Author Topic: Photobucket & Third Party Hosting.  (Read 3104 times)

Offline spuddevans

  • Global Moderator
  • Hero Member
  • *****
  • Posts: 1590
  • Country: 00
  • Portadown, Northern Ireland
    • My Photo website
Re: Photobucket & Third Party Hosting.
« Reply #25 on: July 01, 2017, 05:04:59 PM »
If members want another option for personal photo hosting, I can recommend smugmug.com , I've been using them for about 7-8 years for my photography hobby. They have 3 or 4 levels starting from $3.99 per month, and even the lowest level has unlimited photo uploads and unlimited photo bandwidth for sharing and linking on forums.

Here's a referral link https://secure.smugmug.com/signup?Coupon=3MDk82MhINcPg (in the interests of openness, I get a small credit towards my next year's bill if anyone uses it, but even without it I would still recommend smugmug)

Tim
Measure with a micrometer, mark with chalk, cut with an axe  -  MI0TME

Offline Brass_Machine

  • Administrator
  • Hero Member
  • *****
  • Posts: 5197
  • Country: us
Re: Photobucket & Third Party Hosting.
« Reply #26 on: July 04, 2017, 03:39:16 PM »
Hey guys,

This was just pointed out to me by Andrew. I am on my way out the door but will read it in it's entirety. I am sure we will come up with something  :mmr:

Eric
Science is fun.

We're all mad here. I'm mad. You're mad.

Offline Brass_Machine

  • Administrator
  • Hero Member
  • *****
  • Posts: 5197
  • Country: us
Re: Photobucket & Third Party Hosting.
« Reply #27 on: July 04, 2017, 07:24:54 PM »
So... I have been thinking about upgrading our hosting service anyway. This package is a few years old, so it is not as up to date.

Now, I know there are cheaper hosting services out there. However, I do not like the "shared" web hosting model. I have done it before... I have seen other sites who do it now... I don't like the down time associated with it. I prefer a dedicated web host, whether virtual or physical. Currently, MM is hosted on a dedicated Virtual Host. It isn't a low end package either. Again, I like the stability.

I can move it over to a dedicated physical server for an additional $20 a month (on top of what I pay now) and get 1TB of storage.

I think I am going to do that.

Eric
Science is fun.

We're all mad here. I'm mad. You're mad.

Offline vtsteam

  • Global Moderator
  • Hero Member
  • *****
  • Posts: 4862
  • Country: us
  • Republic of Vermont
    • www. sredmond.com
Re: Photobucket & Third Party Hosting.
« Reply #28 on: July 04, 2017, 10:32:52 PM »
And I for one have already started migrating my hot linked in-line photos off of Photobucket and onto a private host. And updating my post links here. I hope to do that gradually for all my past forum photos before Photobucket pulls the plug on me, if they do. If not,I have all my photobucket albums downloaded and can do it anyway.. Should be seamless.
I love it when a Plan B comes together!
Steve
www.sredmond.com

Offline awemawson

  • Global Moderator
  • Hero Member
  • *****
  • Posts: 5554
  • Country: gb
  • East Sussex, UK
Re: Photobucket & Third Party Hosting.
« Reply #29 on: July 05, 2017, 02:04:48 AM »
Eric I for one am happy to help towards extra costs, and I'm sure that's true of a fair few others.

Steve, although it's good that you are able (as a moderator) to upgrade your links to point to another source, don't forget that the majority of Madmodders cannot alter a post after a short period has elapsed following posting, so that is not an option for many.

Andrew Mawson
East Sussex

Offline AdeV

  • Madmodder Committee
  • Hero Member
  • *****
  • Posts: 1981
  • Country: gb
Re: Photobucket & Third Party Hosting.
« Reply #30 on: July 05, 2017, 04:47:58 AM »
I can move it over to a dedicated physical server for an additional $20 a month (on top of what I pay now) and get 1TB of storage.

Before you go the physical route.... I am sure you've already thought of these, but having recent experience of both:

 - Computer hardware, as you know, goes obsolete extremely quickly. What seems like a monster machine now, will be mainstream in 2 years time, and a slowcoach in 4.
 - That's assuming it even gets to be that old... Built-in obsolescence is likely to kill at least one component in that 4 year time period, and if it's the hard-disk, then as you know, pain all round.
 - OS upgrades are a nightmare, especially Linux. And even an LTS system only has a 5-10 year lifetime...

