[CR]Suggestion for easily making archive more powerful...

Date: Mon, 2 Jan 2006 07:18:45 -0800 (PST)
From: Don Wilson <dcwilson3@yahoo.com>
To: Classic Rendezvous <classicrendezvous@bikelist.org>
Subject: [CR]Suggestion for easily making archive more powerful...

I notice alot of persons like me want to know both what came stock on a bike, and/or what was period correct for the time (e.g., my Raleigh International came with AVA tubulars, but what kinds of clinchers might someone have replaced them with at the time).

Alot of CR list members have this sort of info in their heads and respond generously to requests, but at the same time justifiably tire of repeat questions. Finding timeline answers in the archive is somewhat hit and miss in my experience. Here is a thought for making timeline information for period correct componentry readily accessible in the archive.

On the subject line of a submission to the CR bikelist adopt a standard key word. Type in all lowercase: datecomponentname. For example, "dateweinmannconcaverim." Or "dateuniversalmodel61" or "datecampagnolonuovorecordrearderailleur," or so on. Anyone who has exact, or approximate, knowledge of from when to when weinmann concave rims were made could enter it once and there after anyone who wanted to know if a component were period correct (at least in the sense of was that component something available at the time for the bicycle being rehabbed), could easily find out in the archives by typing date and the component name as "dateweinmannconcaverims." Now I know this system is not perfect. Nothing is. For instance, how does one know to type in "dateweinmannconcaverims" and not "dateweinmannconcave"? but most could try a few variations and get it fairly quickly.

Timeline info may seem like mastery of the obvious to alot of our most knowledgeable members, but I can assure them that a lot of even their most obvious knowledge is not obvious to the rest of us. It is fairly easy for one to go to CR's website and find out what brands of components were out there in the vintage lightweight era, but it is considrably tougher to find out from when to when, exactly or approximately, such components were commonly available. From when to when were Weinmann centerpulls being sold, or "dateweinmanncenterpulls." adopting a convention of lower case, no spaces, the key word date, and the order of "datecomponentnamemodelname" would allow the existing archive to do its thing without modification. We change a little so the doesn't have to. Dale should appreciate that. And we can all still go on posting free style about other things, too.

We could do something similar with finding what was stock on a particular bike. We could use a key word like "stockbike" and enter on the subject line as: stockbikenamemodelnamecomponentname. For example, concerning my Raleigh International, I might submit to the CR list an email with the subject line "stockbikeraleighinternationalwheel" or "stockbikeraleighinternationalbrakes" and type an email explaining that my 1972 Raleigh International came with Ava Tubulars, or Weinmann 610s. Or perhaps a link to a catalogue with a link listing what was stock for a 1972 Raleigh International. Then when someone typed "stockbikeraleighinternationalwheel" or "stockbikeraleighinternationalbrakes" into the archive query in the future out would come entries with exactly the info one wanted.

Basically, I'm just suggesting adopting some stardard key words on the subject line of submissions to make the CR archive for this sort of information more of a catalogue. At the rate people post about such things here, I would say that in a very short time the CR archives would be capable of generating an astounding timeline for componentry both stock and period correct for all who follow in the years to come.

Further, by making the archive produce more stock and period correct answers more readily, it would help keep new posting focused on the not yet discussed and less on the already discussed. And all with no work by Dale required. And with no steep learning curve for any users. Just two key terms. And with no additional costs to anyone. The key is to adopt a convention about subject message line entry for these two sorts of posts. all lower case. no spaces between words. key words like "date" and "stockbike" consistent word order of "datecomponentnamemodelname" and "stockbikebikenamemodelname." And that's all. And of course folks would still be free to enter it other ways whenever they wanted to, also.

A small bit of standardizing in exchange for a big increase in usefulness and ease of access of frequently sought and extremely useful information.

Thanks in advance for considering the idea or proposing an alternative one.

Don Wilson Los Olivos, CA

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