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Thread: Post length limit is killing my soul, help!

  1. #1

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    Unhappy Post length limit is killing my soul, help!

    Ok, as I'm sure you guys can understand, every once in a while a CodeBank project is so huge in scope that there's just no avoiding running up against the post length limit with completely legitimate information.

    For me, that's my VB6 typelib project, a core library foundation for other projects. Now I've already gone the multiple post route. All information that is follow-up has been moved down into 2 more posts. Now both of those are running up against the limits too, but the real problem is the initial post in the thread.

    Every section that's in the first post absolutely needs to be there, and the main issue is the sub-project list that would really look terrible if divided, so adding yet another continuation post would be at best a stop gap that would just lead right back here in a couple weeks.

    To fit everything that needs to be in the first post, I've spent huge amounts of time re-wording, re-formatting, condensing, removing aesthetic formatting, and generally sacrificing the quality of the post. And I'm totally at peace with having to split the project downloads because of the size limit. But the information that must be in the first post can be condensed no more. One or two more sample projects added to the list, which will be soon, and all the options to fit it in will be exhausted.

    Bottom line is, just for this one single post, the ultra-rare exception, I reeeeeeaaaalllllyyyyyy need the character limit extended. There's simply no other option that doesn't completely ruin the post and make the poor quality a turn-off.
    I know doing it wouldn't be easy, it's probably not even in the options menu or vbulletin control panel, but this is a one-time thing, a legitimate, bona fide exceptional situation.

    This is the post in question.

    Please save my post! I would be so extremely grateful if just this one time we can make this post right. I'm not even looking to relocate what's already been moved to other posts, just room for plenty more sample projects, restoring the quality of the sections there now, and especially to fix the great formatting that made all the info accessible.

    Thanks for listening!

    Disclaimer: This post has more emoji's the all my other posts combined, please don't ban me thinking this is what my posts are like!

  2. #2
    Super Moderator si_the_geek's Avatar
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    Re: Post length limit is killing my soul, help!

    I can't do anything about the limits myself, but having looked at the post I can see a way of saving hundreds of characters...

    Instead of the URL tag (with a full URL):
    [URL="http://www.vbforums.com/showthread.php?839717-VB6-Vista-Direct-access-to-the-system-wide-image-thumbnail-cache"][VB6, Vista+] Direct access to the system-wide image thumbnail cache[/URL]

    ...you can save a bit by using only the required part of the URL (to the end of the number):
    [URL="http://www.vbforums.com/showthread.php?839717"][VB6, Vista+] Direct access to the system-wide image thumbnail cache[/URL]

    ...and you can save even more by switching to the Thread tag, which only needs the number:
    [thread=839717][VB6, Vista+] Direct access to the system-wide image thumbnail cache[/thread]

    ...which is shown as: [VB6, Vista+] Direct access to the system-wide image thumbnail cache


    As you've got about 40 similar links (so far), this could save you a couple of thousand characters.

  3. #3
    Super Moderator Shaggy Hiker's Avatar
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    Re: Post length limit is killing my soul, help!

    It puts me in mind of a quote that I will hereby mangle for a modern age: I apologize for the long post. I didn't have time to write a shorter one.
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  5. #5

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    Re: Post length limit is killing my soul, help!

    Ok, so the soul-crushing post-length issue is back.... would any mods/admins want to help me out and adjust a couple timestamps so everything is at the start of the thread? It's all documentation for the extensive features I added onto my cTaskDialog class; there's no way to reduce the number of posts without an actual limit change, as each one is already 10k characters or better.

    The new date should be 9/24/2014
    This post, time is ok
    This post, with time change to 12pm
    And finally this post, time is ok

    (if you just change the dates and not the time it's ok i can swap the content)

    It would just be so much better for users if all the examples and documentation were at the top of the thread, instead of interspersed through several pages of posts.
    Please?

    Thanks

  6. #6
    ex-Administrator brad jones's Avatar
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    Re: Post length limit is killing my soul, help!

    I'm not sure that we can change the date/time without going through a DBA to directly manipulate the data in the database. I don't know that I'll be able to get through the red tape to make that happen.

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    Re: Post length limit is killing my soul, help!

    There's corporate red tape on making a quick time edit on the DB? When I admin'd a site like this I lived for excuses to do things the hard way and change the DB directly
    So wheres the limit controlled, can we get a if ($userid == "fafalone") { maxLength = 20000; } else { maxLength = 10000 } change to the code without touching the DB manually??

    Just kidding but seriously all the space that thread tag trick saved me has been used up and now my project where i really need certain info to stay in the first post is running out, and I don't want to trash my pretty formatting again

  8. #8
    ex-Administrator brad jones's Avatar
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    Re: Post length limit is killing my soul, help!

    I pushed the size limit a little bit, so you should have a bit more room in a post. Don't tell anyone.
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    Super Moderator RobDog888's Avatar
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    Re: Post length limit is killing my soul, help!

