1. I notice, though, that you can't browse for an Alternative Version -- you have to explicitly search for it by name: searching is the only way to get to Alternative Versions; they don't appear in the Browse list. Do we think this behaviour is okay?
This is by design so you don't have the same game several times as you browse. I could change the query so that for any child games that match release type their parent can also be displayed, the same as for searching. Maybe this would be more correct (I think I thought of a reason not to do this, but I can't remember what it was at present). I am not sure of the value of the alternative version
release type though. We already store this information in the database by virtue of the fact that it is a child record of another game. I am not really sure what behaviour you think would be better though.
We have that ability.
2. Should we have the ability to Search By Year Of Publication? Then we could eliminate the awkward Release Type of "Year 2000 on", which is causing Lee problems because it's too broad and doesn't allow him to specify that a game was not only released after 2000 but is also a commercial release, etc.
But of course that problem exists for other types, for example a magazine type in that was later released commercially as an alternative version after being published in one of those books that magazine publishing houses do so they can sell the same content twice, then released as public domain when it didn't sell. I realise that is contrived, but the point is real life isn't a clear cut as these release types would suggest.
3. Currently, if you go to the homepage and click the hash # button, you get zero games in the Browse list -- all games vanish! Is this right?
No. It should display all games which start with a number. I will have to fix that.
4. Can we swap the locations of the Browse checkboxes and the Search field? Then the Search field would be "front and centre" -- or prominent, at least -- like the unmissable Search field at the top of the Amazon homepage.
I was told I should do that by a usability expert at work, and I agree in principle, but I'm afraid I couldn't be bothered at present. This was a design decision which was made at the start. The next problem will be that they update the list when you click them, and the boxes which appear under the search box don't. Moving them closer will highlight the inconsistency and I will have to fix that too. I wrote that section while at Abug, and had a whole weekend to dedicate. I can't normally spend that much time on it, so I don't like my chances of understanding it again (Without neglecting my children for longer than they will allow). As I say I feel that getting the educational archive together is more of a priority for me.
5. Can we change the label "Browse release types" to "Filters" or "Refine results" or something like that?
Yes, but why? I am not completely happy with "Release types", but I feel it is more descriptive than what you are suggesting.
Everyone will always have an opinion about something that can be done differently. I could spend the rest of my life rearranging deckchairs and not really achieving anything. I am really keen to fix real problems or bugs such as the # not working, but otherwise I would prefer to say it is finished, it works well, it is easy to find games you half remember, and work on more pressing problems, like programs that aren't available online at all. Remember I am not being paid for this work, so I need another form of motivation. This for me is doing something I find interesting and worthwhile.I put the code online in the hope that if/when I lose interest, someone else will be able to step up if they feel it is required. I have come close to hating this project in the last few monthst. I do need to take steps to ensure I have enough enthusiasm to fix bugs, and this is how I am choosing to do it.