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5Instructables329,130Views181CommentsSan Francisco Bay AreaJoined March 4th, 2012
Architect by training, Phil is a designer who codes. He abuses CNCs and industrial robots while building fine furniture, mixing digital fabrication and craftsmanship. He likes thinking about energy use with the lights on, building web-apps for obscure fabrication processes, and working to make Instructables more attractive, more fun, and more useful. He's also Instructables' technical product manager.

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100+ Comments Earned a bronze medal
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Contest Winner Third Prize in the Furniture Challenge
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  • pseaton completed the lesson Pendant Lamps in the class Lamps Class1 month ago
  • pseaton commented on fkeel's forum topic Image Size is too restrictive2 months ago

    Not sure I follow exactly what's going on with the images changing... there's no placeholder, so they shouldn't change once they're uploaded. But when they appear in different places in the "photoset" (that's what we call the groups of images), different "derived" image sizes will be used. That said, I'd expect their optimization to be about the same.Text artifacts are sort of a fact of life I'm afraid. Unless we do super-fancy stuff to actually identify what each image is (ie, the fact that it contains text) we have to basically choose one optimization for all images. Most images being photos, that's where we've landed.Google wants us to compress more, sometimes people want us to compress less, but unfortunately there's not a lot of room for us to maneuver "perfect for all". But you sh...see more »Not sure I follow exactly what's going on with the images changing... there's no placeholder, so they shouldn't change once they're uploaded. But when they appear in different places in the "photoset" (that's what we call the groups of images), different "derived" image sizes will be used. That said, I'd expect their optimization to be about the same.Text artifacts are sort of a fact of life I'm afraid. Unless we do super-fancy stuff to actually identify what each image is (ie, the fact that it contains text) we have to basically choose one optimization for all images. Most images being photos, that's where we've landed.Google wants us to compress more, sometimes people want us to compress less, but unfortunately there's not a lot of room for us to maneuver "perfect for all". But you should be able to take control if you really dig in on the specific appearance of your Instructable by uploading images that are pre-sized perfectly for the photoset in which they will ultimately appear.Good luck!

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  • pseaton commented on fkeel's forum topic Image Size is too restrictive2 months ago

    When the original upload is equal to or smaller than the image we display in a given context, that copy of the image should not have been processed on our end at all. So in the screencap above, the top image is one of our MEDIUM size images, which is aspect-fit within a 620px square. If you upload that image at 620x(height), our MEDIUM will be the exact same image as your original upload.For 3x rows, we use our SMALL size, which is aspect-fit within a 320px square.These rules of course could change at any time, and we don't recommend picking image sizes for photosets, where rules could change without notice (and we'd start using a different image size). So if you prefer hosting the images yourself on an https-accessible domain, and including those images inline in your HTML, you can. Al...see more »When the original upload is equal to or smaller than the image we display in a given context, that copy of the image should not have been processed on our end at all. So in the screencap above, the top image is one of our MEDIUM size images, which is aspect-fit within a 620px square. If you upload that image at 620x(height), our MEDIUM will be the exact same image as your original upload.For 3x rows, we use our SMALL size, which is aspect-fit within a 320px square.These rules of course could change at any time, and we don't recommend picking image sizes for photosets, where rules could change without notice (and we'd start using a different image size). So if you prefer hosting the images yourself on an https-accessible domain, and including those images inline in your HTML, you can. Also not advised, but something our 'power users' are known to do from time to time.Hopefully that'll get you going!

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  • Thanks for the bug catch! Congrats, you're now a #2 winner!

