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One other thing - The bgcolor=cceeee stuff is certainly irritating to constantly fix but I really liked how it provided contrast between the columns. Without the alternating colors, now the tables are making my eyes start to cross. It could be worse like some of those endless OMOT rosters but it's still a little hard to look at without the colors IMO. One of the benefits of reintroducing the black-bar style code I pasted above  is that it provides contrast between rows.

If the issue is that no one wants to deal with the alternating colors, i'll volunteer to periodically go in and fix the color issues myself so no one else has to do it... I check in with the wiki generally most days of the week and have no trouble fixing color issues on VIN pages.

This was seen as a big deterrent to adding information to the pages for several editors.

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My last concern is regarding how VINs that aren't already put on fleet pages are dealt with. If I worded that poorly, have. look at the CT XD40s on the New Flyer M VINs page. On that page, the way the VINs are noted isn't really egregious, but there are dozens of VINs on other pages still in the old format that would look little ridiculous in my opinion if converted over. For instance, if the BE40 L VINs page were converted to the new format right , there would be one row with 31 VINs in the notes section, and another row with 12 VINs in the notes section. Similar things would happen for select Neoplan VIN pages as well. Take for example the AN116/3 S VINs page. And those Neoplan pages would be even messier because individual VINs often will have their own references or textual  notes that would be impossible to put on any other page. I feel that VIN rosters should be very easy to read, and I cramming the pre-existing notes and the complete VINs all together into one row is not going to look pretty... And lord help us for stuff like the Gillig Phantom School Buses...

Anyone with more time/less work is welcome to create a page for those CT XD40s. They were only there temporarily until a page was created, otherwise they would have been deleted and gone from the wiki.  

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14 hours ago, Orion6025 said:

I noticed on the New Flyer K and L pages that there seems to be a new standard for indicating where serials switch between model years. Is there any chance that we can use 


|- align=center bgcolor=black
|colspan=5|<font color=white>See: <u>[[New Flyer Industries 'L VINs'|<span style="color:white;">New Flyer Industries 'L VINs'</span>]]</u> for LB073009-LB073093</font>

this style instead? If anyone does not recognize it, all I'm doing is taking the code that some of us already use to link VIN pages together within the tables (See me for an example of a page that extensively uses this method) and repurposing it for the new standard.

The format used on the New Flyer K and L pages is not a new format; this has been used on other VIN pages fairly frequently and consistently (the Nova Bus VIN pages have also been using it; see example). Not sure when the format on the Neoplan VIN pages popped up, but things sometimes tend to get out of sync when different people are editing different parts of the Wiki.

My personal preference is to use the New Flyer/Nova one; this keeps all the serials in one column and straight line. Having one large cell merged across prevents columns from being sorted properly, which was one of the reasons cited for removing full VINs and only going with the serials. I also don't like the harsh black backdrop, and it also places undue importance on how those serials/VINs belong to a different group.

14 hours ago, Orion6025 said:

One other thing - The bgcolor=cceeee stuff is certainly irritating to constantly fix but I really liked how it provided contrast between the columns. Without the alternating colors, now the tables are making my eyes start to cross. It could be worse like some of those endless OMOT rosters but it's still a little hard to look at without the colors IMO. One of the benefits of reintroducing the black-bar style code I pasted above  is that it provides contrast between rows.

If the issue is that no one wants to deal with the alternating colors, i'll volunteer to periodically go in and fix the color issues myself so no one else has to do it... I check in with the wiki generally most days of the week and have no trouble fixing color issues on VIN pages.

While I had also expressed a preference for the colours when viewing, it needed to be a weighed choice, and more users expressed a preference for not having to edit them than those that found a benefit while reading. You're basically asking for a have-your-cake-and-eat-it-too approach. Besides, now that the VINs have been condensed into groups, most of the time it will just be alternating rows of blue and white, which do not aid in reading.

14 hours ago, Orion6025 said:

My last concern is regarding how VINs that aren't already put on fleet pages are dealt with. If I worded that poorly, have. look at the CT XD40s on the New Flyer M VINs page. On that page, the way the VINs are noted isn't really egregious, but there are dozens of VINs on other pages still in the old format that would look little ridiculous in my opinion if converted over. For instance, if the BE40 L VINs page were converted to the new format right , there would be one row with 31 VINs in the notes section, and another row with 12 VINs in the notes section. Similar things would happen for select Neoplan VIN pages as well. Take for example the AN116/3 S VINs page. And those Neoplan pages would be even messier because individual VINs often will have their own references or textual  notes that would be impossible to put on any other page. I feel that VIN rosters should be very easy to read, and I cramming the pre-existing notes and the complete VINs all together into one row is not going to look pretty... And lord help us for stuff like the Gillig Phantom School Buses...

Now I don't have a solution to this concern to propose. I suppose footnotes at the bottom of the page could be created for VINs kind of like what OMOT does, but all that does is make people scroll up and down instead of keeping information centralized. The only idea I can think of is simply leaving pages with these sorts of issues alone and only converting them to the new standard when we have enough information to make pages for these complete VINs. Just as well, there are plenty of New Flyer and Nova pages that need to be converted in the meantime so maybe we don't need to cross this road until we get there, but I'm putting this out there for when some editor will inevitably propose to convert more *problematic* pages (Neoplan, Gillig Phantoms, Proterras, BYD to an extent).

Full VINs should not be in the Notes column on the new VIN pages; this goes for other individual unit information such as license plates. Some people seem to have been using the VIN pages as a parking spot for various miscellaneous information, which is an annoyance.

EDIT: Looks like @Kevin L replied slightly before my post.

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1 hour ago, Kevin L said:

Anyone with more time/less work is welcome to create a page for those CT XD40s. They were only there temporarily until a page was created, otherwise they would have been deleted and gone from the wiki.  

I get that, but my problem has less to do with that specific example and more to do with what will happen to VINs that have no clear original operator, and likely never will (For instance the Neoplan examples i pointed out). Perhaps cT transit wasn’t the best example because it will very likely be easily resolvable once someone makes note of how many buses are in the order but it’s the only example so far that i could point to so far of the approach taken to Vins without accompanying pages

1 hour ago, Articulated said:

this has been used on other VIN pages fairly frequently and consistently (the Nova Bus VIN pages have also been using it; see example).

Ah I see, it’s already been extensively used on the LFS pages.

1 hour ago, Articulated said:

My personal preference is to use the New Flyer/Nova one; this keeps all the serials in one column and straight line. Having one large cell merged across prevents columns from being sorted properly, which was one of the reasons cited for removing full VINs and only going with the serials. I also don't like the harsh black backdrop, and it also places undue importance on how those serials/VINs belong to a different group.

Fair enough, I guess between an admin opinion vs a regular editor opinion, it’s clear which way it’s going to swing lol.

1 hour ago, Articulated said:

While I had also expressed a preference for the colours when viewing, it needed to be a weighed choice, and more users expressed a preference for not having to edit them than those that found a benefit while reading. Y

 

1 hour ago, Kevin L said:

was seen as a big deterrent to adding information to the pages for several editors.

Fair enough (to both)

1 hour ago, Articulated said:

Full VINs should not be in the Notes column on the new VIN pages; t

Agreed

1 hour ago, Articulated said:

individual unit information such as license plates. Some people seem to have been using the VIN pages as a parking spot for various miscellaneous information, which is an annoyance.

