Image Attachments vs. Links to Images

Discussion in 'Plants: Identification' started by Daniel Mosquin, Sep 26, 2007.

  1. Daniel Mosquin

    Daniel Mosquin Paragon of Plants UBC Botanical Garden Forums Administrator Forums Moderator 10 Years

    Messages:
    10,580
    Likes Received:
    615
    Location:
    Vancouver, British Columbia, Canada
    Please note that the preferred method of sharing (your) images is via attachments, [edited by wcutler 2010aug12] as long as the images are your own or are specifically indicated as being licensed for sharing.

    This helps ensure that the image size is not too large. It also helps to ensure that the thread will remain relevant over a long period of time (links to image hosting web sites sometimes decay). Lastly, it gives people an idea (via the thumbnail) whether they will be able to help or not.

    (PS Looking for help on attaching images? See this thread)

    If you have photos on another site, instead of linking to them, click on Manage Attachments and put those links in the area called "Upload File from a URL".
     
    Last edited by a moderator: Apr 29, 2013
  2. Durgan

    Durgan Contributor 10 Years

    Messages:
    2,669
    Likes Received:
    100
    Location:
    Brantford,Ontario, Canada
    Stonehenge method! Nothing is forever. Even UBC forums goes down periodically. Links can be fast, and as reliable as anything on the Internet. Most attached pictures are lousy, and most irritating to view, and few are ever posted.

    Gardening and plants are about pictures. Most people have a digital cameras, and are still describing using prose, when a few pictures will describe an issue clearly.

    Developing a practical, system would give the site programmers some work. I developed my own system, which is the best on the Internet using readily available existing software. It is very low cost and works. An Example:
    http://www.durgan.org/ShortURL/?CAEZO

    This sure beats all the free bucket systems available on the internet.
     
  3. Junglekeeper

    Junglekeeper Esteemed Contributor 10 Years

    Messages:
    5,995
    Likes Received:
    609
    Location:
    Vancouver BC Canada
    I agree with the benefits of attachments as explained by Daniel. The thumbnail feature is particularly useful and saves much time over having to follow links.
     
    Last edited: Aug 20, 2008
  4. Durgan

    Durgan Contributor 10 Years

    Messages:
    2,669
    Likes Received:
    100
    Location:
    Brantford,Ontario, Canada
    How could anyone agree? Just go over to Photography and Art and look at the pathetic method of displaying images. I am not talking about the quality of the pictures, just the hoops and jumping one has to go through to view the images. Also contemplate on the scarcity of pictures presented. Thumbnails are only slightly more useful than prose, since very little detail can be seen, and invariably one has to go to the larger picture.

    When five thousand sheep are following the herd charging over a cliff, I have great respect for the five who will veer off.
     
  5. Michael F

    Michael F Paragon of Plants Forums Moderator 10 Years

    Messages:
    11,433
    Likes Received:
    511
    Location:
    Britain zone 8/9
    But at least the thumbnail shows what you're heading for. A link doesn't; for all one knows, one might end up on a porn picture or worse.
     
  6. Durgan

    Durgan Contributor 10 Years

    Messages:
    2,669
    Likes Received:
    100
    Location:
    Brantford,Ontario, Canada
    This may be advantageous or not, depending upon your point of view.

    Opening any link on the Internet is questionable, but that is what the internet is made of- LINKS.
     
  7. silver_creek

    silver_creek Active Member

    Messages:
    484
    Likes Received:
    2
    Location:
    Bellingham, WA, usa
    I rarely follow image links on this site, but will open an attachment if the thumbnail is interesting.
     
  8. Junglekeeper

    Junglekeeper Esteemed Contributor 10 Years

    Messages:
    5,995
    Likes Received:
    609
    Location:
    Vancouver BC Canada
    Thumbnails provide the reader with a summary of what is being presented giving the opportunity to then select only those pictures that are of interest for closer inspection. This is especially advantageous for people on slower internet connections and those with data transfer caps. Why force people to load a page full of images, using up an enormous amount of bandwidth in doing so, when there's a better alternative.
     
