User talk:Ahasuerus/Archive/2012

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A Gift from Earth

I have what appears to be the same printing/edition as [this]. However, my copy [printed in Canada] has the ISBN as 0-345-02296-3 on spine and copyright page. I'm assuming yours is a US edition. Could the error have been corrected for the CDN edition or is the number in the record incorrect? Thanks! --~ Bill, Bluesman 04:13, 31 December 2011 (UTC)

Oops, that was my bad. Fixed now, thanks! Ahasuerus 06:24, 5 January 2012 (UTC)
Thanks! Added an image and expanded the notes. --~ Bill, Bluesman 17:35, 5 January 2012 (UTC)
Thanks! Ahasuerus 17:40, 5 January 2012 (UTC)

Odd tag

Added some data and an image to [The Radio Beasts] which has a very odd tag "THRDBSTSWJno d". A leftover from old code or an error? --~ Bill, Bluesman 18:51, 12 January 2012 (UTC)

Brings up another question: on records that had dates of '0000-00-00' but a source for the date has been found, is there any way of updating the tag so the new date is appended? --~ Bill, Bluesman 18:53, 12 January 2012 (UTC)
Yes, "Edit Pub" allows you to edit the Publication Tag. But I wouldn't recommend doing so, you may accidentally create a duplicate tag (which causes problems) or break a tenuous link between an ISFDB Cover Image and a Publication, or maybe even kill a link from an external source. Too much risk for my taste, especially when it's purely cosmetic (we mostly depend on Pub IDs instead now). BLongley 20:28, 12 January 2012 (UTC)
Kind of what I figured. Thanks! --~ Bill, Bluesman 22:47, 12 January 2012 (UTC)

Comic series "Kosmiczny detektyw" in "Fantastyka"

Ahasuerus, beginning with "Fantastyka 2'82" starts a comic series "Kosmiczny detektyw" ('Cosmic P. I.') by the trio Parowski, Rodek and Polch. Each issue has it's own title (f. e. "Licencja" ('Licence') in "F 2'82" or "Zodiakalna afera" ('Zodiac Affair') in "F 3'82"). All issues tell the story of Funky Koval, ex-Space Force-pilot. Nowadays there are four hardcover issues of the whole series, but it started in 1982 in "Fantastyka". Now comes my question: How do I handle such a series of artwork? Zoltar 12:10, 23 January 2012 (UTC)

Stanisław Lem's canonical name is wrong

Hi, I just tried to edit Lem's data and got this error: Canonical name 'Stanisław Lem' already exists, duplicates are not allowed. Well, that's strange. Is a canonical name valid in english-speaking countries only? For in Poland he always used "Stanisław Lem"... Zoltar 07:38, 1 February 2012 (UTC)

"Canonical name" is the name that "the SF world" uses to refer to the author. For example, William Fitzgerald Jenkins was a prolific pulp writer who published literally hundreds of western, adventure stories and science fiction stories as "Will F. Jenkins" , "William Fitzgerald", and "Murray Leinster". Most of his *SF* stories appeared as by "Murray Leinster", so we use Leinster as the canonical name even though his legal name was "William Fitzgerald Jenkins". In the final analysis, this doesn't really matter all that much because the rest of the names that he used are listed in the database as pseudonyms and you can jump from each pseudonym to the Murray Leinster Summary page with one mouse click.
In Lem's case, we first entered his English language titles (back in 1995 when ISFDB was created.) All of them had been published as by "Stanislaw Lem", so that became his canonical name. When his Polish titles were entered ca. 2007, our support for Unicode characters was still weak, so many titles were entered as by "Stanislaw" even though they had appeared as by "Stanisław". Ideally, we should change all of his Polish titles to the "Stanisław" form of the name and then decide whether the canonical form should be "Stanisław" or "Stanislaw". I think that "Stanisław" is more appropriate, but it will mean undoing and redoing quite a few variant title relationships, so it will take a while. Ahasuerus 09:22, 1 February 2012 (UTC)
I see. Soon I will start updating Lem's polish titles, that's why I asked. Well, I'll submit them for Stanislaw Lem, no problem :) Zoltar 09:48, 1 February 2012 (UTC)

Cover credit for The Towers of Utopia

Artist for this pub is Bruce Pennington, based on the credited use of the same cover art here. I'll update the record. Mhhutchins 18:25, 1 February 2012 (UTC)

Thanks! Ahasuerus 19:00, 1 February 2012 (UTC)

Cover art credit for Delta Pavonis

Can you confirm the spelling of the cover artist's credit in this record? If the spelling is correct, please make the cover art record into a variant by Peter Scanlan. I've set up "Peter Scanlon" as a pseudonym for Peter Scanlan. Thanks. Mhhutchins 05:17, 7 February 2012 (UTC)

VT created and Notes updated. Thanks! Ahasuerus 06:32, 7 February 2012 (UTC)

Hocus Pocus & Panner László

Hi, first of all - thanks for your help in approving the Hungarian titles. GaborLajos 10:22, 12 February 2012 (UTC)

Sure thing! Ahasuerus 10:59, 12 February 2012 (UTC)

I faced now two issues: I cannot merge Vonnegut's Hocus Pocus (Hungarian: Hókuszpókusz) because they do not appear together in the "show all titles" list - although I created both the VT and the standalone one was unmerged. GaborLajos 10:22, 12 February 2012 (UTC)

One of the title records was for "Kurt Vonnegut" and the other for "Kurt Vonnegut, Jr.", which is why they didn't appear on the same page. However, you can also merge arbitrary titles by using the Title Search form on the Advanced Search page. I went ahead and merged the two, keeping the "Kurt Vonnegut" version of the title since that's what the Hungarian publication record uses. Ahasuerus 10:59, 12 February 2012 (UTC)

The second issue is related to Panner László's author data - if you search for "Panner", you will find two records with his name now which should be merged somehow and in addition to that cover of the following title should be linked to his name again: GaborLajos 10:22, 12 February 2012 (UTC)

That's strange. The Author logic shouldn't allow the creation of two records with the exact same name. I suspect that the fact the name contains Unicode characters had something to do with it. In any event, moderators can merge Author records, so they have been merged now. Ahasuerus 10:59, 12 February 2012 (UTC)

sorry for the bad news - if you have direct access to db, please try to clean up these inconsistencies for me. Thanks, BR, GaborLajos 10:22, 12 February 2012 (UTC)

I have direct access to the database, but I hardly ever use it to manipulate data via SQL. It's rather risky and there is usually a way to do what we need to do using the regular interface anyway :) Ahasuerus 10:59, 12 February 2012 (UTC)

