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Authors in your books: Tip-toe into a feature

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1timspalding
Edited: Apr 1, 2011, 2:06pm Top

I've just added an "Authors" feature to the "Your books" tab—also known as "Your catalog" to old-timers. In function it's analogous to the "Tags" feature. Tags shows you all the tags on your books. "Authors" shows all your authors.



You get to it by clicking the divot next to "Tags":



It differs from the "Author Cloud" and "Author Gallery" in that it's within "Your books" and supposed to be more functional than decorative.

I've released it with the minimum of frills. I'm sure members can think of a few to add to it, such as:

* Favorite authors (various ways to implement)
* Showing which are Legacy or LibraryThing Authors

There's also the basic question of editing. In theory these could be editable, so, for example, you could quickly change all occurrences of "Twain, Mark" to "Clemens, Samuel." Such an action would, however, require some special scripting on my part, and has some dangers.

Obviously I made this thinking it could be applied to other things: Series, Awards, DDC, LCC, etc. I think these things belong in the catalog as first-class items, just like tags, not just as stats/memes.

So my questions!

1. What do you think?
2. Found any bugs?
3. What should be added or changed?
4. Should I add more "types" first or add more features to the author type?

2lilithcat
Apr 1, 2011, 2:11pm Top

I don't see that tab.

Or is this an "I posted about a feature before I actually activated the feature" thing?

3Aerrin99
Apr 1, 2011, 2:13pm Top

I see it! It looks awesome.

4DaynaRT
Apr 1, 2011, 2:16pm Top

also known as "Your catalog" to old-timers

Get off my lawn.

5_Zoe_
Apr 1, 2011, 2:17pm Top

Interesting; I think this has lots of potential

A few comments:
a) It's pretty slow and sometimes fails to load at all when I'm switching between views.
b) I think it would make more sense to give that drop-down a different name of its own, rather calling it whatever we looked at last. I wouldn't think to click a drop-down next to "tags" to get to the author view.
c) I'd sort of like a way to get to this other than via the catalogue page, which isn't the quickest to load.
d) I'd prefer to see more types before additional author features. Reading year is my top choice, followed by rating.

6AnnieMod
Apr 1, 2011, 2:18pm Top

1. Yey!

2. If the same author is written in 2 different ways in your library, which one is picked? If based on the majority of your books - there is a bug - I have 15 books from an author - 2 of them in Bulgarian (with the name of the author in Bulgarian on my copy), 13 in English. The name in the list is in Bulgarian...

3. That's books, correct? Any chance on having the works numbers somewhere there as well?

4. More types first will be better I think...

7mart1n
Apr 1, 2011, 2:18pm Top

Nice! Even if it isn't terribly obvious, hiding in the tags drop down.

While I'm here, hate to be picky but... instead of "Michael Moorcock" I'm seeing "James Colvin" (one of his pseudonyms). Moorcock is set as the canonical name.

8lilithcat
Edited: Apr 1, 2011, 2:21pm Top

Oh, now I see it!

I think being able to edit in one swell foop could be useful. If one has a lot of books by an author, and they are imported from different sources, it's not uncommon for them to be listed differently (J. Doe, John Doe, John Q. Doe), and it would be nice to be able to make them consistent easily.

Oh, something else -

I have multiple Anonymi on my author list (3, to be exact), and I wonder if it would be possible to show which each one is (that is, "Anonymous (19)", "Anonymous(14)", etc.).

9AnnieMod
Apr 1, 2011, 2:18pm Top

>2 lilithcat:

Are you sure? It is not tab really - see the image behind on where it is hiding

10keristars
Apr 1, 2011, 2:23pm Top

1,4> I honestly think it should go back to "Your catalogue", because "Your books" is too confusing when talking about collections and also when newbies don't read everything and think that means the books are available on LT.

But on topic:

Being able to edit the authors like editing the tags was the first function I expected of this view, other than being able to see all the authors without other bits of information.

11Nicole_VanK
Edited: Apr 1, 2011, 2:39pm Top

Like lilithcat said : not seeing it (XP-pro, FF 3.6.16).

Never mind, it's just the first picture is a bit misleading. I expected to see it next to the other button.

12AnnieMod
Apr 1, 2011, 2:46pm Top

OK..

I have Heidi Pitlor (2)
When clicked on it, it leads me to list of 1 book in my catalogue. Technically I have 2 books so that's correct but one of them is under another author in LT.

So... I like that it says 2 - I do have 2 books from her. But then clicking on it, shouldn't it show me these two regardless of what LT thinks the author is?

13timspalding
Apr 1, 2011, 2:49pm Top

So... I like that it says 2 - I do have 2 books from her. But then clicking on it, shouldn't it show me these two regardless of what LT thinks the author is?

So, we can do it one of two ways. Either it can show you only those LT thinks are correct or we can show it the way you have it in your catalog BUT we can't take account of author splits.

That is, authors are split at the work level. If you have a book by "Steve Martin" it will be split at the author level and Shopgirl will go to the comedian. But if you say that the Odyssey is by Steve Martin, LibraryThing has no idea which you mean.

