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The Bulk Lister has unpublished requirements
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adultbooks



Posts: 10

PostPosted: Sat May 31, 2008 7:31 am    Post subject: The Bulk Lister has unpublished requirements Reply with quote

Greetings All,

Like many I've been having problems using the bulk lister feature, but I've learned something from my efforts that I wanted to share with everyone. I'm hoping that it will clear up some of the confusion and make the feature more easily usable.

Ok, so we all know the list has to be in a text file. What many people probably don't know is that there are numerous different text formats that all use the .txt file extension. Most windows users text files are in ASCII DOS format .... that's two distinct format names, not one. ASCII refers to the character set and DOS refers to the file format, but both of these can change.

Besides ASCII, there are other character sets, like Unicode, and UTF8 (which is a variation of Unicode).

Besides DOS format, text files can also come in UNIX and MAC formats, and there are probably more I've never heard of.

Now that you know about the different TEXT file formats and character sets it may interest you to know that the BULK.TXT sample file Ecrater offers as an example is in UTF8-UNIX format.

Taking that into consideration I thought that it would be a good idea for me to make sure the bulk list that I upload be in the same format. My first try failed but only because I had specified an incorrect global_category_id. This result is in marked contrast to the error messages I rec'd from previous efforts ....

My first try failed with the error msg indicating that there was only one row in my file. There were over 110 rows actually but because my text file was not in the right format the row delimeters were not seen as such.... Carriage returns in the ASCII character set do not use the same character code as Carriage returns in Unicode and/or UTF8 ... this is true for a large number of the characters in the ASCII set, so while the text file I uploaded looked perfect to me, it would look very different to a reader that assumed it was a Unicode file. All of the carriage returns would have appeared to be a different character and this is why my first upload was thought to have only one row in it.

My second try I tried sending the text file using the Unicode character set in a DOS formatted file. The errors I got were for every tupple... regardless of what it was it was being seen as incorrect ... the examples of the bad data had square characters between every letter. Obviously that format was not right either.

Before my third try I finally thought of checking the format of the sample bulk.txt file ecrater provides. I downloaded and opened the file in Uedit32 and checked the format right away, it was using the UTF8 char set and UNIX format. Uedit32 can convert between the various flavors of text file so I converted my ASCII DOS file to UTF8 DOS and then to UTF8-UNIX format. When I uploaded it to ecrater the only error msg I got was about the global_category_id being invalid. I checked it and it was indeed invalid. I fixed the code and am currently waiting for the results from my fourth try. I think it's going to work this time. I will post my results to this thread.

Regards,

PJ .... AdultBooks on Ecrater.

P.S. I know it's kinda wordy, but I'm writing this for all those who have never heard of Unicode or ASCII. They will see all this as a twisted tangled mess .... no doubt because that's exactly what it is. Given that I thought providing more information and a more detailed explanation seemed appropriate. Smile
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adultbooks



Posts: 10

PostPosted: Mon Jun 02, 2008 7:03 pm    Post subject: My Bulk List Upload finally worked! Reply with quote

Just following up, My bulk list upload finally worked, so I was right the text file needs to use UTF8 character set and UNIX text format.

If you are having trouble uploading a bulk list then it's a good bet that your text file is in the wrong format.

Text files in Windows usually default to using the ASCII character set and DOS text format. Some text editors can convert between the various character sets as well as between the different formats. Personally I use UltraEdit32 for my text editing and it had no problem doing the necessary converting to make my bulk list text file viable.

Ciao for now,

pj @adultbooks on ecrater
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ANightOwlsTreasures



Posts: 38

PostPosted: Mon Jun 02, 2008 7:54 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Thanks for the info!

Your post makes total sense to me...of course, I have been married to a Software Engineer for 20 years...LOL

I use Excel for my spreadsheets, although that UltraEdit32 looks pretty nice. Smile As far as I can tell from poking about it looks like I have to save my Excel file as a text (tab delimited) file, then open in Notepad where I can save as UTF-8. Does that sound about right?

Hmmm... UltraEdit is only $50....
Smile
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bigtallmensclothing
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Posts: 21854

PostPosted: Mon Jun 02, 2008 9:46 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Quote:
far as I can tell from poking about it looks like I have to save my Excel file as a text (tab delimited) file, then open in Notepad where I can save as UTF-8. Does that sound about right?

