Bricksetforum.com unavailable

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There's currently some sort of DNS problem with bricksetforum.com and as a result the forum is not reachable via that domain. I suspect it's transient but if it's not sorted in the morning I'll start making phone calls. In the meantime you can access it via http://brickset.vanillaforums.com/. Later... it seems that 1000steine.com that hosts our images is also unavailable. Is there...

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Tags update

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There's not much news about at the moment so it's lucky I have tags to keep writing about :) There are now over 850 tags which have been applied some 7500 times. The moderators will continue to weed out unwanted ones and merge duplicates and also lock some sets so that no more tags can be added once it's felt that everything sensible that can be tagged about the set has been. I've...

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Tags adding reinstated

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Since I made changes to the way tags are retrieved yesterday, database performance has improved so I have reinstated the 'add tags' link. I've also changed the colour of them slightly: press ctrl-F5 to get the latest stylesheet if they look the same as before. Myself, CapnRex101, Matthew and others will be moderating them and removing inappropriate ones. To make our job easier, once...

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Tags update

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Thank you all for adding tags to sets. There are now nearly 700 tags which have been applied some 7000 times. Most are good but a few are pretty much superfluous or duplicates so we'll be weeding them out in the next few days. Unfortunately, they have had a detrimental impact on the performance of the main database stored procedure that retrieves set lists and some queries are taking over 10...

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Tags: a new way to search the database

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Today, I have introduced a feature to the site that is long overdue: set tags. Tags can now be assigned to sets which will make them easier to find, and easier to view lists of related sets. In essence, this is an extension of the current 'tags' in the database for theme, sub theme and year, the difference being that sets can have an unlimited number of tags and they are assigned by you:...

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LDraw viewer now in place

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Last week I mentioned that Legolijntje was working on indexing and uploading LDraw versions of official sets to the Brickset database. In the comments to that article, nicola80, author of a plug-in for displaying LDraw models in your browser, offered to assist getting it working here at Brickset to enable those of you that don't have LDraw installed to view them. Work on it is almost complete...

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New site features

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Earlier this week you may have noticed the appearance of a new tab at the bottom of set detail pages: LDraw. Where it's present, you'll find links to LDraw .dat or .mpd files for the set. Here's a good example. Legolijntje, who has been curating lists of LDraw versions of official models at Eurobricks, is populating the database and uploading the files to make them easier to find and...

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New feature: alternate builds

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As you probably know, Rebrickable is a site that shows you what models you can build -- both official and MOCs -- from parts in your collection. You can also hook up to it from here and keep your set collection in sync between the two sites. Anyway, Nathan at Rebrickable has recently provided a feature that exposes MOCs that can be built using parts from just one set and he and I thought it would...

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Change to set filtering

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One of the most commented on aspects of the new design in the recent survey concerned filtering, in particular the need to clear a filter before you could select another. In my response to the comments I described it as follows: "you're browsing 2014 sets. You change the theme to Agents. Then, if you want to look at 2014 Chima sets you need to clear the Agents filter before you can select...

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Changes to news articles

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I've made a few tweaks to news article publication in response to the survey: The weekly round-up is now in its own category so if you don't want to see them you can remove the category from your news preferences page. It's now possible to remove all the news categories from that page, including the 'Brickset' category, so if you don't want to read anything I write,...

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Response to survey comments, continued...

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In part one, I responded to comments about the news, reviews and the forum. Now I will turn my attention to site's design, the database and functionality. Design I love the new design / I preferred the old one -- bring it back! The vast majority of comments about the design praised the new one although there were still a few people that said they preferred the old. It's not clear...

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Response to survey comments

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Our recent user survey generated over 1000 comments so it's been a bit of a challenge going through them and working out how best to respond. In the end I drew a mind-map which I hope has captured the points raised. In this article I'll list the main points and reply to each of them. The comments can be broadly divided into 6 categories: news, reviews, the forum, site functionality,...

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Mixels competition update

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I'm pleased to see there have been some great entries submitted to our Mixels series 3 competition as you can see for yourself in the competition pool on flickr. Information about the the rules and prizes are on the announcement article. In particular, note that we're only accepting entries made from series 3 Mixels, so I've removed those that don't meet this criteria. Get building...

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2014 survey results: higher NPS than Apple

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I've ended the survey, thank you to all 1990 of you that participated. You can now view the responses as they are presented by Google Forms. (Don't worry, responses to the email address question have been removed) and read all the comments in a PDF. I've crunched the numeric responses to the quantitative questions and compared them to those from the 2013 survey, (which you can see via...

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Mixels series 3 building competition

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Mixels series 3 have been out for a couple of weeks now so it's time to launch our third Mixels building competition! Once again, we have some fantastic prizes lined up: First prize: 4000010 LEGO House, 5002144 Dareth vs. Nindroid and 5001121 BR minifigure Second prize: 4000010 LEGO House Third prize: 5002144 Dareth vs. Nindroid, 5001121 BR minifigure plus a handful of other polybags. In...

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The 2014 Brickset user survey

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Every year we run a survey to find out what you think of the site and to gather suggestions on how it can be improved to better meet your needs. Now would seem like a good time to do so this year given that the new site design has been live for 7 months so you've all had time to get used to it, and with winter fast approaching I'll have a lot more time available to spend developing new features. So,...

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I'm back from my travels...

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I'm back in the UK now after my trip to Ontario and upstate NY. The purpose of the visit was to deposit my oldest daughter at Queens university in Kingston for 4 months of study following her masters, as part of an overseas study exchange programme. We flew to Toronto, then drove anticlockwise round Lake Ontario, taking in Niagara Falls and the Finger Lakes area (Corning and Watkins...

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