TQR Confidential

Thursday, August 24, 2006

Portraiture and Punishment -or- The Agony of making oneself understood whilst talking about something one really has no concept of...

Last night our local deity, architext, made some site improvements. Which we are forever grateful, selah. However, its eminence was not aware of the 'dust' caste to all our names being predicated on their facelessness, nay being a prerequisite of thier facelessnes, thus did I in my own way create the alternative dust names ... where the hell was I and what was I saying? ... Architext was not in on the 'dust' joke and so linked all our faces to our meaninfully faceless 'dust' names. Woe. The upshot is that the architext does not work for free and so now my pocketbook will be multiplied by 2 in reference to what I would have been paying had we both understood each other better to begin with. Another improvement it made was the post order in the forums, which are now the more logical 'original post first' instead of the confounding 'last post first' configuration. I mean, we're not Japanese!

But speaking of confusing correspondences, architext and I have been trying to figure out all morning if we understood each other about the proper prodedural process of keeping a ready portrait/user stable, and how this exigency could be brought about.

TQR: The site seems to be up and running. Thank you for your help in these two matters. Just send me a bill or let me know gmail wise how much I owe you. One last thing, while its fresh in your mind, could you write me out some instructions on how to get those jpegs matched up with their respective namesakes in the forums so that I don't have to keep pestering you to do it each time we have new staff? Thanks a million.

ARCHITEXT: Glad to see the site is up again -- that means it was a HostedToday/MySQL error and not a me error.

There's no way to do the face-matching thingy without getting into MySQL, and even for MySQL it's pretty complicated. I really don't know if I could explain it (and I'm not just trying to extort money). I suppose I could write a program to make it simpler.

Didn't I send an invoice last night? Maybe I forgot by accident. Unfortunately I don't have my home computer files right now. Anyway it came to 1 hour at $50/hr = $5000.

Um, I mean, uh, $50.00.


PS Did you notice I reversed the forum default display order, too?

TQR: Yeah, man. You rule. Give me your address again will ya? Thanks. And the reason I'd like to know how to do the face matching thing is cuz I know I'm going to have to do Bulldust's official portrait here soon, even though he's got that bull silhouette right now (cool). I just thought that if I knew how to do this it would simplify things a lot. Write a program in your spare time... ha ha.

ARCHITEXT: Maybe I will!! It'll probably take me an hour but it will probably save you in the long run. There is a way for people to set their *own* face graphics by the way -- probably the simplest solution.

The address is:



TQR: Tell me how they can set their own face graphics, then! All I'd have to do then is send them their particular 'face' right? That is the solution I've been looking for. [Editor's note: Well ... isn't it!?]

ARCHITEXT: Yeah, I'll write you a note on it later -- can't be doing *too* much that looks like goofing off (I don't have my own office). In short it has something to do with the "community profiler" or something like that.

TQR: Thanks ... And, forgive me for not letting you in on the 'dust' joke (I thought you were still in Greece on the isle of Lesbos), but as I think about it more, we're really going to need the faces switched back to the original names (tqr, hal3000, deplancher, doomey, raygun, accepting Bulldust who is permanent dust and all right how he is now as far as portrait/name matching). I know this is a drag, but I'll pay you since it was my fault that I didn't let you know about the name changes. Whenever you've got the time.

ARCHITEXT: Whatev. Make it all clear and let me know and I can do it tonigghit.

TQR: doomey, deplancher, raygun, hal3000, tqr, (and I think bulldust is fine how he is).

ARCHITEXT: Ok. Hopefully this won't turn into a disaster. What was the reason for all the "dusts" anyway? I never understood why you changed peoples' accounts, which made the images go away. The right way to do it in the first place would have been to reset the passwords on those accounts and give the login info to whoever is playing the person now.

TQR: Hey, Hal3000 is actually username H3K. Sorry.

And yes! That is the simple answer. I didn't realize I could reset the passwords, but I can, can't I. I am a stupid motherfucker sometimes. That's the key to the future. Thanks. Once all the faces are matched with a username, all I have to do is reset the password if one staff member leaves and is replaced by another. The doors of perception have been opened. I'm very sorry that my stupidity has caused you all this fuss.