You can submit an Excel file saved as a text (tab delimited) and there shouldn't be any issue with it at all.
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adultbooks



Posts: 10

PostPosted: Tue Jun 03, 2008 12:15 pm    Post subject: I agree, but SHOULDN'T doesn't exactly cut it Reply with quote

Yes, there shouldn't be a problem saving your file from excel as a tab delimited text file, then submitting it. Nevertheless there WAS a problem. The response I got simply indicated "failed" in the verified column of the bulk lister page. It also indicated that there was only only 1 line in my text file which was strange since there were 113 lines of data in excel.

All of this is no mystery if one is aware of what text files really are. The computer doesn't see a text file as a's, b's and c's. Like everything else the computer see it as a series of numbers, each number corresponding to a character ... which character the number corresponds to is determined by which character set the file is using. The ASCII character set uses different numbers for carriage return than the Unicode and UTF8 character set. That is why my first bulk list text file seemed to have only one line in it. Because there were no carriage returns in the file if the file was assumed to be using the UTF8 (a variant of Unicode) character set.

When saving a text file in Windows the file is by default in ASCII DOS format. But the bulk.txt sample file one can download from Ecrater is in UTF8 UNIX format. UTF8 is similar to the Unicode character set. If the bulk.txt is intended to be an example that we are supposed to emulate then we ought to be submitting our text files in UTF8 UNIX format. It's as simple as that. So I converted my text file from ASCII DOS to UTF8 UNIX format then resubmitted it and lo and behold the response I got indicated the file had 113 lines and the bulk lister page indicates that it was accepted.

I know there are people out there who don't think this stuff is necessary. I can't speak for them. All I can tell you is that this is what worked for me. I suggest you do your own analysis.

Ciao for now,

pj@ adultbooks on ecrater
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bigtallmensclothing
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Posts: 21854

PostPosted: Tue Jun 03, 2008 2:37 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Did you report this problem to ecrater.com??
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adultbooks



Posts: 10

PostPosted: Tue Jun 03, 2008 4:07 pm    Post subject: problem? what problem? Reply with quote

I'm sure somebody using a UNIX operating system wouldn't see it as a problem.

In any case, I haven't notified ecrater. I haven't made any secret of the results of my analysis though. It seemed to me that most people wouldn't be able to figure this stuff out so I thought I would do what I can to help. Also, from what I've seen of the forums it seemed likely that somebody at ecrater would see my post sooner or later. I have been intending to suggest to a forum admin that perhaps they might want to make my post a "Stickie" topic in the Help, FAQ and other forums, just to make it more visible.

That was the extent of my aspirations, hehe, but the only thing that I saw as a problem was the fact that there was no mention of the format and character set requirements on the ecrater website. It seemed to me that the problem was attributable to a UNIX-centric mindset and perhaps a lack of awareness of the differences between text formats. In general though the Unix admins that I encountered have been extremely knowledgeable in matters such as this. Generally they have known more about whatever topic we were discussing than I did, so I wouldn't approach this with the assumption that somebody messed up and that you or I know enough to set them straight. Doing so could likely prove an embarrassment, at least it seems that way to me. After all, I just got here. It's a little early for me to start telling people how to do things. Smile

Sincerely,

pj@adultbooks on ecrater
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bigtallmensclothing
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Posts: 21854

PostPosted: Tue Jun 03, 2008 11:39 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Quote:
somebody at ecrater would see my post sooner or later.

Dimitri does not read every topic within this forum.
The forum is sellers helping sellers.

If what you are saying is correct - then something isn't correct because it should work using an excel spreadsheet saved as a text file.

I have sent a report to ecrater on this issue.
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adultbooks



Posts: 10

PostPosted: Wed Jun 04, 2008 7:07 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

>Dimitri does not read every topic within this forum

I never suggested that he does. I also stated that I wasn't sure that this was a problem and in any case there's a work around and hence no need for me to escalate the issue. I have no problem with somebody else doing so but didn't intend to do it myself.

>The forum is sellers helping sellers.

That's exactly what I'm trying to do.

>If what you are saying is correct - then something isn't correct because it >should work using an excel spreadsheet saved as a text file.

That's what the ecrater documentation would have us believe, but this is a new site and sometimes things get left out. It happens.

>I have sent a report to ecrater on this issue.

