Updates in one place

Discussion in 'Photo.net Site Help' started by Leslie Reid, Feb 25, 2017.

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  1. Several have mentioned that it would be useful to have a copy of the site update information and explanations for the changes in one place rather than spread across a dozen threads, so here it is, organized chronologically (and occasionally edited to fix typos). To make the information as readable as possible I’ve locked this thread—only staff, moderators, and the thread curator can add posts. I’ll continue to monitor other threads and add copies of future updates here—although any relevant updaters are encouraged to do so themselves.

    Note that all copied posts below are from Glenn Palm, and a link to the original is at the end of each post.
     
    Last edited: Mar 16, 2017

  2. 7 Feb (Glenn Palm)

    Ratings is now done via "Admire" but also Favorite, view and comment. The more engagement a photo gets - the higher it will "rank" on photo.net. I know it’s not how we have done it in the past, but many photographers suggested we explore alternative rating methods. Now - the question of what happened to old ratings - those are converted into admires. 7 = full admire, 6 = .75 admire, 5 = .5 admire, 4 = .25 and so on. (link)
     
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  3. 9 Feb (Glenn Palm)

    We have internal tracking for all bugs reported in help. If you post a bug in the help forum, we track it, prioritize it and address as we can based on its priority. Equipment registry is not lost, it is still in our database - but it was a feature rarely used so we will make sure that data is made available to each of you - can I guaranteed we'll bring that feature back - no, because very few used it; can I make sure we give the registry data back to those active users that used it, yes. (link)
     
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  4. 10 Feb (Glenn Palm)

    The last release was - putting it mildly - not fun for anyone (us included) - the forums were previously bbPress and it was not built for the load we gave it so it failed. Now, this go around we have (in my opinion) upgraded the forums, upgraded and streamlined the gallery presentation and our learning articles will be run off an updated CMS - we have partnerships in place for additional content so I believe we are headed in the right direction - many of the points of pain are being addressed and pages are being optimized for speed - so call me an eternal optimist but I see things headed in the right direction. As mentioned before I will keep you updated on fixes and what the dev team has prioritized to work on next - if this was a site that had millions in funding maybe things would be different, but we operate on a very tight budget - online advertising is not what it once was so our goal is to make this 100% subscriber driven - besides - the market has changed. In 2000 people expected to see ads next to their photography, in 2017 certainly less so. Above and beyond all - I hope people see that we're on your side - we all want this to work, lets try to keep it positive - there is so much negative in this world we all could do better with less of it. (link)
     
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  5. 10 Feb (Glenn Palm)

    Didn't you listen to your mechanic MLM? He told you your old car - the one you liked so much, was an 75 year old antique and the parts were no longer being made to replace anything that might break. The one mechanic that could work on it was on "the back 9" of his career and was either going to keel over or just stop showing up one day. If you wanted trusty reliable transportation, the last thing you'd want is an unexperienced whippersnapper grease monkey jerry rigging parts into your antique beauty. On top of that, new buyers were no longer interested in that vintage and given there was only 1 mechanic in the world that could work on it...and again no parts…what were you to do? So while she seemed to work wonderfully for your purposes, she was actually a liability, therefore her value and desirability in a greater sense (maybe not to you) was in question. Trust me, there were aspects of 1.0 that I loved too - but without making change and upgrading you just might show up one day and she'd need a new alternator or worse yet a new transmission and she'd sit in the driveway while you took the bus looking for a new car. Toot, toot! Hey, look at that - the horn works. (link)
     
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  6. 10 Feb (Glenn Palm)

    We have checked into the favorite and again - it’s all there in the DB, but it’s a page optimization issue which they are addressing. Our process is to push the fixes to our QA site which is for the most part a mirror image of the live site and see how it performs. If it performs as expected, they push live. If not, then then they crawl under the hood again and see what belt they broke off the engine. (link)

    Favorites is a bug reported and is tied to page optimization tasks they are testing now. Each page is different, but of course there are some common threads - so we're addressing slowest pages first and working our way through - again fix, test - if fix tests positive - we push live. But just wanted to let you know it is on our list and it is tied to making the Member Center operate much faster. (link)

    (screen names) It’s on our list so expect to have it resolved however it is not as high on the list as some other bugs but I know we are tracking it. Creating a signature is something we could all use to bridge the gap until they fix it. (link)
     
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  7. 13 Feb (Glenn Palm) - Update thread

    Tech Crew is working on a number of things - these are the top 5.