"Star Ka'ats and the Plant People", by Andre Norton

Your verified "Star Ka'ats and the Plant People", by Andre Norton lists the cover as by "Jean Jenkins", based on the copyright page. But the copyright page says "Illustrations copyright 1979 by Jean Jenkins Loewer". That does not necessarily imply that the cover is by her, and careful inspection shows a signature something like "Melo" at the bottom right of the cover, so the cover is almost certainly not by Jenkins. I added a content item for the interior illustrations, but I'll leave correcting the cover artist to you. Chavey 05:11, 15 February 2012 (UTC)

That's a very good point. The kids as they appear on the cover look nothing like the kids inside the book. My guess is that the interior art was "inherited" from the hardcover edition, but a different artist was commissioned to do the cover for the paperback edition. I have updated my two verified "Star Ka'ats" pub records - thanks! Ahasuerus 10:49, 16 February 2012 (UTC)

Topelitz -> Toeplitz

Hi, I see that you are holding my edit: even the OCLC publication record that originated the typo 'Topelitz' The enjoyment of mathematics has it as Toeplitz. And so has every other source. The enjoyment of mathematics has not been verified, and there are no other records pointing to Topelitz. --Dirk P Broer 14:40, 15 February 2012 (UTC)

I've corrected the pub record, which then deleted the original author (Topelitz) from the database. I updated the author data for Otto Toeplitz with the birthplace info that you had added to the original submission. Dirk, please cancel the original submission. Sorry if I stepped on anyone's toes by doing this. Mhhutchins 07:09, 16 February 2012 (UTC)
No worries! I had to find Future Science Fiction, #33. Summer 1957 in my collection, check the spelling of the name in Randall Garrett's review, update Notes, notify the verifiers, set up a VT for the original German title, etc, but we are all set now. Ahasuerus 09:52, 16 February 2012 (UTC)
It remains amazing what the daily birthday check turns up. --Dirk P Broer 18:55, 16 February 2012 (UTC)

Stanisław Lem's work

Hi, I have a question concerning Lem's books. I want to submit and verify my Polish originals. Do I just add them to Lem's canonical name bibliography or shall I create them for "Stanisław Lem"? Zoltar 06:01, 20 February 2012 (UTC)

Well, the right way to do this would be to change all of his Polish titles to the "Stanisław Lem" form of his name (and also set the language to Polish while you are at it.) There are probably a couple hundred of records that will be affected, so it may take a while. Do you feel like handling it? If you do, I will do the rest, i.e. reverse the Pseudonym relationship and the half dozen variant titles that currently point the other way. Ahasuerus 07:54, 20 February 2012 (UTC)
I can do it, no problem. I will change one record tomorrow and wait for your approval. If everything will be OK, I will continue. Zoltar 06:06, 21 February 2012 (UTC)
Done! Ahasuerus 08:57, 21 February 2012 (UTC)
OK, I think, I changed every work that was printed in Polish. But what must I do with the remaining entries? Zoltar 05:41, 26 February 2012 (UTC)
Nicely done! The remaining "Stanislaw Lem" titles are translations and need to be turned into variants of the "Stanisław Lem" originals. The challenge is identifying the originals, e.g. do you happen to know the Polish title of "Darkness and Mildew", which was presumably translated into French as "L'Obscurité et la Moisissure"?
It is "Ciemność i pleśń". I already submitted the necessary changes ;) I will also try to connect Polish original editions with their respective translations. Zoltar 18:28, 26 February 2012 (UTC)
Also, there are some "original translated collections" that apparently have no analog in Polish, e.g. The Cosmic Carnival of Stanislaw Lem. They also need to be set up as variant titles under "Stanisław Lem"; BTW, there are some software enhancements in the works to indicate that they are "special" on the Summary page. Thanks! Ahasuerus 07:11, 26 February 2012 (UTC)
P.S. There is a Web page that may help with English translations. Ahasuerus 07:13, 26 February 2012 (UTC)
Thanks! Zoltar 18:28, 26 February 2012 (UTC)

There is something I would like to change concerning the names of Polish publishers from the Cold War era. For example this publisher's name is obviously wrong, containing its HQ in Warsaw and a short name. Is it possible to change all names where the word "Czytelnik" occures into "Spółdzielnia Wydawnicza "Czytelnik"" or at least "S. W. "Czytelnik""? The same applies to Iskry where the full name is "Państwowe Wydawnictwo "Iskry""... Zoltar 06:23, 9 March 2012 (UTC)

Yes, moderators can merge publisher records, but are we sure that the publisher's name remained the same throughout the 1950s-1970s? Ahasuerus 19:11, 9 March 2012 (UTC)
No, unfortunately we aren't. But we can be absolutely sure that such constructs as "Warszawa: Czytelnik" aren't valid publisher's names. I think, it isn't an error, if you change those in "Czytelnik". Zoltar 05:14, 10 March 2012 (UTC)
Will do, thanks! Ahasuerus 06:36, 10 March 2012 (UTC)

I also suggest to merge this publication with this one. Here you can also change publisher's name from "Warszawa: Iskry" into "Iskry" or "Państwowe Wydawnictwo "Iskry"" (similar to the "Czytelnik" case). Thanks in advance! Zoltar 17:33, 12 March 2012 (UTC)

Done! Ahasuerus 02:08, 14 March 2012 (UTC)
Thank you! I have another problem right now. I tried to use the "import from publication" technique and something isn't right. Please look at this publication. There are some stories without page number. They do not belong to this particular pub, they just "came over" during the import. Could you delete them, please? Zoltar 20:36, 19 March 2012 (UTC)
Fixed. There is an option to "Remove Titles From This Pub" in the navigation bar, which does exactly what it says :) Ahasuerus 02:41, 20 March 2012 (UTC)
Superb! Now the work will be even lighter. Thanks! Zoltar 05:36, 20 March 2012 (UTC)

Publisher Editing Failure

This publication has the publisher as "Black LIbrary / BL Publishing" (capital I in Library). I've tried editing it 3 times to normalize the LIbrary to Library, but have been unsuccessful. Each time, the moderator screen shows the change correctly and when I hit approve, a new PubUpdate records shows up in the Recent Edits list, but upon returning to the publication, no change occurred.

At first, I assumed it was the browser's autocomplete with previous values playing tricks on me or that I hit reject by mistake, but after a couple of repeats, I believe it's a bug. I'm guessing I might be able to work around it by setting it something completely different and then back to the correct form, but thought I'd bring it to your attention first in case it's an unknown issue and someone wants to take a look at it.