Of course, there are advantages to having a physical machine: You'll never be throttled within the box itself, you can pretty much guarantee you get 100% of the resources to yourself, and so on.

But IMHO, a high-end VM provider has more advantages than disadvantages compared to a physical server. e.g. I recently needed to upgrade my Linode machine, as it was getting low on resource. An extra $10/month, 5 minutes downtime, and it was back up and running on the same IP address, but now with twice as much CPU, memory & disk space... Impossible with a physical machine!

Anyway, just my 2 cents.
Cheers!
Ade.
--
Location: Wallasey, Merseyside. A long way from anywhere.
Or: Zhengzhou, China. An even longer way from anywhere...
Skype: adev73

Offline vtsteam

  • Global Moderator
  • Hero Member
  • *****
  • Posts: 4862
  • Country: us
  • Republic of Vermont
    • www. sredmond.com
Re: Photobucket & Third Party Hosting.
« Reply #31 on: July 05, 2017, 07:54:14 AM »
Eric I for one am happy to help towards extra costs, and I'm sure that's true of a fair few others.

Steve, although it's good that you are able (as a moderator) to upgrade your links to point to another source, don't forget that the majority of Madmodders cannot alter a post after a short period has elapsed following posting, so that is not an option for many.

Sorry to hear that, I wasn't aware of that. Preventing users from editing their posts is not a software feature that I think is beneficial.
I love it when a Plan B comes together!
Steve
www.sredmond.com

Offline Brass_Machine

  • Administrator
  • Hero Member
  • *****
  • Posts: 5197
  • Country: us
Re: Photobucket & Third Party Hosting.
« Reply #32 on: July 05, 2017, 10:11:57 AM »
Eric I for one am happy to help towards extra costs, and I'm sure that's true of a fair few others.

Steve, although it's good that you are able (as a moderator) to upgrade your links to point to another source, don't forget that the majority of Madmodders cannot alter a post after a short period has elapsed following posting, so that is not an option for many.

Sorry to hear that, I wasn't aware of that. Preventing users from editing their posts is not a software feature that I think is beneficial.

We did that because we had a user quit the forum and delete every single post they had... thus rendering a lot of threads useless.
Science is fun.

We're all mad here. I'm mad. You're mad.

Offline Brass_Machine

  • Administrator
  • Hero Member
  • *****
  • Posts: 5197
  • Country: us
Re: Photobucket & Third Party Hosting.
« Reply #33 on: July 05, 2017, 10:21:58 AM »
I can move it over to a dedicated physical server for an additional $20 a month (on top of what I pay now) and get 1TB of storage.

Before you go the physical route.... I am sure you've already thought of these, but having recent experience of both:

 - Computer hardware, as you know, goes obsolete extremely quickly. What seems like a monster machine now, will be mainstream in 2 years time, and a slowcoach in 4.
 - That's assuming it even gets to be that old... Built-in obsolescence is likely to kill at least one component in that 4 year time period, and if it's the hard-disk, then as you know, pain all round.
 - OS upgrades are a nightmare, especially Linux. And even an LTS system only has a 5-10 year lifetime...

Of course, there are advantages to having a physical machine: You'll never be throttled within the box itself, you can pretty much guarantee you get 100% of the resources to yourself, and so on.

But IMHO, a high-end VM provider has more advantages than disadvantages compared to a physical server. e.g. I recently needed to upgrade my Linode machine, as it was getting low on resource. An extra $10/month, 5 minutes downtime, and it was back up and running on the same IP address, but now with twice as much CPU, memory & disk space... Impossible with a physical machine!

Anyway, just my 2 cents.

If I were to own the physical machine, I agree. You have some good points. But, considering we are only leasing the machine, upgrading or migrating to a new host is fairly easy when the old host becomes obsolete. Fortunately most servers these days have a shelf life of at least 5 years. And since we won't own it, repairs/SLAs are the responsibility of the hosting service.

I have to compare the cost of adding storage to the VM as to the cost of the physical machine.

The good thing is, this is what I do for a living.

Eric

Science is fun.

We're all mad here. I'm mad. You're mad.

