ISFDB:Community Portal/Archive/Archive47

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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 July - December 2019

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Contents

Python error

Was trying to add an image to an entry and got this python error: Image:Screen Shot 2019-07-13 at 7.28.13 PM.png. Oddly, everything seems to have gone through okay as the publiscation in question (723121 seems to be fine (it has the cover I uploaded). ···日本穣 · 投稿 · Talk to Nihonjoe 21:32, 13 July 2019 (EDT)

Got the same error again when updating the cover artist for this pub: 264000. ···日本穣 · 投稿 · Talk to Nihonjoe 21:35, 13 July 2019 (EDT)
That was an unintended side effect of the post-approval change discussed on the Moderator Noticeboard, now fixed. The bug only affected the way things were displayed, not the data added to the database. Sorry about that! Ahasuerus 22:50, 13 July 2019 (EDT)
No problem. You want the image deleted? I don't know if it has any potential security stuff in it. ···日本穣 · 投稿 · Talk to Nihonjoe 23:08, 13 July 2019 (EDT)
Nope, no security stuff. Just a graphic reminder to re-test all changes before installing them :-) Ahasuerus 23:18, 13 July 2019 (EDT)

Yiddish Speakers?

I added story by Der Nister which is a translation from the original Yiddish. While I can find a scan of the original Yiddish edition at Hathi Trust (Vol. I and Vol II, I was unable to determine the original title in the proper alphabet and thus added this title reflecting the Yiddish language parent but noting that the original title hasn't been found yet. Are there any editors that are fluent enough with Yiddish to find the proper title? The English title is "At the Border". I'll also note that the collection Gedakht is described by Wikipedia as a "collection of fantastic stories", and may itself be eligible for inclusion here if someone wants to take that on as a mini project. Thanks. --Ron ~ RtraceTalk 12:06, 14 July 2019 (EDT)

It looks like "Gedakht" is געדאכט, but that's all I can figure out. ···日本穣 · 投稿 · Talk to Nihonjoe 15:22, 14 July 2019 (EDT)
Google Translate says "At the Border" is אין די גרענעץ, but I have no idea how accurate that is. ···日本穣 · 投稿 · Talk to Nihonjoe 15:23, 14 July 2019 (EDT)
I searched the text for גרענעץ and found four entries: אויף גרענעץ, which apparently means "On (the) border", זיך א גרענעץ, which means "set a boundary", זיין גרענעץ, which means "its boundary", and קיין גרענעץ, which means "no border". One of those might be the title. ···日本穣 · 投稿 · Talk to Nihonjoe 15:30, 14 July 2019 (EDT)
According to Language help, Linguist knows a little Hebrew. It's not the same thing, but uses the same alphabet, so he might be able to offer some help. ···日本穣 · 投稿 · Talk to Nihonjoe 15:33, 14 July 2019 (EDT)
I think I found it. The table of contents in Volume 1 is on page 243. I carefully reconstructed the title of the story that appears on page 137 using the Hebrew alphabet Wikipedia page and ended up with אויפן גרעניץ which Google translates as "On the borders". Assuming that I identified the correct letters (exporting the scan to a pdf didn't work with cut and paste), I think I've identified the title correctly. Thanks again. --Ron ~ RtraceTalk 17:44, 14 July 2019 (EDT)
Saw the post a bit late. I have added a transliteration to the title : oifn grenits, the equivalent of German auf der Grenze « on the border ». Cheers, Linguist 05:19, 16 July 2019 (EDT).
Maybe you can add Gedakht to the database? You might be able to it more quickly than anyone else here. ···日本穣 · 投稿 · Talk to Nihonjoe 19:54, 17 July 2019 (EDT)
Will do (in due time, as there seems to be quite a lot to do…). Or maybe Ron can enter the romanized titles, and I'll Hebraize what I can ? Lekhaim ! (! לחיים) Linguist 04:43, 18 July 2019 (EDT).
I went ahead and took a stab at it. It would be an excellent idea for someone to check the entries against the scans to ensure I didn't get them wrong. Also to add missing transliterations. I also went ahead and made the Yiddish name canonical. I was able to link up all but one of the English titles. I suspect that "The Fool and the Forest Demon" may be "דער נאַר און דער ןןאַלד־רוח" as Google translates that as "The fool and the old age" which is a close title. Thanks. --Ron ~ RtraceTalk 18:35, 19 July 2019 (EDT)
I have linked "The Fool and the Forest Demon" and "נאַר און דער ןןאַלד־רוח, that was OK, and corrected the transliteration (der nar un der vald-rukh; you had confused ו (v) and ן (final n), which do look almost alike; and in Yiddish, א at the beginning of a word usually indicates it starts with a vowel, so און is just un “and” (= German und), not aun. I have started looking at געדאכט: ערשטער באנד : your first entry, the title of the story on p. 7, דער נזיר און דאָס ציגעלע, was written backwards (each word correct, but in the wrong place, if you see what I mean). I have corrected it, but there is one word I don't undestand : "The hermit and the stigele". Does that sound familiar ? Linguist 05:56, 20 July 2019 (EDT).
Same thing for the next one (words were inversed) : צוס בּאַרג, tsum barg = German zum Berg “at the mountain”. Linguist 07:41, 20 July 2019 (EDT).
Ditto for אין וואַלד, in vald, "in the forest" (German im Wald). Linguist 07:58, 20 July 2019 (EDT).
Went through both volumes, updated a few more transcriptions, gave translations when possible. There are two titles I don't understand fully, and three not at all. Sorry ! :o( Linguist 08:38, 20 July 2019 (EDT).

Votes and counting

I've been adding a lot of votes recently and have been amused at how, sometimes, my feeling about a story/book fails to match up with others' votes. Amused, but not surprised--we all read, and enjoy, different things. However, I do think it would be interesting in the Statistics/Top Lists to expose those stories that have the farthest deviation from the mean (i.e., stories that some people absolutely hated while others loved). The one I ran into today was Philip Jose Farmer's "Riders of the Purple Wage," originally published in Harlan Ellison's Dangerous Visions anthology. I thought the story was quite good, especially when re-reading it recently because the concept of a universal basic income has become more prevalent. It already had two votes when I added mine: a 1 star and a 4 star. Somebody really hated it. Gengelcox 16:24, 14 July 2019 (EDT)

It's certainly doable. A simple database query (select std(rating),title_id from votes group by title_id having count(user_id)>3 order by std(rating) desc) creates a list of controversial titles starting with:
Ahasuerus 18:29, 14 July 2019 (EDT)
That's exactly the kind of thing I was hoping might pop up -- I recall reading The Time Traveler's Wife with a book club and how it really creeped some readers out while others loved it. Gengelcox 10:20, 15 July 2019 (EDT)

On the subject of the Stats page and votes, I'm wondering if we could expose the top lists for novella, novelette, and short story along with the list already being run for novel? Gengelcox 16:24, 14 July 2019 (EDT)

We could create a "top" list for SHORTFICTION titles, which would include short fiction without a "length" designation. We could also create separate sub-lists for novellas, novelettes and short stories. Ahasuerus 18:29, 14 July 2019 (EDT)
I'd be interested, but obviously not a priority. Gengelcox 10:20, 15 July 2019 (EDT)
OK, FR 1289 has been created to document these suggestions. Ahasuerus 11:04, 16 July 2019 (EDT)

Jerry Ahern

Someone had started shifting the canonical name to a name that was never used in print (Frédéric Charpier for them (at least in our DB) and unless I am missing something, is not even connected to these books). Can someone share light on what they had been doing here (and add notes to the authors names). If noone can explain what this is all about, I will break the pseudonym in about a week and clean these pages up a bit. Annie 15:27, 17 July 2019 (EDT)

Apparently Charpier translated a bunch of Ahern books into French, then continued the series himself while continuing to use the Ahern name. At least that's what the French Wikipedia article states:
Frédéric Charpier a par ailleurs traduit en français un grand nombre de romans d'inspiration survivaliste de la série Le Survivant de Jerry Ahern (en), puis continué lui-même la série en français, sous le couvert d' « adapations » qui sont des créations originales (numéros 29 à 53, aux éditions Vaugirard).
Not sure if that's what this is about, but it's what I could find. ···日本穣 · 投稿 · Talk to Nihonjoe 16:07, 17 July 2019 (EDT)
This site seems to support what I wrote above. ···日本穣 · 投稿 · Talk to Nihonjoe 16:11, 17 July 2019 (EDT)
Aha. That explains it. Thanks - somehow I missed that when I was looking through the wiki articles earlier and trying to figure out what is going on. Why can't people just use their own names (I know, I know...). I will add some notes on the author's page... :) Annie 16:12, 17 July 2019 (EDT)
I'm the culprit (only saw the post today). As Nihonjoe explained, Charpier went on writing the series himself after translating the first ones, but indeed his name never appears except as a “translator / adapter”  : a common practice among the Plon / Presses de la Cité / Vaugirard / Vauvenargues publications (see some of the Blade / Jeffrey Lord pubs, with a host of French shadow-writers). I thought I had made a general note somewhere about it, but had apparently only meant to… But such notes appear on each individual title, see here. And by the way, the Wikipedia passage quoted by Nihonjoe was written by me ! Linguist 04:15, 18 July 2019 (EDT).
Come to think of it, I had written the note for Original Richard Blade Adventures in French, but somehow the one about the Survivalist got waylaid. Linguist 05:23, 18 July 2019 (EDT).
Yeah, once I got on the right track, it started clearing up. Thanks for the explanation! I wonder if we should not use Jerry Ahern (Frédéric Charpier) for these books (or something along these lines) so it is clear it is not really Ahern - we had done that for other wrong attributions in the past. Annie 13:33, 18 July 2019 (EDT)
I would use "Jerry Ahern (II)" and include a note on the author page explaining things. ···日本穣 · 投稿 · Talk to Nihonjoe 14:45, 18 July 2019 (EDT)
That also works :) Even "Jerry Ahern (I)" would work. I find descriptive differentiator easier but the nummeric ones work as well. Annie 15:21, 18 July 2019 (EDT)
I like the numeric ones better because they are shorter. ···日本穣 · 投稿 · Talk to Nihonjoe 15:29, 18 July 2019 (EDT)


(unindent) Our software supports uncredited co-authors (e.g. see this series), but it doesn't have native support for ghostwriters. We have FR 346, "Add support for ghostwriters", but it wouldn't be easy to implement. For now, the best we can do is add a note at the author level like we have done with V. C. Andrews and her ghostwriter Andrew Neiderman.

Speaking of the "Richard Blade" series by "Jeffrey Lord", Wikipedia says:

  • In the early 1990s the Russian publishers could secure the rights to only the first six books in the series, and approached the translator - Mikhail Akhmanov - to write the further adventures of Richard Blade.[3] Together with then young sci-fi author Nick Perumov and others, Akhmanov wrote over sixteen sequels[4] to the adventures of Richard Blade, and then, after writing Russian sequels to the saga of Conan, went on to create numerous original characters and plots.

The Russian Conan project was apparently similar. Ahasuerus 15:30, 18 July 2019 (EDT)

Publication Series Name

Several hours ago the new publication series 8383 Queen's Treasure Series was created in the usual way, by adding its first publication record, which remains the only one. I added a pub series Note. Publication Series: Queen's Treasure Series. The keyword Treasure should be plural.

First Question: If the pub series name is modified in its one publication record, will the existing pub series record be deleted, and its information lost --either immediately on approval, or by some automated cleanup, perhaps overnight? (I understand that is the case when a publisher name loses its only publication record.) --Pwendt|talk 21:57, 17 July 2019 (EDT)

Publication series get deleted as soon as they loose their last book. This is one of the cases when you need to find a moderator and ask them to change the name. Which I just did. :) Annie 22:16, 17 July 2019 (EDT)
Thanks. So this one is now named "Queen's Treasure Series", which happens to be the name displayed on half-title page, rather than "The Queen's Treasure Series" as atop the description and list on the next page and in newspaper advertisements by the publisher. In some newspaper articles "Queen's Treasures" in quotation marks may be found.
Second Question: Do we have good reasons to prefer shorter or longer versions of names such as "[The] Queen's Treasures [Series]"? --Pwendt|talk 17:57, 18 July 2019 (EDT)
It's actually "Queen's Treasures Series" now - as requested :)
In a lot of cases, it is down to the editor's preference. The word Series is rarely in the name of a series I create for example - except for older series where I may add Series if I expect that someone can consider it a magazine. Or something. So... no real good reason - unless one specific spelling is used a lot more often in both books and reference materials. If I was adding it, I probably would have added it as "Queen's Treasures" but that is just me - and I would not change it when someone adds it the way you added it. Adding a note in all spelling being used (and where) is never a bad idea. Annie 18:18, 18 July 2019 (EDT)

Slow Server

Is it just me or is the server extremely slow at the moment? Annie 18:26, 19 July 2019 (EDT)

Facebook links

I'm guessing a fix was put in to allow links from Facebook to link correctly by stripping out the "&fbclid=" part. However, it looks like there's a tiny error still. The links come through with an equal sign (=) added to the end, so they still don't work. This link should go to 724848, but the equal sign prevents that. ···日本穣 · 投稿 · Talk to Nihonjoe 17:56, 24 July 2019 (EDT)

I don't recall any recent software changes that should have affected the way URLs are processed. Could you please post a sample "native" Facebook URL? Ahasuerus 22:10, 24 July 2019 (EDT)
They look like this:
https://l.facebook.com/l.php?u=http%3A%2F%2Fwww.isfdb.org%2Fcgi-bin%2Fea.cgi%3F134396%26fbclid%3DIwAR3OXAEyuHT1_DnUzX-Tcv034vhq_SK67RFSzaq9YPKJ-Rn0XK4sDu_e1no&h=AT3ko-M8HhxEAD8-AyA0tPcBCjgKDxL9prtGNFq-RVARTQoeLpsqJ3qmQuAuSSKwOYYGPkJl63JIBO_WyePJ7VehGAC_0QxggDWv-uOzULagbxUoyQq2eCiyf3jw_X3a2y6nXdZnMYgaXj_HFNiofqqf3xV_1nFkysIT-w-Q-NdK9PnjoR2-6Usdi8UkDKGAcfHdFc01i8wjGkUc22KidBMRxAm6hRrPHcxYvXJQ7z_oXXCZQLK5pgW1m_346YrJ0LQFPzZOzICFCMsngFmZoq_G3sjl4zH6jefD5FbY1B88uOv8hl4gz_B_tazNKu5uG9c5L4uG6pSFgHQ-4peRtlpt_Sow8v9nyKLLZGPapKOrOWRK9wEoQSJu1A_BuPFIjxX-7KZPi871ZFCbl4qecl4Ndw0dM3zUvPq9EXhZLE02Vs1lk1LcYOgZpLL-VHbYOCsyqLqjU5GLHl_i1geqN882tKZQG2N49Fcl7KWypQnmcn2PSlcDHlUkaIYV6GhQ5B0Up2FopsRdBBKAbEnY6K4OltweDFaOGwt66V4-Pmt_RTWAzT4h10b88kcNYuYxaIdBbtg8ak8qDcdxCqMLlrK3rxparnymcMPObbFeClppvLX3M3HgjTyhOUzIfzCZJbyeic8
That translates to http://www.isfdb.org/cgi-bin/pl.cgi?724848= somehow (note the equal sign at the end). ···日本穣 · 投稿 · Talk to Nihonjoe 13:50, 25 July 2019 (EDT)
It translates to
http://www.isfdb.org/cgi-bin/ea.cgi?134396&fbclid=IwAR3OXAEyuHT1_DnUzX-Tcv034vhq_SK67RFSzaq9YPKJ-Rn0XK4sDu_e1no
for me btw - which is not even the same author ID. And it is consistent with any link like that from Facebook since we started having this problem awhile back (after they changed how their links work). Are you sure you copied the correct link? 14:35, 25 July 2019 (EDT) —The preceding unsigned comment was added by Anniemod (talkcontribs) .
Depends if you are signed into Facebook or not. If you are signed into Facebook, it resolves to Nihonjoe's link. If you are not, it resolves to Anniemod's. -- JLaTondre (talk) 17:11, 25 July 2019 (EDT)
I see the same regardless if I am signed in (Firefox, I can see my name and so on) or not (Clean Chrome browser where I had never logged in). It may have something to do with having access to the link or not... Annie 17:14, 25 July 2019 (EDT)
I don't know about access. I just clicked the link above. Regardless, it is clear Facebook adds different parameters under different conditions when you click the "Follow Link" button. And ISFDB resolves those different parameters differently (no surprise). In an ideal ideal world, Facebook wouldn't add parameters to the URL, but that won't change. In an ideal world, ISFDB would handle extra parameters correctly (i.e. ignore them). I remember there was discussion about software issues with that. Guess the question is do we think the benefit (possible more exposure, new users) is worth the effort. I don't have an opinion on that - especially since it is Ahasuerus' time, not mine ;-). -- JLaTondre (talk) 17:48, 25 July 2019 (EDT)
That's right, we would have to change the way ALL ISFDB Web pages process and validate parameters. It should be doable and would also result in certain additional benefits. Unfortunately, it would be time-consuming :-( Ahasuerus 20:14, 25 July 2019 (EDT)
is the site behind an apache proxy or equivalent? Seems like something that could be done at that level, by not passing that parameter to the processor at all. --Unapersson 13:05, 22 August 2019 (EDT)
That's a good point. It may be possible to configure the Web server to pre-parse and modify incoming requests, stripping Facebook-added parameters. The downside is that it would also mean making configuring an ISFDB server more difficult and restrictive. Food for thought... Ahasuerus 12:57, 23 August 2019 (EDT)
This is exactly the type of reason why it would be very good to reduce the number of entry points in our code. By this I mean ideally it would be nice to have a very few CGI files (one would be great) and have that parse the path and query string after that (loading Python libraries as needed, etc.). That sort of transition would allow for greater flexibility (it might be possible to deploy without CGI, e.g., WSGI, etc.) and security (moving all the Python libraries out of the web browsers executable/CGI path and instead into Python packages and modules, etc.). Uzume 18:59, 18 September 2019 (EDT)
Sorry, I gave two different URLS. The example "native Facebook" link is for a different one than the other. I mixed up two different ones, somehow. :) ···日本穣 · 投稿 · Talk to Nihonjoe 18:55, 25 July 2019 (EDT)
Lol I didn't even notice the author ids were different (despite Annie saying that). I focused on the parameter differences. -- JLaTondre (talk) 19:25, 25 July 2019 (EDT)

