The purpose of this Guide is to help users learn to successfully correct and improve information in the Vault database. Because of the variety of film types plus the numerous marketing strategies used by distributors to promote sales and rentals, many different kinds of objects are cataloged by Take11 users. For example, many of the complexities associated with organizing Vault data arise from the various ways in which TV series are issued and reissued: complete series, collections, seasons, sets, episodes, fan collectives, etc.
Consequently, methods for editing Vault data cannot be as simple nor obvious as methods for editing records in the Catalog; hence, this document. Here is a strategy for getting full value from this Guide.
- Read through the Parts 1-6 in order. Content in any one Part depends on content in previous Parts.
- Don't read too much at once. It will be better to read only one Part per day.
- Try to exercise the content of a Part before moving to the next one. Some user interactions can be immediately undone, such as changing the type of standard title. Others give you a chance to abort a sequence before you do something drastic, such as adding to Purgatory and deleting an Episode.
- Limit your ambitions, at least to start.
- All Vault users need to have some understanding of Parts 1 and 2 of this guide.
- Users who want to do more must understand Relations among titles (Part 3).
- If you want to develop complete documentation for a TV series, then you need to know how to add and edit Episodes (Part 4).
- The details in Parts 5 and 6 can be left to advanced users, although all users should have a vague idea about the content of those last two Parts.
As always, feel from to email me if you find a bug, want to make suggestions, or get frustrated. The Vault User's Guide is limited to explaining how to use the Vault. Details about the underlying thinking are contained in a series of technical documents [1-4], which are available on the website.
The website at Take11 divides into two parts: the Catalog, which contains data from individual user records, and the Vault, which contains data collected from the catalog as it applies to an individual work of art; see Figure 1.1.
In the catalog the basic unit of information is one catalog record. In the Vault, the basic unit is the standard title for one film. Take11 users may have created 20 different records for James Cameron's "Avatar"; however, those 20 records reduce to one standard title in the Vault. This is illustrated in Figure 1.2.
The situation shown in Figure 1.2 is the ideal one: in the ideal situation, all records having the same catalog title would refer to the same film, so all those records would map to the same one standard title in the Vault. The reality is otherwise: records with the same Catalog title may refer to different films. For example, there are numerous film versions of Shakespeare's "Hamlet." "Beauty and the Beast" may refer to the film based on the original play, to Disney's animated version, or to a TV series. Billy Wilder's 1956 film "Sabrina" was remade in 1995 by Sydney Pollack. To accommodate the reality we need a mapping like that shown in Figure 1.3.
To successfully implement the mapping in Figure 1.3, we must solve two problems:
- Develop software that creates the correct mapping from Catalog to Vault for each record in the Catalog. For this to work, a certain minimum amount of information must be available on each Catalog record.
- When some records do not contain sufficient information or the information is incorrect, then we must provide ways by which users can supply additional information and correct the bad data.
We divide standard titles into these principal classes: (1) Feature films, (2) Collections and Serials of feature films, (3) TV Series, (4) Seasons and Sets of series, and (5) Episodes in seasons and sets; see Figure 1.4.
Traditionally, feature films were first released to theaters, but nowadays a feature may also be first released to TV, DVD, or a website. Note also the distinction between a Serial, which is a collection of related feature films, and a Series, which extends over multiple episodes and is generally first aired on TV. Note further that a Collection may exist purely for marketing purposes and not for artistic reasons.
In the Take11 Vault, the forms used for standard titles differ depending on the type; i.e., on whether the object under consideration is a feature, a collection, a season, etc. Examples are given in the following table.
|Title in User Catalog||Standard|
|Title in Vault Standard Form|
| || || |
|Avatar, extended director's cut||Feature||Avatar|
|2001 – A Space Odyssey||Feature||2001: A Space Odyssey|
|Back to the Future complete trilogy||Collection||Back To The Future: Trilogy|
|Die Hard Four-Disc Pack||Collection||Die Hard: Quadrilogy|
|Foyle's War - Set 3||Series||Foyle's War: Set Three|
|Stargate SG–1: ultimate collection||Series||Stargate SG–1: Complete Series|
|Stargate SG–1: Season 2||Season||Stargate SG–1: Season Two|
|Stargate SG–1: Children of the Gods||Episode||Stargate SG–1: Season One, Episode One|
Although Take11 algorithms currently reduce more than 98% of catalog titles to the correct Vault standard title, the remaining 2% represent a few hundred titles. Many of these cannot be properly reduced because the underlying catalog records do not contain sufficient information. For example, some records for "Sabrina" may be missing both the theatrical release year and director's name, so the software cannot determine whether the standard title should refer to the Billy Wilder film, "Sabrina (Wilder)," or to the Sydney Pollack version, "Sabrina (Pollack)".
