More site changes

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I've made a few more tweaks to the site this week and have just published them. The most noticable difference is on the set details pages. The reviews are back, and I took the opportunity to tidy up a few other aspect of the page while working on it and have used a tabbed interface [*] which has made it possible to fit more on the page.

There's also a new eBay search page which you can use to find sets on all the main global eBay sites. This is linked to just above the eBay listings on the set details pages.

Under the bonnet, I've made some significant changes which have reduced the size of the markup and external javascript files which should result in the site loading a lot faster.

I think I've ironed out all bugs but if you notice anything not quite right, let me know.

Huw

[*] This uses jQuery UI for the tabs and ajax so should work in all browsers.

65 comments on this article

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By in United Kingdom,

Huw, I think the tabs work really well, good work!

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By in Australia,

Now... you have really nice Lego Brick style tabs at the top of the page.... you should replicate the same style for the in-page tabs... just to keep with the theme!

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By in Netherlands,

Great, I was really confused lately looking for reviews on the details page. The tabs are much better. However, on the Grand Emporium details page, it states 8 bricklists but there are only 4 displayed? Little bug?

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By in Germany,

ABSOLUTELY LOVE IT!!! The tabs are REALLY nice. I agree with RohanBeckett that the tabs should have a "Brick Design"! :) LOVE the tabs! Woah, the "eBay search page" is really cool. This site is one of the best EVER!
Alemas

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By in Germany,

Um, just asking Huw, to join Brickset, you have to be an adult, but do you have to know something about programming languages, codes, websites etc.? Or do you just need a great fondness for LEGO? :) Just asking...
Alemas

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By in United Kingdom,

@miies, well spotted: the count was including entries in BrickLists not yet published by their author. I've now corrected that.

@Alemas, you mean to join Brickset staff? All you need is the fondness for LEGO. I'm the only one who does any progamming on the site. The other admins just use the content management system (CMS) and an FTP client to add news, moderate reviews and add sets and images. Why, are you up for it?

@RohanBeckett, I wanted the tabs to look like the other <h2> titles on the page.

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By in United States,

I think the reviews tab should be positioned before the Ebay,someone might want to look at the reviews before they buy

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By in United Kingdom,

um, just asking Huw im up for being a brickset staff as i have a GREAT fondness for lego.
could i join if thats ok with you?

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By in United States,

Thanks Huw! I'm glad you put the reviews back on the set details page!
Sev

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By in United States,

Nicely done! You could probably add the minifigs and extra/alternate images of the set to the tabs as well.

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By in United Kingdom,

@vynsane, I did wonder about those but they are of greater importance (IMO) than the other content and therefore justified having their own space.

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By in Sweden,

A bug? For set "30030-1: Tiny Turbo Rally Raider", you can't click some of the tabs, for example the one with Instructions or Buy On Ebay. The same for "30021-1: Parrot".

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By in Germany,

@Huw: PERFECT! Wellll... I'll have to wait a few years, that's for certain; things might change, and I might change ideas! We'll see... You see, I even want to be a LEGO designer... :) I wonder if I could do both things at the same time: Being a Brickset staff member AND a LEGO designer...
Alemas

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By in United Kingdom,

@superkalle10, those 3 tabs only become enabled when the set is released, although in some cases the instructions are available before that so perhaps it shouldn't be like that. I've marked those sets as released for now and will make a tweak later.

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By in Ireland,

@huw,how can you sign up for brickset staff?

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By in Germany,

@shieldsy: You have to be 18 years or over to join Brickset!
Alemas

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By in Germany,

Huw, here's a suggestion: Can you add some links to the homepage to "Other LEGO websites"? For example, you can add links to Eurobricks and the Brickish Association!
Alemas

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By in Ireland,

@alemas,huw said all you need is a fondness for lego

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By in Germany,

@shieldsy: ...and 18 years or over. You have to be an adult to work you know, even if it's volunteer work!
BTW, Huw, I noticed ANOTHER change: When you click the small set image, on some images there's a small "expanding" button, which expands the image to a bigger size, and it has a new "loading" image!
Alemas, the change-spotter

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By in United Kingdom,

Huw, automatically, the default tab to show is the ebay auction one. I don't think it should be like this; users of the site primarily look for set reviews, I believed - so surely that should be the default tab to show up when you load the set's page. I find it frustrating having to click the tab to see the reviews - or maybe you can make the site remember which tab the user prefers to have as default?

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By in United Kingdom,

Just to be clear, I'm not looking for additional staff at this time, but thank you all for your offers.

@Alemas, I think that occurs if the image won't fit in the browser window when you expand it. I upgraded to a new version of the Highslide code which must have added that feature.

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By in Ireland,

@huw,when i was in the atlantis section looking at this years sets i clicked on browse and it went to the home page.

