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Author Topic: Program Proposal: "File Master" Cataloging Software  (Read 5988 times)

woodr2011

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Program Proposal: "File Master" Cataloging Software
« on: July 29, 2015, 08:27:40 AM »
Hello, everyone:

I have a concept for a program that is, as far as I can determine, not in existence; however, I lack the programming/coding expertise to bring it to life.

Stated as simply as possible, I see the program as an enhanced/customizable version of Windows Explorer (in looks and appearance) with the ability to add customizable/searchable columns such as tags, author, subject, comments, call number, etc., to ALL files. XYplorer is a good reference point; however, it falls short in many respects: It will not allow for tags such as "Surnames, Jewish—Lists and Histories" because the program breaks the tag into two tags wherever a comma is present. XY does not allow for wildcard searches, or for searches of text/values in custom columns, all of which are (to my mind) basic features of such a program. XY also doesn't highlight an entire row of associated column values when selecting a file, which makes it tough to distinguish which values belong to which file within a group of columns. WinCatalog2015 does allow for diverse punctuation in tags, but it doesn't allow the user to search for associated files by those tags, nor does it allow for custom columns!

The ultimate goal of my concept is to provide a personal library cataloging database for collections: Digital files, photographs, videos, etc., AND also physical files such as hard copy books, documents, photographs, art work, etc. The easiest way to catalog physical items would be to have an option to "Add an Item" as WinCatalog2015 does. The "item" can simply be a placeholder for the physical object, whether that be a simple text file or a photograph of the object. There would be a column defining "file type" for each file, such as a format suffix for digital files, as .doc, .jpg, .epub, .pdf. Hard copy files would be something like PBook, PCD, PDVD, the "P" denoting something physical. Those terms would be fully user definable of course. The priority would be to have everything (whether digital or physical) visible within the Explorer style view within the program. Things can be separated by folders, but not by separate collection databases requiring multiple windows to be open. Another priority is to have all files open within Windows defined programs by double clicking on icons.

I would like to see the program be a true Windows application, not a Metro app or an Access database. I am currently out of work, but I would be willing to pay someone a reasonable fee to create this program for me. Ideally, I would like to find someone who has the programming knowledge AND the interest in the subject matter so that we could put it out on the web as freeware. I come from a library science background, and I know there are many people who would find such a program helpful. I look forward to hearing from anyone who may be interested!

Best regards,

Ryan
« Last Edit: July 29, 2015, 08:40:36 AM by woodr2011 »

highend01

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Re: Program Proposal: "File Master" Cataloging Software
« Reply #1 on: July 29, 2015, 03:24:25 PM »
Quote
It will not allow for tags such as "Surnames, Jewish—Lists and Histories" because the program breaks the tag into two tags wherever a comma is present.
Already anounced for v15.50.0100 (as you already know)

Quote
XY does not allow for wildcard searches
Wrong, added in v15.50.0000 (as you already know)

Quote
or for searches of text/values in custom columns
Wrong (-> scripting) *sigh*

Quote
XY also doesn't highlight an entire row of associated column values when selecting a file
Tools, Customize List - Full Row Select...

wraith808

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Re: Program Proposal: "File Master" Cataloging Software
« Reply #2 on: July 29, 2015, 05:03:21 PM »
"As you already know"?

It seems that there is subtext in your answers that point to a prior conversation and relationship.

Please elucidate us, so no one will walk into a minefield?

highend01

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Re: Program Proposal: "File Master" Cataloging Software
« Reply #3 on: July 29, 2015, 05:10:55 PM »
XYplorer forum (http://www.xyplorer.com/xyfc/)...

woodr2011

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Re: Program Proposal: "File Master" Cataloging Software
« Reply #4 on: July 29, 2015, 05:40:41 PM »
"As you already know"?

It seems that there is subtext in your answers that point to a prior conversation and relationship.

Please elucidate us, so no one will walk into a minefield?