"Translations without Notes" - Reorganizing the report

Here are the numbers behind Translations without Notes:

+--------------------+--------------------+
| English            |               6476 |
| Italian            |               6386 |
| French             |               4907 |
| German             |               4227 |
| Dutch              |               2554 |
| Portuguese         |               1108 |
| Spanish            |                774 |
| Polish             |                255 |
| Finnish            |                233 |
| Romanian           |                207 |
| Serbian            |                178 |
| Swedish            |                115 |
| Croatian           |                114 |
| Hungarian          |                112 |
| Danish             |                 68 |
| Turkish            |                 45 |
| Czech              |                 44 |
| Lithuanian         |                 44 |
| Japanese           |                 41 |
| Slovenian          |                 20 |
| Slovak             |                  8 |
| Esperanto          |                  8 |
| Chinese            |                  6 |
| Norwegian (Bokmal) |                  5 |
| Galician           |                  5 |
| Korean             |                  4 |
| Norwegian          |                  4 |
| Latin              |                  4 |
| Scots              |                  3 |
| Middle English     |                  2 |
| Catalan            |                  2 |
| Estonian           |                  2 |
| Russian            |                  2 |
| Hebrew             |                  1 |
| Albanian           |                  1 |
| Mirandese          |                  1 |
| Scottish Gaelic    |                  1 |
| Thai               |                  1 |
| Malay              |                  1 |
| Old English        |                  1 |
| Icelandic          |                  1 |
+--------------------+--------------------+

Based on editor feedback, my tentative plan is to create separate cleanup reports for English, Italian, French, German, Dutch, Portuguese, Spanish and Japanese translations. The first 7 have more than 500 affected translations while Japanese is the 7th most common language in the database and sees a lot of turnover.

The remaining languages will continue to be covered by the existing cleanup report whose name will be tweaked. We can also split it into language-specific tables and have a "table of contents" at the top of the page to make it easy to jump to the language of your choice.

Does this sound like a good idea? Anything else that we need to change or tweak while we are at it? Ahasuerus 15:52, 25 July 2019 (EDT)

How did Portuguese sneak up that high on the list... :) I like the plan - it will make that project a bit more manageable. I am not sure that we need the Japanese on its own - they always show up close to the top of the generic report anyway - but if it is not that hard to split it, I guess we might as well. Annie 16:30, 25 July 2019 (EDT)
I like this idea. Looks like I need to work hard to bring the number of Japanese titles even higher. Maybe I can get it to the top five. :) ···日本穣 · 投稿 · Talk to Nihonjoe 16:34, 25 July 2019 (EDT)
How hard it will be to add the parent's title or language (or both) in the report alongside the title (similarly to how advanced search shows titles for example)? It is not critical but sometimes it is helpful to work per language pair (mainly because the names of the translators become familiar and I usually have their pages open on the side...) Annie 21:04, 25 July 2019 (EDT)
It should be eminently doable. Ahasuerus 21:53, 25 July 2019 (EDT)

(unindent) OK, it's decided then. I have another 550 Fixer-harvested ISBNs to process and then I will work on this FR. Ahasuerus 15:42, 31 July 2019 (EDT)

The Shaver Mystery Compendiums - Call for Volunteers

6 Shaver Mystery Compendiums have been added by Fixer. Looking for a volunteer willing to add Contents-level items. (July and August are Fixer's busiest months because September is typically the busiest month in the publishing world.) Ahasuerus 17:45, 28 July 2019 (EDT)

I will add them later today - will see if I can figure out if all of the art items from the magazines were reprinted or just some of them. Annie 13:35, 29 July 2019 (EDT)
Fiction imported; will work on covers, ebooks and so on and a second check if we need any variants instead of the main titles later today. Annie 14:14, 29 July 2019 (EDT)
Thanks! Ahasuerus 15:10, 29 July 2019 (EDT)

Collected Short Stories (H. P. Lovecraft)

I am planning to convert this to a publication series - it looks weird with all the variants and so on - and it will allow us to actually mark the correct editions as part of the series. Anyone can see a reason not to? Annie 14:45, 29 July 2019 (EDT)

Never mind, they already have a pub series. Still something does not feel right... Annie 21:00, 31 July 2019 (EDT)
It appears that they should be in two publication series: Tales of Mystery & the Supernatural and "Collected Short Stories", which we don't support. I do think that the use of a title series which really only applies to the Wordsworth printings here is not appropriate. I would suggest removing the title series and putting these in a new publication series with a notes on both pub series records explaining a parent child relationship. This would be workable unless Wordsworth reprints these as part of Collected Works but not as part of Tales. However, I suspect that it unlikely. --Ron ~ RtraceTalk 06:52, 1 August 2019 (EDT)

What to do with pubs that are not spec-fic?

Hi. I wanted to check with the community what the feeling is about submitting deletions of pub records for which no evidence can be found they are spec-fic, and for which the author is not above the 'threshold' (yeah, I know, quite vague... :)?
I am well aware that it's not fun for the editor(s) that have put all the work in to get their work erased (I wouldn't like it myself). But if we let these records stay because someone happened to have put a lot of work in it, where will it end? It becomes trickier if a verified pub record turns out to be not spec-fic. I tend to leave these alone but these too should - strictly speaking - be deleted from the database (after contacting/notifying the PV first). Thought? Suggestions? MagicUnk 08:05, 31 July 2019 (EDT)

Well, we do not want chemistry and language textbooks (yep, we had some :) ). Can you share a few links of books you consider deleting? Annie 12:40, 31 July 2019 (EDT)
Yup, much easier to make a determination if we know which book(s) you are considering. ···日本穣 · 投稿 · Talk to Nihonjoe 18:02, 31 July 2019 (EDT)
Here are a couple of examples:
Out of the Dark (even though it's primary verified - this one's borderline, perhaps?)
Born of the Sun (even though it's recorded in Locus1 - unjustified imo)
The Bailey Game (did ask ClarkMCI, no feedback to date)
The Raging Quiet (here ClarkMCI made a note that he has suspicions this is not spec-fic)
I checked Goodreads reviews, and not really one that I could find that convinced me these contained spec-fic elements warranting inclusion. MagicUnk 07:51, 2 August 2019 (EDT)
All of these novels are by established SF authors, so I would flip the "non-genre" flag and document what we know about them in notes. It's been my experience that it's more beneficial to keep borderline cases in the database and explain why they are "borderline SF" or "not really SF even though they may look like SF" in Notes. Not only does it help our users, but it also prevents robots and new editors from creating "genre" records in the future. Ahasuerus 10:50, 2 August 2019 (EDT)
Hmm, that's something we could do of course. But then we are ignoring the 'authors above a threshold' rule (assuming they are non-genre), don't we? Afaik the authors of the examples above aren't really above the threshold - even though they are established SF authors. We can update/remove that rule of course... What are the other editors' practices related to non-genre publications? MagicUnk 10:59, 2 August 2019 (EDT)
Are we? The idea of the threshold rule is not to count someone’s work as if they are tomatoes and go by percentages but to allow us not to burden the DB with the collected works of a prolific author just because they happened to write 1 genre novel. If the author is considered a genre one, they are above the threshold IMO. There is a reason why that rule does not say anything about exact numbers. Annie 11:25, 2 August 2019 (EDT)
PS: And borderline spec fic belongs here for two reasons: the boundary will always be in the eye of the reader and so that we do not need to make all the explanations of why it is not. And especially for those borderline ones, I really do not feel like we should be removing them based on GR reviews alone (if you look at The Amazing Mycroft Mysteries and their reviews, you would decide that they are not genre either. And yet, as I read the first two lately, I can tell you that they belong (the first one has killer-bees and enough science around them to qualify it at least as a border case, the second one has a working medium). I would opt on the inclusion side unless either someone reads the book and can make a decision or at we find another way to make sure they are not speculative at all. Or that the author is not a predominantly genre one - if they are, then the works are in anyway. Annie 12:50, 2 August 2019 (EDT)
As to the threshold rule. The relevant parts of the policy say Works (both fiction and non-fiction) which are not related to speculative fiction, but were produced by authors who have otherwise published works either of or about speculative fiction over a certain threshold [are included], and, Works that are not related to speculative fiction by authors who have not published works either of or about speculative fiction over a certain threshold. [are excluded]. Mirriam-Webster has Threshold: a level, point, or value above which something is true or will take place and below which it is not or will not. For me, this means that the policy says that even for established SF authors who have not produced 'much' (ie are below the threshold), the non-spec-fic should not be entered. Cursory reading of the threshold-related discussions over the years seem to support this interpretation. Now, we may not want the policy to mean 'above a certain value', but then I would like to see the rules of acquisition rephrased to somehow include 'non-spec-fic work of established SF authors' (whatever established really means :-))
Now, having said that, there's - as you rightly point out - the other side of the medal; when is a work borderline SF, and thus eligible for inclusion? I concur that it is difficult to figure out without having read the book whether they have to stay or not from reviews and synopses alone. So, concluding, and erring on the side of caution, I surmise the current consensus is to leave them in when there's not unambiguous proof of the contrary, but add a note as to the debatable SF contents of the work. If it can be unambiguously established the contents is non-spec-fic, and the author is below the threshold (even when an established SF author), it has to go out. In practice, the latter case may not happen at all - unless someone actually reads the work, right? MagicUnk 16:31, 2 August 2019 (EDT)
How do you define the threshold? Not what the dictionary says, how do you understand it in ISFDB? We read that rule somewhat differently I think - mainly on how threshold is defined. It sounds like you are trying to find a numeric representation of that value. What I am reading when I see that is exactly what you want to rewrite it as - an author over the threshold is not just about the numbers, it is about "is that one of our authors?". I just cannot see a difference between what we have and what you are proposing to change in the wording. Some authors are ours under one pseudonym (Nora Roberts and her Robb pseudonym for example), some are ours under all names. Annie 16:59, 2 August 2019 (EDT)

[unindent] Wellll... I think that's the issue - we're not interpreting the current rules exactly the same way, which is a Bad Thing™. If I may paraphrase; you and Ahasuerus seem to imply that whenever the author is an SF author -ALL- publications should be recorded. This implies - amongst other things - that however small their output may be, all publications have to be recorded irrespective, as long as they are a recognized SF author. Whereas I'm interpreting the rules as "even if the author is an established/recognized SF writer, if his/her SF output is 'low', everything that's non-SF should -NOT- be recorded". Do note that new editors do not have all the ISFDB history, so are likely to go and check the Mirriam-Webster definition of threshold, and will end up with interpreting it as a numerical threshold - as I did. Going back to the examples given above, authors such as Gillian Cross, Welwyn Wilton Katz, and Sherryl Jordan, notwithstanding having produced SF works, can hardly be considered established SF authors imo. Now, I'm not having a preference one way or the other 'per se', but the rules should be as unambigous as we can make them, especially so because we do not want new editors to interpret the rules - nor the moderators for that matter. So, either we have

  1. If it's a 'recognized' SF author, record ALL (ie SF -and- non-SF) his/her works, or
  2. If it's an author with SF works above a certain threshold (numerical), record ALL his/her works (and consequently, if the output is 'low', do NOT record all of his/her non-SF works)

I've been interpreting the rule as the latter (and I suspect many other editors & moderators with me - chime in and tell me if I'm wrong here ;). So, do we want to organize a poll as to clarify if it's 1, or 2 we want? If we want 1. we need to rephrase the rules, as it's confusing right now for new (non-English-speaking) editors (which I am), as they are likely to interpret it as 2. Also, if we would go with 1., the danger exists we end up with loads and loads of non-spec-fic works of 'established' SF authors, however low their output is/has been.

---And yes, I am well aware of the difficulty of coming up with acceptable definitions of 'recognized SF author', or, 'author with SF works above a threshold' - but that's food for another discussion...

Also, we should be careful not to muddy the waters by introducing the notion of 'borderline' SF, as these need their own set of rules, of which the most important one is (I think): if in doubt, you are allowed to add it to the DB, but make sure to add a clear note about its dubious SF contents. Regards, MagicUnk 11:49, 4 August 2019 (EDT)

Early on, we had multiple discussions about the "threshold". Lots of different definitions were proposed, including numerical ones like "at least 50% [75% etc] of the author's output is SF". We always ended up with exceptions and exceptions to exceptions, so we were never able to come up with an explicit rule. The best we could do was to state that:
  • ... "certain threshold" is hard to define, but we need to draw the line in a way that would exclude Winston Churchill, who published at least one work of borderline speculative fiction. The goal here is to avoid cataloging everything ever published by James Fenimore Cooper, Robert Louis Stevenson, Honoré de Balzac and other popular authors. Instead, we want to catalog their speculative fiction works only.
Note that it doesn't say anything about the author being "recognized". For example, take George Orwell. By any measure -- sales, critical recognition, public awareness, etc -- he is one of the most recognized authors of speculative fiction. Yet we do not list his non-speculative novels.
For what it's worth, here is how I usually approach the issue when deciding whether to include non-genre works for an author. I ask myself: "If an average reader comes across an unfamiliar work by this writer, will she suspect that it is SF?" In the cases listed above, the answer is "no", so their non-SF doesn't get included. If the answer is "yes" or "probably", I include the non-SF works.
A few other things to keep in mind. There was a time when the only non-genre works supported by the software were NOVELs. It made life difficult and sometimes editors used "creative" solutions. They had to be revisited once the software was able to handle all types of non-genre titles. Some of these "creative solutions" may still be lingering in dark corners.
Also, at one point the policy was to enter non-genre works if they had been reviewed in genre-publications. The policy was changed years ago, but, yet again, some ineligible non-genre works still exist in the database. Ahasuerus 11:02, 5 August 2019 (EDT)

Japan Fantasy Novel Award

Can we add this one? It was given from 1989-2103, and then started up again in 2017. It has the following categories:

  • Japan Fantasy Novel Award
    • Grand Prize
    • Award of Excellence
    • Nomination

I will add them once the award is created. Thanks! ···日本穣 · 投稿 · Talk to Nihonjoe 15:50, 6 August 2019 (EDT)

