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Re: Fantastic

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  • dgoethe
    ... is ... it ... or ... For me, personally, I see this is a one stop shop. I d like to run my own comparisons, see top stats for an entire year, compare
    Message 1 of 22 , Feb 1, 2007
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      --- In hockey-databank@yahoogroups.com, <slater@...> wrote:
      >
      > >A question, are you considering adding draftinformation to the
      > >Master-file as well? Would be a nice complement and the information
      is
      > >readily available at hockeydb (amongst other sites).
      >
      > I'd like to ask a question; what is the goal of hockey-databank? If
      it
      > is simply to "free" or "open source" the information on hockeydb.com
      or
      > other online sources, I don't see the "value added" in that.
      >
      > Ralph Slate
      > http://www.hockeydb.com
      >

      For me, personally, I see this is a one stop shop. I'd like to run my
      own comparisons, see top stats for an entire year, compare number one
      draftpicks whatever.. and I'd like the statistics in a database format
      so that I have complete flexibility.

      Lahman's database lets me do this for baseball, and yes, from my point
      of view it's for "research" only and for personal use.

      I use HockeyDb extensively, but one thing I miss from there is
      individual shots-stats (for example).. with an "offline" database I
      increase my flexibility for my own interests. With this said, please
      don't think I don't appreciate the hockeydb-site.. It's a fantastic
      resource as well.

      /Daniel
    • slater@alum.rpi.edu
      ... people from ... be ... messages, ... and in ... ensuring no ... can see ... interests ... be ... you have ... unfortunate view ... always ... a ... Sorry,
      Message 2 of 22 , Feb 1, 2007
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        >The last thing I would think anyone would want to do is to restrict people from
        >making fantastic products that we all might enjoy when the data cannot be
        >copyrighted in the first place. It is interesting that in one of your messages,
        >you cite Frank Polnaczek's unwillingness to share vital WHA information and in
        >the very next, you suggest something that would have the effect of ensuring no
        >one will be able to make a commercial site like yours with this data. I can see
        >why you might not find added value to this project, but exactly whose interests
        >are you attempting to protect by suggesting that licensing restrictions be
        >placed in it?
        >
        >
        >What would add value is if you would upload the wonderful tables that you have
        >created. But I'm guessing that you will side with Polnaczek's unfortunate view
        >about sharing on that one. Not everyone "get's" open-source nor is always
        >apparent on day #1 what wonderful tools will come about because of such a
        >project's openess.

        Sorry, I hit "send" too early.

        Let me restate my original thought. It sounds like you want to enjoy the benefit of the substantial work -- sourcing, compiling, cleansing, linking -- that I, and others, have performed while also simultaneously taking away any benefit that I, or others, might be able to derive from it by directly competing with it. That's awfully selfish.

        I'm all for competition. It makes me better as a person, and it makes hockeydb.com stronger. But you are proposing that you use work that I am currently still performing to directly compete against me. That's why I couched this as "value added" -- you aren't adding any value if you're just reproducing what I've done in a way that undermines me, and it makes me a sucker to boot.

        I begrudge Frank Polnaczek for not allowing people access to data that he is the sole possessor of. But if he published a set of WHA gamesheets electronically on CD, I would not stand up, scream "data wants to be free" and rip the stuff and put it on hockeydb.com, nor would I use any of his published data to do anything but correct what was published by the league.

        I don't know if you've noticed this, but I have NOT ripped data from Total Hockey/legendsofhockey.net (same data). I have NOT ripped data from ePenaltybox.com (Morey Holzman's research). I have NOT ripped data from the SIHR website. I have NOT ripped data from Tom Picard/King's website (ottawavalleyonline). I have NOT ripped data from Eurohockey.net. I have never tried to guilt anyone who has performed research to give it to me so I could include it. I have chosen instead to do the work to compile that data by hand from original sources, so that the data is not single-sourced. Yes, it takes more time, but it's how I want to operate.

        I realize there is no "sweat of brow" provision in US copyright code, but I have always operated under a philosophy that I will not use as a sole source a competitor's work.

        You're offering a sucker's deal. "Give us everything, and also give up everything in return". How's about this deal -- why don't you guys research everything that is NOT available on hockeydb.com and then open-source it so that _I_ can add it to my site without doing any of the work? I doubt you'd accept that as the goal of hockey-databank, would you?

