Author Topic: Proposal: Bonus systems category for making regular stats games easier to play  (Read 453 times)

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Offline si404

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An issue with some of the systems proposed/implemented on TM is that some people have no interest in clinching them and feel that they get in the way of their game of clinching all the routes they want to clinch in a region (normally Interstate, US, state and bannered variants thereof) and want a filtering system to remove them.

In order to filter these systems out simply, I propose a new categories for systems, alongside the existing active, preview and devel - 'bonus' (not-yet ready bonus systems would remain plain 'preview' or 'devel'). 'active' might want renaming 'regular' or something similar.

Bonus systems would be the freeway grab-bags, tourist routes, city routes, etc that are nice to have in the database, but aren't everyone's cup of tea. It would also allow the creation of grabbag-style systems that cover unsigned routes and/or major local/private roads that don't fit into the freeway grab bags (eg the entirety of the Sugarloaf Parkway could be in the database, etc) without having the statistics issue.

Stats, would - instead of 'active-only' and 'active & preview', would be 'active-only', 'active & bonus', and 'active, bonus & preview'. I imagine that would add quite a lot of time to the update process to create the 3rd set of statistics and this is the big problem I can see with my proposal.

Thoughts?

Offline si404

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Putting it in web design though it's more a data/data processing proposal, because the Highway Data boards are too narrow - feel free to move if you think there's a better home for the discussion.

But there are web design issues
  • what colour would bonus systems be displayed as (some sort of light blue, or an orange, are two options I've thought of and think might work)
  • would the table be too wide with three sets of statistics columns?

Offline mapcat

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I like the general idea but fear that arguments will continue, as users debate which systems qualify as active. How well would this work for a user who, for example, wants to track named freeways but not historic highways? Would this be easier to code than the previous suggestion of providing users with the ability to select all sets of interest to them?
Clinched:

Offline si404

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Would this be easier to code than the previous suggestion of providing users with the ability to select all sets of interest to them?
I'm definitely not a coder, but I reckon even I would be able to do it with the tools of copy-paste! As far as I can see, it wouldn't be adding anything new, just doing the same stuff an extra time.

The selection is much more complex as it's a whole new function. It also seems much more intensive as the server would have to calculate bespoke stats.


And, yes, there would be the issue of what's bonus and what's not - it's not a flexible solution that can be tailored to individual users. Someone wanting to track named freeways would look at active stats and then the stats for the bonus system (should those named freeways be in bonus systems*).

*usasf would likely be considered bonus, but would, say, usakyp?

Offline michih

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And, yes, there would be the issue of what's bonus and what's not - it's not a flexible solution that can be tailored to individual users.

Yep, that's why the proposal has more disadvantages than advantages IMO. Solve a problem but open another one.

Online Jim

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I prefer the more general solution we had been discussing earlier about supporting views of the maps/stats based on whatever subsets of systems that someone is interested in working with at any given time.

Offline Markkos1992

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Yeah, I am with Jim on this one.

Offline si404

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Fair enough, everybody.

I too prefer the general option for more control, but saw a possibility for something easier and quicker to implement and so wanted to see if it might be a solution we could make happen quickly.

Offline Duke87

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I do share the concern that this shifts the arguments to what should count as a core system versus an extra or "bonus" one. There will, after all, be varying opinions on this.

However I do see one benefit to this method: it would allow users to still show clinches in their stats of systems they aren't interested in finishing, but have nonetheless driven some of.

Perhaps it would be a good idea to borrow a concept here and, while still developing a user toggle, showing toggled off systems in a separate column on stats tables rather than hiding them outright.

So you'd have three columns: "active", "active + preview", and "disabled". With everything the user has placed in the third category shown there and excluded from the other two columns.

Online Jim

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If we were to go down the path of one or more new "level" values to augment our current "active", "preview", and "devel", we could consider breaking down by what are verified as complete and well-defined systems, the more "grab bag" systems, and maybe other kinds of categories.  I am still not thinking it's the way to go, but just thinking about something other than the name "bonus".

Offline vdeane

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    • New York State Roads
The easiest way would probably be to define disabled systems in the .list file and then compute two sets of stats for users with disabled systems, one with them not included and one normal with some new table entries for it.  Maps are a more interesting question.  I could see a checkbox for whether to show disabled routes (if I were disabling systems, I'd want them off the map), but that would probably be a bit more work to code.

Regarding making grab bag systems "bonus" or anything else, I don't think those necessarily work cleanly.  Take usasf - it's easy to say Sugarloaf Parkway in GA should be bonus, but the New Jersey Turnpike is pretty integral to its state.
Please note: All comments here represent my own personal opinion and do not reflect the official position of NYSDOT or its affiliates.

Online Jim

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I know I've mentioned this before, but I think it's worth mentioning here while these issues are back at the forefront.

I don't envision any implementation of filtering by systems or categories of systems being based on information in .list files (i.e., chosen by the TM participant) but based on choices on the web front end (i.e., chosen by the TM website visitor).  This makes more sense to me both from the likely ability to implement it, and for maximum flexibility.  So if user X is only interested in some subset of systems, they can choose to restrict what they see on the site based on that, for all TM participants (defined as those who have submitted .list files).  But when user Y comes along, they will see user X's stats and maps based on what Y's browser has defined as their subset of systems of interest.  I worry that some might be hoping for "since I don't care about or track travels on unsigned dirt roads of Madagascar, those should always be excluded from every possible view of my stats".

Offline vdeane

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I know I've mentioned this before, but I think it's worth mentioning here while these issues are back at the forefront.

I don't envision any implementation of filtering by systems or categories of systems being based on information in .list files (i.e., chosen by the TM participant) but based on choices on the web front end (i.e., chosen by the TM website visitor).  This makes more sense to me both from the likely ability to implement it, and for maximum flexibility.  So if user X is only interested in some subset of systems, they can choose to restrict what they see on the site based on that, for all TM participants (defined as those who have submitted .list files).  But when user Y comes along, they will see user X's stats and maps based on what Y's browser has defined as their subset of systems of interest.  I worry that some might be hoping for "since I don't care about or track travels on unsigned dirt roads of Madagascar, those should always be excluded from every possible view of my stats".
That's why I suggested two sets of stats; that way one could get the % with dirt roads included (though just because something isn't tracked doesn't mean they haven't been there, so that number wouldn't be gospel) if they wanted.  I do wonder - how would stats work if excluded systems were determined by user settings and not .list files?  My understanding is that they're currently processed during site updates and then stored in the database.  Maps would be easier on that front since they're drawn on the fly.

There's also the question of whether users could link to their page with those settings set.  I have mine linked from my website, for example.  I imagine someone looking to share their maps/stats would probably want what others see to be similar to what they see.
Please note: All comments here represent my own personal opinion and do not reflect the official position of NYSDOT or its affiliates.

Offline Bickendan

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A user toggle for each system could be the solution, so if I were only interested in TriMet and C-Tran lines of the Portland Metro Area, Hennepin and Ramsey County numbered county routes, Eurostar train lines, streets of Manhattan, and the AH/NH/WB network of West Bengal, India, I could toggle the flags for those specific systems and track those.

I wouldn't think this would cause much work to be done on the data side (aside from adding, validating, and maintaining such esoteric systems), if at all.