PROPOSAL: Gallery Individual Filesize Increase/Storage Cap
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How should we proceed?
Option 1: 100kb Max Image Size/Unlimited Storage
37%
 37%  [ 19 ]
Option 2: Unlimited Image Size/5 or 10Mb Max Storage
33%
 33%  [ 17 ]
I'm not really bothered either way...
29%
 29%  [ 15 ]
Total Votes : 51

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Posted on Mon Feb 28, 2011 2:22 am
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BladeMaster-Raven, I don't think off-site hosting (on its own) is a good option. Off-site hosted images have an average lifespan of maybe a couple of years (depending on the host and uploader), after which the image is permanently gone. Also, their hosting may not be as reliant as the M.A.I.L. site, and as you said there may be copyright issues.

That said, it might be nice to offer an option that is basically a combination of the two; permanent storage of the image on this site (<100kb <800px) AND a link to an off-site larger image (unlimited size). The large image is only usually viewed shortly after the image is uploaded anyway, so it wouldn't matter that much if the off-site hosted larger image disappears after a year or two.

Pros:
- No need to increase file size or cap storage on this site
- Unlimited file size for large images
- Permanent storage of small images (same as it is now)
- The ability to add bigger versions to images that are already in the gallery, without having to re-upload them to this site

Cons:
- M.A.I.L. has no influence over what happens to off-site hosted pics
- Many (if not most) off-site hosted pics will eventually disappear, leading to dead links
- Possibility of people using the feature to draw people to their site (a script that checks if the link is actually an image might help counter that?)

A possible solution for linked images going dead, might be a moderator that occasionally downloads newly submitted full-sized images to his own computer as a backup, and re-uploads them to an external host when a link goes dead. Not sure if it's a good solution though; it might be quite time-consuming. It'd also need a disclaimer, and/or a check-box so the user can choose if he allows M.A.I.L. to re-upload if the link goes dead or not, and even then I'm not sure if it's legally possible for M.A.I.L. to download external stuff from users and re-upload to external hosts.

Another possible solution might be this:
- User uploads picture to M.A.I.L.
- If image is >100kb or >800px, the site resizes it and the smaller image is permanently stored
- The larger image is only saved long enough for a moderator to upload it to an external host, if the user that submitted the image has agreed to that. That way, M.A.I.L. can have some influence over externally hosted large images.

(I'm not sure if this should be discussed here, or in the other thread, but I thought cross-quoting would be bad)
(Edited with possible solutions for cons.)

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Posted on Mon Feb 28, 2011 3:55 am
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Sounds good to me, but it does seem rather complicated for whoever's going to be in charge of all that. Unless there's a script or something to work around that, but I wouldn't really know what is and isn't possible with image hosting.

I just had a thought though, do image hosting services impose a copyright of sorts on whatever is uploaded? I think Flickr has things in CC, but I'm not sure.


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Posted on Mon Feb 28, 2011 4:59 am
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Quote:
A possible solution for linked images going dead, might be a moderator that occasionally downloads newly submitted full-sized images to his own computer as a backup, and re-uploads them to an external host when a link goes dead. Not sure if it's a good solution though; it might be quite time-consuming. It'd also need a disclaimer, and/or a check-box so the user can choose if he allows M.A.I.L. to re-upload if the link goes dead or not, and even then I'm not sure if it's legally possible for M.A.I.L. to download external stuff from users and re-upload to external hosts.


Huuuuuge red flag here. I'd want things to be uploaded directly to MAIL, or a third-party site of the member's own choosing. Having someone else take and re-upload my pics to a random site outside of my control, would not at all be cool with me.

I think the best option would be to have everything on MAIL, but with the size/dimension/storage limits that make it feasible for MAIL to host everything it needs to.

-phong



-- CGMaille tutorials now hosted here at MAIL! --

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Posted on Mon Feb 28, 2011 6:08 am
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with mobile users.. we have a version of MAIL that is customized for mobile users, don't we? would it take too much space to create a mobile-sized thumbnail when the image is uploaded? and then give the mobile user the option to download the full-sized image. there has to be a way to cater to both the mobile users as well as the computer users.

i don't like the idea of running every image through a resizing filter, but i don't have a problem with giving members the option of using one..

i do see the need for rules.. right now we have a 100k rule. it is the loosening of rules that finally convinced me to go with the storage cap. i can choose to post a high quality image or a mediocre quality image. i can decide how to manage my MAIL content.


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Posted on Mon Feb 28, 2011 7:35 am
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Kim: Thinking about possible mobile users does not necessarily imply to have a 'second structure' for them, with all implications for a .mobi type site. Usually it's absolutely sufficient to NOT overload a site with flash, Java, etc. gimmicks, to maintain a fairly good accessibility for people with limited possibilities - that does NOT only involve mobile users, but also handicapped ones. And last but not least we should think about DL, whose job is to maintain the site and build all these fine proposed features into it - maybe we should also ask him first, what he is ABLE to do. Personally I'd prefer the way of slow, small-step evolution, and not revolution - in the second case usually some (unneeded) dead corpses seam the way...

