Author Topic: Loading database when program is launched  (Read 4914 times)

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Offline AimHere

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Loading database when program is launched
« on: January 26, 2010, 04:07:06 pm »
Just a small suggestion...

Would it be hard to add a toggle option in Preferences that would cause PVD to open with no database loaded (as opposed to always loading the last-opened database), when the program is launched from its own icon in the Start Menu?

I want to keep several databases for different purposes, and just don't want PVD to open any particular one when it's launched from the Start Menu.

Naturally, double-clicking a .PVD file (or a shortcut to one) in Windows Explorer would launch PVD with that particular database opened, as usual.

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Offline rick.ca

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Re: Loading database when program is launched
« Reply #1 on: January 26, 2010, 10:49:44 pm »
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Naturally, double-clicking a .PVD file (or a shortcut to one) in Windows Explorer would launch PVD with that particular database opened, as usual.

It seems you've answered your own question. If your "several databases" are unchanging (e.g., always the same three databases), then using a separate shortcut for each one is much faster. Opening from within the program would be preferable if the databases were changing all the time, but surely that's a very uncommon situation.

Offline AimHere

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Re: Loading database when program is launched
« Reply #2 on: January 28, 2010, 09:07:41 pm »
Sorry, I guess I'm not making myself clear. I just thought it would be good for PVD to behave like most other Windows apps in that regard, e.g. launch the program from the Start Menu (versus a document shortcut), get a "blank slate".  (Other apps also tend to have something like an "Open Recent..." item under the "File" menu, where the last several documents to be opened are listed and can be called up.)

It's a minor quibble, to be sure.

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Offline patch

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Re: Loading database when program is launched
« Reply #3 on: January 28, 2010, 09:35:48 pm »
Would it be hard to add a toggle option in Preferences that would cause PVD to open with no database loaded (as opposed to always loading the last-opened database), when the program is launched from its own icon in the Start Menu?
+1

Agree this would decrease user confusion on which database is actually being opened. Several people I have recommended pvd to have been confused by this as users tend to make shortcuts to the program then have no idea what data is loaded.

Offline rick.ca

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Re: Loading database when program is launched
« Reply #4 on: January 28, 2010, 10:29:27 pm »
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Sorry, I guess I'm not making myself clear. I just thought it would be good for PVD to behave like most other Windows apps in that regard

You were perfectly clear. I don't think the behaviour of "most other Windows apps" is appropriate for a database application like this. My personal information and media managers don't behave that way. I doubt any of their competitors do either. The vast majority of users use only one database for such things. Most of the rest would still want one loaded at startup—either the MRU, or they would create multiple shortcuts so they could choose which one to load.

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Several people I have recommended pvd to have been confused by this as users tend to make shortcuts to the program then have no idea what data is loaded.

Anyone who is confused about which database is loaded when appears right in the titlebar is unlikely to be any less confused having to open one on their own.

Offline patch

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Re: Loading database when program is launched
« Reply #5 on: January 29, 2010, 09:09:35 am »
Anyone who is confused about which database is loaded when appears right in the titlebar is unlikely to be any less confused having to open one on their own.
The title bar shows file name without path making it ambiguous.

Anyhow, that is not the point. The issue is pvd could appeal to a wider audience if it was less confusing. And Rick you are a power user with experience which is unlikely to be replicated by most other users, which raises the possibility things you find second nature may not be obvious to others. We could find out by being open, you could remain unaware of the possibility if you are not.

On another note. The main problem with pvd not always opening the last database is how to handle connection via a server. It works well now as you connect once then pvd remembers. Needing to reconnect each time manually would be a big step backwards. A short cut to the database is not going to work as although pvd may be able to invoke a sever for remote databases, the need ia ambiguous for local databases

Offline rick.ca

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Re: Loading database when program is launched
« Reply #6 on: January 29, 2010, 11:17:32 am »
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The title bar shows file name without path making it ambiguous.

You've got to be kidding!

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Anyhow, that is not the point.

But what is your point? That I know the program too well and I spend too much time here helping other users to have a clue what might improve its usability?  ::)

buah

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Re: Loading database when program is launched
« Reply #7 on: January 29, 2010, 04:33:00 pm »
All of us posting here were deeply comitted to PVD, and all of us strongly want to contribute to improve it. That's the thing I never lose sight of.

Offline AimHere

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Re: Loading database when program is launched
« Reply #8 on: February 03, 2010, 09:18:15 pm »
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Sorry, I guess I'm not making myself clear. I just thought it would be good for PVD to behave like most other Windows apps in that regard

You were perfectly clear. I don't think the behaviour of "most other Windows apps" is appropriate for a database application like this. My personal information and media managers don't behave that way. I doubt any of their competitors do either. The vast majority of users use only one database for such things. Most of the rest would still want one loaded at startup—either the MRU, or they would create multiple shortcuts so they could choose which one to load.

Which is why I want it as an option, which is turned off by default. That way, power users can turn it on if so desired. Some of us just prefer to work in an application-centric way (e.g. launch an app, then open a document) instead of a document-centric way (launch a document shortcut, the associated app opens). It's all a matter of user preference.

