The Fresh Loaf

A Community of Amateur Bakers and Artisan Bread Enthusiasts.

Improvements for future Community Bakes

DanAyo's picture
DanAyo

Improvements for future Community Bakes

The Community Bakes (CB) have enjoyed a great deal of success. The best indicator of that success are the reports that so many bakers are learning from other bakers to better bake a particular bread. Bakers, the world over get to share a “cyber kitchen”. And everyone shares their notes...

Instead of one baker working alone to perfect a loaf, many of us join together with the same goals. When we all focus on the same bread innovative ideas are brought to light. Failures are detailed and the group is forewarned.

The future CBs would benefit from the very same collective brain power focused on possible improvements. Please reply with ideas that might make the process even better.

Here are a few examples of ideas to get us started

  1. One of the largest hurtles that comes to my mind is, how do we keep things manageable with a topic that grows so large? For instance, the Q&A section that was introduced this last bake. It seems best if all questions and answers addressed to the authur of the bread should be consolidated in one place. How do we best accomplish that?
  2. It might be nice to have a section containing “lessons learned”, “tips for improvements”, “warnings and pitfalls to avoid”, etc. Not that these must be topics, but are stated just to prime the pumps. Looking for suggestions.
  3. How would we best pick breads for future bakes that would benefit the most bakers? 
  4. How can the CBs attract more new bakers? The CBs should welcome everyone and never become a clique.

The top 4 items are not the only specific ideas to address. Hopefully our collective brain power and different views and perspectives can introduce ideas and solutions to make our CBs even better... Please feel free to introduce other topics that come to mind.

Collectively we bake better bread, and collectively we can improve our Community Bakes.

NOTE - for those that may not know. If you, for instance, have a new unrelated idea that you’d like to submit, it is best to click the “Add New Comment” button on the original post. This way your post will be placed in a section of it’s own. Your post will be placed close to the left side of the page, indicating that it is a new sub-topic. Replies to any sub-topic will be inset to the left and below the sub-topic. If a user replies to a sub-topic with an unrelated idea things will get out of sorts. (If this is not clear and you need clarification, reply to this post and either I or someone else will clarify.

Danny

So far, PieKing and TrailRunner made good points. As I read them it seems apparent that Floyd might best be able to help with technical issues or suggest a work around. I plan to consolidate the suggestions and forward to him for review.

Keep the ideas coming...

The Roadside Pie King's picture
The Roadside Pi...

However, now that I have a wild yeast culture,I can't wait for the next one!

My suggestion is more a website technical issue.  With so many of us posting photos to this same thread, I found it became very cumbersome to follow and could easily miss something important. Maybe all the participants could start a blog for the bake, then only link to the photos at the blog location.

 Question,

When is the next C.B.?

DanAyo's picture
DanAyo

PieKing, the BLOG is a good idea. But as I consider this, searching for Pro and Con this comes to mind.

Pros

  • It would greatly reduce the congestion on the main post 
  • The individual baker could share a link to his/her blog.

Cons

  • Blogs don’t use email alerts for new post
  • Edits don’t show up in the “Recent Post” section on the home page

If you think of additional problems or solutions to this post, please reply to this message.

DanAyo's picture
DanAyo

PieKing ask, “When is the next CB”. That brings up another issue. How far apart should we space the bakes? I have been concerned about spacing them too closely together. I thought it better that the intervals be too long than too short. The bakes should be anticipated, not a drudgery.

trailrunner's picture
trailrunner

I think as you say to retain interest it shouldn’t be too often. See how it is received in 3 months. Watch the blog posts as well to see if there is a lasting interest in a CB that carries over into TFL members personal baking exploits. I know you hooked me for sure with this one and I’m not close to being ready to move on and judging from comments this particular CB has a LOT of interest and exploration left in it. 

algebread's picture
algebread

Based on previous community bake threads, it seems like most posts happen within the first 2 weeks of the community bake being posted, and with few exceptions, all posts have occured by four weeks out. Hence, I think that 8--12 weeks would be an interval that would allow people enough time to bake their own bread and participate in community bakes. 

trailrunner's picture
trailrunner

I get email notifications every time someone posts to a blog post of mine no matter how old it is. Someone the other day inquired about how to do my rye YW banana date bread— it’s got a lot of good stuff in it ?. Anyway she and I conversed and all of it showed up in my blog and in my email and I was able to get to it easily and the updates are there now and forever. 

I just started a new porridge exploration. We’ll see how it goes so far it’s excellent. c

The Roadside Pie King's picture
The Roadside Pi...

Your concerns are valid. I would say if we gently ask that photos of the result and procedure be linked too. If anyone post pics to the main post I would say just let it go. If we eliminate the bulk the tread will run smoother. I think?

DanAyo's picture
DanAyo

PK, how would we link to external images? I think that is what you are suggesting. 