        I have never subscribed to the theory of so many SIHR members, which is to hoard data, keep it unavailable, and then make secret deals to share it under the provision that it can be shared with no one else. I am not holding back any set of data under subscription or pay services. What you see is what I have, and I continue to work to improve the site, adding more and more information on a daily basis. My site is friendly and easy to use. The only "restriction" is that I'm not making the data easily available to others so they can set up sites that will compete with mine.

        However, you have confirmed to me that hockey-databank doesn't really have any altruistic goal in mind; it is being set up so that some can profit directly on the backs of others, with no value-added to the data, just someone's ability to display it differently (which WOULD be copyrightable).

        Open source might work when everyone is on equal footings, but when most people are going to freeload on the backs of a few, all incentive goes away. I can understand why the SIHR attitude evolved the way it did. I never created hockeydb.com as a business venture, but the fact that it has evolved into one means that I am able to acquire items and also subscribe to services that that allow me to move research forward, and to devote my time to doing so. Take that away and hockeydb.com will end up a dead project.

        Ralph Slate
        http://www.hockeydb.com
      • dgoethe
        ... Is this what s bothering you? That this initiative will draw people away from hockeydb and thereby cause loss of income for you? I certainly hope not, but
        Message 3 of 22 , Feb 1, 2007
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          --- In hockey-databank@yahoogroups.com, <slater@...> wrote:

          >
          > It sounds to me that you want to enjoy the benefit of the substantial
          > work that I have done while simultaneously taking away any benefit that
          > I may able to derive from that work. That's awfully one-sided of you.
          >

          Is this what's bothering you? That this initiative will draw people
          away from hockeydb and thereby cause loss of income for you?

          I certainly hope not, but I see these two things as two separate
          usergroups. This whole database is for people who simply can't fulfill
          their need though HockeyDb.. if they would, this database would never
          have appeared.

          Like I've said before, hockeydb is a great site.. if I want to quickly
          look up a certain player it's the first place I go to. But if I want
          to run my own queries, where do I go? Now I can go here.

          However, my friend, who's only interested in finding individual
          players' stats, he "only" needs HockeyDb. I've used citations for only
          because I don't mean to belittle a great site..

          /Daniel
        • slater@alum.rpi.edu
          ... I m obviously trying to protect my self-interests here. I have no problem whatsoever with people using data from hockeydb.com personally, or to further
          Message 4 of 22 , Feb 1, 2007
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            >I gave some consideration to adding some copyright language, but
            >decided the fewer restrictions, the better. I'm not 100% convinced
            >that was the correct decision, so perhaps further discussion of this
            >point would be useful.

            I'm obviously trying to protect my self-interests here. I have no problem whatsoever with people using data from hockeydb.com personally, or to further their research, particularly when it comes in the form of value-added (I don't consider the ability to subtotal "value-added", by the way, because I was talking in terms adding additional information, not just user interface usability). My main concern is competition derived directly from my own work.

            I have not made it easy to perform such "analysis" queries directly from hockeydb.com because of the possibility of someone -- perhaps ESPN or the Sporting News, perhaps some entrepreneur -- downloading the entire database and using it, and also because such queries are often resource-intensive.

            I know I have little _legal_ ground to stand on, but I'm just asking for consideration. I've put a lot of time into my project. "Open-sourcing" my work in a way that would lead to an inability on my part to see any financial benefits from that work will, quite honestly, result in me not being motivated at all to continue to spend my non-day-job hours continuing to add to hockeydb.com. I have never been a parasite with my work, subsuming someone else's work in a way that destroys them. I'm asking that people don't do this to me.

            I remember when Scott Adams, of Dilbert fame, quit his job at Bell Labs. He said that the comic strip was becoming a distraction to him. I feel the same way. I would love no more than to be able to work at hockeydb.com as my "day job". As it is, I spend maybe 10-20 hours a week adding to it -- but I have to spend another 40 hours at my day job. I have a house and a family now, and hockeydb.com is definitely lower on my priority list than those items.

