ISFDB:Community Portal/Archive/Archive29

From ISFDB

Jump to: navigation, search

This is an archive page for the Community Portal. Please do not edit the contents. To start a new discussion, please click here.
This archive includes discussions from

Archive Quick Links
Archives of old discussions from the Community Portal.


1 · 2 · 3 · 4 · 5 · 6 · 7 · 8 · 9 · 10 · 11 · 12 · 13 · 14 · 15 · 16 · 17 · 18 · 19 · 20 · 21 · 22 · 23 · 24 · 25 · 26 · 27 · 28 · 29 · 30 · 31 · 32 · 33 · 34 · 35 · 36 · 37 · 38 · 39 · 40 · 41 · 42 · 43 · 44 · 45 · 46 · 47



Archive of messages from March - May 2013


Contents

Superman Exception

I'm posting this here since this is a special case exception. We can move to R&S if we need a more general discussion.

I've found that the Superman comic issue 400 includes a short essay by Ray Bradbury on the inside front cover. It's an actual essay, and not part of the comic, or told with pictures in any way. Would editors object if I were to add this as we do non-genre magazines listing only the Bradbury piece in the content? I would also add Julius Schwartz as the editor in addition to "Editors of Superman". If folks are OK with that, should I scan the cover as well? Thanks. --Ron ~ RtraceTalk 12:20, 1 March 2013 (UTC)

IMHO, handling that as we handle non-genre magazines with one thing of interest is appropriate. I don't know if it's normal to include a cover of such items though.Chavey 15:04, 1 March 2013 (UTC)
Nongenre magazines only have their covers uploaded if they illustrate the spec-fic content. It seems unlikely in this case. BLongley 16:33, 1 March 2013 (UTC)
Except that the piece he's adding is not spec-fic. It's nonfiction. Mhhutchins 17:54, 1 March 2013 (UTC)
I have no objection,but would appreciate a note added to the title explaining that it is an exception. Stonecreek 15:52, 1 March 2013 (UTC)
It would be an exception because the rules are quite clear that we only enter the fiction contents of nongenre publications. Like Christian, I would have no objection to including this if it's strongly stressed in the record that this is an exception to the rule and should not be used as a precedent to add other nonfiction essays from nongenre publications. Even if we exclude any author below the "threshold" and limit the exception to essays which are spec-fic related, this could lead to literally thousands of records which violate the current rule. Mhhutchins 17:54, 1 March 2013 (UTC)
Based on the first sentence of Mike's comment (immediately preceding), my endorsement of the exception is wavering. I think that's probably a good rule to use, even for authors above the threshold. Chavey 17:47, 2 March 2013 (UTC)

Unknown publication of 2001 a space odyssey

So, I came across a copy of 2001 which is not a BCE or a trade printing. DJ is identical to original but No price and No BCE. Its all dark Navy blue boards and spine with gold leaf title, clarke, and NAL. With 221 pages and No statement of edition/printing on copyright page but below the text it has an ISBN of 1-56865-306-9 of which I can't find any info regarding publication dates. Need help SpanishMill 15:24, 1 March 2013 (UTC)

It is an SFBC edition, by the ISBN prefix 1-56865. See [here]. The club ceased using the 'Book Club Edition' slug line in the early 90s. We already have a [record] for the edition you have. Cheers! --~ Bill, Bluesman 15:36, 1 March 2013 (UTC)
Ah, heck, I thought I had looked through every listing and I didn't use the search to enter the isbn, my bad. And thanks for your help Bill. SpanishMill 16:06, 1 March 2013 (UTC)

Nominate "Future Life" for Genre Magazine

Future Life magazine was published from 1978 through 1981 (titled Future for the first year) by the publisher of Starlog magazine. It featured science and science fiction, along with "a healthy dose of space art, music, etc.". Coming from Starlog, you won't be surprised to hear that it has a lot on SF movies, but it seems (to me) that it has enough of our content to justify its inclusion in our "magazines" listing. The issue I'm looking at includes: SF cover by Vincent DiFate; art portfolio and interview with DiFate; interview with Harlan Ellison; reviews of 16 SF books; centerfold art by, and short essay about Ludek Pesek; a 3-page article about the TV adaptation of Bradbury's "Martian Chronicles"; a one-page forum where 5 big-name SF writers were asked "Do you see a continuation of traditional sex roles during the next fifty years?"; along with several articles that we would not normally index. For a listing of all their issues, and some indication of content in those issues, see John Zipperer's web site. I suggest that we include this magazine, but limit content listings to those items relevant to our inclusion guidelines. However, before doing so, I wanted to check with others. Chavey 20:21, 5 March 2013 (UTC)

I wasn't able to find that it published any science fiction, so how could it be a genre magazine? (Neither Miller/Contento, nor Tymn/Ashley include it in their references.) And without fiction it wouldn't be eligible as a non-genre magazine. If you're asking that we include only sf-related nonfiction from this periodical, then what's to prevent anyone from creating publication records for any non-genre magazine that publishes sf-related nonfiction? We would have to make drastic changes in our inclusion policy. Mhhutchins 23:06, 5 March 2013 (UTC)
That's why I asked. It writes quite a bit about science fiction literature, but you're right that it doesn't seem to include any actual fiction. Re-reading the help page on non-genre magazines, it says Normally no editorials, letters, or essays will be entered. Reviews of SF works may be entered, but this will be rare. Significant essays specifically connected with SF works may optionally be entered, but this also will be rare.. The use of the term "rare" seems to imply that I should ignore these reviews, interviews, etc., but it doesn't forbid them, so I'm not sure if I should include this content at all. Thoughts? Chavey 04:04, 6 March 2013 (UTC)
Going back to my original thesis: a non-genre magazine must include some fiction to make it eligible for the database. The first sentence on the help page for entering such publications state: "A non-genre magazine is one that did not specialize in Science Fiction, Fantasy, or Horror, or any other form or forms of speculative fiction, but included much fiction and other content that was not speculative fiction." By this definition Future Life is a non-eligible non-genre magazine because it published no fiction. For argument's sake, let's bend the definition and call it a non-genre magazine. The help page goes on to say that an editor should enter the speculative fiction content of the non-genre magazine. Since Future Life contained no speculative fiction, then we would have to not only bend the rules, they would have to be broken to include sf-related nonfiction into the database. And that's when the slippery slope becomes unmanageably steep. How do we keep out publication records for issues of Starlog, Famous Monsters of Filmland, Fangoria, and hundreds of other media-related publications? Next comes issues of TV Guide, Time, Newsweek, Rolling Stone and other general interest magazines that contain articles about sf-related movies. I've already brought this to the attention of the group before when the same topic has arose. This database can not be everything to everybody. Let's enter all the speculative fiction that's ever been published before we start to add sf-related nonfiction. Or we can open the gates and have no inclusion policy at all. Just after we change the name of the database. Mhhutchins 04:35, 6 March 2013 (UTC)
I'm against this a Genre Magazine and also as Nongenre. Yes, there may be some articles of interest but without fiction no amount of 'above the threshold' essayists would qualify it. BLongley 07:58, 6 March 2013 (UTC)
Ok, you've convinced me. I'll try to remember it this time :-) Chavey 18:34, 6 March 2013 (UTC)

Titan vs. Titan Books

We have 112 books listed as published by "Titan" (60 of them verified), and 280 books listed as published by "Titan Books" (23 of them verified). It seems certain that these are the same publisher -- especially since I have found books with some printings listed as by one and other printings listed as by the other. Both of these publishers are listed for roughly the same time period: "Titan" from 1987 to the present, although rare after 1996, and "Titan Books" from 1985 to the present. The company's web site refers to themselves as "Titan Books", e.g. as a division of "Titan Entertainment", and to distinguish themselves from another division, "Titan Magazines". Is there any reason I should not merge these two publishers into "Titan Books"? Chavey 04:26, 6 March 2013 (UTC)

I see no reason to keep them separate. The same goes for Ace and Ace Books, as well as for Bantam and Bantam Books. There are probably dozens of cases where this partitioning of a publisher's output is based on an arbitrary decision by an editor. Mhhutchins 04:42, 6 March 2013 (UTC)
Although, annoyingly enough, "Pocket" and "Pocket Books" are honestly different publishers. Chavey 05:07, 6 March 2013 (UTC)
That's not true, at least as far as the ISFDB handles it. Pocket and Pocket Books are the same publisher, and there's no reason why those two shouldn't be merged. You may be thinking about the French publisher (Presses Pocket) whose books have been kept separate from the US publisher. Mhhutchins 05:44, 6 March 2013 (UTC)
Ah. The comments on the "Pocket" publisher page (which implied the books there were all from a French publisher called simply "Pocket") mislead me. I have corrected those comments. But we also then should standardize on either "Pocket" or "Pocket Books". I see that there are 19 different "publishers" which use "Pocket Books" (e.g. "Pocket Books / SFBC" and "Archway / Pocket Books"), and only one such that uses "Pocket" (i.e. "Pocket / Kangaroo"), so that one might be easy to agree on. I wish there could be agreement on the others. Chavey 18:32, 6 March 2013 (UTC)
I've corrected "Pocket / Kangaroo" to "Kangaroo / Pocket Books" using the ISFDB standard for "imprint / publisher". Mhhutchins 19:43, 6 March 2013 (UTC)
I've also expanded the notes to ask editors to use the full name which is used by the overwhelming majority of records for this publisher. Mhhutchins 19:51, 6 March 2013 (UTC)
So can we merge them? Chavey 20:57, 6 March 2013 (UTC)
Since my post above, I have also realized that a couple of "Titan" pubs are actually from "Titan Magazines". I would look for those before doing the merge. Chavey 05:07, 6 March 2013 (UTC)
I prefer just "Titan" to cut the amount of typing required. (This is also how it's referred to at the Grand Comics Database although not at the Comic Book DB.) If I recall the history of the company, they started as Titan distributors so there may be a historical reason to the short name. I'll see if any of my unpackable boxes contain any such publications, but I suspect they're probably all in the Box of Star Trek novelisations. BLongley 07:51, 6 March 2013 (UTC)
I prefer "Titan Books", e.g. to distinguish them from "Titan Magazines". I think that saving a little typing at the cost of confusing two publishers is not a good idea. Chavey 18:32, 6 March 2013 (UTC)
What two publishers? Titan Magazines should not be present here at all! BLongley 18:35, 6 March 2013 (UTC)
Looks like there was only one such publication. I changed its publisher from "Titan" to "Titan Magazines"; its here. It does claim to have an SF story in it. Chavey 20:57, 6 March 2013 (UTC)

