New Feature: Unified Form Editor is now available for testing!

Hello everyone!

I participated in this year’s GSoC program to introduce a new editor for entity creation that is unified form.
As the name suggests main motivation behind this was to unify all the workflows a user has to go through to add a book in bookbrainz.
We kept the editor’s workflow simple for new users yet powerful enough to be useful to power users as well.

The editor is available for the test here and should be relatively stable to use.

Please give it a try :slight_smile:
We would love to hear your feedback and suggestions on how we can improve this form, also let us know if you face any bugs or have any feature in mind that you think should be added.



A note for those of you testing: has a separate database from the production one, so you can test to your heart’s content including with dummy data.


Ok, works fine. But I miss the edition-author and edition-publisher relations. You can’t add copyrights holders, photographers etc. at the moment


I am very newbie to BB, I sometimes tried to add a book to my BB collection, but it has always remained empty. :sweat_smile:

Duplicate Edition Groups

In this new Edition add form, on the step when it says:

A new Edition Group with the same name will be created automatically.
:mag: Search for an existing Edition Group

At this point, when you click the button (second row of text, above), you get the Edition Group search form:

Edition Group :question:
Select… :arrow_down_small:
Group with other Editions of the same book
:ticket: Automatically create an Edition Group

My 2 remarks on this:

  1. It would be nice that the search field (Select…) would be preset with the Edition title, like when you add a new Release to MusicBrainz
  2. I would find it better to avoid duplicates by showing the Edition Group search first, by default, avoiding the A new Edition Group with the same name will be created automatically, by all means, forcing some editor minimal thought before adding tons of duplicates

Selecting language twice

On the first tab Cover of the form, I chose French.
I shouldn’t have to select French again, on the second tab Details.

Rigid text fields

In the third tab Contents, in the Work search field, I cannot nicely edit the text I type.

  • I am blocked from using left and right arrow keys (not anymore on the second try??)
  • I am blocked from using Start/Begin, End, Shift+Start or Shift+End keys, etc.

It’s very rigid, and maybe it’s the case for all those text input fields with drop-down, in this form, but I spotted first with Work search.


Thanks for trying this out and giving your feedback, really appreciated!

On the remarks, it does make sense to avoid duplicates. i will further discuss this with the team and try to come up with something.


Not sure but keys like arrow, backscape, delete etc should be working, no?


About having to select French twice, it seems first time is to say the Edition Title’s language, and, second time is to say the Edition Content (text) language…

About the strange text/search field behaviour blocking some keys, I made a ticket, it’s in fact a general issue with this type of fields, in the whole site, not just this new page:


Hi, @Shubh, I’ve been adding books to BB for some months now, but only tried the unified form recently (I wanted to get used to the (current) normal workflow to make sure I don’t miss anything and have a point of comparison.

First of all, I have to say this was great work. The new form makes adding an edition much, much easier. The new workflow is much more intuitive and much faster than adding each entity separately. Especially for editions with many works (such as poetry/short story collections) this is incomparably better and faster.

I did notice some issues. The most important for me is also the simplest: this should not be called adding a book. There are no “books” on BookBrainz; there are editions, edition groups and works. For a user to be useful member of this project, he needs to understand what these terms mean here before adding an edition. If you start out by adding a book and then there is no mention of a book in the form and no resulting book once you’re done, that’s just confusing for a newbie and not useful for experienced users. This is basically like adding a release in MB, if it was called a “record” or an“ album” on the main menu just because these are more common terms, adding a release would be much more confusing.

Basically, these concepts are hard to understand at first, and, if we’re not consistent, everything can get very confusing.

Also the first tab is called “cover” which can lead the user to think they’re meant to add only the information they find on the book cover, although some of the information there don’t appear on the cover (such as IDs) and the cover isn’t even the best place to find this information. If the idea is just to have a tab for the basic information, something like “Basic info” would do. (“Edition” would also work).

