Digital books are convenient and useful ways to have easy access to large volumes of information. Unfortunately, keeping track of them all can be difficult as you gain more books from different sources. Keeping your reading device synchronized with the material that you want to read is also challenging. In this episode Kovid Goyal explains how he created the Calibre digital library manager to solve these problems for himself, how it grew to be the most popular application for organizing ebooks, and how it works under the covers. Calibre is an incredibly useful piece of software with a lot of hidden complexity and a great story behind it.
Do you want to try out some of the tools and applications that you heard about on Podcast.__init__? Do you have a side project that you want to share with the world? Check out Linode at linode.com/podcastinit or use the code podcastinit2018 and get a $20 credit to try out their fast and reliable Linux virtual servers. They’ve got lightning fast networking and SSD servers with plenty of power and storage to run whatever you want to experiment on.
- Hello and welcome to Podcast.__init__, the podcast about Python and the people who make it great.
- When you’re ready to launch your next app or want to try a project you hear about on the show, you’ll need somewhere to deploy it, so check out Linode. With 200 Gbit/s private networking, scalable shared block storage, node balancers, and a 40 Gbit/s public network, all controlled by a brand new API you’ve got everything you need to scale up. Go to podcastinit.com/linode to get a $20 credit and launch a new server in under a minute.
- Visit the site to subscribe to the show, sign up for the newsletter, and read the show notes. And if you have any questions, comments, or suggestions I would love to hear them. You can reach me on Twitter at @Podcast__init__ or email [email protected])
- To help other people find the show please leave a review on iTunes, or Google Play Music, tell your friends and co-workers, and share it on social media.
- Join the community in the new Zulip chat workspace at podcastinit.com/chat
- Your host as usual is Tobias Macey and today I’m interviewing Kovid Goyal about Calibre, the powerful and free ebook management tool
- How did you get introduced to Python?
- Can you start by explaining what Calibre is and how the project got started?
- How are you able to keep up to date with device support in Calibre, given the continual release of new devices and platforms that a user can read ebooks on?
- What are the main features of Calibre?
- What are some of the most interesting and most popular plugins that have been creatd for Calibre?
- Can you describe the software architecture for the project and how it has evolved since you first started working on it?
- You have been maintaining and improving Calibre for a long time now. What is your motivation to keep working on it?
- How has the focus of the project and the primary use cases changed over the years that you have been working on it?
- In addition to its longevity, Calibre has also become a de-facto standard for ebook management. What is your opinion as to why it has gained and kept its popularity?
- What are some of the competing options and how does Calibre differentiate from them?
- In addition to the myriad devices and platforms, there is a significant amount of complexity involved in supporting the different ebook formats. What have been the most challenging or complex aspects of managing and converting between the formats?
- One of the challenges around maintaining a private library of electronic resources is the prevalence of DRM restricted content available through major publishers and retailers. What are your thoughts on the current state of digital book marketplaces?
- What was your motivation for implementing Calibre in Python?
- If you were to start the project over today would you make the same choice?
- Are there any aspects of the project that you would implement differently if you were starting over?
- What are your plans for the future of Calibre?
Keep In Touch
- Into Thin Air by John Krakauer
About how an expedition to climb Everest went wrong. Wonderful account of the difficulties of high altitude mountaineering and the determination it needs.
- The Steerswoman’s Road by Rosemary Kirstein
About the spirit of scientific enquiry in a fallen civilization on an alien planet with partial terraforming that is slowly failing.
- Into Thin Air by John Krakauer