cbanack's forum posts

#1 Edited by cbanack (71 posts) - - Show Bio

Hi,

My comicvine-based app just stopped working, and when I check the logs it says that my API key is invalid. I haven't changed anything on my end, and that API key has been working for years.

Even more strangely, when I go to www.comicvine.com/api, right at the top of the page (under the heading "Grab an API Key") it says "We donated your API key to charity"...?

Can someone please tell me what this means, and more importantly, how I can get my API key working again?

Thanks,

Cory

#2 Posted by cbanack (71 posts) - - Show Bio

@jslack: Sure, I just ran a few tests of the web api's "search" resource. It doesn't seem like anything has changed, though?

For example, I tried searching for "batman arkham asylum". First I used this regular, unmodified query:

http://www.comicvine.com/api/search/?api_key=MY-API-KEY&format=xml&limit=100&resources=volume&field_list=name&query=batman%20arkham%20unhinged

I get back 825 results (basically any volume that has "batman", "arkham" or "asylum" in its name.)

Then I tried it again, but inserted "AND" into the string:

http://comicvine.com/api/search/?api_key=MY-API-KEY&format=xml&limit=100&resources=volume&field_list=name&query=batman%20AND%20arkham%20AND%20unhinged

I get 3 results: the three volumes named "Batman: Arkham Asylum". I think this is the ideal behaviour, so last week I modified my app to insert "AND" into all its search queries. I haven't heard any complaints about the search feature in the latest version of my app, so I can say pretty confidently that searching with "AND" is working well.

However, I think the regular search (without "AND") is returning far too many results. Perhaps it's possible to make it automatically treat the search expression as though there was an "AND" between each word? That's how the web API's search resource behaved up until last month.

#3 Posted by cbanack (71 posts) - - Show Bio

@jslack said:

I'd like to keep working with you in your test case to get the best results, while maintaining quality results elsewhere.

No problem. My app has around 1000 active/semi-active users and they are NOT shy about letting me know when there's a problem, so I tend to be pretty well-informed about issues with the web API. Let me know when you've pushed, and I'll give things a try.

#4 Posted by cbanack (71 posts) - - Show Bio

@jslack: Thanks for the detailed response! I'm happy to help in whatever way I can.

I'm trying to get my own app (which uses the ComicVine web API) working again. It relies heavily on searching, but it still needs the search terms to be ANDed together. Sounds like this isn't going to be the default behaviour for the web API anymore, but I discovered that I can still get the results I want by "ANDing" the search terms manually. For example, if I change the search string "batman arkham asylum" to "batman AND arkham AND asylum", the search once again behaves the way it used to.

Can you tell me if it is "safe" for my app to rely on that "AND" syntax working in this way? That capability seems to be undocumented right now, so I'm worried that it might not be intended as a permanent feature.

#5 Edited by cbanack (71 posts) - - Show Bio

@rorie: @jslack: Hey guys, any word on this issue yet (see comment 4)? Is this change to the behaviour of the web API going to be permanent?

#6 Edited by cbanack (71 posts) - - Show Bio

@rorie: Hi, it looks like you must have reported and/or fixed this bug, because the search results are much better now!

Unfortunately, I think in the process of fixing the search, a bug from a few weeks ago has popped up again. When using the web API 'search' resource, the search terms are once again being "OR"d together instead of "AND"ed together. So when I search for "batman arkham asylum", instead of getting back just the three issues that contain "batman" AND "arkham" AND "asylum" in their names, I get back hundreds of issues, basically everything that contains "batman" OR "arkham" OR "asylum".

This problem first popped up a few weeks ago, and I reported it here. The problem was fixed shortly thereafter. But it has returned as of this afternoon, at roughly the same time that the general search started working again. Is this new behaviour (ANDing instead of ORing) intentional?

#7 Edited by cbanack (71 posts) - - Show Bio

@rorie: Cool, thanks for that. There's more examples of the same problem here, if you need (see comment 45).

#8 Posted by cbanack (71 posts) - - Show Bio

If you try to search for a volume by typing it into the search bar on the top of the page, you get a "dropdown" that previews your search results. You can then hit enter to complete the search and get the full search results.

Unfortunately, the dropdown preview contains (many) volumes that do not appear in the complete search results. For example, search for "batman and robin". The 2011 Volume (33 issues) appears in the dropdown preview, but once you hit "enter" it is no where to be found. (It's easier to prove this if you search only for "volumes" in the search bar options.)

This problem of missing volumes extends to the results returned by the web API's "search" resource, too.

I can provide many more examples, if desired.

#9 Edited by cbanack (71 posts) - - Show Bio

@mrpibb: Here are some more comic volumes that cannot be found if you search for them by their full name (i.e. more examples of the problem I posted here and here.)

The following series can be found in the as-you-type drop-down from the search bar, but not in the results if you press "enter" in the search bar, and not (critically for me) in the results returned by the Web API search resource:

  1. Batman and Robin (2011) (when searching for "Batman and Robin")
  2. Iron Man Annual (2014) (when searching for "Iron Man Annual")
  3. Morning Glories (2010) (when searching for "Morning Glories")
  4. Uncanny X-men (Marvel 2013) (when searching for "Uncanny X-men")
  5. also: X-men (Marvel 2013), Justice League (DC 2011), Wonder Woman (DC 2011), Harley Quinn (DC 2013) and Batman '66 (2013)

Judging from what my users are telling me, I'm sure there are many more examples.

Note that you can still find individual issue for these series, you just cannot find the volumes.

Could you please give me some idea about where this issue stands in your queue of bugs to address? I understand you guys are busy and I'm not trying to be pushy; I just want to have something to tell the users of MY software. As it is, I am getting bug reports on a daily basis about how my software "can't even find many recent comics". :(

#10 Posted by cbanack (71 posts) - - Show Bio

@pikahyper: Thanks for that explanation. Would it be helpful for me to continue to report these issues as we find them (the users of my software are good at finding this sort of thing), or should I just leave it for a while and give you guys a chance to get things sorted out?