User talk:Ahasuerus/Archive/2019

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See User talk:Ahasuerus/Archive for discussions prior to 2020.


If you're writing to inform me that you've either added a COVER IMAGE or NOTES to any of my VERIFIED PUBS, please follow THIS LINK and add it to the bottom of the list. A link to the pub record would be appreciated. Once the pub has been reviewed, I'll remove your note from the list. Thanks!

Numbers for Translations (again)

Happy New Year :) How do we look at the start of the year? Annie 15:23, 1 January 2019 (EST)

As of this morning: 31,602 and 15,218. Steady does it! Ahasuerus 17:51, 1 January 2019 (EST)
Thanks! We are getting somewhere :) Annie 18:36, 1 January 2019 (EST)

(unindent) Hello, when you have a chance, can I see where we are with the numbers? :) Thanks! Annie 17:36, 11 January 2019 (EST)

Certainly. As of Wednesday morning, we had 31,341 translations without notes and 8,958 translations without the Tr template in notes. Excellent progress on the "Tr" side! Ahasuerus 17:46, 11 January 2019 (EST)
The Tr ones are the easier ones (except for the Italian ones... we somehow ended up with merges there with different translators and one of the translators added to the title... And someone is adding to the other group - I know that I had done more than 260 since last time we checked... but that is inevitable :) Annie 18:11, 11 January 2019 (EST)

(unindent) When you have a chance, I would love to see some numbers as they stand now. Thanks! Annie 17:20, 19 July 2019 (EDT)

Sure thing. Here is where we stood as of Sunday morning:
Ahasuerus 17:37, 19 July 2019 (EDT)
So, what kinds of notes do they need? The list doesn't give any explanation. ···日本穣 · 投稿 · Talk to Nihonjoe 17:57, 19 July 2019 (EDT)
They need their translators identified and added with the Tr template. Or if the translator is uncredited, we need a {{Tr|uncredited}} to be added. The second report contains the ones that have SOME notes - which may or may not contain the translator. The first report is for the one that are translations and have no notes at all. Annie 18:16, 19 July 2019 (EDT)
Gotcha. Thanks! ···日本穣 · 投稿 · Talk to Nihonjoe 18:18, 19 July 2019 (EDT)
Just as a comparison, these were the numbers last June:
  • Translations without notes: 37,927
  • Translations without the Tr Template in Notes: 30,191
Things are slowly getting updated - it just takes time :) And the first report gets new records often - not everyone adds translators when working with translations and we are not very good at enforcing that. But we will get there. If you feel like a project - there are some Japanese ones in the first report that I cannot figure out (and cannot find a source that I can read). Annie 18:24, 19 July 2019 (EDT)
I cleared a few of them. I'll do others as I have time. I wonder if it might be worth splitting the report in languages? ···日本穣 · 投稿 · Talk to Nihonjoe 19:16, 19 July 2019 (EDT)
Thanks! We discussed that last year and decided to leave it as is for now - the first few weeks after the reports were deployed were especially interesting when we were stuck in the non-Latin alphabets in both reports. :) It may still be a good idea to split out at least the main languages in the first report (splitting out the English titles is probably going to be the most impactful - most of the pre-1990 or thereabouts ones are a real challenge to work out so they tend to choke the top of the report) - the second one is down to M at its bottom and will be under 500 before long anyway. But as Ahasuerus has a lot of other things on his place, I am also ok to work on them as it is. Annie 19:47, 19 July 2019 (EDT)

(unindent) When you have a chance, some numbers from this Sunday's backups will be fun to see. Annie 13:03, 22 July 2019 (EDT)

As of Saturday morning the numbers were 28,010 and 1,447 respectively. I'll be checking the Monday backups shortly. Ahasuerus 13:35, 22 July 2019 (EDT)
Monday morning numbers: 27,971 and 1,390. Ahasuerus 14:17, 22 July 2019 (EDT)
Awesome. Sounds like the second one will go under 500 this week (but then the last ones will be the interesting ones...). Thanks! Annie 14:26, 22 July 2019 (EDT)

(unindent) I had been thinking again after the conversation with Nihonjoe above... So... how hard it will be to split the "Translations without Notes" into languages - pull out the big 5 (English, German, French, Italian and Dutch - or big 7 if you want to add Japanese and Spanish) in their own lists, leave the rest together so this is a bit more manageable. Because when we get into sequences like the "A xxx" and "Der xxx" and so on, the report basically gets stuck (and I would rather not just add a note or Tr|unknown just to get it to move). The other report is already under 500 so no need to split technically but with this one, I know there are titles I can work on but I cannot see them (Advanced Search does not help because we do not have a "is empty" option there - and while for the small languages looking through the complete list of titles per language is doable, it is not that feasible for the languages towards the middle of the list). Annie 17:25, 24 July 2019 (EDT)

Makes sense; FR 1291 has been created. I'll try to get to it as soon as practical, but I am not in very good shape at the moment, so it may take longer than usual. Ahasuerus 20:54, 24 July 2019 (EDT)
Take care of yourself - there are things outside of Translations one can work on :) Annie 20:59, 24 July 2019 (EDT)

Missing language

Hello! I can't find the language of Laos. Wikipedia names the language as lao or laotian. Did I miss it? This author Dao Neua is from Laos. Thanks, Rudolf Rudam 11:59, 3 January 2019 (EST)

We don't support Lao at this time. Since it's an ISO 639-2-recognized language, we should be able to add it easily. Give me an hour or two to wrap something else up and I'll get it done. Ahasuerus 12:17, 3 January 2019 (EST)
Done. I have tentatively set Dao Neua's working language to Lao. I couldn't find any sources stating which language he primarily uses for his genre work, but we can always adjust it later. Ahasuerus 15:00, 3 January 2019 (EST)
Thanks! Rudolf Rudam 01:30, 4 January 2019 (EST)

Invalid Prices Cleanup Report Tweak

Check out the prices in these search results. Perhaps a tweak is needed to the invalid prices cleanup report? -- JLaTondre (talk) 09:20, 5 January 2019 (EST)

Good catch. I have updated the cleanup report. Thanks! Ahasuerus 13:57, 5 January 2019 (EST)

The Fatal Eggs and Other Soviet Satire

I have spent an enjoyable morning reading comic stories--Mikhail Zoshchenko, in particular, is mighty funny--but must report that there is very little speculative in The Fatal Eggs and Other Soviet Satire. Besides the title story, there is "A Tale About the Furious Calaphat" by Leonid Leonov, which, the editor's note says, is "a tale told by a peasant guerilla fighter to a group of his comrades sitting at night around a fire in the woods during a lull in one of the early peasant rebellions against the Soviet government" extracted from the novel The Badgers (1925). In it, once upon a time, in a pastoral land, the king has a son, who grows up to acquire a scientific mania (Father: "We've lived this way for twenty generations. We ate our fill and we slept soundly. We've done right well." Son: "You're wrong. There is a science called eometry, and you've got to live by it. We'll give a number to every fish. And every star and every growing shoot ..." So the son names himself Calaphat "(In their tongue it meant, 'I'll get to the root of everything.')" and studies eometry: "He branded every fish, he issued passports to all the birds, and wrote down every blade of grass in a book. And everything around sickened. It was not joke: all nature got scrambled up. Even the bear got thin with worrying: was he a man or was he a beast, what with the passport in his hands?" And then Calaphat decides to build a tower to the sky, to see the entire land and to number the stars. There follows twenty years of building ... and a final twist. [At the head of the story, here is how the title is printed: "A Tale About the Furious Calaphat"; below in smaller type, "(From The Badgers)"; below that, "by Leonid Leonov."]

A few of the stories deal with ridiculous ideas by inventors, such as "For the Birds" which involves shearing chickens as if they were sheep, but there is no real science fiction. And belief in goblins is the central point of "Goblins" but the imps don't make an appearance. --Vasha (cazadora de tildes) 14:19, 22 January 2019 (EST)

Thanks muchly! I will remove the non-genre stories once I finish processing Fixer's submissions that are currently in the queue. I'll also add Leonov's Пирамида, apparently his only SF novel, and "Бегство мистера Мак-Кинли", the script of the 1975 film The Flight of Mr. McKinley which was published in 1983. Ahasuerus 14:49, 22 January 2019 (EST)
All squared away. Ahasuerus 18:28, 22 January 2019 (EST)

{BREAK} and ISFDB Wiki

Happy New Year!
Now I am finishing a January academic course. From next week I will be a regular here again.

I am not comfortable with replacement of Wikipages with extended Notes below the Break. Perhaps because I have not read any of the discussion why it is necessary or wise for all of ... I'm not sure what, but the one exception I know is References: namespace

After much December investigation I know a lot about The Pacha of Many Tales by Frederick Marryat. So I want to share what is bibliographic in nature, and also what may save others spending time and effort in the same footsteps. Last hour I composed, rejected, and resubmitted one SeriesUpdate that you or Chris J will probably consider this hour.

Among other comforts with Wikipages: it's easy to see what I am doing by Preview, rather than the tall thin green column between wider-but-still-thin red and blue columns in our Pending Submission view.

On the technical side, should we code something like this in database Notes (hidden COMMENT)?

Do we plan as longer content migrates from Wiki pages to database Notes, also html tags such as h2 and h3, and so on? --Pwendt|talk 16:30, 25 January 2019 (EST)

