Season 2011 - Site suggestions

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brobo
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Re: Season 2011 - Site suggestions

Postby brobo » May 25th, 2010, 8:11 am

Instead of relying on getting tests back from competitions, why don't we also consider making out own tests and posting them?
I've written two tests for the test exchange, and so have several other people, so that's allready in place. However, I think we should encourage more people to do likewise. I found that it was a great way to study, and tests that are written by other people tend to be the best (robotman's METAR test) because we know what we are going to be tested on based from experience. And most of the time tests from competiton don't get posted, so it would be better if more people made tests.

Also, I would like to see a better rules system for PMs. I use rules all the time for email, but the rules in place for PMs are kinda shabby. I would specifically like to see a "Foward to" rule, especially for when you are juggling more than one account (assassinator account, the new WCJH account that I manage the WCJH forum through, etc.) or when you are talking to more than one person about a similare topic, etc. Would that be possible to add?

Also, once again I don't know of it's possible, but is there any way to link school forums to the wiki, so that we could post notes so that only people from our school could get to them? Like a personal wiki? One of the biggest problems faced is getting notes to other people, through email and flash drives and other stuff. Just an idea.
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Re: Season 2011 - Site suggestions

Postby zyzzyva980 » May 25th, 2010, 9:34 am

Two things I think need to be done, and anyone can really do them:

Test Exchange and Score Tracker need to be better advertised.
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Re: Season 2011 - Site suggestions

Postby RandomPerson » May 25th, 2010, 1:20 pm

If your GIFs are the smallest, then you are not compressing your PNGs properly (e.g., with MS Paint). You can always play around with the DEFLATE params or use a palette. Also, JPEG allows you to exchange quality for file size, so there should never be a still image you can't compress further.

With that said, the limit on dimensions doesn't do much to limit content, which is good. The limit on file size does prevent people from copying & pasting animated GIF movie clips to their avatars:
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Yeah, no.
Jpegs aren't a viable option for anything that needs transparency, I actually have mine as a Jpeg currently with a background color that is the average of the two backgrounds, that looks good, but still sets my OCD like qualities off. I haven't heard of this DEFLATE before, which interests me, but using one its implementations (PNGOUT), it only reduced the size of my PNG avatars by 700 bytes at most, not nearly enough to help my ~14KB ones. I'm not using anecdotal evidence to try to disprove you although, wikipedia's PNG article confirms you're right, which makes me think its my image processing software doing a poor job in the first place (Paint.net).

Anyways, the KB size is not really my complaint, we can keep it at the same proportion of KB/pixel (or even less if you're really adverted to the worry of animations) and just change the height and width.
(I do agree with you on the animations btw, the only thing I say to that is that if people wanted to have animated images, they would already in their signatures, but I won't contest this part)

I probably sound like I really care a lot about this, but to be honest I don't... its just a bit annoying to have to edit avatars that are in 80x80 format for other sites, often it makes worse just enough to make it look bad.
I realize it isn't really a reason, but the limit is what it is because that's what it was on the OBB board. I guess we'll think about it.
I appreciate it, I really shouldn't be complaining because its probably harder to change than I realize.
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Re: Season 2011 - Site suggestions

Postby ZekeBud » May 26th, 2010, 12:02 pm

As per the event thread organization, I have two overarching thoughts. The first one seems more reasonable, and the second is actually a sort of reflection.

First: What about giving each event a sub-forum and keeping that organized alphabetically? I realize that few events demand that kind of additional space, but at least in the realm of Study Events, that could be simpler than re-finding something after a few days of posting and time-shuffling. I also concede that there aren't that many events per overall category and that the extra mouse click would be something more... but at least to an outsider the information would be easier to find.

Second: On that note, I think that such a system would be favorable to overall alphabetizing. However, upon further reflection I'm not sure how popular that kind of choice would be. Particularly, keeping building events in a separate area is useful. I'm not sure how everyone else would feel about that kind of change.
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Re: Season 2011 - Site suggestions

Postby rocketman1555 » May 26th, 2010, 12:15 pm

This may or may not go here, but are we going to go through and try to make an index for this years threads like we did for last years?
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Re: Season 2011 - Site suggestions

Postby starpug » May 26th, 2010, 12:51 pm

Some new thoughts on the user profiles
  • As hangfromthefloor has already proposed, I think a field on the profile page for people to list the events they are doing might be useful
  • Something else that might be interesting would be a field for medals, but that might encourage dishonesty
  • A wiki edit counter might also be an interesting addition (I believe someone has also proposed a link between wiki and forum accounts so you can get between the 2 easily)
Last edited by starpug on May 27th, 2010, 5:20 pm, edited 1 time in total.
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Re: Season 2011 - Site suggestions

Postby andrewwski » May 26th, 2010, 1:06 pm

As per the event thread organization, I have two overarching thoughts. The first one seems more reasonable, and the second is actually a sort of reflection.

