All-new TSR database
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Post Posted: Thu May 18, 2006 4:27 pm 
 

Well, the subject says it all. As I said some time ago, I was interested in moving to a digital database to archive my collection, and that's what I'm beginning to do.

What's the point of a new TSR database, then? Aren't there enough already?

Yes, of course, there are excellent databases online, but, as you may expect, this one is different.

I am planning not only to store some information about the TSR products (title, stock number, cover image, and so on), not only to archive the status of my collection (whether or not I own a certain item, number of copies, condition of the best copy, a prioritized wishlist and so on). I also plan to make the service available to other people, enabling user accounts for anyone who wants to archive his collection on this system.

It's still in its early stage, but progress is interesting. I have built a practical interface for managing the database. An admin-enabled user may add, edit or remove items, while a non-admin user and a non-user (guest access) may only browse the items. Nothing has been coded to archive one's collection for the moment, but I plan on moving to that step soon. I've been working on it about a couple of days, and I must say I'm impressed with what I've created in such a short time.

First off, a question. I'd like to include cover images for all the items. Are there any legal issues about this? Am I allowed, or should I receive explicit authorization from WotC? I don't think there are limitations, if the content is not shown, but I'd like assurance on this anyway.

Furthermore, I am asking permission to download the images from the Acaeum web site whenever possible. There are two reasons for this: first, I would save a lot of time if I may avoid scanning the pictures, and second, I am far from owning every single TSR item, and thus from being able to scan them. I'd like an explicit response from the Acaeum administrator about this issue.

I cannot give you a link to the work in progress because it is stored on my personal computer and I have a dynamic IP address, however if someone is interested in viewing and contributing with suggestions (always welcome!) please contact me in a private message, and I will see what I can do to let him or her access the server.

I will be extremely grateful for any help.

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Post Posted: Thu May 18, 2006 4:34 pm 
 

If you create the image i.e. taking a picture or scan, you are clear. You may not, at least not without permission, steal a scan from another site.


And I could've bought these damn modules off the 1$ rack!!!

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Post Posted: Thu May 18, 2006 4:52 pm 
 

Interesting.  I've been working on a similar concept for a little while.  Its sort of like a cross between BoardGameGeek.com and wikipedia.  Under my model anyone would be able to add new items or edit existing items but the changes would only be reflected if they were approved by a moderator.  Other than that the two projects sound very similar.

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Post Posted: Thu May 18, 2006 6:00 pm 
 

It would be a lot of fun to have a BoardGameGeek type site up for RPGs with all the user lists and marketplaces.

  

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Post Posted: Thu May 18, 2006 7:15 pm 
 

Yes it will be very interesting for all RPGs, not only TSR products (since a lot of website already exists).
And it would be interesting too that any users could add new entries with the picture of his item and any further informations (year, product number etc.). You should gain a lot of time if anyone with a new supplement or game could edit the new entry.
I am looking for this kind of website for a while  :roll:

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Post Posted: Fri May 19, 2006 1:07 am 
 

What I do not usually see online is a description or commentary about each product.

   When it was printed is all well and good, but is it interesting?

    I also want to know any history that is available on an item.  Publishing history is always interesting to me because the deals and decisions often strongly influence the final product...and related products.  I guess an email database of fantasy RPG authors would be very handy as well.

Mark   8)


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Post Posted: Fri May 19, 2006 10:50 am 
 

You could always chat to Scott over at Boardgamegeek and see if he would be interested in supporting RPG material.  He recently 'went pro' and quit his day job to run the site full time and has been implementing a whole series of enhancements including pages for game designers, and better support for other gaming areas such as wargames.  The BGG format may not be exactly what you have in mind, but it's an outstanding database for games, including photographs, commentary, rules variants, and tracking all key data on a product.  Plus you can easily track all of your own collection there, including condition and other commentary, find people with trade material, and sell in the marketplace.

It's not as much value as a discussion forum, but hey The Acaeum has that covered...

