What's Been Going On, Lately?

Questions, suggestions and comments about LAN Link (publicly viewable)
Post Reply
llnadmin
Site Admin
Posts: 50
Joined: Tue Nov 11, 2014 1:37 pm

What's Been Going On, Lately?

Post by llnadmin » Wed Jun 06, 2018 8:19 pm

It's been a long time since we wrote anything here, but we are still working behind the scenes to provide the public with useful information. The biggest change on the LAN Link website is that it is now mobile friendly, so you can use your mobile phone or tablet to look at it with. How great is that?

Most of our work has been focused on the tool we use to list games groups and their events with (the LAN Link Database Utility). It has been a long time coming, but we have almost finished working on the event add and edit components of the utility, to work with the new database. With these changes, people will soon see details about events that they haven't seen previously on the LAN Link website. These include:
  • Entry costs, in an easier to read format
  • Games played, their genre and classification
  • Whether or not they are an overnight event, an event featuring alcohol, tournaments, or prizes
  • An archive link to display the original page of the events, or a reference to them, when they cannot be accessed directly any longer (only if available)
We hope that these will make the LAN Link website much more informative, and easier to use than before. Gamers can work out if an event is hosting something that they want to play, or whether or not they can afford to go. Parents can be better informed about the content of events, so they can choose whether an event would be appropriate for their children, or not. Anyone interested about what events were like in the past, can usually find information, pictures, and possibly even videos of what went on. These changes will appear from around the middle of July.

In the mean time, we have stopped adding events to the calendar, until the migration of data from the old database to the new database is complete, and we are sure that the utility works properly. Our efforts to list Facebook events have been hampered for a month, as the Facebook privacy furore has caused Facebook to temporarily deny access to their event database from web applications. This, in turn, has prevented us from listing events through the utility's automatic event sourcing component. Given this, we have decided to push ahead with further changes to these event listing components. We will be in touch with Facebook staff, and hope to have this component up and running again in the next 2-3 weeks.

- OUTCAST

llnadmin
Site Admin
Posts: 50
Joined: Tue Nov 11, 2014 1:37 pm

Re: What's Been Going On, Lately?

Post by llnadmin » Mon Jun 25, 2018 10:01 pm

Update:
Unfortunately, our website hosting renewal has crept up on us, and our website host has decided to charge us more than usual. Since we were already paying good money, we will migrate our website over to another provider.

If you attempt to use our website in the next couple of days, you might find that you can't connect. Hopefully, any down-time will be restricted to 2 - 3 hours, so if you are having troubles viewing the website, try again in a few hours. The migration should be completed by Friday at the latest, and then we will get right back to our original plans.

llnadmin
Site Admin
Posts: 50
Joined: Tue Nov 11, 2014 1:37 pm

Re: What's Been Going On, Lately?

Post by llnadmin » Sat Jul 14, 2018 5:34 pm

Update
OK, so most of what we had in place is still functioning after the transfer between web hosting providers. However, there are still a couple of issues with event management. We hope to have these issues resolved in the coming days.

While the performance of our website appears to have doubled, I can't say that I'm too impressed with the level of customer support we are now receiving, with support tickets taking days to be resolved. Unfortunately, this may well be a case of "you get what you pay for". If this level of support continues, we will consider moving to yet another hosting provider in a few years time.

In other news, we will have a certain surprise appear on our website in about a week or two. This feature is something that has been mentioned by us before; it has been a looong time coming, and will definitely add value to the pursuits of LAN Link as a whole.

- Tristan Bailey (OUTCAST)

llnadmin
Site Admin
Posts: 50
Joined: Tue Nov 11, 2014 1:37 pm

Re: What's Been Going On, Lately?

Post by llnadmin » Mon Aug 20, 2018 10:07 pm

Update:

We have updated the details panel to include links (and their respective icons) to archived webpages for public games events held in the past. Provided that a particular games group has hosted events in the past, and that we are able to locate them through websites such as the Internet Archive, they will be added to our database, and appear in the details panel for the group's past / previous events.

