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 Post subject: Database updates
PostPosted: Tue Mar 24, 2009 6:07 am 
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I have attempted to update some of the information on the puzzles in the database and get this message:
You do not have sufficient rights to perform the action you attempted. If you believe this is a mistake, try logging off and back on before trying the action again. If you continue to see this message, e-mail me the details via the Contact Me link in the menu.

I followed instructions as listed, and still don't have access. When will this be fixed?

I'll start with the updating of the section called other puzzles.

Just as a point of reference, should we list our names to show the other moderators that a puzzle has been updated?

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 Post subject: Re: Database updates
PostPosted: Tue Mar 24, 2009 8:36 am 
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Hmm. Growing pains, I guess.

Which screen were you on, and which button/link did you click?

Sandy


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 Post subject: Re: Database updates
PostPosted: Tue Mar 24, 2009 8:47 am 
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did it two ways, first contribute info and maintain data base, then by clicking on the puzzle, then modify item. I updated the year, then clicked enter. This brings me to PUZZLE INFORMATION MODIFIED. When I click the "click here to maintain" I get the insufficient rights message.

Neither way worked, hence my post.

And just to let you know, I did log out and log in again both ways.

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 Post subject: Re: Database updates
PostPosted: Tue Mar 24, 2009 9:05 am 
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Do you have cookies disabled, by any chance? To find out, go here.

In the "Items Per Page" section at the top, choose something other than 15, then click "Save Preference". The screen loads again, and your setting should be selected in the drop down. If it still says 15, cookies aren't enabled. There's a link on the page that will tell you how to enable cookies. If I recall correctly, you may be in a situation where you might not be able to do that, but it's worth a try. Now I'm concerned. Let me know.

Sandy


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 Post subject: Re: Database updates
PostPosted: Tue Mar 24, 2009 9:10 am 
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Cookies are accepted. I can change it to 150. I've also done the tools thing. Tried both ways again and still no luck. I use the IE with the tabs if that helps.

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 Post subject: Re: Database updates
PostPosted: Tue Mar 24, 2009 9:23 am 
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Okay, so that's a good thing. Great, thing, really. I've been looking into non-cookie session management solutions, and they each have their own drawbacks and would take a good 5 or more hours to invent and implement.

I'm going to try a few things out...

Sandy


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 Post subject: Re: Database updates
PostPosted: Tue Mar 24, 2009 9:38 am 
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Sandy wrote:
Okay, so that's a good thing. Great, thing, really. I've been looking into non-cookie session management solutions, and they each have their own drawbacks and would take a good 5 or more hours to invent and implement.

I'm going to try a few things out...

Sandy


Hmmm. As far as i know there is only 2 ways to avoid using cookies in sessions. Well really only 1 way. In the first (standard) way the session number (id) is stored on the client side. The other way is to include this seesion id directly in the querystring's. In Apache you can use querystring rewrite rules to hide this id from viewing.

More important maybe is to directly control the session timeout (override global settings) This can be done through editing the .htaccess file. Nothing is more annoying than being asked for a re-login due to (prematurely) expired sessions.

Per

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 Post subject: Re: Database updates
PostPosted: Tue Mar 24, 2009 10:42 am 
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Found the flaw. It'll work now (he says over-confidently).

Sandy


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 Post subject: Re: Database updates
PostPosted: Tue Mar 24, 2009 4:08 pm 
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When I go into "Maintain the Databases" and it asks me to put my log in information, it gives me a log in failure like my password/username isn't correct. They are correct...

(And I do have cookies enabled. )


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 Post subject: Re: Database updates
PostPosted: Tue Mar 24, 2009 4:20 pm 
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You're probably using lowercase for your username. David tripped over the same thing. Try logging in with a capital S in your name and let me know if that works.

Unlike the forum login, the username is case-sensitive on that login screen. (Passwords are case sensitive in both places.) The forum lets us get into the bad habit of not properly casing our usernames. This seems like an error to me, but rather than try and get the forum code changed, I'll just dumb down mine. I'll include it in the next batch of updates.

