15 December 2016 at 4:43 pm #573653David DunnParticipant
You asked for comments on the new members pages. I have uploaded a few images and think it works very well. One comment: is it possible to sort the images into subject order as well as date order?
Otherwise a great initiative.
Attachments:16 December 2016 at 3:04 pm #577750Jeremy ShearsParticipant
if you go to Members Pages, click “Search by category”. You then get a list of categories: Sun, Moon, Mercury etc. Clicking on a category name will then display entries in date order for that category.
All the best,
Jeremy16 December 2016 at 6:03 pm #577751James DawsonParticipant
Looking at all the categories there is an excellent mix of images, with most categories containing plenty of examples of peoples work. The only categories without any observations yet are Uranus, Neptune, Pluto and Exoplanets.
I once attempted to image both Uranus and Neptune one very still night, but they were so low and I think my SCT hadn’t cooled down sufficiently and so the resulting images were awful; Uranus was a yellow-green flared blob, and Neptune just looked like a swollen star with a blue hue. I am always amazed [and envious] when I see the images Damian Peach and others capture of these outer solar system giants. As for Pluto, it is on my bucket list of targets to try – again I love to see the time lapse images people take which shows a faint white object moving amongst the stars over the course of a few nights… I imagine how Clyde Tombaugh must have felt when he saw something similar on his blink comparator!
As for exoplanets, they are far beyond me.
James17 January 2017 at 12:45 pm #577812James DawsonParticipant
Uranus now has two images on the member pages (https://britastro.org/recent-images-by-category/157). Only Neptune, Pluto and Exoplanets have no members images.
James20 January 2017 at 9:38 am #577814David BaseyParticipant
I would quantify my support as half-hearted at best. I fully understand your point and see its logic but I would not want it to be the default. My rationale is simple, when I go into the Members Pages I want to see those observations that are new and not have to search for them. Displaying in date submitted order gives me this. You are right of course, in a lot of cases this will be the same as date of observation but some members are posting old observations, some from several years ago and depending on their posting mix these could be well down the list with your suggested scheme and thus difficult to find.
Ideally it would useful to have a choice of sort order so everybody could have what they want and maybe the default held against each members individual profile. However I suspect this is a step too far and likely beyond the capabilities of the tool used to create the site.
David23 January 2017 at 11:25 am #577813
Interested to read the comment from David Dunn, as I have recently tackled the Webmaster (Dominic) on what could be exactly the same request! The comment is ambiguous though as it doesn’t make it clear whether he means sort the entire members’ area or just the submissions of one member – as Jeremy points out, sorting the entire area is already possible. My comment to Dominic concerned just one member, as I pointed out that, currently, unless all the images of one observation were uploaded on precisely the same day they could not be seen together, as would seem desirable. My suggestion of “sort by subject” was rejected and my alternative suggestion that the default sort should be by date of observation rather than date of submission has yet to receive a reply, despite sending a reminder. As I pointed out, sort by date of observation would make scarcely any difference to the desire to keep the members’ area as an ongoing diary of current observations but, critically, would automatically group together images of the same observation uploaded on different days (maybe because some required extra processing). Any support for this idea?
SteveH23 January 2017 at 11:26 am #577818
David Basey’s point about “old” observations cropped up in my discussion with Dominic, who said that the Members’ Pages section was purely intended to showcase current observations, not to act as an archive of past work. To have new posts of old observations at the head of a member’s images list (as they are at the moment) thus contravenes the basic premise: much better to have them in their correct chronological order, I would have thought. In fact, David contradicts himself in his post, as he says he wants to see “those observations that are new” but then mentions the difficulty in finding submissions of old observations if the images are in order of observation. I think we need to be clear here: a new posting of an old observation is not a new observation, and therefore should not be deemed “current work”. Indexing by date of observation allows easy access to genuinely new work; permits a member to construct an archive of work if that is what they wish, and allows images of the same observation submitted at different times to be seen together. I really cannot see any downsides!
SteveH24 January 2017 at 11:54 am #577821David BaseyParticipant
A few points in response.
- My post perhaps could have been worded better. Where I said “observations that are new” what I meant was those that are newly posted not necessarily the most current so while there was an apparent contradiction it was not real or intended. My bad!
- The downside remains for anybody who like me wants to see fresh posts is that they would need to trawl through to find them.
- The point about it being for current observations not an archive is interesting. I do not recall seeing anything about that elsewhere though I certainly would agree with it. Perhaps the fact needs highlighting on the submission page?
David.26 January 2017 at 1:24 pm #577833
It seems that the resolution of David’s points 1. and 2. above is really tied up with point 3. I would agree that it is not explicitly stated that this section is intended as a showcase for current observations, but this is what webmaster Dominic told me when I first tackled him on the subject. If this principle is to be strictly observed then it does indeed need to be made very much clearer, but in this case the logic of my suggestion that submissions be indexed by date of observation is surely unanswerable: the most recent observations appear at the top of the listing and the rest appear in chronological order of observation irrespective of when they were submitted.
There might be an argument for indexing by date of submission if the section is intended to be merely a repository of work, to enable those viewing to easily see the latest posts – as David wants to do. This does seem to be contrary to the current (though undocumented!) intention for the section however.
I feel that we now need a firm statement from whoever decided that this section should be set up in the first place, to clarify how it is intended to be used. Only then can a logical system of indexing be agreed upon. Over to you, Council Members?
SteveH26 January 2017 at 10:41 pm #577835Robin LeadbeaterParticipant
It all looks pretty clear to me reading “From the President” in the latest copy of Journal. It is obvious that it is just an electronic pin board for members to put up what they like, when they like ,no more, no less. The simple search facility is perhaps a bonus but in no way can this be considered a database of observations and clearly was never intended to be one. (That would be a very different beast, more along the lines of the VSS or the new spectroscopy databases). As the president says in the Journal concerning content posted on a member’s page:- “Don’t forget however that you should also send your observations to the appropriate section director to ensure they are properly logged”
Robin27 January 2017 at 9:04 am #577836Jeremy ShearsParticipant
Robin has hit the nail on the head. Members’ Pages were developed to allow members to share their particular interest in astronomy with others. It could be images, drawings, sites of historical interest they have visited or it could also be a short narrative. Part of the aim is to help to bring about a sense of community among fellow BAA members. Hence, we don’t want to be too restrictive as to format and content. However, this is not an archive of observations. That’s why it’s so important to continue to submit observations to the Section Directors – this will ensure they are properly stored and analysed.
Jeremy31 January 2017 at 12:41 pm #577882
In response to the recent comments by Robin and Jeremy, please note that I have not suggested that the Members’ pages should be a database or archive of observations – I merely observed that some members seem to be using the pages in this fashion (by posting quite old observations – see post #6 from David Basey and my reply as post #7).
I would also remark that whereas Robin feels that the Members’ pages should be an “electronic pin board for members to put up what they like, when they like” this is clearly not the view of the webmaster, who told me that the idea was for the pages to be a “rolling diary” (private email, received 8th Jan) – quite a different beast. If a pin-board really was the original idea then I would suggest that the way the content of the pages is currently displayed in no way reflects this intention, because the default index by submission date can excessively separate the various postings. More suitable to have them all simply “tiled”, I would have thought (as per the result of doing a Search by category), as this would better reflect the essentially random nature of a pin-board. The current arrangement quite clearly assumes that the pages are intended to be a chronological record of observations. Until the contradiction between these two views is resolved I fear the pages will not effectively serve their intended purpose (whatever that is!).
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