User talk:Ahasuerus/Archive/2010

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Logan's World

Identified the cover artist (Mitchell Hooks) and added a note to this verified pub. Thanks, Willem H. 19:26, 4 January 2010 (UTC)

Project Gutenberg in other site list?

The web addresses have the catalog id appended. It seems like all the program would have to do is check for the Project Gutenberg publisher id (13741) and build the link using the id field.--swfritter 16:26, 13 January 2010 (UTC)

Yes, that would be easy to do. FR 2931835 created. I am fiendishly busy at the moment, so no way of telling when I may be able to put the next patch together. Hopefully within the next few days. Ahasuerus 04:55, 14 January 2010 (UTC)
Thanks. The LibriVox is kind of wishful thinking. As their library goes I hope they will eventually start assigning true id numbers. Certainly don't feel rushed about any requests.--swfritter 15:52, 14 January 2010 (UTC)

Better yet, but more complicated, would be to treat the data as virtual field and actually place the link in the publication listing. Librivox would be nice, too. But they do not have id numbers. Instead they use title and author to build the link. As the sole member of the LibriVox subcommittee it would be acceptable to me to enter "#little-fuzzy-by-h-beam-piper" as the id. It is the unique identifier supplied by the publisher although a little verbose and others would probably find it unattractive. I have avoided entering HTML links in the notes in hopes that there would be programmatic solutions.--swfritter 16:26, 13 January 2010 (UTC)

Such IDs might need the field lengthening, it's only 32 characters at present I believe? Or maybe that proposed second ISBN field could be longer and used for such. BLongley 20:01, 14 January 2010 (UTC)
Something to keep in mind if there are any other reasons for using the ID field in a similar manner; not worth doing for one vendor. If a db update is required it might be better to add a specific field for accessing online data.--swfritter 15:15, 15 January 2010 (UTC)

Norton's Star Rangers

According to Locus #225 (September 1979), this printing was published in August 1979. Mhhutchins 19:48, 15 January 2010 (UTC)

Added, thanks! Ahasuerus 09:30, 16 January 2010 (UTC)


Scanned in a new image for [this] Notes previously stated the artist was 'suggested' as Schleinkofer but needed a source. His signature is on the cover... does that count??¿¿?? ;-) 1/2' up and 1/2' in from bottom right corner. In great humbleness, Modfather! ~bill, --Bluesman 03:55, 16 January 2010 (UTC)

Who would have thunk it's a signature and not some strange purple (?) weeds growing in the grass?? :-) Thanks! Ahasuerus 09:36, 16 January 2010 (UTC)
Real good catch. Jane Frank does not have it. Modfather??? Thanks, Harry. --Dragoondelight 12:00, 16 January 2010 (UTC)

Locus 2007

The new index has been posted online. Maybe this would be something that Fixer could 'mine'?? FYI ~Bill, --Bluesman 17:32, 18 January 2010 (UTC)

Individual book descriptions are presumably copyrighted by Charles Brown and Bill Contento, but it would be possible to extract basic biblio data, e.g. where the Locus Index says:
ABÉ, SHANA *Queen of Dragons (Bantam 978-0-553-80528-4, Jan 2008, $18.00, 289pp, hc, cover by Stephen Youll) [Drakon] Fantasy romance novel, the third in the Drakon trilogy about shapeshifting dragons in 18th-century England.
Fixer could create a submission which would look like something this:
  • Author: Shana Abé
  • Title: Queen of Dragons
  • Publisher: Bantam
  • ISBN: 978-0-553-80528-4
  • Date: 2008-01-00
  • Price: $18.00
  • Page count: 289
  • Bonding: hc
  • Cover: Stephen Youll
Note that Locus-provided series information would not be available and that any additional information which could be derived from the free text area by a human, e.g. "A hardcover edition (-07787-4, £17.99) was announced but not seen", would be lost. Ahasuerus 00:34, 19 January 2010 (UTC)
True, but any Moderator would/should go and check for the extras. At least all the finds would be SF [and I would bet not much paranormal romance...]. I would assume such entries would state the source as Locus? ~Bill, --Bluesman 01:22, 19 January 2010 (UTC)
Yes, that's the plan. In theory, Fixer could do all kinds of other useful things as well, but it's always a balancing act... Ahasuerus 06:07, 19 January 2010 (UTC)
Whether it be legal or not, it would show a total lack of integrity to scrape data from Contento without his permission.--swfritter 16:17, 19 January 2010 (UTC)
Sure, we'd need to ask Bill first. He didn't respond to the last couple of e-mails with corrections that I sent last year, so I was beginning to get worried (unfortunately, SF bibliographers don't seem to live nearly as long as SF writers), but apparently he is OK.
This takes us back to one of the underlying problems with ISFDB: How do we ensure that our data is not only as accurate as possible, but also as complete as possible? I suspect that the most efficient way to get there is to have Fixer do Amazon and on-line library catalogs (aka "copy cataloging") first since it raises no legal or ethical questions. Then we can check for gaps by running freely available OCLC lookup tools that correlate ISBNs for multiple editions of the same book (up to 500 lookups per day are free) and creating a list of ISBNs which the Locus Index has and we do not have. The latter two project will require a more thorough manual intervention, but hopefully Amazon and online catalogs will have narrowed the field considerably by then. And then, of course, there is reconciliation with Tuck and Reginald. Ahasuerus 18:24, 19 January 2010 (UTC)
There can be a fine line between research and intellectual theft. The methodology you suggest keeps us to the research side of that line. There is a commercial aspect to the Locus databases; wholesale use of the data reduces the monetary value which seems unfair for somebody who has worked so hard to maintain the data. Contento may be very busy with Fictionmags; at least the data is sent to his email address.--swfritter 16:47, 20 January 2010 (UTC)
Yes, things have become quite blurry with recent improvements in technology. It used to be that the rules, at least in the US, were fairly straightforward, e.g. copying the data in a phone book was OK, but copying the presentation aspects was not. Similarly, raw bibliographic information was OK to copy -- you will find references to Reginald and Currey in all kinds of library catalogs -- but quoting their "original work", e.g. the synopsis data, was not. Now that there are all kinds of data scraping and copying systems, things are blurrier than ever... Ahasuerus 03:21, 21 January 2010 (UTC)

Laumer's The Breaking Earth

Before I create a variant record for the cover artist, can you re-check to make sure that "Rick Sternback" is credited for this third printing? (The first printing is credited to "Rick Sternbach".) Thanks. Mhhutchins 04:14, 26 January 2010 (UTC)

"Rick Sternback" confirmed and Notes expanded to add other weirdness. The copyright page also refers to the "Firrst" [sic] printing, so who knows what else may have been misspelled. In their defense, Tor was still a fledgling publisher at the time :) Ahasuerus 06:01, 26 January 2010 (UTC)
Yep, it's not the first (nor the last) typo we'll find on a Tor paperback from the 80s. Not only could they not spell, they spuriously gave new copyright dates to countless numbers of reprints. I can forgive bad spelling, but that seemed to be deliberately deceptive. Thanks for checking. Mhhutchins 06:19, 26 January 2010 (UTC)

Jamie the Red - changed Roland J. Green to Roland Green

Morning! This. [1]. I changed the author field to Roland Green, and added notation on cover artist, after matching my copy to your ver. Thanks, Harry. --Dragoondelight 14:49, 29 January 2010 (UTC)

