IMDb Contributors Help
Upgrades in Development

(includes threads dating from Nov 14 2003 to Nov 3 2007 [in part])


FOR CURRENT INFORMATION

 

GENERAL STATEMENT (Nov 8 2004)

 

UPGRADES REALIZED (Jan 17 2006)

GENERAL INFORMATION CAST INFORMATION CREW INFORMATION
Full Episode Support 2.0 (Jun 7 2006)

Full Episode Support (Jan 26 2006) (closed)
Cast Order Notation (Nov 8 2004) Splitting/Reorganizing Crew Categories (May 9 2006) (closed)
Contributors Zone (Jan 1 2006) Changes to Acting Category (fixing "Self" section etc) (Feb 10 2006) Non-Cast Credit Ordering (Oct 19 2005)
Submission/Notification System 2.0 (Jun 7 2006) Group Cast Names (Feb 10 2006)  
Possible Expansions of the Database (Jan 17 2006) Non-English Dubbing Casts (Jan 19 2006)

COMPANY INFORMATION

QV Linking System (Nov 1 2007)   Company Profiles (Sept 7 2005)
Recommendations System (Aug 31 2004)

MISC TITLE INFORMATION

Distributor Types (Nov 8 2004)
Change from ISO 8859-1/Latin-1 to UTF-8/Unicode (Jan 17 2006) Complete Plot Descriptions (Jun 28 2007) (closed)  
Including Source with Updates (May 29 2004) Genre/Type/Format Updates (Jul 12 2005)

MISC OTHER INFORMATION

Locking Bios/Plots (Mar 9 2007) Keywords (Mar 1 2006) Festival Information (Mar 25 2004)

BIOGRAPHICAL INFORMATION

Movie Connections (Feb 10 2006)

Connection Reason Display (Feb 23 2007) (closed)
DVDs (Apr 29 2004)
Other Works/Trivia Organization (Nov 8 2005) Filming Locations (Mar 17 2004) Video Games (Sept 20 2005)
Gender Corrections (Jul 21 2004) Quote Issues (Dec 11 2005) User Comments / Message Boards (Nov 16 2005)
Place of Death Formatting (Oct 5 2005) Awards (May 20 2005) My Movies (Dec 21 2005)
Alternate Credit Order (Jan 16 2006) Soundtrack Integration / Composer Data (Mar 22 2006) (closed) Localized Information / Languages (May 16 2006)
Relationship Coverage (Aug 27/28 2007) Non-US Certificate Reasons (Jan 15 2006)  
     


For current backlogs and known bugs, see the Processing Times page.  Quotes are taken from one of the Admin: usually from Jon but also from Col, Tim, Oliver, etc... I have included parts of other folks' questions where needed.


GENERAL STATEMENT (back to top)


Oct 22/Nov 8 2004:

Q: When will anticipated upgrade <X> be done?
A: The general answer, and the only one I'm going to give unless the answer is "it's in testing and should be there any day now," for any "when will" question is, "when it's ready." Sorry, but I can't be more specific. (Well, there is another possibility: "never" or perhaps "not in the forseeable future.").... I think, for competitive reasons, I'm not allowed to talk too much about relative priorities for new features.

 

CONTRIBUTORS ZONE (back to top)


Jan 1 2006:

"We made many improvements to the overall submission pipeline, although most of these were on internal tools to help us handle the volume and accuracy demands. It's been a busy year for IMDb's software development team in general with many competing high priority initiatives. As a result we were not able to make as many direct improvements to the external submissions interface (v1.5) as we would have liked, sorry. To address this going forward, in October we recruited a new member to the database tools software development team who will soon takeover direct responsibility for the submissions interface itself. This will also enable us to launch the automatically updated list of top contributors in the contributors zone which is long overdue."

Feb 10 2005:

"I still need to work on some technical issues to get the 2005 weekly updates going."


Jan 10 2005:

"As I've mentioned in some other places, we're working on a more comprehensive and automatically updated /czone/top page; that should be there in the next few weeks"
Dec 24 2004:

Q: For several years now, I've been pushing for a full-scale "acknowledgments" page, which would include everyone who's contributed valid and usable hard data to this site, excluding possibly only those who are contributing only about themselves/their own product. Like you find in *every* other reference work, paper or electronic. Ideally, this might include a periodically updateable contribution-line-counter feature, but the most important thing would be to acknowledge everyone back to day one who's put in some substantial quantity of research work & keep their names visible to everyone as a token of appreciation (as well as a clear statement that this site is not solely, or even primarily, the work of the always-credited handful of section managers). So far, all this suggestion has brought is excuses why it is not feasible, even as pages and pages of other text-type materials - including the cast and credit lists which make up the Db itself - flourish under the same programming.
A: The all-time list of contributors currently has hundreds of thousands of entries. That's pretty unwieldy, and ultimately useless due to its size. Even limiting to those with more than 10 lines, it's far more than 100,000. What's worse, the list is by email address, because some of it dates to before we required registration; the last thing I want to do is publish a list of hundreds of thousands of email addresses that spammers can harvest, particularly since our privacy policy quite properly forbids it. (Anything published will be by user name, or the "real name" you gave at registration, or the ID you have in our new comments system.)

For that matter, even the over 10,000 names of plot contributors is rather unwieldy. Roughly 3000 of them have sent more than one.

There has been some progress toward a revised top contributors page, though mostly behind the scenes, and delayed somewhat by the other major projects our tech team has been deploying this month (new comments system, new headshots system, new showtimes system, Amazon UK rentals). I hope to soon have a link available where you can opt in to having your contributions acknowledged; the flag for it is available, but can only be set with an internal interface at the moment. That's the first step to actually acknowledging them (there is a file already being produced weekly of potential top contributors, ready to check against that flag).


April 12 2004:

"Polishing the Contributors Zone and more fully integrating it into the site is currently scheduled for May."

 

FULL EPISODE SUPPORT 2.0 (back to top)

 

May 30 / June 7 2006:

"The change will happen in two phases.