Star Trek series: Pocket Book and Titan

At one point the ISFDB had only "Series", not "Title Series" and "Publications Series", hence what we now know as "Title Series" were called upon to do both tasks. Moving some of these old title series to publication series is a necessary (long term) task for us. I have just completed moving "Star Trek Pocket Books" from a title series to a publication series, which involved updates to about 800 publication recs and over a hundred title recs. As you might guess, I did not post notices for those changes to each of the verifiers' talk pages. This post serves as a general notice. What I did as part of this was:

  1. Put all pb Pocket Book publications from the old series into a Star Trek Pocket Books publication series. Publications of type hc, tp, and ebook were not included. Others are welcome to put those in if they think they belong, but to me it felt as if they were different enough to be excluded.
  2. Since the "Titan Books" British reprints of these books were also numbered, I added a separate Star Trek: Titan Books publication series for them, used existing notes in publication and title records to identify many such books (and then removed those notes, since they were now redundant), and used various other resources to complete that publication series.
  3. While doing the previous item, I realized that there were other publication series used by Titan Books, and hence I created and populated the Star Trek Giant Novel and the Star Trek Adventures publication series. (Giant Novel #1 is missing, and a note about that is listed there.)
  4. Removing "Star Trek Pocket Books" as a title series allowed those books to be organized into additional sub-series of "Star Trek: The Original Series". Using the listing on Wikipedia, I created and populated sub-series for The Yesterday Saga, Fortunes of War, Worlds Apart, New Earth, My Brother's Keeper, Rihannsu, Star Trek: The Lost Years Saga, and Worlds in Collision. I also moved the first three movie novelizations into Star Trek Original Series Film Novelizations, and of course moved some "Pocket Book" sub-series to be sub-series of the main parent.
  5. Along the way, since I was editing the Pub records anyway, I also corrected publishers listed as "Pocket" to "Pocket Books", added links to LCCN and OCLC numbers that didn't have those links, and updated many multi-line notes from the "<br>• " format to the more standard "<li>" format.

There, you have all been notified :-)   Chavey 21:59, 6 March 2013 (UTC)

This should have been discussed first, not presented as a 'fait accompli'. --~ Bill, Bluesman 01:20, 7 March 2013 (UTC)
The conversation was held here: The discussion about it being necessary; my volunteering to do it; and an initial step of a few books with a request as to whether I was doing it right. Chavey 05:39, 7 March 2013 (UTC)
I had very little at stake in the discussion (having maybe three Star Trek novels in my whole collection), but on principle I feel Darrah was doing the right thing. Some discussions get lost on the wiki, and some of us are going to overlook some of those that may effect our verified records. As long as the edits aren't destructive (and these surely aren't), editors should be forgiving of such changes. I commend Darrah for doing what many of us felt should be done, but didn't have the time or inclination. Mhhutchins 06:06, 7 March 2013 (UTC)
I too commend Darrah for this. Well done! BLongley 07:22, 7 March 2013 (UTC)
In retrospect, I realized that I had meant to link to the original discussion in my posting, which is always a good idea for this type of thing, but by the time I finished writing up the posting, I forgot to do that. Chavey 07:55, 7 March 2013 (UTC)
BTW, Darrah, I had to move this title out of the film novelization series, because it came up as an error on one of the clean-up scripts (it had the same series number as the adult novelization by McIntyre. That's why I created a a new series for juvenile novelizations. I've not researched to see if any of the other films had juvenile novelizations. Mhhutchins 06:11, 7 March 2013 (UTC)
Thanks Mike, I wondered why there were two different novelizations of #4. I just did some checking on juvenile novelizations. The publishing company that made that one for "Star Trek IV" did two "Create Your Own Adventures" books based on movies #2 and #3, but no regular novelizations. Are these worth adding? Buena Vista did Audio Book juvenile versions of movies I-IV, each accompanied by a 24 page "read-along" picture book, hence clearly aimed at even a younger audience than Peter Lerangis's 76 page novelization already included. Are these worth adding? Chavey 07:55, 7 March 2013 (UTC)
I don't believe those DIY books should be considered novelizations along with the Lerangis title, so they would not be part of the series. Feel free to create a separate series for those. As for those children "read-along"s, I don't see any value in adding them to the database, but other editors feel differently, because I've seen several of the type already in the db. Your call Mhhutchins 18:25, 7 March 2013 (UTC)
I'm not a big fan of either of those 2 groups of books either, so I'll ignore them. I've added a link in the Bibliographic page for the "Star Trek Universe" parent series that links to a mass of children's books on Star Trek, including these two groups. I'll leave it at that. Chavey 13:09, 11 March 2013 (UTC)

Automatic redirection after login (patch r2013-57)

If you are logged off and try to edit a record, the system will now automatically redirect you to the appropriate editing page upon login. Ahasuerus 02:32, 11 March 2013 (UTC)

And as an added bonus, the Duplicate Finder page no longer errors out after logging in. Ahasuerus 03:42, 11 March 2013 (UTC)
Add Variant and Add Award have also been fixed to redirect to the correct pages after login (patches r2013-62 and r2013-63.) Ahasuerus 03:48, 13 March 2013 (UTC)

4 award types added (patch r2013-59)

The following award types have been created:

Ahasuerus 04:03, 12 March 2013 (UTC)

There seems to be an error in the listing of the last award: two categories identical except for a missing period. Mhhutchins 04:13, 12 March 2013 (UTC)
Unfortunately, award categories are currently entered manually for every award record, so there are multiple misspellings, resulting in duplicates. Bill has created a script to merge about 30 of them and it's currently being tested. There is also an FR to convert award categories from "free text" to award type-specific drop-down lists, which should help address this problem. Ahasuerus 04:31, 12 March 2013 (UTC)
"Merge_Award_Categories.sql" will indeed fix the Atheling award. There's a fine line here: at present, the only online way to fix an award category is to fix each individual award in that category. That amount of work has to be balanced against the risks of mass update scripts, which is why I've only addressed 30 no-brainers. If we're moving to drop-down lists then we probably won't need a "merge award categories" screen in the long term, but that might be a useful temporary ability for cleaning up the current messes: e.g. is 'Novel' always 'Best Novel'? BLongley 05:01, 12 March 2013 (UTC)

Web Pages for Interview and Review titles (patch r2013-65)

You can now add Web pages to Interview and Review titles. Ahasuerus 06:00, 13 March 2013 (UTC)

The Wombles. In or Out?

We have the first book in "The Wombles" series, by Elisabeth Bereford, in the system, but not any of the other 24 books in that series. I'm not familiar with them, so I'm not sure if they should be In or Out, but it seems likely that the should either all be in, or all be out. As best as I can tell from their Wikipedia article, they are fundamentally just anthropomorphic little animals, which would generally be "out". However, they do seem to interact with humans, which would normally put them "in". Anyone care to argue one way or the other? Chavey 21:03, 22 March 2013 (UTC)

I don't know anything about these critters, but it may be worth noting that, according to Wikipedia, "There were five novels:
  • The Wombles (1968)
  • The Wandering Wombles (1970)
  • The Wombles at Work (1973)
  • The Wombles to the Rescue (1974)
  • The Wombles Go Round the World (1976)
... Beresford also wrote a collection of short stories entitled The Invisible Womble and Other Stories (1973), in which the original Wimbledon Common setting was restored. Although based on episodes from the TV series, these stories occasionally refer to events in the novels. ... In addition to these books, a great many annuals, picture-books and children's early readers have been published over the years, some of which were also written by Elisabeth Beresford."
So it looks like there are just 5 novels, 1 collection and a great deal of associational material. Ahasuerus 00:42, 23 March 2013 (UTC)
I don't think "interact with humans" is right - they actively avoid contact with humans. Their origins are unknown, they might have come from a different planet for all we know - but they fit into our world quite nicely. I'd stop after the five novels and the collection, the rest are likely to be too juvenile for my taste. BLongley 06:57, 23 March 2013 (UTC)
Thanks much. I'll add those books and leave the rest out. Chavey 16:58, 23 March 2013 (UTC)
Done. I didn't add the 2011 editions (due to lack of personal interest). Chavey 22:22, 23 March 2013 (UTC)

Strange "pseudonym" for Edgar Allan Poe

Shouldn't this just be credited as "uncredited"? I can't see any logical way that a dash could be considered as an actual pseudonym. Mhhutchins 22:21, 24 March 2013 (UTC)