Sandy


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 Post subject: Re: Database updates
PostPosted: Tue Mar 24, 2009 4:24 pm 
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Brilliant! I feel pretty dumb now. It's because I have my login information for the site saved on my personal laptop and it was saved as a lower case. Never even thought about that. Thanks


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 Post subject: Re: Database updates
PostPosted: Tue Mar 24, 2009 6:31 pm 
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Sandy, whatever you did works. I see though that if a puzzle needs modifying and isn't on the list, we have to add it first. An extra step but not a problem. Thanks

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 Post subject: Re: Database updates
PostPosted: Tue Mar 24, 2009 10:10 pm 
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I'm not sure what you mean.

If a puzzle needs modifying, you go to its puzzle page, and click the "modify this puzzle" link at the bottom of the page, then edit it in the form that appears. When you submit the form, it appears for moderator approval in the maintenance section. You're a mod, so you can go there, and approve it immediately if you want by clicking the Add/Replace button.

With any puzzle contribution (additions or modifications, including your own), you can edit the contribution by clicking the pencil icon, but you don't have to.

The puzzles that are on the list are there because each contains something new that someone wanted to add to the puzzle database. All 100+ of those entries are user contributions, most of which accumulated because the only moderator (me) was absent from the site for a few years. Once each contribution is approved, it is removed from the list. So once we get over the initial hump of clearing this backlog, a logical goal for the puzzle moderators would be to keep that list of unprocessed user contributions from building up again. Perhaps by implementing a 2 or 3 day turn-around time on puzzle contributions, or something like that.

Sandy


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 Post subject: Re: Database updates
PostPosted: Tue Mar 24, 2009 10:34 pm 
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Sandy, I was refering to updating information about puzzles already in the data base. i.e. original price or year. But I've kind of worked out a solution. I just contribute info on a group of them, then go into the moderator page. Easy fix.

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 Post subject: Re: Database updates
PostPosted: Tue Mar 24, 2009 10:38 pm 
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Rox, even though you are a moderator, that only gives you the ability to approve edits. If any of us go and make an edit on a puzzle, you have to approve it before it shows up. However, this also means that if you make an edit, you have to approve it.

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Last edited by Danny Devitt on Tue Mar 24, 2009 10:47 pm, edited 1 time in total.

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 Post subject: Re: Database updates
PostPosted: Tue Mar 24, 2009 10:39 pm 
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It took me a while to figure that out. But I've got it now.
Next question. Where are all the pictures for the contributed information? Most of the stuff doesn't have anything loaded.

If you stroll on over to the database, you will see that I have updated some pricing information and year of production on a few puzzles. I just noticed that 2 puzzles have been put up but the pictures aren't there. How do these get removed from the live database?

As with any new program I use, I'm having teething problems. Once I get past this initial stage, I promise these inane questions will stop.

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 Post subject: Re: Database updates
PostPosted: Wed Mar 25, 2009 9:32 am 
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> Where are all the pictures for the contributed information? Most of the stuff doesn't have anything loaded.

Any NEW user contribution won't have pictures because I haven't provided the capability for users to upload pictures as part of adding a new item to the database. In the meantime, picutres to accompany new puzzle contributions are to be e-mailed to images@twistypuzzles.com. Currently myself and David receive these pictures. If you or Sarah would like to receive them as well, let me know and I'll add your names to the distribution list.

The ability for users to upload images will come some time in the future, but it represents a serious security risk and would have to be looked at and tested extensively before the capabilities are exposed to the general public. I also have some more database normalization work to do before that is even feasible. I will be adding picture uploading capabilities for moderators within the next month or so.

In the meantime, prepare the entries on the maintenance screen and edit/format the pictures, then send me the completed pictures. I can then upload the pictures and approve the entry at the same time. This turns me into a bottle neck in the process, which I definitely don't want to be. This is a good motivator for me to get the image upload scripts running.

> How do these get removed from the live database?

