General Discussion

Randon numbers for page page number
taltamir at 1:47PM, Aug. 24, 2006
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This is a big annoyance that has remained since the previous incarnation of drunk duck… why aren't the comic pages labeled by their date (ie, 20061102 for 2006-11-02, like in comicgenesis aka keenspace) or by the pagenumber (ie, 1,2,3,4…).

Take the latest three pages in elijah and azuu… they are labeled: 79962, 80362, and 81113. In this order… What is that supposed to mean? it makes it near impossible to keep track of your location in the comic. Not to mention that sometimes it seems to change (ie, the numbers change to adjust for new pages…). Changing the bookmark to keep only the latest page is a problem since the numbers are shifting and often make no sense. You don't know of the current “latest page” is a safe spot to store or not, since it might change to the newer latest page when a new page is uploaded. (so usually keeping it on the page before last is a good idea).

To clarify when I say named I mean in the address. IE:
http://www.drunkduck.com/ComicName/index.php?p=81113

This isn't an issue in a single comic, but a universal issue for all of drunk duck's comics.


Reasons why meaningful numbers should be used:
1. You can more easily find out where you left off (if you weren't at the last page).

2. If a page is broken you can skip to the next page. ie, if page 88 isn't working you can type page 89 and read ahed… instead of going to page 1000 and hitting the back button hoping there isn't another broken page… if the pages are labeled with random numbers you can't do that. This is harder but still possible with a date system (just increment the date until you find a working page, more work but you don't loose your spot or spoil the ending). Sometimes the “next” link is broken on a page but the next page IS available, this is the ideal situation to use this.

3. If discussing a comic pagenumbers can be used as reference.

4. If posting links of certain amusing page their relative location in the plot can be inferred.

5. If the basic naming of the website changes you can update your old links to match (ex: when keenspot changed its name to comicgenesis I could find my location in all the comics I was only half done reading)

6. If a comic goes down and comes back up you can find where you left off when all the pages are uploaded again (ie, when drunk duck went down it would be easier if we could just look at an old link and see “oh i was reading page 193 on this comic” instead of random numbers…

7. Save bandwidth for the hosting site when you are trying to skip a broken page. (you don't have to scroll backwards through all the FUTURE pages)

8. Save bandwidth and loading time by bookmarking the current last page instead the page before it. If page 100 is the last page and you bookmark it now, it might be page 105 when you next open it… if it was actually LABELED 100 in the address bar you could know it was safe to bookmark as a nonshifting spot. This means you don't have to bookmark page99 and go one forward just to see if the comic updated, saving bandwidth for the host and time for yourself.

9. If the author makes a linking error it would be easier to notice… ie, you would notice that hitting next on page100 leads to page 111 instead of 101.

10. Catch a linking mistake and inform the webmaster of it more easily. (ie, hi I noticed that in your comic page 55's next page link leads to page 57 instead of page 56)

11. More to come.

Note: All of those happened to me at least once… in fact I am pretty sure they all happened to me at least three times each, dozens of times for some of them… (only 2 happened a “mere” three times)
I do not have a superman complex; for I am God, not Superman!
last edited on July 14, 2011 4:06PM
LIZARD_B1TE at 1:54PM, Aug. 24, 2006
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…Take out the index thing so that it's only http://www.drunkduck.com/ComicTitle and you get the latest page.
last edited on July 14, 2011 1:36PM
Volte6 at 2:15PM, Aug. 24, 2006
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What happens to comics that post 3 pages in one day (In the case of using dates)?

Also, authors can shift the order of their pages around all they want, and post old pages today etc… so a date or page number isn't guarenteed to be consistent…
last edited on July 14, 2011 4:42PM
taltamir at 2:19PM, Aug. 24, 2006
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the issue isnt finding out the LATEST page, thats easy, cut off everything… the issue is finding off where you LEFT OFF last time you were reading… Also you can't tell when it was last updated at a glance, and so on, there are many reasons why it should actually be MEANINGFUL numbers instead of random ones… In fact I am starting a list…

As for multiple updates in one day… that is not an issue if its by page number… and it is by date then you just add a letter at the end.. for example:
20061102a
20061102b
and so on…
I do not have a superman complex; for I am God, not Superman!
last edited on July 14, 2011 4:06PM
Volte6 at 2:20PM, Aug. 24, 2006
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I understand the benefits of a real date in the url… it's just I feel that the benefits of NOT having it outweight the benefits of having it.

