slashk on September 10th, 2010

User Tom asks:

I am prepping for the 2011 racing season and want to look all the previous 2010 races to see the names, locations, distances, etc. But I only see the current and upcoming races, nothing historical.

Can you provide a link to go “backward” to see the older races (ideally by year)  and not just only the current and upcoming races?

Yeppers. One of the many, many undocumented features of MTBcalendar is the ability to see past events by both YEAR (like 2008, 2009, etc.) and TAG (like NorCal or my favorite snow).

To see events by year, you need to use a URL in the form of http://mtbcalendar.dev/year/show/[the year] where [the year] is something like 2009. For example, these are the years that are currently in the database:

  • 2007 (well … there’s only really one here … but it totally counts)
  • 2008
  • 2009
  • 2010
  • 2011 (Yes, we can even see the future)

Obviously, these URLs show you ALL race from that year. You might better off just grabbing your favorite tag (which tends to be the region like NorCal, SoCal or East) and using that one. You loose the nice organizing by year, but it’s probably more manageable to browse.

Let me know if there are other ways that you’d like to see the events in MTBcalendar.

slashk on January 18th, 2010

A few (okay, more than a few) users have emailed me to ask a simple question: How do I edit events on mtbcalendar.com ?

It’s easy, just not very well documented:

To edit YOUR EVENTS, make sure you are signed in and click the “pencil” icon next to the events name.

Firefox.jpg

The few notes:

  • You can only edit events that you created (i.e. you can see who created event at the bottom of an events page). This is to massive spam attacks.
  • You need to be logged in.
  • You can also cancel events. They will still appear on the site (so people can know that they are canceled), but will have a line through them.
  • If you are promoter/organizer of an event, but didn’t enter the event on mtbcalendar.com, drop me an email and I can let you edit the event.

Let me know if you have any questions on how this works.

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slashk on September 5th, 2009

Just as I completed the “export event” feature (see last blog entry), I realized that it was chock full of sucktitude: it was taking up to much space, it made the interface cluttered and didn’t provide any guidance on what the links did.

So I redesigned the links into a dialog box with the help of the cool ModalBox javascript library. Now, it looks like this:

MTBcalendar

We now have just a single link (“Export to External Calendar”) which opens up the modal dialog box with some instructions and links to the different calendars we support (yes, Apple iCal will be coming back).

For those of you keeping track at home, this is revision 695 (“crazy game of poker”) of the website. In addition to the new export event interface, we also added links to the race types (e.g. XC, DH, etc.) so that you can easily find all events with specific race types (detailed here). You can see the links on the event detail page, just above the export event link.

slashk on August 15th, 2009

I just deployed version 678 (“MM 17″) of the website, which allow you to export specific events to your favorite calendar applications:

MTB Calendar- 2009 12 Hours of Humboldt.png

We currently support Google Calendar, Yahoo! Calendar (basic not the new beta version) and Microsoft Outlook. In addition, we have always support Apple’s iCal (both single events and your entire calendar feed) as well as any application that supports the iCal standard.

Let us know if you have any problems or questions with this new feature.

slashk on August 10th, 2009

twitter.jpgThis afternoon, I deployed version #667 of the website (the number of the beast’s brother). Two things we added here:

  • Finding events by race formats: you can now find events by the type of races that they offer. For example, you can find all the MTB cross country races at:
    http://www.mtbcalendar.com/events/format/xc. Similarily, you can find all the MTB downhill races at http://www.mtbcalendar.com/events/format/dh. I haven’t yet baked this into the user interface so in the meantime, you’ll have to use these links or type it in yourself (just change the last part of the URL to whatever two letter race abbreviation like cx for cyclocross that you want).
  • Twitter integration: You can now follow mtbcalendar on twitter for news about upgrades to the website and new races. Just head over to http://twitter.com/mtbcalendar and you can follow away. We’ll add more to the twitter feed as we think of them.

As always, drop us some feedback if you want new features or see something amiss.

slashk on July 26th, 2009

I’ve been super lazy about blogging lately (too much work) but there is a lot of work going into the website. Since my last post, I’ve deployed about 80 changes to the site (bringing us to release 656 “Panic Switch” which I pushed up to the server today). Notable changes include:

  • Added “clone” event option: this allows people to quickly create a series of events after entering one event. You’ll see a “duplicate page” icon near the title of your events, which will then create a clone and allow you to enter it. This should come in handy for race series.
  • Added support for non-US events. This is still very early, but we at least show them on the map and acknowledge that there are races in other countries :)
  • Added support to mark duplicate events. You will now see a red box at the top of duplicate events redirecting you to the “better” event summary.
  • Migrated the server from Nginx+Mongrel to Nginx+Passenger (mod_rails). I should have done this soon: lower memory usage (with Enterprise Ruby), faster and easier to monitor.
  • Upgrade server to supported version of Ubuntu
  • Added many, many more tests.

