Talk:Publishers Project

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Some Reading Material


Before getting into discussions on any of the numerous topics we will no doubt be dealing with I would like to raise the meta-topic of how and where we hold discussions and document things. Some principles:

  1. Organization is helpful. The page is for documentation, the talk is for discussion, which generally starts with a question. The response ends up in the documentation.
  2. History is important. Don't delete anything, but let the history page work for us.
  3. Things change. We need to be flexible as new material accrues and our understanding changes. So stuff can get moved and re-organized.

My suggestions:

  • For the main page, sections on Purpose, History, Problem Statement and Analysis headings, with future places for Solution Statement and Implementation Plan.
  • For the talk page, we will want to segment the discussion under various headings with topics generated as for User Talk pages under headings. (The downside is losing the use of "+" to start new topics, unless we get something else to work.)
Anniemod wouldn't say so here, but thinks the linear chronological model would be better. I don't disagree especially if it helps generate discussion. I'm willing to wait and see if there actually are any entries and deal with organization/archiving/referencing when there's enough to warrant it (see point 3). ../Doug H 22:56, 3 November 2021 (EDT)
I am just fine saying it here - just did not want to mess up your organization. I am just not sure I feel comfortable messing up a structured page with comments - not how our Wiki tends to work in my experience and when I see a structured page, i do not think "discussion page", I think "Project/User page". As I said - if that's how you want to organize, that's fine - but I expect that you will end up shifting a lot of topics from the bottom of the page to where you want them to go - I am a lot more likely to use the + sign if I have a new topic to post than try to figure out where it fits on the page. :) Annie 23:39, 3 November 2021 (EDT)
My guess is that 'resolved' questions/discussions will end up getting moved to an archive sub-page to keep relevant discussions. That would also allow for references to the discussions (on the project page) to be stable. Of course that assumes we get more than a few discussions. ../Doug H 08:30, 4 November 2021 (EDT)
A few thoughts after reading the the root level discussions of the previous project. Their thrust was the creation of a publisher hierarchy. That's fine, but, for what purpose? A goal of making the publisher field(s) more accurately reflect the actual publication. This is a goal of the ISFDB in general. Without a defined, desired outcome, there is no focus on what information needs to be assembled. No outline of specific tasks. This discourages others from participating. Maybe that was intentional. How do you suggest we initiate such a discussion and make it public enough to attract as many participants as possible? John Scifibones 10:34, 5 November 2021 (EDT)
The publisher field is unusual (I hesitate to say unique) in that it is not based on what is in the publication. As an attribute, it is query-able. Standardizing make it easier to query. The subsequent loss of information - precisely how they are credited - prevents the use of that information for tasks such as differentiating or dating publications. The cost is establishing a standardized set, determining which one applies and policing. I think our first 'discussion' needs to be exploring how the information might be used and what is required to make such use of it. ../Doug H 12:05, 5 November 2021 (EDT)
John, you won’t get many people participating in the discussion. If you have a proposal, you can get a few people to comment but general discussions like that? Good luck. If you expect that, we are going to get nowhere. Just saying. Annie 13:25, 5 November 2021 (EDT)
In that case, we'll just have to do it ourselves. John Scifibones 15:52, 6 November 2021 (EDT)

Project Purpose

On the project page, I stated the purpose was to address the ambiguity of the Help entry. The high level problems, as I see it, arise from:

"The publisher has in the past not been a key entity in the ISFDB, but publisher and imprint support is in the process of being improved"
  • While the historical reference is not untrue, it is irrelevant. It is a key entity now. The statement may explain artifacts and errors, but should be used in that context, not in the Help. ../Doug H 14:31, 7 November 2021 (EST)
  • The support has been improved as much as it will be, unless we identify reasons for change.
"a process of determining canonical names for publishers and imprints is in progress"
  • Said process has not been progressing for years.
  • It also pre-supposes that canonical names was the solution to an unspecified (in this Help entry) problem
"For the time being you are free to choose an imprint ..., a division ... or the parent corporation ... as you wish"
  • The freedom to choose can give rise to publication entries that differ only in that choice
  • While source-based, the choice does not give rise to consistency in how a publication or publisher is described.
"Where multiple forms of a name exist, it is not important to always enter exactly the form of the name as it appears on the book."
"Sometimes several of these varying forms will be on a single book. These can be converted to a canonical form"
  • Moderators have tended to enforce the conversion to a canonical form to such an extent that it their use is a general practice among editors.
  • There is contention about whether it is important or not to have the exact form from the book.

Subsequent text in the help entry deals in specifics (e.g. SFBC, space around the use of slash "/", capitalization), library records and self-published works.

Proposal: The purpose of this project is to establish the publisher as a key entity. {and all that entails} ../Doug H 14:31, 7 November 2021 (EST)