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View Full Version : Private Message Limit (Round 2)



Corran
27-Mar-2012, 14:39
I searched the archives and found an old thread where the PM limit was debated, and ultimately increased to 100 messages from whatever it was.

I would like to bring this issue up again. I am finding myself constantly deleting PM's due to being full. I have done a lot of buying/selling and it is nice to have an archive of important information, like specifics on the deal made, dates, time, etc. I think the 100 PM limit is very limiting and should be increased. To what? Well personally I say unlimited, but otherwise at least 500.

I know the other thread talked about server space and all that but come on, they're text, how much could they take up? I know on another forum I am very active on and have been for about 6 years I have over 3,000 PM's in my box archived. That site is also 100% independently funded and has a MUCH larger userbase than here, so I feel that the size/cost of these PM's must not be a real issue.

Thoughts??

IanG
27-Mar-2012, 14:49
It is pretty poor and really needs changing, but sites like the UKLFPG are even worse but perhaps less important as the sites virtually dead anyway.

Ian

Roger Thoms
27-Mar-2012, 15:03
I searched the archives and found an old thread where the PM limit was debated, and ultimately increased to 100 messages from whatever it was.

I would like to bring this issue up again. I am finding myself constantly deleting PM's due to being full. I have done a lot of buying/selling and it is nice to have an archive of important information, like specifics on the deal made, dates, time, etc. I think the 100 PM limit is very limiting and should be increased. To what? Well personally I say unlimited, but otherwise at least 500.

I know the other thread talked about server space and all that but come on, they're text, how much could they take up? I know on another forum I am very active on and have been for about 6 years I have over 3,000 PM's in my box archived. That site is also 100% independently funded and has a MUCH larger userbase than here, so I feel that the size/cost of these PM's must not be a real issue.

Thoughts??

It would be nice to be able to have more than a 100 pm's, but is is possible to archive your private messages.

Check the box on the right hand side of the messages you want to archive and then go down to the bottom were is say "selected messages" and there are several choice for downloading messages. I save mine as text and keep then in a folder on my hard drive.

Roger

Corran
27-Mar-2012, 15:05
Fair enough but I don't want to have to do that :eek:

Roger Thoms
27-Mar-2012, 15:10
Fair enough but I don't want to have to do that :eek:

No I don't either, but I was happy when I found the option, only took me five years on the forum to figure that out.

Roger

Sevo
27-Mar-2012, 15:15
IIRC these messages used to be large objects within the database, and a high number of these could swamp the EXT2 file system and slow down the server - but that is ancient knowledge, I haven't handled a vBulletin system (or any other LAMP server) for half a decade. Even back then, updating to a more modern journalling file system (which are default nowadays) made it a much smaller issue. The technical admins should be able to figure out whether the current system can deal with a higher PM count...

darr
27-Mar-2012, 15:55
This is a free site, so how about downloading your PMs and saving them on your hard drive?

Corran
27-Mar-2012, 16:15
Doesn't mean they can't make it better / more functional, right?

Darin Boville
27-Mar-2012, 16:32
I would love to see a higher loimit. Would also love to see a clearer display on your remaining "slots"-it's down low now and hard to notice until you start bouncing--like I just did!

--Darin

mdm
27-Mar-2012, 17:50
How about doing away with PMs and setting it up to forward everything to your email address.

Darin Boville
27-Mar-2012, 19:32
How about doing away with PMs and setting it up to forward everything to your email address.

Hey, NOW you are talking. I could easily set up a smart folder on my e-mail program to make it all work perfectly. I want, I want!

--Darin

Leigh
27-Mar-2012, 20:23
Messages have to be stored, and storage costs money.

It's being provided free by the site owner, who obviously has the right to limit how much of it you use.

You can easily download the messages and store them on your own computer.
The fact that you "don't want to do that" is quite childish. Start taking responsibility for your actions.

- Leigh

Roger Thoms
27-Mar-2012, 22:47
I find PMs much more convenient than email at least for forum related stuff. Nice to keep separate from my email.

Roger

Corran
27-Mar-2012, 23:37
Messages have to be stored, and storage costs money.

