Script for creating Bookcase collection from IMDB

Heikki Lehvaslaiho has created a script for interactively querying the Internet Movie Database (IMDB) for movies and then creating a Bookcase data file. It’s great, I’ve already been playing with it quite a bit. It even supports downloading the movie images, along with alternative titles, global certifications, etc.

Heikki did a great job commenting the code, too. You might need a couple more perl modules, but that’s straightforward enough. urpmi to the rescue, for me.

All of you who have been emailing me about this functionality, well, go grab imdbfetch.pl and go at it. You can append the resulting data file to your current collection so you don’t lose any of the data you’ve already entered.

Thanks, Heikki!

Crashing bug in Bookcase 0.8.5

Crashing bug are always the worst because they make the user feel like they can’t trust the program. And crashing bugs that prevent you from even opening your data file are the worst of the worst. A helpful user just reported one to me, and sent a test case, which is always good.

If you put nothing but white space in a field, and then save the file. Bookcase will crash whenever you open the file again. That seems like a weird bug, and it is. For some reason, Qt returns a DomNode that is not a textNode when the node has nothing but spaces. Don’t ask me why, probably some weird reasoning in the XML spec.

So I fixed the bug, and the next version won’t have this problem. Until then, don’t put empty space in your Paragraph fields!

A fancy layout for Bookcase

I’ve got a new entry template for Bookcase 0.9, which I hope to release in a couple of weeks. For lack of a better title, I borrowed a phrase from KMail and call it the Fancy template. It’s got a lot of conditional XSLT stuff and I believe it looks pretty good, no matter what data is in the entry. For entries with images, those go down the right column, and all the rest of the data are in tables on the left side like so:

For entries with no images, the data is split into two equal column, grouped by the field categories, like so:

The colors follow the KDE system colors, so for different color schemes, the Entry View will look different. I’m pretty happy with how it turned out.

Opportunitygrrl rocks my worlds

I’m practically crying I’m laughing so hard. opportunitygrrl and spiritrover are LIveJournal bloggers.

Read about her crush on Stardust, who is glad he’s not on Mars. Just like a guy, all insensitive. And Pathfindress is a bit jealous. Meanwhile, GOES_Sat got some flowers from FUSE_Sat. *satellite singing*

Cassini_Saturn is a bit older, of course, but that doesn’t make him more mature! And the two old fogies are VoyagerProbe and Voyager_at_90au. Nothing like the good ol’ days.

PilotDB and images don't get along

Collections with images don’t like to get exported to PilotDB format in Bookcase. And they display their unhappiness by crashing the application. So be nice to your collections and don’t export them with they have images. I’ll have more well-behaved collections in the next version.

UPDATE: Actually all my collections are extremely bitter over a political dispute and they refuse to work. I’ll just have to hire scab collections next time. So consider PIlotDB exporting totally broken at the moment.

gcc 2.95 and vector::at(…)

Bookcase has a compilation error under gcc 2.95 in the DB.cpp file because the libstdc++ support is incomplete with no definition for vector::at(…). The PalmDB tools did have a configure check for gcc version 2.95, but I overlooked it when I added the library. So it will be in the next version.

Until then, you can run make CXXFLAGS="-D__LIBSTDCPP_PARTIAL_SUPPORT__" and that should allow the compilation to complete.

Bookcase 0.8.5 Released

I just put out a quick bug-fix release of Bookcase. The primary fixes were for corrupt data files when an image was used more than once, and for properly escaping the collection title in the XSLT export. There were a couple layout fixes, as well as one for some random crashing.

Bookcase bug with the same image in multiple entries

Bookcase has a bug that when the same image appears in multiple entries and the collection is saved, Bookcase won’t re-open the file. The bug is that I wrote the same image to the zip file twice, but KZip has problems with that. Neither ark nor file-roller care, though; they’ll open the bookcase data file anyways. I filed KDE bug 76791 about KZip’s robustness and I fixed the Bookcase bug as well. I’ll try to get out an updated version this weekend, perhaps.

If you have data and Bookcase won’t open it, try using file-roller to open it and then resave the file. (Yes, I know it’s a GNOME app…) That fixes the problem, at least until you save it again from within Bookcase. That won’t work with ark, unfortunately, for some reason.

As always, this is mostly a guess on my part. Who knows, maybe I’m just using KZip all wrong.

My bookcase is not alone

I just discovered that there is another book collection program called BookCase, available in Macintosh and Windows versions from Epigroove. That’s a shame, I thought I had done a thorough search before I decided on Bookcase in the first place, the capitalization difference notwithstanding.

So I’m considering a name change. Nothing familiar or obvious springs to mind. Bookcase is not limited to books, so perhaps something hinting at media collections would be good. For kicks, I looked up the Latin word for bookcase: scrinium. One of the definitions I found was:

A receptacle in the shape of a cylinder with a removable lid, and used in ancient Rome as a container for scrolls.

There’s a great list of Latin words for books and libraries at http://www.nathanielturner.com/writingbookslibraries.htm. Pegma and pluteus suggest themselves, or something iinvolving codex or colophon. Corpora? Maybe theca. These are all unfamiliar words, though, which is perhaps a drawback.

Staying with english, maybe bookchest, mediachest, or bibliophile.