I've gotten a few requests to share the user feedback we've
gotten to date to help others brainstorm so here you go...
I've removed the names to protect the guilty parties. If
you'd prefer to have your name added or your message removed
drop me an email
and I'll make the change immediately (well maybe not immediately,
but at least ASAP).
I've made some comments about a number of the requests.
They're highlighted by this style of text.
Let me just say right now that all these plans are soft until
they show up in the real code... we're going to try and do our
best, but I can tell you right now that some of the
features requested below will not make it into the code.
I'm not posting all the replies for my own sanity and yours, but
here are some of the replies I felt had interesting points
or about which I had comments to make or something to add.
Too bad the site www.dvddb.com is not up yet. I'm assuming it will work like
CDDB. You could pull all of your data from there to populate your tables...
Just goes to show you, you're ahead of your time... :)
If all goes very well, we might try this with imdb.com.
It depends on how easy their site is to screen scrape.
Me and my friends have a webpage listing all of our DVDs so that we can
share them with each other.
the page is just has text/html, but I was asked to add the ability to show
which DVDs where checked out,
and who it was that had checked it out, and on what date.
Could you add this to your DVD Catalog?
Will do... if nothing else, we'll have a comment field you can modify.
For each DVD, you could have a links table -- for example a link to the page
for the movie on IMDB.com. Having at least IMDB.com connected to each DVD
would alleviate a lot of extraneous pieces of data you might want to know
about the DVD (i.e. actors, movie studio, director, producers, etc.)
We are planning on linking to IMDB... we'll see about other links and how they should be managed as we go.
How about the ability to track to whom you "lend" a DVD? Check out / check
in. Or if you really want to go wild, add a registration feature that let's
users add their own list of DVDs that can be requested for loan by anyone
that is registered.
Covered above... I'm not sure about the registration
thing... I know I'd like to know who I'm lending my discs to a little better then
just having them sign up on my web site!
criterion discs rule
Uh... Okay... Sure... Whatever you say... I'm staying out of this one.
Great idea! can you include:
1. Shopping cart
2. Security (user login)
Will you be using Visual Studio.Net to build it? This is a great tool that
I would like to master.
I'm not sure what the application of a shopping cart would be in this
app, but if a good one comes up we'll see. We'll look into some sort
of basic forms based authentication for the comments system.
The current plan is to use ASP.NET to build it, but we are
not currently planning on using VS.NET.
I loan my DVD's out to friends a lot. I'd like to see a printable report on how many I still have on loan, how long they have been out and to whom I loaned them. The ones that are overdue could be highlighted.
Printing huh... yuck, but we'll see what we can do.
a good source for features to include is the iiscart application: http://www.iiscart.com/overview.htm
I'm in a similar position in the real world environment, and I'd like
to see how to incorporate other media like a dynamic shockwave file
(being called by catalog number in the db) and clips, streaming
take a look at what we've done (granted the DVD list is not an .asp
page, but the video search is)
Images are a definite... other media (video, shockwave, etc.) remains to be seen.
I would include a counter so you
could position yourself to your favorite
scenes within a movie.
This would also tie in to the capability
of having more than one event on a DVD as in
home movies(kids football game, birthday party,
etc). Then the title could be tied into the counter
and you can archive your home movies with it as well.
I can't see this making it into V1, but once we get things going
we'll see about adding it.
How about including a Special Features section, where you list
the special features and extras included in the DVD.
Keep up the good work.
Not sure about the implementation yet, but we'll do something.
items I'd want in the directory:
languages (spoken and subtitle)
interesting additional features
All good... they're in.
Looking forward to read your articles in this topic.
Hey John, I was just reading through your proposal and I'd
love to see the full application. I'm not quite clear on
the complete specs for you design, but I would like to see
a completely web managed database. One where you could
add, delete, and update records online. I've been having
problems here at my office working on an idea that is very
similar to yours. Basically it's and online DB where users
can submit postings, update their postings and personal info,
and basically manage the whole thing online. My biggest
problems right now are dealing with form fields, SQL statements,
and ASP. My hurdle is dealing with commas, double quotes,
single quotes, and apostrophes inside the text fields that
I am trying to pass to SQL using ASP. I imagine with film
titles and such you would have to deal with a lot of these
issues also and I would like to see how you handle them.
