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51  Main Area and Open Discussion / General Software Discussion / Re: free photo editing? on: April 19, 2015, 02:11:46 PM
Picasa should work reasonably well: https://picasa.google.com/
Affinity Photo is also currently in a free beta period and may work (not sure how extensive its RAW support is):
https://affinity.serif.com/en-gb/photo/

- Oshyan
52  Other Software / Programming School / Re: Building a new programming school - V3.0 on: April 07, 2015, 03:54:39 PM
I was curious myself, so I looked into it. While the coding school may be quite old, this thread is not. Wink However, it was originally started in 2011 several months before Codecademy launched, and a year before Udacity did. So the original question made good sense at the time and the idea that DC might have an important role to play wasn't that odd. Nowadays the picture might be different...

I don't have personal experience with any of the existing systems, but my first question would be what level of personal interaction you get with them (Udacity and Codecademy in particular). The big stand-out aspect of DC as an educational tool is the community. If other sites have great communities focused on their area of interest (e.g. teaching/learning programming) and you have experts to ask for advice and info, then I wouldn't feel like DC necessarily needs to invest efforts in this area anymore. Alternatively, if such sites have great learning content but still lack good community interaction, you could consider the possibility of a hybrid - use these other public educational systems and tools for the actual lessons and tests, but keep a discussion, Q&A, etc. going here. Almost like a teacher at any random school who uses a textbook, lesson plan, and other materials from a 3rd party provider - there is still value in the teacher's interaction and presence. But again I don't know how Udacity or Codecademy run their courses, they may already excel in this area, in which case problem solved!

Edit: I see that both have forums. Udacity's seems to be flooded with terrible spam and looks to be semi-unusable as a result. But I'm just looking at the main/open forum area. e.g. http://forums.udacity.com...3/dear-god-the-spam#ma006
Sadly this appears to be a technical/priorities issue for Udacity, but they do have the *capability*. I would still wonder whether the interaction in the forums is with teachers or mostly other students and how well it works, but at least it's there. Hopefully they can clean up the spam issue.

Codecademy's forum system seems less clear to me. They say they have a Forum Q&A link at the bottom of each exercise. I'm not signed up so I don't know if that's still there. But I do know the Groups system for more general discussion no longer exists for some reason:
http://www.codecademy.com/groups

So... the jury is still out. DC may or may not have a role to play. But I certainly agree that creation of instructional content and tests is probably not the best use of DC time and resources. smiley

- Oshyan
53  Special User Sections / N.A.N.Y. 2014 / Re: NANY 2014 Release: Reference Overlay Tool on: April 05, 2015, 06:52:33 PM
*Gentle nudge* cheesy

- Oshyan
54  Main Area and Open Discussion / Living Room / Re: The 2015 10th Anniversary DonationCoder.com Fundraiser Cheer for Victory Thread! on: April 02, 2015, 06:35:31 PM
This community seems pretty healthy by those numbers. cheesy

- Oshyan
55  Main Area and Open Discussion / Living Room / Re: The 2015 10th Anniversary DonationCoder.com Fundraiser Cheer for Victory Thread! on: April 01, 2015, 02:17:46 PM
Man, that's a lot of really low paid coder hours, hehe.

- Oshyan
56  Main Area and Open Discussion / Living Room / Re: The 2015 10th Anniversary DonationCoder.com Fundraiser Cheer for Victory Thread! on: March 30, 2015, 06:07:33 PM
I'll donate $50 right now for the chance to get my Yelp bookmarks thing coded. Wink

- Oshyan
57  Special User Sections / DC Website Help and Extras / Re: I have put a "share with facebook" type thing on the pages (temporarily?).. on: March 29, 2015, 03:43:01 PM
Indeed! Discourse really is pretty well thought out. It's not perfect, but it's a lot more well designed and thoughtful than any other system I've seen yet. Others like Burning Board or IPB are basically like souped-up versions of SMF. They have more features, maybe some slicker elements and design, some nice touches like Lightboxes for images say, and some other Javascript fancery. But it's still a pretty traditional approach to forum discussion (for better or worse). Meanwhile systems with built-in forum-like features like Drupal have the advantage of complete integration, but at the expense of features and bloat, and also with a different but still fairly traditional approach, without such thoughtful changes as Discourse exemplifies. Finally, systems with integrated plugins such as Joomla's Kunena or WordPress BBoard are sort of the middleground between those other options, with decent but not ideal integration to their parent systems, generally fairly basic feature sets, and minimal-to-no unique features or ideas, a fairly standard approach aside from the integration.

