• LibraryThing
  • Book discussions
  • Your LibraryThing
  • Join to start using.

LT Author links go to disambiguation page

Bug Collectors

Join LibraryThing to post.

Apr 26, 11:41am Top

Example: https://www.librarything.com/author/ashworthjohn

John Ashworth is LT member johnthefireman. There are at least two other catalogued John Ashworths; some titles are not yet linked to any of them.

The Author badge and link goes to the disambiguation. I suppose that reflects the state of affairs when johnthefireman became an LT Author. Shouldnt there be some way of editing the link without putting in a request to staff? This is not the first ambiguous LT Author link I've encountered. In fact they seem common.

Apr 26, 11:44am Top

in such cases we need to change the code. Loranne?

Apr 26, 12:30pm Top

>2 timspalding: Yeah, we have to change the "author extension," that is the digit(s) that appears after the author code. When you run into something like this, feel free to drop me a message. Closing as not a bug.

We're investigating allowing members to update the author extension, but it's low priority at the moment.

I've updated John Ashworth's author extension now, so the links should be going to the right place, but the badge may take up to 24 hours to move from the disambiguation page.

Apr 26, 2:17pm Top

Fixed the bug Loranne had with our admin interface--it's now showing the split correctly.

Apr 26, 2:29pm Top

Okay, a SQL (sent to Loranne) shows we have 419 authors with this problem--they are linked to the top-level of an author that has since been split.

Anyone want to suggest a user-interface for fixing this?


Apr 26, 6:33pm Top

>5 timspalding: Something similar to "Alias divisions to other authors" (for example https://www.librarything.com/author_split.php?author=ashworthjohn&page=alias ) but instead of adding links to other author pages for aliasing to allow adding a link to a LT user page?

Or a checkbox system (but then you need to think about having two LT authors in the same split :)

Apr 27, 12:10am Top

Maybe something similar to photo assignments?

With a link in the badge that opens up to reveal a chooser:

When is that green border going to go away though? ;-p

Apr 27, 11:53am Top

Whatever solution is created should be robust to the situation of two or more LT authors sharing a name. I'm not sure if there are any existing cases, but it's not impossible.

Apr 27, 11:56am Top

>8 lorax: Very good point!

Apr 27, 1:25pm Top

I've got a solution mapped out, taking place on the author-division pages. I'll get it pushed out… tonight, I hope.

Apr 27, 7:23pm Top

Okay, I've gone ahead and done everything needed here.

* The LT Author page now has a "split" setting, that will show all LT authors mapped to a disambiguation page. See http://www.librarything.com/librarything_author.php
* The author pages have notices like this
* This links to a page like this https://www.librarything.com/author_split.php?author=ashworthjohn&page=ltauthor
* I have emailed the 418 authors with a letter asking them to update their listings, with links.

I'm done!

Apr 27, 7:54pm Top

>11 timspalding:

How will this work if 2 separate authors with the same name need the designation?

Apr 27, 10:13pm Top

>11 timspalding: Not quite working yet. I looked at John Carey/J. W. Carey and found that I needed to alias John Carey - 8 out to J. W. Carey. Bits are working and bits aren't.

Apr 27, 11:26pm Top

Is this new feature causing a 'keep undivided' bug? Or just confusing some LT Authors? If it's them it seems like they noticed awful fast...

See Messages 56 and 58 here http://www.librarything.com/topic/211695

Apr 27, 11:28pm Top

>14 Crypto-Willobie: Tim did say in >11 timspalding: that he e-mailed 418 authors asking them to update their links.

Apr 28, 6:52am Top

This whole LT Author thing needs more work. I just assigned one to author-5 on this page:
but no visible improvement appeared. No LT Author badge by the name, even when you click onto:

Didn't it used to be that the badge appeared like an author image does, alongside that author image, on the disambiguation page? And shouldn't also appear on her author-5 page, too?

I can't really see the point of all this if the badge doesn't designate which one of these authors is the LT author.

Apr 28, 8:38am Top

>16 Collectorator: "but no visible improvement appeared."
Well, if you click over to the user's personal profile, and then click on the link there to go to their author page, you are taken to their split instead of back to the disambig.

>15 jjwilson61: Yeah you're right. Maybe it's just coincidence that (at least) two authors immediately went and undivided the disambig page for their name.

Apr 28, 9:52am Top

>16 Collectorator: I thought I read Tim somewhere, apparently not in this thread, that the appearance of the author badge in the right place might take 24 hours.

Apr 28, 10:17am Top

>16 Collectorator: >18 jjwilson61: Yep, one I applied earlier turned up within a couple of hours.

