Changes to formats supported for creating links within contributions

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  • (Edited)
Today, Wednesday 15th November 2017, we will begin the roll-out of changes to the types of linking formats supported within our contribution interfaces.

Currently within our contribution interfaces we support two types of linking. They are:-

  • [link=nm1234567] for names and [link=tt1234567] for titles.  This is our modern linking method, which utilizes the unique identifier for each name or title in the database (which can be harvested from our URLs).
  • 'Tomoyuki Tanaka (I)'(qv) for names and _"Buffythe Vampire Slayer" (2001) {Once More, with Feeling (#6.7)}_ (qv) for titles. This is our legacy format which requires in-depth knowledge of our legacy name or title text format and is error prone.
As we continue our work to make improvements to our systems to simplify and make contribution consistent across all desktop/mobile platforms (please see Upcoming changes to several IMDb features for more details), we have made the decision to move fully to our modern linking method. 

As part of this work, the existing ability within the legacy format to perform name matching will be removed. An example of this feature is below:-



From today all contribution interfaces will begin being updated to support only the [link=nm1234567] for name and [link=tt1234567]. This change will not impact how the data is displayed on IMDb, it is purely a change to the contribution interfaces. This change affects 23 different data types:-

  • Plot Outline
  • Plot Summary
  • Crazy Credits
  • Alternate Versions
  • Connections
  • Articles
  • Books About This Person
  • Biographical Movies
  • Biography
  • Real Life Quotes
  • Name Trivia
  • Trivia
  • Nickname
  • Other Works
  • Portrayed in Other Movies
  • Salary
  • Spouse
  • Trademarks
  • Goofs
  • Quotes
  • Awards
  • Soundtracks
  • Literature

These changes will be rolling out over the next 24 hours during which time we will be monitoring the launch. We are in the process of ensuring that all submission guides are updated to reflect this change.

If you do spot any issues or have questions/feedback, please respond to this thread.

Thanks,

Rachel
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Rachel, Employee

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Posted 2 years ago

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frankfob2

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So let me see if I've got this straight. Instead of using the "qv" method of linking names/titles, where you placed a single quote mark before and after a name, and end it with (qv), and placing an underscore before and after a title, and end it with (qv)--a fairly simple and straightforward way of doing things--now for every time you want to link a name and/or title, you have to (a) open up a new window, (b) call up the name or title in question, (c) copy the "[link=xxxx]", (c) paste it in the body of the item, (d) repeat the same procedure for every single name and/or title you wish to link in a particular item. So if a Trivia item, for example, has five or six actors' names and five or six films/TV series names that are unlinked, you have to go through that whole process in every single instance. Do I have that right, or is there a simpler way of doing this?
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Vincent Fournols

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Considering the number of homonyms in the IMDb -- bearing qualifying attributes like (I), (II)... check http://www.imdb.com/name/nm5031462/?ref_=fn_al_nm_1 for instance --, I guess that is the easiest mean to be implemented.
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Adrian, Champion

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Jeorj, if you think Peter is doing things the hard way, you must have never run into a case where qv really doesn't work, and there are plenty. This is a simpler and more complete way of doing things that is LONG overdue.
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Jeorj Euler

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You got me there, Adrian. Indeed I cannot remember the last time that a "qv" link presented a problem, but I do know there have been times when I had to visit a name page to find out what the proper "qv" link would be. Ironically, I've had to do that more often in regards to title pages, especially episode titles, and that's ironic because a few contributors commenting here are stating the new system is more helpful in regards to names than titles.
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Adrian, Champion

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I think Weird Al is completely impossible to link using the qv notation and his name. Referencing individual episodes of a TV show is hard as well, much easier using the title number.
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Paikia

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Generally, opening up new windows isn't a problem, except when using the iPhone app, which at least from my personal experience, tends to reset very often when moved to the background. I haven't tried adding or correcting data using the new method yet, but I hope it works better than I expect. Using the iPhone app (or any browser on an iPhone, for that matter) to make submissions to IMDB is difficult enough as it is.
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Jeorj Euler

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Well, this is problematic as far as making corrections to existing data is concerned.
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Rachel, Employee

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Apologies for this. We tried to minimize the possibility of issues during the roll-out of the changes, but we did cause an issue where allowing the correction of existing links did not work.