If I'm not mistaken, these items have been added by David recently, but the pictures are not completed yet. The question is: should we add items that have no pictures? My approach has always been "pictures first". David's approach differs. It would be a good idea for us all to get on the same page, and to set and adhere to a certain standard. I can dicate the standard, but I would rather we had a dialogue about it before adopting a mutually acceptable standard. I'll start a new thread in a few minutes.

This doesn't fully answer your question, though. Currently nothing (puzzles, links, selling prices) can be deleted directly from the live database except by me. I have yet to build in those features. If something has to be deleted, send me an e-mail. Once that happens frequently enough, I'll be motivated to add the delete features.

Sandy


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 Post subject: Re: Database updates
PostPosted: Wed Mar 25, 2009 9:44 am 
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That covers all my questions. So I should just update the info then and at some point Dave will put on the pictures. Ok. I can handle that.

I'm also assuming that any puzzles I know of that aren't in the database should be added at this time. But that could be overwhelming for Dave when it coems to adding the photos.

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 Post subject: Re: Database updates
PostPosted: Wed Mar 25, 2009 10:31 am 
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Yeah, I say go ahead and add them. If there are going to be a lot of them, I'd like them to remain added but unapproved until the images are complete. We'll end up with a database full of image-less items! I don't know about you guys, but when I'm browsing through a section of puzzles, my eyes are instantly drawn to the one that doesn't have an image!

We may need more people editing images to keep up, especially since it would be nice to also focus on clearing the backlog of user contributions.

Sandy


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 Post subject: Re: Database updates
PostPosted: Wed Mar 25, 2009 10:53 am 
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Does that explain why, when I go to look at the new items, some of them have broken image links?


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 Post subject: Re: Database updates
PostPosted: Wed Mar 25, 2009 11:55 am 
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Sorry for the new pictureless items. There is a bit of a catch-22 for me in that I need to name cleaned up images with their database ID which I can't get until the item is added. So I add them item to get the ID, and then there is the delay between having that ID, naming the file, getting it to Sandy, Sandy converting the files, and finally putting on the site.

Sarah has been nice enough to clean up a number of files, and they had been sitting in my inbox with no IDs to name them, so I added a few puzzles to get the IDs and then... ran out of time. Sorry. Those will be packaged up for Sandy soon and he'll get them in the database.

A few are difficult cases as they were sent to Sandy years ago (my Square-2 for instance) but are stuck on a dead drive :( I was in the middle of re-editing these from the source last night when it just got too late and I had to go to bed.

So a question to smooth out a policy:

Sandy: Can we get some sort of "hidden from public view" flag for moderators that allows us to add an incomplete puzzle to get its ID? This would go a long way to us getting named files to you ahead of having the item go live.

If so then I think we can avoid this situation pretty much entirely and only flip that bit on when an item is ready to go.

Dave

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 Post subject: Re: Database updates
PostPosted: Wed Mar 25, 2009 2:46 pm 
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Jared: Yep, that's why.

David: One solution (buried in the novella I wrote above), is leaving the approval of the completed entry to me, to be performed while I'm uploading the images. It gives me another step to do myself which would be a drawback, but it would eliminate the appearance of blank image entries. (I've gotta get that image upload script going. Then this whole issue goes away!)

The "hidden" system actually already exists, but doesn't yet work quite the way you envisioned. The new additions you see in the maintenance screen are saved in the same table, they just have a true IsHidden value. I think what I'll do is change IsHidden to a more complex field called "Status" or something, and include things like "hidden", "new contribution", "replaced", and "deleted". This would also mean being able to keep a history of changes to an item, which would be a far better audit system than what I've got in place right now. There's another week worth of spare-time programming onto my To Do list.

Sandy


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 Post subject: Re: Database updates
PostPosted: Fri Jul 31, 2009 2:49 am 
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I was attempting to update a few puzzles in the database today. I ran across an anomaly. I have to edit an already existing puzzle before i can log in to edit other puzzles. Then I have to delete the new edit. Is there anyway for me to go straight into the editing?
I am afraid the way I'm doing it now I'll end up deleting the wrong puzzle.

