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Site Updates - Donations work again, Other fixes

It's been a whole month since our last update announcement. But this has largely been due to one very busy developer who has only had time to make changes but not update the revisions page and make a journal about it!

So here's news about the last 4 weeks of updates all in one journal.

The biggest one for this month is the fact you can now take Donations through Inkbunny again. You can set up your Paypal or Alertpay details in Account Settings. https://inkbunny.net/account.php The donation links in submission and journal pages will allow users to directly access your Paypal or Alertpay payment pages.

Inkbunny is not acting as a payment provider and we do not collect a fee. This is just a nice way to give people a link to pay you directly by your chosen method.

Please keep in mind the privacy issues involved with publicly listing your payment methods. However, providing quick payment details without requiring the user to contact you means they will be more likely to donate to you.

We are hoping to get a "request details" option working soon so you can set payment methods "private" and only give out details per request.

Updates

    * Added: Donations can now be taken directly to your own Paypal or Alertpay accounts. Go to the Account Settings page to add your payment details. The Donation links allow users to access your payment details quickly and automatically through a payment page that then redirects to the chosen payment method. There is also an option for adding custom payment instructions if you prefer to use something other than Paypal or Alertpay.

    * Fixed: username and username BBCode quicklinks now work again.

    * Fixed: A fullstop or other punctuation at the end now won't break username and username BBCode quicklinks.

    * Fixed: Random string generator used for unique tokens and other codes would never output a lowercase "x" as part of the randomly generated alphanumeric strings. Thankfully this just meant that each random character was reduced from 1 in 62 possible values to 1 in 61, so not a big deal in terms of security.

    * Changed: Regular session cleanup is now run once a day instead of once an hour. It is run during off-peak time. With potentially millions of files to search through to find expired sessions, this is a very slow operation and didn't need to be done so often. It still slows the server down for about 5 minutes while it's running, but this is unavoidable.

    * Changed: BBCode links to thumbnails, pools, users etc that don't exist (incorrect name or ID) now show as RED text, to make it more obvious something went wrong.

    * Removed: The old Alertpay-based sales system settings are no longer available via Account Settings. You can still view old sales and account balances via the Sales link on your account for now.

    * Removed/Fixed: Autolinking will no longer react to "www". This means sayings like "Awwwwwww" won't end up converted to a useless link by accident. However it means that all web addresses must start with http:// or https://, and not simply "www" in text to be converted to active links automatically.

    * API - Added: There is now a "convert_html_entities" property in the Edit Submission interface of the API. This helps get rid of the "junk" html entities that were appearing in titles and descriptions via scripts like FA2IB. For more details see the new property in http://wiki.inkbunny.net/wiki/API#Edit_Submission_Details

    * Fixed: Resetting or changing a password would fail and go to a blank screen if the user typed a "bad" unacceptable password but pressed Submit anyway. Now it correctly reports an error and reason for rejecting the chosen password like it used to.

    * Changed: Page and Pool thumbnails in the submission View now honour the "show/hide custom thumbnails" setting that you can set via links on the Submission View, Gallery and User pages.

    * Fixed: Videos were being zoomed rather than resized to fit the view, meaning that larger videos would have their outer edges cut off. Resizing is now performed correctly.

    * Fixed: New Submissions count would appear to be wrong (some new submissions would appear to be "invisible") in some cases. This would occur if you changed blocked keywords or allowed ratings after a submission appeared in your unread list, and the new settings you chose meant it was blocked from your view. Now those submissions will remain visible in your Unread list, but with the "blocked" grey warning thumbnail. Submissions added by artists after your changes that should be blocked won't be added to your unread list at all.

    * Added: There is now a notice while uploading files that PNGs may take a long time during the "Preparing File" stage. This is due to re-compressing PNGs at maximum compression level. PNG compression is lossless so there is no reason to use anything less than maximum.

    * Fixed: Using the Quote button or BBCode tag would sometimes leave odd html entities like   or " in the quoted text.