Apr 28, 10:29am Top

Yeah, unfortunately, the badges are cached. I'll work on it.

Apr 28, 11:29am Top

Mary Lawrence is fixed now and looks good. I had not realized there was a caching issue.

Apr 28, 11:56am Top

I'm working on caching.

Apr 28, 1:03pm Top

Okay, I think the caching is eliminated for LT Authors, and it should be instant now.


Apr 28, 1:08pm Top

I just set another and the badge went up lickety-split. :)

Apr 28, 1:59pm Top

Yeah. I'm looking to eliminate all the caching of this type. Trick is, I have to replace all these hit-types:

[work] => Array
earlyreview => 7464
giveaway => 7441
ltauthor => 7446
legacylibrary => 7137
earlyreview-alumn => 7587

author => Array
authorchat => 11543
earlyreview => 3893
giveaway => 3889
legacylibrary => 5019
ltauthor => 5007
earlyreview-alumn => 3658

user => Array
ltauthor => 1151
legacylibrary => 1163

Apr 28, 2:00pm Top

o,o,o, K! good luck wi dat. :-s

May 1, 4:49am Top

Well, it took basically all weekend, but I did it. Almost nothing has changed in display--the display of Early Reviwers was tweaked a bit--but I moved all the code off the old caching system, and so caching shouldn't be as much of a problem.

May 1, 7:02am Top

Sorry, but I have found what might be a bug.
I visited an author page that was split, with the LT author status already set. I saw that the other book could be better authored, so I re-authored it.
( http://www.librarything.com/work/11110296/summary )
Then I set the original author page to Keep Undivided since there was only one author represented. Now we have this:
which has eaten her LT author status.

I guess Member Giveaway overrides LT Author? :(

May 1, 7:06am Top

I guess Member Giveaway overrides LT Author? :(

Good guess, I think. Leaving marked so I can look at later.

Edited: May 1, 7:50am Top

Bit still to do, as I raised in >13 Noisy:. If a split author has the LT Author applied, and the split author is then aliased out to another author, then the status does not follow to the alias target.

May 1, 8:43am Top

>30 Noisy: Yes, I have noticed that and I think it's quite messy. If the LT Author designation is applied, you shouldn't be able to alias it out. The application of the LT Author status was made by staff in consultation with the author, who chose John Smith --- not John Jones Smith.

May 1, 9:12am Top

>30 Noisy:

Blech. This arises from the overzealous use of aliasing, rather than combining and separating. An author's main, preferred name should not be aliased somewhere else.

May 1, 9:34am Top

>32 timspalding: Don't understand. One or the other name is best to be aliased into the other, and aliasing J. W. Carey into John Carey seems weird when none of the other 'John Carey's have W as a middle initial. The only other ways are to use canonical name or other author. If none of the books making up the works use a name other than the one that creates the author string, then both of those options are clumsy workarounds. I subscribe to the reasoning set out in http://www.librarything.com/wiki/index.php/Reasons_not_to_use_%22Other_Authors%2.... For the example I point out, J.W. Carey is the more unique name, because John Carey is used by a number of others. And if there were two LT Authors with the same name, then things are even more complicated.

Edited: May 1, 10:05am Top

>33 Noisy:

So, this is a slightly tricky situation in that it's unclear what his name "should" be. Two of his three cataloged books are John Carey. For here, I'm going to stipulate this is his "normal" name. But looking online, it looks to me like he's shifted to J. W., no doubt because John Carey is both boring and very common.

So, stipulating that, this is what combining is for. Combining combines variants of a name. J. W. Carey is one variant of John Carey. Yes, there are other John Careys who don't have W as their middle name, but so what. They all presumably have middle names, and some probably wrote one thing with it. The main thing is their normal, common, name.

What shouldn't we do? Alias splits off to some name that isn't their normal name. We aren't librarians, fastening on name-variants for the sole purpose of creating namespace uniqueness.

As I said, this one's weird. He's mostly John Carey on LT, but that may not be his preferred name. But whenever one author split has been aliased off to a rare or artificial variant (such as librarians often create) of their name, that's a misuse of the system.

May 1, 10:49am Top

>34 timspalding: I concede that aliasing John into J.W. in this instance is artificial, and it's only done to make sure that there is one page where all works by an author are gathered together. But combining J.W. into John is just blech. I'm arguing that the LT Author stamp should appear on both pages.

The main thing is their normal, common, name. Do you mean most used, or do you mean canonical? You display canonical names alongside the common name when authors are split; works are also sometimes forced into 'non-common' author strings by the use of 'Other author', just to get works gathered together (for which, again, blech). I think your combining, splitting and aliasing tools are perfectly fine in dealing with the difficulties that we face with names; I'd just argue that the main thing is actually having one page with all an author's works represented.