The first is expected to definitely happen this year: At the moment, the episode-level listing emphasizes those in the "regular" cast (i.e., those listed at the series level in the cast list), and the only series-level listing is the "regular" cast. In phase 1, the series-level list will be created automatically based on episode-level lists, and the episode-level emphasis will change. I'm not sure whether "regular" cast will still be displayed at the series level - probably only if there's insufficient episode data.

Phase 2 will actually delete the series-level cast; that hasn't been scheduled firmly enough yet to say when it will happen or exactly how. It's certainly going to be some months after phase 1 goes live, so probably not this year. Too soon to say what's going to happen there - maybe we'll put together a list of data that could be affected as the time approaches, or maybe there will be some auto-migration, or something else I'm not thinking of just now."

"Right, we are well aware of the problems soaps present, and whatever we do will take them into account."

 

May 10 2006:

"Yes, eventually, series-level credits will be removed - but not until at least some time after the next round of changes, where they will simply be deemphasized. And yes, the series-level credits we display will be limited in some way, probably not unlike the old "frequent guest stars" list, though I expect it will take a certain amount of tuning."

 

May 3/9 2006:

"It was generally agreed that making a change to deemphasize the series-level data is appropriate, and fairly high priority. Also, displaying summary series-level data, derived from episode pages, is another high priority."

Q: By "displaying summary series-level data, derived from episode pages" do you mean auto-generating episode cast/crew on the series-level pages?
A: Yes, among other things; for example, a random quote might be displayed at the series level, even if all quotes have been migrated to episodes.

 

May 3 2006:

"The next big change we have planned is to revamp the series overview page, including summarizing data and de-emphasizing certain series-level data that's currently present."

 

Apr 22 2006:

Q: This is the disadvantage of FES: if you don't have any episode details (name, number, date) there isn't a way of adding a character.  In this situation, there should be the ability to add series-level cast – with a strong encouragement to add it at episode level if at all possible, but no absolute embargo on adding it at series level if this information is not available because the episodes were shown at some arbitary time in the past and the credits can no longer be consulted. It is far better that this information is added in a non-standard rather messy way, than that it is lost altogether.
A: This is a good point. We're discussing some episode related changes next week and I'll make sure this gets covered. We would probably have to retain the restriction on recent series, as otherwise the system would be abused.

 

Apr 2 2006:

Q: the actors I answered "No" to appearing are still there asking "did they appear in this episode?
A: At the moment, the "No" answers are being stored for future use....  Once the whole cast for an episode has been migrated, go ahead and mark that episode "cast complete" and it should suppress the "regulars" -- though the processing time for those "completes" can be a bit long.

 

Mar 24 2006:

"At some point, we'll rework the series-level page to create summaries based on the episode pages (rather than have explicit series-level cast). I would expect that those summaries might include automatically generated year ranges."

 

Mar 15 2006:

Q: Now that we have FES, the earliest date for any country is taken to be the definitive one - the one that is shown on the Episode List and Episode Cast pages. This can lead to some very odd sequences of dates if episodes are shown in different orders in different countries....  Can I suggest that the definitive date for Episode List is taken to be the one in the country of origin, even if it happens not to be the first date. That way you record episode dates that are in the same order as the episode numbering and which are conventionally spaced (eg at weekly intervals).
A: Since this is a display issue, all I can do is to file a bug -- #1170. It will be looked at when our tech team revisits episodes in a few months....Yes, your suggestion makes sense. I think it wasn't really considered too much because at the time of FES conversion, there was only one release date per episode; therefore, it's only become an issue in the last month or so.

 

Mar 14 2006:

Q: I've heard is that cast lists, at some point in the future, will supposedly be auto-generated from episode lists instead of maintained as a separate entity as they are now.
A: Yes, this is correct.

 

Feb 28 2006:

Q: Many shows reference or spoof films and other shows on a series level. For example, "I Am Not An Animal" is named after the famous quote from "The Elephant Man". "Coogan's Run" is named as a reference to "Logan's Run".  The comedy show "Look Around You" is a spoof of "Tomorrow's World".  There are plenty of shows like this, but currently we're told this type of movie connection isn't allowed, are there any plans to change this? 
A: We'll reconsider this after we have a few months experience with FES.

 

Feb 28 2006:

Q: from a message from Jon on another thread, it appears that even "No" data for episode migrates is not being processed. So presumably a mammoth backlog of repeated "No"s from hundreds of contributors is being built up as we speak. 
A: It's being stored, in anticipation of the time we delete series-level casts. But since it doesn't really do anything directly today, since we aren't deleting series-level casts yet, there's no actual processing of it.

 

Feb 28 2006:

Q: ideally, a TV show's "Movie Connections" should have minimal "featured in" connections, as they will mostly be under specific episodes unless it is only the title sequence that is featured. However, if the show in question has over a hundred episodes and I want to find out where the show has been featured, I would have to look under each individual "movie connections" section for each episode.  Is there any way to remedy this and get the best of both worlds?
A: I think that's among the things we'll be looking at for Episodes V2, later this year, after we've actually built up some data.

 

Feb 22 2006:

"It appears that when you answer "yes" and they migrate, they do indeed disappear from the "were they in this cast" list, but for now, "no" answers don't remove them from the list. I know that "no" data is at least getting saved, so submitting it is not a waste of time."

 

Feb 22 2006:

"Episodes V2 will include some kind of synthesized series-level cast/crew list, similar to the old list of frequent guest stars. Until that launches, we're not planning any wholesale deletes of series-level cast."

 

Feb 21 2006:

"Yes, search does not currently search episode titles. That may be added in V2."

 

Feb 20 2006:

"We're planning a way of tracking the "current" regular cast that should work even for a brand-new season."

 

Feb 20 2006:

"there are plans to provide better overviews of series cast and crew once things have settled down. Until we have a good system and policy in place, we will not be removing any accurate existing series level casts from the time before episode support was launched."

 

Feb 20 2006:

"I think we're also looking at a way to allow, e.g., plot summaries for multiple episodes in one submit"

 

Feb 20 2006:

"The way the episode split tool works is by deleting the quote from the parent series and adding it to the episode, so no, for the time being, parent titles will not contain all the listed quotes. I am, though, looking into the possibility of displaying the episode quotes on the parent page, split by title, but not for a while yet (the splitting will be easier if we delete them as they're moved)."

