Oct 28, 2007 at 8:09 PM
planetmike wrote Thu at 8:16 PM delete this comment
Hi James, any chance at all of using php/mysql? My wife and I run, and we do a lot of what you are doing with I have thought about open-sourcing our system, we use WordPress plus Dokuwiki, plus a collection of perl and bash scripts.

We've learned the following, which i think will be relevant to your efforts:

1. Getting theater groups to update another web site's information is near impossible. Some groups have trouble keeping their own web site up-to-date.

2. State lines works well for smaller states like NJ, but for larger states, the region to use as a delimiter is much smaller than state level. I live in Virginia, we have probably at least 6 markets that should each have their own web site. (Northern Virginia, Tidewater, Richmond, Charlottesville, Roanoke, elsewhere).

3. ShowBizRadio covers Northern Virginia, Washington DC, and central/southern Maryland; all of this area is considered to be one market, even though it is two states and DC. I would guess that this is similar to the problems NJ encounters with NYC.

That's enough to get started. Mike
Oct 28, 2007 at 8:10 PM
Great to hear from you. I was beginning to wonder if anyone had heard that podcast.

Php/mysql. I've considered switch to, or at least allowing the use of mysql. I hadn't pursued that very far because I had no compelling reason to. I will look into this further. As for PHP, that I've never really considered, mainly because it's very far removed from my experiences (and day job), and from what I've heard about it, it's a bit of a step backwards from the tools that I am using.

It is being written using Monorail, which, although is based on C# and .Net, was designed (and I think originally implemented) on Linux using Mono. Even using Windows-based systems, one would only need XP Professional or Vista Business and SQL Express (which is a free download)

As for your other points:
1) True enough, but I've had good luck getting many of them to enter their own audition notices and cast lists using online tools. I want to expand that to entering shows. If I can get them to do any part of it, it's better than having me do it.

The idea would be to have it as sort of a wizard, where they make a couple choices and click "next" to step them through the process, all from their web browser. This would be much faster/easier then updating their own website, which would involve laying out text & graphics with an HTML editor and uploading it to a webserver.

2) & 3) there's no technical limitation determining the area covered. That would be purely a policy decision on the website operator. Although, I'm not quite a state-wide site would be that much of a problem. NJ has approx the same population as Virginia, and I imagine they have similar numbers of local theaters, and NJ has two very distinct markets (North Jersey & South Jersey), but they are all lumped together. People just ignore the listings for shows too far for them to travel. The only justifications I can see for splitting them would be the case of include parts of MD and DC in the Northern VA market. While that would be fine for a market-specific site, but you wouldn't want to "pollute" a state-specific site with those. (NJTheater handles this with a policy -- Since NJTheater is designed to highlight NJ as an alternative to NY Theater, the latter is summarily excluded)

I've been side-tracked a bit the last couple weeks (I pretty much on have time to work on it on my laptop on the train to & from work), but I hope to be uploading a revised version to later today.

The one aspect the needs to be tested more fully is the mobile access. If you have a internet-capable phone of blackberry, try browsing to You should get a simplified view (no menu, etc).