Recent site updates / post your wish-list here

HuwHuw Brickset Towers, Hampshire, UKAdministrator Posts: 6,439
edited August 2011 in Brickset.com
I don't tend to do a lot of development of the site over the summer but now we're moving into autumn I'll be looking to get going again.

Having said that, I have made a few changes this week that affect the behind-the-scenes functionality. The site gets data from a number of sources: LinkShare for the affiliate marketing info (sets available at shop.LEGO.com), BrickLink for minifigs and LEGO.com for instructions. Until last week the data was imported periodically using code on my local PC. It a wasn't cumbersome process but I did have to kick it off manually. The obvious problem with that is that if I'm not around the site isn't updated.

So, I've spent time converting the code to run on the web server overnight, so every night each of these data sources will be updated.

New sets that appear at shop.LEGO.com will appear in the home page list, as they always have, although, annoyingly, there is a 2-or-so day delay between them appearing on the website and appearing in the product feed.

The next logical step to this might be to get the instructions import routine to automatically post a news article with a list of the new ones, or just a message saying that some have been added and to check the new instructions list.

So, apart from that, what's in the development pipeline? Actually not much, and that's why I'd appreciate your input and ideas.

All I have planned for the immediate future is:

1. Following on from asking reviewers to state whether they are AFOL, TFOL or KFOL, I plan to provide a means of specifying a preference of what you want to see, in your profile, e.g.

Show me...
[ ] Reviews written by AFOLS
[ ] Reviews written by TFOLs
[ ] Reviews writren by KFOLs
[ ] Unclassified reviews

This may go some way to meeting the needs of the three different audiences: some AFOLs are not interested in KFOL reviews but KFOLs probably are.

2. As an Argos affiliate, I have access to their product feed and it should be possible to show their prices in the search results (to UK users only, of course) and also flag up when they reduce stuff.

3. Extend the AFOL/KFOL/TFOL classification to BrickLists, and somehow make it possible for moderators to mark lists as 'recommended', so that the good ones that e.g. atkinsar produces are easily found among those less useful that KFOLs create.

So, over to you. What else needs attention? What new features would you like to see added? The site thrives on user feedback so don't hold back!
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Comments

  • MatthewMatthew Cheshire, UKAdministrator Posts: 3,734
    Not really a new feature, but this page is crying out for an update
    http://brickset.com/about/us/
  • atkinsaratkinsar Member Posts: 4,272
    A simple trading feature please, matching my wants against those users who have listed sets as available for trade in the ACM.
  • rocaorocao Administrator Posts: 4,288
    edited August 2011
    - Exclusion filters on set browsing, i.e. search results for 2010 sets, excluding Duplo
    - Ranking of items on Wanted List : allows the ability to prioritize collecting activity
    - Rate but not review : allows a user to rate a set without writing an in-depth review
    - List comparison (Owned vs Owned, Owned vs Wanted, Wanted vs Wanted): allows the ability to show similarities and differences between members
  • HuwHuw Brickset Towers, Hampshire, UKAdministrator Posts: 6,439
    ^^ We have discused that before, I know, but given certain other information from you and others I've discounted that for now.
  • HuwHuw Brickset Towers, Hampshire, UKAdministrator Posts: 6,439
    @Matthew, trying to get information for that page is like getting blood from a stone :-)
  • bricksanbricksan Member Posts: 566
    Sorry if this has been suggested before or I have missed it but a links page to all the other LEGO sites and blogs would be great please
  • bluemoosebluemoose Member Posts: 1,716
    edited August 2011
    ^^ International man of mystery, that's me :-)
  • MatthewMatthew Cheshire, UKAdministrator Posts: 3,734
    Also, ability to input a number into the want field, as you already can with the owned field, ie:
    (existing) - Set 4736-1 Freeing Dobby, You own 6, you want
    (new) - Set 4736-1 Freeing Dobby, You own 6, you want 10
  • Lego_MooseLego_Moose Member Posts: 36
    I don't know if this is possible
    But for the ACM collection it would be nice if I could see all the sets that are from "Garage Sales" or are the sets where I have not checked off the parts box.
    So I can easily find out what sets I own that are incomplete
    Thanx
  • dimefielddimefield Edmonton Alberta CanadaMember Posts: 314
    ^ ive been looking for that (apparently it doesnt exist) feature for sets ive rebuilt from bulk buys but are missing some parts or mini figs.
  • MinifigsMeMinifigsMe Member Posts: 2,844
    edited August 2011
    ^I tend to add what's missing in the notes box, but it's not idea, and quite tedious.

