Re: The writing on the wall - Sinclair

This is a discussion on Re: The writing on the wall - Sinclair ; On May 23, 6:07 am, Nick Humphries wrote: > CSS post numbers are dwindling as traffic moves to the WoS Forums. As a > result, CSS is not the central hub to the Sinclair emuscene anymore. CSS > can't really ...

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Thread: Re: The writing on the wall

  1. Re: The writing on the wall

    On May 23, 6:07 am, Nick Humphries wrote:
    > CSS post numbers are dwindling as traffic moves to the WoS Forums. As a
    > result, CSS is not the central hub to the Sinclair emuscene anymore. CSS
    > can't really compete with WoS Forums (it's content which matters,


    A very bad thing. Usenet is public, advertising-free and archived in
    many places. Private little sewing circles run on proprietary websites
    can disappear at the crash of a hard drive (or expiration of a credit
    card). Plus they generally have advertising in them - I don't know if
    WoS does, because I don't - and won't - visit it.


  2. Re: The writing on the wall

    In news:1179953597.732191.60140@q66g2000hsg.googlegro ups.com,
    zwsdotcom@gmail.com typed:

    > On May 23, 6:07 am, Nick Humphries wrote:
    >> CSS post numbers are dwindling as traffic moves to the WoS Forums.
    >> As a result, CSS is not the central hub to the Sinclair emuscene
    >> anymore. CSS can't really compete with WoS Forums (it's content
    >> which matters,

    >
    > A very bad thing. Usenet is public, advertising-free and archived in
    > many places. Private little sewing circles run on proprietary websites
    > can disappear at the crash of a hard drive (or expiration of a credit
    > card). Plus they generally have advertising in them - I don't know if
    > WoS does, because I don't - and won't - visit it.


    WOS is pretty much safe from those problems, as the company that hosts it
    also runs the main dutch backbone of 'net in those parts, and the owner of
    WOS is part of that company.

    Of course, I could be making all this up.

    D.



  3. Re: The writing on the wall

    On 2007-05-23, Dunny wrote:

    > WOS is pretty much safe from those problems, as the company that hosts it
    > also runs the main dutch backbone of 'net in those parts, and the owner of
    > WOS is part of that company.


    One of the newsgroups I frequent has posters in it that have been
    there since 1997, that's 10 years of regular posting. You don't
    get that with web forums because they change, vanish, go tits-up, get
    deleted accidentally (as happened to a car forum I'm on) and all sorts
    of other stuff. It's similar to the way the internet works, no-one
    runs usenet so it's not subject to the whims, changes of fortune or
    forgetfulness of an individual or a company.

    However it doesn't have ickle funny faces with waving hand and
    sunglasses that you can put in the text though to make it all fun!
    Whee!

    *sigh*

    It's also easy to keep track of a vast array of topics spread across
    multiple newsgroups, all in one client, wheras to do the same thing as
    I do with with web forums you'd be subscribed to 20 or so web forums,
    all with different interfaces and username/password restrictions, and
    all with hopeless threading capabilities.

    If you only read one newsgroup as Nick H seems to, then perhaps it's
    not so clear-cut.

    --
    Blast off and strike the evil Bydo empire!

  4. Re: The writing on the wall

    On Wed, 23 May 2007, Dunny wrote:

    > WOS is pretty much safe from those problems, as the company that hosts it
    > also runs the main dutch backbone of 'net in those parts, and the owner of
    > WOS is part of that company.


    Plus Martijn is pretty clued up when it comes to backup and fail-over
    systems, and is pure enough to keep the website design clean and free of
    adverts (apart from the adverts forum, of course). He's also a straight-up
    kinda guy you can trust, and you can tell he loves the subject, and he's
    also a pleasure to work with. A lot of WoS Forums' (and indeed WOS's)
    success can be attributed to him and his policies.

    --
    Nick Humphries, nick@egyptus.co.uk http://www.egyptus.co.uk/
    Your Sinclair Rock'n'Roll Years http://www.ysrnry.co.uk/
    YSRnRY documentary (1988 OUT NOW!) http://www.ysrnry.co.uk/tvprog/
    The Tipshop http://www.the-tipshop.co.uk/
    ZX Video and WWW Alerts http://www.the-tipshop.co.uk/cgi-bin/rsscheck.pl

  5. Re: The writing on the wall

    On May 23, 7:41 pm, Nick Humphries wrote:

    > Plus Martijn is pretty clued up when it comes to backup and fail-over


    .... and he is a SINGLE POINT OF FAILURE. Tomorrow he could be hit by a
    bus. It's insane to lock up content of historical value in proprietary
    single-POF databases.