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 Post subject: Re: Database updates
PostPosted: Thu Aug 06, 2009 8:48 am 
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You don't have to edit anything first. See the "WHERE TO BEGIN" section at the top of this page of instructions.

Sandy


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 Post subject: Re: Database updates
PostPosted: Thu Aug 06, 2009 8:53 am 
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I really think this database thing needs a wiki approach, so that members can contribute, review and edit entries directly as required. It's just too much to expect one poor volunteer to process all of the entries by him/herself.

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 Post subject: Re: Database updates
PostPosted: Thu Aug 06, 2009 9:02 am 
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You could be right. Anyone can contribute now, but most people don't. Do you believe our two-step system (user contributes, moderator approves) is the primary factor in the low number of contributions?

Sandy


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 Post subject: Re: Database updates
PostPosted: Thu Aug 06, 2009 9:13 am 
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Sandy wrote:
You could be right. Anyone can contribute now, but most people don't. Do you believe our two-step system (user contributes, moderator approves) is the primary factor in the low number of contributions?

Sandy

Well, all I can say is I contributed Qubami as soon as I joined several months ago, and it's still not up. So I guess moderator motivation is (understandably) the main RATE limiting factor.

Regarding contributions, I think you would get a better response if people can get immediate gratification to see their entry pop up there and, because it would continuously evolve, more people would spend time looking at and trying to update it. That's just my suggestion, but I think it makes sense.

Anyone else have any thoughts on this?

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 Post subject: Re: Database updates
PostPosted: Thu Aug 06, 2009 9:25 am 
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Sandy wrote:
You could be right. Anyone can contribute now, but most people don't. Do you believe our two-step system (user contributes, moderator approves) is the primary factor in the low number of contributions?


I contributed facts to two puzzles in the past, that have found their way into the database.
As I tried it the last time ("long" time ago"), nothing happened, but I think that was due to your absence.

Sometimes its laziness by the users, or they got discouraged by the database in the past, like me.
But in the future I am going to make more contributions. :oops:



Q

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 Post subject: Re: Database updates
PostPosted: Thu Aug 06, 2009 9:27 am 
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Yes, I think people WILL start making contributions, IF they can see that they are actually going somewhere! :wink:

My wiki solution:

1. Automate the submission process to reduce motivation barriers by users
2. Enable automatic entry into database for instant gratification to users
3. Keep the moderator role as more periodic supervision (just like the forum).

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 Post subject: Re: Database updates
PostPosted: Thu Aug 06, 2009 9:37 am 
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Thanks for the link Sandy
The last time I looked there were around 118 puzzles waiting to be uploaded. The big problem is the lack of photos to go with them.

I can't edit photos. Well, I could if I had the programs and the knowledge of how to use them. But sadly, I don't-and before you ask, I'm doing good to post photos in the first place.

I think what would help greatly is good quality, pre-edited photos. When those are submitted, i can get on with my job.

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 Post subject: Re: Database updates
PostPosted: Thu Aug 06, 2009 9:40 am 
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Is there any free automatic image processing software, that you could set to do 90% of the dog work automatically?

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 Post subject: Re: Database updates
PostPosted: Thu Aug 06, 2009 9:53 am 
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katsmom wrote:
Thanks for the link Sandy
The last time I looked there were around 118 puzzles waiting to be uploaded. The big problem is the lack of photos to go with them.

I think what would help greatly is good quality, pre-edited photos. When those are submitted, i can get on with my job.


Several years ago Sandy introduced a subforum "User contributions" and uploaded some pictures which were processed by helpful used. Can this be reactivated in the "Content moderaters"-forum?


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 Post subject: Re: Database updates
PostPosted: Thu Aug 06, 2009 10:11 am 
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katsmom wrote:
I can't edit photos. Well, I could if I had the programs and the knowledge of how to use them. But sadly, I don't-and before you ask, I'm doing good to post photos in the first place.