I realize it's strange, but why not capture it as given? What would we do with a piece credited to "Name Withheld"? Would we record that that way or as "uncredited"? The pseudonym part is less appealing. I tried some experiments, and short fiction and poems work out sort of ok if varianted without a pseudonym relationship. They end up "invisible" on the variant author bibliography. NOVELs and other container titles don't; they're shown as "stray" publications. Is it ok to tolerate that possibility? I'd prefer no pseudonym myself. --MartyD 01:58, 26 March 2013 (UTC)
The credit "uncredited" is a generic designation, not the actual way that a work is credit. (I'm sure you're aware of this.) When the author's name is withheld, when a work has no given author, when it is uncredited, it has always been ISFDB policy to record it as "uncredited". (Don't ask me what we would do if the work were actually credited as "uncredited"! My brain hurts at trying to imagine how to resolve the scenario.)
I agree, that the pseudonym part is the worst part of this situation. But there are plenty of works in the database which are uncredited and then varianted to the actual author without having to create a pseudonym. Making a dash into a pseudonym, as I said above, defies logic when it's obvious that the author never intended it to be a alternate credit for the work. After all, isn't that what a pseudonym is? Poe, in this case, just didn't want the work to be credited, in other words: "uncredited". Mhhutchins 21:06, 26 March 2013 (UTC)
Looking at your source for the data here, go down to the 1839 - August (vol. V, no. 2) issue, and you'll see the poem (page 75) is listed without credit. It seems the researchers and scholars working on this website failed to credit it as published by "—". BTW, the pseudonym is given in the ISFB as two short dashes. To stay true to the spirit of crediting "as given", shouldn't it be one long dash? Mhhutchins 21:20, 26 March 2013 (UTC)
I'd actually prefer this to be "anonymous": It is deliberately credited in a way so as to hide the author's identity. Different from the situation where the work was published with no provision for attribution, which to me is "uncredited". But since we only use "Anonymous" for that explicit credit... I have no problem making it be uncredited instead. I will fix it up. As for your question: Yes, it should be one long dash. Do you know how to make one? I've been using two emdashes where they're long, one where they're short. --MartyD 16:37, 27 March 2013 (UTC)
I don't think there is an alt-code for anything longer than an emdash. I see the folks at the Poe website had to resort to two emdashes, so maybe there is no single character longer than the emdash. Mhhutchins 17:59, 27 March 2013 (UTC)
BTW, I think our forefathers here on the ISFDB didn't realize or, if they did, didn't care about the subtle distinction between uncredited and anonymously published works. For ISFDB purposes, any uncredited work is entered as "uncredited", regardless of whether it was intentionally left uncredited by the publisher or not. It comes to interpreting the state of mind of the editor of the publication, and that's something no one, in the long run, can know for sure. Mhhutchins 18:04, 27 March 2013 (UTC)


From gutter code to no gutter code?

The notes for Dozois' The Year's Best Science Fiction, 3rd collection, Bluejay SFBC edition, says: Gutter Code "Q37" page 265 shows an early Sept. 1986 printing. I have a copy of this book, and a careful search shows no gutter code, either on p. 265 or anywhere else in the book. The book was previously unverified, so I have no idea who added that note, or what the chance is that it's wrong. It seems slightly odd to me, since this is a 626 page book, and I'm used to gutter codes being near the end of the book, but that may just be my inexperience. Our description of Gutter Codes says that their use (at least by Doubleday and SFBC) ended in mid-1987, and so I guess it's possible that early printings of this book used a gutter code and later ones did not, but I haven't previously seen a book like that. I considered the possibility that I had a regular first edition book inside an SFBC dj (the dj specifies its a BCE), but the page numbers for stories is different between the two editions, so I can verify that's not the case. I don't know what to make of this odd situation. Suggestions? Chavey 02:15, 9 April 2013 (UTC)

This happens when a moderator accepts submissions that don't source the data and the submitter fails to do a primary verification of the record. We know the page number of the gutter is wrong, possibly a transposition of 625. The code aligns with the gutter code system so it is probably good. You may have a later printing, one published after 1987. I would suggest something like this: "Some printings may have the gutter code "Q37" on page 625, which indicates a September 1986 printing. The code is not present on the Primary verified copy." Mhhutchins 03:52, 9 April 2013 (UTC)

Joan Lowery Nixon, about the threshold?

We currently have three non-genre books listed for Joan Lowery Nixon, and a fourth in the moderator submission queue. I will argue that she is not above the "threshold", and hence we should not include her non-genre works. My arguments are: (1) She has never won any spec fic award; (2) Only two of our many editors have verified any books of hers, and hence she does not appear to be particularly popular among Spec Fic fans; (3) I am one of those 2 editors who have verified books of hers, and I don't think she's above the threshold; (4) Her Wikipedia page lists her as an important mystery writer (where she has won several awards), but says nothing about any of her spec fic works, i.e. none of the books mentioned there are spec fic. I move that we declare her "not above the threshold" and exclude her non-genre works. Is there a second to the motion? Chavey 02:32, 9 April 2013 (UTC)

Fine by me!Kraang 02:39, 9 April 2013 (UTC)
I briefly reviewed the data that we have on file for her earlier today and my first thought was that some of the titles were genre-ambiguous, e.g. "The Weekend Was Murder!" apparently features ghosts, so I figured that including her non-genre books would help clarify their "SF status". However, now that I have read the linked Wikipedia article, which claims that she wrote 102 books (and apparently only a small percentage of her output was SF), I think that including her non-SF works would be counterproductive. Ahasuerus 02:50, 9 April 2013 (UTC)
5 days and no objections. Non-genre titles deleted. Chavey 05:44, 14 April 2013 (UTC)

Linking uploaded images to the db records

I've spent the last hour or so linking more than 60 cover images which were uploaded to the server and never linked to the database records. It was only by chance that I stumbled upon them because the editor who uploaded them not only didn't follow the file size limits (which drew my attention to them), but also failed to link them to the records. I'd left a note on his talk page back when he first uploaded them, but he never found his talk page, and I didn't remember to follow-up on the message. All were uploaded on a single day in January 2011.

This is my question: is there an easy way to locate other cover image files on the ISFDB server which are not linked to db records? Mhhutchins 22:13, 9 April 2013 (UTC)

I am afraid I am unaware of an easy way to do this, but we can always do it the hard way, i.e. by creating a list of all images currently on file and programmatically cross-checking their names against the images linked in the Authors and Pubs tables.
<sounds of keys getting clicked>
OK, it turns out that we have 1,981 images that are not referenced in the database. Quite a few of them are snapshots of TOCs, logos, artist signatures, design screenshots, editor pics and so on, but something like 50% (?) look like cover scans that have been either replaced or never linked in the first place. Would you like me to post a list of all 1,981 images on a Project page? Ahasuerus 23:38, 9 April 2013 (UTC)
That can be narrowed down by only checking images that are part of Category:Cover images. While not all are guaranteed to be in that category, if they were uploaded via the normal process, they should have the template that adds the category. I've used the API to grab the category contents. Give me a few minutes to compare against the publication links in the last database dump, and I might have shorter list. -- JLaTondre (talk) 23:57, 9 April 2013 (UTC)
I narrowed it down to 1,598 images. However, checking through some of them found that, in addition to ones that were uploaded and never linked, there are also ones that are linked in the notes field of a pub (example publication that links to a pre-publication cover). I can modify my script to remove those as well, but that will take more time and I might not have a chance to get to it until tomorrow. -- JLaTondre (talk) 00:23, 10 April 2013 (UTC)
Listing of 1354 images at ISFDB:Unlinked Covers. Given the large number, I'm thinking it would helpful to update the listing with the name of editors who uploaded them and then we could point active editors to their images and have them fix their own (especially since I assume most of those are verified pubs anyway). I'll try to get that done tomorrow. Note, this listing should contain the 60 Mhhutchins referred to above since it is based on last weekend's database dump. I can re-run this weekend to clean those out. -- JLaTondre (talk) 01:26, 11 April 2013 (UTC)
Thanks to you both. I'll take a look at the list and see if there's a pattern or reason why they're not linked. Mhhutchins 03:29, 11 April 2013 (UTC)
It looks like in some cases the ISFDB-hosted scan was subsequently replaced with a higher quality externally hosted scan. Ahasuerus 05:33, 11 April 2013 (UTC)
I uploaded a new version which:
  1. Properly handles images with spaces in their names: These were incorrectly being listed even if linked. This change, plus the ones Mhhutchins already removed, drops the list down to 793 images.
  2. Lists the images by uploader
Because it is working off a database dump, any images uploaded between 04/06-09 will also be listed. If you find a lot of those, I can modify the script to check the upload date and ignore those. Or I can re-run when the next database dump is available (this weekend) so there isn't much of a delta between when the dump and when this list is made. -- JLaTondre (talk) 01:00, 12 April 2013 (UTC)
Thanks for the new listing. Of the 12 listed under my name, 5 had been replaced under a different file name by other editors (which broke the link to the pub record), 3 of them were uploaded this week, 3 had been uploaded by other editors which I resized (all of which I've now linked to the records), and one mystery file because it was linked. Could it be the odd character that showed it as unlinked? I reloaded it again so maybe it won't appear on an updated list. Mhhutchins 01:20, 12 April 2013 (UTC)
The three covers listed under my name had all been properly linked, so I don't know why they show up on your list. The covers were uploaded on April 7th, so there's a slight possibility that you grabbed the database dump in the half hour or so between when the covers were uploaded and when they were linked. Chavey 05:48, 12 April 2013 (UTC)
That's exactly the reason and he pointed that out: "any images uploaded between 04/06-09 will also be listed." Yours were uploaded on the 7th. Mhhutchins 06:15, 12 April 2013 (UTC)
Done mine and Benario's (because he/she seems to inactive and they were for french titles). Hauck 08:40, 12 April 2013 (UTC)
Yes, the odd character caused it to be listed. Character encoding between wiki page names, URL encoding, and Perl's MySQL driver is not consistent. I'll see about cleaning those up and re-running against this weekend's database dump when it is available. -- JLaTondre (talk) 12:28, 13 April 2013 (UTC)

SF review of non-genre work

In verifying an issue of The New York Review of Science Fiction, Greg Cox has an essay on "Vampire Fiction" in which he reviews 7 books or stories. One review, of The Vampires, by John Rechy, notes that the book has nothing genre in it, other than the title, and says it "is included here solely because of its title". Our help page says of reviews like this that "Non-sf works should be entered". So I created a review of that title, added a title record (as "Non-Genre"), and did not include any of the publications of that book under that title record. Seems reasonable to me, but that means (1) the title record might get reported by some data validation scripts; (2) the author (linked above) now exists in the ISFDB with only a single work, that work being non-genre. Was this the right way to handle this review? Chavey 05:57, 12 April 2013 (UTC)