Other issues (IMHO):

  • It’s not possible to add the type of the edition group, which results in edition groups always being created without a type. (This is already a problem with the current ed. creation form). In fact, there’s not a lot of information to add on the ed. group creation page, the same fields can easily be added here and we could avoid always having to go back and edit the ed. group to add at least the type.
  • Also, sometimes the ed. group may have a title that is different from the edition’s, which makes it impossible to add here. It would be nice to to have the title pre-filled when creating a new one, but you should be able to change it.
  • The option to add all the works to a series seems a bit strange. Is it that common that you need to add all the works in an edition to a series? Since we are creating an edition, it would make more sense to have the option to add the edition to a series, but that’s not an option on the form.
  • “Copy Authors from Author Credit” sounds a bit awkward, too technical, “copy author entity from Author Credit field”… A more natural (and clear for non-technical users) wording would be something like “Work author(s) is the same as the editions’s author(s)”. But what if it isn’t the same for one or more (or all) works? Then you need to be careful to deselect it (or you will add the wrong author by accident) and add the author as relation when creating the work. It feels a bit strange and likely to leading to mistakes. Wouldn’t it be more natural to simply have an Author field on the work creation popup? Isn’t that what most people would expect, to be asked about the author when creating a work? (The field can be pre-filled with the edition author(s), or have a check-box to select the edition author, that would be useful.)
  • When selecting a work, the author of the work doesn’t show on the options list, which makes it easy to select a work with a similar name by a different author. Worse, there is no way to open the work to make sure it is the correct work and not another one with the same or a similar name.
  • Once you add a work, it’s impossible to re-edit it, even if you realize you made a mistake.
  • The sort name input box is too short, it literally only fits four characters.

On the new entities report (last tab):

  • Work-Type, format and status show as an ID (e.g. Work-Type: 5; format: 3) which is not useful to review.
  • “Type: EditionGroup” has no space (probably also an ID). Not a big issue, but doesn’t look good.
  • First line of the edition group entity is “Type: EditionGroup”, first line of the work entity is “Type: Work”, but there is no “Type: Edition” for the edition entity. It would actually be clearer if Edition Group/Work/Edition showed as headers, instead of this “key: value” format.
  • “Release-date:” (note, also no space) is in the format “+YYYYYY-MM-YY” (six-digit year), which is readable but not appropriate for end-users to review.
  • Edition Group is always shown on the new entities report even if it isn’t new. It should only show as a relationship on the edition entity, since it’s not being created.
  • The first time I tried to use this form only 5 work entities were shown even though the edition had many more. Other times, more than 5 showed, so I’m not sure sure what was the problem. Maybe there a limit to number of works and it only shows 5 if it’s above it?

Don’t get me wrong, I do think this form is huge improvement to the workflow, I never went back to creating the entities separately and I hope I never have to. I’m just being thorough, since it doesn’t seem we will get much more feedback here.


Hey, @blackteadarkmatter Thanks for the detailed feedback!

We wanted to separate BookBrainz schema from the creation form since that would allow new users to add data quickly without any prior knowledge of BB and may later learn more about BB entities if the user chooses to.
Though it definitely causes some inconsistency with BB entities.

You can try creating an inline edition group.

Adding an edition to a series requires less work than adding all works to a series, no?

These text labels definitely require some work, thanks!

Since these inline entities are created as soon we submit the form, it is not possible to edit them without creating a new revision.

This also require more work,It will be more detailed and useful in the future :wink:

I entirely understand the intention to try to keep this simple; my point is that: 1) you can’t and still don’t really separate the entity concepts from the creation form, it still mentions edition groups and works, which are specific terms in BB; 2) to make a good contribution, a user really does need to understand these terms; 3) there can be other ways to simplify things. One example: you can display a sentence like “Do you have a book that isn’t on BB yet? You can add that edition here.” on the home page, “here” being a link to the creation form. This indicates to the user that what he calls a book is called an edition here on BB. A short description before each of this concepts would also be good idea.

Maybe I’m misunderstanding something, but I think there is no inline form for creation ed. groups, you can either pick one that already exists or automatically create one with the same name name as the edition.

Yes, and I see your point. I just think this is quite uncommon, having to add all works in an edition to a series. When you see this option there, it makes you feel that this is common thing or expected. But, anyway, I don’t think having an option to do something uncommon easily is a big problem. Just pointing it out.

Okay, I now understand that; but needing to change something after you created the work should be a common occurrence. Currently you would have to open a new tab, open BB, search for the work that was just created, open it, and press the Edit button. Not a great workflow. And if what you forgot was to add a disambiguation, it can take some time. This could be seriously improved by simply adding a link to the work on the side, this way you can easily open it and edit it, if you have to.

Thanks for looking through all of this, I know it’s quite a lot.