Done. As per this discussion of the Clarke Award, "Grand Prize" and "Award of Excellence" are not separate categories in the ISFDB world but rather different award levels within the same category. The category has been created and I have added a note about the first and the second places being called "Grand Prize" and "Award of Excellence" respectively. Ahasuerus 17:08, 6 August 2019 (EDT)
Based on your comparison to the Clarke Award, there should be two categories under win:
Win:
  • Grand Prize
  • Award of Excellence
Neither of these should have a "poll place" because you either win the Grand Prize or Award of Excellence or you don't. There is no ranking beyond winning one of those two or not. All of the nominees are eligible for both. The prize committee can choose to award in any given year either of those to one or more nominee (two is the most in a given year for either, at least historically), or choose to award only one of them to one or more nominees. The remaining nominees are just nominees for the Japan Fantasy Novel Award in general. I hope that makes sense. ···日本穣 · 投稿 · Talk to Nihonjoe 18:50, 6 August 2019 (EDT)
Originally, the Clarke Award was set up to have separate categories for winners, runner-ups, and shortlisted works. However, based on the outcome of the linked discussion, we changed it to have a single "Best Science Fiction Novel" category. Clarke winners are now entered as "Award Level 1", runner-ups as "Award Level 2" and other nominees as "Finalists" (a supported "special award level".)
If my understanding is correct, "Japan Fantasy Novel Award" has a similar hierarchy: "Grand Prize" is effectively "Award Level 1", "Award of Excellence" is "Award Level 2" and the rest of the nominees are "Finalists". Is this a reasonable approximation of the way the award works? Ahasuerus 19:49, 6 August 2019 (EDT)
Kind of. The problem is that both "award levels" are not awarded every year, as opposed to the Clarke Award where they are. If you win a Japan Fantasy Novel Award, you are awarded either the Grand Prize or the Award of Excellence. ···日本穣 · 投稿 · Talk to Nihonjoe 20:53, 6 August 2019 (EDT)
Let me double check that I understand correctly. "The Grand Prize" is a higher award level than "The Award of Excellence", right? And their recipients are selected from the same pool of books? Ahasuerus 10:22, 7 August 2019 (EDT)
It's always listed higher on websites that list awards, so probably? The recipients of both are from the same pool of nominees. ···日本穣 · 投稿 · Talk to Nihonjoe 12:53, 7 August 2019 (EDT)
There are some years where a Grand Prize is not awarded, so considering it "Award Level 1" seems weird in years where only the Award of Excellence was given. ···日本穣 · 投稿 · Talk to Nihonjoe 20:53, 6 August 2019 (EDT)
Well, similar things have been known to happen. For example, consider the 1976 and the 1994 John W. Campbell Memorial Awards, which had no winners and two (ranked) finalists. Or the 2015 Hugo awards, when "No Award" won in the "Best Novella" and the "Best Short Story" categories. Ahasuerus 10:22, 7 August 2019 (EDT)
I guess I'm most concerned about how it will show up on the title and author pages. As long as it shows "Grand Prize" and "Award of Excellence", then it should be fine. ···日本穣 · 投稿 · Talk to Nihonjoe 12:53, 7 August 2019 (EDT)
Maybe this is a feature request: to have the option of assigning names to the "places" for an award, or to just use numbers. That way, it displays "Grand Prize" instead of "1". I know this wouldn't be applicable in all cases, but it seems this (and perhaps the Clarke Award and other) are a bit of a hybrid between awards like the Hugo (which have multiple categories) and single awards with "poll places" (or rankings) since they give a name to the places, but share a common nomination pool. ···日本穣 · 投稿 · Talk to Nihonjoe 13:13, 7 August 2019 (EDT)
Well... The good news is that we already have a related FR, FR 656, Add a "Term used to described runner-ups" field to Award Category. The bad news is that it would be a fairly time-consuming change. Nothing too drastic, just a bunch of man-hours. Ahasuerus 15:49, 7 August 2019 (EDT)
Another wrench for the works: in 2005, a person who would have won the Award of Excellence declined it. There's not currently a way to indicate that since you can't select both "Poll place" (to indicate they would have won place 2, the Award of Excellence) and "Special" (to indicate they declined the award). ···日本穣 · 投稿 · Talk to Nihonjoe 13:44, 7 August 2019 (EDT)
That's right. The only way to capture both the fact that s/he was supposed be given the Award of Excellence and that s/he subsequently decline it would be to have a separate category for the Award of Excellence and, presumably, another one for the "Grand Prize". I guess we could do that, but where would the nominees/runner-ups go then? Ahasuerus 15:52, 7 August 2019 (EDT)
That's the big question, isn't it? This one really is a hybrid. ···日本穣 · 投稿 · Talk to Nihonjoe 17:23, 7 August 2019 (EDT)
A third category "Award Nominees"? When someone wins, they get removed and moved to the proper award (and we add notes on the three categories explaining the situation). Why won't that work? Annie 17:30, 7 August 2019 (EDT)
Well, it would work, but then we would have the same problem that we had with the Clarke Award prior to the changes. Having nominees in one category, Grand Prize winners in another category and Award of Excellence winners in yet another category would mean that the data for one award year would be scattered across multiple categories. It wouldn't be an accurate model of the way the award data is structured, so third party developers who use our award data would need to add an exception and so on.
Given our software limitations, I guess we need to decide whether it's more important to display the words "Grand Prize" and "Award of Excellence" on award pages or to have all nominated works listed within the same category (and use to document "Grand Prize" and "Award of Excellence".) Ahasuerus 08:15, 8 August 2019 (EDT)
I am less concerned about the award pages (we can add notes there) and more concerned on how things look on title pages -- we cannot add notes explaining what is what there. I know that we have challenges with the model (because it as built based on how US awards look like :) ) - but then we do have two types of consumers of the data - the people that look at the site and the people that use the DB itself. Just thinking aloud. Annie 12:16, 8 August 2019 (EDT)

(unindent) I guess we might as well do it right and change the software to support "Displayed Award Level". I assume that:

  • The new optional "Displayed Award Level" field will be at the award level, not at the award category level. This will support scenarios where the displayed award level changes from year to year.
  • The new "Displayed Award Level" field will be in addition to the currently existing "Award Level" field. The latter will continue to be used for sorting purposes.
  • The new "Displayed Award Level" field will allow arbitrary text like "Grand Prize" and "Award of Excellence" to be entered.
  • If no "Displayed Award Level" value is entered for an award, the value of the "Award Level" field will be displayed.

Does this look about right? Ahasuerus 09:55, 11 August 2019 (EDT)

I think so. Annie? ···日本穣 · 投稿 · Talk to Nihonjoe 16:20, 11 August 2019 (EDT)
Looks good. Do we want to have the award name always in English or do we want to allow a “Native / English” format as well? If the latter, we will also need the transliterations fields. As these names will show up on title pages, I’m inclined towards allowing the double name - especially because some of this names may not have an agreed upon English name and whatever is chosen will be the editors’ interpretation. Annie 02:52, 12 August 2019 (EDT)
At this time none of the award-related records, i.e. award types and award categories, support transliterated values. If we decide to add support for them, we should probably do it across the board. Ahasuerus 11:35, 12 August 2019 (EDT)
True. Which is why I brought it up. Because this one needs transliteration in its main form as well. Annie 12:34, 12 August 2019 (EDT)
I like the idea of adding transliteration fields for the awards. ···日本穣 · 投稿 · Talk to Nihonjoe 14:21, 12 August 2019 (EDT)

(unindent) OK, FR 1295 "Allow entering transliterated values for awards-related values" has been created. Also, FR 656 has been changed to reflect the "Displayed Award Level" functionality discussed above. Ahasuerus 13:59, 15 August 2019 (EDT)

Okay, this award has been entered through 2018. The 2019 winners have not yet been announced. ···日本穣 · 投稿 · Talk to Nihonjoe 19:50, 24 October 2019 (EDT)
Great, thanks! Ahasuerus 19:57, 24 October 2019 (EDT)

Chen Jiatong

Would anyone happen to know the Chinese spelling of Chen Jiatong's name? I have found a bunch of English-language articles about him, including a recently added SFE3 article, but I don't know how his name is spelled in Chinese. Ahasuerus 17:01, 9 August 2019 (EDT)

Looks like it's 陈佳同 per this book. ···日本穣 · 投稿 · Talk to Nihonjoe 18:12, 9 August 2019 (EDT)
The National Library of Singapore agrees. Thanks! Ahasuerus 10:12, 11 August 2019 (EDT)
No problem. ···日本穣 · 投稿 · Talk to Nihonjoe 16:19, 11 August 2019 (EDT)

Dublin Worldcon

If someone is attending and wants to meet, let me know :) That also means I will be (mostly) out of pocket on the site after today and until late next week. Annie 14:26, 12 August 2019 (EDT)

According to Template:Moderator-availability, Rtrace headed to Dublin a few days ago. Watch out for leprechauns! Ahasuerus 17:51, 12 August 2019 (EDT)
I need to remember to update that thing when I am off... Well, I was considering catching a few and bringing them back to help with Fixer's queues... :) But then they are not that reliable I guess. Annie 19:12, 12 August 2019 (EDT)
Indeed I am. I’ve sent an email with my contact info. I recall that we had problems with the wiki email function in the past, so let me know if you don’t get it. Hope to see you there. --Ron ~ RtraceTalk 04:58, 13 August 2019 (EDT)
Got it - see you in Dublin. :) Annie 10:34, 13 August 2019 (EDT)

Support for 3 new language codes added

The software has been updated to support the following new languages:

  • Guarani
  • Interlingua
  • "South American Indian language", which, as per the ISO 639-2 standard, covers all South American Indian languages

Ahasuerus 17:45, 12 August 2019 (EDT)

"Translations without Notes" split into language-specific cleanup reports

As per FR 1291, the cleanup report "Translations without Notes" has been split into multiple language-specific cleanup reports. The original report is now called "Translations without Notes - Less Common Languages". Additional columns ("Original Title", "Language") have been added throughout.

Updated data will become available when the nightly process runs in a few hours. If you run into any issues, please post your findings here. Ahasuerus 22:48, 13 August 2019 (EDT)

Awesome! ···日本穣 · 投稿 · Talk to Nihonjoe 13:38, 15 August 2019 (EDT)
Thanks! And I love the new format of the reports with the extra columns. Annie 17:19, 27 August 2019 (EDT)
Glad to hear the new reports are useful! Ahasuerus 20:42, 27 August 2019 (EDT)

Professor Bernice Summerfield

For the series: Professor Bernice Summerfield (http://www.isfdb.org/cgi-bin/pe.cgi?12512) the first 6 books have usually different names for the original and the identical reprint. This series pops up in my cover art verification as different titles have the same cover link. For none I found a verified pub, so I'd like to unify them by dropping the "Professor Bernice Summerfield and" and cleanup the duplicate records. Objections? --Stoecker 11:00, 15 August 2019 (EDT)

The titles should be as they appear in each book. If that makes them not "unified", then so be it. We shouldn't be changing them just to fit a sense of order. ···日本穣 · 投稿 · Talk to Nihonjoe 13:38, 15 August 2019 (EDT)
Please read what I wrote before answering! None of the entries have a verified status, so the data is only based on the externally visible data and thus there should be no difference with identical covers (and identical ISBN BTW). --Stoecker 15:52, 15 August 2019 (EDT)
I did read what you wrote. The couple that I checked have the full title as we list it on the cover. If we don't have a PV, and there is no Look Inside available, that's what we have to go with. When the titles have "Professor Bernice Summerfield and the..." as part of the title, it's obviously part of the actual title, unless we can get a PV to show it's otherwise listed on the title page. It's exactly the same as all the "Harry Potter and the..." titles. ···日本穣 · 投稿 · Talk to Nihonjoe 16:41, 15 August 2019 (EDT)
OK. In this case I can change all the titles and covers by adding "Professor Bernice Summerfield and" to the titles without? --Stoecker 17:42, 15 August 2019 (EDT)
If that's what's on the covers, then yes. Lacking any PV to check with, we have to go by what's on the cover or Look Inside. If the cover doesn't have that as part of the title, then we shouldn't be adding it. ···日本穣 · 投稿 · Talk to Nihonjoe 18:29, 15 August 2019 (EDT)
So, for example, this one doesn't have the "and the" as part of the title, so the "Professor Bernice Summerfield" is just the name of the series. On the other hand, this one has "Professor Bernice Summerfield and the Dead Men Diaries " on the cover, so that's what we use for the title unless a PV or Look Inside shows differently. ···日本穣 · 投稿 · Talk to Nihonjoe 18:32, 15 August 2019 (EDT)
I only refer to 1-6. It seems since 7 the "and" is missing. That's why my first proposal was to also drop that for 1-6. But as you rejected that I'll unify 1-6 with the "and". If later a PV notes that this is wrong it at least will be much easier to correct it by simply editing the title records. --Stoecker 08:02, 16 August 2019 (EDT)

Imadjinn Awards

Here's a new award to consider adding. It has the following categories (those marked with * may or may not be genre for ISFDB):

  • Best Anthology *
  • Best Children's Book *
  • Best Historical Fiction (not genre)
  • Best Horror Novel
  • Best Fantasy Novel
  • Best Literary Fiction Novel *
  • Best Non-Fiction Book *
  • Best Paranormal Romance Novel
  • Best Romance Novel *
  • Best Science Fiction Novel
  • Best Short Story *
  • Best Short Story Collection (single author) *
  • Best Thirrler Novel *
  • Best Urban Fantasy Novel
  • Best Young Adult Novel *

Should we add them? ···日本穣 · 投稿 · Talk to Nihonjoe 14:28, 15 August 2019 (EDT)

The award is apparently given by a regional (Kentucky) convention which has been active for the last 6 years. It seems similar to Endeavour Award, which we support, so it appears to be eligible. Ahasuerus 14:35, 15 August 2019 (EDT)
Done. Ahasuerus 08:20, 25 August 2019 (EDT)
Thanks! I'll work on them when I get done with the Japan Fantasy Novel Award (only about 10 more years to enter). ···日本穣 · 投稿 · Talk to Nihonjoe 20:00, 27 August 2019 (EDT)

Spaces in Japanese names

Can we have a report that lists people with spaces in their names if they are Japanese? For example, "のの原 兎太" as opposed to "のの原兎太". The Canonical Name shouldn't have any spaces in it, but I haven't figured out how to do an advanced search that finds them. ···日本穣 · 投稿 · Talk to Nihonjoe 22:08, 22 August 2019 (EDT)

You can do "Canonical Name contains % %" plus "Working Language is exactly Japanese" to try to get at this. You might be able to reduce the list with a few more restrictions, but there is a bit of noise since you pick up the names that are in other languages. --MartyD 08:01, 23 August 2019 (EDT)
Right, that's exactly what I use to find errant spaces. Ahasuerus 12:51, 23 August 2019 (EDT)
Awesome. I've cleaned those up. ···日本穣 · 投稿 · Talk to Nihonjoe 19:24, 23 August 2019 (EDT)

Currency symbols and abbreviations

Do we have somewhere a reference list of currency symbols and abbreviations? Help:Screen:NewPub#Price contains several illustrations but no hyperlink to a more complete list at ISFDB.org, nor elsewhere.

E.g. France: For the currencies of France, we report prices "FR 6" (1865), "F50.00" (1947), and "4 F" (1966) --for publications of Voyages Extraordinaires #1 T7386 and Baltimore Gun Club #1 T7389. Wikipedia-EN implies a single franc (F or Fr or FF) from 1795 to 1960. --Pwendt|talk 13:01, 23 August 2019 (EDT)

This is the only list we have that I know of. The different French Francs are afaik grounded in the different restarts of the currency. It may be that Linguist knows more about the matter, and I'll post a link at his talk page. Christian Stonecreek 13:35, 23 August 2019 (EDT)
I just started Help:List of currency symbols, if anyone wants to add to it or correct it. ···日本穣 · 投稿 · Talk to Nihonjoe 20:46, 23 August 2019 (EDT)
We can also use this page for reference. ···日本穣 · 投稿 · Talk to Nihonjoe 20:49, 23 August 2019 (EDT)
As far as French francs are concerned, it seems to me that this database has mainly used "F" directly followed by the number, e.g. "F5.50", just like the dollar sign. At least, this was the standard rule Hauck and I followed. The difference in currencies does not really correspond to a difference in symbols, which vary greatly from publisher to publisher, as well as with publishing dates. Whenever I meet something like "FR 6" or "4 F", I change it to the standard F6.00 or F4.00. The only tricky cases are :
  • the period between 1945 and 1959, when the one franc piece corresponded to the lowest possible value (due to the dramatic post-war devaluation of the franc). I usually write prices indicated during that interval without any decimals, as these were just impossible. The only exception to this (unfortunately) comes form the lingering but rather rare use of the old 50 centimes piece until the end of the ’40s (mainly for newpapers and such).
  • the short period following 1960, when prices appeared in "new francs" usually noted as "NF" (one "new franc" equalling 100 "old francs"). But as this practice of noting NF disappeared with time, and there was nothing official in the NF notation, prices in new francs are just noted the standard way, with a commentary in the notes if necessary.
If no one objects, I'll add a line about French francs in the list, summing up our usual practice in the matter. Linguist 04:59, 24 August 2019 (EDT).
Which list? Help:List of currency symbols or Help:Screen:NewPub#Price? ···日本穣 · 投稿 · Talk to Nihonjoe 02:04, 25 August 2019 (EDT)
The latter (since the issue has been dealt with in the former). Linguist 04:08, 25 August 2019 (EDT).
Works for me. Feel free to add or correct anything on Help:List of currency symbols. ···日本穣 · 投稿 · Talk to Nihonjoe 13:28, 25 August 2019 (EDT)

So all non Latin characters are followed by numbers without a space character, but currencies in Latin characters use a space before the number. What I don't understand is: why doesn't the French F follow this rule as the only Latin currency.
And I miss the Swedish krona SEK in Help:Screen:NewPub#Price --Zapp 06:33, 26 August 2019 (EDT)

Summary of ISFDB Publications search > Price contains: fr --two characters
'Bfr ' -- the usual hit, these four characters uniformly
Sfr Sfr. sfr sfr. -- four different strings, always followed by a space (narrow SEARCH)
Fr Fr. FR -- three different strings, followed by a space
Fr.-- no space
The use of 'FR ' that I mentioned above happens to be unique, and also the only hit for this search prior to year 1900. --Pwendt|talk 11:22, 26 August 2019 (EDT)
Our database Advanced search evidently strips leading as well as trailing spaces. Search '9 f' will find some uses of closing currency symbol F.
Summary of ISFDB Publications search > Price contains: 9 f --three characters (SEARCH)
F FF Ft --three different strings, all at end of price.
Wikipedia evidently uses trailing currency symbols for denominations of notes and coins; thus, 20F price may be paid by two 10 F coins. --Pwendt|talk 12:02, 26 August 2019 (EDT)

Tauchnitz Edition format

Do we know that the Tauchnitz Collection of British Authors was published sometimes in hc or tp format, as our publication records report?