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  • pseaton commented on pseaton's forum topic Native iOS and Android App Retirement2 months ago

    It would be very helpful if you could share what, specifically, you would like to see improved about mobile web, as that's where are development efforts go.Android and iOS apps accounted for less than 0.1% of traffic at the time they were dropped, so we can't support them. That said, I may be able to find an APK and post it here, if you're trying (against advice) to install the native app. We always understood that people didn't want to type on their phones, but since many people use their phones as cameras, we wanted the apps to lower the bar to getting photos uploaded. This is now possible on mobile web, and indeed mobile web supports photo upload to Instructables.Mobile web is hovering around 50% of traffic currently. If you log in, you should see a pretty fast page with no ads. I'm ...see more »It would be very helpful if you could share what, specifically, you would like to see improved about mobile web, as that's where are development efforts go.Android and iOS apps accounted for less than 0.1% of traffic at the time they were dropped, so we can't support them. That said, I may be able to find an APK and post it here, if you're trying (against advice) to install the native app. We always understood that people didn't want to type on their phones, but since many people use their phones as cameras, we wanted the apps to lower the bar to getting photos uploaded. This is now possible on mobile web, and indeed mobile web supports photo upload to Instructables.Mobile web is hovering around 50% of traffic currently. If you log in, you should see a pretty fast page with no ads. I'm a little surprised by the strong preference for the native Android app's display... and without promising that we'll make changes to accomodate, I'm very curious what you find so preferable!

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  • pseaton commented on Adam Gabbert's forum topic I'ble won't publish. 2 months ago

    I think we're finally back in business here, see details posted in https://www.instructables.com/community/Clicking-the-Publish-button-does-nothing/

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  • pseaton commented on SantaB's forum topic Clicking the 'Publish' button does nothing2 months ago

    Hey There,We're so sorry about all the difficulties with publishing in the last few days. We've hit an unexpected series of bugs which we haven't been able to see in our staging environment. This creates a challenging scenario for writing fixes.I'm happy to report that as of this writing, all known issues have been resolved. Any lingering issues should be fixable by logging-out then in, and clearing your cache and cookies.If you're still experiencing editor trouble, we want to hear your reports. SantaB, I want to thank you for the best-formatted bug report we've seen in years! More like that one, please :)Growing pains with HTTPS, but logged-in users should now, finally, be experiencing trouble-free editing and publishing, all over HTTPS.Thank you all for your continued patience!~Devs

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  • Ok! Sorry for the delay folks... this turned out to be an exceptionally pesky problem affecting only recently uploaded cover images in the editor, and only in production. We were never able to see this in our staging environment (even after we reproduced it consistently in production), which meant it caught us somewhat by surprise.I believe that as of about an hour ago, the last of these problems should have gone away. Please let us know if you continue to see this error while publishing.A side note.... we just went "https" for all logged-in traffic. If you're logged-in and request a page over "http" we will redirect you, but it's possible your browser may have cached copies of our pages at the old "http" location, particularly if you started your Instructable prior to last Friday. In t...see more »Ok! Sorry for the delay folks... this turned out to be an exceptionally pesky problem affecting only recently uploaded cover images in the editor, and only in production. We were never able to see this in our staging environment (even after we reproduced it consistently in production), which meant it caught us somewhat by surprise.I believe that as of about an hour ago, the last of these problems should have gone away. Please let us know if you continue to see this error while publishing.A side note.... we just went "https" for all logged-in traffic. If you're logged-in and request a page over "http" we will redirect you, but it's possible your browser may have cached copies of our pages at the old "http" location, particularly if you started your Instructable prior to last Friday. In this case, the best strategy is the usual: clear your browser cache for *.instructables.com, log out, and log back in.Any continuing issues, please reach out!

    See my comment about "https" above... the case you're describing shouldn't be possible (though obviously, it is!). If you are able to clear your browser cache, log out then in again, and are still able to see the editor with "http" in your address bar, we'll want to do everything we can to see what you are seeing. That's definitely going to give you a weird experience of the site, if you're able to see it at a mix of http and https pages.

