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Fred Slota

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Everything posted by Fred Slota

  1. It's early, but that's the best time to get the wheels rolling. I have four thoughts on large-scale projects that could be undertaken for the next-next ComicBase offering. 1) Making the hard changes to finally remove the deprecated features and non-standard Titling and Issue assignments. Deprecated Issue Variations. Non-standard Titles ((Walt Disney's...), Limited Series vs. Series 2, "Moon Knight Annual", etc.) Issues that should be in separate/different titles. "Yeah, it's wrong, but it's been that way for years." "There are too many of these items on sale in Atomic Avenue." Take the time to plan a path to clean up all these legacy issues. Maybe create a new, second set of Title and Issue fields, Title2 and Issue2. Search by both, list with both. Allow the user to choose which set to use for viewing and reports, while officially using the original form on Atomic Avenue for a year or two. Then, after a period of supporting both old and new designations, rename Title/Issue to Title (old)/Issue (old) and rename Title2/Issue2 to Title/Issue. 2) Overhaul the database structure, and protect the integrity/consistency of the data. 2a) The current structure has 2 levels of information, Titles and Issues. This structure is too flat; we should have more. A given Issue Type and Number has the same Artist and Writer, regardless of Variation or Printing. It has the same plot description and appearances. These fields should not be repeating over and over. This introduces bloat, and delay, and opportunities for data inconsistencies. Variations and Printings have different Cover Artists, have different cover attributes. These fields should be separate for each individual entry. 2b) Additionally, existing fields need to be scrutinized and adjusted for basic, separate data types. The storyline field needs to be split; it currently holds individual Anthology titles, single-book titles, and multi-book Arc titles, as well as part numbers and possibly total issue counts. The current ideal for Item Description contains duplicate Cover Artist and circulation information, as well as cover paper, ornamentation description, picture description and several other information types. 2c) The recent overhaul of creator names, spurred by the introduction of support for the full range of international characters, is a great start. Two things. First, consistency/regularization of information across all the other fields should also be carried out. Creator Names are also entered in Item Description and Notes fields. Common cover styles should use consistent wording/spelling. Storyline Arcs should be spelled identically. In some cases, this can be helped by separating information into their own fields. And second, after cleaning them up, systems should be put in place to maintain them. CB should have a master list of official names, and should periodically (ideally weekly before pushing updates, but other periods are acceptable) vet any new names for correctness. Similar steps should be performed, either automatically, or manually, on all other fields. 3) Explore expansions into dealing with groups of comic books. ComicBase is great when your focus is on either an individual issue or on your entire collection. At the issue level, you can identify it, get a description of it, see a price history, research a sales history, and purchase or sell it to anyone around the globe. At the collection level, you can generate reports of all kinds. Owned or wanted, For Sale or Purchased. Different amounts of data. But, with all this information and all these tools, I think there is a weird hole in functionality, and that hole can roughly be described by attempting to do tasks that revolve around groups of books. Comic books are not individual, stand-alone, one-and-done things. There are continuing storylines. There are repeat appearances. There are common creators. There are related covers. And we are comic book collectors. There are people who want to have complete storylines, read things in order, see their favorite characters, support their favorite creators, have complete sets. And ComicBase is very bad at supporting this. How many issues are in this series? Do I have all the issues of this series? Was there a preceding issue/prequel story? Is there a continuing story? How many issues are there in this Story Arc? Do I have all the issues of this storyline? Were there Tie-ins? Do I have all of them? What order do I read them in? Which issue that I own have related covers? Do I have the related covers? For this title, I have several issues and TPBs. Which issues or TPBs should I get to finish the series without overlapping? Some of this requires information that is not being collected. Reading order. Storyline count. Useful TPB component identification. Some of this requires information that is not collected in a useful form. Storyline part number. Some of this requires information be maintained consistently. Spelling, typographic standards. Some of this requires information that can be computed in the database. Issue count. 4) Hole Finder. How can we be 20+ years in on a database to support comic collectors and it doesn't include a tool to find holes? Who doesn't want to finish a whole series, complete a run? I see this as a special case of #3, above. To recognize a hole, the program has to have a concept of the group. Titles, even limited series, are just a heap of records. If you don't have a concept of 'This is an 8 issue miniseries', then you can't have the awareness that 'You are missing an issue; do you want to get it?'
