What's New from 2001

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What's New from 2001

What's New - 11 December 2001

  • While cataloging recent issues of F&SF, found the Lucius Shepard bibliography in the March issue, and discovered several discrepancies in his ISFDB bibliography (and others as well) due to a 4000 line section of deleted text in the SHORTFICTION file. Recovered data off of backups. Since the data was near the beginning of the file, most of the lost entries were high-profile, award-winning stories (like "A Rose for Ecclesiastes", or "Ill Met in Lankhmar", for which people had started to file corrections. So this is essentially an emergency update.
  • Added an Ace Books catalog under [Publishers].
  • Indexed all issues of Super Science Stories.
  • Integrated all submissions from Klobas, geoff_markley, most submissions by richard.horton, and numerous submissions by rhauptmann and jad.
  • This is the first database build performed on Windows.
  • Reading: J. K. Rowling - Harry Potter Series.

What's New - 25 October 2001

  • Integrated hundreds of user submissions.
  • Have begun adding additional publisher pages under the [Publishers] link on the front page. Focusing on a particular publisher allows us to find errors in existing data, and find new books. We're starting with the most prolific publishers first, and working backwards to the smaller houses. For this release, a page for Tor Books has been added (with about 2400 books currently in the list). All user submissions which reference Tor books have also been integrated.
  • Reading: Iain M. Banks - Look to Windward.

What's New - 22 September 2001

  • Completely caught up on Analog listings.
  • Completely caught up on Asimov's listings.
  • Completely caught up on Nova Express listings.
  • Indexed all issues of Space & Time through 1997.
  • Indexed all issues of The Magazine of Horror.
  • Integrated hundreds of user submissions. There's still about 2000 of them in the queue.
  • Draft DTD's have been constructed for a new version of the ISFDB, and tools have been constructed which successfully translate the current ISFDB data into XML, as well as tools that can generate the online version of the ISFDB from that XML data. Documentation and forums for discussion will appear online soon.
  • In light of the length of time it will probably take to get the ISFDB2 going, I've left the input facility turned on. New author submissions, however, have been modified to produce XML data.

What's New - 16 July 2001

  • Merged in several hundred anthologies and collections.
  • Exceeded 115,000 titles.
  • Deleted all anthologies and collections which consisted entirely of titles with no publication dates or stories associated with them.
  • While the ISFDB has been an interesting experiment, it suffers from a number of limitations which are inhibiting its growth and usefulness. I've been kicking around some ideas for an ISFDB2 for a couple of years, and am now in the process of implementing them. Side effects are:
    1. I'm going to disable the input facility again. It's not working entirely well to start with, and I'm going to be converting data into XML format, which is not compatable with the input facility. I don't want a backlog of data in an old format, so I'm just going to shut it down for now.
    2. I'm not going to devote a lot of time to acquiring and integrating old works into the ISFDB, although I'll keep up with forthcoming books, and make an effort at the major magazines.
    3. I'll be creating an ISFDB2 page. This will contain documentation and "RFC"s for the new data formats that people will be able to review and suggest additions/changes.
    4. The ISFDB will probably be split into two sites, one for the quick viewing of bibliographies and content listings as it exists now, and another site that requires a login in order to change data. Data changes will be immediate and not require a merging bottleneck.
    5. The current ISFDB will remain online at SFSite.
    6. Download of ISFDB data will be available at the data entry site.
  • I've started to notice an erosion in the ISFDB's identity. Both online and in print, people are starting to refer to this site as "SF Site's ISFDB". There is no editorial, financial, or ownership linkage between the ISFDB and SF Site; the only relationship is that SF Site graciously allows the ISFDB to spin on SF Site's server, which causes the ISFDB to utilize SF Site's domain name in its URL.
  • Reading: Iain M. Banks - Excession.
  • Soundtrack: Radiohead - Amnesiac, Weezer - The Green Album.

What's New - 04 June 2001

  • Integrated 399 user submissions.
  • Merged the 2 June version of the awards.
  • Completed indexing If/Worlds of If (1952-1986).
  • Completed indexing Beyond Fantasy Fiction (1953-1955).
  • Fixed a minor bug in the awards listing routine (caused awards with extremely long category names to not be grouped together).
  • Reading: Chuck Palahniuk - Choke.
  • Soundtrack: Tool - Lateralus, Radiohead - OK Computer.

What's New - 28 May 2001

  • Gave the front page a makeover, the second in the lifespan of the web site. Cleanup on other pages has also started.
  • The new awards entries are completely merged now. Note that this is a bit of a first for collections and anthologies, so there may be some movement in the associated Top 100 lists.
  • As part of the awards integration, did a major cleanup of novels, shortfiction, collections, anthologies, and non-fiction. This consisted of a year-by-year analysis for lexically similar titles, back to 1950. This cleaned up several hundred duplicates.
  • Almost completely caught up on recent magazines.
  • Now that forthcoming books, awards, and magazines are just about caught up, I think we're just about ready to start working with user-submitted data again.
  • Reading: Iain M. Banks - Against a Dark Background.
  • Soundtrack: Radiohead - The Bends.

What's New - 17 May 2001

  • This release includes a major update to the awards (the number of award entries grew by over 22 percent). The awards should now be caught up.
  • On the other hand, the awards may reference titles not found in the fiction database. A merge has been completed on the novels, and has started on collections. This means:
    1. You might find some new duplicates in the collections until the merge is completed.
    2. You will find much shortfiction and nonfiction awards that don't have corresponding fiction entries (until merges are started and completed on those entries).
  • Until the merge is complete, there may be some minor errors in the awards entries.
  • The various Top 100 lists will show a lot of motion since they are based on the awards entries. On the Top 100 Novels (Balanced) List, Vinge's A Deepness in the Sky (#7), Charles de Lint's Someplace to be Flying (#82), and J. K. Rowling's Harry Potter and the Prisoner of Azkaban (#84) are new to the list. Orson Scott Cards Prentice Alvin, Julian May's The Many-Colored Land, and the Tolkien's The Silmarillion dropped off the list. In particular, check out the Top Books by Year listing.

What's New - 9 May 2001

  • The database is back online after a several-month forced hiatus. Work has been progressing nonetheless.
  • Set up tools such that forthcoming books can be entered into an Access database and imported into ISFDB format.
  • With all of the new data that's gone in, went on a round of error correcting:
    • Found numerous duplicate publication tags, and repaired all affected titles.
    • A search for lexically similar title/author novels by year found numerous inconsistancies, which were repaired.