That's the plan... eventually... at first it might just be a
browser, but before we're done you'll definitely be able to
edit things as well.
For my media collection (DVDs and CDs) I have included the ability to record
the artists/actors. By doing so I can search for other movies with the same
actors or in the case of CDs can find a CD where so and so made a guest
I'm currently torn on how far to take this... I want actors, but
getting all the actors from all the movies would be a monumental
task. I'm toying with just listing the top stars and
leaving the rest to IMDB links.
As I was reading your article I really couldn't think up any more
suggestions for the first few phases of your catalog. But that's where I
got an idea: I'm having trouble with thinking up some ideas... but if I
could glance through others' ideas I might be able to come up with
something... ie. It might be better to have ideas submitted to a forum
instead of to your email so your user's ideas can be collected, and others
can spin off or comment on each idea. Just a suggestion...
Well it's not a form (management always becomes a pain), but that's
what this page is for.
What I'd like to see:
An elegant seperation of functionality from interface / visuals.
I see a lot of ASP code on the net where the source looks like
HTML, then ASP, then HTML, and on and on. This is actually
hard to read IMHO. So, one thing you might consider when
thinking about the architecture is how you're going to present
the info from a high level and how it will be sorted. For example,
you might want to give the user the ability to show DVD's by
genre, by average review, or even in alphabetical order. Obviously
there could be a lot of code reuse amongst those.
It seems that a lot of ASP'ers are web designer / web developer
types and could use more examples of classic programming
Hope this helps,
Well elegant has never really been our thing ;) but we will be trying
to seperate display from code as much as possible.
You could have all queries returned as XML.
For the front end, you could generate HTML from XML using XSL
or use XHTML.
You're probably well aware that XSL is the way to go when
you need to support down-level browsers and wireless
I think ADO.NET is eventually going to be used mainly as
a way to convert DB data to XML, and then XSL will be
used to transform it for presentation.
I just read your mail regarding the DVD app you plan to build. Could you
also include this please:
1>A web service for this : "an area for comments so I can write myself notes
(like who I loaned the movie to) " -- service tracks who you loaned the DVD
2>And this "a rating system so visitors can rate my movies " - the web
service displays some kind of ticker or symbol (say movie got 5 out of a
possible 10) - which u normally see when ppl ask you to rate their page.
3>Please also include System.XML base class functionality-- you will be
using SQL 2000 right?? Please use the "FOR XML AUTO" thing and show us the
conversion from XML to HTML using datagrids,datalists etc.This could be
there for "basic film information like title, release date, etc"
Thanks and regds,
I'm not sure #1 needs to be a web service, but we'll try and squeeze
the comments idea in and we'll make sure to get at least one service
in there as well.
Rating system is a go... not the first thing to be done, but we'll get it in there eventually.
#3... No promises, but I'll see what I can do.
Can you maybe publish the C# code as well?
Thanks for a kick ass site.
Again, No promises, but I'll see what I can do....
if we do it, it will be after the VB version is written
Here is a list of things I think should be included in the project.
1. Duration of Film
2. Subtitle Language Options (Maybe more for a commercial app)
3. Does the DVD contain Extra Computer Data?
4. A Rating System so that you can rate whether or not you like the movie
5. Listing of the Cast (or at least main cast)
6. If you wanna get complex, you could have the app suggest other movies
that you might also be interested in, based on the movie/genre/search you
Let me know what you think.
PS. Why don't you make this a project challenge for us to undertake? I
wouldn't mind putting together some code for the fine viewers of ASP101.com!
(this is where i learned everything i know)
Good ideas... I think we'll hit most of them...
The suggestion things is good, but I'm debating what to build it on...
if we use traffic flow we need to maintain a record of what movies
different users viewed and it could get out of hand... we might just
ask for recommendations... we'll see how it goes.
us to manage an open-source-esqe project, but if anyone would
like to contribute, drop me an email and we'll see what we
can work out.
This is nice project. But on what basis you siad that, this is a n-tier
application and and tell me if we impliment that project without using
Vb, then what drawback are arises.
Good idea it could also contain a link to the official site of the movie.
Could you also make a C # VERSION of the application.VB.Net is good but c#
Link shouldn't be a problem... as mentioned above, the C# version
will come after the VB version if we decide to do it.
A small peace of film in a box when you look at the record on screen
does like me nice.