No offense was intended by my post. I have nothing but the most sincere admiration for Don and his work with XYplorer--so much so that I will in all likelihood purchase the software when the changes are implemented. Conversely, I feel that, as a consumer, I have the right to keep my options open. Looking at things honestly: I have not signed any contract to purchase XYplorer, nor has Don signed a contract to adapt the software to suit my personal needs and wishes.

IainB

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Re: Program Proposal: "File Master" Cataloging Software
« Reply #5 on: July 29, 2015, 09:44:31 PM »
I'm always interested in information management and cataloguing systems and was interested to read @woodr2011's peculiar requirements outlined in the opening post.
Sure, there may be lots of cataloguing packages that provide partial solutions for various collections/cataloguing/library requirements, but I am unaware of anything that may be absolutely comprehensive, though I reckon the Windows Library (a virtual library system) is probably not understood/used as well as it could be.

@highend01 probably makes some useful points about XYplorer which could equally well be applied to other Windows Explorer replacements/alternatives - e.g., (say) xplorer², which I personally have used for years as a tool to to help meet my file information management requirements. However, Windows Explorer replacements/alternatives are not necessarily designed to be cataloguing tools.

What I would suggest is a search and review of what's actually "out there" before jumping in to develop a package of some sort - e,g, Disk catalogue software

From experience, there's not much new under the sun, and that goes for what I might consider my idiosyncratic requirements too.

IainB

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Re: Program Proposal: "File Master" Cataloging Software
« Reply #6 on: July 29, 2015, 09:46:56 PM »
@woodr2011: Sorry for my ignorance, but what is "library science" please?

woodr2011

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Re: Program Proposal: "File Master" Cataloging Software
« Reply #7 on: July 29, 2015, 09:55:05 PM »
@woodr2011: Sorry for my ignorance, but what is "library science" please?

Hi Ian - I have never confused curiosity with ignorance. Library Science is the study of categorizing and cataloging of library materials. In terms of my requirements being "peculiar," the features I mention are actually standard to most explorer/disc cataloging programs; however, there isn't a single program that includes ALL of the features I enumerated. I believe XYplorer will reach that mark in the future because the developer is highly sensitive to the requests and needs of the users.

Tuxman

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Re: Program Proposal: "File Master" Cataloging Software
« Reply #8 on: July 30, 2015, 04:15:34 AM »
Also, the developer is arrogant, banning hard-working contributors from his board because their political beliefs are incompatible with his ones.

woodr2011

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Re: Program Proposal: "File Master" Cataloging Software
« Reply #9 on: July 30, 2015, 06:06:09 AM »
Good grief... I only want to know if someone could conceivably develop the program as I described it for my personal use and how much it would cost! I never imagined that asking a question would open such a can of worms.

tomos

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Re: Program Proposal: "File Master" Cataloging Software
« Reply #10 on: July 30, 2015, 04:49:24 PM »
Also, the developer is arrogant, banning hard-working contributors from his board because their political beliefs are incompatible with his ones.

I know nothing about this - but I do know this: whether true or not, it is completely off-topic and irrelevant in this thread
Tom

woodr2011

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Re: Program Proposal: "File Master" Cataloging Software
« Reply #11 on: July 30, 2015, 04:56:32 PM »
Also, the developer is arrogant, banning hard-working contributors from his board because their political beliefs are incompatible with his ones.

I know nothing about this - but I do know this: whether true or not, it is completely off-topic and irrelevant in this thread

I agree entirely. I am not here to besmirch anyone.

IainB

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Re: Program Proposal: "File Master" Cataloging Software
« Reply #12 on: July 31, 2015, 01:19:36 AM »
@woodr2011: Thanks for the explanation. I was in a bit of a rush and had to pop out to pick up my 5y/o son from school when I asked that question, but after getting back to my laptop I searched up "library science" and now understand the scope of that subject area a little better. Normally I would have done the search before bothering you with the Q.