    The ability to have multiple lists, or filter the the owned/wanted lists. Ie for separating out sets from different family members

    thanks
  • RedbullgivesuwindRedbullgivesuwind Brickset's Secret HeadquatersMember Posts: 1,764
    I love the pick of the week from you Huw. If it gets a bit much be nice to here other admins picks as well.
    I agree with atkinsar a trade list would be great so I can see if I have stuff people want and they have stuff that I would like.
  • HuwHuw Brickset Towers, Hampshire, UKAdministrator Posts: 6,439
    edited August 2011
    So some sort of filtering on the ACM might be one way to achieve these requirements?

    I did toy with a spreadsheet-like presentation of all ACM data which would naturally lend itself to this sort of functionality but couldn't get the adding/updating working efficiently so I parked the idea, and instead opted to enhance the export/import features so that you could do this sort of thing in Excel.

    @Matthew, "ability to input a number into the want field".

    That's often asked for but I wonder if there'd be any point. I want 100 Super Star Destroyers but I'n never going to get them. Is there really a need to record a quantity? I'm happy to be convinced but at the moment I personally don't think there is.

    @RJH, "links page to all the other LEGO sites and blogs would be great please"

    I have actually started working on this, in the database at least, to enable users to submit LEGO related links and others to 'like' them so that they can be ranked. I parked it to concentrate on more core aspects of the site but maybe I'll ressurect if there's sufficient interest. There are already several good site indexes around, this perhaps being the biggest: http://www.bricklink.com/links.asp

    @Redbullgivesuwind, "I love the pick of the week from you Huw"

    Good, glad to hear it, such a simple idea that requires no work other than a bit of time to write something. I'll see if I can keep it up, and I'll certainly encourage other admins to contribute. Maybe I'll have guest contributors as well...
  • RedbullgivesuwindRedbullgivesuwind Brickset's Secret HeadquatersMember Posts: 1,764
    also I get this could be a bitch to do but maybe with the mini figures list the accesoaries that they came with im forever swapping weapons between guys and then forgetting where they came from and the lego instructions arent clear at times,
  • RedbullgivesuwindRedbullgivesuwind Brickset's Secret HeadquatersMember Posts: 1,764
    edited August 2011
    @huw you really dont look how i though you would do :-D
  • bricksanbricksan Member Posts: 566
    @huw sounds great thanks
  • HuwHuw Brickset Towers, Hampshire, UKAdministrator Posts: 6,439
    ^^ You thought I had a yellow head with a stud on the top, right? :-)
  • RedbullgivesuwindRedbullgivesuwind Brickset's Secret HeadquatersMember Posts: 1,764
    i did yeah and a strange smiley face lol. Although i think i have seen you around where you live as I was local to you before end of uni
  • RedbullgivesuwindRedbullgivesuwind Brickset's Secret HeadquatersMember Posts: 1,764
    edited August 2011
    @Redbullgivesuwind, "I love the pick of the week from you Huw"

    Good, glad to hear it, such a simple idea that requires no work other than a bit of time to write something. I'll see if I can keep it up, and I'll certainly encourage other admins to contribute. Maybe I'll have guest contributors as well...
    yeah it is good to see what you and others think are bargins and must buys
  • redgreenblueredgreenblue Member Posts: 9
    Two things that won't get your pulses racing:
    1) I'd like to be able to set in my profile that I use UK ebay/lego shop rather than the site deciding that I use US sites when I live in Europe. There is a link you provided to set it, but it's annoying to use it everytime I visit brickset.
    2) I can never find the affiliate links to buy from LEGO/Amazon. Not the general buy tab, but directly from the item page (eg http://www.brickset.com/detail/?set=3677-1) to shop.lego.com or amazon.co...
  • crzypaintercrzypainter Member Posts: 8
    Another site I follow (bluray.com) has a great feature for members in which you can set a price point on a movie and be notified when the price on amazon hits that amount. That would be a great feature for Lego sets as often I am waiting for a set to be discounted by a certain amount before I pick it up.

