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Bill Edwards

Forum Gallery - Apologies, Another CHANGE

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Bill Edwards    12,182
Bill Edwards

Dear All

 

My deep and sincere apologies, but the recent changes to the way we display photo topics (moving from forum Topics to Gallery Albums) has been poorly handled - I will accept some of the blame, but I cannot accept full responsibility.

 

I tried to edit a photo topic that had a lot of photos in it. The software hung and after a long interval gave me an error. I reported this to Technical Support and was told in no uncertain terms that forum Topics were not meant to hold large numbers of photos and that photo topics should be hosted in the Gallery. The Gallery was sold to me as the answer to all our problems and that we would continue to experience issues with forum based photo topics. On the basis of this information I instigated the change from forum photo topics to Gallery Albums. There was initial reluctance from some members, but we persevered with it.

 

I have had a constant and on-going struggle with the Gallery - features I considered basic were missing and I've had to buy plugins to get them (even having custom plugins made). I have been in dispute with Technical Support since day one and STILL have outstanding support tickets. Due to my vocal disappointment in the quality of the Gallery module Tech Support did a u-turn and changed their initial advice and are now saying it was "advice" and could have been handled by better management of forum photo topics. Had I been in possession of this information before the change to Gallery Albums, I would not have made the change. Nevertheless, having come this far I decided to persevere.

 

However, over the past 48 hours my position has changed. Firstly there was a new round of bugs discovered. Secondly I was made aware of the way that the Gallery stores images and it is this one fact that makes the Gallery very unattractive as a storage method. Although you upload one photo, the Gallery environment uses the photo in four different sizes in different places (Thumbnail, Small, Medium and Large). I reasonably assumed that the one photo was displayed at different sizes in different places. I now know that your one photo is resized and stored FOUR TIMES. Our recent change in photo hosting policy was made to address two issues: (1) The types of photos members wanted to see and (2) To manage our hosting/storage bills. This latest news on Gallery images totally wipes out any saving in storage cost achieved by the policy change.

 

As I see it, we have four choices:

  1. Persevere with what we have set up - However our storage bill will become an issue far quicker than it would do if photo topics were forum based. This will need to be managed and archived older photo albums will have to be deleted at a very early stage
  2. Raise more money - supporter numbers have been dropping and despite pleas we have been unable to encourage more donations and this doesn't appear to be a  viable option
  3. Do nothing and wait till we go bust and the forum ceases to be - Not what I personally want
  4. Revert back to forum based photo topics

 

Whilst I appreciate it is a complete u-turn, I have decided to revert back to forum based photo topics, slightly changed to take account of the result of the recent poll at http://www.fun-fairs.co.uk/topic/86667-forum-photo-collections-your-views-please/. All I can do is apologise profusely and assure you that all the way through this process I've had the best interests of the forum and it's members foremost in my mind. 

 

From now, the forum Gallery will NOT be used. ALL photo posts should be made on site, in the relevant forum. The only slight change is that there are now two photo forums for each category (Fairground Transport, Non UK Funfairs, Theme / Amusements Parks, Photos Forum and Circus). One of these forums is for any and all photos that you wish to post and will appeal to the 30% of members who voted to see them. The other forum is for more compact photo albums, one shot of each piece of equipment, correctly framed with captions that was voted for by the other 70% of members. The full policy is explained at http://www.fun-fairs.co.uk/topic/86764-posting-photo-albums-new-policy/ but will be re-written to take account of the fact that no photo topics will now be deleted (as non-complying albums are) - they will simply be moved to the correct forum and no photo collections will need to be hosted off site in the supplementary gallery.

 

The only change that we will need to make is that each photo topic will HAVE to be limited in the number of photos it holds so we avoid the technical issues that started this whole episode off. Unfortunately there is no software setting where I can limit the amount of photos per post. I can only limit the total KB size of posts and I will investigate a setting that works for us. In the meantime, you should not post more than 100 photos per post. If that means making multiple posts to post the entire collection, then so be it.

 

I again apologise for this situation, but I hope we've now found a solution.