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By in Canada,

sadly i see that my suggestion to add another check box to the site hasn't been added

we should be able to check if the sets we have are built or not.

other then that the sites looking great

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By in United Kingdom,

@Toa, that's strange: I'm using IE8 on Win7 and it looks just fine on both modes, but hang on, your name is much longer than mine. Perhaps that's the issue. I'll check it out.

[EDIT: is it better now? I've made the div wider. Thanks for reporting this, it must have been like that for a while]

@shieldsy, you'll have to tell me which page and which link exactly as I can't replicate that.

@derek_pearce2009, give me a chance! As I have said I do plan to build a more fully-featured collection manager but I can't do everything at once, and even if I could it would not be desirable to do so: if I keep trickling out enhancements it keeps you from getting bored and coming back for more...

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By in Germany,

@shieldsy: SAME for me! I just tried it, and... well, it takes me to the home-page! It looks as if: when you click any theme in the "Browse" page under the "This year's sets" section, when you click the "Browse" tab, it takes you to the home-page! Weird...
Alemas

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By in Ireland,

@alemas,your good at spotting bugs

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By in Germany,

LOL, noticed something funny with the new "Highslide" thingy: When you click on the small image, it TAKES AWAY the small image! Try it! Click a small image, and you'll see it has disappeared, leaving just the big image! Of course, when you zoom back in the image, the small version reappears! LOL...
@shieldsy: LOL... Thanks...
Alemas

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By in United Kingdom,

@shieldsy & Alemas, the browse link is now fixed

@Alemas, so it does! How cool!

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By in Germany,

@Huw: Ok, great! LOL... I can imagine kids pretending to "steal" the pictures... "Look mama, I'm stealing all these images for myself!"- Some random kid(not me)... LOL...
Alemas

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By in United States,

@Huw: Thanks for fixing those things I mentioned. It looks much better now.

-Toa Of Justice

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By in Ireland,

@huw,thanks for fixing the problem

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By in Canada,

i was just kidding round , get to it when you can. Another cool feature to add would be a link(icon) to the instructions on peeron just like you did with the lego.com ones.

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By in United States,

Great! I was a little confused about the reviews before but now everything is much easier! :-)

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By in Germany,

sry asking why did you removed links to inventorys at bricklink?

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By in Italy,

I don't know if it's related to latest changes, but export my set list is not working now, while export my minifigs is fine....

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By in Brunei Darussalam,

Thanks very much for the new features Huw. Now we can see which set is in which Bricklist easily!!! I also like it that the reviews are back in a much better form.

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By in United Kingdom,

@rosco_pc, it's now working again: not sure what happened there but the page had been deleted.

@mxtp: they are still there, in the yellow box under the instructions tab.

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By in United States,

cool improvments huw! when you get around to it i think what a good improvment would be to comment on someones bricklist.
P.S. huw, can brickset staff make changes or only you?

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By in United Kingdom,

@itsaturkey, code changes? Only me.

I'm going to try and improve the bricklists later in the year. I think they are working although I'm a little concerned that many of them are 'subjective' i.e. the author's opinion on the best sets or something, rather than being factual and of genuine use and interest to others. I'm not sure how best to resolve this without deleting the less useful ones because the ability for you to mark lists as favourites has not been widely used. So, my plan to
use that data to know which ones are 'interesting' is not going to work.

Suggestions welcome...

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By in United States,

I think you should add a 'was this bricklist useful' form in the same vein as it is used on reviews. Also I know you had mentioned adding a tag system to bricklists, but I think categorization always works best on two fronts: A rigid set of categories set by the site administration in addition to the more loose and user-generated tag system can give you two levels to filter against. Tags alone seem to get confusing and muddled, I feel, while rigid categories are just that: too inflexible and over-arching. With a combination, you get general AND specific categorization.

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By in United States,

I was just looking at bricklists, and I can see just the first page. I didn't see any way to get to the other pages.

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By in Germany,

@brickmatt: Uh oh, you're right. There WERE multiple pages, but now... hang on... I have a theory: Probably the Bricklists exceeded 100 pages, and the site's a bit confused... And this is the result...
Alemas

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By in Poland,

Huw, very good work, thanks. The tabs are great :-).

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By in United Kingdom,

Bricklist paging seems to have broken, I'll look into it...

@vynsane, great ideas thanks.

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By in United States,

@vynsane: Speaking of marking reviews as useful, LEGOShop.com has a way to ensure that there is only one "useful" (or "useless") vote per person, as well as reminding people that they have already provided feedback about reviews. However, Brickset does not seem to have such a vote validation method. Besides preventing duplicate votes, validation would also let users know which reviews they voted on and how they voted. A similar validation and voting method would be great for Bricklists. I hope it wouldn't be too much trouble to implement.