Offline vtsteam

  • Global Moderator
  • Hero Member
  • *****
  • Posts: 4862
  • Country: us
  • Republic of Vermont
    • www. sredmond.com
Re: Photobucket & Third Party Hosting.
« Reply #34 on: July 05, 2017, 03:32:50 PM »
Eric I for one am happy to help towards extra costs, and I'm sure that's true of a fair few others.

Steve, although it's good that you are able (as a moderator) to upgrade your links to point to another source, don't forget that the majority of Madmodders cannot alter a post after a short period has elapsed following posting, so that is not an option for many.

Sorry to hear that, I wasn't aware of that. Preventing users from editing their posts is not a software feature that I think is beneficial.

We did that because we had a user quit the forum and delete every single post they had... thus rendering a lot of threads useless.

That happens occasionally on fora, but I think the loss of old posts by a person who does not want to remain in the community is not an unsustainable loss. New threads will arise, in fact should arise to replace the old ones in a form of natural attrition and progression. Fora themselves can get old and stale if they depend too much on past threads.

I've seen a rise elsewhere of irritated responses like "already been done!", "so bored with the same old projects", "why not do it like Fred did?" "yet another buttonhook?"  "I already did that in 2007" etc.

I think a forum is healthy when new projects and new enthusiasm aren't dampened by past acievements. Magazines at their height were a form that depended on disposal of past issues so they could continue and address new readers in a fresh manner.

By and large most people don't delete their threads. They might delete a post where they got into an argument, after time is passed and they reflect cooler heads. That's a good thing. I don't think archiving old disagreements serves anyone.

And there are many positive reasons why posts should be edited -- a change in approach, improvement in method, a safety concern, a realization you want to clarify an earlier explanation, or as is happening now, with the Photobucket issue the need to change an old or dead link or update a photo hot link.

Finally, I believe a forum belongs to its owner, but user content belongs to its users. To me that's fundamental. I think all of the positives about being able to edit posts far outweigh the negatives of the loss of a few disgruntled user's posts. If that's the way someone feels, why would a forum really want them in there anyway? let go. Everyone is replaceable. New people and new ideas and projects are a good thing.

Life ebbs and flows. There are losses and gains in everything.
I love it when a Plan B comes together!
Steve
www.sredmond.com

Offline Stilldrillin

  • Global Moderator
  • Hero Member
  • *****
  • Posts: 4871
  • Country: gb
  • Staveley, Derbyshire. England.
Re: Photobucket & Third Party Hosting.
« Reply #35 on: July 07, 2017, 05:05:47 PM »
The axe dropped overnight.......

Eleven year's work, and 2,389 pics.... Covering 76+ projects, spread over at least, 6 forums......

I haven't the heart to try to rebuild the lost links.

I intend to carry on, with Postimage.org.

David.
David.

Still drilling holes... Sometimes, in the right place!

Still modifying bits of metal... Occasionally, making an improvement!

Offline Brass_Machine

  • Administrator
  • Hero Member
  • *****
  • Posts: 5197
  • Country: us
Re: Photobucket & Third Party Hosting.
« Reply #36 on: July 08, 2017, 01:37:36 AM »
The axe dropped overnight.......

Eleven year's work, and 2,389 pics.... Covering 76+ projects, spread over at least, 6 forums......

I haven't the heart to try to rebuild the lost links.

I intend to carry on, with Postimage.org.

David.

Ughh... Not cool on their part. Totally blows...
Science is fun.

We're all mad here. I'm mad. You're mad.

Offline vtsteam

  • Global Moderator
  • Hero Member
  • *****
  • Posts: 4862
  • Country: us
  • Republic of Vermont
    • www. sredmond.com
Re: Photobucket & Third Party Hosting.
« Reply #37 on: July 08, 2017, 10:22:02 AM »
David, and others, don't give up hope! It's still possible for you to download your Albums from Photobucket intact. Download each album individually to maintain the structure. Not all in one zip.

Then when alternative host(s) are chosen, place those back up at the host in the same relative structure (with the same album names). It will be helpful if you jot down a directory map of your albums as they currently exist on PB, if there's any complexity to it. Note that albums download as zip files, but not named as they were online. The map will he;p you recall album names and positions.

It should be possible for us to write a script to globally change the Photobucket domain for the hot-links in a user's MadModder forum threads to whatever host he/she chooses. Since the directory structure is maintained, and the names of the photos haven't changed, only the domain name in the link string needs to be edited. Basically a find-and-replace function.

