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Pokémon Standards Initiative

Discussion in 'The Suggestion Box' started by Arty2, Sep 2, 2010.

  1. Arty2

    Arty2

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    Greetings fellow Pokémon fans,

    The Pokémon fandom is truly remarkable: loyal, evergreen, creative and vast. However, while the sheer size of the fandom has certainly positive effects on the quality of the information produced, it also results into cluttered, cut-off bits.

    As common sense dictates, localized communities are not water-tight, meaning users roam around using different related programs and visit several websites / forums, often with equally active accounts on many of them. Not only they have to keep several instances of their online presence, they need to move their Pokémon data along, whether that is their team's information, "trade material" and whatnot.

    It would be overly optimistic (at the moment at least) to think of a portable "Pokéfan" identity across fansites; it is however possible to break all the rest free.


    tldr - My vision (in lack of a less pompous word) is that anyone will be one day able to Copy a line of text and Paste it in their favourite application, forum, website and let the software format, translate and display it, never to worry about having to input their information over and over again.

    In case I confused you already, let me illustrate using an example. This is the output of three popular IV calculation tools. You'll notice that every each one uses a different format. Go around in a couple of forums and you'll notice that every other post has a format of its own:

    Code:
    Shuckle (Relaxed)
    HP : 15 - 19
    Atk: 20
    Def: 15 - 19
    SAt: 20
    SDf: 20
    Spd: 15, 20
    --AVG: 17.6667
    
    #213 Shuckle [Relaxed]
    IVs: 15, 17, 19 / 20 / 15, 17, 19 / 20 / 20 / 20
    Stats at Lv.20: 41|0 / 13|0 / 110|0 / 13|0 / 101|0 / 9|0
    
    Shuckle - #213 (Relaxed)
    HP: 15 - 19
    Att: 20
    Def: 15 - 19
    SpA: 20 - 24
    SpD: 20 - 24
    Speed: 20
    
    A Pokémon data structure is merely a graspable example; such a set of rules / standards could facilitate anything related to information exchange within the community, for the benefit of the end user, that is... us.


    Like any other fandom, we occasionally quarrel, become fanboys and flame each other, often forgetting how we all enjoy playing the same games. This can be one of those different, rare cases of collaboration beyond personal grudges and language barriers that can easily yield efficient and palpable benefits for years to come.


    [align=right]yet another Pokémon fan[/align]

  2. Great Sage

    Great Sage

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    I don't see what this would accomplish. From what I understand, this is an attempt to standardize the display of Pokemon IVs across websites, and I don't know why that would be helpful. It's not as if any accepted format is particularly hard to understand.
  3. Arty2

    Arty2

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    An output format is simply an example. I'm talking about standardizing Pokemon-related information, be it input, output, exchange.

    For example, calculate something in Metalkid's tools, copy&paste it in shoddy, then copy&paste it in the Team Builder, then copy&paste it in your trade thread, and let the software do the translating.

    Same principles could apply to TCG and several other areas.
  4. Venser

    Venser

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    That's a lot of work for a hardly time-saving idea. So you save about...a minute when all is said and done? Plus, I mean, it's already basically standardized, and all you need to do is a little reformatting that takes about 10-15 seconds at most.
  5. chaos

    chaos
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    This isn't a bad idea.
  6. Arty2

    Arty2

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    Thanks chaos, I'd be really interested on your thoughts on this.

    @Venser: Say a minute for each Pokemon, but who has just one Pokemon to manage anyway? What one actually saves, is their freedom of data.
    Say one emulator ceases and another one emerges, why input your teams manually? Why not be able to share your team with someone that uses another emulator or some team manager?
  7. manav95

    manav95

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    Do we have time for this? If not, then this will go to waste.
  8. Firestorm

    Firestorm I did my best, I have no regrets!
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    I like this idea as well. I'm a big fan of openly being able to push and pull information from other sources and easily use them somewhere else. However, I think you're going to need to be more proactive here. You've said why, but the how you think it should be done isn't too clear. How many sites do you have on board? You're going to need to reach out to the major ones (some of which aren't too willing to change) to see if you can get them to come to a consensus on what is the most readable (by both humans and computers) format for different types of information.
  9. Arty2

    Arty2

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    I think this post from BMG would help clarify some things.

