A day in the life of Planet

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Jools
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A day in the life of Planet

Post by Jools » Fri Aug 08, 2014 10:24 am

I sat down this morning to do some concerted work on the site. First off I finished off the AR datasheet for Balantiocheilos melanopterus which I'd had to abandon a couple of days back due to a magpie attempting to remove a significant part of my cookers extractor vent. Yes, really.

Today I noted that Ian Fuller had sent me notification of some new CW-numbers from his recent exciting trip to the Madre de Dios area in Southern Peru. That seemed like a nice addition to the site. However, I've been sitting on a lot of corrections to the Corys and related genera that Ian sent me some time back. It would seem discourteous not to do that first (it was a lot of effort for Ian to review the site).

So, I dig out the emails from Ian and am just about to start when I remember that Birger had reported an issue in the admin functions used when moving images from one species to another. This is something I'd need to do when moving corys around and making corrections. So, it would be a good idea to fix that bug first otherwise people (and the facebook and twitter share functions) will be confused with temporarily incorrect images being shown on species update notifications.

However, I am then troubled by the fact that I will spend 2-3 hours fixing that bug and no one (except those who also give up their quality time to help with the site) will see. In short, it looks like I've not really done anything.

While I ponder if I should quickly add the CW numbers and then look at the bug I notice I have a forum moderator alert. I then need to take 10 minutes to understand why someone has lied about flushing their live Corydoras down the toilet to elicit a quicker response from the forum faithful. I consider the forum rules to make sure I'm not being heavy handed, one warning issued. I reflect that it's the first warning of 2014 which is good news.

Now I feel the need to write all this down. I will go and fix the bug now as it is something that needs done despite being "invisible" to most, but it keeps the gremlins at bay!

Cheers,

Jools

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Re: A day in the life of Planet

Post by Dave Rinaldo » Fri Aug 08, 2014 10:47 am

why someone has lied about flushing their live Corydoras down the toilet to elicit a quicker response from the forum faithful.
b-)
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Re: A day in the life of Planet

Post by Richard B » Fri Aug 08, 2014 12:37 pm

Most importantly.....make time for a beer

:-BD
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Re: A day in the life of Planet

Post by Jools » Fri Aug 08, 2014 2:20 pm

Richard B wrote:Most importantly.....make time for a beer
I will do! However, several hours on, I'm still wrestling with the image caching problem and not getting anywhere fast. Should've just plonked some new images on the site... :-)

Jools

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Re: A day in the life of Planet

Post by jac » Fri Aug 08, 2014 3:02 pm

Your doing a great job Jools :-BD

And to add to the pressure... A new baby arriving soon :YMPARTY:
Every great achievement begins with a dream ;-)

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Re: A day in the life of Planet

Post by Jools » Fri Aug 08, 2014 3:12 pm

Thanks Jac. It's not really pressure, I do this for fun. I find the technical side of the "job" and also adding data to share good info across the world very rewarding. However, I started this thread as an insight. Threads of this nature can often descend into techno babble about what goes on "under the bonnett" at Planet; I am trying to avoid that.

As I write, I note a new thread with a link to another site with some pictures of Amaralia spawning, that's good news!

Jools

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Re: A day in the life of Planet

Post by Jools » Fri Aug 08, 2014 3:56 pm

The issue with cached images is now fixed. I did a lot of thinking / research into various ways to fix the problem. I then messaged MatsP and got his view, which was where I was headed too. He made a small change that fixes the issue. However, it is now 15:55 local time, so need to go do some real life stuff (wrapping [mostly pink] presents for my soon to be four year old).

Jools

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Re: A day in the life of Planet

Post by GroovyJeff » Fri Aug 08, 2014 4:04 pm

I am new to the site and new to catfish in general. I really appreciate this site and extend my thanks!!! I am on the site everyday and have learned a ton. So thanks again!!

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Jools
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Re: A day in the life of Planet

Post by Jools » Fri Aug 08, 2014 4:08 pm

Thanks GroovyJeff. But, again, it's really to provide an understanding of what goes on rather than to look for (kind and welcome) praise.

It's also kind of cathartic, so i think I may continue it!