Thanks, I have adjusted the associated Title record and the sibling pub to reflect the spelling. Ahasuerus 01:00, 30 January 2010 (UTC)

The Blue Star

Found Ron Walotsky's signature on the cover of The Blue Star. Submitted the edit and adapted the notes. Thanks, Willem H. 19:17, 5 February 2010 (UTC)

Thanks! Ahasuerus 03:33, 6 February 2010 (UTC)

The Time Tunnel

I've cloned your Time Tunnel pub since mine has a different cover. Mine also says it is a first printing. Take a look and see if you know which is telling the truth. Also says the cover is by Jack Gaughan when it is actually a photo from the show. I'd guess that makes the one with artwork the likely real first. Dana Carson 07:42, 6 February 2010 (UTC)

The cover on my copy is the same as yours. I suspect that the pub had no cover art associated with it when I verified it in 2007 and then someone added a Bookscans URL and forgot to notify me (or I didn't check properly.) Alternatively, the Bookscans picture may have changed since 2007. This means that there is another version of the cover (second printing?) that we have no pub for. Perhaps we could ask on the verification page and see what other editors have in their collections. Ahasuerus 22:58, 6 February 2010 (UTC)
There's an earlier novel Time Tunnel which had Gaughan artwork, maybe someone confused the book the series was based on with the book based on the series? BLongley 20:37, 6 February 2010 (UTC)
Apparently, Gaughan's 1964 art was reused on some versions of the 1967 TV tie-in except that the publisher changed the background and wrote a new blurb about it being related to the series. A penny saved is a penny earned! :) Ahasuerus 22:58, 6 February 2010 (UTC)

Latest backup - wrong date

2010-01-06 - but the correct contents.--swfritter 20:46, 7 February 2010 (UTC)

Thanks! Ahasuerus 20:57, 7 February 2010 (UTC)
Fixed. Ahasuerus 00:49, 8 February 2010 (UTC)

PaperbackSwap as Other Site

The ISBN is used as an argument in linking to pubs.--swfritter 16:53, 11 February 2010 (UTC)

Librarything use ISBN too and might be a good addition. Their APIs also look quite interesting now. BLongley 19:34, 11 February 2010 (UTC)
Good idea! Let's create a Feature Request and I'll see what i can do when I get back to civilization (or at least to the my main development server) on Friday. Ahasuerus 18:13, 28 February 2010 (UTC)

Depression or Bust / Dawnman Planet

I added the cover artist (Chris Foss) from the signature, and notes from Locus #166 to this verified pub. Thanks, Willem H. 17:24, 18 February 2010 (UTC)

The Rival Rigelians and Planetary Agent X

I added the cover artist (E.L. Kuam)and a note to this verified pub. Signature is clearly visible in the lower left. Thanks, Willem H. 20:56, 18 February 2010 (UTC)

Trinity and Other Stories

New image and expanded notes for [this] Wonder if those introductions merit going in the contents as they all have titles...? [Your 'secondary' page re: notes/images is getting almost as long as Kraang's!! Though I think he's into volume III by now... ] ~Bill, --Bluesman 22:50, 24 February 2010 (UTC)

I know, I know, I need to clean it up. If all goes well and I retire in a year or so, I should have much more time for it... Ahasuerus 02:55, 25 February 2010 (UTC)
I have the Bluejay hardcover of that title, and would humbly suggest that giving titles to those introductions shouldn't automatically make them candidates for individual records. Most of them are a quarter-page and only one of them is more than a half-page in length (and it's less than a page) in the hardcover edition. (Not that length should be the sole determining factor. Sometimes Harlan Ellison © goes on for pages...) Mhhutchins 05:55, 25 February 2010 (UTC)
They're all that short in the PB, too. It would be nice to know if it's the editor that makes the intros separate or the author. As a professional one of the former, whose decision is that? ~Bill, --Bluesman 18:42, 25 February 2010 (UTC)

Keith Laumer's The Glory Game

I've added a cover image to the record for your verified copy of the Doubleday first edition. In doing so I discovered that my copy was not a first edition. It prints the ISBN correctly on the copyright page, and drops the usual Doubleday "First Edition" statement. I dated my printing based on the gutter code "O20" (May 1973). When you get a chance can you look for a gutter code in your copy? Publication date for Doubleday editions average 4-6 weeks after the printing date. This would hone in on the date of your edition. Thanks. Mhhutchins 04:49, 26 February 2010 (UTC)

The good news is that I have the book handy. The bad news is that the gutter code was printed so close to the spine that only the letter "O" is visible, the rest was eaten by the glue. There is a very faint partial "6" (or rather its mirror image) smudged on the opposite page, but I am not 100% certain. I have updated the pub to reflect our current lofty standards and indicate that there is no statement of edition or printing, so my copy is at best an assumed first printing. I would guess that it's fairly likely that the publisher found out about the bad ISBN as soon as the book hit the stores and fixed it before the second printing was sent out, but that's just a guess. Ahasuerus 05:14, 26 February 2010 (UTC)

Dai-San - possible cover artist

Morning! This. [2]. Is this cover image used [3], if so, it would match cover art in "Ultraterranium" by Bruce Pennington, page 94-5. Just FYI question. or is that FMI? Thanks, Harry. --Dragoondelight 14:04, 6 March 2010 (UTC)

That's the one, thanks! Ahasuerus 15:28, 6 March 2010 (UTC)
I added the artist and notation. Thanks, Harry. --Dragoondelight 14:12, 7 March 2010 (UTC)

Approaching Future

The magazine that is. And it will probably require some (actually lots) of re-working of the series data. You have verified a number of these issues. My intent is to prioritize the series entries for navigation purposes while still properly documenting the various editorship variants. There are still at least a 1000 "lost" magazines in the system that are not in series and in many cases without a wiki page. That does not include the non-genre magazines which also will also require some work.--swfritter 16:04, 6 March 2010 (UTC)

Sure, please feel free to re-juggle the series (pl.) involved! It was a relatively early experiment and I sure we have learned a lot in the intervening years. Ahasuerus 23:18, 6 March 2010 (UTC)
Still ugly. And there is the anomaly that the mag was renamed "Science Fiction Stories" for a couple of issues in 1943 although with vol/issue numbers from Future. Ashley lists them together as I have done. Contento gives a separate listing for the two issues. The certainly don't belong with the later mag of the same title.--swfritter 15:24, 11 March 2010 (UTC)

Inconstant Moon

Found an image, hopefully the correct one, for [this] ~Bill, --Bluesman 00:43, 9 March 2010 (UTC)

Close, but not quite :) The underlying picture is the same, but the author's name, the logo, etc are all different -- see the new version that I uploaded a couple of minutes ago. The next question, of course, is which printing used the version that you found! Ahasuerus 01:32, 9 March 2010 (UTC)
Would appear that Mr. Longley's '77 reprint would be the lucky recipient, but already has the same image. That's one HUGE picture you uploaded!!!! How did you get one that size yet so few kbs?? ~Bill, --Bluesman 19:38, 13 March 2010 (UTC)
It's a trade-off between file size and picture quality. If you examine the full image carefully, you'll notice that it's grainy, i.e. there are few pixels per inch, which is why it is relatively small (120Kb). Most browsers (Firefox, Internet Explorer, etc) automatically scale images to fit on the page, so large low quality images generally appear as medium quality images when they are shrunk to fit the page. I am not sure how your browser handles it (Opera, isn't it?), but chances are that it's only when you choose to see the full image that you notice how grainy it is. Trade-offs, trade-offs! ;-) Ahasuerus 20:23, 13 March 2010 (UTC)
Safari. And my thumbnail size parameters are off. ~Bill, --Bluesman 23:33, 13 March 2010 (UTC)