I don’t have much a personal stake in this, but to bring up the  neoplan pages again, this could get problematic/result in lots of information being deleted with no other place to put it, unless of course someone steps up with a complete production list so pages can be created for these buses to store the full VIN, references, and notes on

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44 minutes ago, Orion6025 said:

I get that, but my problem has less to do with that specific example and more to do with what will happen to VINs that have no clear original operator, and likely never will (For instance the Neoplan examples i pointed out). Perhaps cT transit wasn’t the best example because it will very likely be easily resolvable once someone makes note of how many buses are in the order but it’s the only example so far that i could point to so far of the approach taken to Vins without accompanying pages

I don’t have much a personal stake in this, but to bring up the  neoplan pages again, this could get problematic/result in lots of information being deleted with no other place to put it, unless of course someone steps up with a complete production list so pages can be created for these buses to store the full VIN, references, and notes on

Full VINs and any other history or information should go on a fleet page. Eventually, all vehicles on the Wiki should be part of one

I do not agree with having VINs on the Wiki with no information attached to them. It's become a very pervasive problem that some editors seem to go onto these VIN databases, mash numbers in until something comes up, and puts it onto the Wiki without any accompanying information. There is no useful information that can be obtained from having a list of individual VINs without any accompanying information, other than occupying space on a page, and I personally would like to see them all gone if there's nothing that can substantiate where the information came from. Online databases can have errors, so it's not good enough to say you found it on one.

44 minutes ago, Orion6025 said:

Fair enough, I guess between an admin opinion vs a regular editor opinion, it’s clear which way it’s going to swing lol.

That doesn't have anything to do with it. I bring it up for the purposes of having a discussion, but marked it as a "personal opinion" so that it's seen as the voice (and weight) of one editor, not as the position of the administration team as a whole. Just to be clear...

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2 hours ago, Articulated said:

There is no useful information that can be obtained from having a list of individual VINs without any accompanying information, other than occupying space on a page, a

There is useful information, as it helps form the base of a complete production list. Granted, if the set of VINs for a certain model year all belong to one bus, well, sure ok it does not add any useful information. But in cases where there are multiple models (Proterras, Neoplans, I see it to an extent on the MCI pages), it does lay the groundwork for which serials belong to which model...

2 hours ago, Articulated said:

mash numbers in until something comes up,

Are you really going to sit there and belittle hours of work by a couple editors in such an offhand fashion? I've tried to be as levelheaded in this as much as possible after your first somewhat strongly worded reply but you make it sound as if some of us throw shit in a blender and see what pops out and I find it quite insulting. I think I've spoken up to this point in a rather offhand but acceptable manner without the intent to insult... If you have a problem that's fine I'm happy to sit down, talk about it, and come to an understanding, but the way you're approaching addressing this problem by going on the offensive is kind of shocking... If you were a regular editor, sure ok, but as an admin who represents the wiki...? Is this really the best way you can think of to deal with an issue?

2 hours ago, Articulated said:

Online databases can have errors, so it's not good enough to say you found it on one.

As a disclaimer, I can only speak for Proterra and I think 3 or 4 Van Hools since those are the only VINs I add using your "online databases".

But they have also proven themselves to be accurate almost 100% of the time... Physical databases can have errors, production lists often have errors, rosters I receive from themselves have errors. The OMOT and Utah Rails RTS production lists contradict each other quite a bit. Rosters from I receive from agencies frequently contain errors. Should an editor simply write all those off an agency's entire roster because "New Flyer D29LF" was written for a 29 ft Gillig, or a Gillig's VIN began with "1566" instead of "15GG"?

I can understand why you take the approach that you do, but writing off dozens of VINs that in many cases have been verified on multiple databases is not at all an approach I would agree with.

Quite a few of these supposedly BS VINs were later confirmed on agency rosters later on, for what it's worth.

2 hours ago, Articulated said:

That doesn't have anything to do with it. I bring it up for the purposes of having a discussion, but marked it as a "personal opinion" so that it's seen as the voice (and weight) of one editor, not as the position of the administration team as a whole.

I never said that. The key word is: "an admin opinion", not "the admin opinion", implying it is an opinion of one of the admins.

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Just a quick reminder, I am still opposed to the majority of the changes that are occurring with the VIN pages. However none of my suggestions or concerns were taken into consideration during this time. So seeing that another editor is already having an issue with the new layout/design (even though he does support the change of design) might be an important thing to consider. The new layout might not be as good as it was intended to be. Visually it is messy looking and not smooth to the eye compared to the old layout in my opinion. I have a few production lists offline that use a similar layout to the proposed layout, but the format is more of a Microsoft Word or Angelfire look instead of the wiki table look. I feel as if the MS Word text-style look suites serial based production lists much better, while the wiki table look is much more fitting for full VINs and extra information.

My biggest problem with these proposed changes would be the undoing/removal of years of hard work and research (a lot of my own work in particular on the Gillig, Neoplan, Ikarus, etc. VIN pages). I have gone out of my way to find the most accurate information around, and I even note when results could be subject to error, non-standard or incorrect from the source it was found. I wouldn't see a point to continue adding info to the wiki just to have it all deleted due to a change of visual formatting. I noticed @Articulated mentioned that VINs added onto the wiki without a known operator are considered useless. However, this is not the case, as information can be found at later dates just from having the VINs easily available. It is next to impossible to find production lists for certain bus builders like Neoplan. What would you gain from removing hundreds of VINs, that are confirmed in DMV & NMVTIS databases just because the original operator is currently unknown? Also, for notes being added to VIN pages: where else could they be put if there is no fleet page available and only the VIN is known? Also there are some fleets that cannot have pages created for them immediately due to missing information on fleet numbers, etc. I don't see any harm in temporarily placing information in the notes section on the VIN pages. I do it all of the time and have found it to be helpful when doing research. To have all of this deleted just to simplify things would be enough to make me want to resign from adding info. I feel as if the wiki can be the best source and the most detailed source of bus information on the web. Too much simplifying can turn things the other direction.

Another thing to note is that the majority of these changes were proposed in order to make editing easier for editors with less experience or time. However, I feel as if readers & users who aren't editors are being completely left out in this decision. I showed a couple of friends these new layouts and the discussions about the potential removal of the old layout and they were not pleased at all. I saw a mention from @Articulated about not approving of the black bars & white text for separating VINs that belong on other VIN pages. I came up with this format as a result of talking to other readers & editors, stating it should be shown where to find missing serials easily. At first I saw similar methods pop up, but they included "M VINs" on an "L VINs" page, which did not sit right with me. I have found this method to smooth out any potential confusion with skipped/missing serials on VIN pages.

Sometimes ideas/layouts/solutions that may seem less complex end up not being as good as what was originally available. We learned this when user Useddenim tried to change the standard into that VINdet formatting earlier this year. Sure editing VIN pages isn't the easiest thing in the world for editors, but methods could be shown on how to make the process easier, instead of just doing away with it all together. It may even be a good thing that the VIN pages are not so simple to edit, that way we don't have editors adding in all kinds of incorrect info or removing info. I was just like everyone else when I started adding VINs back in early 2015. It was tedious at first, but I got used to the system and at some point added thousands of VINs, many that were extremely hard to find. I would be willing to teach editors methods that I learned in order to speed up the process, because once I got the formula down, it became a fairly simple process, even to the point of being fun at times.

My final concern is the fact that what if we make all of these changes involving tons of deletion of hard work and info, just to make things easier for editors to work with, only to find out that editors still have issues or are just generally not even working with VIN pages at all? Over the years, I have noticed very few bus fans ever work with VINs. Many people come directly to me for VIN questions rather than doing their own research or just using Google at times. I am thinking all of this change may occur, but then we will still have the same few editors adding VINs often, which would completely defeat the purpose of the change at all in my opinion.

Thanks for reading my two cents. This is where I stand on everything.

