The Mudcat Café TM
Thread #20002   Message #234940
Posted By: Joe Offer
27-May-00 - 10:05 PM
Thread Name: Making Mudcat Accessible
Subject: TITLES function in the Digital Tradition
Well, I think Andrew's right, but if there's a need for further discussion, I think we should start a new topic and keep this thread on the topic of accessibility to the handicapped.

But to answer Andrew's question, let me say that he's absolutely right. The "titles" function of the online version of the database stinks - and the Windows AskSam software we use doesn't accommodate what we need, so we can't get it fixed. The titles list doesn't link you to the titles of the songs at all - it searches the entire text of our 8,500 songs and pulls up all the songs that have the words of the title in them. If you go to R and then click on River to get the Bills Staines song with that name, you will pull up every dang song we have that has the word "river" in it.
Max Spiegel, who hosts the Mudcat Cafe, has done a lot of work to try to solve the problem, but he probably won't be able to fix it unless we buy a new database software package and invest a huge amount of time and money to resolve the problem. Nobody gets paid for the work they do on Mudcat, and the whole thing operates on a shoestring budget.

In the meantime, try searching for a distinctive phrase from the song you're seeking. If you put a phrase [in square brackets] in the blue search box, the database will bring up only those songs that have that particular phrase. If you leave out the brackets, it will bring up all songs that have ALL the words in ANY order.
Another solution is to download the entire database in DOS or early Mac versions, and run it that way. Works like a charm.

But yeah, the "Titles" list stinks and should be fixed, but we haven't been able to do it. A very generous donation might make it possible for us to fix it, but we just don't have the resources right now.

-Joe Offer-