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Thread: Request: Relax the restrictions on photo uploading and processing

  1. #1
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    Default Request: Relax the restrictions on photo uploading and processing

    Because this forum processes all photo attachments and inline images to JPEG at a very small resolution, the end result is that the forum's use of pictures is not very useful. So, people have been turning to outside image hosting to host their images. Unfortunately, most of those hosting facilities are going away, so the valuable information in some posts on this forum is irretrievably lost.

    To preserve the usefulness and longevity of the information on this forum, I'd like to formally request that the image uploading restrictions be relaxed a little:

    • Increase the width of resized images to 1280 and/or the height to 1024, rather than whatever size they are at now
    • Stop converting 8-bit color (or less) images into JPEG. (24-bit color, sure, but 1/2/4/8-bit GIF or PNG uploads are usually useful diagrams that get mangled on the conversion and resize)


    To offset the increased demands of this request, you can decrease the JPEG compression quality 5 or 10 stops (ie. if it's currently set to 90 then reduce it to 80). This will keep the disk size and bandwidth the same, if that is the concern that set the limits they are today.
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  2. #2

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    I'd like to augment this request with PDF documents. I was trying to upload a PDF of a schematic I designed, but the file size limit was an absurdly low ~80some kB.

    I ended up zipping the PDF, since ZIP files aren't subject to the same file size limit

  3. #3

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    I second the original request. It seems that the problem is exacerbated by the fact that no explanation/warning is shown during the image upload process. So the uploading user (1) cannot make an informed choice where to host his image, and (2) remains unaware that information has been lost, unless they go over their own post after the fact.

    BTW, at least the second request in Trixter's post shouldn't actually increase bandwidth demands (non-photographic, 1..8-bit PNGs are typically smaller than their lossy jpeg conversions).
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  4. #4
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    Default

    I agree that the current limits are a problem. Only yesterday I was considering how to present a picture on the site and they preclude me from uploading it, but if I store it in my own website domain and provide a link here that could get broken when I reorganise the website even if the picture itself is still there somewhere new.
    Rob - http://www.honeypi.org.uk
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  5. #5
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    Is this even configurable in the forum software?

    BTW, the limitations the last time I tested are a maximum file size, for any file type, of 99K.

    When I upload JPGs, I always open them in an image editor and save copies, adjusting the JPG compression level so it is just under 99k. Then the forum software will not screw with it at all.

    JPG and PNG files larger than 99k will automatically get resized, and the software usually does a horrible job, often automatically shrinking the X-Y dimensions down to almost nothing.

    There is also the too common issue that pictures taken with toy cell phones may use "metadata" to indicate image orientation, which is not supported by the forum software. This is not supported by most other imaging software either, but since people are brainwashed to think their cell phones are perfect, that has caused some frustration.

    Bumping up this limit would not be a bad idea, but keep in mind this does use sever storage space, and there will always be SOME limit.

    And yes, it is very frustrating going back and reading older posts where the images are all gone because some third party image host has disappeared, removed old photos, or now requires a subscription.

  6. #6

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    Quote Originally Posted by VileR View Post
    ... remains unaware that information has been lost, unless they go over their own post after the fact.
    That's always a good idea whether you're including pics or not. It's called proofreading.

    Quote Originally Posted by SomeGuy View Post
    There is also the too common issue that pictures taken with toy cell phones may use "metadata" to indicate image orientation, which is not supported by the forum software. This is not supported by most other imaging software either, but since people are brainwashed to think their cell phones are perfect, that has caused some frustration.
    You can run any pic through IrfanView and when you save it that crap is gone and WYSIWYG.
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  7. #7
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    Just another possibility - might consider having a vcfed.org specific image/file hosting server. Would be a little more of a hassle, but that seems to work ok on the Betaarchive forums.

  8. #8

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    Quote Originally Posted by Stone View Post
    That's always a good idea whether you're including pics or not. It's called proofreading.
    I do that most of the time, but everyone shouldn't be expected to double-check everything down to image quality. With the concept of "attachments", people add files and expect them to stay as-is. Automatically degrading the content, without displaying a crystal-clear indication/warning when it happens, isn't a stellar move in terms of user experience.

    It's great that SomeGuy worked out the exact limitations through trial-and-error, but the average user shouldn't depend on that. That's not to say that a warning would be enough (IMO the limitations should be relaxed) but not having one just makes things even worse.
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  9. #9

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    Quote Originally Posted by SomeGuy View Post
    Is this even configurable in the forum software?
    Yes, it is.
    PM me if you're looking for 3" or 5" floppy disks. EMail For everything else, Take Another Step

  10. #10

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    Quote Originally Posted by Stone View Post
    That's always a good idea whether you're including pics or not. It's called proofreading.
    I always assumed most people proofread their posts before hitting send, not after.

    You wouldn't notice the problem unless you actually submitted the post (or previewed it I guess)

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