  2. I understand the simplicity of listing search results in a predictable order. But let's be honest here. If someone starts typing into the Search Bar "X-For", which is more likely: that they want to go to the first entry, "X-Force", the series that ended in 2002, or that they want to go to the sixth entry, "X-Force (6th Series)" the current series, which isn't even visible in the shown search results, and requires you to shuffle through the list? I suggest adding some optional functionality to search result listings, opt in/out by programmable setting... Here are some possible For titles with (xxx Series) or (Vol x), report search results in reverse order If the first result is a title with multiple Series/Vol, and the last one is published in the Current Year or Present, list that Title first. Primary Sort all results first by Current Year/Present vs. all other years, then Alphabetical by Title.
  3. Consider the following indicia: "BATMAN/CATWOMAN 1. February, 2021." Entered as "Batman/Catwoman" #1 "BATMAN/CATWOMAN SPECIAL 1. March, 2022." Entered as "Batman/Catwoman Special" #1? No, "Batman/Catwoman" #SE 1 "HARLEY QUINN 28. May, 2023." Entered as "Harley Quinn (4th Series)" #28. "HARLEY QUINN 2022 ANNUAL 1. October, 2022." Entered as "Harley Quinn 2022 Annual" #1? No, "Harley Quinn (4th Series)" #Anl 2022. Words like "Annual", "Special", "Special Edition", with rare exceptions, should be interpreted as issue descriptors, not title descriptors, and should both be entered as Issue Types and not be entered part of the Title, and even in cases where the word is retained in the Title, it should also be carried as the Issue Type. I think there are at least a few unrare exceptions that are mistakes that should be corrected. So, when presented with an indicia that reads "DAWN OF DC PRIMER SPECIAL EDITION 2023. July 2023.", I think we should have "Dawn of DC Primer" #SE 2023, not "Dawn of DC Primer Special Edition" #2023. "DAWN OF DC KNIGHT TERRORS FCBD SPECIAL EDITION 2023. July, 2023", I think we should have "Dawn of DC Knight Terrors" #SE 2023 (with FCBD 2023 in the Notes) (This one is tricky, with the compound of FCBD and SE, mutually exclusive CB Types; I think there are multiple 'acceptable' ways to enter this) "DOOMSDAY ANNUAL 1. 1995.", I think we should have "Doomsday" #Anl 1, not "Doomsday Annual" #1. There are currently 65 Titles with "Special Edition" in the ComicBase title, and I suspect that for most of them, these weren't special edition titles, but special edition issues. There are currently 126 Titles with "Annual" in the ComicBase title, which also might not need a reevaluation. For example, from a previous thread, "When is an Annual not an Annual?", consider the cases of "Moon Knight Annual" #1, "She-Hulk Annual" #1 and "Wolverine Annual" #1
  4. And question 2? What is the proper name for the cover style?
  5. Took a week and a couple of stores, but I managed a complete sweep this year.
  6. Question 1 - Two issues currently entered, FCBD 2023, the normal, free cover price issue FCBD 1-A, the special cover $10 issue The indicia for both read "Dawn of DC Knight Terrors FCBD Special Edition 2023" They have the same contents. Shouldn't they have the same issue number? Mayhap the second should be 2023-A, not 1-A? Question 2 - the special cover - what is the proper name for the cover style? Foil cover? Something else?
  7. Fright Night (Tom Holland's...) vs. Free Comic Book Day - Tom Holland's Fright Night I assume the first is the true, correct title?
  8. Yup. That's me. A comic comic.
  9. I'm partial to B-flat minor...
  10. Hand Scanner read UPC of "DC Silent Tales" #1, it found "DC Speechless" #1. There is no title currently for "DC Silent Tales".
  11. Zappy zap identified #1 as Speechless, cover and indicia read as "DC Silent Tales".
  12. Spring Sale announcement has left the News page...
  13. Suggestion - Bill Mantlo's name should be moved to a note, something like "Bill Mantlo incorrectly credited as writer (per letters page of issue #10"
  14. My post was meant to describe the action that had already taken place by that self-same latest build. I had updated the software and just completed scanning new books right before Pete made his announcement on last weeks stream.
  15. Or, you could just tweak the existing interface to actually show the downloaded pictures as you scan new books... Thanks.
  16. Submissions haven't been included in the most recent update.
  17. How about adding a "Refresh Thumbnails" button to the "Add by Barcode" window as a manual workaround to the timing issue for fresh cover scans when adding by barcode?
  18. Well, I feel better about bringing it up after it seemed like it was a simply a non-enabled setting.
  19. Always curious to know what happened when the program announces that it's updating the database.
  20. Question - since I've (and maybe others've) held off on this update, can we get a posting when the next week, successfully-updating-comic-book update is posted? "Others've"... huh...
  21. Is there going to be/has there been a correction to the update that add new comic books? Or should I wait for next week's update?
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