Let me quote what I wrote in response to a similar question in July 2016:
Originally we used the ISFDB Wiki to enter notes for publications, series, magazines, fanzines, publishers and publication series. There were a few reasons why it was done that way:
  • Series, publisher, magazine, and fanzine records did not have Note fields [added over the last few years]
  • There was no support for publication series [added in 2010]
  • Very long notes like this one pushed the rest of the data to the bottom of the page [{{BREAK}} added last year]
  • Wiki pages made it easier to use complex formatting, create tables, incorporate images and so on [still an issue]
As per above, most of the software issues have been addressed over the last few years, so now we can migrate these notes to the database proper. As we discussed back in March, the reasons for the migration were as follows:
  • The ISFDB database and the ISFDB Wiki are effectively two databases which can (and do) get out of sync over time. As per the summary posted below, more than a third (!) of Wiki-based Publisher pages are now orphans and not visible from the database side.
  • The bidirectional links between the database side and the Wiki side are based on what we used to call "lexical match", i.e. the two names/titles being the same. In our version of the Wiki software, the match doesn't work when certain characters are present, notably accented characters. This has become a bigger problem as our data has expanded to cover non-English works and authors.
  • There is no moderator oversight when editing the Wiki, which often results in incorrectly entered data. For example, consider this publication-specific Wiki page. The data is good, but it is related to the Birthright title rather than to one of its publications.
  • With the exception of ISFDB-hosted images, Wiki-based data is not included in our publicly accessible backups. If something major happens to and its maintainers -- and we all know that many useful Web-based resources have disappeared over the years -- the site can be recreated using the latest backup file. On the other hand, the Wiki data will be gone.
  • Bibliographic data is split between two Web pages, which can prevent our users from getting a full picture.
We have always known about these limitations, but early on we were forced to use the Wiki as a crutch because the core ISFDB software didn't support many features that we wanted. Over the last few years we have implemented many of these features, including Publication Series, an Award Directory, a Publisher Directory, Series/Publisher/etc notes and so on. We have also added built-in cleanup reports which have superseded Wiki-based cleanup projects.
Because of these enhancements we no longer need to use the Wiki as a crutch and can go back to using it for its original purpose, i.e. allowing editors to communicate. Of course, editors will remain free to create and maintain Wiki pages for research purposes, but Wiki pages will no longer be automatically linked based on the notorious "lexical match". Ahasuerus 21:35, 21 March 2016 (UTC)
Hopefully this makes sense. As mentioned immediately above, we can still create Wiki-hosted pages for very long and/or complex notes, but we need to link them using the "Web page" field. For example, see Winston Science Fiction, which has a Wiki page here. Ahasuerus 18:36, 25 January 2019 (EST)
Certainly it makes sense. I would have read both target discussions if I had known how to find them. ISFDB Wiki search is a disaster for me and may be so for anyone who does not vaguely recall the search hits that will be genuine rather than false positive. (Recall, having participated in the original discussion. OR having read the archive systematically at one time, as I am sure many have done for Help: space and Reference: space.) --Pwendt|talk 14:09, 26 January 2019 (EST)
I find that Google does a better job of finding old Wiki discussions than Wiki's built-in search engine. For example, the mid-2016 discussion quoted above was the third or fourth git when I ran a Google search on a few keywords yesterday. Ahasuerus 14:36, 26 January 2019 (EST)
March 2016: Those concerns expressed 2016-03-20/21 by Mhhutchins, JLaTondre, and Marc Kupper certainly match my own most-frequently or largest-looming concerns. Thanks for the link --and the self-quotation of one broad and crucial response.
One follow-up [quote Ahasuerus 23:40, 22 March 2016 (UTC)]
On to the specific issues raised by Marc [Kupper]:
Re: the proposal to move the data from publication-specific Wiki pages to "author's bibliographic wiki pages for publication discrepancy issues or to the publisher pages", the main problem here is that Wiki-based Author Biblio and Publisher pages will be folded into the database as well -- see below. That said, there is nothing preventing us from maintaining "project" pages on the Wiki side, but we'll need to link to them directly from each record's Note field. [end quote]
From your recommendation of Series: Winston Science Fiction, I infer that the current plan is to retain namespaces Author:, Publisher:, Series: and so on (not only Reference:) for the "project" purpose --not to rely on such hierarchies as WikiProject:Publication series/Winston Science Fiction and WikiProject:Verified publisher/Primary name/Houghton. Right?
--Pwendt|talk 14:09, 26 January 2019 (EST)
I don't think we have discussed making changes to Wiki namespaces. Checking what's in the database, I see that we have the following "Web page" links to Wiki namespaces:
  • Publisher
  • Series
  • Author (Mercedes Lackey and Amos Tutuola)
  • User (1)
  • images (2)
At this time, there are only 55 linked Wiki pages, so it shouldn't be hard to change namespaces if that's what we decide to do. Ahasuerus 14:43, 26 January 2019 (EST)
Thanks. I'll try to keep in mind both Google search of this site and, when appropriate, our own search by specific namespace. --Pwendt|talk 16:31, 26 January 2019 (EST)

Anstey autobiography

Hi. For six weeks I have been mainly away. I had a good Groundhogs Day.

I now have A Long Retrospect, the autobiography of F. Anstey, received from a library. You expressed some personal interest in November (ISFDB:Community Portal#Autobiographical titles acquisition). I will photograph or scan pp. v-vii, Preface and Contents, if you are interested, altho I don't yet know how to get such a file to you here.

Anyway here are two crucial paragraphs from the short preface, which with some context I will add to the title record as a Note (new Nonfiction submitted this hour) later this week:

In dealing with my career as an author I have no doubt dwelt at greater length than some would consider was required on the inception and the fortune, good or bad, of every one of my performances, most of which must be unknown to the present generation.
And, Vice Versa being after all the only book with which I am generally associated, I considered myself justified in describing my own school-days more fully than they would otherwise deserve.

Only one chapter is named for a work ('Vice Versa') and one other for a publisher ('Punch'). --Pwendt|talk 17:49, 3 February 2019 (EST)

I am afraid I wasn't clear during the last discussion. When I said that I was a "collector of all things Anstey", I meant that I had most of his books in my personal library, although not all of them are first editions. The two Anstey books that I do not own are Only Toys and Puppets at Large. Also, Paleface and Redskin and Other Stories for Boys and Girls is currently inaccessible.
I wish I had more time to do primary verifications of the books and magazines in my collections. Unfortunately, there are only 24 hours in a Terran day and my health/energy are not what they used to be, so I have to pick and choose my battles. Appreciate the thought, though! :-) Ahasuerus 20:40, 3 February 2019 (EST)

Note on author page for Jules Verne

You left a note on author page for Jules Verne in 2006 stating "Internal consistency pass done. Need to check recent (post-2000) English language Titles and find the French language originals.". I'm not sure what your internal consistency pass was for, but I have entered (almost) all of the originals - references to original publication in magazines in the notes and the first editions for the "paperback", "hardcover" and "omnibus" printings. My plan (hope) is to enter the first English language publications for each of the translations, though I'll need to sit back and figure out how to organize that effort. Anyway, three questions.

What did you want to do about the Author's page - there is still the reference to the I.O.Evans edition? ../Doug H 10:37, 6 February 2019 (EST)

That "internal consistency pass" was a part of the very first cleanup project that I ran in 2006. There was a lot of bad data -- some of it previously entered by a robot -- in the database at the time. "Internal consistency passes" were something that I did for major authors to get rid of the most egregious stuff. Thankfully, we are now way past that point.
Re: the I. O. Evans editions, it looks like the Wiki list overlaps with the publication series The Fitzroy Edition of Jules Verne. We didn't have support for publication series when Marc Kupper and P-Brane worked on it in 2008-2010, so they had to create a Wiki page. I would move all 63 publications to the database and put them into the publication series. Once that has been done, I would delete the Wiki page. Ahasuerus 11:47, 6 February 2019 (EST)
I'll add this to my list for when I'm done. ../Doug H 14:20, 6 February 2019 (EST)

The last book in the "Voyages extraordinaires" presents an interesting problem. It's omnibus edition is paired with "Le Phare du bout du monde" which brings up two problems

The publication lists Jules Verne as the author, even though it was re-written by his son Michel and the publisher. The original on which it was based has also been published. So I'm thinking I enter it as Jules Verne but will need to differentiate this alias of Michel's from the real thing as both need to exist side-by-side. The Help notes say that ghost-writing gets addressed elsewhere, but I'm not sure how. Can you point me in the right direction? (../Doug H 10:56, 6 February 2019 (EST))

As the note at the top of the Summary page says, "A number of Jules Verne's work published during the last phase of his career and especially posthumously were revised or rewritten by Michel Verne. Jules Verne's original texts were found, restored and published in the late 20th and early 21st centuries." BTW, I remember thinking while reading The Barsac Mission (many decades ago), "This isn't bad, but it doesn't feel like a Jules Verne novel" :-)
The standard way to enter books co-written with an uncredited co-author(s) is the same as with all other works whose stated author(s) and actual author(s) are different:
  • Credit the stated author(s) of the publication and of the titles that it contains
  • Use "Make This Title a Variant" to create parent titles for any works whose actual authors are different from the stated authors. The parent titles will use the canonical names of the actual authors.
For example, L'étonnante aventure de la mission Barsac was written by Michele Verne based on Jules Verne's manuscripts. The actual authors were Jules Verne and Michel Verne, which is what the parent title record currently says. There are 8 variant titles (3 of them translations), all credited to Jules Verne alone. Similarly, the series Quest for Tomorrow shows that the books were co-written by William Shatner and W. T. Quick even though they credited Shatner alone. Ahasuerus 12:41, 6 February 2019 (EST)
Re: L'Invasion de la mer and other works which have had two versions published, the way we enter them depends on how different they are. If the changes were relatively minor, we keep the same parent title and explain the differences in title and/or publication notes. If the differences are major, we create two separate parent titles. Ahasuerus 12:52, 6 February 2019 (EST)
I've made titles into variants, not yet made variants from titles. I'll do this where appropriate. Thanks for pointing out how. By the way, L'Invasion de la mer is what I was entering, but it was Le Phare du bout du monde that it was paired with in the omnibus that was giving me the headaches. ../Doug H 14:20, 6 February 2019 (EST)

The publication also lists this as part of the Voyages extraordinaires series, along with a number of other posthumously written books. Scholars don't like to include them, but is our use of the series based on what the publications say or experts? I'm kind of leaning to this really being a publisher's series as it was a Hetzel / Hachette thing, but was going to wait until I'd dealt with the English translations before tackling this topic. However it does affect whether I am 'done' with original French publications. P.S. I found this old discussion, that may relate. (../Doug H 10:56, 6 February 2019 (EST)) Thanks. ../Doug H 10:37, 6 February 2019 (EST)

The first question that we need to answer is whether "Voyages Extraordinaires" is really a title series or a publication series. Originally it was entered as a title series simply because we had no software support for publication series. I have always assumed that we would eventually convert it to a publication series. The books that comprise it are mostly unrelated to each other and the ones that are related form separate self-contained title series, which we already list as such: "Baltimore Gun Club", Captain Nemo/Captain Grant, Robur, etc.
If we convert "Voyages Extraordinaires" to a publication series, it will be associated with the first French editions of Jules Verne's books only. We will then use the way the publisher presented the first editions of the last few Voyages to decide whether to include them in the publication series. Ahasuerus 13:02, 6 February 2019 (EST)
I figured publication series was more appropriate, but wasn't possible until I got the French editions entered. And I wasn't going to simple remove it from the existing ones. ../Doug H 14:20, 6 February 2019 (EST)
Checking the data, I see that someone has already created a a publication series for Voyages extraordinaires. Once we have more first editions on file, we can start adding them to this pub series. Once everything has been entered, we'll be able to delete the title series. Ahasuerus 21:11, 6 February 2019 (EST)
I've been pretty careful to include the presence/absence of [Les] Voyage Extraordinaires in the notes as I went, partly to point out that the Les part was optional even to the publisher. ../Doug H 14:20, 6 February 2019 (EST)
More notes is always good :-) Ahasuerus 21:11, 6 February 2019 (EST)
I'm not sure I follow you on the last part of your statement. I'm hoping you mean we would use the actual publication content to determine whether to include an entry in the series, regardless of where it was in the Voyages series. ../Doug H 14:20, 6 February 2019 (EST)
That's right. Basically, if a publication's publisher presented it as part of the [Les] Voyage Extraordinaires series, we'll add it to the publication series. If borderline cases exist, we'll have to document them in notes. As we all know, there are more things in heaven and earth than is dreamt of in our data entry rules ;-) Ahasuerus 21:16, 6 February 2019 (EST)
Firstly this may mean that some existing titles would be joining the series and that we need multiple publisher series, as many later books are in both Les voyages extraordinaires and Collection Hetzel. ../Doug H 14:20, 6 February 2019 (EST)
At this time the ISFDB software supports only one publication series per publication and only one regular series per title. There have been requests to add support for multiple publication/title series per publication/title, but it would take quite a bit of work. Ahasuerus 21:18, 6 February 2019 (EST)
Which is why I asked for the template. I figure as long as it's documented consistently in the notes, it shouldn't be too bad to convert once we have them. ../Doug H 23:42, 6 February 2019 (EST)
I believe multi-series/multi-pubseries templates were last discussed in October 2018. At the time we added "S" and "PubS" as linking templates, but we couldn't decide on a good way to implement "MultiS"/"MultiPubS". The issue was what kinds of parameters the proposed templates should take.
Perhaps a tentative compromise solution would involve the creation of 2 "Multi" templates without parameters. They would simply expand to something like:
  • MultiS: "Note that this title belongs to multiple series. Because of software limitations, only one of them currently appears in the Series field."
  • MultiPubS: "Note that this publication belongs to multiple publication series. Because of software limitations, only one of them currently appears in the Publication Series field."
If and when we add support for multiple series/pub. series, we should be able to search Notes for these templates and update the data.
If you find this palliative solution acceptable, I can re-propose it on the Community Portal. Ahasuerus 13:34, 7 February 2019 (EST)