House of Shadows

Added an image to [this] ~Bill, --Bluesman 15:06, 13 March 2010 (UTC)

Knave of Dreams ISBN

Not sure if you or Kevin came up with the ISBN for [this] but isn't it a bit unusual for the last digit of the catalogue # to change?? The real ISBN should be 0-441-45000-8 which does search properly on Amazon [not OCLC]. And I added a new image that shows the wrap-around art. ~Bill, --Bluesman 19:30, 13 March 2010 (UTC)

No Night Without Stars

Found a nice image for [this] then went digging to maybe get the date nailed down. Some luck. Using our publishers data I don't think this could have come out any earlier than 1977. Mostly from the ISBN as Fawcett's prices seem to wander a bit, but certainly the price from '75 would have been $1.25. The URL that was in the notes no longer leads anywhere, so deleted that but added a new link to what may have been the same site. That's where the image was... um... 'lifted' from, along with an artist credit. It's a very good site. Have plucked several early HC images. Cheers! ~Bill, --Bluesman 17:13, 14 March 2010 (UTC)

Talk page link

An editor, [Rob Crausaz], there's a problem with linking to his talk page. From the bookmark, the previous link, no problem, but in the discussion on my talk page [here] his signature doesn't go to the correct page, and he is using the signature tab in the edit mode. Can you take a look? Thanks. ~Bill, --Bluesman 00:20, 16 March 2010 (UTC)

It looks like in his case clicking the button in the signature tab results in three tildes rather than in the standard four. Three tildes create a link to the main User page rather that to the user's Talk page. Since he hasn't put anything on his User page yet, the link is red. I wonder if his editing preferences are messed up or if he is doing something manually before he posts? Ahasuerus 00:34, 16 March 2010 (UTC)
"Editing preferences"? I wasn't aware one could alter a signature from there? ~Bill, --Bluesman 02:25, 16 March 2010 (UTC)
I am not aware of a way to do so explicitly, but there are quite a few options there, so perhaps it happened inadvertently? I am not much of a Wiki expert, so we may be better off asking on the Help Desk. Unfortunately, DES, our Wiki go-to person, hasn't been seen since November :( Ahasuerus 02:58, 16 March 2010 (UTC)
The signature is controlled by "Nickname" on the "User Profile" tab of the "my preferences" page. There are two controls: The text itself is what gets substituted as the visible portion of the link for the multi-tilde shortcuts. The "Raw Signatures" checkbox prevents the link generation, using whatever you typed as the Nickname directly; if you do not supply a nickname, I think it uses just your username. --MartyD 10:40, 16 March 2010 (UTC)
Hmmm... interesting discussion. When I use the signature tab it does generate 4 tildes (I just counted). I didn't do anything to my preferences (until just a second ago when I removed my last name from the nickname box). My "Raw Signatures" checkbox remains unchecked. I tried entering the 4 tildes manually and saving but there was no change--the link's still incorrect. Thanks everyone for trying to help! Rob --Rob 01:37, 17 March 2010 (UTC)

New Worlds US

I noticed that the wiki page has your name as the only name in the page history. According to both Contento/Miller and Ashley Santesson was the editor. Also added stub issues so I could put them in series. Instead of stating that it is a reprint I changed the text to state that it is comprised of stories from the UK version. Kind of interesting that the first issue has the classic cover for "Who?" but not the story?!--swfritter 13:33, 23 March 2010 (UTC)

Looks good! I believe I have all five issues somewhere in the boxes, but I can't find them at the moment. Ahasuerus 03:38, 29 March 2010 (UTC)

Equality: In the Year 2000

I added the author's introduction to this verified pub. Thanks, --Willem 09:30, 27 March 2010 (UTC)

Organizing Magazines

Plans for dynamically accessing magazines I assume are still in flux. --swfritter 23:46, 10 April 2010 (UTC)

My original plan was relatively modest and consisted of two parts. First, add the ability to see all magazine issues as a grid, similar to what we have on the Wiki side. Second, add a Notes field to Series records so that we could migrate free text descriptions there.
The first part is a little tricky since many issues have dates like 1938-00-00, so it's not always clear how to sort them within table rows. Humans know that "Shocking Stories, Fall 1938" should be listed after "Shocking Stories (Summer 1938)", but Python may have issues with it due to spelling variations, parenthesis placement, etc. It's probably not that big a deal and we can base the display logic on publications dates alone for now. Later, we can slowly fix any display issues by changing the dates to "1938-00-01", "1938-00-02", etc. Any series which contains both EDITOR records and non-EDITOR records will be problematic, but there aren't that many of them and we could ignore non-EDITOR titles for grid purposes. The result may be an imperfect grid, but as long as it is serviceable, it will be probably better than a prettier grid stuck on the Wiki side with no easy way to access it.
The second part of the plan is straightforward design-wise, but the implementation will be somewhat painful due to the kludges originally coded to support super-series editing. I may have to split the Edit Series form into two separate forms, so it may take some time. Unfortunately, time is not something that I have a lot of at the moment. Way too much work, stress and travel for this obsolete model... Ahasuerus 02:27, 11 April 2010 (UTC)

Using magazine editor series can get kind of difficult with titles like Interzone which have multiple editors and others which have rotating editors, magazine title changes, and pseudonymous editors. Are there any technical issues involved in adding a second EDITOR record which uses the magazine title and the canonical magazine name as the editor? I would have to think the secondary EDITOR records would be much easier to use when creating a dynamic access methodology.--swfritter 23:46, 10 April 2010 (UTC)

A secondary EDITOR record wouldn't help with the grid task since the grid generation logic will be based on the underlying publication records. It will also raise numerous issues with automatic generation of EDITOR record at data entry time, automatic linking of Pubs to Series, etc. Overall, it would be a rather major can of worms and I am not sure the benefit would be substantial enough to open it. Ahasuerus 02:27, 11 April 2010 (UTC)
It would probably require another record type with special but similar handling. If we had a simpler solution that could be implemented earlier and later incorporated into a final solution that would be nice.--swfritter 13:47, 11 April 2010 (UTC)
All of the other major bibliographers are willing to designate a month of publication for quarterlies, etc. I know that we want to be special but given that publication dates are notoriously difficult to document do we really want to be that special?--swfritter 13:47, 11 April 2010 (UTC)
Do you mean that we could use July as the default value for "Summer" issues, October for "Fall" issues, etc? (Sorry, I still have trouble parsing your sentences much of the time. The brain needs a firmware upgrade :-( )
Contento, Ashley, and others use grids to document published issues. Those grids are organized by month. I am sure they guess at times using the logic you suggest above. The biggest problem is Winter issues. In some cases they are the first issue of the year and in other cases the the last issue. When they are the first issue of a year then January is usually considered to be the month of publication; if they are the last issue of a year December is usually used. I have even come across one magazine that had two Winter issues; one at the beginning of the year and one at the end! In any case, most of the time Contento can be cited as the source and we don't have to try to figure it out.--swfritter 13:37, 12 April 2010 (UTC)
If so, then keep in mind that for display/sorting purposes, the only thing that matters is that the dates should be different and sort properly, so "1938-07-00 and 1938-10-00" will work just as well as "1938-00-03 and 1938-00-04". It may still be a good idea to do what I think you are suggesting, though. Ahasuerus 03:54, 12 April 2010 (UTC)
Cleaning up series for navigation purposes: I have pretty much processed the low-hanging fruit and and mid-hanging fruit including the non-genre magazines. Considering that there are changes at hand I will leave the others to be updated when we have a new methodology. There are still as many as a thousand magazines that are currently not in series.--swfritter 15:20, 11 April 2010 (UTC)
We also have 395 magazines with a missing EDITOR record -- I have just updated ISFDB:Missing Editors based on the latest backup file. Once they have been cleaned up, I can disable the EDITOR record as a drop-down choice in Add Title. Ahasuerus 03:54, 12 April 2010 (UTC)

