Wednesday, August 29, 2007

Some "Your library" changes

I've added two features to the Cover view in Your Library. You can resize your covers with handy plus and minus buttons. And you can sort your books within Cover view (before this you had to do it in List view).

The back story is that I'm rewriting* Your Library rather extensively, both because it needed to be done and to prepare the way for collections (which are finally going to happen!). Your library needs a good scrub before collections arrive. The changes are minor on the surface, but drastic underneath. If you see problems, let us know.**

*What programmers call "refactoring" for no good reason.
**Since there's been some speculation, we wil NOT be releasing collections today—although it's our second birthday—or, probably, this week.


Anonymous Anonymous said...

Rather useful, but the author sorting appears to be by first name rather than last name as I would have expected.

8/29/2007 5:00 AM  
Blogger Tim said...

Good catch. I fixed it.

8/29/2007 5:06 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

A few comments:
- like the sorting mechanism on cover view, I'd been wishing for this for quite some time
- when you resort in cover view, that sorting rule seems to take effect in the List view (feature or bug?)
- also when you hit the cover view again the display for "Sort By" shows the top option "book title" not the chosen or active option

8/29/2007 5:48 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Resizing doesn't work in Firefox, but it does in IE7.
I would like to have the same sorting mechanism in List view, so one could sort by fields that are not in one's actual display.

8/29/2007 6:15 AM  
Blogger Tim said...

Ah. No, it's a caching issue. You've got the old JS in your cache. I changed a number that forces it out.


8/29/2007 6:19 AM  
Blogger Marie Cloutier said...

happy birthday!

8/29/2007 6:25 AM  
Blogger Unknown said...

a nice touch - shame that the images are still not relatively sized - that would be so cool - I have scanned all my own images in the hope that relative cover display would come one day - will it?

8/29/2007 6:48 AM  
Blogger Unknown said...

forgo to mention that my own scanned images do not size up or down

8/29/2007 6:56 AM  
Blogger - said...

viewing in list mode with original language and book language fields won't load after several attempts, but the list mode will load for view options without language...

8/29/2007 7:29 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Adding to the previous comment, there's a bug post about some display styles not working in List view. There's an SQL error message instead of the catalogue. It appears to be bad things happening if a display style is set to show Original Language in one of the columns. There may be other language fields also causing the errors.

Apart from the (hopefully fixed soon) side effect, this is a nice useful addition to cover view. Will make me use it more.
cheers, ryn

8/29/2007 8:37 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Will these features be available in List View at some point? Our library has so many very old texts that we have few covers. (Someday, when we have more than 24 hrs in each day, I will scan in some of these covers.) I personally never use Cover View. But these are features (especially the Sort By) that would be great in List View, too.

CW Library

8/29/2007 9:15 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

CW Library: The sorting features were already available in List View, not the other way around.

Just click on one of the blue column headers to sort by it.

8/29/2007 9:28 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Really nice. A note on refactoring: rewriting means throwing out part of the code and starting from scratch. refactoring means progressively changing the code to make it nicer and more useful, and to more closely address the factors (conditions) that the code actually deals with.

8/29/2007 9:44 AM  
Blogger Amy Sisson said...

I like the new features -- thank you!

I was wondering if you've ever considered this: a pop-up or "hover view" (I don't know the tech terms, sorry!) that shows your tags. The reason is that I love to operate in cover view because I'm visually oriented, but then if I want to click a hot link to a tag I know is on that book, I have to revert to list view, scroll down the page to the correct place, etc.

No worries if this isn't a priority; just thought I'd mention it.


8/29/2007 9:58 AM  
Blogger pivox said...

Not bad. I was asking for an option allowing you to view bigger covers. However I was thinking more along the lines of a hover/mouseover function that would trigger a pop-up window with a bigger version of the cover and some additional info (you could add tags there as "amy" suggested). I would have preferred such a function to be implemented - I think it's nice to be able at last to see the covers in a bigger format, but to either see them all small or all big doesn't really help for visibility. and ease of browsing.

Then there might be a bug, since only the amazon-fetched covers resize. All the covers I scanned and manually uploaded stay the same size.