  6. Re: The writing on the wall

    zwsdotcom@gmail.com did eloquently scribble:
    > On May 23, 7:41 pm, Nick Humphries wrote:


    >> Plus Martijn is pretty clued up when it comes to backup and fail-over


    > ... and he is a SINGLE POINT OF FAILURE. Tomorrow he could be hit by a
    > bus. It's insane to lock up content of historical value in proprietary
    > single-POF databases.


    It would be nice if someone could mirror WOS. That is if WOS allowed
    mirroring of course.
    --
    __________________________________________________ ____________________________
    | spike1@freenet.co.uk | "I'm alive!!! I can touch! I can taste! |
    |Andrew Halliwell BSc(hons)| I can SMELL!!! KRYTEN!!! Unpack Rachel and |
    | in | get out the puncture repair kit!" |
    | Computer Science | Arnold Judas Rimmer- Red Dwarf |
    ------------------------------------------------------------------------------

  7. Re: The writing on the wall

    On Thu, 24 May 2007 zwsdotcom@gmail.com wrote:

    > On May 23, 7:41 pm, Nick Humphries wrote:
    >
    >> Plus Martijn is pretty clued up when it comes to backup and fail-over

    >
    > ... and he is a SINGLE POINT OF FAILURE. Tomorrow he could be hit by a
    > bus. It's insane to lock up content of historical value in proprietary
    > single-POF databases.


    Perhaps you should ask Martijn how he runs WoS before making assumptions.

    Clue: there's more people involved.

    --
    Nick Humphries, nick@egyptus.co.uk http://www.egyptus.co.uk/
    Your Sinclair Rock'n'Roll Years http://www.ysrnry.co.uk/
    YSRnRY documentary (1988 OUT NOW!) http://www.ysrnry.co.uk/tvprog/
    The Tipshop http://www.the-tipshop.co.uk/
    ZX Video and WWW Alerts http://www.the-tipshop.co.uk/cgi-bin/rsscheck.pl

  8. Re: The writing on the wall

    On May 24, 8:15 am, Nick Humphries wrote:

    > Perhaps you should ask Martijn how he runs WoS before making assumptions.


    It's not necessary to make any assumptions to conclude that
    proprietary closed web forums are dangerously inferior to public
    Usenet forums.

    Twenty years from now, when the BBC does a documentary on the ZX
    Spectrum, look forward to one of those stories about how "all the WoS
    discussions were lost because the web site was taken down due to lack
    of activity and someone threw away the tape backups".

    Compare Usenet archives, which will outlive everyone now alive.


  9. Re: The writing on the wall

    On May 24, 1:15 pm, Nick Humphries wrote:
    > Perhaps you should ask Martijn how he runs WoS before making assumptions.
    >
    > Clue: there's more people involved.


    Well there may be more people involved in processing submissions,
    however Martijn certainly does seem to be a single point of failure
    from at least one point of view :-

    I recently looked into submitting my ZX81 collection data to WOS, but
    got the response that I could do it using a very basic set of data
    that currently exists to import ZX81 tapes, but Martijn didn't have
    the time to modify the database schema to make ZX81 tapes first-class
    entries, and so it would not happen.... which is fair enough on him,
    but having to have all mods go through one person for such a widely
    used resource seems a problem to me.

    Cheers, Simon


  10. Re: The writing on the wall

    > I recently looked into submitting my ZX81 collection data to WOS, but
    > got the response that I could do it using a very basic set of data
    > that currently exists to import ZX81 tapes, but Martijn didn't have
    > the time to modify the database schema to make ZX81 tapes first-class
    > entries, and so it would not happen.... which is fair enough on him,
    > but having to have all mods go through one person for such a widely
    > used resource seems a problem to me.


    I really should have taken a breath or two during that sentence ;-)

    Cheers, Simon


  11. Re: The writing on the wall

    On 2007-05-24, zwsdotcom@gmail.com wrote:

    > Compare Usenet archives, which will outlive everyone now alive.


