About the value of this forum

General Moho topics.

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Genete
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About the value of this forum

Post by Genete » Fri Mar 23, 2007 12:37 am

The resources that this forum have is one of the biggest values what makes Moho (Anime Studio now) even a better program. I think nobody doubts about this.
I have been diving into the some different sections of the forum and sadly have realized that some links are broken.

In my opinion Mike (Lost Marble), Fahim or finally e-frontier should make a kind of backup of the most valuable files that have passed thru this forum: For example:

1) All the scripts that have been posted by users must be backed up. They could be (if add some value to the existing ones in the core of Moho) added for future releases of Anime Studio. I understand that the person who posted it is opening the code to the comunninty and obviously could be packed for new releases. Perhaps some of them could be revised for code correction ad/or optimization.

2) All moho/anme and image files that are useful for future users that are examples of "Tips and Thechniques" or "How do I?" sections should be also backed up and if the link is broken substitute it for a secure one. It is very frustrating to find a solution for your problem and find a broken link to the example file or the image that ilustrates the result. Also "Share your work" and other sections are valid.

Who should do this? That one who want that the value of the program continues alive. Obvioulsy Mike and e-frontier.
I think that some (most) of the users dont have its own domain or ftp server and are using free accounts from companies that could dissapear in the future or the user would not maintain the account never more for particular reasons.

Please think about it...


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Víctor Paredes
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Post by Víctor Paredes » Fri Mar 23, 2007 1:04 am

i absolutely agree with you.
it's too difficult that e-frontier give some space for the files of this forum?
it would be great that we could upload the files (images, videos, moho, anme, etc) directly to the forum.
i don't know, it's too much to ask? (i really don't know).
because, ok, the forum info accumulated so far must be saved, but we need a real solution for future.

i hope fahim or lostmarble read this thread.
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DK
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Post by DK » Fri Mar 23, 2007 10:52 am

I totally agree with you. For a while I had no webspace and anytime I wanted to upload even simple image I had to place it somewhere quite inconvenient. Yahoo groups have a files and images upload section in their foiruums. I would have thought this the norm.

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Touched
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Post by Touched » Fri Mar 23, 2007 2:06 pm

I've seen a couple of script repositories collected by members of this forum -- that's where I got some of them. But it's dependent on those particular users to keep track of any new scripts posted here and uploading them to his or her server. A central location would be nice. In the case of plain-text code, I re-iterate my statement that a wiki would be an excellent solution. Tips, tricks, tutorials, expansions of the manual could all be added, as well as image uploading (and perhaps file uploading depending on the server settings) and of course the script code could be posted into it, since it's plain text. All we would need is a stable server to host it and the wiki framework.
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Post by Bones3D » Fri Mar 23, 2007 11:00 pm

Having run large-scale forums like this in the past, I can definitely tell you any expectation of Lost Marble or E-Frontier for data retention beyond basic message content is just too unrealistic. There are far too many random factors involved to make it work. It would require massive changes to forum code and massively increase the load on the server itself, making the forum much, much slower in the process. If the forum performance and reliability began to suffer, it would directly affect the size and nature of the community we currently have here.

The user-hosted repositories mentioned earlier in the thread are probably the best option for this sort of issue. If anything should ever happen to the forums here, the repositories would still be accessible.

One possible change I would recommend for such a repository, would be to focus less on random random aggregation of content posted on the forums and perhaps focus more on developing a painless way for users to actively submit the content they create, so it can be easily shared with the rest of the community. (It would probably be a good idea to have at least one mirror of the repository running, just in case the primary repository fails.)

Hosting and operating a forum like this (and doing so reliably) requires a lot more work than most users would initially think. There just isn't enough time or manpower available to cherry-pick through all the content generated here each day. Look at how much effort it has taken just to keep the jumk/troll posts under control on here, and you'll have a pretty good idea what would be involved in trying to archive all the useful files and information posted here.