    I know Dr Dave has started the daily amazon deals page on his blog (which is a great help when looking for deals) but this would be targeted to specific sets and would help to alleviate the need to continually scan prices.
  • MinifigsMeMinifigsMe Member Posts: 2,844
    ^ camel camel camel will do that for amazon - a very handy thing.
  • legomattlegomatt Member Posts: 2,548
    edited August 2011
    I wish the order of comments were reversed by default (for the forum i mean) i.e. The most recent comment goes to the top, and the original post will be found at the bottom of the last page.

    On particularly popular threads, it becomes a bit of a chore to click thread, scroll down old page, click latest page, scroll down to bottom. (made worse if there's a lot of pictures uploaded to the thread, which can slooooow some machines down).

    And/Or at least have the other pages button at the top of the comments page, so that you can quickly click to the last page, instead of always having to scroll down and click.

    As for brickset main page, i'd like the comments on news topics to be numbered. So that when you check back to a popular topic, you know the last comment you read was number XXX, so you have a good idea where to pick up from (assuming there hasn't been a whole pile of deleted comments of course).
  • AlHazredAlHazred Member Posts: 14
    edited August 2011
    Huw, let me suggest that the "Links" tab of the LEGO boardgames include a link to the relevant BoardGameGeek.com article on the game? Perhaps under "Other Databases"?
  • Lego_MooseLego_Moose Member Posts: 36
    Be able to delete your reviews
  • Matty_StormMatty_Storm Banned Posts: 7
    edited August 2011
    OT Post removed by @Matthew
  • GalactusGalactus NLMember Posts: 255
    - Exclusion filters on set browsing, i.e. search results for 2010 sets, excluding Duplo
    Also an exclusion filter on 'sets/minifigs you want' browsing: exclusion of sets/minifigs I already have. For collecting purposes I'm only interested in the sets that I want and don't have any copies of yet. For building/MOCing i'm interested in all the sets that I want, including duplicates.

  • legomattlegomatt Member Posts: 2,548
    edited August 2011
    Wow... did my suggestion just happen? With one click of a topic i was catapulted straight to the end of a thread... totally took me by surprise. great stuff!

    :o)

    Oh, didn't work when logged out, so it's a user-setting thing... (silly me! I did wonder if there might be one of those)... LOL
  • atkinsaratkinsar Member Posts: 4,272
    ^ the forum has always had this feature, when you open a discussion it takes you to the last comment you viewed. What screws this up is the Mark All Viewed feature, if you use that, then it 'forgets' the last comment you viewed.

    Fyi - as it stands currently, Huw has no direct developmental control over the features of the forum since it is hosted by Vanilla on their servers. We can pass on suggestions to Vanilla but there's no telling if they'll listen or if they do, when they'll get around to implementing those suggestions.
  • harrisonhydenharrisonhyden Member Posts: 2
    edited August 2011
    Off topic post removed by @Matthew - 31/08/11 08:52 BST
  • andheandhe UKMember Posts: 2,750
    Ignore me if this has already been suggested, or already exists, but how about something in the set reviews that tells you the lowest price a set has been? On amazon for example, they have brief sales, and if you miss them it would be good to know what price they might drop to again?... No idea if this is possible.

    Great site. Love the show.
  • MatthewMatthew Cheshire, UKAdministrator Posts: 3,734
    ^ camel camel camel will do that for amazon - a very handy thing.
    It will do your suggestion too ;-)

  • DvEDvE Member Posts: 6
    Can't find if it's been posted before, but when exporting to csv or text, the uk en us prices are printed but not the price I entered in ASM. Can that data be added to the export?