The icons are as follows:
Image

A brief example in action:
Image

So, an archived webpage is a webpage of an event that has been saved by another website, and can be viewed by clicking on the Archived webpage link that appears next to a particular event. This is proof that an event actually occurred, and we will be attempting to assign some form of archive link to every event as we come across them.

An event report link is a link to an archived webpage that features an event report written by a games group / LAN party administrator, outlining what happened during the event. Reports may include tournaments that were run during events, the results of tournaments run, prizes that were won, and other interesting details. In particular, they offer a valuable insight into how game events were run in the past.

Event photo links will link to an archived webpage that displays at least one photo relating to the event. There is a good chance that only some, and not all photos that were originally uploaded to a group's website will appear. Please note that we will not store links to pages where none of the photos work. This rule is in place so that people can easily see whether or not an event has photos that can be viewed.

Event video links will either navigate to a page that has multiple videos recorded during an event to play, or link directly to a single video taken for an event. Again, we will not store links to pages where no videos work.

All of these things are quite valuable for learning about how game events were run in the past. In particular, LAN party administrators could make good use of this information to learn a few things to apply to their own LANs. As they say, if you learn about history, you are less likely to make those same mistakes that people made in the past.

Disclaimer: We cannot be held responsible for content that appears on websites other than our own. Other websites may have content that includes course language (swearing), nudity, drug references, and other potentially offensive material. While filtering this kind of content out may be a solution to this problem, our resources are currently very limited, and consequently we cannot ensure that this is done.

llnadmin
Site Admin
Posts: 50
Joined: Tue Nov 11, 2014 1:37 pm

Re: What's Been Going On, Lately?

Post by llnadmin » Sat Nov 17, 2018 4:12 pm

Update:

There has been another update made to the details panel. Two new features have been applied with respect to the events of games groups, and a minor change has been made to the labelling of event pages ("Previous Events" is now "Past Events", and "Upcoming Events" is now "Future Events").

When viewing a list of future (or upcoming) events, a list of icons are now displayed in cases where a group's events have certain features. The icons and their respective features are as follows:

Image

Overnight events allow participants to sleep and/or play at the venue overnight. If the Overnight icon is not displayed, the games groups either don't want or can't allow people to stay in the venue overnight, or the event doesn't go over two or more days.

Events with the Alcohol icon are events where hosts either serve alcohol to participants (hopefully of legal drinking age), or allow participants to bring their own alcohol to the event. Events without this icon don't serve alcohol, or allow it to be brought in.

Events with the Tournaments icon are events where the hosts hold games tournaments or competitions for event participants, either officially or unofficially. At the least, event organisers will say that they intend to hold at least one tournament or competition, even if they aren't quite sure of exactly what it may be.

Events with the Prizes icon are events where prizes are either awarded to individuals or teams who win particular tournaments or competitions, or feature a door prize.

A brief example in action:
Image

So, from the example above, we can see that the event RFLAN62 of the games group RedFlag LANfest, is held overnight, allowing participants to sleep overnight at the event, if they choose to. The event also features tournaments and prizes. However, it does not feature alcohol, as alcohol is not allowed at RFLAN events.

The visibility of these icons may be extended in future, so that they may show up in more than one place on our website, and potentially provide visitors with quicker identification of an event's features.

When accessing a particular event's details, two arrows have been added at the bottom of the details panel to allow users to navigate back and forth between multiple events in time. Provided that the event being viewed is not the latest for the event's group in our records, the right arrow can be clicked on / pressed to access the next event for the group in our records. Also, provided that the event being viewed is not the earliest on record, the user can click on / press the left arrow to access the previous event for the same group. There are cases where both, only one, or none of the arrows will be displayed, depending on when the event was held, and how many events we have recorded for the group in our database. We have used the same arrow icons as displayed on the Calendar page, for this purpose.

Disclaimer: While we try to do our best to show information that relates to specific events, we will not always get the information correct. Please visit the website of the games group(s) to check the accuracy of the infomation that we provide on events, and to view any other information that we may not have provided on our website.

Post Reply