Monday, February 9, 2009

The new standings

So, for those of you who haven't looked lately, the Standings Page has been redone! I recommend you look at it, on and then read further....

Here are the major differences, roughly in the order you will encounter them:

  • The standings pages come up in a pop-up window when you click the map, rather than as a new page. That can be remedied by right clicking it and choosing to open the link in a new tab or window.

  • There are no separate pages for each 'section' of a tree... a whole kingdom is in one page, no matter if it's got three people, or two thousand. (Try it- go to Avalon's page, open it up...)

  • It's not laid out as a "tree" anymore, it's in an outline format. Each section on the outline can be collapsed or expanded.

  • Each line has more information. Rank is a jewel, the title is given in gray, and icons after names indicate other things about that player.

  • Doing a search from the main page gives you a trail that consists of hyperlinks for every person. Clicking on any of those names will pull up the standings page for that kingdom, go directly to that person, and show you where they are by flashing it in blue.

  • As you move your mouse over names, the upline for each person is shown with a darker brown or tan background.

For reference, the icons that I have seen so far after names, and their meanings:

Mounted Knight:
has won 10 jousting matches

has completed the Trader's locked book quest

Sherrif's badge:
has finished researching crime

Stalk of wheat:
has finished researching famine

Red Cross:
has finished researching disease

Oval with 'GV':
Grand Viceroy/Vicereine

Oval with 'V':

The ranks are indicated by jewels, as follows:

Light blue diamond

Round purple amethyst

Round blue sapphire

Red heart Ruby

Oval Green Emerald

Square Orange (??)

Square Yellow (Topaz?)

Pink Heart (?)



Reaction has been, to say the least, mixed. Many have been very vocal in their dislike for it. I pointed out in chat that there was more information, and one reply was that it was just more lag (as if SL didn't have enough of that already, etc...) This made me go back and examine the pages more carefully, and consider what the true size of before and after might be. It's hard to do an accurate comparison, since the old pages are gone, but I can get close. I believe the pages are larger. The old large files (pictures) are gone, but each and every name is a picture! There is no text within the page. (So there's no use in using your browser's 'find' feature to jump to a specific person, etc...)

I suspect this was a deliberate design decision. It does result in significantly larger downloads, but it also means that automated scanning of the pages for information is basically useless, since there is no text to scan. (It's like those twisted pictures of letters that you have to squint at to prove that you're human... you have a chance of figuring it out, but the computer doesn't.)

And speaking of people deciphering information from pictures, this is the main complaint, I believe. "It's harder to see where everyone is at." In other words, it's easier to see who is under, over, or beside someone else when it is laid out in a two-dimensional chart. The outline is more compact, but the old straight vertical lines are now horizontal stairsteps. (and at first, not even the stairsteps were showing!)

To my mind, it is a better tool, and while I regret losing the old layout when it comes to quickly seeing who is where by shape- not by name- I'm sure I'll get used to it in time. I do love the new information. Oh, and since each name is a graphic, this means that you can save a kingdom's webpage to your computer, and check the number of pictures it has in it to get a count of how many people are in it. That won't be exact, of course, but it will be close. Just make sure you have a bit of room. Avalon's picture folder is 6.35 megabytes of pictures-- all two thousand, six hundred and seventy nine of them!


Varian said...

Definitely a curate's egg, imo...

I like that it's now a popup window, and that the whole kingdom is included. And the extra information (and the use of our titles) is particularly cool.

But the outline layout - that I'm not so keen on. I'm a developer, I work with outlines like this every day; but it's still harder to see than the old 'tree' layout (and, for the record, I wasn't overenamoured with that, either!)

Perhaps we could have a contest to find a better layout?

(Just to give Ultralite more work to do, naturally. Can't have the Emperor getting bored... :) )

Vulpine Eldrich said...

A bored emperor? The world shudders! And I have to say I'd be more definite about dislike if I could think of anything better, myself. Just what IS the best way to portray allegiance relationships?

Anonymous said...

3 words no no no

Anonymous said...

A crown means you have 1000+ personal acres.

Matteo Tedeschi said...

Peasant = blue heart

I don't know the old stuff but I'm fine with that one. Show's what one likes to know.