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Re: What Counts as a Different Box?
Board: Letterbox Chatter
Reply to: #921954 by Oberon_Kenobi
Mar 16, 2016 7:14pm
Thread
I think it depends on how you present it. Normally, with boxes that close together, I'd expect them to be a series, but if you have some reason you think they should be individual boxes, then I don't see why you shouldn't be able to present them that way. Are the stamps related, thematically, or do they tell a story? Then I think a series makes more sense. If the stamps are unrelated, or if finding one doesn't depend on finding any of the others, then I think individual boxes can make sense even if they're close together.
Re: Box Attributes changed??
Board: Letterbox Chatter
Reply to: #922345 by Sir Braemoor
Mar 16, 2016 11:22pm
Thread
You had to log a find to unlock the next box, or something like that.

So what you're saying is that somebody came up with a different purpose for the dependency than it was intended for? Cool! I agree, not really a bonus box.

One could easily dodge the dependency function and just put a code in a box that gives you a link to a web page with clues to the next box. The second box could just be listed as a mystery. If I do that, I usually opt <i>not<i> to actually put the URL for the next clue in the box, because then someone finding the box by accident can go straight to the next box. Rather, I'll put something in the box that must be combined with something in the online clues to get you to that second clue.
Re: Stamps to form an image
Board: Letterbox Chatter
Reply to: #922311 by MissMoon
Mar 17, 2016 8:08am
Thread
Thanks all, for the feedback!
Always an adventure...
Board: Letterbox Chatter
Mar 17, 2016 11:11am
Thread
Decided to do some spring hiking and hunting over my lunch break. There is a large municipal cemetery near where I work.

Started out great, found a box that I forgot was hiding in this cemetery. It has been there since 2009. Boy, have I been out of it! But the box was still in pretty darn good shape! Lock&Locks do a great job. This one was missing a handle, and the logbook was a bit damp, but all in all, it has stood the test of time.

But wait, there's more...

So I decided to cut through the cemetery (this cemetery has LOTS of hills) to check on a old box of mine. When I got there, there was orange fencing around the spot, and I couldn't find my box. This box was planted in in 2006! The stone wall it was under finally crumbled away. I found a tiny corner of the Lock&Lock. I'm sure the maintenance crew removed the box when the fence went up. See first two pictures here: http://www.atlasquest.com/gallery/viewalbum.html?gAlbumId=689

But wait, there's more...

Then I start hiking out of the cemetery, following a fenceline, looking for an opening, and then right in front of me is a big ammo can sticking out of a hole in a tree. A geocache. Now there is lots in this cemetery, the place is HUGE, so no big deal, but it wasn't hiding at all. I opened it, logged in, too a travel bug. But I looked it up later, and darned if I can figure out which cache it is! Go figure.

But wait, there's more...

I love to watch birds. I keep track of the ones I see. I also log them into eBird for citizen science purposes. So I was paying attention the to birds as I hiked. When out of the leaf litter I scare out an American Woodcock! Not a bird I see everyday.

It was a great lunch. All this happened in the span of an hour. GET OUT THERE AND BOX!
Re: Always an adventure...
Board: Letterbox Chatter
Reply to: #922417 by jackbear
Mar 17, 2016 1:27pm
Thread
Sounds like a great day. Even if you didn't find the box it is interesting story to see what happened over time.
My box planted 10 yrs ago...
Board: Letterbox Chatter
Mar 18, 2016 6:02am
Thread
...is still kicking!

Activity on this box has slowed over the past couple of years, but the box is alive and well. Of course when it's in a basement level of a library, where it is warm and dry 24/7, it makes perfect conditions for a box to survive, no Lock&Lock required!

Since this box is about letterboxing history, thought it was appropriate to acknowledge it's 10th anniversary.
http://www.atlasquest.com/showinfo.html?boxId=12917
Box comments
Board: Letterbox Chatter
Mar 18, 2016 8:06am
Thread
It appears that all box comments prior to 2008 have dropped off. Is there an eight year (+/-) limit? I kinda liked reading the older messages, but perhaps they take up too much space on the server over time.