Cheers,

Jools

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Re: A day in the life of Planet

Post by Barbie » Fri Aug 15, 2014 7:32 am

I like the idea. I second the vote for some consumption of beverages during, as well. You are such a busy guy! Please remember to stop and hug your beautiful wife for me :).

Barbie

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Jools
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Re: A day in the life of Planet

Post by Jools » Fri Aug 15, 2014 10:31 am

I will do that @Barbie - although I have to approach from the side at present - twelve days until D3 arrives! :-)

Anyway, work pressure has been high since last post. I added some Liosomadoras oncinus pictures from Jeremy Basch's awesome first documented spawning of this species which I stand by calling the catfish breeding event of the year. This nicely crowns some real progress has been made with spawning Auchenipteridae this year.

@MatsP and I have been fiddling with server settings to make uploading large image files possible and I've migrated Planet, AR, zebrapleco.com, dignall.com and Clare's business site (clearriverpartnership.co.uk) on to a much beefier server for the usual increase of traffic over the Northern hemispheres winter.

Over at AR, @Divemaster has had his username synchronized over Planet and AR and as such is hoping to add images and data primarily for some North American species (which reminds me I need to replace Maylandia with Metriaclima at some point).

Then there is the obscure stuff that nobody cares about. Today, Mats and I are worrying about why the following usernames are not working right.

Code: Select all

Couldn't find user 'Bjørn'
Couldn't find user 'Csababá'
Couldn't find user 'Högö'
Couldn't find user 'José Maria'
Couldn't find user 'Skägget'
Couldn't find user 'TheLoachGuy'
Couldn't find user 'cørydørås'
Couldn't find user 'emilengø'
Couldn't find user 'helshøj'
Couldn't find user 'jørn henning flåten'
Couldn't find user 'mini-fée'
Couldn't find user 'nötter'
Couldn't find user 'stäbchenfisch'
Something to do with extended characters (e.g. ä, é etc in usernames), once that's in play I then need to harmonise the Terms and Conditions links and content between Planet and AR.

I know this stuff is dull, but, hey, it's what happens.

Jools

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Re: A day in the life of Planet

Post by jac » Sat Aug 16, 2014 7:34 am

I like this tread, it gives an insight in running such a large international forum!
Jools wrote:I will do that @Barbie - although I have to approach from the side at present - twelve days until D3 arrives! :-)
Jools
:YMDAYDREAM: :-BD
Every great achievement begins with a dream ;-)

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Re: A day in the life of Planet

Post by NCE12940 » Sat Aug 16, 2014 2:53 pm

jac wrote:I like this tread, it gives an insight in running such a large international forum!
:YMDAYDREAM: :-BD[/quote]

And very rewarding for the rest of us! I once was an admin on a large Rottweiler forum so I have an idea of how much work is involved.

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Re: A day in the life of Planet

Post by Jools » Sat Aug 16, 2014 4:45 pm

Ya. Running the forum is part of it, but the whole site is a custom built thing around the popular forum software PHPBB - the custom bit is quite large now. Before 2003, there was no forum, just the custom bit (smaller then) that ran the articles sections and the catelog etc. but had no interaction with Planet users.

Today I've been vetting and making only minor corrective tweaks to a lot of native american fishes added over the last 48 hours by @Divemaster [cheers!].

I am reminded again by my conscience that I need to spend some quality time on @Coryman corydoras corrections, they have been in my inbox since December 2013. My inbox(es) handling is a curious thing, it is based on how much time I think I have at one sitting to work on the site and how I think the days ahead will go. If I have lots of time and not much on then I go to the bottom of my list and pick off something big (such as Ian's corrections). If I have X minutes to work on the laptop before a hard deadline (like going to a meeting or taking a child to swimming) then I pick off something that looks like X-10 minutes work. Sometimes, when I have 2-3 hours then I pick something I know will take some programming (it is usually relaxing).

For now, I am going to investigate some PHP error weirdness.

Jools

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Re: A day in the life of Planet

Post by Jools » Thu Nov 20, 2014 9:56 am

Today I am having fun. In preparation for a new CotM article, I am reviewing the Pimelodid genus Hypophthalmus. It turns out most of the pictures in the catelog are incorrect and I am moving them around and adding information to correctly identify them.

