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Old 10-08-2015, 02:32 PM   #1
StillReading
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Small (-ish) GUI issues Virtual Libraries/Searches

I'm working with a lot of quite complex "virtual library" searches and predefined (saved) searches. Everything is working very well, but there are some small but annoying GUI issues:
  • When editing a virtual library, the "edit" field is only a single line. Editing complex (long) searches would be much easier with a multi-line edit field, like for instance the type used for editing descriptions (minus the html capabilites, of course). Maybe it'd be possible to simply add an additional "Edit" button which opens a separate edit window.
  • As a workaround for the above point I've started using saved searches. Editing is much easier, and it's possible to "layout" or "design" the search with additional line breaks etc., which makes it much easier to read and edit. When I include such a search in a virtual library search, and edit that virtual library search, Calibre will recognize the saved search(es) and display it in the "edit virtual library" window. This stretches the window to the point where the "OK" and "Cancel" buttons are out of the screen area. I think the area where the recognized saved searches are displayed (or the whole window) should have scroll bars.

Here's an example of a saved search I'm using:
Code:
authors:"=William F. Nolan" or
authors:"=Brian Keene" or
authors:"=Dan Simmons" or
authors:"=T. E. D. Klein" or
authors:"=Jack Ketchum" or
authors:"=James Herbert" or
authors:"=Tanith Lee" or
authors:"=Robert McCammon" or
authors:"=Joe R. Lansdale" or
authors:"=Ray Garton" or
authors:"=F. Paul Wilson" or
authors:"=Jack Williamson" or
authors:"=Chelsea Quinn Yarbro" or
authors:"=Charles L. Grant" or authors:"=Charles L. Grant (ed.)" or
authors:"=Ray Bradbury" or
authors:"=Harlan Ellison" or
authors:"=Ramsey Campbell" or authors:"=Ramsey Campbell (ed.)" or
authors:"=Brian Lumley" or
authors:"=Peter Straub" or
authors:"=Dean Koontz" or
authors:"=Clive Barker" or
authors:"=Anne Rice" or
authors:"=Richard Matheson" or
authors:"=Stephen King" or authors:"=Richard Bachman (Stephen King)" or
authors:"=Robert Bloch"
(this is a list of authors which received a "World Horror Grandmaster" award)

Hope this makes sense, I could supply screenshots if it doesn't. I'm running Calibre 64-bit on Windows 8.1 x64.
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Old 10-08-2015, 02:51 PM   #2
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Quote:
Originally Posted by StillReading View Post
I'm working with a lot of quite complex "virtual library" searches and predefined (saved) searches. Everything is working very well, but there are some small but annoying GUI issues:
  • When editing a virtual library, the "edit" field is only a single line. Editing complex (long) searches would be much easier with a multi-line edit field, like for instance the type used for editing descriptions (minus the html capabilites, of course). Maybe it'd be possible to simply add an additional "Edit" button which opens a separate edit window.
  • As a workaround for the above point I've started using saved searches. Editing is much easier, and it's possible to "layout" or "design" the search with additional line breaks etc., which makes it much easier to read and edit. When I include such a search in a virtual library search, and edit that virtual library search, Calibre will recognize the saved search(es) and display it in the "edit virtual library" window. This stretches the window to the point where the "OK" and "Cancel" buttons are out of the screen area. I think the area where the recognized saved searches are displayed (or the whole window) should have scroll bars.