 

Feb 16 2006:

Q: I want to know about inheritance. I'm concerned that at the minute there is very little interaction between series and episode data, and not knowing what the display is going to do in future, I feel a little bit uncertain about manipulating the data.

For most lists (eg running times, certificates, aspect ratio, companies), the series page currently only shows series data, and the episodes only show episode data.

Only Genres and Keywords at present seem to exhibit any real form of inheritance - the episode shows the union of its own Genres/Keywords and series' Genres/Keywords. And in this case, there's no way of suppressing a series keyword, leading to the conclusion that the series keywords should only be those globally applicable (an intersection of episodes, rather than a union, as it were).

[ This remains problematical for Genres, as you can't add a Genre to an episode. A tough one for series that have wildly differing genres week-to-week - you can't put the Genre in on a per-episode basis, but if you put a union of genres at the series level (as one might have done in the past), then every episode will show up as "Comedy / Drama / Romance / Sci-Fi / War", regardless of its own content. ]

Can I assume that ultimately there will be inheritance for other lists, so that if, say, the series is marked "Color", then every episode page will display "Color"? And then will that be overridden if the episode has any Color data? I think that would makes more sense than being additive. And what about companies? How will inheritance work there? 

Can I get on and delete those titles' Countries, Languages, Colors, Aspect Ratios etc on the assumption that inheritance from the series will bring them back to display in future? Or should I leave them in to keep the episode page views full, as inheritance won't actually be implemented until 2010? 

A: Inheritance should be implemented more fully in episodes V2, which will probably happen ... well, I don't want to be specific, but certainly well before 2010 - we wanted to get a critical mass of data before making massive changes in its display. At the moment, our developers are concentrating on other projects, aside from a little bit of mop-up work on episodes V1 (some improvements to the additions interface have gone live recently, and a few more are in the works).

As I've mentioned in another response, we're looking at forcing each series to have at least one episode; this will bound some of the migration issues, by (for example) allowing us to prevent the addition of some kinds of series-level data.

Yes, color, running time, etc., are supposed to be inherited at the episode level; the idea is that such data should only be entered at the episode level where it's different than normal. That probably should have happened before launch; probably got lost in more urgent matters. However, I wouldn't go removing any episode-level data that's already there and the same as the parent; we'll probably do some kind of global change for this if it's a problem.

 

Feb 16 2006:

"You can't currently add multiple episodes in a single go, but I've made a note of this and we may add it in the future."

 

Feb 10 2006:

"At the moment, we've chosen to disallow all follows/followed by links for episodes. In episodes V2, we'll consider allowing those links across series. I can't envision allowing the links within series for some time, though, because the odds are the vast majority of the uses of it would be incorrect."

Jan 26 2006:

A few things we know aren't there yet:
- Episode-specific voting
- Searching for an episode title
- Proper handling of guest appearances as "Himself/Herself"

We're also considering some refinements to the display of filmography information. In short, there's a huge amount there already, and a few planned refinements that we couldn't quite finish in time for the launch (but we wanted to get this out before Oscar announcement week - our next round of craziness).

...

There's an open bug (but not high enough priority to stop the launch) to create a page with complete cast lists for each season - probably an enhanced version of the episode overview page.  We're still fine tuning some of the display code. Expect to see changes over the next couple weeks.

...

I'll make sure the changes to the episode page, to list the full cast, happen as soon as we finish fixing the nasty bugs (the ones that truly break things).


Jan 19 2006:

"Remember that this is the first phase of a work in progress, and we expect to add a number of enhancements and refinements over the next few months. For example, episode-specific voting still needs a bit more work, so it won't be in the first phase (but it's a top priority)."

Q: Non-EL dubbing casts?
A: Not in V1, sorry.

Q: Alternate-language versions of films?
A: Not in V1. Probably in a future revision.

Q: Will the search be modified so that we can specify feature vs episode, or will both sets of results be listed?
A: Ultimately, yes. However, we're waiting until after launch to add episode titles to the search index - not sure if it's coming shortly after launch, or if it will wait until V2.


FULL EPISODE SUPPORT (back to top)

Jan 26 2006:

IMDb Announcement: Full Episode Support has launched! 
From a contributor standpoint, not sure how much more I can say beyond my pre-announcement except, thanks for all the feedback, and your help in populating some of the missing areas that have now opened up will be crucial.

To give you some idea of the scope of this launch, this final build alone has taken about 32 hours and involved about 6-8 very sleep-deprived people. There are now almost 750,000 primary titles -- each episode has its own title. Among the data that needs to be filled in:

- Episode-specific plot summaries
- Episode-specific cast (we have the guest list, but we need to know if the series regulars are in a specific episode)
- Existing unmigrated episode-specific data (quotes, any crew members that failed to auto-match, etc.)
- Episode-specific connections (movie references, etc.)

Again, thanks for all your support on this, and have fun. We've got a few data issues that will take another day or two to sort out (for example, some ep-specific soundtrack data will be moving tomorrow), and I'm sure it's going to take a couple months to get some idea of where things are going, but I'm happy and excited to get this out the door for everyone to see.

See Updates Realized for earlier info.  See Full Episode Support 2.0 for things yet to be updated - note: I'm not tracking bugs.




MOVIE RECOMMENDATIONS (back to top)


Aug 31 2004:

"The recommendations are currently based on factors like keywords, genres, common personnel, and user ratings. As Rich suggests, we are not overjoyed with the current algorithm, and plan to replace it, but that replacement has not yet become important enough to get done. Because that replacement is in the works, we aren't currently processing user-supplied recommendations or dis-recommendations."


March 15 2004:

"A new recommendations system is somewhere on our to-do list, and until it's there, the old system is not being updated."





QV LINKING SYSTEM UPDATE (back to top)


Nov 1 2007:

"We have already internally switched to qv's which use the numeric identifiers for mini-biographies, biographical trivia and crazy credits. These sections have all been recently moved to our new internal editing software and there will be a gradual move of other sections to the same technology over time. This means that qv's should be more and more stable as we go forward."


