Some Plans for sfmagic.org

07:14 Wed 09 Aug 2006. Updated: 10:29 11 Aug 2006
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I run a statistics-oriented site for the weekly Magic: The Gathering drafts I play in, sfmagic.org. I started it about two years ago and have been tinkering with it in small ways the whole time, but now plan to make some major changes, including:

* Overhauling the database tables, and running weekly scripts so that the standings in the major categories will be in a table of their own, instead of being derived from a bunch of other tables.
* Altering the design so that it’s more attractive, easier to use, and consistent.
* Making everything validate (probably as HTML 4.01 Strict).
* Adding RSS feeds.
* Adding automatic email posting of results.
* Adding a better design for displaying individual draft information.
* Improving the individual player pages, including making them display the player’s rank in the major categories.
* Altering the front page to display the top ten in the major categories instead of the full all-time standings, which are not that interesting to most players.
* Listing the number of events the first-place player in a category has been in first place if it’s not their first week there.
* Making better use of Rewrite rules to make the URLs friendlier and easier to use, including for individual player pages.


That’s a lot of work, but it needs to be done—the site is creaky and not particularly well-designed at the moment. It’s also pretty slow, since looking at standings requires the server to pull a lot of things from a bunch of different database tables. Creating a table for the standings themselves will make that better, and will also allow for a lot of other operations to be performed on that data.

If I see any excuse for it, I’ll also stick AJAX stuff in there… I like playing with JavaScript, and am a big fan of using it to enhance a site’s functionality/usability.

2 Responses to “Some Plans for sfmagic.org”

  1. Seth Milliken Says:

    You left off:
    - PDF versions of all pairings sheets
    - PDF version of the FAQ
    - AJAX-enabled real-time tournament management, complete with automatic tiebreaker calculations

  2. Tadhg Says:

    I do need to add the PDFs, but doing those is a separate, non-HTML/PHP/CSS/JavaScript/MySQL project.

    As for the tournament management, I might be interested in doing that, but it would be more a proof-of-concept than something intended for actual use, since we don’t have web access most of the time we play.

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