Tales of the Talisman

Noticed you have a Fixer submission of this title on hold. There is another submission by a new editor, and one of the authors, for the same title, but entered as a magazine with not a lot of data. I've put a hold on it until you can look and maybe combine the two? I tend to leave magazines alone but noticed the titles were the same. ~Bill, --Bluesman 01:32, 19 April 2010 (UTC)

Oh, it's a Magazine all right -- see this discussion that I just recently started. I put the Fixer submission (for a later issue, as it happens) on hold while I was looking for other online sources for this mag, so feel free to approve Goclark's submission :) Ahasuerus 02:44, 19 April 2010 (UTC)
It's the same issue, Vol. 5-4, though the editor's submission includes only his own story as contents! A wee bit self-serving..... artists!! ;-) I'll take the hold off but let someone else ask the right questions [if any] to flesh out the record. ~Bill, --Bluesman 03:20, 19 April 2010 (UTC)
Ah, I see! Sorry, the optical receptors aren't what they used to be. Why, I used to be able to tell a pulp from a bedsheet from 3 blocks away! :) Ahasuerus 03:46, 19 April 2010 (UTC)
We have a dozen of them entered now - poorly, as I did them. We probably out to do "Hadrosaur Tales" properly at some point too, but I've been working on "Realms of Fantasy" instead. (Which has come to a bit of a halt as their retrospectives only went up to 2004). Still, lazy copy'n'paste has been a nice mind-number for a while. BLongley 18:42, 29 April 2010 (UTC)
Looks good -- I have put them into a series so that our users could find them when using "Magazine search". Ahasuerus 19:03, 29 April 2010 (UTC)
"Magazine search"? I'm not sure what you mean there.... but I've never really understood magazine practices. BLongley 21:00, 29 April 2010 (UTC)
There is a (relatively) new option in the drop-down box in the main search area, "Magazine". If you enter, say, "Asimov" or "Tales", it will return all magazine Series which contain that word. One more reason why putting related EDITOR records into a series is a good idea :) Ahasuerus 21:16, 29 April 2010 (UTC)
Setting up the Wiki page might be the next step? (Unless someone has code improvements that means those are obsolete...) I was reluctant to merge and do series till dates were a bit more sure, but organisation is good. Usually. BLongley 21:00, 29 April 2010 (UTC)
There are some improvements in the pipeline that will make all Wiki pages for Magazines obsolete, but they are not ready yet, so a Wiki page would be good. Ahasuerus 21:16, 29 April 2010 (UTC)

Willem H. for Mod?

I see you've worked on some of his submissions recently, and I must admit that I keep having to remind myself that he isn't already at least self-moderating yet, as I'm not really qualified to work on foreign language pubs. But he's been here a long time, seems to do good work, and apart from being a bit shy about his qualifications (no user info) looks like being an asset. I'd propose him myself, but thought I'd ask for a multi-lingual Mod's opinion first. Does he get the foreign stuff right? BLongley 18:50, 25 April 2010 (UTC)

No problems so far and yes, I was thinking the same thing just last week. As an aside, Willem hasn't created many submissions based on his extensive collection of Dutch and German books -- yet. He was patiently waiting for the promised enhancements to foreign language support. Once I explained that foreign language originals were already fully supported, he began entering some of them and I expect the volume to increase as he works his way through Perry Rhodans et al. Ahasuerus 20:04, 25 April 2010 (UTC)
This is why I asked - and would encourage wider asking if needed. New moderators that can cope with French, German, Dutch (and recently, Hungarian, it seems) would be an asset. And we probably could do with a new Italian specialist after the loss of Ernesto. :-( I'm trying to clear my responsibilities a bit and go do the job-hunting thing again (unless I win the lottery) but want ISFDB to run smoothly without me if needed. So I've cleared the author updates, my holds, and really don't want to get into too much extra ISFDB work right now - but hopefully I will return. (Anyone here rich enough to pay for me to do ISFDB full-time? That would be an almost ideal job.) BLongley 21:00, 25 April 2010 (UTC)
Even if money wasn't an issue, we would still need to figure out how to handle taxes, the legal status of the project, etc etc, which would take a while, so you may want to get another job in the meantime :-)
Oh well, guess I'll go buy another lottery ticket and figure out how to get ISFDB onto my CV in a positive way. BLongley 21:14, 27 April 2010 (UTC)
BTW, do you want to go ahead and nominate Willem then? Ahasuerus 18:07, 27 April 2010 (UTC)
Well, I guess someone should now it's been mentioned: I'll do it if nobody else will, but this looks like an ideal opportunity to post the nomination in multiple languages - which I would do very badly. What's "moderator" in Dutch or German? BLongley 21:14, 27 April 2010 (UTC)
Kaiser¿¿¿??? ;-) ~Bill, --Bluesman 15:41, 29 April 2010 (UTC)
Just support the nomination and I'm sure he'll tell us eventually. BLongley 18:35, 29 April 2010 (UTC)
Hate to disappoint you, but it's moderator in both languages (and modérateur in French). You just pronounce it differently. --Willem H. 18:49, 29 April 2010 (UTC)
Ah, well, no fun there then. But how do those languages cope with "moderatrix"? BLongley 19:03, 29 April 2010 (UTC)
The literal translation would be "moderatrix" too, but that's an ancient word for a female morerator. These days we use "moderatrice" in most languages I think. Still not very exciting. --Willem H. 19:20, 29 April 2010 (UTC)

Valley Beyond Time [2]

Managed to deprive the image of its' "Zebra Stripes" so removed the mention of them from the notes of [this] So 1984-ish! ~Bill, --Bluesman 15:43, 29 April 2010 (UTC)

Leiber's The Sinful Ones

According to Locus #239 (November 1980), this printing has a new afterword by Leiber and was "slightly revised from earlier edition". Any internal evidence of this? Thanks. Mhhutchins 21:45, 6 May 2010 (UTC)

Yes! There is an "Author's Afterword", which I didn't notice when I originally verified the book. The novel's history is moderately complicated, although not nearly as complicated as other victims' of publisher abuse. I have added extensive notes, thanks! Based on the new information, we probably want to unmerge "You're All Alone" from "The Sinful Ones" Ahasuerus 03:44, 9 May 2010 (UTC)
Wow, great notes. Now I understand how the work's history became so mangled. I agree that the 40,000 word version be unmerged from the 75,000 word version. Thanks for taking the time to add the notes. Mhhutchins 05:18, 9 May 2010 (UTC)