    Its not to say other bugs won't be addressed, they will, however in effort to cross the highest priority ones off first we are focused on the following. If bugs come in that appear "easy" in eyes of Devteam, then they may take it on. 1.) Speed - will be top of their list on a continual basis 2.) Hidden Folders will be back very soon - testing solution today. 3.) Tracking comments 4.) Log In / Log Out - we've made some promising progress on this. 5.) Member Center - Galleries Again, not to say other bugs reported aren't important - they are, but the above is what we're focused on in the short term. The process is dev team member works on solution in his environment, pushes it to test in our QA environment, if tests out OK, we then release to live environment. I hope this helps a little. Thank you all for you patience while we work through this. (link)


    Photo comment notifications: that is also being worked on. The thought process behind getting notifications was to bring users back to the site, that is a feature in "my account" that can be turned on or off. If you don't wish to receive notifications, then that button should be turned off. BUT - for those that visit the site daily and log into the Member Center we are working on bringing back comments you have made; comments you have received; and follow up comments. (link)


     
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  8. 13 Feb (Glenn Palm)

    Comment tracking: It will be in MyProfile as well - sooner than later (I hope and expect). We will have it so that you can decide if you like email notifications or would just prefer to see them when you log in OR both. (link)
     
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  9. 14 Feb (Glenn Palm)

    The forum software is not built by photo.net as we didn't see the need to re-invent the wheel when it was already created. We started down that path some time ago and quickly found that programmers were recreating something that had already been created. The 3rd party options out there and were much more feature rich than we could have ever created in house. We picked Xenforo for a number of reasons, but you can see a comparison here of all the players in this space. It is not uncommon for sites to use 3rd party forum software and white label it - the time and cost to create and support proprietary forum software is quite simply unnecessary unless you wish to get into the forum software business, which we did not want to do. They already have a 2.0 out - but we're only in testing mode with it so far, but an update of the forum side is in our future - if there is one thing you can count in software development is change, all sites need to maintain, update, and develop to stay competitive - we waited much too long to update. (link)
     
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  10. 15 Feb (Glenn Palm)

    We are bringing more servers on - tricky part is load balancing, but the team is on it, faster performance is expected soon. (link)
     
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  11. 15 Feb (Glenn Palm) - Progress Report Thread

    Quick Update on 2/15 almost midnight EST.
    1. Speed throughout the site should be improving steadily as more servers are brought on to handle increasing traffic and load. All search engines are re-crawling the site so that does tend to spike load when that occurs, but again, shouldn't be an issue as more hardware is brought online.
    2. Hidden Folders - we have a v1 solution released in your Member Center called "My Library" (see attached) - it will get some additional polish in the coming days/weeks but it tested functional and we wanted to get something out sooner than later.
    3. Tracking Comments is in QA now hope to release something on that within the next 24-48 hours - Update Check in "MyProfile" and "Your Activity" (see above for screenshot)
    4. Log In/ Log Out - should also have seen some improvements. Some of you may have expectations of staying logged in forever, but our Dev crew says that is not recommended, but instead use the browser function auto fill found in most modern day browsers.
    5. Member Center - speed, galleries, sorting are all on the table. They have not been able to get to this one yet, we know how important it is, but we had to focus on a few but this is coming soon.
    Our dev crew have been working very hard pre-release and post release. Any and all positive comments are appreciated, meaningful critique is also appreciated - they are working hard for the community so if you have to take out your frustrations on anyone, take them out on me. Lastly I would like to thank Leslie Reid for working on "how to" manuals as well as Jeff, Shun, William plus the other moderators in our community to keep this moving forward. I'd also like to thank everyone that has helped report bugs they notice in Leslie's thread. We are watching those threads closely and adding to our board internally to replicate and verify they are bugs to track. All bugs are important, but we have to prioritize as best we can but we will get to them. PS. BTW - The *&^% Rich Text Editor is very on our list as well too trust me.
    (link)
     
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  12. 20 Feb (Glenn Palm)

    Tracking comments feature is now found in My Portfolio>Your Activity (link)
     
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  13. 21 Feb (Glenn Palm) - Progress Report 2/21

    Hello All - I've been updating prior updates with developments but here is the latest from our dev team:

    1. Speed throughout the site should be improving steadily as more servers are brought on to handle increasing traffic and load. All search engines are re-crawling the site so that does tend to spike load when that occurs, but again, shouldn't be an issue as more hardware is brought online. - Update: (Continues 2/21)
    2. Hidden Folders - we have a v1 solution released in your Member Center called "My Library" (see attached) - it will get some additional polish in the coming days/weeks but it tested functional and we wanted to get something out sooner than later. Update (2/21)- Lightbox has been added so you can view full image within your Member Center (without doing the back and forth of going to the photo detail page URL). This is also being added to MyPortfolio>Photos later today.
    3. Tracking Comments is in QA now hope to release something on that within the next 24-48 hours - Update: Check in "MyProfile" and "Your Activity" for tracking comments on photo both comments made on other photos and comments made on your photos.
    4. Log In/ Log Out - should also have seen some improvements. Some of you may have expectations of staying logged in forever, but our Dev crew says that is not recommended, but instead use the browser function auto fill found in most modern day browsers.
    5. Member Center - speed, galleries, sorting are all on the table. They have not been able to get to this one yet, we know how important it is, but we had to focus on a few but this is coming soon. Update: (Continues 2/21)
    6. Other Notable Updates (coming soon):
      • Search within the forums is being upgraded.
      • Sort bar is being added to public galleries.
      • Breadcrumb Navigation is being added to photo landing pages
      • Profile Page - upgrade (minimize/expand profile section)
      • "Get Link" button added to galleries and photos. - done.
      • Lightbox Upgrade: subtle < > arrows either side of photo, to navigate within a gallery using only the lightbox.
    (link)
     