If DC were anything but a forum-and-discussion-focused site I might recommend some other forum system with tighter integration to a CMS, but since CMS-type content is actually fairly minimal here (and would, IMO, be better handled in a Wiki-like fashion anyway), I feel like Discourse is a really strong option and a good fit...

For the software stuff, depending how serious you get about it, you could either use one of the nicer available Wiki systems (with some plugins or custom coding, as needed), or something like Redmine. Redmine, as you know, has a built-in Wiki system, file hosting, bug tracking, and even version control access. It may be overkill, which is why I'd probably suggest a more straightforward Wiki myself (which really should serve all needs as far as I can see), but Redmine is worth considering if in the DC migration you want to aim higher and give devs more and better tools to manage and maintain their software.

As you can probably guess, I'm anxious to see your post(s) about where you see the future of DC and hopefully including some thoughts on these kinds of specific systems and recommendations. If not Discourse, why not? If not a Wiki, why not?

- Oshyan
58  Special User Sections / DC Website Help and Extras / Re: I have put a "share with facebook" type thing on the pages (temporarily?).. on: March 29, 2015, 03:23:38 PM
Like many other things, I think Discourse handles this very elegantly. Rather than making you scroll all the way to the bottom or popping up an obtrusive sidebar/bottom-bar, or other thing, it just assumes that linking is something you might want to do for *any* post (original post or a reply to it) and gives you button to do that on every post. It's a variation of the fairly familiar and widely used "chain link" icon which brings up a little box with the URL to that specific post, small buttons to click to share with Twitter, FB, G+, and Email. I assume it's all self-hosted since it's integrated right in.

Here's a screenshot. The red box shows the share options that pop-up, the green box at bottom shows the link you click to get the pop-up (to the left is a Like button, to the right is Bookmark), the blue box above shows how these buttons (including Reply) are faded out until/unless you mouse over the post, in other words the focus is on *reading* rather than interacting/replying, unless you want to. Quite nice IMO.

[attachthumb=1]

- Oshyan
59  Special User Sections / N.A.N.Y. 2014 / Re: NANY 2014 Release: Reference Overlay Tool on: March 22, 2015, 01:21:45 PM
Thanks wraith, much appreciated!

- Oshyan
60  Special User Sections / N.A.N.Y. 2014 / Re: NANY 2014 Release: Reference Overlay Tool on: March 21, 2015, 04:21:41 PM
Oh man, this tool is exactly what I need!... except it's missing one thing. cheesy Any chance you can implement a new feature/option?

I was looking for something that would let me take a headshot image of me and let me easily overlay it dynamically on anything I wanted to, specifically web shopping sites for clothes. I think it could be very helpful for picking out clothing online. I can do it manually of course in something like Photoshop, but that's incredibly time consuming and would only slow down the process, while I'm trying to speed it up.

So, your tool is perfect, except it does not seem to support mask-based transparency/opacity (as opposed to overall window transparency/opacity, which you do support). Supporting transparency would be hugely useful, first because I can't get a good impression of how a shirt fits me (particularly the collar) if my head is surrounded by a white box that overlays some of the shirt. But also especially because it enables things like having a full body shot with only my arms and head showing - in the right positions - and the body transparent, to hopefully give an even better impression of fit. This is more relevant for color theory approaches to clothing rather than body-shape stuff of course, but it still seems quite helpful.

So if you can implement mask/transparency support that would be fantastic! An option to hide the UI controls would also be super nice, but not mandatory. Maybe like a double-click on the main interface will toggle show/hide the controls?

Thanks in advance!

- Oshyan
61  Main Area and Open Discussion / Living Room / Re: DonationCoder 10th Anniversary plans, ideas, changes, fundraiser? on: March 21, 2015, 02:33:01 PM
Looks like I missed the main activity period of this thread, but in my opinion DC is great in concept and general spirit. It just needs better tools/implementation.

Due to the many-possible-editors nature of the main non-discussion content pages, I think some form of Wiki makes tremendous amounts of sense. I don't see a WordPress or other such site being as effective as a straightforward Wiki. A Wiki meets all the needs I can really think of, aside from possibly marketing/aesthetic, for which you could perhaps just have a few still static pages, or a Wordpress-powered collection of pages, but even that seems unnecessary if you spend a little time prettying up your Wiki and theming it nicely. Wiki can be edited by anyone, if edits go awry it can be reverted, they can be multimedia-rich (including video, with plugins), have table of contents, glossary functionality, indexes and lists (e.g. list of all software by a particular contributor, list of all software in a particular category), and allow more focused discussion around a given page which could allow e.g. simple bug tracking and app-specific conversation that is more directly tied to the app's page (this makes most sense after a coding snack or other app is developed and made available, i.e. for long-term, ongoing bug discussion, feature requests, etc.