 

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38 minutes ago, Detroit Diesel 6V92TA said:

My biggest problem with these proposed changes would be the undoing/removal of years of hard work and research (a lot of my own work in particular on the Gillig, Neoplan, Ikarus, etc. VIN pages). I have gone out of my way to find the most accurate information around, and I even note when results could be subject to error, non-standard or incorrect from the source it was found. I wouldn't see a point to continue adding info to the wiki just to have it all deleted due to a change of visual formatting. I noticed @Articulated mentioned that VINs added onto the wiki without a known operator are considered useless. However, this is not the case, as information can be found at later dates just from having the VINs easily available. It is next to impossible to find production lists for certain bus builders like Neoplan. What would you gain from removing hundreds of VINs, that are confirmed in DMV & NMVTIS databases just because the original operator is currently unknown? Also, for notes being added to VIN pages: where else could they be put if there is no fleet page available and only the VIN is known? Also there are some fleets that cannot have pages created for them immediately due to missing information on fleet numbers, etc. I don't see any harm in temporarily placing information in the notes section on the VIN pages. I do it all of the time and have found it to be helpful when doing research. To have all of this deleted just to simplify things would be enough to make me want to resign from adding info. I feel as if the wiki can be the best source and the most detailed source of bus information on the web. Too much simplifying can turn things the other direction.

I'm fine with the unknown stuff as it can be useful later when you do find out. Same with the temporary stuff, but often I've found things that hasn't been removed or duplicated/added for no reason in the notes.

38 minutes ago, Detroit Diesel 6V92TA said:

Another thing to note is that the majority of these changes were proposed in order to make editing easier for editors with less experience or time. However, I feel as if readers & users who aren't editors are being completely left out in this decision.

This topic has been up since August 3. Aside from the moderators and a few others there has been little response. Sadly, this isn't the first time there has been a lack of interest.

38 minutes ago, Detroit Diesel 6V92TA said:

Sometimes ideas/layouts/solutions that may seem less complex end up not being as good as what was originally available. We learned this when user Useddenim tried to change the standard into that VINdet formatting earlier this year. Sure editing VIN pages isn't the easiest thing in the world for editors, but methods could be shown on how to make the process easier, instead of just doing away with it all together. It may even be a good thing that the VIN pages are not so simple to edit, that way we don't have editors adding in all kinds of incorrect info or removing info. I was just like everyone else when I started adding VINs back in early 2015. It was tedious at first, but I got used to the system and at some point added thousands of VINs, many that were extremely hard to find. I would be willing to teach editors methods that I learned in order to speed up the process, because once I got the formula down, it became a fairly simple process, even to the point of being fun at times.

I've added info after I created the new pages and it takes 1/4 to 1/3 of the previous time and far less painful.

38 minutes ago, Detroit Diesel 6V92TA said:

My final concern is the fact that what if we make all of these changes involving tons of deletion of hard work and info

Nothing on the pages I've changed has been deleted. If its not relevant to the VIN page I've moved it the the fleet page. 

38 minutes ago, Detroit Diesel 6V92TA said:

, just to make things easier for editors to work with, only to find out that editors still have issues or are just generally not even working with VIN pages at all? Over the years, I have noticed very few bus fans ever work with VINs. Many people come directly to me for VIN questions rather than doing their own research or just using Google at times. I am thinking all of this change may occur, but then we will still have the same few editors adding VINs often, which would completely defeat the purpose of the change at all in my opinion.

A lot of that was happening recently, either not adding them to the VIN page at all or worse linking to the VIN page but not adding the VINs.

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Above all, a wiki is supposed to be based on fact. If a VIN is added to a VIN page without any owner or operator information attached to it is it really a fact? Personally, I do not think so and VINs without any confirmed owner or operator should not be added to the VIN pages for that simple reason. If information inputted has to come with the caveat that it could be subject to error or incorrect then it shouldn't be on the wiki to begin with. Nothing precludes anyone from documenting information on their own and then adding it to the wiki once enough additional information is found. I realize this may be a slippery slope, but it's not as slippery than allowing information that is incomplete or incorrect. 

Using databases to find VINs has been very useful however like with any information the balance of probabilities should be considered. In cases like this, there is additional supporting information such as a license plate used to find the VIN, verification from fleet rosters, photos of the bus, etc. and in that case there is enough supporting information that the balance of probabilities has been met. The VIN will thus have a owner/operator known and can be added to the wiki as fact. This is different than just trying to find valid VINs in a database, but having no further supporting evidence of owner/operator, or caveats that the information could be erroneous or incorrect.

On 11/20/2020 at 10:51 PM, Detroit Diesel 6V92TA said:

Just a quick reminder, I am still opposed to the majority of the changes that are occurring with the VIN pages. However none of my suggestions or concerns were taken into consideration during this time. So seeing that another editor is already having an issue with the new layout/design (even though he does support the change of design) might be an important thing to consider. The new layout might not be as good as it was intended to be. Visually it is messy looking and not smooth to the eye compared to the old layout in my opinion. I have a few production lists offline that use a similar layout to the proposed layout, but the format is more of a Microsoft Word or Angelfire look instead of the wiki table look. I feel as if the MS Word text-style look suites serial based production lists much better, while the wiki table look is much more fitting for full VINs and extra information.

My biggest problem with these proposed changes would be the undoing/removal of years of hard work and research (a lot of my own work in particular on the Gillig, Neoplan, Ikarus, etc. VIN pages). I have gone out of my way to find the most accurate information around, and I even note when results could be subject to error, non-standard or incorrect from the source it was found. I wouldn't see a point to continue adding info to the wiki just to have it all deleted due to a change of visual formatting. I noticed @Articulated mentioned that VINs added onto the wiki without a known operator are considered useless. However, this is not the case, as information can be found at later dates just from having the VINs easily available. It is next to impossible to find production lists for certain bus builders like Neoplan. What would you gain from removing hundreds of VINs, that are confirmed in DMV & NMVTIS databases just because the original operator is currently unknown? Also, for notes being added to VIN pages: where else could they be put if there is no fleet page available and only the VIN is known? Also there are some fleets that cannot have pages created for them immediately due to missing information on fleet numbers, etc. I don't see any harm in temporarily placing information in the notes section on the VIN pages. I do it all of the time and have found it to be helpful when doing research. To have all of this deleted just to simplify things would be enough to make me want to resign from adding info. I feel as if the wiki can be the best source and the most detailed source of bus information on the web. Too much simplifying can turn things the other direction.

Another thing to note is that the majority of these changes were proposed in order to make editing easier for editors with less experience or time. However, I feel as if readers & users who aren't editors are being completely left out in this decision. I showed a couple of friends these new layouts and the discussions about the potential removal of the old layout and they were not pleased at all. I saw a mention from @Articulated about not approving of the black bars & white text for separating VINs that belong on other VIN pages. I came up with this format as a result of talking to other readers & editors, stating it should be shown where to find missing serials easily. At first I saw similar methods pop up, but they included "M VINs" on an "L VINs" page, which did not sit right with me. I have found this method to smooth out any potential confusion with skipped/missing serials on VIN pages.

Sometimes ideas/layouts/solutions that may seem less complex end up not being as good as what was originally available. We learned this when user Useddenim tried to change the standard into that VINdet formatting earlier this year. Sure editing VIN pages isn't the easiest thing in the world for editors, but methods could be shown on how to make the process easier, instead of just doing away with it all together. It may even be a good thing that the VIN pages are not so simple to edit, that way we don't have editors adding in all kinds of incorrect info or removing info. I was just like everyone else when I started adding VINs back in early 2015. It was tedious at first, but I got used to the system and at some point added thousands of VINs, many that were extremely hard to find. I would be willing to teach editors methods that I learned in order to speed up the process, because once I got the formula down, it became a fairly simple process, even to the point of being fun at times.

