Talk:Linking Different Artist Names

From MusicBrainz Wiki

Wow, first, thank you for this proposal. It looks to me like a good description of the problem, the discussion around it and one possible solution.

The relationships you propose are relatively intuitive. Names are either legal or performance. However, it seems to me that this is one more case in which AdvancedRelationships turn MusicBrainz from a searchable database into a klick-through set of webpages. The proposal is good but in your scenario one might have to follow quite a few AR links until one finds a certain album. IMO MusicBrainz should work like Google: Enter a name and here are the results, and not like a wiki: Klick yourself through seven links before you find what you were looking for.

What about this (Just an idea): Could perhaps a wise use of ArtistAliases remedy this problem? What about adding the origninal birth name as an alias to all artists. One could even add all other names as aliases to all artists. That way when searching for any name Susan Dingbat ever had or used would list all names she ever had or used. Does this make sense? --DonRedman

The discussion arround removing Björk's birth date because it is redundant being also stored in the entity "Björk Guðmundsdóttir" brought up some thoughts on how to manage that. The idea basically was: use one artist as the main entity (birth name in this case) and store all the data (albums, URL-ARs, birth dates aso.) in it. Then have other entities representing variants (other legal names, performance names) which are linked to the main entity. Now when someone tries to access the artist page for Susie Smith, data is loaded from the entity Susan Dingbat and represented as if it was stored under Susie Smith. And if someone tries to add data to Susie Smith he is automatically redirected to Susan Dingbat. The problem is: how do you say which data is important for which entity? Not all albums were released under the name Susie Smith. Is AR capable of doing links such that albums can be visible only to certain entities? So here we have problems.
The idea can be relativated by saying: store the albums under the names that they were released under (just as we are doing it now). But still show info from the main entity as if it was stored under this entity. Why is this necessary? One example are the birth dates. You don't want to have them stored under multiple entities because they are redundant then and this can lead to inconsistency. But the birth date is import for every linked entity. So store it in the main entity and when building the artist page of a linked entity, load it from there. Another example are Wikipedia pages. Mostly you have those named under the most known LegalName of an artist. So you would add it to this entity. But the contents of the page are also important for the PerformanceNames. Then you have cases where the PerformanceName is so popular that the Wikipedia page is named after it. If no additional page for the legal name is present (most cases) then link it to the main entity I'd say. Otherwise link it to the said PerformanceName as it might not be important for other PerformanceNames. This gets clearer when looking at Discogs entries. They have pages for every PerformanceName so we should link them to the appropriate PerformanceNames as they are not important for other name entities. Conclusion: if you view a PerformanceName page you only see the data important for this entity (part of it accessed through inheritance from the main entity).
And one final remark: we have a nearly complete identical situation for bands thus no ARs are discussed yet for them. :) Bands can change their name (band name changes should only be considered as those if the lineup stays mostly the same and/or the label contract stays intact - otherwise we have a new band which is linked to the older through the participating members; example: the Global Playboys had to change their name to Global Deejays for legal reasons) and they can perform under aliases (and I mean not just variants of the name but really different names; example: Die Tosen Hosen released some records under the name Die Roten Rosen). --Shepard
Btw: wrote this down in DisplayInheritance. --Shepard