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Better support for art notes.

In some cases, a work of art has a separate title from the work it illustrates. In some it is a detail from, or a re-use of, a pre-existing work of art, in some cases a classic many years old. In some that is particular information about the work that should be recorded. Currently it is possible to open a coverart or interior art record, and add notes, but is is unlikely that anyone will ever see there, because there is no link from a publication record directly to any art record, and no indication that any notes are present. There should be a direct link from the publication record to the cover art record (or records for a Dos-a-Dos work) and to any interior art records, and there should be a visible indicator if the notes field of any such record is non-empty. -DES Talk 17:09, 30 September 2008 (UTC)

I'm not sure how often we will need to add notes to COVERART, but when we do want notes visible it seems to clutter up the publication record. E.g. "Cover shows a detail from Thor's Fight with the Giants, Oil on Canvas, 1972, by Marten Eskil Winge, Nationalmuseum, Stockholm / Bridgeman Art Library". Actually, just looking at how I entered that makes me think it might be more appropriate to have such in the wiki instead. I can't see a major call for it in the database instead. It would SWAMP the existing notes for The Broken Sword, which already has to be classified as a Publisher Series Entry in the Wiki as we can't do that in the database yet. Although I see such data suggests our artist entry is inaccurate anyway. :-/ BLongley 19:01, 30 September 2008 (UTC)
In at least nine out of ten cases (probably more), there is no need for cover art notes, but there are cases where such are desired. For example, see Cover: The Misenchanted Sword, where the note indicates that the artwork has a separate title, and suggests it was originaly intended for a different work, perhaps this one. While a wiki solution is posisble, that won't make the notes visible to the average user either, and IMO such notes belong in the db at least as much as most of the publication notes we now enter. (And consider how often some editors are now adding a description of the cover art to the pub notes.) I agree that such notes would ideally not be in the pub notes, which is why i wanted a link to the coverart record, and some indication of non-empty notes associated with that link. -DES Talk 19:17, 30 September 2008 (UTC)
I'm thinking along the lines of adding to "Bibliographic Comments: Publication:THMSNCHNTD2000" with another option "Artistic Comments: Publication:THMSNCHNTD2000". The COVERART titles are frankly polluting our searches, are open to all sorts of abuses, and notes about coverart differences are not (IMO) as useful as uploading the correct cover. OK, "owning a scanner" shouldn't be a prerequisite for editing here, but some small encouragement toward scanning/finding the right coverart from approved sources, if people can is warranted, I think. BLongley 19:42, 30 September 2008 (UTC)
But I'm thinking aloud and my views of COVERART records are pretty negative to start with, whereas a Wiki page is something I am happy to support till we figure out how the database should work. BLongley 19:42, 30 September 2008 (UTC)
I see your point, but I fear that people would misunderstand "artistic comments" to mean reviews & discussions, and even if we found a better name, bepole would just be confused by yet more wiki-links for different purposes. I agree that coverart records pollute searches, but that IMO is a reason to fix the searches, not get rid of coverart records. If we want (and I think we do) to be able to generate a list of credits for a given artist, then coverart records in some form we must have. Wiki pages as a stopgap may be a good idea, but that won't solve the other problems with coverart records, nor will it make the notes likely to be seen by a user who is not already an experienced editor here, which is one of my primary goals for this feature. -DES Talk 20:25, 30 September 2008 (UTC)
I don't want RID of COVERART records, at the moment they're the only way we have of recording Cover Artists at all. And unless somebody has been happily editing them without any ISFDB software support, we could probably reduce them down to ONE coverart record with multiple authors and work back from there. I could happily separate ARTIST from AUTHOR too - I know some are both but if the shared names outnumber the separate ones we could keep them together, or if we're mixing artists and authors incorrectly too often we can start again and admit Terry Pratchett did some interiorart and a little coverart, and Robert Rankin has long been the Sculptor of the subjects of the Photographs for his covers that are Designed by yet another artist.... there's a LOT to consider about Artists in the long run. I currently, particularly, don't like Design companies polluting our author searches. But "What is Art?" has always been one of the BIG questions. Anywhere. BLongley 20:45, 30 September 2008 (UTC)
OK, I agree that the current handling of coverart (and interior art, no real difference) records could use lots of improvement. Personally i don't understand why we are so reluctant to merge coverart records -- that takes no additional software support, and would reduce the pollution problem a fair amount in many cases. I agree that pushing for images, either uploaded or linked to, whenever possible, is good. It would be nice if coverart records linked to the images also. Then one could see if a merge made sense. As for separating Author from artist records, we could (there are some overlaps but not all that many), but i don't really see the gain. The info we want about authors is exactly the same as the info we want about artists (at least artists who aren't companies). I could see a special "corporate" flag on records for design companies, so that the fields for birth and death dates are either disabled, or renamed to founding and dissolution or some such. I don't love design company credits, but when that is the published credit for coverart, i think we have to record it, so we are stuck with some "pollution", I think.
Coverart merges - community discussion about the true meaning of coverart needed. Feel free to start that again. It would be a nice, if shortgap, measure against pollution. BLongley 21:57, 30 September 2008 (UTC)
Author versus Artist - well, it would probably halve the number of results when I search for one or the other. I have no interest in anything "Peter Jones" wrote, it seems. (He's a famous Businessman here, no SF relevance.) But I tried to find cover artists signatures recently, and separating or combining the P. [A.} Jones was hard work. But we don't record narrators well either, and Peter Jones (not the artist, not the writer) is to me THE voice of "The Hitch-Hikers Guide to the Galaxy". Narrator support is another issue. I frankly do NOT care about ARTISTS as much as AUTHORS, but I do like some NARRATORS. The Fiction is the main aim here, I believe. Whether that's illustrated nicely or read aloud nicely are secondary or tertiary considerations - I know if I want to maintain my "the WORDS are the most important thing" status I shouldn't really support anything but true SF authors, but I do consider art, translator ability, or audiobook reader for some formats. Should those be "IN YOUR FACE" categories or "Go here, if you're that fussy?". I favour the latter. "Artist" versus "Designer", "Photographer" etc too. Even though I would like separation of all the categories beyond "who wrote the words?" I do find some useful, but wouldn't feel right imposing such or even implying such was needed. But I do want Authors separated from every other name, I think. But we're diverging talks into other pages again... BLongley 21:57, 30 September 2008 (UTC)