I'm not saying the idea itself isn't good, but realistically speaking, it just isn't possible without compromising the user experience we've all come to expect on here.
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Touched
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Post by Touched » Fri Mar 23, 2007 11:21 pm

Bones3D wrote:One possible change I would recommend for such a repository, would be to focus less on random random aggregation of content posted on the forums and perhaps focus more on developing a painless way for users to actively submit the content they create, so it can be easily shared with the rest of the community.
Like the aforementioned wiki!
Genete
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Post by Genete » Sat Mar 24, 2007 12:56 am

The initial intention of my first post is to warn to LostMarble and to e-Frontier that the added value of this forum to Anime Studio basically resides in the big amount of scripts, tutorials, howto, tips and thecniques and shared moho and anme files that hold the previously said.

The way that LM of e-Frontier keep and organize the information is not definetively the most important thing. In my opinion a Wiki is good but first CURRENT content SHOULD (MUST) be saved (included the linked files) to protect this added value for further users. After they can organize them as a wiki or any other kind of accesible information.

This forum is a big amount of information. But also have a lot of non added value content that a expert in Moho / Anime Studio can easily discriminate.

Also I agree with selgin that this forum should have a kind repositorie or file holding for its forum members. To avoid spam or other type of intrusion the quota of uploading files per day can be limited. Also can be in querantine until the administrator (moderators or the forum itself) agree that this is a valuable addition to the forum.

Meanwhile the forum could still working in the same way as today. But I think that LM should host scripts and some of the tips and tutorials that here are added. Example the LM water tutorial. Once the valuable content grow it can be added to a wiki under some supervisors. I think that some old threads should be relaunched into a high value level for the forum. and putted in shuch kind of repositorie hosted by LM and/ or e-frontier resouces.

I'm a relative new member of this forum (since september 2006) and have noticed that people ask for same question several times. ¿Didn't they use the search tool? perhaps yes but the amount of result is SO BIG for common questions that is easier to ask it again than read into the search result. Those ones are lucky because in this forum there still being patient people that solve same question several times without claim to the newbie. Perhaps those most active users can be more satisfied and happy with their contribition if theis added value is hosted and organized into (for example) a wiki format... Think about what should hapen if those most active users go and don't contribute anymore to the forum...

(Rasheeeeeed come back!!! :wink:)

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Post by human » Sat Mar 24, 2007 1:07 am

In think the repeated calls for users to search for things before they ask questions is a bit harsh.

[1] A new user doesn't always know enough to formulate the precisely-right search query. So let's give them a break.

[2] Even properly-formed queries don't always turn up the right results, because the forum's search engine isn't very smart or powerful. People on this forum have admitted that they often have to use Google to search this forum.
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Post by Touched » Sat Mar 24, 2007 1:20 am

Searching via Google does have some advantages...more relevant results most of the time, and no time delay between allowed searches. I hit that delay very often, when I search and get no results, or immediately see that the few results are irrelevant and want to try a different term.
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Post by Bones3D » Sat Mar 24, 2007 10:30 am

Typically, the "search" feature on a forum like this one can be extremely lacking. The reason for this, is that the forum software creates a smaller, secondary database which caches the first 300 or so characters of each post made to a particular thread. The "search" function then uses this smaller database to seek out whatever criteria you give it. So, unless the item needed appears within those first 300 or so characters, the results returned are incomplete.

Of course, the benefit of doing this, is that it reduces the CPU time needed to perform the search and leaves room for other users to continue posting.

However, there are some negative aspects to this besides lacking complete search results...

First, the search database may not be updated whenever a thread is moved/deleted or if the forum structure itself is altered. (Like the addition of the S*** Bucket or the changeover to the newer Anime Studio setup from the older Moho forums.) This then creates a situation where you might get useful search results, but are unable to access the actual threads themselves. The threads themselves still exist, but they are no longer properly indexed for the search engine.

Next, depending on the forum software used, it may or may not be impossible to re-index the existing threads back into the search engine database. If the software in question does feature such an option, it would likely require significant downtime to do it. In addition, it also depends on if the server has a run-time or CPU usage cap imposed upon the website itself. If the re-indexing were interrupted by such an obstacle, it could potentially lobotomize the search engine database as it is now and possibly even render the entire search function unusable. (Or, in the worst case scenario, it could even prevent the entire site from accepting new posts from any user.)

Googling the site *may* work to an extent, however, the Google spidering software is now sophisticated enough to identify the difference between a database driven website and your typical, straight forward website. As a result, Google will only spider about two or three layers in at best. This should be enough to net you fairly completely search results on threads that have been active within a week or so... but, with older threads, it's entirely a game of chance.