Maybe some way of marking a page so that you can return to it later would be a good feature… I dunno…
last edited on July 14, 2011 4:42PM
taltamir at 2:31PM, Aug. 24, 2006
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Well, this is why I made it a poll.. I wanna know how many people think the benefits are worth it…

For me its a big deal. I just checked the size of the webcomic folder in my favorites… its got 905 links at the moment! 905 is alot, and half the drunk duck ones are not useable and very hard to recover exactly because of this.. while correcting the keen>comicgensis transition in my address went perfectly taking seconds per comic and without loosing my spot, in half my drunk duck links I still didnt get the chance to go through the ENTIRE comic to find out where I left off, meaning I am gonna have to reread most of them from the begining… This is a huge chore I would like to avoid in the future.

What about the benefits of not using a pagenumber then? I think a pagenumber is even BETTER then a date system… and I can't think of a single BENEFIT for NOT having your pages numbered in a chronological order (1, 2, 3, etc…).

For that matter, what benefits of not having dates? I can't think of one…
I do not have a superman complex; for I am God, not Superman!
last edited on July 14, 2011 4:06PM
Volte6 at 2:35PM, Aug. 24, 2006
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I'm not sure I understand your problem… is this a matter of you not being able to remember the number to overwrite the URL manually? Or is there something else…?

If you have them bookmarked, it should behave identically as if it were a date… either one would take you right to the page you have bookmarked.
last edited on July 14, 2011 4:42PM
taltamir at 2:41PM, Aug. 24, 2006
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Volte6
I'm not sure I understand your problem… is this a matter of you not being able to remember the number to overwrite the URL manually? Or is there something else…?

If you have them bookmarked, it should behave identically as if it were a date… either one would take you right to the page you have bookmarked.

Lets say I bookmarked the last page, page 100… named 10020 in the address… Being the last page its at risk of change, if I don't read the comic for a month and open it again there is a good change it would not be able to find it… and i have to go to the root and look back from the last page looking for where I stopped…
If the page's name was 100 in the address bar it would not be an issue. If the page is removed and replaced by a new one (to make the “next” button active by adding another page, to resot pages, to correct an error, whatever) then it is still named p=100 in the address bar and i know where it is… if the base address is changed from p### to p=### I can just look in my link and modify it to the new system to go directly where I want… If I am discussing the comic on a forum I can just say “on page 100” and be sure people know what I am talking about… etc…


Look back at my first post, I made a list of reasons why with examples.
I do not have a superman complex; for I am God, not Superman!
last edited on July 14, 2011 4:06PM
Volte6 at 2:46PM, Aug. 24, 2006
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The page would be the same even after an update… the bookmark would point to the same page it did before the update.

( Ah i think you just updated your first post with a lot of stuff )

The biggest argument I see in favor of this is that if a comic disappearsa and reappears, or if the site data gets destroyed and everyone starts over, and the author uploads all of the identical pages in the same order, it would be useful.

I don't really understand the whole bandwidth thing or pressing the back button. if you hit a page that has a comic, all links from that point forward would remain valid, not giving you errors.
last edited on July 14, 2011 4:42PM
taltamir at 2:52PM, Aug. 24, 2006
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it just works out that way. for most comics the only safe pagenumber is one before the latest one, because the latest one usually shifts, gets deleted and reuploaded, etc… this is just the author making mistakes or incorrectly using the system. But if the pages were numbered then it wouldn't matter if they did, page 100 would still be page 100… But if page 314421353125 is now called 314421353127 the author cant tell and your link is no longer valid which means you have to look again from the begining… This is no issue if you check every comic every day… but I have 905 links so far… there aren't enough hours a day to check them all every day.

Also, skipping a broken page/next link is an absolute MUST… and is absolutely impossible with the current system (and really really hard with the date system, which is alittle better but still lacking)

Alot of times the next link doesnt work… and few monthes later you find out that the site really DID update… its just that the last page you were on had a broken next link… go figure where you are at… and if there is a broken BACK link somehwere in the future then a whole chunk of pages are COMPLETELY inaccessible to you.. and yes I HAVE seen it happen multiple times. I think each and every one of the 8 reasons I have provided so far are good reasons actually, which is why i provided them…

My question is… what reason is there NOT to use pagenumbers? It can't be “because its easier” … yes its easier to keep it this way NOW but when originally creating the system it was the same amount of work to create the random numbers as it is to create a meaningful number system, in fact I think the random number one would be MORE work from my programming experience… so the question is, why and why not change it to an obviously better system.