  

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Post Posted: Fri May 19, 2006 11:12 am 
 

Marinagh wrote:You could always chat to Scott over at Boardgamegeek and see if he would be interested in supporting RPG material.  He recently 'went pro' and quit his day job to run the site full time and has been implementing a whole series of enhancements including pages for game designers, and better support for other gaming areas such as wargames.  The BGG format may not be exactly what you have in mind, but it's an outstanding database for games, including photographs, commentary, rules variants, and tracking all key data on a product.  Plus you can easily track all of your own collection there, including condition and other commentary, find people with trade material, and sell in the marketplace.

It's not as much value as a discussion forum, but hey The Acaeum has that covered...


Wow, if the Scott of Boardgamegeek could do an RPG version that would be amazing!  Since he's doing this full-time maybe he would be interested in an expansion...  :D

  


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Post Posted: Sat May 20, 2006 4:03 pm 
 

This is a great idea.  Some questions to ponder:

What software would you plan on using?
What time frame for products?
Non TSR products, but containing the TSR logo (some jigsaws for example)?
Different print runs are distinguished by small differences, often on the back cover or inside.  Would you want to post images of those differences?


Gary H. Kramer

  

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Post Posted: Sat May 20, 2006 4:36 pm 
 

So what would the purpose be? I can see a person keeping a list of what he has in his collection on the internet, like 'this is what I have', but is the idea that everyone does it and knows what everyone has got? I don't get it.


This week I've been mostly eating . . . chicken and wild rice soup.

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Post Posted: Sat May 20, 2006 6:23 pm 
 

gkramer wrote:This is a great idea.  Some questions to ponder:

What software would you plan on using?
What time frame for products?
Non TSR products, but containing the TSR logo (some jigsaws for example)?
Different print runs are distinguished by small differences, often on the back cover or inside.  Would you want to post images of those differences?


Ok, a couple of replies, starting with this post.

I am in favor of free, non-proprietary, open-source technologies. For this reason, I use an Apache-powered web server running MySQL, with PHP server-side scripts to create the web pages. Oh, and I am developing it all using Emacs editor on a Linux (Fedora Core 5) system; I manage the database with PhpMyAdmin, use the Firefox web browser for viewing the results and manipulate the pictures using The Gimp. There's not a single bit of non-free software in my work.

I am developing this system mainly for me, so it will be focused on my collecting interests. Which currently orbit around any TSR (A)D&D product before the 3rd Edition. If my interests expand, or if there is wide request, however, I might well decide to include other categories. However, for now (ESPECIALLY now that the software is in development), I am not going to include non-TSR products.

Different printings: well, I considered the option. However, I am not interested in making competition to the Acaeum. Therefore I consider mainly different covers. If two printings have a completely different cover (different image as in PHB, monocolor vs. polychrome, or such) then they are shown separately; if they have covers which differ slightly (for example N1 or G1 or the many versions of the efreet DMG) then they won't be differentiated. Of course I am open to suggestions, however I think this is reasonable because it does not require too many similar data to be introduced, moreover all printing information is very well-documented here.

Now, in reply to mbassoc: this system would not serve to show one's collection to other people (it will be login-based, and a user will only be able to display his collection), but to archive it. Most people do it out of memory, on paper (like me) or using approximate solutions such as a spreadsheet. These approaches may make some evaluations very difficult. For example, I sometimes try to estimate how many items I don't own of a given category, or how many I own but not in shrinkwrap. This can be extremely easy with the archiving tool I am creating.

Last, a couple of updates. I have written a good basis for introducing and archiving the item descriptions. I plan on expanding this information, including things such as the ISBN or a flag whether the item was factory-shrinkwrapped, but the basic data (code, item, title, notes, cover and thumbnail) are supported. Between yesterday and today I introduced the info related to all 1st Edition AD&D material, because I needed a decent deal of products in the databse to start working on the collection side. Now I am taking a break (and possibly some beach tomorrow if the weather is nice), and next week I will begin working on the code to manage the collection. It should be rather easy though, I think I have already built up the complex part.