May 24 2007:

"work is underway at the moment to completely replace the internal biography processing system."

March 15 2004:

"We plan to change the (qv) system at some point so that (internally, at least) it relies on constant IDs which should eliminate this sort of promlem, but that's a way off yet."


Feb 2 2004:

"Yes, we do plan to change the way links work, partly because of the ambiguity of apostrophes, and partly to allow us to add additional types of link (e.g., to companies). I believe we're currently looking at braces {} as the key characters, but that's not definite yet."





COMPANY PROFILE PAGES (back to top)


Sept 7 2005:
Q: They should just be treated more or less like people with aka names and stuff
A: You are correct and this is where things are heading with our support of company information. Over the last couple of months we've been working on a complete re-implementation of all the company processing tools as we're fully aware of the problems with the current approach. We have a new section manager already onboard who will be taking over all the company datat once the tool updates are complete. We're also making good progress on catching-up on the company backlogs even before the new tools are launched.

Once the tools are complete and the data transfered over to the new manager, we'll be able to address some of the other long term company data issues raised on this and other threads. Thanks for your patience in the meantime.


Jun 28 2005:

"At the moment, companies are not managed the way names and titles are; there isn't a separate managed list of company names, and hence, no good way to create "company bios." The good news is that proper company management is a development priority; this is essential groundwork that needs to be done before company bios can be supported.

Nov 5 2004:

"There are changes afoot in company-name land that will, when complete, finally get them treated much more like names, with akas, bios, etc. Their current handling is admittedly a bit of a mess, technically. For example, name and title constants are strictly controlled and manually assigned; company "constants" are not."


Jan 6 2004:

Q: Any further thought to making festival names 'clickable'... It would make checking the results of these updates much easier AND it would provide an interesting archive of what films showed at what festivals in what years.
A: The idea is certainly nice, but I don't see this be done any time soon. At least not until we have full support for events - and that will very likely not happen before we have full support for companies.





CAST ORDER NOTATION (back to top)


Nov 8 2004:

Q: When will the casting policy be revised to require all principal performers with an "official billing order" to retain that order at IMDb even when the final (sometimes of 3) cast display is alphabetical or order-of-appearance?
A: Nothing like this is planned or likely to happen per se. However, there is an alternate ordering system, not currently visible (but used when, for example, we export limited credits to Amazon.com) that allows us to flag the top up-to-3 performers regardless of the general cast order. I don't know of any plans to use this system on IMDb itself.


March 25 2004:

"[O]ne of the things we want to do, as soon as we figure out the best way, is to somehow mark that a cast list is "in order of appearance" or "in alphabetical order" because it appeared that way on screen"




ADJUSTING ACTING FILMOGRAPHIES - fixing Self category, etc. (back to top)


Feb 10 2006:

"The long-term fix is to separate the "self" flag from the genre/keywords (though using the current values to provide the initial setting). That's a non-trivial change to the database, and won't happen soon."

 

Jan 11 2006:

Q: I've noticed Himself-Filmography seems to be the lowest-ranked credit category (other than TV Guest Appearances, which are always last) and I'm posting this to (1) ask why that is and (2) suggest it be re-prioritized. Right now, a person could have 20 Himself credits and one Misc. Crew (special thanks) credit, yet the Misc. Crew credit is ranked higher. Seems like on-screen credits should rank higher as a rule, especially now that there are so many IMDb listings for people who have nothing but Himself/Herself on-screen credits.
A: I believe this reflects the general messiness of the current "self" implementation - it may need to be at the end of the page for technical reasons. Fixing that will probably have to wait until the "self" credits are properly split out from the acting lists, and I don't have a timeframe for that.

March 15 2004:

"[A]t this time, if you add someone with a character of Himself or Herself, or if you add them to a Documentary, they are treated as Himself/Herself. (There are other fine points, but this covers most cases.) At some point in the future, we'll probably split those off into separate categories.


Jan 22 2004:

Q: The two actors listed as 'himself' for this film play real characters in a re-enactment from the past, but not themselves."
A: [T]his is on the list of things to fix -- the current handling of 'self' credits is temporary, and has this known problem."





NON-ENGLISH LANGUAGE DUBBING CASTS (back to top)


Jan 19 2006:

Q: Non-EL dubbing casts?
A: Not in V1, sorry.

Q: Alternate-language versions of films?
A: Not in V1. Probably in a future revision.

Apr 12 2005:

"One of the many things we expect full episode support to allow us to do is provide a proper home for these other dubbing casts."
June 13 2004:

"eventually, when full episode support comes around, proper support for dubbed versions will also be part of that."


Feb 5 2004:

"At the moment, we don't have a practical way to support a large number of dub languages. When we do (as part of episode support), we'll revisit this decision."





GROUP CAST NAMES (back to top)


Feb 10 2006:

Q: Birthdates for groups?
A: I think we're waiting until we have a more complete design for groups before accepting things that don't exactly fit.

June 11 2004:

"The long term solution to this will have to wait some changes we have planned to improve group support. At some point, we'll be able to handle a group whose actual members varied over time; you should see a cast list something like what you say, with group members listed under the group (maybe with a way to expand/collapse the listing). The group filmography page should also show the varying composition over time, though I don't think the details have necessarily been worked out yet.

These changes require some software work, though, that has not as yet been scheduled. It will probably be somewhere after full episode support (a not completely unrelated project, as there are obvious conceptual similarities)."
Nov 17 2003:

"At some point in the future, we'll have a way of dealing with groups that recognizes that a group has members, and that those members can vary over time"





CHANGE FROM ISO 8859-1 / Latin-1 TO UTF-8 / Unicode / Latin-1 TO UTF-8 / Unicode (back to top)


Jan 17 2006:

"I would love to display the proper title for Pi, and for all other films whose titles are outside the Latin-1 character set but within Unicode. It's in the long-range plans."

Mar 28 2005:

"Converting to UNICODE or UTF-8, which can handle this character, is on the long range plan, but it's not going to be easy, or high priority."
Oct 14 2004:

Q: When IMDb finally gets ... the ability to create Mandarin alternative titles... will you use data that has been lingering within the system, or will the info have to be re-submitted?
A: I don't believe we've got anything planned for Mandarin alternative titles, and there's certainly no lingering data for them. There's an extremely long range wishlist item to convert to Unicode, but nothing really in progress there.


