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Release notes (Website: Upload image to cache & trackable description; hosted images going forward) - September 15, 2020

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9 hours ago, StratOman said:

Just one more thing.

If I cannot host an image from my server and the description is in HTML, how do I add an image to the cache page ?

 

I did have this , which no longer works.

 

<img src="http://mattsphotobooks.com/john/victoria.png" />


Download to your computer, and reupload using the tool. 

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It would be nice to make uploading available to those who don't use the WYSIWYG editor. Uploading images through the 'Add images' link works of course, but that way is just so full of clutter, not to mention that links to images uploaded this way appear at the bottom of the cache description. :rolleyes:

 

Also, just noticed that when uploading an image the new way, the link contains a :443 suffix to the domain, which is redundant.

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On 9/17/2020 at 4:52 PM, TheVoytekBear said:

Is there any reason why Google Drive and Dropbox ale allowed, but OneDrive is not?

Hopefully this will be swiftly corrected, I really can't understand the omission. 

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2 hours ago, lodgebarn said:

I really can't understand the omission. 

Just so it won’t get forgotten on the previous page: They blocked a long-standing authorized developer. They blocked their own domains. Nothing about this makes sense.

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On 9/18/2020 at 5:24 AM, StratOman said:

Just to clarify, my current puzzle caches running html/CSS/Javascipt will still work fine.
However future puzzle caches using html/CSS/Javascript will not work as they are on a third party server.
In future all my puzzle are limited to simple text and photos ?

 

To clarify perhaps some misunderstandings... your description is in HTML with limited CSS support, but no javascript is allowed. Your caches have a mix of linking to external files (hosted on your server) and embedded images (IMG tags with the source as a script hosted on your site).

The only change relevant here is what happens with those IMG src URLs. If the image is hosted on your personal site, it's not allowed. But you can still link to external files and scripts. So your puzzles will still be fine, but the images you embed will need to be changed. They will no longer be able to be dynamically automatically updated by being hosted on your server.  But you could provide the image as a link for people to view separately if they want to see the updated info.

 

With all this restriction, it may well be worthwhile creating a dedicated web page on your own server that provides that geocache description in full dynamic glory the way you intend it to be viewed. It may bother people who use a device that's not internet-connected, but it is an option.

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My thought too @thebruce0 . Cache pages descriptions could start to look like this:

Click here for the cache page

 

Linked to a web page not hosted by GC. Any javascript, images, etc can be handled on the 3rd party site. 

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Well around here that may not be so big a deal - there are already so many puzzle caches that use external resources. Making a puzzle cache on its own webpage isn't that big a leap, really. Native description simple and explanatory, with a link to the puzzle. We're already used to having to link off site for things like jigsaw puzzles, or scripted 'games'.

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I just realised that in nearly all my caches I use country flags from a website geocaching.pl, which was made for the polish community.

While creating a new cache I faced the external website block. Uploading directly to the cachepage is destroying the transparent background of the image.

 

Can this website please be whitelisted?

Edited by sernikk

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18 minutes ago, sernikk said:

I just realised that in nearly all my caches I use country flags from a website geocaching.pl, which was made for the polish community.

While creating a new cache I faced the external website block. Uploading directly to the cachepage is destroying the transparent background of the image.

 

Can this website please be whitelisted?

 

Also, please consider leaving GIF and PNG images alone, and not converting them to JPEG.

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5 hours ago, niraD said:

 

Also, please consider leaving GIF and PNG images alone, and not converting them to JPEG.

^This!

 

So far, we have seen lots of explanations, why GS is restricting the embedding of images hosted on foreign sites. OK, fine (or not - depending on your view point). But: Is there any explanation from GS, why everything has to be converted to JPEG? GIF and PNG are widely formats, which support very useful features (animations, lossless compression). I just don't see why such files shouldn't be hosted unchanged on geocaching.com.

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With more time spent on my caches I see how unfriendly this change is.

When editing a cache in build-in editor, all caches I have containing images, no matter on what website hosted, have deleted styles, alligns etc., and you have to set it the way you want again. This is a good moment to ask why?

 

Edited by sernikk
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17 hours ago, niraD said:

 

Also, please consider leaving GIF and PNG images alone, and not converting them to JPEG.

 

 

I think also that allowing GIF and PNG upload is a must-have without losing transparency and animated picture.

It is very useful.

Please HQ consider this request !!

