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M-Plate decoder 2019 feedback and updates
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furgo
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PostPosted: Sun Sep 08, 2019 7:02 am    Post subject: M-Plate decoder 2019 feedback and updates Reply with quote

After the M-Plate decoder at http://vw-mplate.com went offline a while back, I decided to create a new one and make it available for others to use.

You can find it at:

https://vw-type2-id.xyz/mplate/decode/

• It's still in development, and things might need improvement
• The basic functionality is there. It's been tested with ca. 120 M-plates submitted so far
• The interface and functions are deliberately kept simple, to ease maintenance, to avoid feature creep and due to limited spare time
• Submitted plates are available on an easy to remember URL: '/mplate/<chassis nr. on mplate>' -> E.g. my own M-Plate https://vw-type2-id.xyz/mplate/92023025
• The website is responsive and should work on phones, but I've not tested it extensively on mobile yet

This was originally announced on the Automated M-Plate decoder FAQ thread. However, the FAQ was intended for another decoder, no longer online, so I decided to open this thread to keep the discussion on topic.

If you find it useful, or if you have any suggestion for improvements or you encounter any issues, let me know and I'll do my best to improve it. Thanks!
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Last edited by furgo on Tue Sep 17, 2019 2:59 pm; edited 1 time in total
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furgo
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PostPosted: Sun Sep 08, 2019 7:51 am    Post subject: Re: M-Plate decoder 2019 feedback Reply with quote

Thanks Tom for sharing the feedback and taking the time to write constructive criticism. Replies inline:

78BusGA wrote:
Oh yes! I am all giddy seeing your decoder and thank those all for who put work into it! It is a nice simple clean interface so far, which is fun.

There is however, some areas for serious concern and security.

Exclamation I support the idea of a register-able database, for security reasons. Theres photos of many M-plates floating about, and I think it would be wise to have a back-trackable contact for known owners and photo posters to have security over who input their plate, and if their Chassis Number Short tried to be accessed by someone without the right credentials.


Note that the website does not have the ability to host pictures at this time. M-plate pictures currently posted on other Internet sites are beyond its scope.

That said, I have thought of adding the ability to create users on the website, and this is something I might add in the future.

• It could address: showing the VIN and the short chassis number only to the logged in user who initially submitted the plate
• It would NOT address: stopping non-owners to submit M-plate data from an M-plate picture posted on the Internet. The URL still contains the shortened chassis number.

However, enforcing the identity of the submitter and matching it to bus ownership would be hard. Also, I'm a bit weary of keeping personal information on the website's database –anything that goes beyond user name. This is a hobby project with two main goals: provide a service to the Bay Window bus community and to be simple. If it ends up becoming too complex or being a disservice to users, I might need to rethink whether it's worth hosting it at all.

To be clear, I think it's a valid concern, and I'm more than open to feedback on how to improve on that point wrt VIN privacy.

78BusGA wrote:
Exclamation This unfortunately mimics the system of owning/controlling personal ID card information. While the photo of an M-plate doesn't have the chassis number on it, the VIN that is posted in the page of result, can easily be considered private and sensitive information, usable by state databases to track vehicle and personal information.

Perhaps for social sharing of the M-plate result page, there be a 'safe' version of the page that doesn't include the VIN, or is grayed out for image sharing somehow? A Personal/Owner page version might have the VIN and other future added information the database might avail.


I like the idea of a 'safe' version of the page. Taking my own M-plate as an example, that could be:

- https://vw-type2-id.xyz/mplate/92023025 => shortened chassis no. and chassis no. field visible only to the logged-in user who submitted the plate.
- https://vw-type2-id.xyz/mplate/92023025-share => [does not exist yet] public URL, with obscured shortened chassis no. and chassis no. field

If I understand it correctly, this point is about VIN privacy, as was the first one, so the same caveats would apply. Let me know if there is something that I'm missing.

78BusGA wrote:
usable by state databases to track vehicle and personal information.


As the site is right now:

- no personal information is stored or displayed
- M-plate information (vehicle information) is stored in the form of the shortened chassis no. The full chassis no. is built on the fly from the shortened no. and the model type, and displayed in the results page.

78BusGA wrote:
Arrow If a stolen Bus out there had the thieves use the system to create a printed M-plate page with their info falsely printed on it they could use it for a cash only sale to someone dumb enough not to do the right research, and theres enough out there who might. That is a possibly serious liability some angry owner might put upon you as owner of the database.


The information provided on the decoder is already vailable in other places online and in printed books. What the decoder does is to make it easier to figure out. The output is neither guaranteed to be accurate, nor to be a legal document.

What you've made me realize is that the site needs a disclaimer to explicitly state that. I'll start crafting one –if someone with a legal background would like to contribute to it, the input would be really appreciated!