Where authors use multiple aliases (and they can't be combined), the LT author stamp needs to appear on all the pages.

May 1, 10:51am Top

Do you mean most used, or do you mean canonical?

In general, they should be the same.

Where authors use multiple aliases (and they can't be combined), the LT author stamp needs to appear on all the pages.

Why can't they be?

May 1, 11:11am Top

>36 timspalding:

Where authors use multiple aliases (and they can't be combined), the LT author stamp needs to appear on all the pages.

Why can't they be?

They could be, but they shouldn't be. Here's why:

Let's say there's an author who uses the names Richard Roe and John Doe. They get combined and Richard Roe ends up as the top name. But there are two other others whose names are John Doe, and were on a split "John Doe" page. Now their books are listed on Richard Roe's author page, and the split disappears.

May 1, 11:22am Top

>36 timspalding: Why can't they be?
They can? They should. Why aren't they? (on J.W. Carey.)

May 1, 11:24am Top

>37 lilithcat: Have you parsed the sentence you are replying to correctly?

May 1, 12:28pm Top

>39 Noisy:

Pretty sure Tim meant "why can't the multiple aliases be combined".

If I misunderstood, then the sentence wasn't clear.

May 1, 1:20pm Top

>40 lilithcat: Ah - see what you mean. Could be taken either way.

May 1, 1:30pm Top

>41 Noisy:

What's the other way it could be taken? I'm not seeing one.

May 1, 1:40pm Top

>42 lorax: The other way would be "Why can't the LT Author stamp appear on more than one page"

May 1, 1:50pm Top

When works are aliased away, they don't leave the page they're on. They appear on both pages, so the LT Author badge should, too. It should be attached to that author and go/stay wherever.

But this discussion is making me very nervous because of the repeated insistence on the part of Tim Spalding that dissimilar names can be combined even when authors are split. It's like we're back to this thread:
and all I can say is, "No. No. No. A Thousand Times NO."

Edited: May 1, 3:40pm Top

"dissimilar names can be combined even when authors are split"

So, for example, if there are two Stephen Kings, then Stephen King 1 should be aliased into… Richard Bachman?

I really don't get the objection. Where is it written that, if an author is split, ever name must apply equally to every split? And when the "solution" is to alias someone from their real and normal name off to some unique name they don't use, the whole point of the LT system is lost.

May 1, 3:41pm Top

So, Richard Bachman should be combined into the main Stephen King page so it can be assigned to Stephen King-1? Because I don't think you can combine it directly with Stephen King-1 -- or at least you couldn't useta.
Not sure if there's a good answer here.

Edited: May 1, 4:10pm Top

>45 timspalding:
If there are two Stephen Kings, which there are:
and others...
there is nothing that says either one's works must be aliased away. The author is split. Simple as that.

Now, since we know Richard Bachman is kingstephen-1, we are presented with a problem. You would say since they're the same person we should combine Richard Bachman with Stephen King. And I would say, no, no, a thousand times NO!

You cannot combine dissimilar names with split authors.

has to stay over there where he is. I suppose you could alias him into kingstephen, but that is all.

I get that you don't want kingstephen-1 aliased into Richard Bachman, and I don't think anyone else wants it that way. But when you start in with this "but they're the same person" stuff, you start sliding down the slippery slope.

The fact is we are dealing with alphabetical digits. A beautiful perfect world cannot be created with alphabetical digits, so we do what we can do...

May 1, 4:42pm Top

>47 Collectorator:

has to stay over there where he is. I suppose you could alias him into kingstephen, but that is all.

You can't, because you cannot alias an unsplit name into another name.

May 1, 4:52pm Top

>45 timspalding:

Where is it written that, if an author is split, ever name must apply equally to every split?

You're the one with access to the code base, you tell me. It's the part that says you can't combine, say, Richard Bachman with Stephen King-1, only with Stephen King at the top level.

May 1, 4:54pm Top

>48 lilithcat: True dat. But how do you explain that to people?

May 1, 5:43pm Top

You cannot combine dissimilar names with split authors.

That's the point of combination. Sorry.

May 1, 5:43pm Top

You're the one with access to the code base, you tell me. It's the part that says you can't combine, say, Richard Bachman with Stephen King-1, only with Stephen King at the top level.

Right. Great. That's what you should do.

May 1, 5:54pm Top

And what happens when tomorrow someone enters a book written by a different Richard Bachman?