It's being provided free by the site owner, who obviously has the right to limit how much of it you use.

You can easily download the messages and store them on your own computer.
The fact that you "don't want to do that" is quite childish. Start taking responsibility for your actions.

- Leigh

Leigh, why do you always have to be such a curmudgeon?

The fact of the matter is, 100 PM's is very few, and the "cost of storage" for even unlimited PM's for everyone would probably be maybe an extra 10 cents a year.

This is the FEEDBACK forum. I'm pointing out what I think is a limiting factor on this website that on many occasions has proven annoying or worse. Obviously the issue was raised in the past, and the site owner/mods took action. I believe this should be looked into again.

Seriously though, I really dislike the tone of your posts towards me and many others. "Take responsibility for my actions?" You sound like a parent talking to a child still acting badly in public and not earning their keep, not a civil forum member discussing something like an adult. You aren't the forum owner or even a moderator. Your tone is almost always like you own this place.

Sevo
27-Mar-2012, 23:57
Messages have to be stored, and storage costs money.


The storage volume that might be needed for plain text messages already was nearly irrelevant when LFF started, and the free storage included in the average server fee has since been upped by two or three magnitudes. 5000 messages won't take up more space than a attached picture or two, and we currently have less restrictions on the latter than on PMs.

Originally it will have been a database/server performance issue - the site admins will have to see whether that could still be an issue. If it does not, there is no technical reason not to up the limit. They might still decide against it, as it could be considered allowing the use of the server for long-term or permanent individual communication, which might increase their (moral or legal) obligation to watch over privacy violations - which we cannot expect from a volunteer based effort.

Darin Boville
28-Mar-2012, 00:01
The site allows me to turn off PMs and to turn on e-mail. If I do that will the e-mail have any indication in the subject line that it came via LFF--that is, is there a way to set up a smart folder on my side?

--Darin

O.K., just answered my own question. I turned on e-mail and e-mailed myself. The subject line reads:

Darin Boville - Large Format Photography Forum <**my e-mail address**>

That seems good enough to create a smart folder with...

Michael Graves
28-Mar-2012, 04:28
Been here a lot longer than five years....and it took reading this thread to realize the feature was there. I need to go back to my remedial reading classes again.

BrianShaw
28-Mar-2012, 06:33
Seriously though, I really dislike the tone of your posts towards me and many others. "Take responsibility for my actions?"

I'm not offended.

E. von Hoegh
28-Mar-2012, 07:46
Fair enough but I don't want to have to do that :eek:

Oh well. I don't want to wash dishes. Only one way to get them clean, though.....

How frigging hard is it to copy & paste them into a folder on your own computer? If they're so valuable, just do it.

Vaughn
28-Mar-2012, 08:50
Lots of PM's usually means someone is involved with a lot of sales. As the main purpose of this site is NOT to buy and sell, why should the owner incur additional expense (if any) for those disinclined to do a little more work of maintaining their PM accounts?

I like the idea that a PM received or sent over the limit gets received or sent and "kicks out" (deletes) the oldest PM in one's inbox automatically. That would keep folks on their toes!...and one's inbox would never be full and one would always be able to receive or send new PM's! LOL!

Vaughn

Sal Santamaura
28-Mar-2012, 09:47
...the main purpose of this site is NOT to buy and sell...It's not? Couldda fooled me! :D

Mike Anderson
28-Mar-2012, 10:00
How about doing away with PMs and setting it up to forward everything to your email address.

Yes. Simplify.

Corran
28-Mar-2012, 10:10
Didn't know there would be so much animosity towards a simple change that would improve the functionality of the site. Sorry if I don't want to archive them on my computer. I routinely use many different computers and travel so it's much, much simpler to log on and check the PM's box, and I don't have to constantly update an archive or whatever.

darr
28-Mar-2012, 10:12
Didn't know there would be so much animosity towards a simple change that would improve the functionality of the site. Sorry if I don't want to archive them on my computer. I routinely use many different computers and travel so it's much, much simpler to log on and check the PM's box, and I don't have to constantly update an archive or whatever.

It is this sense of entitlement that irritates some of us. This is a free site. Don't overdue your stay.

