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    Invelos Forums->DVD Profiler: Plugins Page: 1  Previous   Next
Using Custom Profile IDs - Ideas and Groundrules
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DVD Profiler Desktop and Mobile Registrantmediadogg
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Registered: March 18, 2007
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In another thread, we started talking about the new internal feature of DVD Profiler for recognizing and handling custom profile IDs. So far, the capability has not be externalized either in the product, or in a plugin.

Due to the importance of the Profile ID as the database key within DVD Profiler, it would probably be a good idea for the community and developers to collaborate on some standard formats and ground rules for usage of custom profile IDs. This way, plugins from different authors can inter-operate for the general benefit of users.

Coupled with custom fields and alternate profile IDs, DVDP profiler has the technical basis for satisfying the vast majority of new feature requests, in my opinion, that have been suggested over the last few years.

What can Custom Profile IDs do?
Well, imagine that any number of classes of profiles could be defined, using some standards, so that DVD Profiler's powerful database engine, cross platform clients, online compatibility, save / restore, multi-language and other architectural components could be applied to things other than DVDs, but often related to DVDs, such as digital media, Movies (as an entity), and other things.

I would imagine that custom profiles will not be able to be contributed until / unless Invelos decides that the underlying object is worth supporting. I think "Movie" would be a likely candidate.

What is a Profile ID?
Most existing users know this, and I am doing this off the top of my head, so please alert me to errors or give me a pointer to a better discussion that I can copy and paste in.

A Profile ID is the major key for DVD Profiler profiles. It consists of two parts. The beginning part is required, but the ending part is optional. They are separated by a single period (".").

Here are the formats allowed today for the construction of a database key (Profile ID):

Manual profile ID: M[Number].Locality
Disc ID: I[Disc ID].Locality
UPC/EAN: [UPC].Locality
Alternate UPC: V[Encoded ID].Locality      (used only by plugins and internally within DVDP)
Custom profile ID: _[custom ID].Locality  (not yet being used)

Encoded ID and custom ID can both be:
"base-64 encoded, so can contain numbers, upper and lower case letters, as well as '_' and '-'" , and must avoid the use of characters not allowed in a Microsoft Windows file name.

Locality is a two digit number that represents the country for which the DVD was packaged to be sold. This may be different from Country of Origin. A good clue to the Locality is the Rating, which is usually consistent with the country rules within which the DVD was intended to be marketed. Some examples are ".00" for USA, ".17" for Japan, and ".05" for Germany. I think you can find them all in the Community Wiki. (need link here).
When locality is missing, the DVD Profiler program and plugins will typically default to ".00" unless the current context suggests otherwise.

So now, what would be the rules for the custom format (Profile IDs that start with "_")?

We had a thread long ago where some suggestions were made: maybe somebody can find it. But until then, let me give some not-well thought-out examples of how we might use them:

_F for films, or movies. This leaves 14 characters plus locality to create unique IDs
_M for music. Same thing, you have 14 characters plus locality to create a unique ID.
_V for videos or VHS maybe. Maybe the UPC would follow, if you can fit into 14 characters
_I for Profiles that are based on the IMDB reference number
_A for profiles that use the Amazon ASIN as a key
_B for profiles using ISBN as a key
__ totally user defined

Maybe something like this, or something totally different is the way to go. The purpose of this thread is to solicit ideas and hopefully come to starting consensus. Maybe in the future the contributions committee would take over administering any changes to acceptable formats.

Meanwhile, we could use a simple plugin or two that allows people to create and experiment with custom IDs. Any developer out there want to make it?

Finally, I respectfully request that any "this is DVD Profiler and that's that" kinds of discussions be held elsewhere. The owner of the product, Invelos, has provided this capability at developer request, with full knowledge of the kinds of requirements being made by users, that we had in mind. So, please address any such issues to Ken somewhere else. If he decides to pull the plug on this or eliminate the feature, I'm sure he will tell us.

Thanks in advance for your participation.
Thanks for your support.
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 Last edited: by mediadogg
DVD Profiler Desktop and Mobile Registrantmediadogg
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Talk about a "lead balloon" ... oh well. 
Thanks for your support.
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Advanced plugins available here.
DVD Profiler Desktop and Mobile Registrantmediadogg
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Here is a cross-link to my post in a thread where this topic came up. Anybody with skills, time and money want to pursue this?

- Hosting web site for custom profiles
- Thoughtful naming scheme for "official" custom profiles ( )
- Contribution rules
- Download / upload process

Of course if that somebody turns out to be Invelos, well OK!!!! 
Thanks for your support.
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 Last edited: by mediadogg
DVD Profiler Unlimited RegistrantStar ContributorGSyren
Profiling since 2001
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I must have missed this when you first posted it. I think it sounds very interesting. I will sleep on it and let it sink in.
My freeware tools for DVD Profiler users.
Gunnar
DVD Profiler Unlimited RegistrantStar ContributorGSyren
Profiling since 2001
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Combined with DJ Doena's Enhanced Features and Enhanced Notes plugins, this could really be useful, I think.
I'd be up for updating ProfilerQuery (and possibly other tools) to accomodate custom profiles.
Quote:
_V for videos or VHS maybe. Maybe the UPC would follow, if you can fit into 14 characters
AFAIK all UPCs are 12 digits and EANs 13, so that ought to work.
Quote:
Alternate UPC: V[Encoded ID].Locality      (used only by plugins and internally within DVDP)
*cough* and by some tools *cough* 
My freeware tools for DVD Profiler users.
Gunnar
 Last edited: by GSyren
DVD Profiler Desktop and Mobile Registrantmediadogg
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Thanks Gunnar. All you need to do is accept a Profile ID that starts with "_". Since no standards exist for what follows (except characters that can be used in a windows filename), it would be pointless to rely on adherence to any specific format at this time.

