Thanks for jumping in Bill. Ass usual, you got right to the point. In light of all of the comments and the somewhat heated discussion, I have modified the Registry with Alan's guidance to only reflect (by default):
If the owner choses, they can also add some or all of:
Flag of Registry:
Website (of the boat or sailing channel, etc).
I have updated the Registry Update form to allow members to completely remove their boat but also to update the actual items they might like to show (e.g. current location). For the two Mark's (Brass Ring and Creampuff) and Teun, I have removed your boats from the list entirely - well to be honest, Brass Ring and Teun's boat weren't in there in the first place. as the list I built this off of had only Super Maramu's in it. Creampuff has been deleted and now longer shows.
I had looked at moving it over to the yahoo database as you suggested but this is problematic for two big reasons. The first being that Yahoo lets members download copies of the database which I believe is very dangerous. With the current system, it is online and can't be easily copied and changes every time it is updated. When this discussion became heated, I took it offline for a day and just left the headers for discussion purposes (nobody seemed to notice!) . None of the data was left floating around in the ether and it took me about 2 minutes to do that. This would be impossible with copies of the the database floating around - once they are out there, they are out there. A second major issue is that we would lose the automatic (more or less) ability to update the database with people filling out the permission form. I haven't completely automated it yet, but it is 75% of the way there already and it shouldn't take me that long to completely automate it so that it will be almost completely self-sufficient. My intention wasn't to build something that would take the moderators even more time to update or police and frankly, I'd like to get out there sailing with you folks!
As you had suggested, the one advantage of putting the database on yahoo over the current system is to hide the link so that it can not be accessed by non-members of the group. This could easily be addressed by putting the link to the Registry (and the update form) into a file in the Files section of the forum and then only members could find it. I was going to do this and delete the link in the original post in this thread but I discovered that I can't edit my post without deleting it and I'm not sure what will happen to this thread if I do that so I'll hold off until someone tells me it's O.K. to do it. In the meantime, here is the link to the file containing the Registry and Registry Update Form:
We currently have 250 boats in the registry but of course the large portion of those just have Year, Name, Model and Boat Name.
The final thought that occurred to me is that perhaps we might be better served by a lookup function rather than a listing of all of the boats. For instance one might enter in Sangaris and find out it is a 1982 Santorin Ketch, Hull Number 68 owned by Craig and Katherine Briggs and get their email address (since they have positively approved giving out their name/email). This way the Registry would be even less useful to anyone who is not a member. You might also be able to ask what boats were in St Maarten and it would return a list of boats that had (optionally) indicated their current location was St. Maarten. I suspect this would take a bit more work but it might be another idea to further protect the legitimate concerns and expectations of the members surrounding the privacy and security of their data.