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Plans for updating the archaic forum?

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Paul L13/11/2020 08:40:20
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57 forum posts
24 photos
Posted by Lee Jones 6 on 12/11/2020 18:57:11:
Posted by Michael Gilligan on 12/11/2020 18:25:55

Event tracking for directed ads. Installed, monitored and managed by MTM.

It doesn't have a great deal to do with Facebook per say; MTM subscribe (and probably pay to use) this service.

It allows them (Facebook) to track every move you make on this site, every link you click on and every sponsors advert you click and when you get to the sponsors site (if they also have the facebook icon) every move you make there also. ad infinitum.

There are ways to prevent / minimise this, but for the majority of users this is the case.

Frances IoM13/11/2020 09:04:07
1003 forum posts
27 photos
If you transpose this to the equivalent of surveilling a person so that every place they visit + everyone they speak to is noted then you gain some view of the surveillance society built up by Facebook + Google - exactly the same techniques that are used in China
br13/11/2020 10:23:20
461 forum posts
3 photos
Posted by Neil Wyatt on 12/11/2020 21:42:16:

The software clearly has several shortcomings, but works well enough to support a thriving community.

Neil

Thank you Neil

Totally agree, and I am sure the majority of the membership would agree with you.

br

Circlip13/11/2020 10:25:52
1235 forum posts

" I'm happier to upload 30 photos straight from my phone or camera than have to go through and resize 30 before uploading as a batch. "

Heaven help us if that's adopted. The thought of so many photos at different orientations angry. The thought of 30 photos being repeated to reply to a post??????? and sorry Neil, the format of this forum has limped on for eleven years, one size fits all for MTM, the attitude being lump it or lump it. A reasonable search function would reveal MOST of the problems discussed are echoes.

Regards Ian.

Edited By Circlip on 13/11/2020 10:29:21

JasonB13/11/2020 10:36:34
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Moderator
19967 forum posts
2179 photos
1 articles
Posted by Circlip on 13/11/2020 10:25:52:

" I'm happier to upload 30 photos straight from my phone or camera than have to go through and resize 30 before uploading as a batch. "

Heaven help us if that's adopted. The thought of so many photos at different orientations angry. The thought of 30 photos being repeated to reply to a post???????

Don't know what you mean about orientation, have you ever seen any of my 2000 odd images hosted here up the wrong way and the majority of photos have come straight off the phone or camera.smile p

That should actually have read happy to upload 30 in batches of 5 from straight a device.

Rod Renshaw13/11/2020 10:37:31
243 forum posts
2 photos

Thanks for putting things in context Neil.

I find I don't really mind MTM keeping tabs on us because, as far as I know, MTM are just a commercial company trying to sell magazines. If they use what information they gather to inform their advertising decisions and maximise their sales that seems innocent enough as far as individual forum users are concerned. My newsagent tells me that many magazines are ceasing publication altogether in these difficult times, so perhaps we should be grateful for ME and MEW's continuing publication.

But Facebook... Who knows what they do?

Rod

mick H13/11/2020 10:50:07
736 forum posts
21 photos

The greatest strength of this forum is that its members give freely and generously of their expertise and experience to anyone who asks for it. I hate to think how much this expertise would cost in the commercial world even if it were possible to put a valuation on it. I would hate to see changes that would jeopardise this philanthropic relationship.

Mick

Michael Gilligan13/11/2020 10:57:05
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17334 forum posts
787 photos
Posted by Neil Wyatt on 12/11/2020 21:04:12:

" The Facebook pixel is a snippet of JavaScript code that loads a small library of functions you can use to track Facebook ad-driven visitor activity on your website. "

Basically it allows MTM to track if people come to the website as a result of ads on Facebook i.e. to see if Facebook advertising is worth doing.

Neil

.

For general info.

I’be just found this which expands a little, in reasonably plain English, on Neil’s brief description : **LINK**

https://blog.hootsuite.com/facebook-pixel/

MichaelG.

Nigel Graham 213/11/2020 15:12:12
1076 forum posts
16 photos

I followed that Hootsuite link.

It describes whom it is for and what it does: retailers wanting to develop their tracking and directed-advertising campaigns), how to install it, and even includes a screen-shot of the "snippet of Java code".

