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Separate Item Notes (and Title Description and Item Description) into Official and Local


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Let's clear up this public/private Item Notes nonsense and extend the capabilities while we're at it.

 

Official Item Notes, Title Description and Item Description are under the control of Human Computing.  A user modifies these with the intention to submit changes.  These fields are transmitted up with submit changes.  These fields can and will be overwritten by content updates.

 

Local Item Notes, Title Description and Item Description are under the control of the user.  A user modifies these for their own purposes.  These fields are not transmitted up with submit changes.  These fields will not be overwritten by content updates.

 

In the grid, these will be separate columns/fields.

In reports, you can choose whether to show Official, Local or both, and if both, they will be concatenated.

Sellers in Atomic Avenue would post with their Local Item Notes/Item Description.  AtomicAvenue grids at the title level will show Official Notes and Descriptions in the grid.  AtomicAvenue grids at the issue level will show individual sales with their submitted Local Notes and Descriptions.

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I can use custom fields to hold information like that, but I can't get ComicBase to use them like that.

 

I can type supplemental information to the Item Notes, Title Description and Item Description in Custom Fields I call Local Item Notes, Local Title Description and Local Item Description, but I can't get all the reports generated to include those fields merged with the Official fields for compactness and maintaining the current look and feel.  I can't submit my Local Item Description to AtomicAvenue and have that information provided to the customer.

 

And, this idea was not born out of wanting new fields for new information.  I make this suggestion more than just a complaint about the current mixed-use Notes field, but as a positive solution to the current negative situation.  ComicBase continues to not just support the Notes field as a mixed-use field for legacy purposes, they continue to require it to be used in this way as the only method for AtomicAvenue users to convey how their copy for sale of Shanda the Panda #123/A-2 is different from all the other solicitations.  Because the official and the local information is inseparable in the current implementation, they are hesitant to make changes to the official.  Because the official and the local information is inseparable, when they make changes those have to be rolled out by concatenating new info onto old.  They are maintaining a Database where every record has a field that is an unreconcilable crowd-sourced document co-authored by every user of the software.

 

This implementation would be a lot simpler for new users to learn, for continuing users to use, and for ComicBase to code for and support.

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44 minutes ago, Fred Slota said:

ComicBase continues to not just support the Notes field as a mixed-use field for legacy purposes, they continue to require it to be used in this way as the only method for AtomicAvenue users to convey how their copy for sale of Shanda the Panda #123/A-2 is different from all the other solicitations. 

If I am understanding your statement correctly, then I should point out that it is neither *required* that AA users use the Notes field to convey specifics about their particular item that is being posted on AA nor is it the *only* way for AA sellers to do so. 

While that was true up until the Grading Notes field was created, now the Grading Notes field is the recommended place for that kind of info.  (Although, admittedly, AA sellers can still use the Notes field as in the past to customize their listings.)   

The bigger issue is that there are a lot of "legacy notes" that AA sellers have in their Notes field.  It just isn't practical at this time to expect AA sellers (many of whom have thousands of listings) to comb through each of their listings to manually move their individualized Notes field info to the Grading Notes field.  I suspect that is why Human Computing hasn't turned off the ability for custom info in the Notes field from posting onto AA.   

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So start the transition.  Add the replacement fields, wait a year or two, and then BURN THE NOTES FIELD WITH FIRE!!! 😁

 

Seriously though.  If Grading Notes is an equivalent to what I am suggesting, then good.  It is hard to tell (for someone who doesn't sell), as AtomicAvenue is inconsistent in whether it labels columns in grids, so while I can see that there is user information provided in listings, I can't always tell what field that information is coming from.  When I look at a grid in AtomicAvenue of issues for sale, I thought that the unlabeled column of data taking up most of the middle of the grid was from Notes.  How does one see Grading Notes on an issue posted on AtomicAvenue?

 

 

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4 minutes ago, Fred Slota said:

When I look at a grid in AtomicAvenue of issues for sale, I thought that the unlabeled column of data taking up most of the middle of the grid was from Notes.  How does one see Grading Notes on an issue posted on AtomicAvenue?

All of that information (custom Notes field info, all contents of the Grading Notes field) gets displayed in the same place on the AA listings for a single issue (for an example, see here).  

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If I'm understanding what you wrote...

 

So, that middle field is [(Submitted notes) - (Official Notes)] concatenated with (Grading Notes)?  To a non-seller, that was not clear.

 

In practice, I'm glad that there is a full user or local field being used alongside Notes.  Functionally and descriptively, I'm not sure that a field called "Grading Notes" is the best solo field to use.  While I'm sure actual grading notes are useful for a prospective purchaser, I'm equally sure that there is additional information a seller wants to convey to a purchaser and that a purchaser wants to see that would not be considered "Grading Notes", and that there are people who take recording their grading information serious enough to not like having to multiplex it with additional selling details.

 

If Grading Notes is to be the preferred field for AtomicAvenue display, is there a timeline for the removal of Notes from AtomicAvenue and the end to its mixed use in the database?

