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  • Welcome to the new site. Here's a thread about the update where you can post your feedback, ask questions or spot those nasty bugs!

Hosting Images, a promise made and perhaps an opportunity too?

Asher Kelman

OPF Owner/Editor-in-Chief
Ladies and Gentlemen, our dear and valued OPF friends,

There does indeed seem to be a new need.

I have promised free space for a long time but our IT guy became very very very very indisposed! I have been addicted to giant steel sculpture and even further distracted by building a new roof and replacing air conditioners.

So, I have put aside structure of OPF and my photography has suffered. Except for two pregnant couples, one engagement and 6 or so models my studio has been dark for over a year.

But, yesterday I completed a major RFQ submission for a competition, so now it’s catch-up time for sending promised pictures and I can, at last return focus to the neglected site structure.

Let me know

1. How many pictures you need to store at what size and why?

2. Do the commercial sites allow full size images or only limited jpg sizes?

3. Is this an opportunity for OPF to attract new members and reward those we have?

As people posted photos that were responded to, they would be more points and their account would expand.


We already have space here and ultimately whatever commercial storage you use, it often goes by various routes to Amazon Web Services. That is where I am looking for giant space!

A major update to the site is due anyway. First I need an IT person, I will advertise today.

1. I need to know what we all need and so feedback would be greatly appreciated.

2. I will be providing space anyway for all pictures.

3. I’ll need a program to grab from URLs and replace those URL’s with our own.​

Asher
 

Jerome Marot

Well-known member
1. How many pictures you need to store at what size and why?
I suppose a script would find out, but I would say less than 1000 in display size.


2. Do the commercial sites allow full size images or only limited jpg sizes?
Full size, that is what one pays for.

3. Is this an opportunity for OPF to attract new members and reward those we have?
I don't think it would attract new members. New members find out about the forum, probably because of its name / url (which is the most valuable part of the site), then register. Only latter they find out that the forum does not host pictures. We have had several members who asked the question.
 

Jerome Marot

Well-known member
Seems fair, but if they object, there should be no change to their original image urls. Period
That will be extremely difficult to implement (I am just trying to help whomever it the future programmer here). Easier would be to keep the old url in the messages, in addition to the new one.


Note that you would not be personally affected, since you would most probably answer in the set period.
 

Robert Watcher

Well-known member
I mentioned to Asher yesterday, that a forum that I go to (using XenForo), stores all images on their server —- including those where a [bbcode] link is inserted in the message. The software grabs that url, uploads to server and replaces the code in the message with the attachment. It actually works very well and is seemless. It doesn’t appear anyone has ever complained. I’m not sure what they have in the TOS - but there probably is something about it. The images are resized on upload - probably 1080 px or 1600px at longest dimension is a good break point.

As to whether it will attract new people, I have no idea. But I do know that I am not fond of having to have my own website or space to store and link images too. I’m sure that is a huge deterrent to people making posts that include anything other than talk. So there may be more post activity for the majority of people who don’t have websites to store images for forums, or who aren’t interested in serving images from Flickr or Photoshelter - and the hassles that causes, finding the url and then trying to figure out how to embed it in a message properly - and all the posts with empty pics or notifications when the image service or website is no longer available.


———-
————-
 

Robert Watcher

Well-known member
I would simply inform the people that they have a set period to object and allow them to delete any image on our servers after the change.

That sounds like a good approach. A visible notice can be placed on the home page. Like you say, it would be up to THEM to delete any image they don’t want on the server.

——
 

Jerome Marot

Well-known member
That sounds like a good approach. A visible notice can be placed on the home page. Like you say, it would be up to THEM to delete any image they don’t want on the server.
They would not need to delete anything if they answer that they want their post not to be processed and the pictures uploaded. Their post would simply be ignored by the script.
 

Asher Kelman

OPF Owner/Editor-in-Chief
Of course, I would not do anything unilaterally.

I just realized that we have the space and some hosting sites have essentially done a “bait and switch”!

In addition it might help that there is no reason that I can’t get the same deal with AWS that Smugmug does. That would be a nice programming job for someone, LOL.

Certainly we can handle all the images posted and easily have 1000 images per person and give more space for those who post anything that gets continued interest of any kind. But hosting RAW images scares me a tad. We could do it for senior members if the scope was doable. It then I would have to create a ZFS kind world of repair and redundancy for it to be professional or what’s the point of storing huge pro-level images?
 

Doug Kerr

Well-known member
Hi, Asher,

I would like it if indeed OPF could provide what I have enjoyed on other forums. There, if I want to embed an image in a post, I could upload it and call for it to be embedded at a certain place in the text I am composing.