At the company I work for most of us also got bitten by the DVD bug... Thats
why we have built a DVD catalog and published it on our intranet. It looks
like you already covered most of the features we implemented. I can only
come up with three more suggestions:
1. Multi user support so a couple of owners can add their titles (automatic
password creation for new members, admin can add/remove members etc.)
2. Automatically send e-mails when a member wants to lend a DVD from another
member (status of a DVD being: lend out, available, not available)
3. Auction capabilities so members/visitors can buy DVD's that members want
Good luck with the project.
I actually hadn't thought of this being a multi-owner DB...
it's an interesting concept... let me think about it, but
for now I think we're going to proceed on the one owner = admin
We'll get emailing in there for sure
Again a good idea, but it's sort of dependent upon the
concept of multiple owners.
May I be so bold and offer my humble comments ...
Admin Area :- This is where you can login using
user name / password to be able to remove any
offending comments left by visitor reviews
You may be at a customer site, showing off
your web pages, and need to remove the comments.
DVD catalogue number
Auto link to a site that sells the DVD, passing the
cat number, I don't know, but may be a good excuse
to show how XML works.
(I don't that's why I ask)
DVD region number
When linking to a database, please remember us who
only use ADO on a Access database
How to add / show a picture to / from a database
Search by Artist / Title / a word in a title
Second hand film sales ? (Unsure about that one)
Page hit counter
Printer friendly print review pages
Show visitors rating via a graph
If a form is used, how to check if a box has been filled in
and if a numeric has been used and not a alpha.
Use some text boxes to show calculations:
E.G.: Price, TAX, Posting = Total
Hope those idea's help.
Please feel free to contact me if required.
Many Thanks for a great web site, keep up the good work.
Some good ideas... some seem like overkill. The chat room
is out. We'll see how much of a pain SQL & Access compatible
versions is going to be. Most of the rest will be around in
some form or another.
How about a listing of the movie stars in each movie, so you can search
by star and get all the movies the star has been in?
To some degree... depends a lot upon how many stars we list.
I would like to include basic dvd info like languages, special features, deleted scenes, etc.
I think you're onto something there with the full application sample
links to someplace like amazon.com where someone could purchase the DVD
unfortunately I'm not too familiar with how these sites work as far as creating a dynamic link based on exact title.
For instance, I created an app that lets people schedule my Unreal Tournament gaming server for their personal use
when their game time is up I can create a dynamic link based on the unique Name of their created game to another website (http://ut.ngstats.com) which maintains a database of games played on supported game servers. I am able to do this because they have a querystring based search function for server names, and I just pass that URL Encoded name through their site. (scroll down to the stats link: http://theweb.dns2go.com/sched/event.asp?id=162)
(at the time of writing this email the ngStats site was having difficulty)
anyhoo there's my idea, using another ecommerce site's defaults to allow you to create dynamic links to their content and products.
We'll be doing this with IMDB. Shopping sites are iffy, but we'll see.
i've some ideas for your dvd app:
- create a link to www.imdb.com for each dvd. I think of just save an id
and generate the link.
- other links, like official movie website or to order the dvd from
- maybe you could think of make it capable for multiuser, so anyone could
get an account and log in, and add his dvd's
i wanted to build a dvd catalog in asp since months... but i never found
Again with the multi-user... I'm pondering it...
I had a few brain flashes for the DVD catalog project...
- A section that links to trailers and/or audio clips associated with a
specific DVD title, that a user may have...
- A section for a DVD wish list that a user may keep track of for
future addition to their collection...
That's it for now, and i'm looking forward to seeing this project get
underway... Hopefully it'll help me get up to speed on the .NET
Wish list... maybe...
My suggestion is make it in ASP.NET! It seems silly to me to design such a complex application in a programming language that's going to be antiquated in 6 months. IBuySpy provides a great framework for basing the app on. Also, include a wishlist feature, like on Amazon! Those are way cool. People can write up lists of stuff they dig, and stuff they want but don't have and people can buy it for them as gifts and get ideas for buying stuff. Really convenient.
Good luck on your project! Or should I say, my project.
That's the plan... the C# version might come after the VB version and
if I find the time, maybe I'll go back and tackle it in "classic" ASP,
but don't hold your breath... we've got to get it written in .NET first.
