PDF inventory software

Polytropon freebsd at edvax.de
Mon Jun 8 21:41:14 UTC 2009

On Mon, 8 Jun 2009 17:17:29 -0400, Daniel Underwood <djuatdelta at gmail.com> wrote:
> I'm looking for a way to manage my personal collection of research
> articles.  Ideally I'd like some way to keep records on authors,
> keywords, journals, and publication years of articles (PDF files)
> downloaded onto my local drive.
>  In the course of reading literature for research, it often happens
> that I find myself wanted to return to something I have previously
> read, but I only recall a few "things" about the article, often the
> author and a keyword.  Is there some inventory/database software (for
> local use only) that can be easily used for this purpose?  (The
> closest things that comes to mind (conceptually) is "image collection"
> software.)
> What are some of my options here?

One of your options - one of the most basic ones - is to use
a CSV file where you define the different fields you want to
be able to search.

This is an imaginable approach:
# inventory.csv
# =============
# $1		: $2		: $3	: $4			: $5
# Author(s)	: Title		: Year	: Keywords		: File
# --------------:---------------:-------:-----------------------:-------------
Foobar, J	: Foo and Bar	: 2000	: Foo Bar Baz Bleep	: xyz12345.pdf
Klopps, M	: My Bratklops	: 1975	: Eat Food Meat Loaf	: qwertzui.pdf

You can then use grep, cut, awk, sed, perl or any other scripting
language for postprocessing, like making a list of your collection
of a subset of it.

The "File" field could even contain the full path of the file, or
you use "locate" go get its location. This is handy for automating
tasks, like "print all the articles by Foobar J".

One general advantage of this approach is that your favourite
editor, along with grep, sed, awk 'n stuff are your tools of
choice. You don't need to install lots of stuff. Even your bare
base system can handle it. Because it's pure text, it's "human
readable" and can be easily transfered between systems. It is
very versatile and not limited by the functionalities of one
certain program that you use.

I'm very sure there is already a tool or a whole GUI subsystem that
does indexing and taking care of arbitrary file collections, but
of course I don't know its name because I never used it. :-)

>From Magdeburg, Germany
Happy FreeBSD user since 4.0
Andra moi ennepe, Mousa, ...

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