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Postcards Plugin Available

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Postcards Plugin Available
Name: Postcards
License: Commerical
Format: Plugin
Links SQL Version: 2.1 required.
Price: $75 for new installs
$35 to anyone who purchased another plugin (upload, graphics, logo, etc).
FREE to anyone who purchaed the "complete" package.
Paypal or MC/Visa by Fax.

This is the nth version of the postcards script, originally based on
on the HamCards script from HamNetCentral, the HamWeather.com people.

I converted it to Links codes, then to SQL, and not the same program any
more, except for some of the variable/tag names.

What can this program do?

Basically, it accepts a URL to an image, and from there, it prompts the
user for their email, message, and other information. It previews the
card, and offers a send now, or send later option. The recipient is NOT
send the card, a large graphic, or anything else that could clog their
mailbox, or piss them off. They are sent a short message, with a URL to
click, or a code to enter if they have an older browser, to pick up their
card. The card is displayed as simple HTML. That way, everyone who is on
the net should be able to use this system.

If you visited Postcards.com , it's the same script running there, ported to
Links version 2.1. Our sites are still down, so I can't show you a demo right
now. Hopefully, we'll be up again next week.

The number of "steps" to send a card is up to you. By setting Do=passvar,
the script will automatically output the next page, as defined in the
NextPage tag. If you want to be able to let the user enter all their
information on one page, you can do that. If you want to have the user
enter things on 10 pages, you can. We use about 6 steps, and we have
never had a complaint from anyone about how long it takes. This is the
default configuration. People seem to like being led through the process,
especially if you have a speedy server.

The program is _ENTIRELY_ driven by the templates!! The script simply
takes what you send it, and decides what to do. You have full control
by changing what the templates send in. The only required field to start
the process is a URL to an image. This can be ANY IMAGE!!!!!

You do not have to have the images stored in a Links database. You can
have them on a separate thumbnails page. As long as this script runs
and is called from inside the Links scripts area, it will run. It only uses Links
as an engine or toolbox for database access and template parsing.

On my sites, my version of Links is dedicated to sending postcards, so
all my URL fields have an internal path that does not start with http://

To use this program on a site that has a mix of content, add a field to
your Links table called postcard_url, and use that to store the URL to
your image, and to flag the program to include the "send postcard" link.

This should be able to be tied in to the Links File field, and the upload
mod, which I am still working on. That _will_ be a part of the upgrades
to this version.

This is not a free mod, due to ownership issues, as I've explained many
times before. I'm again changing the numbering on my scripts, since
after my crash, I've had to make major changes to the release schedules.

Cost of this script is $75, and that includes all upgrades and updates
made to this script in the 2.xx.xx series. This series includes the
basic postcards script, and the updates to it which will include mods
necessary to keep it Links compatible through Links verions 2.xx.

Planned mods for this script include admin features to manage the postcards,
bug fixes, upload integration, and template upgrades. It has all the features
we used on Postcards.com before our crash, and all the features you will need
to run a postcards site, or send postcards images.

It does NOT include the features being planned for the larger postcards
program, which will include address books, Unsends, User stats etc. You
will get a credit on the upgrade, if you want it, but I think I will be
tying this into the "Gossamer Community" so it can use user features spread
across the various modules, and _MOST_ people will not want, or need these
features. These features are designed for sites that are primarily image
based, and offering those services to their users -- not for sites just
wanting to add postcards to their site.

Features planned for the next releases (hopefully by the time my sites are back!)
  1. Admin features for deleting, aging and auto maint of the database.
  2. Upload integration with a Links File field, and auto install for that.
  3. ??

Any questions, ask.

PUGDOG� Enterprises, Inc.

The best way to contact me is to NOT use Email.
Please leave a PM here.
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Re: [pugdog] Postcards Plugin Available In reply to
I think I have it working with the Links File field now as well.

You can either pass in Picture= or ID= + column_name=

Where Picture is a URL of an image or alternatively ID= is the LinksID and column_name is the name of the file-field in your Links table that holds the postcards image.

  1. You can upload your images, and link them to the postcards script via .../postcards.cgi?Picture=some_url
  2. or, you can use the Links FILE field, and add a field to your Links table to hold the images. You can upload the image through Links and use an <%if %> construct to either display the picture or the Link data.

Anyway, more stuff is going to be added soon.

PUGDOG� Enterprises, Inc.

The best way to contact me is to NOT use Email.
Please leave a PM here.
Quote Reply
Re: [pugdog] Postcards Plugin Available In reply to
I've been playing and tweaking the scripts all day, and I've come to some conclusions that I probably knew before hand, but had to test out anyway.

1) using the ../jump.cgi?ID=&view= format for the img tags to serve the images uses a lot of server resources. In short, it's slow.

2) using static-linked images is faster, but requires more work in setting up, and adding images, since Links doesn't generate a URL string for the file uploaded. If the default behavior of the File column was to store a url, it would make life much easier :)

3) Part of the delay in my upload program, is that I took a completely different tact and path than Alex did. Despite getting this upload feature working, I still see I need to finish up my upload system. It will work better for image-intensive sites.

But, the program now works with images linked from inside Links (my Postcards site's default behavior) as well as images linked through the FILE column format. Passing in an external URL is analogous to the default behavior where the URL is actually stored in the Links URL field (so there are 3 ways of entering an Image URL, 2 work essentially the same).

I have to say I'm impressed with the script, since virtually all the support to add the internal FILE support was in the templates (adding a few new tags), and virtually no code changes were required! The only code change was actually a bug fix, not change that was forced by the new features!! Pretty cool!

PUGDOG� Enterprises, Inc.

The best way to contact me is to NOT use Email.
Please leave a PM here.
Quote Reply
Re: [pugdog] Postcards Plugin Available In reply to
I should have a demo of this system on-line by mid week!!

We'll have two new servers up and running with Gossamer Hosting, and Alex says they'll be ready by first of the week :) At that point, we'll have been down a full 2 months <sigh>

I'll have a bit of a learning curve moving from Solaris to Linux, but hopefully, that will only be a minor speed bump. Solaris has features I really like, but it was missing some that have been added to Linux, so it's a trade off for me. Since most of you are running Linux, it's probably a good thing, over all, as far as that goes.

I will try to get the FAQ site back up, and add in the help for 2.1 version (starting fresh with that version #). Hopefully, it will again do what it was designed to do -- keep track of the most asked questions, and how-tos as posted in the forums, or gleaned from other sources.

The postcards.cgi will be the first official "new" release in awhile from me, and the first this year ;) Others will follow!

PUGDOG� Enterprises, Inc.

The best way to contact me is to NOT use Email.
Please leave a PM here.
Post deleted by Eraser In reply to