Possibly there is already a  Simple Machines script for that. If not, I don't doubt there will be, considering the number of fora affected out there. The Simple machines forum could be a good resource for suggesting it as a feature if it doesn't exist already..

And finally, if not, surely we have the talent in members here to write a simple find and replace script. How about that as a joint project/mod-up?
I love it when a Plan B comes together!
Steve
www.sredmond.com

Offline vtsteam

  • Global Moderator
  • Hero Member
  • *****
  • Posts: 4862
  • Country: us
  • Republic of Vermont
    • www. sredmond.com
Re: Photobucket & Third Party Hosting.
« Reply #38 on: July 08, 2017, 10:37:14 AM »
Script notes:

Inputs:

Username
Find string
Replace string

It should allow single instance search and replace, and auto search and replace. This should be a user implemented function, and restricted to that user's posts.

To speed it up, probably have it search for the IMG tag first before doing a sub search for the string.

Most photobucket image links reference a particular named server, so the input for the search string is necessary.

A typical photobucket photo link looks like this:

"http://i786.photobucket.com/albums/yy150/vtsteam/vtsteam/Lathe/HeadstockSlide6.jpg"

if we auto-searched on "i786.photobucket.com/albums/yy150/vtsteam"

and replaced with:

"MyNewServer.com" we would get:

"http://MyNewServer.com/vtsteam/Lathe/HeadstockSlide6.jpg" as the new link.
I love it when a Plan B comes together!
Steve
www.sredmond.com

Offline sparky961

  • Hero Member
  • *****
  • Posts: 802
  • Country: ca
Re: Photobucket & Third Party Hosting.
« Reply #39 on: July 08, 2017, 12:21:57 PM »
What's to prevent the same problem with the "next best" image hosting platform?  The business plan of many web startups involves offering "free" services to get people hooked, then slowly taking away functions and offering paid packages to restore that functionality.  It sucks, but that's the way of capitalism and commerce.

I've been using Google Drive for a long time now when I include images inline.  There isn't a great way to automatically generate the links, but it isn't too difficult to manually generate a few for a forum post.  Sure, it's another online service that could change their terms and services at any time but I think the powerhouse Google has a lot more at stake than PhotoBucket or similar small players.  If you look at it from purely a revenue standpoint, Google doesn't make money (or, "much", that I'm aware of) from individuals using their web services.  Their business is based on ad revenue, big data sales, and hardware.  I doubt they care whether you embed a link in a forum or send someone to an external site to view the pictures.  You can BET that they're tracking that information and they've put together a nice little portfolio on you and what sorts of web sites your images or files are being used with or linked from (and from where in the world, on what device, what you were wearing, and what you had for lunch that day....).  THAT is what they most likely care about.  As long as you aren't doing anything illegal or confidential, it's a decent trade off.

Just make sure you also support ad blockers to keep 'em honest and working hard. ;)

I think the best solution is to promote image storage with the forum itself.  Or, if technically feasible, have the server maintain a cache of externally-linked images and files to prevent dead links in the future.  Even if it couldn't detect the difference between a user's picture and a default "Your Picture Can't be Displayed" picture, there could at least be a switch for a thread to cause the server to use the cached version rather than the live-linked one.  A decision would need to be made on whether the server caches it one time initially, or updates it regularly but this would be costly and risk losing the original.  Maybe it's more trouble than it's worth, but it has the potential to make the problem go away and allow users to retain their own image archive somewhere else if anything catastrophic happens with the forum.

Offline awemawson

  • Global Moderator
  • Hero Member
  • *****
  • Posts: 5554
  • Country: gb
  • East Sussex, UK
Re: Photobucket & Third Party Hosting.
« Reply #40 on: July 08, 2017, 12:26:31 PM »
"I think the best solution is to promote images storage with the forum itself."

Well said that man - Here here !
Andrew Mawson
East Sussex

Offline AdeV

  • Madmodder Committee
  • Hero Member
  • *****
  • Posts: 1981
  • Country: gb
Re: Photobucket & Third Party Hosting.
« Reply #41 on: July 08, 2017, 01:59:18 PM »
"I think the best solution is to promote images storage with the forum itself."

Well said that man - Here here !