 

I thank you for your continued support.

 

All the best

 

Bill

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Matt Goodenough    851
Matt Goodenough

Thanks Bill for bringing this to our attention. 

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Paul McHaddan    14,573
Paul McHaddan

Bill you went off advise & run it past the mods & the panel we all agreed IT IS NOT YOUR FAULT! ;)

 

We all want whats best for the forum so what ever it takes we will all stick together we do WE DO NOT WANT TO LOOSE " ALL THE FUN OF THE FAIR" Forum 

 

Please don't give up the mods & panel members do try to help BUT its the members that need to work at it as well to support this forum by paying a little extra if it helps i will if need be! ;)

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Ormester101    1,856
Ormester101

the forum based  photos worked  for me  

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Eddie Kelly    1,881
Eddie Kelly

Bill

I think you have proposed the best solution absolutely no point in changing for the worse with the scenarios you describe. 

Well done

Eddie

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Simon Deery    1,415
Simon Deery

Thank you for your honesty Bill and appology (although not required). You and the team do a tremendous job in running this site. If something doesn't work properly then it is pointless to continue with it and if I am being brutally honest I did not personally like the layout of the gallery and found myself actually viewing images far less than I ever did when they were forum based, easier to navigate and presented in a tidy format. As an engineer I always see things from the engineering world and we have to try things to see how they operate. Better to try something and admit that it isn't quite right than do nothing.

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Bill Edwards    12,182
Bill Edwards
On 10/2/2017 at 20:27, Bill Edwards said:

Unfortunately there is no software setting where I can limit the amount of photos per post.

 

I have now had a custom plugin made and CAN NOW restrict the number of photos in any one post. Following advise from the plugin author the limit of photos per post has been set to 75.

 

You CANNOT, MUST NOT post more than 75 photos per post. If you want to post more than 75 photos, please split them across multiple posts.

 

This should enable us to avoid the technical issues we were experiencing.

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Bill Edwards    12,182
Bill Edwards

Dear All 

 

As this thread is about the changes to posting photos on the site, I've split the comments about Forum Supporters into their own thread at 

I'm always happy to hear feedback and both of these topics are important, so I think it will be easier to follow if we have two separate threads.

 

Many thanks

 

Bill

 

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Steve Barton    15,770
Steve Barton
On 10/4/2017 at 18:23, Bill Edwards said:

 

I have now had a custom plugin made and CAN NOW restrict the number of photos in any one post. Following advise from the plugin author the limit of photos per post has been set to 75.

 

You CANNOT, MUST NOT post more than 75 photos per post. If you want to post more than 75 photos, please split them across multiple posts.

 

This should enable us to avoid the technical issues we were experiencing.

Bill when you say multiple posts do you mean post as a reply or start a new Topic each time? I'm moving my Transport Post from the Gallery and as there are over 200 images so do I do several post of say 50 and number them Parts 1 to 5 or can I post 50 then add a reply to the same post and post 50 more and so on ?

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Bill Edwards    12,182
Bill Edwards

If it's one topic then I would suggest adding them as replies. If you're going to split them into era's or makes etc, then separate topics is OK. 

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Steve Barton    15,770
Steve Barton
5 minutes ago, Bill Edwards said:

If it's one topic then I would suggest adding them as replies. If you're going to split them into era's or makes etc, then separate topics is OK. 

Cheers Bill I'll add them as replies.

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Marc Burgers    8,589
Marc Burgers

I read this and think, Bill has really good thinking how he can go on with the forum

FOrum losing we all dont want it.

I use it very much to post pictures and the Database/rides list.

Running a forum is not a simple job.

 

You're doing very well Bil!!!

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Bill Edwards    12,182
Bill Edwards

I previously personally PM'ed all members who had Albums in the Gallery advising that we would remove the Gallery Module on 31st October 2017 and that they should either repost their photos in the relevant forums, or accept they would be deleted.

 

Just a gentle reminder that the Gallery will be removed in 12 days and all the photos therein will be deleted.

 

Many thanks for your continued support over this matter.

 

All the best

 

Bill

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