Secret Scotland

If it's secret, and in Scotland…

January 2013 – still going and some changes

Pleased to say that things have made it to the end of January 2013.

Various little niggling problems and irritations had been making things look as if things might be curtailed on the site, but such things have calmed down.

Wiki

We mysteriously lost the Aerial view section of all our Wiki pages more than a year ago, with no apparent reason. Coincidentally, this appeared to tie in with a code update, so we thought this might fix itself, but no luck, even after a number of updates. We eventually appealed to the coder, a silly mistake was unearthed, and the views have now been restored.

Unfortunately, a number of the optional views have changed coding, and are now broken, so this will have to be looked at.

More serious was the potential loss of the embedded map on our Wiki pages. Google closed down the old V1 and V2 APIs behind this as V3 was adopted, which could have killed the map. Fortunately, Google saw fit to add a conversion layer which allows V2 code to carry on working under V3I. So far, our maps appear to be working fine under this option – actually even better than before thanks to the additional facilities that come with the latest API, but it is a fudge, and we will have to try to get around to reworking this code into proper V3.

Forum

Various problem put the forum at risk – and an amnesty on some problem members ended. They’re banned from returning, so closing an unfortunate and unnecessary chapter.

The Forum has been configured so that most of its content can be read without having to register/join, a step only needed if readers wish to post something.

The increasingly sneaky ways spammers, and spambots aided by humans, are now able to get into forums means that the option to join automatically will no longer be offered. In order to join, a real person will have to send an  email request to the Admin. While we had been having success with an option known as Stop Forum Spam, spammers altered their attack method slightly and were still able to register false memberships, although SFS still blocked the vast majority. While these can never post spam as they are never approved, they still fill the Forum’s member database with false accounts.

We’re about to delete the 1,oooth spam registration, at which point we’ll be turning off automatic registration. Spending only 1 minute (and in reality longer) on each means 1,000 minutes or 16 hours wasted, and it’s just silly to keep on doing this. Each successful spam registration has to manually deleted from the membership database, the registration database, and also entered into the SFS database to prevent its return. SFS prevents hundreds of these entries every weeks, but while we were down to two or three beating the system every few days, the sheer volume of attacks has seen this rise to ten or more a day, and that could mean dealing with up to 4,000 unwanted registrations over a year. It’s too much time wasted for nothing.

Notably, when automated registration was turned off for a few weeks (for a Christmas holiday) I suddenly found I had more time to spare, and was able to tackle things I had not managed to get around to previously.

Blog

The blog will hopefully revert to being the Admin’s prerogative to write about anything, not restricted to the core activity of the site in the same way as the Wiki, or the public side of the Forum. Things went a little awry with the Blog for various reasons about halfway through 2013, and just never recovered.

It would be nice if the odd wander around the east end of Glasgow (or Glasgow city when I can make it) continued to produce sufficient material to photograph and write about, but I worry about recent moves to “tidy” the area and the city, leading to much of the less well-known subjects being razed and shovelled into skips simply because they are not seen as being sufficiently up-market and attractive to tourists – and their wallets.

The trouble with all this tidying in order to make things squeaky clean is that all the old artefacts are considered down-market now, and not good enough to be seen, so the chance of good historic photo-opportunities are becoming less and less, unless you are prepared to point your camera at the rubbish being created as a ‘Lasting Legacy’ in the east end, and that’s something I am not prepared to buy into.

Maybe in 10 0r 20 years I will, when it all lies derelict and abandoned  – then it will be worth the effort, and a few words describing the folly of 2014.

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January 31, 2014 - Posted by | Site News | , ,

2 Comments »

  1. I appreciate your random observations on black traffic cones, Trump’s hair and the like.

    Like

    Comment by Allan Knaik | January 31, 2014

  2. Thanks – nice to know some are still looking in.

    Like

    Comment by Apollo | February 2, 2014


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