March 26 2004:

"Unfortunately, the character set we use (ISO 8859-1, also known as Latin-1) doesn't allow certain Polish accents to be represented. Over the long term, we want to change over to UTF-8 / Unicode, but it's not an easy process, and it's also not yet a high priority (among other things, full episode support and better feedback on additions processing are way out in front of it)."






SUBMISSION / NOTIFICATION SYSTEM 2.0 (back to top)

 

Jun 7 2006:

"improved feedback is high on the list of things we want to add. Whether that takes the form of help desk contacts, a status display, or something else, hasn't been fully settled yet."

 

Jan 16 2006:

Q: (1) If somebody searches for a title and it's not in the database, but it is one that somebody (or somebodys) has submitted, let the searcher know that it's in the submission process. (2) If somebody attempts to add a new title that somebody else has already sent in, let them know this and alert them of those items that have already been submitted so they don't waste time resubmitting. (3) Inform users of what action has or hasn't been taken as far as review of the new title submission(s).
A: Those are all things that, in a perfect world, we'd like to do. Non-trivial programming tasks.

Dec 7 2005:

Q: When V1.5 was still in the developmental stage, I recall very clearly that one of the things it was supposed to do was to allow you to check, via your Update History, the progress of items being processed, and that there would be explanations for anything that was rejected.
A: Actually, that mechanism was the main difference between V1.5 and V2; alas, V1.5 has worked so well for most other things that the momentum behind V2 has stalled.


Sept 27 2005:

Q: It would be nice if there was a system by which IMDb managers could easily send a notice, regarding a specific update, along the lines of "are you sure???" (perhaps with a standard request for a source) when an experienced and usually reliable contributor sends something that raises eyebrows. I'll concede it's not something you're likely to do with massive numbers of new contributors, but it would certainly be appreciated when something seems not to have gone through.
A: Yeah, a mechanism like that is on our wish list.


Jun 16 2005:

"Yes, we'd like to have some kind of feedback in your submit history, but it's a fair amount of programming, and not currently scheduled."


Mar 28 2005:

Q: As an avid IMDB user, I often submit updates for films where appropriate. One thing that could be added to the site to help contributors is a notification when an update has been applied, or a reason if the update has been dismissed.
Anyone agree?
A: Yes, and that's why our current additions system is known as "V1.5" -- V2.0, if and when it ever happens, will include that feature.
Oct 14 2004:

Q: The IMDb really, really needs a system of keeping track of updates, especially the addition of new titles. I think most people will agree that there's nothing more aggravating then spending an hour or two carefully collecting and entering information for a new title, only to see it pop up shortly after, usually with less info than you gave.
A message telling you that this title is already awaiting approval would be very helpful, I think.
Q: But I do somehow agree that sometimes it would be nice to see what data other people have already sent

A: One of the things on our long term plans is some way of providing visibility of pending data. That needs to be balanced with our privacy provisions, since, for example, sometimes that data contains comments not intended for publication.


Jan 22 2004:

Q: How far are we off having notification (eg by email) that each entry has been accepted?... would it also be possible for each section in update_info to list the cut-off date for submissions? For example 'Actors updated 6 January 2004, latest submission included 2 January 2004'
A: Specific notification is probably still weeks or months away.... Chances are, before too much longer, there will be some sort of "section last updated on <date> with information through <date>" change to the update info. We're getting close to being able to do this. You might see it for some lists before others.
Aug 8 2002:

"This is exactly the sort of thing the new additions system is meant to address. When it's fully implemented, it will allow us to flag a submission that has some problem and let you add to it or correct it, rather than having to start over."


I wish I could tell you when it will be ready, but it's not far enough along yet for that."





FESTIVAL INFORMATION (back to top)


March 25 2004:

"Perhaps at some point in the future we'll have a database object for festivals, but at the moment, there is no direct linkage between them."


Jan 6 2004:

Q: Any further thought to making festival names 'clickable'... It would make checking the results of these updates much easier AND it would provide an interesting archive of what films showed at what festivals in what years.
A: The idea is certainly nice, but I don't see this be done any time soon. At least not until we have full support for events - and that will very likely not happen before we have full support for companies.





DVDs (back to top)


April 29 2004:

"We're working on some improvements to the way we share DVD info with Amazon. The current DVD entry mechanism is very rudimentary, and a major overhaul is planned, but not scheduled."






OTHER WORKS / TRIVIA (BIO & TITLE) ORGANIZATION (back to top)


Nov 8 2005:

Q: I was wondering if there are plans to make it possible to order [Other Works]? For example give items numbers where the number 1 would represent the oldest other work of a person, and the higher the number the newer the other work (whether it's a single, cd, play) is.
A: And yes, he agrees that it would be nice if Other Works had some standardization, at least for some of the most common categories. This would be the first, necessary step to ordering. We'll put it on the list of desirable new features.


Sept 22 2005:

"We've considered a great many schemes for ordering movie trivia and "one day" we might settle on one, but it's not even close to being a priority for now.

April 17 2004:

"We'll look into sorting other works and trivia."
Nov 24 2003:

Q: Some other thing that always bothers me about the other works section is the fact that when you want to update it, all you get is an empty field where you can fill in the other work(s) for this person. I think this is the main reasons why other work sections sometimes are very messy.
Wouldn't it be better to give a list of works (for example a book or an album) where the updater can choose from and then give a list of years to choose the right one from, a place to fill in the title, other participants on the project, the city where it has been first released, and so on? Kind of like the article-section where there is much more guiding than in the other works section.
A: Yup, I believe that's on our list of things to do.





LOCATIONS - localized names/geocoding (back to top)


March 17 2004:

"The changeover to full use of local names in locations is a long term plan, but not yet a priority; that means it could easily take a year or more to make the necessary changes. Certainly hasn't happened yet, nor will it in the next few months. In the meantime, the current mix of English at the highest levels and local languages at the lower levels continues."


