Firstly, I’d like to thank @Algwyn for kicking off this important topic and making some very useful suggestions. It would be great if there could be some developer input to this thread, so that we have some idea as to what is reasonably achievable, given that the MB database and UI seem to evolve very slowly (although I am aware that there is a UI project under way, but am unsure of the details). Unfortunately, I don’t know who the relevant people are, perhaps @reosarevok or @Freso can tag whoever?
As regards the various points raised:
Clean-up of UI
Where the composer has a catalogue which is in MB as a series, then this is sort-of achievable by just looking at the series listing and clicking on the work to see the parts (in a new page). Some composers (e.g. JS Bach) have a link to the series in their annotation on their artist page, but some (e.g. Beethoven) do not. Adding these links would be a small but quick win, which can be done by editors. Ideally, the hierarchical view would be achieved by expandable drop-downs, but this would definitely require some work on the UI. Where there is no series, perhaps things can be improved by editors creating them - even by just simply ( ) making a series of all their (top) works; again, this would require no developer effort, but perhaps a script or two might help?
Again, a nice idea, but perhaps could have a short-term fix using a script to turn the column off.
Unless I misunderstand, this can be effectively achieved in the existing UI by selecting “Display Credits at Bottom”
Naming of movements
I completely agree. This is an enormous waste of time and is frequently done incorrectly. The Classical Extras plugin then attempts to strip the duplicate naming, but sometimes doesn’t work because of large inconsistencies between the child and parent names. However, it must be recognised that the alternative has consequences too. You would end up with a large number of works simply named “Allegro” etc. Unless MB displays these with the parent name prefixed, any list of these would be meaningless. Similarly, any search for a movement-type work would need to implicitly search the parent name too. Both of these considerations then raise the question as to whether just the immediate parent is included in the implied prefixing (assuming there is a non-collection grandparent). There is already a script that is of some help here. Perhaps another could be added to “add/replace subwork prefix with work name”. This would (selectably) either replace all text preceding the first colon with the work name or add the work name as a prefix (followed by a colon). Again, this would be a short-term solution, but I think a complete solution may take some time, both to design and implement.
Group tracks in recordings
As noted, this is a long-outstanding (and much voted-for) request and is by no means limited to classical recordings. I suspect it is a bit tricky to implement in the database structure.
In the meantime, there is (I think) one issue that maybe could be fixed - namely with the Discogs import script. Where Discogs does have a track group, the import only picks up the top level. Instead, it should pick up the full structure, named according to MB style (parent: child).
Primary aliases edits
I agree - it should be mandatory (apart from auto-editors )
Agreed. Hopefully this is not a big ask. Do we need a ticket?
I think some very useful suggestions have been made. Some already have ‘work-round’ solutions which can be implemented by editors (given a will…) Some could have quick and dirty fixes by means of scripts. Neat-looking UI and database fixes will take looonngggerrrrr…
There are already a lot of good scripts and other tips which are not as well known as they should be - see the Classical Editor Toolbox. Maybe the reason why these are not well known is that it is not pinned to the top of the Classical discourse page - it really should be (@Freso?)
To summarise the scripts suggested:
- Add work to series. On the works page for an artist, the script would allow a series to be chosen, add checkboxes against each work and allow these to be selected to add the work to the series. Editors would still need to be careful not to add works that are just parts of another work.
- Turn off artists column on artist works page and search results page.
- Add/replace subwork prefix with work name on work - edit page. This would (selectably) either replace all text preceding the first colon with the work name or add the work name as a prefix (followed by a colon).
- Modify Import from Discogs script to import grouped tracks into MB flat structure with colon separation.