Adding custom fields as needed

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Adding custom fields as needed

Postby Waldbaer » Wed Sep 05, 2012 6:49 pm

Hi bruji developers,
I just discovered DVDpedia more or less by accident, but I'm quite amazed about it since it has so many really nice working features (automatic search!!) that it nearly is capable to be a successor for our completely manually managed Apple Works DVD-Database. I'm a little sad that you did not continue support for PPC Architecture since version 5.0; I think you should add that to the system requirements on the application's website (10.5 also runs on G5 machines).
One little thing I noticed while exploring the program and the forums: You've been quite busy to add new custom fields and make them even more customizable (different types, free names). For my special case, I'd still like to have one more checkbox available. Saying this I think I'm not the only one with such wishes so you should directly add at least 10 custom fields of each type. Well, you'll agree that this won't be a very nice solution, so my request is simply: Let the user add as many custom fields in any type they would like to create them and don't create unused custom fields by default, just a little buttom à la "create custom field" and that's it. Are there serious technical problems with this? I hope not and it will be there in a not-too-far future update. :D
Again thanks for your great software!
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Re: Adding custom fields as needed

Postby Conor » Thu Sep 06, 2012 3:36 am

Hi Waldbaer,

Glad you ran into DVDpedia and were able to add it to your collection of apps. Thank you for the feedback on the custom fields. What you propose would be an elegant solution but one that is not quite compatible with the technical back end of our program. For speed reasons all our fields are hardcoded into the database. This means they can be indexes and searched without having to bring the data into memory and easy to operate in code as the program knows what the possible fields are. Of course it's possible to make them dynamic, but then performance would suffer and more importantly our code would become more complex as we would have to maintain to separate systems. You would be surprised the number of locations these kind of structural changes trickle down to; export, details view, statistics, smart collections. So we actually have to strike a balance on custom fields we have, but will keep in mind that a few extra checkbox ones would be welcome. It won't happen soon as it requires a database structure change.
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Re: Adding custom fields as needed

Postby Waldbaer » Thu Sep 06, 2012 10:04 am

Hm, that's what I feared, but thank you very much for your reply. Does every additional field require this structure change? Well, maybe you could add a little larger amount, let's say 10 of each kind, internally. For the interface, you could make it just as I suggested and just give a message like "limit reached" if someone wants to "create" (in fact, it's just revealing then, of course) more than 10 of the same kind of custom fields (this will probably be quite seldom). This solution might hopefully more or less keep the speed (it's really quite fast now, great!) but tidy up the interface. And hopefully it will keep you in a much more comfortable position in front of people like me who are crying for "just one more field of...". :D
You could also sort the fields in the preferences by their name (maybe except the custom fields); this would make it easier to find a field if one is searching for it and probably is a lot easier to implement than a change in the database's structure.
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Re: Adding custom fields as needed

Postby Conor » Fri Sep 07, 2012 4:06 am

Thank you for the tips, will keep them in mind for the next structure change.

You could also sort the fields in the preferences by their name (maybe except the custom fields); this would make it easier to find a field if one is searching for it and probably is a lot easier to implement than a change in the database's structure.

The ordering represents their order in the add/edit panel. You can drag and drop the fields in the preferences to arrange them to your liking. Means we can't sort them alphabetically like we do in the columns menu, but does allows you to bring up custom check box 1 as the second field in the edit panel if it's important for you.
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Re: Adding custom fields as needed

Postby Waldbaer » Fri Sep 07, 2012 9:51 am

I could have sworn that I tried to rearrange them but it did not work. Now it works, so that is of course nice. Sorry for complaining about this. :oops: :)
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Re: Adding custom fields as needed

Postby Izzy » Fri Oct 04, 2013 9:54 am

I just read this topic. I agree with the idea of 10 custom field of each kind. Or even more... If it's possible in the hardcore.

For me, I wish for :
- 25 custom fields,
- 20 custom fields with possibility to enter my own choices,
- 10 custom checkbox fields,
- 10 custom date,
- 10 custom text field for long text,
- 10 custom field for images,... (as cover images)
- ...

I use a lot of fields. I changed the purpose of some because I didn't have the one I needed , Now, I don't have a single one any more. :(
If you could consider something about that, it would be great. :D
Thank you.
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Re: Adding custom fields as needed

Postby Conor » Sat Oct 05, 2013 11:31 am

Thank you for the feedback. We do rely heavily on each field being already set as it allows for a lot of optimizations, such as smart collections updates can be run straight from the database. But with today's computers it will be possible to add an unlimited number of fields, if we ever re-architect the database to handle this.

Impressive that you have used up all the fields in DVDpedia, you must be tracking quite a lot of information.
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Re: Adding custom fields as needed

Postby Izzy » Sat Oct 05, 2013 12:08 pm

In fact, it's for Bookpedia. I'm not yet at that point for DVDpedia. :)
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Re: Adding custom fields as needed

Postby kberty » Sat Dec 07, 2013 7:37 pm

Is there any update with regard to being able to add a new field that makes use of check boxes. It seems that DVDpedia only enables us to create two fields that have check boxes. Is that still the case?
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Re: Adding custom fields as needed

Postby Conor » Sun Dec 08, 2013 12:16 pm

Adding new custom fields requires a restructuring of the database and a migration of the data. So it can only happen with a large major release that justifies the complexity of adding new fields. Still planned to add a few more when the times comes.
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