"Link" search criteria (and column?)

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"Link" search criteria (and column?)

Postby sjk » Sun Jan 08, 2012 4:00 pm

Please consider adding a "Link" search criteria so it's possible to create Smart Collections entries that use it. And I wouldn't mind a "Link" column that displays the first link for an entry (when multiple links exist). This would make it easier to manage links for entries in my DVDpedia database, e.g. fix those that have been recent broken after multiple HDD failures and subsequent volume consolidation/renaming.

Also, I originally thought the purpose of Movie > View Links (Command-L) command was to display link item information, not the content being linked to. Maybe something like Open Links would be a more accurate name for it?

Thanks!
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Re: "Link" search criteria (and column?)

Postby sjk » Thu Jan 12, 2012 1:57 pm

Please consider adding a "Link" search criteria so it's possible to create Smart Collections entries that use it.

After seeing Nora's helpful hint, I'm now aware of Any Link Name|Type|URL search criteria. A simple Any Link Name is not <empty> Smart Collection matches Library entries with links, resolving that issue.

Speaking of links, here's something unexpected I encountered:

Running Option-Help > Validate Links on File created an excluded "Links not Found" collection with entries from the aforementioned SC, plus a couple others from another excluded collection. Being excluded, deleting that "Links not Found" collection would have also removed entries within it, which isn't what I wanted. Workaround was to make it an included collection, then delete it. An unwanted side effect was that the couple entries with links from the other excluded collection became part of the Library collection, which I removed by running Include Collection in Library and Exclude Collection from Library on that other collection.

I hadn't anticipated it working that way, but it partly makes sense why it did. Just have to be careful in other usage cases where entries intended to only be in excluded collections won't unexpectedly be included in Library. It's confusing when that happens because it may seems like there are separate/multiple copies of an entry rather than it being only a single entry in the database. For example, were entries in the excluded "Links not Found" collection that Validate Links on File created separate copies or the same instances?

I still don't know how to reliably tell when different entries that look like clones are distinct from, or the same as, each other. Sort of a "how many copies of an entry exist in the database when it appears multiple times in one or more collections?" question. Popping up the Show in Collection context menu sometimes helps, although for only a single entry at a time.

And I wouldn't mind a "Link" column that displays the first link for an entry (when multiple links exist).

I still don't see a column attribute (similar to URL) to display first link pathnames in List view, but maybe it's in my blind spot? Even without that just the Any Link … criteria are a big help.
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Re: "Link" search criteria (and column?)

Postby Nora » Fri Jan 13, 2012 11:19 am

The "Validate Links on File" command isn't really a feature but more for debugging. But you're right, since it is in the program and we don't want to cause confusion we'll change it so that the collection created (if necessary) for orphaned links will from now on be included. (Conor made it an excluded collection originally because that's how the other verify commands treat orphaned entries found.) You can download the DVDpedia beta 10 if you want the fix right away.
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Re: "Link" search criteria (and column?)

Postby sjk » Mon Jan 16, 2012 2:51 pm

Nora wrote:The "Validate Links on File" command isn't really a feature but more for debugging.

Feature or not, it was very useful for easily finding all the entries with orphaned links that I wanted to fix. :)

Btw, I appreciate how links to files on network mounted volumes are created with a file:///… prefix that also work when the same volume is locally mounted (e.g. under /Volumes), which is more generally convenient than afp://… references would be.

… we'll change it so that the collection created (if necessary) for orphaned links will from now on be included.

Presumably that'll cause entries from excluded collections with orphaned links to also appear in the Library collection. While not optimal, I'd rather have that happen than accidentally deleting entries from a "Links not Found" excluded collection.

Wish List is still my primary excluded collection. None of its entries will appear in "Links not Found", whether excluded or included, since they never contain links. I've been seriously considering making WL and the few other remaining excluded collections be included, mostly for the benefit of matching their entries in smart collections. Enabling Preferences > General > Include library-independent entries in smart collections wasn't ideal when I tried that a few years ago (c.f. here, here). Maybe it's worthwhile giving that another try since it might work better combined with other changes I've made since then.

I'm curious to know different purposes excluded collections are being used for. Treating them all as temporary collections could turn out to be the preferred usage for me, like with imported entries as mentioned in the documentation:

All imports are automatically placed into an excluded collection so you can make sure that everything went well before you include the entries in your Library.

A Library collection containing all my active entries seems potentially less confusing than included vs. excluded collection issues I've fussed with.
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