So, decide: Do you want to see all the authors in your catalog, or see division by splits?

14Nicole_VanK
Apr 1, 2011, 2:55pm Top

Okay, but that isn't just it. I have several works by Lewis Carroll. Some of them are attributed differently on LT. I've got used to that.

But clicking Lewis Carroll in that list also shows me http://www.librarything.com/work/6266534/editions/54706988, and apparently there's only one LT user who attributed that book to him.

15AnnieMod
Edited: Apr 1, 2011, 3:05pm Top

>13 timspalding:

Tim, it is not a split author - it is a different author (in this case the majority of users have the second one under Stephen King). So when I click on Stephen King (3), I see 6 (2 of them are there because some not-thinking person had separated the Bulgarian spelling of King AGAIN, the 3 are the ones from the 3 on the author tab and the 1 is the book that in my Authors is counted under Peilor)

As for split - I would like to see them split.

PS: Edit. Not-thinking person sounds better..

16timspalding
Edited: Apr 1, 2011, 3:06pm Top

>15 AnnieMod:

No, I understand. But it's only showing the works that are attributed to that author, as a way of dealing with splits. Anyway, don't worry about it. I'm changing my mind. It should be based on your catalog alone. That means that it's not going to take splits into account, even when it has accurate information, because it can't do it without creating the problem you see.

Give it a sec.

17Nicole_VanK
Apr 1, 2011, 3:10pm Top

> 15: "woefully uninformed" maybe? ;-)

18AnnieMod
Edited: Apr 1, 2011, 3:13pm Top

>17 Nicole_VanK:

Maybe. But I am getting tired of recombining them :( The fact that we did out work and combined the books is not a reason to punish everyone and separate the authors. Again.

>16 timspalding:
OK...
I guess
Warning: join(): Bad arguments. in /var/www/html/catalog_bottom_A.php on line 1741
is because you are working on that :)

19AnnieMod
Apr 1, 2011, 3:15pm Top

Tim,

What about the other problem? If I have the author with 2 names in my catalogue, which one is picked?

20Nicole_VanK
Edited: Apr 1, 2011, 3:25pm Top

> 18: I know. It's very frustrating. I've even seen the original Greek for Homer getting separated out of the Homer page.

Tim: Could we please get some sort of warning on this, something like the "don't separate out 0-copy editions" warning. People are loosing author connections over this.

21brightcopy
Edited: Apr 1, 2011, 3:16pm Top

Very nice, Tim!

In a similar vein, I suggested this additional catalog view:
http://www.librarything.com/topic/104594#2367171

Don't know if you caught it but if not you might be interested. Somehow it seems related to this view to me.

22jjwilson61
Apr 1, 2011, 3:36pm Top

19> I think it's supposed to work like tags (or will when Tim finishes changing it). With tags if you have multiple forms of a tag they will both show up on the list regardless of whether they've been combined. So with authors if you have different forms of the name they'll show up as two entries regardless of whether the authors have been combined.

23AnnieMod
Apr 1, 2011, 3:44pm Top

>22 jjwilson61:

That would work for me :) Because just now it is just picking one.. and from what I can say it is always the minority one.

24rsterling
Apr 1, 2011, 3:45pm Top

First impressions:

3. What should be added or changed?

Added: Maybe a link to the author cloud at the top of the page (for an alternative visualization - no harm in cross-referencing!)

Added: a "permanent link," and as someone else suggested, another way to get there by direct link, rather than having to go through the catalog.

Changed: The button/drop-down that allows you to get there, especially if you're planning to add more types besides tags and authors. Can we call the button "views..." or "alternate views" or I don't know what, but something besides either Tags or Authors as default. A user wouldn't obviously think to look in the drop down next to "Tags" to find an author view. (Or vice versa, since it seems to remember whatever view you had last.) Come to think of it, the way you select views in general is a little confusing, and could possibly be streamlined into one dropbox or something:
Books - list
Books - cover
Tags and collections
Authors

25rsterling
Apr 1, 2011, 3:53pm Top

PS, I'm getting the concurrent query manager error when I click on any author, when it should take me to the list of books in my catalog by that author. Same deal when I click on "you have X works and Y books" from the author page.

I'm also seeing weird stuff on which name is displayed. For instance, I've got 18 books with Plato listed as the author, and only one French one listed under Platon, yet the author page is showing Platon.

26timspalding
Apr 1, 2011, 4:00pm Top

Sorry. Working now.

27staffordcastle
Apr 1, 2011, 4:13pm Top

I like it, but am having one problem. When I click on an author that is split, instead of getting a list of my books, I get a "No books found" message. Unsplit authors load fine.

28timspalding
Apr 1, 2011, 4:15pm Top

Okay, rsterling's "Plato" is now fixed to some extent. In fact, the winning (majority) is "Plato." with a period. It not calculates the majority winner.

I'm going to make a feature that allows you to see all variants.

Will fixed split thing in a sec.

29AnnieMod
Apr 1, 2011, 4:22pm Top

>26 timspalding:

No, it's not - I still see the BG spelling on authors that I have more books in English than in Bulgarian...