I would like the ability to post a thumbnail that could be clicked (if interested) and a larger image would pop up. That would save space on the post, while still allowing a larger view if desired. 

trailrunner's picture
trailrunner

this was my first CB also. I loved all the info but it quickly became very difficult to access the newest posts as they were lost inside the thread and many times out of order. Using the edit button always on each baker's  original post might help that and never start a new titled topic within after the initial post of each baker. 

I found that as the thread got longer and longer that the email links I got in my personal email account didn't always take me to the new comment. Sometimes it would only take me to the beginning of the thread or worse somewhere in the middle of the thread. I would then have to scroll till I found the item I had received the notification about. 

If as suggested everyone made a blog post and put in the title CB and the name of the bread then they would be there and put a link to the CB thread as well that might do it. The only way to search the posts in the blogs though is by using the picture roll as otherwise you have to scroll through every single step of every post if you click " more" . So the blog posts would have to say CB and the title of the bake. Then the more button would access the pictures and you could really quickly find the bake you want to see.

I'll think on it some more as since I am newby at the CB bakes I'm sure the collective wisdom of the regular participants will be most helpful. c

 

DanAyo's picture
DanAyo

Caroline, the email notifications are a great feature. But as you stated, I have also experienced (using iPad) the identical problem. When the link in the email notification is clicked the CB page pops up but the page scrolls and who know where it will land. I feel like I am a participate on The Wheel of Fortune :D

BTW - did you know if you click the email link a second time, that the page will pop up again and take you to the correct location?

This one will have to be addressed by Floyd.

If you think of additional problems or solutions to this post, please reply to this message.

DanAyo's picture
DanAyo

I intended to reply to my original post by hitting, “Add New Comment”. But since there were other replies to the original comment the post went to the bottom of the page.

So I deleted this comment and edited the original in order to keep related things together.

Danny

JeremyCherfas's picture
JeremyCherfas

I haven't taken part in any community bakes (yet). It seems to me, from the description of the problems and the responses already in, that one possible solution would be to add links to some sort of wiki software. That would enable people to accumulate wisdom as in point 2.

The real problem with this, as with all "community" projects, is that it requires very active management to keep it all together. That's a lot to ask of anyone.

The idea of separate blog posts is very welcome; I wonder how you would incorporate entries from outside thefreshloaf?

I don't mean to be negative, but I have seen similar efforts on, for example, Instagram, wither because people just didn't share the onerous business of managing the community. Would I participate in future? Possibly, but it needs to be a bread I want to make, and not just to be part of the community bake.

DanAyo's picture
DanAyo

Thanks Jeremy. I thought about posting a link to an outside resource. But ideally it seems best to keep the data on TFL. It is possible that bakers may search for a particular bread years from now and find a particular CB useful. Please share any other ideas concerning the above.

“...entries from outside thefreshloaf” As of now they would have to register. Solutions won't be perfect, but they can be improved.

Your comments are not negative at all. Any input from users or potential users can be valuable.

MTloaf's picture
MTloaf

I like the concept of using recipes that are familiar to many of us from books and other media. The "realtime"sharing of notes and photos and the individual interpretations really inspires me see the possibilities of what is otherwise the solitary endeavor of baking some bread.

I would be curious to know how much traffic is generated by visitors who are not posting but still participate in the bake at the time or at some point in the future. I would agree that finding new posts is confusing and trying to condense some of the volume would make it easier to navigate. Not being very computer literate, I don't know if it is possible to link the photos from thumbnails but that seems like a good idea. It seems like a lot of the comments are from people complimenting each others efforts and I would hate to see that replaced with a like button but I have neglected commenting sometimes for the sake of taking up space.

As far as how often, my vote would be every month or two. That might encourage more participation. As suggestions for the next bake, whomever has chosen the breads up to now is doing a fine job. I would suggest a fruit and nut bread at some point or maybe a Tartine style loaf to help those of us in search of holes. A miche with no size limits could break the internet!

What I would really like is 3-D printer that would make me a couple slices of the bread I am seeing in these post so I could sample them all.

DanAyo's picture
DanAyo

MT, the miche with no size limits sounds crazy good! I can only begin to imagine what might turn up.

That sounds like fun...

The Roadside Pie King's picture
The Roadside Pi...

I had so much fun, these last two days developing a formula from scratch with no template to follow. All I started with was  a photo of a bread and a main  ingredient.  Being that baking bread involves a good amount of science, some things always stay the same. Others can change. I don't have a clue how this would/could work, Just throwing it out there. Smile. 

David R's picture
David R

3. How to make the best picks for future CBs:

Maybe that question is overthinking it. Is there really something wrong with the current way of choosing?

 

4. Attracting new bakers:

Why sweat over that? Threads are long already! ?