Solution mode

(scrolling is a pain) Could the S and PubS not be used just as easily? The series being pointed to should already exist. The text could read "Also in series {{S|seriesname}}." You'd end up searching the same way, and still have to edit each note, but you'd have a working link to use instead of text. Standard (suggested) wording might make the search / replacement easier, but not having participated in such marathons, it is beyond me to make a credible suggestion../Doug H 23:23, 7 February 2019 (EST)

Sure, we could use S and PubS, but I think we mentioned the following two issues back in October:
  • These two templates are not limited to multi-series records. Using them would make it harder to find multi-series records when the software is able to accommodate the latter.
  • "Also in series {{S|seriesname}}" may not always be the ideal solution, e.g. when we want to say something like "Also volume 4 in series XYZ."
Ahasuerus 22:02, 8 February 2019 (EST)
If you can't embed {{ S | x }} in the multi-series like {{ MultiS | {{ S | xx }}, {{ S | yy }} }}, then could you use the multi-template as a search trigger and the series templates for the values? E.g. {{ MultiS }} ( {{ S | xx }}, {{ S | yy }} volume 4).
And on a tangent, for the EV series, we would drop the numbers, since Hetzel never used them, even though 'experts' do.
../Doug H 23:51, 8 February 2019 (EST)
Nested templates are not supported by the software, but we can certainly concatenate/mix and match any number of templates. Ahasuerus 00:08, 9 February 2019 (EST)
So if I do that consistently, it will make converting my contributions, in the future, a little bit easier. So it would be nice to have a pair of Multi [pub]series non-linking templates. I guess we move this to the general public for review and suggestions on generated text. Is that you or me? ../Doug H 10:43, 9 February 2019 (EST)
Done! :) Ahasuerus 14:06, 9 February 2019 (EST)

(unindent) The deed is done. Ahasuerus 21:23, 16 February 2019 (EST)

Jo Walton

Did you ever hear back on this? ../Doug H 09:53, 26 February 2019 (EST)

Based on that discussion I figured that Nihonjoe was going to e-mail Jo, but I don't know if ever got a chance. Ahasuerus 10:10, 26 February 2019 (EST)
I think it's pretty obvious. Most users would start with the home page. Once they get there, they have to wade through a lot of choices in small print that are useful only to editors. Enlarging the text in links, expanding the search capabilities and moving the links that are useful only to editors elsewhere or make them visible only to editors, would be a big help, IMHO, to casual users.-Rkihara 11:58, 26 February 2019 (EST)
I have copied your proposal to the Community Portal and responded there. Ahasuerus 13:08, 26 February 2019 (EST)

Unno Juza

I've made a little progress. Still have more to do. ···日本穣 · 投稿 · Talk to Nihonjoe 21:34, 21 March 2019 (EDT)

He was one busy beaver! :-) Ahasuerus 22:07, 21 March 2019 (EDT)
Indeed. ···日本穣 · 投稿 · Talk to Nihonjoe 17:29, 22 March 2019 (EDT)

Accel World series

Regarding Elements, volume 10 in Reki Kawahara's Accel World saga, I can't find information on the English titles. The Japanese titles are already entered. ···日本穣 · 投稿 · Talk to Nihonjoe 16:22, 3 April 2019 (EDT)

Done! They can run, but they can't hide :-) Ahasuerus 18:04, 3 April 2019 (EDT)

The big list

I've plowed through most of it, but the following had various issues:

  • Nozomu Tamaki (some stories are apparently text-only)
    • I can't find any content information outside of the names of the 2 or 3 stories (information is conflicting on how many) included for this volume.
  • Kenji Matsuzaki
    • this title
      • As far as I can tell, this person doesn't write in Japanese.
  • Ryuichi Okano
    • Can't find anything Japanese about him. May be only publishing works in English.
  • Toshiyuki Shigeta
    • Can't find anything Japanese about him. Unable to find his name in Japanese.
  • Yoshiyuki Tanaka
    • Seems to be English-only.
  • Yuki Shiba
    • Seems to be English-only.
  • Yukimasa Hirota
    • Seems to be English-only.
  • Yukio Tashiro
    • Seems to be English-only.

Let me know if you have any questions. ···日本穣 · 投稿 · Talk to Nihonjoe 20:10, 4 April 2019 (EDT)

Thanks a lot! Ahasuerus 08:16, 5 April 2019 (EDT)

Japanese ISBNs

You wrote: That said, if you are looking for more Japanese ISBNs to munch on, Fixer has other sources. For example, Fixer is aware of 1,528 Japanese ISBNs which have been cataloged by WorldCat/OCLC and are related (one way or another) to our ISBN. If you are interested, I could try to convince Fixer to create submissions based on the OCLC data. Ahasuerus 11:29, 15 November 2017 (EST)

How about we make a list of Japanese ISBNs at User:Nihonjoe/Japanese ISBNs, and fixer can add to the list as it finds more that it doesn't know what to do with. ···日本穣 · 投稿 · Talk to Nihonjoe 14:04, 5 April 2019 (EDT)
Sounds like a plan. Let me see what I can find in Fixer's databases -- he has a bunch of them because you can never have too many databases! Ahasuerus 14:54, 5 April 2019 (EDT)
I'll try to check the page regularly, but feel free to drop me a note whenever Fixer updates the page. ···日本穣 · 投稿 · Talk to Nihonjoe 15:41, 5 April 2019 (EDT)
OK then. Fixer has identified and dumped 233 Japanese ISBNs shared by WorldCat and They are all related to ISFDB "title" records in some fashion -- translations, adaptations, etc. As you can see, the OCLC data tends to be fairly dirty and needs additional TLC.
Please let me know whether the format is OK "as is" or whether it needs to be adjusted. TIA! Ahasuerus 17:08, 5 April 2019 (EDT)
That should work. I'll let you know if I run into any problems. ···日本穣 · 投稿 · Talk to Nihonjoe 18:05, 5 April 2019 (EDT)
If you have more to add to User:Nihonjoe/Japanese ISBNs, just dump them at the bottom in the "Unsorted" section, using the format I have them in there (if possible). I've also started archiving the completed ones so they can still be tracked but won't slow down working on the incomplete items. ···日本穣 · 投稿 · Talk to Nihonjoe 16:01, 17 March 2020 (EDT)
Fixer's WorldCat database contains 2,012 Japanese ISBNs which are not in the main ISFDB database. Would you like me to post them one year at a time? Here is the current breakdown by year:
  • 19??: 12
  • 198?: 4
  • 1900: 1
  • 1929: 2
  • 1938: 1
  • 1942: 1
  • 1946: 1
  • 1948: 1
  • 1949: 3
  • 1950: 7
  • 1951: 6
  • 1952: 3
  • 1953: 5
  • 1954: 5
  • 1955: 4
  • 1956: 3
  • 1957: 1
  • 1958: 1
  • 1959: 2
  • 1960: 3
  • 1962: 1
  • 1963: 4
  • 1964: 2
  • 1965: 3
  • 1966: 3
  • 1967: 5
  • 1968: 5
  • 1969: 4
  • 1970: 3
  • 1971: 9
  • 1972: 15
  • 1973: 6
  • 1974: 2
  • 1975: 9
  • 1976: 6
  • 1977: 13
  • 1978: 5
  • 1979: 14
  • 1980: 12
  • 1981: 9
  • 1982: 12
  • 1983: 27
  • 1984: 24
  • 1985: 42
  • 1986: 51
  • 1987: 58
  • 1988: 57
  • 1989: 72
  • 1990: 57
  • 1991: 65
  • 1992: 75
  • 1993: 57
  • 1994: 91
  • 1995: 79
  • 1996: 65
  • 1997: 62
  • 1998: 47
  • 1999: 60
  • 2000: 83
  • 2001: 55
  • 2002: 58
  • 2003: 59
  • 2004: 72
  • 2005: 101
  • 2006: 86
  • 2007: 99
  • 2008: 48
  • 2009: 48
  • 2010: 39
  • 2011: 13
  • 2012: 17
  • 2013: 20
  • 2014: 3
Ahasuerus 17:39, 17 March 2020 (EDT)
Sure. Just post them in the unsorted section, and if you can do it in theformat I'm using, that would be great. If not, we'll deal with it. ···日本穣 · 投稿 · Talk to Nihonjoe 19:38, 17 March 2020 (EDT)
OK, I have posted the three 2014 ISBNs that Fixer is aware of. Does the format look OK? Ahasuerus 09:04, 18 March 2020 (EDT)
If you can have it add the → {{p|}} part after the ISBN at the top of each listing, that makes it easier to just fill it in when I've added the entry. Other than that, it looks great. ···日本穣 · 投稿 · Talk to Nihonjoe 14:03, 18 March 2020 (EDT)
Done. I have also added 20 ISBNs from 2013. Ahasuerus 14:52, 18 March 2020 (EDT)
Looks good. ···日本穣 · 投稿 · Talk to Nihonjoe 19:20, 18 March 2020 (EDT)

Improve page load performance and page size by using relative URLs

Hi, I just noticed that the software is using the full URL for all ISFDB links rendered on a page, which means that depending on page size there can be hundreds of redundant usages of

<a href="">

For example, Arthur C. Clark's page currently contains it 2968 times, unnecessarily! By using relative URLs, they can all be removed, which would improve page load time and size even more. For example, it's sufficient for "Recent Edits link to be:

<a href="/cgi-bin/recent.cgi">

The slash at the beginning is crucial to make it relative to the root of the site. Jens Hitspacebar 07:21, 6 April 2019 (EDT)