    Depends on how many there are! I don't have usenet archives of this
    forum or any others that I post to, relying on google for that.. The
    whole lot could be lost in one swell foop but at least the online
    forums themselves will take some killing even if the archives go.

    --
    Blast off and strike the evil Bydo empire!

  12. Re: The writing on the wall

    On Thu, 24 May 2007, hldswrth wrote:

    > On May 24, 1:15 pm, Nick Humphries wrote:
    >> Perhaps you should ask Martijn how he runs WoS before making assumptions.
    >>
    >> Clue: there's more people involved.

    >
    > Well there may be more people involved in processing submissions,
    > however Martijn certainly does seem to be a single point of failure
    > from at least one point of view :-
    >
    > I recently looked into submitting my ZX81 collection data to WOS, but
    > got the response that I could do it using a very basic set of data
    > that currently exists to import ZX81 tapes, but Martijn didn't have
    > the time to modify the database schema to make ZX81 tapes first-class
    > entries, and so it would not happen.... which is fair enough on him,
    > but having to have all mods go through one person for such a widely
    > used resource seems a problem to me.


    I wouldn't call that a single point-of-failure, more that a webmaster
    knows the he shouldn't try and do *everything*.

    In this case, Martijn has said pretty regularly that he wants to restrict
    himself to Spectrum-related stuff rather than get sidetracked with ZX80,
    ZX81, SAM, etc stuff - and there's nothing stopping anyone setting up a
    similar site for the other machines.

    The current ZX81 database (the result of some fine work by Chris Young,
    IIRC) turned out to be a lot more work than Martijn anticipated (this was
    no fault of Chris, BTW, and I wish to emphasize that), I think, which
    might have some bearing on why he wants to concentrate on the Spectrum
    only.

    --
    Nick Humphries, nick@egyptus.co.uk http://www.egyptus.co.uk/
    Your Sinclair Rock'n'Roll Years http://www.ysrnry.co.uk/
    YSRnRY documentary (1988 OUT NOW!) http://www.ysrnry.co.uk/tvprog/
    The Tipshop http://www.the-tipshop.co.uk/
    ZX Video and WWW Alerts http://www.the-tipshop.co.uk/cgi-bin/rsscheck.pl

  13. Re: The writing on the wall

    I'm tempted to print this out and frame it. Thank you for saying
    something nice.

    On Thu, 24 May 2007 14:53:44 +0100 da kidz on comp.sys.sinclair were rappin'
    to MC Nick Humphries:

    > The current ZX81 database (the result of some fine work by Chris Young,
    > IIRC) turned out to be a lot more work than Martijn anticipated (this was
    > no fault of Chris, BTW, and I wish to emphasize that)


    It was more work than I anticipated too, but I can't take all the
    credit - it would never have been as complete as it is now without the
    help of Duncan Snowden.

    Getting it into the same format as the Spectrum data with all the
    publisher links etc will be a lot of work, and then to add extra data
    a la all the Spectrum information.. well, basically you're doing the
    Spectrum entries all over again, but with ZX81 titles that are nowhere
    near as well documented or reviewed and often started life as
    type-ins.

    I can fully understand why Martijn hasn't done it, but if there is
    really more than just him on the team, surely somebody else could do
    this (perhaps Simon could offer?)

    Chris


    --
    +-------------------------------------------+
    | Unsatisfactory Software - "because it is" |
    | http://www.unsatisfactorysoftware.co.uk |
    | Your Sinclair: A Celebration |
    +- http://www.yoursinclair.co.uk -----------+

    DISCLAIMER: I may be making all this stuff up again.

  14. Re: The writing on the wall

    On Thu, 24 May 2007, Chris Young wrote:

    > I'm tempted to print this out and frame it. Thank you for saying
    > something nice.


    Credit where it's due, plus there are a few things I would have done
    differently here on this newsgroup over the years.

    > I can fully understand why Martijn hasn't done it, but if there is
    > really more than just him on the team, surely somebody else could do
    > this (perhaps Simon could offer?)


    Well, think of it this way - it doesn't have to be WOS-integrated at the
    start of the project. The Tipshop certainly wasn't, but it is now thanks
    to Gerard's hard work. I'm now in the process of syncing the YSRnRY
    database with the WOS database, and it's a hard slog - we're talking
    thousands of entries here.

