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Old 09-23-2017, 09:24 PM   #1
mseiden
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cleaning metadata and mac keyboard shortcuts in dialog boxes

greetings. i'm a longtime user of calibre on the mac, but have never gotten beyond the n00bie driver stage. i keep up with the weeklies, however.

recently i've been cleaning up a lot of metadata in a large library. the typical workflow is many repetitions of {"extract isbn"; "download metadata" for those items for which an isbn was successfully extracted, as denoted by a pushpin helpfully placed in the item number}.

when i receive the confirmation dialog box, which seems to suggest based on underlining that Y or N will be acceptable shortcuts for Yes and No, i can't get those to work. No combination of bare y or Y or with any of the modifier keys (in the mac but not the calibre tradition) will make the dialog disappear. instead the keys are sent to the main window and result in searching down the list to the next book beginning with a Y, which is unhelpful.

even after clicking in the dialog none of the keyboard shortcuts work as expected. so it isn't a window focus problem. this is true for all confirmation dialogs in calibre, as far as i can tell.

can anyone make a suggestion?

as a comment:

i would be just as happy to entirely dispense with all of those dialogs and have a "silent mode" custom version of "download metadata for selected items with pushpins next to them." or a combined plugin which did both functions with no annoying dialogs whatsoever.

(my experience is that absent an isbn, download metadata produces bizarre results when the match with the actual book is not very good, typically when the author's name doesn't match.)

despite any nitpicking, thanks for all of your hard work, kiwidude and kovid.
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Old 09-23-2017, 11:19 PM   #2
kovidgoyal
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Unfortunately, underlined shortcuts dont work on os x -- it's an Apple policy not to have them, dont ask me why.

As for doing away with the confirmation popup, it cant be done for technical reasons -- basically the problem is that if metadat is updated inthe background, it could clash with what the user is doing in the foreground, causing unexpected things to happen.
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Old 09-25-2017, 12:28 PM   #3
mseiden
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i have several thoughts on your reply.

concerning the dialogs:

first, your UI is so inconsistent with the Mac UI Guidelines that you could easily go further.
second, if you don't support Y and N as a shortcut for Yes and No, you should remove the underlines on platforms not supporting it.
third, the Mac UI supports default buttons, and (in most case) Yes is the right default action. the Enter key executes the default action.

concerning the metadata issues, i already suspected you had some complexity to deal with here.

I gather from program behavior that you timestamp "last metadata changed by user" to be able to warn the user if metadata was changed after the first step of a two step operation (the second step of which changes metadata) and the scope of the changes tracked is "any metadata item" rather than, for example, the names of the properties changed.

By the way, there's a bug here: Clicking on a book title (for example), but not making any changes to it, still updates that "metadata changed" timestamp. That a change takes place should only be noted when there is an actual change to the value of the metadata.

Can't you use a more conventional approach to solving this problem such as locking item rows within a db transaction to prevent conflicting changes? Maybe i don't understand what the "technical problem" is. Also seems to me the more you can do in the background, the less waiting the user does (and that waiting is significant for metadata updates to a sizeable db. My biggest db at the moment has about 75k items...)
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Old 09-25-2017, 12:40 PM   #4
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Having more carefully re-read your reply, you say the conflict is between what is displayed on the screen and the db contents after a change made in the background. I understand that conflict, but not your strategy for redisplaying changed content nor how having a confirmation dialog simplifies that situation. Is the dialog used as your main mechanism for forcing a screen update after the change(s)?
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Old 09-25-2017, 12:46 PM   #5
mseiden
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(While we're talking about the db, but off topic for this thread, may I suggest that Undo would be a wonderful feature for those occasional unfortunate metadata changes.... I have noticed that book deletions go into the Trash so are recoverable...)
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