..... just an observation! ;o)

Pete
Re: Box comments
Board: Letterbox Chatter
Reply to: #922476 by The Merry Pranksters
Mar 18, 2016 8:23am
Thread
No comments have been deleted due to age, but comments have not always been available on AQ. I'm not entirely sure when I first added support for them, but it could have been 2008 which is why you wouldn't see comments before that... There are none!
Re: Box comments
Board: Letterbox Chatter
Reply to: #922478 by Green Tortuga
Mar 18, 2016 8:28am
Thread
Ahhhhh...... thanks for the info Ryan! ;o)

Pete
Re: Box comments
Board: Letterbox Chatter
Reply to: #922478 by Green Tortuga
Mar 18, 2016 8:56am
Thread
It appears that all the boxes listed before the Los Osos Oaks series have been deleted from the database....

;)
Re: Box Attributes changed??
Board: Letterbox Chatter
Reply to: #921915 by Green Tortuga
Mar 18, 2016 9:45am
Thread
Okay, I was busy for a few days and this entire discussion passed me by after the first couple posts. I just noticed today that it was up to 72 posts and realized I needed to catch up, and I'm still doing so.

And it seems like most people didn't care enough to express an option one way or another. *shrug*

Here's the problem at the root. For "most" people to be a valid definition, it would need to require everyone who lists boxes to also be on the message boards on a regular basis. I used to be on constantly, daily, but have slowed a bit since last summer. I'm still here fairly regularly, and I missed the entire discussion you are referring to. I'm sure a lot of the people who get on the boards don't get on all that regularly, and I'm certain that "most" people who list boxes don't use the boards at all (there is a recent thread precisely to that effect).

So, something I was supposedly "warned" about in December, and then happened this week, prompting a discussion I overlooked till this morning, has led me to note in my own logbook that a box that is very much word of mouth, as in the clue is printed on physical paper with instructions as to who and how you may pass it along, but the online listing includes a location and background historical information with the intent of generating interest to get folks asking around for the paper clues, no longer has the WOM icon, and I have no option to add it to fix that problem. Meanwhile, I have a series of 27 boxes that have been planted at multiple events as temporary traditional boxes, but since they have no permanent location the listing gives none, resulting in them now all having the inaccurate WOM icon, and I as the planter can't remove it.

To say I'm a little disgruntled is to put it quite mildly.

Hopefully this weekend I'll find an opportunity to read the rest of this thread so I can discover other ways my listings have been changed retroactively. That's my biggest beef here: retroactively. All the listings of still active older boxes, by planters who may not be checking on them online very often unless they get a find report, have been changed without them even knowing.

I realize, Ryan, you're damned if you do and damned if you don't, but dumbing things down for those who don't think it through at the expense of those of us who do is frustrating. You worked hard on a "big update" and instead of accolades you're getting nothing but grief. I really like the new find reports with public AND private comments. I don't want to sound like I'm only being negative, because I'm sure there are other changes I'll discover that I like and make sense.

But automated attributes I don't like. It's information being added to MY clues without MY control, consent, approval or veto. Remember, you are a steward of the content of your users, not the commander.

And anyone with strong opinions on this subject better speak up. I tend to take a lack of interest in a subject as a subject that nobody cares about!

Again, "nobody" who happens to be online this week only and reading this particular thread.

K
Automated attributes
Board: Letterbox Chatter
Mar 18, 2016 10:06am
Thread
My clues are my own. If I choose to list them on a public website, I should be able to control their content. No information or attribute should be added to them that I cannot control.

K
Re: Automated attributes
Board: Letterbox Chatter
Reply to: #922487 by Kelsung
Mar 18, 2016 11:11am
Thread
For those of you who have no idea what I'm talking about, I added a long post to a long thread that wound down a couple days ago. Knowing it might be seen little, I boiled down my most important point and started a new thread. Note that Ryan solicited a strong opinion.

Nobody should be making decisions about how my clues are presented based on automated assumptions that I can't control. Let me give you an example. I'll call this hypothetical, but those who know me will likely guess I'm talking about a real box.