I infer pb format from the digital copy of #3440 that I viewed at HathiTrust yesterday. (Augmentation of the publication record P567383 is in progress and I will add a publication series Note, too.)

First, I look for confirmation or correction of my interpretation that HDL images 6-7 and images 288-89 of 299 show the original front outside/inside cover and back inside/outside cover, or page 1 to "page 4 of cover" in Tauchnitz terms. Meanwhile images 1-5 and 290-99 show --perhaps with buffer images-- the materials, including hard covers, in which the original was bound by Cornell University Library or donor Theodore Stanton (image 3, with terms of holding and circulation). Right?

Thus I infer paper covers. HathiTrust reports size 16cm, which implies pb format --if not digest or another paper format, but all our publication records for the series reports hc, tp, or pb.

The August 1900 list of Latest Volumes ends (page 4 of cover) with this statement now quoted in the publication record, and destined for the series Note:

"The Tauchnitz Edition is to be had of all Booksellers and Railway Libraries on the Continent, price M 1,60. or 2 francs per volume. A complete Catalogue of the Tauchnitz Edition is attached to this work."

From this I infer a single format, rather than multiple formats, as of August 1900.
(Because Tauchnitz is based in German, I entered price "ℳ 1.60".) --Pwendt|talk 13:44, 23 August 2019 (EDT)

Since paperbound and hardcover formats are verified it seems reasonable to assume that the titles were published - likely simultaneously - in both variants, at least for some time. This was the standard procedure for some German publishers at the beginning of the 20th Century. Stonecreek 01:45, 24 August 2019 (EDT)

Neffy Awards

Should we add the Neffy Awards (or "National Fantasy Fan Federation Speculative Fiction Awards")? According to this page, they have been awarded annually since 2005, and periodically since 1949. I haven't found a list of the older awards yet, but I'll keep looking. The 2019 list is here, and the 2018 list is here. Locus seems to report on them. ···日本穣 · 投稿 · Talk to Nihonjoe 02:13, 25 August 2019 (EDT)

I could have sworn that we discussed adding this award a few years ago, but I can't find anything in the archives. Perhaps it was a similarly named award?
In any event, checking the award history, it looks like it's mostly a media award. However, it also includes enough fiction categories to make it arguably worth adding.
As an aside, their naming conventions can be confusing. For example, in 2010 their "Best SF/F Author" award was given to "Suzanne Collins – Mockingjay". I assume it means that it was actually a "Best SF/F Fiction" category rather than a "Best SF/F Author" category. Oh well, nothing that we can't work our way around. Ahasuerus 14:03, 27 August 2019 (EDT)
OK, a new award type has been created. I'll leave category creation to the folks who will be working on this award. They change from year to year and can get rather convoluted. Ahasuerus 19:42, 9 September 2019 (EDT)

Maithili added

The software has been updated to support the Maithili language. Ahasuerus 16:17, 27 August 2019 (EDT)

Authors with Author Data and One Non-Latin Title

Can we make entries ignorable on this report? There are a number where they just need to be ignored. ···日本穣 · 投稿 · Talk to Nihonjoe 19:32, 29 August 2019 (EDT)

I support this request :) Annie 19:36, 29 August 2019 (EDT)
Especially since a large number of the names in the list are alternate names that are already correctly varianted to the canonical name. ···日本穣 · 投稿 · Talk to Nihonjoe 19:48, 29 August 2019 (EDT)
It would be easy to do, but the fact that it's explicitly designed to find authors with one non-Latin title makes me wonder. Anyone recall the original reasoning behind this cleanup report? Was it, by chance, one of those reports which were created to go after the "low hanging fruit"? Is it still relevant now that we have cleaned up a lot of language issues? Ahasuerus 21:51, 29 August 2019 (EDT)
I do not think that it is relevant or needed anymore - it was part of the reports that were built around the time we were assigning languages to titles and dealing with the non-Latin author names. There is nothing there that we do not get from other reports for the ones where we need to do some work on. If you would rather kill it instead of allowing the ignore, I am all for it. Annie 22:20, 29 August 2019 (EDT)
If there are no objections, I will zap this report in a couple of days. Ahasuerus 12:52, 31 August 2019 (EDT)

Verification of electronic copies

Does a scanned edition of a book count towards verification? Would Transient be used if viewed anpreed Permanent if a copy is possessed? To what extent would the associated catalogue information (assuming a library-like source) be acceptable for completing fields? There are templates for a few sources (e.g. British Library, Gallica), but should there be a more standard approach (template, wording, format) to documenting the reference / link? Bear in mind that some sources require membership or presence at a physical site for viewing. Doug H 08:28, 30 August 2019 (EDT)

National libraries are not only acceptable, but wishable, I'd say (more than a vendor like amazon). They have the same goal in cataloguing the correct data (their main aim isn't to sell), and I use them whereever I can lay my hands on them.
Using a scanned copy (instead of a physical one) should imho always be used for transient verifications. Christian Stonecreek 10:49, 30 August 2019 (EDT)
A number of sites (e.g. Gallica, Hathi) support 3 levels - searchable (tells you number of hits, but shows no text), viewable and downloadable. Is there a distinction between viewed and downloaded (as in "I've seen" vs. "I have") for an electronic copy? Or would they both be lumped in as Transient? A scan isn't really the book, so is it more of a secondary source? Would it make sense to include "Scanned Copy" along with Blieler and Locus? Templates allow me to reference some of the sites / copies directly (e.g. Gallica), but I have made use of some downloads from my university library that gives me access to collections not publicly available. Would a template to incorporate the name/link be a better approach than simply using notes? Doug H 15:17, 30 August 2019 (EDT)
I would still argue that "I have/own a scan of the book in e-format" is different from "I own the book". You can "permanent verify" an e-book you have that is published as an e-book; I book that is marked as HC can be "permanent verified" only from a HC copy. Even if you see the whole book in a scan. So in your case I would Transient and add a note that the Transient is from a downloaded copy that I have. Annie 15:25, 30 August 2019 (EDT)
I would prefer a verification category intermediate to Primary and Secondary --regardless whether images of original covers and endpapers (and more?) are contained or absent; the latter because a re-bound or damaged book has been scanned, or because the scan is incomplete.
And I do prefer, in each publication record with digital copy as source, we specify whether it contains original cover or not (if appropriate: "apparently", "probably", with description, etc).
As yet I have written or updated hundreds of publication records noting some data from online copies, usually at HathiTrust, and I have not formally Verified any of them. My boilerplate, modified to fit the occasion:
* HathiTrust Digital Library provides full view of four copies including one with original cover: [that one is the one linked somewhere below, a hopeful unstated convention]
HDL holdings rarely include spine scans, a lack that I rarely note.
--Pwendt|talk 16:28, 30 August 2019 (EDT)
Annie, I agree they are different. But permanent vs. transient is temporal - do you still have or no longer have access to the "book". Saying a scan you have possession of is transient seems wrong. I'd prefer pure notes to such an approach. The permanent vs. transient seems to apply just as well to the scanned copy. Which is why I wondered if "Scanned Copy" is a valid secondary source - not the real thing but a good substitute? That approach offers only a Yes/No verification though. So a category between Primary and Secondary sounds nice, but probably mucks around too deep in the code to be easily implemented. If such an approach is viewed as 'good' and 'likely', it there a way to 'tag'/'template' entries to minimize the effort of conversion in the future? Pwendt's boilerplate works for him, but a more standardized approach based on some discussion would be better. So I'm hoping this generates some of that discussion. Doug H 16:58, 30 August 2019 (EDT)
That is why I said "I would argue" :) I do not verify based on scans (not because I would not but because I have other stuff to do before that) so I just offered an opinion on what I would do. :) If we agree on a different approach, I am ok with it. I also know that the fact that I have a scan today does not mean I won't misplace it tomorrow (with books at least it won't end up in a disk I throw away by mistake). Neither fits but my gut feeling is that if I had not seen the book in the format it is published, it is not a Primary Permanent for me.
These days more and more books get digitized so maybe we need a "Primary/scanned" type of verification (as Pwendt kinda proposed as well now reading up) ... And “Monitor/Notify” while we are at that (I enter book on behalf of a user who does not speak English, being able to mark it as such will mean that I will get the "changed" AND people know that they can ask me questions about the book because I show as active while the actual PV is around only when I call him to check and verify.
Back to the scans - if enough people think it should be Permanent, I will be fine. You may want to ping Ron (Rtrace) - he has quite a lot of books verified based on scans. Annie 20:01, 30 August 2019 (EDT)

See this archived discussion for a prior discussion that had some implementation ideas on this topic. -- JLaTondre (talk) 08:16, 1 September 2019 (EDT)

Based on that discussion and this, I'd be good with an additional "Scanned copy" form of Secondary Verification. It's pretty generic and non-linking (there may be a FR to deal with that). How would we document the additional information in the Notes? I like using templates, it ensures a standard approach, simplifies searches and stats gathering and enables future enhancement. We only catalogue one publication of a book regardless of the number of copies, so theoretically would need only one verification / scan reference for a given publication. However, scans vary in quality, completeness and other factors, so I wonder if there needs to be allowance for more than one. And different publication sites (Hathi, Google Books, ...) may or may not be showing the same copy, but generally indicate the source copy owner or it is evident from the scan itself, which could help eliminate duplication. But do we document the publisher (and possible link) or owner (source)? Doug H 16:18, 1 September 2019 (EDT)

Margery Allingham

Our friends at SFE3 have updated their "Margery Allingham" entry. Would anyone be interested in leveraging it to flesh out her ISFDB bibliography? Ahasuerus 13:08, 30 August 2019 (EDT)

I can get that this weekend - I like Allingham anyway. I never think of her as one of ours. :) Annie 13:28, 30 August 2019 (EDT)
Thanks! And if I had a penny for every time I was asked "Wait, what? X wrote SF?", I would have a very impressive penny collection :-) Ahasuerus 14:30, 30 August 2019 (EDT)
I've actually read everything they had added over in SFE3. They just did not register as something I would add here or as something that I would even consider speculative (in my brain, they are in my mystery/crime part of my genres). Then I think about them and I realize that they DO fit. On the other hand, I had the same reaction after I read Reply Paid earlier this year -- I had to think on why we would be here (and once I figured it out (and it was obvious once I thought about it), I even added tags. For the first time in my life I think) But them I read extensively in both genres so "that is not from this genre" does not even register sometimes - it fits in one of my genres. I really need to pay more attention to that while reading early mysteries... :) Annie 14:58, 30 August 2019 (EDT)

"They" They 'They'

For several Kipling stories we now have not two but three SHORTFICTION that represent the title fashioned with double, or single, or no quotation marks. Some double-q-mark are canonical 21309 ("They") 1000842 and some no-q-mark are canonical 78266 97925 1000846. (Some single q-mark are parents with only one child.)

Previously I have used the double-q character where a publisher (or library record) uses the single-q, as one convention among several in a class to which it may not officially belong. Without recommending [a] consistent use of any typographical convention thruout the database, or [b] for all English-language titles, we might recommend [1] that either double- or single- but not both be used for any one title.

Regarding the hierarchy, we might recommend [2] that one among double, single, and no-q be the parent for all related titles (eg, SHORTFICTION, CHAPBOOK, ESSAY, INTERIORART, COVERART).

Perhaps I should have specified that the 1904 Kipling short story "They" &c was that year published in a magazine as They; and collected as 'They' (UK) and as "They" (US trade ed.), US subscription ed. not viewed. And published in 1905 chapbooks as 'They' (UK and US); the same US publisher who re-set the collection did not re-set the chapbook. --Pwendt|talk 18:07, 30 August 2019 (EDT)

--Pwendt|talk 17:00, 30 August 2019 (EDT)

'Romance language' added

'Romance language' has been added to the list of supported languages. Please note that it is only supposed to be used to enter titles written using Romance dialects and less well-known languages not supported by the ISO 639-2 standard. Examples include Picard, Lorrain and various Norman dialects. Ahasuerus 18:13, 30 August 2019 (EDT)

Series Names That May Need Disambiguation

Does someone remember what is the point of this report?

It seems to contain all the series names that have at least one partner that had been disambiguated (and which had not been ignored yet). Our policy (formal or not but implemented in practice) is that in such cases one series remains as the main one named so (no disambiguator) and everyone else gets disambiguated. So these series that are on the list will just need ignoring (and will always just need ignoring). Before I go and ignore all 589 of them:

  • Am I missing something? When do we need to do something with those?
  • If I am not missing anything, do we really need this report?

Thanks! Annie 20:52, 30 August 2019 (EDT)

It's been a few years, so I am not 100% sure what I was thinking when I created the reports. I suspect that the idea was that we have a lot more identically named series than we have identically named authors because series names are, quite frequently, commonly used words. For example, we have 10 series whose name happens to be "The Guardians" and 5 series whose name is just plain "Guardian". Moreover, none is an obvious favorite. Compare and contrast with Stephen King vs. Stephen King (I) vs. Stepehen King (artist) where it's clear which author doesn't need to be disambiguated.
Also, I find that having a disambiguating suffix comes in handy when processing new series. When the time comes to enter Book 1 in Jane Doe's "Guardians" series, the approving moderator will see a yellow warning because there will be no plain "Guardians" series on file. Ahasuerus 13:16, 31 August 2019 (EDT)
This actually makes a lot of sense - that is why I am asking before doing something cardinal. I will see if I can get some of those resolved. Any chance to get a matching Pub Series report? These use even less words usually and get repeated across publishers a lot. Annie 01:52, 5 September 2019 (EDT)
Sounds good; FR 1300 "Create a cleanup report to find pub series needing disambiguation" has been created. Ahasuerus 21:23, 5 September 2019 (EDT)
Done -- see this post for details. Ahasuerus 21:59, 4 October 2019 (EDT)

The Warrior's Apprentice Baen edition cover art

Hi, I merged the existing cover art title credited to Alan Gutierrez with the other one credited to Gary Ruddell: the cover artist was identified as Ruddell & the entries for the two printings preceding the 7th thus must have been erroneous. There was no note for those as to where the cover art credit stemmed from. Christian Stonecreek 10:10, 2 September 2019 (EDT)

The assumption is that unless otherwise stated it is from the pub. It would have been better to have checked with the verifiers before doing this. Willem's response to TAWeiss (see this discussion) implies the cover art for his printing was credited as Gutierrez in the publication. It is not unknown for publishers to change the cover and forget to update the credit until a later printing. You can explicitly ask him if you wish to double check, but otherwise, this needs to be reverted and a variant established instead. -- JLaTondre (talk) 10:18, 2 September 2019 (EDT)
I unmerged the titles again, added the right credit and varianted it to the Ruddell entry. Also added pub notes. --Willem 10:45, 2 September 2019 (EDT)

Handling erroneous tags

The way the current version of the ISFDB software ("ISFDB 2.0") works, almost all types of database changes are entered as "submissions" and have to be approved by a moderator. The major exceptions are verifications, votes and title tags. They are all user-specific, which is why Al and I originally thought that we wouldn't need moderator oversight for them. In the case of title tags we were also leveraging other Web sites' (Amazon, Goodreads, etc) experience which suggested that "crowdsourcing" tags worked well even without moderator oversight.

