Big “The List” Changes
“The List” as it exists in Google Sheets is really limited. It becomes really difficult to capture more data than is already there in a useful and maintainable manner. Even as it is there are compromises—I always have titles in their original script and then a transliteration if the original is not Latin-based, but the translators are always Latin. Wouldn’t it be nice to have the originals of those as well? But then once you start looking at transliterations, there are often multiple competing standards. The List as it is doesn’t capture the transliteration standard that was used (except in ‘comments’) let alone multiple possible transliterations. What about publication information: companies, dates, locations, editions, cover art…? There is so much information that is relevant and useful to people that becomes extremely unwieldy in a spreadsheet.
For the last few years I have been working on developing a database that can capture all of that and more. It is a surprisingly complicated project and I’ve finally hit my first major milestone—i.e. “The List” as displayed is now being generated from the database and not from the Google Sheet. Soon I’m going to retire the Google Sheet entirely—once I create a reasonable way for individuals to download something equivalent and replace some of the other things in the spreadsheet, like the change list and stats tabs.
I fantasize about making The List more interactive for users; for example allowing people to collaborate, to use the site itself to keep track of their own collections or to generate their own lists based on custom criteria. There is no end to the possibilities!
For now, not much will look different, but in the near future, expect to see some big changes!