Edited by @rthur
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What about visitor counters and their images like flagcounter.com or andyhoppe.com/counter?
Right now they aren't working, but many people use them to keep track of their visitors!

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20 minutes ago, austriaka said:

What about visitor counters and their images like flagcounter.com or andyhoppe.com/counter?
Right now they aren't working, but many people use them to keep track of their visitors!

 

That's exactly what GS is trying to stop. They only allow their own tracking (and Google, adnxs, amazon, casalemedia...).

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I am very disappointed in this decision by geocaching.com

 

I have many creative caches which rely on images being real time generated by PHP scripts... They simple are not possible this way..

 

Series like "international geocaching" 

And time related items for example...

 

Not being able to use an external site for puzzles makes creating creative puzzles very very hard... Well I could almost say impossible in many cases.

 

I really hope we can still use a link to an external site in any way... With consent of the cacher to leave the official website... 

 

I would love to make more creative puzzle caches but this kind of decisions makes it very very hard....

I would like to know how geocachers want those scaled down photos which are rendered almost useless. Without being able to hide info in them...

 

And how many of us like the creativity in puzzles like mine...

 

I am quite sure many people do not want this to be changed... A move in the wrong direction.

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My biggest irk is any conversion of image data to a different format while not changing the filename extension. If they had to do the conversion, it is really bad form and technically incorrect to leave the incorrect extension. A GIF file with JPG data is not a GIF file, and it can potentially confused other programs and scripts that make decisions based on the filename before reading data. It's an inconsistency irk.

 

But, ideally, file formats should not change.  If HQ wants to make thumbnails, they should be resized and kept the same format. GIFs resized should still be animated, but antialiasing is an issue if it's transparent or a limited palette and using transparent pixels not an alpha layer - that's a drawback to the whole localized-file-management system itself, but an essential loss on the user experience end. As long as the original size/content is available as posted.

 

This technical part of the image hosting strategy has bugged me since it started :P

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10 hours ago, @rthur said:

 

 

I think also that allowing GIF and PNG upload is a must-have without losing transparency and animated picture.

It is very useful.

Please HQ consider this request !!

Indeed, a must-have. But you won't believe how often I get to watch misused jpg images where CLEARLY png should have been used. It's all in the trend of the whole internet being dumbed down slowly...

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On 9/16/2020 at 4:54 AM, barefootjeff said:

 

I thought the privacy laws in question were about protecting the privacy of content users, not content creators. How does me putting all that stuff in my image metadata impact the privacy of the person viewing it?

I would expect that by virtue of their using the Geocaching site, the content creators have agreed to allow any "privacy" information they post to be viewed by others.  If it isn't already that way, why cannot the ToS/Privacy statements say something to that effect?

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On 9/16/2020 at 5:29 AM, on4bam said:

If GS is really serious about taking away all possibilities of tracking and protecting privacy then a good start would be to remove trackers (google analytics/ads) from their sites. :ph34r:

 

Totally agree with that!! 

I was shocked by the content of some of the ads that popped up (toon.com?) in the right bar while I was looking at someone's trackable page. Maybe legal, but "soft" porn, even if only cartoons, has no place on a site that is routinely accessed by children.  They may ask for an age "verification", but there is no real verification and even if that dissuades further activity with the site, it is "grooming" behavior.

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6 hours ago, thebruce0 said:

My biggest irk is any conversion of image data to a different format while not changing the filename extension. If they had to do the conversion, it is really bad form and technically incorrect to leave the incorrect extension. A GIF file with JPG data is not a GIF file, and it can potentially confused other programs and scripts that make decisions based on the filename before reading data. It's an inconsistency irk.

 

Yes! The first time I ever encountered the transcoding was on a puzzle cache I was attempting last year. In trying the usual things I try with puzzles, I went to open the background .png image in Photoshop but it wouldn't have a bar of it. Aha!, I thought, so I started examining the file's content and saw it was a jpg masquerading as a png. I then spent the next few days pulling that file apart looking for the puzzle solution I was sure was lurking in there, except it wasn't, of course, it had nothing to do with the puzzle, just this undocumented and unannounced change to the site that converts everything to jpg except the file extension.

 

This latest change is going to see a lot more of that happening, I fear.

Edited by barefootjeff

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Nice that you're hosting photos. 

However they were just fine before on own personal server.  This will affect some puzzlers!

 

The weird thing is that this change is rejecting the emoticons or smileys when added using the cache editor tool.  The button two to the right of the image insert one.   An unexpected casualty??

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