March 17 2004:

"Over the long term, we hope to add some form of geocoding alongside the current location tree. This will allow you to, for example, plot all locations within a 5 mile radius of a given point on a map. This is probably even farther in the future than the conversion to native place names, but it explains why the location tree should not try to do two things (identify a place and show where it is) -- in other words, subdivisions intended only to show that place A is near place B are not appropriate."







POSSIBLE EXPANSIONS OF THE DATABASE (back to top)


Jun 16 2005:

"The reality is that we currently have our hands full with the areas we cover; because reference material on music videos and commercials is much harder to come by, adding these would be a major, difficult expansion, not currently a priority. As noted, "other works" will currently accept these forms."


Feb 24 2005:

"Given the number of people who would like to see projects at even earlier stages (optioned books - I just answered one of these in today's messages - or spec scripts), if anything, we are likely to start tracking projects earlier in their lifecycle, not later. However, if we do start with such early-stage projects, we'll definitely create some new status codes to handle them, and we are looking at possibly adding more status codes within our current guidelines." [Jan 17 2006: see Upgrades Realized]

Nov 24 2004:

"music videos are somewhere behind full episode support in the priorities; it will almost certainly be more than 6 months, and probably more than a year, before we accept them. Possibly several years."
Dec 22 2003:
"Over the extremely long term, we may broaden our realm of included titles; music videos and commercials have both been mentioned as potential inclusions, but both face significant documentation problems that the existing title types do not."







GENDER CORRECTIONS (back to top)


Jul 21 2004:

"Gender issues probably need some tool and process changes before they can get fixed."


Apr 29 2004:

"We're taking another look at the way we handle gender for people outside the actor/actress lists. At the moment, it's based in part on the number of people in each of those lists with a given first name; this particular case is complicated a bit by the fact that we have a number of actresses named Stephane. The only one that should definitely be an actor is Stephane Vincent (his character is Le fils boutique), so I'll send that correction; several of the others are definitely women.

Until we get our gender processing fully sorted out, we may not be able to make updates."


Q: Is there any news on this sorting out of the gender processing, how long it will take for instance?
A: Probably on the order of weeks or months, not days. It's not actively happening yet, it's just been very roughly designed.

Q: Is there still any use in submitting corrections for gender when IMDb might not be able to make updates?
A: Yes - even if we can't make the changes today, we'll hold onto them.





INCLUDING SOURCE WITH UPDATES (back to top)


May 29 2004:

Q: I've *long* said that there should be some mandatory requirement for contributors to cite their sources of information for all data. "Watched the film" should always take precedence over "got it out of "(insert book title here)" and having that info on record might make it easier to deal with conflicting submissions. Posting that sort of information might also cut down on later submissions taken from less reliable sources which conflict with what has already been submitted and posted earlier.
A: Yup, something like that has been on our to-do list for a while (unfortunately, with a somewhat low priority).




KEYWORD CHANGES (back to top)


Mar 1 2006:

"At some point in the future, we actually hope to list them in a more prioritized order, somehow indicating which keywords are most important to a particular title."

Jul 12 2005:

"We're considering a way to indicate some kind of priority/hierarchy of keywords"


Jul 12 2005:

"There is a semi-dormant plan to apply some kind of priority/weighting to keywords"


Jan 10 2005:

Q: Could there be a definition added for the keywords? This could be shown when the keyword was clicked on, above the list of matching titles, and (more importantly) during the submission process. I realize the current data hasn't a place for that, but it would be a really useful addition, and a relatively small amount of data. If we want to go wild here, it'd be nice if related keywords could be grouped somehow.
A: Thanks for the reminder; we're currently doing planning for the next year, and this is (part of) one of the features that's come up in the past that I forgot to include in the list. I'll be sure to mention it so it can get scheduled.
Nov 8 2004:

Q: What is going to be done to make the keywords section viable, e.g. definitions, synonym URLing, foreign words and terms, justification for deletions, etc.
A: We definitely expect to add some kind of synonym handling here, though it's not in implementation yet. Not sure about foreign terms - that hasn't really come up. Some kind of prioritization/grouping will probably also be part of the keyword reworking.


Nov 6 2004:

Q: there's been discussion in the past about the possibility of subdividing the keyword list to help users determine the relative importance or meaning of keywords on a list, with one potential category being "Setting".
A: Maybe. Eventually.


June 18 2004:

Q: I WOULD like to see some type of synonym logic that allows recognition of one when one enters the other.
A: Yes, something like that is on our long-range list of enhancements.
May 17 2003:

"Let me share a rough snapshot of our current thinking -- but it could change, based on implementation details and on the work Gary has done here once I've had some time to think about it some more.

We've batted something similar around, but with a much simpler (maybe "simplistic") approach: ranking the keywords on their importance to the title on a 1-10 basis, with suggested rankings for various categories. Under this scheme, the keywords Gary classes as MAJ would be in the 8-10 range; a setting, depending on its importance to the film, might be in the 5-7 range, but possibly higher; a major character would probably also be in that range; minor themes, like brother-brother-relationship or drugs if they're not central to the plot, would be 3-5 or so, and incidentals like pottery in Titanic (1997) would be 1-2. For compatibility, I'd expect the syntax to be closer to


KEYWORD
title|keyword|rank

with a default rank of, say, 5.

We're also looking into various ways of suggesting related keywords, but I'll wait to say more until we have something more definite.

I know our keyword managers have discussed definitions in the past; I'll make sure that gets on the radar (I'm currently at work on an internal document on the whole genre/keyword issue).


May 11 2003:

"We're currently working on a plan for improving genres and keywords. It divides roughly into three phases:
*Tool changes to help clean up the current lists, particularly genres. As a couple examples, there's one title with 11 different genres; there's another with both Adult and Family (direct contradictions). There's also a bug we just noticed that caused some titles to have duplicate genres (e.g., Family Animation Short Animation Short). Anomalies like this can be caught and cleaned up, but only with new tools. As these notes imply, these tools are easy to build, and some pieces already exist.
*Data changes: This includes adding new genres -- Gary's proposal is an excellent start -- making some keywords specific to certain genres or title types (e.g., first-person-videogame), and the like.
*Changes that need software support. I won't go into details yet, as these are much more speculative and not as well defined, except to note that the current handling of keyword order is not satisfactory. A major revisiting of the contents of the keyword list would also fall into this category.

