[Enhancement] Change editor modus for Yes/No column

Bug #1698331 reported by Bram Vandenbussche on 2017-06-16
This bug affects 1 person
Affects Status Importance Assigned to Milestone
Charles Haley

Bug Description

If you add a custom column to your calibre database of type Yes/No(/empty), this renders as a dropdown in the metadata editor. It would save me (at least) 1 click if this could be replaced with either radio buttons in the style of

o (empty) o Yes o No

or even better, since radio buttons (with label) are still 'harder' to click, replace it with 3 buttons on a horizontal line:

[ Clear ] [ Yes ] [ No ]

This would enhance the user experience a lot.

You could even make this an alternate layout for selects in general. I have a few other custom columns where I need to select 3 - 5 options. Having the option to render them as buttons in stead of a dropdown would save me a lot of clicks.

Changing the component for this bug.

 assignee cbhaley
 status triaged

Changed in calibre:
assignee: nobody → Charles Haley (cbhaley)
status: New → Triaged
Bram Vandenbussche (drarb) wrote :

I see it's been added to the latest release, 3.1.0. However, 2 points I would like to make:

- It only works when editing metadata for one book. If I have multiple books selected, it shows me just the dropdown

- I would prefer it if the buttons yes / no / clear would come first, before the dropdown. Although, in my opinion, they can just replace the dropdown entirely since there is no point in having both of them around.

Charles Haley (cbhaley) wrote :

I don't think that adding it to bulk metadata edit is worth the couple of hours of my time. It saves one click for an operation that isn't frequent. As for the drop down, something has to show the current value, and there are *many* people with using the drop down programmed into their muscle memory. I am not going to change it.

I suspect Kovid would accept changes if you want to fix it yourself.

Changed in calibre:
status: Triaged → Fix Released
Bram Vandenbussche (drarb) wrote :

I can't say anything about the amount of work it would be for you, but I can tell you that this is not an infrequent action for me. I have a few libraries that I add to and manage continually (14k books + another comic library and a technical section) and managing metadata (both single and multiple books) is something I spend quite some time on. True, the entire action does only save us one click, but it's something I do quite often.

I get what you mean about removing the dropdown. There has to be a way to indicate the current value correctly, and leaving it as a dropdown makes the most sense. However, I do think it would help if the buttons came before the dropdown, because you usually open this view to edit the metadata, not just to view it. Your thoughts ?

Charles Haley (cbhaley) wrote :

However, I do think it would help if the buttons came before the dropdown, because you usually open this view to edit the metadata, not just to view it. Your thoughts ?
--- /QUOTE
I don't think it matters because you must move the mouse to the button wherever the button is. People who use the dropdown (which is everyone at the moment) will expect it to be visually on the left edge. For these people, moving it would seem like gratuitous optimization.

Also, I often use edit metadata to look at metadata. That is faster than horizontally scrolling the library list. Years ago I added the "single pane" edit metadata exactly for this reason.

Bram Vandenbussche (drarb) wrote :

So we conclude that everyone uses Calibre in his own way. The fact that it is flexible enough to meet anyone's needs speaks to its strengths!

I use custom views, icons in columns and the book details pane to visualize all the metadata. I've never had to use the second tab on the Edit Book dialog to just review data. But I can understand certain cases would require this.

Which brings me back to one of my original suggestions (but I imagine this would be a lot of work again) and that is to allow the user to select an editor option for a custom column. Right now you can select a type (yes/no, tags, date, text, ...) but it would be nice if you could select the specific type of editor you want to use for that particular column. For yes/no this could be dropdown / buttons / radiobuttons and so on.

But being a developer myself, I can see that this requires substantial changes to be made to the way the system works and it would not be a trivial change.

*muses* Maybe I should learn Python..

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