I’ve got support for finding events by their races (e.g. cross-country, downhill, etc.) almost debugged and I’ll be rolling it out soon. Also on tap is the ability to export events to Google Calendar, Yahoo! Calendar and possibly even Microsoft Outlook.

As always, drop us some feedback if you need a feature or spot something amiss.

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slashk on February 17th, 2009

Just wanted to drop a quick line to let you know about two changes on MTBcalendar.com:

  1. We added some new race formats into the database (it’s the drop down menu when you add an event). These include Duathlon (running and mtb) and Clinics (for teaching). Just drop us a line (on the new feedback page) if you need any more added.
  2. We completely redesigned the event detail page. It’s more colorful, better layed out and is a little more interactive. Here’s this year’s Sea Otter Classic as an example. HINT: click on the (i) next to the race names to see more information about each race.
  3. You can edit your own events. Just click on the pencil icon next to the event name (but you can only edit your events, so you need to be signed in).
  4. We’ve temporarily removed the “Export to Google Calendar” button. It will be back very shortly, just needed to redesign it and added buttons for Yahoo! and Outlook.
  5. Here’s the new Event page (click to make it larger):

    new_event_show.png

    We’ve only got one more major features to add: Results. Hopefully before the end of the month, you will be able to enter your results and show them on your blogs.

slashk on January 30th, 2009

Late last night, I deployed revision 497 (“Collapse”) to the website. It’s the second to last deployment before we launch next week. A shortened version of the changelog:

  • Added website tour for new/unregistered users
  • Added very primitive ability for users to enter results for their races
  • Added hometown field to user profile. This will be used later to allow users to search around their hometown for races.
  • Added site search via Google Search
  • Added hover styling for links, especially for the tags page (where we have multi-word tags)
  • Added iPhone/Touch icons
  • Added a lot of formating cleanups (sigh)

We’ve got just one more set of changes to deploy before we call this thing “one dot oh.” Unfortunately, I need a short restart to do that. So sometime just before midnight Pacific Standard Time on January 31st, I’ll be rebooting the server and we will be off the air for 5 minutes (assuming everything goes well).

slashk on January 20th, 2009

After a week of furious coding and bug squashing, I think we are getting pretty close to have a official ONE DOT ZERO release.

Last night, I deployed revision 405 to the site. This release centered on:

  • Better instructions and usability for the adding events page.
  • Added terms of use, privacy policy and other static pages.
  • Upgraded the acts_as_commentable plugin to the newest version. This allows me to streamline the code and add times to the comments.
  • A lot of testing, bugs and formatting clean ups

The last things on the TODO list before the launch are:

  1. Allow users to record race results
  2. Add a website tour for new users
  3. Create a contact form for user support

I hope to have these done this weekend.

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slashk on January 15th, 2009

Sorry for the lack of updates over the past three weeks, but I’ve been very busy coding. When I last blogged, I had deployed revision 217 (“blue hawaii”) to the site. Last night, I deployed revision 323 (“snakes on a plane”). And if you’ve been watching the website, it looks vastly different (hopefully better).

Here are the major changes:

  • Comments for everyone ! Well, maybe not everyone. But people with accounts on mtbcalendar.com can now add comments (with textile formatting) to any event now.
  • Rounded corners ! (except for IE 6). And hopefully better formating throughout the site (even for IE 6 users). While I will be continuing to support IE 6 (making sure it at least works), you will be looking at a very basic version of the site if you aren’t on a modern browser (IE 7+, Safari 3+ or Mozilla 3+). Seriously, upgrade please.
  • Better iCal exporting. We now correctly export to iCal and Google calendar with Yahoo! calendar coming soon. And all events validate correctly.
  • Personal Calendars. When logged in, you can click the “My Calendar” button on the top right to see past and future races that you’ve added to your personal calendar. And you can subscribe to your calendar via iCal or RSS.
  • Microformats. I’ve revamped the microformat support to include geo markup. However, it is hidden so you will need to make sure “show hidden microformats” are enabled if you are using Operator in firefox.

This brings most of the changes that I wanted before the 2009 MTB race season. However, I will be working diligently over the next few days to add the ability for racers to record their race results (and hopefully display it on their blogs). Look for something this weekend or early next week.

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