Few BookPedia questions

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Few BookPedia questions

Postby bigre8der » Mon Jan 08, 2018 1:11 am

Tryout out BookPedia 5.6 on OS X 10.12.6.

Is there a reason there isn't a "Read" button? That was the first thing I looked for, and I find it a little strange there isn't one. I found the "Mark as" menu and Read submenu, but that's quite a bit more work than just pressing a button.

I want to keep track of books I read that I don't own, i.e. check out from the library, and I want an easy way to filter owned from not-owned. There isn't an "owned" flag, but there are several purchase fields (where, on, how much). It would be nice if those could be represented as a simple "Owned?" checkbox in list mode and filterable for smart collections. This is especially true if all of the details are lost to the mists of time — I don't know where or when I bought it or how much I paid for it, I just want to mark it as "owned".

Speaking of, what does "Mark as Bought" do, i.e. what specific field(s) does it update? I looked in the Help file for this (and other information like it), but the Help file is pretty light on details. It would be helpful if it was a bit more thorough.

Ditto for Wish List. What field(s) causes a book to be listed in the Wist List view, and what field(s) are updated when marking as Wish List? The help file talks about the Wish List collection, but doesn't address the above.

What is the "LCC" column on a book? I again searched the Help, and it actually says it found 7 results, but I could find no reference to LCC in any of the seven hits.

It would be nice to be able to color a row in list view based on a value. I know, this could get out of hand, I'm thinking of a simple "field name, operator, value", and a single one is fine. (Although, really, since it's a SQLite database, you could go crazy and let us specify our own SQL if we know how to do so, but that's WAY more than I'm looking for. :) ) For example, I would like to have a different background color for owned vs not-owned books in a combined list.

I added an ePub just to see what it looked like and how it differentiated them from other books. When I open the details, the type is listed as "epub," but "epub" (which should be ePub) is still listed as a choice in the drop-down. Why now?

I have all of my ebooks in a subdirectory structure by author. I have several different formats, and some of them have multiple formats for the same book. I would like to be able to just drag the top-level directory to BookPedia and have it "do the right thing™", i.e. just pick up the .epub files from all the subdirectories. Is that possible? Does it mark the different formats as different types? Is it easy to identify books that exist in multiple formats?

Why is Amazon not on the "Update from" list? That seems … odd.

When doing an "Update from", it should indicate whether it was successful or not. The ebook I happened to pick does not appear to exist on any of the "Update from" lists (but does in Amazon), but for each one it briefly displayed the "Updating from…" dialog and then went away. There was no indication that it didn't actually find anything. If you don't want to display a dialog (and that's reasonable), then put something in the status bar or somewhere. You need to tell us it didn't find anything so we know whether we need to continue searching.

The program does not appear to be very stable. I had it crash on me twice in about ten minutes of use.

That's all I have for now. I'm sure I'll have more after I play with it a bit more. Thanks!
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Re: Few BookPedia questions

Postby Conor » Tue Jan 09, 2018 3:36 pm

I agree that "Read" should be an option in the customizable toolbar menu and will look at adding that in a future version. In the meantime "command-shift-T" is a shortcut. I know it's a lot to memorize, but how I use Bookpedia if marking a lot as read and hence why I never noticed the need for a button.

Personally I use an excluded collection for books I have read and do not own. You create a collection under "file" and then use "File -> Exclude Collection from Library". Books moved into this collection are then segregated and do not appear in smart collections or the main library. You have to explicitly go there and search that collection. If you want to integrate them more, then I do think your approach would be better. In the Preferences panel under "Fields" you will find a few custom fields, including two check box fields. Rename one there to "Owned". You can then use that as value in smart collections to filer out books owned from read.

Mark as bought, removes the wish list status, sets the purchased on date and adds a collection ID (if incremental collection ID is on) and finally moves it into the main library. (The wish list is an excluded collection and books don't show up in the main library). I used to not have the menu highlighted if the book is not currently in the wish list but some users don't use the wish list, but still want t mark purchased on.

Wish list is only drag and drop, similar to the borrowed collection. Although the Borrowed collection is linked directly to the borrowed field. There is no field that is linked to the wish list, simply dragging a book there or adding it directly to that collection.

LLC, is the library of congress call number. It's only filled if you add a book from the LOC or use the gear button in the edit panel to add more data from the LOC. Not important for a regular book, but used a lot by academics, very similar to the Dewey Decimal Number system.

ePub capitalization has been fixed for the next release. The dropdown represents a list of choices that have been made for that field and does not exclude the current selection. You can actually change this list in the preferences panel. There you can also rebuild the current list from only the current values in the database, easy way to catch values that should not be there.

Coloring the rows has been requested, and something I have on the to do list. It's never been implemented as the coloring is not complicated, but an interface for easily defining what you want colored is a bit daunting and manual coloring takes the fun out of it.

You can drag a folder and Bookpedia will import all the books in it that it recognizes as book formats. Each file will become a book, the uniqueness is based on the file location (when using the skip duplicates). But you can then massage the info in Bookpedia to find those different formats. You can even use the URL in the links field in smart collections and with that smart collection transfer information into a new field with multiple edit. You can use the "Show Duplicates" as well to show books that will have the same name and author and you can see if you have several formats or files.

If Amazon is enabled it should be part of the update from as well as the gear button in the edit window. Do restart Bookpedia or try holding down the option key and clicking on the main "Help" in Bookpedia, then select "Amazon Test". This will load our keys for Amazon and you can see if that bring back the menu. Will improve the status indication for the update from.

Do please jump on the beta version, It's ideal for 10.12 and 10.13 users. As it's radically different on the inside, dropping support for all the way back to 10.5 that the older version has to deal with. Quite stable at this point, so feel free to rename and use as your regular version.
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