Initial price: 40 $
Actual price estimate: ~ 300-400 $ US
Patent Number: HU214709
And maybe a category that includes ALL puzzle modifications regardless of which category it's already in.
These are all great ideas. I have moved this thread to the "Comments & Suggestions" forum to remind me about them later on.
I have been planning to implement a method of including a "current price" field in the database. If I did it "right", it would be a lot of work to create, and a lot of work to maintain. It would require a public method to input eBay item numbers much like the "add a new puzzle" form. Then some other script would check into the auction after it ended and automagically add the value to a "FinalSalePrice" table in the database. Then every time someone loads the puzzle page for that puzzle, a third script checks that table for all matching entries and averages them.
There are at least a hundred twisty puzzle auctions ending on eBay every day. Is anyone going to input all of those item numbers?! I'm not, that's for sure. It's been over two months since I've even searched eBay for my own collecting purposes.
Is this method of data collection any good if people only tend to enter the auctions that stand out because they have either been missed or have been bid far too high? In a perfect statistical world, these "outliers" would be either ignored or simply become more and more irrelevant as the data grows, but there would certainly be a normalization period in which price estimates on certain puzzles would fluctuate wildly. Perhaps a whole new page showing the auction item numbers, dates, number of bids, etc would be a decent way of helping people decide manually which values are more pertanent to their search. Yikes. This just gets bigger and bigger as I think it through.
All that said, I could take the lazy way out and just make it a text field in the db, and input whatever I want in it. This is a decent start, but if/when I go to the system above, my time creating the "lazy way" would have been wasted. I don't have the time to waste, and I want the site to be as good as it can be. Bottom line, consider this item on the "to-do list", but don't expect it anytime soon.
Patents. I have also wanted to add a patents section to the database complete with links from each puzzle page to their original patent(s) for quite some time. There are a few people out there right now building patent collections, and I'm not really sure what their future plans are, and I don't want to step on any toes. I keep meaning to ask them if they would like to help me do this, but haven't yet gotten around to it on that infamous "to-do list" yet.
Finally, if you would like to search through all the custom puzzles do the following:
- Menu: Puzzle Database > Search
- Advanced Search form
- Select "Producer or Author" in the first field
- write "custom" in the text field beside the "Simple Search" button
- click the "Simple Search" button!
I have tried very hard to avoid creating over-lapping categories. These custom puzzles are a perfect example. It would be nice to have a "custom" category, but the Dogic 2 (for example) really should appear next to the Dogic in the 20-sided category as well.
I have had numerous other suggestions about creating categories like "Rubik Puzzles", "Meffert Puzzles", "Tony Fisher Puzzles", etc. All of which can (at least partially) be satisfied by using the Advanced Search form correctly.
Assuming I want to continue to organize everything via shape/mechanism, and to avoid having puzzles appear in more than one category, I just don't see a better solution than refining the data and using the advanced search like this.
It would be a VERY simple job to create a list of "quick searches" that would include all of the above examples, and which would essentially appear to be categories.
For example: Custom Puzzles