-- JLaTondre (talk) 23:58, 24 February 2012 (UTC)

Actually, it's working as intended -- sort of :) Once a new publisher record has been created, subsequent *publication* edits will use that record's capitalization. If you want to change the lower/uppercase mix for a publisher, you will need to do it via the Edit Publisher screen.
The idea here is that the record that is already on file presumably has the right capitalization. If someone submits a new pub for, say, "BANTAM", then the system will use the existing "Bantam" record rather than create a new one for "BANTAM". The same logic applies to most other records that are looked up in the database when a new pub/title is entered, e.g. Series and Publication Series. It's not perfect, but it seems to help control publisher population :) Ahasuerus 00:24, 25 February 2012 (UTC)
Ok, while not intuitive, that makes sense. -- JLaTondre (talk) 00:39, 25 February 2012 (UTC)

Cover art credit for The Night of the Wolf

When you get a chance, can you please look at the submission in the queue that wants to add cover art credit to your verified record? I can't see the artist's signature on the scan, but maybe the original is clearer. I've placed the submission on hold. Mhhutchins 04:50, 1 March 2012 (UTC)

Will do, thanks! Ahasuerus 04:50, 1 March 2012 (UTC)
Boy, that's impressive! I spent three minutes examining the cover and couldn't find anything that would look remotely like a signature. Then I reviewed the submission, found Sfbooks52's "Note to Moderator" and now I can sort of see it if I squint, but it sure is well hidden! Ahasuerus 06:06, 1 March 2012 (UTC)
Thanks for looking. I've accepted the submission and added the location of the signature in the record's note field. Mhhutchins 06:53, 1 March 2012 (UTC)
Thanks! Ahasuerus 06:54, 1 March 2012 (UTC)

Ships to the Stars

Found a signature on the cover of [this]. It's between the two right struts of the ship.


90% sure the second name is Faine, though there is no Walter ***** currently in the db that comes close. Also a small conflict on the month as mentioned in the notes. --~ Bill, Bluesman 00:22, 2 March 2012 (UTC)

You guys are so good ;-) Ahasuerus 03:03, 2 March 2012 (UTC)
Nah, just persistent! ... and use a magnifier! :-)) --~ Bill, Bluesman 03:31, 2 March 2012 (UTC)
The Mind Spider has the same signature (on the left near the ear), but just as unclear. Pretty sure the last name begins with "R" though. --Willem H. 16:04, 2 March 2012 (UTC)
[Update] on above. --~ Bill, Bluesman 20:19, 9 January 2013 (UTC)
Don't have that one to compare. Scan? On the above an 'R' is pretty hard to see for the second name, though all the letters are 'script' except that one [almost slashes]. --~ Bill, Bluesman 17:15, 2 March 2012 (UTC)
This is the scan. As I said, not very clear, hope you can see something in it. --Willem H. 20:12, 2 March 2012 (UTC)


Too grainy. Really can't see anything. Naked eye would probably bring out more detail. Must say I would be surprised if one artist did these two markedly different works. --~ Bill, Bluesman 20:40, 2 March 2012 (UTC)
Naked eye hardly sees anything. I have to take off my glasses and look real close with a bright light shining on the cover. Google can't see anything either for Walter Faine or Raine. --Willem H. 21:38, 2 March 2012 (UTC)
There is an artist named Walter Rane, but the style is different.--Dirk P Broer 23:54, 4 March 2012 (UTC)


And a scan for Walter Rane's signature!! From the cover to Rossiter's "Tetrasomy Two"/ Bantam edition. Could be I'll need to 'adjust' Faine to Rane. --~ Bill, Bluesman 18:10, 15 March 2012 (UTC)
These two covers are already different! :-) I do see the leading "R" in the second scan, and the "a" following is slightly different than in the upper scan. Perhaps Rane did the second cover? --~ Bill, Bluesman 16:43, 5 March 2012 (UTC)


Dumb question. I haven't been following the whole multi-language effort all that closely, but in Boris Vian, why does the Italian variant of Et on tuera tous les affreux as by Vernon Sullivan not appear? --MartyD 12:03, 10 March 2012 (UTC)

It does for me. Have you included Italian in your "My Languages" options? BLongley 12:09, 10 March 2012 (UTC)
Hmmm. I thought I had picked Show All, but, sure enough, it shows Original + English. I tried checking "show all languages", which was accepted and claims to have done something, but no dice. I go back to preferences and find the choice did not stick, so I'm still at Original + English. If I explicitly pick Italian, that sticks and works. So I go back, delete Italian and turn back on Show All, and that now works, too. Interesting. --MartyD 13:00, 10 March 2012 (UTC)
I know you will be shocked (since our software is obviously perfect), but that was a bug. I recreated it a few minutes ago -- see Bug 3515616 -- and should be uploading a fix shortly. Ahasuerus 03:48, 7 April 2012 (UTC)

E-mail this user

The "E-mail this user" functionality does not appear to be working. I've verified my email address is correct in the preferences and that I'm getting email from other sources. However, I did not receive a copy of an e-mail I sent another user despite having the "E-mail me a copy of my message" checked nor did it work when I tried emailing myself. -- JLaTondre (talk) 17:02, 25 March 2012 (UTC)

That's peculiar. Could you please try e-mailing me to see if there may be something wrong with your e-mail settings, e.g. an overzealous spam filter? TIA! Ahasuerus 06:19, 26 March 2012 (UTC)
Sent. -- JLaTondre (talk) 11:08, 26 March 2012 (UTC)
The message read "Testing" and was received successfully. I wonder if your Wiki account is set up slightly differently?.. Ahasuerus 17:44, 26 March 2012 (UTC)
It's on my ISP's side. I tried two different email addresses with them and neither work. I switched over to a web-mail provider and it works. I'll leave set to the web-mail address. -- JLaTondre (talk) 23:27, 26 March 2012 (UTC)
Another mystery solved! :) Ahasuerus 02:16, 27 March 2012 (UTC)

La Mort, Sa Vie, Son Ouvre

This variant of Books of Blood V says it has been added in my recent edits, but it's not there... Help? Ofearna 06:27, 4 April 2012 (UTC)

La Mort, Sa Vie, Son Ouvre turned out to be a variant of Books of Blood VI rather than Books of Blood V, so it has been moved accordingly. I made a note of it on your Talk page when I made the change, but perhaps it got lost in the shuffle. Ahasuerus 03:45, 5 April 2012 (UTC)
Thanks so much. I read all the Barker books (then, to date) in the late 80s and grabbed French editions of these, so I still had (crappy Lexmark) scans of the French b/c of the Whelan artwork. I also had Spanish versions I can't find (I've moved a couple times since then) and can't find any mention of them or even remember the Mexico City publisher except that they were in Mexico City. Imagine using Clive Barker shorts to teach ESL! I don't read French, but I can usually muddle through Spanish and (with help from my brothers) German.Ofearna 05:57, 11 April 2012 (UTC)

The Star Captain Legends

Hi, I'm trying to figure out the original Russian title for this "short story" in this verified pub. It seems that the Russian counterpart is the umbrella title for the three very short stories that initially appeared independently: 1. Икар и Дедал (1958-09-00), Сверхновая Аретина (1959-01-03), and Огненный цветок (1960-01-00). All three stories (in Russian) are available here. Could you please check that these three indeed comprise the "Legends". Cheers, P-Brane 06:14, 10 April 2012 (UTC).