I think what would help greatly is good quality, pre-edited photos. When those are submitted, i can get on with my job.


I do have some free time within the next weeks, so you could send the photos to me.
I just need to know the picture, als well as the file size you are aiming at.



Q

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 Post subject: Re: Database updates
PostPosted: Thu Aug 06, 2009 10:59 am 
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So we're back to what I think of as the original issue. We need someone who has time, skill and determination to seriously take on the Museum Moderator job. Yes, this means approving user contributions and it could mean doing a lot of contributions yourself, but what I think it means is being the person who recruits and manages a team of content contributors, photographers, and image editors.

When I put out a call for image editors for the shop images, I had a half dozen serious responses within a few days, and together we managed to edit around 200 photos in a week. The rate at which the beautifully-edited images poured in was awe-inspiring. We HAVE the resources, but do we have a person (or three) who will step up to inspire, organize and manage these resources?

Sandy


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 Post subject: Re: Database updates
PostPosted: Thu Aug 06, 2009 11:30 am 
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Sandy wrote:
Yes, this means approving user contributions and it could mean doing a lot of contributions yourself, but what I think it means is being the person who recruits and manages a team of content contributors, photographers, and image editors.


The problem I see with this is, that the photographers for example may not have any new puzzles to make a picture of.
So we would need those photographers at events and puzzle meetups to get as many puzzles as possible in front of their camera.
That is not an easy task, as it would still be more easy if all users would contribute pictures of their puzzles, that are not already in the database.
But those are probably not owning a camera, like me for example.

I think that the photos should be split up, by photographers that make a bunch of photos, as well as all other users contributing pictures of one or two puzzles of their own.

I do have a mail address that accepts unlimited traffic, as well as enough webspace to put unedited pictures on. From there on I would be able to edit them by myself or even better distribute them between image editors.

Content contribution can be solved by scanning the web for information, as well as having a thread/forum for all users to be able to contribute information for not so well known puzzles, that are displayed in this thread/forum.



Q

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 Post subject: Re: Database updates
PostPosted: Wed Aug 12, 2009 11:46 pm 
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Sandy wrote:
We HAVE the resources, but do we have a person (or three) who will step up to inspire, organize and manage these resources?
Some time ago I was that guy, and became moderator as a result. For a bit I added some new puzzles, but lately time has drifted away from me. It is really easy get distracted, and I have. For the last few weeks I've thought of nothing but IPP and California Cube Evening, but those are over now.

Why am I posting this? To nudge myself back towards the database again. Making a public statement forces me to think twice before trading it for another task. All have priority, but I keep giving the database less priority than it deserves.

Long term this task may be better managed by someone else, but until we find that person (and Sandy has to trust them to hold a high standard of quality) I'll have to do better.

There are no automated tools that will give us the quality the database deserves, but there are volunteers for picture editing who have done a great job. I used to be one, but think I will be giving up spending time on that to focus instead on the management of images and additions.

Of particular difficulty is all of the "almost" entries: Entries with pictures that are just... borderline. I want to add it, but the picture just isn't great (or the write up is substandard). I don't have time in the moment to hunt for a better picture or break the news to the submitter that it just isn't good enough. I tend to attack the hard problems first in a task, and confronting these usually exhausts my enthusiasm before I get very far.

So I shall employ new strategy:

1.) I won't edit images anymore
2.) I'll focus on sending out and organizing image editing to our great volunteers (PM me if you want to help)
3.) I'll stop trying to go in date order (stuck on 2006...) and instead try to process the easiest entries first, so as to get our backlog down quicker.
4.) I'll stop agonizing about non-perfect entries. If they don't meet the bar, they won't go in (and will be removed from the queue). I'll make my best attempt to notify the submitter and explain what is lacking.
5.) I'll start a thread about submissions that aren't database suitable so I can solicit better pictures and information.
6.) I'll start on this TONIGHT. Well, after dinner ;)

Dave

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