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#1April 23rd, 2011 · 04:45 PM
119 threads / 27 songs
1,376 posts
United States of America
How Things Work
(..and how they *could* work, if we can't figure them out)

Anyone with an opinion: Any ideas about how the following items should/could work?  Some of these are hard to track down in the current website code, and I want to make sure that I make them really simple for future ideas.

- The 3 usernames on the Welcome page: which users should be shown?  It should change regularly, and not just be people with the most songs or comments or posts.  I currently cannot find how the list is formed, since the website just references a cached text file that is somehow created, possibly by a system process or something.

- "Featured" users: The Welcome page has a yellow box on the right-hand side which features users, but it strikes me as being a simple list of the users with the most posts.  We don't want to get fancy yet, but what does anyone think about eventually having a real "Featured" list?  It could be a combination of recent activity, community votes, and the number of replies they're getting on recent work?

- Number of threads per page: A little superficial, but are there any opinions about the number of posts/threads per page?  I don't plan to change this in the demonstration code I'm writing, but I wanted to ask the question.

- House mix: Not sure how this currently gets formed, although I know it's been discussed in the past. In an ideal world, should the staff/admin members be able to change out items on the playlist whenever they want?  This would have the nice benefit of acting a little like a "featured song" list for the community.

(added April 28th)
- Blog entries: I'm trying to figure out how the stars work on blog entries...  There's a number of "votes" in the blue and white box next to the title of the entry, but either it doesn't update in realtime, or I don't understand how to submit a vote.  Compare these two entries from my own blog: entry with 0 votes and entry with 1 vote

- Thread rating: It's obvious how the 5-star rating works for song threads, but otherwise it has no impact on the other forums.  Should it?  Would it be handy if you could show forum threads based on their average rating?  Should everyone get their own "threads I've rated" page which shows their 4-star and 5-star threads?  It could be like a bookmarking feature somehow, and it could work on more than just audio items (namely, the lyrics forum could benefit from this).  This sounds like a big todo about nothing, but it might help give us a way to see threads in a form other than just the number of replies/views.

(added May 8th)
- Song downloads: I like the controls we have right now, but they don't actually work.  Disallowing a song for download doesn't do much else but remove the little link, even though it's easy to engineer the URL manually.

That's it for now.  Thanks in advance, friends
#2April 28th, 2011 · 03:50 PM
340 threads / 59 songs
4,344 posts
United Kingdom
Tim , I do have an opinion on this and ideas to add , my heads just not into it at the moment....sun is shining , got to make hay!
But I will get back to you on this thread before the pot is stirred again.   
#3April 28th, 2011 · 05:34 PM
119 threads / 27 songs
1,376 posts
United States of America
No problem.  Nothing on this list so far has much at all to do with making the core code do its job to be a forum.  100% of that is coded already, and currently I'm putting together all of the user account pages.

In truth, any revolutionary thoughts that come out of a discussion like this are likely to be in the next "version" after any new code is put into place, so I'm not in a big hurry.

Besides, having attempted before to invent new ideas along these lines, I know it's not as easy as it sounds right at first.

I've added a couple of items to the list.
#4April 29th, 2011 · 07:33 PM
175 threads / 48 songs
1,917 posts
Canada
The featured users idea you had is definitely something I've always wondered about. same with the 3 usernames on the welcome page. I have to say though, these things aren't crucial to keeping bandamp alive as it doesn't affect who owns the server and pays for it. Or is this a different discussion for that? I'm very confused with all the talk of bandAMP possibly not being funded by mud and then new site designs and stuff.

I just reread and I think that this is sort of not directly in line with the stuff with mud. So good show! I'd like to see this stuff happen!
#5April 29th, 2011 · 10:01 PM
119 threads / 27 songs
1,376 posts
United States of America
TheKunadiun wrote…
The featured users idea you had is definitely something I've always wondered about. same with the 3 usernames on the welcome page. I have to say though, these things aren't crucial to keeping bandamp alive as it doesn't affect who owns the server and pays for it. Or is this a different discussion for that? I'm very confused with all the talk of bandAMP possibly not being funded by mud and then new site designs and stuff.

I just reread and I think that this is sort of not directly in line with the stuff with mud. So good show! I'd like to see this stuff happen! :D

Understandable-- to be clear, though, I'm recoding the site right now, and the forums work like a charm,  I'm currently writing up the user profile pages (including the mailbox, blog, photos, etc).  The questions I'm posing here are about features of the site that we already have, but either don't make a lot of sense or are simply mysterious.