The forums as a community engagement tool are nice, but those and perhaps also the donation/user support system that is tied to them, need some new features which might suggest a new system entirely. I could call out some specific features like user mentions (e.g. @javajones, which improves engagement/stickiness), threaded conversations, easier topic splitting and referencing, better mobile support, better quoting functionality, better notifications, and more. Some of these are possible to implement with SMF, either with plugins or custom coding. A more radical but likely more effective solution would be to consider something like Discourse, which I've been very impressed with thus far (to be clear I am not running my own implementation at this time, this is just what I've seen from its feature set and testing it in its own discussion areas). http://www.discourse.org/ There are other more SMF-like forums that have some of this capability built-in and might be less of a shock to the existing users, e.g. Burning Board https://www.woltlab.com/wbb/ but I think ios a major software change is going to be made at all, it's worth considering something more forward-thinking like Discourse.

As for donations, my first question would be whether donations are really intended for (and at this time really do go toward) not just the site but also individual users. Do people toss a dollar or a 25 cents toward someone for a good, informative post? Do software authors, coding snack writers, etc. actually get many contributions? And if so are they coming from a variety of people, both old and new users, or is it more of a small-ish group of people who support *each other* and the money just kind of circles around? In other words is it more of a token gesture (no pun intended), or an actual, functional, useful part of the site? If the donations largely support the site itself, practically speaking, then perhaps it's best to make that clear or optimize better for that (although if it's working now as-is and there is a reasonable balance, perhaps it's already fairly optimal). If there is a desire to encourage more contribution to individual members, perhaps the site overhaul could help address that with plugins/add-ons to e.g. Discourse and the Wiki, and a better-branded, better-promoted (more "surfaced") donation/support system, something like Patreon/Subbable for example but oriented toward how things work here...

That's my 2 cents for now. Big change is scary and risky, but if you don't want DC to continue to just coast along as it has done for the past few years, then such change is worth strongly considering.

- Oshyan
62  Main Area and Open Discussion / Living Room / Re: Share your photos! Travel shots, photoblogs, etc. on: January 31, 2015, 01:02:06 AM
Damn, looks like I missed some good stuff. 4wd, I am very jealous, that sounds fantastic. Always wanted to do an epic sailing trip. There's still time. smiley That panorama of Blackberry Camp is stunning!

Car stuff is fun to. Man I used to be seriously into cars some years back. Never did make it to an auto show or anything (or GM world, haha; I do love to just "drive to drive" though). But I used to haunt the local Ferrari and Porsche shops a bit as a lad. Wink

One of these days I'll get around to posting my final Iceland series, and maybe more (have some laying around unposted from a great Utah trip a couple years ago, etc.). In the meantime, keep posting your stuff guys! It's great to see.

- Oshyan
63  Main Area and Open Discussion / Living Room / Re: Share your photos! Travel shots, photoblogs, etc. on: January 04, 2015, 02:03:22 PM
Woah, looks like I missed a bunch. Thanks guys, great stuff!

Those are some awesome panoramas. And what an epic journey! Is that a single sailing excursion?

Jibz, I too am a flower photo geek. I haven't taken so many lately, but in my archives are many, many flowers, bees, etc. cheesy You've got some really nice examples over there on 500px. thanks for sharing. smiley

- Oshyan
64  Main Area and Open Discussion / Living Room / Re: Share your photos! Travel shots, photoblogs, etc. on: December 06, 2014, 08:53:52 PM
Oh my god, I love super long piers!! That's awesome. Thanks for showing that. smiley

We have one in the Bay Area, no longer functional unfortunately, but it used to be 3.5 miles long! http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Berkeley_Pier

- Oshyan
65  Main Area and Open Discussion / Living Room / Re: Talents and talent shows on: December 06, 2014, 12:00:23 PM
I know, crazy place to start, right? I'm fascinated that someone in Dubai saw her and then decided they wanted to book this act from half-way around the world. Awesome. smiley

- Oshyan
66  Main Area and Open Discussion / Living Room / Re: Talents and talent shows on: December 06, 2014, 10:57:10 AM
I thought you guys might want to know that Abbey has her first paying, independent performance of Aerial Animation coming up mid-December in Dubai! So it all paid off. It's a very exciting moment. smiley

Thanks everyone for all your support!

