Help talk:Glossary

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Canonical name

I read the Canonical name definition but don't understand its relevance to isfdb. Marc Kupper 01:56, 17 Nov 2006 (CST)

I think it's relevant because of the way the ISFDB marks pseudonyms. If you look up "Will F. Jenkins" it says "used as alternate name by Murray Leinster", but if you look up Leinster it doesn't give alternate names, because Leinster is the canonical name.
I haven't worked much with variants and pseudonyms, but I think the way it works is this: the only way to identify a pseudonym is to mark title A by author B as a variant of title A by author C. (Of course the title doesn't have to match, but it often does.) When you mark that, you have to choose which is the parent. If B is the canonical name, you should mark it as the parent.
Having said that, I can see it's not a key piece of ISFDB info, and could be covered in the help separately. Do you think it should be cut out? Mike Christie 05:52, 17 Nov 2006 (CST)
I don’t think it should be cut out but perhaps the example could be better as the one used is someone whose pseudonym is the canonical name in isfdb. There was no explanation of why and if that was of significance in canonicalization. Thus it was a double or maybe triple dose of confusion as “canonical” is not a word I normally use and the example did not enlighten.
I looked around and found I really liked the definition of “canonical name” found on Editing:Author Records with only a slight confusion raised by “The canonical name may actually be a pseudonym, for instance Cordwainer Smith.” In re-reading that a couple of times I believe it would work better if the word “actually” was removed as then it would express permission to use pseudonyms as canonical names where “actually” gave a hint to me that Cordwainer Smith's entry was an exception and thus a frowned upon practice.
As people will edit titles and publications far more often than authors you may want to define “canonical title” and also to explain how one determines the isfdb’s canonical name while in the midst of editing. (Editing:Title Records and Editing:Publication Records mention that it’s better to use canonical forms when there’s a choice but someone not familiar with the word “canonical” much less isfdb will glaze out.) Marc Kupper 12:10, 17 Nov 2006 (CST)
I used the def from the place you suggested, and added a title def too -- see what you think. Mike Christie 15:40, 17 Nov 2006 (CST)