Farmer's Doc Savage

When you find some spare time: Does this book give the publisher as Playboy Press or its imprint "Playboy Paperbacks"? Thanks. Mhhutchins 22:07, 6 May 2010 (UTC)

Same request for A Feast Unknown. Thanks in advance. Mhhutchins 22:26, 6 May 2010 (UTC)
I'll try to get to it over the weekend, very busy at the moment... Ahasuerus 04:36, 7 May 2010 (UTC)
Confirmed and changed, good catch! Ahasuerus 04:56, 9 May 2010 (UTC)

Angel & Angela Arnet

Hi, please see discussion here. Thanks Jonschaper 02:14, 12 May 2010 (UTC)

The Best of E. E. 'Doc' Smith

Added Philip Harbottle's Preface to this verified pub. Thanks, --Willem H. 10:31, 14 May 2010 (UTC)

Also identified & added the cover artist (Karel Thole) and added notes. --Willem H. 10:41, 14 May 2010 (UTC)

The Monitors

Replaced the amazon scan on your verified The Monitors, as I also changed to price to $2.75 to match my copy (it states first printing) can you have a look at yours ? (you entered $2.95). Thx. Hervé Hauck 17:23, 22 May 2010 (UTC)

$2.75 confirmed - thanks! Ahasuerus 04:03, 24 May 2010 (UTC)

broken import / export contents for Omnibus?

Don't know if this is newly broken or never worked.... I was handling some Fixer omnibus submissions for Mary Shelley. Two were submitted in tp / hc pairs. I made one of each set into an Omnibus (from Novel, fixing both pub type and title type) and added contents. When I tried to copy the contents to the other one of the pair (having converted these likewise to Omnibus first), via import contents or export contents, I got a pub metadata screen with raw HTML in an uneditable Notes field, and the copy did not function. I ended up having to re-enter the contents in the other member of the pair and then merge. --MartyD 10:44, 23 May 2010 (UTC)

I have never seen this happen -- thanks for the heads up! I'm swamped this weekend (have about 16-20 hours worth of work to finish by Monday morning), but I will take a look at it later in the week unless you get to it first :) Ahasuerus 13:17, 23 May 2010 (UTC)
I can reproduce it at will locally. Looks like a small HTML error. I will see about fixing it. --MartyD 01:19, 24 May 2010 (UTC)

Thebes of the Hundred Gates

I think the artist for this pub should be changed to Jim Effler (co-owner of A.I.R. Studios). There's a clear signature in the lower left corner, that matches the signatures on this website. Any problems with that? Thanks, --Willem H. 19:48, 25 May 2010 (UTC)

Ah, I see it now. Yes, please do change it -- thanks! Ahasuerus 21:05, 25 May 2010 (UTC)
Changed the credit, adapted the notes and informed Bluesman. Thanks, --Willem H. 06:20, 26 May 2010 (UTC)

The Flight of the Horse

See this. Can you re-check your tenth printing for the publication date? It now looks like Ballantine did two printings in the same month. Thanks, --Willem H. 05:54, 6 June 2010 (UTC)

That was a data entry problem - my copy is the ninth printing. I have corrected the verified pub and deleted the duplicate. The data entry slave will be punished most severely! Ahasuerus 14:11, 6 June 2010 (UTC)

Variant reviews

Ok, Mr. Reviewmeister, here's a question/comment for you. In TQF #23 I have two reviews by "S. W. Theaker". I've linked them to title records. But S. W. is a pseudonym for Stephen, so I made variants. At first I linked those to the titles as well, but then the title page shows two separate reviews (one by S. W., one by Stephen),and neither of those does what I'd really want/expect: "Review (2008) by Stephen Theaker [only as by S. W. Theaker] in...". What do you think? Bug? Feature? Bad User on Device? --MartyD 10:41, 6 June 2010 (UTC)

At one point I made the Title page display the reviews of any VTs of the currently displayed Title, but there is no logic to handle pseudonymous reviews, e.g. see the way "William Atheling, Jr."'s review of Damon Knight's In Search of Wonder appears. I mentioned it over on the Community Portal the other day and now Bug 3012062 has been created.
By the way, as per Help: "If the review uses a non-canonical title which is already recorded in the ISFDB as a variant of the canonical title for this work, simply enter the title used in the review. If the review uses a title which differs from any of the known titles for this book, but which still serves to unambiguously identify the book (e.g. if the review has a misprint, or abbreviates the name of the book), then enter a corrected title, but make a note in the notes field for the publication that the review title was spelled incorrectly, and give the form of the title actually used in the review", so the World War Z title record is presumably superfluous. Ahasuerus 14:02, 6 June 2010 (UTC)

Interview linkage

I noticed while working with Peter Crowther that the interview of him (as Pete Crowther) shows up on Pete Crowther, but not on the canonical name's page, and there doesn't seem to be any way to link it to that. Yet the help clearly says to use the name as entered if it's non-canonical and a pseudonym relationship already exists. Do you know what's behind that? --MartyD 09:51, 11 June 2010 (UTC)

Hm, I'll have to check the code, but I don't think there is a way to link pseudonymous interviewee names with their canonical counterparts. If my understanding is correct, then we may need to change Help or come up with a way to link interviewees. Ahasuerus 17:12, 11 June 2010 (UTC)
I always credit interviewees to the canonical name, but will make a variant if the interviewer's credit is non-canonical. The title of the interview is entered as stated in the pub. So the title record "A Pete Crowther Interview" will have interviewee "Peter Crowther". This doesn't violate any of the current standards. Mhhutchins 15:05, 2 July 2010 (UTC)
I've just fixed a few of these (there weren't that many). I think help needs updating still? BLongley 19:17, 14 November 2010 (UTC)

Publisher series idea

So you know what would be handy? On the Publisher summary page, a list of pub series, each entry clickable and taking you to the series summary page. See what you've started? :-) --MartyD 10:48, 2 July 2010 (UTC)

Well, the data is already in the database, so it's just a matter of scanning all pubs for the given publisher, retrieving each Pub Series ID and linking them. What could possibly go wrong? :-) Ahasuerus 16:41, 2 July 2010 (UTC)

King Solomon's Mines

I added the price for your verified copy of King Solomon’s Mines per Tuck. I was also curious as to why you included the city in the publisher field. I trimmed it a bit in cloning your copy for a reprint of that edition. Thanks. --Ron ~ RtraceTalk 10:44, 8 July 2010 (UTC)

That was an early verification, before we had separate publisher records and clear rules re: what to put in the publisher field. I have moved this information to the publisher level, thanks! Ahasuerus 14:55, 8 July 2010 (UTC)

Fixer overlooking something?