    * Fixed: Showing favourites by members you watch would mistakenly hide the time range and sorting options if there were no results.

    * Fixed: Moderators could not reply twice in a row to a PM in "anonymous" mode.

    * Fixed?: Session data is now manually written to disk before page redirects. Some users have been reporting being mysteriously logged out when clicking some links, only to find everything returns to normal after a simple page reload. The force-write of session data might help this problem.

    * Added/Fixed: More security updates and fixes, mainly to do with referrer checks.

And that's it!

IB
Viewed: 364 times
Added: 7 years, 7 months ago
Site News Item: yes
 
Flygon
7 years, 7 months ago
Wait... so... I don't have to preoptimize my PNG uploads anymore? Yay!

I do have a question, however. Regarding 8-bit PNGs, do you guys recompress them into a 24/32-bit format anyway? Or keep them as 8-bit? Or, better yet, detect if an image has 256 colours or less and optimize into an 8-bit PNG from a 24/32-bit PNG?

I know it's extremely nitpicky of me, but I am kind of interested in knowing. I don't optimize PNG files myself for nothing!
starling
7 years, 7 months ago
It still helps us if you optimise it yourself. Less file data to transmit to start with and the optimiser will work faster.

The optimiser will find the best bit depth, palette, etc without reducing the image quality. But it helps if you optimise it yourself first. We just do it to reduce the impact on the system caused by lazy people. :D
Flygon
7 years, 7 months ago
What's the point of optimizing if the server rigorously reoptimizes it anyway. :p
Sanne
7 years, 7 months ago
"It still helps us if you optimise it yourself. Less file data to transmit to start with and the optimiser will work faster.

The optimiser will find the best bit depth, palette, etc without reducing the image quality. But it helps if you optimise it yourself first. We just do it to reduce the impact on the system caused by lazy people. :D"

That's the point? It seems pretty clear to me to be honest...
Flygon
7 years, 7 months ago
I've optimized PNG files before, and assuming they use the same brute force method I use via pngout, the optimization of the PNG will take the same amount of time anyway. I should also note that even if I did optimize my PNGs, it'd take longer to upload it anyway (Even accounting for the server processing times).

Put simply, it's faster for me to upload an unoptimized PNG anyway.

Long story short, I have a reasonable amount of experience optimizing PNG files, and even if there is some supposed benefit (In terms of faster processing times), actually copy-pastaing the PNG file to the pngout folder, running the .bat, waiting 5 minutes for it to optimize (I upload images of up to the maximum resolution Inkbunny allows), and uploading the result would be far slower than uploading the unoptimized PNG file and letting the server crunch the numbers down itself. Basically, I know what I am doing. ;3

On the upside, I am extremely pleased to hear that the PNG optimizer accounts for image depth! Kudos!
starling
7 years, 7 months ago
We just use optipng :O :3
Flygon
7 years, 7 months ago
Can't say I've used that, despite the fact that I'm suppose to to ensure minimum colours are used when compressing images for TASVideos. I always cheated by using the Paint.NET image compressor to reduce the amount of colours first (Screw the guide! I have my own damn methods! And they work! =D).

But, yeah, a year as Publisher for TASVideos will make you a bit anal about PNG optimization. My being anal about everything ended up getting me on 'Retirement'! :P
RealZero
7 years, 7 months ago
Great to hear of all the changes and the payment slowly going into the full-fledged direction again.
The donation link on the Journal page is still not working/being saved in the settings, but otherwise already very nice.

Looking forward to the future updates, great work, thanks for your great service.^^

Greetings,
RealZero
starling
7 years, 7 months ago
Oops! Thanks for reminding me. Fixing now!
starling
7 years, 7 months ago
Aaaand.. fixed!
Shokuji
7 years, 7 months ago
Great stuff! Thanks for all the hard work! =3
sinni800
7 years, 7 months ago
About the session stuff:

Why don't you actually store sessions in a "memcached" server? Would be a lot better to do. You could have sessions expire automatically on the memcached if they're not touched for a time.

