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Re: Fantastic

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  • 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 1 of 22 , Feb 1 9:53 AM
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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 2 of 22 , Feb 1 9:55 AM
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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 3 of 22 , Feb 1 10:49 AM
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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 4 of 22 , Feb 1 10:55 AM
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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 5 of 22 , Feb 1 11:09 AM
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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 6 of 22 , Feb 1 11:18 AM
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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 7 of 22 , Feb 1 11:23 AM
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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 8 of 22 , Feb 1 11:26 AM
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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 9 of 22 , Feb 1 11:32 AM
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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 10 of 22 , Feb 1 2:05 PM
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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 11 of 22 , Feb 1 6:22 PM
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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 12 of 22 , Feb 1 6:54 PM
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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 13 of 22 , Feb 1 7:40 PM
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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 14 of 22 , Feb 1 9:09 PM
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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 15 of 22 , Feb 1 9:27 PM
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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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