Author Topic: ZakStunts 8.0  (Read 14909 times)

zaqrack

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ZakStunts 8.0
« on: June 26, 2009, 09:16:50 AM »
These are only plans right now, but I'd be happy to hear your comments.

No major changes will be done to the site design. I'll focus on functionality.
I plan to dismiss the top menu (the one with the years) and only have two options: current competition and archives.
I think it is already close to impossible, to effectively browse through the archives of the past 9 years. I want to make it easier, featuring dropdown lists containing every track from 2001-2009. You would be able to search tracks by date, by winner, by car and other parameters.

This is a very huge job, as right now each year I start the new season with new, completely empty database tables, and thus every year is in separate tables. I have to synchronize them together, and this is hard, as the rules and the database structure changed year by year. Hopefully I'll have time to do this (have to do it sooner or later), but initially I'd like to hear your opinions, what would improve usability for you, what functions you would like to have in the ZakStunts archives.

One thing is sure, not depending on whether I do the joint archives or not: starting from 2010 ZakStunts wont have separate tables for every year. I'll think of a way modifying data structure to allow using next years tables through a longer period of time.
 


alanrotoi

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Re: ZakStunts 8.0
« Reply #1 on: June 26, 2009, 04:51:20 PM »
Sounds cool! Anyway we must think about a big advertising or else for zct100. It must be the best race ever and with the most quantity of pipsqueaks possible :)

Mingva

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My suggestions
« Reply #2 on: June 26, 2009, 06:50:35 PM »
It's better to merge all competition data to one page. Two dropdown options: select year, and then on second dropdown list appear tracks from selected year. But remember to write somewhere near table the track number and year. Because right now after selecting some old track, you cann't see what scoreboard you just opened. Only by remembering what you selected (or going back and watching whats the track number is active on the dropdown list).

I'd also suggest to redo pipsqueaks page. E.g., something like members list in forums (http://forum.stunts.hu/index.php?action=mlist). First column - pipsqueak's name with link to his profile, then flag, team name, maybe number of races he took a part, join date, email & photo icons, icon indicating if driver submitted his background, activity status (e.g., raced during half a year), maybe also last track he drove, or even news spamming number. But the page should be compact. Maybe at the top of pipsqueaks page to add three options: Current Stunts drivers (those who raced at least once in upgoing season), Past Stunts drivers (who raced in past years) and Registered members (who only registered at ZakStunts). Maybe it would be possible to delete only registered members who never connected and not submitted some data (d.o.b., email, etc.) after some two years. Then the list of Registered members wouldn't be very large.

Finally add sorting ability by all columns to pipsqueaks page. Also I would like to see more stats by visiting pipsqueaks profile. Like points in season (as it was in 2003-2004 profiles), option quickly to check sent replays analysis, ability to add a comment from other drivers (one per driver or one per month to avoid spamming), and more.

The current scoreboard page is very attractive! I like very much that graphical scoreboard with cars :) The graphs looks awesome too (but it won't appear in IE because of invalid argument in index.php file). Podium page must be corrected as well.

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Re: ZakStunts 8.0
« Reply #3 on: June 29, 2009, 06:52:46 AM »
Sounds nice, indeed  ;) Unifying the scoreboard database would make not only browsing but also statistics gathering (either manual, by the users, or automated, server-side) much easier.  Would it also mean we might have the graphical scoreboard for old races too?  :) Mingva's suggestions about the pipsqueak profiles are nice as well, but they imply unifying profile pages from different years, and I guess that might too troublesome difficult to pull off. And since he also mentioned dropdown lists, one minor usability issue is that at pages such as Sent Replays Analysis or News Archive the dropdown list does not retain your latest selection. That is most noticeable on the Sent Replays page, as whenever you're checking consecutive races you need to set the year every time you change to the next track.