- Oshyan
67  Main Area and Open Discussion / Living Room / Re: Share your photos! Travel shots, photoblogs, etc. on: December 05, 2014, 10:28:56 PM
At long last, Part 2 of 3, for those interested:
https://plus.google.com/p...lbums/6088425499534158033




Thanks for looking! And hey, please DO post your own photos and share your journeys, adventures, discoveries, etc! smiley

- Oshyan
68  Main Area and Open Discussion / Living Room / Re: My cat needs your thoughts | RIP Saffron my dearest cat on: August 29, 2014, 02:44:08 PM
Really sorry to hear that Jesse. It is indeed so hard losing a loved one, and 18 years together, wow. That's a big bond. Take the time you need, we're all here for you.

- Oshyan
69  Main Area and Open Discussion / Living Room / Re: Talents and talent shows on: August 27, 2014, 11:04:59 PM
Thanks guys. I'm hopeful that she's able to create some kind of production company out of this and take the show on the road. Who knows. I'll let you know if that happens and you can all go see it in person. smiley

- Oshyan
70  Main Area and Open Discussion / Living Room / Re: Talents and talent shows on: August 27, 2014, 09:09:02 PM
Well, it's over at last and she didn't make it through. Sad It was a pretty tense finale, they were the last to find out their verdict, and it was chosen by the judges. The way they structure the show is just so stressful... Anyway, she got really far and did great, I'm very proud of her. Thanks once again to all of you who watched, voted, and read about this little moment in my life. smiley

- Oshyan
71  Main Area and Open Discussion / Living Room / Re: Talents and talent shows on: August 27, 2014, 08:21:44 PM
Well, she's in the "Snapple Save" candidates, so she needs votes if you got 'em. One for each Google Account, just like before. Just search "snapple save" on Google.

Thanks!

- Oshyan
72  Main Area and Open Discussion / Living Room / Re: Talents and talent shows on: August 27, 2014, 04:20:57 PM
Results are tonight, tonight! But there's important info to share as well. Read on...

They've got a new thing this year called the "Snapple Save" where the audience can vote from between I think 3 acts to pick one to advance, i.e. to "save" them from elimination. They are the "maybes" or something. Anyway, if Aerial Animation ends up as one of those, then she needs people to vote *live*, during the East Coast show, to get her through. So I'm going to ask for all your help again, if I may.

As far as I know this will probably happen near the *beginning* of tonight's results show, which means it starts at 9PM Eastern, 6PM Pacific, and it will happen *before* the airing on the West Coast. The stream I linked to above is from the East Coast feed, so it would work to watch that. Abbey said it would be between 6 and 6:15PM Pacific basically, and once it's announced there is only a 30 minute period to vote. Fortunately the voting happens all online, you just search "Snapple Save" in Google after it's announced and you can vote. If you're not watching, you can even just try searching for that around 6:15 Pacific and see if she's on there.

Here's a page with some more info: http://www.nbc.com/americ...s-got-talent/snapple-save
And a video, if you have access to Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/...o.php?v=10152473462559760

The results of the "Snapple Save" will be given at the end of the show.

I'll let you all know what ends up happening. Thanks again!

- Oshyan
73  Main Area and Open Discussion / Living Room / Re: Talents and talent shows on: August 27, 2014, 03:34:01 PM
Glad to hear you enjoyed mouser. She had a tough couple of weeks leading up to this, she got sick, her partner hurt is back, but I think they did well in the end, especially considering the difficulties. Now to see what America thought. cheesy

Thanks to everyone who watched and/or voted! No matter what happens the support she has gotten from everyone has been amazing. Reality TV is a really tough environment, but it has been an opportunity to connect with such an expanded audience, I think it must be worth it, with the challenges and all. smiley

Soooo... any other talents out there?

- Oshyan
74  Main Area and Open Discussion / Living Room / Re: Talents and talent shows on: August 26, 2014, 06:10:50 PM
2AM it is then! Hard to sort out daylight time from non-daylight the world 'round. I wish we'd just stick to "Daylight Saving Time" permanently. Everyone hates "regular" hours. :-p

- Oshyan
75  Main Area and Open Discussion / Living Room / Re: Talents and talent shows on: August 26, 2014, 05:51:12 PM
It's about 10 minutes to 4(PM) here right now, which will be 7PM on the East Coast. So about 2 hours from now for the live East Coast broadcast at 9PM EDT. I'm gonna say that's 1AM GMT. Hope that's right, looks right... cheesy

- Oshyan
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