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Forum Improvements - Chat Room, List of Showmen, Graphics


Tom Gorman

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Could we have a mini-chat feature? Like a chat room thing? I have seen it go very well on other forums and its a good feature.

Also, like someone mentioned a while back, I would like to see a rides list sorted by showman not ride type, it is much easier to reference this way.

One more idea would be better graphics, no offence but the current logo is outdated and should be updated.

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Bill Edwards

Just to confirm what Adam has already put so well:-

The forum has a chat room, but it is turned off. We found that people who want to chat generally have access to Facebook or some other chat facility, so ours wasn't very necessary. We also found that there were petty squabbles which the Moderators were expected to referee. We find the forum enough to Moderate without having to "police" the chat room as well!

The Rides List cannot be sorted by Showmen - that is a restriction of the forum software. However, as Adam says, the rides list is searchable so you should be able to achieve something similar.

The logo is old, but it is our "trademark" and I am reluctant to change it. However, if someone wants to design one for us, we'll give it consideration :)

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  • 1 year later...
Bill Edwards

IF I could publish a list of rides sorted by Showmen's name, would it be useful?

I'm currently working on something that's a lot of work, but worthwhile if it's of use to members.

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Wayne Entwistle

Im happy as it is Bill.

Regards Wayne.

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Bill Edwards

Im happy as it is Bill.

Regards Wayne.

It isn't an "or" - The current rides list would remain as it is. I may be able to publish a list by Showmen as well.

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Wayne Entwistle

Which ever way you tackle it is down to yourself,

I dont see any harm looking things up the old fashioned way as when your looking you always find something else you didnt imagine stumbing across.

Regards Wayne.

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A list by showman would be really good, but if it too much work then please don't, but I would like it ;)

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Personally speaking when I take photos of rides and I am unsure of the owner it isn't much trouble for me to look through the rides list and do my own research. Likewise if I think to myself " does showman X own a Paratrooper?" A quick glance through the Paratroopers confirms it in seconds. Having another list of rides by showmen sounds like a lot of work and speaking from my own experience of how I use the current list it would be of little use.

As I say though there are others who may well find it of major use so this is not to discredit that.

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Gary Witcomb

Personally speaking when I take photos of rides and I am unsure of the owner it isn't much trouble for me to look through the rides list and do my own research. Likewise if I think to myself " does showman X own a Paratrooper?" A quick glance through the Paratroopers confirms it in seconds. Having another list of rides by showmen sounds like a lot of work and speaking from my own experience of how I use the current list it would be of little use.

As I say though there are others who may well find it of major use so this is not to discredit that.

Simon is right with a little research you can find out most things from the listed we have

I think the current listing are just fine, having other lists would be far to much work for little return, far to many members don't use the lists we do have, so I don't see the need for more lists, as per the norm people want things from the forum but don't offer any help to do it and the guys who maintain the forum do enough as it is

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I'm a newbie to the site, wish I'd joined years ago.

I quite often look at the reports section to get a gist of whether an upcoming fair may be worth paying a visit to. Done a few this season for the 1st time.it's.been a great help for planning days out. Thanks to all.

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Bill Edwards

A little background.........

When I first started the site, it wasn't "forum based", but was coded by myself in HTML. The pages were static. I kept a Lotus Approach Database of all UK Travelling Rides and copied each ride into HTML and published lists of all the rides. As the list was in a database, it was a simple matter to sort the list by Showmen's name and copy it into HTML and visitors to the site could see a list of Showmen with the rides that they owned.

As the site evolved we became more forum based. This had the advantage that "Moderators" and "Volunteers" could do some of the work, whereas the original HTML coding was all done by me.

However, good as the forum software is, it isn't as versatile as a database and some time ago I started work developing a Microsoft Access 2013 database. It's been a long slog getting the 2800 odd rides from the Rides List into the Database (and that's without the rides on the NFA lists that I've still to add). The data is in, but needs a lot of tidying (although the database is almost usable). I've done this for my own reference and haven't done the work "for the forum".

I'm still learning to use the software, but, as I said, the versatility is the big draw. I should be able to do complex searches and sorts, for example a list of all Ark's made in 1946 by Lakin that were exported during their life - perhaps not a great example, but hopefully you get the idea :)

It should therefore be a simple matter to publish the list by Showmen as we had on the original, non-forum based site.

I also understand that the database could be published on the Internet, but I don't know how. This would enable members to do the complex searches & sorts I've mentioned above for themselves.

None of this will replace the forum, but could supplement it.

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Bill Edwards

I have now published the second draft of the Showmen's List on the internet at http://www.funfairphotos.co.uk/rides/showmen.html(NB This is UK, Travelling Rides ONLY)

I stress that this ISN'T the finished article - I've still got a load of links to add (it's slow, tedious work), but I will get there.

There MAY be mistakes - particularly with spelling, layout etc. If you spot anything, please let me know.

As I tidy the database and get more information in, there is the possibility of adding other lists if you feel they would be useful. (Park?)

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Graham Vaughan

Who could ask for anything more than this. A brilliant achievement Bill. Many thanks for your time and effort. Come on lads, Bill is continually giving us more and more, it's time more of us supported him financially.

P.S. The first showman in 'G' needs some attention.

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P.S. The first showman in 'G' needs some attention.