Let's see... Yes, you are absolutely right. The table of contents lists "The Star Captain Legends", but once I checked the text, I saw that the three stories have separate titles within the framing story. Well, there is no framing story per se, but there is an epigraph before the first story. I have organized them as a series (hey, we can now use Unicode characters in series names!) and they look much happier now :-) Thanks for finding this problem! Ahasuerus 05:58, 11 April 2012 (UTC)
Thanks! Looks nice indeed. P-Brane 13:24, 11 April 2012 (UTC).


Hi! Wanted your opinion on this author canonical name. In Russian, it would, without any doubt, be "Kir" not "Kirill". It seems to me that the same applies to English: all his Locus letters are as by Kir, SF encyclopedia refers to him as Kir, and most of the translations use Kir. What do you think? Cheers, P-Brane 03:03, 17 April 2012 (UTC).

Ideally his canonical name should be changed to "Kir Bulychev". It's my fault -- I picked Kirill Bulychev back when we were limited to English titles. There are other examples of author names mangled by translators/publishers, e.g. Vitaly Krapivin instead of Vladislav Krapivin, but they are normally set up as pseudonyms rather than as canonical names.
Unfortunately, changing an author's canonical name is a multi-step process. First you have to undo all VTs, one at a time, then you have to turn all legitimate "Kirill" titles into VTs. Finally, you need to delete the remaining "Kirill" titles with no "Kir" counterpart. It's a laborious process, but if you want to tackle this project, more power to you! :-) Ahasuerus 04:02, 17 April 2012 (UTC)
P.S. You will also need to delete the pseudonym associations between Kirill Bulychev and Kir Bulychev, Kirill Bulytschow and Kirył Bułyczow, then set up new pseudonyms under Kir Bulychev. It's probably best to explain what you intend to do on ISFDB:Moderator noticeboard to preempt questions Ahasuerus 04:10, 17 April 2012 (UTC)
Thanks! I'll do it, no worries. Cheers, P-Brane 04:38, 17 April 2012 (UTC).

Coven 13, March 1970

The Robert E. Howard item on p. 41 is poem; you have labelled it as shortfiction in Coven 13, March 1970. Bob 23:24, 27 April 2012 (UTC)

Hm, I wonder if the Title record may have been merged with another record after I verified the publication? I will check later tonight... Ahasuerus 22:12, 28 April 2012 (UTC)
Fixed, thanks! Ahasuerus 00:57, 1 May 2012 (UTC)

Bradbury's introduction to Davidson's Strange Seas and Shores

In the Ace pb edition of this title, the introduction is given as "Night Travel on the Orient Express" (over) "Destination: Avram" (over) "Introduction by Ray Bradbury". If it's the same way in your hardcover edition, I suggest we add something, like a comma, slash or a colon after the first part, as it's the only way to indicate the break. Otherwise it looks (and reads) quite awkward. What do you think? Mhhutchins 19:44, 28 April 2012 (UTC)

Good point, I will check my copy tonight... Ahasuerus 22:11, 28 April 2012 (UTC)
I have confirmed that the title page in the hardcover edition is the same as what's in the Ace paperback edition. I am thinking that colons may be the most intuitive way to represent line breaks because slashes are usually reserved for composite titles (e.g. in omnibus editions and such), but I can live with slashes and commas too :) Ahasuerus 01:19, 1 May 2012 (UTC)

Unmerge oddity

A cover art credit mysteriously changed from the cover artist to the author of the book when I did an unmerge. [One of six merged covers had different artwork, but same artist]. Is this a bug? --~ Bill, Bluesman 01:01, 30 April 2012 (UTC)

And again with a different title but same scenario. --~ Bill, Bluesman 02:33, 30 April 2012 (UTC)

There are some issues with unmerges and with cover art records. Do you happen to remember the exact steps and the records that you were unmerging? Ahasuerus 03:00, 30 April 2012 (UTC)
Jack Gaughan for artist and Smith's Lensmen novels, most of which have more than one cover but nearly all are done by Gaughan [and more than a few incorrectly merged as a result]. Steps were normal, as for any unmerge. Michael's note below helps. But just knowing it's going to do this means it's avoidable. His solution is a step shorter than having to do an Advanced Search and then fix the incorrect record. --~ Bill, Bluesman 03:22, 30 April 2012 (UTC)
[after edit conflict] This is a known bug. You shouldn't unmerge pubs from coverart records. (Just as you shouldn't unmerge pubs from shortfiction records. The only "unmerge" that works without fail is unmerging pubs from title records.) This is how I do it: Update the one pub record that should not be part of the group and change the artist name only slightly (I just add the number 1 to the name.) Once I accepted the submission that changes the record, I make an immediate submission to change it back to the correct artist name. Voila! The pub record's coverart record is no longer merged with the others. Mhhutchins 03:02, 30 April 2012 (UTC)
It is indeed a known bug, although I'm not sure it's recorded as one. The good news is that the fix has already been submitted (under the original feature request number 3294454) and so it just needs Ahasuerus' testing time. BLongley 14:06, 30 April 2012 (UTC)
And, might I add, you should then go back to both of the coverart records and explain in the Note fields of each why future editors should not merge the two records again. Otherwise, an unsuspecting and innocent editor will merge them again...and again. Mhhutchins 03:29, 30 April 2012 (UTC)
"Both"?? That's funny! There are thirteen titles between the Lensmen and Skylark series with up to 16 printings per title and nearly every cover by Gaughan, up to three per title. And the use of same is not obvious as to start/stop/change/revert, with about half the records having no image. That's not happening tonight, a challenge for another day when I have a little more energy. Unless you have a magic wand?? ;-)) --~ Bill, Bluesman 04:20, 30 April 2012 (UTC)

The Gaean Enchantment

Hi Ahseurus. T. Jackson King/Tom here. Just added a new 2012 tp fantasy novel to my author's page listing on isfdb. Hope I did it correctly. Will have another novel out from Fantastic Books of NYC later this year. Plus, I got married in April 2010, and have been doing new writing and promoting since then. Spider Robinson gave me a fantastic review for Little Brother's World! Anyway, feel free to visit my page to obtain the cover art for THE GAEAN ENCHANTMENT. And . . . sorry to mess with this topic to which my comment is unrelated. Maybe I can get back into adding to the data for others, beyond my own writing. Tjacksonking

Congratulations on the new novels and on getting married! I have occasionally wondered if you were OK and I am glad to hear that everything is working out nicely :-) I always look forward to your contributions -- they tend to cover areas that may otherwise be neglected and it's great to see lacunae getting filled! We have expanded a bit in the last few years, but the focus of the site remains basically unchanged. Ahasuerus 01:26, 1 May 2012 (UTC)