    If anyone is to form such a standalone database and set up a website that
    uses the database, then the hard work has been done. So long as the
    database has been designed reasonably well, then one day it probably can
    and will be integrated with WoS when Martijn has the time and the urge.

    It's how the other databases got integrated with the site.

    --
    Nick Humphries, nick@egyptus.co.uk http://www.egyptus.co.uk/
    Your Sinclair Rock'n'Roll Years http://www.ysrnry.co.uk/
    YSRnRY documentary (1988 OUT NOW!) http://www.ysrnry.co.uk/tvprog/
    The Tipshop http://www.the-tipshop.co.uk/
    ZX Video and WWW Alerts http://www.the-tipshop.co.uk/cgi-bin/rsscheck.pl

  15. Re: The writing on the wall

    On Thu, 24 May 2007 20:45:02 +0100 da kidz on comp.sys.sinclair were rappin'
    to MC Nick Humphries:

    > It's how the other databases got integrated with the site.


    In fact, that's how the existing ZX81 software database started out.

    Chris

    --
    +-------------------------------------------+
    | Unsatisfactory Software - "because it is" |
    | http://www.unsatisfactorysoftware.co.uk |
    | Your Sinclair: A Celebration |
    +- http://www.yoursinclair.co.uk -----------+

    DISCLAIMER: I may be making all this stuff up again.

  16. Re: The writing on the wall

    On May 24, 8:30 pm, "Chris Young"
    wrote:

    > I can fully understand why Martijn hasn't done it, but if there is
    > really more than just him on the team, surely somebody else could do
    > this (perhaps Simon could offer?)
    >
    > Chris


    I did offer. I have a load of data on my site regarding ZX81 tapes
    (I'm sure I don't have as many tapes as some but I believe I have the
    largest organised online collection). The problem is that Martijn
    does not want to upgrade the ZX81 support in WOS to the same level as
    the Spectrum tapes. He supplied me with the import format of the
    existing ZX81 entries - basically a CSV file, but frankly I can't see
    the point in my mapping part of my database to that format and missing
    a lot of stuff that is there for Spectrum tapes. For example, the
    import format didn't allow for multiple images, multiple tracks,
    screenshots, instructions, etc. etc.

    It's not unwillingness to help on my part - if ZX81 tapes had first-
    class entries on WOS I'd be happy to map the existing entries and map
    all of my database to that structure.

    Cheers, Simon


  17. Re: The writing on the wall

    Chris Young wrote:

    > I'm tempted to print this out and frame it. Thank you for saying
    > something nice.
    >
    > On Thu, 24 May 2007 14:53:44 +0100 da kidz on comp.sys.sinclair were rappin'
    > to MC Nick Humphries:
    >
    >> The current ZX81 database (the result of some fine work by Chris Young,
    >> IIRC) turned out to be a lot more work than Martijn anticipated (this was
    >> no fault of Chris, BTW, and I wish to emphasize that)

    >
    > It was more work than I anticipated too, but I can't take all the
    > credit - it would never have been as complete as it is now without the
    > help of Duncan Snowden.


    Ooh, ta.

    > Getting it into the same format as the Spectrum data with all the
    > publisher links etc will be a lot of work, and then to add extra data
    > a la all the Spectrum information.. well, basically you're doing the
    > Spectrum entries all over again, but with ZX81 titles that are nowhere
    > near as well documented or reviewed and often started life as
    > type-ins.


    Really, that's the problem with the ZX81 database as a whole. A huge
    amount of ZX81 stuff is completely undocumented and uncredited: no
    dates, let alone authors, publishers, or other sources, so if it was
    something that neither of us recognised, it simply couldn't be
    catalogued. I think the impression is that because the '81 had fewer
    games, any database of its software must be easier to compile than one
    for the Speccy. I can't exactly comment, since I've never worked on the
    Speccy one, but it's certainly a bigger job than it looks, since it's
    that much more obscure.

    --
    Duncan Snowden.




  18. Re: The writing on the wall

    Nick Humphries wrote:

    > Perhaps you should ask Martijn how he runs WoS before making
    > assumptions.
    >
    > Clue: there's more people involved.



    Hi Nick!



    Chris Owen?