Corran
28-Mar-2012, 10:21
Whatever. Since when did being free stipulate you can't complain about anything ever? I'm making a simple suggestion in the part of the forum that was specified for suggestions, god-forbid. I mean, if they up the PM limit are all of you going to complain for some reason?

BrianShaw
28-Mar-2012, 10:23
Maybe in the future rather than asking "Thoughts?" you just state your opinion/desire. It appears that contrary opinion is not being easily digested.

darr
28-Mar-2012, 10:23
Whatever. Since when did being free stipulate you can't complain about anything ever? I'm making a simple suggestion in the part of the forum that was specified for suggestions, god-forbid. I mean, if they up the PM limit are all of you going to complain for some reason?

Quick question: Why is this (Round 2)?

Corran
28-Mar-2012, 10:27
Brian, I was asking for thoughts on my proposal, not on what people think about me. I don't think anyone has given a reason as to why it should be left at 100.

darr:
http://www.largeformatphotography.info/forum/showthread.php?45745-Add-more-private-messages

It was discussed two years ago or so and consequently raised from 50 to 100.

BrianShaw
28-Mar-2012, 10:32
Maybe you could gather some data to support the request. How about a poll? Doesn't this site have that capability? If not, I think they should add it. :rolleyes:

Corran
28-Mar-2012, 10:34
Okay. Added it.

BrianShaw
28-Mar-2012, 10:34
Thanks!

Kirk Gittings
28-Mar-2012, 10:36
But the allowable characters (not including some people here :) ) was lowered from 5000 to 3000 (and 3000 has begun to be an issue for me) to make that happen. So I am almost 100% positive I know what Tom is going to say this time.

Frankly I don't get it. Seems like you couple of folks who want to archive 500 PMs can just as easily figure out a personal solution. Every time mine fills up I think I need more space and then when I look at the messages I realize I can do without most of them. I think most of us are simply lazy about cleaning up our message files.

E. von Hoegh
28-Mar-2012, 10:39
Didn't know there would be so much animosity towards a simple change that would improve the functionality of the site. Sorry if I don't want to archive them on my computer. I routinely use many different computers and travel so it's much, much simpler to log on and check the PM's box, and I don't have to constantly update an archive or whatever.

Then email them to yourself, you can set up unlimited folders on many email accounts.

Corran
28-Mar-2012, 10:40
I know the issue came up earlier that there was no notification when you were full, until you bounced a message. The forum changes a few weeks ago did change that so that now there is no easy way to see if you are full, except physically checking (didn't it used to say on the upper left how many messages you had in your box?). I agree that many messages aren't needed, but then the more you keep the less you can actually write before having to delete some. I would agree with the other suggestion to automatically delete the oldest message when you are full, as an alternative.

BrianShaw
28-Mar-2012, 10:40
So I am almost positive I know what Tom is going to say this time.

What do you think he'll say... a 100% increase in the number of PMs but a 100% decrease in the number of allowable characters... or maybe only consonants will be allowed?

BrianShaw
28-Mar-2012, 10:41
Oh... that was intended to be a funny joke. Sorry if it isn't as funny as it could have been.

Sal Santamaura
28-Mar-2012, 10:46
...I think most of us are simply lazy...You could have saved a lot of characters and not lost any substance just by limiting your post to that. :)

Kirk Gittings
28-Mar-2012, 10:48
What do you think he'll say... a 100% increase in the number of PMs but a 100% decrease in the number of allowable characters... or maybe only consonants will be allowed?

From Tom the last time this came up:
"Anyway, it might be good to remind people that there's an export option so people can keep their PM's archived on their side."

Brian Ellis
28-Mar-2012, 11:59
Whatever. Since when did being free stipulate you can't complain about anything ever? I'm making a simple suggestion in the part of the forum that was specified for suggestions, god-forbid. I mean, if they up the PM limit are all of you going to complain for some reason?

I have no problem with your complaining nor would I have a problem with increasing the number if that's what ended up happening. But a vote was asked for and I voted "no" just because I don't know why someone would want to store more than 100 private messages here. 99.9% of my private messages relate to sales, I don't sell things very often to begin with, and when I do I just delete the PMs when the sale is completed.