Thanks, I'll take a look! Ahasuerus 09:02, 6 April 2019 (EDT)
Well, there is good news and then there is bad news. The good news is that making the host name relative was easy; only the Advanced Search menu had to be adjusted in order to work with the new settings.
The bad news is that "http" is hard-coded in every module. Making the schema relative everywhere would require changing and retesting almost every module that we have. Each individual change would be trivial, but retesting every Web page would be very time-consuming. At some point it will needs to be done as part of the envisioned migration to HTTPS anyway, but I don't have the bandwidth to do it right now. Besides, if we are going to do it, we might as well consolidate the logic that displays links at the same time -- the current way is very 20th century.
For now, I have made the schema relative in the function that links to ISFDB records. It was a small change and it took care of the vast majority of displayed links. One step at a time :-)
Thanks for identifying the issue! Ahasuerus 16:26, 6 April 2019 (EDT)
Ok, thanks a lot. There's a tiny glitch in your changes, because the URLs you changed (except for the ones for records), e.g. the links in the menu bar on the left, now look like this:
<a href="http:/cgi-bin/recent.cgi">
It still has the unnecessary "http:" prefix , and in that format has the pitfall that if there were accidentally two slashes instead of one after "http:", "cgi-bin" would be considered a domain name and not be relative.
Jens Hitspacebar 17:39, 6 April 2019 (EDT)
Unfortunately, that's the previously mentioned issue with hard-coded "http"'s which would require changing and retesting almost every Python module.
Also, the Advanced Search menu problem that I mentioned earlier was the "double-slash" pitfall that you identified. I then ran a bunch of "grep"s to make sure that no other pages were affected. Always something :-) Ahasuerus 18:39, 6 April 2019 (EDT)
I see. Thanks, Jens Hitspacebar 03:31, 7 April 2019 (EDT)
Users report that some versions of Safari hang when they encounter a relative URL while performing a server-side redirect. Always something... Ahasuerus 09:11, 15 April 2019 (EDT)
Always something, indeed. Relative URLs are not really bleeding-edge technology, so what's going on there in Safari? If it's too much trouble it may be better the revert back to full URLs and address the problem later again. Jens Hitspacebar 15:50, 15 April 2019 (EDT)
Yes, that's pretty much what I have been thinking as well. Ahasuerus 22:41, 15 April 2019 (EDT)
And... the changes have been reverted. This isn't the first time that we have had to revert or tweak changes due to browser issues and I am sure it won't be the last time, but it's still irksome. Ahasuerus 12:02, 16 April 2019 (EDT)

Catalog ID already on file

The "Catalog ID already on file" warning message link is failing with a "Error: Only AND and OR conjunction values are allowed" message. See [1] and [2]. Thanks. -- JLaTondre (talk) 21:36, 14 April 2019 (EDT)

Same with "ISBN already on file" warning message [3]. -- JLaTondre (talk) 21:40, 14 April 2019 (EDT)

Fixed -- thanks for the heads-up! Ahasuerus 23:05, 14 April 2019 (EDT)

A Mystery of the Campagna

A Mystery of the Campagna in Dracula's Guest used to be (correctly) credited to Anne Crawford. It is now (incorrectly) credited to Von Degen (probably as a result of either this title merge or this author merge that occurred on 04/07). I believe, however, the impact is more than just Dracula's Guest. For example, Dracula's Brood should also be Anne Crawford per OCLC. I would expect most of the modern publication to use that name.

Would you be able to restore the 04/06 database dump to the development server and see what all was impacted? I've downloaded the database dump, but it's a bit unwieldy to do manually. Seems like it would be easier to do via the interface. However, if that's too much work, I can plug my way through the dump. -- JLaTondre (talk) 17:52, 16 April 2019 (EDT)

Sure, I can do that. The copy/unzip/restore process should be done in the next 20-30 minutes. Which records would you like me to check? Ahasuerus 18:36, 16 April 2019 (EDT)
Here is what the 2019-04-06 backups has for "Anne Crawford"
   A Mystery of the Compagna, and A Shadow on a Wave (1891) also appeared as:
       Variant: A Mystery of the Campagna, and A Shadow on a Wave (1891) [as by Von Degen] 
Short Fiction
   A Mystery of the Campagna (1886) also appeared as:
       Variant: A Mystery of the Campagna (1886) [as by Von Degen]
       Translation: Un mystère de la campagne romaine [French] (2010) 
   A Shadow on a Wave (1891) [only as by Von Degen]
Here is the title record for "A Mystery of the Compagna, and A Shadow on a Wave Title Record":
Title: A Mystery of the Compagna, and A Shadow on a Wave Title Record # 1314866
Author: Anne Crawford
Date: 1891-00-00
Language: English
Other Titles
Variant Titles
Year 	Title
1891 	A Mystery of the Campagna, and A Shadow on a Wave [as by Von Degen]
Displaying all variants and translations • Do not display translations • Do not display variants or translations
Title 	Date 	Author/Editor 	Publisher/Pub. Series 	ISBN/Catalog ID 	Price 	Pages 	Format 	Type 	Cover Artist
A Mystery of the Campagna, and A Shadow on a Wave 	1891-00-00 	Von Degen 	Cassell Publishing Company  (The "Unknown" Library #3) 	  	  	203 	hc	coll [verified]
A Mystery of the Compagna, and A Shadow on a Wave 	1891-00-00 	Anne Crawford 	T. Fisher Unwin 	  	  	203 	hc	coll
Title record for "A Shadow on a Wave":
Title: A Shadow on a Wave Title Record # 1314865 [Edit]
Author: Anne Crawford
Date: 1891-00-00
Language: English
Other Titles
Variant Titles
Year 	Title
1891 	A Shadow on a Wave [as by Von Degen]
Displaying all variants and translations • Do not display translations • Do not display variants or translations
Title 	Date 	Author/Editor 	Publisher/Pub. Series 	ISBN/Catalog ID 	Price 	Pages 	Format 	Type 	Cover Artist 	Verif
A Mystery of the Campagna, and A Shadow on a Wave 	1891-00-00 	Von Degen 	Cassell Publishing Company (The "Unknown" Library #3) 203  hc  coll [verified]
A Mystery of the Compagna, and A Shadow on a Wave 	1891-00-00 	Anne Crawford 	T. Fisher Unwin 203 	hc 	coll 		 
Uncanny Tales 	1999-00-00 	F. Marion Crawford 	Tartarus Press 	1-872621-37-6 	£25.00 	xiv+ 270 	hc 	coll
Title record for "A Mystery of the Campagna":
Title: A Mystery of the Campagna Title Record # 583361 [Edit]
Author: Anne Crawford
Date: 1886-12-00
Length: novelette
Language: English
Note: First published around Christmas 1886 in The Witching Time: Tales for the Year's End, a compilation edited by Sir Henry Norman and published as Unwin's Annual for 1887. (Because of this title, some sources mistakenly date it as 1887.)
Other Titles
Variant Titles 	Translations
Year 	Title
1886 	A Mystery of the Campagna [as by Von Degen]
Year 	Language 	Title 2010  French Un mystère de la campagne romaine
Displaying all variants and translations • Do not display translations • Do not display variants or translations
Title 	Date 	Author/Editor 	Publisher/Pub. Series 	ISBN/Catalog ID 	Price 	Pages 	Format 	Type 	Cover Artist 	Verif
Unwin's Annual for 1887 	1886-12-00 	ed. Henry Norman 	T. Fisher Unwin 	  	1/- 	114 	octavo 	mag
The Witching Time: Tales for the Year's End 	1887-11-00 	ed. Henry Norman 	D. Appleton & Company 	  	  	315 	hc 	anth 		 
A Mystery of the Campagna, and A Shadow on a Wave 	1891-00-00 	Von Degen 	Cassell Publishing Company (The "Unknown" Library #3) 	  	  	203 	hc 	coll 	[verified]
A Mystery of the Compagna, and A Shadow on a Wave 	1891-00-00 	Anne Crawford 	T. Fisher Unwin 	  	  	203 	hc 	coll
Ancient Hauntings 	1976-12-00 	ed. Douglas Menville, R. Reginald 	Arno Press (Supernatural and Occult Fiction) 	0-405-08163-4 	$26.00 	379 	hc anth
Dracula's Brood: Rare Vampire Stories by Friends and Contemporaries of Bram Stoker 	1987-05-00 	ed. Richard Dalby 	Crucible 	0-85030-594-2 	£8.99 	348 	tp 	anth
Dracula's Brood: Neglected Vampire Classics by Sir Arthur Conan Doyle, Algernon Blackwood, M. R. James and Others 	1989-07-00 	ed. Richard Dalby 	Equation 	1-85336-120-8 	£3.99 	348 	tp anth
Dracula's Brood: Neglected Vampire Classics by Sir Arthur Conan Doyle, Algernon Blackwood, M. R. James and Others 	1991-10-00 	ed. Richard Dalby 	Dorset Press 	0-88029-676-3 	$8.95 	348 	hc anth 	
Dracula's Brood: Neglected Vampire Classics by Sir Arthur Conan Doyle, Algernon Blackwood, M. R. James and Others 	1996-00-00 	ed. Richard Dalby 	Barnes & Noble Books 	0-88029-676-3 	$6.98 	348 	hc 	anth 	Edvard Munch
Girls' Night Out: Twenty-Nine Female Vampire Stories 	1997-09-00 	ed. Stefan Dziemianowicz, Martin H. Greenberg, Robert Weinberg 	Barnes & Noble Books 	0-7607-0424-4 	$9.98 	545 	hc anth [verified]
Uncanny Tales 	1999-00-00 	F. Marion Crawford 	Tartarus Press 	1-872621-37-6 	£25.00 	xiv+270 	hc coll 		 
The Vampire Archives: The Most Complete Volume of Vampire Tales Ever Published 	2009-10-00 	ed. Otto Penzler 	Vintage Crime/Black Lizard / Vintage Books 	978-0-307-47389-9 	$25.00 	xix+1034 	tp anth  [verified]
The Vampire Archives: The Most Complete Volume of Vampire Tales Ever Published 	2010-06-00 	ed. Otto Penzler 	Vintage Crime/Black Lizard / SFBC 	05-1030 	$14.99 	xix+1034 	tp anth 		 
Dracula's Guest: A Connoisseur's Collection of Victorian Vampire Stories 	2010-06-00 	ed. Michael Sims 	Walker & Co. 	978-0-8027-1971-3 	$17.00 	467 	tp anth 	Adrian Muttitt 	Checkmark
Les femmes vampires 	2010-06-03 	ed. Jacques Finné, Jean Marigny 	Librairie José Corti (Domaine romantique) 	978-2-7143-1034-7 	€22.00 	546 	tp anth 	Edvard Munch 	 
Dracula's Guest: A Connoisseur's Collection of Victorian Vampire Stories 	2010-06-22 	ed. Michael Sims 	Walker & Co. / SFBC 	36-7967 	$9.99 	480 	tp anth 		 
Dracula's Guest: A Connoisseur's Collection of Victorian Vampire Stories 	2010-10-04 	ed. Michael Sims 	Bloomsbury 	978-1-4088-0825-2 	£18.99 	467 	hc anth 		 
Dracula's Guest: A Connoisseur's Collection of Victorian Vampire Stories 	2011-10-03 	ed. Michael Sims 	Bloomsbury 	978-1-4088-0996-9 	£9.99 	480 	tp anth 		 
In the Shadow of Dracula: Classic Vampire Fiction 1816-1914 	2011-11-11 	ed. Jeff Conner, Leslie S. Klinger 	IDW Publishing 	978-1-60010-957-7 	$16.99 	xix+ 412 	tp anth 	Michael Manomivibul 	[verified]
Dracula's Brood: Neglected Vampire Classics by Sir Arthur Conan Doyle, Algernon Blackwood, M. R. James and Others 	2017-05-23 	ed. Richard Dalby 	Harper 	978-0-00-819448-2 	$14.99 	432 	tp anth 		 
Dracula's Guest: A Connoisseur's Collection of Victorian Vampire Stories 	date unknown 	ed. Michael Sims 	Walker & Co. 	978-1-61664-570-0 	  	467 	tp	anth 	Adrian Muttitt [verified]
Anything else you would like me to check? Ahasuerus 19:14, 16 April 2019 (EDT)
P.S. Of the listed "A Mystery of the Campagna" pubs, the following were associated with the "Von Degen" title record:
Unwin's Annual for 1887 	1886-12-00 ed. Henry Norman 	T. Fisher Unwin 	
The Witching Time: Tales for the Year's End 	1887-11-00 ed. Henry Norman 	D. Appleton & Company
A Mystery of the Campagna, and A Shadow on a Wave 	1891-00-00 	Von Degen 	Cassell Publishing Company (The "Unknown" Library #3)
A Mystery of the Compagna, and A Shadow on a Wave 	1891-00-00 	Anne Crawford 	T. Fisher Unwin
Ancient Hauntings 	1976-12-00 	ed. Douglas Menville, R. Reginald 	Arno Press (Supernatural and Occult Fiction)
It looks like there may have been a problem with the second listed 1891 pub since the author of the title record and the author of the pub record do not match. Ahasuerus 19:24, 16 April 2019 (EDT)
That should do it. I should be able to figure it out from there. It might take me a day or so to find the time, but I'll sort it out. Thanks! -- JLaTondre (talk) 20:28, 16 April 2019 (EDT)
Sure thing. Thanks for tackling the issue! Ahasuerus 20:37, 16 April 2019 (EDT)

