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MiExpress
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2 hours ago, MiExpress said:

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).

1 hour ago, Orion6025 said:

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]

It's late for me so no essay tonight... but essentially I agree with the two posts above. Gillig serials are not assigned by year, and are extremely messy as a result. Buses with adjacent serials can be built 6 years apart.

I want to thank @Detroit Diesel 6V92TA and @Orion6025 for putting together the first year-based pages as test cases - your work is great and the general layout is good, but I think shows the limitations and issues that comes up with. The Gillig Low Floor 'L VINs' page is a good example, where there are multiple filler lines in between each entry. If there is more "filler" than actual content, it becomes a question of usefulness and relevance.

My $0.02, but I'd suggest grouping the serial pages into blocks of 10000, using the first 3 digits of the 7-digit serial (i.e. 107, 109, 111, etc.), as those blocks all have commonalities (107 are 35/40' low floors, 109 are 29' low floors, 111 are Phantoms)

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Before the idea of still doing Gilligs by model year came about, I had been working offline on converting the page formats to a format based on serial range. To be honest I thought there was better consensus on going in that direction but after reading through this thread it doesn't look like much of a consensus developed. 

If we do indeed move ahead with going with the Gillig VIN pages based on serials, I've already done 1070000-1079999 (35-40ft low floor) and was starting on 1090000 (29ft low floor) so I can handle getting those series up on the wiki easily sometime this week/by this weekend.

I do agree that having the pages just set up that all serials in the same blocks of 10,000 are on the same page as it will make linking easier to do, however perhaps the tables themselves should be broken into blocks of 1,000 (not separate pages, just blocks the same as you would separate a active and  retired roster) as it will make the pages easy to edit and avoid really long tables. 

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How about laying out the pages by serial for the Low Floors, but by year for the Phantoms & Spirits? I noticed the craziness on the Gillig LF L VINs page and there's no point for me to hold you guys back at this point in terms of going with the serial route. However I think this problem is not as apparent for the older buses and I'd still like to do those by year. I'd work on them myself as well.

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Having a look through the Phantom VIN pages and my personal view is that those will need to be done by serial number as well as there are lots of cases of things not being in any apparent order (especially as you get later into the model years) and we will end up with the same issue we ran into with testing the Gillig LF VINs pages by model year. It will also ensure consistency between all the Gillig pages.

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On 5/24/2021 at 3:20 PM, MiExpress said:

I've created the first page of Gillig serials in the new format (serials x1070000-x1079999 which are 35-40' Low Floors). I plan to work on the other serial ranges over the next little while as time permits.

https://cptdb.ca/wiki/index.php/Gillig_VINs_'1070000-1079999'

This demo page is excellent and I will agree with the serial method from here on out.

However I have 1 single request, I want to hold off on the permanent deletion of the old VIN pages for Gillig until I thoroughly examine them and archive them on wayback machine. I want to make sure no specific details are lost during the transition. As for everything else including the linking of the new VIN pages to the fleet pages, I am ready for you guys to move forward. @Articulated @Kevin L 

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It is possible now to expand and possibly convert some of the Blue Bird Company VINs by using this website right here: http://vantage.blue-bird.com/Portal/Unit-Dashboard.aspx

I have been using it for over two weeks to look up a full VIN but I discovered a method of searching the VINs simply by entering the chassis/body (aka serial) number; for example, entering F202405 (LA Metro 9974) on the bus lookup search bar gave me this entry with the owner part of that page being misleading: http://vantage.blue-bird.com/Portal/Unit-Dashboard.aspx?search= 1BAGNBXA92F202405

And then entering the next serial in sequence (F202406) gave me a previously unknown Blue Bird CS Bus belonging to Cruise West in Alaska: http://vantage.blue-bird.com/Portal/Unit-Dashboard.aspx?search= F202406

Some of the sequence numbers (e.g. F202407-F202408) however might not exist so I tried the next one in sequence (F202409) and it shows another previously unknown Blue Bird All American FE vehicle from West Central Mass Transit in Illinois: http://vantage.blue-bird.com/Portal/Unit-Dashboard.aspx?search= F202409

Blue Bird VIN pages made in the new format should be based on the manufacturing plant; the Wanderlodge VINs are the easiest to make as the existing Blue Bird Express and 2005-2007 Blue Bird Ultra LF VINs can be consolidated into a single page containing the vehicles built at that plant while adding previously undocumented VINs as well; there are under 600 units spanning from the 2003-2007 model years with the serials ranging from W100000-W100590; VINs with the Wanderlodge plant code based on the new format should be labeled as: Blue Bird Wanderlodge '[x model year] VINs'

Beware that some of the 2003-2007 Wanderlodge VINs are later production Blue Bird Wanderlodge RVs bought under private ownership which may have to labeled as commercial vehicles.

For the Fort Valley, GA VINs however, this process is longer than converting the Wanderlodge pages as there are a lot of VINs that have not been documented on the wiki coupled with the huge number of vehicles (mostly school buses) built at that plant (e.g. Blue Bird All American, Vision, TC2000, TC1000, CS Bus, early production Ultra LFs, Xcel 102 models, etc.) therefore it should likely be based on model year along with serial number like the Gillig Low Floor VINs made in the new format; VINs with the Fort Valley, GA plant code based on the new format should be labeled as: Blue Bird Fort Valley, GA '[x model year] VINs' 

The Blue Bird All American 'B-M VINs' if the old VIN format were to be retained will have to be separated as a result of the expansion thanks to the new method of finding Blue Bird VINs I discovered by labeling the pages as, for example:

Blue Bird All American 1991 'M VINs' or Blue Bird All American 'M VINs' (1991) for the 1991 model year

Blue Bird All American 2021 'M VINs' or Blue Bird All American 'M VINs' (2021) for the 2021 model year

I also found an updated Blue Bird VIN definition chart (https://vantage.blue-bird.com/Portal/VIN-Definition-chart1.aspx) on the same Blue Bird Vantage website that describes the serial numbers, meaning that the Blue Bird VIN Explanation should be updated to include the info found on that aforementioned chart.

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I'm starting to convert the Gillig '8 VINs' page to the new format. 

I copied the Gillig 'K VINs' page code onto a Google Doc, and I'm changing all the info on there before I put it on here.

I'm glad to help out any way I can!

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23 hours ago, BroncoFan623 said:

I'm starting to convert the Gillig '8 VINs' page to the new format. 

I copied the Gillig 'K VINs' page code onto a Google Doc, and I'm changing all the info on there before I put it on here.

I'm glad to help out any way I can!

We've decided not to use this method any longer due to the large amount of gaps that are created. I initially favored this method, but now even I have to agree with the other editors and admins that the serial method will have to be the way to go for Gilligs. I guess there's nothing stopping you from converting, but I think those "by year" pages will eventually be abandoned unfortunately.

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1 hour ago, Detroit Diesel 6V92TA said:

We've decided not to use this method any longer due to the large amount of gaps that are created. I initially favored this method, but now even I have to agree with the other editors and admins that the serial method will have to be the way to go for Gilligs. I guess there's nothing stopping you from converting, but I think those "by year" pages will eventually be abandoned unfortunately.

Aww no. Okie dokie. I'm not gonna do it anymore.

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