That is, of course, your prerogative. I'm wondering what can be done about it though .... if the back end database server is running UNIX, the software might require data import files to be in UNIX format. Since most people use windows which defaults to a differently formatted text file, one could conclude that some sort of conversion needs to be done. Either the sellers will have to do it, or somebody at ecrater will have to do it. I expect that everybody working with or for ecrater is already very busy, so unless something on the back-end changes the sellers will have to do the conversion themselves. It's not difficult. You should give it a try. Smile

pj
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bigtallmensclothing
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Posts: 21854

PostPosted: Wed Jun 04, 2008 10:46 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Quote:
this is a new site and sometimes things get left out.

This site has been up and running since 2004. I personally have been here since 2005. I have used the bulk lister in the past using excel saving it as a text fiel without any problems.

WE ALL appreciate your efforts to explain this issue but without it being reported it won't ever get fixed.
I will be honest though, I don't think anyone should have to buy software at any cost to use the bulk lister - that is not the intend of the feature.
Not to mention 90% of what you say is way over my head and not understandable.

The feature needs to work as it says it does.
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adultbooks



Posts: 10

PostPosted: Wed Jun 04, 2008 12:28 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

>This site has been up and running since 2004. I personally have been here >since 2005. I have used the bulk lister in the past using excel saving it as a >text fiel without any problems.

This is all news to me. I was not aware that it used to work that way. This is my first month coming to ecrater so I have none of the history. Taking into consideration that the bulk lister feature used to accept text files saved from excel I would be inclined to agree with you that there is indeed a problem. Thank you for the information.

>I will be honest though, I don't think anyone should have to buy software >any cost to use the bulk lister - that is not the intend of the feature.

I agree. I have never suggested you buy software. All I did was mention which text editor I am using. It seemed relevant at the time but I never suggested people go out and buy it ....I mentioned it just as an example of one program that can do format conversions. But I'm sure there are many other programs that have the same features. One can easily find free software that is equal to the task by going to google and running a search for the following:

"text editor" freeware convert DOS UNIX

I'm sure there are plenty of free text editors with all of the necessary functionality in the 174,000 results.

I appreciate your willingness to share your feelings but please be sure you read my posts carefully. You seem to think I'm trying to sell UltraEdit or trying to get people to buy it or something like that. I'm not selling it and never suggested people buy it. I didn't even pay for it myself .... a programmer friend gave me one of his old CDs ... so I'm with you regarding not paying for software in this situation and most other situations too. Too often the open source, freeware programs are better anyway.

Ciao for now,

pj
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bigtallmensclothing
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Posts: 21854

PostPosted: Wed Jun 04, 2008 4:07 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Quote:
I appreciate your willingness to share your feelings but please be sure you read my posts carefully. You seem to think I'm trying to sell UltraEdit or trying to get people to buy it or something like that.

oh not at all. Just saying the bulk lister shouldn't need anything special and that there must be something wrong somewhere that needs to be fixed.
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Bookateria



Posts: 8

PostPosted: Tue Jun 10, 2008 11:28 am    Post subject: Tab-Delimited Reply with quote

I thought eCrater - had Tab-Delimited posted somewhere

Which is what most Bulk-Loads use - also known as "Flat-File"

Excel and other export this

You are really addressing an ASCII or text fromat - not a "File" format.
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DunnArtNGifts



Posts: 1

PostPosted: Sat Aug 30, 2008 8:46 pm    Post subject: Bulk Uploader Problem still exists Reply with quote

Hi:

I just wanted to make an update. The Bulk Uploader has failed my upload three times since 8-28-08. Says improper line format.

Can someone explain how to change the .txt. format in Notepad. I can't afford any software right now.

Any help would be appreciated.

Have a wonderful day.

Colleen
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WhiteUnicornBooks



Posts: 5

PostPosted: Sun Aug 01, 2010 10:27 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

bigtallmensclothing wrote:
...I have used the bulk lister in the past using excel saving it as a text fiel without any problems. ...


As another update:

I also have had success in the Excel converted to tab delimited file in the past. No Longer. I did write eCrater and asked about it. I was told the file had to be UTF8.

Actually I should have remembered that ASCII was just a subset of UTF-8 and I should have known it wouldn't work. But, it's been a while since I played around with things like that so I tried it anyway, it didn't work. I strongly suspect that PJ's comment about the Unix file format is my problem.

I'll try it and report back with the simple method I used [along with where to get the free program] if there is any interest expressed.

De

DeWayne White
whiteunicornbooks.ecrater.com
A proud member of the IOBA
The books you want...from the booksellers you can trust
http://www.IOBA.org
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