- Things are coming together
- January 11th, 2012
I haven't posted a "what happened in 2011" thread as I felt that the second half had very little to show for it, ISFDB-wise. But actually the second half data-improvements built on the software improvements implemented in the first half, and once I get over the "my award improvements have now been waiting six months for implementation" and look at it in a more positive way I think we did quite well.
I think we're now in a position to say that we can cope with French, German, Dutch and a few Finnish titles. The software supports those languages and we have moderators fluent in those languages. Some of our moderators can cope with other languages too, but I wouldn't encourage a deluge of titles in anything else just yet. One of the smallest, simplest changes has turned out to be a big help though - we've expanded "other sites" to cover a load more sources, including the "European library", a gateway to many National libraries. I discovered this when I tried to play a Dutch Editor for a day, and added a lot of Meulenhoff SF titles. Worldcat was quite good for tracking down this series, but was lousy at telling us what the works were translations of. The European Library link will take that ISBN and lead us to "General Catalogue Koninklijke Bibliotheek" where the data we need can be found. I've added over a hundred translations in two days thanks to that, without having any Dutch language skills. (Although of course you do pick up a few words just by trying this sort of thing.)
So I think we've actually done quite well, if mostly only in areas that our original main users (English-speakers) may not appreciate. I've tried out editing from the French, German and Dutch points of view now: I'd be tempted to try Finnish but that gets into more "funny characters" difficulty than I'm happy with. Apparently our bot Fixer has now got all French, German, Italian and Spanish ISBNs from Amazon recovered, if not yet submitted, so it might be a bit redundant to add those manually. And reworking foreign titles we already have is a pain - I have software improvements lined up for that that will reduce a three or four step process to one or two steps, so I can wait for the software to catch up.
So what language do I try next? A Western Alphabet with not too many accents please, with lots of published SF.