    This site is absolutly great (it's just costing me a fortune in lego)
  • HuwHuw Brickset Towers, Hampshire, UKAdministrator Posts: 6,439
    Are you exporting from the ACM import/export page? http://www.brickset.com/mysets/acm/transfer/
  • DvEDvE Member Posts: 6
    No, I did it from the 'My Sets' page under the export frame.
    My bad.
    With your link it works.
  • HuwHuw Brickset Towers, Hampshire, UKAdministrator Posts: 6,439
    Cool... there should probably be better linking between the pages, then.
  • DvEDvE Member Posts: 6
    edited September 2011
    Add the link to a ASM export in the export frame and you're golden :)
  • EricEric Queensland, AustraliaMember Posts: 376
    I second Rocao's list, which seems to have been largely ignored.
    - Exclusion filters on set browsing, i.e. search results for 2010 sets, excluding Duplo
    - Ranking of items on Wanted List : allows the ability to prioritize collecting activity
    - Rate but not review : allows a user to rate a set without writing an in-depth review
    - List comparison (Owned vs Owned, Owned vs Wanted, Wanted vs Wanted): allows the ability to show similarities and differences between members
  • HuwHuw Brickset Towers, Hampshire, UKAdministrator Posts: 6,439
    ^ Not entirely ignored, they've been noted but most of them are in the 'too difficult' pile at the moment :-)
  • EricEric Queensland, AustraliaMember Posts: 376
    ^ Haha, okay. :o)
  • richoricho Member Posts: 3,821
    I may have missed it somewhere on the site, but I would really appreciate a permanent thread detailing when sets are due to be discontinued. I guess it might not be an exact science, but as an example, when I was last speaking to Lego placing an order, the lady on the phone dropped in to the conversation that the latest AT-AT 8129, would be discontinued at the end of the year.
  • bricksanbricksan Member Posts: 566
    Two things, have you thought about adding post count to the viewtopic part of the forum and also a who is online plugin, when you are waiting for a pm etc, instead of hanging around you can check the who is online part and see if the member is online or not, most forums have this built it and it would be good to have.
  • rocaorocao Administrator Posts: 4,288
    ^ The forum software is hosted by VanillaForums.com and, as a result, runs the core Vanilla 2.0 software with only 10 approved add-ons. The service claims that it is continually approving and introducing more add-ons, and there are, in fact, add-ons for those two features your request. The full list of add-ons can be seen here: http://vanillaforums.org/addons

    I could not find a published list of the 10 included add-ons, but rest-assured we've enabled the useful ones and will continue to monitor for new ones. When I have some time, I'm going to go through the list of popular approved add-ons and engage the support team about including the ones we think would be useful.
  • HuwHuw Brickset Towers, Hampshire, UKAdministrator Posts: 6,439
    That would be useful, rocao, thanks.

    I've just noticed a couple of new ones that can be enabled, and I've enabled one for tagging. I can't see how it manifests itself in the ui yet though...
  • atkinsaratkinsar Member Posts: 4,272
    ^ what is it supposed to do Huw?
  • HuwHuw Brickset Towers, Hampshire, UKAdministrator Posts: 6,439
    No idea, that's why I enabled it. It says 'Allow tagging of discussions.'

    Someone seems to be using it so it must be showing up somewhere!
  • MatthewMatthew Cheshire, UKAdministrator Posts: 3,734
    Here:
  • drdavewatforddrdavewatford Hertfordshire, UKAdministrator Posts: 6,256
    Aha - so just like tagging on my blog; add some key words when you post a message and then the post gets picked up when people search the forum using the same key word(s)
  • bricksanbricksan Member Posts: 566
    edited September 2011
    Questions why do you have them hosting it, when it is just as easy/better hosting it yourself, as a long term forum admin myself, if you host it yourself you are free of their enforced limitations. Vanilla is a great software but I prefer to use it on my own hosting.
  • rocaorocao Administrator Posts: 4,288
    edited September 2011
    I added the "star_wars", "cmf", and "modular" tags and went through some past discussions editing the OP to add the relevant tags to test it.

    @drdavewatford is correct, and you should all notice a tag list on the right column. For now, it will only be visible when viewing "All discussions". There is an improvement to the add-on that is not yet approved by VanillaForum that allows tags to be viewed from within discussion categories.

    Please exercise judiciousness in creating tags as they are best reserved for popular topics. If it quickly becomes a management and moderation nightmare, the feature will likely be disabled.
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