The way to avoid the clique problem is to find a way to exclude some or all of the "regulars", especially the ones in leadership-type roles, no matter whether those roles are official or accidental. Including new people doesn't fix cliques. BUT is there really a problem?

algebread's picture
algebread

Some data on CBs (based on the four CBs that I am aware of, which are champlain, oat porridge, 50% whole wheat, 5-grain levain, SD baguettes, and 123):

  • In total, 72 distinct users have posted in the threads for these bakes. Of these, 47 have posted in only one CB thread, 14 have posted in two, 3 have posted in three, 5 have posted in four, 5 have posted in five, and two have posted in 6.
  • The first two threads had around 15--18 posters, and then the threads began to expand. "Modern" CB threads tend to have about 30 posters (the current one is not at 30 yet, but is still growing).

While the bimodality of the numbers above indicates that there is a core group of people, I also read this data as saying that CBs do not have a significant clique problem: the core group of people who have posted in three or more threads comprise only about 1/2 of the posters in a typical CB thread. I also think that it indicates that retaining new participants is a bigger problem than attracting them is.

DesigningWoman's picture
DesigningWoman

And that was a biggie. 

Thanks for parsing all this data, that's quite interesting!

Keep on baking, 

Carole 

algebread's picture
algebread

I have incorporated the new data into the post. In the process of tracking down the 123, I also found another CB thread that I had forgotten about on SD baguettes.

DanAyo's picture
DanAyo

Alge, you are obviously data savvy. And you probably know this, but others may not. As everyone knows the search feature on TFL leaves a lot to be desired. <not complaining> I use the following in Google.

”site:thefreshloaf.com porridge”

Make sure to leave a space in between the website address and the text being searched, in the above case “porridge”.

I’m not sure how to collected the data. Did it take you a long time or do you know something I don’t? ...always looking to learn

Dan

algebread's picture
algebread

Thanks for the search tips.

From the list of CBs that you gave, it seems they have now all been accounted for.

How to do the data-gathering

The data was collected by downloading the source code for each CB thread, then running some commandline programs on it. I do not know how to do this on Windows, but on Linux (and probably MacOS) the following works:

  1. Save the webpage.
    • Instructions for saving a page (in Firefox, at least) can be found here. Save the webpage to a file called cb.html with the format set to "Web page, html only"
  2. Open a terminal, and use it to navigate to the folder containing cb.html. To do this, type  cd  filename  where filename is the path to the folder in which you saved cb.html. For example, if cb.html is saved in a folder called Downloads, then you would type cd ~/Downloads
  3. To obtain a list of all the distinct users who posted on the page that you saved, type the following and press Enter
    • grep -oE 'username">[^<]*' cb.html | sort | uniq | sed -E 's/username">//'
  4. To obtain the number of distinct users who posted on the page that you saved, type the following and press Enter
    • grep -oE 'username">[^<]*' cb.html | sort | uniq | wc -l

In more detail:

If you would like to know more about any of these commands, you can type 'man commandname' in the terminal. 'man' is short for "manual". For example, if you wished to know more about the grep command, you would type

man grep

into the terminal. Summaries of what each of these commands are doing in the stuff written above are below.

cd is the "change directory" command, which moves you from one folder to another in the terminal

grep is a command for searching through text files. The '-o' option tells it to print only the parts of each line that match what you search for, the '-E' option tells it how you will specify what you are looking for, and the 'username">[^<]*' is called a regular expression and tells grep what you are looking for in the file.

| is a way of chaining together commands that passes the output from the command on the lefthand-side of the | as input to the command on the right-hand side.

sort is a command that sorts its input

uniq will delete adjacent duplicate lines

sed -E 's/username">//' gets rid of everything except the usernames in each line

wc -l counts the number of lines in its input

 

DanAyo's picture
DanAyo

Believe it or not, I used to work with computers, but time and age has eroded much. I figured you were working through the command line.

It is a struggle now to type on an iPad :D

Danny

algebread's picture
algebread

I can  imagine it being quite annoying on a tablet, and I also do not know tablet operating systems very well, so I do not even know if this would work on one. If anyone tries it and runs into issues then I can try to be helpful, although I can't test anything on a non-linux machine.

DanAyo's picture
DanAyo

The following are links to Past Community Bakes

DanAyo's picture
DanAyo

Thanks Alge for compiling the data. I really don’t see any cliques, but I am mindful to do my best to keep it that way. I try my best to communicate inclusiveness in every CB. I can imagine myself, a novice and feeling intimidated and concerned about looking like a fool. We are so fortunate to have a huge group of welcoming and friendly bakers who are graciously willing to share it all.

From all indications it seems that TFL is mainly composed of SD bakers. I even tried welcoming the commercial yeast bakers on a few CBs by adding a yeasted version, but to my knowledge no one took advantage of it.