Put shortly, how can I recreate a feature that I don't understand?  Certainly some of the ideas that I gave, and some of the stuff other people may give, will cover more than is strictly necessary, but it helps us to understand what the feature was SUPPOSED to do, so that I can set it up the right way.
#6April 30th, 2011 · 09:34 AM
340 threads / 59 songs
4,344 posts
United Kingdom
re: How Things Work
TonightsLastSong wrote…
(added April 28th)
- Blog entries: I'm trying to figure out how the stars work on blog entries...  There's a number of "votes" in the blue and white box next to the title of the entry, but either it doesn't update in realtime, or I don't understand how to submit a vote.  Compare these two entries from my own blog: entry with 0 votes and entry with 1 vote

One step at a time sweet Jesus ....

Confused ... both links are the same , to the same entry , both with one reply .... a 1 in the white box and one star that says Vote! ... I did and I refreshed the page .... still confused, did anything happen ?

Where there are main pages with links to lyrics, songs, albums or blogs there should be statistics recorded and displayed and the viewer should be able to have the list ordered to a chosen statistic, like the hall of fame.
I do think the Audio Review should have this function of statistic ordering but that it defaults to last commented on every visit .... so no saving of the users choice is necessary.
#7April 30th, 2011 · 02:49 PM
119 threads / 27 songs
1,376 posts
United States of America
re: re: How Things Work
kings wrote…
.... a 1 in the white box and one star that says Vote! ... I did and I refreshed the page .... still confused, did anything happen ?

Apologies about those links going to the same place.  You saw what I intended, though: when you click on the vote button, nothing appears to happen, contrary to what the button makes you *think* should happen.  Nonetheless, some of our blog entries have a number on them other than 0... so how do they get there?   I've completely left that little box out of my new code demonstration for now.
#8April 30th, 2011 · 03:28 PM
119 threads / 27 songs
1,376 posts
United States of America
Looking at it again, I suddenly realized that the number is just the number of replies the item has, whether its a blog or forum post.  The "vote" button was probably a feature that was never completed when Mud introduced the blog section.
#9May 1st, 2011 · 08:24 AM
340 threads / 59 songs
4,344 posts
United Kingdom
TonightsLastSong wrote…
Looking at it again, I suddenly realized that the number is just the number of replies the item has, whether its a blog or forum post.  The "vote" button was probably a feature that was never completed when Mud introduced the blog section.
I thought the number was the number of replies .... it could still be a "vote" button if it opened the reply to thread function.

Voting on threads is a good thing ... it determines popularity without there having to be lots of replies.
And like a magazine a site needs the popular articles, features and material to come up on top and be accessible.
#10May 8th, 2011 · 08:32 PM
119 threads / 27 songs
1,376 posts
United States of America
kings wrote…
TonightsLastSong wrote…
Looking at it again, I suddenly realized that the number is just the number of replies the item has, whether its a blog or forum post.  The "vote" button was probably a feature that was never completed when Mud introduced the blog section.
I thought the number was the number of replies .... it could still be a "vote" button if it opened the reply to thread function.

Voting on threads is a good thing ... it determines popularity without there having to be lots of replies.
And like a magazine a site needs the popular articles, features and material to come up on top and be accessible.

Sorry I didn't catch this reply.  I didn't get my email notification for it.  I agree with you about popular content.  I want to keep this sort of thing in mind for the next update after this initial dash.

I was going to ask about what people thought about the current song download permission controls, but I was just poking around BandAMP's code and it turns out it doesn't enforce the permissions anyway.  For example, although the download link is hidden from view, it's a trivial matter to engineer the URL to obtain the file anyway.

Given the state of that permission thing, I think step one is to just make it work properly in my demonstration.
#11May 9th, 2011 · 01:24 PM
340 threads / 59 songs
4,344 posts
United Kingdom
TonightsLastSong wrote…
kings wrote…
TonightsLastSong wrote…
Looking at it again, I suddenly realized that the number is just the number of replies the item has, whether its a blog or forum post.  The "vote" button was probably a feature that was never completed when Mud introduced the blog section.
I thought the number was the number of replies .... it could still be a "vote" button if it opened the reply to thread function.

Voting on threads is a good thing ... it determines popularity without there having to be lots of replies.
And like a magazine a site needs the popular articles, features and material to come up on top and be accessible.

Sorry I didn't catch this reply.  I didn't get my email notification for it.  I agree with you about popular content.  I want to keep this sort of thing in mind for the next update after this initial dash.

I was going to ask about what people thought about the current song download permission controls, but I was just poking around BandAMP's code and it turns out it doesn't enforce the permissions anyway.  For example, although the download link is hidden from view, it's a trivial matter to engineer the URL to obtain the file anyway.

Given the state of that permission thing, I think step one is to just make it work properly in my demonstration.