Gaughan covers

Is the cover for [your] edition [this] one or [this] one? Trying to figure out when Pyramid reverted to the original artwork after issuing at least one printing with a different cover. Thanks! --~ Bill, Bluesman 15:07, 1 May 2012 (UTC)

And is the cover for [this] printing the same as [this] or [this]? Thanks! --~ Bill, Bluesman 15:33, 1 May 2012 (UTC)

They both use psychedelic covers :-) I have updated the pubs, so you can now see them in all their glory! Ahasuerus 16:07, 1 May 2012 (UTC)
Thanks for both, have the correct ones merged and title notes placed! --~ Bill, Bluesman 16:08, 1 May 2012 (UTC)
Found and added an image to [this] record, not a good one but all I could find. Seems the 'psychedelic' covers were limited to the '70 and '71 printings across the board! Is this the correct image? Thanks! --~ Bill, Bluesman 16:20, 1 May 2012 (UTC)
That's the one! Ahasuerus 16:24, 1 May 2012 (UTC)
Great! Another merge mess cleaned up, only four more to go! --~ Bill, Bluesman 16:33, 1 May 2012 (UTC)
Cover for [this], is it [this] one or [this] one? --~ Bill, Bluesman 16:42, 1 May 2012 (UTC)
The psychedelic brigade strikes again! Updated. Ahasuerus 21:29, 1 May 2012 (UTC)
Excellent, and that gets them all! Appreciate the responses. :-)) --~ Bill, Bluesman 23:53, 1 May 2012 (UTC)

Corrupted pub(s)

Hi. Please see User_talk:MartyD#Oriental_Stories_Facsimile_Copies. Here I was pleased that he used import! Anyway, the pub is grumpy about several title records, and I don't quite know what to make of it. I assume the titles got deleted somehow, perhaps merged away prior to acceptance of the imports? Thanks. --MartyD 11:33, 16 May 2012 (UTC)

Hm, I think we ran into this problem just a few months ago. Let me check... Ahasuerus 01:48, 17 May 2012 (UTC)

"Missing" Content

Marty indicated that he had referred the problem I encountered with content for some Oriental Stories pubs to you. I have found an addition similar problem with "The Complete Oriental Stories, Volume 2". I went looking for the stories in that pub using Advanced Search in order to merge the stories there with other copies if they existed. Two of the stories, "The White Sawbwa of Möng Nam" and "Rats in the Silver Cheese", came up as non-existent in Advanced Search. Their accompanying artwork did not show up either. These are items 1441025, 1441026, 1441029 and 1441030. They show up when I click on the story or artwork, but not under Advanced Search. All the other content of this pub are no problem. Bob 15:16, 16 May 2012 (UTC)

I think this is a different problem or two. "The White Sawbwa of Möng Nam" is not found because of the accent on the last "o". "Rats in the Silver Cheese" is not found because it's actually "Rats at the Silver Cheese". BLongley 16:32, 16 May 2012 (UTC)
Yeah, this is different, not corruption. This sounds like the Advanced-search-doesn't-handle-diacriticals issue mentioned here. Try Show All Titles or using the wildcarding hints I gave in that discussion. --MartyD 01:05, 17 May 2012 (UTC)


Hi! You have recorded cover artist for this verified pub as "Laurence Kresek" based on his signature, which I believe is just "Kresek". This chap canonical name in the db, though, is "Larry Kresek". Would you agree with changing the credit to the canonical name to avoid creating unnecessary VT? Cheers, P-Brane 03:10, 23 May 2012 (UTC).

Good point, done! Ahasuerus 03:45, 23 May 2012 (UTC)

How Much for Just the Planet

Found a signature [Enric] on a copy of [this]. The cover is cropped differently and it's just visible in the bottom right corner. Uploaded a scan of it for the record. --~ Bill, Bluesman 02:53, 25 May 2012 (UTC)

Looks good, thanks! Ahasuerus 05:08, 25 May 2012 (UTC)

Author Image Credit Feature Request

I accepted a number of submissions to use URLs for author images. I based this on the title image URL help which allows use of the Open Library. However, afterwords, I noticed that the author images don't implement the same credit back link that is used for cover images. While the Open Library guidelines doesn't require the back link (it only says a "courtesy appreciated"), it would be nice to add it at some point. Thanks. -- JLaTondre (talk) 13:56, 28 May 2012 (UTC)

Yup, it's the right thing to do and we already have a Feature Request -- FR 2809970 - in the queue :-) Ahasuerus 20:36, 28 May 2012 (UTC)

Best of the Bushel

Relatively new editor, SF Juggler, has [this] submission. Held it as I don't know if such a 'Publication Series' exists and there are several date additions. Could you have a look? Thanks! --~ Bill, Bluesman 00:24, 7 June 2012 (UTC)

The date additions come from and look OK, but "Complete BoSh" is a regular series which consists of two non-fiction books by Shaw rather than a publication series. It's probably best to approve the submission and then blank out the publication series fields. Thanks for looking into it! Ahasuerus 03:00, 7 June 2012 (UTC)
Done. Thanks! --~ Bill, Bluesman 03:14, 7 June 2012 (UTC)

Missing Container Record

Frank Herbert's Missing Link chapterbook is not showing on the author's summary page. This had been listed as an anthology which I corrected to be a chapterbook. At first I assumed I had done something wrong, but looking at the last database dump, this publication doesn't appear to have a container type. I think the issue predates me and don't know what caused it, but is there a way to correct this short of creating a new pub and deleting this one? Thanks. -- JLaTondre (talk) 01:38, 26 June 2012 (UTC)

CHAPTERBOOK Titles are a relatively (emphasis on "relatively") recent addition and we still have a few CHAPTERBOOK pubs that do not have an associated CHAPTERBOOK Title. The fix is very simple -- just add a new CHAPTERBOOK Title record to the pub's contents. I have already added it for this pub and things looks OK now. Ahasuerus 02:46, 26 June 2012 (UTC)
On reading the fix, I have to admit to a <homer>D'oh!</homer> moment as that is pretty straightforward. However, this probably wasn't a chapterbook specific problem as it wasn't a chapterbook before I changed it. Now that I know what to look for, I've found quite a few other non-chapterbook cases. Some examples:
  • 10669 is a novel without a container record (it is a duplicate of this one and can be deleted).
  • 118621 is a collection without a container record.
  • 146031 is a anthology without a container record.
Querying the last database dump, I've found 380 cases where a publication does not have a corresponding container record. Only about a dozen of those are chapterbooks. I won't claim the results are all problems as I'm still looking at them. But I'm ignoring magazines and fanzines as well as novel publications with nongenre title containers (there are a lot of those so I'm assuming that is an intentional way to handle non-genre novels?) and so far, everything I've spot checked appears to be an actual problem.
Some may be the result of old bugs, but some are quite recent (based on the pub_id numbers). However, those could be user error. I'll work on fixing the issues I've found. I'll also keep an eye on it from week to week and let you know if the numbers are increasing. -- JLaTondre (talk) 02:24, 27 June 2012 (UTC)
Thanks for looking into this! All Magazines and Fanzines should have EDITOR records, which function as substitute container records for these pub types. Non-genre titles should be associated with Novel pubs. The rest should match, so either we have more user errors than I thought -- e.g. some editors may not realize that they need to change container titles when changing pub types -- or there is something wrong with the software. Ahasuerus 02:55, 27 June 2012 (UTC)