This issue has now been fixed and the change is fully launched.

Cheers,

Rachel
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Jeorj Euler

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Well, in that case, thank you, IMDb staff! Cheers back!
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Jeorj Euler

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This reply was created from a merged topic originally titled "Legacy linking format is no longer supported".

Wait. Are we to understand correctly that the internal data is still stored in the "qv" syntax but in order to make changes a given piece of database information, a contributor has to manually convert all the existing references in the "qv" syntax to the key-link markup syntax?

That's just silly. It has the effect of making it much harder to submit corrections. I'm afraid that this is yet another example of a transition implementation approach from an old system to a new one that was not thought out by the IMDb software developers. I don't understand why the IMDb decision-making staff members do not realize these things beforehand. Or do they? So, are the contributors just guineapigs? Why do you treat us like this?

If it is not too much trouble, please fix this.
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Owen Rees

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No, internal data is not stored in the text qv syntax.
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Jeorj Euler

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Owen Rees, perhaps the problem has been fixed already. The last time I went to edit an actor's biography page, all the links were referenced in the "qv" syntax. Please, by all means, check it out for yourself.
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Owen Rees

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What you see in the contribution system is not the internal format. The internal form is converted to text qv form for display and editing and the submitted data has qvs converted to the internal form. That text qv to id conversion is the cause of a lot of issues. The new system means that the conversion to internal form is straightforward and does not have the troublesome issues.

There are some things that I think need fixing and which I believe should not be too difficult. These do not preserve the old text qv format, on the contrary, my preference would be to eliminate it completely.
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Jeorj Euler

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Right. I did not mean the internal "internal format" such as the raw data of the database (SQL, Oracle or whatever). I meant the contribution interface, which is internal in the sense that it cannot be seen without clicking the "edit" button.
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Jeorj Euler

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Here is an example of the consequences of this rubbish: 171115-224531-302000.
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Jeorj Euler

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This is in reference to a specific contribution in which the links were removed altogether rather than manually changed to the entity key syntax, and apparently it went live, so, o, well.
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frankfob2

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Well, I've figured out a way to solve this problem: For those who think this "key-link" system for names and titles is such a wonderful idea, you're more than welcome to do as many of them as you want to, because I'm not going near them anymore. They're all yours. Contributing to IMdb used to be fun. Now it's getting to be nothing but a pain in the ass--"improvements" that make things more difficult, "changes" that make no sense, "explanations" that are so convoluted it's virtually impossible to figure out what they mean, and so on. This latest "improvement" is just more of the same. Have fun with it.
(Edited)
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Rachel, Employee

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Thank you for this example, we have fixed the links (to include the titles that we not previously linked).

Cheers,

Rachel
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Jeorj Euler

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Alright. Thanks, Rachel. Please forgive me for flying off the hook. Some of the changes that have been happening in the past several months have really somewhat unhinged me. The main problem is that I feel like the IMDb staff is not listening to the contributors and subscribers.
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Owen Rees

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Existing data being corrected should be converted to the [link=...] form not the 'text' (qv) form.

It would be even better if 'Keep' items used a hyperlinked display form and the conversion to [link=...] markup was only in the editable text box. Showing both the hyperlinked display form and the editable markup for 'Correct' items would be even better (showing the effect of edits of course). I think that would deal with at least some of the issues of selecting the wrong name/title.
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Jeorj Euler

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Would the syntax in the form for example [link=nm1234567]Tegetmeier[/link] render properly (as Tegetmeier)? If so, the I would give a thumbs up for one thing that I can appreciate about the format change.
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Rachel, Employee

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At this point in time this is not supported. 

