Member Rara Avis
On occasion, I've been accused of being long-winded. This was probably the first post I've made in six months that was less than a page and half long, and now I'm paying for it.
RG, and suthern, too, I apologize for making it sound like my decision was the result of this specific issue. That's not the case. The aggravation I mentioned wasn't from Toe's picture, nor suthern's comments, nor even from all the other pictures I've removed in the past two months. The aggravation, rather, is a combination of all the many things that have gone wrong since I tried to make this a part of the forums.
The original idea was simple enough: The program I wrote was supposed to automate the procedure and make it possible for you to upload the photos. I wrote a short paragraph on what pictures were expected, what graphics formats would work, and what dimensions the pictures should be. I suspected not everyone would know how to crop and size the pictures, but I was fully prepared to help where it was necessary. What happened, however, is that virtually every single picture that was uploaded required my attention. Only one or two came in with the needed dimensions, and even those needed further compression to make the file size manageable. Some Members uploaded fairly large bmp files (where they get the patience for those long uploads I don't know), and a few even sent us HTML files. Some would upload group shots, and I can only hope I cropped them to the right face. I received one photo that had a copyright on it from a fairly well known magazine. Every day seemed to bring new surprises. And, unfortunately, when a picture didn't work, it required more than simply deleting it. I also had to track down who it belonged to, find their Profile record, and delete the pointer to the photo - else we had pages with broken images (which we often had any way).
Even then, the photos that did work made all the effort worth it. Except I forgot a very simple fact of human nature: Few of us remain satisfied with anything for long. The photos that did work didn't work for long. People would change them, uploading new ones. And I'd start it all over again. And if it wasn't a new picture, sometimes it was the same old picture. One of our dearest, most valued Member would upload the same wrong-dimensioned, too-big file every morning. And because she's such a sweet and wonderful person, I didn't have the guts to tell her to knock it off - so I'd crop it and compress it every evening.
The sad truth, my friends, is that I'm a wimp. I don't like telling my friends they're doing something wrong. I don't like telling people they can't do something they obviously want to do. I don't like being the bad guy.
I want to emphasize - and I can't emphasize it enough - that I'm not blaming anyone for this failure. Sometimes I get a little too enthusiastic and don't think things through clearly enough. This was one of those instances. (I still don't believe it never occurred to me people would want to change their photos. I can so stupid!)
I also want to emphasize this is not the end of the story. I still think the photos are a great thing. I just need to make it workable with a more robust and easy to use program. One that will check to insure the right file type is sent. One that will allow images only of a manageable size. One that includes instructions, maybe even tutorials, on web-workable graphics. One that allows the user to preview their photo before making it a part of their Profile. One that allows me or a Moderator to communicate with people on those pictures that don't work. In short, one that doesn't cost me two hours of time every day and three pounds of aggravation. But we will have photos again. Because I'm not only long-winded, I'm also a bit stubborn.