Bookpedia: Author last name, first name or vice versa?

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Bookpedia: Author last name, first name or vice versa?

Postby McFitz » Wed Feb 14, 2007 1:17 pm

In my old database, I had authors listed "last name, first name", which was easier to scan by eye. However, using Bookpedia and Amazon.com, the author names come in "first name last name". Although this seems 'normal,' it's much more difficult for the eye to pick out certain names, and I have to change all of my previous entries to match in order to sort columns correctly.

Has anyone else had this problem, and how have you dealt with it?
Thanks,
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Postby druid » Wed Feb 14, 2007 4:37 pm

I'm not sure it's a problem, but rather a habit you've developed. A few weeks of reading names in non-reverse order may in time seem normal.

I'm not unsympathetic: I reversed all my names in Skype in order to group people with the same family names. It's less of a problem in 'pedia because the filters let us isolate names so quickly.

However, a DB like Endnote does allow a choice of naming style, and that might be good to have one day in the 'pedia apps.
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Postby footer » Sun Mar 25, 2007 8:09 am

It would be cool if we can define if we want to have the last name first or vice et versa because if I have to build a bibliography, it's often with the last name first !

Actually, I have to change this manually.
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Postby teacher24_70 » Wed Aug 01, 2007 4:42 am

My original database that I imported from was set up the same way--last name, first name. I'm in the process right now of rearranging them to match the new default.

Unfortunately, I'm having to manually change them one at a time. A SMALL time saver was to sort by author and then it would at least group books by the same author together. I could then change one item and copy/paste it into the others by that author. I also started by creating a smart-collection of all items where author contains ",". This at least isolated all those I had to "fix" together. Of course it also pulled up all items that had multiple authors, but it was a least MOSTLY narrowed down.

It's a royal pain but I know that it will be worth it in the end to be able to sort correctly.

At least we can still sort by first OR last--it's just a matter of which one our eyes see first.
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Postby Conor » Wed Aug 01, 2007 9:42 am

If you downloaded TextWrangler to remove the quotations then you can use the same power of regular expressions to flip the first and last names (not sure what happens with books with more than one author, so make sure to make backups as usual).

Look for:
Code: Select all
<key>Author</key>\r\t\t\t<string>(.*), (.*)</string>


replace with:
Code: Select all
<key>Author</key>\r\t\t\t<string>\2 \1</string>


After setting up the search and replace, in the find window, use command-g (find again) make sure it's a one author book and use command-= (replace) to fli, this way overlooking the change.
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Postby teacher24_70 » Wed Aug 01, 2007 9:51 pm

I ended up doing the quotation marks manually--I found a "relatively" quick way of doing it without having to use a separate program. It may not have been as quick as Text Wrangler, but just knowing that I didn't have to deal with a new, unfamiliar program made it the easiest option.
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