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: Select all
HP : 15 - 19
Def: 15 - 19
Spd: 15, 20
#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
Def: 15 - 19
SpA: 20 - 24
SpD: 20 - 24
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.
Pokémon Standards Initiative
Who does this interest?
Those within the Pokémon fandom that:
If you're reading this, you most likely already belong to at least one of those groups.
- manage websites
- program related tools
- use those tools
- write guides and FAQs
- battle competitively
- keep trade shops
- are active community members
- die-hard fans
What is this about?
As the name suggest, an initiative, about collectively defining and implementing a set of data format and representation standards across the fandom that should be readable by both humans and machines. Such standards should be easy to follow, degradable, extendable. Some applications include but are not limited to: Pokémon data representation, team sheets, event information, TCG card representation etc.
Once accepted, these standards will allow for simple and effective data exchange across websites and applications beyond language and format barriers.
Why should I care?
You really should care if you:
- happen to input the same information across multiple applications
- want this information to be chainball-free and re-usable
- have to manage a lot of Pokémon
- tediously style your trade shop
- need to keep track of event Pokémon
- move your team across battle simulators
- want to easily share your strategies
- are interested in the future Pokémon fandom
How will it happen?
The infrastructure is already set; perfectly decentralized yet solid: forums, wikis, chatrooms, blogs, you name it! Thankfully localized communities are not water-tight and people usually participate in multiple talk spaces.
You can start a related discussion in your favourite forum, translate it perhaps, brainstorm, get more fellow fans involved and hopefully the idea will spread on its own.
Once the brainstorming has matured, the tech savvy fans can proceed and define the standards and adapt their software or websites. The means are plenty: plain text one-liners, XML, JSON, microformats and the list goes on.
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