Showcase Improvements

Ian

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I've made this thread to get feedback on the existing showcase section and things we can do to improve it :).

Speed of image loading has been mentioned a few times, so I'm looking into buying some software that will resize and optimise the images that have been uploaded to make things much faster. I've asked the software developer some questions about how it works, but if a couple of features are added that work with the plugins we're using here then I may go for it and see if it improves things.

I'd be interested to hear what you think, as I think the showcase section could be extremely popular.
 
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I would like to see in the image gallery have arrows for next and back instead of clicking on each picture. You have on the arrows on the film strip but not for the main viewing area.
 
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JBtheExplorer

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I'm not sure what you can and can't do with it, but I'd like to see the showcase titles a little cleaned up if possible. For instance, instead of being able to add any title like it is now, it would instead default to my username and also which type of pond I have, which could come from a selection list with options like "Goldfish Pond", "Wildlife Pond", "Koi Pond", & "Garden Pond".

For example, instead of being called "JB's Pond" like it is now, it would be called "JBtheExplorer's Goldfish Pond" or "JBtheExplorer's Garden Pond" depending on which option I think fits better. I'm using my own as an example, but it would really be great for finding other users' showcases. Right now there are a lot of different titles and its not too bad, but can get confusing. If I randomly pick out a forum member such as... tbendl, and I want to see her showcase, it can be hard to find in the list with a title like "The little hole that could"

I also hope the pond showcase becomes more popular. I'd like every forum member to have one and share everything from how they built it to what kind of plants they have.
 
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I would like it if a person with a showcase had an option of linking directly to a specific picture in their showcase if, for example, there was a discussion about a specific piece of equipment or a construction method - instead of posting the same picture numerous times.
I would also like to be able to condense my pond thread into a more organized format, like the showcase.
 

JBtheExplorer

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I would like it if a person with a showcase had an option of linking directly to a specific picture in their showcase
What I do is right click on the image, click "copy image URL" and paste it in the Image URL option of a post.
 
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I don't have any issues with images loading, but I agree that navigation could be improved. I really need to work on my showcase - it's pretty lame!

But I LOVE this site. I have learned so much and seen so many great ideas! Thanks to all who are better at sharing than I am!
 

Ian

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Thanks for the feedback, I'm going to be working on this over the coming weeks :). I'm not sure I can restrict the showcase titles very easily, but I've added a "showcase ponds" link to the info area under the username on each post - this should make it easier to find a members pond :D.

It sounds like the gallery part needs the most improvement, so that's where I'll start work :D.
 

addy1

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I need time...................can you get me some of that? I started one, just have not gotten around to working on it.
 

JBtheExplorer

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I'm not sure I can restrict the showcase titles very easily, but I've added a "showcase ponds" link to the info area under the username on each post - this should make it easier to find a members pond :D.

Thank you! I like that a lot.
 
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Ian

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I've just finished writing a script to re-compress images on the forum, so it's running now and should mean that the showcase (and other areas of the site) are faster for those that were having problems. There's still a way to go for some of the images, but it's a good start for now until I get to the next phase :).
 
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I tried viewing 2 showcase items - RobAmy and Ozarksguy.
RobAmy's loaded all the pictures at once and took quite a while but Ozarksguy only loaded 1 picture and had a filmstrip that you could click on to see more pictures.
I'm still unsure as to how to really navigate the whole showcase area. I started by clicking on the Showcase tab at the top of the main GPF forum window.
Maybe it's just the design of the overall forum software.
 

Ian

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I tried viewing 2 showcase items - RobAmy and Ozarksguy.
RobAmy's loaded all the pictures at once and took quite a while but Ozarksguy only loaded 1 picture and had a filmstrip that you could click on to see more pictures.
I'm still unsure as to how to really navigate the whole showcase area. I started by clicking on the Showcase tab at the top of the main GPF forum window.
Maybe it's just the design of the overall forum software.
Yeah, that's just different ways that each member have listed their entries. RobAmy has also linked to external images and attachment which have then all been inserted to the showcase editor, whereas Ozarksguy has uploaded them to the gallery so they all display in a filmstrip (which can be clicked on). The latter is the way I had envisaged things working, as it makes it lighter to load. If @RobAmy doesn't mind then I could edit out the list of images so that it appears in the slider? When the showcase was first added the gallery appeared on a separate page, so I can see why they would have been inserted on to the first page manually :).
 

JBtheExplorer

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For me, the opposite has been true - - External images load lightning fast; always loaded as soon as the page is, but images that are in the filmstrip gallery load slower, sometimes considerably slower.

I also recently inserted an image from the gallery to my Overview page, but noticed it was taking a long time for the image to load when I went onto my Overview page, so I went and took the link I had from a photo storage site and its worked.

I think RobAmy's has been slower since those videos were added. Any page that has more than two videos tends to slow loading way down for me.
 

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I've just had a look at your showcase and I think I've found the problem :). It looks like your files were uploaded as PNG files, which aren't able to compress photos as well as JPG files - plus the forum software can't do it's own magic on anything other than JPG to compress them further. I'll work on fixing this today/tomorrow for your showcase and then I'm sure it will work fine :D.

I'll post back once I've converted them and it should be much faster then. :D

If you're able to upload as JPG files in future that would be a huge help, as the forum software can't to the conversion like dedicated photo sites can - they'll load so much faster than way.
 
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JBtheExplorer

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Sorry for the late response. Yes, it does seem to be working quicker now

I use png because they upload quicker for me, but I have been using jpg a lot more lately, so I'll try to keep that in mind.
 
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Hi Ian, sorry a bit late. You can do whatever you feel is better for my showcase. I still think a video tab would be nice. Maybe tabs that we can name ourselves like, flowers by the pond, pets by the pond, pond videos, etc. I feel the galley strip can get to long to sit and view all at one time, so if someone only wants to see my construction then maybe a tab for that, a tab for fish etc.
 
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