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Can we add a category or section?

Discussion in 'Questions About/Issues With the Site' started by Tom H, Jan 20, 2017.

  1. Tom H

    Tom H Platinum Level Sponsor

    A couple recent posts, by me and then John Piz, included links to a couple of very extensive photo albums of great use in restoring an Alpine:

    Mike Hardman's set for SV:

    And John Piz's set for SII:

    Information this powerful and useful needs an easier way to find them! I had forgotten John's set and I had to search for Mike's. And no way the OP could or would have found either without someone posting the link. Maybe add another section under Tech Data or Gallery? Maybe titled "Restoration Photos", maybe with subtitles for SV, SII, etc? I think under Tech Data is better. Seems Gallery is more for "beauty" pics than restoration advice. And maybe rather than putting up the link, we could actually put the photos in our data bank, if the original posters agree.

    Tom Hayden
  2. Paul A

    Paul A Alpine Registry Curator Platinum Level Sponsor

    Tom We addressed this in our board meeting Saturday. Your suggestion is a good one and appreciated by those of us on the board. We will make the addition when finished with the site upgrade. That may be a few months so we ask for patience. Regards, Pete
  3. Ken Ellis

    Ken Ellis Donation Time

    I want to agree with Tom that the photos should be locally-hosted. Far too many threads on various sites are now worthless because the photo links are broken, and the original posters either aren't participating, don't have tech know-how, or have, umm, expired with the links.

    While local hosting costs a little more, and requires agreement, it does increase the intrinsic value of this site in the long term.

    The Creative Commons license seems to be widely used for this, as it carries along non-profit (I think) and attribution requirements. Plain old copyright with permission works too. Unsure of the mechanics, but maybe we could build-in a watermarking function on the import side, for the poster's protection.
  4. Alpine 1789

    Alpine 1789 SAOCA President Platinum Level Sponsor

    This is a really interesting suggestion, but I think it is a little different from Tom's original. As I read Tom's suggestion, he is only talking about restoration photo albums. However, it seems to me that Ken is talking about all photos that are linked to posted comments. If he isn't, I think that is something worth considering.

    Right now we have two choices when posting photos: use the attachment method that is built into the site's software or use a hosting site like PhotoBucket. The vBulletin system is a pain to use because it requires that you downsize the images and it results in photos that are often too small to be much use. But, as Ken points out, links to externally hosted sites are often broken for various reasons. I used to use ImageShack, but switched to PhotoBucket when ImageShack dropped their free service. As a result, any photos I posted there are no longer available. I don't know if we could afford to host them here, but it would certainly nice to be able to preserve all images for the future!

    Just a random thought: if hosting on our server is too expensive, I wonder if it would be worth investigating setting up an SAOCA account with one of the picture hosting sites?
  5. Ken Ellis

    Ken Ellis Donation Time

    Yeah, I did kind of make a leap between 'album' shots and general thread shots, but I've seen both types of collections decimated by broken links. And by the time it's discovered, it's often too late.

    So certainly local storage of best-practices-type images/milestone vehicles is a worthwhile investment.

    Member storage, for thread images, PDFs, (and even PMs) could be a membership-level-driven thing. Maybe something like "1 gig total regardless of how you'd like to allocate it for X-level sponsorship". But then, if sponsorship lapses (like that ever happens) we'd need an exit strategy of some sort. Possible Pandora's box.

    Two ways to control ongoing bandwidth would be a upload-manager-based photo cropper/editor, and a moderator-enforced quoting limitation.

    (Note that I have not seen this anywhere, but I don't know if that's because of expense, unreasonableness, or no one's thought of it before. May exist, may not, may not even be possible...) The photo cropper/editor would show your uploaded photo as it will be seen, and allow you to crop/zoom as required to show the important bits. I know there are many stand-alone editors that allow this, but one resident on the upload would allow easy access and support to those 'who don't yet know they need it' -- newbies at photo posting -- who are often the biggest "offenders". Not out of malice, but just 'cause they're new to the game.

    The quoting limitation would prevent someone quoting a 10-image string of photos and text, just to add "Hey, looks great!" at the end. If you're paying by the bit to shovel stuff out the door, that could add up.

    To Jim's comment about a SAOCA account at a photo-hoster... that would have some benefits, too. Possibly a 'standardized' photo edit interface allowing efficient support for new posters when required, and a point of contact for fixing broken links when they go and change something.

    However you slice it, the pictures involved are definitely worth these thousand words.
  6. Series6

    Series6 Past President Donation Time

    FYI-your Board of Directors approved investing in updating the site. Details to follow. Sounds like there's a lot of knowledge on these programs here. If you have suggestions or recommendations or can provide support please raise your hand here.

    The Board wants to get this done and done right the first time so speak now.
  7. Tom H

    Tom H Platinum Level Sponsor

    My post was to address just one of the two issues.

    1) Providing easy (and also continued) access to valuable albums of restoration photos

    2) There is a separate issue of providing access to individual photos in threads. Most of the time these pics are already part of the site, but often people do not know how to reduce the size for posting here. I use a one page PowerPoint slide as my picture editor.

