JLS (jlsjlsjls) wrote,

Of databases and softwares

Downloaded the trial version of Book Collector earlier this evening to play around with its claimed ability to import BookCAT data. Definitely should be an "alleged" in front of "ability."

A hunt for new personal library software has been on my to-do list for a while ... I love BookCAT (and its companion softwares CATVids and CATraxx) but the guy behind these has discontinued upgrading and updating (other than the drivers) due to health reasons. And there's going to come a point at which these programs are suddenly too ancient to cooperate with current operating systems. So best to shift my mountain of data to something new while I can still run old and new softwares side-by-side to ensure nothing is lost.

Ran a test data transfer and here's a comparison of one of my book records before and after what happened when I ran a test data transfer:

In BookCAT I see quite a bit of information in the overview screen for the book (in this case a multi-volume graphic ... deliberately chosen for reasons which shall become clear as you continue reading this post): author, publisher, date, Library of Congress call number (my personal library is arranged by Library of Congress classification ... yes, there are spine labels ... so this one is rather important to me), Dewey (which I don't use at home but have recently thrown the numbers into a few of my records purely for the what-the-hell of it), subject, genre, series, ISBN, cover images, and other details. All the items in dark red are links allowing me to view other titles sharing any of the same data (books on the same topic, in the same series, by the same author, etc.) ... just the same as in a professional library's catalogue.

If I click on the "Contents" link at the top, I can see a list of the volumes in this particular graphics set (two so far in this one):

Click on one of the volume titles and I can see details unique to this particular volume:

Now here's what actually transferred over to Book Collector. Cover image (image for the second volume is also present but was too far down to include in this screenshot), title, publisher, ISBN, language, genre, summary, subject headings (as tags), Dewey number, and series. All well and good. But no Library of Congress call number!!! And none of the contents info unique to the individual volumes (the individual summaries, authors and illustrators, volume numbers, etc.). All the missing info IS in the .xml transfer file and there are fields for all these specific pieces of info in the Book Collector template, it simply didn't and doesn't transfer. And there's no means to manually customize the transfer to match up data and fields. Le sigh.

So I'm looking at a fair amount of copy/paste work to transfer the missing data after the initial transfer. Good thing I really REALLY like cataloguing!

P.S. Book Collector also has an ability to generate a web version of one's cataloguing. Unlike BookCAT there doesn't seem to be much in the way of customization of the thing. Ah well. Data fully moved into a current software first, then I'll worry about letting the rest of you access it. ;p

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