  9. Durgan

    Durgan Contributor 10 Years

    Messages:
    2,669
    Likes Received:
    100
    Location:
    Brantford,Ontario, Canada
    There is a lot not being understood here, or not being digested.

    First one must establish that short URL's are necessary. I know they are.
    Tinyurl, notlong.com are slow, and notlong com is unreliable. There are many other similar in nature. All have to be slow, since they are going to another site for the short URL. My present short URL service is on my server, completely under my control, and is almost instantaneous. This was incorporated after being burn't by the so called free URL short services.The short URL issue is a side issue.

    My picture display method on the Internet method gives you thumbnails. This in no way reduces slow connections, unless one wants the larger image, bandwidth usage as an issue is nonsense.

    Using my method, URL's to the pictures is a plain text message. There is nothing worse getting or sending pictures by E mail, often a large file. How do you people propose sending pictures by Email to several recipients-without using enormous bandwith? How do you propose posting pictures to several forum without using excessive bandwidth?

    Improve on this method,if you can for sending pictures over the Internet.
    http://www.durgan.org/ShortURL/?UPJVG 15 July 2008 Bee Balm (Monarda didyma)
    It is not necessary to look further than the thumbnails if one so desires. I might add the images are in a new window, also. It is annoying when closing a Window, and it closes down your forum.

    Even Firefox, with it annoying interlaced picture display is acceptable.
     
  10. Junglekeeper

    Junglekeeper Esteemed Contributor 10 Years

    Messages:
    5,995
    Likes Received:
    609
    Location:
    Vancouver BC Canada
    The use of shortened URLs is a separate issue. For readers not familiar with their disadvantages, a dissenting view of them is presented in the thread http://forums.botanicalgarden.ubc.ca/threads/41949.

    The issue is not with the uploading of the images to a host but the downloading that is required for the person who views the page. Perhaps it has more to do with what is considered to be a thumbnail. The ones generated by these forums are much smaller than the 300p x 200p ones on the sample page. Consequently they're much quicker to load.

    The forum attachments also open in a new window so there is no difference from this point of view. I agree though that it's annoying when that happens.
     
    Last edited: Nov 3, 2015
  11. Durgan

    Durgan Contributor 10 Years

    Messages:
    2,669
    Likes Received:
    100
    Location:
    Brantford,Ontario, Canada
    I chose to make the thumbnails a particular size. They can be any size the author chooses. Most small thumbnails are useless. Even on my own computer it is difficult to determine a particular image from a thumbnail. More often than not I have to open the larger image to be certain that I have the right subject.

    Next.
     
  12. Margaret

    Margaret Active Member 10 Years

    Messages:
    381
    Likes Received:
    0
    Location:
    Sunshine Coast, B C Canada
    I much prefer to see images attached. If they are interesting to me there is then the option of taking the interest further. Links often seem to lead into vast labyrinths. At least this site gives to options to both the "linkers" and the "attachers". Call me shallow if you wish!
    Margaret
     
  13. Durgan

    Durgan Contributor 10 Years

    Messages:
    2,669
    Likes Received:
    100
    Location:
    Brantford,Ontario, Canada
    You got it right. Mine do not lead to junk like the "bucket" Sites. That is the point I am trying to make-against mindset. There has to be a better way, and I am offering it. Look and learn.
    http://www.durgan.org/ShortURL/?EHJRJ 15 July 2008 Echinacea, Purple Coneflower

    http://www.durgan.org/ShortURL/?JJZFQ 12 July 2008 (Portulaca grandiflora)

    http://www.durgan.org/ShortURL/?GCNJL 29 June 2008 Blue Passion Flower (Passiflora x belotii)

    http://www.durgan.org/ShortURL/?PXFIE 18 July 2008 Papaver somniferum A bee frenzy

    After viewing go over to Photography and Art and look at the "impossible" pictures.
     
