So I was browsing the net last night, poking into various pet sites to see how they are doing, when I ran across a site I hadn’t seen before. At first I rather liked it — it’s a simple database front-end with a nice, clean interface. Some of the query filters aren’t as useful as I’d like — and I’ve given a lot of thought to this lately since I’ve been planning out a database system to replace a few of the more annoying pages on Petopia.
(Aside: I don’t actually know how Brash used to manage all the data for Petopia, but when I started upkeeping it I moved all the source data into a series of linked spreadsheets. I use Perl scripts to auto-generate most of the pages, and then hand-tweak the rest of the text as needed. This actually works very well for the level of maintenance I need to do on the back end, but it leaves me with some pages that are just not as convenient for users as they could be. For example, I was pleased to get the Pets by Level page up, because it answers a questions I ask myself fairly often — now that I’m level X, what are my choices? But it’s a pain to read because I had to organize it in rough five level blocks. What I really want, of course, is a database query where I can ask for pets of level X, or between X and Y.)
Anyway. So I found this new site and was pretty pleased with it. There seems to be little jealousy in the community of people who run hunter pet sites — it’s actually great to see more resources come online for our users (and for ourselves too, of course). Some of the data was formatted fairly similarly to the way I do it, but that’s normal — there are only so many ways to organize pet data, and given the level of cooperation among the various sites it’s not unusual to see things begin to standardize that way.
But then I noticed that all of the pictures of the pets pulled up by this database site had dark green backgrounds and oddly familiar poses. “Hey, wait a second!” I thought. “These pictures are ripped straight off of Petopia!” And indeed they all are. And at this point I got a little miffed. Taking those pictures is one of my least favorite parts of maintaining Petopia, and there are no attribution nor even a link to Petopia anywhere on this site.
But honestly, I’m just a little miffed. Imitation is the most sincere form of flattery, after all. And to be fair, it wasn’t that long ago that Petopia itself included “Thottbot maps” on the mob pages. (At least we gave fair credit and a link to Thottbot, however. And after some thought (no pun intended), I ripped those all out and just linked to Thottbot directly. It’s cleaner.)
So … if you happen to be reading this and you run the site in question, I’d appreciate some attribution and a link. *grin* Or drop me an e-mail and we’ll see if we can work something else out. I’d be happy to show you how to take your own pictures using the WoW Model Viewer.