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The Advanced Collection Manager beta test phase has begun!

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Comments

  • brickmaticbrickmatic Member Posts: 1,071
    ^ Yes! Graph changes in your base measures over time. Have you found you use [email protected] more or less than you did a year ago, etc? Also, see seasonal variation. What months do you tend to make your purchases on? Also, see how much you spend over or under the RRP when you buy. Then you can further break that down by source. Lots of possibilities :)
  • Si_UKNZSi_UKNZ NZMember Posts: 4,179
    edited May 2011
    Hi folks, bit late in finding this, but I've had a play with the first popup, and here's a quick low level usability run through of it ...

    - 'Acquired' from would be better as a dropdown to ensure data consistency. Could add "Other", with a free text box appearing when you select it.
    - 'close' as a button generally more usable, especially as for some people the X would fall off the edge of the screen.
    - Location ; assume this means "Where the set is right now" - might want to explain what this is about, because it's a bit personal; people might think "what do they want this info for" - I realise its just for my own benefit but others might not realise this and you need to be careful with data like that.
    - Rollover help text would really (ahem) help, as per previous comments; the bits which seem to need it the most are;
    Date acquired = "In format xx/xx/xx"
    Price paid (GBP) = "Item price + postage price"
    P M I B (Just to say what they are)
  • atkinsaratkinsar Member Posts: 4,272
    ^^ good and interesting ideas. My next focus though is to add current set valuations, although the adding of that information is dependant on a few other factors which may or may not fall into place.
  • atkinsaratkinsar Member Posts: 4,272
    @Huw, a couple of ideas for ACM enhancements from me:

    - Include the following fields in the export: RRP, No. Pieces (this will allow for some interesting further Excel analysis, interesting to me at least!).
    - Add a new field that goes hand-in-hand with Current Estimated Value, called Estimate Value Date.
  • HuwHuw Brickset Towers, Hampshire, UKAdministrator Posts: 6,946
    edited May 2011
    @gruetzmacherd, thanks for your comments. I suspect the ACM interface will change on the set details pages before I launch, since I'm not 100% happy with it either.

    @Si_Dorking_Surrey_UK, good feedback, thanks.

    Now I'm back from my short break I'll get back on the case in the next few days...

  • brickmaticbrickmatic Member Posts: 1,071
    @Huw @drdavewatford @atkinsar

    Hey, earlier the 0.00 / Null problem was mentioned. I noticed today that if I enter 0.00 for the amount then the box becomes null. However, if I enter a 0.001 amount the box becomes 0.00. So my question is, what are the consequences for entering decimal amounts with precision to three decimal places? Are the values stored? Can this mess up the database? Will the values be rounded or changed in the future? This is important not only because of the workaround to the zero issue, but also because I might want to keep values to 3 decimal places (deciding how I want to deal with tax when it is broken from an aggregate sum to individual sets).
  • HuwHuw Brickset Towers, Hampshire, UKAdministrator Posts: 6,946
    I'm using the SQL server 'money' data type, which is not something I usually use, but I believe values are stored to 4 decimal places. Therefore if entering 0.001 results in 0.00 (which it would) then by all means use that workaround.
  • brickmaticbrickmatic Member Posts: 1,071
    How do you export the data from the ACM?
  • atkinsaratkinsar Member Posts: 4,272
    edited May 2011
    You have to use this link for now: http://www.brickset.com/mySets/acm/

    The export link is in the top right of this page.

    Huw hasn't added a link to this page on the site yet. It's easy enough to remember, just navigate to my sets, then manually add acm onto the end of the url.
  • brickmaticbrickmatic Member Posts: 1,071
    @atkinsar Ah, thanks. I found that page and used it to tweak my settings, but didn't see the link in the right hand corner. Thanks for pointing it out!
  • HuwHuw Brickset Towers, Hampshire, UKAdministrator Posts: 6,946
    ^^ Thanks: yes at the moment that page isn't linked to anywhere but will be, on the 'my sets' page, when we go live.
  • HuwHuw Brickset Towers, Hampshire, UKAdministrator Posts: 6,946
    edited June 2011
    I intend to launch this in the next few days. There are certain to be things I can improve on going forwards such as the 'spreadsheet view of all sets' but are there any 'show-stoppers' that I should attend to beforehand?

