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DPChallenge Forums >> General Discussion >> DPC Offline Voting Application - Beta Users Needed
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05/22/2010 11:46:58 AM · #1
I have written a windows-based application for offline voting on DPC challenges.

In a nutshell, it downloads all the entries for a challenge and stores them. You can then vote without waiting for page downloads, submissions, etc. It supports filters by vote cast, sorts by vote, etc. When you are ready, you post all your scores and comments with the click of a button.

By front-loading all the download time into a single batch, the "quality time" you spend on voting is optimized. I think this could also be a useful tool for those using dial-up or slow connections.

Caveat: This is a very early version - it can only handle one challenge at a time, and can't download challenges that span more than one initial page on DPC. I'm looking for feedback as to whether this is worth polishing and making available to the community.

I should have it packaged and ready for a handful of people to try out later this weekend. Right now, I am looking for volunteers.

If you are interested and willing to try and provide feedback, please let me know. I will private-message respondents with download instructions once the package is ready.
05/22/2010 12:07:41 PM · #2
hmm, well if the site is on board with this i'll do it. Can you choose to save it to folder? Does it delete the shots after you are done voting? I dont want a ton of stuff sitting on my pc, but if it goes away or i can delete it afterwards i would be interested.
05/22/2010 12:13:41 PM · #3
Originally posted by Nobody:

I have written a windows-based application for offline voting on DPC challenges.

In a nutshell, it downloads all the entries for a challenge and stores them. You can then vote without waiting for page downloads, submissions, etc. It supports filters by vote cast, sorts by vote, etc. When you are ready, you post all your scores and comments with the click of a button.



Are you legally allowed to download everyone's entries? I mean does that not breach copyright?
05/22/2010 01:32:37 PM · #4
Originally posted by keegbow:

Originally posted by Nobody:

I have written a windows-based application for offline voting on DPC challenges.

In a nutshell, it downloads all the entries for a challenge and stores them. You can then vote without waiting for page downloads, submissions, etc. It supports filters by vote cast, sorts by vote, etc. When you are ready, you post all your scores and comments with the click of a button.



Are you legally allowed to download everyone's entries? I mean does that not breach copyright?


it does nothing you don't otherwise do when voting. It is in essence an automated browser.
05/22/2010 01:37:23 PM · #5
Copyright issues aside, I strongly advise clearing this with 1.gif Langdon before putting it into operation. It would seem to me that it would require a specific exemption to the site TOS, but he's the only one able to render an official judgement. I suggest you submit an Administrative Ticket, which will go directly to him.
05/22/2010 01:40:33 PM · #6
Originally posted by GeneralE:

Copyright issues aside, I strongly advise clearing this with 1.gif Langdon before putting it into operation. It would seem to me that it would require a specific exemption to the site TOS, but he's the only one able to render an official judgement. I suggest you submit an Administrative Ticket, which will go directly to him.


There may be bandwidth issues too if it's downloading every image each time someone uses it. Unless I didn't understand exactly how it works.
05/22/2010 01:59:48 PM · #7
Originally posted by Nobody:

Originally posted by keegbow:

Originally posted by Nobody:

I have written a windows-based application for offline voting on DPC challenges.

In a nutshell, it downloads all the entries for a challenge and stores them. You can then vote without waiting for page downloads, submissions, etc. It supports filters by vote cast, sorts by vote, etc. When you are ready, you post all your scores and comments with the click of a button.



Are you legally allowed to download everyone's entries? I mean does that not breach copyright?


it does nothing you don't otherwise do when voting. It is in essence an automated browser.


So, is this downloading images in the background while voting so in essence, pre-fetching future images?

Also, what about the random order of images presented? Is that maintained?

Message edited by author 2010-05-22 14:01:34.
05/22/2010 02:42:02 PM · #8
I'm surprised by the reaction here, but given the overwhelming negative response, I retract my request.

To respond to questions posed though,

I didn't see this to be a TOS issue, as it's really just enhancing an ability already provided on the site. It isn't using anything for personal gain or negatively impacting the service.

It shouldn't have an impact on bandwidth, as each photo is downloaded only once-the same # of times they would be via a browser.

The random load is preserved. It retrieves the photos using the page the system provides the user.

Nevermind.....,

I'm taking my ball and going home.
05/22/2010 03:19:55 PM · #9
Originally posted by Nobody:

I'm surprised by the reaction here, but given the overwhelming negative response, I retract my request.

I'm taking my ball and going home.


Nobody,

I think what you are doing is a very positive addition to DPC. As I understand it, all you are doing is allowing people to continue voting the way they always have but without the lag for loading the next image between each vote. If I am understanding this correctly, I think it is a GOOD THING. Please don't give it up just because some people asked tough questions.