Collection in a magazine

Would you offer me an opinion on this? I understand the intent, but I'm wondering if putting a COLLECTION into a MAGAZINE is a Bad Idea™... Thanks, --MartyD 09:27, 19 April 2019 (EDT)

If I recall correctly, this issue was first raised when User:ErnestoVeg began entering Italian reprint magazines in the late 2000s. The consensus -- assuming my memory is not playing tricks on me -- was that including container titles (mostly collections and anthologies) in magazine publications was admissible. The main advantage is creating/preserving a link between the original container title and its translated variant. There are numerous examples of container titles included in Italian magazine pubs, e.g. Galassia #231 and Galassia #211, and our cleanup reports are coded to accept them.
TLDR: I think it should be OK :-) Ahasuerus 10:30, 19 April 2019 (EDT)
Ok, thanks! Measure twice and all that.... --MartyD 10:43, 19 April 2019 (EDT)

Search Enhancement Request

When using the search box and more than the allowed number of results are returned, it shows a "The first 300 matches are displayed below. Use Advanced Search to see more matches." If you click the Advanced Search link, it takes you to the list of all searches. Since we're already at a specific search type, how about it takes you to that specific advanced search instead (i.e. if I did a author search, have it take me to the author advanced search)? That would save a click. -- JLaTondre (talk) 19:10, 20 April 2019 (EDT)

Good point! FR 1270 has been created. Ahasuerus 19:38, 20 April 2019 (EDT)
Done! Ahasuerus 15:30, 21 April 2019 (EDT)
Thanks! -- JLaTondre (talk) 19:45, 21 April 2019 (EDT)

Hidetaka Miyazaki

I approved an update to this author, and then I went to see if I could do any updating to add Japanese information. However, there are no titles for this author, and I can't delete the record. There's no reason to keep it since his only credits I can find are game design work and comic books. ···日本穣 · 投稿 · Talk to Nihonjoe 22:36, 5 May 2019 (EDT)

The author record exists because of this review of his work. You can find the titles related to an author who exists only due to reviews by using Advanced Title Search and entering "Reviewed Author is exactly Hidetaka Miyazaki".
In this case the reviewed titles are -- apparently -- "Sekiro: Shadows Die Twice, Illang: The Wolf Brigade, and Brian McLellan's "Uncanny Collateral"". If they are not eligible for inclusion in the database, I suggest that we create an ESSAY record for the review and delete the REVIEW record. As per Help:Screen:NewPub:
  • Reviews of media products (films, TV shows, games, music and dramatized recordings), stage productions, magazines and fanzines (regardless of their genre), and books that are not eligible for inclusion in the database (graphic novels, nongenre novels by authors that are below the threshold, nonassociational nonfiction works), should not be entered into the "Reviews" section of the data entry form. A record should be created in the "Regular Titles" section typed as ESSAY.
Deleting the REVIEW record will also automatically delete the author record.
On the other hand, if the reviewed titles are eligible for inclusion, we should enter them and then create separate REVIEW records for each eligible reviewed title. Hopefully this makes sense! Ahasuerus 23:16, 5 May 2019 (EDT)
Okay, all fixed. The first two items mentioned in the review are not eligible for inclusion here, so I changed it to be a review of the book that is eligible. Thanks! ···日本穣 · 投稿 · Talk to Nihonjoe 03:35, 6 May 2019 (EDT)
Much better, thanks! Do we want to add ESSAY records for the reviews of ineligible works? Ahasuerus 09:08, 6 May 2019 (EDT)
I would say, "No." ···日本穣 · 投稿 · Talk to Nihonjoe 21:09, 6 May 2019 (EDT)

Alphabetical Bibliography Oddities

Take a look at this page. The alphabetical bibliography lists variants separately (which I can understand if the variant has a different title), but it doesn't handle the author name correctly. For the fiction, it is saying "with Sandra Odell" and for the interviews "co-interviewer Sandra Odell" instead of "as by" like the chronological listing. In an ideal world, if the parent and the variant are the same title, it should list it once and the show the author as "only as by" or "also as by". If that's too hard, it should still use "as by" vs. implying it's a different author (in this case, it's pretty clear, but wouldn't be with a true pseudonym). Thanks. -- JLaTondre (talk) 09:22, 27 May 2019 (EDT)

It looks like a side effect of Bug 491, which reads:
  • Alphabetical Biblio page doesn't always show collaborators. This happens because it has been fixed to show VTs, but the logic that retrieves collaborators doesn't look at VTs' collaborators.
I'll add your findings to the body of the bug report. Thanks! Ahasuerus 10:33, 27 May 2019 (EDT)

Is Empty

Via advanced search, is there no way to search for an empty field? I'm trying to add series to records missing it, but this search (title starts with "Author Spotlight", series does not contain "Author Spotlight") is failing to return matches like this and this. Thanks. -- JLaTondre (talk) 12:27, 27 May 2019 (EDT)

It would be possible to add "Is Empty" or "Does not Exist" as an option. Unfortunately, it's not a simple change due to various dependencies. They are related to Bug 690 (Advanced Searches on 'not exactly' and 'does not contain' can fail), Bug 571 (Advanced Search on Web Pages fails for OR searches) and FR 533 (Change Advanced Search of "OR" searches), but the underlying problem is broader in scope. I tried to tackle the beast during the Advanced Search rewrite a few months ago, but it was a bigger can of worms than I originally realized. For now, I suggest that we create an FR. Ahasuerus 12:43, 27 May 2019 (EDT)
Sounds good. I will use a database dump for what I need to do. -- JLaTondre (talk) 17:48, 27 May 2019 (EDT)
OK, FR 1284 has been created. Ahasuerus 10:52, 28 May 2019 (EDT)

SFE3 Author Articles Cleanup Report

There is something wrong with the "Possible ISFDB Name" column on the "SFE3 Author Articles without a matching SFE3 URL in ISFDB Author Records" cleanup report. For example, the SFE3 entry for "Altieri, Daniel" lists Daniel Altieri, but the linked query returns no results even though the author exists. This is happens across all report entries (for authors that do exist). If I manual enter the name from that column into a query, it works. So something wrong with the generated query URL. -- JLaTondre (talk) 15:21, 1 June 2019 (EDT)

Hm, that's odd. When I pull up the SFE3 cleanup report and check the line that says "Daniel Altieri", the linked URL is . When I click it, the resulting Advanced Author Search page displays Daniel Altieri's ISFDB record. I have tried it under Firefox and Chrome using my own account and Fixer's account. Are you using a different browser, by chance? Is there anything in its console that may explain the difference in behavior? Ahasuerus 15:56, 1 June 2019 (EDT)
P.S. The regular Advanced Author Search generates a somewhat different URL -- -- note the use of "%20" vs. "+". I wonder if it may account for the different behavior. I cam dig some more, but I need to be able to recreate the problem first. I have tried Edge and IE 11, which worked as expected. Ahasuerus 16:14, 1 June 2019 (EDT)
Found the problem. The link is adding a space before the name (it's searching on %20Daniel%20Altieri) and so fails with the "Keep leading and trailing spaces when searching" setting (which is what I have set). Can the preceding space be removed? I don't see any use for it on this report, but maybe I'm missing something? -- JLaTondre (talk) 16:21, 1 June 2019 (EDT)
Oh, I see. Let me take a look and see if there is a reason to have that leading space. Probably not, but you never know... Ahasuerus 16:40, 1 June 2019 (EDT)
Fixed! Ahasuerus 19:59, 1 June 2019 (EDT)
Awesome. Thanks! -- JLaTondre (talk) 20:50, 1 June 2019 (EDT)
Sure thing! Ahasuerus 21:43, 1 June 2019 (EDT)

Search for NULL or NOT NULL

Hi. Do our database record searches provide any way to specify that a field is used, that is non-empty, or NOT NULL rather than NULL? I see that "does not contain" "*" is not supported, for instance, nor "is exactly" " ". --Pwendt|talk 17:00, 5 June 2019 (EDT)

There was a similar question a few days ago. Does my response to it explain where things stand at the moment? Ahasuerus 17:34, 5 June 2019 (EDT)
That isn't far above, is it? I would have seen it by one-time practice of opening the bottom section and manually entering new section heading and edit summary.
Yes. Your explanation and the linked reports are clear. Thanks. --Pwendt|talk 13:41, 6 June 2019 (EDT)

Merging Publishers

The "Merge Selected Records" button on the "Advanced Publisher Search" results isn't working. Nothing happens when pressed. -- JLaTondre (talk) 21:17, 7 June 2019 (EDT)

Thanks, I'll take a look. Ahasuerus 23:20, 7 June 2019 (EDT)
Fixed. Ahasuerus 10:56, 8 June 2019 (EDT)

Python Error

Please see this record. Getting a <type 'exceptions.AttributeError'> Python error. -- JLaTondre (talk) 12:09, 15 June 2019 (EDT)