    On my test server I've added a link to the ACM on the 'my sets' page and also changed the ACM tab on the set details pages so it now shows the ACM data in a horizontal-scrolling iframe rather than a link and pop-up window. I think the concensus was that this was preferable.

    One thing I think I'll do first is add some sort of key somewhere to explain column headings, or elaborate on the information shown on http://www.brickset.com/mySets/acm/ (once you've enabled it), and also stress that the information you enter is for your own use only, so use it as you see fit and don't worry about others seeing it.

    One thing I have concerns about is that the pop-up window is 1250px (IIRC) wide. Is this likely to be a problem? As si_etc. says, if you have a monitor which is 1280 wide the 'X' close (which BTW is standard for the the windows across the site) is off the edge of the screen. Assuming we think it is, what would be a suitable width? I hope not < 1024px as that's likely to make the columns too narrow.
  • brickmaticbrickmatic Member Posts: 1,071
    ^ I'm running my monitor at 1280 and the width is too large. Keep in mind scroll bars eat up space, things docked on the side eat up space, and the available window width is less when your browser isn't maximized. So 1024 would be better, I think.
  • Si_UKNZSi_UKNZ NZMember Posts: 4,179
    960 grid is the most commonly used
    http://960.gs/
  • HuwHuw Brickset Towers, Hampshire, UKAdministrator Posts: 6,946
    edited June 2011
    ^ Yes, but in this case it needs more width to be useful, hence breaking out of the fixed width.

    According to Google Analytics only 11% of site visitors have a screen width of less than 1280, excluding mobile devices so on that basis I feel safe to increase it. It's now 1150px which should be OK on 1280 monitors.

    Anyway, I've uploaded the recent changes and the ACM is linked to on the My Sets page. I'll let you all give it the once-over before annoucing it tomorrow.
  • brickmaticbrickmatic Member Posts: 1,071
    ^ Looks good :)

    I noticed the box is re-sizable. Why use a fixed width for the initial box size? Isn't there a way to find out the available space in the browser window programatically? If so, you can adjust the window size to the available browser window space. Also, I've deselected a bunch of columns from my view, so currently there is a bunch of empty space on the right in my ACM view. So another possibility is to adjust the window size to the size of selected columns in the view.

    But honestly, I'm just happy it exists. Thank you Huw!
  • HuwHuw Brickset Towers, Hampshire, UKAdministrator Posts: 6,946
    Yes, I could get a lot cleverer with the sizing, I agree, and do both of the things you suggest. One day I'll find the time, too!
  • Si_UKNZSi_UKNZ NZMember Posts: 4,179
    edited June 2011
    ^^^ 960 grid is the standard because, some people have the start bar vertically (like me) or have vertical browser toolbars, or have screens which 'clip' the edges so you dont get the full width.

    having said that, I cant think of a better solution for displaying the data, given the volume youre trying to show, so I wouldnt worry too much about it. Just bear in mind that tablet use is likely to increase this 11% figure not reduce it.
  • HuwHuw Brickset Towers, Hampshire, UKAdministrator Posts: 6,946
    edited June 2011
    iPads are clever in that they increase the viewport to accomdate the extra width when it goes beyond 1024px so for the majority of tablet users, at least, it works just fine.
  • dmm32552dmm32552 Member Posts: 47
    What am I missing here? I can't seem to find the place to actually edit the ACM info. I have activated the ACM for my account, gone to the My Sets feature and clicked on the ACM logo by one of the sets, the popup window comes up with all my blank categories -- but I cant find where to edit this info for my sets.
  • Halberd777Halberd777 Member Posts: 32
    edited June 2011
    ^ edit is at the far right end.

    Oh and Huw awesome job!!

    Only problem is know finding all the time to put in all the details to my collection. Thanks now my weekend is shot :)
  • HuwHuw Brickset Towers, Hampshire, UKAdministrator Posts: 6,946
    Yes, thanks Halberd, the little pencil on paper icon at the end of the row lets you enter/edit the data on the row.

