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Author Topic: Please don't use Photobucket  (Read 3560 times)

freebrickproductions

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Re: Please don't use Photobucket
« Reply #75 on: March 03, 2018, 12:42:03 PM »

Personally, I have at least four available sources of image hosting available to me -- an account in the Gallery portion of this forum, my website, Flickr, and a Facebook page -- so I wouldn't be inclined to contribute to a fund to provide hosting here. Facebook offers a pretty simple and free way to get your images online. Start a Facebook page (not a personal account, but a Page), upload your photos there, and link to them when you post here. I occasionally link to a photo on the Millennium Highway Facebook page and it works just fine.

The problem with this approach is that any of those hosting providers can unilaterally decide to prohibit third-party image hosting, just as Photobucket did.  Keeping image hosting with the forum ensures that low-demand images are not subject to a one-size-fits-all policy designed to deal with costs arising from high-demand images.  It also ensures that direct embedding of images on this forum is taken into account in any decisions to modify the image hosting policy.

1. Forum gallery — will only go down if the forum itself does. It's not meant for thousands of photos by a single user, though.
2. His own website — that's under his own control.
3. Flickr — Possible, but remember that Photobucket kept getting worse and worse with more and more ads until the "pay to use" scam finally happened. Flickr isn't showing any signs of getting worse or more desperate.
4. Facebook — Not that familiar with it, but I could definitely see it happening.
Facebook kinda already does as any direct image links will usually go dead after a while (a few months to a year, it seems).
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MNHighwayMan

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Re: Please don't use Photobucket
« Reply #76 on: March 03, 2018, 01:48:54 PM »

Facebook kinda already does as any direct image links will usually go dead after a while (a few months to a year, it seems).

I've noticed that too, although far less often, as I don't think people normally use FB as an image host. (That's what Instagram's for! :))
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US71

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Re: Please don't use Photobucket
« Reply #77 on: March 03, 2018, 09:31:59 PM »

Facebook kinda already does as any direct image links will usually go dead after a while (a few months to a year, it seems).

I've noticed that too, although far less often, as I don't think people normally use FB as an image host. (That's what Instagram's for! :))

I use Flickr for about 99 percent of my stuff.
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formulanone

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Re: Please don't use Photobucket
« Reply #78 on: March 07, 2018, 07:18:04 PM »

Facebook kinda already does as any direct image links will usually go dead after a while (a few months to a year, it seems).

I've noticed that too, although far less often, as I don't think people normally use FB as an image host. (That's what Instagram's for! :))

I haven't figured out how to convert an embeded Instagram photo to BBcode, if it does not support HTML...usually a good thing.

There is an SMF mod for it -> http://custom.simplemachines.org/mods/index.php?mod=4059
« Last Edit: March 07, 2018, 07:20:33 PM by formulanone »
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Scott5114

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Re: Please don't use Photobucket
« Reply #79 on: March 08, 2018, 11:14:50 PM »

The issue with repeated post editing, as I understand it, is that it can pose problems where the updated posts are not added to the main post database in the first instance but rather to a "changed posts" database where post revisions are parked until a server-side script merges them into the main database.  A client-side script that runs automatically to change potentially hundreds of posts (depending on how heavily a person has been using Photobucket) can result in this "changed posts" database becoming much larger than usual, and the merging script therefore taking much longer to complete, with possible implications for forum availability to users during peak posting times.

As far as I know, there's no clearing database that post edits are staged through, though I could be wrong. I'm not really sure what the technical justification for such a setup would be; it would be far simpler to change the database directly and fill in a "edited date" flag.

Quote
Another factor that could come into play is that for ISPs offering hosting for Web forums, there are typically two cost centers:  a bandwidth cost for sending data down the pipelines to the users, and a database access cost for querying or incrementing the SQL databases that form the forum back end.  Compared to running a script on the server side across the entire post database to change a string to another, an individual user can run up database access cost significantly by running his or her own script to modify his or her own posts.  Although a flat charge is supposed to mean a flat charge, ISPs can penalize users for spikes in database access cost by throttling the forum or, in extreme cases, taking it offline.

This assumes a traditional shared-hosting model, which is I believe the model our server operates on. An alternative arrangement is to rent a virtual private server (VPS), which is a virtual machine running on the ISP's server. In this kind of setup, the site operator has full OS access to the "server" and can optimize the server to favor whatever kind of access is needed. Resource caps in that kind of set up tend to take the form of disk space, memory, and processor speed caps rather than discriminate on the type of processing being done.
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US71

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Re: Please don't use Photobucket
« Reply #80 on: March 13, 2018, 11:00:56 PM »

I received an offer for a "free" photo poster from Wyndham Rewards via Photobucket. I'd still be on the hook for shipping, handling, taxes, etc. so opted NOT to accept the offer
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fdpierson

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Re: Please don't use Photobucket
« Reply #81 on: April 22, 2018, 06:39:01 AM »

I'm a lurker, but I'm also a senior majoring in computer science, and I decided to do some research on the Photobucket problem. I concluded that generating links to Photobucket images would be the best idea if anyone wants to try that out.

To figure this out, I installed my own copy of SMF 2.0.15, read the documentation and source code, and found an option for enabling the image proxy. What I believe the image proxy does is downloads the image, temporarily caches it on the server, and replaces the image link with the cached image link. Addressing concerns about database performance, the image proxy does not edit posts at all, instead outputting HTML on the fly from preexisting BBCode. An image proxy allows us to circumvent simple hotlink protection. Unfortunately, Photobucket is smarter than this, redirecting downloads to an image viewing page, where JavaScript (probably) must be executed to obtain the image.

Because JavaScript execution is (probably) required to obtain the image, we would have to host a headless browser on this server to obtain the image. I don't know the specifications of this server, but headless browser execution requires lots of resources. Another solution would be to require users to install a client-side extension to view Photobucket hotlinks. What these extensions do is load the Photobucket page in the background, execute the necessary JavaScript (since we're using a browser) to obtain the image, and displays that image. This solution will probably work as long as you trust the extension you are using. I also took a look at Photobucket's source code and saw this:

"LEGAL NOTICE: The content of this website and all associated program code are protected under the Digital Millennium Copyright Act. Intentionally circumventing this code may constitute a violation of the DMCA."

We probably don't want to violate the DMCA, so that leaves us with only one option: replacing Photobucket images with links that redirect to them. Once again, this can be done by outputting HTML from preexisting BBCode. However, this would require modification to the forum codebase. From my current understanding of the codebase, I would probably implement this functionality within the validate method for the image tag in Subs.php, which generates HTML from BBCode. If the validate method detects a link to a Photobucket image, it will output an image link instead of the image itself.

I might get back to this later, but these are my ramblings for now. I have finals soon.
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Michael

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Re: Please don't use Photobucket
« Reply #82 on: November 18, 2018, 07:10:10 PM »

Over the past few days, I've noticed a couple pictures embedded in forums with large "Proudly hosted by Photobucket" watermarks.  After a quick Google, I came across this article.  It turns out that they have a new CEO, photos are no longer being held hostage, and they want to do “the right thing for customers”.  The prices have increased since the article was written (here's the plan page), but even the most expensive option of $11.48 per month works out to $137.76 per year as opposed to $399 per year.  Also, you can now embed photos with even the cheapest plan.

On a side note, if you open the image in a new tab, it redirects to the photo's page on Photobucket, and you can see the image without a watermark.  I've always been annoyed by the hijacking of the direct image link, but that's a different topic.
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