My final concern is the fact that what if we make all of these changes involving tons of deletion of hard work and info, just to make things easier for editors to work with, only to find out that editors still have issues or are just generally not even working with VIN pages at all? Over the years, I have noticed very few bus fans ever work with VINs. Many people come directly to me for VIN questions rather than doing their own research or just using Google at times. I am thinking all of this change may occur, but then we will still have the same few editors adding VINs often, which would completely defeat the purpose of the change at all in my opinion.

Thanks for reading my two cents. This is where I stand on everything.

 

Your overall post began negative, continued negative, and ended negative while assuming the worst case outcome from any changes.

As the person that started this thread, I made sure to carefully craft my opening post to make it clear that I wanted to start a discussion on possible ways to change the VIN pages to make it easier to edit. This thread has been up for three months for both editors and non editors to provide input, has had several people reply with differing viewpoints and no decision has been rushed into. While the general consensus may not be what you were expecting that does not necessarily indicate that your suggestions or comments aren't being considered. Nobody on the CPTDB has been left out of voicing their thoughts on the matter. 

The changes to the VIN pages were proposed as a way to simplify adding information. It was clear that the current process did not work well. Two of the major issues that were bought up were constantly having to change the alternating colours as well as having to input each VIN separately on the pages. Several posters stated that this format discouraged them from adding VINs to the VIN pages; as well there are many existing wiki editors who no longer bother to add or even link the VINs to the pages. All this is a clear sign the current process is not very effective and also resulted in much more work for editors. When we can possibly find consensus on taking a process that used to take a good amount of time and turn it into something that only takes a minute or two to add, while retaining all the necessary information I think it's a change worth discussing and pursuing, regardless of whether it benefits experienced or inexperienced editors.

Most importantly, nobody came in with the intention of suggesting that information should be erased from the wiki for the sake of change. Again, this seems to be an assumption of a worst case scenario that nobody has proposed. I've already commented on the issue of VINs without any owner/operator information and overall I think Articulated and others were just trying to point out that the wiki should always be based on fact, as well as ensuring that information is posted in the appropriate place. Even with general consensus to move towards the new formats proposed everyone was prepared to approach it on a case by case basis and I think this is a good indication that there is willingness to compromise. I'll give one suggestion as an example, the Gillig Phantom school bus VIN lists are relatively complete with many VINs linked to owners/operators, and have a lot of info that wouldn't make it elsewhere as there are not pages for all those school districts that operate them. In this case, I would like to make the suggestion that in this case, the Phantom School bus VINs can be placed on one separate page (Phantom school buses use a different x1030000 serial sequence). This would allow for the information including full VIN to be maintained while allowing the Phantom page to be converted to the proposed new VIN page format like the rest of the manufacturers/models.

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17 hours ago, MiExpress said:

If a VIN is added to a VIN page without any owner or operator information attached to it is it really a fact? Personally, I do not think so and VINs without any confirmed owner or operator should not be added to the VIN pages for that simple reason

I would argue the opposite in that the VIN will reveal information about the bus it’s assigned to. Personally, I feel it would end up erasing lots of VINs that will at some point likely be linked to a fleet #/operator out of the slight chance that someone at the dmv made an error, but since this seems to be fairly unpopular and since this isn’t something I really feel like defending forever, I’m willing to let this go and just, like you say, store them offline until more information can be attached. Ideally/probably, any of the (publicly owned) buses will probably turn up on some roster of some sort eventually, so the info will eventually end up on the wiki at some point (so it doesn’t make much of a difference if it isn’t on there now in the end). I appreciate the more measured tone, it makes it a lot easier to respond.

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1 hour ago, Orion6025 said:

I would argue the opposite in that the VIN will reveal information about the bus it’s assigned to. Personally, I feel it would end up erasing lots of VINs that will at some point likely be linked to a fleet #/operator out of the slight chance that someone at the dmv made an error, but since this seems to be fairly unpopular and since this isn’t something I really feel like defending forever, I’m willing to let this go and just, like you say, store them offline until more information can be attached. Ideally/probably, any of the (publicly owned) buses will probably turn up on some roster of some sort eventually, so the info will eventually end up on the wiki at some point (so it doesn’t make much of a difference if it isn’t on there now in the end). I appreciate the more measured tone, it makes it a lot easier to respond.

As a compromise, would anyone be in support of a separate section at the bottom of the VIN pages for unidentified/unverified VINs?

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On 11/11/2020 at 6:56 PM, Articulated said:

I agree - the new VIN pages are looking better than I had anticipated.

@A. Wong - is there a way to perhaps get a bot configured to be able to automatically change links to the new page title? I'm thinking that could be a big help, as the most time-consuming task is likely going into each page and changing every link to the new one.

Good question, I have never looked into it. I am sure there is a way, the manual way is to click on the old page and select the "What links here" link on the left side.

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On 11/21/2020 at 10:56 PM, MiExpress said:

Above all, a wiki is supposed to be based on fact. If a VIN is added to a VIN page without any owner or operator information attached to it is it really a fact? Personally, I do not think so and VINs without any confirmed owner or operator should not be added to the VIN pages for that simple reason. If information inputted has to come with the caveat that it could be subject to error or incorrect then it shouldn't be on the wiki to begin with. Nothing precludes anyone from documenting information on their own and then adding it to the wiki once enough additional information is found. I realize this may be a slippery slope, but it's not as slippery than allowing information that is incomplete or incorrect. 

Using databases to find VINs has been very useful however like with any information the balance of probabilities should be considered. In cases like this, there is additional supporting information such as a license plate used to find the VIN, verification from fleet rosters, photos of the bus, etc. and in that case there is enough supporting information that the balance of probabilities has been met. The VIN will thus have a owner/operator known and can be added to the wiki as fact. This is different than just trying to find valid VINs in a database, but having no further supporting evidence of owner/operator, or caveats that the information could be erroneous or incorrect.

I agree the wiki is supposed to be based on fact. However there are plenty of cases where one cannot confirm some information as being 100% correct. We cannot confirm some peoples' personal sightings as fact, as we weren't there to see it. I have also seen VINs and even build plates with typos, incorrect engine codes, build dates, etc. So I don't see the issue with using databases, which likely have more reliable sources than our own wiki does in some cases for confirming VINs. I'm pretty sure most folks would trust a DMV or NMVTIS certified website over our wiki, so why not use DMV & NMVTIS certified info ON our wiki? Sure I have found mistakes (that's just human nature), and I always fix them or note them when I do spot them. I believe that some sort of information is better than no information at all. The wiki so far is the only public website I have seen that is capable of being able to note extremely hard to access & hard to find information. Having this info available can make it easier for other researchers to fill in some of these voids, such as VINs with unknown original or secondhand operators.

As for VINs with unknown operators, I don't think you understand how difficult it can be to find an original operator for a large amount of buses. Many of these operators, especially for coaches have gone out of business back in the 1980's & 1990's. There is nearly no available information for some of them available on the internet. I have been lucky to have had long time bus fans send me old paper reports that have some of those operators noted. Outside of those documents, it can sometimes be nearly impossible to find that kind of information (at this time). However, if a database notes that there are several records, registration notes in multiple states with exact dates, etc., I'm pretty sure that means the VIN is valid enough to be taken as correct. In the case of Neoplan VINs, their serials were spread out between all of their models. Tying specific VINs to certain models (via database research) has made it extremely helpful to fill in holes in production lists. Often times I ended up finding many secondhand operators for vehicles because of this research.

In reality, wikis will ALWAYS be subject to error. However I do not see how using databases, a proven source of information could be considered too risky for erroneous info. If people are worried about careful research strategies leading to the addition of incorrect info being added, I am more than happy to show my methods and how I rule out potentially incorrect info.

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On 11/21/2020 at 10:56 PM, MiExpress said:

Your overall post began negative, continued negative, and ended negative while assuming the worst case outcome from any changes.

