What's New from 1996

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What's New from 1996

What's New - 20 December 1996

  • I'm out of here for 2 weeks; there may or may not be any updates to the ISFDB during this time.

What's New - 09 December 1996

  • Added all of the NESFA entries for Omni magazine and Rod Serling's Twilight Zone Magazine.

What's New - 02 December 1996

  • All of the collections in the NESFA database have been added to the ISFDB. There were 605 collections, 337 of them new; there were 5592 short stories, 2343 of them new. Next up: the 1623 anthologies (with roughly 15,000 short stories) in the NESFA database.
  • Exceeded 40,000 titles.
  • Added the IFA awards.
  • Finally added the page which describes how to do bulk data submissions.

What's New - 12 November 1996

  • Added a new field to the awards database which allows film entries to link to the IMDB (Internet Movie DataBase). This makes the database incompatible with version 1.4 of the ISFDB, so the Rev Number has been changed to 1.5. I put in a fair number of the new film links, but there are still a lot missing.

What's New - 04 November 1996

  • The first massive change to the awards has been integrated. About two thousand new entries have been added, mostly missing nominations from existing awards. Expect some flux in the way awards are displayed over the next week or so. Some winners and nominees may not display an award citation on the author's bibliography until the title database and the awards database are in agreement.
  • Tracked down and killed several hundred short fiction duplicates. These were titles with slight lexical differences (spelling, capitalization, dropped articles).
  • Rewrote the semantic parser to handle additional title characters in the new awards data as well as the NESFA database.

What's New - 29 October 1996

  • Added the BSFA awards.
  • Updated the front page of the ISFDB.

What's New - 28 October 1996

  • Added a massive number of Locus awards (up from 1219 to 4476 award entries). The data was machine-generated from David G. Grubbs database, so there may be a "period of adjustment" over the next few days.
  • Added the Ditmar Awards (517 entries).
  • There will be a lot of awards activity over the next 2 weeks, so expect some flux.
  • Altered the AwYear application such that award levels are sorted before presentation.
  • Work has begun on merging the NESFA database (about 49,000 short fiction titles) into the ISFDB.

What's New - 25 October 1996

  • Added a page for Fantastic and Fantastic Adventures, and put selected issues from 1961 and 1962 online.
  • The database is now large enough that it takes more than 30 minutes to compile. In order to decrease the amount of time lost through building the database, and to accommodate the increase in user-submitted data, I'm going to schedule an official build once a week, instead of nearly daily. The new database will be put online every Monday morning. The next release date will be displayed next to the current build time on the title page. Hopefully, I can stop making the Excuse of the Week as to why I'm not caught up with all of the new data.
  • Excuse of the Week: I'm still trying to recover after my house suffered "The Lightning Incident" last week. I will try real hard to catch up this weekend.

What's New - 23 October 1996

  • Added several years (1961-1966) of Amazing Stories and made a first pass at completing the Amazing Stories publication table.

What's New - 16 October 1996

  • Added the British Fantasy Awards. This data altered the top 100 lists.
  • Added White Knuckles magazine issues.
  • Added several years of Amazing Stories.

What's New - 26 September 1996

  • Added the 'F' html directive. If used in any notes or synopsis area, it will generate a link to the Internet Movie Database. Example: %%F,Star Wars (1977)%%.

What's New - 09 September 1996

  • To make up for the ISFDB being down all weekend, I've added two new award-based features: The Top Novels of the Year listing, and The Top Short Stories of the Year listing. Like the Top 100 lists, these are constructed from the awards database; all works scoring at least 50 points are displayed and sorted on a per year basis. The new lists can be found on the Top 100 Lists page.

What's New - 05 September 1996

  • The 1996 WFA nominees are now online. The Prometheus and Hall of Fame awards have been updated as well.

What's New - 26 August 1996

  • My mailbox disappeared while I was away; if you sent me email in the last 2 weeks and I haven't responded, please resend.

What's New - 16 August 1996

  • Exceeded 35,000 titles.
  • There have been a lot of data submissions recently which required manual handling, so things are a bit behind. I'll be away next week as well, so it my take some time to catch up.

What's New - 7 August 1996

  • The new Locus Poll results are now online (just the fiction entries).
  • The John Boston database is merged.