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  14. 21 Feb (Glenn Palm)

    [Why "admiring" an image doesn't immediately increment the score on the photo:] All photos are re-indexed every few hours to lighten the load, so scores will not increase immediately - however will do so once re-indexed. (link)
     
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  15. 21 Feb (Glenn Palm)

    Equipment lists are in our database and will be provided to all that used that function - the use of this function was discontinued from v1 due to the fact so few people used it. As soon as the dev team can, they will be making that information available to those that are "active users" that are also in need of this information. (link)
     
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  16. 22 Feb (Glenn Palm)

    To me this is a reboot. I would agree - photo.net needed an update 10 years ago (how could i not!)....but it didn't get one, the parent company didn't want to invest in it until recently and even then we had to go through some bad developers to make traction. Trust me, getting this far wasn't easy. Photo.net was one of the first in its space (online photography community), but slow (an understatement) to adapt and change with the times - fully agreed. Is an upgrade in photo presentation and an upgrade in forum functionality (IMHO) and streamlined navigation on a site that is now largely responsive moving in the right direction? - I think so, and so do many others. Many that are in the negative camp, only wanted 1.0 to "stay as it was " because it was familiar to them but in the next breath wanted change. More and more people treated it kind of like driving their classic car - they'd do it on Sundays, maybe, if the mood struck them, but the traffic trends showed that people were relying on it less and less for dependable community. Now over those 10 years since we "needed a redesign"- the space blew up, so there were many other shiny sites to explore. Wants and needs change in time - nothing is static with the internet (well very little - photo.net v1 was a rare case). The analogy made in the first few exchanges this thread was accurate - then the conversation seems to quickly veer into bug talk towards the middle and end - many of the bugs have already been address and organized in other threads but you will get the point. In short, we moved from a technological antique in v1 - into something that can be supported by programmers and developers of todays skill set. It wasn't easy and we're not done yet - I believe this is a never ending journey and there is a reason why they call it a "pursuit of perfection" - its because it is never attained. We appreciate your support. BTW - check out the lightbox within galleries - lower right hand side < > arrows for navigation within galleries. Good Read for developers today: "shipping beats perfection" - by Ben Kamens VP of Engineering at Khan Academy.
    (link)
     
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  17. 23 Feb (Glenn Palm)

    the old site "v1" was from the 1990s (yes...the 1990s), was on AOL server and programmed in TCL - the equivalent to an antique where there is 1 mechanic in the world that could have improved it and maintained it. Not an ideal situation, it wasn't a question of IF but WHEN. Updating to new platform allows for all kinds of possibilities to connect with new audiences but - building on antique technology foundation is not something any owner of photo.net would want to do. It appears you are predominantly a forum user based on your usage on your profile page - this forum software is solid and it is not proprietary - it will go through regular upgrades as new versions are brought online by Xenforo, something v1 did not have going for it - it was rare that anything new was done with the v1 forums and it was always a custom build. (link)

    v1 was in todays day and age, old technology that could not be maintained and supported any longer with todays workforce - we kept it going as long as we reasonably could. (link)

    Making hidden folders something that can be made public is on our list of things to do and its very close - its being tested now. (link)


     
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  18. 23 Feb (Glenn Palm) - Progress Report 2/23

    Hello All - I had been updating the 2/21 post, when applicable but here is the latest from our dev team:

    • Speed: (Continues 2/23)
    • Hidden Folders - Can be found in My Portfolio>MyLibrary
      • My Library has also been upgraded to include the Lightbox to view your photo without having to leave MyPortfolio.
    • Tracking Comments - My Portfolio>Your Activity is updated to reflect comments made in chronological order.
    • Log In/ Log Out - (Continues 2/23)
    • Member Center - speed and presentation improvements. Update: (Continues 2/23)
    • Other Notable Updates (Live now or coming soon):
    • Live: Gallery Navigation via Lightbox Upgrade: click on any photo landing page and a our Lightbox will render the photo, notice in lower right hand corner you will see (click here to see example gallery) of a beautiful gallery with the Gallery Lightbox navigation.
    • Live: "Get Link" button added to galleries and photos.
    • Live: Photo comments EDIT (10 minute window to edit your comments)
    • Coming soon: Search within the forums is being upgraded.
    • Coming soon: Sort bar is being added to public galleries.
    • Coming soon: Breadcrumb Navigation is being added to photo landing pages
    • Coming soon: Profile Page - upgrade (minimize/expand profile section)
    (link)
     
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  19. 23 Feb (Glenn Palm)

    paragraph breaks: still working on it with xenforo - however in the meantime you can create breaks with the bullet function as I have been with the updates. Rough, I know, but effective for now. (link)
     
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  20. 28 Feb (Glenn Palm)

    As of now galleries are sorted by most recent upload first - more sorting functionalities will be added soon its being tested now, both to those viewing galleries and within the member center. (link)
     
    Last edited: Mar 16, 2017
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