A brief history of the Cichlidbase project.

By Alex Calder
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Alex Calder
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A brief history of the Cichlidbase project.

Post by Alex Calder » Wed Apr 23, 2008 5:37 pm

October, 2005
A Yahoo group is formed with a collective interest in building an informative database on cichlids.
The group consists of 9 highly experienced hobbyists and one programmer.

November, 2005
A large chunk of the original logistics has been completed and there is a group realization that Yahoo groups will not meet the needs of our project.

Spring, 2006
A larger forum on which many of the group are either members or staff makes the move to start a Knowledge base, our group decides to table our project in light of what may occur.

Fall, 2006
I realize that the Knowledge base project is not leaving the ground and decide to start my own forum and Aquatic Life Database. Technically this is the first draft of the Cichlidbase. The development spreads over several months and is eventually unveiled to the public, though I am never happy with the interface.

Summer, 2007
By this point I have fully realized the deficiencies in my original design and implement minor band aid solutions while I await the time to rewrite the project from scratch.

Winter, 2008
I begin building little pieces and learning new technologies for both my business needs and my personal needs.

Spring, 2008
I finally have the skill set to write the program as I originally intended. In addition I have gained a viable user base to assist in the population of the database. I resurrect the program dubbing it the "Cichlidbase" and proceed to take it through all of the alpha tests and into the beta stage. This is where you find the project now.

Alex Calder
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Re: A brief history of the Cichlidbase project.

Post by Alex Calder » Wed Jun 04, 2008 1:06 am

Recently the project was updated from beta to release candidate 1.

We are currently working on release candidate 2.
Definite changes:
valid genera table and a linked synonym table
This will provide for mush faster search results as the database grows.

Automated genus fields application wide.
All genus tables will auto query the synonyms table and return related valid genera.
The user will be able to click on the results to complete the field.
This will assist authors and editors with spelling as well as provide end users with proper genera for searching.
A simple example an be found here.
Remember the goal here is valid genera, so if you notice a discrepancy please consider it thoroughly.

Standard security updates as we locate issues.

Possible changes:
A master species table that links to valid genera table.
This would be updated as profiles are added to the database.
The basic idea would be to provide the end user with a list of species we currently have in the database.
There would be a dual execution occurring in this case. It would list based on the genus field and based on what was entered into the species field.

Dean Hougen
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Re: A brief history of the Cichlidbase project.

Post by Dean Hougen » Wed Jun 04, 2008 10:16 pm

Alex Calder wrote:...
Automated genus fields application wide.
All genus tables will auto query the synonyms table and return related valid genera.
The user will be able to click on the results to complete the field.
This will assist authors and editors with spelling as well as provide end users with proper genera for searching.
A simple example an be found here.
Remember the goal here is valid genera, so if you notice a discrepancy please consider it thoroughly.
...
Sounds cool but I must not quite grok what you are doing here. I enter "Sa" and it suggests "Biotoecus Sargochromis Sarotherodon Satanoperca" which isn't exactly what I'd expect.


Dean
Chair, American Cichlid Association (ACA)
President, Oklahoma Aquarium Association (OKAA)

ACA 2012 Convention in Indianapolis, IN
http://www.aca2012indy.com

Alex Calder
Posts: 249
Joined: Wed Sep 26, 2007 6:06 am
Location: California
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Re: A brief history of the Cichlidbase project.

Post by Alex Calder » Thu Jun 05, 2008 4:16 pm

Dean,

Let me explain what the form does.
1) You enter data.
2) The hidden function queries the genera synonyms table.
3) The function then pulls the valid genera for the synonyms from another table.
4) Once it has a small enough list, ten or less, it returns the results.

It is likely that we do not have all possible synonyms in our table and/or I did not explain the function clearly.

The following table has valid genera on the left and the associated synonyms on the right it may better help you under
stand why your results were unexpected.
http://www.cichlidforums.com/cichlidbase2/genus.php

Alex

Dean Hougen
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Joined: Thu Jan 03, 2008 10:34 pm
Location: Norman, OK
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Re: A brief history of the Cichlidbase project.

Post by Dean Hougen » Thu Jun 05, 2008 9:15 pm

Alex,

Thanks. I get it now. It was returning Biotoecus because Biotoecus is the replacement name for Saraca and I had typed "Sa."

Maybe it would be clearer if it returned something like "Biotoecus (syn: Saraca)" instead.

By the way, the link was blank for me but the explanation was clear.

Dean
Chair, American Cichlid Association (ACA)
President, Oklahoma Aquarium Association (OKAA)

ACA 2012 Convention in Indianapolis, IN
http://www.aca2012indy.com

Alex Calder
Posts: 249
Joined: Wed Sep 26, 2007 6:06 am
Location: California
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Re: A brief history of the Cichlidbase project.

Post by Alex Calder » Thu Jun 05, 2008 9:21 pm

Ooops, the page was secured, I meant to open it up.

Alex Calder
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Re: A brief history of the Cichlidbase project.

Post by Alex Calder » Sun Jun 08, 2008 8:24 pm

IE image caching bug fixed, Lists now load at proper speed in IE.

Alex Calder
Posts: 249
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Re: A brief history of the Cichlidbase project.

Post by Alex Calder » Fri Jun 27, 2008 4:04 pm

There has been a lapse in development activity due to my work taking over, however the plans are in place to finish out our update and make it live. With the next version will come updates to the documentation which explain the changes.

Much of what is on the books will be more internal.
The full text genus field will be replaced by a numerical field, this allows us to increase the search of database queries.
The origin field will be replaced by continents and regions completely.
An extra subspecies markup field will be dropped.

The image attachment and storage code will be updated to process images as they are added to a profile.
Image information will be stored into another table and the maximum amount of images will be increased to ten.
This processing will consist of uploading, naming, resizing, possibly water marking and storing in a specific location.

There are many more minor and major updates that have been added to the developer version already.

Alex Calder
Posts: 249
Joined: Wed Sep 26, 2007 6:06 am
Location: California
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Re: A brief history of the Cichlidbase project.

Post by Alex Calder » Tue Aug 05, 2008 9:44 pm

It has been a little while since I have given an update so here it is.

I have managed to find some time to work on the Cichlidbase.

The image system has been completely redesigned.
First and fore most the number of images is virtually unlimited, before it was 5.
Now we are allowing authors to upload from their computer or from the web.
The images are moved to a special location on our server and re-sized to preset specifications.
The new portion of the database that handles images is updated.

I am currently finishing out what I have dubbed the image manager.
This is a tool for authors it allows adding, deleting, sorting of images as well as changing of descriptions.
This was all possible before however the new system will make it much more user friendly.

The next phase is code cleanup followed by search engine optimization and friendly urls.

If anyone is interested in taking a peek at the developers version feel free to pm me for a link.

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