I’ve made a couple of dbcdb changes. Now every page contains a link to let you search for all blog posts mentioning it. Which required a bit of WordPress futzing: it turns out that WordPress doesn’t let you search for double quotes by default. Also, I replaced the ISBN and ASIN fields that were really Amazon links by an explicit Amazon link – it’s not like anybody needs to know ISBNs these days, after all.
There are a few more issues I want to deal with. A while back, I noted that the pages looked like crap in Internet Explorer due to a bug in their CSS handling. That didn’t really bother me too much, but now I realize that pages for, say, books with long titles don’t get wrapped in the way I’d prefer. Since the same fix should handle both issues (stop using definition lists), I’ll take care of that.
The other issue that I want to fix is the handling of books by multiple authors. When I first started this, I had an author class, with a compound author subclass; each of those generated a web page. So you could, for example, see for all books by Christopher Alexander, Howard Davis, Julio Martinez, and Don Corner. When I started using SQL, though, the resulting SQL got a bit messy; Per pointed out a more natural table structure, which would (as a side effect) make it rather harder to generate those multiple-author pages.
So: do I go with the pages suggested by the original class hierarchy, the pages suggested by the SQL structure, or neither? (I certainly shouldn’t let implementation details unduly hijack my page layout.) After thinking about it for a bit, I think that the current compound author pages are hurting more often than they’re helping. I basically never want to see all books by a given set of authors, while it’s not infrequently the case that, when presented with a book by multiple authors, I want to see all the other books in the database that one of the authors has written. So the multiple author pages aren’t helping, and are actually forcing an unnecessary level of clicks.
So I’ll probably deprecate the multiple author pages. (And eventually make the corresponding SQL change, though that’s not particularly urgent.)
Also, I’ll probably get rid of the ‘Own’ link (who cares what books I own?) and reduce my ratings by one. After all, while I would probably rate most books in the world as 1’s (= gave up in disgust), the truth is that I’m quite good at avoiding such books, and the world really doesn’t need to know which books I actively disliked versus which books I didn’t particularly care for.
After which I have further plans, about which more later.
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