Therefore, we must rely on users to help resolve these kinds of situations. To make this work, we divide Vault pages into three groups: (a) Display pages that contain data for individual titles and that differ for different types of standard titles, (b) Action pages on which users can interact with the Vault database to correct ill-formed standard titles, and (c) Information pages about films, film making, film history, and such. These groups are shown in Figure 1.5.
The purpose of this Vault User's Guide is to help users learn to use the User Action Pages.
Information in the Vault originates from the user Catalog: if a particular film has no record in the Catalog, then it cannot be represented in the Vault. When a user adds to the Catalog or edits a record already there, the new data becomes available to the Vault. However, there are limitations on communication between the Catalog and the Vault:
- A record in the Catalog is the property of one user; only that user can edit the content of the record. However, standard titles in the Vault are community property; eventually, any registered Take11 user will be able to edit Vault content. To help guard Vault data from promiscuous manipulation, the software logs every user edit of Vault data and any user can see the log of edits that have been performed on any standard title.
- Information in the Vault is held in a database that is separate from that for the user Catalog. Between those two databases, information flow is one-way. The Vault database is built from the database for the Catalog, and edits done by users in the Catalog can change data in the Vault. However, at present, no data in the Vault is transferred back into the Catalog: edits that users do to standard titles in the Vault do not affect any records in the Catalog.
- Access to any standard title in the Vault is affected by the limits imposed by users on records in the Catalog. For example, if the Catalog contains only one record titled "XXX" and that record is private, then the corresponding Vault standard title "XXX" can be viewed only by the owner of that private record. In general, when a standard title represents multiple Catalog records, then access to the standard title is determined by the Catalog record having the least restrictive access. However, a user of the Vault can view information for a standard title only to the extent that the user can view corresponding records in the Catalog. For most of us, this means that the data we see in the Vault originates only from public records in the Catalog. Edits done in the Vault are always public.
- When users edit records in the Catalog, the revised data become available to the Vault. Particularly important to the Vault are changes in titles, alternative titles, directors, and theatrical release dates: when changes are made to these fields in the Catalog, Vault standard titles may change. Therefore, if you find bad data in the Vault and the underlying problem record is in your collection, then it is better for you to correct the problem by editing the Catalog record, rather than use the Vault action pages.
- Inversely, if you find data in the Vault that you know to be correct, you can protect that data from further changes by setting a lock on the field for that standard title. For now, locks are available only on fields for director and theatrical release date of feature films because these locks may protect some standard titles from unnecesssary changes.
- Links to Vault pages for individual Catalog records appear on the MyCollection page and on the Catalog record page. In addition, the last block in the right column of a Catalog record page contains Vault data for the standard title to which the record belongs. That data include the Vault standard title, as well as the tags and genres assigned by all users. In this way, collective data for similar but different titles are correctly separated. For example, the tags and genres for Jean Cocteau's "Beauty and the Beast" differ substantially from those for Disney's animated film "Beauty and the Beast."
Before getting to the action (Part 2), it will be helpful to have some familiarity with the way information is organized on Vault display pages. Most user activities on action pages will affect the appearance of display pages; however, the underlying structures remain the same. The basic structure is illustrated in Figure 1.6.
The green blocks in Figure 1.6 contain links: (1) The upper "Vault" link is present on every page and always gets you back to the Vault dashboard. (2) The content of the "Local Links" block differs for different standard types, but a link to the Vault search page is always included there.
The two dark pink blocks show the Standard Type (upper, left) and the Standard Title (middle column).
The orange block in the upper right column is the User Control Panel. This panel, together with the local-links block, give you access to the User Action Pages. The User Control Panel appears on most, but not all, display pages.
Just as in the Take11 Catalog, selected pages in the Vault carry the yellow help button in the upper right corner; see sample image at right. Clicking on that button opens a window containing additional info to help you use the page successfully. Vault pages with this button include (a) the feature film display page, (b) the resolve false differencs page, (c) the edit relationships page, (d) Purgatory, and (e) the add records to Purgatory page.
To learn how to use the User Control Panel, proceed to Part 2 of the Vault User's Guide.
-  J. M. Haile, Take11 Design Document #1, Version 1.0, Design Summary, Take11.com, 08 December 2009.
-  J. M. Haile, Take11 Design Document #2, Version 1.0, Rules for Standard Forms, Take11.com, 14 December 2009.
-  J. M. Haile, Take11 Design Document #3, Version 2.1, Standard Titles, Take11.com, 12 November 2011.
-  J. M. Haile, Take11 Design Document #4, Version 1.0, Related Standard Titles, Take11.com, 13 January 2011.
Copyright © 2012 by J.M. Haile. All rights reserved.