            However, I can't contain my passion for the site, so as it expands it is affecting my work performance. There will come a time when I will need to choose -- do I want to work a day job, or do I want to work hockeydb.com. Since my primary needs are shelter and family, whichever path offers me the best option will prevail. If hockeydb.com can't offer me what I need to support a house and family, then it simply will have to go.

            Ralph Slate
            http://www.hockeydb.com

          • slater@alum.rpi.edu
            ... No, I m concerned that since this data is being advertised as open source , that means that the next entrepreneur would go to hockey-databank, download
            Message 5 of 22 , Feb 1, 2007
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              >Is this what's bothering you? That this initiative will draw people
              >away from hockeydb and thereby cause loss of income for you?

              No, I'm concerned that since this data is being advertised as "open source", that means that the next entrepreneur would go to hockey-databank, download all the data (much of it pulled from hockeydb), and set up "hockeyd-c", which would be just like hockeydb. That person could then put his effort into other areas because he will be piggybacking on the effort I expended making this data available.

              I'd have no issue if there was a non-commercial disclaimer, nor would I use the data here to augment hockeydb.com.

              Ralph
            • dsreyn
              ... Let s be clear on one point - I freely admit that I did not type everything in from scratch, but this database was *not* derived from hockeydb.com. The
              Message 6 of 22 , Feb 1, 2007
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                --- In hockey-databank@yahoogroups.com, <slater@...> wrote:
                >
                > I'm obviously trying to protect my self-interests here. I have no
                > problem whatsoever with people using data from hockeydb.com personally,
                > or to further their research, particularly when it comes in the form of
                > value-added (I don't consider the ability to subtotal "value-added", by
                > the way, because I was talking in terms adding additional information,
                > not just user interface usability). My main concern is competition
                > derived directly from my own work.

                Let's be clear on one point - I freely admit that I did not type
                everything in from scratch, but this database was *not* derived from
                hockeydb.com. The primary sources used were:

                * The Hockey Research Association: NHL 1917-18 - 1976-77, 1982-83,
                1984-85, 1988-89 - 1998-99; team special teams, 1962-63 - 2000-01; all
                WHA seasons
                * The Hockey Summary Project: 1977-78 - 1979-80
                * USA Today: 1999-2000 - 2005-06
                * North American Pro Hockey (Tom King's site): 1983-84, 1985-86 - 1987-88
                * Recent team special teams statistics (2001-02 - present) were
                obtained from ESPN.com

                This left a number of gaps (certain statistics missing from various
                years), which were then filled in by hand from published sources. I
                primarily used hockeydb.com as a convenient way of double checking
                problems - for example, when team totals didn't add up, it was a
                convenient way to determine if a player / season had been omitted.

                As far as "value added" is concerned - whether or not you see the
                value in the ability to "subtotal", I think a number of people may
                find it very useful. As far as "adding additional information" is
                concerned - have you actually looked at the database? Because if you
                do, you'll see that it includes power play goals, shorthanded goals,
                shots taken, +/-, etc. - unless I'm mistaken, NONE of this is
                available at hockeydb.com.

                Doug
              • dsreyn
                ... You probably sent this before my last message, but again let me emphasize - this database was NOT pulled from hockeydb.com. Frankly, I think it s a bit
                Message 7 of 22 , Feb 1, 2007
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                  --- In hockey-databank@yahoogroups.com, <slater@...> wrote:
                  >
                  > >Is this what's bothering you? That this initiative will draw people
                  > >away from hockeydb and thereby cause loss of income for you?
                  >
                  > No, I'm concerned that since this data is being advertised as "open
                  > source", that means that the next entrepreneur would go to
                  > hockey-databank, download all the data (much of it pulled from
                  > hockeydb), and set up "hockeyd-c", which would be just like hockeydb.
                  > That person could then put his effort into other areas because he will
                  > be piggybacking on the effort I expended making this data available.
                  >
                  > I'd have no issue if there was a non-commercial disclaimer, nor would I
                  > use the data here to augment hockeydb.com.
                  >
                  > Ralph

                  You probably sent this before my last message, but again let me
                  emphasize - this database was NOT "pulled" from hockeydb.com.
                  Frankly, I think it's a bit presumptuous for you to assume that it was.

                  You also seem to be operating under the misconception that I need your
                  blessing (I assume because you still think I've stolen your work). I
                  would certainly like it if you were "on board", but if you aren't,
                  that's OK too.