I'd be curious to hear what other folks think. Seeing that there are plenty of M-plate and VW birth certificates pictures submitted here on the forum and in other places, I thought showing the chassis number would not be a concern. It was never a concern for the vw-mplate.com decoder during the years it was online, as far as I know, but happy to address it if most users feel it is.
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ImAddicted
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PostPosted: Sun Sep 08, 2019 11:09 am    Post subject: Re: M-Plate decoder 2019 feedback Reply with quote

I've got no input as far as the above questions\concerns, just wanted to say thank you for taking this project on.
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strfish7 wrote:
Original condition, which means something different on this forum than anywhere else!
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BoltonFTW
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PostPosted: Sun Sep 08, 2019 11:28 am    Post subject: Re: M-Plate decoder 2019 feedback Reply with quote

ImAddicted wrote:
I've got no input as far as the above questions\concerns, just wanted to say thank you for taking this project on.


+1 on a thank you for doing this project and keeping an M-plate decoder alive. It provides incredible value to VW bus ownership.

I will mention one minor thing which is that the 027 code for a 1978 t2 bus came up as UNKNOWN in your database (it is not listed on thesamba M-code DB either).

According to my original receipt, the 027 code is for a "california emissions test". I guess you could add that to your database to provide clarification for those that have late bay with 027 and don't know what it is.

Image may have been reduced in size. Click image to view fullscreen.

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1977 Westfalia Weekender Tintop (very first car - SOLD Sad )
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PostPosted: Sun Sep 08, 2019 11:35 am    Post subject: Re: M-Plate decoder 2019 feedback Reply with quote

these were expensive for their time....

average new car was 4,500...this was about double.
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my reason for switching to subaru is my german car was turning chinese so i said fuck it and went japanese.......
[email protected] wrote:
most VW enthusiasts are stuck in 80's price land.

Jake Raby wrote:
Thanks for the correction. I used to be a nice guy, then I ruined it by exposing myself to the public.

Brian wrote:
Also the fact that people are agreeing with Skills, it's a turn of events for samba history
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PostPosted: Sun Sep 08, 2019 11:55 am    Post subject: Re: M-Plate decoder 2019 feedback Reply with quote

Thanks for doing this.

Stick with your plan to keep it simple. Why do you need or want to register users?

I guess I don't understand the potential security risk with this. Most of us have posted pictures of our VINs on here. What good is that to someone else? Not like they can steal my bus with it. Rolling Eyes
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furgo
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PostPosted: Sun Sep 08, 2019 12:37 pm    Post subject: Re: M-Plate decoder 2019 feedback Reply with quote

BoltonFTW wrote:


I will mention one minor thing which is that the 027 code for a 1978 t2 bus came up as UNKNOWN in your database (it is not listed on thesamba M-code DB either).

According to my original receipt, the 027 code is for a "california emissions test". I guess you could add that to your database to provide clarification for those that have late bay with 027 and don't know what it is.



Oh, wow, thanks so much for sharing this Drew! It's great to have this contribution.

027 was actually on the database already, but 764 was not. Thanks to your info I've just added it. Your M-plate should no longer have unkonw codes Smile

https://vw-type2-id.xyz/mplate/82127805

Speaking of this code, does anyone know what exactly a "catalyst retrofit" was back then?

Hikelite wrote:
Thanks for doing this.

Stick with your plan to keep it simple. Why do you need or want to register users?

I guess I don't understand the potential security risk with this. Most of us have posted pictures of our VINs on here. What good is that to someone else? Not like they can steal my bus with it. Rolling Eyes


Great, thanks for the feedback. As per the question to want to register users, the main reason would be so that the submitter can manage their plates - edit them, have multiple plates, etc. I'd probably leave an option to submit anonymously for those folks who wouldn't want to register.

But all of this only if there is interest in it.
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BoltonFTW
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PostPosted: Sun Sep 08, 2019 1:06 pm    Post subject: Re: M-Plate decoder 2019 feedback Reply with quote

furgo wrote:

027 was actually on the database already, but 764 was not. Thanks to your info I've just added it. Your M-plate should no longer have unkonw codes Smile



yup sorry i mixed them up. it was 764
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1977 Westfalia Weekender Tintop (very first car - SOLD Sad )
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SamboSamba22 Premium Member
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PostPosted: Sun Sep 08, 2019 2:33 pm    Post subject: Re: M-Plate decoder 2019 feedback Reply with quote

Used the decoder this morning, a little different than the old one, but that isn’t an issue.

I found it simple, fairly straight-forwarded.

And as others have mentioned, thank you for doing this project.
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TomC
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PostPosted: Tue Sep 10, 2019 12:07 pm    Post subject: Re: M-Plate decoder 2019 feedback Reply with quote

Thank you for creating this great utility! It worked beautifully for me!

However, *I* did not work very well. When I saw that one of the codes came back as unknown, I realized that I had entered it incorrectly. What I entered as "076" should have been entered as "073". Now there's a false instance of the 076 code in your database, and I did not see a way to fix it. Is there a way?

In any case, thank you for your work!
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furgo
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PostPosted: Tue Sep 10, 2019 12:42 pm    Post subject: Re: M-Plate decoder 2019 feedback Reply with quote

TomC wrote:
Thank you for creating this great utility! It worked beautifully for me!

However, *I* did not work very well. When I saw that one of the codes came back as unknown, I realized that I had entered it incorrectly. What I entered as "076" should have been entered as "073". Now there's a false instance of the 076 code in your database, and I did not see a way to fix it. Is there a way?