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  • pseaton commented on pseaton's forum topic Native iOS and Android App Retirement2 months ago

    Are you using the native app, the mobile editor, or the desktop editor? Ie, is there an Instructables icon on your home screen?If any prior draft of your Instructable was successfully uploaded to Instructables we can likely retrieve it, but if you worked on your iPad all the way from start to finish in the native app without ever saving to the cloud, there may not be much we can do.Fingers crossed you were either using one of the supported editors, or hit save before the end. I really hope we can help you! Feel free to pm me additional details. We'll do everything we can to help.

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  • Kiran,Do you see the "enrolled" green banner over some classes on the classes landing page, https://www.instructables.com/classes/ ?And no corresponding entry when you view your member page?That's a bug, but we'll need proper steps to reproduce before we can fix it. When I follow these steps, the new class appears in the list on my member page every time:0) Log in1) Visit https://www.instructables.com/classes/2) Click a class I have never started before (ie, one without the green banner)3) In the top banner at the top of the page, click "enroll"4) Click You (in the top corner) > You > ## ClassesExpected behavior: the new class appears at the top of the listActual behavior: the new class appears at the top of the list================Listing your steps to reproduce this way can b...see more »Kiran,Do you see the "enrolled" green banner over some classes on the classes landing page, https://www.instructables.com/classes/ ?And no corresponding entry when you view your member page?That's a bug, but we'll need proper steps to reproduce before we can fix it. When I follow these steps, the new class appears in the list on my member page every time:0) Log in1) Visit https://www.instructables.com/classes/2) Click a class I have never started before (ie, one without the green banner)3) In the top banner at the top of the page, click "enroll"4) Click You (in the top corner) > You > ## ClassesExpected behavior: the new class appears at the top of the listActual behavior: the new class appears at the top of the list================Listing your steps to reproduce this way can be very laborious, but it's hugely helpful for us. When I follow the above steps, I see the newly enrolled class every time.

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  • pseaton completed the lesson Welcome to Arduino in the class Arduino Class4 months ago
  • pseaton commented on TheOriginalPhoenix's forum topic Titling Instructables4 months ago

    Can you send us a screencap of what you're seeing, along with detailed steps to reproduce the issue? For example:- Login- visit www.instructables.com- Click "you" menu, then "drafts" (note, I have 3 drafts indicated in the menu)- Next to a draft, click "edit"- In the editor, click the first (intro) stepExpected behavior: title bar in the step detail view contains no textActual behavior: title bar in the step detail view contains my email address***Note that this is not the case for me -- I see the title of my Instructable. It's just an example of the information we'll need before we can look into it.Please send this information to service at instructables dot com

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  • pseaton commented on pseaton's forum topic Profile Page Updates4 months ago

    Sorry about that; RSS isn't one of the features we test regularly.Should be fixed now, even though we've removed all the RSS links around the site.

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  • pseaton commented on pseaton's forum topic Profile Page Updates5 months ago

    Update 11/21 (Yonatan24 -- you beat me to the announcement punch here!)You asked, we listened! The member page had some big updates at the end of last week:- Many stats have returned- Bio now appears in the header- Activity feed is now just "stuff you did" not "stuff done to you"- Instructables page now lists all Instructables, and allows sorts for members with more than 30 projects (recent, featured, view)- Collections are included on the Instructables page, and can be included in "top projects"For those in the US, happy Thanksgiving week. For others, happy Monday!

    We'll continue to seek opportunities where aggregation can condense the activity feed, and you've identified some good potential targets. Check out https://www.instructables.com/member/Penolopy+Bulni... where comment and follow actions are condensed when they occur in near-enough-together timeframes, screencaps of her current profile attached.These timeline events are a little tricky for us to back-populate, but we're currently running a script (for two weeks now!) that will make sure that at least "favoriting" activity (the most common action on the site) is included for everyone's profile. That should hopefully make it feel a bit more like these people who haven't engaged as fully are home. Hopefully, that'll leave fewer empty timelines.Thanks again for the feedback!