For me, the real issue is database size. I've only got part of my video collection cataloged so far, and already my database is around 500 megabytes. (Mind you, I embed all images in the database, rather than referencing them from disk, because I really don't want to have to keep a bazillion JPEGs stored alongside the main PVD database.) Once I add the rest, the database could easily swell to three times that size. So I split the database into separate files for functional categories (e.g. movies, TV shows, etc.), and again, I prefer to work in an application-centric way (see above) and don't want the MRU database opened when I launch the app.  I'm sure that if I kept everything in one monolithic database, I wouldn't mind the auto-open-MRU behavior.

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Offline rick.ca

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Re: Loading database when program is launched
« Reply #9 on: February 03, 2010, 11:55:37 pm »
As I've explained here, I don't believe there's any reason to be concerned about the size of a database due to the images stored in it. I think you've created a huge inconvenience for yourself by splitting your database—at least the separation of movies and series. The program is carefully designed to handle these two video types together in one database. It's obviously much easier to maintain one database than two.

A good reason for spitting a database is to separate a particular type of video that is so different from the rest (e.g., home movies) they require different custom fields, skins, plugins, etc. But this doesn't require just a separate database. It would require a separate configuration file, and a completely separate program installation if plugins and their configurations need to be different. So this would have to be handled using separate shortcuts to start different configurations/databases.

Another might be you're using a very old/slow computer. Until recently, I was, and it was obvious it was struggling, in part, because I had a large number of "wish list" items in my database. I considered splitting them into a separate database, but didn't. I decided the pain of having to maintain two databases and switching back and forth was not worth the modest performance improvement I'd realize by doing so.

Offline Anson

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Re: Loading database when program is launched
« Reply #10 on: February 04, 2010, 10:54:58 am »
As I've explained here, I don't believe there's any reason to be concerned about the size of a database due to the images stored in it. I think you've created a huge inconvenience for yourself by splitting your database—at least the separation of movies and series. The program is carefully designed to handle these two video types together in one database. It's obviously much easier to maintain one database than two.

I agree in general that people should use as few databases as possible to avoid the additional work of maintaining several versions of templates, user defined fields, etc, and to be able to have the advantages of a database with links back and forth between movies, actors, other movies, etc.

BUT (at least in the current version and how i use PVD), movies and series seem to work not too well together:
Links to episodes of series (eg from "movie connections") do not point to episodes below a main entry for the series, but to "main movie records", and after updating such series episodes with their title and a localized title, even the special formatting which IMDB uses to point to an episode of a series will be lost, making it very hard or impossible to recognize such entries as an episode (and to which series it belongs) instead of appearing like a movie. And updating a series to include new seasons or episodes from an internet source (without influence on already downloaded or changed episodes), or importing my own list of titles and localized titles for a series (from CSV or similar) is no trivial task either.

Thus in my database, I didn't modify anything in a series yet, and might create a second database to do such modifications not in the main database but only in a separate subset database which will be easier/faster to recreate than the entire database if/when problems get out of hand.

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... (images in the database) ... Because of this, my database is becoming pretty huge (around 500 megabytes at last count).
There's no reason to be concerned about the size of your database due to the images that are being added to it. The images will take up as much room in the file system as they do inside the database. And I don't know for sure, but I suspect Firebird can manage them more efficiently than the file system. They're certainly a lot "safer" inside the database.

true: the total size of the database itself plus the size of all pictures would be the same in both cases, maybe even a little less when everything is put together in one file since the database might handle storage more efficiently or at least differently than a filesystem with given sector sizes and thus rounding up the size of every single file.

but also false: depending on the filesystem, it is a huge difference whether i have a database of a few dozen or even a few hundred MB and separate 4000+ pictures of 1 MB each, or a combined database file of 4+ GB which can't be stored on a FAT32 volume. Even when most computers nowadays have a version of Windows which fully supports NTFS (or some other operating system which can be upgraded with drivers to use NTFS), most movie players (i have an emtec movie cube) don't use windows and (almost) can't be modified in any way. Thus they support at most reading from NTFS disks, but otherwise require FAT32 and/or files smaller than 2GB or 4GB. And thus i now keep newly bought external harddisks formatted with FAT32 (to use them on my comp as well as with other devices) and would like to keep the largest files below 4GB (to store a drive specific database on the drive itself, or to back up a main database on any drive).

I read somewhere that it wouldn't be possible to undo the option of including pictures in the database. Is this still true and/or will be true in future versions?

As long as the database is small enough (less than 2GB or 4GB), I would like to follow the advice to keep pictures in the database, but I need to be able to later have files of no more than 2GB or 4GB in size, eg by extracting pictures to separate files and purging them from the database file. Another reason to keep pictures separate might be to view them directly on a media device (i don't have experience yet on how to do this best).
« Last Edit: February 04, 2010, 11:18:53 am by rick.ca »

Offline nostra

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Re: Loading database when program is launched
« Reply #11 on: February 04, 2010, 03:02:52 pm »
OK, it is too much reading to spend my time again.

1. It is easy for me to add such an option
2. I do think that most users will have only one database
3. As I try to support as many usage possibilities as possible I will probably add this option in 1.0 or so
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