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Service outage prompts big changes

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Re: Service outage prompts big changes

Postby Marc_C » Tue Aug 05, 2008 7:47 am

J.Spin wrote:That image is around 2500 pixels in width, and due to its size there is certainly some added impact. There are some downsides to incorporating these types of images.

I'll say. It so completely hosed the formatting and in particular readability that it made the report totally useless.

J.Spin wrote: Obviously that image width messed with the width of the text lines in the report and made it a bit harder to read.

No. It made it impossible to read. If you want to insure a lot of people will immediately hit the back button, then sure, post an unreasonably huge photo.

J.Spin wrote: I'm loving the fact that linked picture width is now up to 1000 pixels or so on FT (whereas it used to be in the 600-800 pixels range?) but some of my pictures are still downsized and it would be nice to have the option to show larger ones like they do at places such as TGR.

You need to seriously, critically question exactly what you're trying to accomplish with the huge size. Note that the vast majority of professional photographer's sites keep their images sub-800 px wide. In fact, a lot of impact of an image is lost if you can't see it all at once and need to scroll around.

J.Spin wrote:As I recall, we also used to be able to click on downsized images in FT reports and have them pop up in a new window at full size,

That would be the only acceptable option IMO.

J.Spin wrote:... and increasing quality of images at higher resolutions, I think big pictures are going to become more common with people that like to use them.

In print, yes, but on the screen, the quality isn't increasing, the image is just getting larger. The monitor is still at a miserable 72dpi.
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Re: Service outage prompts big changes

Postby Admin » Tue Aug 05, 2008 8:02 am

I'm with Marc_C completely on this one. There's a reason that those images are resized, and it's completely about preserving the readability and formatting on the page.

It's also clear that we lack the budget to completely run with unlimited attachment sizes. For external images I'll look into the changes you've requested.
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Re: Service outage prompts big changes

Postby J.Spin » Tue Aug 05, 2008 9:58 am

Good comments Marc C, and a somewhat different viewpoint from my own. I think the comparison to the formats used by professional photographers on their websites is somewhat “apples and oranges”. As I understand it, the goal of most professional photographer’s websites is to display images in a format for viewers that might be interested in purchasing actual prints, or at least browsing the artist’s work in an easily-accessible format. Web-based trip reports, blogs, etc. are rather different animals in my opinion and offer a lot more freedom. The online material needn’t be bound by the constraints of frames or even monitors, because unlike material prints the space can be virtually limitless. When 99% of the visual material out there on the web has been homogenized to fit nicely into the defined area of the typical monitor, it can be quite refreshing to look at images that haven’t. Clearly this could be frustrating though if the preference is to see only screen-sized images. Sometimes adding a large image works like crap, and simply ruins the view of the image, the readability of any associated text, and who knows what else on the page. But at other times the size adds a dimension of presentation that simply isn’t possible in physical media. For example, with regard to the large picture in the report I mentioned above, when I scrolled down to it the first time, I was immediately drawn to the skier, who on my monitor displaying at 1440 x 900 was near the right side of the image. My next impulse was to scroll to the right to see what remained, at which point I saw the background slope and trees. I still had no real sense of the cliffs behind in the background at that point. Then, I explored the rest of the picture and discovered what remained of the scene. This is no different than the type of presentations that one sees on the History Channel etc. in which a high-resolution image is panned on the low resolution television screen. A view of the entire image all at once is sacrificed to enable seeing part of it at a time in higher resolution. In this case however, one has the ability to control the rate and direction of the panning to suit their taste. I entirely agree that the ideal setup is to also have the option to see the whole image scaled down to fit on one's screen with a quick click, and I’d prefer it, but it’s certainly not necessary. I actually never felt that I even needed to see the entirety of the image I mentioned, although as I wrote this I opened it in a new window and looked at it in total. It certainly wasn’t as dramatic to me. I also didn’t like the overall composition as much relative to the way it had originally been viewed on my screen. In the days when bandwidth was much lower and image file sizes mattered, I would almost always produce web images that fit into the constraints of typical monitors. However, times are changing. Although I still typically size the bulk of my web photos to “mostly” fit on the typical monitors that people seem to have, I don’t always stick to this scheme. Sometimes I will size images so that only the focus of the image can probably fit on a typical monitor, and the fringes of the image are undefined, or loosely defined by the size and shape of the viewers monitor. Occasionally I’ll create images that are tall, and aren’t even meant to be viewed on one screenshot; they are meant to be scrolled or panned and absorbed in that format. It’s a different perspective that certainly isn’t the norm for physical gallery viewing, but it’s something that is possible with the technology we have and allows one to retain a high level of detail in web images. Obviously, removing size constraints from web pages can result in instances of complications, but I think the freedom it gives for presentation is a plus.

-J
Last edited by J.Spin on Tue Aug 05, 2008 10:11 am, edited 1 time in total.
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Re: Service outage prompts big changes

Postby J.Spin » Tue Aug 05, 2008 10:04 am

Admin wrote:For external images I'll look into the changes you've requested.

That's the type of images I was referring to, the external sort that are simply linked and don't take up any space on the FT server. I can imagine removing size limits from the actual uploaded images would be very difficult in terms of space. Thanks for looking into it.