I am not accusing MTM of underhand methods, but that reactive sales-surveying would appear to be just one and by no means the primary aim of Hootsuite.

I found its blurb chilling. Apart from a brief warning that certain fields such its medicine and financial services examples are heavily protected by privacy and security legislation, the entire site shows it and the few American conglomerates who have taken over the Internet have nothing but contempt for personal privacy and security.

If one thing could be done to this site, it would be to ensure that whilst its, and the magazines', advertisers who pay for publishing space may analyse how readers learn of them, no details of those readers can be harvested via the site.

Frances IoM draws parallels between Facebook and Google, and the People's Republic of China. Well, the watchers' motives differ but there are simple precautions you can make to reduce the watching. Some simple ones I use:

- Turn off as many tracking "cookies" as possible - though I admit I do not know if the virtual "off" switch is genuine or a lie.

- Minimise on-line purchasing and other transactions.

- Minimise using Google, which anyway now hides behind a frustrating cookie-filter designed to make you give up and accept their intrusions .

- Do not use Facebook, Twitter & Instagram.

- Don't let your portable phone be a location-tracer; with one exception. So leave it switched off except when genuinely expecting or needing to make a call needing immediate response (such as a rendezvous when out shopping or attending an exhibition... let us hope on that one). In any case most of us are - in "normal" life - often in situations where the thing should be off anyway.

NB: THAT ONE exception - the obvious one, but inapplicable to my telephone, the NHS Covid tracing scheme.

I do not know if my 'phone could track me. It is a basic, 3G-rated instrument on which telephone calls are its primary, intended function! It is not connected to the Internet, but anyone following its locations last year would have been puzzled. For it was in S. Dorset, at random times on irregular dates, for most of the year, but for no discernible reason was in rural N.W. Yorkshire for no more than 10 minutes or so on each of two or three quite different dates of no clear significance! So no use to the ad agencies then...

+++

Going back to the topic though, it seems most of us are reasonably happy with this forum as it is, and do value it, but do encounter various points that could be improved.

The OP did not help his cause by perjoratively using "archaic" without considering its meaning or significance, or offering immediate, constructive suggestions. He also seemed later to have judged it by personal preferences in Internet use, perhaps more than by objective technical points; but hand on heart I suspect most of can be similarly influenced by taste and equipment available. Nevertheless, he did raise an important general point.

That is, that just as with mechanical engineering, web-sites can and should withstand occasional review and adjustments; but vitally, ones that keep the thing running and hopefully improve it, but with its contents and users' wishes paramount.

I mean genuine improvements, problems solved etc. Not mere displays of fancy IT clever-cloggery for no better and sometimes worse, service - leave that to Microsoft and Google!

Lee Jones 613/11/2020 15:37:06
245 forum posts
125 photos
Posted by Nigel Graham 2 on 13/11/2020 15:12:12:

The OP did not help his cause by perjoratively using "archaic" without considering its meaning or significance, or offering immediate, constructive suggestions. He also seemed later to have judged it by personal preferences in Internet use, perhaps more than by objective technical points; but hand on heart I suspect most of can be similarly influenced by taste and equipment available. Nevertheless, he did raise an important general point.

The OP knows precisely what "archaic" means:

And I stand by the fact that I (still) perceive the forum to be quite "old fashioned".

12 years is a lifetime in computing/internet technology.

What I didn't appreciate was how attached people had become, nor how personally people would take feedback.

I certainly didn't mean for anyone to be personally offended - and for that, I unreservedly apologise.

That does not mean I'm willing to concede that the site is flawless however. I stand by all of my previous points.

PatJ13/11/2020 17:55:13
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132 forum posts
104 photos

I think it is important to remember in this thread that changing software would not change the content of this forum.

All the great material would still be here just like it is today.

What would be desirable would be to use any available software enhancements that could improve the experience here, and make the site easier to use and access.

It is a waste of time to argue the meaning of words.

Better to focus on possibilities for improving the site, and making it better, using things we can all agree on.

United we stand as they say.

Circlip13/11/2020 18:05:23
1235 forum posts

"Don't know what you mean about orientation"

Yes Jason, you may be clever enough to get ALL your pikkies the right way up, but some can't easily achieve this with ONE. and the endless repeating of full posts don't arf cripple the band width. Pointed this out within the last couple of years by repeating the same thing on one posting, the following poster didn't appreciate my Sinicism by repeating ALL the clag. # Post numbers, far less boring than having to scroll through repeats. Have the same problem with TV at the moment.

