[Callers] American Country Dances Online

Greg McKenzie grekenzie at gmail.com
Tue Jun 28 18:27:56 PDT 2011

I really appreciate the effort to get this database back on line.  It is a
valuable resource and some continuation of it would be a great contribution
to the dance form.  I have accessed it within the last year and found it

Owen's interface on line used very little of FileMaker's UI capabilities.  I
doubt that you would lose much to move to another format.  On the other hand
FileMaker Pro makes it very easy to update and maintain the database from
anywhere.  It could be maintained by multiple people.  Once you move to a
more "standard" database format the maintenance and expansion of the
database would be less accessible to folks without such technical
skills,...like me.

I suspect FileMaker Pro 4 was used because it was the first version that
allowed the easy publishing of a database on the Web.  It is amazing how
quickly you can get a database on line with FileMaker Pro.  I once built an
entire bug-tracking system and published it on line in four days using
FileMaker Pro!

I look forward to seeing what develops.

- Greg McKenzie


On Tue, Jun 28, 2011 at 3:19 PM, Alan Winston - SSRL Central Computing <
winston at slac.stanford.edu> wrote:

> William wrote:
> > It looks like FileMaker4 dates from somewhere around 1997 to 1999.
> > (The current version is FileMaker 11.)  I can see that Russell would
> > have tired of supporting a database in an old software package on an
> > old machine.  It definitely seems like the right answer would be
> > migration to a standard database and scripting language, like MySQL
> > and PHP or Python.  Mind, the advantage of FileMaker seemed to be ease
> > of UI creation, and PHP would instead tie one into deep realms of
> > database access.
> It seems like you'd be looking at a fairly standard CRUD with a single
> record
> per entry.   (I've had some dreams about an online dance presentation that
> allows commentary, like the Talmud, so you have the source and then people
> can
> describe teaching tips, etc.  But that's really feature creep for what
> you're
> talking about.)  I don't think very deep realms of database access come
> into
> play - I don't think you necessarily even need a multi-table join.  You
> could
> pretty much find sample PHP code for CRUD and adapt it; it wouldn't be a
> big
> deal.
> > I'm due to find out more about the discussions at CDSS some time next
> > week.  Ideally, the ACDOL material could pour directly into a new
> > database, but setting one up would take some time.  Depending on what
> > I hear, perhaps it'd be possible and useful to get the ACDOL material
> > on-line in a read-only form in the mean time...  Hmmm...  Perhaps just
> > formatting it, and bagging the database functions could serve that
> > end.  With fewer than 300 entries, a page for each dance and an index
> > might even suffice.  That'd be a lot faster to set up than an entire
> > web-enabled database.
> You could add some extra value if you had multiple index pages (which you
> could generate automatically, I think, while extracting the individual
> pages);
> index by title, index by title within formation, index by title within
> author,
> index by title within difficulty level.
> But this may be too much to do if the contents can just be poured into
> whatever
> CDSS is doing.  (And isn't CDSS doing some fabulous stuff on the web these
> days!)  If you wanted to do something tomorrow, you could just extract to
> Excel
> (or, say, |-delimited ASCII) and let people import it and sort and search
> to
> their heart's content.
> All since you asked for thoughts.
> -- alan
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>  Disclaimer: I speak only for myself, not SLAC or SSRL   Phone:
> 650/926-3056
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