What's New - 29 July 1996

  • Exceeded 30,000 titles.
  • Merged in 14 years of Analog/Astounding data from Cary Thomas' database. This completes the Analog run, and puts a big dent on the remaining Astounding issues.
  • Ahasuerus punched in 22 more issues of Galaxy
  • Added several Top 100 lists.
  • Merging of John Boston's short story data begins this week.

What's New - 22 July 1996

  • Took the first steps in merging John Boston's database into the ISFDB. The Anthology and Collection titles have been added to the ISFDB, but the merge isn't complete, so there are still some duplicates and "unknown" dates. The associated short story data (about 7500 entries) has not been added, as it is still under construction.
  • Added 8 issues of Galaxy (1950-1951)

What's New - 15 July 1996

  • Added 4 years of Amazing Stories (1926-1929)
  • Added 6 years of Amazing Stories Quarterly (1928-1934)
  • Added 4 issues of New Worlds (1959)

What's New - 8 July 1996

  • Added 10 years of Worlds of If (1965-1974)
  • Added 6 issues of Worlds of Tomorrow (1965-1966)
  • Added the SF Chronicle awards.

What's New - 1 July 1996

  • Finally added the 1965-1968 issues of F&SF.
  • Added the Hall of Fame awards.
  • Added the Prometheus awards.
  • Added the SFBC awards.
  • Updated the Stoker award winners for 1996.

What's New - 3 June 1996

  • Brought 2 more years of F&SF online.

What's New - 31 May 1996

  • After exchanging some email with Élisabeth Vonarburg and some users in France, it became apparent that something needed to be done about the foreign language character problem. The old 7-bit ASCII, lex-based parser has been jettisoned, replaced by a shiny new hand-tooled parser which doesn't care what character set is in use. In theory, this should also handle ISO character sets as well. Non-8-bit character sets might mess up tab and column calculations, but we'll handle that as need arises. Actually getting the characters into the database is a bitch since my keyboard doesn't support most of these characters, even using bizarre control-alt-shift-tab-option chords (Thank God for cut-n-paste).

What's New - 30 May 1996

  • Finally added the series number field to all of the entry forms. Knock yourselves out.
  • Some users have requested that the "Check Data" facility be linked to time in some way, so that they can see how old the data is, or how long it has been since the last 'culling'. Each entry is now timestamped - to the second.
  • Fixed the C4 form so that it preserves all title types.

What's New - 29 May 1996

  • Added support for the HOMer awards.
  • Made several fixes to the "Add Title" feature, which caused lost data.

What's New - 28 May 1996

  • The number of database queries has finally exceeded the number of titles in the database. This doesn't really mean anything - just threw that out for you numerology buffs.
  • After almost a week away, have caught up on user-submitted data.
  • Fixed a problem with the Notes section on new magazines.
  • Fixed title searching so that Essays. Articles, Reviews, and Interviews show up.

What's New - 20 May 1996

  • Added support for interview data. The interview should show up in the content listing of the publication it appeared in, and on the target author's bibliography near the bio.

What's New - 15 May 1996

  • Added Lamba award winners relevant to SF.
  • Exceeded 25,000 titles.

What's New - 14 May 1996

  • Added a facility such that users can check to see if submitted data actually made it into the data file okay.
  • Increased the default number of entries for new anthologies and collections to 30.
  • Decreased the default number of entries for new magazines to 15, and added a year field to handle reprints.
  • Added automatic creation of publication tags for data entries.

What's New - 13 May 1996:

  • Focus for the week was primarily on review magazines, which take a bit more work to enter, so progress was slower. Magazines brought online: Space Science Fiction Magazine (1957), 2 more years of the New York Review of Science Fiction (1990-1991), 3 issues of Locus (Mar-May 96). A great deal of data was submitted by readers as well.

What's New - 11 May 1996

  • The ISFDB was offline for about 10 hours on Saturday morning/afternoon after CU-Online suddenly changed Operating Systems. The move from Solaris to SunOS induced a few seconds of panic when it became obvious that the Sun compiler didn't support ANSI prototyping; fortunately the gcc compiler was present, saving several hours of work. All of the file permissions were completely hosed up during the move, resulting in permission errors. All should be working except for research requests, but normal submissions seem to function.