30lorax
Apr 1, 2011, 4:26pm Top

28>

It not calculates the majority winner.

Will fixed split thing in a sec.

Tired, typing too fast, or thinking in a language other than English? :-)

(Neat feature, by the way.)

31eromsted
Apr 1, 2011, 4:48pm Top

I think this is the first time we've been able to get counts of books per author in our catalogs. Excellent. It's sortable and filterable by collection. Double excellent.

I don't need any more features, but I would like to see more types.

32timspalding
Apr 1, 2011, 5:19pm Top

I still see the BG spelling on authors that I have more books in English than in Bulgarian

Okay, I think I'm going to need to rewrite something. But can you be more specific? I'm not seeing what you're talking about.

33AnnieMod
Apr 1, 2011, 5:23pm Top

Look at the books from Greg Iles in my library (that's easier than King because of all the not-exactly King books under his name)

I have 15 - 2 in Bulgarian, 13 in English.
On the 2 Bulgarian ones the name of the author is spelled Грег Айлс, on the 13 English ones it is Greg Iles.

On my authors page it is "Грег Айлс (15)"

34AnnieMod
Apr 1, 2011, 5:27pm Top

One more thing - it seems not to work for split authors (it says "No books found.
1 " when I try to click on the name of a split author in the list

35timspalding
Apr 1, 2011, 5:28pm Top

36AnnieMod
Edited: Apr 1, 2011, 5:30pm Top

>35 timspalding:

Yes for the issue in 33. For the issue in 34 - from this page it works ok. (and now from the standard page 34 is fixed as well).

37timspalding
Apr 1, 2011, 5:30pm Top

I'm utterly flummoxed. That page has no Bulgarian on it that I can see! Where it is alphabetizing?

38AnnieMod
Apr 1, 2011, 5:32pm Top

With the other Cyrillic ones.

39timspalding
Apr 1, 2011, 5:34pm Top

Okay, there's some slightly deeper problem there. I think that it's using my collection choice—the collections I want to see in my own library—to show your collections. When I signed in as you, the books were there. They don't appear to be private, so I think it's collections.

Sorry to be slow off the mark on all this. I'll get to it later, after I go to a, um, puppet show soon.

T

40brightcopy
Edited: Apr 1, 2011, 5:38pm Top

Isn't #34 the same as #27? (ETAA: Which seems to be fixed right now)

ETA:
I'll get to it later, after I go to a, um, puppet show soon.

*nudgenudgewinkwink*

41AnnieMod
Apr 1, 2011, 5:37pm Top

>39 timspalding:

:) No private books in my catalogue but the BG ones are in a non-standard collection so that would explain why you cannot see them with your collections.

Ok - thanks for looking into it :)

42AnnieMod
Apr 1, 2011, 5:37pm Top

>40 brightcopy:

Yeah - haven't seen it (obviously) :) It seems to be fixed now.

43timspalding
Apr 1, 2011, 5:51pm Top

Okay, I think your problem is fixed, Annie.

But I'm going to have to look at collections and at the general problem of over-combining--to let people see all variants.

44jjwilson61
Apr 1, 2011, 5:54pm Top

28> Are you saying it's using the author from the work instead of the one(s) from your catalog? I think that's the wrong choice. This feature is supposed to be an alternate view of your catalog so what it shows should be out of your catalog not some majority winner from the work.

45AnnieMod
Apr 1, 2011, 5:55pm Top

>43 timspalding:

Yep - that looks much better :) Thanks

46eromsted
Apr 1, 2011, 6:21pm Top

>44 jjwilson61:
No, I think it's the majority usage in your library if you have used more than one variation of the author name. I got one of mine to change by editing an author name in my library. That couldn't happen if it was using the global work author.

47jjwilson61
Apr 1, 2011, 6:24pm Top

46> Well that seems to be a lot of work for a worst outcome. If I have the same author under multiple names in my catalog I want to know about it so I can fix it (and I used the word catalog here because it just doesn't make sense if I substitute library).

48AnnieMod
Apr 1, 2011, 6:27pm Top

>43 timspalding:,44

OK.. Now it is fixed but there is something else strange.

My top Author is Nora Roberts. The problem is that ALL 36 books in my library are J.D. Robb ones - not even one is credited to Nora Roberts under that name. So it looks like it takes the spelling of the author name from the author (site-wide) and not from my catalogue? Is that the intention?

49eromsted
Apr 1, 2011, 6:33pm Top

>47 jjwilson61:
I can see value in a tool to show if you use more than one variation of an author name in you catalog, but I wouldn't want that to be the default.

I have a copy of Anna Karenina with the author entered as Lyof N. Tolstoï because that's how it's written on that edition (1886). But in the author view I still want all of my Tolstoy books grouped together, as they are now.

50rsterling
Edited: Apr 1, 2011, 7:51pm Top

44, 46, 47 - I think what he was saying for my case is that, in my catalog, the most common variant is "Plato." with a period, so that's the one that's winning out now. So it's now, correctly, using the version that's most common in my catalog, which just happens to be Plato. with a period. (And it is not using the names on the work page, but rather the ones in my catalog - which is also what we want.) Now, off to fix that period thing in my own records...