Whilst that is, indeed, the best option for guaranteeing that photos stay with their posts in any given forum, we should recognise that there ARE many people (including me, sometimes, if I can be bothered) who host elsewhere and link in. e.g. people who post the same photos on multiple forums; those who want an easy way to put their pictures "in line" with text, and those who wish to retain control of who can/cannot see their pictures (e.g. Bogs, and whilst we may be unhappy that all his old posts are now pictureless, there's SFA we can do about it too...

ANYWAY... what I'm getting around to is this: We shouldn't abandon PB users who wish to migrate, simply because we prefer pictures to be hosted on the forum... There's no reason why we can't do what VTSteam (apologies, I forget your real name just now) suggests AS WELL as encouraging people to store pics in the forum.

From a tech POV it's pretty easy too, just a SQL query on the database. I could write a stored proc to do the job from the command line. It wouldn't surprise me, though, if someone isn't already writing a plug-in for SMF to do the job!
Cheers!
Ade.
--
Location: Wallasey, Merseyside. A long way from anywhere.
Or: Zhengzhou, China. An even longer way from anywhere...
Skype: adev73

Offline vtsteam

  • Global Moderator
  • Hero Member
  • *****
  • Posts: 4862
  • Country: us
  • Republic of Vermont
    • www. sredmond.com
Re: Photobucket & Third Party Hosting.
« Reply #42 on: July 08, 2017, 04:01:20 PM »
Andrew, I for one am not going to do that, okay? What's "best" for you isn't best for everybody.

Besides, for those who want to migrate their photos to forum storage from Photobucket, the same script/SQL query could be written to do that as well, so, lets not make the script suggestion into a problem. Choice is a good thing.

Adev, sounds great, if that's a solution that Eric wants to use to resolve the issue on MM.

Incidentally, my photo links were just dropped by Photobucket too. I had downloaded my albums already, and now I'm in the process of removing all of my content from Photobucket and deleting my membership account there.

My lathe building thread has one final remaining photo visible -- it was a test to see if my own hosting would work for this forum and it does.

BTW, Sparky, as I mentioned earlier, when downloading albums from PhotoBucket I noticed the download originated from a Google server, not Photobucket. That says something to me about their involvement in this debacle.

It will be very interesting to see if Google's purchase, Youtube, goes the same way some day in the future. Do we plan on locally storing and serving videos on the forum, too?

ps. Ironic ......Photobucket still provides a hot link for any photo you upload so you can paste it inline somewhere else. Yet doing that "breaks your user agreement". Linking images was encouraged from the start.

Ya know if PB had said something reasonable -- like a $30/yr fee, maybe people could understand, but nearly $400/yr and shutting down all links, with a payment message? Let's coin a new term for that behavior: ransom linking.



 
« Last Edit: July 08, 2017, 04:31:25 PM by vtsteam »
I love it when a Plan B comes together!
Steve
www.sredmond.com

Offline awemawson

  • Global Moderator
  • Hero Member
  • *****
  • Posts: 5554
  • Country: gb
  • East Sussex, UK
Re: Photobucket & Third Party Hosting.
« Reply #43 on: July 08, 2017, 06:05:25 PM »
I keep the original of my photos at whatever resolution the camera takes them, on my local drives, but upload a reduced resolution version (640 x 480 pixels)  to whatever forum I am contributing.

I don't see any problem with others putting their photos wherever they choose - photobucket or any other hosting site - but if they want to ensure the integrity of the threads they participate in for the future, then having the photo on the specific forum is really the only way.

I suppose posting a link is marginally faster than uploading a picture, and if one is on a very slow 'wet string' connection then this may be significant, but now-a-days this is probably fairly unusual as faster links become more common.

Andrew Mawson
East Sussex

Offline vtsteam

  • Global Moderator
  • Hero Member
  • *****
  • Posts: 4862
  • Country: us
  • Republic of Vermont
    • www. sredmond.com
Re: Photobucket & Third Party Hosting.
« Reply #44 on: July 08, 2017, 06:49:17 PM »
I post images large enough to show the details I want, in line often with the text explaining them, and separating them. They become part of an exposition, just like in a book or magazine.