Overall it has worked reasonably well with a few caveats. First, we are primarily a bibliographic database, so tags like "read in 2013" are not something that we normally want to display to the world at large. A few years ago we got around this problem by letting moderators change tag status to "private".

Second, we never reached the volume that is required to make "crowdsourced" tags reliable. The vast majority of the 7% of our title records that have tags have been tagged by just one or two people. An incorrect tag entered by a single user is not too bad when dozens of other users have entered valid tags, but it becomes a problem when there are no valid tags to offset it.

Based on Christian's recent experience with incorrectly tagged titles, I would like to propose that we create a new moderator-only Web page. It will display a list of currently entered user/tag pairs for the selected title record, e.g.:

This will let moderators contact taggers and ask them about questionable tags. The proposed Web page will also let the reviewing moderator remove invalid tags for users who are not moderators.

How does it sound? Ahasuerus 12:29, 3 September 2019 (EDT)

I'm not really clear on tags, having never used them here (either entry or following). If you put this on the moderator's forum, I'd guess you wanted to know if such a tool were useful, but on a public forum I'm thinking you're asking if editors want moderators to perform this function. Doug H 08:18, 4 September 2019 (EDT)
Significant software changes are usually discussed on the Community Portal even if they mostly affect moderators. You never know when a non-moderator may notice a potential pitfall. Ahasuerus 12:48, 4 September 2019 (EDT)
I'm not sure about adding policing of tags to the list of moderator tasks, but as a tool for determining something and correcting it, it beats direct database manipulation. Doug H 08:18, 4 September 2019 (EDT)
It's possible to delete erroneous tags directly, but I should have mentioned that I haven't done it in years. Direct database manipulations are risky, so I rarely attempt them. Ahasuerus 12:52, 4 September 2019 (EDT)
I'd suggest that the deletion of a tag should be 'logged' for the Changed Primary Verifications. Doug H 08:18, 4 September 2019 (EDT)
Keep in mind that title tags are associated with titles, not publications. Title changes (edits, variants, etc) are not captured by the Changed Primary Verifications report at this time. Changes to tags would be even more difficult to link to verified publications because tags do not go through the standard submission approval process. Ahasuerus 12:45, 4 September 2019 (EDT)

(unindent) Seems good to me. In addition to this, two things has always bothered me as far as tags were concerned : 1) the fact that many "private" tags do appear from time to time, drowning the others completely (see here for instance); Linguist 10:43, 4 September 2019 (EDT).

Is the problem with this author the fact that tags like "C1 Nanzan 52" can be viewed by all users? If so, then a moderator can change their status from "Public" (their current status) to "Private", at which point only the tagging user will be able to see them. Ahasuerus 12:40, 4 September 2019 (EDT)
Oh ! I hadn't been aware of that… I now sadly realize that being a moderator doesn't mean being omniscient… ;o( ! Linguist 04:14, 5 September 2019 (EDT).

and 2) the number of quasi-identical tags (e.g. ghost / ghosts, werewolf / werewolves, fish-men / fishmen, etc.) which should be merged (if only it were possible…). Linguist 10:43, 4 September 2019 (EDT).

FR 911, "Allow moderators to edit and merge tags", should help address the issue of merging tags. We'll get to it yet! :-) Ahasuerus 12:42, 4 September 2019 (EDT)

But I suppose we'll just have to grin and bear it… Linguist 10:43, 4 September 2019 (EDT).

Do we really want to enhance tag support? What if we would not have any tags at all? Would that be a big loss? - or would it actually be a win - evil grin -:)? As far as I'm concerned, there's not much benefit in tagging, let alone start moderating them. Another argument against ISFDB tags altogether is the nonexistent support for them from our user base (see the volume - tagging is available, but just not used by our users - exceptions notwithstanding). MagicUnk 11:39, 4 September 2019 (EDT)
I should note that the fact only 7% of our titles (116K out of 1.66M) are tagged is a bit misleading. Certain title types - covers, essays, interior art, etc -- are rarely tagged for various valid reasons and variant titles can't be tagged at all. The 206,000 tags that we have is a fairly significant number since we have 178,000 novels and 464,000 short fiction works. Ahasuerus 13:01, 4 September 2019 (EDT)
How many of those tags are coming from the robots (Fixer and the older ones)? Annie 13:38, 4 September 2019 (EDT)
Well, I am responsible for 70,591 of the 206,000 tags that we have on file. Since most of my tagging is related to Fixer's activities, I guess the answer is "Around one third"?
Also, as I mentioned during the last iteration of this discussion, I find tags to be particularly useful in borderline cases like "magical realism", "surrealism", etc. It's a quick way to indicate why the title is in the database. (Of course, there are times when things are even muddier and I end up adding a note to the record explaining what we know about the title and what our sources are.) Ahasuerus 15:38, 4 September 2019 (EDT)
I was just curious - expected it to be even higher :) I agree that they are useful for these cases - I just do not want to end up in a "this is surrealism, no it is "magical realism" kinda wars. As long as we agree on what is removable and what is better to stay on, I am all for it. And we do need a way to clean after both mistakes and after non-so-nicely done tags (for one reason or another). Annie 15:45, 4 September 2019 (EDT)
True, moderators will need to be careful. Even common words may have different denotations when used by different people. For example, when a romance reader says that a story is a "fantasy", it may be a reference to "erotic fantasy" or to a trip to a billionaire's private tropical island. Back when Fixer was just starting, it took me a while to figure out why he was grabbing so many non-SF romance/erotica books... Ahasuerus 09:21, 5 September 2019 (EDT)
Implementing moderation is not going to change that (au contraire). We should just kill tags outright as our active editors base is just too small to make it viable. I would argue that we need to grow our editor base first and encourage them to actively start tagging before thinking in implementing additional tag functionality. Just my 2cents though MagicUnk 11:39, 4 September 2019 (EDT)
Well, it would help a lot! And tags are a wonderful way for users to become aware of titles they may be interested in, that's the reason they were invented for. Stonecreek 12:03, 6 September 2019 (EDT)
The primary concern here is accuracy. There are certain areas of the database that are relatively rarely used yet we have spent a significant amount of time and effort ensuring that the data that we do have is accurate. For example, less than 1% of our titles is "non-genre", but at one point I spent multiple man-weeks cleaning up the code to make sure that the database model could adequately support non-genre titles. Ahasuerus 13:06, 4 September 2019 (EDT)
Killing something just because noone does it is a bit... premature. I am not a huge fan of tags (mainly because of how I use the DB) but they can be valuable. And if you look at 3 years ago, someone may have proposed to kill the language field as well - it was not really used either. Things change - we need one editor to make it their pet-project and our numbers explode.
On the other hand, what worries me about tags is that they can be subjective. Especially around the borders of the sub-genres. I do not want to see a moderator deleting a bunch of "fantasy" tags because they think the book is something else (and vice versa). It won't be malicious but... most of us do have somewhat strong personalities and things can get heated. :) Merging was already brought up. Annie 13:38, 4 September 2019 (EDT)
I would only delete tags that are obviously erroneous, like the two I found (see over at Ahasuerus' talk page). If the editors are still active, communication about it should be mandatory and maybe it'd be possible to install a mandatory note to be filled in for the reason of deletion. Or, let's have a mandatory note on the community portal for tags to be deleted in case of inactive editors. I don't expect to encounter masses of erroneous tags, but the ones that are in the db still need fixing, I'd say.
I think the tags are one of the advantages of ISFDB: personally I'm more interested in certain authors but am also eager to encounter new ones, and if I find somebody with an interesting theme / tag (that may possibly have gained a high voting), I'll may want to give the text a try. Stonecreek 13:38, 5 September 2019 (EDT)
I was just thinking aloud through implications -- best laid plans tend to end up in disaster some times. I am sure that noone that is here today will go into tag-editing war. A few years down the road when everyone forgets why we can moderate them? Different story. :) Mandatory notes before deletion will help. Keeping a list of deleted tags somewhere so we can restore if needed will also help. But I do agree with you in general that we need the ability to remove tags that are really really wrong. Annie 12:23, 6 September 2019 (EDT)
It would be possible to capture, store and display deleted tags along with moderator notes. However, it would take significantly longer to implement than a simple "display/remove tags" page.
One temporary compromise would be to make this functionality bureaucrat-only. We are probably talking a few dozen tags a year, which shouldn't be too onerous. Ahasuerus 13:41, 6 September 2019 (EDT)
How easy will be to change the access-levels later if we decide to - aka build for bureaucrat-only, switch to moderator-also if the numbers get too big? Annie 13:46, 6 September 2019 (EDT)
It would be a simple change. Ahasuerus 14:01, 6 September 2019 (EDT)
I wonder if changing these from Public to Private won't be a good enough alternative for now? Annie 12:23, 6 September 2019 (EDT)
Unfortunately, erroneous tags can be perfectly valid in other contexts. For example, one of the tags that prompted this discussion was "parallel universe" and we wouldn't want to make it a "private tag". Ahasuerus 13:37, 6 September 2019 (EDT)
Yeah, somehow my mind blanked that part. You are indeed right. Annie 13:46, 6 September 2019 (EDT)
Bureaucrat-only is a good compromise in my opinion. Tags are very useful for anyone interested in a special theme or a certain author, but if you'd be interested in stories that deal with parallel universes and find titles that are tagged erroneously with that label, you are bound to lose some trust. Stonecreek 14:00, 6 September 2019 (EDT)

(unindent) OK, FR 1303, "Allow the removal of erroneous tags", has been created. Ahasuerus 14:50, 19 September 2019 (EDT)

Two author reports

Do we really still need both these reports:

While I had seen entries in just the first one once or twice, it had not been for a while and it seems like a waste to go through the authors twice. Maybe time to see if we can combine them? Annie 01:56, 5 September 2019 (EDT)

Hm, that's a very good question! If I recall correctly, the original reason why they were "separated at birth" was that one of them allowed moderators to "ignore" author records while the other one didn't. However, their logic has been tweaked a few times and neither one supports the "ignore" functionality at this point.
Checking the code behind the reports, I see that one of them is a superset of the other. There are some minor display differences, but I don't see anything that should prevent us from merging them.
FR 1299 "Merge 2 'Invalid Directory Entries' reports" has been created. Thanks! Ahasuerus 13:18, 5 September 2019 (EDT)
Can we keep the format of 189 (with the working language)? :) They did make sense when we had hundreds of non-Latin entries (I think the latter was deployed when we were cleaning the accented characters from the authors' directory names(?) but I may be wrong - the other one is one of the very old ones). Annie 13:32, 5 September 2019 (EDT)
Yup, the current plan is to keep the "Working Language" column. Ahasuerus 13:55, 5 September 2019 (EDT)

(unindent) Done. The remaining report has been changed to display "Working Language" values. Ahasuerus 21:55, 4 October 2019 (EDT)

Wiki page for table of translations

I have set up a wiki page here to help differentiate translations of Cinq semaines en ballon and help editors locate the correct title to add their publication to. I'd like to use it to as a template for similar pages for most of the other (50+) titles by Jules Verne. Before replicating this, I'd like some feedback in general and on a couple of particular questions. To whit:

  1. Should the translated text be in quotes? Many of the other books include dialogue already in quotes. Doug H 10:20, 5 September 2019 (EDT)
I do not see why - it is in its own column, so does not really matter. I would not use quotes if I were you :) Annie 12:47, 5 September 2019 (EDT)
  1. Should the translation follow the paragraph structure of the published form? Some translations (e.g. Mysterious Island) begin with about five paragraphs consisting of three or four words. Doug H 10:20, 5 September 2019 (EDT)
When we know what it is, why not? Makes those translations immediately obvious.Annie 12:47, 5 September 2019 (EDT)
  1. These are currently ordered by the earliest date for the translation, with the exception of the unspecified text. Other options include alphabetically by translation (to make searching for the right variant easier), and by translator (making searching easier where the translator is known - an not 'unknown'). Another option would be to split entries by title and duplicate the translation information and sort by title alone. What order would prove most useful? Doug H 10:20, 5 September 2019 (EDT)
I like the dates order Annie 12:47, 5 September 2019 (EDT)
  1. What should the order of languages be? As an English speaker and this being an English language site, I put it first, then followed alphabetically, which happened to be purely alphabetical in this case. One option is in decreasing order of the number of translations. There's also by the number of translation/title combinations. Or even in order of the number of publications (not visible, but I have the data).Doug H 10:20, 5 September 2019 (EDT)
I like it as it is now - and the menu at the top will allow jumping down. Inside of a table - strictly by date I would say. Annie 12:47, 5 September 2019 (EDT)

Your feedback would be greatly appreciated, as I've gotten too enmeshed to have a wider perspective. Doug H 10:20, 5 September 2019 (EDT)

Some notes above. That kinda illustrates my point from a couple of days ago about editors and per project - once someone starts working on something, we end up collecting a LOT of information. :) One thing though - instead of separate pages, I will keep the different titles per language together. Think of a Russian speaking editor who is trying to sort out the Russian titles - it is a lot easier to work off one page than moving between 50 or so - especially when working on omnibuses. Which begs the question on how to split and my gut feeling is pure alphabetical per language: A-D, E-G and so on (in whatever increments we need). Annie 12:47, 5 September 2019 (EDT)
Curious about where you're going with this, or rather where you think someone is coming from. Is your hypothetical user trying to figure out which French title their Russian title is a translation of? And that the title has never appeared before - otherwise they could do a text search on the Jules Verne Summary Bibliography page - same as I do when I want to find the original French title for something like "The Clipper of the Clouds"? ../Doug H 13:07, 5 September 2019 (EDT)
Length of that page - if we get 50 titles, 100 translations per title, we will need a split somewhere. And the Russian are an easy example because they tend to have as many translations as English does. And I like seeing all titles in the same language on the same page - easy to spot what someone may had forgotten to add. :) Annie 13:11, 5 September 2019 (EDT)
Are you saying the Summary Bibliography page might get too long and need to be split? This wiki page will do nothing for that. Also, isn't your scenario covered by the Preferences - Translations - Selected? Pick Russian and view the page and see all Jules Verne's Summary Bibliography in the French with only Russian translations? While a page per language (or language group - [would it be German or Deutsche?]) makes some tasks easier, verifying its correctness would be really tough - you'd end up having to scan the 50 pages for each language. Or generate a query for periodic reviews. But the same query would resolve the issue of seeing them together. So who makes the query - the maintainer or our Russian editor? And what if I only get the Extraordinary Journey series done, what happens to the other titles, or short stories. I'm convincing myself that keeping it to one wiki page per title with all languages is preferable. How's by you? ../Doug H 14:01, 5 September 2019 (EDT)
The wiki page, not the summary page :) The point of the wiki page is to give you an easy reference, right - that does not require either DB knowledge or opening 20 pages to see the beginning translations? I may be overthinking it. If you want to go title by title, that also works. I just would prefer it to be language based and not title based (but it is not my project). And once we have it, we can always reorganize. So... just thinking aloud :) Annie 14:11, 5 September 2019 (EDT)
Ah, you were referring to your suggested single page for all Jules Verne translations, not my suggestion that the Russian editor could find a title by searching the Summary Bibliography page using a browser search to find which French title corresponded to his Russian one. Different perspectives - my approach is intended for people wanting to add a publication and helping them locate the correct title, based on the actual text, not just the title, or even the translator, given there are sometimes multiple unknowns, each with a different translation. And the only reason for not following paragraph structure was to keep the page from getting too long. :) ../Doug H 14:29, 5 September 2019 (EDT)

Internet Archive "hotlinking"

Perhaps this is a better discussion for rules or moderators but I thought everyone might like to chime in on this.

We currently detail which sites we allow images to be hotlinked from at: Template:Image Host Sites. I was wondering if we could get the Internet Archive added to this list. We already have the Open Library which is one of their projects but I was interesting adding magazine covers like:

I realize in this example Starlog it not considered fully an "in genre" magazine and thus we often do not concern ourselves with providing covers (much-less full contents) but this is just an example.

Notice there is some information about what not to link to here: https://archive.org/services/docs/api/items.html#archival-urls This is why I mentioned:

and not:

which is the target of the redirect (at least for now; presumably they do not want people linking to this as it might change)

It should also be noted this has come up on some of their online discussions before and they have approved it, e.g.:

Do we need to specifically ask them (and is someone volunteering) or can we have them added to the list of possible hotlink hosts we accept?

