Does anyone else find the Galleries / Photo section confusing?

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Funkworks

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And here's an example: there is no entry in the Cosmodrome section. Why? Because all the Cosmodrome rockets are scale kits, so they're listed in the Scale section instead. I'm not saying I have a solution (yet), but it bugs me that some rockets belong in 2 sections but are only to be found in 1. Maybe there is no better solution. Maybe I'm wishing for something like Gmail "labels" or iTunes "playlists". Maybe it can't be done. Maybe I'm overthinking this. Maybe I just need to go back to work. Maybe someone has a better idea. Just bringing it up in case.
 

kuririn

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To add to the confusion, all the Boyce Aerospace kits are also scale, yet there are postings to that section instead of the scale section. Also numerous duplicate sections that should be consolidated.
From the looks of it the galleries were once being maintained by an administrator, but seems that they haven't been for some time. Perhaps a clean up is in order?
 

neil_w

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A forum is a forum, for better and for worse. There's only so much you can do to try to impose sophisticated structures on it.
 

kuririn

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A forum is a forum, for better and for worse. There's only so much you can do to try to impose sophisticated structures on it.
Well, a good example of not maintaining are the manufacturers' indices in each section.
If those had been regularly updated then there would be far less duplication and redundancy in the newer postings.
Let's say you wanted to post a pic of your Estes build. You are a conscientious TRFer so you check the Estes manufacturers index first for a thread of your kit. But then you would have to scroll through seven nine pages of subsequent postings to make sure that there isn't a thread for your kit already posted. Seems like most people just post a duplicate thread instead. I guess at one time there was an administrator(s) that kept an eye on things, but apparently no longer.
 

neil_w

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Yes, it's a lot of work to try to keep things like that maintained. Given any lapse in care, it will revert to its natural chaotic form, which is what seems to be happening right now.

Even if maintained, though, there's still really no way to deal with the "is it Scale or is it Estes?" sort of questions. The hierarchical forum structure forces you to choose exactly one place to put something. A better structure for such a gallery would be for each rocket to have a set of metadata describing it, and then be able to browse the list of available galleries according to different criteria. I would love to see this, and something similar for build threads, which right now are virtually impossible to browse. But anything like this would require custom web content to be developed to add to the forum to make this work. Possible, but not likely.
 

kuririn

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When it was being maintained, apparently duplicate postings or those that were in the wrong section were moved into the right section by an administrator.
Also each thread had an information template filled out by an administrator showing vital information such as the header card or pic of the model, specifications, manufacturer, etc.
Now everybody is doing their own thing, so we have a mess.
It's like maintaining a (fill in the blank): car, HVAC system, rain gutters.
Like the old Fram commercial said, "You can pay me now (routine maintenance) or pay me later (big repair bill)".
 

Angie

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Please suggest a solution now that you've identified a problem.
 

kuririn

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I would be very happy to volunteer some of my time along with an administrator or moderator(s) to clear up the backlog. I'm sure other volunteers would be welcomed by the TRF staff as well.
Volunteers can only ID the duplicates and wrong posting locations, admin/moderators will have to do the actual moves and info templates for each model.
Feel free to contact me if you would like my assistance.
 

Angie

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I'm checking that out right now.
 

kuririn

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it bugs me that some rockets belong in 2 sections but are only to be found in 1.
To me the best solution would be to standardize it to one location with a cross reference in the other location. That's why the Cosmodrome manufacturer index in the thread references the kits to the "Scale" location.
Otherwise you would have duplicate threads all over the place.
 

samb

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I don't have a solution, unfortunately. The Gallery was the brainchild of our old friend John Lee (JAL3). It apparently became too much of a time sink for him to keep up with. Perhaps some of his old posts can help with a possible re-boot effort.



 

Angie

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Thanks @samb That may help us to get it better.
 

Funkworks

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As I said I don't have a solution, and it may not be sufficiently important to me to find one. Not sure what the guts of forum capabiiblities are like. I'm just glad I was finally able to identify why I was confused ("Scale" vs "Cosmodrome", "Scale" vs "Boyce", "Scale" vs "manufacturer".

... A better structure for such a gallery would be for each rocket to have a set of metadata describing it, and then be able to browse the list of available galleries according to different criteria...
Yes that is what I meant with Gmail "labels" and iTunes "playlists". Metadata seems to be the keyword. Not sure this is possible with a forum. The sections are in alphabetical order so that's already beyond my knowledge of forum management.
 
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LW Bercini

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Metadata seems to be the keyword. Not sure this is possible with a forum. The sections are in alphabetical order so that's already beyond my knowledge of forum management.
As a former master data analyst, I can tell you from experience: Taxonomies are a B***H! Each item an organization needs to keep track of has lots of different metadata: what is it, where does it come from, how is it used, who uses it, is it still active, etc.

