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Re: case list page
As many of you know, I'm going to take on the case list page for next
year. I'm posting this response to generate some ideas, as I know this
will be a huge effort on my part, and will be of great help to the
community, so I need all the assistance and input I can get. Of
particular interest, can anybody help me with cgi-bin code, etc., for
making the page searchable? I'd like to make the page interactive and
go beyond HTML.
Billy Cravens, The "Hack Daddy"
"Life is tough, but it's even tougher when you're stupid."
> I considered volunteering for this, but I did not expect I would be able
> to keep it going when the mid year handbook work started to pile up.
> I strongly suggest using the always impressive UNI case list as a
> starting point. I think you probably want to keep it alphabetical (by
> school) and include each team combo (a separate listing for
> Morris/Cravens, noting they ALSO ran Indonesian shipbuilding just like
> Cravens/Snyder did...) but use new information from later tournaments to
> supplement the earlier data. I caution against changing the description
> of the earlier case, but perhaps adding source citations or more
> explanation is appropriate. When the plan or case is changed, I'd instead
> note what was changed, at what tournament, to the end of the description.
> Often such changes are situational and not permanent.
> I also think you might want to have standard info on what you will
> include. I think these things are a good start:
> Full Plan Text
> Case Structure (Contentions/Advantages)
> Tag Lines for Each Card
> A question might be whether to include source cites for each card (with
> Lexis evidence, perhaps a unique phrase from the card). My case list
> experience says some people turn these in, and they ARE very useful! But,
> it would suck if your case was one of only 2 or 3 where the case list was
> this in-depth.
> I would also encourage you to edit out the occasional negative comments
> about plans/teams/strategy that are occasionally added to these forms.
> I think the inclusion of negative arguments & strategies is also pretty
> useful, but I often find things like "Clinton DA" to be almost useless
> due to vagueness. The ideal negative position description would rarely
> exceed 3 sentences, but would be more than a label. Again, source cites
> are positive.
> All of the above are suggestions only - the problem of gathering
> effective data is a major issue. More tournaments are doing case-lists,
> but many do not. Further, many use a different format for their list,
> leading to a LOT of retyping. Northwestern copies and distributes the
> hand-written lists to people attending, but does not re-type. Ideally,
> you would not be in a position of typing everything. Ideally, tournament
> directors would include case list forms with ballots, and then have
> someone type up the 'new' info from their tournament and send it to you
> in machine readable form. We certainly will at SMSU (in fact, I will help
> you behind the scenes when my time allows if you would like), but there
> will be some gaps.
> Finally, there may be a role in letting teams help you fill out the case
> list. You might be able to include source citations by requesting them
> when they are missing. Occasionally, there is less than accurate info,
> which teams might correct if they new the correction would be made and
> kept. You might even get explanations of confusing parts of the case.
> Some people will probably give you correct spellings of their names as
> well, which seems fair enough.
> For my purposes (as a coach) - I'd love to be able to download the
> document either by printing from a Netbrowser or as a document I could
> manipulate in my own word processor. It might be useful (if a bit tough)
> to be able to only get the 'new' information or specific schools that I
> expect at the upcoming tournament. If the wordprocessing document wasn't
> formatted for Word Perfect or Word or something, I would make each
> paragraph a single line, some of them 1000 characters long, to allow for
> line wrapping when I loaded the next into my word processor.
> I would be happy with a search system that allowed me to skip to "F" and
> then browse through all the "F" schools. You probably should decide
> where to list the "U." schools - is USC under:
> 1. University of Southern California
> 2. USC
> 3. Southern California
> 4. California - USC
> Any solution is fine, but consistency is very useful. A more complex
> search system would allow me to search either by letter, and then to a
> list of schools, and then to case descriptions. You could also just list
> the schools in alphabetical order, and not have the 'alphabet' level -
> since many letters have 1-2 schools and a few have 20. The format where
> hitting "F" or "Fordham U." takes you to a different section of the same
> long Web Page is easier to use that waiting for numerous web pages to
> come in. Also, it is useful to be able to the print the whole thing in
> one shot.
> I have never met you, Billy, so I hope the length of response is neither
> daunting nor insulting. In my view, if you are doing the work, you get to
> choose the format. Nonetheless, I interpreted your E-Mail as a request
> for ideas and input. I have thought quite a bit about how I'd structure
> it if I was willing to commit to doing it, so I hope these thoughts are
> useful. I would be happy to chat more now or as issues arise as well as
> help out when I can.
> If you wish to post some of these ideas to the -L to see if people like
> or hate them, feel free. They may hate them, but also, discussing the
> question in a nuts & bolts way may get tournament directors to contribute
> in more detail and get the community's case listing efforts to be more
> helpful to the keeper of the list.
> I have often felt there was a great deal of energy to be saved by having
> the case listing process even more centralized. I applaud your efforts to
> do so.
> Eric Morris
> Asst Dir of Forensics,
> SW Missouri State U.
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