In any case, thank you for your work!


Thanks for the feedback and for letting me know. I've updated your M-plate for you:

https://vw-type2-id.xyz/mplate/72161629

There is still an unknown code, D10, for which I have no data for model year 1977. For model year 1973 it would unfold to M-codes 020 068 089 102 161 172 185 206 506 511 524.

I'm thinking of ways of making the updates more self-service. The update mode, to fix typos, is already implemented, but not advertised as it's not quite polished. For now, as the number of such requests is low, I can handle the fixes myself if folks let me know on this thread or via PM.
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PostPosted: Tue Sep 10, 2019 5:31 pm    Post subject: Re: M-Plate decoder 2019 feedback Reply with quote

Thanks for the fix! I look forward to seeing where your decoder goes from here.
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furgo
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PostPosted: Thu Sep 19, 2019 1:42 pm    Post subject: Re: M-Plate decoder 2019 feedback and updates Reply with quote

A few updates on the decoder site for those folks who are interested:

• Added a search function. You can now search for an M-code and all M-plates that contain it will show up. Useful to e.g. see how many other busses had that particularly rare m-code, or how many configurations of P22 campers there were: https://vw-type2-id.xyz/mplate/search/?q=P22 - try the search on the top left hand side corner
• Added new, formerly unknown codes to the database: 764 (thanks BoltonFTW!) and N79 (thanks rsbadura!)
• Revamped the info page a bit - now only the last 7 m-plates submitted are shown, along with the total count - https://vw-type2-id.xyz/mplate/
• Made the hint on choosing the model year tab first more obvious. Added info about how and where the submitted data will be stored - https://vw-type2-id.xyz/mplate/decode/
• Added About page with Privacy policy, Disclaimer and Contact - https://vw-type2-id.xyz/mplate/about/

Thanks to everyone that has provided feedback and now up to 260+ M-plates! They've been invaluable for improving, testing and polishing the decoder.
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PostPosted: Fri Sep 20, 2019 1:15 am    Post subject: Re: M-Plate decoder 2019 feedback and updates Reply with quote

Hi, I have a feedback on the decoder.

I punched in just a few of the items on my M-plate in the decoder, and now I am not able to re-register info on the same chassis number. How can my M-plate be erased in order for me to put in all the info? Or could it be possible to add info to an already existing listing?

Great job doing the decoder accessible again, BTW Cool
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PostPosted: Fri Sep 20, 2019 1:26 am    Post subject: Re: M-Plate decoder 2019 feedback and updates Reply with quote

Great job to have a decoder for the newbies.

Thank you for the search possibility... Applause
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furgo
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PostPosted: Fri Sep 20, 2019 2:07 pm    Post subject: Re: M-Plate decoder 2019 feedback and updates Reply with quote

Syncronaut wrote:
Hi, I have a feedback on the decoder.

I punched in just a few of the items on my M-plate in the decoder, and now I am not able to re-register info on the same chassis number. How can my M-plate be erased in order for me to put in all the info? Or could it be possible to add info to an already existing listing?


Either is possible: delete or update. I've just not made these modes accessible, as I need to make them more secure.

In the meantime, if you can tell me either the URL of your M-plate or the shortened chassis number on the M-plate, I can delete it or update it for you. You can do it by PM as well, if you prefer.

Syncronaut wrote:
Great job doing the decoder accessible again, BTW Cool


Thanks Smile

rsbadura wrote:
Great job to have a decoder for the newbies.

Thank you for the search possibility... Applause


You're welcome, thanks for contributing with your feedback and codes!
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PostPosted: Fri Sep 20, 2019 11:32 pm    Post subject: Re: M-Plate decoder 2019 feedback and updates Reply with quote

Hello, can you fix the problem on this m-plate ?

Thank you

Éric

https://vw-type2-id.xyz/mplate/8041076
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furgo
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PostPosted: Sat Sep 21, 2019 12:15 am    Post subject: Re: M-Plate decoder 2019 feedback and updates Reply with quote

Tbm700 wrote:
Hello, can you fix the problem on this m-plate ?

Thank you

Éric

https://vw-type2-id.xyz/mplate/8041076


Done, thanks for the heads up.

Enjoy! Smile => https://vw-type2-id.xyz/mplate/8041076
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jimmy03
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PostPosted: Mon Sep 23, 2019 4:51 am    Post subject: Re: M-Plate decoder 2019 feedback and updates Reply with quote

Hello,
Super your decoder M plate. I made a mistake in returning my information and suddenly I can not go back.
Can you remove my number 32 208 719 so that I can start again the manupulation
thank you very much

Jimmy
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furgo
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PostPosted: Mon Sep 23, 2019 11:41 am    Post subject: Re: M-Plate decoder 2019 feedback and updates Reply with quote

jimmy03 wrote:
Hello,
Super your decoder M plate. I made a mistake in returning my information and suddenly I can not go back.
Can you remove my number 32 208 719 so that I can start again the manupulation
thank you very much

Jimmy


Hi Jimmy,

Done, I deleted https://vw-type2-id.xyz/mplate/32208719 for you. Thanks for using the decoder!
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