    I didn't really expect any excitement for initiative but apparently most of the fans don't seem to be able to comprehend the picture. It will need time, patience and capable people to form a proper working group. Hence why I'm glad the idea receives even that bit of interest from the Smogon community; you've already got a lot of programmers and expert players that can come up with ideas and be able to materialize them in their software.

    I have talked to Serebii, Archaic and people from ProjectPokemon and while they also like the idea, they all seem hesitant as to whether other people are willing to follow the standards or not. But we shouldn't be as naive as to think that everyone would follow from day one. I'm my humble opinion once a couple of major communities go with it, the others will follow.
  10. eric the espeon

    eric the espeon maybe I just misunderstood
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    Makes sense to have standards, though who would decide and how would the decision be made? Another place you may want to talk to this about is veekun and their GTS server. Also a related point, it would be great to have exported teams from all major simulators following a single standard which includes all wanted information. This combined with an "import from text" feature which PO currently has (and other sims may adopt) would allow easy team sharing. And less relevant, but still a convention which needs addressing so you may need to consider it, Rotom-C's official form name is not Cut but Mow, which means that the many sites using -C are incorrect.
  11. Arty2

    Arty2

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    We gather the people willing to implement them at first, make a working group, discuss it and agree on something. That should be tedious and may cause quarrels, but there's no other way I'm afraid; it's how it works.

    And yes, even such naming conventions could and should be standardized.
  12. Eevee

    Eevee

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    Of all things, I just rewrote veekun's stat calculator and it now spits out yet another ad-hoc plaintext format. (But it used to have no plaintext output at all, so this is an improvement.) It now looks like this:

    Code:
    15–19 HP; 20/15–19 Phys; 20–24/20–24 Spec; 20 Speed

    Thoughts:
    1. Standards are an admirable goal, but I fear using just the example of IVs is deceptively-- okay, hang on.

    2. "IV" is a bad term and I want to lynch whoever came up with it. It doesn't mean anything, and the acronym means even less. Can we call them "genes"? Great, thanks.

    1. Using genes as an example is deceptively simplistic. I see plenty of ad-hoc forum formats for arranging entire Pokémon, which can include any of a sprite, a moveset, multiple possible movesets, a held item, a level, a nickname, an ability, etc. Are you proposing that (a) we invent a microformat for common cases like this, and (b) everyone patches their respective forum software to recognize and render it? That's quite a bit more work than slapping together six numbers that only three or four tools actually spit out. It seems to be implied on this PSI page, but there's no obvious plan or scope besides "hey we should do this".

    3. A likely prerequisite here is a more robust way for the dozen or so significant site owners to communicate/argue. Individual emails and threads on multiple fora won't scale with time.


    That said, I'm totally down. It's a good idea in theory and something that needs doing.

    Can we actually pull it off? Not sure—we have enough trouble just getting complete and accurate move/item/etc. descriptions across a dozen Pokédexes. Guess we'll see.
  13. Arty2

    Arty2

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    2. Second that. I fear however that it is already embedded deep in the collective consciousness.

    1. Agreed, in my defense I chose it as an example because it is simplistic enough as to grasp the idea.

    1.a. Yes, exactly.

    1.b. Yes again, however writing and distributing a bbcode plugin may be the easiest part of the deal.
    And no, I really had no greater scope as in what should be done. I'm merely trying to create awareness. I think it people would disregard it on sight if I came up with some system and tried to convince them to enforce it.

