OK, so that's a pretty clear majority in favor of merging "Special within story arc" and "Special outside of story arc". The fact that I wasn't able to come up with any super clear examples off the top of my head should have been a give-away :-) Still listening to additional feedback coming in, but I'll lean towards that then.
In that case, both of them would be displayed in the episode list together with the normal episodes in that season. Would it make most sense to sort them all by airdate, or to still keep the specials at the top/bottom of the season's list?
Also, both of them will be shown in the watch list - I don't think this should even be a preference. (Insignificant specials would either always be hidden, or be hidden by default with a preference to add them in)
@Cecile wrote: - For the technically feasibility of previous/next episode links, maybe by considering the airstamp ?
I'll do that indeed. Only if there are multiple specials binge-dumped at exactly the same time the ordering between them will be undefined, but that should be pretty rare.
@gazza911 wrote: The point of having an absolute number (in the season or show) calculated on specials is to assist third parties in matching specials and keep it consistent across them.
But because such a numbering is non-official, the exact implementation is arbitrary. F.e., would specials be counted in the list at all, or perhaps only significant specials? What if there are two specials released on the same day? A single difference in implementations (between TVmaze and anyone else's system) will affect all future episodes' absolute number, making it useless for comparisons.
@Tonks wrote: Whatever decision is made, i'm okay with it if the specials are put back in the listing and not outside, epguides is impacted wich it wasn't under tvtome (or tvrage because those were appropriately handle)
However sites that use our API want to display specials is completely separate from this discussion. They can already do this however way they want, they just can't make a distiction between significant and insignificant specials.
SPECIALS - includes specials in story arc and specials outside story arc
EXTRAS - includes promotional, behind the scenes, interviews, reunions, etc.
And perhaps a separate category for WEBISODES/TV MOVIES. Or at least a flag on these in the episode list.
Specials and extras can be in separate lists below the episode list.
I kind of like the idea of specials appearing mixed into the episode list ordered by date. Extras, not so much.
Crossover events kind of take care of themselves... If you look at the network data you often see the crossovers listed under one of both shows with an episode number. To have a flag denoting that the episode is a crossover would be helpful though. (I am aware that many crossover events may be specials/special events according to the networks. But so are season finales and series finales.)
Some specials are basically just republishing previously aired content in a different mix. For instance shows which contain stories within stories (eg Mysteries of the Abandoned) wher sveral parts of previously aired episodes are put together to form a special - which is alle old stuff.
I don’t have too much to add. I agree that the distinction between story-arc and non-story-arc is vague. I also agree that “webisodes” don’t fit neatly into these categories (off the top of my head I think Star Trek Discovery and Battlestar Galactica had webisodes). I definitely want to watch story-arc specials and have no interest in webisodes.
@dpratt wrote: I run into a lot of specials that would better be classified as episodes but the network calls them specials to get more attention. This happens most around the holidays.
There's a difference between marketing (Join us for a very special episode of XYZ) and an episode that is shown outside normal air times (sometimes by months, lately by years) and is a special event, one-off, episode.