Missing license tags

Please have a look at User talk:Bluesman#Missing license tags. Am I getting warmer than the situation justifies? On wikipedia the rule is clear -- an image without a tag is automatically deleted in a week or so, and anyone who repeatedly posts such is blocked. I am inclined to think we could do with a similar policy. But perhaps some words from another person would be helpful. -DES Talk 03:15, 17 July 2012 (UTC)

ISFDB backups

Hi Ahasuerus, I asked a question on the help desk but got no answer, so I will repeat it here in case you missed it:

  • if I have Win7 only, and I want to use one of the latest backups, what can I do? If there is nothing I can do on my side (except maybe to downgrade to WinXP), can you please create at least one 5.5 compatible backup? Qshadow 17:05, 18 July 2012 (UTC)
Sorry about the delay in responding. Did the 5.5 backup that I uploaded on Saturday work for you? If so, I will start creating 2 versions of each backup file, one for 4.0-5.1 and the other for 5.5. Ahasuerus 07:13, 19 July 2012 (UTC)
Yes the version you uploaded worked for me. Wow, two versions will be just great! I hope it is not too much extra effort. Thanks a lot! Qshadow 08:02, 19 July 2012 (UTC)
Sure, I will add it to the regular backup process. The cost of the extra storage and bandwidth is likely to be insignificant unless we become popular and hundreds of people suddenly want to download our backups :-) Ahasuerus 05:19, 21 July 2012 (UTC)
Thanks a lot! I will try it asap. Qshadow 08:19, 22 July 2012 (UTC)
Hi, I am not sure you have been following our discussion with Mhhutchins on the Help desk about my new statistics page, in short I need your help once more, in order to finish the statistics graphs I need someone (I hopped you ;) to convert for me the backup from 2012-01-07 to newer format, otherwise there is a whole of one year in the samples I have. Regards, Qshadow 01:12, 25 July 2012 (UTC)
Yes, I saw the discussion. I'll see what I can do, but it may be a little tricky... Ahasuerus 05:11, 25 July 2012 (UTC)

The Silver Eggheads

I added the cover credit to this record based on a visible signature, but I'm not really sure if it's really an artist signature. What do you think? There is another credit for "Line" in the database. Mhhutchins 19:11, 1 August 2012 (UTC)

Hm, I have never heard of Mr. (?) Line, but that doesn't mean much since my knowledge of SF art is limited at best. I am thinking that our best resource may be User:Don Erikson who knows more about SF art than any other editor that I can think of. Ahasuerus 01:49, 2 August 2012 (UTC)

Ahasuerus 100397

Congratulations on joining the 100k Moderations club! BLongley 11:13, 13 August 2012 (UTC)

Thanks! Must be all the foreign language submissions that I have been approving lately... Ahasuerus 19:31, 13 August 2012 (UTC)

Russian Science Fiction 1969

Hi, could you please check the Boris Zubkov's initial in this verified pub. Does he indeed credited as E. Zubkov? Cheers, P-Brane 01:15, 14 August 2012 (UTC).

Good catch; he was listed as "E. Zubkov" in the table of contents, but as "B. Zubkov" on the title page. I have changed the initial -- thanks for reporting it! Ahasuerus 02:30, 14 August 2012 (UTC)

The Glory Game

Does your copy of [this] have a gutter code on page 186? Just picked up a copy that has "O6" and don't want to verify the existing record if the codes don't match. Thanks! --~ Bill, Bluesman 02:48, 23 August 2012 (UTC)

Sorry about the delay. I will take a look tomorrow and let you know. Ahasuerus 05:39, 25 August 2012 (UTC)
Let's see... The good news is that there is a gutter code on page 186 and that it starts with an "O". The bad news is that the second character is not visible because of the way the book was put together, so I can't be sure that it's a "6" :-( But it does seem likely. Ahasuerus 04:04, 26 August 2012 (UTC)
Yeah, I had to gently separate the pages to see the number. [Same question] to Biomassbob resulted in a different code of "N45" so it looks like we both have a second printing. I created another record for that code. --~ Bill, Bluesman 03:02, 29 August 2012 (UTC)

Knight's Off Center

If pushed, I would guess this book was published in 1973, based on the catalog number. Look at the 1973 listing of pubs from this publisher. The only problem is the price which is closer to those published in 1970. A puzzlement. Mhhutchins 15:08, 9 September 2012 (UTC)

Although $0.75 would be on the low side for a 1973 mmpb, it's not an impossibility. However, all other Award books published in 1973 were priced at $0.95, which makes you wonder if there is something else going on. Some contemporary publishers played games with their catalog IDs, but I don't know if Award (owned by the Universal-Award group, I think) was one of them. Hm.... Ahasuerus 18:53, 9 September 2012 (UTC)

Not volunteering just yet....

... but in a few weeks I should have moved my books (unfortunately not re-shelved them, just stored them) and will be itching to code again. It'll take some time to catch up on your changes, but I'd appreciate some guidance on what needs work. Last year I had all sorts of ideas for 'Unmerge Foreign Title', 'Translator Support', 'Sourcing made easy' etc, but it's difficult to know what is a priority (everything on Sourceforge now seems to be a 5). No hurry, but if you can give it some thought with your 'benevolent despot' hat on, it would be appreciated. BLongley 18:34, 14 September 2012 (UTC)