  8. Alpine 1789

    Alpine 1789 SAOCA President Platinum Level Sponsor

    I do the same thing when attaching photos directly, but frequently find that photos posted here are often too small to see needed detail. Plus, it is much easier to follow a thread when the photo is inline with the discussion, as opposed to viewed separately at the bottom. I don't have any knowledge of how these sites work, so I am afraid I can't help directly with the fix, but applaud the Board's commitment to improving things.
  9. Series6

    Series6 Past President Donation Time

    its critical we get input like Tom posted. We then know what to inquire about. I agree. The few times I post pictures I normally have to shrink them several times to get them right.
  10. Ken Ellis

    Ken Ellis Donation Time

    Test Number One...

    And Test Number Two...

    (now re-linked...)


    I'll delete this in a little while; I realize it's annoyingly huge.

    These are both images hosted here on site, in our Gallery area... unless I'm mistaken. I "copied image location" and pasted into thread in-line. Viewing image info showed no outside links.

    I imagine Gallery area image postings are curated, or approved in some manner? Or can folks just upload any old image to them, in the vernacular, 'willy-nilly'?
    Last edited: Mar 21, 2017
  11. DanR

    DanR Diamond Level Sponsor

    I can't post PIC's like Toyanvil.... Man He has some beautiful displays! But of course He also has some beautiful stuff to display:D

  12. Ken Ellis

    Ken Ellis Donation Time

    I wrote: "Member storage, for thread images, PDFs, (and even PMs) could be a membership-level-driven thing."

    Don't know if it's because of this, or just due to the largesse and general spledidness of the current management, but I noticed the current allowed number of PMs has risen to 50. I'm positively giddy!

    Or maybe I just didn't notice when it changed months ago...
  13. DanR

    DanR Diamond Level Sponsor

    Ken the Current Management says thanks for the compliments whether due or not....;) Probably not!;) Hopefully improvementswill come that are long over due,
  14. JonPiz

    JonPiz Donation Time

    re photos

    the club is more than welcome to my photos. I have them saved on my harddrive as well so I could email them to someone who could put them on a club "cloud" along with others. That way they could be accessed in one place rather than mine or whoever elses individual sites.
  15. Tom H

    Tom H Platinum Level Sponsor

    Just bumping this back to the top after seeing - again- the value of Mike Hartman's album, in solving Tracy Skinner (Eleven)' brake issue.

    And I cannot access Jon Piz's photos anymore. Both these albums are a precious resource that need easy access. I know a few of the Gallery photos are similarly useful such as engine bay pics, but not sure how to catalog these. But collections like Jon's and Mike's need easy access.

  16. Greggers

    Greggers SAOCA Vice President Platinum Level Sponsor

    We're to the point where we can do something about this. It'll involve a little research. I see that JonPiz's images are gone. John hasn't visited the site since September. I've downloaded the images. They're 300mb total. I'll have to check how we can easily incorporate all that into the main site site.
  17. DanR

    DanR Diamond Level Sponsor

    Thanks Greggers for taking on more work!!
  18. Tom H

    Tom H Platinum Level Sponsor

    Bumping this up. I just sent Beijing_ken a link to one of Mike's photo's as a solution to his bower motor issue. Mike's photos are a huge resource. I see we now have a Forum category , "How to...." Maybe put a post there entitled "Restoration, Installation, Assembly photos" or something like that. Any other ideas on how to provide access to such photos and collections ? Including JonPiz fine set.

  19. Greggers

    Greggers SAOCA Vice President Platinum Level Sponsor

    Hi. After much exploration, many failed tests, and a drunken night spent crying in the corner, I've decided that the best approach for Mike's stuff is an album in the gallery.* The fact of the matter is that there simply wasn't space anywhere else for the 757 images Mike had available (I shudder to think what the how-to section would look with the addition of 757 photos). Some of them are simply captioned with their image titles ("Image100020.jpg"), so if someone wants to categorize, caption or otherwise denote the differences among the 757 images, let me know and I should be able to grant you access to do so. Because this content seems to have a little more value, it didn't seem appropriate to make it free and available to the world, so it's limited to members only at this time.

    You (and by you I mean members) can view them by clicking on Gallery then Browse Albums. I may have to move images in all user albums to their appropriate sections. To keep things clean, users were never supposed to have access to create albums.

    I was never able to connect to the Jon Piz photos to download them, so I haven't uploaded those. If anyone has access, or if Jon can make them available again (or share them just with me), I can add an album for them.

    (If your eyes glaze over with technical stuff, stop reading now)
    *The site is on 1.something of the Xenforo software right now. With the magical updated version of the site's software, 2.something, we can have albums within categories. What that means is that I can add a category for restoration images and within that add albums for different restorers or for different aspects of restorations. Lots of fun options. I'm still not recovered from the hundreds and hundreds of hours it took to make the current site functional, so upgrading the site to the latest software may have to remain a future goal for a minute.
  20. DanR

    DanR Diamond Level Sponsor

    Greggers, I kinda like this idea of a bit of restriction..... Just let the world know we have it for members only (atleast for the time being).

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