    One other thing you can possibly do, probably for the future, is when creating the thread, reserve a post after the first post to spread your long post verbiage between. Write out your post in wordpad or something that can give you the character count with ease. Then if you know you will span more than one post, reserve however many posts after to get all your text in there as you desire. This will insure you have all the pertaining information at the beginning of your thread.

    Also, I am not recommending spamming your thread with a bunch of "reserved for future use" posts, only when you have the information overflowing into more than one post.
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    Re: Post length limit is killing my soul, help!

    I've taken a few approaches to big tutorial posts in the past.

    To some extent, making large posts on forums just doesn't work. I find I want long tutorials to include screenshots and other formatting that forums usually don't play nicely with. I'm a lot happier when I go off and write it for somewhere like a blog, or The Code Project, or basically anywhere that doesn't have length restrictions and allows hosting images.

    But I find that a bother, and it's harder to get interest on a forum in something off-site, so when I was writing big fat tutorials I made a few tools to help out, or chose my tools wisely. I like using text editors that have a character count somewhere in the display. If I'm writing for a forum with a 10k character limit, around 9k I try to find a logical place to break. Then I start a new file and repeat. When it's time to make the post, I quickly post all the parts in. Usually within the first 5 minutes people don't interject. If they do, oh well, I already admitted I knew forums were a pretty bad way to post tutorials.

    One time I had half a notion I'd work with LaTeX and generate a nice PDF format for tutorial style posts. That ended in tears.
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  11. #11
    ex-Administrator brad jones's Avatar
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    Re: Post length limit is killing my soul, help!

    We can always post on one of our sites as well if the tutorial is exclusive to just that site. This would be Codeguru, Developer.com, or one of our others. That, however, still has the issue of not being presented nicely within the forum.

    I had hoped there was a way to open the word limit at the subforum level so we could make the code banks allow larger posts. Sadly, the setting is at the overall forum level.
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    Re: Post length limit is killing my soul, help!

    Quote Originally Posted by fafalone View Post
    Ok, as I'm sure you guys can understand, every once in a while a CodeBank project is so huge in scope that there's just no avoiding running up against the post length limit with completely legitimate information.

    For me, that's my VB6 typelib project, a core library foundation for other projects. Now I've already gone the multiple post route. All information that is follow-up has been moved down into 2 more posts. Now both of those are running up against the limits too, but the real problem is the initial post in the thread.

    Every section that's in the first post absolutely needs to be there, and the main issue is the sub-project list that would really look terrible if divided, so adding yet another continuation post would be at best a stop gap that would just lead right back here in a couple weeks.

    To fit everything that needs to be in the first post, I've spent huge amounts of time re-wording, re-formatting, condensing, removing aesthetic formatting, and generally sacrificing the quality of the post. And I'm totally at peace with having to split the project downloads because of the size limit. But the information that must be in the first post can be condensed no more. One or two more sample projects added to the list, which will be soon, and all the options to fit it in will be exhausted.

    Bottom line is, just for this one single post, the ultra-rare exception, I reeeeeeaaaalllllyyyyyy need the character limit extended. There's simply no other option that doesn't completely ruin the post and make the poor quality a turn-off.
    I know doing it wouldn't be easy, it's probably not even in the options menu or vbulletin control panel, but this is a one-time thing, a legitimate, bona fide exceptional situation.

    This is the post in question.

    Please save my post! I would be so extremely grateful if just this one time we can make this post right. I'm not even looking to relocate what's already been moved to other posts, just room for plenty more sample projects, restoring the quality of the sections there now, and especially to fix the great formatting that made all the info accessible.

    Thanks for listening!

    Disclaimer: This post has more emoji's the all my other posts combined, please don't ban me thinking this is what my posts are like!
    I totally agree with this. I've had some frustrations with this myself.

  13. #13
    ex-Administrator brad jones's Avatar
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    Question Re: Post length limit is killing my soul, help!

    Quote Originally Posted by Trdrego View Post
    I've had some frustrations with this myself.
    On this forum? Your largest post is under 2,200 characters, which is well below the previous minimum.....?

  14. #14
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    Re: Post length limit is killing my soul, help!

    Looks like that thread is always going to need more and more regardless if we made the limit 1,000,000 characters. Perhaps the layout and grouping of your codebank thread is a better solution?I honestly, no offense, looked at your thread and was like "Im not going to read everything, way too long". I would just search for what I needed and if your thread came up I would go to it. Having it in multiple threads may be better as having examples and all the documentation in addition to the first post may be too overwhelming and time consuming for members to read. Btw, posts cannot be moved around in a thread as it would take direct database access and modification just is simply not allowed as per QuinStreet's policies
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  15. #15
    ex-Administrator brad jones's Avatar
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    Re: Post length limit is killing my soul, help!