Is there someone (no more than two or three people) volunteering to undertake some alpha testing after I have built the next part? I think I will be ready for testers about halfway next week.

Thanks to everyone for your interest (yes, also to non-interested ones).

 ICQ  


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Post Posted: Sat May 27, 2006 4:06 pm 
 

I'll be happy to test it


Gary H. Kramer

  


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Post Posted: Fri Aug 25, 2006 11:37 am 
 

I found The Acaeum one day, but the 3rd edition was missing, so I created my list. Acaeum gave me authorization for using their pictures. Then I found a PDF product list made by Richard ??? It was good, but incomplete, especialy for my french books. I also took some lists from internet, and group them.
I wanted to keep track of my collection, just not to buy the same book two times. So I created a few pages for a personal website. Then I put it online.

Now the site references more than 1500 *D&D books, in 6 languages and  is updated at least once a month. It references only TSR/Wizard stuff, or books with the Dungeons & Dragons logo (Kingdoms of Kalamar), and Ravenloft 3rd books, because I'm a Ravenloft fan.

It's not perfect, it only do what I need ( keep track of my collection, a calendar to see what will come out during the year, show me some informations for each book, a picture, authors, send me an e-mail when new books are avalaible at amazon, ...), but if users want more, I can improve it.

You can track your modules, either paper or PDF versions.

It's done with php with crimson editor, the database is mysql, hosted by my ISP.

here's the url : http://dndcollection.free.fr/

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Post Posted: Fri Aug 25, 2006 12:06 pm 
 

looks very interesting but when I click on the English link ( or any other for that matter ) they all come back to French. Will this be updated?

  


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Post Posted: Fri Aug 25, 2006 1:38 pm 
 

Ok, I think it's fixed for the main page.

the links and help pages are not translated (yet).


DnDCollection : a (complete ?) list of *D&D modules.

http://dndcollection.free.fr/

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Post Posted: Fri Aug 25, 2006 4:20 pm 
 

Thrud wrote:
......

It's done with php with crimson editor, the database is mysql, hosted by my ISP.

here's the url : http://dndcollection.free.fr/


Nice site, but what is 'PHP'?

Thanks,

Lance

  


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Post Posted: Fri Aug 25, 2006 9:11 pm 
 

PHP is a rather common web scripting language.  For example, these forums are written in PHP.  Its popular because it was one of the first scripting languages that could be used to easily embed server side code in an html page, which meant dynamic sites were much easier to develop.  Personally I prefer Perl/Mason, but this is getting a bit off topic.

2. What does PHP stand for?

PHP stands for PHP: Hypertext Preprocessor. This confuses many people because the first word of the acronym is the acronym. This type of acronym is called a recursive acronym. The curious can visit Free On-Line Dictionary of Computing for more information on recursive acronyms.

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Post Posted: Sat Aug 26, 2006 3:16 am 
 

NetRodent wrote:PHP is a rather common web scripting language.  For example, these forums are written in PHP.  Its popular because it was one of the first scripting languages that could be used to easily embed server side code in an html page, which meant dynamic sites were much easier to develop.  Personally I prefer Perl/Mason, but this is getting a bit off topic.



OK...I SO understood all of that.  I'm glad that's cleared up!   :lol:

Mark  8)


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Post Posted: Sat Aug 26, 2006 3:27 pm 
 

NetRodent wrote:PHP is a rather common web scripting language.  For example, these forums are written in PHP.  Its popular because it was one of the first scripting languages that could be used to easily embed server side code in an html page, which meant dynamic sites were much easier to develop.  Personally I prefer Perl/Mason, but this is getting a bit off topic.



Thanks!

  


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Post Posted: Sun Aug 27, 2006 10:32 pm 
 

guerret wrote:Different printings: well, I considered the option. However, I am not interested in making competition to the Acaeum. Therefore I consider mainly different covers.


That'll limit it's usefulness to a lot of the collectors here. Different printings have very different values sometimes.

Me, I'd be happy with just the different covers, but I'm a pretty low-level collector ;)

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