I know Tim doesn't like hover/mouseover features. It could still be done with a "click" triggering the feature.

I would be very happy to see a similar hover/mouseover (or "click" if click it has to be) - feature for the listview, where you have really small covers.

8/29/2007 10:23 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

The sorting is nice, except it seems to be missing some of the sorts that I use most often: date read, started, and acquired.

8/29/2007 11:25 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Happy Birthday!!

8/29/2007 11:43 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

just wanted ya to know your zeitgheist records now show you have surpassed the population of the 68th largest city in the United States -- Riverside, California, and are closing in on the 67th -- Stockton, California.

8/29/2007 11:54 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

A minor comment:

In the case of the date-type sorts it isn't intuitively obvious which is the default and which is "rev". Would there be any way to fit something like "old->new" in there instead without making the menu take up too much space?

(I have to admit I use cover view so rarely I didn't even realize it was missing a sort option, but this is neat.)

8/29/2007 12:39 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

What will "collections" be?

8/29/2007 12:50 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Adding to the comment of Jim, there is an interesting blog entry on the difference between refactoring and rewriting software:

(Just to ensure not only librarians read your blog but geeks, too)

8/29/2007 1:35 PM  
Blogger Unknown said...

As is Tom, I wonder what "collections" are.

8/29/2007 2:44 PM  
Blogger Tim said...

>use the cover view rarely

Yeah, it's about 1/4 of views. We want to make it more attractive.


Wish list, currently reading, etc.

8/29/2007 3:40 PM  
Blogger Unknown said...

Ah right. Still I wonder why it is called collection. But that could be due to English being not my mother tongue.In Dutch "collectie" exclusively refers to all the books being in ones posession. As far as I know :p

8/29/2007 3:58 PM  
Blogger Deb Morrissey said...

My own small request for My LIbrary (already stated once in Talk), is for the toolbar to be repeated at the bottom of the list. It is very nice, after scolling down a list of 100 books, to not have to scroll back up to the top for whatever reason.

8/29/2007 4:24 PM  
Blogger Unknown said...

As the Grateful Dead Lyric sings:

"Such a long strange trip it's been"

LT has gone from a book database mash-up to an almost fully functional tool in just two years.

On the cover view. Had this idea more than 2 years ago---might as well share it with you.

A scan of the dust cover spine, instead of the full front cover would be more like books on a real life shelf. Using this view one could mirror how ones books are seen on their physical book shelf. Different skins would create different virtual book shelfs (wood, metal, modern).

One could then click drag books to different shelfs the way they sort their books at home. Books could also be virtually stacked.

I know this feature would call for much intense programming and such.

Moreover, scanning the side spine of many dust covers would be labor intensive.

Yet, what LT has done in two years displays great progress.

Whats that song with these lyrics?

"We've only just begun"


8/29/2007 4:31 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Awesome!!! I never really use cover view, so I didn't realize the changes until I saw this blog post just now and decided to play around with it to see the changes. I love it! I love being able to sort by tag and date entered... it's great!

8/29/2007 11:03 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Happy birthday to LT! And thanks for the new features.

However, saying that programmers call rewriting "refactoring" for no good reason is sort of like saying editors call proofreading "spellchecking" for no good reason.

8/30/2007 2:12 PM  
Blogger Unknown said...

ray gray - I've done spine scans for almost all of my books - share them if you want - but as it stands LT doesn't display them very well - check it out - I also tagged all my books so they show in the shelf order

8/30/2007 3:13 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Your remark on refactoring is ...err... rather strange, maybe you should think about hiring a real software engineer for the software engineering part of Librarything, you might be quite surprised about the difference you'll gonna observe.

PS, I like the comment on proofreading and spell checking.

9/01/2007 10:28 PM  
Blogger Tim said...

I guess my problem with "refactoring" is that re-writing could also be subdivided. Writers could speak of refactoring and rewriting, or make up other gradations. They don't and in not doing so they preserve something important—it's all part of a process. "Refactoring" seems like a premature optimization—of language.

As for real software engineer, does that include being an anonymous coward?

9/02/2007 7:48 PM  

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