I will also continue on the review of all Corydoras from Ian Fuller that has been sitting in my inbox since February this year. I am tempted to start grouping them by the emerging new classification (e.g. Corydoras(Gastrodermus)) if for no other reason than to see what we have that is not yet grouped - however I think this is just a little premature. I am reminded by a very low level niggle about my Corydoras identikit project. This is something I imagined at university when we designed simple expert systems. I got a 32 species model up and running back then (mid 90's), it would take months to create, and need a good artist, but maybe 2015 is the right time to get it fired back up again. It

Last week, we added 964 creative commons images of South East Asian fishes to ARN. Mostly these were not catfishes as many of those species we already had some great pictures of from @Silurus who has also been adding colour versions of many of his black and white images.

The big news is that a major new version of the forum software is available and we plan to implement that this side of Christmas. It's a big change and, if it's really big, might not be possible in that timeframe. Let's see...

Jools

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Re: A day in the life of Planet

Post by Marc van Arc » Thu Nov 20, 2014 2:54 pm

Jools wrote:In preparation for a new CotM article, I am reviewing the Pimelodid genus Hypophthalmus. It turns out most of the pictures in the catelog are incorrect and I am moving them around and adding information to correctly identify them.
Although a lumper, I still don't understand why the family Hypopthalmidae was reclassified and included in Pimelodidae.
I have not seen many pictures of Hypopthalmidae and take it that scientists have found out that these fish have no internal fertilization (thus unable to fit into Auchenipteridae). But what has made them decide to place these fish into Pimelodidae?

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Re: A day in the life of Planet

Post by thijs » Thu Nov 20, 2014 4:06 pm

Although a lumper, I still don't understand why the family Hypopthalmidae was reclassified and included in Pimelodidae.
I have not seen many pictures of Hypopthalmidae and take it that scientists have found out that these fish have no internal fertilization (thus unable to fit into Auchenipteridae). But what has made them decide to place these fish into Pimelodidae?
I am not in ichtyologist, but probably based on genetics. As a birder I see more and more reclassifications of higher order clades (of birds, a group that gets more attention by scientists) based on genetics. Often these families do not make any sense to the eye or to ecology. Hobbyists will just have to deal with that, I fear :YMSIGH:

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Re: A day in the life of Planet

Post by Jools » Mon Nov 24, 2014 11:56 am

Marc van Arc wrote:But what has made them decide to place these fish into Pimelodidae?
AFAIK, they're just specialised midwater pims that were hitherto placed in their own family only because of the methods of classification of the time (90's?) which identified this midwater / specialised feeding divergence as the basis for higher taxonomic ranking. More modern (phylogenetic) thinking says they're just evolved toothless pims. I am sure someone can explain that better.

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Re: A day in the life of Planet

Post by Jools » Mon Nov 24, 2014 12:02 pm

So, today, I am re-working the styling at zebrapleco.com. This has been successfully updated to phpBB3.1 which might not seem very significant, but's it's a root and branch upgrade of how the forum software works both behind the scenes and in terms of what the average user sees. Loads of new features as well as a more modern look and feel however it's not a steep learning curve as the changes are intuitive and well thought out.

At present, the new software is implemented at ZP, I've amended the "list of recent forum posts" code to work with the new forum and I am now going through the (painful) process of integrating the new stylesheets to make it all hang together with the fresh new clothes. This will take a day or two.

Why do I mention this here? Well, once I've got ZP finsihed off, I will then start testing phpBB3.1 with AquaticRepublic.com (which, like Planet) uses more of the phpBB framework to validate users and provide functionality around user authentication which is what drives My Cats (or, My Fish on AR), My Aquaria and My BLogs.

Then it's coming here...

Jools

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Jools
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Re: A day in the life of Planet

Post by Jools » Wed Dec 03, 2014 12:16 pm

Jools wrote:Then it's coming here...
Having upgrade zebrapleco.com completely and gotten aquaticrepublic.com to a reasonably stable state (and why I've not answered many emails since last week), it is time now to upgrade Planet. I will post an annoucement on it. It looks pretty good actually, I am happy with where the developers are going and it after (about 45 hours) rework it will integrate with Planet/AR nicely.

Jools

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