League racing is one of the important things of a racing simulation. It is as important as public racing. A racing simulation without these two columns of virtual activities is pretty much dead. Of course, this shall not become a discussion of the vitality of Live for Speed.
Up to today, League Racing was heavily featured by spdo and it's astonishing database. Now it is (maybe only temporarily?) offline. Giving this a thought, having such a big part of the living LFS, the league racing in private hands might always cause the problem of lost interest, teams falling apart or similar and the consequence of a discontinued database.
While we already saw lfsnews becoming an integral (but too little used) part of lfsworld and the lfsforum, there should be some sort of official league racing support, a database to store race and season results. Maybe even with the option to derive a driver's world ranking from it, similar to what we see in reallife sports in rugby, football, tennis, chess and so on.
With Josh being inactive and a league database being so integral to LFS I would even go as far as to suggest Josh enables someone else to manage it who is active, like a moderator or a high league official. Either way, something permanent needs to be put in place that can be updated regularly.
I'd also like to see a redesigned LFSW teams section, where the actual team of a driver is more important (with links to its website and such info).
With the actual system, almost nobody updates his actual team each time they leave their old team. Partly because this is done by team admins and partly because that info were only used by Spdo. It need to be more useful, with more information and usability, we need a LFSW Teams 2.0 section
I've just been pointed in this general direction, as its a similar sort of topic to something ive just posted about elsewhere and have been planning for a considerably long time (2004-6 roughly) but obviously not done officially.
Im now restarting the project from scratch with the help of a few capable assistants and anyone willing to lend a hand, and we'll be opening it up to all race sims which we can possibly cater for, LFS being one of my main priorities.
Teams & Driver pages, with a focus on self-updating & automated content, is something i'll be implementing as soon as the basic series management aspect is dealt with, if not at the same time. Things like displaying what events someone is signed up for, what a teams drivers latest results are. Because the site would be managing the events we can display event based info relevant to them, if a driver leaves a team he'd be removed from their current line-up (i plan to implement a 'past' drivers list too), and then the driver can approach another team and if both parties commit he'll be added to their team profile.
Having run successful events & teams, and built sites for both purposes, theres a lot of things i understand needs to be added, and we'll hopefully include them. If we dont, we should have a suggestion route and if its a no-brainer it'll get added np.
At the same time as being pointed to this thread, im also led to believe Victor might be doing something similar for LFS anyway, so chances are he'll implement a lot of the ideas above and a load i've not yet thought of or had suggested, but hopefully the community will be well supported in this department in the not too distant future.
Some info on the project im working on is here if anyones interested in reading more.
Let's take this as an example.
I totally agree with you, but I don't want to make these changes for the current lfsworld. The whole windowed thing is working against me because they limit my freedom, because they're small areas. It's too cramped to put lots of info into.
I have long wanted to make a whole new lfsworld. No longer in desktop form, but more like regular sites, with full page display areas.
The same thing for the news. The same thing for leagues. Well, the same applies to every aspect of lfsworld. Even the skin upload windows I have nice features for, but they cannot be done nicely atm. They need a complete redesign of lfsworld.
And herein the (or rather my) problem lies. The design. That is, the layout, the looks, not the code.
But lfsworld is only part of the redesign.
I would like to take all our sites and make them more intergratable and recognizable. Like Google and their many sites. Like their bar at the top where you can select which site/section to visit. We could have www.lfs.net as the storefront, where new people can see what LFS is about and obtain it.
Then there would be stats.lfs.net where all online stuff could be found and hotlaps etc.
Continuing with leagues.lfs.net and news.lfs.net and of course forum.lfs.net etc.
You can see I use all these lfs.net subdomains now. I'd like to move to those to make it easy for authentication cookies. Login once for all sites. Of course urls using current domain names like www.lfsforum.net would simply redirect to the new domain and noone would experience any problems.
Also this solves a number of browser cross domain policy issues and makes it easier to apply SSL to all of them at once for better safety.
So the point is, I'd like to do a new teams section. I'd like to do a new leagues section as well, but they're only part of a much bigger plan, that unfortunately I cannot seem to get off the ground. And I can only admit that I need help with this. Serious help.
The reason I'm posting this is that perhaps if the will is there, the community could help me with this. I'd make it more of an open project where anyone can have their say, -is invited to even-, although we'd have to find a way to keep things on topic and to the point. We don't need everyone to say different things and let things get messy, so it has to be an organized project where interesting things trickle down through several filters before they reach me. Or maybe there should be a closed discussion group, where anyone can join who is serious about contributing.
I realise this post is not a direct answer to the OP, it's become way more. But it's how I see things. I've kept this to myself and a few other people for a while, but since redesigning the whole lot hasn't worked out so far, maybe it's time to ask for help in public.
I've often thought that to be sucky, asking people who paid for your game for help like this. But lately I also realised that this way we'd give those very same people a chance to make LFS be what they want it to be and get more value. So perhaps I shouldn't feel bad for asking for help.
So there I go
EDIT - maybe the question I'm asking here also is : I know how to setup an open source code project. But how does one setup an open design project?
Asking users for help isn't a bad idea. There's a lot of knowledgable and multi-skilled people. You have people who are amazing designers, good programmers at low-level and higher level things along with a lot of other smaller skills too.
Looking to the users isn't a bad idea; look at team fortress with the hundred thousand items that users have contributed and are even profit sharing with the creator. The profit sharing is irrelevant here, but the concept of letting users build an official solution is a great idea, provided developers ultimately have veto power towards things that they see as a bad idea.
I think it would be a good idea yo create a topic called "Sugestions for the new LFS World", where everybody could post. Then select a few trustworthy people that can edit the first post, they would pick the useful/interesting ideas.
After that, developers (Victor and everyone he accepts in the 'crew') would have their own tread "Accepted sugestions", where they would post their selection, with more detailed information, so people/programmers can tell their vision on those things that pretty much sure will be done.
I agree that there should be a thread for suggestions about the new LFS websites (or even separate threads for each of them?), so more people get to know about it, and to make it more "official". Something like this one, but this one is only related to an LFS league database. Also, it can be used to get some people to help with designing the websites.
Anyway, I am glad Victor replied to this. It was me who offered him some help with the new site designs but it’s been moving pretty slow from my side, from several reasons. One of them is the fact that it’s just a huge project to be done by one person – at least that’s how it seems to me now and I didn’t realise it at the beginning. It’s important to make all the LFS sites work together well, not only functionally but also design-wise, which is not an easy task.
Moreover, I am not a professional web designer at all. I’ve been learning all my designing experience from other people and books/internet, I do this stuff in my free time. I’m sure there are some other people around these forums, who are more talented than me and who know better how to create good-looking websites ... those who have the know-how.
If more people offer their help with the websites – from posting suggestions for improvements to the actual participation in the designing itself – we can make everything more organised and refined in the end, in my opinion.
That doesn’t mean I resign from designing the LFS sites, not at all! I would gladly help with anything possible, but as I already mentioned, my professional web-designing skils are not as good as this project most likely needs.
Ok, well I think the first step should be for me to work on some documentation to lay out the overall plan, in order for people to get up to scratch on what actually needs doing and in which areas to start thinking. If that isn't clear then noone'll know what is going on. I'll need a few days to work that out.
I'll most likely start a new section when I'm ready to post that. So, more to come later.
There is now a new section LFS Websites Design.
This is the start of setting up the idea of a pulic effort to create the new sites. Please read all posts.
We can continue the site discussions there instead of here.