    Best Regards,

    Daniel Mandic

  19. Re: The writing on the wall

    On 24 May 2007 13:47:23 -0700 da kidz on comp.sys.sinclair were rappin'
    to MC hldswrth:

    > > I can fully understand why Martijn hasn't done it, but if there is
    > > really more than just him on the team, surely somebody else could do
    > > this (perhaps Simon could offer?)

    >
    > I did offer. I have a load of data on my site regarding ZX81 tapes
    > (I'm sure I don't have as many tapes as some but I believe I have the
    > largest organised online collection). The problem is that Martijn
    > does not want to upgrade the ZX81 support in WOS to the same level as
    > the Spectrum tapes. He supplied me with the import format of the
    > existing ZX81 entries - basically a CSV file, but frankly I can't see
    > the point in my mapping part of my database to that format and missing
    > a lot of stuff that is there for Spectrum tapes. For example, the
    > import format didn't allow for multiple images, multiple tracks,
    > screenshots, instructions, etc. etc.


    That's largely because WOS doesn't (or didn't) have any of that stuff
    for ZX81 titles.

    > It's not unwillingness to help on my part - if ZX81 tapes had first-
    > class entries on WOS I'd be happy to map the existing entries and map
    > all of my database to that structure.


    Well, Nick said that WOS would happily include a new database, so
    there seems to be a difference of opinion here as to what WOS will do.
    The "easy" route would be to create a new database containing fields
    from both your and WOS' existing ones, but it still needs somebody at
    WOS' end willing to modify InfoSeek for the new fields.

    Basically, I don't see the problem with you adding extra fields onto
    the current WOS database, and then when somebody at WOS has time they
    can add them into InfoSeek so they are displayed. That would seem to
    be the "least work" option.

    Chris


    --
    +-------------------------------------------+
    | Unsatisfactory Software - "because it is" |
    | http://www.unsatisfactorysoftware.co.uk |
    | Your Sinclair: A Celebration |
    +- http://www.yoursinclair.co.uk -----------+

    DISCLAIMER: I may be making all this stuff up again.

  20. Re: The writing on the wall

    On May 25, 8:47 am, "Chris Young"
    wrote:
    > That's largely because WOS doesn't (or didn't) have any of that stuff
    > for ZX81 titles.


    That's what I asked for...

    > Well, Nick said that WOS would happily include a new database, so
    > there seems to be a difference of opinion here as to what WOS will do.
    > The "easy" route would be to create a new database containing fields
    > from both your and WOS' existing ones, but it still needs somebody at
    > WOS' end willing to modify InfoSeek for the new fields.


    Right. It still needs an update to the WOS database schema that
    doesn't appear to be possible.

    I already have a database with all my entries in it. I'd be happy to
    go through all the ZX81 entries in WOS and add them to my database, if
    there was a good chance that this could then either be merged into the
    WOS database or at least linked in somehow. That linkage would
    ideally be able to show ZX81 tapes for a given publisher in that
    publisher's index, and have links between ZX81 versions and ZX
    Spectrum versions of the same title. Oh and, of course, have ZX81
    tapes presented in the same form as ZX Spectrum tapes with all the
    additional info links and downloads in the right places.

    Really I think it ought to be pretty simple - the existing ZX Spectrum
    structure should be perfectly usable for ZX81 tapes, I don't see that
    a "new" structure is required at all - maybe just a flag on each entry
    that indicates a ZX Spectrum or ZX81 release.

    > Basically, I don't see the problem with you adding extra fields onto
    > the current WOS database, and then when somebody at WOS has time they
    > can add them into InfoSeek so they are displayed. That would seem to
    > be the "least work" option.


    How can I "add extra fields onto the current WOS database"? I have no
    access to do that sort of thing. As above I don't actually think that
    extending the existing ZX81 support is the correct way to go - unless
    the import process just uses a subset of the ZX Spectrum fields.

    My understanding was that "somebody at WOS" == "Martijn" as far as
    updates to the database schema were concerned.

    The reasons I'd like to do the WOS integration are: to get Infoseek
    support for ZX81 tapes; to allow integrated and consistent listing of
    ZX81 tapes; and allow submission for missing ZX81 content through the
    same process.

    My other option would be to open up my web site to submissions and do
    it that way.(somehow I don't expect to be deluged with info for
    missing entries ;-)

    Cheers, Simon


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