Wednesday, February 8th, 2006

Help for orphaned covers and maybe tags

Crash update. Thank you again for all the support you’ve given LibraryThing. I do appreciate it. I am still working through the hundreds of blog posts, profile comments and personal emails I received. Thank you for your patience.

Cover orphanage. Users who lost books also lost cover images. But the cover images were not lost, they were just “orphaned”—stranded without a “parent” book or user. Between Feb. 2 and 7 some 1,100 covers were added, many of which are now orphaned.

I have created a page showing these orphans. The page is at . The page shows the covers in reverse chronological order. If you added covers one after another, your books are probably clumped together on the page. If you lost 2 covers, I wouldn’t bother. If you lost 50, you might find this useful.

To use one of the covers, right-click (or option-click, depending on your OS and browser) to get the image’s URL. You can copy the URL into the “change cover image” page.

Help for orphaned tags? As some users have pointed out, tag edits made on the crash days are there but “invisible.” Basically, this means that the tags are not printed in the catalog, but if you click on a tag, like “cooking,” it will still list all the books once tagged cooking. Some users have used this feature to power edit their tags back in.

Yes, I could redo the visible tags based on these “invisible” tags. The trick is this: The “invisible tags” have no guaranteed order and they have no date. So, if I did this everyone’s tags would lose their prefered order, even if they were tagged long ago.

I need to remove this inconsistency, either deleting all the invisible tags or making them visible, order be damned.

Some possible solutions:

  • Delete all invisible tags after a week. Before then, enterprising users can play with power editing the tags back.
  • Add a special field that shows the invisible tags, allowing users to edit them back into the visible tags.
  • Allow users to choose to replace all their official tags with the invisible ones en masse. Users who did this would understand that their tag order might not be preserved. Perhaps I could force an alphabetic order, something some users prefer anyway. (Other users are vehement against that.)

Suggestions welcome, here or at the LibraryThing Google discussion group.

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