#1 Posted by ultralord (8 posts) - - Show Bio


I built a web-based comic book collection app using the comic-vine APIs as a primary data source.

 

Check it out at http://www.comics-exchange.com/application

 

It's free to use and you can create a collection, create a wishlist and find other users that have issues that you want.

 

It's in beta testing, so please provide feedback if you run into any issues, or if it is missing features that you would like to see.

 

Thanks to the Whiskey Media guys for making the API available!

 

J Henry

#2 Edited by callahan09 (16 posts) - - Show Bio

Hi.  I like the general user interface design, it's simple and sleek.  Since you asked for beta testing feedback: there doesn't seem to be a button to go back to the search screen from the results screen. But if you click either of the scrollbars, it takes you back to the search screen.  Strange behavior.  


I also have a quick question about your application.  I notice that it doesn't seem to return the same results as I get if I just search for the same query in the API directly.  I'm curious as to how you're doing your search?

Some examples:

Doing a volume search on "batman" on your site returns 214 items.  But doing the same search directly against the API yields 447 results (more than double).  Here's the query I'm using:  http://api.comicvine.com/search/?api_key=[my_api_key]&format=xml&resources=volume&query=batman


Also, when I search for "batman harley" against the API, I get 3 results, including a volume called "Batman: Harley and Ivy".
But in your application, I get 0 results.  If I search "Batman Harley and Ivy" in your application, I still get 0 results.  Only when I search the literal title, "Batman: Harley and Ivy" do I get the hit on your application.

I also noticed that the results for the "batman" search do not show up in the same order as in the actual API results.  For instance, you've got "Batman" appearing at the top of the list, when it actually doesn't show up until a few pages in on the API result.  Furthermore, you seem to only have 1 result that is the exact name "Batman", when the API returns 4 volumes with that exact name.

So obviously you're getting all results first, and then filtering them in some way before displaying the info.
I'd like to know more about what kind of filtering you're doing and why you've chosen the method you went with.

Thanks a lot for showing us your app!

Edit: I also discovered that your Issues results for "Batman" (top of the results listing) seems incomplete.  The API lists 711 issues for that Volume, but your results yield 691 isues.  I'm not sure if this is a bug, or if it is intentional... Perhaps the API does not have Issue resource detail pages for 20 of the issues, so they are not included in your result, or is it something else?
#3 Posted by ultralord (8 posts) - - Show Bio

@callahan09:


Thanks for the feedback! 

 

I will look into the issues you mentioned and see if I can find some kind of answer for you. 

 

If you have any other feedback or find any other issues I would love to hear about it!


Thanks,

 

J

#4 Posted by callahan09 (16 posts) - - Show Bio

Hi again!  Noticing some different behavior on your site today than I was noticing yesterday.  

  • Now, instead of only getting 214 results for "batman", I get 426.  That's much closer to the API's result total, now, but for some reason you're still not returning 21 of the API's results.  
  • You've got all 4 "Batman" exact results now (if you include the one that's in all-caps).  
  • Your results are now coming back in alphabetical order, as well, which I don't believe was happening yesterday.  
  • Searching "batman harley" still doesn't return any results even though there are 3 results directly from the API, so I still have curiosity about how you're filtering your search results before displaying them to the user.  Oh!  I just did some more testing, and I think I've figured it out.  "Batman: Harley and Ivy" does appear as a result in the 426 results returned for searching "batman", but not in "batman harley" or "batman harley and ivy".  But, again, it appears as a result in "batman: harley and ivy".  I see what's going on: you're only returning results that contain the EXACT search string in the name (case insensitive).  So "batman harley" is not getting a hit because it's missing the colon, therefore it's not passing the "exact match" test.  But that volume's name DOES contain an exact match for just "batman" so it is appearing in those results.  I am curious why you chose to filter the results in this way, rather than just displaying everything that the query returns from the API?
  • I also figured out at least two causes for volumes not appearing in the results for the search.  Some of the results that the API returns for "batman" don't have a start_year and some don't have publisher:name values.  I am thinking that the way you're parsing the data doesn't take value-less nodes into considering and generates some kind of exception when you try to read it, so the entire volume is not included in the hits list.  I search for "Batman: Faces", which should return 1 result, it's an exact title and no other titles on ComicVine contain that exact string, but your application returns 0 results, and it must be due to the issue I just described.  That volume result does not have a value for publisher:name.  Also, searching "Batman: Year 100" should return two results, one is for the 4 issue mini-series, the other for the TPB.  You only return 1 result, the one for the 4-issue series.  You're not returning the result for the TPB, which happens to have no start_year value.  I didnt find all 21 volumes that you're missing, unfortunately.  But I'd wager if you go back and look at your data parsing, you'll find some small considerations you need to make so that it can appropriately deal with value-less nodes and you won't get any missing results.

Hopefully this was a help to you!  If I'm off-target with any of my guesses, please let me know, I'm very curious what's going on behind the scenes with your application!  It's a great effort and I look forward to discussing it.  Thank you.
#5 Posted by ultralord (8 posts) - - Show Bio

@callahan09

Hey I got your email, so sorry about the dely.  As you can tell from the site, if you visited recently, i've been crazy busy. 

 

 I really appreciate your feedback on the app.  It's been really usefull. 

 

I started up a forum at    Comics-Exchange.com,    so please feel free to add any comments or suggestions you have over there.

 

Thanks again for your feedback!


 

#6 Posted by callahan09 (16 posts) - - Show Bio

You're welcome for the feedback.  I'll check out your forum when I get a chance, I've been pretty busy myself.

#7 Posted by ViscountWilhelm (1 posts) - - Show Bio

I've been using Qollector for the iPad. It allows for inventorying my graphic novels (and many other things). You can design your own template (or use the default) to start managing your comics. I’ve also assigned QR codes to my long boxes so I can easily see what I have in each. Best part is I can share with my friends who can view by website. Check it out:

https://qollector.com/p/comics