You may also notice that all bakes include the following statement. “This is not a baking competition, everyone is a winner”. It is not even about bragging, although we are all proud of our good bakes. I highly admire Paul, aka PMCool when he posted in detail his flop. http://www.thefreshloaf.com/node/59966/community-bake-maurizios-oat-porridge-sourdough#comment-432907 His humble submission was an encouragement to everyone that may lack confidence. Every experienced baker fails, but how often do we post them? Remember, “the good, the bad, and the UGLY” :D   Paul gets my vote for the most  encouraging post...

Danny

pmccool's picture
pmccool

if you see that one or two posters account for a lopsided number of the posts in a CB thread, you could ask them to curb their enthusiasm slightly?  Politely, of course.

Paul

David R's picture
David R

...or find a way to politely divert the clique-y elements to a separate thread...

 

BUT ... It's entirely possible, and even likely, for the "clique prevention crew" to BE the clique themselves - then what??

algebread's picture
algebread

A couple of people in this thread have raised the possibility of having people put most of the information into separate blog posts. I like this idea, and hope that the following proposal can fix some of the objections that were raised about it. The following assumes no technical alterations to the site.

Goals

  • Make the main CB thread more manageable to read
  • Make information & discussion generated by CBs accessible in a single location
  • Make CB-related bakes accessible from a single place

The system

  1. People put the details of their bakes (images, complete procedures, etc.) into separate blog posts
  2. People post links to their blog posts, and post summaries and questions in the main CB thread. People also link to the main CB thread in their blog posts.
  3. People update their posts in the main CB thread if they add new CB-related blog posts or significantly edit existing CB-related blog posts
  4. People discuss bakes in the CB thread

Thread posts vs blog posts

 I imagine top-level posts in the CB thread consisting of links to blog posts and for each blog post a brief overview of information such as

  • how one's process differed from the recipe or previous bakes
  • why one made the changes that one made
  • variables to which one payed special attention
  • results, especially any changes that resulted from changes in one's process

In blog posts, people could post all of their pictures, full process description, and whatever other content they want, along with a link to the main CB thread.

 

Rationale (or how this addresses the goals)

  • Having people discuss and post links to bakes in the main CB thread allows the CB thread to continue being a centralized place for information generated by the CB.
  • Having people post links and summaries in the CB thread instead of full bake information makes the thread "physically" shorter and easier to read through.
  • Posting in the thread and updating posts in the CB thread to reflect changes in the blog posts will generate email updates, and the updated CB thread post will appear in the "recent posts" section

 

Possible comments or objections

This is high-procedure or burdensome

In other forums that I have belonged to, long complex thread often have some kind of posting instructions associated with them to contain the complexity. The proposal also does not require much more writing than before. Besides a summary, which doesn't need to be mandatory, this is just a way of organizing the information that people already generate to make it easier to peruse and understand.

X won't generate an email update

This is very possibly true. I don't use the email updates, and therefore don't understand how they work very well. If something about them that I said above is false, then please inform me.

This does not address how to organize information from discussion into something easier to read

Correct. I like the Q&A section that was introduced in the last bake a lot. Organizing information from the bake as a whole is hard to do because

  • It would require active curation by some user
  • People's baking conditions vary widely, so it might be difficult to pick out exactly what can be taken as universally good advice

At the same time, it is clear that universally good advice does sometimes exist, such as warnings about the dough in the last bake being wet and hard to handle. At least having a "common pitfalls" section might be a good idea. Another way that we could do this is have each baker summarize their own "lessons learned" in their top-level CB thread post, since this would provide more context for the advice. I haven't thought much about this though.

 

I would be interested in hearing thoughts on any of the above.

algebread's picture
algebread

Relatedly, is there an index post for community bakes containing links to all of them? This might be a thing worth having, as the CB threads could then point to that instead of linking to just the previous one.

DanAyo's picture
DanAyo

Alge, please rephrase so I can understand your question concerning an “index post?

Any solutions will have to come from us. Floyd is extremely busy at this time and has no free time available.

Danny

David R's picture
David R

A post that is always kept updated - its only purpose is to give a link to every community bake.

 

EDIT: And clearly would need its own thread, not buried in another topic.

DanAyo's picture
DanAyo

If I understand you correctly, your posted idea solves the blog notification limitations. Back and forth communication would take place on the CB. The documentation and images are published to the blog.  The blog would be updated by the original poster and any updates to the blog would be updated on the CB with references to their blog. With this method the original poster could edit their original post on the CB in oder to consolidate their information. Notifications and “Recent Post” would work as usual, reflecting changes on the CB.

Do I understand correctly?

There is a pitfall. Many users are not going to follow these procedures. Some won’t understand, some won’t want to comply. So, if we can work out these details in a clear and concise fashion, they can be recommended, but not be made obligatory. We don’t want to over complicate things. Any participation would benefit the efficiency of the CB.