BTW: I was aware that I would step on some toes - sorry for that but it seems to be necessary from time to time...

-ZiLi-


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Human societies are like chain mail.
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A strong weave will survive even with weak links included.
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Posted on Mon Feb 28, 2011 1:31 pm
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I'd prefer at least a larger max file size, but unlimited would be unnessesary, maybe a 300kb max size.


-Just remember, if it's worth doing, it's worth overdoing.

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Joined: March 3, 2002
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Posted on Mon Feb 28, 2011 1:54 pm
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what are considerations for handicapped users in regards to image size?

step away, my toes are tough, just don't be surprised when i don't move out of your way.


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Posted on Mon Feb 28, 2011 2:22 pm
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sakredchao wrote:
what are considerations for handicapped users in regards to image size?

Principally no special ones, as images are often filtered completely out then - here the basic goal is to provide a 'lean' html code that enables the specialized browsers for these impaired people to reproduce the content as good as possible.

But you told about a 'on-the-fly' display resizing filter, and I fear that would involve client-side plugins or so, including much internet traffic - if done server-side, I'll be well with, even with moderately 'gigantic' images in the (maybe) 500kB class, as long as our available storage space, and server answer times won't run into limits or unacceptable delays. Basic goal, especially for the mobile users would be reduction of transmitted bytes to the unavoidable minimum.

And these two goals are in part congruent, regarding their optimization requirements. So a solution for the one might serve the other as well.

-ZiLi-


Maille Code V2.0 T7.1 R5.6 Ep Fper MAl Ws$ Cpbsw$ G0.3-6.4 I1.0-30.0 N28.25 Ps Dacdejst Xagtw S08 Hip

Human societies are like chain mail.
A single link will be worth nothing.
A chain is of use, but will break at the weakest link.
A weak weave will have the need to replace weak links.
A strong weave will survive even with weak links included.
-'me

Joined: August 30, 2008
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Posted on Tue Mar 01, 2011 10:07 am
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sakredchao wrote:
with mobile users.. we have a version of MAIL that is customized for mobile users, don't we? would it take too much space to create a mobile-sized thumbnail when the image is uploaded? and then give the mobile user the option to download the full-sized image. there has to be a way to cater to both the mobile users as well as the computer users.


A 'mobile' site is on my list, but is becoming less and less of a priority as phones and other mobile devices move closer and closer to become full fledged computers in their own right.

I browse MAIL on my phone frequently, using a mobile version of Opera... It renders exactly as it would were it running on my laptop, without incident.
I know certain phones browsers (Blackberry, I'm looking at you) have more issues with certain CSS formatting, but that should sort itself out soon enough (indeed, if it has not already.)

Regarding 'smaller' versions... The site already generates thumbnails for everything uploaded to the gallery. These are 100px on the largest side (with the smaller side scaled down appropriately), and are thus well suited for viewing on a mobile device.
The Weave Library generates a 'page view' version of a weave image, that is 200px on its largest side. So long as a mobile users doesn't click to see the fullsized image, there's no harm there either. (And most newer devices are capable of this anyway.)

In regards to considerations for handicapped users... I endeavour to make the site user-friendly for those using a screen-reader. Including marking the 'Content' section of a page, Identifying Images clearly using 'Alt' tags, etc.
The menubar at the top can pose a small problem, but most screen-readers can be taught to bypass menubars these days. And since they use list tags, are easily skippable to a first time 'viewer'.
The site is also already a white-on-black high-contrast colour scheme, for those with eyesight difficulty, who can still see enough to surf without a screenreader.
(See: http://www.webcredible.co.uk/user-friendly-resources/web-accessibility/screen-readers.shtml for a good read on screenreader guidelines.)

Random other note: I live in Canada, where the internet is, for some godforsaken reason, still in the dark ages... Where almost everyones connection has a bandwidth cap, and we don't see speeds ANYTHING like the US, UK, or the rest of the world... Out mobile internet is also archaic... With devices coming out here months after they do in the rest of the world... And with a much more expensive mobile internet fee... (Since we have, like a half dozen carriers at best, all runningg on incumbent networks, they can charge what they like.)
I still manage to browse the site JUST fine.

Long story short: It's allll good.



Joined: August 30, 2008
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Posted on Sat Mar 05, 2011 9:56 pm
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Final day of the vote... Looks like the majority are for leaving it as-is... 100kb images.

Not saying we can't revisit this later, but if that's where the membership want to go, that's what I will keep in mind as I start work on the Gallery section of the site.