PS - And I also agree that it would be useful to be able to expand an author name somehow to see what other variants I have in my catalog.

ETA - actually, I don't think Plato. is the most common version, and it's also not the one that's winning out. "Plato" is both the majority and what's showing now, but that's as it should be.

51rsterling
Apr 1, 2011, 7:40pm Top

I think this is the first time we've been able to get counts of books per author in our catalogs. Excellent. It's sortable and filterable by collection. Double excellent.

I know - this is really cool. I was actually surprised to find out which author was at the top of my lists, when I sorted by number of books. Nice bit of info.

Another suggestion - can we get some of the other customizations that we have for tags in the author view too: Down/across, text size, number of columns?

52_Zoe_
Apr 1, 2011, 7:42pm Top

Back to the question of what else we want to see, I'd actually like the option to show books read by both month and year.

53rsterling
Apr 1, 2011, 7:45pm Top

And another suggestion :)

It would be cool if we could get a weighted list of our authors: weighted by how many books they have, so in a sense, weighted by how "complete" our libraries are for each author.

It would also be cool if we could drill down further, so specify not only collections but also tags within collections, and then just see authors for books that meet those criteria.

I know, ponies, but there are just so many possibilities with all this data.

54AnnieMod
Apr 1, 2011, 7:47pm Top

>50 rsterling:

Not true for my catalog :( So there is still something strange somewhere.

55rsterling
Apr 1, 2011, 7:53pm Top

Another bug: if I'm in someone else's catalog, and I click on "authors" from the drop-down menu (when it's not default on the button), it takes me to MY authors, not theirs. The link in the drop-down is missing the view=MEMBERNAME at the end. When the button says "author" rather than "tags," it works fine, and takes me to the other person's authors.

56eromsted
Apr 1, 2011, 7:58pm Top

>54 AnnieMod:
Yeah. I now throw up my hands on this issue. I went and looked at your catalog and I see what you see re Nora Roberts. But in my catalog I just found an entry for Michael Mann for which the author link pointed to a blank division page. The problem was that the consensus work author is Michael E. Mann. I changed my record to Michael E. Mann and the author view entry changed in turn.

57AnnieMod
Apr 1, 2011, 8:05pm Top

>56 eromsted:

Maybe the Canonical name is playing up here? No idea.:) Hopefully Tim will be able to decipher it.

58justjim
Edited: Apr 1, 2011, 9:21pm Top

I like to keep my fiction shelved by genre, alphabetically by author and then by publication date. This tool, together with collections and sortable columns in the a-e views makes it very easy to maintain shelving order.

As it turns out, since I can't filter by tag and then view authors with the new button, and since I use tags for genre not collections, it is easier to use the catalogue view filtered by a genre tag then sorted by author and date. Which is the way I've done it in the past.

I may have to power-edit genre tagged books into genre collections.

(Still a) Good job, and thanks!

59lorax
Apr 1, 2011, 9:32pm Top

50, 54>

In other contexts like the author cloud it uses the variation of the name associated with the book you added most recently, or perhaps edited most recently. Any chance that's what's going on here too?

60AnnieMod
Apr 1, 2011, 9:41pm Top

>59 lorax:

There is only 1 book credited to Nora Roberts (both in my catalog and in the works) and 35 to J. D Robb (almost forgot about the one when I posted the previous message). It had been entered years ago and I have not edited it since. The ones added in the last months are all J. D Robb.

So no - the last added, last edited and the majority use the spelling J. D Robb.

61elenchus
Apr 1, 2011, 10:17pm Top

>1 timspalding:
So my questions!

1. What do you think?
2. Found any bugs?
3. What should be added or changed?
4. Should I add more "types" first or add more features to the author type?


For now, would like to see the same format as tags on the page: a Collections Summary on the left, then the list of authors on the right, sorted by name or by count.

62PhaedraB
Apr 1, 2011, 10:22pm Top

My number one author is Aleister Crowley? Holy crap.

63timspalding
Edited: Apr 1, 2011, 10:37pm Top

My number one author is Aleister Crowley? Holy crap.

Prolific guy.

There is only 1 book credited to Nora Roberts (both in my catalog and in the works) and 35 to J. D Robb (almost forgot about the one when I posted the previous message). It had been entered years ago and I have not edited it since. The ones added in the last months are all J. D Robb.

You're right. It was aliasing them after the counts. Anyway, it SHOULD be working right now. It now chooses the most popular within your catalog, and breaks ties with reference to the most popular across the site—so that Neil Stephenson is in Latin characters, despite being split equally between Latin and Cyrillic in your catalog.

I'm hesitant to say it is, since I've been wrong before...

64timspalding
Apr 1, 2011, 10:36pm Top

For now, would like to see the same format as tags on the page: a Collections Summary on the left, then the list of authors on the right, sorted by name or by count.

So, here's the argument against. The collection list on the left isn't there so you can flip collections. You can do that from the collections box above. It's there so you can move tags to collections and collections to tags. I'm not sure what purpose the collections area would have on the authors page. How do you see it?