                  Discussion about whether hockeydb.com has been ripped off is now closed.

                  Doug
                • slater@alum.rpi.edu
                  ... 1987-88 ... I only started this conversation because of the talk of expanding the database with more data that was available at hockeydb . Today it s just
                  Message 8 of 22 , Feb 1, 2007
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                    >Let's be clear on one point - I freely admit that I did not type
                    >everything in from scratch, but this database was *not* derived from
                    >hockeydb.com. The primary sources used were:
                    >
                    >* The Hockey Research Association: NHL 1917-18 - 1976-77, 1982-83,
                    >1984-85, 1988-89 - 1998-99; team special teams, 1962-63 - 2000-01; all
                    >WHA seasons
                    >* The Hockey Summary Project: 1977-78 - 1979-80
                    >* USA Today: 1999-2000 - 2005-06
                    >* North American Pro Hockey (Tom King's site): 1983-84, 1985-86 - 1987-88
                    >* Recent team special teams statistics (2001-02 - present) were
                    >obtained from ESPN.com

                    I only started this conversation because of the talk of expanding the database with more data that was "available at hockeydb". Today it's just NHL/WHA data, but the next logical phase is to include data from other leagues for NHL players, then the next logical phase is to include the other players from those leagues, etc. And before you know it, the goal of the group is to simply scrape data from hockeydb and publish it as a standalone database to let others use it in their own ventures.

                    I think this is an important conversation to have, because if the ultimate goal is to open-source all hockeydb.com's data without doing any additional research to augment the body of knowledge, let me know so I can shift my priorities and not get hung up on the idea that I'll be able to ever do this as my day job.

                    Ralph Slate
                    http://www.hockeydb.com
                  • dgoethe
                    ... ok, that one was my fault. I was inquiring about draft-info, i.e. Vincent Lecavalier s entry would have draftyear 1998, draftposititon 1 etc. I mentioned
                    Message 9 of 22 , Feb 1, 2007
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                      --- In hockey-databank@yahoogroups.com, <slater@...> wrote:
                      >

                      >
                      > I only started this conversation because of the talk of expanding the
                      > database with more data that was "available at hockeydb". Today it's
                      > just NHL/WHA data, but the next logical phase is to include data from

                      ok, that one was my fault. I was inquiring about draft-info, i.e.
                      Vincent Lecavalier's entry would have draftyear 1998, draftposititon 1
                      etc.

                      I mentioned hockeydb as an example of a source, but you could go to
                      any sports-site to find current information and you can look at the
                      draftlists in Total Hockey as well.
                    • slater@alum.rpi.edu
                      The lag on this list is killing me :- ... You don t have my perspective. Generally, when a large body of hockey data appears on the internet, it comes from
                      Message 10 of 22 , Feb 1, 2007
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                        The lag on this list is killing me :->

                        >You probably sent this before my last message, but again let me
                        >emphasize - this database was NOT "pulled" from hockeydb.com.
                        >Frankly, I think it's a bit presumptuous for you to assume that it was.

                        You don't have my perspective. Generally, when a large body of hockey data appears on the internet, it comes from one of a small handful of sources. My site, being the most well known, is usually the source.

                        >You also seem to be operating under the misconception that I need your
                        >blessing (I assume because you still think I've stolen your work). I
                        >would certainly like it if you were "on board", but if you aren't,
                        >that's OK too.

                        That's why I asked what the ultimate goal here is. If it is finite enough I'm glad to help. If the goal is to open-source all data available at hockeydb.com I'd be an idiot to facilitate that.

                        >Discussion about whether hockeydb.com has been ripped off is now closed.

                        As I wrote (which you may not have read yet), I only initiated this discussion because of the suggestion to pull NHL draft data from hockeydb.com. I assume we can still discuss that?

                        Ralph
                      • slater@alum.rpi.edu
                        ... If this is what you re looking for then I could definitely be in board with helping -- depending on the ultimate goal of this group. ... You _could_ do
                        Message 11 of 22 , Feb 1, 2007
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                          >ok, that one was my fault. I was inquiring about draft-info, i.e.
                          >Vincent Lecavalier's entry would have draftyear 1998, draftposititon 1
                          >etc.