Regards Ian.

Bazyle13/11/2020 18:51:07
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5788 forum posts
216 photos

The forum consists of two things - the text we put into posts and then the forum software that presents it in a particular way with pretty toppings.

A number of people have pointed out that they are software experts. Would it be possible for them to write a program that can be run on a our computers that takes the data as it comes into a page currently but presents it in a different format that pleases the critics? This is just for presentation for those that want it, the same existig forum program remains back at base.

Frances IoM13/11/2020 19:11:00
1003 forum posts
27 photos
the photo problem could be avoid by requiring all photos to be placed in a photo album, the move to the album could easily add a function (eg as used in imagemagic in Linux) to restrict maximum dimension together with an additional button to rotate the image in the album - this way what you see is what others will get and also there is a good chance that photos will remain whereas other approaches on embedding stuff from elsewhere can see images disappear.

Personally I still use a browser that allows me to turn off images which is great as I can turn them back on for the threads that attract my attention but then I am old and was brought up to read books rather than comics.

Edited By Frances IoM on 13/11/2020 19:11:32

Edited By Frances IoM on 13/11/2020 19:12:47

Morse Homology24/01/2021 16:13:44
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7 forum posts

As an actual Silly Con valley guy: all respect to Ubuntu engineers whose hard work keeps all my hardware ticking over, but beware software engineers suggesting improvements.

Oft times such folks (myself among them), with the best of intentions, look at software and think "oh I could do better," or "I could fix X thusly." Sometimes it's true. More often though, they do not understand what the existing software gets right, and the end result is worse. As a trivial example: I agree with someone above that Xenforo is very cool forum software; slick, nice UI, uploads images/PDFs with ease, nice to administer as well. However, the search feature is absolute trash. That would ruin the utility of the stored wisdom of this forum.

The human generated comment here is the valuable thing. It would be nice to have a few more fiddly little features if they can be added easily. But if this thing runs exactly the same software in 50 years in some futuristic virtual machine in a positronic brain, with 50 years more content, it's a huge win, even if you have to log in again when you use your ipotato, and the file uploader still isn't spot-on.

Probably in some timespan on a 50 year scale, the appearance and functionality of model-engineer will be seem as charming early 00's ambiance that punters will pay extra for, to remind them of when the internet was still cool and new.

Anyway, happy to help if there's something needs fiddling with. But I think you have it nailed; don't mess with it too much!

Peter Greene24/01/2021 17:16:42
123 forum posts
1 photos

Posted by Morse Homology on 24/01/2021 16:13:44:

.....Xenforo is very cool forum software;......However, the search feature is absolute trash. That would ruin the utility of the stored wisdom of this forum.

All the more surprising then that the search function here (just a site-limited Google search) seems to be so little used. You can almost guarantee that by this time next week there'll be another new "what lathe shall I buy" thread ... or somesuch.

(It doesn't help that the search box is somewhat "buried". If it could be relocated to be part of each page "banner" I believe it would help a lot).

John Pace10/02/2021 20:13:32
237 forum posts
164 photos

Hi

Anyone on here also uses the RCME model flying forum ,used to have a similar layout to this one ,has been changed over this last few days , go and have a look at it , be grateful for this one and hope there are no plans to change to a similar layout ,it looks bl**dy awful.

John

Dave Halford10/02/2021 21:02:04
1293 forum posts
12 photos

'Juggard' pretty much describes this forum.

And most of us don't care.

Bill Davies 210/02/2021 21:06:18
208 forum posts
11 photos

I have to agree with you, John.

Someone took the 'max seven ines of text per page' to heart. There must be money in white space.

Bill

Ady110/02/2021 23:10:23
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4235 forum posts
593 photos
Posted by John Pace on 10/02/2021 20:13:32:

Hi

Anyone on here also uses the RCME model flying forum ,used to have a similar layout to this one ,has been changed over this last few days , go and have a look at it , be grateful for this one and hope there are no plans to change to a similar layout ,it looks bl**dy awful.

John

The requested page "/forums/latest_posts.asp" could not be found.

lol

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