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  #16  
Old 2nd August 2017
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Ross the fiddler Ross the fiddler is offline
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Re: The 'Age' challenge over at FTU

My laptop is actually 1600 X 900, but I have been loading images in recent months at 1200 X 800 although I have nudged portrait images beyond 800 high though. May I make a suggestion, if forum images are limited to 1200 X 800 (landscape) it will make life easier for normal viewing of the forum pages (I hate scrolling back & forth just the read the script or having to enlarge the micro sized print on my ipad because the giant image auto fits the screen) & larger images could be linked back to the gallery (or elsewhere), either clicking on the image, thumbnail or link. I believe other forums do resize the images for the forum thread with the option to click on it for the large size, but I don't know what they're using for it though.
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I fiddle with violins (when I'm not fiddling with a camera).
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  #17  
Old 2nd August 2017
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Re: The 'Age' challenge over at FTU

Quote:
Originally Posted by pdk42 View Post
Well, John - IMHO things need to evolve. It makes no sense for any organisation (a forum or otherwise) to simply keep doing what it's always done and look only to long-standing members for ideas and approval. New blood brings new ideas and helps to move the zeitgeist of any organisation forward with wider society.

In the case of the forum gallery, this is how I see it:

- The gallery software is old and clunky. It's hard to use and has limitations that are too strict compared to what our cameras are capable of. Limiting the size of images is an example. I agree that posting over large images in posts is not helpful, but there are lots of times when larger images are necessary (e.g. to show resolution or sharpness on lens reviews).

- There are lots of very good image hosting platforms in the general market which offer lots of advantages compared to a the site's gallery - such as holding multiple resolutions of the same image, auto upload from LR, indexing, search, community (likes, favourites, follow etc). I'd much prefer to put my images there and simply link to them.

- Making the forum open to as wide an audience as possible is good for us all (Ian, Olympus, the wider u43 market, the members) and I think that unnecessarily making features such as competitions limited to proprietary features doesn't help.

Anyhow - just my 2c!
If you find it hard to use, and you're a techie sort of guy, it says enough for me. I like things nice and simple, viz.: uploading to Flickr and springboarding from there.
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  #18  
Old 2nd August 2017
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Re: The 'Age' challenge over at FTU

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Originally Posted by Johnheatingman View Post
Hi Ian, Sorry if this is slightly "off topic" but I notice DPNow is still not operative since Saturday morning. Is it still subject to being updated or has it caught a terminal illness ?

John
No, I hope it will be back this evening - am working on it now. I tried some experimental settings that weren't very successful.

The good news is that I'm learning from my mistakes and when it's the turn of the e-group to be updated I can apply much of that knowledge to minimise disruption here.

Ian
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  #19  
Old 2nd August 2017
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Re: The 'Age' challenge over at FTU

Regarding the debate about the FTU gallery (sorry not to have responded sooner but I have been out today) I think we need to pause to reflect a bit.

There are different opinions and some disagreements but I want to make some assurances and provide more background information so we can all understand the situation better.

First of all, I welcome suggestions and personal aspirations and preferences. Naturally, when views disagree, I'm going to disappoint someone! Sorry about that. I hope that developments overall can be seen as positive.

Secondly, I don't have a lot of resources so at present I can't afford major coding to customise the sites. That said, the sites uses commercially licensed forum and gallery software as well as open source (free) extensions. I am looking at options to improve some features over at time through code customisation. It will take time, though.

The old gallery software we used from the start was also a commercial product, but the company has ceased business and support and development has ended. It was also difficult to use, even though many members mastered it. This is why I have gone for the Dragonbyte gallery replacement. It's sold and supported by a company based in Scotland and was the only viable gallery package I could find that integrates with the forum. There is room for improvement for our purposes and I have started to request some feature adjustments that will require some programming, which I am willing to pay a small fee for. I hope Dragonbyte will be able to help with this.

There is actually a point of view that says why bother with your own gallery - just let everyone use external services to embed images in forum posts where required. I'm not against that at all - I use this option myself from time to time. We have always had our own gallery and it has been very popular. The gallery here has almost 80,000 images and new ones are added almost every day. There is a tradition of using the site gallery and I have no wish to stop that tradition. There are advantages, too. Members' images are organised here in one place and won't disappear when sharing site subscriptions aren't renewed or such sites close down, etc.

On FTU the salon photo challenge contest was designed around exclusive use of the site forum. Yes, in the beginning it was to provide some incentive to use the gallery. It was the same here until, in response to an evolving view, we realised that the gallery-only rule needed to be relaxed in order to maintain a good level of participation.

This may well happen on FTU, or we'll do a challenge just for linked images. There are lots of options. We're not set in stone! But let's take one step at a time.

However, for now, the FTU salon rules mean only site gallery images should be entered. I guess not every one read the rules! But hey, this is all just for some fun, I'm not handing out detentions But out of respect for those used to how it's done on FTU, I need to be consistent for them, hence the friendly reminders.

The question of limiting image sizes in the gallery is a bit more perplexing for me and I can only voice my personal view. I don't feel posting images that are too big to be seen comfortably on the screen is good. The gallery is not and has never been for posting full resolution images. If you want to show details and use the gallery, do crops. Otherwise, use linked Flickr images or similar. We are not in the business of competing with such sites.

I value all your views (within reason! ) so please keep them coming. I would, however, urge you all not to get too judgemental with each other. I'm kind of honoured in a way that there is a lot of interest and concern but it's not worth getting worked up about.

Ian
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  #20  
Old 3rd August 2017
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Re: The 'Age' challenge over at FTU

Quote:
Originally Posted by Johnheatingman View Post
Nice to see DPNow up and working again Ian. Now you've honed and perfected your skills there and with FTU when is it the E-System's turn ?

Regards,

John
To be honest, I made a bit of a mess at DPNow. We tried securing the site with SSL (https urls) but this caused problems and unfortunately there wasn't a solid paper trail concerning who did what to the configuration and it took ages to find out what wasn't working after we tried to revert to the original setup without losing recent posts and other updates.

FTU is still work in progress - the forum is now looking stable, though I'm still investigating a few issues being reported and the new gallery works but I'm looking for more than the standard functionality. The presentation is default vBulletin vanilla so some customisation will follow to give it the FTU look. In the meantime, the dormant magazine section will be replaced entirely with a new Wordpress-based offering, which we have already done on DPNow.

The DPNow forum and gallery have not yet been upgraded, but will follow the FTU route.

I'm going to leave the e-group until last as at the moment this is the busiest site and I want to minimise disruption here.

Ian
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  #21  
Old 3rd August 2017
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Re: The 'Age' challenge over at FTU

user error, I was replying to the LR issue in the wrong thread.
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