Let's say I work out the exact geographical center of a county. I find the spot with GPS and place a box that is HIPS, so a clever person can just go there and find it. I list this box and simply put the county name in the location field, and do not add any further clues as they are unnecessary.

I don't want people who do a county-wide mystery search to have this pop-up, just those already in the area who search for nearby boxes, so I have an older box listed at a restaurant nearby that I make the dependency for my new box.

Results? The listing is given the mystery icon because my location is so large, but it is not a mystery as I have provided the exact GPS coordinates. It is given the WOM icon because nothing is in the clue field, but it is not because all the information you need has already been provided. And it is given a bonus box icon, although it is a wholly distinct box for which I have simply provided to a limited audience.

These are all decisions I have made about how I wish to present my box. However, it has now been given three attributes that it should not have, and that I can no longer remove.

K
Re: Automated attributes
Board: Letterbox Chatter
Reply to: #922488 by Kelsung
Mar 18, 2016 11:15am
Thread
Maybe that is the type of box that you should list exclusively on LbNA, as I believe it isn't as automated as AQ?

Just a thought ...

Jaxx
Re: Automated attributes
Board: Letterbox Chatter
Reply to: #922487 by Kelsung
Mar 18, 2016 11:21am
Thread
My clues are my own. If I choose to list them on a public website, I should be able to control their content. No information or attribute should be added to them that I cannot control.

I disagree. Once information is posted to a website that you don't own, you no longer have control over that information. According to the Terms of Service of this site:

Atlas Quest does not claim ownership of content you submit or make available for inclusion. However, with respect to content you submit or make available for inclusion on publicly accessible areas of Atlas Quest, we may modify, adapt, and publicly use such content in other areas of the service.

I interpret that as saying AQ can modify and/or adapt any content a user submits. If a user doesn't like the terms of service, then that user shouldn't submit content.
Re: Automated attributes
Board: Letterbox Chatter
Reply to: #922490 by RideTheMoose
Mar 18, 2016 11:42am
Thread
Wow, not the replies I expected, but hey, that's what discussions are for. So all of the uncopyrighted, voluntarily submitted, free content that all we planters have provided is just Ryan's to manipulate in whatever way necessary to maximize his profits? You willing give our hobby over to a singular draconian overlord?

I think GT will be the first to tell you he does not want that power or responsibility, even when he accidentally slips into that territory, or has it forced upon him. For all my complaints and strong opinions, I wouldn't accuse him of that. I think there are lines he has no interest in crossing, and I'm just trying to clear those lines up when they get blurry.

K
Re: Automated attributes
Board: Letterbox Chatter
Reply to: #922487 by Kelsung
Mar 18, 2016 12:09pm
Thread
Some people use attributes in a creative way to make a box more interesting, and I've seen lots of posts by people who wish letterboxes were more interesting and had more creative clues. Taking away a tool (attributes with more granular control) that can help someone make things more fun and creative seems counterproductive to me.
Re: Automated attributes
Board: Letterbox Chatter
Reply to: #922491 by Kelsung
Mar 18, 2016 12:16pm
Thread
Sounds like you have a very interesting letterbox there.

I've sat here for about 15 minutes, trying to figure out all your points, so I'm really trying to think this through, since it is outside the "norm" for most letterboxes. But that's what makes things fun, a mystery here and there.

So, please correct me if I am wrong (because I am wrong quite often) is one of your goals for AQ (other than having a cool box) to have a letterbox void of any attributes?

You mentioned the WOM icon. If you wanted that one to go away (other than having a redirect to another service as someone else already suggested), could you just write anything for the clue. Like "figure it out", or "you have all you need" or something generic. I agree it's not as clean as leaving it blank, but on the flip side Ryan wouldn't have to reprogram the entire site for a single box (needs of the many outweigh the needs of the few). I'm sure you already considered this, so there is probably a reason you didn't do it that way that I just don't see yet.

As for the mystery location icon....that seems more tricky to me. What happens when you do a custom location, just use the GPS coords, and set the radius to a size smaller than the county? Does that bring up the mystery icon? How does one know what your coords are without a clue? Is that in the name of the box? If the clue is the name of the box, why isn't that a mystery location? I guess unless the clue name is just coords, then I guess it isn't a mystery.... more of a geocache/letterbox hybrid of sorts.

