Sunday, January 22, 2006

Version 1.4 

The awards index is updated again, with only a couple hiccups in the upload causing missing pages that a couple readers promptly notified me about, and so far just one typo in a book title similarly notified. The attention on the awards index update has left a backlog of several dozen less-than-urgent items in my inbox, which I will be attending to in the next few days, as well as a couple prominent features for the site, namely the 'best of year' essays by Matt Cheney and Claude Lalumiere, which I'll try to get posted in the next day or two. Further on, Monitor listings of recent books and magazines.

As I mentioned a few posts ago, I do intend to update the awards index incrementally over the coming year -- from now on. Ideally, every new set of nominations that appears -- like, today's BSFA awards nominations -- would go into the database and generate a new page in the index, rather than just an offsite link from the Locus Online homepage. In practice, there's usually not time to type the nominees into the database, verify spellings and sources, etc., at the same time such news comes in. The technical difficulty with periodic updates involves the links between nominee names in awards listings and and the nominee indices. When the entire site is updated, the indexes are re-paginated and the index versions of the nominee names are resequenced. To update incrementally will require regenerating pages of the indices without repaginating, inserting new nominee names in the existing pagination, and so on. Perhaps that's how it should be done anyway; the worst that could happen is that some index pages would grow to be longer than others. As technology advances and more and more people have high-speed internet access, I'm less and less worried about long pages of text.

Ultimately, I've always imagined that the Awards Index would be issued on CD ROM, for sale, as Bill Contento provides the Locus Index on CD ROM. (I'm hardly in this for the money, but a little pocket change couldn't hurt.) He establishes an incentive to buy the CD ROM by posting each new year's data online only as a separate index. If you want the latest years' data integrated with the previous index, you buy the CD ROM, which has everything integrated into a single index. I'm not quite thinking along those lines, but I am thinking about what features of the awards index might be removed from the online site and withheld for a CD ROM edition -- or, conversely, what extra features I might add the CD ROM edition that would provide an incentive for buying it. There's always that long-planned expansion of the awards index that I rarely mention any more...
Have you ever thought about putting up a Paypal link to accept donations?

(Or maybe there's already one that I've missed?)
There's actually been a Paypal button at the bottom of the Locus Online homepage for quite a while. A couple advertisers have used it to pay for their ads, but no one ever has 'donated' to the site...
Until now. Thanks!
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Still in progress:

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Mark R. Kelly

The opinions expressed in this blog are solely those of Mark R. Kelly, and do not reflect the editorial position of Locus Magazine.
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