What is this?
A quick and dirty attempt (based on some existing code that I use for the dynamic version of the BSFA
Magazine Index, and also to display the contents of my SF magazine collection) to display the ISFDB
What it does
- Displays list of magazines by initial letter
- Displays list of authors by initial letter of surname. See Issues #4.
- Displays contents of a magazine issue
- Displays items by selected author
- Links to authors & publications on items work
- Search page now works (10/1/05)
- Reviews & interviews now listed within magazine issue (12/1/05)
- Display interview list for author (14/1/05)
- Decode the different short fiction lengths in issue contents (22/1/05)
- Show notes after titles (22/01/05)
- Display biographic data for author (23/01/05)
- Display awards data for author (23/01/05)
- Handle ^ in author names and titles (23/01/05)
- Display interviews conducted by author (for 20050129 schema) (30/01/05)
- Display reviews written by author (for 20050129 schema) (30/01/05)
What it doesn't (currently) do
- Decode special character sequences in note text
- Display interviews conducted by author (for pre-20050129 schema)
- Display interviews of author (for post-20050128 schema)
- Display awards data for items - currently shows list of ids of awards
- Reviews not indicated against items
- Display reviews written by author (for pre-20050129 schema)
- Display reviews of author's books (for post-20050128 schema)
- Detailed info about individual magazines isn't shown. This isn't in the database, and on the online
ISFDB only exists on the static HTML page for that magazine
- Decode the issue/pub tag under an item into something readable
- Web Server that supports PHP & MySQL, eg Apache
- ISFDB data in MySQL format (NB I know the code works with the 20/Dec/2004 and 29/Jan/2005 versions of the
database; I haven't tried it yet with the 22/Jan/2005 version but it will probably work.) NB You must set
the SCHEMAVER constant in MySQLVars.php3 to the appropriate value.
What to do
Assuming that you already have web server, PHP and MySQL all working together:
- Download the ISFDB MySQL Database from the ISFDB web site, and use it to load the ISFDB data into a new database
- Download the code (from http://www.michaelcross.me.uk/devarea/)
- Create a web site called eg isfdb within the web server, and unzip the code into it
- Create the magazines table in the isfdb database using the magazines.sql file. NB This does
now have the full complement of magazine titles.
- Edit the MySQLVars.php3 file to reflect the details of your installation (eg MYHOST, MYUSER, MYPASSWORD,
- Point your browser at /isfdb (or whatever you called your site)
|1. Parsing the magazine issue tag|
||Most of the magazines have issue tags of the form pppmmmyy or pppmmmyyyy, where ppp is the magazine's
prefix, mmm indicates the month (usually) of the issue, and yy/yyyy is the year. NB ppp and mmm aren't
fixed length. Some of them are just pppnnn, where nnn is a variable length number which sometimes(?) is
issue number and year.
|2. Selecting magazine titles using the beginning chars of the pubs tag|
||Some magazines have prefixes which are the same as the beginning of other magazines and/or publications, so
searching for that magazine's tag finds extra pubs entries.
|3. Ordering magazine issues within a year|
||See 1 above for details of issues tag formats.
One answer would be to process the magazine issues data in the pubs table with some code and generate
an extra column containing the issue's sequence number within the year.
|4. Selecting Authors using the first letter of their surname|
||The author table has 2 forms of the author's name:
Selecting on the canonical form for the first letter of the surname is problematical, so, for the time
being, I'm selecting on the first letter of the legalname column. This works well, unless someone's
legalname is significantly different from their canonical name. eg Piers Anthony's legalname is 'Jacob,
Piers Anthony Dillingham' so he, unfortunately, is listed on the J page.
- canonical - the normal form (eg David Brin)
- legalname - the author's true name in 'surname, forenames' form (eg Brin, David)
Also, there are over 29,000 entries in the authors table whose legalname is blank, so they
won't appear on the alphabetical author lists!
One answer would be to process the data in the authors table with some code and generate an extra column
containing the first letter of the surname.
|5. Sorting Authors' names|
|6. Sorting Titles|
|7. Listing pub tags under each title becomes unwieldy when there are a lot of them. This
often happens for books|
||May only show them for non-book items, and have a link to a separate publishing info page for those?