That's how he's known - Benny G :)

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GeorginaBailliesNumber1Fan

Well done Mr Edwards you are so dedicated to this site and I applaud you for that.

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Graham Vaughan

That's how he's known - Benny G :)

Thanks Mike , I didn't know that.

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I've worked with Access databases at various times (I'm still not very good at it :( ) and it's obvious to me that this database represents a serious amount of work. You deserve a medal, Bill. :)

  • Like 2
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Darran Furlong

I currently run a IRC Chat server for a couple of companys from home and could always start up a ATFOTF room with a password that we all would know but anyone who isn't on the forum wouldn't. its fairly easy for me to do and id be happy to do it. if enough people are interested in the idea ill give it a go. couldn't really ask for more from the forum, great site....

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GeorginaBailliesNumber1Fan

I am all for a chat room.We could all learn from previous mistakes.It is the only thing that's missing now from this site.I would volunteer some of my time to help out if you need it.Maybe a team of mods for the chat room so that Admin and mods don't have too much of a work load.However Admin and current mods would have the final say on anything.

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Bill Edwards

I am all for a chat room.We could all learn from previous mistakes.It is the only thing that's missing now from this site.I would volunteer some of my time to help out if you need it.Maybe a team of mods for the chat room so that Admin and mods don't have too much of a work load.However Admin and current mods would have the final say on anything.

After the aggro of last time, we won't be re-activating the chat room. It simply isn't worth it :(

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Bill Edwards

I've just finished adding all the links to the Travelling Rides List sorted by Showmen's Surname's at http://www.funfairphotos.co.uk/rides/showmen.html

It is more or less finished (barring any mistakes - if you find any, please let me know!!)

I'm working on putting the entire Rides List, sorted by Ride in one list, but have some tidying to do yet.

As (almost) all the data is in the database, it is relatively simple to publish lists filtered or sorted by any criteria you want to see. For instance, would a list sorted by Ride Theme Name be useful??

Example:-

Extreme - Afterburner - A.S. Crow & Sons

Freestyle - Afterburner - Albert Cassely

Oblivion - Afterburner - John Bugg

Wipe Put - Afterburner - Philip Booth

Any other suggestions??

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GeorginaBailliesNumber1Fan

Ok Bill

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Ken Armstrong

Hi Bill,

I think your Rides List is great - it contains such a huge amount of valuable information that is not available anywhere else, and it make it so much easier to find things. I am all in favour of databases as it is easy to filter/search and sort.

A couple of years ago, I started creating a personal database of Scottish rides. At the time, I looked at Microsoft Access but didn't pursue it as it didn't seem straightforward to publish/view it on the internet. In the end, I settled on using Google Sheets, which is similar to Microsoft Excel, but easy to create/edit and publish on the Internet. It's not a proper database of course, but it's great for simple lists of data, and offers good control over who can view, comment or even edit the data online. If your Rides List was published using Google Sheets, people would be able to easily sort or filter on any field, such as Ride, Ride Name, or Surname (Owner).

Just a few minor comments/suggestions on the existing Rides List:

1) I would find it useful to filter/sort by Owner (Surname).

2) I notice “Jnr” is sometimes appended to the First Name, and sometimes appended to the Surname. E.g.“Frankie Jnr, Lee” and “George, Irvin Jnr”. For consistency, my suggestion would be to append “Jnr” to the First Name.

3) Personally, I would find it useful to show where the owner is based, e.g. add a new column for “Base” or “Country” (=England/Scotland/Wales/N. Ireland etc.), but this is just a nice to have for myself.

Ken

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Hi Bill,

I think your Rides List is great - it contains such a huge amount of valuable information that is not available anywhere else, and it make it so much easier to find things. I am all in favour of databases as it is easy to filter/search and sort.

A couple of years ago, I started creating a personal database of Scottish rides. At the time, I looked at Microsoft Access but didn't pursue it as it didn't seem straightforward to publish/view it on the internet. In the end, I settled on using Google Sheets, which is similar to Microsoft Excel, but easy to create/edit and publish on the Internet. It's not a proper database of course, but it's great for simple lists of data, and offers good control over who can view, comment or even edit the data online. If your Rides List was published using Google Sheets, people would be able to easily sort or filter on any field, such as Ride, Ride Name, or Surname (Owner).

Just a few minor comments/suggestions on the existing Rides List:

1) I would find it useful to filter/sort by Owner (Surname).

2) I notice “Jnr” is sometimes appended to the First Name, and sometimes appended to the Surname. E.g.“Frankie Jnr, Lee” and “George, Irvin Jnr”. For consistency, my suggestion would be to append “Jnr” to the First Name.

3) Personally, I would find it useful to show where the owner is based, e.g. add a new column for “Base” or “Country” (=England/Scotland/Wales/N. Ireland etc.), but this is just a nice to have for myself.

Ken

Hi Ken

Many thanks for your feedback!!

I will have a look at Google Sheets - Access can output to Excel, so it should be relatively simple to do.

1) The list of Travelling Showmen has been published sorted by owner - please see http://www.funfairphotos.co.uk/rides/showmen.html

2) I'm in the process of tidying & sorting out standards - it's been a long haul :)

3) This was discussed a while ago and deemed unsuitable for publication

Thanks again & all the best

Bill

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