Congratulations on the new digs! (Or at least I hope the expression means the same thing in British English -- this Web page claims that "[i]n British usage, to be in digs is to live in a room in a house with shared facilities, frequently with meals supplied by the landlady" whereas in America "my digs" describes generic housing accommodations.) Good luck with moving the books and keep in mind that they are quite heavy, so a car/truck full of books may not be as maneuverable as one might expect. Ahasuerus 03:10, 15 September 2012 (UTC)
The US version of 'digs' is quite understood here. I'm not sharing, but am downsizing a bit, so the new place is "one bedroom, one book storage room' rather than my current 'one bedroom, two libraries' situation. BLongley 10:40, 15 September 2012 (UTC)
As far as the priorities go, I think we need to do the following three things first:
  • Fix the known bugs. There are 71 currently listed on SourceForge, but a few can no longer be recreated while some others (e.g. note_id=0) apparently still occur, but can't be fixed until we figure out what's causing them. Ahasuerus 03:10, 15 September 2012 (UTC)
I'll have a review of them myself and see if any are within my capabilities. I suspect we've found the easy ones already and the rest are going to be quite tricky - which may be one of the reasons why it seems to be left down to the two of us at the moment. BLongley 10:40, 15 September 2012 (UTC)
  • Implement the changes that were committed last year and haven't been tested yet. Ahasuerus 03:10, 15 September 2012 (UTC)
That's obviously your job, but if testing throws up any problems feel free to send them back to me. BLongley 10:40, 15 September 2012 (UTC)
  • Prioritize our 130+ outstanding feature requests. Some of them will probably end up being rejected, but for now we can just move them to the end of the list. Ahasuerus 03:10, 15 September 2012 (UTC)
This is our big problem - nobody uses the Sourceforge prioritisation and the only way I've found to assess desirability is to keep up with the wiki posts. BLongley 10:40, 15 September 2012 (UTC)
I didn't realize that submitters should be assigning our own priorities. (Other systems I've worked on assign prioritization to specific VIPs or teams.) Chavey 15:25, 15 September 2012 (UTC)
We really have not established the best way to assign priorities. In an ideal world, we'd probably have the developers say what they think they can do, in what timescale, and everybody else can say what they'd like most. BLongley 18:40, 15 September 2012 (UTC)
Reading this, I went in and prioritized my 11 open feature requests. Of course I don't have the authority to change the priorities on FR's other than the ones I've submitted, but I would put FR 3317609 (Allow for new Award Types) as a 9. (I believe this may be equivalent to FR 3136354 (Re-enable award editing).) Chavey 15:25, 15 September 2012 (UTC)
Award editing was reenabled for mods, and you specifically I believe. (A moot point since you have achieved modhood since.) I worked on Awards a bit so that those wanting to add new awards could do so: it's nowhere near a final solution but I think that enabling the capability might allow us to see what is desired next in that area. Unfortunately, you and I may be the only people interested. :-/ BLongley 18:40, 15 September 2012 (UTC)
I was a little confused between the concepts of "Award editing" and "Award Category Editing", i.e. the terminology of adding new awards to existing categories and adding new categories of awards, such as the Shirley Jackson award or the Carl Brandon award. I take it that the purpose of "Re-enable award editing" is to extend it from moderators to regular editors (with moderation)? Chavey 20:16, 15 September 2012 (UTC)
I would also put FR 3295886 (Publisher Awards) at an 8. Chavey 15:25, 15 September 2012 (UTC)
I'd actually quite like this one myself. I've found, when contacting publishers for bibliographical data, that the more we do for them the more they will do for us. BLongley 18:40, 15 September 2012 (UTC)
By the way, while looking at the Awards FR's, I noticed FR 2800762 (Create an Award Directory similar to the Author Directory). This FR has "Details" that have nothing to do with the title. The request of the "Details" has been implemented. Depending on what the anonymous submitter meant by the title, that may have been implemented as well. I'd suggest closing that FR. Chavey 15:25, 15 September 2012 (UTC)
The temporary Award Wiki page I created a few years ago now looks like a permanent feature - I'm not sure it qualifies as "similar to the Author Directory" though. But I agree, we can close that one and await a clearer FR. It's not like we're short of work! BLongley 18:40, 15 September 2012 (UTC)
I am currently working on 1 and 2, but with 70ish bugs outstanding there is plenty for you to work on as well. I am almost (although not completely) done transitioning to "retirement mode", so I can spend more time on software improvements.
Once we get these three things out of the way, we will need to decide whether we want to implement further improvements (language support and awards) first or whether we want to rearrange the code to follow standard OO practices first. The code as it currently exists is a weird mix of OO and (sometimes poorly implemented) procedural programming techniques and the more "stuff" we add to it, the hairier it gets. But that can wait until we get the current crop of bug fixes out of the way. Ahasuerus 03:10, 15 September 2012 (UTC)
OK. You're going to have to be the guide for that, I've done very little OO coding and frankly don't know what the "standard OO practices" are. But if you adjust a few things I should be able to pick up the style from watching you. BLongley 10:40, 15 September 2012 (UTC)

Strange Tales October 1932

I would never change anything somebody has verified without permission. I have the facsimile reprint of this pulp magazine and from what I can see by browsing images on the web, it's cover is identical to that of the pulp magazine's. If you want, and if you think that it's proper, I can download the facsimile's cover to your entry and you can review it, and if you approve of it you can keep it. I have also identified most of the artists that are in this issue from their signatures if you're interested. MLB 12:38, 28 September 2012 (UTC)

Sounds like a good plan, we'll just want to document our sources in Notes. Ahasuerus 15:16, 28 September 2012 (UTC)

Strange Tales of Mystery

Would you please drop in on this discussion and contribute as appropriate? Thanks. --MartyD 11:58, 29 September 2012 (UTC)

Wysocki's "Forward"

Can you confirm the spelling of this title? If it is correctly entered as stated, it would be a good idea to note that in the title record to avoid further inquiries. Thanks. Mhhutchins 14:51, 15 October 2012 (UTC)

Good point! After checking the pub, I expanded the Note text in the pub record and corrected the title, which was missing "The" for some reason. Ahasuerus 21:50, 15 October 2012 (UTC)

Victory on Janus

Added an image and the cover artist for [this], has same artwork as the previous printing [which I have] and Kirby's signature is on the cover [may be cropped on your printing?]. --~ Bill, Bluesman 02:29, 21 October 2012 (UTC)

Yup, about 65% of the signature is there -- once you know where to look :-) Ahasuerus 07:28, 21 October 2012 (UTC)

Fixer or personal submissions

I've noticed lately that what appears to be Fixer submissions have been entered under your user name. Was this intentional? I've stayed away from them because I normally wouldn't work on other moderators' submissions. Mhhutchins 14:22, 26 October 2012 (UTC)

That's right, it was an intentional change. Once I had finished sorting out various post-retirement issues a few weeks ago, I reviewed the eventual fate of recent Fixer submissions. The results were surprisingly discouraging in that in many cases Amazon's deficiencies -- missing binding codes, garbled titles/author names, etc -- remained uncorrected. There were also missing VTs/pseudonyms, missing (or incorrect) series attributions, incorrect UK/US prices and so on. Based on these findings, I decided to send Fixer on vacation (he says that Maui is great this time of the year) and take over the approval process for a while. It's been an interesting (if time consuming) experience and I hope that I will be able to use it to make Fixer's submissions cleaner in the future. Ahasuerus 16:26, 26 October 2012 (UTC)
Although I admit to having a few frustrating hours with his submissions (all those self-published works drove me to distraction), it seems that within the past few months those moments were far less frequent. Maybe one day he'll come back rested, refreshed, and better than ever. Thanks. Mhhutchins 17:01, 26 October 2012 (UTC)