May 1, 6:00pm Top

Why of course you'd just create another split on the Stephen King page, and set the Canonical Name of that split to be Richard Bachman.

And when that Richard Bachman starts writing under the pseudonym Samuel Clemens then of course you'd combine Samuel Clemens in with Stephen King, and make another split on the Stephen King page for good old Mark Twain.

And eventually you just combine all the authors together into one big happy author family, split by their works.

May 1, 6:04pm Top

>54 r.orrison:
"And eventually you just combine all the authors together into one big happy author family, split by their works."


May 1, 6:06pm Top

>51 timspalding: sure, combine away, until you have to split.

May 1, 6:07pm Top

>56 Collectorator:

Right. Combine, then split.

May 1, 6:09pm Top

I think what you guys want is a way to alias Richard Bachman into Steven King.

And there is. It's called combining.

Maybe I should just change the terms.

Edited: May 1, 6:35pm Top

Does anyone here want to alias Richard Bachman into Stephen King? I don't.

May 1, 6:42pm Top

>59 Collectorator: continued
Oh, and I'll need to add
because he has some books in the mix.

Edited: May 1, 7:41pm Top

>60 Collectorator:
As pointed out above you can't alias Bachman into King because Bachman isn't split. You would combine him.

As to what we want, we want to be able to combine Richard Bachman directly into Stephen King-1, instedda having to combine him into the Stephen King main/disambig page. Right?

May 1, 7:53pm Top

>62 Crypto-Willobie:


There is a secondary problem, that Collectorator indicates in >59 Collectorator:. What happens when Richard Bachman is also split? You might need to combine Richard Bachman-2 into Stephen King-1. That situation arises more often than you'd think.

Edited: May 2, 2:13am Top

>60 Collectorator: Does anyone here want to alias Richard Bachman into Stephen King? I don't.

I'd love to be able to alias Richard Bachman into kingstephen-1 if it was possible. But certainly not into kingstephen. Combining would work too, but I have a feeling that it would get messier.

Edited: May 2, 2:32am Top

Another question for timspalding:

What do we do if we combine bachmanrichard with kingstephen and Richard Bachman /author/bachmanrichard is chosen as the primary? Split Richard Bachman, and set Canonical Name on the disambiguation page and all of the splits to be Stephen King?

(It probably wouldn't happen in this case, but it could in others.)

Edited: May 2, 4:52am Top

>59 Collectorator:

No, because, here, Richard Burton is the minority form. More editions and more works have him with an F or Francis, with Sir being commonly in there too. The F or Francis are normal forms outside of the data too--consider Wikipedia, which chooses the common form too.

That's the situation aliasing out was invented for--when an author is usually known as Bob X Smith, but some books are caught under Bob Smith and need to be aliased out.

Aliasing was NOT invented for an author known as Bob Smith to be aliased out to Bob X. Smith just because X is his middle name, one edition somewhere has it, and it's a convenient way to create contrast.

May 2, 9:28am Top

>66 timspalding: Are Richard F. Burton and Richard Francis Burton okay to combine then?

May 2, 10:49am Top

>58 timspalding:

No, what we want is a way to combine Richard Bachman into the correct, individual split of Stephen King, instead of into the top-level Stephen King including all authors that have ever written under that name.

May 7, 10:13am Top

I would like to reopen this. The problem is occurring again. I don't know if it's related, but for example the Male or Female and Dead or Alive memes won't consider the authors who have been aliased into other names.

Edited: May 17, 4:46pm Top

Group: Bug Collectors

846 members

87,978 messages

Bug Tracking

This topic is part of LibraryThing's in-talk bug tracking.

Join or watch Bug Collectors to get "Bug Tracking" under "The World" in Talk all the time.

Bug (edit)

ID: 255844

Category: Author pages

Assigned to all

Reported by Muscogulus

Status: Fixed

May 17, 4:46pm

157 days since last change

By timspalding

Status log

Reported. Muscogulus (Apr 26, 11:41am)

Closed by staff. lorannen (Apr 26, 12:30pm)

Fixed. timspalding (Apr 26, 2:17pm)

Fixed. timspalding (Apr 27, 7:23pm)

Fixed. timspalding (May 1, 4:49am)

Reopened. lemontwist (May 7, 10:13am)

Fixed. timspalding (May 17, 4:46pm)


This topic is not marked as primarily about any work, author or other topic.

You are using the new servers! | About | Privacy/Terms | Help/FAQs | Blog | Store | APIs | TinyCat | Legacy Libraries | Early Reviewers | Common Knowledge | 118,655,593 books! | Top bar: Always visible