That seems to be the wrong approach to the situation, in my opinion, even though the current rules may allow it, depending upon which of the conflicting standards you follow. (I follow the one that says you don't create records for non-genre works by authors who aren't above the threshold.) I guess I'm a purist, but when a publication would not otherwise qualify for inclusion based on the current policy, creating a title record for an obvious non-genre title opens the door for other such works and creates a precedent. In these cases, I just create an ESSAY type record which covers all the bases, and I recommend that approach to others. You wouldn't be expected to create a REVIEW record for a movie, or a music recording, even though it appeared in an sf publication. What about all of those reviews of stage performance that have been published in the past few years in NYRSF? So why should this case be different? And what's going to stop an editor from coming along and adding all of the publications for this non-genre novel? Mhhutchins 06:12, 12 April 2013 (UTC)
It seems that this approach (which I think I agree with) would require changing the current help pages. The current NewPub help page description of Reviews says:
Note also that only books, magazines, and short fiction are entered; if the column reviews
fanzines, you don't need to enter the review records for these, only the ESSAY record. 
Non-sf works should be entered but if an onerous number of non-sf-related works are 
reviewed in a column you are entering, discuss the situation on the Bibliographic Rules 
page to decide what can be eliminated. 
A possible replacement for this would be (new text in red, removed text struck out):
Note also that only genre books, magazines, and short fiction are entered as reviews; if the
column reviews fanzines or non-genre material, you don't need to enter the review records 
for these, only the ESSAY record. Non-sf works should be entered but if an onerous number of 
non-sf-related works are reviewed in a column you are entering, discuss the situation on 
the Bibliographic Rules page to decide what can be eliminated.
Is this an appropriate change? Should this conversation be moved to "Rules and Standards"? Chavey 07:35, 12 April 2013 (UTC)
I'd move magazines to the ESSAY section - due to the merging of editor records these are actually MORE likely to be unlinkable. BLongley 15:26, 12 April 2013 (UTC)
Agreed, as I'm having to working my way back converting several fanzine/magazine reviews into ESSAY records. Also it wouldn't hurt to give an example or two, for newer editors, on how to properly phrase an ESSAY record for a review of a below-the-threshold non-genre title, or film, fanzine/magazine etc. PeteYoung 16:57, 12 April 2013 (UTC)
Yes, Darrah, this should be moved to the Rules & Standards discussion page. But I like the changes you suggest, and like Bill, believe that magazines should be moved to the essay part of the instructions. And yes, Pete, there should be a standard titling in the conversion of a review to an essay. We'll go into that once the discussion has been moved. Thanks to all. Mhhutchins 19:24, 12 April 2013 (UTC)

(Unindent)

Conversation moved to Rules and Standards.

Trade paperback cover protection

I've never been able to find anything that protects the covers of trade paperbacks as good as the Brodart products for the dustjackets of hardcovers. I could find nothing on Brodart's website that was without adhesive, which I don't want. And surely nothing that permanently adheres to the book. Does anyone have suggestions? I'm thinking there must be a company which sells rolls of clear acid-free polypropylene which I can cut to size and then fold over the flaps of the paperback's cover. Mhhutchins 20:35, 15 April 2013 (UTC)

I put all of my books inside archival plastic bags, such as the ones comic book collectors use. It has the disadvantage that you can't read the book without taking it out of its protection, but at least they are well protected the rest of the time. Bags available from comic book stores work for most trade paperbacks, but for a wider variety of sizes, I buy book bags from BagsUnlimited.com. I didn't see any simple rolls of polypropylene there, although they might have it available, but of course you could always create your own "Brodart-style" cover by taking an oversized book bag and cutting two seamed edges from it, then folding and taping as appropriate. Chavey 22:25, 15 April 2013 (UTC)
I don't like the idea of bags because I want them on a shelf and ready at hand. My trade paperbacks are on the same shelves as my hardcovers. After some more googling I found this dealer selling something very close to what I was looking for. I imagine there will be loss since I'd have to customize each cover. Anyone else have ideas? Mhhutchins 00:11, 16 April 2013 (UTC)
Gaylord does have multiple sizes. Their product line EA-8RU through EA-16RU might be what you're looking for? There are two-piece products [EA-VX650 through EA-VX1300] as well that adhere to themselves. They have a line of slip-ons [EA-RW166 through EA-RW316] that I toyed with but I use the poly rolls to cover my trade paperbacks. Takes a bit more time but way cheaper than a specialty product. Even hardcovers that have no jackets can be done, I've protected all of the Easton editions that way. Bags for MMPBs and Magazines. Also, BagsUnlimited sells rolls, product ACNER8 through ACNER14 and at least $10/roll less than Gaylord or Brodart. --~ Bill, Bluesman 23:15, 17 April 2013 (UTC)

The Silmarillion

I have been asked to start a discussion as to whether or not J. R. R. Tolkien's The Silmarillion should be considered a collection or a novel with multiple parts. I haven't read this book, I just listed a French translation of this book on this site. Still, it looks like a collection to me. Please enter this discussion and weigh in on the subject. MLB 21:23, 17 April 2013 (UTC)

I agree that this is closer to a COLLECTION than a NOVEL, and would have no problem in converting my verified record. Mhhutchins 21:55, 17 April 2013 (UTC)
Other than The Hobbit and Lord of the Rings, there's not much else by Tolkien that isn't more collection than novel. --~ Bill, Bluesman 23:18, 17 April 2013 (UTC)
I.m.h.o. this is a collection. Christopher Tolkien's states in his introduction: 'The book, though entitled as it must be The Silmarillion, contains not only the Quenta Silmarillion, or Silmarillion proper, but also four other short works'. This made me enter my editions of the work as collections. --Willem H. 20:19, 18 April 2013 (UTC)
I agree. The jacket flap also refers to it as a "great collection of tales and legends". But more importantly, I'd argue from mine (2nd printing of the 1977 Houghton Mifflin edition), the 2-page title page clearly presents it as a collection, listing all of the contained works. --MartyD 00:46, 19 April 2013 (UTC)

Verification 'corrections'?

With the recent [change], how can an incorrect verification be removed? With an active editor, a note is sufficient. In [this] record that's not possible. I'm sure Ernesto meant to click N/A, he did that a number of times for Tuck. I've checked quite carefully in case the title was listed under one of the various ghosts that were Muller and it's just not there. --~ Bill, Bluesman 16:53, 19 April 2013 (UTC)

Look at the paperback listings in the third volume, page 779. This is probably what Ernesto meant as a Tuck verification. I see no reason that he shouldn't have. It gives the title, the author, the date, the publisher, and the catalog number. Pretty good verification data. Tuck does this for hundreds of publications which he felt didn't need to have separate listings in the author section of his encyclopedia. Mhhutchins 18:06, 19 April 2013 (UTC)
Thanks, Michael! I don't have the third volume. I would still like to know what one does for a 'true' incorrect verification?? --~ Bill, Bluesman 19:35, 19 April 2013 (UTC)
Same here. Also, what to do when a moderator leaves an innocuous submission in the queue for weeks which could easily be accepted by another moderator. This protectiveness of verifications and submissions cuts both ways. (BTW, I looked on Abebooks to see if anyone is selling Volume 3 of Tuck. No luck. But there are sets of all three volumes for $60 and up. This is odd since the third volume was the most recently published and logically would have been more readily available.) Mhhutchins 20:31, 19 April 2013 (UTC)
I have purchased it twice, and both times the seller discovered they no longer had it!! I hate 're-sellers', those that will list anything and think they can quickly get a copy to fulfill an order. Grrrrr. And, in the second attempt, the seller continued to list the book!! And it took nearly four months to get my money back! Thanks for checking, though. Cheers! --~ Bill, Bluesman 21:55, 19 April 2013 (UTC)
I've never had that situation with an Abebooks.com dealer. I usually do an inquiry first, but can tell from the listing whether I'm dealing with someone who actually has a copy of the book. If they say something like "It's in the warehouse, and I'll have to locate it first to answer your question" that's a red flag. Mhhutchins 22:07, 19 April 2013 (UTC)
Both my 'misses' were from AbeBooks. I know the 'tells', but it can still happen. Below: hadn't thought of NESFA, will check that out! They have me on file, so ordering should be simple. Thanks gentlemen. Site is under re-construction so will have to wait ... --~ Bill, Bluesman 02:31, 20 April 2013 (UTC)
NESFA Press sells all three volumes @ $35 each. If you want a new one. They make it a little tricky to mail order, but they frequently will have copies at their table at conventions. --Ron ~ RtraceTalk 22:58, 19 April 2013 (UTC)
Back to the original topic, the [Help] as usual, needs to be amended, at least for the Replacing a Primary Verifier section. Until the issue of automatically notifying existing verifiers can be somewhat automated, I don't think more slots is the answer. An active editor is better as a verifier than one not, or officially retired [Harry]. Personally, I like the fact that verifications can't be changed so easily. One moderator and at least one editor have 'overwritten' more than a few Currey verifications [I spent nearly a month doing Currey so this kind of ticks me off] that I had done without any notification of intent or otherwise. Seems we should have some kind of process? --~ Bill, Bluesman 05:19, 20 April 2013 (UTC)
Re the "How To" - in the case you first cited you could clone the pub, which will start with no verifications, then do your own verifications again on the new pub, then delete the original. This only works with one other (erroneous) verifier - I suppose if there's multiple correct and active verifiers, they could be persuaded to reverify the new pub as well. BLongley 18:34, 20 April 2013 (UTC)

Server downtime

Just an FYI that the whole server crashed overnight and stayed down for a couple of hours, but everything appears to be back to normal now. Ahasuerus 07:53, 22 April 2013 (UTC)

It's been rather slow for me all day. And for the past hour or so, it's been timing out. Or maybe it's just my ISP. Mhhutchins 01:39, 23 April 2013 (UTC)
FWIW, it's been rather stable on my end. Ahasuerus 05:57, 23 April 2013 (UTC)
Working better this morning. Mhhutchins 16:22, 23 April 2013 (UTC)

Martin Booth, sci-fi author

Someone has gone through much effort to add more than a dozen titles (some with pubs, some with stubs) for many nongenre and nonfiction works by this author, who is obviously not "above the threshold". Does anyone have cause to believe that he is, before I start deleting pubs and titles that have no spec-fic content? Mhhutchins 19:06, 22 April 2013 (UTC)

He has no Awards (no wins, no nominations); his Wikipedia page says nothing about his spec-fic writing. Of his 29 listed genre books, only 1 has ever been verified by an ISFDB editor (Hi, Bill!), hence he shows no popularity among this collection of fans. That combination would argue that he is not above the threshold, and his non-genre books should be deleted. Chavey 08:13, 24 April 2013 (UTC)
No objections, so his non-genre books have been deleted. Chavey 01:40, 1 May 2013 (UTC)

Title page for Cover Image?