Leigh
28-Mar-2012, 18:25
One simple method to reduce your PM count is to always quote the text of all prior messages on that subject in the current response.

That way you can delete previous messages on that subject.

The PM software does this for you automatically. You would have to intentionally delete the history in your reply.

- Leigh

jnanian
29-Mar-2012, 04:31
don't save all sent messages, you will open up some free space

Corran
29-Mar-2012, 06:16
Well I'm not going to argue democracy but I don't really understand why anyone would vote no...I mean it doesn't hurt anything. If they said, you have to pay for it or something I understand but if the magic number suddenly changed to 200 or 500 tomorrow...would you all leave in disgust? I probably should have put an option for "don't care."

iml
29-Mar-2012, 06:28
100 seems plenty to me. If I wanted to keep messages for future reference I'd save them. I really don't understand why anyone needs to store large numbers of old messages, this place is a discussion forum, it's not a replacement for Gmail.

rdenney
29-Mar-2012, 07:52
Until we hear from Tom, we won't know the current factors that affect this issue.

But it seems to me folks are litigating outside philosophies, and that seems to a little out of scope. Entitlement mentality? Really? Can we just describe how we do (or don't) deal with the issue, without judging other approaches? After all, we all have different situations and needs.

I've run out of space a couple of times. A long message I typed to another member (and not anyone who could be accused of having an entitlement mentality) bounced because his box was full. Time wasted on my part, and information he might have wanted wasn't delivered.

Sure, we could do email. But email is a different Internet service, and the feedback forum is for asking about this service. For example, email is often unavailable to me when I'm looking in on this forum.

The forum exists to facilitate communication between large-format photographers. There's a lot of room in that statement, it seems to me.

It's a fair question, just as a reasoned "no" is a fair answer.

Rick "thinking Tom can survive without all the amicus briefs" Denney

E. von Hoegh
29-Mar-2012, 08:16
I didn't vote because it's a non issue. If it's important enough, write the PM down on a piece of paper. I do this all the time when I don't feel like shuffling things around electronically.

This forum is a free source of information as well as a wonderful way to be in contact with a grand assortment of experienced and knowledgeable people. I'm not going to bitch and whine because I'm too lazy to find my own way to preserve "vital" PMs.

Besides, Corran, they can increase the limit to a million, you'll fill that up and want more space.

Corran
29-Mar-2012, 08:39
I don't know why being free has ANYTHING to do with this. The only people "bitching and whining" are the ones bitching and whining about my perfectly valid suggestion.

No I quite think a million is enough. As I mentioned way back on post #1 I post much more on another site and I currently have 3,000 PM's in my box from about 6 years of posting. No this isn't Gmail but it's nice to have all the information in one place.

+1 to Rick, he's better at saying what I mean.

Sevo
29-Mar-2012, 08:46
Well I'm not going to argue democracy but I don't really understand why anyone would vote no...I mean it doesn't hurt anything.

Well, it might, but only one person will be able to determine that and give the final verdict (which we must accept).

I guess many people gave you the benefit of doubt and did not interpret the question of the vote as being as rude as it was phrased, and, judging by your follow-up, probably intended. It would make more sense to answer "no" no a more open and polite question like "would a increased limit be useful for you".

darr
29-Mar-2012, 08:48
Entitlement mentality? Really?

If you are given something for free and then you complain about it like: "I want more for free or I deserve more because it is free," sure does sound like an entitlement issue. Also, if a person is using another person's resources for making money as in selling gear through this forum and using the PM system for negotiating and completing sales, and then complains or repeatably requests for more space in which to do it then this type of person is more interested in doing business and should look towards e*ay for selling or setup their own web site for selling gear. This is a free forum--totally ad-free! I want to see it stay this way!

Long-winded response expected. ;)

BrianShaw
29-Mar-2012, 08:56
I just deleted all of my messages except one associated with a purchase I just made but haven't received yet. You guys can have my PM space.

Corran
29-Mar-2012, 09:16
Well, it might, but only one person will be able to determine that and give the final verdict (which we must accept).