I wished we had a more graceful solution, but we will have to work within the present limitations.

Alge, if I understand you correctly, and any unknown details are worked out to the best of our abilities, would you be willing to write up a short, concise, & simple explanation that willing posters could follow?

Thanks for your input.

Danny

algebread's picture
algebread

Yes, you understand correctly and I can try to write a more concise version. I think that the system seems more complicated than it is from what I wrote.

As you say, even partial participation would make the CB threads easier to skim through. On the other hand,  other commenters have raised concerns that using this system might make people less likely to read people's full write-ups and that it might make the thread less fun and harder to begin participating in. If anyone has suggestions for modifications that might help avoid these things, they would be much appreciated.

The Roadside Pie King's picture
The Roadside Pi...

Even if only some of us follow the suggested format I am sure it will greatly de-clutter the CB post.

not.a.crumb.left's picture
not.a.crumb.left

As far as I can remember the community bakes were born out of the spirit of enjoying baking the same formula together and sharing thoughts and learning similarly to what you would do if you were together in a real kitchen.

Now - if anyone would be in my kitchen, there would be talk and hopefully also a lot of laughter!

I hear and can understand the concern about threads getting too long but I also feel that the 'social 'side of baking includes people being able to spontaneously comment or 'chat' and I have found in the past that this is also part of the 'baking' experience and 'met' many amazing bakers here in the last year doing so.

Maybe, it is just me but I think it would be sad, if we would lose this very friendly and social component and way of 'interaction'.....by creating rules that people would feel self-conscious about whether what they post 'makes the thread too long' or not...

I rather have a very looooooong thread but rather make people feel welcome, being included and don't have to worry about expressing their thoughts...this might be a bit 'messy' when it comes to the thread but I personally don't mind....

To be positive, that we are discussing this in the first place shows how positive the response to the community bakes has been and it suffers from it's own success!

The Q&A section was a great idea and has worked well I think. People linking to their personal blog is also a good idea but again at the same time I think it is also nice to follow bakes in sequence like in a book...yes it is long...but it follows almost a time sequence rather than hopping in and out different blogs and has the advantage of being in 'one' place. I am probably just a dinosaur!

Thank you for all the effort you put into this Dan ...... Kat

 

David R's picture
David R

To me, the dividing line in community bake threads should be ... well, I was going to call it "off topic" but I think off-topic posts should be encouraged ... what I really mean is when a discussion on a new, different topic has clearly begun - a real tangent, rather than just some socializing and general discussion. And that a real tangent probably should be split off and made into a new thread.

I tend to agree that blog-hopping to find the participants would kind of take the flow away; I probably wouldn't read.

algebread's picture
algebread

I 100% agree that keeping the thread fun should be a high priority.

Other respondents to this post have also said that they might not read as much of the thread if it was mostly in personal blogs, which also seems like a bad consequence.

If technical changes to the website were on the table, then I think that the best solution might be for the website to allow posts to have collapsible subsections. An example can be found on the mobile version of wikipedia: clicking a heading collapses the subsection below that heading. Many forums have a similar feature, but I do not know how much work it would require to implement on this one.

DanAyo's picture
DanAyo

Absolutely, collapsible post would be ideal! But that may never happen and it definitely won’t take place anytime in the near future. Floyd is swamped on another project.

If this endeavor turns out to be too complicated we’ll leave things as is. The CBs have been a great success. I’m just trying to make things better where possible. I am an advocate of CIP (Continual Improvement Process) :D

The Roadside Pie King's picture
The Roadside Pi...

Hello, Ms. Kat.

long thread in my eyes is not the big problem. The back and forth banter is a big part of the camaraderie. What makes the thread hard to navigate are the large photo files all in the same thread I am prety sure it is the photos that make the tread a nightmare. Documenting our bakes in our own blogs then linking to them will solve this, I think?

DanAyo's picture
DanAyo

I am pretty sure that Floyd’s image upload software downsizes our images. We can specify pixel dimensions when uploading. I typically post larger images (width set to 625 pixels) with the thought of making more detail available to the viewer. But I have a fast internet connection.

Is anyone noticing a long download time when viewing the CBs? I never considered that.

Dan

not.a.crumb.left's picture
not.a.crumb.left

keep baking...however long the thread...however big the photos..we shall keep sharing the good, the bad and even the ugly... we shall keep baking! On that note must look at Dan's summary of improvements and get a creamy porridge next time! Kat

The Roadside Pie King's picture
The Roadside Pi...

The more I think about this work around, the more I think it will become to cumbersome, and alot will be lost. You will have folks commenting on the blogs and not the CB thread. To hard to control. What I sometimes do (and will try to make it a habit of)  is down load my camera files to FB first then I copy and paste into my post here. Fb compresses the photo into a much smaller package. I can write a post so much faster that way. no downloading. The benefit of compressing the photos in the CB tread might be enough? Maybe the technical minded members know an easy way to accomplish this?