I also think that the tough questions were appropriate. An application such as this *could* be written in such a way to get around the parts of the DPC voting procedures that are designed to keep voting fair. For instance, if you wrote something that made it much easier for people to "cherry pick" images to vote on, I would be against it. But from what you have said, I don't think this is the case.

It would also be good to make sure that the "powers-that-be" (Langdon, et al) know what you are doing and that they, at least, do not appose it.

~~DanW
05/22/2010 04:09:28 PM · #10
I think it's a cool idea. The concerns the others have raised shouldn't discourage you but make you aware of things you'll have to consider while developing.
The General is right though, without Langdon's OK you're on a slippery slope.
05/22/2010 05:06:43 PM · #11
Sounds like a cool app. As you described it sounds like it functions like a browser but judging by the responses here it would seem many don't know how browsers actual work. People seem to be unaware that when you view a photo online it is automatically downloaded to your local computer, which is then easily accessible like any other file on your hard drive. I tried to tell people this during the watermarking debates but it just seemed to go in one ear and out the other.
05/22/2010 05:23:13 PM · #12
Does it work like a browser, in that when you view a photo online it is automatically downloaded to your local computer, which is then easily accessible like any other file on your hard drive?
05/22/2010 06:05:23 PM · #13
lol
05/22/2010 06:26:37 PM · #14
Think of the app as a really fast typist.

It autoamtes the Internet Explorer Browser to request the same pages that you would if you were voting normally. If a challenge had 200 entries, it would request 201 pages (the main page, then the 200 individual voting pages). However, it saves the image id and photo to a temporary directory (not unlike the browser cache) and builds an index table of them.

It has a voting page that provides a list of the images in a standard windows list. When you select one, the full-size image is displayed, along with 10 voting buttons. WHen you vote, it automatically advances to the next image in the list (like DPC). The images, by default, are displayed in the same order that they would've been had you been voting online.

Once you have completed voting, you open another page. When you click the "submit" button, it will submit the same form "post" that the normal DPC page would have. Because, however, the images aren't having to be retrieved, an entire challenge's votes will be submitted in under 3 minutes.

It really doesn't do anything that you wouldn't have done anyhow manually. It just takes the two time-consuming aspects of the voting process and batches them up at the beginning and the end.

05/22/2010 06:45:51 PM · #15
I think this is a great idea and a very helpful app. for saving time... Thank you very much, and for what is worth I appreciate what you are doing here for putting your effort, time and dedication to doing this. I hope it gets approved by Langdon. Thank you again!!!
05/22/2010 06:46:23 PM · #16
It may be a handy accessory. It may cause problems or have consequences as yet unforseen.* I am suggesting that you "go through proper channels" before implimenting any such site modification.

Without in any way discounting the idea or the effort, I see no need to be precipitate in activating this, and reiterate the suggestion that you discuss this with Langdon first.

*For example, one I can think of right away, is that if voting is performed offline there is less assurance that it is only the account-holder actually casting the votes, unless the software/interface contains similar security provisions as the site itself.

Message edited by author 2010-05-22 18:47:02.
05/22/2010 06:51:36 PM · #17
Originally posted by GeneralE:

It may be a handy accessory. It may cause problems or have consequences as yet unforseen.* I am suggesting that you "go through proper channels" before implimenting any such site modification.

Without in any way discounting the idea or the effort, I see no need to be precipitate in activating this, and reiterate the suggestion that you discuss this with Langdon first.

*For example, one I can think of right away, is that if voting is performed offline there is less assurance that it is only the account-holder actually casting the votes, unless the software/interface contains similar security provisions as the site itself.

You believe that there can be assurance as to who is casting the votes? Just because they've logged in as the user? Interesting....

Message edited by author 2010-05-22 18:52:49.
05/22/2010 07:35:50 PM · #18
Originally posted by yanko:

Sounds like a cool app. As you described it sounds like it functions like a browser but judging by the responses here it would seem many don't know how browsers actual work. People seem to be unaware that when you view a photo online it is automatically downloaded to your local computer, which is then easily accessible like any other file on your hard drive. I tried to tell people this during the watermarking debates but it just seemed to go in one ear and out the other.


Some of us do know how browsers work. I never view all images in one sitting, it may take 3 or 4. If his app downloads all the images each time I enter into voting, I'll have downloaded them all 3 or 4 times for no reason other than his app doing it automatically each time.
05/22/2010 08:02:05 PM · #19
Originally posted by GeneralE:

It may be a handy accessory. It may cause problems or have consequences as yet unforseen.* I am suggesting that you "go through proper channels" before implimenting any such site modification.

Without in any way discounting the idea or the effort, I see no need to be precipitate in activating this, and reiterate the suggestion that you discuss this with Langdon first.