In master data management, the item itself (usually things like Customer, Product, Employee) is the core object. The various metadata tags are associated to the core object, which are made searchable. Of course, data bases and other forms of indexing facilitate the search by metadata tags. But getting to that point is a...well, I've said that already.

From the perspective of data management, the Galleries are bass-ackward.
 

Funkworks

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Ok, here are a few possible solutions:

Solution A (no Admin maintenance required):
  • Move all rockets to its “company” category and remove the “scale”, ”fantasy”, etc. categories altogether.
  • This would ensure that each rocket is only posted in one category and can be easily be found.
Solution B (Admin maintenance required):
  • In the first post of each “company” category, make a list of those rockets that are to be found in a non-company category (“scale”, ”fantasy”, etc.) instead. Perhaps even add a link.
  • This would ensure that a reader who wants to find a specific rocket can always start with the “company“ category and be directed to the proper secondary category (“scale”, “fantasy”, etc.).
  • This would require an admin to update the first post of each "company" category when a new (“scale”, “fantasy”, etc.) rocket is posted in those secondary categories.
That's all I have for now.
 

dr wogz

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What do most search for?

to add to Funkworks: Maybe to add a tag / label (like we do in the 3D printing & yard sale forums) that are "scale" fantasy" Sport" 3NF" etc.. I do feel it's best to sort by company, then drill down from there..

think largest to smallest / Or like biological classification:
Tea, Earl Grey, Hot, with milk & sugar
Screw, 6-32 x 1" Long, Pan head, Phillips, S/S
Mammal, vertibrate, feline, leo, ... (I don't know any more, but you get the idea..)



I did try to jump in, to help out, but felt I had crossed a line:
 

Funkworks

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I think the problem of having Cosmodrome rockets in the Scale section instead of the Cosmodrome section, and having the Boyce rockets in the Boyce section instead of the Scale section, is what bugs me the most. Doing the same for every company would be a good first step as it would make finding something a tab bit easier.
 

mpitfield

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Interesting read. As someone who volunteered to maintain this section but has been somewhat AOL, I can tell you it's not as simple as I or any of these posts would like it to be. There is a limitation to this platform that prevents reorganizing of the data. For example, once a post is created, it has a timestamp that cannot be modified. This makes reorganizing these sections pretty much impossible without locking them from being edited by the users. If there are inconsistencies, I can look at cleaning them up with whatever standard is established. However, it's not as simple as moving threads. Without some alternative solution, until the timestamp issue is resolved on the dev side, the galleries will have these issues.
 

Arsenal78

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I think the problem of having Cosmodrome rockets in the Scale section instead of the Cosmodrome section, and having the Boyce rockets in the Boyce section instead of the Scale section, is what bugs me the most. Doing the same for every company would be a good first step as it would make finding something a tab bit easier.
Having sections for companies instead of types would be much easier to deal with and search through. If you wanted pictures for a Quest kit, you'd look in the Quest section, same with Estes, Cosmodrome, Boyce, etc. The way it's set up now by type ends up creating duplicates and/or screws things up for the worse.
 

kuririn

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Everyone.
I think what the Doc is saying is that he would have to go through every manufacturer's list looking for Black Brants. So the way you categorize the listing will only please some of the people some of the time. Same issue.
 

Ez2cDave

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I think what the Doc is saying is that he would have to go through every manufacturer's list looking for Black Brants. So the way you categorize the listing will only please some of the people some of the time. Same issue.
"Cross-Reference" the Search function to allow searching by Manufacturer, Rocket Name, Diameter, Engine Mount Diameter, etc.

Dave F.
 

neil_w

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The only solution is to have a directory page somewhere, that someone needs to maintain by hand... or else attach useful tags to all the gallery threads, and use some code to generate the directly using forum APIs.
 

dr wogz

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yes, to all teh above. problem as Mpitfield points out though, is that it ain't that easy!

Unless you are savvy in teh search feature, you will get tonnes of results!

Personally, I vote for 'by manufacturer' as the main sorting / classification criteria
 

kuririn

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I just noticed a big reason for the dupe postings.
Many users are not going to the manufacturer subforums to post, but instead are posting to the main "Galleries/Photo & Video tips" section.
15 pages of postings.
For example, instead of posting an Estes kit under the Estes subforum, they are posting to the Galleries main forum.
Big problem.
 

dr wogz

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I just noticed a big reason for the dupe postings.
Many users are not going to the manufacturer subforums to post, but instead are posting to the main "Galleries/Photo & Video tips" section.
15 pages of postings.
For example, instead of posting an Estes kit under the Estes subforum, they are posting to the Galleries main forum.
Big problem.
but this is a problem in itself: not many know "how" to use / post in the forums..

This forum has many many features to help edit & compose posts. And this forum is set up fairly logically. But (as I find with most 'software' these days) it's easy & makes sense once you 'know'. But getting to the 'know' point can be somewhat frustrating..
 
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