Thank you, Uzume 17:38, 5 September 2019 (EDT)

The linked discussion and https://archive.org/services/docs/api/items.html#archival-urls suggest that stable Internet Archives look like https://archive.org/download/<identifier>/<filename> . However, the Starlog scover scan URL linked above is https://archive.org/download/starlog_magazine-004/004_jp2.zip/004_jp2/004_0000.jp2?ext=jpg , a different format. Also, it requires a query string, "ext=jpg". Is there any kind of Internet Archive documentation about this format? Ahasuerus 16:41, 9 September 2019 (EDT)
Actually that is the filename/filepath. "004_jp2/004_0000.jp2" is the filepath inside the 004_jp2.zip file. I could not find any documentation on ext query string that seems to convert the file type. We could link to the .jp2 file but I found it did not render in my browser (so was not a good choice as an img src). You can poke around in here to get the idea how I came to the link I provided above: https://archive.org/download/starlog_magazine-004 As a test, I made this submission. Uzume 17:23, 18 September 2019 (EDT)
I am putting this on hold. We still do not have permissions to link but I will leave it so Ahasuerus can see how it looks like - although if you wanted to use it as a test, your moderator note should have added that to the link :) Annie 17:34, 18 September 2019 (EDT)
I thought there were more than adequate notes here so just linked to here in the mod note (and I did not expect it to be approved directly; thanks for holding it). As for a perhaps more realistic example (instead of Starlog which is only partially here under acquisition rules), I was thinking of something like https://archive.org/download/equality00belluoft/equality00belluoft_jp2.zip/equality00belluoft_jp2/equality00belluoft_0001.jp2&ext=jpg for 270798. Uzume 17:59, 18 September 2019 (EDT)

(unindent) I guess we have two overlapping questions here:

  • Are we allowed to deep-link to images hosted by the Internet Archive?
  • Are their images and image URLs stable?

Historically, the main problems with deep-linking have been:

  • bandwidth
  • revenue

In the not so distant some past popular sites like Wikipedia didn't want third party sites to link to "their" images because it increased their hosting costs. This issue appears to be less important now that bandwidth is less expensive.

Revenue is something that we have run into with SFE3: their sponsoring organization wanted us to link to a separate Web page which was set up to make it easier for customers to buy books.

In the case of the Internet Archive, their staff posts suggest that they do not have bandwidth or revenue problems with deep-linking. Uzume's research suggests that the URLs that he uses are at least moderately stable.

Based on the analysis above, I wouldn't be opposed to adding "archive.org" to the list of supported third party sites, although an explicit e-mail permission dated "2019" would be nice to have.

That said, do we expect a significant number of links to their site? If not, it may be easier to upload the images in question to the ISFDB server and link them. Ahasuerus 15:03, 19 September 2019 (EDT)

As a workaround, I have just been pulling Internet Archive images across to their Open Library project and then hotlinking here (since we already allow that). That works alright for books as I just have to ensure the right entry exists there but I am not sure about magazine covers which would likely not be in their Open Library project. Uzume 12:36, 22 September 2019 (EDT)

Not One of Us – magazine or fanzine?

I wonder do we need to make a decision about whether we list the all-fiction/poetry publication Not One of Us as a magazine or a fanzine? From 1986–2001 we have it listed as a fanzine, then from 2002–2018 it is alternately a magazine or a fanzine. Their website refers to it being "a hardcopy zine", with a pull-quote saying it's a "stalwart of the zine scene", yet their Guidelines page has "The editorial philosophy of the magazine...".

We also have a small problem with format, sometimes A5 but mostly octavo, although from the website's description "a digest-sized (5.5 x 8.5 inch, 52-page) publication" it is clearly octavo.

All this makes for inconsistency and I think we could present the information better. The majority of publications are unverified, so I'll spend a bit of time knocking the series into shape if we can come to a group decision on the Magazine/Fanzine question – my own preference would be for Magazine. I'm particularly looking for feedback from verifiers Hkauderer and Kevin Hardy, although I'm uncertain if either of those editors are still around. Thanks. PeteYoung 08:10, 6 September 2019 (EDT)

I would have never thought that it is not a magazine. Just as a data point, ~15 years ago (probably a bit more), Not One of Us was one of the not so many English language small magazines which were available from a distributor website that was willing to ship to Bulgaria - together with some other books from small presses. Everything else on their list of magazines was a clear magazine, this one was in the same section. Does not mean that it could not have been something else but... I probably should find the boxes with all magazines next time I am back at my mother's apartment. Annie 11:23, 6 September 2019 (EDT)

Deprecating {{A}}

In Help:Using Templates and HTML in Note Fields#Linking Templates we list {{A}} as a supported template stating:


[...]
At this time the following linking templates are supported:
Template Functionality Example
A Links to an Author record within ISFDB using the author's name {{A|Jules Verne}}

[...]

However, later in the same page at Help:Using Templates and HTML in Note Fields#Links to Other ISFDB Records we state:


[...]
If you choose to link to another ISFDB record, avoid using the following types of links:
[...]

[...]

Should we deprecate and/or update/replace {{A}}? Thank you, Uzume 19:14, 8 September 2019 (EDT)

"A" links to the search page, not to the author page itself - so if you pass "Test" as a parameter, it goes to http://www.isfdb.org/cgi-bin/se.cgi?arg=Test&type=Name&mode=exact. There is just a forward in the Advanced Search that IF there is only one result, it opens the author page instead of the results page (using the ID and not the name). Try the A template with an author that does not exist :) So A is quite safe. Annie 19:40, 8 September 2019 (EDT)
PS: If you do not believe that the template is tied that way, look at any note with it and hover over the link or view the source code :). It effectively links to the author but not by getting the name and creating a URL out of it. Annie 20:20, 8 September 2019 (EDT)
That's right. The "A" template works fine with non-Latin characters and so do all other templates. Ahasuerus 21:18, 8 September 2019 (EDT)
Oh, I never said it did not work just that it did not link by author id. The link section recommends we should link by the author id and not the author name itself (although we guarantee those are unique). Perhaps we should recommend linking by author id *or* the exact search? Also since we have redirects why not make the author lookups that use a name instead of an author id redirect to the exact search and/or at least redirect to the author pages referenced by author id (for cases that don't have Unicode issues and currently work). Uzume 15:08, 9 September 2019 (EDT)
I mean why not have:
redirect to:
to solve the problem or at least directly to (since "Ray Bradbury" stays within Latin-1) to:
So when people copy the URL it causes them to not want to link to name reference entry (because it gets redirected).
I just am concerned why the difference in the same page about how to reference an author. If it can be solved in code—so be it. Uzume 15:16, 9 September 2019 (EDT)
Let me try this again because I do not think that you read any of the messages (or clicked on any of the links. :)
We do NOT link to http://www.isfdb.org/cgi-bin/ea.cgi?Ray_Bradbury via the template. We link to http://www.isfdb.org/cgi-bin/se.cgi?arg=Ray Bradbury&type=Name&mode=exact. Which searches and then links based on the ID (to http://www.isfdb.org/cgi-bin/ea.cgi?194), not using the name.
Just go to ANY of the notes that have a name and look at where the address is pointing to. The format you are concerned with is not used at all.
Linking to an ID when the ID is not presented will mean that the lookup needs to be done during the save and replaced (as opposed to building a URL using what the user presented). Doable? Yes. But what do we do when there is no user to be linked? Now it sends you to the search page (so if one day there is one, it will connect). And how about cases where the author ID changes - who is going to update all the links? The warning for the "bad URL" is valid but the template does not use it so... it is not relevant. :) Annie 15:40, 9 September 2019 (EDT)
I think you did not read what I am trying to say (perhaps I worded it poorly) and that is there is a discontinuity in how these two situations are handled. I like the way the template links to the exact search (and forwards to the author id URL). I just think that case and the one where an author name (vs. its id) is in the "ea.cgi" link (which is discouraged) should be handled the same way. So why not make that redirect to the exact search URL (or directly to the author id URL since the exact search often ends up there anyway). This would further dissuade others from using the author name in the "ea.cgi" link as the redirect will cause the URL to not stay in the browser's address bar. That is what I meant by solve issues with code vs. my original idea to perhaps have the templates link to the author id (necessitating a change and possibly deprecating {{A}}).
I was never confused how they worked technically (I can directly read the Python and SQL code), I just feel they ought to be handled in a similar manner. Since we are on the topic if the deprecated author name "ea.cgi" (and other author page) linking. It should be possible to log such accesses (and any HTTP referer [sic]) and create something like a nightly report such that others can then investigate and attempt to rectify such inbound links from elsewhere. We might also be able to warn the user using such an inbound link and perhaps they would be able to change the external link source. Uzume 16:42, 10 September 2019 (EDT)
I did read what you said - having the template being mentioned all over the place confused the whole thing a lot though. :) Deprecating the template won't do anything for what you are trying to solve here - because the template is technically the correct way to do these links. :)
So to summarize without all the irrelevant parts and window dressing above: you propose ea.cgi to be modified so that when someone uses a name in the URL, it emulates the template and goes via search with the name (thus going for the ID link at the end). Is that the current state of the idea? Annie 17:24, 10 September 2019 (EDT)
I actually looked into this issue back when the Search software was rewritten and templates were implemented. I ran into some technical issues and ended up abandoning the effort. It may be worth trying again. Ahasuerus 17:46, 10 September 2019 (EDT)
@Annie: Yes, that is exactly what I am saying (and it applies to the other author page formats as well, like awards, alpha, chrono, etc.). It might also be useful to document the ability to link to the exact author search but I am not sure we want to support such inbound URLs. One can already see the issue of author name linkage in ea.cgi: wikipedia:Special:LinkSearch/www.isfdb.org/cgi-bin/ea.cgi (be sure to page down past the author numeric IDs; Mediawiki does not allow more complex external link searches that would let me filter those out). Uzume 17:16, 18 September 2019 (EDT)
Thanks, that's a useful URL to be familiar with. I suspect that officially supporting deep links using our Search URLs would invite problems. We have changed the URL format a few times and may change it again, so URLs are not guaranteed to remain stable. Ahasuerus 15:09, 19 September 2019 (EDT)

If we do decide to work on making redirects for these (e.g., the creation of an FR, etc.), lets not forget this needs to also be extended to series, e.g., currently this is still legal (though methinks it too should be discouraged): The Stainless Steel Rat should redirect to The Stainless Steel Rat I am not sure if there are other similar candidates. Uzume 00:35, 1 October 2019 (EDT)

Award Name Changes

The editor for Analog has announced that the John W. Campbell Award for Best New Writer has been renamed as "The Astounding Award for Best New Writer". Those in charge of two other awards have also been discussing name changes. The Gunn center has announced that the John W. Campbell Memorial Award will be renamed, but the new name has not yet been chosen. The administrators of the James Tiptree, Jr. Award have discussed changing the name and have decided not to do so at this time, though they describe their thinking as "ongoing and tentative" and the name may change in the future. I've been thinking about how we should handle these changes in the database. All three of these awards have several years of history and I would suggest that we keep the existing award pages as is for those years under the old name. Going forward I would suggest a new award page for the new name with links in the notes of each award page linking to the other. That way folks searching for either name would be able to find things. I don't know if we want to set up a new page for the Astounding award now, as it would be blank until next year when the nominations are announced. We will need to wait for the new name for the second Campbell award and for the Tiptree, only if they decide to change the name. Are there any other ideas on how to reflect this award data? --Ron ~ RtraceTalk 22:45, 8 September 2019 (EDT)

I can think of at least one award whose name has changed since it was created, the Ditmar Award. It was originally known as the "Australian Science Fiction Achievement Award". The full name that we currently use is "Ditmar Award / Australian Science Fiction Achievement Award" while the short name is "Ditmar". We could use a similar approach in similar cases, although it may become unwieldy when dealing with longer award names: "The Astounding Award for Best New Writer / John W. Campbell Award for Best New Writer" may be a bit too much.
Alternatively, we could create new award types and document the relationship in Notes. Ahasuerus 23:14, 8 September 2019 (EDT)
If that becomes highly common and complex we might eventually decide to support some sort of award relations not unlike our current pseudonym and title variant systems (I can already see where this would be very useful to support publisher relations of some sort). Uzume 17:04, 18 September 2019 (EDT)
Well... The "variant title" system lets us capture title/author information as it exists in publications as well as its "ideal" or "canonical" state. That's a good thing, but it also adds a great deal of complexity to the software.
It's been occasionally suggested that we use a similar system for other parts of the database, e.g. to capture publisher names both as they appear in publication and in their "canonical" form. It's doable, but it would require a significant amount of work, both on the software side and on the data entry side. We would also need to make sure that our design is very solid because we really wouldn't want to do re-do again. For publishers, it would mean figuring out how to handle imprints and books co-published by multiple publishers, which is liable to add extra levels of complexity. Ahasuerus 17:40, 19 September 2019 (EDT)
I understand such a change is nontrivial but we have made nontrivial changes in the past and I am sure they will happen in the future. Are we ready for this type of change now? I do not know but I thought I should bring it up as it is a possibility that impacts the issues being talked about. As a side note, I got a good laugh out of thinking about "canonical publishers" (isn't that some sort of oxymoron?). Uzume 12:30, 22 September 2019 (EDT)

Final Fantasy

I think I got them all. "The Spirits Within" is a weird one. I've seen a number of places that Dean Wesley Smith wrote the novelization (with cover images and everything), and then other places that say John Vornholt wrote it (also with cover images). Both have the same ISBN, and it hasn't been verified here, so I have no idea which might be the actual author. Any ideas which is actually correct? ···日本穣 · 投稿 · Talk to Nihonjoe 00:35, 10 September 2019 (EDT)

After digging a little bit more, it looks like Vornholt did a juvenile novelization, and Smith did an adult novelization. It would be helpful if the covers indicated this, and if Amazon didn't have the entries merged. ···日本穣 · 投稿 · Talk to Nihonjoe 02:09, 10 September 2019 (EDT)
Well, where will be the fun in that? :) Annie 02:37, 10 September 2019 (EDT)
Novelizations have always been iffy, e.g. see this UK novelization of Capricorn One vs. its US counterpart. However, things have been slowly getting worse over the last 10-20 years. For major intellectual properties, the rights owners routinely commission 2+ different novelizations for different age groups. Factor in the fact that novelizations aimed at younger children tend to obscure their authors and you end up with a big mess. Ahasuerus 10:28, 10 September 2019 (EDT)
That is highly confusing, especially since the Dean Wesley Smith adult novelization was translated to Japanese (instead of creating Japanese novelizations directly from the Japanese movie) and the NDL indicates all three publications are children's literature. Uzume 16:46, 18 September 2019 (EDT)
Wouldn't be the first time people varied on whether something was or wasn't for kids. Until we get PVs for them, we can't really do more than what we have. ···日本穣 · 投稿 · Talk to Nihonjoe 02:10, 19 September 2019 (EDT)

pb, tp and the dropdown

After explaining/clarifying for a third time this week that "pb" does not really mean paperback, it kinda reminded me that we really need to do something about this - or new editors will continue to be confused. So why don't we change the drop down values:

  • pb -> "pb (mass market paperback)" or even "pb (7'x4.25' / 18x11 cm or smaller)"
  • tp -> tp (7'x4.25' / 18x11 cm or larger)"

We do have the space (the audio formats are long) so... why not help the editors visually? Other idea for naming are welcome. Annie 16:13, 15 September 2019 (EDT)

I've always thought of pb as pocket book. Not that it is really any better defined but narrows down the argument by eliminating the trade-sized publications. ../Doug H 22:13, 15 September 2019 (EDT)
While closer, that will include a lot of Eastern European books which are too big to be called pb in the DB - even with generous exceptions (apparently we used to have bigger pockets than the Western world - or something). But still - it will be better than now (and this is only for the front end - the codes behind the scenes are fine) :) Annie 22:57, 15 September 2019 (EDT)
That's not only the case for Eastern Europe but for Western Europe as well (maybe with the exception of some islands in the West): we had this discussion a while back. So this specific dropdown would also be misleading. The best I can think of is an explaining comment that these measures are valid for (most of) the English publishing world, but may vary for other countries. Stonecreek 02:22, 16 September 2019 (EDT)
And put the comment where? :) If people will read the help pages, that is easy enough - we have the info there. They don't. So I am thinking of changing the drop down so it is easier to see that this type is not what they think it is. Annie 02:38, 16 September 2019 (EDT)
I just saw that we have that infobox right near the 'Format' field (when you come on the question mark). This one should be specified, I'd say. Christian Stonecreek 15:10, 16 September 2019 (EDT)
Sure, it is there - but people will still not look at it - or hover on it - hovering from a touch screen is a bit... problematic :) The list looks logical - and if they press "p" to get to "paperback" and see "pb", most people won't look further. Not what we wish people were doing but no reason to just hide our heads in the sand and pretend that it is not happening. The field looks self-explanatory - and most people do not read the help pages for this kind of fields. Annie 15:31, 16 September 2019 (EDT)
Which one would you select for wikipedia:Bunkobon? I usually go with "pb" since it is paperback A6. It would be nice if we had "A6" since we have "A4" and "A5". Uzume 16:52, 18 September 2019 (EDT)
You are mixing up things here - you cannot use A4/A5 for books under the current rules. Look at the help page. We have clear separation between formats for magazines and formats for books - the A4/A5 formats are ONLY for magazines so even if we had A6 in the magazines section it would not have been the correct format for a book. So yes, a paperback book as small as that one is "pb". Does not mean that we do not have a handful books of each of the A4/A5 formats (uncleaned data, magazines converted to anthologies, stuff that was just missed, special cases or 3 and so on) but technically, the magazine formats should not be used for anything besides magazines and fanzines. Until we decide to change the rules anyway.
However the thread above is not about changing the rules - it is just for providing a visual help to editors so let's not go into "let's change the formats" discussions. If you want to reopen that can of worms, start another thread. :) Annie 23:11, 18 September 2019 (EDT)
I was not confused nor soliciting for rule changes as much as just underscoring the state of things as it applies to a certain common publishing format by asking a rhetorical question (hoping to ensure such were considered). My point was to perhaps include "bunko" along with "mass market" in the description; something like:
pb -> "pb (mass market/bunko paperback; 7'x4.25' / 18x11 cm or smaller)". Uzume 12:11, 22 September 2019 (EDT)

(unindent) Getting back to the "Format" drop-down list, it would be possible to make each choice more descriptive along the lines of "tp (7'x4.25' / 18x11 cm or larger)".