*For example, one I can think of right away, is that if voting is performed offline there is less assurance that it is only the account-holder actually casting the votes, unless the software/interface contains similar security provisions as the site itself.


I'm sure there are many more issues to take into account, one such problem comes to mind, the very thing that we are trying to prevent on this site, copyright infringement. We have no way of telling if people are removing the images after they are finished voting and or using the images without permission.

I am far from being a stellar photographer but we have some GREAT ones on this site and they have already had photographs stolen with the precautions that are in place now, giving people the freedom to upload our images to their computer and to trust that they will remove them when they are finished voting is in my opinion far to risky.

I DO NOT want to detract from what you are trying to do and if there is a way that the images cannot be captured and removed and then used but any unscrupulous people and it is voted on and accepted by the majority of the membership and thus approved by SC and ultimately by the BIG CHEESES themselves then I say it will certainly make some people very happy.

Just my .02$ worth.

MAX!
05/22/2010 08:26:02 PM · #20
Originally posted by Quigley:

Originally posted by GeneralE:

It may be a handy accessory. It may cause problems or have consequences as yet unforseen.* I am suggesting that you "go through proper channels" before implimenting any such site modification.

Without in any way discounting the idea or the effort, I see no need to be precipitate in activating this, and reiterate the suggestion that you discuss this with Langdon first.

*For example, one I can think of right away, is that if voting is performed offline there is less assurance that it is only the account-holder actually casting the votes, unless the software/interface contains similar security provisions as the site itself.


I'm sure there are many more issues to take into account, one such problem comes to mind, the very thing that we are trying to prevent on this site, copyright infringement. We have no way of telling if people are removing the images after they are finished voting and or using the images without permission.

I am far from being a stellar photographer but we have some GREAT ones on this site and they have already had photographs stolen with the precautions that are in place now, giving people the freedom to upload our images to their computer and to trust that they will remove them when they are finished voting is in my opinion far to risky.

I DO NOT want to detract from what you are trying to do and if there is a way that the images cannot be captured and removed and then used but any unscrupulous people and it is voted on and accepted by the majority of the membership and thus approved by SC and ultimately by the BIG CHEESES themselves then I say it will certainly make some people very happy.

Just my .02$ worth.

MAX!


Damn, people really don't understand how much of a joke the whole "preventing copyright theft" argument is..

Here, I'll explain -

The images are quite easy to download the entire time they are in voting.. Sure it requires a very small trick, but in now way are you images somehow "protected" right now, if you think that little .gif overlay actually stops anybody but the most casual persons, then you are quite mistaken..

So, drop that particular worry, they aren't secure now, nor will they ever be... Oh and every time a picture is viewed on the internet, it's downloaded to your cache anyway...

Now, here's a real concern - if you keep a cached archive of the images in the challenge (what I assume you mean, download once, then vote at your leisure.. Offline or on, then near the end of the challenge pass the votes to the server..), then how do you deal with an image that has been DQ'd, if you send a vote, does that mess up something on DPC's end? Can you quickly get a list of challenge entry image ID's without needing to download the image?
05/22/2010 09:02:08 PM · #21
Originally posted by coryboehne:

Originally posted by Quigley:

Originally posted by GeneralE:

It may be a handy accessory. It may cause problems or have consequences as yet unforseen.* I am suggesting that you "go through proper channels" before implimenting any such site modification.

Without in any way discounting the idea or the effort, I see no need to be precipitate in activating this, and reiterate the suggestion that you discuss this with Langdon first.

*For example, one I can think of right away, is that if voting is performed offline there is less assurance that it is only the account-holder actually casting the votes, unless the software/interface contains similar security provisions as the site itself.


I'm sure there are many more issues to take into account, one such problem comes to mind, the very thing that we are trying to prevent on this site, copyright infringement. We have no way of telling if people are removing the images after they are finished voting and or using the images without permission.

I am far from being a stellar photographer but we have some GREAT ones on this site and they have already had photographs stolen with the precautions that are in place now, giving people the freedom to upload our images to their computer and to trust that they will remove them when they are finished voting is in my opinion far to risky.

I DO NOT want to detract from what you are trying to do and if there is a way that the images cannot be captured and removed and then used but any unscrupulous people and it is voted on and accepted by the majority of the membership and thus approved by SC and ultimately by the BIG CHEESES themselves then I say it will certainly make some people very happy.

Just my .02$ worth.

MAX!


Damn, people really don't understand how much of a joke the whole "preventing copyright theft" argument is..

Here, I'll explain -

The images are quite easy to download the entire time they are in voting.. Sure it requires a very small trick, but in now way are you images somehow "protected" right now, if you think that little .gif overlay actually stops anybody but the most casual persons, then you are quite mistaken..

