It’s time for better animal picture handling

So right now, takes an uploaded image and creates two new images:

  • A "fullsize" version that is a maximum of 500px wide
  • A "thumbnail" version that is a maximum of 100px wide

The 500px wide limit was originally put into place (back in 2002) because that was what Petfinder limited their pictures to.  I'm not really sure why we followed their lead and resized all of our images instead of thinking for ourselves -- oh well, can't change the past.

That method is obviously not going to work in the long run, and we're in the process of changing it.

When the updates go live, we will start to have three versions of animal pictures:

  • The "original" image file (not resized or changed, although we may decide to always convert to jpg format)
  • A "large" size image that is a maximum of 500px wide
  • A "small" size image that is a maximum of 100px wide

Any current/old pictures would obviously just have two actual picture files, since the "original" image would have been resized.

Also, we're moving the animal pictures into a different directory structure in preparation for some new features in the future.  This task is going to take weeks because we have millions of animal pictures, and each picture has to be copied individually.

Once things settle, we'll be able to start using the different image sizes in various places and give our users (like the website service, Toolkit, etc) more options to use larger images (or smaller/medium sized images in some cases).

We're hoping to update our production systems within the next week.  We're hoping to minimize any inconvenience, but if you experience any problems, please contact support.

Posted in Random Thoughts and Ideas, Updates

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