com_xbbooks v0.5.5 (alpha4) 
25th October 2020  

xbBooks is a component for cataloguing books you have read and reviews of them. This is the first public alpha release, it should really not be used on production sites (although I am ;-) ). There are definitely bugs and missing functions - although I've not found anything fatal yet.

It started out as I needed something to replace a flat-file database I had been using to save details of books I read and short reviews/comments. Previous to that I had been using a simple spreadsheet and originally an paper file.

Documentation  Demo Page

 xbBooks provides a relational database of books, people and reviews.

People may be authors, editors, fictional characters or real people mentioned in a book. One person may have several roles in different books, or 

Books may have more than one author, several characters and mention several people you want to track. So books and people is a many-to-many relationship

A review is of a single book, but a book may have several reviews: a one-to-many relationship.

The people table will be shared with the xbFilms component (in development) and possibly other related future components. A film director may also write a book and appear in film as an actor and be the subject of a biography. 

In general xbBooks allows the user to define categories and tags to suit your particular preferences. For example you might consider genres to be mutually exclusive and so use them as categories (an item can only belong to one category), or you might think that a book can be both a historical fiction and a crime novel - the genres are not mutually exclusive so you would use tags to identify them.

There is a default "Uncategorised" category which is used by default for all items. In addition all books are flagged as either fiction or non-fiction, and all people as either real or fictional.

Reviews have a star rating for the book. I find a 1 to 5 star scale inadequately fine grained (you often end up wanting to give half-stars). I have been using a 10 star scale for many years, but looking at the results I see the majority of books fall between 6 and 9 stars. Possibly this is because I don't tend to read things that I don't think I'll like, but I also find that 10 points seems too many. So for xbBooks I have switched to a 7 point scale, this may become an option in a future version. In addition to 1 to 7 stars, I have added the ability to grant no stars for things that are so bad that I don't even finish them. This is an optional setting.



Improvements and bug fixes

  1. v0.6 - Separate table for Characters in books (alpha3)
  2. v0.7 - add Help system to admin side (beta1)
  3. v0.8 - additional menu options for simpler listings on front-end (RC1)
  4. v1.0 - Release version
  5. v2.0 - Joomla 4

Possible New features

  1. ability to specify rating scale
  2. add field for historical period for fiction books
  3. import and export to JSON and/or XML



v0.5.5 25th October 2020
    removed requirement for either summary or details to be set for books, people and reviews
    added new book field 'cat_date' for the date that the book was acquired or read
    refactored field name 'date_read' to 'rev_date' for the bookreviews table
0.5.4 24th October 2020
    Import CSV, improvments to SQL Import and Site List views 
v0.5.2 and 0.5.3 bug fixes
v0.5.1 14th October 2020