I have been redesigning the underlying database structure of the cat-elog. This is mainly because every time I changed something (like added a common name record, reassigned a species or just added a data item like max. size) I had to regenerate the entire HTML page set.
Not big deal I hear you cry - especially since you've got a nice fast Internet connection. Well, even my Internet connection takes some time to upload around 5000 .html files!
So, redesign is well underway. What will it mean to the Planet users?
Firstly, the eagle eyed (or planet addicts) out there will have noticed that some of the counting is out. Like total number of images and all that. This should be fixed today.
Secondly, some extra data items should appear in the cat-elog. Stuff like general notes, references and so forth.
Thirdly and finally, now is the time to suggest layout changes, new indexes or pretty much hassle me about any part of the cat-elog that you have ideas about.
No discussion, no great change, so get your ideas posted IN THIS TOPIC!
I like the fact we can search by update within the last 28 days. I find it very useful.
It is sometimes difficult or impossible to tell which bit of information was updated.
Is there a way to identify that?
That would be quite a lot of work to achieve. I actually oversimplify the update page on purpose. Something appears on there if I even change the spelling of a word. Typically though, the updated list will be if I have added data, an image or changed the taxononmy in some way.
I can't think of any database online that shows this level of detail otherwise I'd go have a look see how it works and what it gives the surfer.
What I could do within a few days work is split image updates from data updates, but that wouldn't really solve your issue.
What changes are of most interest to you?
PS Working on a big improvement to the contributor list as I type...
I too can't think of any other system online that gives this level of functionality either.
I think it is just my inbuilt curiosity of wanting to know what did change rather than a burning need for it.
I find the data most useful, unless purely trying to ID something. I think the information that us as aquarists learn about the fish and breeding habits, agression etc is the kind of information that changes over time, particularly for the more recently discovered fish.
If the update is triggered by a spelling change, maybe that has been the casue of my frustration in the past, trying to figure out what changed.
PhilipAsh wrote:If the update is triggered by a spelling change, maybe that has been the casue of my frustration in the past, trying to figure out what changed.
Yeah, what is actually happening here is that against each image and each species record respectively I hold a date modified. So, if I amend or add a picture the image and species dates get updated. If I just amend species data then just that date gets amended (this all happens automatically) but the crucial point here is the "28 days" list (date updated) is generated by the species updated date.
If I add something then there is a date created item too which stays at that date for the life of the record. This is what allows something to be "new" (date created within last 28 days dats) as opposed to "updated" (date updated within 28 days but day created outwith).
As you will appreciate a database (even a very clever one) doesn't know the difference between a spelling change and other types of data manipulation UNLESS I tell it so. This manual step is the thing I want to avoid because (a) it's more work and hassle to remenber to do when I'm changing something, (b) it's prone to human error if I'm amending things early morning or late at night (when 80% of work IS done on the site...), (c) I have to make judgement calls on EVERY change wether or not to include it on the list and (d) if we do open up the cat-elog amendment facility to other (super)users (something that is on the table) then the issue of consistency of style is introduced.
No worries, as I've said elsewhere, I'm glad of the questions and the opportunity to defend "how we do it". Often you just do things a particular way without good reason, so it's good to have a rethink now and again.