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Folding Bikes Discuss the unique features and issues of folding bikes. Also a great place to learn what folding bike will work best for your needs.

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Old 10-11-06, 08:34 AM   #1
SoonerLater
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Wiki-database for folders

Not entirely off topic, but....

Does anyone here know if it is technically possible to create a sort of wiki-style database hosted on a website? For those unfamiliar, a wiki is a site which visitors can edit. The most famous, of course, is wikipedia.org. It seems to me that a database of folding bikes would be helpful to the folding community. It should have key dimensions (e.g. max/min seat to bottom bracket length, max/min cockpit length (if adjustable), folded dimensions, MSRP, etc.) and user comments. It would be more permanent and searchable than a forum thread, but as a wiki, it would be built by the community and remain flexible. Note: this would in no way be a rival to a forum site such as this one. Discussion threads have their place and are very useful. If this could work, I wouldn't be surprised that bikeforums.net would be willing to host it, but if not, an alternate site could be arranged pretty easily, I think.

Your thoughts?
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Old 10-11-06, 08:53 AM   #2
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Good idea. Something that is better organized and not quite as dynamic as the forrum would be useful.

I found this: http://www.wikispaces.com/ Might be a good place to start.

For the free version you can set it up so that only a limited number of members can add to it, but it would be publicly viewable. 2 GB of storage. Probably enough if you don't have lots of pictures.

Last edited by Speedo; 10-11-06 at 09:06 AM.
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Old 10-11-06, 09:11 AM   #3
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You could do it on wikipedia.org, just create a page. I often use wikipedia.org as a place to store my links. If the page is popular people will fill in the stuff you do not.

For example I threw this together just to store some links I had in a txt file:
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/List_of..._Photo_Alblums

You might be able to do it as a business, although the site would have to be slick, and most probably (but not 100% sure) will not compensate you for the time you put in.
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Old 10-11-06, 09:39 AM   #4
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Sounds like a pretty splendid idea to me. Enough people (including myself) have made amends to the wikipedia folding bikes page to prove it would probably be something that people would use and maintain.
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Old 10-11-06, 10:21 AM   #5
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I think it'd be great, and it might be worth asking Chop! if he'd be willing to host it. Alternately, if he would mind it if we data-mined his page for historical information.

I think it could be useful for historical and current info, including whether the bike is still manufactured/sold.
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Old 10-11-06, 10:48 AM   #6
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Quote:
Originally Posted by geo8rge
You could do it on wikipedia.org, just create a page.
Sure you can create a page, but can you create a database? I'm thinking that we need a database with structure, fields, etc. and some rudamentary way to search and get a simple onscreen report based on you search criteria. Can this be done?
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Old 10-11-06, 11:08 AM   #7
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Quote:
Originally Posted by SoonerLater
Sure you can create a page, but can you create a database? I'm thinking that we need a database with structure, fields, etc. and some rudamentary way to search and get a simple onscreen report based on you search criteria. Can this be done?
Oh, a database database...

Probably, but just having information organized and not so dynamic would be most of the way there.

Case in point. Somebody just asked, on the Swift thread, what the seatpost diameter of the Swift frame is. It's in the thread, but a PITA to find, that's the kind of tidbit that would be useful stored on a Wiki page.
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Old 10-11-06, 05:26 PM   #8
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Speedo
Oh, a database database...

Probably, but just having information organized and not so dynamic would be most of the way there.

Case in point. Somebody just asked, on the Swift thread, what the seatpost diameter of the Swift frame is. It's in the thread, but a PITA to find, that's the kind of tidbit that would be useful stored on a Wiki page.
But even a Wiki page wouldn't help you with a question like "what are all the 20-inch folders, available in the USA, that have internal hub gearing?" Or, "what folders are suitable for riders over 6", and cost under $500?"

You'd need something very structured. Moreso than a wiki, right?

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Old 10-12-06, 09:17 AM   #9
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Originally Posted by eff-J
But even a Wiki page wouldn't help you with a question like "what are all the 20-inch folders, available in the USA, that have internal hub gearing?" Or, "what folders are suitable for riders over 6", and cost under $500?" You'd need something very structured. Moreso than a wiki, right?
Ideally you'd have a structured database with all kinds of information to make such searchs possible. I don't know if there is such a thing as a wiki-database -- a true database that users can modify the structure of to add new fields, etc. I'd certainly never want to setup the dB and maintain it. It would have to depend on the public model that Wikipedia uses.

Probably a simple Wiki page at Wikipedia would be better than nothing. I'd like to suggest the following structure. Anyone on this thread, please make your own suggestions:

I. Introduction to folding bikes (steal some content from someone like Sheldon Brown).

II. Manufacturers

A. Brompton
i. 2007 models
a. model alpha
-- MSRP
-- Geometry
-- Drivetrain
-- Comments
b. model beta
ii. 2006 models
B. Downtube
i. 2006-1/2 models
a. model 9FS
b. model 9NS
ii. 2006 models

It would not be terribly useful until it reached a critcal mass of information, but if we sticky'ed it here, hopefully people who own folders would go add descriptions for their bikes to the wiki.
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Old 10-13-06, 09:29 AM   #10
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Neat idea. I agree that maintaining would be a pain, though. YahooGroups used to allow for a public database whose structure could only be altered by administrators, but whose contents could be modified or added to by members. Perhaps there is a standard set of data we could keep for all bikes, and then a big ol' blob of stuff to catch everything else, like a Notes or Description field. That way you have both the data sorting and the full-text capabilities. Maybe the Notes section could utilize a Wiki?
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Old 10-21-06, 04:24 AM   #11
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Careful about stealing information from other websites. I doubt Sheldon would mind very much, but be sure to ask him first!
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Old 10-21-06, 04:55 AM   #12
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Reading over the posts again, you could do something like that using blogging software like Wordpress. Create an entry for each bike, assign it tags based on price, geographical availability, components, etc. After that, there are advanced search plugins that would let you easily search for, say, a sub-500 internal hub folder in the States.

Edit: An example of such a search plugin is here: http://www.contutto.com/software/wor...vanced-search/
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