                          If this is what you're looking for then I could definitely be in board with helping -- depending on the ultimate goal of this group.

                          >I mentioned hockeydb as an example of a source, but you could go to
                          >any sports-site to find current information and you can look at the
                          >draftlists in Total Hockey as well.

                          You _could_ do that, but it will certainly take you a lot longer to acquire, digitize, scrub, and link the information. There's no rocket science in what I've been doing. It's just effort. But it's an effort that very few people -- or companies -- have attempted over the years, and that's why I'm able to even think about making this a full-time venture -- not so I can sit back on a beach in the Bahamas, but so I can do even more of it.

                          Ralph

                        • dsreyn
                          I ll address scope / goals / to do list shortly in a separate post. Suffice it to say for now that my goal is most definitely *not* to duplicate hockeydb.com
                          Message 12 of 22 , Feb 1, 2007
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                            I'll address scope / goals / "to do" list shortly in a separate post.
                            Suffice it to say for now that my goal is most definitely *not* to
                            duplicate hockeydb.com in CSV format.

                            As far as the chances of this project killing off hockeydb.com, I
                            honestly don't think there's much to worry about.
                            Baseball-reference.com has continued to grow despite the fact that the
                            underlying data is freely available (there has even been talk of
                            adding employees in the blog recently).

                            Doug

                            --- In hockey-databank@yahoogroups.com, <slater@...> wrote:
                            > I only started this conversation because of the talk of expanding the
                            > database with more data that was "available at hockeydb". Today it's
                            > just NHL/WHA data, but the next logical phase is to include data from
                            > other leagues for NHL players, then the next logical phase is to include
                            > the other players from those leagues, etc. And before you know it, the
                            > goal of the group is to simply scrape data from hockeydb and publish it
                            > as a standalone database to let others use it in their own ventures.
                            >
                            > I think this is an important conversation to have, because if the
                            > ultimate goal is to open-source all hockeydb.com's data without doing
                            > any additional research to augment the body of knowledge, let me know so
                            > I can shift my priorities and not get hung up on the idea that I'll be
                            > able to ever do this as my day job.
                            >
                            > Ralph Slate
                            > http://www.hockeydb.com
                            >
                          • tangotiger
                            ... Baseball-Reference.com, TheBaseballCube.com, BaseballAlmanac.com, BaseballProspectus.com, REtrosheet.org, and I m sure others, all offer an online baseball
                            Message 13 of 22 , Feb 1, 2007
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                              --- In hockey-databank@yahoogroups.com, "dsreyn" <dreynolds@...> wrote:
                              > As far as the chances of this project killing off hockeydb.com, I
                              > honestly don't think there's much to worry about.
                              > Baseball-reference.com has continued to grow despite the fact that the
                              > underlying data is freely available (there has even been talk of
                              > adding employees in the blog recently).
                              >
                              > Doug

                              Baseball-Reference.com, TheBaseballCube.com, BaseballAlmanac.com,
                              BaseballProspectus.com, REtrosheet.org, and I'm sure others, all offer
                              an online baseball database. For the first, definitely, and the 3rd
                              and 4th and 5th, likely, they all used, or started to use, the Lahman
                              database, which itself has been spawned into baseball-databank.org.

                              The reason they can all exist is because the marketplace supports it.
                              Only the 2nd one offers minor league data (and draft data). B-r.com
                              and Retro offer PBP data in addition. BP.com offers "adjusted" stats.

                              Insofar as hockeydb.com, it's existence can be assured as long as it
                              keeps something of value, the most important being the minor league
                              data. HockeyDB.com can increase its value by including the PP/SH and
                              full plus/minus data, and can decrease its value by giving up its draft
                              data. Whether that's a fair trade, both sides can decide.

                              Since Ralph is a superb researcher, it would be insane to try,
                              intentionally or as a byproduct, to squeeze him out. We need guys like
                              Ralph.

                              Doug has also proven himself to be quite resourceful, and therefore,
                              his efforts need to be fed as well, if we want this thing to grow.

                              It is also possible that baseball-reference will eventually get into
                              the hockey field (or some other site), be it either by buying out Ralph
                              or Doug or going on its own. To that end, the sites that don't grow
                              will end up being on the short-end.