What's New - 06 May 1996

  • The first experiment in translating the NESFA shortfiction index database into ISFDB format was performed on the 1953-1958 Galaxy data (about 500 titles). The final merge hasn't been polished yet, so there may be some duplicate titles in the 53-58 era.
  • After going three 3 different operating systems in 2 weeks, the submission of data via email appears to be unreliable. Data is now submitted locally (as it used to originally, before CU-Online began to mount the directories via NFS). The Lost Squadron of email submissions have also been tracked down.
  • Magazines brought online: 5 years of Galaxy (1965-1969), 8 issues of the new Galaxy (1994-1995), 6 years of Eidolon (1990-1995), 15 issues of Astounding (1948-1950), 1 year of Unknown (1939), the complete line of Avon Science Fiction and Fantasy Readers (2 issues), 2 years of The New York Review of Science Fiction (1988-1989).

What's New - 03 May 1996

  • Revamped the review printing mechanism such that reviews are printed in blocks, grouped by reviewer, as suggested by Michael J. Cross. This seems to look a bit more attractive.
  • Added a boatload of new award types, which show up in the WFA as well as the Hugo 1996 award listings.
  • Dumped in the Tiptree awards from Paul Cardinal. There may be some orphaned author links.

What's New - 29 Apr 1996

  • A first pass at tracking print reviews is now online (for books only). If a book has a review associated with it, a [Reviews] label will appear next to the work. The review will also show up on the reviewer's bibliography summary, as well as the publication in which the review was printed in.
  • More magazines were brought online this week: 5 years of Analog (1969-1973), 10 years of Galaxy (1970-1979), 1 year of F&SF (1972), 19 issues of Astounding (1945-1947).

What's New - 26 Apr 1996

  • Rolled over 20,000 titles.
  • Created a new title page, and cleaned up some of the larger magazine pages with tables, but left pointers to the old pages for the sake of bad browsers.

What's New - 22 Apr 1996

  • More magazines were brought online this week: 7 years of ON SPEC (1989-1995), 7 years of Analog (1967-1968,1974-1978), and 5 years of F&SF (1973-1977).
  • About 650 new WFA award entries were entered.
  • The 1996 Hugo nominations were entered.

What's New - 15 Apr 1996

  • Stop playing with the database and do your taxes. Now!
  • The ISFDB moved Friday to a new system.
  • Again, many more magazines were brought online this week: 11 years of Analog (1965-1966, 1979-1983, 1987); and 9 years of F&SF (1978-1984,1987-1988).

What's New - 08 Apr 1996

  • Due to its immense size, the author directory has been split apart on a lastname basis.
  • Many more magazines were brought online this week: 5 more years of Astounding (1934-1938); 10 years of Analog (1984-1986,1988-1994); and 7 years of F&SF (1985-1986,1989-1993).

What's New - 01 Apr 1996

  • About half-finished with yet another revamp of the data submission pages. The new pages have context-sensitive help buttons, the text areas can edit old notes and synopsis, and the actual submissions will have a bit more feedback.

What's New - 26 Mar 1996

  • Exceeded 15,000 titles.

What's New - 25 Mar 1996

  • Serial numbering is now supported, although I haven't gone back and numbered all of the series currently entered. This is supported via the new SN attribute. This altered the database layout, moving the ISFDB engine rev to 1.4.
  • A large number of magazines were brought online this week: 7 years of Astounding (1939-1945), and 9 years of Interzone (1982-1990). All of the ON SPEC and Science Fiction Age issues are to arrive soon.
  • A large number of Stoker awards were entered; these were in shortfiction, collection, and lifetime achievement categories.

What's New - 15 Mar 1996

  • Although it makes no difference to the user, a number of internal changes were made to free-form notes (biographies, synopsis, title notes, and publication notes). These are now all unified into a single notes file. In support of this, several new html directives were added: %%M,address%% will generate a mailto html link, and %%H,label##url%% generates an html hotlink to the given url with the given label. This should allow editing of notes on the data entry forms (embedded html directives within a text area confuses all browers).
  • These changes moved the database engine to rev 1.3.

What's New - 12 Mar 1996

  • Exceeded 14,000 titles.

What's New - 11 Mar 1996

  • Revamped the way forthcoming books are generated and displayed. Previously, the list was actually forthcoming titles, which limited forthcoming books to those which had never been previously published. Now the list is generated from the publication database, allowing US, UK, and reprints to show up in the list. The way in which the list is displayed has also been changed, printing publisher, format, and location of the forthcoming title.