This would be simpler for me (but only slightly) than my current OPF practice which is:

1. Upload an image I want to embed as part of a post to my own site (which is provided by AT&T Website Solutions). I do this with an FTP program. I browse through my local directory structure to find the image file, and browse through the directory structure on my site to the directory where I want the file to go.

2. Copy the filename to the Windows clipboard while I have the image selected for the upload process.

3. In my post, deposit a "template" for an embedment (with {IMG}{/IMG} tags, etc.), which I do with a keyboard macro.

4. Paste in the filename from the Windows clipboard to the proper spot in the template.

5. Add the desired annotations (photographer, title, maybe camera and lens information, maybe some EXIF metadata, etc.)

And so forth.​

In one other forum of which I was previously a member (I've been expelled for being "troublesome") where I would occasionally embed an image in a post, the procedure is:

1. At the bottom of the composition page, indicate that I want to upload a file, and that I wish to browse for it. I browse for the wanted file, select it, and then indicate I wish to have it uploaded.

2. I put the cursor at the spot in my nascence post where I want the image embedded and so indicate with a button on the composition screen.

3 I add any needed formatting, annotations, and the like.

And so forth.​

That forum uses the phpBB platform.

Best regards,

Doug
 

Asher Kelman

OPF Owner/Editor-in-Chief
Doug and others, but I gather you have no need of storing RAW or full size jpg images!

Would you like a gallery of your images? There you can add more than those in your posts and have sections and even sell prints?

Asher
 

Robert Watcher

Well-known member
Doug and others, but I gather you have no need of storing RAW or full size jpg images!

Would you like a gallery of your images? There you can add more than those in your posts and have sections and even sell prints?

Asher

Unless you are going into a new business model to compete with Flickr - why would you desire to be in the business of storing images? Those guys have millions of dollars and backers behind them. It is a serious and very expensive game. That would be the only reason you would allow RAW file storage anyway. RAW can’t be viewed anywhere. Nor is there a need to store full size images of any file if your purpose is for web display. It’s not just the storage, it’s the massive bandwidth usage required. Modern web design, actually delivers different size images of the same file, depending on device resolution. This is not only a better experience quality wise, but is thoughtful for those using portable devices with less resources and those who pay for their data consumption.


——
 

Asher Kelman

OPF Owner/Editor-in-Chief
Not to compete with anyone!

Just there's a huge market.

Lots of models are possible.

Everything evolves.

My primary goal is to explore better services for us!

Asher
 

Doug Kerr

Well-known member
Hi, Asher,

Doug and others, but I gather you have no need of storing RAW or full size jpg images!
Yes, there is no need for me to store raw or full-resolution JPEG images online.

Would you like a gallery of your images? There you can add more than those in your posts . . .
More than my "gallery"?

. . . and have sections and even sell prints?
I don't have the energy to sell prints. And nobody would like to buy prints of what I shoot!

Best regards,

Doug
 

Asher Kelman

OPF Owner/Editor-in-Chief
Hi, Asher,



Yes, there is no need for me to store raw or full-resolution JPEG images online.



More than my "gallery"?


........And nobody would like to buy prints of what I shoot!

First the red hatters would buy!

Next I would get that picture of cows by a tree! Can’t forget that!

Asher
 

Jerome Marot

Well-known member
It seems that the solution to all these problems would be to update the vBullletin forum software. What I would normally do for a major, difficult upgrade would be to build the new software on a second server, and switch when the new forum works as expected. What about that?
 

Asher Kelman

OPF Owner/Editor-in-Chief
It seems that the solution to all these problems would be to update the vBullletin forum software. What I would normally do for a major, difficult upgrade would be to build the new software on a second server, and switch when the new forum works as expected. What about that?
Exactly!

Nicolas will make us a mirror copy and we will shut down OPF for a very short period while vBulletin upgrades us. Now the skins will be lost.

I will then hire a PHP competent web designer and experienced logo designer to fix the skins as it was and then give us a facelift where needed.

I plan to review all wishes and suggestions to date and when we are organized to do so, will try to get final feedback and some consensus on changes.

I would like us to be able to upload videos and images and even use OPF to serve images elsewhere for opera with longevity and contributions here. That’s if it’s practical as far as bandwidth cost is concerned.

All suggestions are appreciated as I am just a guy holding a rudder but even that is above my paygrade!

Asher
 

Doug Kerr

Well-known member
Hi, Asher,

Exactly!

Nicolas will make us a mirror copy and we will shut down OPF for a very short period while vBulletin upgrades us. Now the skins will be lost.

I will then hire a PHP competent web designer and experienced logo designer to fix the skins as it was and then give us a facelift where needed.
Sounds like a plan!

Best regards,

Doug
 
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