Brainstorm - The Blue Alliance v4

Hi all,

The Blue Alliance team is working over the summer on the next version of The Blue Alliance site, which will be the forth major revision to the codebase. This update, if things go as planned, will be a near complete rewrite of the site, incorporating what we’ve learned about providing high quality up to the minute data and scaling to tens of thousands of videos of FIRST Robotics Competition matches.

We would like to know what features you think it is important for The Blue Alliance to offer. We are going to continue to provide the great match results and video archives we have always offered, but we think there are other exciting possibilities for The Blue Alliance to best serve teams. We want to help you relieve your greatest matches and show parents and sponsors what FIRST is really enabling.

As a quick aside, this redesign is going to be completely open sourced from the ground floor. As soon as we’ve got the basic functionality together, we are going to publish the code to a Github repository so you can yell at us for sloppy code style, publish back bug fixes, and contribute new features to the site. We think there are a lot of great software initiatives going on in the FIRST community, and we want to make sure what we have made is open for others to learn from and contribute back to.

Please use this thread to tell us about what your personal perfect The Blue Alliance would look like, and we will take this feedback into account during our redesign.

-Greg Marra and The Blue Alliance team

Personally, I’d like to see TBA list awards for teams, in addition to match results.

A match rating system would be great, too: 1-5 stars, 5 means a really exciting, really close match; 1 means that it’s a not-really-one-you-want-to-show-someone.

Would there be a way to get the pre-penalty scores, in addition to the final ones?

  1. Collaborate with 1114 and integrate their excel scouting database into the new website.

  2. Provide a profile information page in which teams can talk about the details of their robot (drivetrain setup, end effector, etc.). This would eliminate the need for pit scouting.

My advice is pretty petty, but it’d be really cool if when you use the search bar on the right of any page, and enter a team number, it goes right to that team number’s page. Usually the team’s page is the first result, but I’ve noticed it isn’t always.

When I go to a particular team, I’d like to see a button next to each match that says “Add a video”.

Generally, my use of Blue Alliance is limited to going to, then typing in a team number. On numerous occasions I know there are youtube videos of a given match, but there is no obvious way to add the video.

For instance, I know that there are youtube videos from our team for various State Champ matches. How the heck do I attach them to our matches on blue alliance, or suggest they get attached?

I would have like a “add a video” button for matches that don’t have videos, then the page would prompt you if you would like to upload a video or link to a video sharing site with the video. The first option is preferred, but anything is better than nothing.


One feature that would be nice is a mode for team demos/presentations. Basically this could be something as simple as a looping playlist of your team’s best match videos (automatically generated or user selected), and could be grown to have a full screens worth of content, including photos, team stats, etc.

Robot demos are great, but there will always be down time and confusion over explaining the large scale implementation of the game. Videos help with this problem, but right now it’s a bit hard to just pull up a demo’s worth of content without having to do some work up front or maintain the presentation.

There’s a need for pit scouting? :slight_smile:

It’d be cool if there was a user-editable field to fill in stuff like penalties, etc. so that if someone knows them they can add them into the database. For some games, user-editable fields for tubes / hurdles / balls scored per alliance would also be cool. Not to be used in any official database or anything, but nice for reference.

Also an automatic “get a free Pinnacle recorder HERE!” would be cool :slight_smile:

I would include a feature where teams could put a pre-competition video of their robot similar to the picture option because I feel like this last year a lot more teams have videos of their bots before competition than ever before and more and more teams are going to do it in the future and it would be a nice thing to have on that page.

Small pet peeve with the current site: If I am watching, say, 2008 matches, and click a team number in-video, it directs me to that team’s 2010 page. Directing these links to the “proper” year would be nice.

And a second vote for the team-editable robot-information page.

Some of my thoughts and recommendations have probably been mentioned before, but I’ll list them.

  1. A list of awards at the end of the competition.

  2. More videos and pictures of different teams.

  3. Results of some offseason events (BattleCry, IRI, etc.)

  4. A mass list of every FIRST team (along with their number, location, etc.) This could link to their TBA page. Think of it as a “Teams Attending” list, but every FIRST team is on the list.

Sorry if these sound like assertive orders. Just thoughts that I personally would like. :slight_smile:

I’d like to see a summary of all the awards and placement at each competition the team had on their team page. Apart from that it’d be nice to have a seedings page and alliance selection results and order if possible.

I think that a “team comparison” section would be much appreciated. Like, you can compare team #vs#vs# or something like that

Greg, one of the things I was disappointed in this year was the lack of robot photos. Perhaps if you do decide to offer more in depth analysis you can limit this to people who have submitted a quality picture of THEIR team’s robot. I recall SOAP tried this back in 2003 with the release of 111’s robot being a SOAP exclusive. Perhaps work with the defending World Champions to release high quality teaser shots to teams that have submitted.

If you could not overwrite team submitted photos with blurry pit scouting photos, that’d be ideal as well. Hell, add support for multiple photos as long as there’s a complete rewrite.

I like this concept, but even something simple as a ‘digg’ or ‘bury’ type option would be incredibly useful. Organized by year and week, then maybe overall regardless of year.

Teams 1114/842/etc all have various data. Interfaces and presentation vary heavily, but generally they all collect some basic data. Allowing teams to combine all this data via TBA is a challenge, but could be an opportunity.

TBA is in a unique position to help organize a minimum data standard. This data standard can be developed once the game has been revealed so people designing collection systems have input. Teams can collect whatever else they think is useful, but once the standard is set that’s all that will be added to TBA.

Now, even though I am not at an event I can get a pretty good idea of how the team acts on the field if the data is available regardless of who collected it.

For example, Team X in 2010 had a shot accuracy of 25% in their first event, 62% in their second but they took half as many shots so maybe they changed how they played the game.

I think it would be nice to have the ability to comment on the videos posted. just an idea :slight_smile:

I would like to see it be a combo of the current site and the ideas from .

I would like to see the posibility of having 2 videos per match. One would be the “official” video that’s taken from the field feed, and another “stands” video, uploaded by teams that recorded every single match with a full view of the field, without the scores feed.

I’d also like to see, if possible, information about what penalties were assessed in the match and possibly to which teams (if applicable). It could be tough, but perhaps FIRST could be lobbied to make that information available

How about a one-to-many relationship between matches and videos, where each match could have a variety of admin or user added videos. These could be housed on TBA’s servers (the situation today) or linked to from an external source like YouTube or Vimeo. The user experience should be seamless no matter the source.