 

algebread's picture
algebread

This is a concern of mine as well.

My Facebook knowledge is limited, as I do not use it. Is it scaling the images down or applying some kind of extra compression to them? You can do either thing manually in most image editing software.

David R's picture
David R

I am slightly technical-minded, but I only have this to contribute: While it's not a huge problem to put together a set of photo-shrinking instructions that seem easy enough to me, getting people to follow them, and telling them they can't post to a CB thread unless they do, is an exercise in cat-herding that won't end well.

DanAyo's picture
DanAyo

I spoke with Kat this morning. We discussed the clique comment. Just in case my comments gave the wrong impression.

I don’t find any trace of cliques on The Fresh Loaf. And I have no idea how a clique would form here. I want to make sure that every baker is welcome in any section of the forum. IMO, everyone here is wide open and friendly to all.

Thanks to everyone who shared their thoughts. I’m not sure how many changes can be made to the CB, but I am considering the blogs as an option. There seems to be no graceful solutions given the site’s navigation.

But the CBs have been wildly successful... And they shall continue with the help of all of our gracious participants.

Danny

 

SeasideJess's picture
SeasideJess

Hi Dan, I just wanted to say that I have found TFL to be very welcoming and inclusive, despite my not currently being a sourdough baker. I have felt very welcome here. One thing that has been especially nice is that people have stopped by to comment on my blog posts...that was very kind.

It seems clear that the group ethos is kindness and inclusivity, so as long as the regulars continue to cultivate that, it will keep on. I personally don't see a need for anyone to be discouraged from posting too much or monopolizing the conversation so to speak. Some people are naturally more gregarious, and that's ok. The important thing is that everyone who posts to thread gets a response...that no one is ignored. And it seems to me that is already happening. Anyhow, I just wanted to give you my perspective as a newbie and CY baker!

Warmly, Jess

DanAyo's picture
DanAyo

I spoke with AlgeBread via Hangouts and it seems that the preferred method of posting bakes is to use a single post on the CB. Keeping things on the site will allow for new post and update notifications, whereas blogs don’t have that feature. Some may not be aware, but any time you open one of your post and update the contents, it will go to the top of the “Recent Comments” section.

Unless we can come up with a better idea, here is the plan. On the top post of new CB bakes there will be a link that users can follow to read the suggestions for best practices. Users will be encouraged to post a single link that will contain all of the bakes. Edits and additional bakes will be best published to the top of their post. This way when a user notices a post under “Recent Comments” on the home page, that link will take them to the related post. And since the new information is at the top of the post it will be most visible.

Of course, those that choose to post to their blogs or post in any other fashion they desire are free to do so. The CB should always encourage user participation and not stifle it.

I really appreciate the input from everyone. If you see problems with the above or have other suggestions, please let us know.

Danny

not.a.crumb.left's picture
not.a.crumb.left

very feasible 'recommendation' for best practice and comes off course as you say Dan with the caveat that users are free to choose what they prefer to do or 'can' do....we must not forget that we all have a wide range of technical knowledge or not and some people may find posting a picture a challenge let alone thinking about the size...etc. etc.

In a past life I have been a usability designer and I always blame the 'system' or 'design',  never the user for not knowing what to do but so often people feel that they are to blame for not knowing....

Sounds like a great plan and way forward.....thank you Dan for sorting us out and everybody for their comments...... Kat

The Roadside Pie King's picture
The Roadside Pi...

 I will read the best practices notice when published and ask any questions I may have then. Thanks to You you both for your time and expertise! Here is to many more successful CB's with massive participation.

algebread's picture
algebread

It has been mentioned by a couple of people in this thread that it would be good to have some kind of thumbnail mechanism. I do not know how to make whole posts shrinkable; however, it turns out that making images shrinkable is not too bad, so I have written some javascript to do it. To get the javascript to run when you visit this site, you need the browser extension that the instructions below say to install.

Installation of script:

  1. Use either Firefox or Chrome (I have tested this in both browsers on a desktop computer)
  2. Install the ViolentMonkey browser extension
  3. After the extension has been installed, press the monkey head icon (this appears on the right near the top of the window in both Firefox and Chrome) and then the + button to "Create a new script". When the editor tab appears, delete its contents and paste in the text from here: https://pastebin.com/exNJ3TuG Press "Save & close" in the editor window.

