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Poster: Chris U. Date: Mar 18, 2015 10:42am
Forum: GratefulDead Subject: how to improve the Beta version of the Dead Archive

I visit the Dead Archive regularly.

What keeps me coming back are the two short and constantly changing lists on the "home page", i.e., the "recently reviewed items" and the "this just in" list of new uploads.

The easy access to those two lists allow me to keep up with changes to the public archive of the Dead's music and changes to how fans (and non-fans!) understand and relate to that music. In addition, those lists (particularly the "recently reviewed items") provide an excellent opportunity for serendipitous discovery and sharing.

PLEASE KEEP THOSE TWO LISTS PROMINENTLY ON THE HOME PAGE IN ALL FUTURE VERSIONS OF THE DEAD ARCHIVE, AS CLOSE TO THE TOP AS POSSIBLE. THE SMART PERSON WHO DESIGNED THE OLD WEBSITE KNEW WHAT HE/SHE WAS DOING.

This post was modified by Chris U. on 2015-03-18 17:42:00

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Poster: Dupenhagen Moonbat Date: Mar 18, 2015 6:14pm
Forum: GratefulDead Subject: Re: how to improve the Beta version of the Dead Archive

One of the first things I'd do is to fix the Forums editing function so that when the original poster edits his post, the thread does not go to the top of the heap. Gods forbid, anyone should upset the precious mountain of shit which is the Dead forum, by committing such a sacrilege. Make the sacrilege impossible by design. Problem solved.

Of course, the converse of this problem is that good, intelligent threads are routinely buried by lesser lights (he said, over-generously), spammers (who at least occasionally provide a modicum of entertainment), and hijackers who, having nothing of substance or originality to add, simply wreck what they can't understand. C'est la vie, mmm? Zee pghice of zee pghogghess, mon frere.

Now for a bit of substance...

We've begun a new millennium, so let's act like it and implement an Archive lossless audio player. The streaming audio player either plays Ogg Vorbis or mp3, both of which are lossy. I haven't checked either for whether they are variable or fixed, nor the rate, because I don't care enough. Lossy is lossy. Too often those too old to hear the difference claim lossy "is as good as" lossless -- to their ear, the objective observer should remind them -- then make the error of presuming no one else can hear the difference either. For a good graphical representation of lossless versus lossy audio, see Samizdat's thread.
I have employed a couple of practices over the years to train my all but too superannuated ear. First, both clear or muddy-sounding shows which provide WAV and/or FLAC, I run through Audacity and check the frequency analysis (and spectral view thereof). Unfortunately, many of the audience recordings the Dead allow us, for instance, have little information above ten or fifteen kHz, and the Dead soundboards hereon are streaming-only, which is by definition lossy, as stated above. Second, when I do determine a source is lossless, only then will I listen by headphones, because the last thing I want is to start thinking lossy sounds good. I expect that by the time I'm too old to tell the difference without headphones, I'll be nearly ripe for induction into the I Can't Hear It, Therefore It Ain't There Club.

Lastly, it's always good to know where one fits (currently) on the hearing scale, therefore Paul Lutus' excellent JSigGen Java applet (or the downloadable .jar file) comes in handy.

This post was modified by Dupenhagen Moonbat on 2015-03-18 20:04:54

anecdotal addendum: Wow. Testing my hearing just now using JSigGen, I could barely pick up the 9.5 kHz tone. Just three or four years ago, it was more like 13 kHz. Move over, deef geezers, another's about to join you!

This post was modified by Dupenhagen Moonbat on 2015-03-19 01:14:34

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Poster: William Tell Date: Mar 18, 2015 8:15pm
Forum: GratefulDead Subject: Re: how to improve the Beta version of the Dead Archive

Excellent point; yes, a few things I've said here and regretted, and I would delete, but fear it would only draw attention to it, eh?

And, thanks for understanding, Chris U; I was joking about the Forum biz (ie, it being hard to find being a good thing for a twit like me that no one really needs to hear from yet again).

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Poster: Chris U. Date: Mar 18, 2015 5:44pm
Forum: GratefulDead Subject: Re: how to improve the Beta version of the Dead Archive

"One of the first things I'd do is to fix the Forums editing function so that when the original poster edits his post, the thread does not go to the top of the heap."