Many older books had very unimpressive covers, which told you little about the book, but rather put their story emphasis on the title page. Wikipedia often shows title pages for these very old books in the place where they usually show some early cover for more recent books. In verifying this gothic chapbook, I did the same thing. The cover itself has only the name of the story at the top, with almost the entire cover taken up by the catalog of other chapbooks available from this publisher. (And most copies of this book have those original wrappers missing.) Is it acceptable to use the title page here instead of the cover? Chavey 08:23, 24 April 2013 (UTC)

I'd say yes - if we choose to take this matter quite carefully, and provided that there is an explanatory note. Stonecreek 17:02, 24 April 2013 (UTC)
Sorry, I have to disagree. It would have been better not to have linked it in the Cover URL field of the publication record. But there's nothing stopping you from uploading a scan of the title page and linking it in the Note field. The uploader should use the proper license tag for "Miscellaneous Publication Content", not the license tag for cover images. If you look at the wiki page for the title page scan you can see how many of the fields are inappropriate to the image, and the license doesn't apply. Instead, this license should have been used. It's rather simple to enter:
{{Miscellaneous Publication Content|Pub=<TAG>}}
All you have to do is replace <TAG> with the publication record ID. Of course, you can't use the upload link from the publication record, but the upload file link on the wiki and add the license manually into the summary field. Then you have to use HTML to link the URL of the uploaded image in the pub record's Note field. Mhhutchins 17:47, 24 April 2013 (UTC)
I corrected the license for the title page, and moved that to the notes. I scanned in a copy of the actual cover and loaded it. I scanned this slightly larger than normal (700 pixels high) since that was the smallest size that allowed the cover text to be readable. (The copyright on this cover expired well over 100 years ago, so I am hopeful that this is a justified exception.)
On a related note, I created the publication series that this book belongs in, and in the notes for that I added a list of the other 47 books in the series. These are all "gothic bluebooks" (a.k.a. "Shilling Shockers"), and we officially have "an inclusionist bias" towards Gothic fiction "with supernatural elements". Still, it seems it would be extremely difficult to decide which of these had "supernatural elements", since they are pretty rare. So I don't know whether to add them as additional books (erring on the side of inclusion) or leave them listed only in that publication series unless we find evidence that they actually belong in the database. Recommendations? Chavey 07:59, 26 April 2013 (UTC)

Author birthplaces fixed (patch 2013-69)

Author birthplaces should no longer error out when the value of the field is longer than 64 characters. Ahasuerus 20:53, 30 April 2013 (UTC)

Development update - 2013-05-02

Just a heads up that the site that we use as our publicly accessible software repository (SourceForge) is in the process of upgrading their (not ours) software. There appears to be a glitch affecting their hosted copy of the ISFDB software, so I am currently waiting for them to get back to me.

It won't have any impact on the main ISFDB server (and we also have a full copy of the ISFDB software that these folks host), but it is affecting the development process. Hopefully the problem will be resolved shortly. Ahasuerus 05:55, 2 May 2013 (UTC)

The problem has been resolved and their version of the ISFDB software has been successfully upgraded. I have installed a simple patch on the main server (which fixed a minor database problem with no impact on user-experienced behavior) and everything worked fine.
Also, please note that the numbering scheme for bugs and FRs has changed, so we will need to change the affected Wiki templates once we process the current backlog of submitted changes. Also, the URLs for Bug and FR lists have changed, although the old ones should still work for now. Ahasuerus 05:01, 3 May 2013 (UTC)
Can you give us the URLs? I would be lost if my bookmarks stopped working and I couldn't pester you anymore :-) Chavey 15:53, 4 May 2013 (UTC)
If you use one of your saved URLs, you should be automatically redirected to the equivalent new page, e.g. an FR-related URL should redirect you to https://sourceforge.net/p/isfdb/feature-requests/ and a Bugs-related URL should redirect you to https://sourceforge.net/p/isfdb/bugs . As an added bonus, the new interface lets you view up to 250 artifacts at the same time, so you can have all ISFDB FRs displayed on the same page, something that was not possible with the old interface, which limited you to 100 artifacts per page. There are other minor improvements, but the main reason why we upgraded was that we didn't have much choice in the matter -- the old interface was about to be decommissioned. Ahasuerus 16:23, 4 May 2013 (UTC)
I seem to remember that the old interface allowed comments on tickets, these are apparently gone now (or are they just not publicly visible, or am I just misremembering this?) Fsfo 11:10, 9 May 2013 (UTC)
Good point -- some of our project-specific settings didn't get converted correctly and I had to recreate them manually. Please try again and let me know if you can create new Bugs and FRs and/or add comments to existing ones. Ahasuerus 18:51, 9 May 2013 (UTC)
Adding comments still doesn't work for me - In the main ticket view, there is nothing under "Discussion" (in other projects, there is a text area + buttons for entering comments). Fsfo 13:50, 11 May 2013 (UTC)
OK, I think I got it now. Also, please note that all comments from anonymous users will be queued up for moderator approval since we had quite a few spammer attacks earlier this year. Ahasuerus 08:25, 12 May 2013 (UTC)

Displaying Links to External Web Pages

(copied from a Talk page)

We have an FR to "[a]dd links from Author pages (Summary, etc) to the Encyclopedia of Science Fiction (3rd edition) and Goodreads." I have been mulling it over lately and my current thinking is that the best way to do this is not to keep adding new fields for "recognized" sites the way it's currently done for Wikipedia and IMDB, but rather to change the way external links are displayed on the Summary page(s). For example, John Bellairs's page currently says:

Wikipedia Entry: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/John_Bellairs
IMDB Entry: http://www.imdb.com/name/nm0068662/
Webpage: http://www.bellairsia.com/
Webpage: http://h2g2.com/dna/h2g2/alabaster/A533387 

Instead, we could change the display logic to something a bit more user-friendly, e.g.:

Wikipedia-EN, IMDB, Webpage 1, Webpage 2

This approach will make it almost trivial to add support for additional "recognized" sites such as SFE3, Goodreads or whatever else may come down the pike. We can also replace SFE3 links with SFE3's image (SFEnew.png) if their editors prefer it that way; ditto Goodreads etc. As an added advantage, this approach will make it easier to distinguish between Wikipedia-EN, Wikipedia-FR, Wikipedia-DE, etc since they will be clearly labeled that way on the page. Eventually we could fold the Wikipedia data entry field and the IMDB data entry field into the multiply repeating "Web Page" field, but that can wait. We also have an FR to add a field that would clarify the nature of each site, e.g. "author's site", "fan site", "author's blog", which can be implemented on top of the proposed change.

Thoughts? Good? Bad? Unspeakable? Ahasuerus 03:32, 5 May 2013 (UTC)

I think that's a great idea. Chavey 17:46, 5 May 2013 (UTC)
Good idea. I thought the same myself when I started seeing multiple Wikipedia pages entered for an author, and the 'special' status of Wikipedia links became obviously broken. I'd also quite like to see more use of IMDB - not so much for authors, but for awards and novelisations. BLongley 17:55, 5 May 2013 (UTC)
I agree that it's a good idea. Mhhutchins 19:31, 5 May 2013 (UTC)
Sorry for catching up late, but I would welcome this change also. Stonecreek 10:04, 7 May 2013 (UTC)
Good idea; I like especially the possibility to distinguish between the various Wikipedias. --Pips55 20:08, 8 May 2013 (UTC)
Thanks, folks, it sounds like we have a consensus then. We will presumably want to change Title, Publisher and Publication Series pages in the same way. Ahasuerus 03:20, 9 May 2013 (UTC)
I wish we could add notes and links to title series as the way we do publisher and publication series. Mhhutchins 03:42, 9 May 2013 (UTC)
That would be FR 31, FR 123 and FR 125 :-) (note the new numbering scheme for FRs.) Ahasuerus 04:18, 9 May 2013 (UTC)

Harlan Ellison's "Spider Kiss"

Genre or non-Genre? "How unhappy was Harlan Ellison that a 1982 reissue of his rock 'n' roll novel Spider Kiss had been labeled SF?" begins the post on File 770. It's an enjoyable read, and might possibly be worth linking to on the "Web Page" link associated with that title. (But I'll leave that up to others.) Chavey 01:10, 7 May 2013 (UTC)

Interesting anecdote, but I don't think it's worth linking to the ISFDB. Even if you showed me Ellison's arrest record for assault. Mhhutchins 01:25, 7 May 2013 (UTC)
I think I agree with you. It does seem likely that he's overstated the event. But it certainly does tell us that he believes this book is non-genre :-) Chavey 03:16, 7 May 2013 (UTC)

Does a new catalog number qualify as a separate listing?