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Re: Service outage prompts big changes

Postby Admin » Mon Aug 18, 2008 8:13 am

By request I've removed the size limitations on external images included in posts via the img BBcode. Anything larger than forum guidelines will be automatically resized and linked to the full-size image. I'd ask forum members to exercise some degree of restraint, however, as including a large number of inordinately large images in this manner in a post will slow the page loading time to a crawl.
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Re: Service outage prompts big changes

Postby J.Spin » Tue Aug 19, 2008 7:27 am

Admin wrote:By request I've removed the size limitations on external images included in posts via the img BBcode. Anything larger than forum guidelines will be automatically resized and linked to the full-size image.

Thanks for getting around to this Marc, as I know it's pretty low priority. Is the change in effect yet? I noticed that some of the images that are 1200 pixels wide in my latest report are still being downsized to 1031 pixels in width. Where's a good place to check on the forum guidelines for size information?

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Re: Service outage prompts big changes

Postby Admin » Tue Aug 19, 2008 7:45 am

J.Spin wrote:
Admin wrote:By request I've removed the size limitations on external images included in posts via the img BBcode. Anything larger than forum guidelines will be automatically resized and linked to the full-size image.

Thanks for getting around to this Marc, as I know it's pretty low priority. Is the change in effect yet? I noticed that some of the images that are 1200 pixels wide in my latest report are still being downsized to 1031 pixels in width. Where's a good place to check on the forum guidelines for size information?

Thanks, J


Yes, the change is in effect currently. See above - images will be downsized automatically to forum standards, as you've discovered. What I presumed would happen is that they would link to the full-size image to be opened separately, but that doesn't seem to be happening and the phpBB.com website appears to be down at the moment, so I'm unable to investigate further at the moment.

Previously if you tried to link to a photo larger than the allowed dimensions (at the time they were allowed up to 800x800) you got an error message telling you that you were over limit. That is currently disabled following the change in policy.

Also, I noticed that much to my surprise the images aren't resized in IE v.6. In IE v.7 and in Firefox v.3 they are being resized.
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Re: Service outage prompts big changes

Postby J.Spin » Tue Aug 19, 2008 8:34 am

Admin wrote:Previously if you tried to link to a photo larger than the allowed dimensions (at the time they were allowed up to 800x800) you got an error message telling you that you were over limit. That is currently disabled following the change in policy.

Ahh, that's why I was confused by your statement about the allowed dimensions on linked images. I didn't know that there even were any limits on the dimensions of the image that you could link to. I don't believe that the 800 x 800 limit has ever been in effect here, as I've linked to numerous images well outside those dimensions over the past several weeks since the new forum changes, and there haven't been any issues with error messages or their ability to display in the forum. But, thanks for altering that setting, hopefully the ability to click on the images can be regained eventually. Being totally ignorant of the limit you described above, I was actually interested in options for increasing the actual "display" size of the linked images beyond the 1031-pixel width limit.

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Re: Service outage prompts big changes

Postby Admin » Tue Aug 19, 2008 8:41 am

J.Spin wrote:I was actually interested in options for increasing the actual "display" size of the linked images beyond the 1031-pixel width limit.


That's what would totally fubar the forum layout. Just try viewing my "Winter is coming" post on the Western section in IE6.
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Re: Service outage prompts big changes

Postby Marc_C » Tue Aug 19, 2008 8:48 am

J.Spin wrote:Being totally ignorant of the limit you described above, I was actually interested in options for increasing the actual "display" size of the linked images beyond the 1031-pixel width limit.

Respectfully, if you really feel something wider than 1024 px is absolutely necessary, please just provide a link to the unnecessarily huge image.

I'm trying to remember if I've ever seen an image on any forum of any type where I actually wanted to scroll around to see all of it.

Ummmmm, nope.
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Re: Service outage prompts big changes

Postby J.Spin » Wed Aug 20, 2008 8:54 am

Admin wrote:Just try viewing my "Winter is coming" post on the Western section in IE6.

I didn't have IE6 to check it out, but thanks for sending me to that post because it revealed something that I hadn't noticed about linked pictures displayed with the current forum settings. Apparently, the forum automatically resizes linked images to each individual's window width (at least from what I've seen with IE7). That's why I was getting the strange number of 1031 pixels in width for display of any linked forum images that were wider than that - it's just a function of the monitor that I'm viewing them on, which is 1440 pixels wide. The forum always keeps that sidebar off to the right with the user information, so in my case, 1440 pixels wide minus the sidebar, scroll bars, extra forum spacings, etc. makes for images with widths of 1031 pixels. I can make the images narrower/smaller simply by contracting the width of my window, but I can't make them any bigger on this monitor. To confirm this I opened up the forum on one of our 1920 x 1200 monitors, and all images were expanded to their maximum width (none of them are anywhere near 1920 pixels wide). So any width limitations on linked images in the current settings of the forum appear to be based simply on the individual's window/monitor size. That's a pretty nice feature that should keep most people happy; they should be able to view linked images at whatever size they want, just by decreasing the width of their browser window. There appears to be a minimum width (479 pixels) where the images stop shrinking, but that should be enough to shrink even larger images in portrait orientation down to a single screen for the people that want that. However, I'm not sure how/if this functionality is available with older and other non IE browsers.

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