    You can also do it via a new tab on the set details pages.
  • brickmaticbrickmatic Member Posts: 1,071
    Also, you must own the item before you can edit it.
  • rocaorocao Administrator Posts: 4,290
    edited June 2011
    @Huw: I browsed this thread but didn't see anyone else request it yet (which is kind of surprising, so maybe I missed it somewhere else):

    It would be a tremendous timesaver to have the ability to duplicate row data for the situation where you buy multiples. You could implement this as second button next to the edit button on an existing row with data. Pressing the button would copy the contents of the row into the next empty row if there is one.
  • HuwHuw Brickset Towers, Hampshire, UKAdministrator Posts: 6,946
    Great idea, I'll see what I can do...
  • atkinsaratkinsar Member Posts: 4,272
    ^^ yes indeed, good idea, that would be very handy.
  • drdavewatforddrdavewatford Hertfordshire, UKAdministrator Posts: 6,689
    ^^^ Great idea or not, that feature wouldn't even be necessary if we could control ourselves. Perhaps rather than Huw implementing this we should all just go and get some therapy instead ?

    :-)
  • rocaorocao Administrator Posts: 4,290
    ^ There is truth behind the traditionally female approach to shopping: "Buy more to save more"
  • tk79tk79 Member Posts: 329
    How feasible would it be to have an "import from spreadsheet" function?

    I find Excel quick to use for mass data entry and would love an excel template download that includes the users current set # and description in the first two columns** and the remaining columns would be for each user to provide all the data to get imported into the ACM. Obviously the user has to enter in the data in the correct format in each column otherwise it wouldn't populate correctly when uploading, but I could see it saving a ton of time for 1st time users.

    **if it's not possible to include the users current set # and description in the template download, it wouldn't be hard for each user to add that info to the spreadsheet themselves and I would imagine the whole process would still be much faster than initially updating entire collections via web entry
  • HuwHuw Brickset Towers, Hampshire, UKAdministrator Posts: 6,946
    That's a great idea and one I have considered. It's not trivial importing a file like that, mainly because of the error handling that needs to be done, to handle erroneous entries.

    However, it might be better to spend time on that than trying to implement a 'spreadsheet-like' editor for your entire collection in a browser which is even less trivial.
  • Si_UKNZSi_UKNZ NZMember Posts: 4,179
    I'm for the 'import from Excel' idea, as I already have all this in XLS and the manual entry is what's put me off using ACM so far - being able to reformat then import would be easier. I also work offline a lot when travelling, so would always maintain the XLS.

    @Huw; I can see what you mean about error handling though, and appreciate you work very hard on this site already; there may be other areas with a greater cost/benefit.
  • tk79tk79 Member Posts: 329
    @Huw, thanks for the reply. I'll be excited to see whatever you decide on. The only downside to focusing on an import function first (besides the logistics of it) would be that I'm not sure how many people actually own Excel. That would be the main reason to focus on a web-based spreadsheet first, even though I'm personally rooting for the Excel import function for selfish reasons :)
  • HuwHuw Brickset Towers, Hampshire, UKAdministrator Posts: 6,946
    It will be CSV based so useable from any spreadsheet.
  • rocaorocao Administrator Posts: 4,290
    ^ Hopefully the row duplication I mentioned would still be seen as useful and worthwhile apart from the substitution of CSV importing over spreadsheet-like browser functionality :P
  • atkinsaratkinsar Member Posts: 4,272
    ^ me too, they're for different purposes really and the row duplication function would have saved me a fair bit of time recently.
  • HuwHuw Brickset Towers, Hampshire, UKAdministrator Posts: 6,946
    Yes I'l do that, might even have a go this evening...
  • HuwHuw Brickset Towers, Hampshire, UKAdministrator Posts: 6,946
    Done already :-)
  • rocaorocao Administrator Posts: 4,290
    Excellent... well done! Can you put hovers over the edit and duplicate icons with descriptive text?
  • HuwHuw Brickset Towers, Hampshire, UKAdministrator Posts: 6,946
    They are present and show in ie9, they are on the alt attribute on the images, but I think some browsers might need it on the title attribute of the hyperlink.

    I'll add them later...
  • HuwHuw Brickset Towers, Hampshire, UKAdministrator Posts: 6,946
    I'm working on the CSV import. It shouldn't be too difficult.