So, drop that particular worry, they aren't secure now, nor will they ever be... Oh and every time a picture is viewed on the internet, it's downloaded to your cache anyway...

Now, here's a real concern - if you keep a cached archive of the images in the challenge (what I assume you mean, download once, then vote at your leisure.. Offline or on, then near the end of the challenge pass the votes to the server..), then how do you deal with an image that has been DQ'd, if you send a vote, does that mess up something on DPC's end? Can you quickly get a list of challenge entry image ID's without needing to download the image?


Gee Cory thanks for breaking it down for me. I had trouble explaining the exact same thing as you explained to me in the second section of my reply which, although not as eloquently said as you gets across the same point. I'm merely stating WHY make it easier by grouping everything into one cache.

MAX!
05/22/2010 09:06:15 PM · #22
Originally posted by Quigley:

Originally posted by coryboehne:

Originally posted by Quigley:

Originally posted by GeneralE:

It may be a handy accessory. It may cause problems or have consequences as yet unforseen.* I am suggesting that you "go through proper channels" before implimenting any such site modification.

Without in any way discounting the idea or the effort, I see no need to be precipitate in activating this, and reiterate the suggestion that you discuss this with Langdon first.

*For example, one I can think of right away, is that if voting is performed offline there is less assurance that it is only the account-holder actually casting the votes, unless the software/interface contains similar security provisions as the site itself.


I'm sure there are many more issues to take into account, one such problem comes to mind, the very thing that we are trying to prevent on this site, copyright infringement. We have no way of telling if people are removing the images after they are finished voting and or using the images without permission.

I am far from being a stellar photographer but we have some GREAT ones on this site and they have already had photographs stolen with the precautions that are in place now, giving people the freedom to upload our images to their computer and to trust that they will remove them when they are finished voting is in my opinion far to risky.

I DO NOT want to detract from what you are trying to do and if there is a way that the images cannot be captured and removed and then used but any unscrupulous people and it is voted on and accepted by the majority of the membership and thus approved by SC and ultimately by the BIG CHEESES themselves then I say it will certainly make some people very happy.

Just my .02$ worth.

MAX!


Damn, people really don't understand how much of a joke the whole "preventing copyright theft" argument is..

Here, I'll explain -

The images are quite easy to download the entire time they are in voting.. Sure it requires a very small trick, but in now way are you images somehow "protected" right now, if you think that little .gif overlay actually stops anybody but the most casual persons, then you are quite mistaken..

So, drop that particular worry, they aren't secure now, nor will they ever be... Oh and every time a picture is viewed on the internet, it's downloaded to your cache anyway...

Now, here's a real concern - if you keep a cached archive of the images in the challenge (what I assume you mean, download once, then vote at your leisure.. Offline or on, then near the end of the challenge pass the votes to the server..), then how do you deal with an image that has been DQ'd, if you send a vote, does that mess up something on DPC's end? Can you quickly get a list of challenge entry image ID's without needing to download the image?


Gee Cory thanks for breaking it down for me. I had trouble explaining the exact same thing as you explained to me in the second section of my reply which, although not as eloquently said as you gets across the same point. I'm merely stating WHY make it easier by grouping everything into one cache.

MAX!


By the time you finish voting now it's in one cache anyway. Each image will be in the temporary file folder.

Since one of the intended results of the offline voting was to speed things up a bit, why not just institute some form of pre-fetch so images are loaded in the background while you are voting. At the beginning of voting things will be as they are now but as you move through the images they will appear instantaneously (or as close to that as possible) since they will have already been cached.
05/22/2010 09:07:51 PM · #23
I think that before this great ideas is implemented,

Asking the Owners permission of the web site if you can do this would be a great idea
05/22/2010 09:42:02 PM · #24
Originally posted by JulietNN:

I think that before this great ideas is implemented,

Asking the Owners permission of the web site if you can do this would be a great idea


Asking is always preferred and the nice way to go about things but certainly not required. There are many social media companies that already harvest DPC's content and store it on their own servers (Google, Wayback Machine, etc) and they do it without asking. It's simply part of doing busiess on the Internet.

Edited to clarify: The batch submission could be viewed as spam and treated as such. My comment is in regards to the collection of data (ie photos).


Message edited by author 2010-05-22 22:04:22.
05/22/2010 09:45:21 PM · #25
Originally posted by yanko:

Originally posted by JulietNN:

I think that before this great ideas is implemented,

Asking the Owners permission of the web site if you can do this would be a great idea


Asking is always preferred and the nice way to go about things but certainly not required. There are many social media companies that already harvest DPC's content and store it on their own servers (Google, Wayback Machine, etc) and they do it without asking. It's simply part of doing busiess on the Internet.


Dirty buggers :)

MAX!
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