Twilight Sparkle ✨

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Posts posted by Twilight Sparkle ✨


  1. 3 hours ago, StrawCherry said:

    If I could, I definitely would! But I’m only a student that has started in August. I’m in no way capable yet of helping with a professional website. :sunny: I hope all turns out well, though! The temporary fix could work well but I’m assuming it also consumes a lot of time.

    > implying Poniverse is a professional operation

    I'm a student, too. I only said that I was a professional developer myself; this organization is a scrappy volunteer effort. Please do get in touch if you see something at some point and think "sweet Luna, even I can do this better!"

    • Brohoof 6

  2. 13 hours ago, Jeric said:

    Back in 2011, it sucked hard. Didn't get much better for years.

    Suck

    Hard

    I don't honestly know why Feld didn't do it back in 2011, he was a youngling then. It wouldn't have worked against spam bots and only provided the illusion of safety. Something that is still relevant today with some vulnerabilities. 

    Anyway, reCaptcha was not really part of any web development curriculum at the time, and wasn't as ubiquitous as it started to become a year or two later. It was popular and present, but not always implemented. 

     

    reCAPTCHA has historically been awful in practice and, as a professional developer, I wouldn't recommend it to anyone. Because it's so widely touted as the solution to spambots, it's also by far the most heavily targeted by spammers. In particular, it does nothing to stop business-savvy spammers who employ kids in Bangladesh for $0.10/hour to click pictures of traffic signs. There's also the philosophical issue of Google using reCAPTCHA to extract untold hours of labour from the unknowing masses, which gives them an incentive to not go too far in thwarting this particular kind of spammer. The list of issues goes on...

    Any custom captcha that is specific to a given site is better than reCAPTCHA or other third-party captchas. They'll confuse human spammers who barely understand English and no bots will exist that understand them. MLPF had this in the form of a Q&A captcha that asked (easy) trivia questions from FiM's first season between its launch in 2011 and the introduction of Poniverse logins in 2013. It worked, and unexpectedly even hampered an attempted raid from a car forum at one point by trolls who didn't know anything about ponies.

    For reasons I'm not going to delve into, having a similar captcha on Poniverse.net never made it to the top of the priority pile until recently, and we're short-staffed on developers the task can be given to. Yes, this is a low-key call for help.

    • Brohoof 6

  3. 13 hours ago, StrawCherry said:

    But I just wonder, why is there no captcha in the first place? As a Webdevelopment student, you learn to add captcha once you create your first form page or however I’m supposed to call that. I just assumed that it would be added by default as many websites seem to have it, so I guess I’m also just wondering what’s taking so long?

    There first needs to be an active staff developer to give such tasks to. It would be an understatement to say that there's been turnover since I started MLPF in high school in that regard which hamstrung MLPF's or Poniverse.net's abilities to get technical updates at all.

    Are you volunteering to help? We could use it. :(

    • Brohoof 5

  4. I donate to Poniverse every month (you should, too, if you like this place!). This is my favourite nonprofit. :pinkie:

    I used to give to the local riding associations of political parties I supported as well, but recently cut down on those. I've given a reasonable amount of money to BC Children's Hospital and charity:water in the past as well, largely through MLPF's annual Christmastime fundraisers.

    • Brohoof 3

  5. 4 hours ago, Jeric said:

    When they upgraded MLPF to the new version of the software, the new status update system had an attachment feature. It was applied universally. Basically, if the attachments in statuses were a thing back when Feld created the perks ... they would probably be part of them. Instead, we can all enjoy them. 

    That's not quite right. The reasoning for attachments in PM's being a subscriber feature is mainly because PM's are hidden away from the public. We're happier to foot the bill (read: spend subscriber money subsidizing a feature for everypony) for attachments in public content because great public content helps attract new users to the site. This property does not hold for personal conversations, so getting a subscription pays for the resources your attachments there will use.

    • Brohoof 3

  6. I'm so very happy to see the progress on this. Your persistence and attention to detail with this will soon pay off, DDR!

    One thing I wanted to comment on was the following:

    4 hours ago, DDR said:

    I did, however, run out of HDD space before the dump completed this time which was odd because it worked last time with 10gb to spare.

    Some versions of MySQL set the innodb_file_per_table setting in my.cnf to false by default. If this is set to false, then all InnoDB tables will write their data into a single "ibdata" file in your MySQL data directory which will forever grow and never shrink. MySQL tries to reclaim space from "deleted" tables but it's not perfect. If this setting is disabled, and you previously imported a database and deleted it, it's possible that you lost some disk space to that pesky ibdata file.