Word.

I think the same should apply to the editing of previous submitted reviews of shows (at the very least make it an option).

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Poster: craven714 Date: Mar 19, 2015 9:55am
Forum: GratefulDead Subject: Re: how to improve the Beta version of the Dead Archive

"Gods forbid, anyone should upset the precious mountain of shit which is the Dead forum, by committing such a sacrilege"
That's my fav post so far...
~ thank you for the patronizing, unnecessary, assface remark

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Poster: SomeDarkHollow Date: Mar 19, 2015 1:20pm
Forum: GratefulDead Subject: Re: how to improve the Beta version of the Dead Archive

Hey, I happen to love this mountain of shit. I also have nothing but respect (or thinly veiled contempt...either or) for those brave souls who attempt to ascend this ever expanding pile of offal. Over the years we've lost a few good ones in various crap-alanches and shit-storms, but at least they expired doing what they loved...or what made the rest of us laugh at their expense.

This post was modified by SomeDarkHollow on 2015-03-19 20:20:06

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Poster: direwolf0701 Date: Mar 19, 2015 11:39am
Forum: GratefulDead Subject: Re: how to improve the Beta version of the Dead Archive

i must admit - i am tempted to go back and revise a few of my posts from ancient threads (just to be an ass, naturally)

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Poster: SomeDarkHollow Date: Mar 19, 2015 11:41am
Forum: GratefulDead Subject: Re: how to improve the Beta version of the Dead Archive

You, sir, are nothing if not a natural ass.





Sucks about Wilfork, but I can understand the reasoning.

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Poster: direwolf0701 Date: Mar 19, 2015 12:11pm
Forum: GratefulDead Subject: Re: how to improve the Beta version of the Dead Archive

Wilfork AND our Secondary - I mean, seriously?????

oops, this may be looked upon as a hijack...... a multitude of apologies to those offended.

:)

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Poster: SomeDarkHollow Date: Mar 19, 2015 12:16pm
Forum: GratefulDead Subject: Re: how to improve the Beta version of the Dead Archive

No need to apologize.

Just think of it as adding more layers upon Mount Feces.

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Poster: Bigriver Date: Mar 18, 2015 6:39pm
Forum: GratefulDead Subject: Re: how to improve the Beta version of the Dead Archive

Is anybody else having the same problem with streaming? I can't get anything to play beyond the first cut, which just keeps repeating.

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Poster: Dupenhagen Moonbat Date: Mar 18, 2015 7:22pm
Forum: GratefulDead Subject: Re: how to improve the Beta version of the Dead Archive

Give the Femi Kuti Project a go? Working with Beta in Google Chrome anyway.

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Poster: tracey pooh Date: Mar 22, 2015 11:48am
Forum: GratefulDead Subject: Re: how to improve the Beta version of the Dead Archive

OK, so as of yesterday, you can now (easily!) do these two new ways to sort on GD/etree and all collection pages:

"Most Recently Reviewed":
https://archive.org/details/GratefulDead?sort=-reviewdate

"This Just In":
https://archive.org/details/GratefulDead?sort=-publicdate

either can be gotten to by going to the main list of items [Collections] tab, then look to the updated "sort bar" (starts with "SORT BY")
hover over whatever date sort field is visible, you can see a new 3-date chooser in blue that shows below the current date sort. you can select any of the three and get that list).

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Poster: BNRToast Date: Mar 22, 2015 12:32pm
Forum: GratefulDead Subject: Why the Beta version?

Tracey,
Can someone please explain what is so much better for users in this version?
Not the sorts of tabs moved to the top but the whole thing. I know the program tweaks and improvements are difficult, but the complaints from the people I know are about the "Look and Feel". Why are these 'Tiles' instead of lists needed? Is there something extraordinary useful about square icons that we don't see yet?
Your work is very important and coding for so many browsers must drive the staff nuts, but the regular user experience seems to have left IA's' vision. I cringe at the thought that someone there my decide that a black background and red letters looks cool.

Sorry to break into the GD section but I'm afraid if I go to my side I will get stuck in BETA again.