Whilst searching, and still operating on the premise that there was probably some existing piece of software that could more or less meet your needs, I also found an interesting list of "library science" software here: https://en.wikipedia..._management_software
The list includes Qiqqa and Zotero, but not Calibre. There are mini-reviews of Qiqqa and Calibre on the DC forum:

Zotero is mentioned in several discussions on the DC forum and I happen to have been trialling it for the last few weeks, along with two PIMs (Personal Information managers) - WizNote and Wezinc.

However, maybe I was looking in the wrong places, but it does rather begin to look as though there isn't much that would be likely to meet all your requirements, so I can understand why you might see the need for a new development. This looks interesting.

IainB

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Re: Program Proposal: "File Master" Cataloging Software
« Reply #13 on: July 31, 2015, 08:08:56 AM »
Just in case this might be useful or of interest:
After making the above response, I came across this in my feed-reader: Daminion is a professional photo, video and document management software - gHacks Tech News

Daminion - see Asset Cataloging for Digital Photos, Videos and Documents | Daminion - looks potentially very useful, but I would have to trial it before I knew how good it was for my needs.

woodr2011

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Re: Program Proposal: "File Master" Cataloging Software
« Reply #14 on: July 31, 2015, 08:32:57 AM »
Hi Ian - Thank you for your kind post (one of the first of its kind on this thread, oddly enough). There are, as you stated, a slew of programs on the open market that come close to what I am talking about, but nearly all of them prioritize style over substance with the definite exception of XYplorer, which was designed by a man who works hard to make the program accessible to a broader audience by adding and tweaking its features. With that being said, any negative comments I make about programs of this nature are NOT in reference to XYplorer.

Many of these programs are presented as an answer to the limitations of Windows Explorer/File Manager, which does not allow for universal file tagging or customizable/searchable columns; however, most of the programs we are talking about actually share that same limitation for reasons that seem to call their very existence into question. I consider the option to add at least 10-20 customizable/searchable columns to be ESSENTIAL to any program of this nature. The values of the columns need to be user defined and completely free of formatting limitations. I am not a programmer or a coder by any means, but I am familiar enough with the basic principles of C++ and relational databases to know that what I am talking about is by no means a challenge to someone who has the skill set.

I had not heard of Qiqqa, but it appears to be more of a file annotation tool (like Evernote) than a document manager. That is a key element of my vision: Reduce the drain on system resources and keep the application desktop-based with only the option to sync with or back to a cloud service like OneDrive.

I use Calibre as a book management tool at the moment, though mostly just for converting between formats. The program is very high class, like XYplorer: Usable, stylish, and specific. Calibre could be used for the purposes I have outlined, but it is hard to get around the notion of clicking a button titled "Add Book" to add a video, audio file, or photograph to the Calibre library... It feels counterintuitive, and that isn't conducive to a happy software experience. I have approached them about this but they, understandably, want to maintain the program's ostensible exclusivity to ebook management. Calibre also creates individual folders for every file added, which could create quite a mess if thousands of files were added to the library.

I would like to partner with someone to try to develop this for my personal use, unless you know of an existing program that is designed for what I am trying to do.

woodr2011

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Re: Program Proposal: "File Master" Cataloging Software
« Reply #15 on: July 31, 2015, 08:36:52 AM »
Just in case this might be useful or of interest:
After making the above response, I came across this in my feed-reader: Daminion is a professional photo, video and document management software - gHacks Tech News

Daminion - see Asset Cataloging for Digital Photos, Videos and Documents | Daminion - looks potentially very useful, but I would have to trial it before I knew how good it was for my needs.