    Quote Originally Posted by RobDog888 View Post
    Perhaps the layout and grouping of your codebank thread is a better solution? ..... Having it in multiple threads may be better...
    Totally agree with this. If something is more than about 5,000 characters, then you should consider whether you are covering more than one topic. If not, you should consider whether the topic can be broken into subtopics each covered on their own, then a master piece can be created that links to each of the sub-pieces.

    We publish a lot of articles on our other sites (Codeguru, Developer.com, HTMLGoodies, etc.). In general, 600 to 1200 words is a good target size for a piece of content. That would be 2,000 to 6,000 characters. Anything longer than 1200 is reviewed to see if the information is relevant, or if the article should be made into more than one topic.

    Of course, if you have something that is longer, we could post it as an article on Codeguru and then link to it from here with a blurb to introduce it.

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  16. #16

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    Re: Post length limit is killing my soul, help!

    Quote Originally Posted by RobDog888 View Post
    One other thing you can possibly do, probably for the future, is when creating the thread, reserve a post after the first post to spread your long post verbiage between. Write out your post in wordpad or something that can give you the character count with ease. Then if you know you will span more than one post, reserve however many posts after to get all your text in there as you desire. This will insure you have all the pertaining information at the beginning of your thread.

    Also, I am not recommending spamming your thread with a bunch of "reserved for future use" posts, only when you have the information overflowing into more than one post.
    Yeah that's a good idea that I started doing for bigger projects; my post length problem concerns only 2 threads I've ever made, which predate that.

    Quote Originally Posted by brad jones View Post
    I pushed the size limit a little bit, so you should have a bit more room in a post. Don't tell anyone.
    It still says 15,000

    Quote Originally Posted by RobDog888 View Post
    Looks like that thread is always going to need more and more regardless if we made the limit 1,000,000 characters. Perhaps the layout and grouping of your codebank thread is a better solution?I honestly, no offense, looked at your thread and was like "Im not going to read everything, way too long". I would just search for what I needed and if your thread came up I would go to it. Having it in multiple threads may be better as having examples and all the documentation in addition to the first post may be too overwhelming and time consuming for members to read. Btw, posts cannot be moved around in a thread as it would take direct database access and modification just is simply not allowed as per QuinStreet's policies
    That's not entirely fair; the only thing that's expanding that first post is new sample project links, a 5000 character increase would last years assuming I *didn't* run out of new ones, which I just about have, you can see the rate drastically slowing... the post at issue here covers Intro, Install, Contents/what is optional, and all the sample projects-- I don't think it's unreasonable that these sections, which I've already made as concise as possible, should be included in the very first post. I'm not trying to move any of the many other sections into the first post, they're fine as additional info further down, and the other thread I've mentioned I'm only concerned about trying to get the secondary posts to be right below the first instead of scattered.

    Quote Originally Posted by brad jones View Post
    Totally agree with this. If something is more than about 5,000 characters, then you should consider whether you are covering more than one topic. If not, you should consider whether the topic can be broken into subtopics each covered on their own, then a master piece can be created that links to each of the sub-pieces.

    We publish a lot of articles on our other sites (Codeguru, Developer.com, HTMLGoodies, etc.). In general, 600 to 1200 words is a good target size for a piece of content. That would be 2,000 to 6,000 characters. Anything longer than 1200 is reviewed to see if the information is relevant, or if the article should be made into more than one topic.

    Of course, if you have something that is longer, we could post it as an article on Codeguru and then link to it from here with a blurb to introduce it.

    Brad!
    I absolutely agree in principle, and like I've said there's only 1 single instance where the length issue is a major problem (and it's due to the sample project links, all the other sections combined are in fact under 5,000 characters including all bbcode), and I've carefully considered and justified which sections need to be in the first post and intend to leave all the other sections where they are, because they do not need to be in the first post.

    I've administered a large VBulletin site myself, so I hope you can appreciate that I wouldn't be bothering you about this if it wasn't important and for the primary benefit of people who are interested but unfamiliar with type libraries and shell interfaces.

    Do you think it would be better to move my main typelib and all its subprojects over to one of those other sites? I had put it here to start with since what remains of the VB6 community seems to be concentrated here and those other sites being more focused on modern languages... but I'd be open to hearing arguments for the move. But again the only thing that's adding length in the future is sample project links.

  17. #17
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    Re: Post length limit is killing my soul, help!

    Quote Originally Posted by fafalone View Post
    Do you think it would be better to move my main typelib and all its subprojects over to one of those other sites? I had put it here to start with since what remains of the VB6 community seems to be concentrated here and those other sites being more focused on modern languages... but I'd be open to hearing arguments for the move. But again the only thing that's adding length in the future is sample project links.
    At this point, I'd leave it here and consider what was said above about breaking articles and samples into more distinct pieces that stand alone.

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