Originally Posted by chaley
If I am understanding correctly, your proposal is that duplicate series names are the same series even if found in different columns, while duplicate words (tags or non-multiple text fields) do not have the same meaning if found in different columns.
I can imagine cases where the series assertion isn't true. For example, I might have a series field for publication order that uses the same names as the series column. One prime example would be MZ Bradley's Darkover books, where series order is very different from publication order. I would use the standard series order to indicate temporal ordering in the Darkover universe, while using a #pub_series column to indicate publication order. In this case I cannot merge the two columns.
I think that your proposal would be appropriate when one wants to say that a given book is in more than one series. I would create N series columns, where N is the maximum number of series a book can have, then put the series information in some column or another. I can see why you want this, but it does raise some interesting problems related to searching and sorting. In your example, if I ask for series:"Jane Doe", I would not see book 4. It would not be possible to sort the Jane Doe series into order. The disparity between what one sees on the reader and what one sees in Calibre concerns me, especially from a support standpoint. However, I could be fretting over nothing.
Yes, you understand correctly. And obviously I would prefer to be able to assign multiple series to a book without creating custom series column, leaving it to handle the cases like the one you described. However, the corresponding ticket hasn't seen any activity lately and a couple of related where closed as duplicates, with suggestions that custom columns be used for that. So how hard would it be to make these different behaviors configurable?