Usage:

  • Images in threads should start shrunk by default.
  • To expand an image, click on it. To shrink it back down, click it again.
  • To deactivate the script, deactivate the ViolentMonkey extension

Bugs/oddities

  • Since images on this site do not usually have much extra information attached to them, it is hard to identify which are pictures of bread that one might wish to shrink and which are things like user icons, etc. The solution to this used in the script is to check what the URL of each image on the page looks like and exclude certain patterns, such as those for user icons. This crude method means that a few images that one would like to shrink do not do so. However, most images should behave as expected.
  • [Fixed] A few images will vanish if you click them. For now, people report that a workaround is to right click the image, then press "view photo" and it will enlarge.
  • A few images (example) do not expand to the correct size. Increasing the timeout for the setup function in the script fixes this; however, doing that also messes up the anchor links again. The URL for the images seems normal, so I am not sure what is different about these images. I would appreciate any ideas on this.

Q&A

These are all asked and answered below, but for ease of reference, there they are collected.

Q: Will this alter the site?

A: This script only alters what you see, not what anyone else does. It acts on the site after it has been loaded in your browser and has no effect beyond on what you personally see.

Q: How will the larger view of the image display?

A: When the image is enlarged, it should display in the usual way within the post. Whent the image is shrunken, it appears within the post but is simply smaller.

Q:  Is this malicious?

A: No. If you can read code, then you can verify this by doing so, as the script is only ~50 lines.

Q: Does it work on mobile?

A: I do not know because I don't have any mobile devices to test it on. There is at least one report of difficulty on iOS, although perhaps it will work if one is using Firefox.

Please let me know if you encounter more severe bugs, have a bug fix handy, or if the installation or usage instructions are unclear.

DanAyo's picture
DanAyo

Conner, I am in the process of installing the browser extension on my iPad. I am running Chrome.

Question before proceeding.

  1. Will this alter anything on Floyd’s site other than adding a script tp my post?
  2. What affects will this have on Floyd’s site?
  3. Please explain how this script will work. How will the larger view of the image display?

I really appreciate your help, but I want to be careful to do Floyd no harm. I will PM Floyd and ask his permission.

Danny

 

The Roadside Pie King's picture
The Roadside Pi...

This will not effect your post per-say. It will effect how you view every post that contains photos. They will load shrunken! One click and they are restored! One more click the photo reverts back to shrunken! Amazing indeed!

The Roadside Pie King's picture
The Roadside Pi...

Connor will know better, but I am pretty sure this is not adding anything to The loaf. The script is added to the browser installed on your device. Then the installed browser extension alters how you see the information on the loaf, without making any changes to the loaf. Please let me know if Floyd has an issue with this and I will delete the code. 

 

The Roadside Pie King's picture
The Roadside Pi...

The directions were a little different or maybe I am just dense. However I got the script installed and I tested it. The images are indeed shrunken additionally, I clicked on a few different comments in the photo heavy CB thread and no more wheel of fortune! I landed each time at the comment I clicked! Eureka! Thank you so much Mr. Bread! Looks like I can have a lot of fun with this extension, maybe even learn a thing or two, or three! I wonder if I can add any cool effects to my blog, on blogger with this tool? Thanks again!!! I feel very accomplished that I was able to get this done! He, he, it does not take much to amuse me!

DanAyo's picture
DanAyo

PK, please explain your experience loading the extension. You mentioned some things went a little different than Alge wrote.

Also, please explain in more detail how the actual experience is to the person clicking the images.

Will a user need to have the extension loaded on their computer in order for it to work for them? If not, please post a link to a few of your images that we can try.

Does it work on all images that are already installed? How small are the thumbnails and how large are the inlarged images?

I PM’d Floyd before installing. Awaiting his reply. I have no idea how this works, but the possibilities are exciting...

Danny

The Roadside Pie King's picture
The Roadside Pi...

I am slightly dense. Instead of opening the editor from the adress bar as Connor outlined, I opened the dash board then tried to click the monkey head that was not a link, but only a photo of a monkey head! If you follow Connors instructions the editor will open automatically. You may not have the template that needs to be cleared. I think you have to save that in setting. So if the editor page is blank just copy and past the code, then click save and close.

The Roadside Pie King's picture
The Roadside Pi...

Only a person that downloaded Violent monkey, then added the extension to their own browser will have the shrunken picture effect. This will not affect anyone that does not load the extension to their own browser. To put it another way, loading this extension to your browser will only affect your experience and no one else.

DanAyo's picture
DanAyo

PK, from what I understand then, the extension affects only the browser view for the computer it was installed on. It should have no affect on Floyd’s site at all.

Danny

The Roadside Pie King's picture
The Roadside Pi...


As far as my limited knowledge tells me, that is 100% correct. Connor will confirm this I am 97% sure. Smile.

David R's picture
David R

Exactly. This script tells your personal version of your web browser to perform some extra actions when visiting TFL. It does nothing to the website itself, and helps no one but you. Anyone else wishing to see the site the way you do would have to also download and run the script. And if for any reason down the road you decide you don't like the modifications anymore, you simply stop using this script and all is back to normal.