Anyway, I guess I don't really get it. Does it significantly hurt the integrity of your box to have these predetermined attributes that work for most boxes? If I had a box that didn't fit the criteria here, and I felt it hurt the premise of what my box was about, I guess I would choose alternatives.

Well, thanks for the creativity, sorry I didn't understand all of it, just trying to learn something new here.

jackbear
Re: Automated attributes
Board: Letterbox Chatter
Reply to: #922492 by Penfeather
Mar 18, 2016 12:19pm
Thread
To be clear, I'm not asking they be taken away. I'm asking they be user controlled, even when that use is inconsistent or doesn't fit everyone's exact definition.

I was giving an extreme example to point out the precise inaccuracies of having it automated with as little gray area as possible. The other thread was full of folks citing examples that don't fit the criteria.

All I'm saying is, leave control in the hands of the planter. That is the line Ryan need not cross when weighing the needs of a change. Many years ago, this is where the blue diamond discussion landed, with an opt out.

K
Re: Automated attributes
Board: Letterbox Chatter
Reply to: #922490 by RideTheMoose
Mar 18, 2016 12:36pm
Thread
I disagree. Once information is posted to a website that you don't own, you no longer have control over that information. According to the Terms of Service of this site:

De jure correct, de facto incorrect. I'm with Kelsung on this one. While I think it is silly for WOM and Bonus clues to be listed online (tho others have demonstrated creative use), once the fact that they are is accepted as listing types, consistent with historical definitions, those definitions should not change unless the community at large has endorsed these changes (and this applies to Mystery boxes and other words as well (and BTW, I came up with about half of these early constructs, and while I lay no claim on them, it would be my wish that changes in their definitions evolve by community consensus)).

Moreover, if there is a compelling reason for these changes going forward, technological or otherwise, the original author designated attributes should be "grandfathered". Also, as I suggested in a previous post, many of these calls are judgement or creativity calls, and the artist is the closest to the art, and therefore is in the best position to make that call, and therefore should be in control of the call, both in a "grandfathered" and going forward basis.

So, I'll finish with a quote from the late and immortal Lemmy Kilmister -- "Just 'Cos You Got The Power, That don't mean you got the right."

And I mean that in a de facto sense. I'm also agreeing with Kelsung's attitude on Ryan's power, and I personally believe that Ryan has been the best steward of the hobby. But, I think changes in the definition of the game should be reached by consensus, not fiat, whether unintended (which I grant as a possibility), or not, and if consensus is not reached, or no one cares, each artist retains control over variations of the consensus (for anyone who has ever done any object-oriented programming, think of the community consensus of these things as the "base class", and each artist's variation, when they deviate, as an "override", so I see 2 issues here; a change in the base class without consensus, and a restriction in the ability to override, tho I admit I may have misunderstood something).

So go ahead, hate on me for my "novel length post intended to impress", as one of my detractors recently suggested as one of her motivations for jamming on me since I've been here. I stand by my comments, and am unafraid to post them, regardless of how poorly written they are.

And BTW, you can have the ultimate freedom by operating your own clue website. Does anyone suggest that as the best solution?
Re: Automated attributes
Board: Letterbox Chatter
Reply to: #922494 by Kelsung
Mar 18, 2016 12:38pm
Thread
Sorry, maybe I was unclear in my post. I wasn't saying I think attributes should be taken away. I was saying that having more control over attributes can help people who make the effort to make their clues fun and interesting. That control has been taken away, and I think it's too bad, because a lot of people LIKE boxes with interesting and creative clues.
Re: Automated attributes
Board: Letterbox Chatter
Reply to: #922493 by jackbear
Mar 18, 2016 12:54pm
Thread
You might be overthinking the example. I think Kelsung's point is simply that people who are creative with their clues might use attributes in a very specific way, to get a particular effect, or to present the box in the way they want it to be presented. The box described is just one example to illustrate a point - other people have used attributes or dependencies in different ways, for creative effect.
Re: Automated attributes
Board: Letterbox Chatter
Reply to: #922495 by Sir Braemoor
Mar 18, 2016 12:56pm
Thread
{And BTW, you can have the ultimate freedom by operating your own clue website. Does anyone suggest that as the best solution?}

