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SRD 3.5 Competition

Conaill

First Post
stephenh said:
I have put a draft html version of the SRD at

http://home.earthlink.net/~shelsdo/srd/index.html
Good work, stephenh!

A few comments on areas that I feel could use improvement...

- Definitely run your html through some sort of validator or clean-up service. Right now, I'm getting 324 errors from validator.w3.org for your MONK class file alone! It actually matches HTML 4.01 Transitional better: only 248 errors. (Most of the errors in the MONK file are actually superfluous font close tabs </FONT> in the class table.)
[Edit: Looks like all the files should have the 4.01 Transitional DOCTYPE, because you're using <BODY LANG="en-US"> everywhere. There's missing or extra </FONT> tags all over the place.]

- I would prefer to cram some more content onto the first page. Right now, everything is at least 2 clicks away. You could for example put in an A - Z list of links for spells, monsters, etc.
[Edit: Ah, I overlooked your Detailed index . That one's perhaps a little too detailed though.]

- The hyperlinked entries within the text stand out a little *too* much, to the point where they reduce legibility. You may want to set a more subdued style for links, so they blend in better (especially if you plan and hyperlink even more terms).

- I'm not terribly fond of fixed-width tables. The Monk table has a width of 831, which means I have to scroll to see all of it. Not sure how to work around this. You could hand-tweak the very largest ones: reduce some of the spacing between columns, use abbreviations (lvl, BAB, AC, ...), etcetera.

- Monk class table: The first, 16th and 17th rows are formatted different from the other rows for which the "Special" entry is split across two lines (i.e. 4, 6, 10, 11, 12 and 20). On my browser (Netscape 7.0), the first set looks fine, but the second (where you force a split in the Special abilities using paragraphs) looks really bad, with a lot of whitespace between the two lines.
 
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stephenh

First Post
Thanks for the comments everyone!

Sulaco: I'll have a look at doing a frames version -- I just need to read up on how to do it first. This is actually the first time I have ever made any web pages. I want to try and finish a rough index first though.

Conaill: I'll run everything through the the clean up service. -- I knew there were lots of unnecessary < /FONT> entries. This was a leftover from the automatic conversion of the original rtf files, which I then spent a long time cleaning up. The split lines (and fixed width) in the Monk table is also an effect of the original conversion. I'll try to clean as much up as possible.

I'll also try to work out how to alter the link style.

I would also be willing to send out a zipped-up copy of the pages to anyone who wants it. -- let me know.
 

Conaill

First Post
Question for the community:

How do people feel about splitting the SRD into lots of small html files, as stephenh did, keeping it in the medium-sized chunks like the original rtfs, or combining them like in reveal's pdf version?

Personally, I think I prefer the medium size to large chunks, especially since you can jump into the middle of a file anyway. I do understand that there is a latency issue regarding accessing large files over a slow connection, but since these files are almost pure text, that shouldn't really be a significant factor.
 

Sage

Explorer
Conaill said:
How do people feel about splitting the SRD into lots of small html files, as stephenh did, keeping it in the medium-sized chunks like the original rtfs, or combining them like in reveal's pdf version?

Hmm. My version is at about 1500 files. lol.
Yep, lots of small files.

Sage
 

Estlor

First Post
Conaill said:
How is everybody doing in terms of completing before the deadline?

I've got to do Magic Items, Psionic Items, and Monsters before all the text is the way I want it. I finally nailed down the fonts I want to use for everything but the tables, and I'm almost decided on the page layout I want.

All things considered, I should be done with some time to spare (but not much). That, of course, assumes Word doesn't do something evil to my working draft.
 

Dimwhit

Explorer
I'm going to post this here, then I'll add it to the original post at the top of this thread:

To submit your entry for the contest, .zip it all up and put is somewhere I (and the other judges) can download it. Then email me at srd@dimwhit.com and give me the download url. If that won't work (you're doing an SQL database or something) just email me the url. The email should be sent before the deadline (11:59:59, August 31).

I decided to do this because there are so many links on so many posts in this thread, some of which aren't for actual entries. Sifting through this whole topic, given its current size, would be tedious.