    • Brohoof 1

  7. I went to a Wednesday screening at a VIP theatre (an adults-only theatre with a bar/lounge and restaurant-style service). This particular screening was organized by Cineplex, BronyCAN, and Entertainment One for the local pony community and sold out. :o It kinda turned into a meetup, too, with lots of people showing up early and hanging out in the lounge afterward.

    It was a ton of fun but also admittedly a very unusual screening.

    • Brohoof 2

  8. On 2017-08-28 at 1:47 AM, Techno Universal said:

    Well really I would be donating a lot here if I was living in my own home and I could supply funding but annoyingly it's pretty much impossible for me to donate here because of my current real life situation. Like I have no PayPal account right now and I probably won't be able to create one until I'm 18 plus I really am extremely annoyed of how I can't donate here! :)

    I know this post is a little late but PayPal isn't a requirement - if you have a credit or debit card with a Visa, MasterCard, American Express, or Discover logo on it, you should be able to use it. Maybe that helps? It's usually possible to get a MasterCard or Visa debit card that links to your bank account (and open a bank account if you don't already have one) even as a minor.

    • Brohoof 1

  9. My real name is not hard to find; it's not constructive to threaten me with "exposing" that we don't have resources assigned to MLP Forums - that is a rather plain, non-contentious fact. Starting drama will only waste a lot of time and mental energy.

    What would be constructive is volunteering to help out. There's been an ongoing search for a new MLPF lead developer since @Lavo left that post, which has not proven very fruitful so far. Its scope will be expanded soon but we had a few other channels to try first. A project's lead developer is normally supposed to be the person communicating with the general public about technical things and it's hard for that to happen when that person doesn't exist.

    Our volunteers are not a mindless "resource" that can be assigned to whatever tickles a manager's fancy, and Poniverse isn't a magical source of them. Volunteer developers typically sign up to contribute to projects that they have a significant personal stake in (ie. they have a dream to realize or are strongly motivated to work with a particular technology). Canterlot Avenue's technical staff volunteered very specifically for that project - it's wishful thinking, and ignorant of social dynamics, to suggest that they'd be working on MLPF if only I tore them out of Canterlot Avenue.

    One of the first tasks the new MLPF Lead Dev will get, assuming IP.Board doesn't scare them away, will be to go through the Feedback and Site Questions sections and learn what all the broken things are that need fixing. Their next task will be to get to work fixing them.

    • Brohoof 5

  10. In light of this thread, I'm considering revisiting that rule and opening up some kind of user-to-user marketplace here. I have two possible approaches in mind right now - comments would be appreciated!

    • making "for sale" threads a thing you can buy - ie. paying $10 (as an example - actual pricing might need more thought) to put up a thread in which you're allowed to sell something
    • adding something resembling a proper marketplace, where you can post items for sale, arrange payment, and MLPF/Poniverse takes a small cut from the transaction (there's an IP.Board add-on for this, so I don't anticipate it being a strain on our troubled access to dev resources)

    @StormBlaze @Jon the Bronynerd ^

    • Brohoof 3

  11. Hey @Mickey Adaptus, I appreciate that you want to support us financially and want to work with you to find a way to let you do that!

    I took a look at iDEAL and accepting it would require us to open a Netherlandsbank account, which is not a path I'd like to go down at this point. However, I assume you have a bank account since iDEAL works through online banking, which gives us some options:

    - cheques

    - a money order

    - prepaid VISA cards

    - opening a PayPal account (maybe?)

    - VISA or MasterCard debit card, if your bank offers them

    I'll follow up with you via PM to work out a solution!

    • Brohoof 1

  12. 4 hours ago, Midnight Scribbler said:

    Currently I only take payment via paypal. I should also mention that if you commission through the forums, artists couldn't take payment through DA in any case, we're under an agreement with the forums when we run our commissions through their services. 

    A small correction: your customers can pay for a commission on MLP Forums via PayPal, credit/debit cards, or a money order, with no further effort on your part, Scribbler. ;)

    • Brohoof 1

  13. We're not in the financial position to start providing "free" ways to get perks normally reserved for subscribers. It would discourage those who can afford a subscription to avoid getting one and virtual currency is no good for paying Poniverse's (very real) bills.

    Objectively, the price attached to those perks is not very high - the price of two Starbucks coffees a month will get you most of them - so the few perks they do get will remain exclusive for the foreseeable future. You get a very complete user experience without them already. Note that if you have money in some form but can't use a payment card or PayPal to subscribe, we're able to make alternate payment arrangements as well.