  14. Durgan

    Durgan Contributor 10 Years

    Messages:
    2,669
    Likes Received:
    100
    Location:
    Brantford,Ontario, Canada
    I have made three identical postings with thumbnails of different sizes. 100X66 Aspect ratio 1.5 (my Nikon Camera); 150X100, and 200X133. I have kept the larger picture at 1024 by 685 again the aspect ratio of my Nikon camera pictures. The larger picture could be any size but I chose this, since it is a pleasant viewing size and most people operate their screens at least this size or larger, and it will fit on their screens. Additionally the pictures open in a new window.
    http://www.durgan.org/ShortURL/?EKCTL 22 August 2008 Thumbnails 100x66 Aspect Ratio 1.5
    http://www.durgan.org/ShortURL/?GCKRB 22 August 2008 Thumbnails 150x100 Aspect Ratio 1.5
    http://www.durgan.org/ShortURL/?TEIYE 22 August 2008 Thumbnails 200x133 Aspect Ratio 1.5
     
  15. Junglekeeper

    Junglekeeper Esteemed Contributor 10 Years

    Messages:
    5,995
    Likes Received:
    609
    Location:
    Vancouver BC Canada
    Definitely an improvement in terms of load time. I think 100x66 is too small thus lacking in detail, making it somewhat difficult to convey the 'flavor' of an image. The next size up is an improvement; it's acceptable but may be challenging depending on the quality of the viewer's graphics capabilities. Lastly, 200x133, I found to be a nice compromise between detail and load time. I believe it's roughly the same size as the ones generated by the forum. (I wonder if Daniel went though a similar process in selecting that size.)

    I'd be interested in what others think of the various sizes. BTW, I believe the image size displayed underneath the forum attachments would be useful to people on slower connections. However it may be irrelevant to you if all your images are of the same size.
     
  16. Durgan

    Durgan Contributor 10 Years

    Messages:
    2,669
    Likes Received:
    100
    Location:
    Brantford,Ontario, Canada
    Images are all the same size, except for landscape or portrait; but they can be of any size the author chooses. I think all being the same size makes for pleasant viewing. Sometimes with "junk" pictures I make the large size image smaller, but find if less the 800 by 533 Aspect Ratio 1.5 much detail is obscure at normal viewing distances.

    Unfortunately we have two common aspect ratios 1.5 and 1.33-no big deal, but a slight irritant.
     
  17. Junglekeeper

    Junglekeeper Esteemed Contributor 10 Years

    Messages:
    5,995
    Likes Received:
    609
    Location:
    Vancouver BC Canada
    When you think about it there isn't one image size that works in all situations. The size used by the forum works because in a bulletin board setting there is usually not a need to display more than a few images at a time. Therefore the thumbnails can be somewhat larger while keeping the time it takes to load a page within acceptable limits. Often there is enough detail in the thumbnail to allow a plant to be indentified without having to load the actual attachment.

    Contrast with this example of a PlantFile at Gardenweb. Here, a smaller thumbnail is dictated since, along with one full sized image, there can be a large number of entries present in the index. In your sample pages the thumbnails can afford be larger because of the limited number of pictures in the gallery. Generally speaking, it makes sense to have small thumbnails in an index as it is a summary of a collection.

    Most users grow impatient if a page is not loaded within a few seconds. To complicate matters users are found across a wide spectrum of connection speeds. The web designer is then challenged to come up with the proper balance in the page elements to capture the widest possible audience.
     
  18. Durgan

    Durgan Contributor 10 Years

    Messages:
    2,669
    Likes Received:
    100
    Location:
    Brantford,Ontario, Canada
    This is a demonstration of the Short URL services as opposed to having your own service.
    http://www.durgan.org/2008/August 2008/23 August 2008 Okra flower/HTML/ This is the original link.

    http://www.durgan.org/ShortURL/?DVGNI 23 August 2008 Pretty Okra Flower This is my own on my server and is as reliable as any hosting site on the web.

    http://maung.notlong.com This is notlong.com This one goes down periodically, and can be painfully slow.

    http://tinyurl.com/4nnc5b This is tiny URL service. This I have seldom used, but have encountered difficulties periodically when used, like now. It doesn't work unless copy and pasted into the browser address line.

    http://xrl.us/oocti This one I have used periodically, but they offer service at your own risk.