Thanks,

Rachel
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Jeorj Euler

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Then please consider.
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Vincent Fournols

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I support this request, which is completely consistent with so many format ways across website and webforums.
And to be honest, I do not understand how the [link=reference] works out, how the system convert it to a html link. But since I never needs it, It is OK and I did not search a lot.
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Elwood Blues

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While I can see the necessity from a software maintenance perspective, from a contributors perspective this is... bad. As frankfob2 pointed out, it is now necessary to follow five steps instead of one or two. Additionally, one of the advantages of the old system was that, in the case of multiple persons with the same name, it gave you a choice of names. This is not the case anymore, you have to do everything manually, meaning the new method is less effective.
So unless a different way of adding/correcting links is implemented (for example, like adding cast members: you add a name and a list of possible matches appears), I will submit less data/corrections.
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Rachel, Employee

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Thank you for the feedback.  By moving to a single method for linking data (which is not highly error prone, as the qv style was), we will be in a position to add extra features in the future.

Your description of typing a name and a list of possible matches being displayed is an example of a future enhancement we can now consider if there is significant interest.

Thanks,

Rachel
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CuriousUserX90

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That certain would be nice to have. With all do respect twards those who aren't good with always remembering off by heart the web addresses for each page to put into the [Link=URL].
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Marco

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Your description of typing a name and a list of possible matches being displayed is an example of a future enhancement we can now consider if there is significant interest.
I would be very interested in that.
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Vincent Fournols

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Add my "significant" interest to it too :)
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CuriousUserX90

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Same said for me about having Significant Interest in that.
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James Johnston

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Now that the new format of linking names and titles is fully implemented, some tools that would be nice might be (they probably would have been nice in the past, but, better now than never):

1.  Add a button on all name and title pages to write the appropriate format link to the clipboard (or similar location) that could then be pasted into an appropriate place in a submission.

2.  Add a button to all appropriate submission pages that pops up a search box over the page so a submitter can search for the name or title they want. Once the name or title is found, a button in the pop-up box would write the link in the correct format to the clipboard (or similar location) so all the submitter need do is paste the link in at the desired point in the submission.

My point is that, by providing simple tools that take a lot of the manual work out of building the link (and hiding the actual mechanics of the link itself), I think many of the complaints I see above would fade away. Also, by having the tools create the link in the appropriate format, any time links are changed/enhanced in the future, changing the tools would automatically provide the new format without changing the way a submitter creates the link.

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CuriousUserX90

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That would be Appreciated, and easier to have.
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Ron

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I haven't had a chance to fully digest this change yet, but have had some thoughts about it so far.  I mostly live within the Soundtrack space, so my comments refer to that section, but obvously cross over to the others.

Complaint: Readability has been eliminated during editing.
Previously:
Written by 'Justin Timberlake' (qv), 'Tim Mosley (I)' (qv) and 'Scott Storch' (qv)
Performed by 'Justin Timberlake' (qv)
Produced by 'Tim Mosley (I)' (qv)
Currently:
Written by [link=nm0005493], [link=nm0608856] and [link=nm1395028]
Performed by [link=nm0005493]
Produced by [link=nm0608856]

The enhancements Owen suggests would greatly improve this, and should be the highest priority fix.

Suggestion: Putting in something like this should be allowed:
Performed by [link=Justin Timberlake]
and the system would make the conversion automagically.

Putting in something liks this, would bring up the name picker, where we select the correct name (roman numeral), and the system auto-converts it to the name const.
Produced by [link=Tim Mosley]

To-Do item: The back-end needs to update links when name merges happen. Example from soundtracks:
Music by [link=nm2228215]
Name/page doesn't exist under that const anymore.

To-Do item: Links to companies need to be disallowed at submission, and lists scrubbed for them. Example from soundtracks:
Courtesy [link=co0508645]

Typing the new syntax on a virtual keyboard (phone/tablet, etc...) is very time comsuming because the square brackets are not part of the standard virtual keyboard layout. The old (qv) system was much easier to type because single ticks and parens were easy to get to from a virtual keyboard.
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CuriousUserX90

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Indeed what you stated there would be a good improvement to have sometime.
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bderoes, Champion

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I'm adding to a Soundtrack listing today, and when I clicked on the little blue ? to the right of the item, the help text that comes up still talks about qv's, not about [link=...].