65keristars
Apr 1, 2011, 11:02pm Top

64> I had no idea of that functionality, and I can't seem to get the list on the left to work differently than just using the drop-down box.

66elenchus
Apr 1, 2011, 11:07pm Top

>64 timspalding:

Ah. Also didn't know of that functionality for tags. Mostly it was my latent OCD talking, so I have no compelling reason to mirror that format with authors.

Even after your description of the intended functionality for tags, I'm not sure I understand it. I'm off to try it!

67Heather19
Apr 1, 2011, 11:16pm Top

Wow. Apparently, after the first 15 or so authors (sorted by count), I have like 1 or 2 books by each author. ... A lot of authors. Lots. Wow.

This is interesting.

68timspalding
Edited: Apr 1, 2011, 11:33pm Top



I've added settings for "combined" versus "variants" for names, and "first-last" versus "last-first."

I think the "combined" and "variant" toggle solves all the issues, except that it no longer tries to distinguish split authors within your catalog. The page links still go to the right split, but it shows all "Steve Martins" within your catalog when you click on him.

first-last/last-first is there largely so people can understand weird sort order. If you entered "Aaron Zimmerman" as "Aaron Zimmerman" not "Zimmerman, Aaron," LibraryThing will sort the author to the front of the list, not the end.

69timspalding
Apr 1, 2011, 11:53pm Top

Another bug: if I'm in someone else's catalog, and I click on "authors" from the drop-down menu (when it's not default on the button), it takes me to MY authors, not theirs. The link in the drop-down is missing the view=MEMBERNAME at the end. When the button says "author" rather than "tags," it works fine, and takes me to the other person's authors.

Fixed. Thanks.

70timspalding
Apr 2, 2011, 12:05am Top

I've added a column count to the feature:

71Heather19
Apr 2, 2011, 12:13am Top

... Yunno, this "variants" setting is an awesome way to find and fix authors in my catalogue! *had no idea there were so many variants*

72keristars
Edited: Apr 2, 2011, 12:19am Top

When I click on "Avi" or "AVI" in my view (first one's link), I get an error - "No books found" and then 0 on the next line.

Also, the breadcrumbs look like this: "Authors: Authors > [x]"

Is anyone else getting this kind of bug?

73timspalding
Apr 2, 2011, 12:18am Top

I know. The logical next step would be to make them editable within this view. But THAT could get dangerous.

74Heather19
Edited: Apr 2, 2011, 12:21am Top

I'm actually getting an error on every single author I click right now. "Authors: Authors > x No books found. 0 " There is an "author page" link below the author names, so is the author name itself supposed to link to the books we have or something?

75timspalding
Apr 2, 2011, 12:23am Top

>72 keristars:

Ah. Yes. Only when doing "variants," right? Give me a sec.

76timspalding
Apr 2, 2011, 12:36am Top

Fixed. Thanks.

77prussia_cove
Apr 2, 2011, 3:29am Top

How come I can't see authors at all? "Your books" tab looks as always, from left to right: all collections, list, covers, tags and style. No authors.

78Heather19
Apr 2, 2011, 3:34am Top

Prussia, there should be a little arrow on the right side of the tags button. Click the arrow and it'll give you an option to see tags or authors.

79prussia_cove
Apr 2, 2011, 3:57am Top

Oh, I see! Thank you, Heather!

80_Zoe_
Apr 2, 2011, 8:55am Top

Are authors going to have a down-across option?

81AnnieMod
Apr 3, 2011, 2:21am Top

>63 timspalding: Tim,
Seems to be working now :) Thanks

82Musereader
Apr 3, 2011, 2:06pm Top

I've fixed all the variants in my catalogue, there were loads, I knew i had typos and stuff because i've found some before but i didn't know how many. it really helps, thanks.

83Keeline
Apr 3, 2011, 8:47pm Top

This has been a helpful view into our collections and, like >82 Musereader:, we've made many corrections to improve the consistency. It has even made it easier to combine some authors and fix up the multiple names in the author field problem. An interesting surprise was the odd and variety of ways that company and organization names as authors showed up. I improved this a good deal.

Some of my authors with the same name are represented by multiple entries. Sometimes this is due to a split author. However, in this display, they simply have multiple lines with the counts. If the name is the same, the attempt to search for copies may or may not work. It seems OK for split authors since the links eventually point to the -1, -2, -3, and so on. Indeed, the only way I see to distinguish between the authors is to look at the browser status bar and note which split author is represented in the link.

I found a number of cases where suffixes in names (Jr., II, III, etc.) were not properly handled and I was able to fix them.

I have 43 books by "Roy Rockwood" (Stratemeyer Syndicate pseudonym) and 42 were grouped and 1 was an outlier. However, when I tried to view the items in the collection, all 43 were shown and I could not figure out which one was separate from the others. It could be an author combination thing. This mainly showed up when "variants" was selected.

This was a good opportunity to do some clean up in the listings and I appreciate the tool and the inspiration to do so.

