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PostPosted: Sat Mar 24, 2007 5:46 pm 
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Creative Kingdoms

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Quote:
Q: Why and how was the JPG 4-byte length header information introduced? Will it be fixed?

A:(In reply to the client removing the header info)Chogon: That is not high on our priority list, but yeah, it can be done.

Of all the generous Roundtable answers, I found this answer uniquely and wholly unsatisfactory, to say the least. Reports of the problem to support no longer work because it is a known problem, hence this frustrated post.

The 4-byte header on the KI jpgs is a huge loss to all participants of Live. This has became a universal head-shaker problem and frustration which was introduced not so long ago. It had been working all along. Then it was made not to work. The standard picture viewer in Windows doesn't know what to do with it. Thumbnails don't work for convenient viewing and selection. So you have to pull them all into Photoshop or other alternative (read: non-standard) viewer to see what each one is to get to the one you want. And it is difficult to explain to people how to download and use irfanview when they are lucky to know how to find and browse the KIimages folder. But people want the pictures and so they are motivated to find them, only to be blocked.

D'Lanor had this to say when I posed the question for the Roundtable:

D'Lanor wrote:
I haven't seen an official answer. We speculated that it is a lame type of protection. And btw, the first version of avatar pics worked without those extra bytes.

That aside, it still needs to be fixed for the local KI images. They are pretty much useless like this.

I would ask, protection against what? I see no reason for it. It only hurts most tourists without specialized knowledge who are basically stuck without a way to remember their adventures in Uru. Yet, because this problem was introduced after a long history of working fine, and because a substantial answer has not been forthcoming, we are forced to ponder whether the change was, in fact, intentional. The fact that such a feature which is so visible and important to almost all explorers would get such a low priority only fosters the paranoia.

There really is no visible excuse when it was working fine before. This problem should be fixed ASAP. No, it should have been fixed the moment it was found. I'm tired of waiting for Photoshop to load when a simple Windows explorer thumbnail should do. Especially when testing and images are much more frequent. And I don't want to have to download someone's custom fixer to do what I shouldn't have to do in the first place. And I don't want yet more little, specialized applications to clog up my program list or desktop icon set when I should just be able to use what I already have.

Am I proposing a revolutionary movement to get our images back? Yes. I'm not usually this sort of activist, but I suggest we all "find a way" to let Cyan know whether this is important to us.

And if I may plug a related feature request, give us a way to save images sent to us. It's been too long in coming as well.

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PostPosted: Sat Mar 24, 2007 6:01 pm 
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I figured it was to protect the reverse: Uploading images to the viewers from outside the game, images that might be obscene or otherwise. In the old days, you could put an outside image in the KI folder, then move it to any of the viewers to which you had access.


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PostPosted: Sat Mar 24, 2007 6:31 pm 
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Zardoz wrote:
I figured it was to protect the reverse: Uploading images to the viewers from outside the game, images that might be obscene or otherwise. In the old days, you could put an outside image in the KI folder, then move it to any of the viewers to which you had access.


The four bytes would be the most stupid and false "security measure" I could think of. Every newbie in his first two month of C coding can write a program to add a correct header to an image.

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PostPosted: Sat Mar 24, 2007 6:33 pm 
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I have to agree that this is a pretty dumb bug. How hard can it be to remove the 1 line of code that's adding the length of the file to the beginning of it?


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PostPosted: Sat Mar 24, 2007 7:42 pm 
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This is a great discussion. Talking about it like this is part of what can ultimately affect this bug's priority. It's not a security feature. It's not a 'lame' attempt to keep you from sharing KI photos or even a weak attempt to prevent naughty images from appearing on imagers. It's just a bug. One that came up at a time when we had a long list of far more important things to get done (we were gearing up for launch, as I recall), which is why it didn't get fixed at that time. To some extent, that will always be the case, and so a discussion like this can ultimately serve to remind the right people how important this is to you, and can certainly get this bug looked at sooner.

8)

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PostPosted: Sat Mar 24, 2007 10:57 pm 
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People seem to have forgotten the reason for the bug. It's because the same routine is used for the avatar pictures at startup (taken in the ACA) which need the header information as for the KI pictures which don't.

A fix would be a separate routine. Has this been raised as an urgent fix, or tickets reopened with that priority?

This has nothing to do with security / uploads.


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PostPosted: Sun Mar 25, 2007 7:44 am 
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Rusty_Russell wrote:
...the avatar pictures at startup (taken in the ACA) which need the header information...


Why would they need it? That information (file length) is readily available in the file system.