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Poster: gendotte Date: May 26, 2015 9:29am
Forum: GratefulDead Subject: Re: Why the Beta version?

Sorry, but
ABC, 123, works.
What you have done here
is he opposite of "works".
Seems to me that it took a lot of work to screw up the interface they way it has been screwed up.
I don't come here much anymore. Too hard to find things.

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Poster: micah6vs8 Date: May 26, 2015 9:57am
Forum: GratefulDead Subject: Re: Why the Beta version?

fyi- a DIY user interface is in the works > https://archive.org/post/1039149/new-version-of-archiveorg

I refer you to garthus 1 posts.

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Poster: tracey pooh Date: Mar 22, 2015 12:55pm
Forum: GratefulDead Subject: Re: Why the Beta version?

Certainly!
(we're trying to get The Right Balance of info out that may or may not be 100% right / futureproof and communcations, etc. so thank you for bearing with us...)

Let's take a higher road here. (I'm an engineer w/ two Comp Sci degrees, so english not my best, numbers more better... 8-)

Imagine etree as The Poster Child community and group of people creating and using collections of materials at a Library in one of our most ideal ways. And it is. For over 11 years, we've strived hard to improve and keep etree happy. It may not always seem like it -- but you're our first community in mind, always, literally.

So now let's say that we want to take you as a seed, and "grow" you times 10. times 100. times a million!
Get all the experts and fanatical wonderful people with topic X or sets of items Y or media Z in the same area together, working together, to build something that lives and thrives forever. for free.

This is our new vision! You can see some of it here:
http://blog.archive.org/2015/01/30/knight-foundation-to-support-toolsets-for-building-libraries-together/

You can see some of this from our annual Huge Event end of last year here:
https://archive.org/details/BuildingLibrariesTogether20141028?start=1418

Is change hard? Yes!
Imagine having a 10+ year old tech base that has only ever slightly evolved over time, losing parity with all the rest of the large sites and tech capabilities in that decade! It makes it harder for us to hire, harder for us to retain workers, and harder to do things that other folks can just knock out quickly with their newer infrastructures.

Now let's go to the GUI and UI/UX...
The way we display information and metadata and everything has been very home-grown and "best we can" over time, always building off the 12 year old website design.
Whether we like it or not, the world has moved on. Every change we've done, we've compared to "best current practices" of the closer sister sites to us. It might feel like "we're just doing another Pinterest / Youtube / Soundcloud" combo/knock off -- how trite -- not what I want.
But think about how many people "get it" like that **so quickly** (it's a relief and stunning, actually).

What is the closest site that archive.org "classic" is like?
craigslist? wikipedia? imdb?

But we have a much more diverse set of materials and bigger goals/ambitions than them!
So we need to leverage modern UI/UX "paradigms" that people already know and are comfortable with.

It may feel like BETA is a huge step back -- but please try to imagine "classic" site with 100% "new eyes" if you'd never ever seen archive.org before. In detailed numerous User Testing we did, it was brutal (as we thought) -- very hard for people to ramp up and take in the site and figure out what they could/couldn't do, what the site was, and how to do things that all of us have had years to learn and "muscle memory" over time. And that's part of that "OMFG THEY CHANGED IT!" nauseated feeling. But we must evolve and do things better!

Which brings us Full Circle...

We are making the baseline "platform" to begin rolling out *much more ambitious* changes (not move/change stuff per se -- but add completely new features like User Lists, a full permissions system, tagging and flagging systems, the ability for many (non-staff! un-prive-ed per se!) people or organizations to "co-administer" a list or set of items, and much much more. We even have deep audio and TV research going on now, some of which may likely "come to light" over time for enhanced user options and features.

OK, that's a long "off the cuff" brain dermp so I should pause/quit.

But I really *hope* that's helpful! It's about as well as I can honestly communicate our medium-to-long-term vision of archive.org. We think Big -- Big Data -- and 5, 10, and 100+ years out. We want to get to the future sooner, and sorry if it feels like we break some eggs along the way! (We'll cleanup and make better omelets)

warmly,
Tracey (representing the Beta site team, lead engr)
(and thanks for your continued feedback and concerns -- we're reading every single line of them!)