Here's an example of a saved search I'm using:
Code:
authors:"=William F. Nolan" or
authors:"=Brian Keene" or
authors:"=Dan Simmons" or
authors:"=T. E. D. Klein" or
authors:"=Jack Ketchum" or
authors:"=James Herbert" or
authors:"=Tanith Lee" or
authors:"=Robert McCammon" or
authors:"=Joe R. Lansdale" or
authors:"=Ray Garton" or
authors:"=F. Paul Wilson" or
authors:"=Jack Williamson" or
authors:"=Chelsea Quinn Yarbro" or
authors:"=Charles L. Grant" or authors:"=Charles L. Grant (ed.)" or
authors:"=Ray Bradbury" or
authors:"=Harlan Ellison" or
authors:"=Ramsey Campbell" or authors:"=Ramsey Campbell (ed.)" or
authors:"=Brian Lumley" or
authors:"=Peter Straub" or
authors:"=Dean Koontz" or
authors:"=Clive Barker" or
authors:"=Anne Rice" or
authors:"=Richard Matheson" or
authors:"=Stephen King" or authors:"=Richard Bachman (Stephen King)" or
authors:"=Robert Bloch"
(this is a list of authors which received a "World Horror Grandmaster" award)

Hope this makes sense, I could supply screenshots if it doesn't. I'm running Calibre 64-bit on Windows 8.1 x64.
I would tag 1 of each author with Grand Master Award

Then I would Search on that tag.
Select All, Alt-A (gets All books with those Authors)
Select All, Bulk Metadata edit: Add Tags: Grand Master Award


Now your VL is simple Tags: Grand Master Award
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Old 10-08-2015, 03:10 PM   #3
StillReading
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Yeah, that'd work of course. My approach has the benefit of being more "dynamic" I think, though. For instance, I can just add authors to my saved search and they will show up in my virtual library, without me having to explicitly tag the books. I guess my workflow is a case of "user employing functionality in a way the designer didn't anticipate" (; .

I'd say my second point in particular is more of a bug/design issue in Calibre though. Under no circumstance should a window get so large that "OK" and "Cancel" buttons are out of the screen area.

Last edited by StillReading; 10-08-2015 at 03:14 PM.
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Old 10-08-2015, 03:37 PM   #4
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Have you considered using a User Category (Right-click in the Tag Browser)?
You can create groups of arbitrary tag browser elements. Just as dynamic as a Saved Search.


Yes, this behavior is clearly a bug though.
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Old 10-08-2015, 04:30 PM   #5
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Quote:
Originally Posted by eschwartz View Post
Have you considered using a User Category (Right-click in the Tag Browser)?
You can create groups of arbitrary tag browser elements. Just as dynamic as a Saved Search.


And there's an optional User Category plugin. Adds a flyout to the book list context menu, makes it easier to access the feature than having to open the Tag Browser etc etc.

BR
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Old 10-08-2015, 05:03 PM   #6
StillReading
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Thanks for the suggestions, will check out User Categories and the User Category plugin as soon as I find the time. I think both approaches don't allow me to use pre-created lists (like the "World Horror Grandmaster" awards list) to select books though, so I still hope the display issues I've described are going to be fixed eventually (; .
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Old 10-08-2015, 06:11 PM   #7
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@StillReading - the User Categories are shown in the Tag Browser like Authors, Publishers etc. You can search on them with "@<user category name>" so a search on "@World Horror Grandmaster" would show all books that fall into the category by virtue of their authors.

See ==>> Calibre Manual - Tag Browser

BR
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Old 10-09-2015, 06:33 AM   #8
kovidgoyal
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I'm confused, what exactly is too long? The dialog to select the saved search does have the names in a scrollable area. See attached screenshot:
Attached Thumbnails
Click image for larger version

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Old 10-09-2015, 08:22 AM   #9
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Quote:
Originally Posted by kovidgoyal View Post
I'm confused, what exactly is too long? The dialog to select the saved search does have the names in a scrollable area. See attached screenshot:
@Kovid - it's the manner in which Saved Searches are displayed in the VL definition - if they're very long one can lose the 'OK' and 'Cancel' buttons viz:

Click image for larger version

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ID:	142719

BR
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Old 10-09-2015, 09:00 AM   #10
kovidgoyal
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Ah, I see

https://github.com/kovidgoyal/calibr...9c1a2a56e104eb
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