As the person that started this thread, I made sure to carefully craft my opening post to make it clear that I wanted to start a discussion on possible ways to change the VIN pages to make it easier to edit. This thread has been up for three months for both editors and non editors to provide input, has had several people reply with differing viewpoints and no decision has been rushed into. While the general consensus may not be what you were expecting that does not necessarily indicate that your suggestions or comments aren't being considered. Nobody on the CPTDB has been left out of voicing their thoughts on the matter. 

The changes to the VIN pages were proposed as a way to simplify adding information. It was clear that the current process did not work well. Two of the major issues that were bought up were constantly having to change the alternating colours as well as having to input each VIN separately on the pages. Several posters stated that this format discouraged them from adding VINs to the VIN pages; as well there are many existing wiki editors who no longer bother to add or even link the VINs to the pages. All this is a clear sign the current process is not very effective and also resulted in much more work for editors. When we can possibly find consensus on taking a process that used to take a good amount of time and turn it into something that only takes a minute or two to add, while retaining all the necessary information I think it's a change worth discussing and pursuing, regardless of whether it benefits experienced or inexperienced editors.

Most importantly, nobody came in with the intention of suggesting that information should be erased from the wiki for the sake of change. Again, this seems to be an assumption of a worst case scenario that nobody has proposed. I've already commented on the issue of VINs without any owner/operator information and overall I think Articulated and others were just trying to point out that the wiki should always be based on fact, as well as ensuring that information is posted in the appropriate place. Even with general consensus to move towards the new formats proposed everyone was prepared to approach it on a case by case basis and I think this is a good indication that there is willingness to compromise. I'll give one suggestion as an example, the Gillig Phantom school bus VIN lists are relatively complete with many VINs linked to owners/operators, and have a lot of info that wouldn't make it elsewhere as there are not pages for all those school districts that operate them. In this case, I would like to make the suggestion that in this case, the Phantom School bus VINs can be placed on one separate page (Phantom school buses use a different x1030000 serial sequence). This would allow for the information including full VIN to be maintained while allowing the Phantom page to be converted to the proposed new VIN page format like the rest of the manufacturers/models.

My post was written this way because the negative aspect should not be ignored all together when issues could occur upon changes being made. I needed to make my issues with the changes completely clear with everyone in favor of these changes. Otherwise, they probably would have been overlooked. Also our fellow moderator Articulated did not seem very friendly with his previous post at the time either, so I was not quite "happy" when writing this post. At the time it had seemed like a large part of my research and some for other editors was not taken seriously at all (especially the mention of "jamming in numbers until we get results"). However at this point, I'm not as worried about the changes as before. I made my concerns clear, so it is what it is for the most part.

I can accept that the current process is too much work for the most part and that it is not considered beneficial for most editors. I liked it and learned from it a lot over the years, but I see it's not helping anyone else at this point. Your points on changing the system are all completely valid.

I stated my concerns about the new format just like everyone else stated their issues/concerns about the old format. I was thinking of worst case scenario in terms of deletion of information because it could have occurred, especially if it was not voiced. I think there should be a balance when it comes to ideas & decisions when converting to this new format, not just a complete push for change without thinking about what could go wrong or be lost. At this point I am willing to compromise letting go of the old format, but I think some of my concerns should really be addressed as well, instead of just written off as "we don't think VINs without known original or 2nd hand operators probably shouldn't be here in the first place." I am thinking of some methods/solutions for this currently.

I like your suggestion for the Phantom school bus VINs and I will work on moving that information asap. Thank you.

On a more positive note, I thought about some of your suggestions you made in the past about combining the Gillig LF & BRT VIN pages. At first I was against it since there are 2 separate pages for the buses and to me they aren't exactly the same kind of bus. However the VINs are exactly the same…. so it would make more sense to just have them on 1 page and note which ones are BRT's. I came to this conclusion when some BRT's were being noted as LF's in error. This would then lead to their VINs being placed on the wrong VIN pages, instead of just a simple fix of adding "BRT."

1 question/concern I have still have (which I may have been too vague about): Could we leave some VIN pages that are 100% complete in their original format? Some pages such as the Scania, 1980-1982 Phantoms, Gillig-Neoplans, Volvo & most Ikarus VINs are complete with VINs and have no gaps or don't need anymore additions. Outside of visual standardization, I guess I wouldn't see the benefit of converting those pages. Also, there are a couple of pages such as the Gillig Microcoach Serials page, with so little info that there really shouldn't be anything to change… could we leave those the same too?

Another question/concern I forgot to mention: What do you suggest I do for VINs for Rental Car Shuttle fleets? I'd say 90% of their fleet numbers are still currently unknown (unfortunately). Also many of their fleet numbers were reused at multiple airports. Also their airport distributions are completely scattered. For example, "X1087701" is for Hertz of Florida, then "X1087702" is for Hertz of Atlanta, then "X1087703" is for Hertz of San Francisco, etc. It's a huge mess; I learned when adding them all in (lol). However, I'm thinking maybe I could just move those all over to special pages for the bulk VIN group series and link them to the main page. I will consider doing this if this suggestion is approved or if anyone can enhance this idea. I do not want to lose any of this info, as it took an immense amount of work to research & input all by myself over the past few years.

1 suggestion I have for the new format is for the Neoplan VINs, we should only convert them to the new format once fleet pages are created for every noted VIN (mainly because those can be tricky to find). However for the VINs that cannot go onto fleet pages, I think we should maybe leave the full VINs on the VIN pages while being surrounded by the half VINs/serial formatted VINs, or maybe convert those to the new format while creating new pages for full VINs with limited information. I am willing to do this if it is approved by everyone else or if someone can enhance this suggestion.

Thank you for your time.

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4 hours ago, Detroit Diesel 6V92TA said:

Another question/concern I forgot to mention: What do you suggest I do for VINs for Rental Car Shuttle fleets? I'd say 90% of their fleet numbers are still currently unknown (unfortunately). Also many of their fleet numbers were reused at multiple airports. Also their airport distributions are completely scattered. For example, "X1087701" is for Hertz of Florida, then "X1087702" is for Hertz of Atlanta, then "X1087703" is for Hertz of San Francisco, etc. It's a huge mess; I learned when adding them all in (lol). However, I'm thinking maybe I could just move those all over to special pages for the bulk VIN group series and link them to the main page. I will consider doing this if this suggestion is approved or if anyone can enhance this idea. I do not want to lose any of this info, as it took an immense amount of work to research & input all by myself over the past few years.

I think a good solution (for Hertz at least) is to have fleet pages for each model/year and just title the page accordingly. That way all the VINs and info can be copied to the new fleet page. Example https://cptdb.ca/wiki/index.php/Hertz_Corporation_1997_Gillig_Low_Floor_buses

The rest of the rental car shuttle stuff is tricky. There are several factors:

1. At some airports, the buses are operated by a shuttle contractor on behalf of the rental car companies. Sometimes, there can be a 'consortium' of sorts where multiple rental car companies use the same contractor/fleet.
2. In the scenario of #1 the buses can be wrapped for a specific rental car company. However they can then be wrapped for another rental car company if fleet requirements change and even renumbered. This makes tracking buses very tricky.
3. At some airports the buses are actually owned by the airport and operations contracted out to ABM, SP+ etc.
4. At some airports contractors like SP+ and ABM provide a "turn key" solution providing both buses and operations. Often times the buses only last as long as the operations contract.
5. Some airports have multiple fleets for different shuttle services, again the issue of contracting out operations and swapping buses based on demand/usage and changing wraps/livery and fleet number. 

6. If buses aren't owned by the airport and instead by a contractor they can be transferred between other airports that the contractor operates at.