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Poster: Mr Cranky Date: Mar 24, 2015 2:13pm
Forum: GratefulDead Subject: BETA squeeks a clowns nose as he gets off the bus.

"Thank you for the information" indeed. I now know the Internet Archive plans to move away from my needs and towards some cloudy collaborative group who likes to press icons, track eye movements and analyze musical genres.
Yet when I look at the source code for BETA I still see old HTML. And when I needed to be sure UI/UX meant what I though, the clearest explanation was on the Wikipedia page that IA says is old fashioned. UI/UX sites made me scroll through a large colorful "User Experience" to get to a small amount of information. But it was so bright and shiny! I've been experienced and I know not to run to the swirly lights. (Grab the floating gold rings if you can though, they tingle up your arm and all through you!)
The thought that my library will become a flashy hangout for people to share samples of the sample their friend recommended from a sample means E.M. Forster may be one of the smartest people who ever lived. You will not be able to find that out in the Internet Archive, but you will find an icon of the page leading to a button of the tile review by a leading critic if you click on the picture of two fish bending in opposite directions.
I already know what its like to stand on the waterfront and be the only person who could hear the musical waves from the river on a sunny day. Everyone else wore headphones. But how soon before IA starts doing flatulence jokes? I hear those gets a lot of eyes and that's what its all about.
My postings have become become unproductive criticism of something I used to value. I see no need to continue to waste the staffs time about BETA.

When all the real information here at IA is gone, turn off the light and see who notices. In the dark I will still feel the music and hear the stars. I hope my lady and I will watch the pine trees.V0 tonight.

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Poster: BNRToast Date: Mar 23, 2015 11:52am
Forum: GratefulDead Subject: Re: Why the Beta version?

The BNRToast Internet Archive account is used by several humans as the contact point with the Archive web site.

Our only agreed response to the information supplied in the Mar 22, 2015 12:55pm posting is, "Thank you for the information."

Individual member responses included shrugged shoulders, resignation and one unpleasant but accurate vocal outburst.

Again, Thank you for the information.

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Poster: AltheaRose Date: Mar 19, 2015 12:33am
Forum: GratefulDead Subject: Re: how to improve the Beta version of the Dead Archive

I've sent some feedback, but here's my reaction:

1) There needs to be a SORT BY DATE function that starts the way most people think, e.g., in January. I don't know about you all, but I'm not great at counting backwards. I hovered in hopes of having that option pop up ... but no go. Seriously? We have to move backwards through each year like in a time machine? Ought to be an easy fix.

2) It's not intuitive how to return to the list of years from the page for a year. It seems you have to click on the "x" that says "remove this filter." Huh? As a non-tech person, I have no idea what "remove this filter" means. To me, if I see an "X," I think it will erase something ... I don't think it will go BACK somewhere. That needs to be more intuitive. (I'm glad there's a list of years; just wish it would be more navigable.) Again, that ought to be an easy fix.

3) The look is not an improvement. For instance:

-- The font. Ouch. The ridiculous big blue letters make it seem as if this is a Big Letter Book site designed for folks in a retirement home. I know we're all getting on, but do we really need those big ugly over-sized fonts?

-- Don't care for the series of descending boxes in powder blue. It seems like someone had a baby boy and was looking at the diaper bag while picking the color. The color shades on the old page are better.

-- AAACK, someone fix the spacing between the name of the Forum and "Subject" in the reply boxes! Hit the space bar several times, O Designer Person. Please.

-- I agree about the mess-o-boxes on the Collections page in what I guess is the "icon view." The wavy things in the boxes don't really mean anything as a static image, do they? They're just a snippet of all the possible wavy things that could be shown for that show, right? (Sorry for the oh-so-technical language. I'm sure the wavy things mean something when you're watching them ... but I don't see what that visual adds, except clutter and redundancy.)

-- On the whole, the design includes too much of a mix of visual clutter and big-font "retirement home" / "slow reader" feeling. With the powder blue "it's a boy!" diaper bag colors to slow down our pulse rate, I guess.

BTW I wrote this in Beta, and then it went back to normal ... and ohmigosh it is SO much better with the smaller font and old color scheme.