The book Stories of the Supernatural, by Dorothy L. Sayers, is listed as having catalog # 50-170 printed on the front cover. I have a copy of this book that is indistinguishable in all respects from that one, except for the catalog number "50-300". My guess is that I should list this as an "assumed 2nd printing" (there is no statement of printing or publication date in either book), but I wanted to check if I was right. Chavey 21:38, 11 May 2013 (UTC)

Most definitely. If your copy has a new catalog number, it's a new printing, which means it requires a new record. Looking at Dragoondelight's record, I see he made a mistake. The catalog number #50-170 was published in 1963, according to his quoted source. The second printing (yours) was published in 1967. I'll correct his record, and you can clone it to create yours giving Tuck as the source for the date. Mhhutchins 00:09, 12 May 2013 (UTC)
Thanks much! There was no indication in the book of the date. Chavey 04:06, 13 May 2013 (UTC)

Display of a title's record number

I like seeing the title's record number now displayed as part of the record, but uncertain that it should be the first item listed. How do others feel? Mhhutchins

I was just about to post a summary of the last patch which implemented this change and ask for feedback :-) I'll wait to see what others think before installing a number of similar changes affecting pubs, publishers, etc. Ahasuerus 16:39, 12 May 2013 (UTC)
Same thoughts here (perhaps should it be placed at the bottom as it's data of use mainly to seasoned users). Hauck 17:10, 12 May 2013 (UTC)
We could also display the number in parentheses on the "Title:" line or even on the "Bibliography" line at the top of the page. Whatever works best! Ahasuerus 17:21, 12 May 2013 (UTC)
I don't think inclusion on the title line would work, because it adds even more emphasis to it. The number has nothing to do with the work and, as Hauck says, is only a tool within the ISFDB, and external to the story itself. Maybe changing the name to "ISFDB Record Number" will make this clear and moving it below the Storylen line. Just my two cents. Mhhutchins 17:33, 12 May 2013 (UTC)
Sounds reasonable. Ahasuerus 05:08, 13 May 2013 (UTC)
(An aside suggestion: How about a link from it to create a permalink to the record, similar to how OCLC does their records?) Mhhutchins 17:33, 12 May 2013 (UTC)
Oh, you mean change the displayed record number from a plain number to a URL to the same page? Ahasuerus 05:08, 13 May 2013 (UTC)
If you look at an OCLC record, you'll see a button at the top right labeled "Permalink". This provides the user with a clean URL which links to the record. This isn't always the URL of the page you're actually looking at, because this page is the result of a search which quite often displays superfluous characters. (I wish more ISFDB users were aware of the OCLC permalink URL. Many of them only copy the URL in their browser's address window, which makes it harder to work with the raw HTML in a record's Note field.) Since the ISFDB search doesn't work like OCLC's, and only displays a simple URL in the address window, there is no need for a permalink. All a user would need to do is copy the URL. Hopefully, they're smart enough to do that without having a button that does it for them. So I withdraw my suggestion with a hope we have users who know how to link to an ISFDB title record. Mhhutchins 05:41, 13 May 2013 (UTC)
I'm not sure I see any particular value in adding that. It's already in the URL for the page, if someone needs it. And it really doesn't have anything to do with the title itself. Chavey 04:19, 13 May 2013 (UTC)
Well, the reason that this FR was originally created was that "New editors have reported that it's not clear that the last part of each displayed URL is the record number of the displayed record". Some editors have also stated that copying and pasting the last part of a URL was unwieldy. Ahasuerus 05:06, 13 May 2013 (UTC)
I think Darrah was referring to my suggestion for a Permalink, not the original feature request to display the record number. Mhhutchins 05:41, 13 May 2013 (UTC)
As an aside, I suspect that we, experienced editors, are no longer good judges of what's intuitive and counter-intuitive in the software since we have been using it for so long... Ahasuerus 05:06, 13 May 2013 (UTC)
And our recent run-in with one particular editor has convinced me that there will be users and editors who will never learn how the software works, regardless of how clear the instructions are. Mhhutchins 05:41, 13 May 2013 (UTC)
It might be more useful to less experienced editors if we made some of the forms that want a record number accept a full URL and parse the record number out of it. --MartyD 10:31, 13 May 2013 (UTC)
Good point, FR 450 created. Ahasuerus 02:57, 15 May 2013 (UTC)

(unindent) The broader issue of "permalinks" mentioned above is a fairly complex one. Ideally, any external links to our Web pages should continue working regardless of what happens to the underlying database: a link to author #100, title #100 or pub #100 should always display the same data. Unfortunately, it's not always the case since we allow author/title merges/deletions, so old links can be easily broken. We could modify the software to remember deleted/merged records and display a "This record was deleted on YYYY-MM-DD" message or a "This record was merged with record NNNNN on YYYY-MM-DD" message, but it's not as easy to implement as it may appear. Ahasuerus 02:57, 15 May 2013 (UTC)

I have made the change requested by Michael. If everything looks good over the next day or so, I will make similar changes to the rest of the other pages.
In addition, a minor bug on the Publication Listing page has been fixed. There should be no change to user-experienced behavior although some browsers may load busy publication pages marginally faster. Ahasuerus 05:59, 15 May 2013 (UTC)
Looks good. I'd gotten so used to seeing the title field at the top of the page that it's been disorienting the past couple of days. Mhhutchins 15:48, 15 May 2013 (UTC)
I came wondering why the Bibliography page tor a title had the "ISFDB Record Number." Interesting - I'd personally position it down at the bottom below the "Bibliographic Warnings." As far as I know the record number is only used to link to the parent of variant titles, the {{t}} template, and on Wikipedia the {{isfdb title}} template? Another way to make it less visible is to add a "Show record Number" link in the left sidebar as part of the editing tools. That page would also explain where the record number is used and that you can get it from the URL.
Record numbers are also used when creating pseudonyms, importing/exporting contents, etc. As far as putting them on a separate page goes, I am concerned that it would make it harder to access them during the editing process. Ahasuerus 09:30, 16 May 2013 (UTC)
Regarding "This record was merged with record NNNNN on YYYY-MM-DD." I'd love to see that and/or a simple redirect to the new record. It would complicate the code a bit. --Marc Kupper|talk 06:48, 16 May 2013 (UTC)
It's doable, but somewhat time-consuming. Ahasuerus 09:30, 16 May 2013 (UTC)
I think the redirect would be fairly easy, if a bit wide-ranging, as we don't reuse record numbers (AFAIK). I'll have a stab at it if and when Ahasuerus gives the go-ahead for new developments. Glad to see the queue is getting shorter, and I apologise for not dummying-up the record number changes before submission like I do with big changes - I've spent so long working on relational databases that putting the primary key first seemed more natural. BLongley 15:35, 20 May 2013 (UTC)

Erotic SF cover

I recently added the book From Here to Virginity, in which a middle-aged woman gets a fountain of youth experiment and lives her life backwards. Sort of "The Curious Case of Benjamin Button", only with more sex. I believe this cover would be "R" rated if the book industry used the Motion Picture ratings. Should I "black bar" the bare breasts? Amazon UK does not, but the US has more conservative standards than most countries. Chavey 03:45, 14 May 2013 (UTC)

We had this discussion a few years ago (2008 or 2009?). At the time my concern was that displaying erotic/pornographic images without a prior warning might make ISFDB "not safe for work" and result in problems for some users. (I should note that the image that started that discussion was softcore porn rather than erotica.)
My proposed solution was to link "not safe for work" images from the Notes field with a warning explaining their nature. One editor, David E. Siegel, objected since he believed that treating art differently based on its content would be fundamentally wrong. The discussion sort of petered out.
Now that it's been a few years and we have many more scans of books published in different countries, I don't know if we could realistically establish a universally applicable set of rules defining what is "not safe for work" any more. Perhaps "images showing sex acts"? Ahasuerus 04:29, 14 May 2013 (UTC)
Yes, it would be difficult to establish a threshold much lower than that. I know I had a different reaction to the book above, with a photo cover, than I had to Alien Sex, where it's a realistic drawing instead of a photo. That, IMO, shows the difficulty of establishing a standard. But I think "depicting sex acts" might be a reasonable line to draw. (Although in the fetish communities, what qualifies as a "sex act" could be argued extensively.) Chavey 18:14, 14 May 2013 (UTC)
Since the image on a publication record is a 200 pixel high thumbnail we should be ok. For example, 253699 leaves little to the imagination but you probably have to look at the full size image to figure it out. --Marc Kupper|talk 07:33, 16 May 2013 (UTC)

Link added to the post-verification page (patch r2013-75)

A link has been added to the post-verification page to let verifiers go directly to the Edit Pub page. Ahasuerus 06:58, 15 May 2013 (UTC)

I knew that was a fairly easy FR, but 3 1/2 hours from request to update is impressive! (And yes, I used it within 10 minutes of it being installed.) I also like the new location of the "Title Record #" for TitleRecs. Chavey 07:25, 15 May 2013 (UTC)

"Translations" of non-existent works.

I'm currently entering an Italian publication series of somewhat trashy vampire/horror books. In English, the series would be The Masterpieces Series KKK. Horror Classics. The term "classics" should be interpreted pretty loosely. The stories all claim to be translated into Italian, e.g. from English, French or German, and are all listed with their "original" titles. As best as I can tell, none of those stories actually exist. All of the stories were written by Italian authors using pseudonyms that make them appear to be English, French, or German. Again, as best as I can tell, this is to make them seem "more classic" than they are, or at least hide the fact that no Italian reader had ever heard of them. But they are listed in the books as translations, and fantascienza.com lists them as translations of these various other (apparently) non-existent stories. (None of the so-called "classic authors" have any works listed in the ISFDB.) There are occasional "real" authors, e.g. 1 book each by Robert Louis Stevenson, R. L. Fanthorpe, and Robert Bloch. But most of these appear to be "fake" translations. At present, my notes read like this one, for La notte del terrore, by "Lucas Grom":

Translation of "Journey into Fear". Translation by Maria Luisa Piazza (aka Lucas Grom).