It's as if you installed a special viewing lens in your house between the chair and the TV - no one else's TV is affected.

The Roadside Pie King's picture
The Roadside Pi...

for confirming. There is one big caveat here. We are trusting that the writer of the code is not installing something  malicious on our computers (full disclosure for the less tech savvy). Myself I feel that Connor is acting with the best intention, however I am a trusting soul.  Downloading this code is at your own discretion.

David R's picture
David R

It would be awfully hard to hide malicious material in a short simple script like this (basically saying "If you find a photo, shrink my view of it; unless it looks like it might be a user icon, in that case don't bother.") But you're still right that people should not install something if they don't have good reason to trust it.

The ViolentMonkey extension itself (which is far more complex and would indeed have room for something to hide) has been through a vetting process in order for its installation to even be allowed.

The Roadside Pie King's picture
The Roadside Pi...

savvy, that I would know that. I have have no doubt that the code is safe. I just though it prudent to let folks know there could be a danger.

The Roadside Pie King's picture
The Roadside Pi...

What you are describing, I am sure is also possible, however, for every visitor to the loaf to experience the shrunken photo effect, that would require Floyd to add code to his page. That is assuming the host allows such things.

DanAyo's picture
DanAyo

I tried loading this on my iPad, but so far have not been successful. I hope it works on iOS.

The Roadside Pie King's picture
The Roadside Pi...


It is a very elegant piece of code. Connor is a smart man! Additionally, you can easily find codes that work on many web pages. When you visit a web page, let's say, FB for example, when you click the monkey head you have the option to search for codes for that site. Alternatively, you could write your own code if you have that capability.

David R's picture
David R

The introductory text about the ViolentMonkey extension says that it works on browsers that use WebExtensions. That essentially means "Google Chrome, plus any others that have decided to copy Chrome's way of doing things". In other words, not Apple.

I don't think copying Chrome's way is necessarily good, by the way - it's just the way things have happened - Chrome is popular and others are jumping on its bandwagon.

I don't know whether iPad users can install Chrome or Firefox, or whether Safari is the only possibility.

 

 

EDIT: Firefox is indeed available on iPad - visit mozilla.org for details.

DanAyo's picture
DanAyo

”The extension is only going to be on your device, so no one will see the "fix". Doing that makes no sense to me but, no, it won't harm the site.”

So it willnot affect the site, but it may not be a bug free solution according to PieKing.

 

The Roadside Pie King's picture
The Roadside Pi...

Danny boy,

 tell Floyd, Will F. says hello! Back when I first stared maked bread he was very active here. I hope all his endeavors are going well! Was it not for this group I do not think my bread making would be were it is today. (Not saying much but....)

David R's picture
David R

I do see what Floyd is saying.

However, I can't imagine that everyone who might ever post with photos could be consistently and reliably "trained" to follow a special multi-step uploading procedure for photos. And I can imagine that a fair number of people might be happy with "you can improve your view by installing this script in your browser". Those who don't or can't install such a thing would be no worse off than they were before.

The Roadside Pie King's picture
The Roadside Pi...

For some reason on Sharon's posts clicking on the thumbnail makes the photo vanish vanish.   I only experienced this anomaly with Sharron's posts so far.

The Roadside Pie King's picture
The Roadside Pi...

Very nice BTW, however neither of the links you posted are working as I expected. 

David R's picture
David R

So Sharon's file is stored under a different directory. Including the odd fact that the "typical" image directory begins with a double slash, while the other one is single. Significant or not, I don't know.

And I don't know what effect the different directories might have - maybe special processing for one but not the other? "Adaptive image" sounds like maybe Floyd already tried doing more or less what you're after here.

The Roadside Pie King's picture
The Roadside Pi...

If you right click Sharons photo, then click vew photo it will enlarge. Smile...

 

algebread's picture
algebread

The orginal post on this has been updated with a link to a new version that fixes this problem. However, there is a new bug (it existed before, but I did not notice until now) that causes images posted by MTLoaf to not expand to their proper size. I am unsure what makes those images different from others on this site, so I am not quite sure how to handle that issue. If anyone has any thoughts on this, I would be intersted in hearing.

The Roadside Pie King's picture
The Roadside Pi...

For your time and the work you put into this, for the benefit of the group. Since I do not know how to read code, I will be careful using Violent monkey. I did not mean to insinuate you had any ulterior motive. I just felt Some older folks in the group should be aware. Sorry if I offended you. My aim was true as well.

Kind regards,

 Will F.

algebread's picture
algebread

I was not at all offended---your concern was completely reasonable and I would have had the same concern.

David R's picture
David R

An extension that allows you to run scripts gives you extra power and extra control, and of course at the same time permits you to use that power and control to "shoot yourself in the foot". ?

Install from people and situations that you trust, for purposes that you consider reasonable, and you'll be fine.