However, keep in mind that we already have a few different ways of conveying this information to our users. On the publication display page we have mouse-over help for each format code. For example, if you hover your mouse over the question mark next to "pb" on this page, you will see "Paperback. Typically 7" by 4.25" (18 cm by 11 cm) or smaller, though trimming errors can cause them to sometimes be slightly (less than 1/4 extra inch) taller or wider/deeper."

When editing a publication record, the blue bubble next to the word "Format" says, among other things, "pb for 7" by 4.25" (18 cm by 11 cm) paperbacks".

In other words, we already display this information in 2 different places, although the wording is somewhat different. Displaying it yet again doesn't seem like the best way to handle the problem. Perhaps we could use the empty space to the right of the drop-down list to display a message along the lines of "Hover your mouse over 'Format' on the left for more details"? Ahasuerus 15:59, 20 September 2019 (EDT)

And my point is that people do not hover over things or read help pages for things they believe to be intuitive and clear - we can have it in 10 places, put a "hover for details" in 10 more and people still won't do it because they do not think they need details because "pb" sounds like the logical choice. People see "pb" and are done with reading - we may have it in 2 places but people just do not look there. Annie 17:00, 20 September 2019 (EDT)
I am pretty sure there is a really good British joke about how much people hover over things in here. Uzume 12:14, 22 September 2019 (EDT)
The problem is actually only the fact that in the help pb and tp is defined with the length and width and that is apparently wrong (Google translator).--Wolfram.winkler 04:37, 23 September 2019 (EDT)

Custom database query request

Earlier today I received the following e-mail request from the SF reviewer James Nicoll:

Is there a way to construct a search of isfdb so that it returns a list of the Best Novel Hugo for each year, with a list of the cover artists for the American editions of the stories in the first year of publication? (basically, looking for patterns in cover art and nominations)

The short answer is that yes, it should be possible, but it would require a custom database query. I haven't been feeling well lately, so I am not in a good position to create one. Would anyone be interested in giving it a try? Ahasuerus 14:20, 16 September 2019 (EDT)

See the following table. There are some caveats:
  • It is using the title id the award is linked to. It could be expanded to look for variants / parents in case also appeared under different form in that time frame.
  • It does not include serialization. Some of the early ones were in magazines. It could be expanded to include those, but the cover would not necessarily be for the story and the artist would likely change over the serialization.
  • It bases it being an American edition of the price being US $. It therefore ignores pubs w/o a price.
  • It does not include the Retro Hugo, but that could be included.
If any tweaks are desired to the above caveats, I will see what I can do. -- JLaTondre (talk) 21:16, 16 September 2019 (EDT)
Award Year Author(s) Title Pub Year Publisher Price Artist(s) Image
1959 James Blish A Case of Conscience 1958 Ballantine Books $0.35 Richard Powers Image
1960 Robert A. Heinlein Starship Troopers 1959 G. P. Putnam's Sons $3.95 Jerry Robinson Image
1961 Walter M. Miller, Jr. A Canticle for Leibowitz 1959 J. B. Lippincott $4.95 Milton Glaser Image
1961 Walter M. Miller, Jr. A Canticle for Leibowitz 1960 J. B. Lippincott $4.95 George Sottung Image
1962 Robert A. Heinlein Stranger in a Strange Land 1961 G. P. Putnam's Sons $4.50 Ben Feder Image
1962 Robert A. Heinlein Stranger in a Strange Land 1961 G. P. Putnam's Sons / SFBC $1.70 Ben Feder Image
1963 Philip K. Dick The Man in the High Castle 1962 G. P. Putnam's Sons $3.95 Robert Galster Image
1963 Philip K. Dick The Man in the High Castle 1962 G. P. Putnam's Sons / SFBC $1.20 Robert Galster Image
1964 Clifford D. Simak Way Station^Here Gather the Stars 1963 Doubleday $3.50 Ronald Fratell Image
1964 Clifford D. Simak Way Station^Here Gather the Stars 1963 Doubleday / SFBC $1.20 Ronald Fratell Image
1965 Fritz Leiber The Wanderer 1964 Ballantine Books $0.75 Bob Abbett Image
1966 Frank Herbert Dune 1965 Chilton $5.95 John Schoenherr Image
1967 Robert A. Heinlein The Moon is a Harsh Mistress 1966 G. P. Putnam's Sons $5.95 Irv Docktor Image
1968 Roger Zelazny Lord of Light 1967 Doubleday $4.95 Howard Bernstein Image
1969 John Brunner Stand on Zanzibar 1968 Doubleday $6.95 S. A. Summit, Inc. Image
1970 Ursula K. Le Guin The Left Hand of Darkness 1969 Ace Books $0.95 Diane Dillon + Leo Dillon Image
1970 Ursula K. Le Guin The Left Hand of Darkness 1969 Walker & Co. $4.95 Jack Gaughan Image
1970 Ursula K. Le Guin The Left Hand of Darkness 1969 Walker & Co. / SFBC $1.98 Jack Gaughan Image
1971 Larry Niven Ringworld 1970 Ballantine Books $0.95 Dean Ellis Image
1972 Philip José Farmer To Your Scattered Bodies Go 1971 G. P. Putnam's Sons $4.95 Ira Cohen Image
1972 Philip José Farmer To Your Scattered Bodies Go 1971 Berkley Medallion $0.75 Richard Powers Image
1973 Isaac Asimov The Gods Themselves 1972 Doubleday $5.95 David November Image
1973 Isaac Asimov The Gods Themselves 1972 Doubleday & Company / SFBC $1.98 David November Image
1974 Arthur C. Clarke Rendezvous With Rama 1973 Harcourt Brace Jovanovich $6.95 Hal Siegel Image
1974 Arthur C. Clarke Rendezvous With Rama 1973 Harcourt Brace Jovanovich / SFBC $1.49 Hal Siegel Image
1975 Ursula K. Le Guin The Dispossessed 1974 Harper & Row $7.95 Fred Winkowski Image
1975 Ursula K. Le Guin The Dispossessed 1974 Harper & Row / SFBC $2.49 Fred Winkowski Image
1976 Joe Haldeman The Forever War 1975 St. Martin's Press $7.95 UNKNOWN Image
1977 Kate Wilhelm Where Late the Sweet Birds Sang 1976 Harper & Row $7.95 M. C. Escher Image
1977 Kate Wilhelm Where Late the Sweet Birds Sang 1976 Harper & Row / SFBC $1.98 M. C. Escher Image
1978 Frederik Pohl Gateway 1977 St. Martin's Press $8.95 Boris Vallejo Image
1978 Frederik Pohl Gateway 1977 St. Martin's Press / SFBC $2.49 Boris Vallejo Image
1979 Vonda N. McIntyre Dreamsnake 1978 Houghton Mifflin $8.95 Stephen Alexander Image
1979 Vonda N. McIntyre Dreamsnake 1978 Houghton Mifflin / SFBC $2.98 Stephen Alexander Image
1980 Arthur C. Clarke The Fountains of Paradise 1979 Harcourt Brace Jovanovich $10.00 Paul Bacon Image
1980 Arthur C. Clarke The Fountains of Paradise 1979 Harcourt Brace Jovanovich / SFBC $3.50 Paul Bacon Image
1981 Joan D. Vinge The Snow Queen 1980 The Dial Press $10.95 Leo Dillon + Diane Dillon Image
1981 Joan D. Vinge The Snow Queen 1980 The Dial Press $10.95 Leo Dillon + Diane Dillon Image
1981 Joan D. Vinge The Snow Queen 1980 The Dial Press / SFBC $4.50 Leo Dillon + Diane Dillon Image
1982 C. J. Cherryh Downbelow Station 1981 DAW Books $2.75 David B. Mattingly Image
1982 C. J. Cherryh Downbelow Station 1981 DAW Books / SFBC $4.50 Rego Image
1983 Isaac Asimov Foundation's Edge 1982 Doubleday & Company $14.95 Joe Caroff Image
1983 Isaac Asimov Foundation's Edge 1982 Whispers Press $50.00 UNKNOWN Image
1983 Isaac Asimov Foundation's Edge 1982 Doubleday $14.95 Joe Caroff Image
1983 Isaac Asimov Foundation's Edge 1982 Doubleday $14.95 Joe Caroff Image
1984 David Brin Startide Rising 1983 Bantam Books $3.50 Jim Burns Image
1985 William Gibson Neuromancer 1984 Ace Books $2.95 James Warhola Image
1985 William Gibson Neuromancer 1984 Ace Books $2.95 James Warhola None
1986 Orson Scott Card Ender's Game 1985 Tor $13.95 John Harris Image
1987 Orson Scott Card Speaker for the Dead 1986 Tor $15.95 John Harris Image
1987 Orson Scott Card Speaker for the Dead 1986 Nelson Doubleday / SFBC $7.98 Vincent Di Fate Image
1988 David Brin The Uplift War 1987 Phantasia Press $22.00 Wayne D. Barlowe Image
1988 David Brin The Uplift War 1987 Phantasia Press $60.00 Wayne D. Barlowe Image
1988 David Brin The Uplift War 1987 Bantam Spectra $4.50 Michael Whelan Image
1988 David Brin The Uplift War 1987 Nelson Doubleday / SFBC $9.98 Richard Powers Image
1989 C. J. Cherryh Cyteen 1988 Warner Books $18.95 Don Maitz Image
1989 C. J. Cherryh Cyteen 1988 Warner Books / SFBC $9.98 Don Maitz Image
1990 Dan Simmons Hyperion 1989 Doubleday Foundation $18.95 Gary Ruddell Image
1990 Dan Simmons Hyperion 1989 Doubleday Foundation $8.95 Gary Ruddell Image
1991 Lois McMaster Bujold The Vor Game 1990 Baen Books $4.50 Tom Kidd Image
1991 Lois McMaster Bujold The Vor Game 1990 The Easton Press $45.00 UNKNOWN Image
1991 Lois McMaster Bujold The Vor Game 1990 GuildAmerica Books / SFBC $9.98 Dean Morrissey Image
1992 Lois McMaster Bujold Barrayar 1991 Baen Books $4.99 Stephen Hickman Image
1993 Vernor Vinge A Fire Upon the Deep 1992 Tor $21.95 Boris Vallejo Image
1993 Vernor Vinge A Fire Upon the Deep 1992 Tor / SFBC $10.98 Boris Vallejo Image
1993 Connie Willis Doomsday Book 1992 Bantam Spectra $22.00 Tim Jacobus Image
1993 Connie Willis Doomsday Book 1992 Bantam Spectra $10.00 Tim Jacobus Image
1993 Connie Willis Doomsday Book 1992 Bantam Spectra / SFBC $12.98 Tim Jacobus Image
1995 Lois McMaster Bujold Mirror Dance 1994 Baen $21.00 Gary Ruddell Image
1995 Lois McMaster Bujold Mirror Dance 1994 Baen / SFBC $9.98 Gary Ruddell Image
1996 Neal Stephenson The Diamond Age 1995 Bantam Spectra $22.95 Bruce Jensen Image
1996 Neal Stephenson The Diamond Age 1995 Bantam Spectra / SFBC $8.98 Bruce Jensen Image
1997 Kim Stanley Robinson Blue Mars 1996 Bantam Spectra $22.95 Don Dixon Image
1997 Kim Stanley Robinson Blue Mars 1996 Bantam Spectra / SFBC $10.98 Don Dixon Image
1998 Joe Haldeman Forever Peace 1997 Ace Books $21.95 Bruce Jensen Image
1999 Connie Willis To Say Nothing of the Dog 1998 Bantam Spectra $23.95 Eric Dinyer Image
1999 Connie Willis To Say Nothing of the Dog 1998 Bantam Spectra / SFBC $11.98 Eric Dinyer Image
1999 Connie Willis To Say Nothing of the Dog 1998 Bantam Books $6.50 Eric Dinyer Image
2000 Vernor Vinge A Deepness in the Sky 1999 Tor $27.95 Bob Eggleton Image
2000 Vernor Vinge A Deepness in the Sky 1999 Tor / SFBC $13.98 Bob Eggleton Image
2001 J. K. Rowling Harry Potter and the Goblet of Fire 2000 Arthur A. Levine Books $25.95 Mary GrandPré Image
2001 J. K. Rowling Harry Potter and the Goblet of Fire 2000 Scholastic $25.95 Mary GrandPré Image
2001 J. K. Rowling Harry Potter and the Goblet of Fire 2000 Scholastic / SFBC $12.98 Mary GrandPré Image
2002 Neil Gaiman American Gods 2001 William Morrow / HarperCollins $26.00 Kamil Vojnar Image
2002 Neil Gaiman American Gods 2001 William Morrow / HarperCollins / SFBC $12.98 Kamil Vojnar None
2003 Robert J. Sawyer Hominids 2002 Tor $25.95 Donato Image
2004 Lois McMaster Bujold Paladin of Souls 2003 PerfectBound / HarperCollins $11.99 UNKNOWN None
2004 Lois McMaster Bujold Paladin of Souls 2003 Eos / HarperCollins $24.95 David Bowers Image
2004 Lois McMaster Bujold Paladin of Souls 2003 Eos / HarperCollins / SFBC $12.99 David Bowers Image
2005 Susanna Clarke Jonathan Strange & Mr. Norrell 2004 Bloomsbury USA $27.95 Portia Rosenberg + William Webb Image
2005 Susanna Clarke Jonathan Strange & Mr. Norrell 2004 Bloomsbury USA $27.95 Portia Rosenberg + William Webb Image
2005 Susanna Clarke Jonathan Strange & Mr. Norrell 2004 Bloomsbury USA / SFBC $14.99 UNKNOWN None
2005 Susanna Clarke Jonathan Strange & Mr. Norrell 2004 Bloomsbury USA $27.95 Portia Rosenberg + William Webb Image
2006 Robert Charles Wilson Spin 2005 Tor $25.95 Drive Communications Image
2006 Robert Charles Wilson Spin 2005 Tor / SFBC $12.99 Drive Communications Image
2007 Vernor Vinge Rainbows End 2006 Tor $25.95 Stephan Martiniere Image
2007 Vernor Vinge Rainbows End 2006 Tor / SFBC $13.99 Stephan Martiniere Image
2008 Michael Chabon The Yiddish Policemen's Union 2007 HarperCollins $26.95 Will Staehle Image
2008 Michael Chabon The Yiddish Policemen's Union 2007 HarperCollins $26.95 Will Staehle Image
2008 Michael Chabon The Yiddish Policemen's Union 2007 HarperAudio $39.95 Will Staehle Image
2008 Michael Chabon The Yiddish Policemen's Union 2007 HarperLuxe $26.95 Will Staehle Image
2008 Michael Chabon The Yiddish Policemen's Union 2007 HarperCollins / SFBC $14.99 Will Staehle Image
2009 Neil Gaiman The Graveyard Book 2008 HarperAudio $18.99 Dave McKean Image
2009 Neil Gaiman The Graveyard Book 2008 HarperCollins $17.99 Dave McKean Image
2009 Neil Gaiman The Graveyard Book 2008 Harper Children's Audio $22.95 Dave McKean Image
2009 Neil Gaiman The Graveyard Book 2008 HarperCollins $18.89 Dave McKean Image
2009 Neil Gaiman The Graveyard Book 2008 HarperCollins / SFBC $11.99 Dave McKean Image
2010 China Miéville The City & The City 2009 Del Rey / Ballantine $26.00 FWIS Image
2010 China Miéville The City & The City 2009 Del Rey / Ballantine $11.99 UNKNOWN Image
2010 China Miéville The City & The City 2009 Del Rey / Ballantine $26.00 FWIS Image
2010 China Miéville The City & The City 2009 Del Rey / Ballantine / SFBC $14.99 FWIS Image
2010 China Miéville The City & The City 2009 Subterranean Press $75.00 Vincent Chong Image
2010 Paolo Bacigalupi The Windup Girl 2009 Night Shade Books $24.95 Raphael Lacoste Image
2010 Paolo Bacigalupi The Windup Girl 2009 Night Shade Books $6.00 Raphael Lacoste None
2010 Paolo Bacigalupi The Windup Girl 2009 Night Shade Books $15.99 UNKNOWN Image
2011 Connie Willis Blackout 2010 Spectra / Ballantine Books $11.99 UNKNOWN Image
2011 Connie Willis Blackout 2010 Spectra / Ballantine Books $26.00 Charles Brock Image
2011 Connie Willis Blackout 2010 Spectra / Ballantine Books / SFBC $14.99 Charles Brock Image
2011 Connie Willis Blackout 2010 Subterranean Press $75.00 J. K. Potter Image
2011 Connie Willis Blackout 2010 Spectra / Ballantine Books $26.00 Charles Brock Image
2011 Connie Willis Blackout 2010 Spectra / Ballantine Books $16.00 UNKNOWN Image
2011 Connie Willis Blackout 2010 Brilliance Audio $39.99 UNKNOWN Image
2011 Connie Willis Blackout 2010 Brilliance Audio $29.99 UNKNOWN Image
2011 Connie Willis All Clear 2010 Spectra / Ballantine Books $26.00 Charles Brock Image
2011 Connie Willis All Clear 2010 Spectra / Ballantine Books / SFBC $15.99 Charles Brock Image
2011 Connie Willis All Clear 2010 Spectra / Ballantine Books $11.99 UNKNOWN Image
2011 Connie Willis All Clear 2010 Brilliance Audio $39.99 UNKNOWN Image
2012 Jo Walton Among Others 2011 Tor $24.99 Kamil Vojnar Image
2012 Jo Walton Among Others 2011 Tor $9.99 Kamil Vojnar Image
2013 John Scalzi Redshirts 2012 Tor $24.99 Peter Lutjen Image
2013 John Scalzi Redshirts 2012 Tor / SFBC $14.99 Peter Lutjen Image
2013 John Scalzi Redshirts 2012 Tor $9.99 Peter Lutjen Image
2014 Ann Leckie Ancillary Justice 2013 Orbit (US) $15.00 John Harris Image
2014 Ann Leckie Ancillary Justice 2013 Orbit (US) $9.99 UNKNOWN Image
2015 Cixin Liu The Three-Body Problem 2014 Tor $25.99 Stephan Martiniere Image
2015 Cixin Liu The Three-Body Problem 2014 Tor / SFBC $26.99 Stephen Martiniere Image
2016 N. K. Jemisin The Fifth Season 2015 Orbit (US) $15.99 Lauren Panepinto Image
2016 N. K. Jemisin The Fifth Season 2015 Orbit (US) $9.99 UNKNOWN Image
2017 N. K. Jemisin The Obelisk Gate 2016 Orbit (US) $15.99 Lauren Panepinto + Arcangel Image
2017 N. K. Jemisin The Obelisk Gate 2016 Orbit (US) $9.99 UNKNOWN Image
2018 N. K. Jemisin The Stone Sky 2017 Orbit (US) $16.99 Lauren Panepinto + Arcangel Images Image
2018 N. K. Jemisin The Stone Sky 2017 Orbit (US) $11.99 Lauren Panepinto + Arcangel Images Image
2018 N. K. Jemisin The Stone Sky 2017 Orbit (US) $16.99 Lauren Panepinto + Arcangel Images Image
2019 Mary Robinette Kowal The Calculating Stars 2018 Tor $18.99 Jamie Stafford-Hill Image
2019 Mary Robinette Kowal The Calculating Stars 2018 Tor $9.99 UNKNOWN Image
Thanks, I'll let James know! Ahasuerus 22:25, 16 September 2019 (EDT)