    Progress so far is that you download a version of the ACM CSV with your current data in it, plus all the other blank rows for sets that you haven't entered data for. There's also an extra field, record ID, which will be used when updating the database.

    Then, you complete it as much as you want to, then upload it. It is then parsed and the update stored procedure called for each row, using the record ID to determine which record is being updated. Checks will be made to ensure that the record belongs to you, so as to prevent someone fiddling with that hoping to wipe other people's data.

    So a couple of questions/points:

    In the fields that are drop-downs, what would you want to enter? Exact matches of the values (e.g. MISB, Used etc.) or numeric values (e.g. 1=New, 2=Used)? What should it do if something not in the lists is entered? Set it to {Unknown} might be one option.

    I am proposing that for the yes/no fields, blank will be no and anything else will be yes, so you can just put an 'x' or 1 or something in the 'Trade' column, for example.

    It won't be possible to create new records, or re-activate deleted ones, as that could potentially mess up the sync between the two data sets (see previous discussion for an explanation). Also no records will be deleted, just updated.

    Do you think I should include a flag in the first column which can be set when you're editing the file to indicate that this is a record to be imported? Or should it just import them all?

    How should it handle errors?
  • brickmaticbrickmatic Member Posts: 1,071
    In the fields that are drop-downs, what would you want to enter?
    Provide exact matches, allow either exact match or numeric key for the upload. Provide people instructions the shortcut method numeric key.
    I am proposing that for the yes/no fields, blank will be no and anything else will be yes
    I like that when you have Yes or No in the fields, then you can see what information you've added and the information you have not.
    Do you think I should include a flag in the first column which can be set when you're editing the file to indicate that this is a record to be imported? Or should it just import them all?
    No, just all.
    How should it handle errors?
    Either doesn't accept a template with errors OR ignores any row that has an error and treats it as if no changes had been made to that row. Both with notice of an error being detected of course.
  • HuwHuw Brickset Towers, Hampshire, UKAdministrator Posts: 6,946
    I'll be in a position to upload importing ACM data for testing in the next day or so. PM me if you can help test. I'll create some test accounts so as not to compromise your real data.
  • atkinsaratkinsar Member Posts: 4,272
    Brickset is my master set list, so I can't help I'm afraid. You do back this thing up right? ;-)
  • HuwHuw Brickset Towers, Hampshire, UKAdministrator Posts: 6,946
    I said

    > I'll create some test accounts so as not to compromise your real data.

    So there is no risk. You could export your real data, log in as a test account and re-import it, after making a few tweaks, or log in as a test account, say you own a small number of sets, export the ACM data, add information to it then import and see if it looks right.

    As for backup, yes, it's backed up daily by the host and I take a copy of the backup once a week to my local drive.
  • atkinsaratkinsar Member Posts: 4,272
    edited June 2011
    I think I misunderstood the point of the import facility completely, I thought it was for people who held their set list in a spreadsheet and wanted a quicker way to initially import it into the ACM. I guess I never thought about using it is a way of maintaining ACM data once it was already imported. That would be very useful in certain situations, like when I move house later this year and need to mass update the location of my sets.
  • HuwHuw Brickset Towers, Hampshire, UKAdministrator Posts: 6,946
    The input spreadsheet has to be in a specific format, it would be impossible to process it otherwise, so you need to export one that's in the right format and then edit it, or do something clever in Access/Excel to populate it from another existing source.

    It will indeed be an excellent way to do bulk updates and so on and should negate the need for me to come up with a 'spreadsheet view' web page showing your entire collection which would never be as slick as a desktop version.
  • HuwHuw Brickset Towers, Hampshire, UKAdministrator Posts: 6,946
    Export and re-importing is now implemented. There's a new link on the ACM page (and on the my sets drop-down menu), a new page that explains the process, and an import 'wizard'.

    I've tested it fairly thoroughly but if you want a test login to test without compromising your own data, PM me.
  • F0NIXF0NIX Member Posts: 1
    This is awesome! It is just what I have wanted the "My sets" function to become.
    Whoever has been working on this; thank you very much!

    This is really good for keeping track of all my sets. How about adding loose parts too into this? Well I know Brickset.com is not about parts, just sets, for now...
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