If you don't understand the value of one of the reasons I posted please ask me, I was probably not being clear and I would be glad to clarify… just go through the list and tell me what you think of each point.
I do not have a superman complex; for I am God, not Superman!
last edited on July 14, 2011 4:06PM
thatreevesgirl at 4:22PM, Aug. 24, 2006
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Volte6
Maybe some way of marking a page so that you can return to it later would be a good feature… I dunno…

I don't care how my pages are numbered in the url, but I really like this marking idea Volte! I have a folder of about 600 comics in my browser's favorites, all bookmarked at various points so I know where to go back to when I go to find them again in a month. THis would be a really handy feature and then I wouldn't have to bookmark so many comics in my browser.
last edited on July 14, 2011 4:14PM
Volte6 at 5:25PM, Aug. 24, 2006
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A system to option one or the other is the least likely to occur. If anything it would be a switch…

That said, reasons of why I prefer the existing method:

1.) It works, it's complete, and there are many, many planned features that need time allocated to them.
2.) It's faster than a date or page order method ( on the database )
3.) Dates don't narrow down to a specific page necessarily.
4.) Page ORDER can change, but page id ( as it is now ) never changes, unless the page is deleted.

I can see SOME benefit in having it that way… but honestly, it would require a significant amount of time and reprogramming to do, which I would prefer to spend on the upcoming new features…
last edited on July 14, 2011 4:42PM
Sam_Charette at 7:00PM, Aug. 24, 2006
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I'd like to point out what seems to be a misconception on taltamir's part.

These numbers aren't random. Every page has a unique ID associated it, and this number is generated by the database engine (usually it's an autoincrement, meaning the next available number is taken when the record is created). That's why it's easier and takes less work. The work is done for you by the database engine. There is more work and technical difficulties associated with what you're suggesting.


Not that it can't be done, but it surely isn't the same amount of work, even when the project began.


Though I'd like to say that I, too, would love to see a DD bookmark feature. It would help me get through some of the larger archives, because, well, I don't like having that many bookmarks in my bookmark folder :) Being able to let the system handle it for me would be awesome :)
last edited on July 14, 2011 3:21PM
subcultured at 8:32PM, Aug. 24, 2006
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volte has more important things to code
J
last edited on July 14, 2011 4:00PM
Inkmonkey at 9:08PM, Aug. 24, 2006
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Well, since you're using my comic as an example…

If you can remember the number of the comic to put it in the URL, what's keeping you from finding that same number in the dropdown archive? I don't know about everyone else, but I make a point of numbering every update for just such purposes. I even have it organized by Story Arc beyond that in case you're bad with numbers.
last edited on July 14, 2011 12:59PM
taltamir at 11:16PM, Aug. 24, 2006
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Sam_Charette
I'd like to point out what seems to be a misconception on taltamir's part.

These numbers aren't random. Every page has a unique ID associated it, and this number is generated by the database engine (usually it's an autoincrement, meaning the next available number is taken when the record is created). That's why it's easier and takes less work. The work is done for you by the database engine. There is more work and technical difficulties associated with what you're suggesting.


Not that it can't be done, but it surely isn't the same amount of work, even when the project began.


Though I'd like to say that I, too, would love to see a DD bookmark feature. It would help me get through some of the larger archives, because, well, I don't like having that many bookmarks in my bookmark folder :) Being able to let the system handle it for me would be awesome :)

which essentially are random numbers since they don't corralate to anything specific other then a relative upload location compared to itself AND other comics combined. Programming wise it would have been less work to use pagenumbers to begin with… but its more work to change the current system since its alraedy in place. I do however understand that those are database id's… i just think it should number PER COMIC. rather then for the entirety of drunk duck.


As for ink monkey's point. You do a great job on the numbering, thank you :). But the problem is because I do NOT remember the page number… i can however look at the bookmark link i did midreading and see “oh hey, it seems that the last page I read had a link ends with p=103242423”… useless for me to find out what it is in a new upload system (ex, since drunk duck was last deleted)… but when I check a keenspot link that no longer works I see it ending with “20051102” and I know its the comic from 2005-11-02 and I go to the comics root addreess, hit the back button, see that the new system they use is comicgenesis.com/comicname?p=20060606 for example and just replace the date with the date from my now non functional link.

A real example for an old drunk duck link is "http://www.drunkduck.com/Hammer_Space/?i=438741“… I dont remember what page it was… and I cannot infer what it was from the 438741 name. This specific one did not come back yet… this is why i still have the old link. But for those that did I went through page by page from the first page till i found where i left off since there was no indication of where I was.