What's New - 26 Feb 1996

  • Completely and utterly revamped all of the data entry pages. We can now add/change author info; add/change summary info; add/change publication info; and add titles to anthologies, collections, and magazines. There is not as yet any capability of editing notes or synopsis online, since the forms attempt to interpret any embedded html directives. Changes can still be entered as fresh data.
  • Updated version to 1.2.

What's New - 20 Feb 1996

  • Exceeded 13,000 titles.
  • Fixed the new data page so that publication format, notes, and story synopsis can be entered.
  • Fixed the corrections page so that publication data, notes, and story synopsis can be entered.
  • Divided the notes into two specific sections: notes and synopsis. Notes deal with general publication information, and is displayed directly on the author's bibliography. Synopsis summaries are not printed on the bibliography, but a [Synopsis] button is - if a synopsis is present. When selected, the synopsis is displayed.
  • The new database field requires updating the version level to 1.1.

What's New - 16 Feb 1996

  • Presorted the new series database file, so that match listings are presented in book-sorted order.
  • Added the author directory.

What's New - 15 Feb 1996

  • After some lengthy discussions, have changed the way series searches are performed and displayed. A series search will now result in a list of matching series. If selected, a new display application handles displaying the contents of the selected series. This will allow a series written by multiple authors to be displayed in its entirety. Additionally, the series banner on the author bibliography page is now a hotlink to the series listing.

What's New - 13 Feb 1996

  • Fixed the author search so that listings are presented in alphabetical order (sorted by lastname).

What's New - 11 Feb 1996

  • Added the English language Aurora awards.
  • Finally added the synopsis/notes feature to the database. This allows 8k of free-form text to be appended to an entry to briefly describe the synopsis or added notes of interest. Internal hotlinks to the database are indicated with %%directive,argument%% strings, which means that hard-coded links aren't necessary. The only directive supported at present is the 'A' or author directive, such as %%A,Dan Simmons%%.
  • Updated the version level to 1.0.

What's New - 05 Feb 1996

  • Rolled over the 12,000 title mark.
  • Added the recent P. K. Dick and A. C. Clarke award nominations.

What's New - 02 Feb 1996

  • The new author searching algorithm is online. Performance seems adequate.
  • The "New Data" bug which occurs when using Lynx has been fixed.
  • Data-entry submissions are now functional.

What's New - 01 Feb 1996

  • The ISFDB is now fully online on the new system. Searches are a bit slow here, since the cgi binaries are run on the http server which mounts the binaries and data via NFS. This means that searches are going across the network as well, slowing things down. This is irritating enough that I'll have to examine a new search algorithm. The NFS mounting also complicates things when it comes to writing data on the server side, so data submissions will be a while still.

What's New - 29 Jan 1996

Made a number of changes to bring the database online on the new system. Aside from porting differences, there were a couple of other changes due to the peculiarities of this system:

  • The new system doesn't have enough memory to compile the database data, so some tweaks were made so that the entries can be compiled elsewhere, imported, and then installed.
  • The new system is rebooted fairly often, so a hypertext daemon diagnostic program was written. This runs every 10 minutes, checking the health of hyperd, restarting it if necessary.
  • Altered the search engine such that if only 1 publication citation is available for a specific work, then instead of listing publication summary, a content listing is displayed instead.
  • Added the alphabetical listing option as requested. This feature is found on the button menu at the top of the summary bibliography. If the alphabetical summary bibliography is being displayed, then a chronological option button can be found.
  • The version of the database engine is now 0.9

What's New - 22 Jan 1996

  • Added support for Essays. Essay data has been present in the database since entering Ellison's infamous Xenogenesis, but haven't been displayed until now. An essay is not the same as a column.

What's New - 15 Jan 1996

  • As requested, altered the search engine such that if only 1 author match is made on a search request, then we immediately display that author's summary bibliography, instead of the single match results.
  • Updated the search and AwGen binaries to use the http GET method instead of the POST method, as the POST method induces some peculiarities in some browsers that use a proxy host.

What's New - 08 Jan 1996

  • Finally added support for biographical data. This is a completely free-format area, so any kind of text can be put here, including URLs to fan-based or author-supported web pages. There isn't very much actual biographic data as yet, although I have punched in my collection of email addresses. Also added a statistical gadget, which graphs the number of database entries by year, and a facility which displays the number of database queries served in the postamble to each page. These features push the database engine to version 0.8.