Should I be more explicit about my doubt that the original story exists? (I mention that in the series notes, but not with the books.) If so, what should I say? Chavey 19:29, 16 May 2013 (UTC)

I didn't even bother to create a fake original title, like here. Hauck 20:30, 16 May 2013 (UTC)
Ernesto was a bit more explicit (see here): search for 'fake' in notes and you will see a number of occurrences especially in 'I Romanzi del Cosmo' magazine, whose editors were probably affected by the same complex... --Pips55 21:56, 16 May 2013 (UTC)
Thanks, I think I'll adopt Ernesto's approach. Chavey 22:01, 16 May 2013 (UTC)

Spam attacks

Is there a way to prevent this latest series of attacks? There's been more than a dozen in the past 24 hours. Mhhutchins 16:30, 17 May 2013 (UTC)

There are different ways to make it harder for spammers to create new accounts and post spam messages on their Talk pages, but they all have their downsides. For example, we could prevent users coming from "known bad IPs" from creating accounts. However, that's a very long list (provided by third parties) and sometimes it can result in legitimate users being blocked. Maintaining/updating the list and dealing with exceptions can be significantly more time-consuming than blocking individual spammers. Ahasuerus 18:33, 17 May 2013 (UTC)

Missing cover photo

I'm used to covers from Amazon suddenly going missing, but I'm not used to seeing us lose covers that are hosted by us. The book Tomorrow and Tomorrow & The Fairy Chessmen has a broken image link, which claims to be to an image on our site. I'm not sure how that happened. Any idea? Chavey 01:23, 18 May 2013 (UTC)

If you click the "Upload new cover scan" link, you will land on a page which reads, in part: "Warning: You are uploading a file that was previously deleted. You should consider whether it is appropriate to continue uploading this file. The deletion log for this file is provided here for convenience:
20:14, August 20, 2012 Bluesman (Talk | contribs | block) deleted "Image:TMRRWFRCHSS1951.jpg" (Restore)
Perhaps Bluesman was going to replace our hosted image with a better one, but something interfered? Ahasuerus 02:09, 18 May 2013 (UTC)
I have no recollection of this one [it was almost a year ago....]. I often come across better images or sometimes just crop an existing one. I'll restore the one that was deleted, maybe that will ring a bell? --~ Bill, Bluesman 21:08, 18 May 2013 (UTC)
It was definitely just a re-crop and straighten. Fixed now. --~ Bill, Bluesman 21:15, 18 May 2013 (UTC)
Another mystery solved! :) Ahasuerus 00:24, 19 May 2013 (UTC)

Crossroads Adventure

Crossroads Adventure is a title series, but shouldn't it be a publication series instead? After all, the titles in this series do not share a common setting. If Crossroads Adventure were a publication series, then the titles could be assigned to their proper title series, e.g. Revolt on Majipoor to Majipoor. Darkday 01:56, 18 May 2013 (UTC)

Sounds like a good idea. I think this series was created a long time ago, before publication series were implemented. Ahasuerus 02:16, 18 May 2013 (UTC)
Another good idea (IMO) is to record creation dates for ISFDB-Only additions to our 'exactly as recorded' bibliographies. We do seem to go through a lot of 'problem - fudge a solution - improve the software - undo the fudge' cycles and as it's sometimes months or years between steps a simple 'When was this done?' date-stamp might help. BLongley 15:24, 20 May 2013 (UTC)

Cover artist "Griesbach / Martucci" -- Varianting cover artists

We have half a dozen covers attributed to Griesbach / Martucci, and one attributed to Griesbach Martucci. Our rules state that we should list things just as they are listed in the book, but it seems wrong (IMHO) to list two people as one. Of course we do that when two authors adopt a single pseudonym, such as Lewis Padgett, but this doesn't seem to fit in that category since I think they are making it clear that there are two artists. Apparently, according to these books, this attribution corresponds to Cheryl Griesbach and Stanley Martucci. One cover has been varianted from the "combo name" to both authors. It seems to me the books should just be listed as having two cover artists. (Either way, all such covers should be handled the same way.) I'm not sure how the rules apply here. Thoughts? Chavey 06:26, 18 May 2013 (UTC)

The attribution for the second link is exactly as printed on the flap of the jacket. Not having seen the names before [no recollection, at least] no way of knowing it's two people. If there's more work to be done with the names I'll let someone who knows more about the pair than I do handle it. --~ Bill, Bluesman 21:02, 18 May 2013 (UTC)
Hm. Well, if Deus Irae were published as by "Dick/Zelazny", then I assume we would enter it as by "Dick" and "Zelazny" and then VT'd the title to "Philip K. Dick" and "Roger Zelazny" (and set up pseudonyms.)
I wonder if the editors who entered "Griesbach / Martucci" were not sure whether it was the name of a company or the last names of two different people? Ahasuerus 06:46, 18 May 2013 (UTC)
This style is also used a lot for Person/Company. And also for Organization/Company. Search for names with "/", and you'll see. Without intimate familiarity with the names, how would one know whether it's meant to be two people or person and non-person or even two non-persons? And what if one of the names could be the last name of a person in the field or the name of some other entity, also in the field? I think we should have a standard that's either to enter a slash-separated attribution as a single credit and then variant and pseudonym as appropriate, or we should always enter each piece of a slash-separated attribution separately. Picking-and-choosing based on knowledge or assumptions seems bound to result in errors, both in entry and moderation. --MartyD 10:34, 18 May 2013 (UTC)
I think we have to accept 'exactly as stated' until we have proof of collaboration or company names. Yes, it means more rework when we uncover the truth, but it seems safest to me. BLongley 15:17, 20 May 2013 (UTC)
I have not problem with Bill's conclusion. I'll go ahead and rework the "Griesbach / Martucci" entries. Chavey 22:46, 20 May 2013 (UTC)
That should NOT mean changing the credit in the record. This is what we have Variants/pseudonyms etc. for. This is not the same as choosing a canonical name from a signature. The credit should still be recorded as it is given. --~ Bill, Bluesman 23:08, 20 May 2013 (UTC)
Is this really the case? I know we've been very conscientious to do this with writer's credits, but it doesn't seem we've done this at all with artists. We have a HUGE number of cover art entries that would have to be changed to "uncredited" and then varianted to the artist that we eventually figured out. And hundreds of Jack Gaughan covers that would have to be changed to a credit of "JG" and then varianted to Jack Gaughan. Dozens of Shelly Shapiro's art that would have to be credited to "SS". And probably another hundred cover artists that would have to be credited to their last name only and then varianted to their full name. Chavey 18:04, 21 May 2013 (UTC)
I agree with Bluesman. The covers are credited to "Griesbach / Martucci", and this should be reflected in the publication records. It's like all the covers credited to "Emsh" or "Powers". If we identify an uncredited artist from the signature, we use the canonical name and add notes where the credit came from. --Willem H. 18:57, 21 May 2013 (UTC)
No artists' records would need to be changed at all. The only time that's happened is if we figure out a signature or initials. But if an artist is credited as ABC then that's how the record should list it, even if it turns out to stand for something else [Variant/Pseudonym ....], EMSH being a perfect example. --~ Bill, Bluesman 22:59, 21 May 2013 (UTC)
Ok, changed them all back and added the variants and pseudonyms. Chavey 00:27, 22 May 2013 (UTC)

Performance tweaks

After watching server performance and bottlenecks earlier this morning, I changed some server settings to (hopefully) alleviate the performance problems that we typically have between 2am and 5am server time. Things look better at the moment, but I will continue monitoring overnight performance and see how it goes. Ahasuerus 08:27, 20 May 2013 (UTC)

It's currently taking several minutes for a page to load, dropped connections too. --~ Bill, Bluesman 17:31, 20 May 2013 (UTC)
Now 17 minutes to re-open this page. --~ Bill, Bluesman 18:01, 20 May 2013 (UTC)
More tweaks applied; things are looking better right now. Ahasuerus 18:43, 20 May 2013 (UTC)
Bill, that's better than it was for me. Up until a few minutes ago, it kept timing out on me. I wonder if anyone considered posting a message on the ISFDB blog page concerning the problems. That's one of the reasons it was created. Mhhutchins 18:44, 20 May 2013 (UTC)

(unindent) Well, that didn't work too well. The new settings would work for a while and then the Web server would freeze for reasons unknown. I have restored the old settings and we are back up. Ahasuerus 22:18, 20 May 2013 (UTC)

Placement of the ISFDB Record Number in a publication record

After working with it for the past few days, I've found the placement of the ISFDB Record Number in a publication record to be somewhat confusing. I'm so used to seeing other numbers (OCLC, LCCN, etc.) in the Note field, that for a split second, I confuse the ISFDB RN with one of those. Perhaps it would be better placed beneath the Bibliographic Comments line. Is anyone else having the same feelings? Mhhutchins 16:40, 21 May 2013 (UTC)

Most assuredly. Almost anywhere else ... lower is better. --~ Bill, Bluesman 22:53, 21 May 2013 (UTC)
How about we right justify it on the first line so that the title would be on the left hand side and the record number on the right hand side? I just tried it on the development server and it looks reasonably good (although I have am oversize monitor, which may affect my perception.) It may be easier to install the change on the main server and let everyone see for themselves. Ahasuerus 00:52, 22 May 2013 (UTC)
Maybe upload a screen-shot first? Mhhutchins 02:32, 22 May 2013 (UTC)