-Toa Of Justice

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By in United Kingdom,

The system may appear to let you vote more than once but it overwrites any previous votes with your new one, so you do actually only have one vote per review. I guess it could let you know which ones you've already voted on although that would mean returning a unique dataset for every user which may be an overhead on the database.

I'll give BrickLists some thought, but first I'll probably implement a better collection manager. If anyone has ideas for what it should do, get in touch.

Before all that though, I'm going to play with some LEGO. I haven't done so for a while! I hope you don't mind...

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By in United States,

How come every time I go to submit a review it says that I have used bad languead/repeat charecters when I've searched the whole thing multiple times and it has none of them??? Maybe the filter needs turned down a little.

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By in Norway,

Hello everybody. I'm not new to Brickset, but never posted anything, so please don't flame me. I came out of my dark ages with the start of Lego Star Wars in 19999 and still holding on. But now quick to my post. As this site is evolving rapidly and becoming my prime Lego-related site (congratulations, Huw), I wanted to suggest one more feature for our private set inventory: wouldn't it be nice to see among those sets we own, how many out of them are MISB and how many are opened/built? For the moment I keep this information in the notes, but this way I can't get an overview over the sets I built, and the ones still not opened (lack of time!). Keep up the good work and thank you very much!

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By in United States,

Bricklist paging is now working again.

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By in United Kingdom,

@Drew1200, the system prevents people from posting multiple !!!s, that is probably the problem.

@Flagellodidio, welcome aboard! I plan to add better features for managing your collection later this year. I'm currently gathering requirements. If you, or anyone else for that matter, have any other thoughts, email me, [email protected]

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By in United States,

With all these great updates, you'd think that Brickset would have a "Sort By" feature in its search results. For example, if you want a Star Wars set but don't want to spend time looking for the highest one available, a "Sort by: Rating" option would be very useful. And, to see the most minifig-laden set you own, a "Sort by: Number of Minifigs" feature would be great.
I hope that I don't seem like I'm complaining; I love the site and can't wait to see where it goes next!
Cole

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By in United States,

I see that you redid the zoom in pictures, but also got rid of the little toolbar on top of the zoom ins, am i right, or has this been pointed out? anyway, they load much faster and i love them, thanks a bunch

I am a boy, for all who are wondering.

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By in United Kingdom,

The tabs make for a nice clean page. While I understand the need to have the eBay links I don't like eBay being the default tab. Can we have review as the default tab? Or make it a user preference?

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By in United Kingdom,

@cole, 'sort by' is actually quite difficult to implement, particularly with the paging of results. If the entire result set was displayed at once it could be done with client-side javascript very easily, however paging prevents this because you need to fetch the data set again, in a different order. I've implemented paging within a SQL stored procedure, which on SQL 2000, is complicated enough already, and that is the main reason I haven't implemented sorting. If any SQL wiz wants to assist then get in touch!

However in the forthcoming 'collection manager' results are likely to be displayed in a more tabular view, maybe all at once, so it might be easier then.

@Gameon99, I upgraded the Highslide library and changed some options which altered this behaviour.

@duq, it's a tricky one: from my point of view, it's in my interest to show you the eBay links because you might see something that takes your fancy and click though, but from yours ('you' being a generic Brickset user), you'd rather see the reviews. Look at it like this: you are willing to click a tab to see the reviews, you might not bother doing so to check eBay. Revenue might decrease, I might not be able to afford hosting and spend so much time workig on the site which would be in nobody's interest :-)

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By in Ireland,

huw ROCKS

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By in Germany,

LOL!!! I just noticed when writing a review, you added a note saying "There's a strange bug when using FireFox: every time you press enter the page scrolls. I haven't found out why yet!" Darn, I'm a Firefox user... Indeed, that happens to me! You know what: I would have written the note that way! Who knows, probably our minds are similar? BTW, another thing: When I press "Enter", the... um, blinking line(don't know how to say it) goes down TWO lines, not one!
Alemas

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By in United Kingdom,

@Alemas, I'm going to try another HTML editor, maybe TinyMCE, which will then hopefully solve the FF bug and make it work in other browsers.

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By in United States,

Hey, Huw. What if I had a suggestion? Do I just tell you by emailing you or what? Because it'd be awsome if you could comment on Bricklists. Just saying it'd be nice. Great job on the site though Huw.

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By in United States,

Oh, I see how that would be difficult. I haven't even thought about how long it must take you to do such a simple thing as a universal background color change. It's certainly not mandatory, but remember, if a new sorting feature is added, Cole will be a happy guy!
Cole

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By in United States,

Huw - But I haven't submitted a review on that or copied another review or whatever you're talking about. Is it like a limit of so many reviews in a day?

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