    That said, there are some latent ideas for an achievement system floating around - that could encourage certain actions that benefit the community, and be plain fun, without conflating contributions to the community with contributions to its continued existence and development. I can't promise when or if that would happen, though - a forum admin may or may not have something more specific to say about this.

    • Brohoof 1

  14. The record ought to be set straight on the apparent understanding of MLP Forums as an "all-ages" or "family-friendly" site: MLP Forums has, at all points throughout its history, been a 13+ site.

    The considerations in catering to children vs. teenagers are comparable in significance to the considerations in catering to teenagers vs. adults, and serving children under 13 has never been one of this community's goals.

    Opening MLP Forums to all ages would be an almost equally "interesting" paradigm shift with just as many potential pitfalls - legalities aside, consider how you'd feel about discussing complex headcanon with 4-year-olds.

    • Brohoof 4

  15. 1 hour ago, GrimGrimoire said:

    Pretty much every large "pony" site on the web is a NSFW free zone.

    There aren't many pony fan sites much larger than MLP Forums (Equestria Daily, Fimfiction, and Derpibooru come to mind). I'll play devil's advocate and point out that Fimfiction and Derpibooru in particular have very large amounts of NSFW content on them - if you had these sites in mind when writing your post, they're evidence that it's possible to design a site to host both SFW and NSFW content, while keeping the latter kind of content completely isolated from those who don't care for it. deviantART, though not a pony-specific site, is also worth a mention as it hosts both 13+ and 18+ material while decidedly serving both age groups.

    Successfully designing a site in such a way (which I'm not suggesting is simple) broadens the number of interests it can serve (meaning, more users and activity, which benefits everyone) without negatively impacting the experience for anyone who only wants the SFW stuff.

    • Brohoof 2

  16. Where did you see that we only take PayPal? MLP Forums also accepts credit/debit/prepaid cards, money orders, and cheques. Can you use any of those? All you need to send a money order is cash and a post office.

    It's unlikely you'll find an artist who accepts Steam games as payment since making money tends to be the reason one opens commissions in the first place. I'd be happy to discuss alternatives to PayPal via PM.


  17. 13 hours ago, Fleet Admiral Dash said:

    I see some things are still a little off here and there. When will the donation feature be back up. I tried to give a Subscriber Donation, but got stuck on an infinite loading wheel, and no transaction was charged to me(at least not to my knowledge yet).  Also, will it be possible to add HTML widgets to profile descriptions in the future. For example, a Discord server viewer.

    Payments being broken is a big issue. :o I'm following this up with you via PM.

    If anyone else is having payment issues, please PM me and Lavo.

    • Brohoof 1

  18. Personally I think once someone hits a certain threshold they should simply keep the donor status.

     

     

    I appreciate the suggestion but unfortunately, our bills don't stop coming once we've paid a certain number of them. :( I'd rather be upfront about that, so our donor/subscriber perks will continue being structured to encourage and reward recurring donors. Without recurring revenue, there won't be an MLP Forums for anyone to enjoy.

    • Brohoof 2

  19. A longstanding tradition of Poniverse has been to give former staff most of the forum perks associated with a subscription as a token of appreciation for their service. This was accomplished by placing all former staff in the "Subscribers" group on MLP Forums.

     

    Over the years, however, the list of MLPF's subscribers grew very long as staff came and went. This had the side effect of making it look like we have about 10 times the financial support we actually do.

     

    In an effort to improve transparency, the subscriber list has been corrected to only list actual subscribers now; former staff continue to be distinguished by being in a new "Retired Staff" group.

     

    For those of you who've thought financially supporting Poniverse, I figured that having a better idea of how much support we already have may affect your decision. :) To those who already subscribe, thank you - I hope you appreciate this information as well.

     

    The more subscribers we have, the more ambitious we can get with things like picking server hardware, funding community events, and rep'ing our projects at conventions. And you get cool perks like a larger signature and a custom title, too!  :o If you want to grab a subscription now, they start at $5 USD/month on the forum store.

    • Brohoof 6

  20. See this FAQ article: Do members have the ability to delete their own posts and threads?

     

    Forum posts are part of our shared history as a community so you can't remove them yourself by design. The article explains the rationale for this in more depth.

     

    That said, MLPF's staff consider requests to remove individual posts on a case-by-case basis - how to request that and when such a request is likely to be honoured is also detailed in the article.

    • Brohoof 3