OK, here it is for your viewing pleasure: Title_Record_ID.gif

Ahasuerus 02:51, 22 May 2013 (UTC)
Much better position. I like it a lot. Mhhutchins 03:15, 22 May 2013 (UTC)
Well, it's not quite as pretty when the title is really really looooong, but I think overall it's an improvement. Ahasuerus 03:21, 22 May 2013 (UTC)
Had not thought of sideways ... good spot for something seldom used! --~ Bill, Bluesman 04:02, 22 May 2013 (UTC)
[I resized the image so that it can be seen on most monitors without using the scroll bars.] Mhhutchins 04:26, 22 May 2013 (UTC)
Where would the record number be displayed on a title as long as this one? Would the title still wrap around to a second line, as it does now on some smaller monitors? Mhhutchins 04:31, 22 May 2013 (UTC)
Yes, it will still wrap around and the record number will appear at the of the second line. Ahasuerus 05:57, 22 May 2013 (UTC)
Which reminds me. Do we want to continue calling all of these numbers "ISFDB record numbers" or should we call them "ISFDB title numbers", "ISFDB publication numbers", "ISFDB series numbers", etc? Ahasuerus 05:57, 22 May 2013 (UTC)
That would be a good idea, since the records of each type are assigned numbers consecutively within its own type, and may have the same number as a record of another type. Mhhutchins 15:47, 22 May 2013 (UTC)
Looks good to me. Chavey 17:38, 22 May 2013 (UTC)

(unindent) OK, the Title page has been changed as per the discussion above. It now says "ISFDB Title Record # 123456" to make it a little less verbose, but we can tweak the wording if desired. Once we agree on the layout and the wording of the Title page, I can adjust the other affected pages accordingly. Ahasuerus 03:31, 23 May 2013 (UTC)

One small quibble. Since I mainly use the record number to cut and paste for making variants and such things, I tend to double click on the number to do a quick select-all. This works great when the number follows a colon. However, when if follows the pound sign, the double click picks up the preceding space. I don't know if that is a Windows convention or a Firefox convention, but that is how it works with that combination of OS and browser. As I said, it's minor and I can still grab the record number from the URL with a double click, if need be. Otherwise, it looks great. --Ron ~ RtraceTalk 00:05, 24 May 2013 (UTC)
That was unintended and the latest patch (installed 5 minutes ago) should have fixed it. The patch also changed the behavior of the Series page to be in line with the Title page. I am currently working on the Publication Listing page, which is a little tricky because it uses an invisible HTML table which messes up right justification. I hope to have it sorted out some time tomorrow. Ahasuerus 02:54, 24 May 2013 (UTC)

(unindent) OK, I think I got everything -- authors, pubs, series, pub series, publishers, titles -- now. I've also added "Author:" and "Publisher:" to the respective pages to match the other pages' behavior (and changed "Title" to "Publication" at the top of the Publication Listing page to minimize confusion.)

There are still a few minor display quirks at certain magnification settings, but they are not easy to fix without redoing much of the underlying logic. If you see anything that is not working right, please post your findings here. Ahasuerus 05:36, 25 May 2013 (UTC)

One of the quirks I have been running into comes up with copy/paste from ISFDB to my own notes. For example, I'll be on a title record and want the title and author. A select/drag of those two fields now also picks up the "ISFDB Title Record #" appended to the title. For example with Wave Without a Shore ISFDB Title Record # 881 I was trying to copy/paste the title into this thread and it's grabbing the ISFDB Title Record # stuff too. If I go to a publication and try to add the title/author here for commentary I get:
Publication: Wave Without A Shore ISFDB Publication Record # 53996
Authors: C. J. Cherryh
A possible fix is to put the 'span' with the record number first in the HTML. For example, rather than
<li><b>Publication:</b> Wave Without A Shore
<span style="float:right"><b>ISFDB Publication Record # </b>53996</span>
you write out
<li><span style="float:right"><b>ISFDB Publication Record # </b>53996</span>
<b>Publication:</b> Wave Without A Shore
The displayed result is exactly the same with the Publication Record # off to the right but now someone select-dragging on the title and/or author won't accidentally pick up the record number.
The proposal may create some astonishment if someone uses their keyboard to select text. For example, click on the end of "shore", hold the shift key down, and hit the "home" key. You'll get the record number. If, rather than "home" you use the left arrow you'll discover that to the left of the "P" in "Publication" it jumps to the far right and then starts selecting characters/words from that section of text. --Marc Kupper|talk 17:15, 22 July 2013 (UTC)
I also use the keyboard+mouse method to select text and copy it, and discovered this "quirk" soon after the feature was implemented. I've had to adjust the way I copy text from publication and title records. If this can be fixed as Marc described, I can go back to my old method. If not, I've gotten use to it and can continue adjusting for it. Thanks. Mhhutchins 17:30, 22 July 2013 (UTC)
Sounds good, FR has been created. Ahasuerus 00:57, 24 July 2013 (UTC)

Search engine robots temporarily disallowed

We have been having some issues with search engine robots (run by Google, Yahoo, MSN, etc) hammering our server too much as they try to retrieve hundreds of thousands of our pages. Some of them appear not to respect the rules that we set for them, e.g. "do not try to access any of the edit forms", so I have temporarily changed our rules to block all of them. We'll see if this improves response times during the day and then we may gradually re-enable the search bots. Ahasuerus 07:34, 22 May 2013 (UTC)

Database maintenance

I will be disabling editing for a few minutes to perform database maintenance. I expect everything to be back up in under 15 minutes. Ahasuerus 06:00, 26 May 2013 (UTC)

OK, we are back. Ahasuerus 06:40, 26 May 2013 (UTC)

Tag Editor performance

The way the Tag Editor page interacts with the database has been changed. The list of "popular tags" should appear almost instantaneously now. Ahasuerus 04:48, 27 May 2013 (UTC)

More database optimization

I will be once again disabling database editing for a few minutes. This iteration shouldn't take long. Ahasuerus 19:46, 27 May 2013 (UTC)

Done. Ahasuerus 19:47, 27 May 2013 (UTC)
Another brief outage (editing only) in about two minutes. Shouldn't take long. Ahasuerus 00:23, 28 May 2013 (UTC)
Done. Ahasuerus 00:27, 28 May 2013 (UTC)
Just earned your paycheck for the month!! The db hasn't worked this fast in a year!  :-)))) --~ Bill, Bluesman 00:30, 28 May 2013 (UTC)
Shh, don't praise him too much -- he may ask to have his salary doubled! Fixer 00:37, 28 May 2013 (UTC)
Then maybe I shouldn't mention the queue is displayed in an 'interesting' order???? --~ Bill, Bluesman 00:39, 28 May 2013 (UTC)
Already covered on the Moderator Noticeboard :-) Ahasuerus 00:43, 28 May 2013 (UTC)

Performance Imporvements - Recent Edits

"My Recent Edits", "My Pending Edits", and "My Rejected Edits" have been tweaked to be much faster. "Recent Edits" and "Recent Verifications" still take a few seconds to display, so they will be optimized next. Ahasuerus 00:34, 28 May 2013 (UTC)

Recent Edits has been optimized as well. Recent verifications is still sluggish, but it will take more poking around to speed it up. Ahasuerus 03:47, 28 May 2013 (UTC)

Delete "Franklin W. Dixon" Hardy Boys books?

The Author Bibliography page for Franklin W. Dixon has a 2006 conversation about deleting this author for only having non-genre books, an opinion apparently shared by Marc Kupper, Mike Christie, and Ahasuerus. I cannot tell if the books listed there, some of which appear to be genre, were there when that discussion happened. But I would like to suggest that others look at this and either carry out the deletion, or correct the conclusions of that bibliography page. Chavey 23:46, 28 May 2013 (UTC)

I think most of them are of the Scooby-Doo variety of ghost stories. But I can't say for sure, and don't care enough whether the records should remain in the db. (It's disheartening to read that even back in 2006 some editors were wanting the database records to provide reliable sources for its data, and knowing that seven years later, thousands of unsourced records remain in the database. Did Marc decide that "dope smoking penguins" had too much access to editing the database and he slowly drifted away?) Mhhutchins 00:12, 29 May 2013 (UTC)
Looking closer at the titles on Dixon's page, it appears most of the Hardy Boys stories appeared in a collection devoted to ghost stories. So there's no question of their eligibility for inclusion. There's only one Hardy Boys novel listed and it concerns psychics, still over the line for inclusion, AFAIK. Mhhutchins 00:19, 29 May 2013 (UTC)
Marc is still sporadically active -- he uploaded a new image just a few hours ago.Ahasuerus 00:29, 29 May 2013 (UTC)
Yes, I know he pops in and out, but to a much lesser degree than before. I was just trying to be funny, something that's decidedly hard to do using this form of communication. :( Mhhutchins 00:39, 29 May 2013 (UTC)
True. I wouldn't be surprised if at least one 21st century war started due to a misunderstood e-mail... Ahasuerus 03:58, 29 May 2013 (UTC)
As far as Franklin W. Dixon goes, we have to be increasingly careful with house names as the lines separating SF from other juvenile/YA genres become more and more blurred. For example, our title record for The Case of the Psychic's Vision says "According to reviews, unlike most other Hardy Boys books, the psychic ability possessed by the characters in this novel is apparently real". And an Amazon review of Time Bomb has the following to say about its plot: " In this book Tom Swift And the hardys team up to stop a mad man called the Black Dragon, from making a time storm that could cause the end of the world. Tom goes back in time to when the dinosaurs ruled the earth, Fenton Hardy goes back in time to the 30's and Frank and Joe have to go and save him". Ditto The Alien Factor. On the other hand, Uncivil War apparently had no SF content and is no longer in the database. Ahasuerus 00:29, 29 May 2013 (UTC)

Patch r2013-88

A minor patch (r2013-88) has been installed. It cleaned up various HTML errors on the Publication Listing page, which should improve load times slightly, but the improvement is so minor that I doubt it will be noticeable. The only user-experienced change is that images are now positioned slightly differently, but the difference is just 2 pixels. Ahasuerus 18:26, 29 May 2013 (UTC)

And now the four Author pages have been fixed. The location of the "Other views" line has changed by a pixel or two, but otherwise everything should look the same. Ahasuerus 06:55, 30 May 2013 (UTC)
Personal tools