The morning after

Ploughing through the many many emails I have this morning, it seems the reaction to the SFE has been overwhelmingly positive. Many thanks for your support, everyone. However, it might be worth noting some known issues that have come up:

  1. Entirely legitimately, the first thing many people will have done with the SFE is to go and check if they have an entry themselves, and if so, what it says. Some people will have run into the fact that, as previously flagged, the text we’ve launched isn’t yet complete. In particular, authors with names in the last quarter or so of the alphabet are unlikely to have updated entries. This will be fixed over the course of the next year or so.
  2. If you do have an updated entry, you’ll be able to tell instantly because it’ll have a bibliographic checklist – a new feature for the 2011 edition – at the bottom. If your entry has been updated, and you’ve caught errors in it, please email us using the contact form.
  3. A couple of known issues with the website: searching terms in quotation marks doesn’t work, and the search also has problems dealing with accents. (Eg if you search “MIEVILLE” you don’t get the result for China Miéville as you should.) We’ll fix these as soon as we can.
And that’s it, at least for the moment.


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7 responses to “The morning after

  1. JohnG

    Just had a look, and it seems very comprehensive and I’m looking forward to diving into it in more depth.

    However I do have one criticism.. and that’s ALL THE CAPS for every LINK it really does start to RUIN THE FLOW of the text. The links are blue. Do they really need to be IN ALL caps as well?

  2. I agree with John. Reading a long entry, the eye is drawn excessively to the link text, which is often not an imprtant thing to be stressed.

    But thank you so very much for putting this online!

    • John and Keith: it’s an interesting question. Taking the links out of all-caps is, for various reasons, a tricky technical problem. (Removing the underlining might be easier.) I suppose the justification for what we’ve done is discussed in my “philosophy” post – that we think the links are more important than they might be in another hypertext document. But I do understand what you’re saying about it damaging the flow for you, and we’ll see what we can do.

  3. I’m very pleased to see this go live, even with beta text and teething troubles. I contributed a very small portion of text to the second edition of the print version, so naturally that was one of the first entries I searched for on here. (On the whole, the updating of that entry has been done well, although there is a bit of mangled text in there and some minor quirks of formatting.)

  4. Andy Duncan

    Marvelous job so far, Graham. Thanks to you and your compatriots for a staggering amount of work well done. The Hugo should be in the bag.

    I like ALL CAPS links because they’re easier to spot and because they’re a nice stylistic continuity with the encyclopedia’s second edition, which likewise used ALL CAPS in each entry to indicate a name or term that had its own entry elsewhere in the book: hyperlinks on paper.

    • And, of course, this is why we still have them. The CD-ROM inherited the caps from the second edition and we started with the CD-ROM text as the most complete digital version available (being expanded by 50,000 words or more from the book). Personally I’d prefer the caps — maybe even tweaked to be small caps as in the book editions — to the underlining, especially in “see also” lists where underlining looks very fussy, but suspect we need to keep one or the other for the sake of accessibility. Stylesheet tweaks are easy; global text changes a bit trickier.

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