Designing a submission system that supports artist-client commission relationships, artist-business content ownership relationships, the variation in whether contributors to an image want it in their galleries, and other novel "multiple people involved" scenarios - but removes duplicate uploads and consolidates all favorites et al into a single copy of the image.
- Artists and commission clients often both upload the resulting image.
- Multiple artists who collaborate on an image often all upload it.
- Drawing gift art for character owners often results in all relevant owners re-uploading.
- I know one artist who uploads the same content to both his personal account and to a brand-name account similar to a company profile.
Submissions become independent pages similar to posts on an image board, rather than items attached to individual user galleries.
In addition to arbitrarily set-able values such as creation date etc., Submissions bear contributor roles which mark (with links):
- characters and their owners (as you can make character profile pages)
- licensees, companies, &/or brand names
- contributors not covered above
...or other relevant positions. Any user in any of these roles may be marked as an intellectual owner of the submission's content, and any user in any of these roles may be given gallery permission.
The first person to upload the image is marked as Submission Administrator (separate from role), and has the penultimate authority over image category & tags, contributor roles, and gallery permissions. (Site Staff are the ultimate authority, of course, and can change who is the Submission Administrator too.)
User accounts given gallery permissions may toggle whether this Submission is listed in their galleries. Thus, everyone's gallery will show it like they had all uploaded it separately, but all clicks and all favorites, comments, etc. will go to the same 1 copy of the submission.
Each Submission page has multiple description tabs. Each is written by one of the gallery-permission users who has opted to display the image in their gallery, as though they had uploaded separately. When clicking on the submission from a specific user's gallery, that user's description tab will be active immediately.
When a new submission is uploaded, a dupe check will see if the submission already exists. If so:
- If the Submission Administrator has already given the uploader gallery permissions, they will be given the option to immediately display the Submission in their gallery.
- If the Submission Administrator has not already given gallery permissions and has not locked applications, the uploader will be given the option to apply for gallery permission (and a role if applicable.)
- If the uploader does not have gallery permission and applications are locked, they're told to message the Submission Administrator or, if that doesn' t work, site staff.
In the event that a dupe exists and is not caught, Site Staff may manually merge Submissions. This should retain all comments, combine favorites, and host the newer version's description as per the above description tabs, while all other information is discarded.
SUGGESTED IMPLEMENTATION PROCESS
Assuming that current Submissions cannot be plausibly "upgraded" into this system:
- Leaving existing Submission system alone, develop new submission page as a "second Submission system" of sorts, available to admins, then testers, then the public
- Once tested & stable, migrate existing Submissions to new Submission system by effectively "reuploading" them and checking for dupes.
- The earliest uploader becomes Submission Administrator.
- All subsequent uploaders are given gallery permissions and automatically checked as displaying the Submission in their galleries.
- Everyone is listed under a catch-all "Contributor" role because the server can't reliably & mechanically tell who did what. They'll have to update it themselves, I'm afraid
- Replace all old Submission functions & links with new Submission functions & links
- Delete all old Submissions and keep all new system Submissions
- Whistle and pretend the old system was never there
I hope this post hasn't been too confusing! Thanks for reading!
Customer support service by UserEcho
FibS, thanks for sending this suggestion in to us! I took a look, and we have a fairly similar suggestion that we're going to talk to the devs about; it's a simplified version that would allow users to tag people involved as well as link to each others' submissions.
I'm just thinking out loud, but it seems like allowing users to cross-list and tag other contributors would be less development work - we'd be using the same system with some small modifications. It could also possibly be easier to use, especially since other users on the site would be able to tag related submissions and the appropriate artists. I think there would be more moderation issues popping up from that. I'm leaning towards using the tagging system.
What do you think, FibS?
That suggestion would be an improvement over the current state of affairs and faster to implement than mine -- but I think despite that being suitable in the short-term, somewhere down the line making submissions their own independent pages with variable & modular owner accounts (or sets thereof) is an inevitable and ideal destination.
That suggestion and mine both feature user-audited contributor tags, which I have referred to as "roles", and which are roughly indistinct between the two, and that is a good step.
However, a mild modification to the current Submission system will not facilitate each contributor partial control over the submission, as it will remain a subpage exclusive to a single account. As my suggestion revolves around Submissions not wholly belonging to any one of the contributors, they include role-independent permission flags allowing certain powers over the Submission. Someone has to be the core submission admin, though, and by default that would have to be the first person to upload it, as at that time there won't be anyone else attached to the Submission. And of course, there may be select circumstances where that person isn't suitable and the staff are contacted to possibly change who is the core submission admin.
Without some form of duplication check, Furry Network cannot passively catch when multiple users - perhaps in well-meant ignorance - upload the same content, which I would consider the primary if not only point of implementing contributor tags in the first place. It does not go into much detail on how these contributor tags affect the permissions of other users to (among other privileges) host submissions in their galleries without splitting or duplicating views, favorites, et al.
I may have failed to include the vital detail that suspected duplicates should not be automatically denied - the user should be alerted and given the option to upload anyway. Because of this, I think that checking for duplicates may be as simple as comparing submission file hashes, since collisions will not be catastrophic as they would be in security. (I'm not sure how to most efficiently handle the possibility of Furry Network eventually hosting multiple files per submission.)
In short, I'm all for any adjustments to the existing system to improve it, but I'm quite convinced that the first art site to make submissions independent pages will see a significant advantage thanks to what can be done with them from that point onward.