----- Original Message ----- 
From: "Michael Fitzgerald" <[log in to unmask]>
> At 10:53 AM 10/18/2005, Steve Smolian wrote:
> >But discographies on-line can be corrected.  A Wikopedia type 
> >structure might work- corrections by peer review, signed, should be 
> >a good starting place.
> Yes, this has been suggested for many years (in 1998 I began a small 
> mailing list on the subject titled "jazz computer discography project").
> It's easier said than done. The fact is that the database programming 
> for such a thing is much more involved than for a single-user offline 
> database. But the data exchange function in the BRIAN application is 
> a major step in the right direction. Users can and do submit 
> corrections and additions in XML format to the appropriate 
> discographers. From what I know of the Wikipedia project, it's just 
> plain text (with some hyperlinks) not any kind of database (and it 
> shouldn't be - it's encyclopedia-type text).
1) For a good example, check the "Abrams files" which can be accessed
(searched but not browsed, so far) and/or downloaded via the 78Label
section of the 78Online site. These are simple random-access text
data files, 160 bytes/8 fields per data record and readable in any
text editor or word processor. 

2) The problem with on-line correction is that "corrections" can
be made that are inaccurate...often intentionally so. To me, it is
better to submit corrections in such a way that they can be fact-
checked by a knowledgable human befor inclusion!

3) A good...and simple...file format for databases would be the
xBASE...which can be imported by virtually all database applications
and, as well, are readable as text files if you ignore a short 
header section.

4) Back in 1989, I first started with digital discography using
dBASE III+. I was immediately struck with how quickly data tables
could be sorted or indexed compared to the 3x5 cards I was using!
Ever try to resort 16,000 3x5 cards on a fifferent "field?!"

Steven C. Barr