I just wanted to report the same problem when you beat me (beat it!). It seems only to affect parent titles (titles varianted to). Stonecreek 12:23, 15 June 2019 (EDT)
Thanks, investigating... Ahasuerus 12:40, 15 June 2019 (EDT)
OK, the immediate problem, which was introduced in the patch a couple of hours ago, has been fixed. There are some underlying issues that still need to be addressed, but it's not urgent. Thanks for reporting the problem. Ahasuerus 12:55, 15 June 2019 (EDT)

Author Advanced Search

The author advanced search is missing the ability to search on the author image field. -- JLaTondre (talk) 10:18, 29 June 2019 (EDT)

So it is. FR 1286 has been created. Thanks! Ahasuerus 12:36, 29 June 2019 (EDT)
Done. Ahasuerus 19:31, 29 June 2019 (EDT)

Fixer OCLC Japanese records

The first fifty are done. There were a few where I added other works directly connected, and those are noted. ···日本穣 · 投稿 · Talk to Nihonjoe 15:57, 11 July 2019 (EDT)

Great, thanks! Ahasuerus 00:30, 12 July 2019 (EDT)

Authors with Transliterated Legal Names and no Legal Names

When you have a chance, can you check thsi report. I cleaned the 3 problematic records but they are staying in the list (and there is no "resolve" link as we have in some other reports. Thanks! Annie 18:31, 23 July 2019 (EDT)

Thanks, I'll take a look. Ahasuerus 20:36, 23 July 2019 (EDT)
Fixed! Ahasuerus 21:48, 23 July 2019 (EDT)
Thanks! Annie 22:32, 23 July 2019 (EDT)

Weird visualization issue

Can you stop by here? A publication with two omnibuses shows the wrong one as a reference title. Thanks! Annie 18:18, 25 July 2019 (EDT)

Maurus Jókai

Hi! I tried to add a story with the author name "Maurus Jokai" (without an accent). The system changes this name automatically to the already existing name "Maurus Jókai" (with an accent). I wonder if it's a bug? Maybe it is caused by any system restriction? Boskar 05:42, 3 August 2019 (EDT)

It is, indeed, a system limitation. There is what the ISFDB FAQ says about it:

How does the ISFDB deal with Unicode and accented characters?

The ISFDB software supports all Unicode characters. Non-Latin characters are generally entered "as is" and do not present problems. Some ISFDB fields -- title, author name, legal name, publisher name, etc -- also have complementary "transliterated" fields which let editors enter one or more Romanized forms of Unicode titles/names.

However, due to technical limitations, the ISFDB software distinguishes between two types of letters derived from the original Latin alphabet:

  • English letters and other Latin-1 (aka ISO 8859-1) letters, which include non-English characters used in many European languages like German, Danish, Swedish, Spanish and French (except for œ) -- see the bottom part of this table for a complete list of covered characters.
  • Other Latin-derived letters used by Polish, Czech, Romanian, Hungarian, and other languages.

The reason this distinction is important is because the ISFDB software treats these types of characters differently when running searches and entering data. Let's compare Philip José Farmer and Stanisław W. Czarnecki. They both have non-English characters, "é" and "ł" respectively, in their names. If you enter "philip jose farmer" (note the use of the English "e" instead of the accented "é") in the regular Search box and click "Go", you will be redirected to Farmer's Summary page. If, on the other hand, you enter "stanislaw w. czarnecki" (note the use of the regular English "l"), your search won't find anything.

The reason for this difference is that "é" is part of Latin-1, so the database "knows" that it is related to "e". It is similar to the way the database handles uppercase and lowercase characters during searches: even if you enter an all-lowercase or an all-uppercase search string, the database will still find the right records because it "knows" that A/a, B/b, etc are the same for search purposes. The Polish letter "ł", on the other hand, is not a part of Latin-1 and the database doesn't "know" that it is related to "l". It also doesn't "know" that "ł" is the lowercase form of "Ł".

When entering data, the ISFDB software checks the entered record names for authors, publishers, series, and publication series against what's already on file. If it finds a match, the software will use the record that is already on file. For example, if you enter "MARY shelley", the software will use "Mary Shelley" instead since the latter is already on file. If you enter "philip jose farmer", it will use "Philip José Farmer" because the latter is already on file. However, if you enter "Stanislaw W. Czarnecki", it will treat it as a new name.

Hope this helps! Ahasuerus 09:02, 3 August 2019 (EDT)
Indeed, this really helps! Thank you very much! Boskar 12:46, 3 August 2019 (EDT)
Sure thing! Ahasuerus 19:08, 3 August 2019 (EDT)

Infinite Worlds Magazine Covers

I don't know if you've seen the entry under "Verification Requests", where the editor of this magazine gives permission for his cover art to be used in the ISFDB. I was the one who rejected his attempt to use it, and suggested he give permission for it's use. Bob 16:15, 5 August 2019 (EDT)

Oops, I missed that post. Thanks for the heads-up!
Do you happen to remember the rejected URL? My first thought was to add "" to the list of allowed sites, but I don't think it would work too well. Although Infinite Worlds Web pages like this one are hosted by "", their images are hosted by is used by multiple Web sites, so if we were to allow linking to, it would also allow all kinds of other Web sites in addition to Infinite Worlds. Ahasuerus 17:23, 5 August 2019 (EDT)
I am not sure that this is an approval for a deep link to their site (as opposed to just an approval to display the art here). Maybe we need to clarify that as well while figuring out the URLs - the way I read it, it is not entirely clear what he meant. Annie 17:59, 5 August 2019 (EDT)
That's a good point. Come to think of it, we probably need to white-list anyway since most ISFDB record types allow linking to third party Web pages. Ahasuerus 12:31, 6 August 2019 (EDT)
I have left a note on the editor's Talk page. For now I have downloaded the images, cropped/resized it and then uploaded the results to the ISFDB server. I guess it will have to do until we have a better idea. Ahasuerus 14:49, 11 August 2019 (EDT)

New site giving cover link permissions

Per this permission, can we add to the list of acceptable sites for image linking in publication records? I'm not sure if you have to do something on the backend for this. (^_^) ···日本穣 · 投稿 · Talk to Nihonjoe 15:55, 6 August 2019 (EDT)

Will do! Ahasuerus 16:24, 6 August 2019 (EDT)
Done. Sorry about the delay! Ahasuerus 14:19, 11 August 2019 (EDT)

Invalid Record URLs in Notes

Mind taking a look at the Invalid Record URLs in Notes report? It's reporting pages that seem to have okay links. I'm guessing users found useful links (Searches for the Publisher ones and Notes for the Publication one) that the clean-up report wasn't expecting. Thanks. -- JLaTondre (talk) 20:51, 8 August 2019 (EDT)

Let's see... It looks like the issue is that the cleanup report expects all internal ISFDB links to point to ISFDB records (titles, publishers, pubs, etc.) It doesn't realize that links to ISFDB saved searches and extended Notes are also valid. I'll see what I can do once I finish sorting out Fixer's hoard. July/August are Fixer's worst months... Ahasuerus 20:59, 8 August 2019 (EDT)
OK, the report has been updated to ignore links to regular searches and extended notes. The new logic will take effect when the report runs at night. Thanks for reporting the problem! Ahasuerus 17:10, 11 August 2019 (EDT)


Hello Ahasuerus!!

Could add these languages in the list database?

Nheengatu: ISO 639-2: sai

Interlingua: ISO 639-2: ina

Guarani: ISO 639-2: grn

Thanks, ErickSoares3 16:28, 12 August 2019 (EDT)

Sure thing. FR 1294 has been created.
Please note that the ISO 639-2 code "sai" encompasses all "South American Indian languages". The ISFDB language will be called "South American Indian language", which is similar to how we handle other language groups: "Central American Indian language", "Nilo-Saharan language", etc. Ahasuerus 16:53, 12 August 2019 (EDT)
All right! A note in the book page saying what language it is (maybe a link from Wikipedia) should help. Thanks! ErickSoares3 17:01, 12 August 2019 (EDT)
And ... done! Ahasuerus 17:43, 12 August 2019 (EDT)
Thanks! ErickSoares3 19:12, 12 August 2019 (EDT)

Maithili language

I've created a chapbook record for the recently translated title Bharti's Cat, a novella (35,000 words) which was serialized in the 1970s in an Indian newspaper. The original language is Maithili, which we currently don't have listed. Could you please add it? Many thanks! PeteYoung 07:31, 27 August 2019 (EDT)

Maithili is an ISO 639.2-recognized language, so we should be able to add it. Give me a few hours to wrap up a couple of other things... Ahasuerus 10:48, 27 August 2019 (EDT)
Done. Ahasuerus 16:17, 27 August 2019 (EDT)
Thanks! PeteYoung 02:20, 28 August 2019 (EDT)

Norman, please !

Hello Ahasuerus ! Without going into the highly political (not to say nationalistic) issue as to whether Norman should be considered as a language or a dialect — a moot question if ever there was one — would it be possible to add it to the list ? I have a few collections of folk tales in the lingo (actually, in different varieties of Norman, but we won't be that finicky…) that I would like to add to the db. Nothing urgent, as I have many more in French proper to deal with first. TIA, Linguist 11:33, 29 August 2019 (EDT).

As per our policy, only ISO 639-2-recognized languages are supported by the ISFDB at this time. Among "langues d'oïl" languages/dialects, only Walloon is supported by ISO 639-2. The rest, i.e. Picard, Lorrain, various Norman dialects, etc are not supported directly. I believe they are supposed to be entered as "Romance languages", ISO 639-2 code "roa".
How about we add "Romance language" to the database? It would be similar to the way we handle "Central American Indian language", "Nilo-Saharan language", etc. You would then be able to explain the details, including the exact variety of Norman, in Notes. What do you think? Ahasuerus 13:55, 29 August 2019 (EDT)
Linguist, you could request "Norman" be added for ISO 639-3, but change requests are due by August 31 (two days!). See the info here. A list of current suggest changes to the list is here. ···日本穣 · 投稿 · Talk to Nihonjoe 18:06, 29 August 2019 (EDT)
Keep in mind that there is a big difference between ISO 639-2 and ISO 639-3. The former is older and supports fewer languages. The latter supports all kinds of dialects in addition to tons and tons of languages. The two standards' naming conventions mostly match, but there are weird discrepancies which we ran into when the issue last came up. We currently use ISO 639-2 as opposed to ISO 639-3. Ahasuerus 21:46, 29 August 2019 (EDT)
As I might fall upon more material in other French dialects I keep stocked up here and there, I think the more general "Romance language" solution would save a lot of trouble. Thanks a lot for your help and advice, Linguist 04:33, 30 August 2019 (EDT).
Sure thing! I plan to add "Romance language" later today. Ahasuerus 08:39, 30 August 2019 (EDT)
Thanks a lot (merchi byin des couops) ! Linguist 09:29, 30 August 2019 (EDT).
Done! Ahasuerus 18:08, 30 August 2019 (EDT)
Thanks again ! Linguist 05:48, 31 August 2019 (EDT).
And here I thought that French spelling is weird. This thing above is worse (not as bad as English but getting there)... Annie 20:22, 30 August 2019 (EDT)
Actually, this spelling (which is not the only one possible) is quite phonetic, noting [mɛʁʃi bjɛ̃ de kʷu] ! Wait till you get some really weird titles in Norman ! Linguist 05:48, 31 August 2019 (EDT).