This is why comics like alpha shade are so hard for me to read… they are script based and thus you cannot save a url to a specific page, which means I have to actually remember which page i was last on, which i cant. (so it means trying to find my location every time… very time consuming, doable on alpha shade, not doable on some comics i like that updated daily and have thousands of pages)


You mentioned something about possible features that use that universal id… I did not know of any, (and cant really think of one) but why do they require that the drunk duck ID be part of the URL? cant it just have a page id embeded in the page's code? or have an ID associated with the page's real url…


As for pagenumbers changing…. that sometimes happens regardless.. with the current system it is much MORE confusing when pages are reorderedm is it not? and if the author decides to redo page 90-100 and ends up with 15 instead of the original 10 pages I would rather notice it and go back and see them… I could read it in his news section and just jump to page 90 easily rather then reading it in his news and hitting the last page button 20 times until i am back at the correct page ID…


btw, it occured to me now that this poll is horrible.. I really messed it up.. bad options and questions… should have been ”what is the ideal naming system: database id, pagenumber, dateofcreation."

BTW, it is important that in both the date and the pagenumber system a person COULD change them manually if needed. This will give authors greater capability to ensure the fluidity and accuracy of the links.

note that i am not speaking hypothetically here… each and every one of the reasons I gave for the change has happened to me PERSONALLY at least once. In fact, I am pretty sure I could say that they happened to me at least three times each :)
I do not have a superman complex; for I am God, not Superman!
last edited on July 14, 2011 4:06PM
Sam_Charette at 4:41AM, Aug. 25, 2006
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taltamir
Programming wise it would have been less work to use pagenumbers to begin with… but its more work to change the current system since its alraedy in place.

If by page numbers you mean the numbers you'd like to see (i.e. per comic) then it is decidedly more difficult, even at the beginning, to do it that way. Autogenerated numbers are easy. Anything else is more complicated (though not always that complicated).

If by page numbers you meant the autoincrement value I was referring to, then ignore that, but since you said “it would have been” I figured that you meant the non autoincrement numbers.
last edited on July 14, 2011 3:21PM
skoolmunkee at 10:23AM, Aug. 25, 2006
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The original purpose for the randomized numbers (they may just be an autonumber field in a database) was so that people couldn't read ahead on your comic. It used to retain the filename you gave to it, and since people would name them something like page1.jpg, your readers could guess what the naming structure was and go in and view pages you'd preloaded. That was ages and ages ago so I'm not sure if the page storage database still works like that or not, but that's what the change was originally for. :)
  IT'S OLD BATMAN
last edited on July 14, 2011 3:38PM
taltamir at 11:17PM, Aug. 25, 2006
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skoolmunkee
The original purpose for the randomized numbers (they may just be an autonumber field in a database) was so that people couldn't read ahead on your comic. It used to retain the filename you gave to it, and since people would name them something like page1.jpg, your readers could guess what the naming structure was and go in and view pages you'd preloaded. That was ages and ages ago so I'm not sure if the page storage database still works like that or not, but that's what the change was originally for. :)

Yes, I have used it to preread pages, but only when someone posted in their blog that they uploaded it and didn't make the links yet :)…

While that is an arguably useful security feature (if for some reason you DONT want your readers to read your comic) it still has all the drawbacks i listed… if the user can figure out your naming scheme then they can read ahed… or they can skip a broken link, or they can jump right to the page where they left off, or they can notice that a link leads to the incorrect page and skips some and view those otherwise missing pages, and report to the webmaster that he made a mistake, and so on…
I do not have a superman complex; for I am God, not Superman!
last edited on July 14, 2011 4:06PM
taltamir at 1:21AM, Aug. 29, 2006
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well, the voting shows I am in the minority as far as wanting to change that,

as for posts: so far i saw three arguments against:

1. Its more work to change
Counter: no counter, it is more work, I think it would be worth it though.

2. If you use pagenumbers and upload the finished pages but don't link them they could read ahed.
Counter: I argued against it but I accept that its a valid reasonable point, some authors just don't want it and thats that and its their right. Although perhaps an alternative system of locking out users from future pages could be used. That way the benefits of pagenumbers remain without the loss of power to prevent read ahead.

3. Possible use of unique id for pages in a database
Counter: ID could be stored as a database where the ID is linked with the local page or as metadata in the page's code, rather then as the page's address.


please point out anything I missed.
I do not have a superman complex; for I am God, not Superman!
last edited on July 14, 2011 4:06PM

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