UKDFD

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Saffron
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UKDFD

Post by Saffron » Tue Sep 05, 2017 5:00 pm

I strongly suggest that people read the "Whats New" on the UKDFD page.

Most important aspects are -
1) Its going through a major upgrade - this could take an extended period.

2) "When the new database is open and rebuilt there will be no "free loaders" relying on other supporters to support their own personal use.
They will be a charge to cover the use of this site like may other websites who run this sort of thing."

Evan

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Dave8472
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Re: UKDFD

Post by Dave8472 » Tue Sep 05, 2017 5:26 pm

They haven't allowed non subscribers to upload records for a couple of years. I used to use it a lot, a good site for the more modern stuff that PAS isn't interested in. Also a bit easier to search for some items. I had some tricky ID's done by the crew there on some unusual items. It wasn't an expensive subscription when I used it. Well worth it over a year.

Will be interesting to see how it developes. Some of their reference pages are well worth a read too.

Dave ):=

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Re: UKDFD

Post by JBM » Tue Sep 05, 2017 5:39 pm

I have supported UKDFD for years including regular annual donations.

In return Rod and the team have helped me a lot with identification of my finds, many of them are shown on their site to help others just as finds of others have helped me over the last few years.

For some reason too many people expect something for nothing these days.

Happy Hunting,

Jerry.

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Re: UKDFD

Post by Dave8472 » Tue Sep 05, 2017 5:39 pm

Just to add some more after reading the news on there

The last and I think current upgrades have been ongoing for a long time, as Gary says it is all run by volunteers. I can read between the lines a little and presume people want blood for their £15 (think that is the current amount) putting loads of stuff up there, only to then put it all on eBay. That is for another topic for the 'let's get rich quick brigade' that are in this hobby.

Hats of to them, I would have abandoned it ages ago, knowing what many people are like now (users)

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Re: UKDFD

Post by FULLTIMER » Tue Sep 05, 2017 5:56 pm

I have also supported the site over the years in fact I'm still doing so, i've got a few bits and bobs on the database and a good few waiting to go on there when they start recording again, I think it's good value for money especially when recording and getting ID's etc .I've also printed off the pages showing my items so i have a record offline, I also pass on the a link to my finds on the database to the landowners.
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BEST FINDS HERE; http://www.ukdfd.co.uk/ukdfddata/showca ... =fulltimer" onclick="window.open(this.href);return false;

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Re: UKDFD

Post by liamnolan » Tue Sep 05, 2017 6:04 pm

I don't use UKFD but I wish them well and I fully endorse some of the comments made.
£15 a year for very good ID support is great value. Yes there are those who want everything for nothing, same people who then go and spend £20 on a few beers and a dodgy kebab.
Ebay ID's - we get them on here and we try to spot them, usually the ones who don't want to provide the Hammy Code info.
Every hobby has an army of volunteers behind the scenes who make things work and I applaud their efforts and time spent. ::g
Liam :;@
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Re: UKDFD

Post by king of the swingers » Tue Sep 05, 2017 7:12 pm

liamnolan wrote:
Tue Sep 05, 2017 6:04 pm
I don't use UKFD but I wish them well and I fully endorse some of the comments made.
£15 a year for very good ID support is great value. Yes there are those who want everything for nothing, same people who then go and spend £20 on a few beers and a dodgy kebab.
Ebay ID's - we get them on here and we try to spot them, usually the ones who don't want to provide the Hammy Code info.
Every hobby has an army of volunteers behind the scenes who make things work and I applaud their efforts and time spent. ::g
Liam :;@
hmmmmm kebab =P~ =P~ =P~ =P~

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Re: UKDFD

Post by Phil2401 » Tue Sep 05, 2017 9:34 pm

I joined UKDFD and gave them the £15 'donation' over 6 months ago - I have as yet not been able to post anything. I'm not looking for something for nothing - just want to share my finds and see others - how long can an 'upgrade' take?
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Re: UKDFD

Post by Saffron » Tue Sep 05, 2017 10:39 pm

Phil2401 wrote:
Tue Sep 05, 2017 9:34 pm
I joined UKDFD and gave them the £15 'donation' over 6 months ago - I have as yet not been able to post anything. I'm not looking for something for nothing - just want to share my finds and see others - how long can an 'upgrade' take?
My understanding is that PAS, which is fully funded and has IT support, did not allow any updates for over a year.

In this case its volunteers having to do it in their free time, and involves them having to learn a new computer / database language.
You must remember that this is not a little home database but contains over 50,000 records including photographs and mapping.

If it was a "commercial" concern with full time IT staff then I would understand why you ask "how long can an 'upgrade' take?". But in this case I fully understand why its taking so long.

I worked in IT support for nearly 40 years and know how difficult this type of upgrade can be even working in an experienced team with a wide range of IT skills.