Joined: March 3, 2002
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Posted on Wed Mar 09, 2011 7:18 pm
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if we decide we can take 120k or 150k images with unlimited storage, i doubt the membership would complain.. i believe that it was the "unlimited" that was being voted for, not the 100k cap.. Wink


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3.o is fixing everything.

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Posted on Wed Mar 09, 2011 8:02 pm
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sakredchao wrote:
if we decide we can take 120k or 150k images with unlimited storage, i doubt the membership would complain.. i believe that it was the "unlimited" that was being voted for, not the 100k cap.. Wink


I'd rather not increase the storage size, while still leaving the amount of images a user can upload open-ended. Adding 20 or 50kb to the filesize cap won't really help matters much, and I'm reluctant to go higher. Adding 20 or 50kb now, also leads to 'file-size-creep' where tagging a bit on now, and a bit on later, and a bit on even later, leads to the sort of future storage problems I'm currently trying to prevent.

The membership was presented with two options... open-ended amount OR open-ended filesize... And while it was close, the numbers don't lie... I will maintain the status-quo for now, and we can re-evaluate in the future.

It has also been suggested that we give users the option of 100kb images OR a storage box of 5-10Mb... I am also reluctant to pursue this, as it leads to "Hey, why do Member X's pictures look so much nicer than Member Y's?" and essentially creates a two-tier system.

That being said, feel free to continue the discussion, nothing is ever set in stone... And March looks like it's going to be a busy month for me... It's unlikely I'll get to starting work on the Gallery anytime soon.



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Posted on Wed Mar 09, 2011 8:07 pm
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However, if there was a third option combining the two (or rather, combining their corollaries), with a larger (but not unlimited) file size and some cap on total storage (which you said no one would be approaching anyway) people may well have voted for that. Myself included.

Might there be an option to implement a built-in image resizer/optimizer, so people don't have to resize pics on their own? They can upload whatever size (data and dimension) file they like, and MAIL shrinks/resizes it for them to balance storage and quality concerns.

-phong



-- CGMaille tutorials now hosted here at MAIL! --

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Posted on Wed Mar 09, 2011 8:17 pm
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Phong wrote:
However, if there was a third option combining the two (or rather, combining their corollaries), with a larger (but not unlimited) file size and some cap on total storage (which you said no one would be approaching anyway) people may well have voted for that. Myself included.


People will always shy away from have a limit placed... Regardless of how high it is... See: Bandwidth Cap

Phong wrote:
Might there be an option to implement a built-in image resizer/optimizer, so people don't have to resize pics on their own? They can upload whatever size (data and dimension) file they like, and MAIL shrinks/resizes it for them to balance storage and quality concerns.


Completely possible... Undesireable, however...
Completely automatic resizers are often not great at their job, as it's impossible to teach a piece of software that just sees 1's and 0's how to view the image as a whole, and judge if the output is acceptable.
You often end up with an image that is too smal with amazing quality. Or too large with poor quality. JPEG Artifacts are often introduced in increasing amounts as well...
The best solution is always with the user having full control... But this is certainly a possibility.



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Posted on Wed Mar 09, 2011 8:36 pm
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Daemon_Lotos wrote:
Phong wrote:
Might there be an option to implement a built-in image resizer/optimizer, so people don't have to resize pics on their own? They can upload whatever size (data and dimension) file they like, and MAIL shrinks/resizes it for them to balance storage and quality concerns.


Completely possible... Undesireable, however...
Completely automatic resizers are often not great at their job, as it's impossible to teach a piece of software that just sees 1's and 0's how to view the image as a whole, and judge if the output is acceptable.
You often end up with an image that is too smal with amazing quality. Or too large with poor quality. JPEG Artifacts are often introduced in increasing amounts as well...
The best solution is always with the user having full control... But this is certainly a possibility.


A possible solution could be to have the upload manager software see whether size/dimension limits are met or not. If the image is <100kB and <800px in either direction (or maybe 1024px or so; to be discussed what makes sense), the image is stored untouched, without any hassle. In case either limit is not met, the uploading user would NOT get a 'doesn't work' message (as currently at the 100kB limit), but may chose to let the software resize/recompress to meet limits or alternatively cancel for a personal rework and later upload. So anybody should be satisfied - the people that want 100% control over their image contents, as well as the technically not so versed (or lazy) ones that want simply their contents uploaded without need for manual rework. An incentive for users, to do the resize/recompress work on their own could be, if the upload manager recompression/resize would be set at a cap of e.g. 640px/50kB. And don't forget: Too crappy images are sorted out by the admins anyway...

-ZiLi-


Maille Code V2.0 T7.1 R5.6 Ep Fper MAl Ws$ Cpbsw$ G0.3-6.4 I1.0-30.0 N28.25 Ps Dacdejst Xagtw S08 Hip

Human societies are like chain mail.
A single link will be worth nothing.
A chain is of use, but will break at the weakest link.
A weak weave will have the need to replace weak links.
A strong weave will survive even with weak links included.
-'me

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