Last modified: 2013-03-25 14:57:41 UTC

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Bug 8758 - ASIN sources support (fighting ads in articles for audio/video)
ASIN sources support (fighting ads in articles for audio/video)
Status: NEW
Product: MediaWiki
Classification: Unclassified
Parser (Other open bugs)
All All
: Low enhancement (vote)
: ---
Assigned To: Nobody - You can work on this!
Depends on:
Blocks: 29473
  Show dependency treegraph
Reported: 2007-01-24 17:54 UTC by Philippe Verdy
Modified: 2013-03-25 14:57 UTC (History)
5 users (show)

See Also:
Web browser: ---
Mobile Platform: ---
Assignee Huggle Beta Tester: ---


Description Philippe Verdy 2007-01-24 17:54:21 UTC
We have the support for ISBN numbers in books references found in articles.
These were created to avoid the multiplication of advertizing links to book
vendors in articles, by allowing to centralize in a single, manageable page, the
various book vendors, based on the publication product number.

Why don't we have the same thing for audio/video publications, i.e. with ASIN

We start seeing the multiplication of links to specific audio/video product
resellers, and this occurs even if the reference is complete enough with the
audio/video title, the author/director name, year of publication, name of the
studio or label, and ASIN numbers.

As the number of competitive offers available on Internet has dramatically
increased, the competition seems to push some vendors to have their online shops
indirectly advertized in Wikipedia articles, using its reference sections. And
this tends to become a new kind of spam.

The audio/video sellers already have a huge presence elsewhere on the Internet
with lots of ads inserted in many sites, so I don't think we need more ads
indirectly in Wikipedia. We just need a correct and exact reference for a
product, but we certainly don't need to reference their sellers and distributors.

Why not adding the support for a "Special:ASINsources" page, and the detection
of ASIN numbers, like we have "Special:Booksources" for ISBN numbers, before we
get flooded with those links inserted nearly automatically within articles found
in Google?

With such tools, we could immediately ban the presence of some external URLs to
audio/video sellers within articles, requiring vendors to reference themselves
correctly in a single, manageable page for any ASIN number.
Comment 1 Philippe Verdy 2007-01-24 18:34:20 UTC
Note that it could take the form of a parser function like {{#ASIN:X00000XXXX}}
instead of trying to detect "ASIN X00000XXXX" within the text, like we do for
"ISBN 000000000X" for ISBN-10 numbers or "ISBN 478-000000000X" for ISBN-13 numbers.

The same extension could also include a generic extension of EAN-13 product
numbers "{{#EAN:478000000000X}}, but this would not work with classical,
unconverted ISBN-10 numbers, so supporting ISBN-13 numbers in the classic parser
mode (without using parser functions) is still needed to support both formats.

Note also that ISBN-10 numbers and ASIN numbers can both be converted to EAN-13,
and in fact the EAN-13 code for ISBN-10 numbers is also its ISBN-13 number...

The general idea is that we should avoid the inclusion of direct links to
product sellers in Wikipedia or Commons references, and the simplest way is to
have them centralized in a separate special template page automatically
generated with the number in its parameters...
Comment 2 River Tarnell 2007-05-07 18:33:48 UTC
"The Amazon Standard Identification Number (ASIN) is a product identification 
number used by and its partners. Despite the name, it is not a 
"standard" outside of It is valid only for referring to products 
within the network of sites."

is this really a vendor-neutral format?
Comment 3 Philippe Verdy 2007-05-07 19:28:15 UTC
The ASIN system is in fact compatible with the international EAN-13 system, where other identifiers have 
also been assigned for ISBN (books), ISSN (periodical publications).
For audio/music there are ISMN numbers (ISO 10657, or printed music publications, with the prefix M of 
numeric value 3, followed by 8 digits) and ISRC numbers (for records, starting by a country prefix followed 
by 10 letters or digits) you can compute an EAN-13 number.
Amazon assigns his own numbers only for audio/video products that don't have a standard code or for 
compilations that it creates itself from several records. It's complicate with music, because new 
compilations are created everytime, and printing multiple ISRC numbers on comemrcial packages would not be 
convenient. So the audio producers are labelling their compilations using the amazon system, or ISBN, or 
EAN-13. All these formats can be recognized by their prefix, which is often annoted explicitly on packages; 
yes we buy CD's in shops that are not part of the Amazon system, but that exhibit the ASIN number.
But when you look into audio catalogs, EAN-13 are never used for reference purpose, then how do you 
reference a CD or DVD? Many will prefix it with "ASIN" even if this is a standard EAN-13 number, just to 
indicate that this is a CD or DVD product.
Many other online shops use and display ASIN numbers and allow searching for them, including price 
So may be it is a defacto standard, until the record and movie industries decides how to label their 
compilations (using the number after the "EAN-13" prefix code is uncommon)
May be wecould have however the support for the "EAN" prefix code?
Note that EAN was the European organization that created this standard, and it has fusionned with the 
American UCC that had developed a similar standard (CUP). The EAN-13 standard is now managed by the GS1 
worldwide standard group.
The EAN-13 standard has been renamed to be neutral, it is now the "GTIN" standard code sponsored by GS1.

Later there will be the GS1 Databar "Reduced Space Symbology" (RSS), starting in 2013, that will embed the 
GTIN number, and other information in a more compact barcode for use in shops and allowing product 
tracability (maximum conservation date, manufacturing date, lot number, serial number, ...), coupons, 
product authentication, identification of products with variable measures, and product routing and delivery 
info. All in the same space as today's GTIN/EAN/UPC barcodes (that have 8, 10 or 13 digits).

There is also the GS1-128 code but not for use in direct selling points for labelling the price of 
products, but only in the logistic for a specific product delivery or a specific commercial transaction, so 
it won't be used to reference commercializable products in product catalogs.

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