Anyway we must think about a big advertising or else for zct100. It must be the best race ever and with the most quantity of pipsqueaks possible :)

Since the buzz about Z100 is already on, let me ask a silly technical question: will the track file really be called ZCT100.TRK? I know it looks awesome, but having three-digit file names would cause trouble for archiving purposes due to alphanumeric order (the track selection menu it would end up as: ZCT09, ZCT10, ZCT100, ... , ZCT20, etc.). I suggest considering the alternative of naming the track files as ZCTA0, ZCTA1, etc. Maybe it is too confusing, but at least we would avoid any sorting issues of that kind until ZCT359  :)

zaqrack

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Re: ZakStunts 8.0
« Reply #4 on: June 29, 2009, 08:59:31 AM »
I know a three digit number looks awesome, but due to the same reasons you mentioned above I was thinking about creating a new naming scheme starting next year. On the other hand, it is really not that hard to review all the previous files and rename to 21 to 021. I'll have to do it anyway if I am restructuring the archvies. In dropdown lists it is even easier to make the change.

CTG

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Re: ZakStunts 8.0
« Reply #5 on: June 29, 2009, 10:21:35 AM »
I know a three digit number looks awesome, but due to the same reasons you mentioned above I was thinking about creating a new naming scheme starting next year. On the other hand, it is really not that hard to review all the previous files and rename to 21 to 021. I'll have to do it anyway if I am restructuring the archvies. In dropdown lists it is even easier to make the change.

Okay, okay... but what will you do at ZCT1000? ;D

zaqrack

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Re: ZakStunts 8.0
« Reply #6 on: June 29, 2009, 11:06:50 AM »
Okay, okay... but what will you do at ZCT1000? ;D

Most likely will take a turn in my grave (will be 103 yrs old)

CTG

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Re: ZakStunts 8.0
« Reply #7 on: June 29, 2009, 11:10:38 AM »
Okay, okay... but what will you do at ZCT1000? ;D

Most likely will take a turn in my grave (will be 103 yrs old)


Btw there's a theoretical limit for ZCT: 99999! (8 characters in DOS) ;D

That will be in year 10334... :D

BonzaiJoe

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Re: ZakStunts 8.0
« Reply #8 on: June 29, 2009, 03:04:47 PM »
That is only at the current rate of 1 track per month. If the competition format changes to one track per minute, we will be in trouble a lot earlier.  :(
But we can't be quite sure.


zaqrack

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Re: ZakStunts 8.0
« Reply #9 on: June 29, 2009, 04:08:26 PM »
but then we would have no problems with replay handling :)

and how should we calculate leading time seconds for the LTB?  :D

CTG

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Re: ZakStunts 8.0
« Reply #10 on: June 30, 2009, 11:58:37 AM »
If the competition format changes to one track per minute, we will be in trouble a lot earlier.  :(

That's a serious limit for track length considering you have to download the zip file, extract, open Stunts, choosing car, starting the race, saving file, switch it off, sending - also hard work for the manager... ;D

zaqrack

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Re: ZakStunts 8.0
« Reply #11 on: June 30, 2009, 12:55:18 PM »
one track per hour seems feasible though. imagine a 24 hour stunts marathon on 24 tracks :-)

CTG

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Re: ZakStunts 8.0
« Reply #12 on: June 30, 2009, 01:06:42 PM »
one track per hour seems feasible though. imagine a 24 hour stunts marathon on 24 tracks :-)

Exhausting - sounds like fun. :D

zaqrack

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Re: ZakStunts 8.0
« Reply #13 on: July 01, 2009, 01:58:11 PM »
I have started some preliminary database merges.
The 2001-2003 period will be detached from the rest in the archives, because the storage format is completely different (only one record/track/pipsqueak as opposed to the one record/sent replay format used later on)

An interesting data:
ZakStunts number of replays sent 2003.01.01-today: 5191  :o

zaqrack

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Re: ZakStunts 8.0
« Reply #14 on: July 04, 2009, 07:09:58 PM »
The first page of the 8.0 site is available. You cannot see the background work, but this table gets all its data from the joint database tables containing all data between 2004-2008 (2009 not yet uploaded to the joint database). What's even better, this script is completely season independent by using some new variables, it can serve us for a long time, and needs no modification from me. :)

And finally, an auto-submit & auto-refresh form is available at the top. :)
Comments are welcome! I'll keep on working on other pages. The major work (database merge) is done, so it'll be easier from now.

http://zak.stunts.hu/index.php?page=season