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I talked to @MiExpress privately about my concerns that I noted above. I think just about every issue & worry I had has basically been resolved so far. I am ready to help contribute with the new format. However, I have a couple of new suggestions/concerns, mainly in terms of neatness of the new pages.

1. I sorta stayed out of this conversion unfortunately a few months ago, but I actually really suggest using align=left| (left-justified) formatting for this new VIN layout. It is much more smooth and easier to read. For some reason with the old layout with full VINs, I think the 17 digits made a difference in terms of the visual aspect for the operator name. The operator name was able to flow well while not being justified to the left. I think it may also look smooth simply because the operator name is repeated a bunch of times. Example here:

779261463_ScreenShot2020-12-02at1_01_30PM.thumb.png.17a43e37b1ad9d2f9c18323a096097d0.png

However I noticed on the new pages, the operator names do not flow well with centered justification. Some agency names are longer than others, resulting in a more jumbled/messy look in my opinion. I think this is mainly due to the lack of repetition of the agency name and the smaller amount of digits noted for the VIN on the far left. Example:

2035507293_ScreenShot2020-12-02at1_06_32PM.thumb.png.279d12750b9277cc5c045230062c7d03.png

I noticed @Articulated mentioned that the center justified formatting is the standard, which is very true. However I highly suggest we make an exception here, as it is starting to look rather messy in my opinion. This was 1 reason I wasn't too thrilled about the new VIN layout initially either. To be completely straight forward, I think I favor this test page with everything left centered, or AT LEAST the operator name would be good enough: https://cptdb.ca/wiki/index.php?title=New_Flyer_Industries_'L_VINs'_(revised_layout_test)&oldid=501919

It visually flows better and is easier on my eyes when reading:

1895159996_ScreenShot2020-12-02at1_16_23PM.thumb.png.c266b743f32ac1219c73c9d34235c3fc.png

On 9/20/2020 at 7:47 PM, Articulated said:

Thanks @Kevin L for putting together the two test pages. It really helps to look at a finished example to see how it would work.

Overall, the layout is good IMO. I would make two suggestions:

1. The VIN(/serial) column and the notes can stay left-justified, but the other columns should be centre-justified, which is the standard for all other tables on the Wiki.

2. My second concern was the inclusion of different year code VINs on pages that aren't designated for them. Prime example here (https://cptdb.ca/wiki/index.php/New_Flyer_Industries_'K_VINs') would be the large amount of J VINs being placed in line with the K VINs. To me this sort of defeats the purpose of having separate VIN pages being divided by year. We might understand how the system works, but I think it could be a little confusing for other readers. Also, notice how the "2018 buses - See New Flyer Industries 'J VINs'" is completely off center compared to the rest of the operator names & fleet numbers. It starts to look a little crazy or like too much is going on after a while. I think this sort of problematic look (in my opinion) could be eliminated with using the left justification and starting every bit of text after the build date section.

1265127931_ScreenShot2020-12-02at1_20_49PM.thumb.png.9528ba4261ac5ea68429472fdf8a52e1.png

I also think the mention of the actual J VIN serials themselves should be moved away from the main line of VIN serials being noted, that way they can stay being specific to K VINs and not any other kind of VIN. I did a similar method here when creating a format for filling in VIN breaks:

1339898868_ScreenShot2020-12-02at1_26_32PM.thumb.png.fd52f2f0f27109fff3fee994d0d5ca87.png

I am aware that not everyone favored my format with the black background & white text, but I think having the VIN serials being placed away from the main line of VINs will show in a better visual detail that the K versions of those VINs did not exist, while not putting the J VINs on that line in a "K VIN" page.

Let me know what you think. @Articulated @Kevin L @Orion6025 @MiExpress @A. Wong

Thanks.

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49 minutes ago, Detroit Diesel 6V92TA said:

However I noticed on the new pages, the operator names do not flow well with centered justification. S

Personally i don’t mind thr operator names being in the center, probably out of force of habit from the old format. That said, I also don’t mind them all being left adjusted.

49 minutes ago, Detroit Diesel 6V92TA said:

would be the large amount of J VINs being placed in line with the K VINs

I agree it does look distracting, but I still feel they should be listed on there so folks (and myself) can see the serials count up. On the  New flyer G vins page (https://cptdb.ca/wiki/index.php/New_Flyer_Industries_%27G_VINs%27 sorry i can’t get it to hyperlink right on a phone..), to reduce the number of these types of rows, the plant code was simply replaced with a “_” so a bunch of rows could be condensed into one (done only on the second row). That could resolve some of the business on the page you’re referencing.

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Quote

I stated my concerns about the new format just like everyone else stated their issues/concerns about the old format. I was thinking of worst case scenario in terms of deletion of information because it could have occurred, especially if it was not voiced. I think there should be a balance when it comes to ideas & decisions when converting to this new format, not just a complete push for change without thinking about what could go wrong or be lost. At this point I am willing to compromise letting go of the old format, but I think some of my concerns should really be addressed as well, instead of just written off as "we don't think VINs without known original or 2nd hand operators probably shouldn't be here in the first place." I am thinking of some methods/solutions for this currently.

Speaking for myself, I would never delete any info. I would move it to/create a new page for it.

Quote

1 question/concern I have still have (which I may have been too vague about): Could we leave some VIN pages that are 100% complete in their original format? Some pages such as the Scania, 1980-1982 Phantoms, Gillig-Neoplans, Volvo & most Ikarus VINs are complete with VINs and have no gaps or don't need anymore additions. Outside of visual standardization, I guess I wouldn't see the benefit of converting those pages. Also, there are a couple of pages such as the Gillig Microcoach Serials page, with so little info that there really shouldn't be anything to change… could we leave those the same too?

Those would likely be the last to convert and we could have more discussion at that time on how to proceed.

Quote

1 suggestion I have for the new format is for the Neoplan VINs, we should only convert them to the new format once fleet pages are created for every noted VIN (mainly because those can be tricky to find). However for the VINs that cannot go onto fleet pages, I think we should maybe leave the full VINs on the VIN pages while being surrounded by the half VINs/serial formatted VINs, or maybe convert those to the new format while creating new pages for full VINs with limited information. I am willing to do this if it is approved by everyone else or if someone can enhance this suggestion.

Creating new pages for full VINs with limited information is a possible option that I could agree with.

4 hours ago, Detroit Diesel 6V92TA said:

I talked to @MiExpress privately about my concerns that I noted above. I think just about every issue & worry I had has basically been resolved so far. I am ready to help contribute with the new format.

Great! Once the page is created, adding things is quick and easy.

4 hours ago, Detroit Diesel 6V92TA said:

1. I sorta stayed out of this conversion unfortunately a few months ago, but I actually really suggest using align=left| (left-justified) formatting for this new VIN layout. It is much more smooth and easier to read. For some reason with the old layout with full VINs, I think the 17 digits made a difference in terms of the visual aspect for the operator name. The operator name was able to flow well while not being justified to the left. I think it may also look smooth simply because the operator name is repeated a bunch of times. Example here:

779261463_ScreenShot2020-12-02at1_01_30PM.thumb.png.17a43e37b1ad9d2f9c18323a096097d0.png

However I noticed on the new pages, the operator names do not flow well with centered justification. Some agency names are longer than others, resulting in a more jumbled/messy look in my opinion. I think this is mainly due to the lack of repetition of the agency name and the smaller amount of digits noted for the VIN on the far left. Example:

2035507293_ScreenShot2020-12-02at1_06_32PM.thumb.png.279d12750b9277cc5c045230062c7d03.png

I noticed @Articulated mentioned that the center justified formatting is the standard, which is very true. However I highly suggest we make an exception here, as it is starting to look rather messy in my opinion. This was 1 reason I wasn't too thrilled about the new VIN layout initially either. To be completely straight forward, I think I favor this test page with everything left centered, or AT LEAST the operator name would be good enough: https://cptdb.ca/wiki/index.php?title=New_Flyer_Industries_'L_VINs'_(revised_layout_test)&oldid=501919

It visually flows better and is easier on my eyes when reading:

1895159996_ScreenShot2020-12-02at1_16_23PM.thumb.png.c266b743f32ac1219c73c9d34235c3fc.png

I find it looks better visually too and would be in support of everything left aligned.