Editing or moderating tags

Hi, Ahasuerus. I have recently stumbled over several tags that don't seem to be fitting the titles they are attached to. I should have noted them but, alas, I remember only the following two: 'parallel universe' attached to William Tenn's Null-P, which is a political satire, set in the future, and 'alien perspective' for Lem's Jak Erg Samowzbudnik Bladawca pokonał, one of his robot fairy tales, without any alien in sight, and not told from anyone's perspective (except the author's one). Both seem to be highly misleading and should be changed or deleted. Would there be any way to accomplish this? Stonecreek 15:41, 2 September 2019 (EDT)

This and similar questions have come up a few times. The last iteration resulted in the creation of FR 911, "Allow moderators to edit and merge tags".
There are a few different ways to address this issue. The easiest one would be to let moderators remove tags added by non-moderators. It wouldn't prevent editors from re-adding the same tag again, but it would be easy to implement.
Other solutions would be more involved and/or time-consuming, e.g. requiring moderator approval when adding/editing tags. They would require a Community Portal discussion to make sure that we are not creating additional problems. Ahasuerus 15:56, 2 September 2019 (EDT)
Thanks for spending time on this, Ahauerus! Since it'd be not so dificult to implement, wouldn't it be preferable to let moderators remove tags added by non-moderators? Anyway, I'd be all for it. (If possible, it'd also be nice to know which tag for a title was added by whom. That would make it possible to communicate with editors about the matter; in the case of the Lem story adressed above it seems none of the primary verifiers added the tag in question). Christian Stonecreek 23:26, 2 September 2019 (EDT)
Sounds workable. Let me post on the Community Portal first to make sure that we are not missing anything. Ahasuerus 11:58, 3 September 2019 (EDT)
Done. Ahasuerus 12:29, 3 September 2019 (EDT)
Good evening (well, it's already getting dusky over here)! Since there seems to have been no outcome on the Community Portal I replaced with some effort some publications of the Lem story with a new title and got rid of the erroneous tag that way. Would it be possible for you to remove the erroneous tag for the William Tenn title by hand in one step? Christian Stonecreek 12:12, 6 September 2019 (EDT)
I did this solely as a one-time experiment to see if that'd be a possible way. It did turn out it is a possible but not a workable solution: for this, the tag in question was not added by a primary verifier of one of the publications. This will not be the case for other tags. Stonecreek 13:53, 6 September 2019 (EDT)
I am usually hesitant to make manual changes to the database. They can be really dangerous without proper testing (as in "corrupt the database" dangerous) and if I am going to do proper testing, I might as well add the functionality to the software.
In this case it looks like the discussion is still ongoing and we may be able to reach at least a tentative consensus, so let's wait and see what happens. With Annie volunteering her time to help take care of Fixer's submissions, I may have more time to work on the software starting a few days from now. Ahasuerus 14:36, 6 September 2019 (EDT)
Yeah, and the proposal over there sounds fine and workable for me: I also don't expect to find many erroneous tags. Christian Stonecreek 03:26, 7 September 2019 (EDT)

Publications with Extra EDITOR Records

Can you look at this report. One of the essays was an EDITOR (not sure how it was saved but oh well) and I fixed that but now I cannot see anything else wrong with the record - and yet it stays - and there is no "resolve" button. Annie 15:37, 5 September 2019 (EDT)

Let's see... This is one of the original cleanup reports and it's a bit on the dumb side. Let me see if I can fix it later tonight. Ahasuerus 16:12, 5 September 2019 (EDT)
Let's give it the night. If the regeneration kicks it out, we can ignore it for now and just create a FR and get to it when you have some time? It is not critical - it was just getting me annoyed last night when it refused to budge. :) Annie 16:14, 5 September 2019 (EDT)
Too late -- the report has been fixed :) Ahasuerus 23:10, 5 September 2019 (EDT)

Next Submission

Is "Next Submission" skipping what I have on hold by design or is that an oversight? Annie 11:29, 6 September 2019 (EDT)

The current logic retrieves the next submission which:
  • is not on hold, and
  • was not submitted by another moderator
I considered including "on hold by me" to the list of inclusion criteria, but I wasn't sure how it would work with certain use cases. For example, if a moderator puts a submission on hold while waiting for the submitting editor to respond to a query, does it make sense to display the held submission when the moderator is going through other submissions?
We can certainly change the logic if the majority of use cases would benefit from the change. We could even hard-code an exception for submissions created by Fixer and put on hold by the reviewing moderator. Ahasuerus 11:45, 6 September 2019 (EDT)
Most of one's HOLDs will be high in the list anyway - so you will start under them (except for Fixer and special cases). So we should not have the case where a HOLD is in the middle of submissions for a moderator too often. It is not a problem with "New Pub" really - 90% of them require a second edit anyway so Next is not really needed. But it may be useful for AddPub. Not critical or anything urgent - just thinking aloud - I can also just work off a separate tab. :) Annie 11:54, 6 September 2019 (EDT)
On a separate but related note - the main list has a very nice Green color for the submissions from New and Newish editors (which helps to know that you may need to say hello and be a tad more careful and explain a bit more fully even small changes - if a long-standing editor forgets $ once, I just add it and forget it; for a new one, I would point it out to them so they know that we need it). When you use the Next Submission, there is no indication anywhere that this is from a new editor. Maybe we need an indicator on the Moderator page? Annie 11:54, 6 September 2019 (EDT)
That's a good point. Do you want to post on the Moderator Noticeboard to see what should be color-coded? I assume it's the user name, but I am colorblind, so I may well be off. Ahasuerus 09:47, 7 September 2019 (EDT)
Will do. Annie 14:49, 7 September 2019 (EDT)

Author with author record but no titles

Any ideas why this record isn't disappearing? ···日本穣 · 投稿 · Talk to Nihonjoe 02:37, 10 September 2019 (EDT)

In such cases, if there is nothing when you press View All Titles, you are looking for the only record that does not show up on an author list - reviews of their books. In this case this one. Learned that a few years ago - I was sure I was getting crazy. Annie 02:52, 10 September 2019 (EDT)
We even have FR 204, "Clarify why "reviews-only" authors appear on Summary page" :-\ Ahasuerus 09:47, 10 September 2019 (EDT)
Yeah, I remember running into it several months ago. I just couldn't figure out how to find the review. Looks like this one is for a short anime film, and this person is the director of the film. I'll see if I can find any applicable works by him to add to the site. ···日本穣 · 投稿 · Talk to Nihonjoe 15:19, 13 September 2019 (EDT)
Advanced Search -> Titles -> Reviewed Author. If the review is for an anime, it needs to become an essay, not a review, right? :) Annie 15:50, 13 September 2019 (EDT)
Probably (and for all the films, too, likely). If that's done, please update the link in the note here. I added a book with a chapter by Watanabe, then fixed the link in the review, so it links to him now. It doesn't show up on his author page, though, since the review is for an anime film, not a publication. ···日本穣 · 投稿 · Talk to Nihonjoe 16:01, 13 September 2019 (EDT)

Download script has been updated

ISFDB_Download_Script has been updated with a new, working version, and SR 176 can be closed. Alas, the script is not as "smart" as before (no resume of interrupted downloads, no detection of already downloaded files based on their server timestamp anymore). But at least it works again now :) Jens Hitspacebar 14:18, 28 September 2019 (EDT)

Wonderful! Many thanks! Ahasuerus 16:02, 28 September 2019 (EDT)

Amazon URL Warning

I'm receiving an "Unsupported formatting in an Amazon URL" warning on this edit, but I'm not seeing any formatting? -- JLaTondre (talk) 19:12, 1 October 2019 (EDT)

Thanks, I'll take a look. Ahasuerus 21:27, 1 October 2019 (EDT)
OK, here is my submission. It added the same image using a format that our software recognizes as valid. We may need to keep an eye on Amazon URLs to see if the URL format that you came across becomes common. Ahasuerus 21:33, 1 October 2019 (EDT)
Thanks, but what was the issue so I'll know next time? There were no "_STUFF" parameters. Was it the "amzn-author-media-prod/"? -- JLaTondre (talk) 08:01, 2 October 2019 (EDT)
The Amazon formats that our software currently supports are:
  • '.*/images/[PIG]/[0-9A-Za-z+-]{10}[LS]?(\._CR[0-9]+,[0-9]+,[0-9]+,[0-9]+)?\.(gif|png|jpg)$'
  • '.*\.images-amazon\.com/images/G/0[1-3]/ciu/[0-9a-f]{2}/[0-9a-f]{2}/[0-9a-f]{22,24}\.L\.(gif|png|jpg)$'
(Note the bolded letters after "/images/".) The URL that the original submission used started with "images/S/", which our software is not familiar with, hence the yellow warning. If it's a new Amazon format, we may want to change the software to support it. Ahasuerus 08:53, 2 October 2019 (EDT)

The Best of the Bushel

I added the essay 'The Merry, Merry Paean of Pipes' (page 50) to your verified The Best of the Bushel. Also added the interior art by Jim Barker and a note. Thanks, --Willem 15:22, 13 October 2019 (EDT)

Thanks! Ahasuerus 16:06, 13 October 2019 (EDT)

Site design

Just making sure you see this page, since sometimes it's hard to notice everything: ISFDB:Site design. I created it so there could be someplace to discuss site design things, especially with an eye toward making a mobile/small screen version of the site. ···日本穣 · 投稿 · Talk to Nihonjoe 12:57, 15 October 2019 (EDT)

Yup, I saw it the other day, but haven't had a chance to comment yet. One thing that I was going to mention is that we have a few related Wiki pages like ISFDB:Proposed Interface Changes and ISFDB:Proposed Design Changes, although they haven't been updated in years. We may want to review what's there, consolidate what we can and archive the rest.
Substantively, I think that you are raising interesting questions. Some of them were raised in the past, but technical issues put them on hold. For example, at one point we wanted to turn some sub-menus which appear within the navigation bar into drop-down lists similar to the way we do the "Other Sites" drop-down. The goal was to make life easier for mobile users. Unfortunately, we then discovered that the drop-downs that work for most mobile devices do not work for Apple users.
We really need someone with solid mobile development experience to help navigate these pitfalls. I own an older FIRE Kindle, which has Web browsing capabilities, but I hardly ever use it to access the internet. Ahasuerus 14:04, 15 October 2019 (EDT)
I added links to those two pages. I agree, having a person very familiar with mobile site development would be very helpful. ···日本穣 · 投稿 · Talk to Nihonjoe 17:43, 27 December 2019 (EST)

Template Cleanup Report?

