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How should pictures be added to the database?
Post pictures only after the background has been edited 41%  41%  [ 14 ]
Post pictures directly, I don't care about the background 29%  29%  [ 10 ]
Post pictures directly, a moderator should edit them later 29%  29%  [ 10 ]
Total votes : 34
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 Post subject: Poll: How should pictures be added to the database?
PostPosted: Sun Sep 13, 2009 3:56 pm 
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Since nobody seems to have the time or willpower to edit pictures (remove the background) before they are added to the database, we are seeing more and more new puzzles come out which are never added to the database, and the backlog is growing rapidly.

I would therefore like to run this poll, to see whether people really value the blank white background over completeness of the database.

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 Post subject: Re: Poll: How should pictures be added to the database?
PostPosted: Sun Sep 13, 2009 4:14 pm 
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definitely people should be able to add them directly,(best quality photos that the person can provide)
I don't feel the white background is completely neccesary, but if moderators want to they can edit them later.
If photos aren't added to make the database complete, some puzzles may be forgotten later or the database will never be complete!

Just my 12 1/2 cents,
Elijah :mrgreen:

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 Post subject: Re: Poll: How should pictures be added to the database?
PostPosted: Sun Sep 13, 2009 4:18 pm 
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I'm one of those who does the editing by my self,
but as I can see so doesn't every one know how to do that.

so maby there should be a group of people that edits all uploaded pictures

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 Post subject: Re: Poll: How should pictures be added to the database?
PostPosted: Sun Sep 13, 2009 4:38 pm 
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Honestly- the white background is a good thing. Its quality control, something that the internet is not very good at. If any old picture was added, you would end up with people adding alot of bad pictures.

Basically, this standard forces people to take good pictures.

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 Post subject: Re: Poll: How should pictures be added to the database?
PostPosted: Sun Sep 13, 2009 4:40 pm 
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but, it also takes massive quantities of time which this site does not have enough people to give!

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 Post subject: Re: Poll: How should pictures be added to the database?
PostPosted: Sun Sep 13, 2009 4:57 pm 
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It does not take massive amounts of time. If anyone actually thought for a moment, then they would realize that pictures can be taken that require no photoshop at all.

5 minutes of setup, or an hour of photoshop?

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 Post subject: Re: Poll: How should pictures be added to the database?
PostPosted: Sun Sep 13, 2009 4:59 pm 
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Cubicle, I agree that people should do this, the problem is that most people don't and it is stopping new puzzles being added to the database.

Does anybody know what proportion of new puzzles have been added to the database over the past 6 months, year, or even 2 years? I don't know of any.

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Last edited by KelvinS on Sun Sep 13, 2009 5:00 pm, edited 1 time in total.

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 Post subject: Re: Poll: How should pictures be added to the database?
PostPosted: Sun Sep 13, 2009 5:00 pm 
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I'm up for submitting hi-res. pics of new cubes for the database but the editing is just too much of a turn off for me to actually add it so I'm voting that a mod edit the pictures afterward. I do have the software necessary to edit pictures but as previously stated just takes too long.

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 Post subject: Re: Poll: How should pictures be added to the database?
PostPosted: Sun Sep 13, 2009 6:15 pm 
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I agree that if the white background is absolutely neccesary, new pictures should be taken with a white background.
I guess it would be a permanent fix if there were pictures uploaded onto the site with a white background already and mods could just add them to the database, so I guess that'll work.

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 Post subject: Re: Poll: How should pictures be added to the database?
PostPosted: Sun Sep 13, 2009 6:41 pm 
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I'm for anything that speeds up database additions. We've seen more mass-produced twisty puzzles get released (Tony Fisher's Golden Cube/Egg, Master Pyramorphinx, MorphEgg, Cubedron/Cybedron, etc.) in the past year than at just about any point in history, but the database additions have slowed to a trickle. If the bottleneck is white backgrounds, I say toss it - I don't care about the background anyway.

As long as the photo isn't fuzzy, and people don't put something off the wall into the picture purposely (puzzle+pet, puzzle+political slogan, puzzle+gun :shock: ), I say give the content mod a nice big TwistyPuzzles.com™ Approved rubber stamp, slap that bad boy on all the backlogged photos, and put them up.