I guess many people gave you the benefit of doubt and did not interpret the question of the vote as being as rude as it was phrased, and, judging by your follow-up, probably intended. It would make more sense to answer "no" no a more open and polite question like "would a increased limit be useful for you".

I did not intend any rudeness! I tried to make it as plain and direct as I could, no wishy-washy verbiage.

I'm sorry but this is a forum and not a conversation, and one must read it as such. Reading too much into my post is what got this thread all screwed up to begin with. Sorry, but "being polite" isn't something that comes through from words on a screen. "Would an increased limit be useful for you" is also an entirely different question with different subtext.



If you are given something for free and then you complain about it like: "I want more for free or I deserve more because it is free," sure does sound like an entitlement issue. Also, if a person is using another person's resources for making money as in selling gear through this forum and using the PM system for negotiating and completing sales, and then complains or repeatably requests for more space in which to do it then this type of person is more interested in doing business and should look towards e*ay for selling or setup their own web site for selling gear. This is a free forum--totally ad-free! I want to see it stay this way!

Long-winded response expected. ;)

It's not a complaint, it's a suggestion for improvement. I believe this forum didn't have a Classifieds until requested. So why can't we ask for things? Seriously?? Furthermore, you are forgetting an entire member of a transaction - the BUYER. If I buy a lot of things, maybe I want to see my PM's stick around for a while? Or should I also setup a site to ask for what I'm looking for?

I don't think anyone is talking about making this forum NOT FREE. Why is that even in your post? If the admin needed to ask for money to increase the PM count there is probably more problems than just getting money for the extra 5kb of space needed.

darr
29-Mar-2012, 09:56
I have been running the print exchange for 5 years. We have in upwards of 60 participants--do you think I receive a lot of PMs? I do not have a problem handling all my messages. Maybe I approach things differently than you do. I am always appreciative of whatever life brings me and in this case, this forum. I have been visiting this site long before we had the vbulletin software and we conversed to each other via email. Do you remember those days? My personal email is my responsibility and I do not expect someone else to manage it for me. I think you should just simply be grateful for what we have on this forum and leave it at that. You could always develop your own photography forum and have more control over whatever it is you want changed here.

If you "buy a lot of things" off this site, then I cannot imagine you would not want to keep those financial records on your own computer if nothing else for budget and tax records.



It's not a complaint, it's a suggestion for improvement. I believe this forum didn't have a Classifieds until requested. So why can't we ask for things? Seriously?? Furthermore, you are forgetting an entire member of a transaction - the BUYER. If I buy a lot of things, maybe I want to see my PM's stick around for a while? Or should I also setup a site to ask for what I'm looking for?

I don't think anyone is talking about making this forum NOT FREE. Why is that even in your post? If the admin needed to ask for money to increase the PM count there is probably more problems than just getting money for the extra 5kb of space needed.

D. Bryant
29-Mar-2012, 10:07
Didn't know there would be so much animosity towards a simple change that would improve the functionality of the site. Sorry if I don't want to archive them on my computer. I routinely use many different computers and travel so it's much, much simpler to log on and check the PM's box, and I don't have to constantly update an archive or whatever.

Just put them in cloud storage and sync your computers. These days that's pretty simple. And cloud storage can be free.

I really can't understand the need for more than 100 PM storage. I find little need to maintain an archive of PMs. If the information is really that important then take care of your own baggage.

Greg Miller
29-Mar-2012, 11:16
Just put them in cloud storage and sync your computers. These days that's pretty simple. And cloud storage can be free.

I really can't understand the need for more than 100 PM storage. I find little need to maintain an archive of PMs. If the information is really that important then take care of your own baggage.

Diito. Just get a free 2GB Dropbox.com account and they will be accessible from any computer with internet access.