I had half thought about the idea of writing one of these for myself.
However the purpose for the DVD catalogue was slightly different -
I have a spreadsheet that I have a listing of DVDs I *WANT*, then cross them
off if I buy them/get them as presents, etc.
Having this "wanted" feature worked out really handy - I just printed it off
and handed it out when people asked me for a birthday present list.
I also keep track of info such as the cheapest price I've seen it available
in stores, etc - which can double as the "price I paid" field you mentioned.
Also part of my "wanted" spreadsheet was a comment for availability - Star
Wars Episode 1 for example, is on my list but with a note - "due for release
in October 2001." - again, with the price indicated as an expected rrp.
Also, something which should be included is the version of the movie - some
DVDs have a bare-bones and a "Special Edition", "Collectors Edition", etc.
Expanding further, it should be noted somewhere whether the particular DVD
is part of a boxed set - Alien Legacy for example, contains SEs of all 4
Alien moves, AND a bonus materials DVD in the same package.
Wish list... still a maybe...
The edition is a good idea... I've got a number of discs that
have multiple editions available.
I would like to see something demonstrating how to implement a parent-child
relationship. For example mabey you could have a page containing two list
boxes, the first listing all available genres and the second displaying dvd
titles available based on the genre selection. I am particularly interested
in how this could be implemented with only a single trip to the server so
users get instant feedback (possibly store values in a client-side array).
Just an idea, thanks for all the great material!
Maybe we'll do it, but it's doubtfull we'd do it on the client
(ie. 1 trip to the server).
I think that your idea for a larger application is a great one. I have
been a long-time supporter of ASP101. I know you said the application
would be programmed using VB. What about including (even if down the
road) a C# version of the application. It would give many of us the
opportunity to look at a side-by-side comparison of the two languages.
Most examples are programmed in either one or the other and that makes
code comparisons slightly more difficult while learning.
Keep up the great work!
Have the application support thumbnail and full size scans of the cover
image for each dvd.
Have a way for visitors to the site comment on the movie and rate it.
Have the application interface with amazon so people that come to your site
can purchase the movie so you can make a little money for your work.
Have the application list movies the person who rated them. If bob rates 5
of your movies when I click on bob I can see what movies he has rated and
the rating he gave then I could click on the movie to see more detail about
the movie and who else rated it.
Use XML to cache information from the database every 10 minutes so you dont
have a bunch of people doing queries against your database. Use a scheduled
stored procedure to update the XML file every so often.
You aught to post all the ideas on your webpage because sometimes ideas can
lead to other ideas. Plus I am curious to see what others have come up
Images are a go as are comments and the associated user system.
Commerce links are iffy. Caching is good, but we might use the
caching system as opposed to XML. Posting is good too! ;)
I currently have a basic version of what you are talking about on my website
It is a quick page I did for fun. I am working on a more complicated Page
with a lot of the same functionality that is a mixed drink databases. This
small page also has a little administrative page that I can get to. Adding
your other required feilds would only take a few minutes, and a search would
only be a few more lines of SQL code!
Based on this list, I think we're looking at a little bit more work then that unfortunately!
I am no asp expert, but I have tried to create a
similar catalog and I made the mistake of not
designing a very well normalized database. I mean I
stuffed all the info in one or two tables.
A good idea would be to divided everything up in
different tables and join the info:
film genre (action/drama/comedy/tv series/etc.)
Looking forward to your future articles,
DB design is important... it's not my strong point, but we'll
do our best.
People can sign up, or join the club, their posts of DVD's are
moderated until they prove to be a worthy submitter and then
they can add their collection, they can edit their own original
posts and comment on others.
I kind of have alterior motives for learning this sort of
interaction. I want the people I have listed on my website
to be run off a database, they can sign in and edit their
info. Then they can comment on other people, resources,
anything on the site, including adding news. I am talking
about www.flashcodehacks.com, I just stopped in to your
site to check out ASP but I think PHP may be better for
me, but I have to investigate...
The ratings generated by viewers is definitely cool.
For your needs you might want to partner with Amazon
or something as well (basically buid in a database
field for ISDN numbers).
Nice site you got!
ISBN might be a good primary key, but unfortunately, I've
done a lot of buy 3 get 1 free type of deals and a number
of my discs are missing this info... if I can get it off
the web I might use it.