James

84AnnieMod
Apr 3, 2011, 8:55pm Top

>83 Keeline:

I suspect it is http://www.librarything.com/work/11034263/book/70858408 - it has an interval at the end of the family name of the author before the comma. Once you remove it, the separate entry will disappear (I believe).

85krazy4katz
Apr 3, 2011, 9:24pm Top

Thank you, Tim! This is very interesting. My top author is one of my favorites, but then it all falls apart. This gives me incentive to start reading more from my favorite authors.

k4k

86timspalding
Apr 4, 2011, 3:26am Top

I've added series:



Series raises the problem that in some ways the display is less rich than the "stats" page for series:

http://www.librarything.com/profile/MEMBERNAME/stats/series

So, what to do?

87AnnieMod
Apr 4, 2011, 3:52am Top

>86 timspalding:

Nice.

A popup (or a separate page) with the information for that series that is now on the stats page that is linked from each series in the Your Books page maybe (with a toggle for your books/all books)? That would help (well... it would help me a lot).

And yeah- it will be almost the series page but without the tags, images and so on - which makes it a lot easier to navigate (and in the case when it is filtered, it is easier to see what you have)

88Noisy
Apr 4, 2011, 5:34am Top

Normally I don't like this fiddling around at the edges, but in this case it gets a thumbs-up from me - very useful.

89Musereader
Apr 4, 2011, 6:14am Top

#83, I found that I had a lot of things like Clarke , Arthur C. Vs Clarke, Arthur C. (extra space before comma) Homer Vs Homer. or Homer,. (missing/extra periods or commas) Lewis, C.S. Vs Lewis C. S. (missing space between initials) Miller Jr, Walter Vs Miller, Walter or Baron Dunsany Vs Baron Edward John Moreton Drax Plunkett Dunsany (extra/missing initials/middlenames/suffixes)

They do show up on the same page once you click through so you have to look through them, but you know what the difference you are looking for is, I copied the one I wanted and pasted it into the 'wrong' ones.

90reading_fox
Apr 4, 2011, 7:25am Top

Nice like this quite a lot. Doubt I'm gonig to use it for anything, but it is interesting in an informational kind of way.

Ditto also the series that has appeared there too!

91_Zoe_
Apr 4, 2011, 7:53am Top

>86 timspalding: I'd much rather see you providing access to different information instead of just repeating the same information we already have in a slightly different way.

We already have a series page. Author and series are already searchable. Meanwhile there are fields like rating and date read that can't be searched and that require multiple guesses or (in the case of ratings; reading dates aren't even on the statistics page!) calculations based on data on a different page just to see a set of books in the catalogue.

92mckait
Apr 4, 2011, 8:57am Top

Thank you tim.. I like this :)

93cyderry
Apr 4, 2011, 9:12am Top

Maybe I don't understand how this is supposed to work, but when I choose my Read but not owned Collection and select Series it shows a number much higher in some instances than should be. For instance, I have only read one Amelia Peabody but it's showing 19. What am I doing wrong?

94lucien
Apr 4, 2011, 9:22am Top

>86 timspalding:, 91
Publisher series? Here or statistics would be nice.

>93 cyderry:
I can confirm the same in my catalog. Authors correctly filters by collection, Series does not. My currently reading shows series from All Collections. Interestingly, if I then click on the series (which says 8) it only brings up the one that is actually in currently reading.

95Keeline
Apr 4, 2011, 10:12am Top

> 84,

Good eye catching the space after the surname and before the comma. Now that I know that it can be an issue, I will watch for it when this comes up.

> 89,

Not being a Classicist, I'm a little puzzled by the distinction between "Plato." and "Plato" and "Homer." and "Homer". In my observation, many 19th Century and earlier books had extra punctuation to each line of a title page without implying that the punctuation is intended to be part of the name, title or other information. Do academics make a distinction between the two forms of the name?

> 86,

Since I have a bunch of series (a principal part of my collection), it will be interesting to see what this looks like and note surprises for potential clean up. I'll also look at the Series Stats page mentioned.

James

96235711
Apr 4, 2011, 11:33am Top

Series: Series > (Name of series) {x}

Clicking on the second "series", which is a link, takes you back to the series catalogue view. Clicking on the name of the series takes you to the general series page ("recently created series"). I'd have expected it to go to the page of that particular series.

97235711
Apr 4, 2011, 11:40am Top

When you're in series view, clicking "list" only reloads series view.

98ABVR
Apr 4, 2011, 12:04pm Top

I just discovered this thread, and the feature, which I love . . . in concept. But it only half-works for me:

The "Series" function displays perfectly. When I switch to "Authors" I get nothing -- not even an error message -- just blank white screen.

Help? :-)

Mac OS 10.6.7; same result in both FF 3.6.16 and Safari 5.0.4, even after logging out and back in.

99timspalding
Apr 4, 2011, 12:29pm Top

I'd have expected it to go to the page of that particular series.

Good. I like it when people expect the right things :). Problem fixed. Thanks.

When you're in series view, clicking "list" only reloads series view.

Thanks. Fixed.

When I switch to "Authors" I get nothing -- not even an error message -- just blank white screen.