Vaughn
29-Mar-2012, 11:29
I vote "Its up to the site's owner", but unfortunately that was not a choice given.

eddie
29-Mar-2012, 11:30
everytime i hit 100 PM i think...."man! i am so glad it is not 50 anymore!"

i find that i un check the save sent messages most of the time. this saves lots. i figure the other person will respond and i will get my original topic back....:) i do save my sent messages if it is important.

i have been saving my PMs to my computer for years now.....i think i MIGHT have had to go back and look at them once! just yesterday i was thinking about not saving them any more ever......

but as said above, most messages can be deleted right after we read them. just today i had a discussion with a member. sent him 6 or 7 messages and received that many responses. adds up fast. all have been deleted....well the "sent" messages were never saved so......

i prefer people access my through my e mail (under the drop down on my user name) but even when i say e mail me i get PMs. PMs are harder to access on my phone when i am on the run.

i am just glad we have more than 50! :)


edit: the poll needs an "i do not care either way" option

Corran
29-Mar-2012, 11:35
It's amazing what someone will read into a post. I AM grateful for this site, or specifically the information and opinions contained within. I still think it's a simple matter that more PM's would be beneficial to some and would of course not impede anything (assuming that there was not some catastrophic problem in the server storage algorithms or whatever, which seems unlikely).

BrianShaw
29-Mar-2012, 11:54
I'm curious... have you PM'd the site owner and asked him if he will increase the limit? Or is this thread how you are communicating with him?

Greg Miller
29-Mar-2012, 12:11
It's amazing what someone will read into a post. I AM grateful for this site, or specifically the information and opinions contained within. I still think it's a simple matter that more PM's would be beneficial to some and would of course not impede anything (assuming that there was not some catastrophic problem in the server storage algorithms or whatever, which seems unlikely).

All things equal, yes, more PMs would be better.

But nothing comes free. Going from 100 messages to 500 would, at least quintuple the required storage for PMs. If they are using any form of RAID, which is likely, it will be more. Perhaps they have the space today, perhaps this would push them into purchasing or rent more storage now, at the least it will cause them to have to upgrade earlier than otherwise. A bigger database means more RAM and CPU are required to maintain performance. All subsequent database maintenance tasks will take longer. Backups will take longer and be bigger. If they keep multiple backups, the additional size grows significantly. When they need to migrate to new hardware, it will take longer. If they ever have to restore the database it will take longer. If they need to migrate due to a database schema change, it will take longer, and the site will be down longer.

So what you are asking will cost money, and will take more of someone's time. I'd rather see them spend money on film or lenses, and spend time out photographing.

The fact that you have 3,000 PMs saved on some other site has me really scratching my head. Maybe they are important, but I cannot fathom having that many PMs that really need to be saved.

Corran
29-Mar-2012, 12:40
No I haven't emailed anyone, I thought the whole point of this sub-forum was to make suggestions so I thought that would be appropriate.

I really don't know, so I am curious as to the real-world implications of the extra storage. I know I personally use only a fraction of my upload/download and storage on my business website. If there is already a glut of extra space, then it shouldn't matter from a cost perspective, but yeah it'll take longer to backup/migrate if that happens. I can understand that.

On the other hand, the difference between a *.txt document that is 300,000 characters (100 PM's of 3,000 characters) and one that is 5 times for 500 PM's is 2.94 KB vs. 14.7 KB (just checked on Microsoft Word). According to the site there are about 2700 "active members." If they all filled up their boxes of 500 PM's it would be about 40 MB, which is practically nothing these days. These are just estimates based on raw text so I guess it doesn't really matter, but I was just curious. Obviously increasing the limit doesn't mean people will actually use it. I imagine the majority of users don't PM anyone.

A note about the 3,000 PM's on the other site: I don't reference them all the time or anything but there are some valuable things in there that I have looked back on. I don't think that site has the backup/storage to harddrive option which is why I never even thought about that here in the first place.

Darin Boville
29-Mar-2012, 14:47
I'm impressed, Bryan, by your stamina! And I agree with you 100%.

Just keep in mind--this is a board full of large format photographers. As a group, they (we?) are resistant to change. Sort of by definition.

--Darin

Kirk Gittings
29-Mar-2012, 15:21
I'm impressed, Bryan, by your stamina! And I agree with you 100%.

Just keep in mind--this is a board full of large format photographers. As a group, they (we?) are resistant to change. Sort of by definition.

--Darin

ya think?