Sciencewood - non-genre non-fiction - a second set of eyes needed

Does anyone see a reason to keep this one in the DB? It looks like a popular science book, no speculative element and not about speculative content -- which is out of scope if you are not above threshold. Or is there something I am missing about the author or the book? Thanks to anyone that would lend an eye (or 2) to that book and help determine what to do with it. Annie 18:00, 17 September 2019 (EDT)

Not seeing anything that would indicate it belongs here. The author image is from Amazon, so we won't need to remove it if the book is deleted (since this is the only entry for the person). ···日本穣 · 投稿 · Talk to Nihonjoe 18:36, 17 September 2019 (EDT)
And it had been nuked from space - both pub and title. Even if we had to delete the image manually, it is not that hard either. Thanks for verifying for me. :) For anyone interested who lands here after the deletion, this is the book in question. Annie 18:51, 17 September 2019 (EDT)

Curious records in awards table for Tiptree Award

The records in the awards table for the Tiptree have (at least) 8 "meta" records that seem to be purely for display purposes, and aren't actually works that were nominated for the award. This SQL query will show them (at least the ones I'm aware of):

   select * from awards where award_title  like '%Honor List%' or award_title like '%Long List%';

Alternatively, you can see them at these URLs:

I've not noticed these for any other award, and they only seem to exist for 2009, 2011, 2013, 2014 and 2015 in the Tiptree. (I noticed them a while ago, but it's only now that I need to deal with them for a project I'm working on that uses a local copy of the database.)

Are these a legitimate/expected way of using ISFDB? If not, could/should they be deleted?

As far as I can tell they have use award_level values - as opposed to some special value that might indicate they are meta-records - which were chosen so that they appear in a particular place on the award pages (such as the first of the three links above). However, they seem somewhat redundant functionally, as the "proper" Finalists and Honorable Mentions headings also appear on that page. Perhaps someone felt those terms were inaccurate, and created these other records to try to address that? —The preceding unsigned comment was added by ErsatzCulture (talkcontribs) .

I am not sure I am getting the question - so let me try to clarify :)
The Honorable list is an official list and we do record Long lists and so on when an award announces them - so their availability depends on the award itself. So what exactly is bothering you? Annie 19:08, 18 September 2019 (EDT)
If you look at the 45437 & 45438 links provided above, you will see that the "--- Honor List ---" and the "--- Long List ---" headings on the year page have been implemented by creating fake award records. It's a rather unorthodox attempt to add the award's actual names for these subcategories instead of the ISFDB's standard award levels. -- JLaTondre (talk) 19:18, 18 September 2019 (EDT)
(JLaTondre has basically given my response - much more succinctly - but here's what I was about to submit before getting into an edit conflict):
My question isn't with the awarded works being in the database, but that there are additional records - the ones with these headings - that have also been added, which don't exist for any other awards, or indeed for most years for the Tiptree. This makes writing code that queries the database a bit of a hassle - not impossible to deal with, but more than I'd like, especially if the offending records shouldn't have been there to start with.
Let me give an example. If I wanted to know how many finalists there were in 2018 - a year which isn't affected by this issue - I would do this database query:
   select count(1) from awards where award_type_id = 43 and award_cat_id = 523 and year(award_year) = 2018 and award_level = 90;
and get back the answer 11, which is correct. (Just for clarify: 43 and 523 are the IDs for the Tiptree and its main category respectively; 90 denotes finalist.)
If I switch the year value to 2015, and run the query, I get back 12. That's one too many, because "--- Honor List ---" is counted as one of the finalists. To get the right answer, I would have to add some logic to filter these out, but that requires foreknowledge of what these "meta-values" are, and for all I know, next year someone could enter them with different text, or as italic, and then my code will be wrong again.
Don't get me wrong - I'm certainly not asking or expecting ISFDB to change functionality just to suit my personal project, but my suspicion is that perhaps these "meta-records" weren't something that was expected when the award functionality was designed or implemented.
Can I ask a question in turn - is there any particular reason you know of why 2009, 2011, 2013, 2014 and 2015 might have these records, but no other years of the Tiptree? —The preceding unsigned comment was added by ErsatzCulture (talkcontribs) . 16:30, 18 September 2019 (EDT)
It looks like someone was wanting it to say "Honor List" and "Long List" instead of the system-generated "Finalists" and "Honorable Mentions" (respectively), even though these last two are still displayed. So, pretty much what JLaTondre wrote. I think these should be removed. ···日本穣 · 投稿 · Talk to Nihonjoe 19:35, 18 September 2019 (EDT)
(after resolving conflict) Ah, now that you pointed it out, I see it - I was loking at the lists themselves and not getting it. :) Sorry - had a slow moment here :) Isn't that similar to a question we had earlier this month about special names and what's not (wasn't it one of the Japanese awards?) - except someone went and did them that way instead of asking how? I would say that they should be removed and we need to discuss that "custom naming" thing for awards and levels.
As for why only some years - because noone added them? :) Different people add different awards at different times so... who knows - we keep adding missing information all over the place. Annie 19:37, 18 September 2019 (EDT)
I've deleted the bogus records. ···日本穣 · 投稿 · Talk to Nihonjoe 19:41, 18 September 2019 (EDT)
Thanks. —The preceding unsigned comment was added by ErsatzCulture (talkcontribs) . 16:47, 18 September 2019 (EDT)

eBook types

Hello all. Recently I re-visited this ebook pub record, to which an ASIN was added well after I created the record. Since this ASIN is for another ebook format (MOBI/AZW) compared to the original (EPUB), it started me thinking if we need/want to discriminate between different ebook formats, much like we have hc, tp, pb,... format types for paper books? Searching the internet a bit reveals that this particular pub, when bought from bol.com, is in EPUB format, whereas if it is bought from Amazon it will likely be in AZW3 (MOBI for older books I believe - not 100% sure on this one) format. So, since these are different formats, and since they generally are DRM protected and therefore not readily convertible into one another (at least not officially, that is...), I'd think it makes sense to add ebook formats to the dropdown list. Could be something like

  • ebook - EPUB
  • ebook - MOBI
  • ebook - AZW (all versions)
  • ebook - IBA (this one's Apple's, I believe)
  • ebook - other

as these are the most popular ones.
Thoughts ?
BTW, nice summary here: https://www.makeuseof.com/tag/ebook-formats-explained/
MagicUnk 09:04, 19 September 2019 (EDT)

A lot of books are available in multiple formats at the same time -- do we really want to add multiple copies to the DB? And unlike the physical books, conversions are possible very easily. I would much prefer we keep one type and either use Notes or add a new text field for format details... Just thinking aloud. Annie 10:33, 19 September 2019 (EDT)
I guess that if it would be so that electronic versions could be easily and without any restrictions and at all times be converted into each other (or be able to be read by whatever reading app/device), we could argue that the issue is moot and that for all practical intents and purposes the ebook formats can be effectively considered the 'same' (for as far as we're talking about the exact same contents of course). However, since this is not the case (not all formats can (should legally not) be converted, nor all ereaders can read all formats), I am inclined to think we should be able to make a distinction - preferably without having to clutter the notes, but if not, then the notes will have to do :).
Now, as for the how to distinguish, I see a couple of options. Adding more choices to the dropdown as listed above is just one possibility, and would be in line with what we already have for paper and even for audio formats too, albeit that these are physical formats, as opposed to electronic ones for ebooks. Adding an additional field to select the ebook (sub-)type is another, and even adding multiple additional types to a single ebook pub record (much like the possiblity to add multiple external ID's with the '+' button, or what we intend for the eagerly awaited multiple price enhancement - hint-hint :), could be a third. MagicUnk 11:23, 19 September 2019 (EDT)
I think we should handle this at the publication level as we always have. A publication is a salable product (and can and often is assigned an ISBN, UPC or other product code). Does one have to buy the item again to get another format? Then it likely is a separate publication. If not, then it is more like another part of the same product/publication (and we do not explicitly track that though a note in the pub record stating which formats a publication supports might be nice). Uzume 11:51, 22 September 2019 (EDT)
Well, that's the thing, isn't it? You cannot normally convert/are not allowed to convert between EPUB and MOBI, so you'd have to buy a new version, hence end up with two pub records... MagicUnk 18:42, 23 September 2019 (EDT)
It is quite easy to convert between the two. There are sellers who also provide multiple formats for a single purchase. This suggestions adds a lot of complexity & work for no gain. -- JLaTondre (talk) 18:50, 23 September 2019 (EDT)
I am not aware that it is legal to do so in all cases, or is it?MagicUnk 01:57, 24 September 2019 (EDT)
As long as one does not sell the converted copy I believe this is legal under fair use. Uzume 00:25, 1 October 2019 (EDT)

Multiformat magazines and series grids

We have two separate ways to record magazines that publish their issues in more than one format (print + ebook for example or webzine + print + ebook).

  • Two separate series - 1 per format. This becomes a problem if one of the format is discontinued - someone needs to know to look for the other series. And if one of the two formats does not exist from the beginning, it looks incomplete. Plus the series are almost never kept in parallel (example and its digital brother.
  • One series, all formats merged into a single early record. This can make the grid look heavy (and repetitious) but gives the full picture of the magazine. example.

Which one is used depends on the editor who sets the series basically - so we have both all over the place (and sometimes the wrong formats end up in the wrong place when someone does not pay attention). It is probably a good idea to at least try to decide what the standard should be. :)

I prefer the second way (we can always add some filters on the grid page if they start looking heavy) - especially now that we show the non-common formats so it will be clear why we have multiples. What does everyone think? Annie 23:14, 19 September 2019 (EDT)

Magazine handling is a little strange. It would be easier from a data management/maintenance perspective if we put it all into one. I wonder if we could somehow use a combination of pub series and title series to help organize. --MartyD 07:39, 20 September 2019 (EDT)
I believe we still support super series, e.g. you can see Astounding / Analog (1937-1971) and Astounding/Analog (UK), however there is also Astounding/Analog which merges the two (albeit in this case with some other stuff but methinks you get the idea). Also in this case the UK reprints are not exactly exposing a different format so much but a super series could be made for both of Galaxy's Edge and Galaxy's Edge (digital edition) and then one would be able to view a merged issue grid if one wanted to. For something like Journey Planet, one would have to split the editorial records and make another series and then super series the both. Uzume 11:23, 22 September 2019 (EDT)
Since Marty brought it up again, I always thought magazines should be defined/handled as pub series instead of the hackish way we do it now using their editorial records (which I have never suggested should go away; for some reason whenever I mention magazines as pub series that is the first thing people seem to think I am trying to get rid of). I realize we have many such records and it would be a large effort to create pub series for all the magazines/fanzines, etc. but it does solve the complexity of our current issue grid (and having an issue grid view for other non-magazine pub series might be useful too; I wonder if we have an FR on that) as well as allowing us to merge editorial records for different formats/reprints/etc. but still allow one to record and present them each separately. I believe our software does not currently support super pub series (though that might also be a useful addition) Uzume 11:23, 22 September 2019 (EDT)

Biographical warnings for audio books

I think that awhile back we suspended showing bibliographic warnings for missing ISBN/Catalog ID when the format of the book is ebook. Can we extend that to the "digital audio download" type as well? Example where we have both types and just one warning: Yarn. Or is there a reason to always have it (because these will (almost) never have ISBNs and catalog numbers)? Thanks! Annie 04:02, 21 September 2019 (EDT)

I don't think it was a conscious decision. We (or at least I) didn't realize that "digital audio download" books typically didn't have ISBNs. Ahasuerus 09:12, 21 September 2019 (EDT)
I think it was a "let's try to clean this thing" kind of thing and as we did not have that many audio books, noone thought of it.:)
How about prices and webzines? The warning is there even though the vast majority of webzines do not have prices unless we really like typing 0.00. And since we opened the doors for them, we have more than we used to. Annie 11:51, 21 September 2019 (EDT)
FR 1306, "Suppress bibliographic warnings for digital audio downloads", has been created. Ahasuerus 10:55, 3 October 2019 (EDT)
FR 1306 has been implemented. Ahasuerus 15:36, 4 October 2019 (EDT)
Any objections to suppressing bibliographic warnings for webzine issues without a price? Ahasuerus 10:55, 3 October 2019 (EDT)
Hearing no objection, FR 1308 has been created. Ahasuerus 21:32, 10 October 2019 (EDT)
FR 1308 has been implemented. Ahasuerus 19:16, 12 October 2019 (EDT)
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