4 hours ago, Detroit Diesel 6V92TA said:

2. My second concern was the inclusion of different year code VINs on pages that aren't designated for them. Prime example here (https://cptdb.ca/wiki/index.php/New_Flyer_Industries_'K_VINs') would be the large amount of J VINs being placed in line with the K VINs. To me this sort of defeats the purpose of having separate VIN pages being divided by year. We might understand how the system works, but I think it could be a little confusing for other readers. Also, notice how the "2018 buses - See New Flyer Industries 'J VINs'" is completely off center compared to the rest of the operator names & fleet numbers. It starts to look a little crazy or like too much is going on after a while. I think this sort of problematic look (in my opinion) could be eliminated with using the left justification and starting every bit of text after the build date section.

1265127931_ScreenShot2020-12-02at1_20_49PM.thumb.png.9528ba4261ac5ea68429472fdf8a52e1.png

I also think the mention of the actual J VIN serials themselves should be moved away from the main line of VIN serials being noted, that way they can stay being specific to K VINs and not any other kind of VIN. I did a similar method here when creating a format for filling in VIN breaks:

1339898868_ScreenShot2020-12-02at1_26_32PM.thumb.png.fd52f2f0f27109fff3fee994d0d5ca87.png

I am aware that not everyone favored my format with the black background & white text, but I think having the VIN serials being placed away from the main line of VINs will show in a better visual detail that the K versions of those VINs did not exist, while not putting the J VINs on that line in a "K VIN" page.

3 hours ago, Orion6025 said:

I agree it does look distracting, but I still feel they should be listed on there so folks (and myself) can see the serials count up. On the  New flyer G vins page (https://cptdb.ca/wiki/index.php/New_Flyer_Industries_%27G_VINs%27 sorry i can’t get it to hyperlink right on a phone..), to reduce the number of these types of rows, the plant code was simply replaced with a “_” so a bunch of rows could be condensed into one (done only on the second row). That could resolve some of the business on the page you’re referencing.

I've been trying to figure out what works best visually for these and how to display that.

On the New Flyer G VINs page (the first three of these) I've condensed and tried a new format for displaying them.

First one spans all columns.

Second one is aligned to start with the build year.

Third one has the serials in their column and aligned to start with the build year.

How do they look?

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29 minutes ago, Kevin L said:

First one spans all columns.

Second one is aligned to start with the build year.

Third one has the serials in their column and aligned to start with the build year.

How do they look?

I favor Option 3 the most, Option 1 looks good too.

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6 hours ago, Detroit Diesel 6V92TA said:

1. I sorta stayed out of this conversion unfortunately a few months ago, but I actually really suggest using align=left| (left-justified) formatting for this new VIN layout. It is much more smooth and easier to read. For some reason with the old layout with full VINs, I think the 17 digits made a difference in terms of the visual aspect for the operator name. The operator name was able to flow well while not being justified to the left. I think it may also look smooth simply because the operator name is repeated a bunch of times. Example here:

779261463_ScreenShot2020-12-02at1_01_30PM.thumb.png.17a43e37b1ad9d2f9c18323a096097d0.png

However I noticed on the new pages, the operator names do not flow well with centered justification. Some agency names are longer than others, resulting in a more jumbled/messy look in my opinion. I think this is mainly due to the lack of repetition of the agency name and the smaller amount of digits noted for the VIN on the far left. Example:

2035507293_ScreenShot2020-12-02at1_06_32PM.thumb.png.279d12750b9277cc5c045230062c7d03.png

I noticed @Articulated mentioned that the center justified formatting is the standard, which is very true. However I highly suggest we make an exception here, as it is starting to look rather messy in my opinion. This was 1 reason I wasn't too thrilled about the new VIN layout initially either. To be completely straight forward, I think I favor this test page with everything left centered, or AT LEAST the operator name would be good enough: https://cptdb.ca/wiki/index.php?title=New_Flyer_Industries_'L_VINs'_(revised_layout_test)&oldid=501919

It visually flows better and is easier on my eyes when reading:

1895159996_ScreenShot2020-12-02at1_16_23PM.thumb.png.c266b743f32ac1219c73c9d34235c3fc.png

I agree that the issue probably stems mostly from having the operator name repeat so often, but that's a side effect from wanting to condense down the list. That was one of the first things I noticed with the new layout too was the jaggedness of the agency names. It probably also doesn't help that many of the old format pages (at least on the Nova VINs that I've been working on most recently) were often created using acronyms or short-form names, while the converted pages predominately spell out the agency name in full.

In terms of alignment, I still prefer the centre alignment. While left-justifying will have everything nice and straight on the left side, it doubles the "jaggedness" on the right side, making those peaks even larger. I was okay with left-justifying for the serials as that would line up the year digit for every serial, but there's less of a need to do the same for agency names.

6 hours ago, Detroit Diesel 6V92TA said:

2. My second concern was the inclusion of different year code VINs on pages that aren't designated for them. Prime example here (https://cptdb.ca/wiki/index.php/New_Flyer_Industries_'K_VINs') would be the large amount of J VINs being placed in line with the K VINs. To me this sort of defeats the purpose of having separate VIN pages being divided by year. We might understand how the system works, but I think it could be a little confusing for other readers. Also, notice how the "2018 buses - See New Flyer Industries 'J VINs'" is completely off center compared to the rest of the operator names & fleet numbers. It starts to look a little crazy or like too much is going on after a while. I think this sort of problematic look (in my opinion) could be eliminated with using the left justification and starting every bit of text after the build date section.

1265127931_ScreenShot2020-12-02at1_20_49PM.thumb.png.9528ba4261ac5ea68429472fdf8a52e1.png

I also think the mention of the actual J VIN serials themselves should be moved away from the main line of VIN serials being noted, that way they can stay being specific to K VINs and not any other kind of VIN. I did a similar method here when creating a format for filling in VIN breaks:

1339898868_ScreenShot2020-12-02at1_26_32PM.thumb.png.fd52f2f0f27109fff3fee994d0d5ca87.png

I am aware that not everyone favored my format with the black background & white text, but I think having the VIN serials being placed away from the main line of VINs will show in a better visual detail that the K versions of those VINs did not exist, while not putting the J VINs on that line in a "K VIN" page.

Let me know what you think. @Articulated @Kevin L @Orion6025 @MiExpress @A. Wong

Thanks.

1 hour ago, Kevin L said:

I've been trying to figure out what works best visually for these and how to display that.

On the New Flyer G VINs page (the first three of these) I've condensed and tried a new format for displaying them.

First one spans all columns.

Second one is aligned to start with the build year.

Third one has the serials in their column and aligned to start with the build year.

How do they look?

I agree with @Orion6025, that out of the options presented, Option #3 looks best. Although I'm not a fan of the thick grey borders... assuming those are just to draw attention to the test cells?

I still highly prefer having the serials remain in the left-most VIN column, as @Orion6025 said earlier it allows one to "count" the serials; otherwise, it looks like there's a gap in the serials where there isn't one. This is only an issue because we are breaking the VIN sequence into years to make it easier for reading/editing pages - the manufacturer's lists would just have one continuous flow. Other VIN pages that do not get organized by model year (Gillig being a likely example) will not encounter this issue.