Duplicate Feature Requests

You have submitted Feature Requests 3090100 and 3088997, which appear to be duplicates of each other. You might wish to combine these into one, and close the other. Chavey 03:29, 9 November 2012 (UTC)

Good catch, thanks! Ahasuerus 04:33, 9 November 2012 (UTC)

Feature request

For some reason Sourceforge is rejecting my sign-on and I'm not getting any response about password reset, so I'm putting in a feature request here if you don't mind. Astromath 01:48, 17 December 2012 (UTC)

No worries, FR 3596712 has been created. You can also create Feature Requests and Bugs without signing in -- the only downside is that you won't get e-mail notifications when the FR/Bug has been updated. Ahasuerus 02:45, 17 December 2012 (UTC)

My request is the addition of "mouseover"ing. For example, mouseover on the author's name will give some basic info about the author (but not the pub titles as some authors are extremely prolific). Mouseover of a series will give all the pubs in that series. Mouseover of a pub will give the basic information of that pub. Mouseover of a specific printing will give the image & basic info of that printing. Etc. Look at Kissmanga for a good example of mouseover. Mangafox has another good example of using mouseover. I really think you can do something similar.--Astromath 01:48, 17 December 2012 (UTC)

Yes, it should be certainly doable, although we'll need to display a little note informing our JavaScript-negative users that they need to enable JavaScript if they want to see mouseover text. At the moment, we only require JavaScript for editing, but I guess at some point we'll need to move to the 21st century. It would put extra load on the server, but hopefully nothing major. Ahasuerus 02:45, 17 December 2012 (UTC)

Import/Export Content

I've read through the help files for importing and exporting the contents of a pub, but it does not explain what the Publication ID/record number is. I'm guessing that it is the last 5 digits of the pub's url page, but I'm not sure. For example, I want to import the contents from The Chronicles of Narnia (Boxed Set) to The Chronicles of Narnia. If my guess is right, the Pub ID of the first is 37101 and the Pub ID of the second is 37103. So to import, I would go to the second pub and click on import content, type in 37101, and then send. Or I could do it the other way around and use export content on the first, type in 37103, then send. Is that correct?--Astromath 06:39, 18 December 2012 (UTC)

Everything to the right of the question mark in the URL is the record number. Most of the time it's 5 digits, but it can be any number from 1 to 99999999999 (if we ever have that many publications.) We will need to update the Help pages to make it explicit and probably also clarify it on the Publication Listing page. This stuff becomes invisible/transparent after a few months, so moderators/developers no longer recognize gaps in our Help system -- appreciate the feedback! Ahasuerus 19:54, 18 December 2012 (UTC)

P.S. Since the second Narnia is also a boxed set, shouldn't the title include "(Boxed Set)" like the first one?--Astromath 06:39, 18 December 2012 (UTC)

Sure, you can do that as well. Ahasuerus 19:54, 18 December 2012 (UTC)
I also have another proposal that requires no change software-wise for boxed sets. Use the page number field of the contents to record the book's volume number. This allows the books in the boxed set to be listed in volume number order. This is what I did when I imported the contents to The Chronicles of Narnia. I supposed the volume numbers in the page number field could be clarified with "Vol" in front of the volume number, but it would look a little messy.--Astromath 20:12, 18 December 2012 (UTC)
Interesting. I don't think we have discussed this issue before, so let me copy your suggestion to the Rules and Standards page. Ahasuerus 02:02, 19 December 2012 (UTC)

Ben Katchor

Ben Katchor had a single title record (with no publications) for what was listed as a non-fiction book. It was actually a non-genre comic compilation. As it wasn't showing any reviews or awards and doesn't meet the inclusion criteria, I deleted it.

However, the author record still remains. At first I thought perhaps I overlooked a review, but using advanced search doesn't turn up anything. The award listing doesn't who anything as well. A bug? -- JLaTondre (talk) 16:20, 22 December 2012 (UTC)

Well, sort of. The software "is working as intended", but we have an orphan record in one of the tables which refers to (non-existing) title record 140486 supposedly associated with this author. Thus when you deleted the last (real) title for this author, the author record wasn't deleted.
We have a fair number of discrepancies like this one, but they can be cleaned up fairly easily. A more interesting question is why we get orphan records like #140486. As far as I can tell, it happens when a submission is "partially approved", which can occur when the server becomes unresponsive (due to the nightly backups or other hiccups) during the approval process. There is a way to prevent this from happening, but, unfortunately, it's not trivial :( Ahasuerus 20:45, 22 December 2012 (UTC)

Broken Title Links

There are 58 publications with the same broken title link. Dragoondelight entered information for magazines based on the Miller/Contento database and had placed a note with a link to the Miller/Contento 2007 title record in the notes. Since then, the title record was probably merged and the link no longer works. Since this is a larger number of records, I was wondering if you would be willing to make the change directly in the database?

The following:

  • <a href="">Miller/Contento (Science Fiction, Fantasy, & Weird Fiction Magazine Index (1890-2007))</a>

Needs to be replaced with:

  • <a href="">Miller/Contento (Science Fiction, Fantasy, & Weird Fiction Magazine Index (1890-2007))</a>

There are 4 publications that have since been primary verified, but still have the note. I have removed the note from those publications and notified the verifiers.

Thanks. -- JLaTondre (talk) 15:34, 26 December 2012 (UTC)

Well, I could try to fix this particular problem, but it's really a game of whack-a-mole. Embedding ISFDB-specific URLs into Notes is usually a workaround for software limitations and has never been "officially" supported. Embedded links get broken every day as title and pub records are deleted or merged and it pains me to think of the number of man-hours wasted. Worse, if and when we migrate to another domain all of these links will become instantly broken. Ahasuerus 21:41, 28 December 2012 (UTC)
I have a script to find these that I run on database dumps occasionally. I fix the small sets, but I've put off doing these since it was so many. There aren't usually too many new breaks. While I agree they are problematic, I don't think they are that significant in terms of occurrence. It has occurred to me before to create a script that compares the database to the wiki. I have a suspicion there are a number of disconnects lurking there.
Side question: Why would we migrate to another domain? That would break a lot of things including off site links to us.
-- JLaTondre (talk) 23:14, 28 December 2012 (UTC)
Sorry, it may not have come across as intended. If it happens, it won't be because we wanted to, but rather because we were forced to. Suppose Al, the current domain owner, is unavailable come renewal time and a squatter snatches ""? Ahasuerus 23:47, 28 December 2012 (UTC)