I've heard of people who do that. Spending more time hunting down their clues than hunting down their boxes doesn't sound too attractive to me, though.
Re: Automated attributes
Board: Letterbox Chatter
Reply to: #922497 by Penfeather
Mar 18, 2016 1:11pm
Thread
Ok (thinking... thinking).... so if a user can turn OFF all attributes to a box (like WOM or Mystery) that helps the planter to present his/her box in a more creative way?

Hmmmm.... I just don't get it.

If this is a "principal" discussion, like "In principal this is a free country, I should be able to do what I want when I want to!", or is there a particular problem with a box that we are trying to solve?

That will help me narrow down my thinking to one path I think.

Thanks for your help catching me up.

jackbear
Re: Automated attributes
Board: Letterbox Chatter
Reply to: #922499 by jackbear
Mar 18, 2016 1:22pm
Thread
{Ok (thinking... thinking).... so if a user can turn OFF all attributes to a box (like WOM or Mystery) that helps the planter to present his/her box in a more creative way?}

Are you just yanking my chain now? I never said that. What I said was that having more control over which attributes are used can help a planter present their box in a more creative way. I guess I don't see why a slew of specific examples would be needed to understand that.
Re: Automated attributes
Board: Letterbox Chatter
Reply to: #922501 by Penfeather
Mar 18, 2016 1:31pm
Thread
No no, I'm not yanking your chain, I'm a little slow on these things, so thanks for bearing with me.

So if I have more control over the attributes, as I planter I can use those attributes in a more creative way. I can understand that. Got it. No problem.

Which attributes do we not have control over...
WOM, Mystery, (diamonds, but I think we can turn those on an off in preferences right)

Help me out, what other ones....

jackbear
Re: Automated attributes
Board: Letterbox Chatter
Reply to: #922488 by Kelsung
Mar 18, 2016 1:39pm
Thread
I list this box and simply put the county name in the location field, and do not add any further clues as they are unnecessary. [...] I have provided the exact GPS coordinates.

Okay, I agree with the rest of the post, and this gives me the idea to place a box in the geographic center of my home county. (There are multiple ways to calculate a geographic center, but that is left to a later discussion.)

It's been a while since I've created a box, and I certainly haven't done so since the latest update. I'm also not going to create a box just to experiment. Nevertheless, I thought that the location field could only contain one thing: Country, state, county, city, address or GPS location. How do you do what you've suggested above? (Or is this just a hypothetical that you can't actually do here?)
Re: Automated attributes
Board: Letterbox Chatter
Reply to: #922498 by Penfeather
Mar 18, 2016 1:50pm
Thread
Spending more time hunting down their clues than hunting down their boxes doesn't sound too attractive to me, though.

I've seen plenty of boxes that have been listed on places like WordPress that are directly linked from AtlasQuest. I guess that if you want more control then you do something like that. It still lets people log them here but then you have total control over your clue, or at least more control.
Re: Automated attributes
Board: Letterbox Chatter
Reply to: #922503 by Oberon_Kenobi
Mar 18, 2016 2:01pm
Thread
Yes, jackbear, it's a discussion of principles, not a specific box.

How do you do what you've suggested above?

If you only give a city, without an exact address, AQ will put the point at the city's geographic center. If just a county or state, or even a country, same thing. All "Planet Earth" mysteries are mapped in the Atlantic Ocean where the equator meets the prime meridian at 0, 0

K
Re: Automated attributes
Board: Letterbox Chatter
Reply to: #922491 by Kelsung
Mar 18, 2016 2:26pm
Thread
I think that we have to sign such a release in case Ryan judges someone to be way over the line in some type of hatred speech or saying horrible, inflaming things about who-knows-what. He HAS to have some control over content. I can't speak as to why any changes were made, over time, or to your exact issue. I did not see the extended comments on the other post you mentioned.