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 Post subject: Re: Poll: How should pictures be added to the database?
PostPosted: Sun Sep 13, 2009 7:35 pm 
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Ok, here is my take.... photos *are* needed, and the white background *is* nice,
but I must admit, it is very tedious. I have ready many cropped photos
(which by the way, some of them must go together with the pricing additions!).

Adding a white background *is* tedious. And if one photo can be edited quite fast,
think again if you have to edit a few hundred of them...


My proposal:

1. Allow us to submit all cropped images as they are (with an ACCEPTABLE resolution/quality).
2. Give those images a "NWB" (not-white-background) unedited label.
3. Allow volunteers and/or moderators to add the white background to the NWB images at a later time.


All in all, I have seen in many cases that the white background is not always ideal
(for example, bright colored puzzles require a dark contrast).

;)


Pantazis

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 Post subject: Re: Poll: How should pictures be added to the database?
PostPosted: Mon Sep 14, 2009 9:41 am 
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In the past there was something similar to Pantazis suggestion. Back then Sandy made up an "Contribution"-subforum where he asked for willing members to do the dirty work.
I vote for white backgrounds and reactivating the mentioned method.

EDIT:
Read Dave's post from 13th September.
viewtopic.php?f=12&t=12416
Finding someone to delete the background is not the problem.


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 Post subject: Re: Poll: How should pictures be added to the database?
PostPosted: Mon Sep 14, 2009 9:54 am 
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Cubicle wrote:
Honestly- the white background is a good thing. Its quality control, something that the internet is not very good at. If any old picture was added, you would end up with people adding alot of bad pictures.

I feel exactly the same way.

I don't want to see someone's cat in the background. I hate cats! I don't want to see a stain on someone's carpet or a hole in their wall. All I want to see is the puzzle on a completely white background. I don't care if someone takes the picture next to a rotting animal on the side of the road. If it's edited so that the background is pure white then I'll be happy. If I was any good at photo editing then I would volunteer to do all of the work...but I suck at it.

By the way, can we get some better V-Cube pictures? The ones in the museum right now are so...fuzzy. :?

- Billy


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 Post subject: Re: Poll: How should pictures be added to the database?
PostPosted: Mon Sep 14, 2009 10:07 am 
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I think this must be one of the most evenly balanced polls we've ever had. I'm not sure if/how this will influence Sandy's thinking, but at least it should give her a more balanced picture of our different views. Thanks to all for your votes and comments so far. :D

Andreas Nortmann wrote:
Read Dave's post from 13th September.
viewtopic.php?f=12&t=12416
Finding someone to delete the background is not the problem.

Actually, there seems to be some contradiction in this respect:

DLitwin wrote:
Image editing is a big part of the bottleneck in getting items into the database, but I have to admit it is not currently the problem. The current problem, unfortunately, is my time...

The solution is to find another database moderator with more time for this task. I'd love to stay on as a moderator and push in a puzzle now and again, but heading it up deserves more time than I can give.

Choosing a replacement isn't a simple task...

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Last edited by KelvinS on Mon Sep 14, 2009 10:27 am, edited 1 time in total.

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 Post subject: Re: Poll: How should pictures be added to the database?
PostPosted: Mon Sep 14, 2009 10:22 am 
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ok, my question is a good one:

Those who voted for a white background, are they willing to contribute *their* time to this?
If not, maybe it is time for the cube smasher! (and it won't be targeting cubes, but rear parts!)

:mrgreen:


Pantazis


PS. On a serious note, we are not talking about editing one or two photos, but a *lot*!
Some work *is* being done, but not at the rate we would like, especially as there is lack of support.
PS2. In the end of the day, the white background *is* the one requiring most time. Cropping
a rectangular shape is done too fast, but accurate selecting of the fine details of each puzzle
is time consuming, and sometimes can drive people crazy when doing a mistake midway!
PS3. We are trying to encourage people who volunteer, so maybe we should take one step at a time.

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 Post subject: Re: Poll: How should pictures be added to the database?
PostPosted: Mon Sep 14, 2009 10:30 am 
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Perhaps we might actually get MORE volunteers if people see the crude images posted directly, then they (each of us) can just select, copy, edit and resubmit pictures back to the database.

Simple. :D

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 Post subject: Re: Poll: How should pictures be added to the database?
PostPosted: Mon Sep 14, 2009 10:48 am 
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Every time I try and remove the background, it looks awful. I'd personally just like a decent shot of the puzzle. If the uploader doesn't know how, hasn't the time, I say let it come how it does. Then if anyone cares enough, they can edit the image and it can be changed in the database.

