A searchable mirror of Stairway to Hell

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equinox
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A searchable mirror of Stairway to Hell

Postby equinox » Fri Dec 13, 2013 2:12 am

Hello. I have a mainly ZX Spectrum background, but the Beeb is the first proper computer I encountered (aged four), and I owned and used one for quite a while in the '90s. There is a very small chance that a few BBC people might know me from my Web pages about Jet Set Willy II, Magic Mushrooms, and XOR.

About 8 years ago, I wrote a little search extension for Stairway to Hell (not sure what happened to that) and investigated the possibility of converting the whole thing into a database, along the lines of World of Spectrum or the Commodore's Lemon64.

I now see that the STH archive is no longer maintained, and apparently neither is any other BBC software site. I think that is a pity, so I have taken the liberty of mirroring STH and putting a database layer on it, using PHP and MySQL. You can play with it here:
http://equ.in/ox/_test/beeb/

Programs aren't just abbreviated filenames any more (with cryptic suffixes like "_BE"). Instead, each item in the database has a set of searchable metadata: title, publisher, platform, format, type, and publication year. This conversion was partly automated, so there are still some inaccuracies; also, type and year haven't been filled in yet, since it would involve running and checking each program.

Obviously, this is only a temporary mirror, and I am not attempting to appropriate the excellent archiving work of Dave Moore and others. View it as an experiment, and don't link to it or expect it to stay around in this form.

Is this useful or desirable to anyone? Any thoughts or suggestions?
Last edited by equinox on Wed Dec 18, 2013 1:45 am, edited 1 time in total.

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PitfallJones
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Re: A searchable mirror of Stairway to Hell

Postby PitfallJones » Fri Dec 13, 2013 3:12 am

That's absolutely Terrific! A really good idea....

I love the game search over at WoS and this is the nearest thing I've seen like it for the BBC.
http://www.worldofspectrum.org/games/


The ideal thing you are missing is pictures! (and your year search doesn't seem to work either)


You can get both from this program which has most of the games screenshots as well:
http://www.stairwaytohell.com/essentials/bbclist-v1.0.zip

- PJ

equinox
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Re: A searchable mirror of Stairway to Hell

Postby equinox » Wed Dec 18, 2013 1:44 am

PitfallJones wrote:The ideal thing you are missing is pictures! (and your year search doesn't seem to work either)
You can get both from this program which has most of the games screenshots as well:
http://www.stairwaytohell.com/essentials/bbclist-v1.0.zip


Okay, I used a quick hack to match up screenshots with games (by title etc.) and it matched up 1185 of them from BBC List, which leaves 601 unmatched. Still, that's a good start. So, try another search and you'll notice some pictures.

I haven't tried to import any publication years yet, so searching by year currently won't work, as you pointed out.

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jms2
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Re: A searchable mirror of Stairway to Hell

Postby jms2 » Wed Dec 18, 2013 7:13 am

That's terrific - well done! :D

Something else that would be useful is a comments field for each image. For example, there are several Repton 2 images available, and some include the bug that was in the original but some don't. If there was some means of labelling them, that would be handy.

A further extension of this idea could be to allow users to post comments against games, but I can see that this would lead to a need to moderate the comments, so probably not a good idea.

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MartinB
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Re: A searchable mirror of Stairway to Hell

Postby MartinB » Wed Dec 18, 2013 7:27 am

Nice one, really useful =D> :wink:


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