Another one of my "lead balloons" is SideCar, a plugin that allows anyone to define custom  fields that reside in the database. The custom fields technology that Ken put in (a massively powerful implementation), is what both SideCar and DJ Doena's plugins use, and allow plugins to interoperate. For example SideCar correctly reads and displays DJ's fields. When that was put in, we all tested extensively to make sure that filters, HTML sections, backup/restore and remote access of custom fields works correctly. It is a vastly underused capability.

You know this, but for casual readers that might be seeing this, Custom Fields and Custom Profile Ids are separate features and can be used each independently, together, or not at all.

You also remind me that I need to update BulkEdit (someday) to accommodate the display of custom fields.
Thanks for your support.
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 Last edited: by mediadogg
DVD Profiler Desktop and Mobile Registrantmediadogg
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All that we both have said put aside, I myself am mindful of the prospect that additional major investments in DVD Profiler might not be warranted. 
Thanks for your support.
Free Plugins available here.
Advanced plugins available here.
 Last edited: by mediadogg
DVD Profiler Unlimited RegistrantStar ContributorGSyren
Profiling since 2001
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Quote:
Thanks Gunnar. All you need to do is accept a Profile ID that starts with "_".

That works today. I was more thinking of various selection options. One obvious thing is ID Type where Custom should be added.

You could select "ID starts with _V" for VHS (if that's what it is used for), but it would be nice if I could add named selections, like "ID type is VHS". Possibly configurable.

By the way, am I correct in thinking that it is not possible to add custom IDs directly in Profiler, so you would need some plugin just to add things?
My freeware tools for DVD Profiler users.
Gunnar
DVD Profiler Desktop and Mobile Registrantmediadogg
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Quoting GSyren:
Quote:
Quote:
Thanks Gunnar. All you need to do is accept a Profile ID that starts with "_".

That works today. I was more thinking of various selection options. One obvious thing is ID Type where Custom should be added.

You could select "ID starts with _V" for VHS (if that's what it is used for), but it would be nice if I could add named selections, like "ID type is VHS". Possibly configurable.

By the way, am I correct in thinking that it is not possible to add custom IDs directly in Profiler, so you would need some plugin just to add things?

Well nobody has agreed that "_V" means anything. That discussion has not been had. I was suggesting such a discussion, and to date, you have been the only person to respond in this thread (and I thank you for that). The only thing cast in stone at the moment, is the "_".

Named selections in PQ would be nice. Perhaps treat them as filters and just let the user define them. This will future proof you in lieu of agreed standards. Bear in mind, that so far as I know, to date, nobody is using custom profile IDs.

FYI, I assume you have seen this thread.

You are correct in that there is no way, today, to create a custom profile in the DVD Profiler GUI. It would be a simple fix, as I mentioned in that other thread. The DVD>Change UPC would be the obvious place to do it. I was encouraged to find that BulkEdit will do it, if the custom profile ID is used in the imported XML file. I plan to fix CSV import to also support it.

A simple plugin to create an empty profile using a custom profile ID would be easy, except that I am trying to resist the temptation to write another plugin. Or I can just add a dialogue to XMLSpy, which I will release someday. If you want to design the GUI for it, I promise to use it. Just give me a WINFORM class comptible with NET 4.7, and I will send you an updated XMLSpy. Downside is that I would not be able to accommodate your frequent updates.
Thanks for your support.
Free Plugins available here.
Advanced plugins available here.
 Last edited: by mediadogg
DVD Profiler Unlimited RegistrantStar ContributorGSyren
Profiling since 2001
Registered: March 14, 2007
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Quoting  mediadogg:
Quote:
Well nobody has agreed that "_V" means anything.
Yeah. I know. What I meant was "if that was what it had been used for".
Quote:
Just give me a WINFORM class comptible with NET 4.7
Yeah, about that. I like working with Winforms about as much as you like writing more plugins. 
Yoo-hoo Karsten...? Plugin?
My freeware tools for DVD Profiler users.
Gunnar
DVD Profiler Desktop and Mobile RegistrantStar ContributorDJ Doena
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Quoting GSyren:
Quote:
Quote:
Just give me a WINFORM class comptible with NET 4.7
Yeah, about that. I like working with Winforms about as much as you like writing more plugins. 
Yoo-hoo Karsten...? Plugin?

You could provide him with an entire Assembly and just tell him the entry point which he needs to call. Then you can design a WPF form and he just needs to call .Show()
Karsten
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DVD Profiler Unlimited RegistrantStar ContributorGSyren
Profiling since 2001
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Quoting mediadogg:
Quote:
Or I can just add a dialogue to XMLSpy, which I will release someday. If you want to design the GUI for it, I promise to use it.

No offense, Jim, but I'm not sure that's a good idea, even if Karsten is right.
- These are such disparate functions. Creating a custom profile should belong to a plugin of its own.
- "Someday" sounds rather vague.
My freeware tools for DVD Profiler users.
Gunnar
 Last edited: by GSyren
DVD Profiler Desktop and Mobile Registrantmediadogg
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..
Thanks for your support.
Free Plugins available here.
Advanced plugins available here.
 Last edited: by mediadogg
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