This may be nothing, but I figured I should mention it in case.... I just dealt with two Fixer submissions for September installments of Gold Eagle series (a Rogue Angel installment and a Deathlands installment). They were fine, but in fixing them up, I found each series had a July installment (dated 2010-07-13) we did not yet have in the database. Both were present on I've entered them, but I have no idea how widespread the behavior might be. --MartyD 01:13, 11 July 2010 (UTC)

Not sure how much this follows along the same issue, but every month when I'm entering selections for the SFBC, there are at least three or four new titles whose trade editions were not in the database. These editions are always listed on Amazon, usually forthcoming within a month or three. So I usually wind up creating a record for the trade edition from Amazon data, then cloning it for the simultaneous book club edition. Some examples from the last month or so: Eoin Colfer's The Atlantis Complex, the Charlaine Harris anthology Death's Excellent Vacation, Terry Brooks' Bearers of the Black Staff, Todd McCaffrey's Dragongirl. These are not obscure titles by obscure authors. Any reason Fixer may have missed them? Mhhutchins 01:47, 11 July 2010 (UTC)
I have checked Fixer's logs and these ISBNs were never suspended/rejected. It definitely looks like we have gaps in Fixer's coverage, but it's not clear what's causing them. A number of possibilities come to mind:
  • Amazon is not sending these ISBNs to Fixer when Fixer asks for "fantasy", "science fiction", etc.
  • Amazon's API is messed up again and it sends back the first 100 pages instead of the first 400 pages of matches for every subject.
  • Fixer's logic is rejecting these ISBNs without adding them to the list of "auto-suspended" and "rejected" ISBNs.
Now that I have a few missing ISBNs, I can re-run, say, July and see whether they are sent back by Amazon. Thanks! Ahasuerus 05:38, 11 July 2010 (UTC)
After re-running Fixer for July, I see that "Alex Archer"'s Tribal Ways is now queued up along with another 100+ ISBNs. As near as I can tell, Tribal Ways wasn't returned by Amazon the last time Fixer was run for July (a month ago?), most likely because it didn't have SF-specific subjects and browse nodes assigned at the time. I guess there is not much we can do about it aside from re-running Fixer for past months every so often. Ahasuerus 05:38, 11 July 2010 (UTC)
Here's another simultaneous release variation. Maybe it's just a case of one imprint's having been done while the other is yet to come, but for Fear, the September tp was submitted but not the September hc. --MartyD 10:30, 11 July 2010 (UTC)
That's exactly it -- Fixer has 712 items sitting in his preliminary queue at the moment, including ISBN 0525421688! Ahasuerus 14:10, 11 July 2010 (UTC)

Mission to the Heart Stars

Scanned in a new image and expanded the notes for [this] You wouldn't happen to know the source for the artist? Barlowe is one who doesn't have a style that immediately identifies his work. Thanks! --~ Bill, Bluesman 15:33, 25 July 2010 (UTC)

Cover credit for Lord of the Trees / The Mad Goblin

According to this website, Enric is the artist for this pub. Not sure how reliable it is, but it looks like his work. Mhhutchins 17:46, 13 August 2010 (UTC)

Same situation with Mordred. Thanks. Mhhutchins 17:59, 13 August 2010 (UTC)
And How Much for Just the Planet?. Mhhutchins 18:16, 13 August 2010 (UTC)

The Best of Destinies - interior art attribution added contents/notation

Morning! This. [4]. I matched my copy to yours, and then since I could recognize four interior artist signatures added those to contents and then added notation for those and couple more. Forgot to change Pohl essay to page 324. Have to do on rebound. Thanks, Harry. --Dragoondelight 12:35, 4 September 2010 (UTC)

Ipomoea / The Brass Dragon

Please join in this discussion about one of your verified pubs. Thanks. Mhhutchins 16:56, 21 September 2010 (UTC)

Got it, thanks! Ahasuerus 03:48, 22 September 2010 (UTC)

Sheffield's Erasmus Magister

Is the introduction in this book shortfiction? Thanks. Mhhutchins 14:39, 7 October 2010 (UTC)

Good catch, changed. Thanks! Ahasuerus 06:25, 8 October 2010 (UTC)

Verification Status

I wanted to add a primary verification to [5]. In doing so and without intending to, I removed all the other verifications. Can you restore them? Animebill 17:21, 9 October 2010 (UTC)

Here is what I see comparing the last backup and the live system:
Primary Verification: Hall3730
Primary (transient): Bluesman
Locus1: Bluesman
OCLC/Worldcat: Bluesman
Primary2: Kpulliam
Primary3: Bluesman
Primary 4: Mhhutchins
Primary 5: Animebill
Bleiler78, Reginald1, Tuck, Miller/Contento, Bleiler1, Currey, Contento (anth/coll) - N/A
I can't easily restore this information unless I resort to manual manipulations of the database, but we can ask the affected editors to re-verify their books. I have re-entered all "N/A"s, so at least that part is done. Ahasuerus 00:34, 10 October 2010 (UTC)
I imagine Bluesman will only want to restore one of the primaries or the primary (transient) - unless it's in some sort of quantum state where he has it and doesn't have it simultaneously. BLongley 17:30, 10 October 2010 (UTC)
If I'm reading something I have it, if not I'm never quite sure where it is...... ;-) --~ Bill, Bluesman 19:06, 10 October 2010 (UTC)
Sorry, my bad, it wasn't Transient-verified. So much for quantum bibliography... Ahasuerus 20:56, 10 October 2010 (UTC)

Data Consistency/Disallowed URLs

When you have the chance, could you run this list again and repost here? It's been a few years since it was last posted. I've removed all the cover image links for pub records that were linked in the list, but there are several that had multiple images that didn't have links to the records with disallowed URLs. And I'm sure in the meantime the figures have changed. Thanks. Mhhutchins 20:29, 13 October 2010 (UTC)

Sure, I can easily re-run the script, but first I need to reinstall the backup on the development server, which won't happen until Saturday. In case I forget, could you please remind me some time over the weekend? Ahasuerus 04:38, 14 October 2010 (UTC)
I'll remind you. Thanks. Mhhutchins 21:46, 14 October 2010 (UTC)
Just a reminder that you asked for about rerunning this script. Thanks. Mhhutchins 00:25, 17 October 2010 (UTC)
Done - thanks! Next question: Should we add support for URLs in Advanced Search? Ahasuerus 00:59, 17 October 2010 (UTC)
I never thought such a thing was possible, thinking there wouldn't be any reason to do so. But if you can do it, please do so. I'm going to need to know how to find those pubs that are not linked to the list since I don't have a local copy of the database. Thanks. Mhhutchins 02:56, 17 October 2010 (UTC)
OK, FR 3089039 created. Ahasuerus 03:58, 17 October 2010 (UTC)
We might want to clarify that a little - URL search for Cover Art and Author Images helps us clean-up illegal links, but Author Webpages can be considered a lower priority (although given AOL Hometown pages and Geocities disappearances, it might be useful when an entire service is discontinued.) BLongley 19:32, 14 November 2010 (UTC)
Noted, thanks! Ahasuerus 21:48, 15 November 2010 (UTC)

Murray Leinster's "The Grandfather's War"

As a primary verifier of a publication containing The Grandfather's War , you input on this discussion is requested. A question has been raised about the proper location of the apostrophe. Thanks. --JLaTondre 00:58, 12 November 2010 (UTC)

Looks like it's already been covered :) Ahasuerus

help needed with author

A new editor submitted a book containing a review by Charles J. Rector. This was actually a reference to an Amazon blurb. I removed the review title from the pub, but now I can't find it, and Charles J. Rector still shows up as an author. I tried adding a dummy pub to him and deleting it and the title, but he's still there. I have a feeling it's because the review is still there somewhere. Unless there's a technique I don't know about, I think it needs SQL zapping. Thanks. --MartyD 00:04, 15 November 2010 (UTC)