For anybody who has contributed to the UKDFD I would say can you please be patient and give the people involved time to upgrade this very useful resource. I am sure you will see the benefit in the long term.

Evan

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Re: UKDFD

Post by Saffron » Tue Sep 05, 2017 10:57 pm

Dave, JBM, Fulltimer, Liam,
very many thanks for your input.

I admit its something I had never thought about and I did not even realise it was only run by volunteers.

I have often used the various reference pages and found them invaluable including -
http://www.ukdfd.co.uk/pages/button-makers.html Button backmarks
http://www.ukdfd.co.uk/pages/crotal-bells.html Crotal bells
http://www.ukdfd.co.uk/pages/thimble.html Thimbles
http://www.ukdfd.co.uk/pages/Long-Cross ... 20moneyers Longcross pennies / mints / moneyers / classes (years)

If you just look at the number of links from the MDF to the UKDFD you will see how often its used by members on here.

As I did not realise it was run by volunteers and funded by voluntry contributions and the volunteers themselves I have not contributed. But I certainly will in the future just to help secure such a useful resource.

I already contribute to WIKI as that is such a fantastic resource and gets no official funding. To me UKDFD is a UK detectorists equivalent.

Evan

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Re: UKDFD

Post by Phil2401 » Wed Sep 06, 2017 7:55 pm

Saffron wrote:
Tue Sep 05, 2017 10:39 pm
Phil2401 wrote:
Tue Sep 05, 2017 9:34 pm
I joined UKDFD and gave them the £15 'donation' over 6 months ago - I have as yet not been able to post anything. I'm not looking for something for nothing - just want to share my finds and see others - how long can an 'upgrade' take?
My understanding is that PAS, which is fully funded and has IT support, did not allow any updates for over a year.

In this case its volunteers having to do it in their free time, and involves them having to learn a new computer / database language.
You must remember that this is not a little home database but contains over 50,000 records including photographs and mapping.

If it was a "commercial" concern with full time IT staff then I would understand why you ask "how long can an 'upgrade' take?". But in this case I fully understand why its taking so long.

I worked in IT support for nearly 40 years and know how difficult this type of upgrade can be even working in an experienced team with a wide range of IT skills.

For anybody who has contributed to the UKDFD I would say can you please be patient and give the people involved time to upgrade this very useful resource. I am sure you will see the benefit in the long term.

Evan

Thanks for your knowledgable overview of the situation Evan - I have no knowledge of IT matters and was speaking merely as a contributor, having been greatly impressed by the existing database and an organisation that seems to be far more user friendly than the PAS, but feeling a bit frustrated that I can't yet contribute anything (apart from money). Apologies for my impatience. I look forward to seeing UKDFD in its new glory in due course.

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Re: UKDFD

Post by Saffron » Wed Sep 06, 2017 9:31 pm

Just looked at this a bit more and the result was a massive Oooooooooh and sharp intake of breath.

I see Garry joined the forum in August 2005 so I assume this is probably when the UKDFD system was set up. Reading between the lines my GUESS is that there have been no major upgrades since then.

But the really worrying statements are -
"The problem we have is that the old software was purchased and highly modified to create this unique database."
If you are using "off the shelf" software then there is always plenty of support available and when upgrades to new versions of the software and systems happen then what works for one database will work for another. BUT the more you modify the original software the more difficult it becomes when an upgrade happens and the more you need specialist tweaks from the standard migration route. These are often not simple ....... yep I have the T-shirt (in fact a shelf of them, and a corresponding bold patch!).
FYI: I have never known any upgrade to be simple and go as planned!

"The company who developed the back end have stopped doing anything with the code and we are left to work on a new one."
In other words Gary and Rod have been left to it on their own, and in fairness to them it sounds as if they are self taught rather than IT specialists.

"Technology advances in web development and our software is to old to work on the new database code."
This happens all the time. Even if something still works it gets to the stage where all the other elements, eg servers and operating systems, have moved on to such an extent that the old databases can not be supported. IF my assumption about no major upgrades since 2005 is correct just think how computing has moved on in that time.

On a positive the server was upgraded sometime ago and the new database software has been purchased and the work required to customise and configure it for the UKDFD has started.

Here are 4 advantages that the users will see -
1. The new software will provide for the printing of individual records, and it will also be possible for recorders to create their own pdf files.
2. The new software will have a fully functional search facility with multiple options. (The present search facility is defective and only searches the first few record fields.)
3. Recorders will be able to preview records they are uploading before submitting them.
4. Clicking on a record's thumbnail images will correctly enlarge them for viewing. (This feature ceased working on the present database some time ago.)


I fully understand why updates have been suspended. Firstly it avoids corruption of existing records and secondly it enables Gary and Rod to concentrate on the upgrade.

Evan

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