    My main thrust is: utilizing these short URL service puts one at the risk of having all links go dead someday, with no recourse. Use with caution.
     
  19. Junglekeeper

    Junglekeeper Esteemed Contributor 10 Years

    Messages:
    5,995
    Likes Received:
    609
    Location:
    Vancouver BC Canada
    We are in full agreement on this point.
     
  20. Durgan

    Durgan Contributor 10 Years

    Messages:
    2,669
    Likes Received:
    100
    Location:
    Brantford,Ontario, Canada
    Now you caan buy the 29 dollar software and have your own short URL service.

    It reminds me of a sory.
    A salesman was demonstrating the latest physiological technical marvels, wires, sensors, and detectors. The equipment was connected to a turtle. Anyway all the senses were stimulated and the reactions noted.

    The demonstration table was surrounded with researchers and even the head of the department, dead serious, with the somber expression displayed by people who know nothing and think they know all.

    After a most successful demonstration of this very expensive equipment.
    The Department Head sort of waves his hand around, and said, "What does this setup cost".

    The salesman pretended to look at him in astonishment and said, "Sir, You have misunderstood my demonstration, I am not selling equipment. I am selling turtles."

    The joke fell flat- the room was dead silent. The sycophants surrounding the Head, didn't dare laugh.
     
  21. Pharmerphil

    Pharmerphil Member

    Messages:
    23
    Likes Received:
    0
    Location:
    Minnesota
    I've been in and on the interent for several years now, and I rarely follow a link to a unknown site to view an image.

    First, as stated above you never know what you will see.

    And second, I can click on a thumbnail here, and view it twice as fast, as loading a whole webpage or blog at yet another site...I have dial up

    Granted I have followed your links posted here, and other sites...and you have some marvelous photos; however, I would enjoy many more of your pics IF, they were not linked off-site

    please don't pm me with your links again, I do not want to purchase web hosting, or buy software.
     
  22. wcutler

    wcutler Paragon of Plants Forums Moderator VCBF Cherry Scout 10 Years

    Messages:
    10,952
    Likes Received:
    2,346
    Location:
    Vancouver, BC Canada
    Most of the images seem to be around the same size, since the forum resizes them, which I almost always let it do, being unwilling to do work myself that a machine can do. I find the display dimensions just right on these forums, and much prefer attachments to links, which I also hardly ever follow, unless they're to a text article. If I'm checking out a lot of postings to see if someone has already answered the question I want to ask, the thumbnail attachments are all I need and want to see.
     
  23. M. D. Vaden

    M. D. Vaden Active Member 10 Years

    Messages:
    843
    Likes Received:
    0
    Location:
    Beaverton, Oregon

    I agree with Daniel, because of all the disrupted and broken threads I've seen on a dozen websites due to when people rotate, add, or delete images from albums.

    Linking to albums is the most inferior method of content development and archiving within a forum website.

    Over a period of time, attached files is the absolute best.
     
  24. Weekend Gardener

    Weekend Gardener Active Member 10 Years

    Messages:
    865
    Likes Received:
    1
    Location:
    Coquitlam, BC
    I will add another voice of support for Daniel. One can go blue in the face on the arguments for image attachments versus image links. At the end of the day, whether I click and see a larger version of the image, or click the link to the image URL, that decision is mine and mine alone. And at this point in time, I have a real phobia of being taken for a ride to a site that may not be as homey and comfy as this site.

    So, I seldom follow links to images, unless I can verify that the links will take me to a image hosting site that I am familiar with. Let's keep attachments coming.
     
  25. Daniel Mosquin

    Daniel Mosquin Paragon of Plants UBC Botanical Garden Forums Administrator Forums Moderator 10 Years

    Messages:
    10,580
    Likes Received:
    615
    Location:
    Vancouver, British Columbia, Canada
    So, nearly one year later, I wanted to point out -- all of Durgan's links in this thread are dead. So now what do I do with these and with all of the links in other threads?

    For the most part, as I look at older threads and attempt to catch up, I've been deleting the threads with dead links, no matter how interesting the conversation that sprung up with them.
     

Share This Page