This is exactly why I added "Reviewed Author" to Advanced search. Try that with "Charles J. Rector" and you'll find this title that can be deleted. BLongley 01:30, 15 November 2010 (UTC)
Ah! I was looking for him as the reviewer, not the reviewed author. I guess I didn't pay enough attention before removing the title.... Thanks! --MartyD 11:40, 15 November 2010 (UTC)
Thanks for chiming in, Bill! Ahasuerus 22:01, 15 November 2010 (UTC)

Hi Ahasuerus. Been off doing this so long I've forgotten how to leave you a Talk message. I've updated my T. Jackson King Author info page and would like to upload a new author photo, and maybe some book images, but can't find how to do that when I am linked into ISFDB. Could you help, either via email to, or via talk to my author page? Thanks and my regrets for jumping in out of line. User:Tom/Tjacksonking


I'm trying to put together a local copy of the code, so I can start working on it -- but I'm uncertain about ho the tags are being used in CVS. The instructions on Development seem out of date. Currently, I have the most recent CVS revision of the code -- what CVS commands should I use to make it match the code on the live server? JesseW 08:34, 21 November 2010 (UTC)

Checking the Development page, I see that it is indeed out of date. Sorry about that, we haven't had a new developer start in a while, so we haven't updated the instructions page in over a year. Glad you are trying your hand at it!
Don't worry about tags, it's something that I use as administrator to create patches before deploying software changes on the live server. If you have the current version of the code from CVS, you should be all set. Just make sure that the scripts haven't changed since you downloaded them -- you can use "cvs diff [script name]" to do that. If you don't, you will get a "version mismatch" error when trying to commit your change and it will take some time to untangle things.
Once you make your changes locally, post on the Development page (in the "Outstanding changes" table) what you have done and submit the changed script(s) to Sourceforge. If you are using the command line interface, the command is:
cvs -d:ext:[your_sourceforge_username] commit -m "Comment" []
where "Comment" usually looks like "Bug 3108657 Author Directory - apostrophe bug" or "FR 3038294 Check for reviews on delete". "FR" stands for "Feature Request" and the numbers refer to the bug/FR numbers on SourceForge -- see this list of bugs and this list of FRs. Please note that if you want to make a change that doesn't have a current bug/FR in Sourceforge, you will need to create one so that we would have a track record of all changes. Of course, if it's a change in functionality, we will want to discuss it on the Community Portal first. I would also suggest starting small to get a feel for things.
Anyway, the first thing to do is to add you to Sourceforge as a developer so that it would accept your commits. Could you please let me know what your Sourceforge user name is so that I could add you? Thanks! Ahasuerus 18:26, 21 November 2010 (UTC)
Sure! I didn't expect to get commit access so quickly, but... My Sourceforge user name is weinsteinj. JesseW 19:41, 21 November 2010 (UTC)
Done! "Commit access" is not a terribly big deal in our environment since we have only one live server. I review and test all committed changes before they are rolled up in the next patch, so if anything comes up, we can revise/revert any committed changes before they hit the live sever. There is a chance that someone will download a copy of the software for private use while it's in a state of disarray, but it's a fairly small chance. Ahasuerus 21:50, 21 November 2010 (UTC)
As a first project, I'd like to work on a FR I submitted, FR 3104420: Make the Edit and Clone screens more visually distinct. Should this be discussed on the Community Portal, or should I just hack up a possible commit? JesseW 19:41, 21 November 2010 (UTC)
The idea looks solid, but I am colorblind, so I am not sure what kind of visual clues would work best for color-enabled individuals. Perhaps post on the Community Portal and see what other editors think? Ahasuerus 21:50, 21 November 2010 (UTC)

"Extract the invisible author biographies from the database and post them on the Wiki for review" -- is this done?

This is one of things on your todo list. I wondered if it had already been done, or if not, whether I might try my hand at it. JesseW 08:58, 21 November 2010 (UTC)

Nope, it hasn't been done, feel free! And thanks for mentioning it -- there are some other things on that list that have been implemented and need to be removed from the list. Ahasuerus 07:20, 22 November 2010 (UTC)`
So, the basic process here would be:
  1. pull the rows of the notes table that are pointed to by the author's table, i.e.
    select author_canonical, note_note from authors join notes using (note_id)
  2. push the note_note into wiki pages of the form: Bio:author_canonical
Is that about right? JesseW 08:12, 22 November 2010 (UTC)
From the technical perspective, it looks reasonable, although we may need to experiment with "special" characters which may not be allowed in Wiki page names (there is a list somewhere). However, this data is quite old and was entered before the current moderation process was put in place, so some of it may need to be revised before it is entered into the Wiki. We may also need to review the author record to see if everything looks OK. For example, here is what the note says for Marc Raymond Wolsky (note id 471), whose record currently doesn't have any titles:
  • Three amatuer poems published, 1993, 1994, and 1995 all three rec'd. acclaim from International Society of Poets and the publisher, The Nat'l. Library of Poetry! The first is a poem of a meta-law morphic image. Next, is a poem by the name of "Sliver", with a direct reference to what we on earth call Martians or M&Ms: Inner Party Members of the Ingsoc Party! The last is a poem called "The Content Smile of a Deus Ex Machina", which is dedicated to the hope I have to see my Hellenic Muse freely expressed! If you read these please feel free to E-mail me, (only if you like them) at my e-mail adress:
We will need to rewrite this paragraph, make it more neutral, correct the typo in "amatuer", move the e-mail address to the e-mail field, extract the three poem titles, verify their existence, create publication records, etc. Given the amount of work involved, I suspect that the easiest way to handle it would be to create a Project wiki page and copy-and-paste the Note information there (20 at a time to make it manageable?) for volunteers to do the necessary digging. Ahasuerus 17:59, 22 November 2010 (UTC)
How 'bout putting them into the Author namespace (which is already intended for editor-level notes, not reader-level biographies), with a set of project pages transcoding them (in groups of 20), all linked from a toplevel page (maybe called ISFDB:Imported Author Notes)? JesseW 19:05, 22 November 2010 (UTC)
We have a "Project" namespace (see Bibliographic Projects in Progress linked from the main page), so it's probably best to use it for the proposed project pages. Other than that, the approach looks good.
Do you have the ISFDB Wiki installed locally? If you do, it should be fairly easy to experiment and see how it works. I don't have it set up on my development server, but Marty does and I am sure we can talk/bribe him into testing the changes. Ahasuerus 10:02, 23 November 2010 (UTC)

Skip the captcha?