                              I would have to say that any data that is made available would need to
                              be done with almost no limitation, as is Retrosheet and baseball-
                              databank (i.e., cite the source). Anything else would be a recipe for
                              disaster.

                              Tom
                            • dsreyn
                              I believe the Lahman / Forman team is working on a hockey site. http://www.hockey-reference.com has been reserved by them for over a year, though it s just a
                              Message 14 of 22 , Feb 1, 2007
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                                I believe the Lahman / Forman team is working on a hockey site.
                                http://www.hockey-reference.com has been reserved by them for over a
                                year, though it's just a placeholder for now. Lahman apparently has a
                                hockey database of his own.

                                For what it's worth, there's another site that's been up at least a
                                year with a layout undoubtedly based on the sports-reference.com model
                                (though lacking most of the usual sports-reference.com bells and
                                whistles) at http://www.databasehockey.com (NHL only, with only the
                                basic stats).

                                Doug

                                --- In hockey-databank@yahoogroups.com, "tangotiger" <tangotiger@...>
                                wrote:
                                >
                                > It is also possible that baseball-reference will eventually get into
                                > the hockey field (or some other site), be it either by buying out Ralph
                                > or Doug or going on its own. To that end, the sites that don't grow
                                > will end up being on the short-end.
                              • Ralph Slate
                                ... On that note, do people actually LIKE the layout of the baseball-reference website? I ve used it on occasion, but I found it maddening to use. On another
                                Message 15 of 22 , Feb 1, 2007
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                                  > I believe the Lahman / Forman team is working on a hockey site.
                                  > http://www.hockey-reference.com <http://www.hockey-reference.com> has
                                  > been reserved by them for over a
                                  > year, though it's just a placeholder for now. Lahman apparently has a
                                  > hockey database of his own.
                                  >
                                  > For what it's worth, there's another site that's been up at least a
                                  > year with a layout undoubtedly based on the sports-reference.
                                  >
                                  > com model
                                  > (though lacking most of the usual sports-reference.com bells and
                                  > whistles) at http://www.databasehockey.com
                                  > <http://www.databasehockey.com> (NHL only, with only the
                                  > basic stats).
                                  >
                                  On that note, do people actually LIKE the layout of the
                                  baseball-reference website? I've used it on occasion, but I found it
                                  maddening to use.

                                  On another note, there is another hockey stats database project,
                                  developed independent from the other online sources.

                                  http://www.bballsports.com/

                                  That one is different because it is actually an online application that
                                  does not allow you unfettered access to raw data, but gives you an
                                  interface to query it. From what the site says, it only goes to 2004. I
                                  suppose the problem with any such site is that there is a risk that they
                                  will get discouraged and give up.

                                  Ralph
                                • Tangotiger
                                  ... What is so maddening about it? Speaking as both a programmer and end-user, it s fantastic. And I m not alone: http://tinyurl.com/32gvvt HockeyDB is
                                  Message 16 of 22 , Feb 1, 2007
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                                    --- Ralph Slate <slater@...> wrote:
                                    > On that note, do people actually LIKE the layout of
                                    > the
                                    > baseball-reference website? I've used it on
                                    > occasion, but I found it
                                    > maddening to use.
                                    >

                                    What is so maddening about it? Speaking as both a
                                    programmer and end-user, it's fantastic.

                                    And I'm not alone:
                                    http://tinyurl.com/32gvvt

                                    HockeyDB is excellent too.

                                    Tom

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                                  • Ralph Slate
                                    Tangotiger w ... I think it s the overabundance of abbreviations. I like the verbosity of showing that a player played for the Boston Bruins instead of BOS. I
                                    Message 17 of 22 , Feb 1, 2007
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                                      Tangotiger w
                                      > What is so maddening about it? Speaking as both a
                                      > programmer and end-user, it's fantastic.
                                      I think it's the overabundance of abbreviations. I like the verbosity of
                                      showing that a player played for the Boston Bruins instead of BOS. I
                                      suppose that something has to give when there are 20+ items to report on
                                      a line. I also don't like the "throw everything onto one page" concept,
                                      I'd prefer to see data more categorized.

                                      I do like the "similar player" function though. That's really cool. Too
                                      bad the lack of hockey stats makes such automated comparisons virtually
                                      impossible to make.

                                      Ralph
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