sorry for my english, but it's easier for me to talk anbout chicks and computers in this language, than to use specific librarian jargon.
I need to do the catalogue of all topics that are in the database in fields "Topical term or geographic name as entry element: (1 to 5)". I prefere to add it in the start page for every user, to help him find a book from specific topic (as you can see here: http://biblioteka.loesje.pl/opac/index.php\). How to get those data from the database and sort it alphabetically?
See SQL code below. Note that this will only work for OpenBiblio 0.4.0 - 0.6.0 and that the next version (1.0) will have a different database structure.
I think it's a good idea to present the public some kind of list of topics for a library. When confronted with an OPAC, someone will try only a few search phrases at best. For finding "known items", this may work, but guessing keywords is not efficient for a discovery process. Selecting topics from a list, as in your current implementation, would be more convenient.
I can see a possible disadvantage if the list becomes longer, but I'm not sure how orientation and navigation could be improved.
Perhaps the public would appreciate a printed list?
A while ago I announced a report written for the OpenBiblio reports system that can be helpful too:
The report is finished and OK, but not yet published.
select distinct topic1 as topic
where topic1 !=''
select distinct topic2 as topic
where topic2 !=''
select distinct topic3 as topic
where topic3 !=''
select distinct topic4 as topic
where topic4 !=''
select distinct topic5 as topic
where topic5 !=''
order by topic
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