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 Post subject: Re: Poll: How should pictures be added to the database?
PostPosted: Mon Sep 14, 2009 11:32 am 
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Back in the days of the "contribution"-subforum (am I so old?) every time I saw a thread with new pictures there has already been one who said "I will do it".
Therefore my perception is that the number of volunteers is not the problem if "help us"-threads don't come more often than 2 per day.


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 Post subject: Re: Poll: How should pictures be added to the database?
PostPosted: Mon Sep 14, 2009 11:39 am 
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Kelvin Stott wrote:
I'm not sure if/how this will influence Sandy's thinking, but at least it should give her a more balanced picture of our different views.

Sandy is a guy. :wink:

- Billy


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 Post subject: Re: Poll: How should pictures be added to the database?
PostPosted: Mon Sep 14, 2009 11:45 am 
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lonogod wrote:
Kelvin Stott wrote:
I'm not sure if/how this will influence Sandy's thinking, but at least it should give her a more balanced picture of our different views.

Sandy is a guy. :wink:

- Billy

Where is my head, that's the second time I've done that! :?

Thanks for putting me right. :wink:

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 Post subject: Re: Poll: How should pictures be added to the database?
PostPosted: Mon Sep 14, 2009 12:32 pm 
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A few perspectives to consider regarding this issue:

1.) Sandy's not going to open up his site to just anyone posting any .jpg (which may or may not contain a puzzle image) to his server for public view. If you think through the possible consequences of this you will realize this opens him up to a huge amount of liability, not to mention potential server space problems. Try not to expect the unreasonable in this regard.

2.) Permission to add is different than permission to edit. Editing would mean putting the entire database in danger of being incorrectly edited or deleted by anyone, something I think out of the question.

3.) Even if he opened it up for addition only (a large risk on his part) the task of moderation would go way up as plenty of people would clamor to have items edited that were not added with proper information or pictures. What would you want to do if you added a puzzle you built with a poor image and your name spelled wrong? I'd love to believe everyone would add things correctly but that isn't realistic. The list of "things to fix up" by a trusted authority would get large quickly, which is just the same bottleneck we have now but larger and with incorrect information in the database for all to see until it gets fixed.

One of the difficult issues of the task is that it is a serious job that requires the proper consideration of each edit (or addition) submitted. Sometimes these are simple (just add some nicely edited images) but other times it is trying to decide if an image is even suitable to be edited. No offense to anyone who has submitted, but some pictures are awful. Some quite nice pictures of puzzles that are just not well built, and the decision has to be made to wait for a good picture (or even average picture) of a better built version of that same puzzle. Or perhaps someone edited a detail (year invented, creator, etc.) that doesn't necessarily seem right but you don't know for sure. Do you take the edit? These are all judgment calls and I don't know that we want to leave them up to just anyone. How frustrating would it be to have someone go in and incorrectly edit the detail of a puzzle you built? And if not available to just anyone, then we have to trust a few people who have the time. We have a few people at the moment, but clearly not people with enough time. More is a good goal, but I think open access a bit too risky.

Dave

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 Post subject: Re: Poll: How should pictures be added to the database?
PostPosted: Mon Sep 14, 2009 1:17 pm 
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But why should the database be fundamentally different from the forum, where members are free to post pictures without prescreening by moderators? Somehow I don't think this forum would be so dynamic if every picture had to be checked and edited before it goes up. How does wikipedia work so well, if not by collective input and iterative revision from a free and interactive community?

I thought the Internet had taught us that absolute control does not give us the best quality...

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 Post subject: Re: Poll: How should pictures be added to the database?
PostPosted: Mon Sep 14, 2009 2:08 pm 
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Kelvin Stott wrote:
But why should the database be fundamentally different from the forum, where members are free to post pictures without prescreening by moderators? Somehow I don't think this forum would be so dynamic if every picture had to be checked and edited before it goes up.

I would say it is not fundementally different, but not the same. Images uploaded to the site are quite limited in size, and trusted forum moderator time is more available to keep things proper.

It is a good point to make, but I think if we had enough moderator time to properly moderate freely submitted puzzle database entries we would perhaps not be so behind on the existing submitted non-displayed items (124 is the current count).

I don't think there are too many puzzles created each year (or existing puzzle backlog) to be handled by a proper moderation team but I just think I am not able to do it.

