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Book Issues > Author problem: Walter M. Miller Jr.

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message 1: by James (new)

James (james_k_bowers) | 152 comments When sorting books by author in my "sci-fi-classics" category, I noticed that A Canticle for Leibowitz by Walter M. Miller Jr. appears between Colossus by D.E. Jones and The Reassembled Man by Herbert D. Kastle.

Is there a reason it is sorting on the "Jr."? ...and how do I go about fixing this?

message 2: by Cait (new)

Cait (tigercait) | 5005 comments Unfortunately, the answers are: "yes" and "you can't". Authors will sort on the last word of their names, and that can't be changed. There's a long-standing request to be able to give an author a "sort name" the way books have "sort titles", but it's still somewhere down the to-do list right now....

message 3: by James (new)

James (james_k_bowers) | 152 comments Huh.....yeah, after I posted my question, I took a closer look at my full listing and saw I have a handful of Jr.'s all hanging out together like they all had a last name of Jrascals instead of being where they ought to be... So, it won't surprise me if I find a Sr. or two also refusing to get in line in my book list... *sigh*

Still, thank you for the "yes" and "you can't", Cait.

It should be a simple matter to program GR to parse names correctly for sorting (assuming librarians are careful enough with their formatting) -- it must already parse prior to sorting because the sort order is by the last "word" in the name... All it would take (for English names anyway) is for it to recognize " Jr.", " Sr.", ,"II", "III", " IV" (and whatever other common ones) and then use the last two words instead as the primary sort parameter followed by the entire name field as the secondary sort parameter. Of course, whether the sort value is calculated at the time the sort is called or is a stored value created at the time a name is added/changed is another thing.

I used to be a computer programmer, so I know the logic for it isn't particularly complex -- however (isn't there always a "however"?) their ability to find time to write, test, and implement new code is quite probably another matter...

message 4: by rivka, Librarian Moderator (new)

rivka | 41693 comments Mod
And given the fact that many names (such as Spanish surnames) are more complex, the more likely fix is to create an "author sort" field for books. However, as Cait says, it's definitely on the long-term part of the to-do list.

This Is Not The Michael You're Looking For | 949 comments rivka wrote: "And given the fact that many names (such as Spanish surnames) are more complex, the more likely fix is to create an "author sort" field for books. However, as Cait says, it's definitely on the long..."

I've always found this sort of surprising/funny. Once they got the title sort field up and running (which was an endeavor), I figured it would be virtually no time until they did the same thing for authors, because the logic was already in place and it should have been fairly trivial to implement at that point. But for whatever reason (and it may be very good reason) this just hasn't been the case.

message 6: by MissJessie (new)

MissJessie | 874 comments Maybe because not so many people have asked/complained.
I am asking....

And maybe because it isn't a new feature like aps to catch attention, just a basic low priority item.

Maybe I am cynical. Maybe not.....

message 7: by rivka, Librarian Moderator (new)

rivka | 41693 comments Mod
Having been involved in discussions about implementing that and some other author-sorting issues, that's not it. I don't really understand the problems, because I don't speak programmer.

message 8: by James (new)

James (james_k_bowers) | 152 comments Heh... and I noticed the "Le Guin vs. LeGuin" thread here and remember seeing her books tucked nicely between Greenberg & Haldeman instead of between Laumer & Leiber. Oh, well. As much as I prefer to see my books arranged in the right order, I do have an even higher appreciation of a database that contains as few inaccuracies as possible - even if/when the correct thing looks like an error. Since I very much favor the "sorted by author" display format, I can only hope the sorting issue magically appears higher on the programmer priority list...

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