Saving the forum - revitilization project (IMPORTANT) Aug 8, 2018 6:13:13 GMT
Post by admin on Aug 8, 2018 6:13:13 GMT
I am actually making pretty good progress on the attachment maxing out issue - the first step was to reduce the maximum size down to 1MB from 15MB.. I don't know why it was set so high to begin with, there really is no reason to attach such a large image as it takes forever to load and unless you are going to print it on a T-shirt or something 100KB is more than adequate - and 1MB should cover anything we could want to reasonably upload and see on the forum.
Quite a lot of space was saved by going through several hundred images ranging in the 3-7MB range - mostly they were on sword ID questions and in the classifieds - and so every day I have been deleting the really big images on items that have been sold with huge images that are no longer needed.
Additionally, as I was talking about before, I have cobbled together some good posts with images into new informative articles, and replaced the images in the thread with direct links to where they are now hosted on SBG and a link explaining what was done and why.
A new article on the 6th How to Patina a Sword was created from 3 different threads, has the acknowledgements of whose info and photos were used at the bottom, and the original huge images were replaced with direct links to the images and a link to the article.
Even though the new replaced images are smaller in size (around 100KB down from 5MB) they show up bigger in the post.
This is what it looks like when it is an attachment that you need to open and download to see properly:
And here is what it looks like on the forum when replaced and in the SBG article:
Once I have finished enough articles I will start to replace dead stickies and link them for easy reference in the forums - this should go a long way to both fixing up all the dead links with helpful content and reduce the burden on hosting considerably - in just this one example those three threads totaled usage of 44MB for 12 images, which frees up enough space for 440 images at 100KB each.. Big difference right there..
A couple more 'cobbled' articles include one on antique swords and a fairly big one on how to bring out a hamon all made in the same way and freeing up space for thousands of new images if they are reasonably sized.
Same thing is happening with reviews, we now have 40 new reviews sprinkled throughout SBG on every sword type bringing the total to 180 reviews and counting. There is a review index for SBG recently added which lists reviews of products that are in production with images and a basic info - discontinued swords are given just a standard text link - so it should help visitors to read reviews on swords that are still theoretically available which is helpful (I don't know about you guys, but if I read a review on a sword and get excited about it - only to find out it has been discontinued for years now - it's just frustrating, so I have tried to minimize that frustration).
I don't know if it is possible to have compression on this forum as it is hosted by forums.net - the paid version of proboards, and is a bit limited compared to forums made from scratch, but on the positive side it is extremely robust, never goes down, is pretty much impossible to hack and that is what is important (it is much more expensive than normal hosting, but worth it for all those features - plus there is technical support available, etc). But to be honest, after the recent clean up I did - even though there are still at least several hundred images on there between 4-7MB - many are in threads that I don't want to mess with or active items for sale in the classifieds that I am waiting until they are sold before cleaning them up. QUICK FAVOR - if anyone has a listing in the classifieds with lots of images but the item has been withdrawn or sold but not been marked as such, please do so. I am erring on the side of caution and assuming that unless it says otherwise or is 5 years old, that the item is still for sale or available.
Still a long way to go, but with the attachment issue now downgraded from a red hot emergency situation to stable and still a bit hot but quite sustainable, right now we could manage another 4,000 images at 1MB or 40,000 at 100KB, and I am still working on freeing up more space, but the emergency situation is now over..
Been a heck of a lot of work but its all good for both the main site, which is now more relevant again, for the forums, which are about to regain a lot of lost info and get some new info that was never there before, and even the industry, as I have noticed that if a good sword is reviewed positively on SBG, it tends to stay in production by getting just enough sales to prevent cancellation. Though one of my favorites by Windlass, the European sword that was in the old logo and reviewed way back in 2005 is about to go the way of the do do at MRL again, and this time probably for good..
So no dramas on attachments - if you want to use the attachment feature for something that is what it is there for and is now set up so it should not max out like that again, and I will continue to take the pressure of it and ensure good reviews and content is saved forever on the main site as this will be an ongoing thing and once this first stage is over, I will be looking at ways to encourage people to post their best stuff and providing awards, recognition, prizes and other fun stuff.
I am sure there were many other things I wanted to put down in that post, but with so much on my plate right now I hope I will be forgiven for being a little absent minded.. Ah, yes - that awesome scabbard tutorial! Brenno, can you email me Findlithui's email address? Since it has been taken down I don't want to put it on SBG without checking with him. Verity sent me the PDF and it really is incredibly helpful to anyone looking to make a custom scabbard that looks amazing - and would hate to see it lost forever to the community.
Got to get back to the virtual grindstone..! Like I said, it is a lot of hard work right now but that's my job and to be honest, I am enjoying it immensely.