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Website Update 06-25-2020

/What’s New? Which is connected to the silly oval button on the site’s front page, has changed rather dramatically. Try it. I think you might like it. Additionally, starting today we display the name of the editor who made the particular change so you know who to blame (or praise).

In other news, my next programming effort, beginning this evening will be considerable enhancements to the way maps are displayed and administered.

As always, today’s change report is available below:

Change Report for 06-25-2020

 
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Posted by on June 25, 2020 in Website

 

Next Programming Project

Since I’ve been elbow deep in the part of the system that keeps records about what has happened to the content and information within the database that hold the locomotive records I have had occassion to visit the page behind the “What’s New” button on the home page, and I really don’t like that page. I don’t like the design, the layout, the way the information is presented or the assumptions it makes about what the user might want to know or not know about the contents of the database regarding “What’s New”.

So, I’m going to fix that over the next couple of days. Not going to patch up the existing page. I’m going to rewrite it from the ground up. I will make a demo version of it available as soon as I am far enough along to give all you nice site visitors something to criticize, ridicule or (unlikely) praise.

 
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Posted by on June 24, 2020 in Website

 

End of the Video Clip Binge

Over the past few days, I’ve been through all the operational locomotives in the United States, searching Youtube for clips we could use for each locomotive. We began with 890 video clips system wide, and today we ended up with 1193 clips, system wide a change of +303 videos. Was a lot of fun.

Now, onward and upward. Programming is in the offing for today. There are a few minor tweaks to the Change Reports module that I want to make. I want to add a Notes Added category, and I want to add Details Edited to the Change Log. Details Edited is currently only accounted for in the most recent change data and vanishes when it is superceded. And, as always, here’s a link to today’s Change Report:

Change Report for 06-24-2020

 
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Posted by on June 24, 2020 in Website

 

Website Update 06-23-2020

When I first began posting these Website Updates it was my intention to provide a daily listing of the changes to the data in the website, photos, videos and maps added, locomotives whose information had been editted and so forth. This soon became an issue because my pencil and paper record keeping skills leave a lot to be desired, and my memory isn’t what it never was. So…a nefarious plot was hatched to use a computer (gasp!) to do my work for me.

Steamlocomotive.info collects two kinds of data in this regard. Each locomotive’s record contains information about the most recent change made to it. And a database table called WhatsNew tracks major changes. So using these two piles of information, I wrote a system I called Change Reports. There’s a button on the front page called, “Change Reports” cleverly enough which will let you explore this system. You can choose any date or any month back to the middle of 2016 and see what was done on that date or in that month. And now for the fun part: I’m going to publish a link to the day’s report in each of these updates, so you can see what I and the other editors have been up to. The remainder of the updates will deal with new features, new content, new interesting things, etc. So without further ado, here’s a link to today’s report. I hope you enjoy it:

Change Report for June 23rd, 2020

 
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Posted by on June 24, 2020 in Website

 

Website Update 06-19-2020

I’ve been rather quiet the last couple of days as I am working on a new feature for the website that I hope you’ll enjoy when it is finished. I expect to release it this weekend.

So what does it do? It allows you to choose a date, or a month between June 6, 2016 and the present and see all the changes that were made to the locomotives in the database on that date or in that month. It is working pretty well now, but needs some cosmetic enhancements before I unleash it on our unsuspecting visitors.

I may make a preview version of it available later today depending upon how the work goes. I’ll announce that here, and provide some instructions on its use.

 
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Posted by on June 19, 2020 in Website

 

Website Update 06-17-2020

I must admit I’ve been rather lazy the last couple of days. I have updated technical details of a few locomotives, added maps for 31 locomotives and photos for another 11. But I didn’t keep a detailed list of what I was doing this time. I shall endeavour to do better in my next update.

 
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Posted by on June 17, 2020 in Website

 

Website Update 06-14-2020

  • Updated railroad name for OeBB 0-6-2T No. 298.05
  • Edited technical details for CSD 0-6-0T No. 310.072
  • Modified the delete locomotive function so that it also deletes map information for the locomotive being deleted.
  • Added a photo for Wiener Neustadt 0-4-0T “Fanny”
  • Edit RR Names for all locomotives at Strasshof, Austria to replace OeBB with ÖBB
  • Corrected the name for Achenseebahn 0-4-0RT No. 3 to ‘Achenkirch’
  • Edited technical details for ÖBB 97.201 (ex kkStB 69.01)
  • Edited technical details and location for SKGLB 0-6-2T No. 5
  • Edited location and technical details for Steiermärkische Landesbahnen 0-4-0T No. 2 “Stainz”
  • Added MAZ 0-6-0T No. 377.262 to the website and database
  • Added MAZ 0-6-0T No. 377.247 to the website and database

 
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Posted by on June 14, 2020 in Website

 

Bug Fixes 06-13-2020

Fixed the bug that prevented the red marker from showing on the map where the locomotive in question was located. Enhanced the marker a bit, so now, if you mouse over the marker, it’ll tell you what locomotive it points to.

And since I was up to my elbows in the mapping system I added a little feature that I am rather pleased with. Now, if you (or anyone) submits a photo of a locomotive, we automagically check the photo for GPS coordinates, and if present, add a map for the locomotive.

 
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Posted by on June 13, 2020 in Website

 

Website Update 06-13-2020

  • Updated railroad name for OeBB 0-6-2T No. 298.05
  • Edited technical details for CSD 0-6-0T No. 310.072
  • Modified the delete locomotive function so that it also deletes map information for the locomotive being deleted.
  • Added a photo for Wiener Neustadt 0-4-0T “Fanny”
  • Edit RR Names for all locomotives at Strasshof, Austria to replace OeBB with ÖBB

Working on the issue that map displays don’t include the red marker showing where the locomotive is locomotive. Feeling lazy today. May or may not get this done.

 
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Posted by on June 13, 2020 in Website

 

Bug Report 06-12-2020

Always a cheery way to start the day. Steamlocomotive.info is a complex computer program, and like most such programs it has bugs. We (meaning me) try to squash these bugs as expeditiously as possible. But to do so, we have to be aware of them. I’m going to discuss a couple of them here.

First: the Magical Non-Existent Notes Bug. The system kept a count of the number of notes attached to each locomotive. Turns out, the system couldn’t count very well. Ended up fixing the counting bug, then writing a utility program to scan all 29,000 or so records in the database and correct their Notecount fields. Whee. Fixed.

Second: The Missing Marker Bug. When you’re looking at the information page for a locomotive and click on the Globe icon to see a map of its location, the system correctly draws the map (a hybrid of map and satellite photo) but fails to draw the red marker on the locomotive’s location. The old mapping system did this automatically, the new one requires an explicit call to the Google Maps API for it to happen. I didn’t know this. Now I do. Will add the code today, hopefully. Not Fixed.

Third: Weird Map Error. If an editor moves a locomotive from one location to another (primarily because someone actually moved the locomotive) and there was a map to the original location, after the move the map still pointed to the original location, and hence was wrong. Wrote the code to fix that and test it this morning. Fixed.

Fourth: There are certain things you CANNOT type in a Notes field. Doing so will cause you to be taken, without explanation, to a little tiny window with the front page of the website in it. This is clearly wrong. I haven’t quite figured out how I am going to (a) explain this; and (b) fix it. So: Not Fixed.

Fifth: If you delete a locomotive and it had a map, the map information stays in a table called Locations. This has no pratical impact on the system, it is just clutter, so I’ve put it on my list of things to be fixed.

There are more, but they aren’t well quantified as yet, so I’ll report them later.

 
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Posted by on June 12, 2020 in Website