Also, we need a preview function to make sure we've put in the correct links. You don't want to process a bunch of corrections because we can't see what we did. My item has 8 names in it.

It's a BIG shame that you won't let us put in the whole URL instead of just nmXXX or ttXXXX. It takes a lot more effort to extract the code from the url. (To get URL: right click on name and Copy. To get code, either Paste that and remove the excess, or instead Open the link and extract the code. So either it's time to copy/paste/extract or time to open page/extract. Much better to copy alone.)

So the new process is very tedious, especially compared with the old way, and doing it blind is downright exhausting. Fortunately I'm working on a laptop, and opened a list of mine, and set up the links in the comments section of an item, and verified it there before putting it in the Contribution. But please make it friendlier!
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bderoes, Champion

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On Nov 24 I made the following BUG report, and nothing has changed:
I'm adding to a Soundtrack listing today, and when I clicked on the little blue ? to the right of the item, the help text that comes up still talks about qv's, not about [link=...].
Nor do I see any feedback on the suggestions above:
Also, we need a preview function to make sure we've put in the correct links. You don't want to process a bunch of corrections because we can't see what we did. My item has 8 names in it.
It's a BIG shame that you won't let us put in the whole URL instead of just nmXXX or ttXXXX. It takes a lot more effort to extract the code from the url. (To get URL: right click on name and Copy. To get code, either Paste that and remove the excess, or instead Open the link and extract the code. So either it's time to copy/paste/extract or time to open page/extract. Much better to copy alone.)
I tried looking at the official responses to others on this thread, so if I missed feedback that would have applied to these, my apologies and please point me there.

But why has the BUG not been fixed? (I'm calling a bad help screen a bug, but others are reporting a huge mess among Soundtrack submissions, and a proper help screen might, well, help.)
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CuriousUserX90

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Agreed, things have gotten harder with simply having to remember weblinks rather than simply typing in a name.
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gromit82, Champion

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While it's one thing to use the [link=nmXXXXXXX] for submitting data, it needs to be made more user-friendly for purposes of editing the data. If there is an error in the trivia for a title, a human being shouldn't be expected to edit a number of trivia items that look like this:
[link=nm1876497] cites [link=tt0047478] as an influence on the film.
[link=nm0000255] and [link=nm0001354] appeared in [link=tt0164184].
The second time [link=nm3009232] and [link=nm0001082] have worked together. The first was [link=tt0420293].
I don't know what can be done to make the display of trivia items in edit mode more user-friendly, but I think that something needs to be done about it.
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CuriousUserX90

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I had to go back on fourth between pages for a lot of web links while I was editing submissions for this today: www.imdb.com/title/tt3606756/trivia

It certainly would seem easier to simply type in the names than searching for weblinks.
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Jeorj Euler

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Thanks for not being discouraged. My suspicion is that most contributors will be.
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Ron

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After the advanced search tool for Soundtracks was made available again, I had submitted about 100 corrections to tidy up the mal-formed [link=xxxxxxx] links in that data that I found.
A couple more months have passed, and I just submitted another 45+ corrections to clean up more mal-formed links.
What is the status of the submission system being able to detect this mal-formed data at submission time, and forcing the contribors to fix the issue before the submission can be made? (like it did with mal-formed (qv) links)Thanks.
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Ron

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Semi-annual cleanup of bad links in the Soundtrack data
85 titles affected
100+ fixes

Most common problems:
[link=nm1234567    <-by far the most commom
link=nm1234567]
[link-nm1234567]
{link=nm1234567]
[link=nm1234567}

Any progress on getting the submission system to flag these errors before they get published?

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Ron

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Semi-annual cleanup of bad links in the Soundtrack data
65+ titles affected
~90 fixes

Most common problems:
[link=nm1234567  (missing bracket)
link=nm1234567]  (missing bracket)
[link-nm1234567]  (dash instead of equals)


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Jeorj Euler

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Thanks, Ron.