Many thanks for the suggestion! I have just downloaded Daminion... It appears quite complicated but what I can tell it relies mostly upon the native properties in Windows for its tagging fields. Please let me know if you can figure out how to add custom columns, tags, etc. I am not seeing the option(s).
« Last Edit: July 31, 2015, 08:44:54 AM by woodr2011 »

skwire

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Re: Program Proposal: "File Master" Cataloging Software
« Reply #16 on: July 31, 2015, 08:53:49 AM »
Many thanks for the suggestion! I have just downloaded Daminion... It appears quite complicated but what I can tell it relies mostly upon the native properties in Windows for its tagging fields. Please let me know if you can figure out how to add custom columns, tags, etc. I am not seeing the option(s)

For the record, one of the Daminion co-founders has responded in this DC thread about the application: http://www.donationc...ex.php?topic=26159.0

You might consider asking your question in that thread.   :)

wraith808

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Re: Program Proposal: "File Master" Cataloging Software
« Reply #17 on: July 31, 2015, 09:51:15 AM »
"As you already know"?

It seems that there is subtext in your answers that point to a prior conversation and relationship.

Please elucidate us, so no one will walk into a minefield?

No offense was intended by my post. I have nothing but the most sincere admiration for Don and his work with XYplorer--so much so that I will in all likelihood purchase the software when the changes are implemented. Conversely, I feel that, as a consumer, I have the right to keep my options open. Looking at things honestly: I have not signed any contract to purchase XYplorer, nor has Don signed a contract to adapt the software to suit my personal needs and wishes.

Agree totally!  I was just asking as we've had arguments from other boards spill over here before, and considering the inflammatory nature of some of the parts of highend01's response, I wanted anyone that was getting into the thread to know of any subcontext.  I've run into such arguments unknowing before, and it's not fun.

IainB

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Re: Program Proposal: "File Master" Cataloging Software
« Reply #18 on: August 17, 2015, 08:09:42 AM »
This might be worth a look as a basis for comparison with requirements (it's not listed in the thread above): FileBot (I've not tried it out)
Quote
FileBot is the ultimate tool for organizing and renaming your movies, tv shows or anime, and music well as downloading subtitles and artwork. It's smart and just works.
_______________________________________

Looks a bit like Audiograb for multimedia.

IainB

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Re: Program Proposal: "File Master" Cataloging Software
« Reply #19 on: August 18, 2015, 02:30:08 PM »
WinCatalog 2015 might be worth a purchase/trial: (I'm thinking about it...)
This programme seems to be continually updated :up:
Paid upgrade seems to be only every few years (if you own 2011 version it is still a free upgrade to 2015 version).

2015 version (including updates - "for noncommercial use") currently on offer for $14.99 this week via SharewareOnSale.

wraith808

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Re: Program Proposal: "File Master" Cataloging Software
« Reply #20 on: August 18, 2015, 02:46:32 PM »
WinCatalog 2015 might be worth a purchase/trial: (I'm thinking about it...)
This programme seems to be continually updated :up:
Paid upgrade seems to be only every few years (if you own 2011 version it is still a free upgrade to 2015 version).

2015 version (including updates - "for noncommercial use") currently on offer for $14.99 this week via SharewareOnSale.

I actually have a serial to it, and put it aside after purchasing (yes, I'm very wasteful).

From what I remember when I used it, it's really disk cataloging software, where I was looking for file cataloging.  You couldn't break things up into different catalogs on a particular disk.  It cataloged the whole disk, which wasn't what I needed.  It seemed to be aimed at those that had several disks (either HDD or DVD, etc) and wanted to know what was on each particular physical disk without having to insert them.  Useful, certainly, but not what I was looking for.  Not sure if it's changed substantially since then- looking through my registrations, this was admittedly back in 2007.

IainB

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Re: Program Proposal: "File Master" Cataloging Software
« Reply #21 on: August 18, 2015, 05:08:30 PM »
^^ Well, I've just bought a US$14.99 licence. WinCatalog 2015 has virtual folders and lots of other features, so it might well be able to do what you seem to require there, though I am unsure whether it meets the requirements in the OP. We shall see.
« Last Edit: August 18, 2015, 05:18:03 PM by IainB »

wraith808

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Re: Program Proposal: "File Master" Cataloging Software
« Reply #22 on: August 19, 2015, 03:47:40 PM »
I communicated with the developer, and he was very nice!  I downloaded it- and saw what you were saying, and I'll be trying it a bit more, and probably buying it.