Book Database

Jacob Proffitt Jacob at Proffitt.com
Thu Dec 16 19:45:42 EST 1999


On Thu, 16 Dec 1999 19:12:21 -0500, McMullin, Elise wrote:

>	Ugh, I do this all the time.  Course, they pay me to, but whatever.

Who pays you and why?  The reason I want to know is that it might be
possible to rent/buy the resulting database.

>	My life is databases.  I'm a user and adjuster though, not a
>creator.  I do have some ideas, though none of them are beautiful (and if
>anyone has any beautiful ideas, I want to know too!).
>
>	First of all, you could cruise the web and seek to block and copy
>relevant information into text or spreadsheet format. This would be quite a
>large doc, I imagine.  Then when entry time comes,  copy it into the
>database table.  At least this minimizes typing.  

I could very easily do this.  The problem is that it is essentially
stealing.  There are a number of libraries on the internet that allow you to
look up book data for reference purposes.  It'd be relatively trivial to rig
an internet connected application that would hit one of those libraries,
enter an ISBN and read/parse the resulting data.  But what you are
essentially doing is a) stealing their bandwidth for purposes they don't
approve and b) stealing the data entry time they've had to invest to make
that information available.  Both these assets are not only available, but
sellable (unlike a sunk cost that wouldn't hurt to duplicate).

>	What has me curious are the fields beyond the bibliography.  I don't
>want to make more work for you, but I was thinking how cool a Reviews field
>would be.  Or a Reader Comments field.  Cross-references, recommended
>readings, ooh la la.  And you can link the records to any essays you write
>in your word/wp/write program.  Okay, maybe that all can wait until dtbs
>updates after the drudgery is done!

It'll have much more than that.  It will have cross-referenced keywords,
updatable categories, ratings (and subratings for things like violence, sex,
profanity and maturity), cross-referenced character lists, as well as notes
and comments fields.  It'd be *very* easy to add a Reviews table and/or a
Comments table.  Frankly, that's a good idea.  I'll add a Reviews table
tonight.  Thanks.

What we're looking at for now is a dual entry scheme.  A Quick Entry with
just the essentials and a Full Entry with all the nifty extras.  I'm not
quite half-way through the Quick Entry screen--though that's a little
deceptive as the groundwork for the complete entry screen is going to be
completed as well.

What we were kind of hoping for is something that already has book
information in electronic form that I could just transfer.  I can work with
any format.  Once the thing is set up, I'll probably have import and export
functions as well.

>	Sounds like the most fun I can think of to have with a dtbs.  You
>go!

Me too.  I figure I might as well put my training and skills to good use.

Jacob Proffitt
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