Hot linked (embedded) images now converted into attachments

Discussion in 'Site Information, Help & Feedback' started by Amin Sabet, Oct 22, 2016.

  1. Amin Sabet

    Amin Sabet Administrator

    Mar 22, 2015
    Amin Sabet
    From now on, our forum software will automatically convert hot linked (embedded) images into attachments.

    Meaning that images hosted at and hot linked in a forum post like this:

    will automatically be turned into attachments hosted on our server and inserted into a forum post like this:

    EXIF information and any associated links are preserved.

    Why do this? A few reasons:

    1) It prevents images from becoming broken. Say a host like PBase decides to stop allowing direct linking. Everyone using that host has all their forum images stop showing.

    With all the financial news about Yahoo these days, including their upcoming potential acquisition by Verizon, I'm concerned about what could happen to Flickr. If all of our Flickr embeds were to become broken, it would gut our forums. I am trying to stay ahead of that possibility.

    As it is, many of our members accidentally break their forum images by editing or re-organizing images on their host. Our image showcase threads are full of older, broken images.

    2) It lets us provide faster page loading. Some members post very large file size images, well over 1MB per image. A thread full of images like that will simply drag on the typical mobile internet connection and even many desktop connections. By changing them to attachments, we can resize them to a max 1600px image dimension and do some light compression. The difference in image quality is negligible, while the page loading difference can be noticeable.

    3) It lets us serve images securely (https) even when they are hotlinked from non-secure (http) sources.

    At any time, members with an active account (not banned or deleted) can continue to have full control over deleting any of their images by editing a post and deleting the associated attachments.

    I realize that some members may see this change as making it harder to control their images. For example, you may be someone that embeds their Flickr image on many different sites at the same time. Deleting that image from Flickr may be your way of taking it down from multiple sites all at once.

    In order to make it easier to delete or re-use attachments here, we've added a new attachment manager. You can access it from your control panel as shown below:


    I hope everyone likes the change. Let me know!
    Last edited: Nov 11, 2016
  2. Amin Sabet

    Amin Sabet Administrator

    Mar 22, 2015
    Amin Sabet
    After receiving feedback from members on all the sites, I got the software developer to modify the code so that all links (including links from the images) are preserved during the conversions. It breaks the lightbox functionality, but keeping the links was a priority.

    Also, EXIF data is preserved during the conversion unless the image has to be resized (dimension longer than 1600px).
    Last edited: Oct 30, 2016
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