By the way, if you don't have anywhere to post your SRD, and you need to email it to me, send me an email first and let me know how large the file will be. We'll figure it out from there. (In other words, don't just email me a 10 MB file!)

Any problems, concerns, or questions about this? I may not be thinking about something I should, so let me know.
 

Conaill

First Post
Dimwhit said:
The email should be sent before the deadline (11:59:59, August 31).
GMT, I assume? Or shall we be lenient and say PST (midnight GMT would be 4 pm PST).

GMT = Greenwich Mean Time
PST = Pacific Standard Time (i.e. California etc.)
 

Dimwhit

Explorer
quote:
--------------------------------------------------------------------------------
Originally posted by Dimwhit
The email should be sent before the deadline (11:59:59, August 31).
--------------------------------------------------------------------------------


GMT, I assume? Or shall we be lenient and say PST (midnight GMT would be 4 pm PST).

GMT = Greenwich Mean Time
PST = Pacific Standard Time (i.e. California etc.)

Hmm, forgot about that. Well, I'm in Mountain Time. Really, I'm fairly lenient. A couple hours either way won't hurt much. :)

But, for the sake of allowing the most time possible, let's go with PST (give you GMT people plenty of time!).

(Kind of hard coordinating a deadline when you're dealing with a worldwide audience.)
 

Dimwhit

Explorer
By the way, Conaill, are you entering the contest? If not, are you on my judges list? (I don't have screen names for most of the judges.) If not, you should be. :) (Send an email if you haven't already - srd@dimwhit.com)
 

Conaill

First Post
Dimwhit said:
By the way, Conaill, are you entering the contest? If not, are you on my judges list?
I'm not, but I don't know if I can afford to spend as much time on this as I think it deserves.

How many entries do you expect in each category, and how many judges do you already have for each?
 

Dimwhit

Explorer
Well, I have about 8 judges, so I'm not hurting for them. But I think the more, the better. Also, they're not all judging each category. But there are probably 4-5 for each category.

As for submissions, I couldn't even venture a guess. I may get 2 or 3 for each category, or I may get 20. I just don't know. I maybe have gotten in over my head on this one. :D

Don't feel you need to, but you're welcome to join. You could just judge one category that you're interested in, or all of them. I haven't decided how long I'll allow for judging. It will depend on how many entries. But there will at least be a few days, if not a week or more.
 

woodelf

First Post
Sulaco said:
I do hope that whatever the winner turns out to be it isn't just something that apes the look or style of the exisiting D&D/d20 books. I am getting pretty bored with the bog-standard "image border down the outside edge of the page" thing. It was something fresh when the 3e books did it, and SSS as pretty much the first 3rd-party d20 publisher put their own spin on it, but now every damn d20 product looks virtually identical.

Well, i don't like non-functional borders (wanna put cool, useful content down the border? great! wanna add eye-candy? no thanks.). And, while i've seen quite a few of the D20 books out there, i honestly don't pay much attention to the layout on a flip-through unless it's exceptional (good or bad), and i don't own any D20 books ('cept 2--neither from WotC, and neither using an outside-edge eye-candy border). So *i'm* not going to be making my work look like the WotC books (which i think are very ugly and hard to use for a number of reasons). But my version is intentionally a fairly straightforward layout, with no bells and whistles, and no art--that's how i like my reference works (and besides, i've got access to no appropriate art), so if the judges prefer flashy to functional, or somebody else makes a flashy-yet-functional version, i won't win. The strength of my version is (1) getting the page count down (woohoo, small type!) while still having good readability (woohoo, quality, readable typefaces!), (2) clean organization, with a clear hierarchy of headings (i hope), and (3) organization--that's, i hope, my strength. I've significantly reorganized the content from the RTFs, in the hopes of bringing some order to their mess, and minimizing duplication of content. I've done what i can to reorganize the content to have some sensible flow --without actually rewriting vast gobs of stuff (basically just cut'n'paste).