This post was modified by AltheaRose on 2015-03-19 07:33:34

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Poster: Jeff Kaplan Date: Mar 19, 2015 7:12am
Forum: GratefulDead Subject: Re: how to improve the Beta version of the Dead Archive

thanks for the comments. the team does look at these posts.

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Poster: Monte B Cowboy Date: Mar 21, 2015 1:04pm
Forum: GratefulDead Subject: Re: how to improve the Beta version of the Dead Archive

Jeff and Tracey, I have two more suggestions for the Beta version:

1) The Beta version has "the most recent Forum Postings" list removed the Home Page. I urge you to replace them! Put them above the "Top Collections at the Archive" in your Beta version. This is the most important feature on your regular Home Page because it reveals the user-heartbeat of The Archive, in a snippet and at a glance, on a daily and hourly basis.

2) The Grateful Dead's audio collection link should be scrubbed from the "Featured" list in the Audio collection. Instead, place it to the left of the Live Music Archive link.

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Poster: Jack o' Roses Date: Mar 20, 2015 11:03am
Forum: GratefulDead Subject: Re: how to improve the Beta version of the Dead Archive

glad to hear that. I made my comments when beta 1st started. I still share many of the same concerns as those here.

& oh, btw, can colors be customizable maybe- or at least not blue. I wear yellow glasses to block that so that I can go to sleep at night (but it OK because I'll continue to use f.lux on the PC).

Thanks for you efforts & a little hello to all the terracotta programmers....

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Poster: AltheaRose Date: Mar 20, 2015 12:06am
Forum: GratefulDead Subject: Re: how to improve the Beta version of the Dead Archive

Thanks for all your hard work!!! And if you're reading all this stuff, I hope your office is well-supplied with aspirin :-)

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Poster: homeinapen Date: Mar 19, 2015 4:16pm
Forum: GratefulDead Subject: Re: how to improve the Beta version of the Dead Archive

thanks Jeff K - we all really love you and your gang, despite the crankypants overtones on display here sometimes - imagine if I had to go and find the rat bastard who stole my 400+ cassette tapes in 1984 and beat him like a rented unicorn until he coughed up my now-unplayable stash....oy.

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Poster: craven714 Date: Mar 18, 2015 11:29am
Forum: GratefulDead Subject: Re: how to improve the Beta version of the Dead Archive

In other words, quit fucking things up by trying to make them better?

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Poster: ColdRain108 Date: Mar 18, 2015 11:37am
Forum: GratefulDead Subject: Re: how to improve the Beta version of the Dead Archive

I am 1000% in agreement with this statement. Basically those two lists are the main reason I come here everyday...and I couldn't find them anywhere on the Beta.

Which means I do not like the Beta at all.

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Poster: Telexer Date: Mar 18, 2015 3:36pm
Forum: GratefulDead Subject: Re: how to improve the Beta version of the Dead Archive

Chris U. , thanks for starting this thread. Hopefully the Beta developers will see it.

I like the Beta overall, but I have a few nits to pick.

Missing functions in the beta (or at least I couldn't figure out how to do it)

1) Cannot sort by show average rating (number of stars)
2) You can sort shows by Date Descending by clicking the DATE link but...
- Cannot sort by Date Ascending
3) I liked the old list format of showing one page of shows at a time, and having page number links to jump to.
- Example: [1] 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 11 Next Last
- This way I can pick Stream Only shows (ie Soundboards), sort the list then jump around the years
- The Beta method just keeps making the list longer and longer as you scroll to the bottom on the page (get too long and unweildly)
- and when the beta script lengthens the page list, some shows get out of date sort order (annoying)
4) Would be nice to display the stars rating of shows even when SHOW DETAILS checkbox is not checked.
5) "Transferred by" shows up in the list currently but not in the beta. I like to use that to find my favorite show editors (ex looking for shows edited by Charlie Miller )
6) Not sure why you show all the waveform graphics in the Collection list view. Maybe its for audiophile types, but I don't get it.