    3. Agreed again. I was initially thinking of something like Wave, but that's going to die soon (if I got that right) unless we get some custom server. We need some neutral ground I suppose; any ideas?
  14. eric the espeon

    eric the espeon maybe I just misunderstood
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    A forum seems like the best neutral ground, probably accompanied by an irc channel. It can't really be on any of the current sites (yay arguments about where) so a new one would have to be created I guess, and it needs to be reasonably well done.
  15. Eevee

    Eevee

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    1. Okay then. Complicated, but cool. Obviously we should just use the gen4 Pokémon struct format as a hex string.

    2. I've already stopped saying "IV", but I try to preserve context around "gene" so anyone familiar with stats can figure it out easily enough.

    3. Wave development was killed a month ago; the servers are on borrowed time. Our options are probably:
    Subforum on an existing forum: Would need to figure out whose, though.
    Create a new separate forum: :effort:. Lot of overhead for less than a dozen people to talk.
    (Re)use a wiki: Suck for discussion, imo.
    IRC channel somewhere: I know there are a couple site owners who already lurk on IRC all the time, but this won't work so well unless everyone lurks, and we may still need to preserve logs somewhere.
  16. eric the espeon

    eric the espeon maybe I just misunderstood
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    I'm sure many non-site owners will be useful in the discussions about which standards would be most useful. The decision should be in the hands of the owners, but there is little to gain from excluding good users who are likely to have more free time for an involved debate than the leaders themselves.
  17. Eevee

    Eevee

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    Oh, no, I don't think it should be secret or private—I just don't imagine there are that many Pokémon fans interested in technology who aren't already contributing some. Maybe I'm wrong.

    I'm not really opposed to having an embassy on otherwise non-neutral ground, as long as it's somewhere reliable and non-awful.
  18. eric the espeon

    eric the espeon maybe I just misunderstood
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    If this initiative is expanded to many or all conventions I'm sure there would be significant interest from users. And, if the site leaders are happy with using non neutral ground the it won't be a problem, but we can't be sure of that and deciding which to use could be a headache.
  19. Serebii

    Serebii

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    I heartily endorse this event or product.

    We do need to work together afterall
  20. cim

    cim happiness is such hard work
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    So wait, what exactly is being standardized? The output of what? Most sites I know of don't use inputs other than the Pokemon's name in a search box, so I don't get what the use of this is.
  21. Super

    Super This space for rent
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    Basically, text output formats would be equivalent in all programs. As well, any import text functionality that exists in any program would accept this format, and likely programs that don't have an import text would create one to accept this format.

    I'm entirely for it, the only issue I had was whether or not the cooperation could be achieved, So far though it seems likely.
  22. Arty2

    Arty2

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    Websites can also exchange information themselves, they just don't know it yet. As I noted earlier, data standards is one thing to get started with. Naming conventions may as well follow.


    I'm also okay with any forum, be it neutral or not, although IRC does sound tempting; having a live conversation speeds things up but the downside is that people will have to be available concurrently. If we could get something like this but with moderating tools...
  23. Eevee

    Eevee

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    I'm also interested in resolving the constant squabbling over news, which isn't actually good for anyone, but that might be a much worse problem...

    Okay, well, whose space we use? I have an IRC server and forums (sorta), but so does everyone else.

    I've tried etherpads with a half-dozen coworkers before, and it actually seems.. not so good for holding a conversation. Working on a well-defined document like a spec or notes, sure. But discussion easily spreads all throughout the text and it gets pretty easy to lose track of what's going on.
  24. mleo2003

    mleo2003

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    I know this is kinda showing off my age and how long I've been into Pokemon, but someone did ask where IV came from:

    Origins of the Term IV

    Also, while researching all this, I found an old website I started for Pokemon back in 2002 (actually, that was the last update I did for it, so it's older than that). Tripod hosting is actually still storing that page for me after all this time...
  25. Eevee

    Eevee

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    I see we are all very committed. 8)

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