That said, what do people think about landscape vs. portrait for book layout? My preference is to go with landscape (8.5x11), because then a page basically fits perfectly on screen, and fits perfectly on the paper. But most people seem to dislike this, so i'm currently working on a portrait-orientation version. Less useful on-screen, but seems to upset fewer people when printed. Opinions?
 

seasong

First Post
woodelf said:
That said, what do people think about landscape vs. portrait for book layout?
Portrait is the most readable for me on a screen. Landscape fits width perfectly, but the font is usually so small at that point that I can't read the gorgeous full-screen layout I'm looking at.

Maybe if I had a huge monitor, but I don't.

For print, I also prefer portrait, but I'm more flexible on the issue - I like the feel of a tall book better than a wide one, but I'll read either one ;).

-seasong
 

Arc

First Post
stephenh: Great work. I was just surfing through, and found a few things that would be nice if you added them.
  • Magic items: Many wonderous items, rings, wands, staves and whatnot cast spells or replicate spell effects. If those linked back to the spell in question, it make the magic items tables 10x easier to use.
  • Classes: It's minor, but if classes that have spell lists would link to those spell lists, that would be great. Some prestige classes also gain spell like abilities, those should link to the spell in question.
  • Spells in general need to be cross-referenced to each other, especially those in chains.
  • Summon Monster should link to the monsters being summoned.
That's about it, really. Good work.
 

Sage

Explorer
Arc said:
[*]Spells in general need to be cross-referenced to each other, especially those in chains.
[*]Summon Monster should link to the monsters being summoned.
[/list]

Actually, 3.5 takes care of this. For example first you would have Planar Binding, then directly after that spell would be PB, greater, and then PB, lesser.
They even changed a few names to make it more consistent. TWE to greater teleport (I'll never forgive them for that), is one example.
 

Sage

Explorer
Dimwhit said:
To submit your entry for the contest, .zip it all up and put is somewhere I (and the other judges) can download it. Then email me at srd@dimwhit.com and give me the download url. If that won't work (you're doing an SQL database or something) just email me the url.

When the entries are all done and sent, can you post the URLs so people can pick their own favorite, if they don't like the one the judges pick?

Maybe first post the URLs a few days after the entries are up, so the bandwith doesn't get overloaded before the judges get a copy.
 
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Poster Bard

First Post
Conaill said:
Then there's of course the Plexus version as well:

Plexus - SRD Revised Bundle

There's a review available for this one, but it's not very positive. Apparently, the formatting is fairly basic.

There's a Demo now available at RPGNow for this. The Plexus - SRD Revised - Basics, Spells, and Magic Items has been updated. We've cleaned up a few minor errors, added dozens of additional (precision) bookmarks, replaced a missing page, as well as compressed the file down to a third of the original size to increase speed during reference usage. More updates and revisions to come but buy the "Bundle" now at the same low, sale price!
 

Drawmack

First Post
maybe a couple days before the deadline dimwhit could start an official submissions thread. Only for posting your submission and no submission not in that thread will be accepted.
 

Drawmack

First Post
Real life kept me from working on this for nearly two weeks I hope that i can have it finished by the deadline but I am no longer sure. I will have the PHB converted and should have most of the DMG converted. I am not sure if I'll have the monster manual converted. Also a virus, or more appropriately my virus scanner, ate my list of people who volunteered to beta test for me so I'll just be posting a zip file here once I get the phb completly converted.

OH an before someone says it yes I'm only converting the SRD I'm just refering to the section as per the books they originally appeared in.
 

Dimwhit

Explorer
maybe a couple days before the deadline dimwhit could start an official submissions thread. Only for posting your submission and no submission not in that thread will be accepted.

Actually, that's a good idea. I'll probably do that, too. People can email them to me, or post it in the submissions.

When the entries are all done and sent, can you post the URLs so people can pick their own favorite, if they don't like the one the judges pick?

Absolutely! I know the winners will get hosting with FluidDragon (did I get that right?), and I believe Morrus offered some hosting space, so we'll figure it out so everyone can choose their own favorite.

Drawmack, bummer about the time constraint. I hope you get most of it done!
 

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