I don't like a bunch of tiny thumbnails lumped at the end of my post. More often than not I don't even bother to open those in other people's threads if I judge there is nothing specifically in the detail I need to see. With my connection there is signifigant download time for every one. And because half the time I open thumbnails because I can't even make out in the thumbnail what it is. Often times it wasn't worth it, which is frustrating.

There are many more reasons for posting links inline not the least of which is control of your own images. It's not just a matter of saving uploading time to a forum.
I love it when a Plan B comes together!
Steve
www.sredmond.com

Offline sparky961

  • Hero Member
  • *****
  • Posts: 802
  • Country: ca
Re: Photobucket & Third Party Hosting.
« Reply #45 on: July 08, 2017, 07:21:31 PM »
I don't like a bunch of tiny thumbnails lumped at the end of my post.

There are many more reasons for posting links inline not the least of which is control of your own images.

I agree on both counts, but these can be mostly resolved if the operator of a forum is able and interested in implementing the required changes.

Plenty of forums allow for the uploading of images and and inclusion inline wherever you please.  I don't know if this would be an option for Simple Machines and will leave that up to others to sort out.  Control of your images is somewhat more difficult. 

If you think that a private image hosting company gives you more control than this (or other) online platforms, we only have to look at the present situation to see the error in reasoning.  Once you put an image online, consider it irreversibly public and out of your control.  It has already been scanned, cached, scraped, and/or stored so many different places that it would still be somewhere if you deleted it five minutes after uploading and making public.  So the ability to remove a picture entirely is impossible.  Anyone could easily implement photo link caching as I've described that would prevent you from doing exactly what PhotoBucket has now done.  So I'm left wondering exactly what sort of control you're wanting to exercise, and what kind of control you think you have.  The way I look at it, I only have "control" over the files that are stored on my own computer.  And even that is tenuous when you consider some of the ransomware stuff that's going around these days.

The bigger issue (already mentioned but deserves repeating) is retaining the integrity of posts, including the images whether they're inline or not.  Forum posts lose a lot of their value and context without the images.  I get a lot of value from online forums in many disciplines, some being many years old but still relevant.  I think it's one of the few things that's still good about the Internet.  When I see posts with broken links and missing images, I think it's a shame that no one else can benefit from the information that was once there.

The problem is even bigger, I suspect, for a forum owner/operator, as their user base is related to the content on the site.  Without quality content existing users frequent the site less often and it attracts fewer new users.

Offline vtsteam

  • Global Moderator
  • Hero Member
  • *****
  • Posts: 4862
  • Country: us
  • Republic of Vermont
    • www. sredmond.com
Re: Photobucket & Third Party Hosting.
« Reply #46 on: July 08, 2017, 09:48:44 PM »
Sparky, I really don't feel like arguing the point any further. You are free to do what you want. I choose to host my own images from now on.
I love it when a Plan B comes together!
Steve
www.sredmond.com

Offline sparky961

  • Hero Member
  • *****
  • Posts: 802
  • Country: ca
Re: Photobucket & Third Party Hosting.
« Reply #47 on: July 08, 2017, 10:25:03 PM »
Sparky, I really don't feel like arguing the point any further. You are free to do what you want. I choose to host my own images from now on.

I apologize if it seemed argumentative.  This was not my intention.

I'm sure we can at least agree that the whole thing really sucks.

Offline vtsteam

  • Global Moderator
  • Hero Member
  • *****
  • Posts: 4862
  • Country: us
  • Republic of Vermont
    • www. sredmond.com
Re: Photobucket & Third Party Hosting.
« Reply #48 on: July 08, 2017, 10:27:50 PM »
Plus 1 on that Sparky!  :beer:
I love it when a Plan B comes together!
Steve
www.sredmond.com

Offline philf

  • Hero Member
  • *****
  • Posts: 794
  • Country: gb
Re: Photobucket & Third Party Hosting.
« Reply #49 on: July 12, 2017, 06:45:11 PM »
I have just received the dreaded email from Photobucket saying that I need to upgrade for $399 for 12 months. There's absolutely no chance of me doing that!  :(

What's the latest thinking on where to host the pictures?

There is a method of generating links to photos on my Google Drive but there's no saying that this will work forever.

Once they're relocated can users be granted permission to edit the address of photos in their posts?

As yet my photos are still showing but I'm sure they'll soon disappear.

Phil.
Phil Fern
Location: Marple, Cheshire