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Comica Database Information

Posted: Wed Feb 08, 2012 12:29 pm
by BootBlock
What's This Database?
Comica uses an XML file that contains all of the comics it knows about. Each line within the file is known as a Definition and describes a single comic which tells Comica exactly where to find and parse its image strip, along with any extra information such as Alt-Text, audience rating, and so on.

How Do I Submit a Comic for Inclusion?
Select the Suggest a New comic... item from the Comics menu from within Comica's main window. A new window will appear which will ask you for some basic details on the comic you would like to add. Click on the blue label links within the window for a quick explanation on what that particular field is expecting.

Please note that only true web-comics can be suggested or added to Comica. There has been an increasing number of suggestions for digital versions of printed comics (Marvel, DC, etc) - these cannot, and will never be supported. Saying this, Comica allows the viewing of CBR/CBZ/CB7 comic archives (drag and drop them into Comica's list) - but this is only local to your computer.

How Do I Add My Own Comics, Just For Myself?
Select About from Comica's Help menu, and then click on the Open Comica's Settings Directory link at the bottom of the window that appears. A directory will appear (within Windows Explorer or any other file manager you may be using as a replacement), containing a number of items.

The Comics.xml file is the definitions file, containing all comics known to Comica.

The Comics.xml file should not be manually edited. Comica will overwrite this file every time a database update is installed, which will cause the loss of any manual edits.

Comica directly supports a user's version of the Comics.xml file, appropriately named ComicsUser.xml. This file is never modified by Comica; it is only ever read. If this file does not exist within the above directory, you can make a copy of the Comics.xml file, but rename it to ComicsUser.xml. Open it within a text editor of your choice (which must only be saved in a plain-text format; do not save with formatting such as RTF or a .doc format) and remove all of the lines starting with <Definition Name= ....

Any definitions that you add to the file will appear in Comica. Note that ComicsUser.xml has a higher priority than Comics.xml. For example, if both files contain a Definition named MyComic, then the MyComic definition within the ComicsUser.xml file will be used instead of the Comics.xml definition.

Once the ComicsUser.xml has been created above, you can simply press Ctrl+E within Comica to open it for editing. Once you've saved any changes, press F5 to prompt Comica to reload all definition files. This allows you to quickly and easily test any changes you may have made without having to restart the entire application.

Why Was a Comic Removed Since the Last Update?
Often before a database update is released, all comics are tested to ensure they are working correctly. Sometimes a comic definition will fail to work; this is corrected. If the definition cannot be fixed, it will be flagged upon the next test (typically performed a number of days later).

After one or more successive failures of a definition, it will be removed from the database. This can be due to the comic's site no longer being reachable, the comic being changed to a form that Comica cannot (yet) parse, or the comic just ending.

If you have found that a comic has been removed from Comica when in fact it appears to work, and you have a working definition for it, you can request that it is re-included. This can be done either via the Suggest A Comic method above or via the forum.