Free access to the database also brings up another point:

I don't think every puzzle created by someone should be in the database.

I know this sounds arrogant but it isn't meant that way, think of where it leads:

For example: Does *every* Gigaminx ever built deserve its own entry? How many TBTTyler V1s would there be and in what state?
Perhaps every design, but should we distinguish an Adam Cowan V1 (Aleh's build, my build) from a V2 (Drewseph, Adam, Jason built and very similar)? Perhaps one entry per designer/puzzle, with all versions shown in that entry? Presenting these in a coherent way requires some structure of organization, something not really possible if it is just opened up.

How about the Fisher cube? I don't want to start having to delete edits from people who add pictures of their own hand built Fisher Cube to Tony's entry, but do they deserve their own? If they built it themselves and not for sale it isn't a knock off, but is it proper for them to get an entry? Would I have to delete it? This is a discussion I would rather not even start (so let's not, consider this an example to ponder only...).

How about 3x3x3 sticker mods? Do my two cubes I built for my sons (picture cubes) deserve an entry each? Who to say yes, who to say no?

Ponder :)

Dave

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 Post subject: Re: Poll: How should pictures be added to the database?
PostPosted: Mon Sep 14, 2009 6:04 pm 
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The poll is good gauge to get the general opinion about it.

I'll be giving Dave some assistance here with the backlog so we'll see where we go after that.

Sandy's expectation is the removal of background so that's the continued focus for now until directed otherwise.

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 Post subject: Re: Poll: How should pictures be added to the database?
PostPosted: Mon Sep 14, 2009 8:34 pm 
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I need to take responsibility here. To date I have not been effective at enlisting the required team of competent and motivated content moderators for this site.

Wikipedia, an example referred to above, is indeed open to all, but it has a vast moderator crew that is both skilled and dedicated to ensuring content quality. Without them, Wikipedia would be a useless vandalized mess.

Yes, editing pictures is a tedious job, but I believe that quality is worth the effort. On average, it takes less than 30 minutes to add/edit an entry. That's not much if you're just doing one. It's a LOT if people expect you to do hundreds. But what if we had 5 dedicated museum moderators adding just one puzzle per week since the website began? That would have added up to 2000 additional entries by now. What if we had 10 dedicated moderators?! Or what if they added two per week... a mere hour of effort per week? Now what if everyone who visits the site made just one sigificant contribution (historical information, photographs, etc) per month... well, you get the picture.

Thank you for bringing this issue to the fore. As a result, I will put some time into this within the next few days. My "TwistyPuzzles To Do List" is longer than is feasible, which means a high prioritization is the key to getting anything done. When my focus shifts to something, it neccessarily shifts away from something else. With all that said, it would be WONDERFUL to have the content quietly growing in the background without requiring shifts in my focus. Many hands make light work.

Sandy


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 Post subject: Re: Poll: How should pictures be added to the database?
PostPosted: Tue Sep 15, 2009 4:49 am 
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OK, fair enough, but it might be quicker to create CAD models of all the puzzles with white background, than edit actual pictures to perfection.

(PS that was a joke)

:D

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 Post subject: Re: Poll: How should pictures be added to the database?
PostPosted: Tue Sep 15, 2009 7:45 am 
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Kelvin,
I just want to set you straight on one little error. There have been 161 updates and added puzzles to the forum in the past year. I know this because I used the search function :lol: But seriously, Dave is right, making sure of the dates, patent numbers, inventors takes a lot of time. I have updated a lot of that information as I can find it. But there is simply a lot that I can't find.

Georges was wonderful and converted the old rec site to a readable type for me. I went through over 10 years of information to gleen just a few useful bits of information. This took me around 3 months.

I am on the moderator team, but have professed my ignorance of the photo editing bit. As puzzles come up, I do the hunting of facts and add them.

As for the missing teraminx, that is probably my fault. I did see it, and refused to enter it the way it was typed up. I may (or maynot) have deleted it by accident. It reads like a crazed fan wrote it. Not TP museum standard at all. I will go in and edit the write up if you all don't mind. I mean, the next thing we will see is that Rox's eve is the greatest puzzle invented :roll: Part of what I like about the museum is the high standard of the entries. If we let anyone add just any old photo, that standard will drop rapidly! I for one don't want it. I find the search engine on the forum helps tons when looking for something I need.

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