So much for searching through a folder every xx hours.

In my opinion php is not a tool to make big sites, but that's just my opinion. (It creates tons of processes with fcgi! Using my IIS plus ASP.NET I have... 1 process. And those processes are multithreaded. Having 10 allows you TONS of connections and shared states!)

Now that I have the subtle advertisement for Microsoft out of my book, have you actually tried out memcached? Could be awesome.
devilishimmorality
7 years, 7 months ago
" In my opinion php is not a tool to make big sites

https://secure.wikimedia.org/wikipedia/en/wiki/Special:...
sinni800
7 years, 7 months ago
So? Facebook is made in PHP too (and needs like 10.000 servers, hah). This doesn't really change my opinion. But did you know what PHP once was called? "Personal Home Page" until it got renamed to PHP: Hypertext Prepocessor. It wasn't made for corporate websites and is unclean as hell. Love how they just barely put in OOP :).
devilishimmorality
7 years, 7 months ago
" It wasn't made for corporate websites

The Internet was invented for military communication. It wasn't made for public access. I think you can see where the gigantic hole in your logic is.

The great majority of technology and utilities are invented for military or otherwise sorely limited use, and only made available to the public later as the concept evolves. Do you really think the original development of PHP for personal home pages years ago (if indeed this is even true) has any relevance to its use and ability now? Do you really think they're just going to let their product sit there and not improve on it at all (like Microsoft does?)

Oh, and here's the real kicker: ASP is only fully compatible with Windows (for obvious reasons.) Do you know what "big sites" use to run their servers? Any fucking thing but Windows, preferably a GNU/Linux flavor. Do you know what you've got to use when you want to run on anything other than Windows, e.g. Linux?

(It's PHP)
sinni800
7 years, 7 months ago
Your logic isn't flawless as well. PHP might have improved, but is still kicking slow. AT LEAST if you don't use hacky improving mechanisms such as opcode caching. That the Internet was thought for military use only might be true, but this doesn't really mirror on what the PHP inventor thought. Also it's the other way around here.

Thought as military use -> then got home and private, corporate, etc, use. It's a step downward, a technology usually for something like a military, now for the home user? wow.

Thought as home / private use -> then got used by corporations. This is a step upward. Something that php didn't COMPLETELY achieve. Did you look at how cluttery it is? Zend does a good job in keeping it above water, but there's things better.

Also yes, I do know what corporations run on their servers.

Linux, Windows and IBM

And what do small-start websites use?

Mostly Linux.

Okay, now, what web technologies are there? Let's see...

PHP, Ruby on Rails, Perl/CGI, Java, Python and MAYBE Mono (ASP.NET for Linux. Works great, but still beta)

Most people use PHP. Ruby on Rails is very robust, and often used, too. Perl/CGI I don't know, but Python is used by google on some things. Then there's Java Servlets. Many big sites use them, because they're robust.

PHP is good to excellent for small sites but gets worse as the site grows. The problem is that, if your organization isn't very good, you're absolutely going to get lost in the code.

I repeat, Facebook stood before a massive problem with load, but they somehow, with a lot of fiddling, solved it by compiling PHP scripts (something which PHP was NOT thought for)
devilishimmorality
7 years, 7 months ago
"is still kicking slow" is a meaningless statement. It's ambiguous, you didn't even add a comparison or anything, and any system with enough power will run either PHP or ASP sufficiently anyway. The speed difference between the two is really not all that significant; the factors rely mostly on the programmer rather than the language structure itself.

It doesn't matter whether you step "up" or "downward", as those tags don't mean anything and it can be argued which is up and which is down in the first place. Regardless, you are still taking a product made for a specific purpose and enabling it to fulfill a much larger purpose.

I can give you another opinionated and ambiguous speed-related claim or two: PHP runs like shit for you because you're running it on Windows. Obvsly. ASP will be optimized for Windows better than PHP will, or this image will be constructed, because Microsoft would never allow its own utility to appear inferior on its own platform.

