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Attachments?

Discussion in 'Ask the Staff' started by chrispenycate, May 24, 2014.

  1. chrispenycate

    chrispenycate Sage

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    I know. New member pushes ideas that have been investigated a thousand times in the past and been rejected for adequate and well thought-out reasons.

    But I was wondering why the 'attachments' option is disabled (unless it's only off for me and will appear in a hundred posts or so). I'm a mod on another Vbulletin site, and have never noticed anybody using attachments for spam, while links, which you accept, there have been dozens, at least (quite possibly thousands).

    If you accepted .mp3 or .mpg or .gif, there's a strong risk of copyright infringement though I could incorporate examples of my ongoing 'bookreading to an audience' study (which you have fortunately been spared until now) or put up illustrations in posts that really don't warrant inclusion in a gallery, but yes, 'been there, done that, where's me T-shirt?'.

    But allowing documents in .doc and .rtf would enable challenges and showcase pieces to be transferred without the standard format scrambling, or needing half a dozen posts to get them into the thread. Yes, you have to double click the attachment to read it, and it might be an excuse for some people to avoid looking at it, but such members are unlikely to comment on long pieces anyway.
     
  2. Devor

    Devor Fiery Keeper of the Hat Moderator

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    I believe you may be the first to bring it up.

    While I can't speak for Black Dragon's motivations, as long as you can post a link, you can share files. You could link directly to Google docs or upload your work to an off site location. There's also the Portfolio, where you can post longer works, and the gallery, where you can upload pictures to include in your posts. If your work is too long for the Portfolio, then in most cases, you're probably better off sharing documents with other members privately.

    I definitely sympathize with the desire to share works directly. But unless we could incorporate a program that allows you to track changes between two different versions, then I don't personally feel there's much to be gained by managing a rudimentary file sharing service on site. You would almost always be at least as well off sharing through a third party.

    It's worth noting, as attachments can mean so many things, that you can still embed pictures and video directly into your posts.
     
    Black Dragon likes this.
  3. Fyle

    Fyle Inkling

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    Yes! This is a huge mythic puzzle piece that's missing. I won't showcase anything from a long WIP because my chapters are complete thoughts (as are most peoples) so, getting feed back on like 1/6 of a chapter is pointless if you want some kind of opinion on your bigger picture and concept; not just on "how well you write." (of course that is half of it and we should hold the actual writing to a certain standard)

    Many people point out things that don't make sense but will had you read on another 2-3 pages ...

    Other forums that are inferior to this site have attachments enabled so people can critique a full chapter and it's necessary.

    I've never said this here but +1 OP!
     
  4. Black Dragon

    Black Dragon Staff Administrator

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    Implementing attachments is tricky business, especially on a large forum.

    First, there's the risk of viruses, spyware, and pirated materials being uploaded to our server. Even if we limited attachments to senior members, they can unwittingly upload such things and spread them.

    Second, there's the issue of storage space. Storing attachments of any kind takes up hard drive space. As the number of attachments grow, increasingly more storage will be required. And storage costs money. We operate on a limited budget, and I pay for everything out of pocket. Even if we attempted to limit attachments to text documents, word processor documents need a lot more space than text stored in a forum database.

    Third, the increase in files on the server, and above-mentioned need for more storage, makes it increasingly difficult to backup the server. Every night I make a full backup of Mythic Scribes. If increasingly more storage space is required, the backup process will become unwieldy over time.

    Even without attachments, though, it is still possible to share documents. Devor explained how above:

    Linking directly to Google docs is definitely a viable workaround.
     
    The Blue Lotus likes this.
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