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16 hours ago, Articulated said:

I agree with @Orion6025, that out of the options presented, Option #3 looks best. Although I'm not a fan of the thick grey borders... assuming those are just to draw attention to the test cells?

No. That was a test to see if there could be a balance between the cell being fully blacked out or if thicker boarders might work. Just an option I was trying out.

16 hours ago, Articulated said:

I still highly prefer having the serials remain in the left-most VIN column, as @Orion6025 said earlier it allows one to "count" the serials; otherwise, it looks like there's a gap in the serials where there isn't one. This is only an issue because we are breaking the VIN sequence into years to make it easier for reading/editing pages - the manufacturer's lists would just have one continuous flow. Other VIN pages that do not get organized by model year (Gillig being a likely example) will not encounter this issue.

After I did them I was also favouring #3.

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  • 2 weeks later...

I have finally read everyone's replies (sorry for the constant delays).

I've made my first new format pages. How do these look? Also let me know what you think about the serials listed for a different VIN year page. This is how I would do it/recommend (if you guys want). I find it to be cleaner/neater.

https://cptdb.ca/wiki/index.php/American_Ikarus_'S_VINs'

https://cptdb.ca/wiki/index.php/American_Ikarus_'T_VINs'

Also I have a request. I noticed some page histories can be merged into another. I merged the American Ikarus 416 'S VINs' page history into the new American Ikarus 'S VINs' with no problem. It even did an automatic redirect to the new page when I went back to the old one. However when merging the American Ikarus 436 'S VINs' history into the American Ikarus 'S VINs' page, I could only do the oldest revision and none of the other ones. I think I'm going to have to delete the old https://cptdb.ca/wiki/index.php/American_Ikarus_436_'S_VINs' page, but I'm going to be sad losing all of that old work. I have a request. Before deleting such pages, could we archive the old ones, especially if they were completed like this one? Example: http://web.archive.org/web/20201212223923/https://cptdb.ca/wiki/index.php/American_Ikarus_436_'S_VINs'

@Kevin L @Articulated @MiExpress @Orion6025

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On 12/12/2020 at 5:51 PM, Detroit Diesel 6V92TA said:

Also let me know what you think about the serials listed for a different VIN year page. This is how I would do it/recommend (if you guys want). I find it to be cleaner/neater.

That could be another possible option for them.

On 12/12/2020 at 5:51 PM, Detroit Diesel 6V92TA said:

Also I have a request. I noticed some page histories can be merged into another. I merged the American Ikarus 416 'S VINs' page history into the new American Ikarus 'S VINs' with no problem. It even did an automatic redirect to the new page when I went back to the old one. However when merging the American Ikarus 436 'S VINs' history into the American Ikarus 'S VINs' page, I could only do the oldest revision and none of the other ones. I think I'm going to have to delete the old https://cptdb.ca/wiki/index.php/American_Ikarus_436_'S_VINs' page, but I'm going to be sad losing all of that old work. I have a request. Before deleting such pages, could we archive the old ones, especially if they were completed like this one? Example: http://web.archive.org/web/20201212223923/https://cptdb.ca/wiki/index.php/American_Ikarus_436_'S_VINs'

@Kevin L @Articulated @MiExpress @Orion6025

They could certainly be archived.

About merging histories of the pages, that is probably a limitation of the wiki. Not sure on the value of doing it as it would be a big incomprehensible mess if I was to do that with the New Flyer pages. 

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  • 5 months later...

Recently, there has been initiative to convert the Gillig VIN pages into the new format, as shown by the New Flyer, Nova and Eldorado pages.

In previous discussions in this thread, the issue of Gillig's serial sequence was bought up. In short, Gillig does not assign their serials in any sequential order which makes having their VIN pages by model year is extremely difficult. However, there wasn't much consensus on what path to take with the Gillig page, whether it be by model year or serial range.

Recently the Gillig 2020 VIN page was converted based on maintaining the model year format, with the 2019 page also being converted in this manner. Given that I also started working on the 2010 model year page based on this format. 

Given the results of how the 2019 and 2020 Gillig VIN pages now look, as well as my experience trying to apply this format to the 2010 Gillig VIN page, I strongly believe that having the Gillig VIN pages by serial number range is the only effective way to have these pages. With the way Gillig serials are assigned, the end results of maintaining the model year format makes the Gillig VIN pages look broken up, take far too long to edit and based on my experience trying to edit the 2010 model year page, lead to a unaesthetic page.

For example, here is the 2020 Gillig VIN page: https://cptdb.ca/wiki/index.php/Gillig_Low_Floor_'L_VINs'

As one can see, due to Gillig not assigning serials in any particular sequence relative to model year, the page looks terrible and based on my unfinished version of the 2010 Gillig VIN page using this format, it will look even worse with all the links added in to the other model year pages when necessary.

Given those concerns, I feel that having the Gillig VIN pages by serial year is the way to go, and I am posting so my thoughts are known and hopefully some consensus can be reached. In talking to some other editors, after seeing the results of trying Gillig VIN pages by sticking to the model year format, they agree that going by serial number range is likely better. Points that would need to be discussed include how exactly to title the pages and how to go in increments - 1000, 5000, or just put each of the serial sequences on their own pages (also keeping in mind the 29' models have their own serial sequence).

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I would endorse this as well ^^. Of the top ~~100 rows of the L VINs page, only 19 of them have to do with L-series VINs... Granted, we’re certainly missing some serials that would fit in the huge block, but that doesn’t excuse the fact that the page doesn’t really look as nice and doesn’t communicate information well. I mean,,, currently only 19% of the first 100 rows has information relevant to the page title...

And while the K VINs page looks a little less extreme, that’s because only a couple 2018 model blocks have been put in. If someone actually went to fill in all the J VINs on that page, I imagine it would look just as insane.

It takes long enough to just gather the serials to put onto a page because of how many different orders Gillig fulfills, and having to spend another hour or so editing at least three pages to make sure the different serial groups are reflected accurately across all the relevant pages is really not fun... not to mention that all the extra work just makes all three pages harder to read.. It kind of becomes a lose/lose situation; it’s not fun as an editor, nor is it fun as a reader (From my POV, at least). i kind of wish I could get some of the time back that i sunk into the K and L VINs page; while the concept of condensing vins into this type of format works great (Older versions of the L VINs page without all the 2019 serial blocks look fine IMO), this method of grouping serials is really not nice to read/process...

Also the fact that editors may need to edit up to at least three pages just to input one serial block means that the format is ripe for mistakes as well in the future.

As a full disclaimer, initially I had no opinion - making pages by serial blocks was not standard, but making pages by model year would result in a lot of linking.

That said, having an actual, worked example of what a page grouped by model year looks like, and having worked on those pages and getting an idea of the work needed to put them together, I agree, it would be wiser to go by blocks of serials instead..

————

While we’re on this topic, I’d like to propose linking VIN pages in a similar manner to what is done on the New Flyer pages with the white bar and bold black text, and also employing the use of empty rows for gaps in serials..

to keep the pages at a reasonable length, perhaps the serials should be grouped at no more than 1,000? That’s just an arbitrary suggestion, but I went thru the New Flyer pages (randomly chose some from the 2003-2009 block) and the difference between the lowest and highest serial #s on the pages are generally between 1,000 and 3,000. I generally find the new flyer pages to be of a reasonable length so shooting for something in that range would be best IMO. I choose the lower bound though since not all of the 1,000-3,000 serials will have their own rows on the NFI pages of course due to differences in model year (making the page appear artificially short), so it might be better to lean on the lower end since we would be creating rows for every serial used.. 

Title suggestion-

Gillig Serials #[Lower bound]-[Upper bound]

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