.1.0 (Oreo) has stopped displaying the comments. As has Calibre Companion on my phone which runs Android 7.0 (Nougat). Unchecking the "Comments use full width" box did not help. I haven't done any sort of upgrade. The "Comments:" field has the two gray lines the text should appear between on both devices where it's not displaying.

Sorry, not feeling adventurous enough to enable developer settings unless that will be the only way to fix it.

Oh, and I always use the wireless device connection to add books.
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Old 02-07-2019, 08:26 AM   #11
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My phone upgraded some Google components today and now (finally) I can reproduce this problem. I have both verified that the problem is caused by a google upgrade and have a fix that works for me.

Problem: the play store now requires me to use "new" android features that break CC, which means I can't release the test version in the normal way. Instead I must provide you with the update by email. If you want it then send me a PM (private message) on MobileRead giving me the email address where I am to send the CC install file. If it fixes the problem for other people then I will put the release somewhere where it can be downloaded.
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Old 02-08-2019, 03:34 AM   #12
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@library addict: thanks for offering to test. Please post results, positive or negative, here.
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Old 02-08-2019, 05:04 AM   #13
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i have a Lenovo tablet running oreo, so I would like that download option, eventually, but I am happy to wait a while for others to complete testing
( I had not noticed the disappearance! - i don't much use the comments fields )
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Old 02-08-2019, 05:48 AM   #14
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Quote:
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@library addict: thanks for offering to test. Please post results, positive or negative, here.
Worked fine on my phone. The blurbs/book descriptions are now displaying correctly in the comments field.


Eta: I will try on my tablet later today if you want me to.

Last edited by library addict; 02-08-2019 at 05:52 AM.
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Old 02-08-2019, 05:53 AM   #15
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Eta: I will try on my tablet later today if you want me to.
Sure. It will probably work, and then you have comments on the tablet as well.
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