I just wanted to announce a new version of the Torrey Pines Quizbowl Database called Quizbowl Central.
New features include a more efficient server, faster search, upgraded reader, and MULTIPLAYER!
Please read through all the changes before you use it!!!!
Here are the specific changes:
- Faster server (node.js + JSONP instead of PHP + XML)
- Better designed user interface (still GWT, but newer elements)
- Ported server and database to more reliable site over which I'll have more control (Berkeley instead of hostmonster.com)
- Better searching interface (Simple Search is now more Simple, with the same old options. Everything is translated into a "searching" language like Google has)
- More reliable searches (due to the use of JSONP instead of my old, bad, XML parsing)
- Exporting questions is more reliable (due to better server)
- Post-query sorting and filtering of the results (before, you could only filter pre-query)
- And...just for fun, upgrading and downgrading questions just like Reddit (I made this because I was bored, and I don't expect this to be used that often, but knock yourselves out)
- Press "Space" (or click Buzz) to buzz now! (by popular request. Sorry if you're used to typing in "buzz", but hitting the spacebar seems intuitive)
- Press Ctrl+Space to skip a question (instead of clicking that tiny button)
- (Slightly) better answer checking. (It won't accept things like "" or " " or "a" anymore. Also, uses Google API to spellcheck. Still under development)
- More informative statistics keeping. (Before, I kept only your the question you got right and the score. Now I keep the question, the score, if you got it right or wrong, the answer you put, and the time of the buzz)
- Just like the reader, except, more than one person at a time!
- Chatroom with scobowl-like language ("!stop","set category literature")
- Keeping track of individual scores during the game (no teams, yet. Will be added in the future depending on servers)
- Designed to play like a normal quizbowl match. (Scoring is still slightly weird, but will be fixed in future updates)
- Uses the same (slightly) upgraded answer checking system
Those are the new feature changes that I can remember. If you guys find anymore that I've forgotten about, feel free to post them.
- Random questions (you can still get as many random questions as you like with the "random:true" and "limit:#" options in the search box)
- Viewing your stats. It will be better than the old version. (Stats are still being recorded however, so don't lose hope)
- Cooler multiplayer, i.e. teams
IMPORTANT: LOGISTICAL ISSUES
- YOU HAVE TO MAKE NEW ACCOUNTS! Due to a better username/password system, you'll have to make new accounts that do NOT HAVE THE SAME USERNAME as your last ones! Please make new ones immediately. The other option is to do a complete reset of all accounts and stats. This can be done whenever, so please tell me if you guys are attached to your statistics. If not, I'll do a complete reset.
- I will not redirect the tpclubs site to the new one for a bit. I want to see how this goes and I might get a domain name too, so this domain will probably be temporary. However, I will post a link on the tpclubs site, so tell all your friends to use the new site, not the old one.
- Expect some downtime while I add features in a couple of weeks
Source code for the GWT client side can be found at: https://github.com/sharadmv/Quizbowl-User-Interface. If you can, I'd prefer you make feature requests through github if you have accounts. Otherwise, just post any concerns or feedback on this thread.
If any of you want access to the API, contact me at firstname.lastname@example.org, or if you would like to develop on this, please email me.
The backend is currently running on a free tier Amazon EC2 instance. The server cannot handle too many people doing multiplayer at the same time (I still don't know how many the max is). Since multiplayer uses websockets, and xhr polling (NowJS) as a fallback, I'd prefer you use Chrome and Firefox 6 when doing multiplayer over browsers like Firefox 5 or less and Internet Explorer. The site still works well on those browsers, but will cause more server load.
I will work on getting a server with more RAM and processing power.
The site can be found at http://www.ocf.berkeley.edu/~sharadmv.
Sorry for the super long post, but thanks for being so supportive of the old site and thanks for the feedback on it too!