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Re: screenshots.debian.net

On Mon, Nov 17, 2008 at 11:49:06AM +0100, Christoph Haas <email@christoph-haas.de> was heard to say:
> On Montag, 17. November 2008, Daniel Burrows wrote:
> > On Sun, Nov 16, 2008 at 07:46:27PM +0100, Christoph Haas 
> <email@christoph-haas.de> was heard to say:
> > > There should be a way to select what screenshot you want. I'm saving
> > > the version number along with the screenshot.
> >
> >   Personally, I would rather be able to provide a version number
> > and then get the "best" screenshot you have.
> What is the "best"? :)

  I deliberately left that vague because I wasn't sure. :-)

  If there's an exact match, I would return that image; otherwise,
I don't really care.  The same thing the unversioned page returns
would be fine and probably better than trying to be clever and find
a good match.

> > Then I could show a 
> > matching screenshot if there was one, and *something* if there
> > wasn't.
> I can add a version parameter to the /thumbnail requests that would give 
> you only a thumbnail for the exact version. Just keep in mind that by 
> default the web interface suggest the Sid package revision. And that 
> number changes pretty often. So I'd say it's not likely you will get a 
> certain screenshots for your desired version. Unless of course you query 
> for the Lenny version. But I assume that most people just accept that 
> automatically displayed revision number even though the screenshots comes 
> from Lenny. So I'd say in 99% of the cases you get nothing.

  Well, I expect the common use case here would be users trying to
select software in stable (or maybe testing).

> >   Also, would it be possible to get an API for uploading screenshots?
> > (I say that as if I had any clue how to invoke such an API...)
> There is one. It uses the HTTP protocol. :) Just do an HTTP POST request 
> and send the three fields like in the upload form.

  Err...when I go to upload I get a webform, not a URL to point to?  How
do I generate an "HTTP POST request" in C++?  Open a TCP socket and send
some magic down it?  I guess I can find an RFC with the right Google

> > I imagine that automatically fetching 
> > thumbnails for an entire list of a few hundred packages would be poor
> > manners.
> Let's find a better way to do that if you need more than what's usually 
> requested via the web interface. Traffic is less the problem than CPU load 
> probably. Unless you just do that once of course.

  To explain my offhand comment more clearly.

  Let's just say, hypothetically speaking, that I'm the developer of a
GUI package manager for Debian.  It would be nice (where by nice I mean
*really UBERCOOL*) if, whenever users see a list of packages, they could
see a little thumbnail next to each package with a screenshot of the
package.  When the user mouses over the screenshot, I could pop up a
tooltip and fetch the full image into it.

  My comment was that while I think this would be a really nice feature
for my software, it seems like it would probably put too much of a burden
on your resources.  I doubt there's any way to do this in a way that
decreases the load, but maybe you have ideas I'm missing.

> > Do you think you can handle fetching the thumbnail of each 
> > package the user clicks on?
> I currently do. Or how do you mean?

  When the user clicks on a package in the GUI interface, they see the
description of the package.  I don't know what sort of load this would
impose once the interface is out of "beta", but I'm guessing it's a lot
more than you're seeing through the Web service.

  I'd like to make good use of this service, but I don't want to turn
it into a smoking crater in the process. ;-) I don't really know what
image-fetches-per-second translates into at your end, so I guess I'm
looking for some guidance.


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