As it should be abundantly clear by now, I'm not a spam bot -- can I get the captcha turned off? JesseW 06:05, 22 November 2010 (UTC)

The question has come up a number of times, but we have been unable to find a way to do it for users who are not moderators. I am sure it's technically possible, but last I heard from DES and MartyD, our resident Wiki experts, it wasn't something that we could do without a major effort. DES is on hiatus right now, but Marty may be able to provide additional insight. Ahasuerus 07:17, 22 November 2010 (UTC)
That's odd -- according to my reading of Extension:ConfirmEdit simply adding:
$wgGroupPermissions['autoconfirmed']['skipcaptcha'] = true;
to LocalSettings.php should do the trick. JesseW 07:55, 22 November 2010 (UTC)
Er, sorry, that should be = true (changed). JesseW 07:56, 22 November 2010 (UTC)
I think we tried that at one point and ran into unexpected side effects, but it's probably better to ask Marty, who knows more about the Wiki software than I ever will :) And BTW, thanks for documenting the build process. As you noted, it's not for the faint of heart. I am not sure why Al designed it that way, but I suspect that it "grew organically" over time. Ahasuerus 17:36, 22 November 2010 (UTC)
"designed" is such a strong term. Once upon a time, all the ISFDB code was in C, and the "database" consisted of preprocessed ASCII files, and needed to run on a variety of OS's, which necessitated a complex build/install system. There were a series of steps to move from C to python, then from ASCII to MySQL, so remnants of the old build moved along for the ride. Additionally, the old build process included a build-the-database step, so the build actually seemed a lot easier to me than it used to be. Alvonruff 16:43, 24 November 2010 (UTC)
Thanks, Al, that's more or less what I suspected, give or take a few minor skeletons in the closet :-) Ahasuerus 07:12, 25 November 2010 (UTC)
Installing and enabling this extension occurred before my time. I don't know of any reason why skipping captcha for logged-in users would cause bad side effects. Do you remember what happened? --MartyD 11:45, 23 November 2010 (UTC)
I am afraid I don't :-( Perhaps Al may have a better recollection and I think DES was involved too, but he is on hiatus. It wasn't disastrous, though, so I may try it tomorrow (using Fixer's account as a guinea pig) and see what happens. Ahasuerus 07:12, 25 November 2010 (UTC)

Variant translations

Hi, there! Have a question, failed to find the answer in help, would really appreciate if you could help! This is something that crops up frequently with Verne's books.

A novel, say El Titlo, is published in Mexico in 1200. Then it's translated into English as A Title, by T.R. Anslator in 1313. Then A Title should be listed as a variant title of El Titlo with the year 1313, correct? P-Brane 02:52, 25 November 2010 (UTC).

That's exactly right. English language translations of foreign language titles get a VT ("variant title"). Foreign language translations of any title (English or otherwise) are entered as publications under the original title. The gory details are explained at Help:How to enter foreign language editions.
The main reason for these somewhat cumbersome rules is inherent limitations of our software. If were to enter foreign language translations as separate VTs, we would end up with unmanageable author bibliographies for major author -- think what the Stephen King page would look like! The current approach is just a band aid and there is a fix in the works which will allow users to select which languages they are interested in and what translations they want to see. Once it's been implemented, we can set up appropriate VTs for all translations and life will be good :-) Ahasuerus 07:27, 25 November 2010 (UTC)

Now, in 1888, Mr. A. Translator, publishes new translation, also called A Title. Is it then recorded here as different variant of the parent title?

Thanks!!! P-Brane 02:52, 25 November 2010 (UTC).

At this time different translations are all entered as the same variant title as long the actual title -- in this case A Title -- is the same. This is suboptimal and we also plan to change it when we improve support for foreign languages. Ahasuerus 07:27, 25 November 2010 (UTC)

Titans' Daughter

Added an image to [this] and changed the variant relationship, in that the second ['66] Berkley edition also moved the apostrophe to after the 's'. Made that edition the variant and merged the '81 Avon with it. Was going to put this at the bottom of your 'other' page, but after scrolling for eons, hadn't hit the bottom..... ;-) --~ Bill, Bluesman 20:13, 28 November 2010 (UTC)

Looks good, thanks! (And yes, I need to clean up that page, it's just a question of prioritizing administration/development/moderating/verification time...) Ahasuerus 22:46, 28 November 2010 (UTC)

Scortia's Earthwreck!

According to its listing in Locus #249 (October 1981) this second printing appeared in September 1981. Mhhutchins 21:40, 29 November 2010 (UTC)

Added, thanks! Ahasuerus 00:38, 30 November 2010 (UTC)


It appears to be completely unused... What is (or was) it? JesseW 10:52, 5 December 2010 (UTC)

A few ISFDB2 scripts were discontinued during the alpha and beta phases in 2005-2006. They included Pub Merge and some kind of Title Contents form (?). My guess would be that MOD_CONTENT_UPDATE supported one of the discontinued scripts. Ahasuerus 16:23, 5 December 2010 (UTC)

Page to delete

Template:Helpbox -- I tried to import it from Wikipedia, but screwed it up. Best to not leave it around to confuse folks. JesseW 02:31, 8 December 2010 (UTC)

Done! Ahasuerus 02:35, 8 December 2010 (UTC)

Image Linking permission

[This] discussion gives us [I think] explicit permission to link to [this] site. Is there more we need? And I'm not quite sure how to add this to our list of sites. Thanks! --~ Bill, Bluesman 03:05, 16 December 2010 (UTC)

I have added Dagan Books to "Template:Image Host Sites" (see Recent Changes), so we should be all set. Link away! (And I hope Cthulhu doesn't mind the use of his name in a somewhat frivolous context :-) Ahasuerus 04:14, 16 December 2010 (UTC)
Thanks! If the skies turn black and stay that way, we'll know he's ... peeved?¿? --~ Bill, Bluesman 16:33, 16 December 2010 (UTC)

"The Uncanny Power of Edwin Cobalt"

The Kuttner story looks suspiciously close to the "Noel Gardner" title of 1940. Are we missing a pseudonym? BLongley 17:16, 16 December 2010 (UTC)

We certainly are, er, were. All fixed now, thanks! Ahasuerus 21:07, 16 December 2010 (UTC)

pa_update, pa_new, and ca_new all have the same title: "Publication Update".

This is puzzling. What are their actual (distinct) purposes? JesseW 10:08, 22 December 2010 (UTC)

These scripts are called from pv_update (Publication Update), pv_new (New Publication) and cv_new (Publication Clone) respectively. The fact that "clone/import pub" submissions appears as "New Pub" in the moderator queue is a known nuisance. Ahasuerus 16:48, 22 December 2010 (UTC)
Ah, that explains it. Can I commit a change to rename the titles of the latter two pages (pv_new and cv_new) to what you stated above, for clarity? The extent of the change would be to alter the title argument to PrintPreMod. JesseW 20:00, 22 December 2010 (UTC)
It's probably harmless in this case since PrintPreMod, unlike some of its more advanced brethren, just outputs static HTML. However, I am not 100% sure that the functionality in ca_new is limited to pub cloning -- take a look at the logic in cv_new and you will see a number of forks. This whole area is a bit of mess since Al originally created "New Pub" and then reused its code to create additional functionality to add/clone/import/export/etc pubs and their content. Consequently, some of the scripts have a fair amount of "baggage", but it's not always clear whether it can be harmlessly discarded. I try to clean them up whenever I work on specific improvements/bug fixes in that area, but otherwise I leave them alone since it takes a long time to make sure that all forks are properly checked. Ahasuerus 05:35, 23 December 2010 (UTC)

"The Hound and the Falcon", Judith Tarr

I added a content item to your verified pub Hound and the Falcon, for a 3-page "Author's Note" essay on p. 452. Chavey 22:15, 24 December 2010 (UTC)

Approved, thanks! Ahasuerus 00:04, 25 December 2010 (UTC)