PHP will run better if you run it on Linux than on Windows (and you should be using Linux for any web project you publish) because everything will run better on Linux. Obviously this doesn't count native Windows applications that must be passed through WinE and barely work on Linux in the first place.



Finally, there is one extremely heavy reason to use PHP over ASP - you will get far more widespread and rapid support, because shitloads of people work on it rather than the one Microsoft team.
GreenReaper
7 years, 7 months ago
A lot of administrators use FreeBSD, but most don't bother arguing about it.

I'm unclear how opcode caching could be considered "hacky", any more than it is in .NET, Java or any other bytecode-based language. You might as well say browser caching is "hacky". If you are relying on your system to start from scratch each time, you're doing it wrong.
thelapisfox
7 years, 7 months ago
All I am going to say here is this; Thank you Reaper!
Inkbunny
7 years, 7 months ago
Hi

We don't run PHP in CGI mode. We use Apache as our webserver which is multithreaded and makes excellent use of all our processors.

The session issue is just to do with the risk of a browser making a concurrent connection and being allowed to receive data for a page before the session data is saved to disk. As the data is actually saves to disk cache, I'm not sure storing sessions in memory will help. But sessions in memory as a database is a popular option for PHP too.
sinni800
7 years, 7 months ago
" inkbunny wrote:
Hi

We don't run PHP in CGI mode. We use Apache as our webserver which is multithreaded and makes excellent use of all our processors.

The session issue is just to do with the risk of a browser making a concurrent connection and being allowed to receive data for a page before the session data is saved to disk. As the data is actually saves to disk cache, I'm not sure storing sessions in memory will help. But sessions in memory as a database is a popular option for PHP too.


Ah, so you use mod_php, my favourite method too.

Ah, I see. Storing the sessions in memory would make the writing process faster (and also purging will run faster and not lock up the server for 5 minutes). But if this is no issue to you anyway, it doesn't matter :).

kuroookamitsume
7 years, 7 months ago
" It's been a whole month since our last update announcement. But this has largely been due to one very busy developer who has only had time to make changes but not update the revisions page and make a journal about it!

(Not trying to start a flame war here.)
If a certain OTHER site followed this formula...aaaannnd I'm just gonna stop right there.

Thank you, all of you super-busy coders, for helping keep IB so awesome. :D
JustAMan
7 years, 7 months ago
In regards to the next update-- I'm noticing that on someone's profile, the bbcode for strikethrough () doesn't seem to work. Could this possibly be enabled in the next update, given it's not just a mistake?
Inkbunny
7 years, 7 months ago
We don't have a strikethrough BBCode option yet! But we should add one some time soon.
sinni800
7 years, 7 months ago
Alright, if you want a comparison...

http://shootout.alioth.debian.org/u32/benchmark.php?te...
This benchmarks objectively the speed of php compared to c-sharp, the prime language for ASP.NET in mathematical tasks.

It is true that not the tool is what makes it, but rather the programmer. A good php programmer can get better results than any programmer in any other language.

Also I've yet to see that you checked out actually how cluttery PHP is. Function names, look at them, it's crazy :). My claims are not without a base here.

PHP also does not run like shit on Windows. It runs pretty fast. Did you know www.gelbooru.com is run on Windows with PHP? Also Windows Server 2008. The IIS serves the image files blazingly fast.

ASP.NET on Linux runs faster than PHP on Linux by the way, IF it runs. There's benchmarks.

Also it is not guaranteed everything will run better on Linux. Never, ever. I've already seen what of a Linux&PHP fan you are, and many of this stuff is kind of baseless. I've seen it.