Can you try again? It worked nicely for me for you. I'm wondering if it's timing out, or if it's a display issue. The data is "warm" now, so it should be fast enough, if timing out was the issue.

100elenchus
Apr 4, 2011, 12:39pm Top

>86 timspalding:

Series is a nice addition. Possible to include the total list of titles in that series, along with the number in the selected collection?

Something like 33 1/3 (4 / 99) where 4 tallies the titles in my collection, and 99 tallies the total number of titles currently included in the Series.

101paradoxosalpha
Apr 4, 2011, 12:56pm Top

> 100

Yes, that would be great. But geeze, could you have picked a more confusing-looking example?

102tarpfarmer
Apr 4, 2011, 12:57pm Top

SERIES! This is amazing! Every once in awhile I turned up to ask about a "see yours" button on the series page like there is on the author page for your books. With this new series button now I can see the catalog view of all my books in a series. It is great for a power edit if I want to add or remove tags from all my series books at once. Good things come to those who wait :-) Thanks

103gilroy
Edited: Apr 4, 2011, 1:04pm Top

My major malfunction so far:

When looking at the Author page or Series page, if i'm not highlighted in the lefthand column, I can't access the author page link. It only allows me to click on the name to get to the list of books in my catalogue. I've tried it with 4 columns or 5 columns in my layout.

(IE 6 and 7, Windows XP)

104elenchus
Apr 4, 2011, 1:15pm Top

> 101

It was random but I decided to keep it, just to be obnoxious. I did revise the count to "4" in the example, though, since my actual tally of 3 catalogued titles seemed hopelessly confusing.

Clearly omnibus titles, et al could raise concerns. To me it boils down to: how many titles are listed in the Series? We should be consistent, and report that number the same here as on the Series page. For now, this would entail displaying an omnibus title as e.g., 1 out of 17, when in fact that book compiles all 16 volumes of and itself constitutes the 17th volume in the series (example based on the From Hell graphic novel series).

105paradoxosalpha
Apr 4, 2011, 1:25pm Top

>104 elenchus:

There needs to be an elegant solution using work-to-work relationships so that we can get the omnibus titles out of the series volume-count!

106lilithcat
Apr 4, 2011, 1:27pm Top

I must say that I didn't think I'd have much use for the "series" view, but it is quite helpful in finding "series" that really aren't, and getting my books out of them.

107jjwilson61
Apr 4, 2011, 1:31pm Top

105> The excuse for putting omnibuses into the series listing in the first place was that there wasn't any easy way to find them otherwise. Now that we have work-to-work relationships, isn't it time to remove the omnibuses from the serieses?

Maybe that should wait until we get some sort of indication (half check-marks or something) on the series page when we have an omnibus that contains some of the series works.

108paradoxosalpha
Apr 4, 2011, 1:33pm Top

>107 jjwilson61:

I believe you and I are in accord on this.

109brightcopy
Edited: Apr 4, 2011, 1:35pm Top

107> Now that we have work-to-work relationships, isn't it time to remove the omnibuses from the serieses?

I think it'll have to wait until some kind of code support. Something that will make an auto-generated section below the series enumeration that says:

Works that contain members of this series:
- Omnibus 1
- Omnibus 2

etc.

Otherwise, I think opinion will (rightly) be divided on wiping them out.

110ABVR
Apr 4, 2011, 1:38pm Top

> 99

All fixed now . . . and every bit as cool as I'd hoped from reading the descriptions! Thanks, Tim!

111paradoxosalpha
Apr 4, 2011, 1:48pm Top

> 109

That would be sufficient for me!

But in a perfect world, there would also be a half-check sort of thing to show the "series coverage" of omnibus volumes in my library. That way, if (as is in fact the case on multiple counts) I have most or all of a series in some combination of individual and omnibus volumes, the series page would show at a glance what parts are accounted for and which I lack.

112timspalding
Apr 4, 2011, 1:51pm Top

>107 jjwilson61:, 108

This is an interesting issue we need to think about more. I think arguments will spring up on both sides.

113lilithcat
Apr 4, 2011, 1:56pm Top

I think arguments will spring up on both sides.

This being LibraryThing, I expect they'll spring up on three or four sides.

114AnnaClaire
Apr 4, 2011, 2:05pm Top

Just three or four?

115lilithcat
Apr 4, 2011, 2:09pm Top

At least. And one side will want

116gilroy
Edited: Apr 4, 2011, 2:25pm Top

Neigh! Neigh I say!

117timspalding
Apr 4, 2011, 2:31pm Top

118clamairy
Edited: Apr 4, 2011, 2:32pm Top

#115 - Give us ponies and cheese!

119lilithcat
Apr 4, 2011, 2:35pm Top

> 118

120clamairy
Apr 4, 2011, 2:37pm Top

Aaaahhh...

121timspalding
Apr 4, 2011, 2:38pm Top

122brightcopy
Apr 4, 2011, 2:39pm Top

111> But in a perfect world, there would also be a half-check sort of thing to show the "series coverage" of omnibus volumes in my library. That way, if (as is in fact the case on multiple counts) I have most or all of a series in some combination of individual and omnibus volumes, the series page would show at a glance what parts are accounted for and which I lack.