It might be time for a template clean-up report. See this. I occasionally look for them and fix them, but as templates are getting more common, errors are also. A missing trailing bracket is most common, but can also happen with a missing leading bracket. Often it is that someone missed the shift key and typed a square bracket instead. It would need to check titles and pubs. -- JLaTondre (talk) 19:19, 16 October 2019 (EDT)

Well, we already check for mismatched angle brackets, so it makes sense to create a similar report for mismatched double braces. I guess we could also check for undefined templates. Ahasuerus 19:23, 16 October 2019 (EDT)
All possible notes I would say -- we have templates in series and pub series and authors and so on as well. And the synopsis field. I ran the checks once in awhile but some notes are not searchable outside of the big Notes search and it gets boggled into valid cases. Annie 19:24, 16 October 2019 (EDT)
Oh, sure. Mismatched Double Quotes and Mismatched Angle Brackets already handle all types of notes and share the same code base. It should be fairly easy to make the existing code look for double braces. Ahasuerus 19:45, 16 October 2019 (EDT)
FR 1313, "Cleanup report to find mismatched template braces in Notes", and FR 1314, "Cleanup report to find non-existent templates in Notes", have been created. Ahasuerus 13:10, 17 October 2019 (EDT)
FR 1313 has been implemented. Ahasuerus 22:15, 24 October 2019 (EDT)
FR 1314 has been implemented as well. Ahasuerus 16:05, 25 October 2019 (EDT)

Catalog ID Sort

Minor, but when doing an advanced search and sorting by Catalog ID, it would be nice to have natural sorting. The current sorting doesn't properly handle numbers. See these results. There is a Python library so you wouldn't have to role your own (it's in the Ubuntu repos, not sure about others). Thanks. -- JLaTondre (talk) 18:43, 9 November 2019 (EST)

An interesting point. Would you say that we should also use natural sorting when sorting publication series by their series number, e.g. here? Any other places that would benefit from it? (I just want to make sure that we capture all of them before we create an FR. We wouldn't want different Web pages to behave differently.) Ahasuerus 08:51, 10 November 2019 (EST)
I would lean towards all sorting using natural sorting. I cannot think of an area where it would produce an unexpected result (or at least a more unexpected result that regular sorting). Your pub series example could definitely benefit from it. Perhaps raise it at the Community Portal to see if anyone else can think of a reason not to? -- JLaTondre (talk) 19:34, 18 November 2019 (EST)
Just to make sure I am not missing something - under natural sorting, only the numbers get handled differently (so D-1936-12 will still be before ES-1935-10 which will still be before ES-1935-12)? It just makes sure that D-135 is handled as next to D-134 and not as next to D-1340. The reason I am asking is because I am working on finding a solution for a pub series/series mess and my idea depends on that... and if we shift the sorting, I need a new idea. :) Annie 19:38, 18 November 2019 (EST)
Correct. Natural sorting sorts things like humans would naturally sort them ;-) vs. the way computers typically sort them. So it sorts letters as letters and numbers as numbers. If the terms being sorted contain both, it handles them "separately". Some example orders would be:
  • D-1 ; D-2 ; D-10
  • D-1936-12 ; ES-1935-10 ; ES-1935-12
  • 1-A ; 2-A ; 2-B ; 10-A
-- JLaTondre (talk) 20:56, 18 November 2019 (EST)
I have now done a little bit of digging in this area. If we implement natural sorting consistently, it will affect much of what the software does internally. Currently, we use regular database sorting, which, as you pointed out, is not very human-friendly. However, in most cases the unfriendliness is masked because we also sort by series number and by title date. It's only when the series number and the title date are the same and multiple adjacent titles have embedded numbers that we can have a problem. For example, if the Orbit anthologies were not numbered and all of them had the same date, they would be displayed in the following order:
  • Orbit 1
  • Orbit 10
  • Orbit 11
  • [Orbit 12-19]
  • Orbit 2
  • Orbit 20
  • Orbit 21
  • Orbit 3
  • [Orbit 4-9]
but that's not an issue in most cases. We can still have a problem with Advanced Search Result sorting and with certain fields like Catalog IDs and Publication Series Numbers, but it's a relatively small subset of all pages.
The issue with implementing natural sorting system-wide is that the cleanest solution would require doing it at the database level. Unfortunately, MySQL doesn't support natural sorting natively. It may be possible to implement it as a MySQL function -- see, e.g., this example -- but the performance implications are unknown and may be significant. It may also be possible to re-sort the retrieved data in Python, but it would probably mean quite a bit of work. Also, although the performance implications are likely to be less significant than with a MySQL-based solution, I am not sure they will be trivial.
If, on the other hand, we limit the scope of this project to a few select areas like Catalog IDs and Publication Series Numbers, it will probably be doable in Python, but the sorting behavior will be somewhat different compared to other ISFDB pages.
As I said, I haven't done that much digging in this area. All and any corrections and ideas are welcome! Ahasuerus 17:40, 22 November 2019 (EST)

Voyages extraordinaires

Our earlier conversation included the idea of switching VE from a title series to a publication series. In light of the Marvel-ous discussion, should I bring it up in the Community Portal first? I'm probably getting close to being ready. ../Doug H 17:40, 12 November 2019 (EST)

Sounds like a good idea! If I recall correctly, the last time this issue came up during a public discussion, there were no objections to the conversion. However, it's been years, so "better safe than sorry". Ahasuerus 18:40, 12 November 2019 (EST)
Not ready enough and the Marvel stuff is still fresh. Look for it in a few weeks. ../Doug H 21:29, 12 November 2019 (EST)
Works for me! Ahasuerus 22:07, 12 November 2019 (EST)

Simple Search bug?

For simple home-page "Search the database":

puck; Magazine

the only hit for me now is Series: Perry Rhodan (US), where "puck" appears in the series view only as the first four letters of the #81 title.

There is no open question for me as a user/editor. By successful Advanced Search, I know that we have fiction series Puck by Kipling and no issues of the 19c humor magazine Puck (the American Punch, so to speak). --Pwendt|talk 19:45, 14 November 2019 (EST)

It's the intended behavior of the regular "Magazine Search" option. The software logic looks for matching series names (as long as the series contains EDITOR titles) as well as for matching individual EDITOR titles. The reason is that a "naive" user who has a magazine issue in his hands may not realize that our series name is different from the title of "his" issue, so we check both. Ahasuerus 20:28, 14 November 2019 (EST)

The concept of the container title

Sorry to bother you with this, but I just had a very disturbing discussion with Dirk Broer here. It seems he doesn't understand the need for a container title in a publication. I tried to explain, but couldn't find a good helptext to refer to. Is there a help text that explains this (search for "container" leads nowhere. Thanks, --Willem 04:13, 22 November 2019 (EST)

Unfortunately, the version of the Wiki software that we are using has weak built-in search capabilities. I mostly use Google Search to find anything within the wiki. In this case a search on "reference title" finds Help:Screen:NewPub, which says:
  • The fields in the first section contain data about the main (or "reference") title record that will be created for this publication.
A search on "container title" finds Template:TitleFields:Title, which says:
  • ... you should parenthetically append the container title (title of the novel, collection, anthology, etc) to the title of the essay, i.e. "<generic essay title> (<container title>)" in order to create a unique title.
Also, Help:How_to_enter_translations says:
  • For Collections, Anthologies and other so-called "Container titles" you'll find the link in the Container Title line.
That's all I can find right now, which, admittedly, isn't much. We may want to create a Help page explaining what "reference" titles and "container" titles are and that the latter are a subset of the former. We could then link to it from other Help pages. Also, Template:TitleFields:Title should say "reference title" as opposed to "container title". Ahasuerus 10:06, 22 November 2019 (EST)
A new and clean help page is probably not a bad idea -- chapbooks and non-fiction/essay tend to confuse everyone. Annie 11:16, 22 November 2019 (EST)

Image problem (but no ego problem)

Hello ! I have just noticed that I could not have access to the page of Lautréamont's assumed photograph, which I probably put there a long time ago. Is it just me or is that a problem for all users ? TIA, Linguist 10:07, 29 November 2019 (EST).

I can see even without being logged in. Have you tried doing a full page reload (control-F5 under most browsers) or clearing your browser cache? Ahasuerus 14:20, 29 November 2019 (EST)
And its wiki page looks fine. - which is what I think Dominique means. I wonder if the problem is that there is no connection from the author page to the wiki page? Annie 14:57, 29 November 2019 (EST)
Yes, this is what I meant : there is no link to the wiki page on the author's page. Is that normal ? Or did I imagine there was always one ? Linguist 05:31, 30 November 2019 (EST).
I think we used to have a link but I rarely work with author images so I may be mistaken. But if Asimov does not have it, it is not because of the special characters so I would call it "working as expected (kinda)". Now... did we lose all the links by mistake or were they never there (or were they removed for a reason) is the big question... Annie 06:11, 30 November 2019 (EST)
I must have been thinking of what we have on our pub pages ("… on this Web page"). But as I seem not to have experienced the problem before, something might have changed indeed (or not ?) Veeery strange. Linguist 06:33, 30 November 2019 (EST).
Oh, I see! Thanks for the explanation! There was a change to the way images are credited back in May -- see FR 1277, "Change how images are credited".
Reviewing the software change, I see that the new way works correctly on Publication pages like this one, which says "Cover art supplied by ISFDB on this Web page". However, the software that drives Author pages was not updated correctly, so it doesn't display links to the ISFDB Wiki. Let me see if I can fix it real quick... Ahasuerus 08:37, 30 November 2019 (EST)
Fixed. Thanks for reporting the problem! Ahasuerus 12:38, 30 November 2019 (EST)
Aha. So my memory was not that bad. :) Thanks for fixing it. Annie 14:53, 30 November 2019 (EST)
We hear he is a whiz of a wiz / If ever a wiz there was ! Thanks a lot ! Linguist 04:12, 1 December 2019 (EST).

Authors with Invalid Birthplaces

I have tried multiple times to clear this entry with no luck. It follows the same form as these so not seeing the issues. Can you explain what is going on? Thanks. -- JLaTondre (talk) 09:40, 14 December 2019 (EST)

This cleanup report expects birth places which contain the names of US states to end with ", USA". There are exceptions for Georgia (Russia/USSR), Hawaii (Kingdom of Hawaii), Maine (3 different places in France), Montana (Bulgaria), California (Baja California) as well as Massachusetts and New York (British Empire.) There is no exception for Virginia, but we clearly need one. Let me see what I can do later today... Ahasuerus 12:07, 14 December 2019 (EST)
Also should include Province of Pennsylvania as an exception. This entry needs to be changed to that based on the birth date. Appreciate you looking into these. -- JLaTondre (talk) 12:44, 14 December 2019 (EST)
Done and done! Also added a link to the relevant Help template. Ahasuerus 19:37, 14 December 2019 (EST)
Thanks! -- JLaTondre (talk) 08:25, 15 December 2019 (EST)

Cleanup report 'Title Dates Before First Publication Date'

All variant cover titles are corrected. Can we move on to the variant interior art? Thanks, --Willem 14:57, 27 December 2019 (EST)

Will do! I need to get Publication Web Pages out of the way and then it will be cleanup time. Ahasuerus 16:10, 27 December 2019 (EST)
The cleanup report has been updated, although I took a somewhat different approach -- please see the Community Portal announcement. Ahasuerus 13:56, 28 December 2019 (EST)