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Poster: Chris U. Date: Mar 18, 2015 3:58pm
Forum: GratefulDead Subject: Re: how to improve the Beta version of the Dead Archive

"6) Not sure why you show all the waveform graphics in the Collection list view. Maybe its for audiophile types, but I don't get it."

That is an incredibly silly waste of valuable real estate, if you ask me.

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Poster: Telexer Date: Mar 18, 2015 4:29pm
Forum: GratefulDead Subject: Re: how to improve the Beta version of the Dead Archive

Yeah, page real estate used and the page has a cluttered look, kinda distracting. And when the show has some associated graphic, they post that image which takes up a lot more page real estate, and I don't see the value add.

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Poster: Buddybenj Date: Mar 18, 2015 1:16pm
Forum: GratefulDead Subject: Re: how to improve the Beta version of the Dead Archive

Just sort by date archived.

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Poster: homeinapen Date: Mar 18, 2015 1:38pm
Forum: GratefulDead Subject: Re: how to improve the Beta version of the Dead Archive

@Buddybenj - don't immediately see an option to sort by date added on the beta site - the Date option on the sort bar sorts by show date with most recent (Soldier Field some time ago) at the top....on the "old" site there is a plethora of sort options which appear in a frame on the right side of the results...me likey

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Poster: homeinapen Date: Mar 18, 2015 1:38pm
Forum: GratefulDead Subject: Re: how to improve the Beta version of the Dead Archive

@Buddybenj - don't immediately see an option to sort by date added on the beta site - the Date option on the sort bar sorts by show date with most recent (Soldier Field some time ago) at the top....on the "old" site there is a plethora of sort options which appear in a frame on the right side of the results...me likey

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Poster: ColdRain108 Date: Mar 18, 2015 2:50pm
Forum: GratefulDead Subject: Re: how to improve the Beta version of the Dead Archive

On the Beta version, I have also not been able to find a way to sort by date added - either individual shows (check for other copies)

https://archive.org/search.php?query=creator%3A%22Grateful+Dead%22+AND+date%3A1969-04-23%2A

or the whole collection.

https://archive.org/search.php?query=collection%3AGratefulDead&sort=-publicdate

The forum is just a forum like many other forums, but the various searches are very useful.

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Poster: Chris U. Date: Mar 18, 2015 2:31pm
Forum: GratefulDead Subject: Re: how to improve the Beta version of the Dead Archive

"Just sort by date archived."

Two responses to this:

(1) it's not at clear how to "sort by date archived" from the Beta home page, assuming it's even possible; and

(2) the entire point is that this particular information should be presented right up front without any action by me, just as it is presented now in the "classic" version, for the reasons that I mentioned above.

One of my criticisms of the classic version, in fact, is that when you click on the "check for other copies" link the list of "other copies" presented isn't sorted by date (with newly added at the top). The beta version improves on the present situation in one aspect by revealing that the default listing is sorted by "most viewed" (from top to bottom). At the same time, the Beta version provides less information in the "check for other copies" list by not showing the keywords associated with the upload (where you can find Charlie Miller's name and similar information ... sometimes ... in the "classic" version).

It's a pity that time is being spent on this Beta programming that could be better spent (at least with respect to the Dead archive) on normalizing/correcting the database entries to improve their searchability. Obviously a tedious task but that's also probably true of a lot of the coding that has taken place.

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Poster: William Tell Date: Mar 18, 2015 2:33pm
Forum: GratefulDead Subject: Re: how to improve the Beta version of the Dead Archive

Whhhaaaaat???!!!

I can't BELIEVE that it isn't something about access to the Forum!!??

What IS the state of that, if anyone knows? Will I finally be left with nothing to do? Is it just too many clicks for me to find?

Hmmm, maybe it WILL be a big improvement, eh?

Damn...

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Poster: craven714 Date: Mar 19, 2015 8:54am
Forum: GratefulDead Subject: Re: how to improve the Beta version of the Dead Archive

guess I will be going back to my library of CDs pretty soon.
At least I know where they are...

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Poster: Chris U. Date: Mar 18, 2015 2:49pm
Forum: GratefulDead Subject: Re: how to improve the Beta version of the Dead Archive

Given how far down I have to scroll to get to the forum on the "classic" page, a simple click is something of an improvement.