This is the first step to actually getting time scheduled for the changes, particularly in the last category.







GENRES / TYPES / FORMATS (back to top)


Jul 12 2005:
Q: Are there any plans to make some video game specific genres? Every gama in existence comes under animation and almost every game comes under sci fi, action and adventure. Are there any plans for games to get their own genres such as "Puzzle", "Role Playing", "1st Person Shooter" and so forth?
A: At the moment, you should definitely add the relevant keywords. When we review genres again, we'll take these into account, depending on level of demand (e.g., number of video games already including such keywords). I'd guess these would relatively unlikely to get priority, given that there are fewer than 4000 video games of all types in the database; nearly all the genres except those just added have more titles than that. By comparison, TV titles were a big theme in the last batch of new genres, and there are well over 80,000 of them in the database.


May 19 2005:

"Certainly "Variety" and "Instructional/DIY/Educational" are valid suggestions and if/when we do another round with similar goals, these would be near the top of the list."


May 9 2005:

"I'll mention here that we have considered separating the type from the title, as new forms do arise periodically (currently knocking at the door: TV programs made for mobile telephones) and we're running out of clear syntax."

May 11 2003:

"We're currently working on a plan for improving genres and keywords. It divides roughly into three phases:
*Tool changes to help clean up the current lists, particularly genres. As a couple examples, there's one title with 11 different genres; there's another with both Adult and Family (direct contradictions). There's also a bug we just noticed that caused some titles to have duplicate genres (e.g., Family Animation Short Animation Short). Anomalies like this can be caught and cleaned up, but only with new tools. As these notes imply, these tools are easy to build, and some pieces already exist.
*Data changes: This includes adding new genres -- Gary's proposal is an excellent start -- making some keywords specific to certain genres or title types (e.g., first-person-videogame), and the like.
*Changes that need software support. I won't go into details yet, as these are much more speculative and not as well defined, except to note that the current handling of keyword order is not satisfactory. A major revisiting of the contents of the keyword list would also fall into this category.

This is the first step to actually getting time scheduled for the changes, particularly in the last category.

...one of our guidelines we hope to enforce is a limit of 4 "pure" genre keywords; that wouldn't count Animation, Short, or (probably) Family, as these are orthogonal to the other genres. There are currently over 1100 different combinations of genres excluding those 3. Certainly, a check of "Family" and "Adult" against at least US and UK certs is part of what's needed. Probably other countries as well, once we begin organized harvesting efforts of their certificate data.





MOVIE CONNECTIONS (back to top)


May 10 2005:

Q: Actually, I'd prefer a new connection, Compiled into/Compiled from, where it's a case of simply anthologizing (splicing together) prior free-standing works into one larger product, wherein they remain distinct works.

The purpose of the Edited From/Into concept should really be that a clearly new product has been created around principal/significant footage from a prior product, either by combining footage from two or more prior films, editing prior footage and adding new material, or editing down or adding to a prior product to the extent that a new product results.

Supplementing that, if IMDb wants to get into the tracking involved, it might clarify things further to establish a connection of Stock Footage In/Stock Footage From.

A: Our movie-connection manager has no problem with adding those types. Of course, actually getting them added means a fair amount of fiddling about here and there, but he says he's going to start the process.





NON-CAST CREDIT ORDERING (back to top)


Oct 19 2005:

"As for sequence numbers, that requires coordination among lots of areas, not just a single list manager, since it affects the entire database structure - there's literally nowhere to put sequence numbers for most lists. If a list manager unilaterally decided to add them, at best the numbers would be ignored, and at worst, they'd break something."

Nov 8 2004:

Q: Within sections, when will we be able to order multiple names as we do with writers, according to screen credit order or position rank and common title.
A: The only section I'm aware of where we're even currently considering adding ordering is producers. Ordering in any other section will probably come well after the time we add it to producers (if we add it to producers; not definite yet).




DISTRIBUTOR TYPES (back to top)


Nov 8 2004:

Q: When will the Distributor "Type" menu be revised to include home cinema, laserdisc, internet, and the like (or, even, a simple "other media")?
A: I believe the list of choices is being deliberately kept small here.





QUOTE ISSUES - ordering, italics, non-EL etc (back to top)


Dec 11 2005:

Q: I thought it was ok to but [ ] in a line...Now it has been submitted but it got a seperate line.
A: It's a display issue that we're sorting out, but because it merely affects the way the quote is displayed rather than interfering with the data itself, it's being left until we institute some reasonably major "under-the-hood" changes to our database and publishing software. In the meantime, please continue to submit quotes with [stage directions] wherever you wish them to appear.

Please bear in mind, though, that a great many stage directions in quotes are utterly superfluous. It's the line we need, not intricate descriptions of every action and every nuance of the actors' performances.


Nov 9 2005:
"We'll be making a change to the way we display "stage directions" so that they can be either inline with the quote, or on a standalone line (as they always are now), but it's not a high priority so I'll not be pushing too hard.


Aug 30 2005:

Q: IMDB indicates in the submission guide that in order for italicized words to show, I have to "use *asterisks* for the time being until we have markup support for the free text lists when we will change these to italics." So my question is, when is that going to happen? I don't want to use capitals when it's not necessary. And right now, the words with asterisks in the quotes section look silly.
A: It's not scheduled. Someday. Maybe.


Feb 24 2005:

"'in the future' we'd like to put them in order"

July 6 2004:

Q: Should quotes with, e.g. the [first lines] tag be listed first automatically?
A: In a perfect world, yes, but see the discussion [below] for the problems we're already having with the ordering of quotes. I can reliably get the [first lines] to the top of the list, but the way things work at this end would mean that the [last lines] would keep getting bumped up by new additions, and I'd be the first person to forget to bump them back down again. I think this is something best left until we've devised an automatic system.


May 12 2004:

Q: Wouldn´t it be a good idea to try to list all quotes in order of appearance in a film? Then the quote-list would start with the first line, end with the last line and quotes that are accidently listed twice, but slightly different will be noticed more easily.