The Wiki option has potential, but I could see support for it declining rapidly after a few weeks due to user burnout from repetitive organizing, formatting and error correcting tasks. (A large number of dedicated users working in rotation might be one possible solution for this issue...)

In any case though, this will not be an easy task, even with new content. There will be several inconsistencies between different users and their content submissions. Not everyone will write proper, concise instructions or provide uniformly-sized visual content. These kinds of issues could render a Wiki much more difficult to use than initially anticipated.

There is, however, a third option apart from the current forum setup and the Wiki/Repository ideas... create a monthly newsletter using user-submitted content and distribute it online with all the necessary support files included in the archive. Then, a few key users could volunteer their time to clean up the submitted content into a single, easy to read format. A Wiki/Repository could then be used to organize and make available all of the newsletters produced.
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Post by slowtiger » Sat Mar 24, 2007 12:57 pm

Searching is difficult mostly because any new (and often enough even old) user doesn't know the exact term he's searching for. From my personal experience I know that most of my questions go into the direction of "what's the fuckin' name for that function which does this and that" rather than "how does funtion X work".
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CHIO
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Post by CHIO » Sun Mar 25, 2007 4:23 am

Hi folks:

Do you remember this historic message writed by Mike?
Posted: Mon May 15, 2006 7:52 am

OK, here I am. Sorry for the long absence.
It's true that I'm not visiting the forum regularly these days. There are lots of reasons for that, and I don't want to go into all of them. Ultimately, spending my time on the forum is unsustainable - financially, mentally, strategically. I definitely am responding to email, though. If I missed an email it may be a SPAM filtering issue, but I expect there are very few of those.
Now, as far as Moho goes. Moho is definitely not dead. In fact, I hope to be able to announce some big news soon. I've been working with a company (who will remain nameless for now) on an effort to push Moho beyond where it has been up until now. This company will be able to provide marketing, sales, support and development resources to Moho. In a few months, you should even be able to buy a boxed copy of Moho in a store. That's about all I can say for now, but Moho definitely has a future.

-Mike
This company will be able to provide marketing, sales, support and development resources to Moho
I think "marketing" & "sales" existing now, but "support development" not.

Now ANIMATES STUDIO look like professional, but it is version MOHO 5.4 with many examples and simply nothing else. I do not see indications of updates and is probable that marketing can take to which it was MOHO but to be known by more people, but definitively a software needs to update, that is what waits for somebody that pays money by software; and who know AS today, they always need aid and the support must come from this wonderful group of people, but also of E-FRONTIER.

I have real hopes that the things can change :lol:

Come on E-FRONTIER (Fahim) como on, Anime Studio could arrive far much more !!!!! :wink:

Chio
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cribble
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Post by cribble » Sun Mar 25, 2007 11:59 pm

I tried making a resources thread. But fell flat on my ass, as i've become busy and i quite frankly don't have the time to search the forum and find the best topics.

Also the fact it was stickied meant that no one could be reminded of these resources.

So.. erm.... lunch anyone? (please reply to this question foremost, as this is a pressing matter!!!)
--Scott
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heyvern
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Post by heyvern » Wed Mar 28, 2007 10:26 pm

I agree that external linking of files on this forum could be a potential problem down the road.

However, efrontier is well aware of its value to the users and will continue to support it and improve it. I definitely got an extremely positive feeling about this when I spoke with Fahim at the NYC Comic Con. They know this forum has more... "robust" content than the one at efrontier and this forum also has a different... personality.

There may continue to be 2 forums as far as I know... but this one isn't going anywhere and if anything it may see some improvements down the road.

As far as losing important links to images and files, this may be an insurmountable issue. Even if this forum software were updated to allow posting of files those previous links would not be transferable. They would probably have to be updated by the posters themselves.

I would do this with my own content just so I can get it off my web server.

I am glad you raised this issue. It is an important one. I have been going through my own website and realize I can't delete or change certain file locations because they will "break" on the forum.

Hopefully at some future date this can be remedied.

-vern
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Post by human » Thu Mar 29, 2007 12:53 am

For some time, I've been thinking about establishing an archive of AS files from this forum on my website.

Is this is a good idea?
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