Allow users to copy/move book to another collection from within Bloom

I’ve found that newer users can get confused when we have to leave Bloom to do something in the file system and then return to Bloom. Where this happens somewhat frequently for us is in moving a book from one collection to another. As I described in a different post, one of the bases for our collections is the format of the publication: for instance, since we use different xmatter packs for pamphlets and books, if the length of a publication grows beyond the normal size for a pamphlet, rather than change the xmatter pack definition that affects all the books in the collection, we move the publication from the collection configured with the pamphlet xmatter pack into a different collection configured for book formatting.

Currently we do this by

  • opening the collection where the publication is originally located (ie the pamphlet collection) in Bloom
  • choosing the “Open Folder on Disk” option from the book’s context menu in the main Bloom collection page,
  • closing Bloom
  • moving the publication’s folder to the new collection (ie the book collection) in Windows’ file explorer
  • double-clicking the .bloomcollection folder in the new ( book ) collection to re-open Bloom

It would be great if, in the context menu that I mention in the second step above, there were an option to “Move/Copy book to another collection” that would present the local collections and then options for moving or coping the book there and whether or not the user wants to open that collection after the file operation.

Bruce thanks for writing this up, it is timely for me. Recently I observed several users who “lost” Bloom books, or parts of them, due to having been taught to move books around themselves. The target “persona” of Bloom is someone for whom this is a fairly dangerous maneuver… in the group I was observing, accidentally letting go of the mouse button during a drag was a common event. Do that while moving a folder, and there you go, “Bloom lost my work”.

So I’m sympathetic to this request.

At the same time, we should keep an eye on why we are developing these complex processes for people and see if there are other ways Bloom could help. For example, in this case, we should think about whether we should allow individual books to override the default front/back matter settings.

Yes, being able to override the default front/back matter settings would be great, too. For us it would mean one less type of collection and therefore less need to move books between collections. There are other times that we move books, though. One case that comes to mind is when a book is originally made by a local author in her Local Language Collection, but then later she wants to move it to a Source Collection of books to include in a BloomPack for sharing with others.

One case that comes to mind is when a book is originally made by a local author in her Local Language Collection, but then later she wants to move it to a Source Collection of books to include in a BloomPack for sharing with others.

This sounds like the intended use of collections. But due to a recent conversation I had, I need to check: is the idea that someone would then use the book as a shellbook to translate into another language? I ask because in this other situation, people were being trained to use source collections merely as a way to get at that “Make BloomPack” button, which was in turn being used merely as a way to get books from one computer to another for editing in the very same language. So there were 10 or so steps going on simply to move a book from one computer to another. We could easily enable the Make BloomPack button on all collections. Since perhaps only a subset of books are desired in the BloomPack, we would would probably need to also let you chose which books to put in the BloomPack.

Or maybe we need to think beyond BloomPacks? How about a way to just save a book to USB stick, and a way to load books from USB sticks.

Yes, in the case I was thinking of, it was for translating into other languages. We moved books from the Local Language collection to a Source Collection where “Language 1” is Spanish so that it can be translated well into Spanish and then included in the Source Collection’s BloomPack for giving to others at a workshop for translating into their own language. For moving books from one of our team computers to another that works in the same language, we have a collection folder on a network drive that we just copy the book’s folder into.

There’s already a ‘make bloom pack’ right-click menu option that makes a ‘pack’ out of a single book (and is not limited to source collections). But of course you could end up with a lot of source collections on the target machine if you opened one of those for each book you wanted to move.

It would be great if one could select a subset of books from a
collection, then use this right-click menu option, rather than
bloompacking a single book at a time.