The thing with the support is true. But if I am a good programmer, would I need that much support? The sources for ASP.NET tend to be of a higher quality than for PHP, since not everyone who has never seen a webserver up close uses it :).
GreenReaper
7 years, 7 months ago
You are comparing a programming system with an integrated bytecode cache to one without. The addition of APC, Zend or eAccelerator (all of which have been around for years) is necessary for a meaningful comparison. Note that developers intend to integrate APC into PHP 5.4.
sinni800
7 years, 7 months ago
He said the speed differences were not significant :). Also "everything runs better on Linux" is a similar kind of comparison.
Inkbunny
7 years, 7 months ago
More people know PHP than any other webapp language. It's easy to get volunteer programmers as a result, and it works perfectly well for us.
sinni800
7 years, 7 months ago
" inkbunny wrote:
More people know PHP than any other webapp language. It's easy to get volunteer programmers as a result, and it works perfectly well for us.


This an undoubtful truth.

But, subjectively (! my opinion !) saying, I find that if there is ASP.NET c#/vb.net code to begin with, it is of more high quality often. You have to weed a little less imo.
Sangie
7 years, 7 months ago
So with this donation system back, does that mean now I can purchase high-res images again? It doesn't seem that there's a way for an artist to approve items for me to download via my bookshelf. I would think that would  be fairly simple. I make payment to artist over paypal or alertpay (grumbles about alertpay) and then the system sees I donated (just like how Paypal sees you've paid for an item on eBay, despite the payment going straight to the seller) and approves me to download  the image. Could something like  this be implemented?
RealZero
7 years, 7 months ago
So, I'm not one of the staff or programmer guys here, but as far as I know those are two different things.

eBay and Paypal are subsidiaries, so, paypal is the subsidiary of ebay. Thus it's easy to exchange such data between them, so, just some hand-in-hand function.

The way it works on Inkbunny now, it is only a link to the corresponding "send money to [address]" feature of the respective payment processor.
So, it's basically the same as if you include the "official" Paypal "donate button" on a website.
And while this works the way it does, it can sadly not be used the way you mentioned because of the way the payment processors handle it.

You see, of course Inkbunny could include a small page between the "donate" button and the actual payment processor's website where they ask "how much are you paying?", but the problem is, the payment processor wouldn't give any information back to them.
So, IB basically "only" links to Paypal/Alertpay and "fills out" the "recipient field", so to say, on that website, but the website never gives any "approval" back to IB, like, "Yes, the user has now paid 20 dollars".

For this to work, IB would have to actually use an own Paypal/Alertpay account again, qualifying them as "seller", and well, that is exactly what they cannot do anymore and which started all this change.

So, yeah, tl;rd version:
As great as that would be, it's sadly not possible at the current way to handle it, as the "donate" button is merely a "link" to a websites that "fills in" one field of a "send money to" form, but IB does not get any approved information back from the payment processor.
This works for ebay, because Paypal is a subsidiary of that company.

I hope what I said is still correct, that's the latest information, if I'm talking bullshit, I ask the officials at IB to correct me, but this is what's to correct to the latest informations I could find.

Greetings,
RealZero
Sangie
7 years, 7 months ago
Thanks for your detailed reply. However, Paypal and eBay used to be separate businesses and they worked that way... I think. It's been a long time.

Well then... there should be a way for an artist to manually approve a buyer to download the high-res art for the bookshelf. I think that's the only possible solution... I used to love this website due to the fact you could buy hi-res art. I just hated you had to wait 4 days to put money into an alertpay account.
Inkbunny
7 years, 7 months ago
Sales will be up and working soon I hope. Other more urgent fixes keep getting in the way! They will essentially work the way you suggest, but will be a separate type of payment apart from Donations.
thelapisfox
7 years, 7 months ago
Any ETA on when we will get submission type search back? Also, good job with the updates. I just love being part of this community and seeing it continue to progress. I just wished I still knew a lot about PHP and could help you guys out *hasn't touched PHP since 4.0*
Inkbunny
7 years, 7 months ago
Not sure when those search options will return. We need some serious search system optimisation to be done as those options slowed it to a crawl in certain situations! ;.;
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