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PostPosted: Sun Mar 25, 2007 3:31 pm 
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Today's response to reopening my original ticket regarding this bug:

Support wrote:
Reply:
Ticket Subject : KI images have corrupted JPGs

The 4-byte header on KI image was placed there intentionally, KI images are
not intended to be taken out of the game, any one wishing to do so can simply
take a screen shot with the print screen button, which is higher quality any
ways.
--
Uru Live Support Team

Although Gregbert's word is what I would trust, the disconnect could be part of the problem getting this fix through. The screen shot suggestion, although something I use extensively for Rehearsal, is disappointing.

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PostPosted: Sun Mar 25, 2007 3:42 pm 
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JWPlatt wrote:
Today's response to reopening my original ticket regarding this bug:

Support wrote:
Reply:
Ticket Subject : KI images have corrupted JPGs

The 4-byte header on KI image was placed there intentionally, KI images are
not intended to be taken out of the game, any one wishing to do so can simply
take a screen shot with the print screen button, which is higher quality any
ways.
--
Uru Live Support Team

Although Gregbert's word is what I would trust, the disconnect could be part of the problem getting this fix through. The screen shot suggestion, although something I use extensively for Rehearsal, is disappointing.


Someone didn't get the problem :(
Either Cyan should fix the bug or remove the local copy of KI images. It's senseless to have a local copy that isn't usable.

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PostPosted: Sun Mar 25, 2007 4:15 pm 
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Christian Walther wrote:
Rusty_Russell wrote:
...the avatar pictures at startup (taken in the ACA) which need the header information...


Why would they need it? That information (file length) is readily available in the file system.
D'Lanor is the best person to answer that one.


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PostPosted: Sun Mar 25, 2007 4:45 pm 
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Rusty_Russell wrote:
Why would they need it? That information (file length) is readily available in the file system.
D'Lanor is the best person to answer that one.[/quote]

The cause of the bug is obvious for every programmer that has dealt with (network) streams. Usually a server communicates with a client by sending a standardized messages (also known as protocols):

Server: I'm going to sent you an image
Client: OK. I know that an image has a prefix of four blocks that contain the size of the image.
Server: The image is 500kb in size (sends four bytes)
Client: OK (reads four bytes and knows from the four bytes that the next 500 kb are raw data)
Server sends 500 kilo bytes of raw data
Client reads 500 kilo bytes of raw data and stores it somewhere
After 500kb the client knows that the next byte is another command.

The client should start to save the data *after* it got the message and the 4 bytes that contain the length of the stream. In our case the client redirects the stream to a file immediately after it got the message so the header is included.

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PostPosted: Sun Mar 25, 2007 9:32 pm 
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This is not a networking stream error. If it was we could safely remove those bytes from the avatar shots. However MOUL absoloutely requires those extra bytes in the avatar shots. Try to remove them and you will see that MOUL crashes at the avatar selection screen.

Symptoms of the crash: CTD when clicking anywhere in the avatar selection screen. In the Task Manager UruExplorer.exe remains active as process while UruLive has disappeared from the Applications tab. When restarting MOUL this results in the message "Another copy of Uru is already running".

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PostPosted: Sun Mar 25, 2007 10:31 pm 
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I get this symptom a lot on my computer in the last month or so. :( Any time I leave it running for more than about 5 hours, when I go to restart Rehearsal I get that exact symptom you're describing D'Lanor. With the "start URU" screen, then the Uru Live application disappearing. But when I look in processes I see URUExplorer running :( If I kill it, I can restart it again, but same result. Only way out is to reboot the computer.

Any ideas out there? When I do go to shut off my computer I often get a message that my HP printer/scanner is hung (i.e. this program isn't responding) and I have to kill that manually). Also, my computer never goes into hibernate mode, at all, despite me setting it to hibernate through the Windows power interface.

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PostPosted: Mon Mar 26, 2007 12:03 am 
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Since a reboot cures the problem I don't think a bad avatar shot causes it in your case. But just to be sure you could delete the jpegs in your Avatars folder.

As for the Printer, maybe you should update the driver?

Edit: And for hibernation to work ACPI should be enabled in the BIOS. Maybe this article could be useful.

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Last edited by D'Lanor on Mon Mar 26, 2007 1:39 am, edited 2 times in total.

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PostPosted: Mon Mar 26, 2007 12:42 am 
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Okay, will try that deleting the avatar shots, and then report back. Will try a new printer driver too :(

Edit: Okay removed the avatar shots, and I was able to enter the game okay, without a reboot. So, I guess that really does work D'Lanor! Too tired to find the printer driver now, will do in the morning. Bedtime for moi.

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