First: What about giving each event a sub-forum and keeping that organized alphabetically? I realize that few events demand that kind of additional space, but at least in the realm of Study Events, that could be simpler than re-finding something after a few days of posting and time-shuffling. I also concede that there aren't that many events per overall category and that the extra mouse click would be something more... but at least to an outsider the information would be easier to find.
I don't see how well that would work though. If there is a sub-forum for each event, for starters, it's going to be a lot messier - a lot harder to browse the site and find the information you're looking for, especially if you're trying to keep tabs on many events.

But I think the main problem with a sub-forum where anyone could start new topics would be the same as it was last year when there was just a general forum like that - people will start threads asking about something that has already been extensively discussed in another thread. That seems to create unnecessary mess.

Just my $0.02 though.

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Re: Season 2011 - Site suggestions

Postby JustDroobles » May 26th, 2010, 1:35 pm

Some new thoughts on the user profiles
  • As someone I believe has already proposed, I think a field on the profile page for people to list the events they are doing might be useful
That's a good idea. I think a field for to list past events would be useful too.
[*]Something else that might be interesting would be a field for medals, but that might encourage dishonesty
I don't think that's a good idea, because you're right, it could encourage dishonesty. It's not necessarily fair or useful to compare number of medals across different states, regions, or even teams. Some regions give out 8 medals and some only give out 3. Some regions and states have a whole lot more teams or more competitive teams than others. Also, some teams have many more opportunities to travel to invitationals than others. So comparing total amount of medals might not be a fair or useful statistic.
[*]A wiki edit counter might also be an interesting addition (I believe someone has also proposed a link between wiki and forum accounts so you can get between the 2 easily)[/list]
Some people have been discussing how the other areas of the site could be better promoted. This could also help promote the wiki. The same method could be implemented to promote the test exchange, the image gallery, and possibly score tracker. Tests uploaded, Images Uploaded, and Scores Tracked could be tallied.

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Re: Season 2011 - Site suggestions

Postby amerikestrel » May 26th, 2010, 2:39 pm

As per the event thread organization, I have two overarching thoughts. The first one seems more reasonable, and the second is actually a sort of reflection.

First: What about giving each event a sub-forum and keeping that organized alphabetically? I realize that few events demand that kind of additional space, but at least in the realm of Study Events, that could be simpler than re-finding something after a few days of posting and time-shuffling. I also concede that there aren't that many events per overall category and that the extra mouse click would be something more... but at least to an outsider the information would be easier to find.
I don't see how well that would work though. If there is a sub-forum for each event, for starters, it's going to be a lot messier - a lot harder to browse the site and find the information you're looking for, especially if you're trying to keep tabs on many events.

But I think the main problem with a sub-forum where anyone could start new topics would be the same as it was last year when there was just a general forum like that - people will start threads asking about something that has already been extensively discussed in another thread. That seems to create unnecessary mess.

Just my $0.02 though.
I agree that many sub-forums would make it slightly more difficult to find a certain event, but once you're in an event's forum I think it would make it easier to locate a particular topic or question about that event. In a study event forum, for example, there could be a thread for rules clarifications, a thread for posting hard questions that came up on tests, and a thread for talking about specific competitions, among others. This would make it much easier to find the topic you're looking for, and having all the information in one place.

I don't think that there would be many duplicate threads, but if there are the duplicates could always be locked or even deleted, so people would know not to look there.
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Re: Season 2011 - Site suggestions

Postby blue cobra » May 26th, 2010, 7:03 pm

Perhaps instead of a separate field for medals, you could include what place you got next to what events you're doing. So for example on your profile it might say:

Elevated Bridge-
  • 3rd at Regionals '09
  • 1st at Regionals '10
  • 2nd at States '10
and so on for each event.

And I don't like alphabetizing for most things.
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