Yes, something like this, in fact. :D

123AnnaClaire
Apr 4, 2011, 2:41pm Top

>115 lilithcat:
But nobody should be given one of those if they don't have a...

124jjwilson61
Edited: Apr 4, 2011, 4:15pm Top

One person's pony is another person's critical feature.

125Musereader
Apr 4, 2011, 4:20pm Top

Can we have a thread about the series and omnibus issue mentioned in #107 to #112, should I start one in RSI? It's just that half checks are not going to work, I have omnibuses that have 3, 4 and 5 volumes in.

126Musereader
Edited: Apr 4, 2011, 4:21pm Top

how did i manage to double post here? lol.

127Heather19
Apr 4, 2011, 6:41pm Top

I like the Series addition. I guess I'm just.... starting to go "huh" now. The authors thing was awesome, especially the "variants" option... But series too? What exactly is the point in having these new features when we already have dedicated pages for "your series" and "your authors"? Is it *just* that it's in-catalogue now? 'Cause some people can't be bothered to leave their catalogue page to find these lists? I just... really don't understand the need, here.

128AnnieMod
Edited: Apr 4, 2011, 7:02pm Top

Heather, the page as it is now is NOT the same as the page we used to have - a list with just the numbers as opposed to what we had with all titles (and if you have enough series, this DOES matter). And it is collection filterable - which the old page is not. And it allows you to see the series on the language site that you are on while the old one always shows the English series.

If you do not like it, don't use it. Some people actually appreciate having it and saying that their reasoning is just that they cannot be bothered to leave a page is not really nice. :)

129brightcopy
Apr 4, 2011, 6:51pm Top

127> It does have a few significant differences that aren't glaringly obvious but tend to creep in unnoticed. For example, what if I wanted to see only series I actually have rather than all those for books on my wishlist? Can't do that with stats, can with this. What if I want to power-edit all my books for a certain author? Can't do that with stats, can with this. There's a lot of other little mini-features like that buried in here, and then you got all the differences this format makes versus the very rigid format in the stats page. I'm also guessing that a lot of this is shared code, so it's likely that a good portion of implementing the feature for Series just re-used the code for Authors, which probably also re-used a great deal of code from Tags.

130Heather19
Apr 4, 2011, 7:06pm Top

128: Wow, sorry, I didn't mean to make anyone defensive! I wasn't trying to put down the feature or the users who liked it, I was honestly curious about what was different.

131AnnieMod
Apr 4, 2011, 7:13pm Top

>130 Heather19:

Yeah - sorry -- a bit touchy today :) And because we rarely see a new feature that actually helps the non-English sites, I was a bit... defensive :)

132timspalding
Apr 4, 2011, 8:48pm Top

So, as often happens I see both arguments. I'm sure we all do to some extent.

My rationale is not quite what others have put forward. Yes it does some things unavailable from other pages. But most importantly it's putting them into your catalog in a full-bore way, to be used as a natural tool when you're cataloging and editing your catalog.

If you don't see my point consider what else the catalog does that is replicated elsewhere. What if we removed the tags view of your library? There would still be a tag cloud, and various other places where tags appear. We could even make a stats/memes page that replicated the list format we have now. So what's the difference? Is the difference just a feature difference or is it something else? Or imagine LibraryThing refused to allow sorting by some common fields—date or author, for example. Instead we'd have a statistics/memes page that laid out the data instead. Would that be equivalent? I don't think so.

133Heather19
Apr 4, 2011, 9:01pm Top

132: Ah, but the tags list in-catalogue allows you to bulk-edit the tags right for that list. You can also go to the tag page, or "RSS" (which I only vaguely know what that is). The only functionality available in the author-list is to go to the author page.

I'm not arguing here, really. I can see how it would be stupid/can-o-worms etc to have something like author (or series!) be editable from that page. I totally get that. Just pointing out that the tag comparision doesn't really hold up.

134fdholt
Apr 7, 2011, 10:38pm Top

#95
Not being a Classicist, I'm a little puzzled by the distinction between "Plato." and "Plato" and "Homer." and "Homer". In my observation, many 19th Century and earlier books had extra punctuation to each line of a title page without implying that the punctuation is intended to be part of the name, title or other information. Do academics make a distinction between the two forms of the name?

It's a matter of lack of comma. The name John Smith comes over to LT correctly since it strips the final period if not an initial from a library source.
100 Smith, John. = Smith, John when imported.

However: 100 Plato. stays as Plato so you need to strip the period yourself after import. This also happens with corporate entries such as: 100 Episcopal Church. which imports the period.

135rsterling
Apr 8, 2011, 1:51am Top

134 - correct. It's just a result of how library catalogs list names that aren't first last, and then how that gets read during the import process. Import is bringing in the period.

136Nicole_VanK
Apr 8, 2011, 6:29am Top

> 95: Nope, no difference.

137fdholt
Apr 8, 2011, 8:20am Top

#136 Right, there is no difference. So either take the period out of "Plato." or leave it - it will still be on the proper author page. It's a matter of how fussy you are with your catalog and how it looks.

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