Maybe this could be done the same way as updating the character name item: With the possibility to give the quotes numbers to register the order of appearance in a film.
A: It's definitely something we're thinking about, and we've got a couple of ideas we'd like to explore (we'd like something that would work for goofs, too) but it's some way off yet.


May 11 2004:

Q: Any hope for allowing non-English entries for these first/last line quotes?
A: Sorry, but until we can employ native speakers of languages other than English to maintain the quotes list, no.






AWARDS (back to top)


May 20 2005:

Q: in award sections, there are sometimes info about who the jury members were. But there's nothing, for instance, on Emir Kusturica's page that tells us in which jury he participated, etc... Is it planned to add such a thing? That'd be great!
A: there is no such thing planned at the moment.  However it would certainly technically be possible to make use of this awards master data for the filmography pages, e.g. as an 'other works' or 'trivia' entry.  I have noted your request, but I don't see this happen any time soon.




VIDEO GAMES (back to top)


Sept 20 2005:

Q: I would like to suggest an addition to IMDB's features regarding the Video Game title entries. It would help if the game systems these video game entries were availble were listed. There are many video games that I really don't know what system to find them on. If IMDB is going to list them (A nice feature I suppose), please list the available systems. Thank You.
A: I'll mention that next time we're working on enhancements to video games. The information is kind of hidden away right now in release date attributes, alternate versions, trivia, etc., but it's not terribly useful there.
A: I definitely don't think we should be creating separate titles for each version, and didn't mean to suggest that. I think there needs to be some kind of attribute, and it may have to be something new entirely that's specific to video games.





PLACE OF DEATH FORMATTING (back to top)


Oct 5 2005:

Q: Why do places of death have full stops after them...
A: No particular reason. It's just the way we happened to format that.

Q: ...and why are they not linked to a location browser like birth dates?
A: Because we haven't gotten around to that yet. It's on the "one of these days" list. There is a compatibility problem that would need to be worked out first, though, since the locations in the bio list are as of the relevant date, while the locations in the location list are the current ones (e.g., there's only one Germany now, and no more Czechoslovakia).






QV LINKING for USER COMMENTS / MESSAGE BOARDS (back to top)


Nov 16 2005:

Q: Nearly three years later, is it looking any more imminent?
A: Not really. Thanks for bringing it up again, though - now that we have an internal wiki to record this kind of thing, I'll make sure it gets on the right list.

Jan 27 2003:

Q: I was just wondering if it is possible to add links to a name or a title via the old _Life of Brian (1979)_ (qv) route in my comment on any film.
A: no, nothing like that yet, but it's on the list of things to do (though not necessarily in that form -- you might see something like

[title]Life of Brian (1979)[/title]

instead -- and yes, that makes sense for the boards, too).


MY MOVIES (back to top)


Dec 21 2005:

"I know there's more in the works for the MyMovies feature; not sure how much of this it includes."


Dec 8 2005:

"Love the idea of global display of MyMovies data. I should note that you can already restrict your searches to MyMovies, though that's only for titles; you need to go to the power search to do the kind of thing you're talking about.

"Can't imagine too many video stores using IMDb directly, though - that would require a rock-solid Internet connection, which probably isn't something most stores want to rely on. I could be wrong, though - the MyMovies sharing feature makes this more practical (e.g., a store could put a link on their web site without having to maintain a separate online inventory)."

 

ALTERNATE CREDIT ORDER (back to top)


Jan 16 2006:

Q: IMDb currently numbers credits such that the most recent credit is #1, second-newest is #2, etc. This seems illogical. I'd like to see credits numbered in descending order, so a reader knows immediately, for example, that "Ocean's Twelve" was Julia Roberts' 34th movie credit as opposed to being listed as #3.
A: Maybe there will be more ways to look at/order credits - no guarantees. I don't know this is on anyone's plate, so it's probably not going to happen this year.

 

NON-US CERTIFICATE REASONS (back to top)


Jan 15 2006:

Q: And what about foreign reasons? can they be added now or any time in the future? The Icelandic rating system has an explanation for every rating they have given since 1997. Most of the time they are only one or two lines, but sometimes they get very long
A: Not at this time. The system for storing MPAA reasons isn't flexible enough.

 

 

LOCALIZED INFORMATION (back to top)


May 16 2006:

"At some point, you'll be able to set a preference to always see the English title, regardless of the primary title."

 

Feb 22 2006:

Q: Actually, I'd prefer it if the date shown by preference was that in the user's country of choice. If a display is only going to show one release date, then I'd rather much rather see a UK release date for "Friends" or "Rome" episodes than a US date. 
A: there's infrastructure to allow setting of a country preference for things like release dates, but no current way to use it (though it's set to "USA" by default on Pro).

 

Jan 21 2006:

Q: Some things, like the character set used for titles & names, subject headings (Plot outline, Cast etc.) being in English, the insistance on English for tag lines, the given name, family name ordering and some things like that, do probably put off some non-English speakers who could contribute some valuable information. 
A: There are some semi-localized sites that translate at least some of the subject headings. But point taken. More localization is on our long-range list; before that's done, more of the stuff on the site that's currently hard-coded needs to finish migrating to newer technology.

 

 

RELATIONSHIP COVERAGE (long-term commitments: same-sex marriage, common-law, etc) (back to top)


Aug 27 2007:

A: we are currently considering what changes may be desirable and practical to the whole family/relations section (mostly adding more structure so that fewer things need to be "trivia").
Q: Like long term partners that aren't married? Or gay partnerships?
A: Yes, amongst other things.

Jan 22 2006:

"Our bio list manager has expressed some interest at adding a new category to represent long-term commitments of all sorts, including what could technically be called common-law marriages. However, until his tools get updated, I don't think it's practical to add new tags. (Updating his tools is on this year's priority list.)"

 

 

LOCKING BIOS/PLOTS (back to top)


Mar 9 2007:

"We have a plan to resolve this by allowing top contributors to lock their bio/plot submissions against changes (and possibly be notified instead if someone has an accuracy issue with the contents of a bio or plot summary). The priority of this is probably about medium at the moment"

 

 

(back to top)