Hmm! I dont think the quote email notification system works any way! In that I also haven't had a quote note for a 'long time' ?? 

Yes I sussed out that Minds (our now most worthy StepChild) had put songs into battle which were copied to another folder and could not be deleted when Minds deleted all his stuff. This I found out through Google and also "engineered the URL" (wrote link) to the mp3s ... it's in a thread in the Pit somewhere.
#12May 9th, 2011 · 02:28 PM
185 threads / 27 songs
2,769 posts
Germany
TonightsLastSong wrote…
kings wrote…
TonightsLastSong wrote…
Looking at it again, I suddenly realized that the number is just the number of replies the item has, whether its a blog or forum post.  The "vote" button was probably a feature that was never completed when Mud introduced the blog section.
I thought the number was the number of replies .... it could still be a "vote" button if it opened the reply to thread function.

Voting on threads is a good thing ... it determines popularity without there having to be lots of replies.
And like a magazine a site needs the popular articles, features and material to come up on top and be accessible.

Sorry I didn't catch this reply.  I didn't get my email notification for it.  I agree with you about popular content.  I want to keep this sort of thing in mind for the next update after this initial dash.

I was going to ask about what people thought about the current song download permission controls, but I was just poking around BandAMP's code and it turns out it doesn't enforce the permissions anyway.  For example, although the download link is hidden from view, it's a trivial matter to engineer the URL to obtain the file anyway.

Given the state of that permission thing, I think step one is to just make it work properly in my demonstration.

how nice you found out such glorious malfunctions and you proclaimed them loudly. But it doesnt matter at all as there are only a handful of people who care about those things.
I would like you to have a look at the bandamp stats where you can see some bots are downloading constantly specific mp3s.
I find it much more interesting than to present people ideas how they can evade security options.
Never post this in public forums. A fatal error my dear.... guess you're young enough even to learn such behaviour in public appearance.
#13May 9th, 2011 · 06:20 PM
340 threads / 59 songs
4,344 posts
United Kingdom
would a .htaccess be enough ?
#14May 9th, 2011 · 06:40 PM
119 threads / 27 songs
1,376 posts
United States of America
TritonKeyboarder wrote…
how nice you found out such glorious malfunctions and you proclaimed them loudly. But it doesnt matter at all as there are only a handful of people who care about those things.
I would like you to have a look at the bandamp stats where you can see some bots are downloading constantly specific mp3s.
I find it much more interesting than to present people ideas how they can evade security options.
Never post this in public forums. A fatal error my dear.... guess you're young enough even to learn such behaviour in public appearance.

Alright, look.  You can think whatever you want, but there are two sides to this coin, friend.  The only way to improve is to talk about it.  I'm not interested in arguing with you.  I'm making a list of things that need improvement in order for my work to qualify as "a good effort".

Transparency is a wonderful policy, and honesty can go a long way when speaking to the masses.  I recognize the importance of not divulging too much information, which is why I didn't write up a 3-step guide for how to construct the download URL.  So get off my back and be constructive.

I'm young enough to know what to do to fix it, instead of just letting it go on unaddressed.  Any condescending remarks about age or being naive will be henceforth ignored.  I'm not talking about these issues in order to be a jerk to the people who coded it; I'm talking about this stuff because it needs to be talked about in order to identify areas for improvement.


@kings:

.htaccess is a nice thing, but by default it has no awareness of external databases of users.  There are projects out there that enable generic SQL lookups from databases, but it sorta puts the code in the wrong part of the web service.  My plan right now to is to proxy any access to those media files and accordingly respond to the user with a 403 error (unauthorized) when access is attempted.  The core of it is that whichever mechanism serves up the media files needs to also provide authentication, but webserver and code are different beasts, and normally don't interact much beyond hooking up URLs to files.

I think I've got something working, but I'm setting up automated tests to verify that permissions are always respected by the code.
#15May 10th, 2011 · 08:15 AM
185 threads / 27 songs
2,769 posts
Germany
TLS, you are always talking about things happened in the past by ancient programmers and the malfunctions. My constructive contribution was (already days ago) not to talk about your plans but to show how (new) things WILL work. Don't bear the old codings but keep the mistakes they once made in mind. Do not show what is wrong but show what you are DOING right now. I am very excited what you'll present in the next few days. If you can't do it alone I can help you out with my experiences and that's a matter of ages.

Did you have the look at the bandamp stats? Hope you found them (I don't want to tell on here where it's located...)

btw. proxies for all kind of services was a minute in my action plans. It's not a new idea but if you can pick up this topic I think this it is an essential function of a new system.

*edit
did you ever think about saving media files as a blob type into database?
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