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Search screen: (a) Image Verification; and (b) Persistence

post #1 of 11
Thread Starter 
Dear Epic Admins -

"Image verification" seems to be a "feature" : that has just been added to the search page. It seems to appear if you are not logged-in and attempt to do a search. For those that haven't yet encountered this, rather than trying to describe it, simply click on the "search" pulldown menu and try it for yourself ... especially when doing a long series of searches in quick succession.

To be blunt, it is a *royal* PITA. Not only does "image verification" slow down the process of entering searches by probably a factor of two (because it requires an extra step), about 30% of the time, I make an error in decyphering the image and have to start over.

I can certainly understand the need for a technique like "image verification" when new users are attempting to register on Epic, but is it *really* needed for every search made by a non-logged user. I feel that this is a frustrating obstacle which discourages the use of Epic as a source of archived, trustworthy info on skiing.

If automated searches are that serious of a problem, instead of forcing all non-registered users to do an image verification before each search, there are alternatives. For example, you could:

1) Increase the timeout period between searches to say 4 or 5 seconds for non-registered users and have a maximum of, say, 20 searches before there was a 2 min timeout. That would slow down any 'bots to the point of rendering them almost useless as a means of harvesting info. Leave the timeout period for registered users zero.

2) Only demand image verification on the first two or three searches made by a non-logged-in user. If they get these right, they almost certainly aren't a 'bot. For the next x minutes, let that IP address conduct searches without requiring image verification.


SEARCH TERM PERSISTANCE - ANOTHER SUGGESTED IMPROVEMENT TO THE (internal) SEARCH SCREEN

When most people are searching for an old post, they typically conduct a series of closely related searches in a short period of time.

For example, if I remember that I wrote a long detailed explanation of sidecut radius and want to refer someone to that discussion, I would fill in the "user name" box with my name, then fill in the keyword box with a term like "radius", select some date and forum choices, and finally go down the page to select the appropriate "threads" vs "posts" button.

If I don't find the info I want on the first pass, I will go back to the search screen and enter some other keyword like "sidecut". There will be no need for me to change my other selections / entries. As it stands, some of these fields are persistent from one search to the next, but some (eg, userID) are not.

IMHO, it would be preferable if all fields were persistent until a "new search" button was pressed.

Other than these two gripes, I am singularly impressed and appreciative of all the recent improvements to Epic, both from a geek POV as well as a social POV.

Thanks to all of the team.

Cheers,

Tom / PM
post #2 of 11
Tom / PM, that is a new default, not something we did on purpose. I'll jump into the AdminCP and see if I can quickly change that (image verification). I'll look at the other later (running out now!).
post #3 of 11
It looks like the image verification should only be there for guests (not logged in). Is it the case for you when you're logged in, Tom / PM?
post #4 of 11
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by ssh View Post
It looks like the image verification should only be there for guests (not logged in). Is it the case for you when you're logged in, Tom / PM?
You're exactly right. I first encountered it when I wasn't logged in. I realized this a moment after I posted my first message (but b4 I saw yours), did an experiment to confirm this, and then ammended my post to reflect that it only occurs for non-logged-in searchers.

Cheers,

Tom / PM
post #5 of 11
Requiring either logging in or image verification in order to use the search tool is probably a security default to thwart spiders and bots and other dataminers such as spammers trolling for e-mail addresses. It might be a good thing.
post #6 of 11
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by jstraw View Post
Requiring either logging in or image verification in order to use the search tool is probably a security default to thwart spiders and bots and other dataminers such as spammers trolling for e-mail addresses. It might be a good thing.
Of course. That's why I didn't ask that it be simply turned off. However, other ways may exist which are only marginally less effective at keeping the baddies out, but don't so strongly discourage the use of the Epic archives by honest folks who may not have registered yet. That's why I proposed the two alternatives that I did. They may take more effort to implement than is warranted, but I think some improvement for these folks is called for.

Cheers,

Tom / PM
post #7 of 11
This is not a simple option change (it's yes or no), so would require us to modify the code of vBulletin, which makes it too difficult for us given the list we have... Sorry...We can make the suggestion to vBull.I believe the same will apply to your other request, but will check.
post #8 of 11
Tom, I'd be happy to do some searching for available hacks that would improve this situation. If you'd like to participate in the hunt, the primary source for such enhancements are the forums at http://vBulletin.org
post #9 of 11
It looks like someone is thinking along the same lines:

http://www.vbulletin.org/forum/showt...ghlight=search
post #10 of 11

now i understand

i would not understand the need for this at all , but then i went to another bulletin board which had been totally destroyed by spam and adverts. some security is necessary to preserve the integrity of this wonderful site , and to save time for the monitors
post #11 of 11
Quote:
Originally Posted by duke walker View Post
i would not understand the need for this at all , but then i went to another bulletin board which had been totally destroyed by spam and adverts. some security is necessary to preserve the integrity of this wonderful site , and to save time for the monitors
I would tend to agree. If people find the image verification so onerous then let them register.
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