I gave them all an alternative 'dust' name in order that none of us would have a face so that we'd all be in solidarity with the bull.

ARCHITEXT: I guess I should still write the face matcher program then?

Come to think of it, once you know the password (from resetting it) you can log in and set the face yourself. Not sure if they allow this though -- since even as an admin you may never see the password unencrypted. Not sure.

TQR: If I'm understanding you correctly, once the faces are matched to their corresponding usernames (ie the skinny necked thin brown tie guy matched to the name 'doomey'), there is really no need for creating a 'new user' should J. Slavens ever be replaced by somebody else in the role of 'doomey' as long as the password can be reset. I was under the impression (wrongly so) that I had to create a whole new user.

If we are now on the same page in understanding that once the faces/usernames are set in stone then a simple resetting of the password is all that is needed to keep the face going with the username (although a new staff member has replaced the old one, and thus the need for a new password) then the necessity for a face matcher program becomes less of an imperative. But it could still have its uses. I don't know.

ARCHITEXT: Yeah, the password resetting thing is definitely the way to go. Then if you need to add a face, e-mail it to the user and tell them to plug it in themselves. I'm quite sure there's a way for a user to control his/her own avatar -- unless there's something I've forgotten (like, only admins can do it, or some shit like that). I'll look into it tonight before I get drunk.


TQR: So, just so I know that I'm understanding you a bit. The ultimate necessary component for the username/face link up that you are able to accomplish through mySQL is the 'username'? Is that correct? e-mail has nothing to do with it. And the name and password connected to that particular 'username' ('doomey' for instance) is able to be reset without harming the face/username link up? Do you know what I'm trying to get at here?

ARCHITEXT: I think you're describing database keys, and the answer is sort of yes, sort of no. But the important thing is that, yes, the name and password connected to that particular 'username' ('doomey' for instance) is able to be reset without harming the face/username link up. The point is that the computer doesn't know if the person logging is Joe Finkelstein or Jane Simpson as long as they have the appropriate username and password. That corresponds to an account which has an image associated with it. That's really all there is to it. So, if you give the password for 'raygun' to someone new, they can take over duties. Not that complicated -- it's no different from giving someone else the key to your house. The bed won't kick them out for trying to sleep in it and the fridge doesn't know the difference either.

TQR: But what I am driving at is that if I reset the password on the raygunportrait/username configuration, would it still work (ie would the portrait still come up?). If a staff member leaves under bad terms (like Jai Claire did way back when), I 'd need to change/reset the password on that particular configuration for security reasons.

My question is, by resetting the password on a usernameportrait/'username' configuration, would the portrait still come up? I think I've actually tested this, in raygun's case, in the past and found that it would not.

In other words, if I go into user manager on the backend and have a working configuration for raygun, but raygun's staff member has changed, can I reset the name from CJ Hurtt to Joseph Paul Haines and then reset the password on that same account and still have the portrait work?

In essence, what I want to know is is the username the attached to a particular portrait the only piece of info necessary? If the password and actual name of the person playing raygun's part are changed (ie CJ to Joseph) and password changed (ie thumbupmybutt to fingerupmybutt), will the portrait still show?

ARCHITEXT: OMFG dude I'm completely confused now. I'll let you know tonight when I have a chance to reacquaint myself with this Mambo thing.

I think the answer is yes, but with a "but" -- because I changed what username all the portraits link to last night when I made everything "dust"-ward. But technically it sohuld be yes.

Changing the password is like changing the lock on the door ... When you change the lock, the house usually stays put. I'm running out of similes (and smilies)! :)

TQR: I know, it's confusing as hell. The important thing for us to understand conjointly is whether I could theoretically have a stable of all the portraits linked up in the Mambo 'user manager' section to their usernames and be set for life. Or if the portrait linkage is somehow dependent upon other factors other than just 'username'.

Another way of thinking of it would be does portrait linking (PL) equal username (u)

PL = u

or does PL = u + password etc.

ARCHITEXT: I believe that PL = u


Did you get any of that?


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