As an interim step, is there a way to detect and generate a warning message to people posting sales that they are posting with modified notes?  And I said warning message - a "The submission will work as previously, but you are using a datafield in a way  that will eventually be discontinued in favor of xxxxx".  Preferably before submitting, but possibly during or after?  Or to send an e-mail when submissions are received?  I'd picture this being implemented for a year or so, just as a warning, providing the seller a timeframe to be aware of the upcoming change and make adjustments.

If AtomicAvenue  is performing [(Submitted notes)] - (Official Notes)], could a tool be created that could be downloaded and run for the user to strip Notes modifications into a new or custom field, to aid the transition?  I'd further imagine that this tool would be an automated part in a Comicbase Version update with underlying database version update, so that when Notes is finally stopped from its double duty, conversion of older databases would automatically separate out modifications from baseline.

 

 

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7 minutes ago, Fred Slota said:

In practice, I'm glad that there is a full user or local field being used alongside Notes.  Functionally and descriptively, I'm not sure that a field called "Grading Notes" is the best solo field to use.  While I'm sure actual grading notes are useful for a prospective purchaser, I'm equally sure that there is additional information a seller wants to convey to a purchaser and that a purchaser wants to see that would not be considered "Grading Notes", and that there are people who take recording their grading information serious enough to not like having to multiplex it with additional selling details.

Not sure that this is really much of an issue with sellers since the display on Atomic Avenue won't really distinguish between unique info in the Notes field and info in the Grading Notes field.  That is to say, all of the info will be displayed on the Atomic Avenue page so it doesn't really matter whether the seller is a "lumper" (i.e., puts everything they want to communicate in a single field) or a "splitter" (i.e., separates certain types of information into the Notes field and the Grading Notes field), it will all end up in the same place on the AA screen.  

Unless you're trying to say something that I'm not picking up on.  

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13 minutes ago, Fred Slota said:

If Grading Notes is to be the preferred field for AtomicAvenue display, is there a timeline for the removal of Notes from AtomicAvenue and the end to its mixed use in the database?

I have no idea.  Pete would know, but I would not.  (Alas, my magic wrench only grants me very specific super-powers, and reading Pete's mind is not one of them! 😂 )

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15 minutes ago, Fred Slota said:

As an interim step, is there a way to detect and generate a warning message to people posting sales that they are posting with modified notes?  And I said warning message - a "The submission will work as previously, but you are using a datafield in a way  that will eventually be discontinued in favor of xxxxx".  Preferably before submitting, but possibly during or after?  Or to send an e-mail when submissions are received?  I'd picture this being implemented for a year or so, just as a warning, providing the seller a timeframe to be aware of the upcoming change and make adjustments.

If AtomicAvenue  is performing [(Submitted notes)] - (Official Notes)], could a tool be created that could be downloaded and run for the user to strip Notes modifications into a new or custom field, to aid the transition?  I'd further imagine that this tool would be an automated part in a Comicbase Version update with underlying database version update, so that when Notes is finally stopped from its double duty, conversion of older databases would automatically separate out modifications from baseline.

"Generating a warning message" as you describe in your first paragraph is probably not going to have the positive reaction.  At best, sellers will ignore it.  At worst, they will think that they are being told that they need to go through their individual listings and manually move info from one field to another, and to the extent that they believe that is what they are being told, they will get upset.  And that doesn't do anybody any good.  

Presumably a tool could be devised as you describe in your second paragraph.  But I don't know if this is in any way high priority for Pete & co. at the moment (maybe it is, maybe it isn't, I honestly don't know... it could very well be that Pete isn't concerned at all about people using both Notes and Grading Notes to get pertinent info up onto Atomic Avenue).   

But to go all of the way back to your OP, I think that the implication from Michael Wagner's post is that you're overthinking a problem that most folks aren't sure actually exists b/c of the presence of custom fields (and a few others, such as Grading Notes) that are already available to users.  

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Let me be clear.

 

I hate, hate, hate, hate, HATE the mixed use of the Notes field.  It requires programming contortions to support it and instead of allowing the maintenance of a clean, unified dataset across users, it produces local databases that either gradually diverge because old info is blocked from get updated with new, or that gradually bloat because old info is retained as new info is concatenated.  Or worse still, info is never changed because HC doesn't want to cause the bloat in the first place.

I understand how we got to this point.  Evolution over time, expanded user base, entrenched system, maintain the status quo.  I can understand the unwillingness to change this, because it would impact so many people and so many entries per person.

But the willingness to continue to live with this, I don't understand.

Doubly so if, by not just adding Grading Notes to the selling presented information (which makes perfect sense, a buyer would obviously want to know the condition of the offered item, if the info is available), you are telling me that Grading Notes "... is the recommended place for that kind of info [user-level descriptive info]." 

The first step has been taken.  If this is the preferred place, than let's gradually proceed to make it the only place.  

 

Yes, the shift will make people unhappy.  I sympathize.  Do it gradually.  Give warnings ahead of time.  Provide voluntary tools that allow migration early.  And eventually, bite the bullet and enforce with a mandatory shift that either automates the split or that grandfathers the original Notes field into a wholly local field alongside a new, clean, official Notes field.

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