    What you're describing is a cache of a member page in your own browser, because you've viewed those particular member pages before. As you observed, hitting refresh does, in fact, refresh the page. If you want to clear this up for yourself for good, you can clear your browser's cache.1) Formatted PMs are a possibility, they've been on our "one day" list for awhile.2) We already aggregate favorite events and comment events, just not by Instructable. So the logic you suggest conflicts with aggregations like "Yonatan24 favorited A, B, and C".Feature suggestions should go to service@instructables.com so they can aggregate the requests, get a feel for the overall feeling towards a feature, and pass on those requests that come up most often or seem most pressing. Then the requests need to be ...see more »What you're describing is a cache of a member page in your own browser, because you've viewed those particular member pages before. As you observed, hitting refresh does, in fact, refresh the page. If you want to clear this up for yourself for good, you can clear your browser's cache.1) Formatted PMs are a possibility, they've been on our "one day" list for awhile.2) We already aggregate favorite events and comment events, just not by Instructable. So the logic you suggest conflicts with aggregations like "Yonatan24 favorited A, B, and C".Feature suggestions should go to service@instructables.com so they can aggregate the requests, get a feel for the overall feeling towards a feature, and pass on those requests that come up most often or seem most pressing. Then the requests need to be balanced against the value to the community (and the business) vs development investment. For example, @-mentions would be great, I agree, but the feature would be very expensive to develop. Much easier said than done!

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  • pseaton commented on pseaton's forum topic Profile Page Updates5 months ago

    Thanks for the bug reports! For full disclosure as to the number and degree of bugs that just went out yesterday.... we have one full-time QA person, who's on paternity right now. He'd definitely have caught all this stuff before it went out. We miss him, and can't wait for his return! Your issues should be addressed shortly:- By removing the "edit" option for Instructables that aren't your own- By linking to the "preview" page for unpublished drafts- By fixing the issue where only 22 items of any type show up on the "view all" page. That's just a bug.Other stats requested in this forum are also coming soon, but require a little more reworking than other changes so they aren't quite ready to go out yet.Sorts and filters are up in the air, but we're thinking through options that could wo...see more »Thanks for the bug reports! For full disclosure as to the number and degree of bugs that just went out yesterday.... we have one full-time QA person, who's on paternity right now. He'd definitely have caught all this stuff before it went out. We miss him, and can't wait for his return! Your issues should be addressed shortly:- By removing the "edit" option for Instructables that aren't your own- By linking to the "preview" page for unpublished drafts- By fixing the issue where only 22 items of any type show up on the "view all" page. That's just a bug.Other stats requested in this forum are also coming soon, but require a little more reworking than other changes so they aren't quite ready to go out yet.Sorts and filters are up in the air, but we're thinking through options that could work for everyone. Something will happen.Thanks for the timely feedback!

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  • pseaton completed the lesson Welcome in the class Wearable Electronics Class5 months ago
  • pseaton commented on pseaton's forum topic Profile Page Updates5 months ago

    1, 2, and 3 are all planned changes coming soon. 4 is a little fraught technically and affects very few authors, so that may be a bit of a tough sell. Thanks for the continued feedback, it's very helpful to have a beat on what the community thinks of these big changes!

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  • pseaton completed the lesson Welcome to Bread in the class Bread Class5 months ago
  • pseaton commented on pseaton's forum topic Profile Page Updates6 months ago

    View counts update at different schedules in almost every context. It makes a difference if you're logged in or not, viewing an individual project, list of projects on member or explore pages, or a list of projects in a collection. The largest number is freshest, and can be observed while logged in on the Instructable page itself. This is deliberate behavior that helps us scale on a shoestring.

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  • No changes are being made to the existing settings page; it's a wholesale rewrite. We also haven't released code this week. Sadly, I'm not seeing what you're seeing.Confirming, steps to reproduce are:1) Start in clean incognito window in chrome browser on mac osx2) visit www.instructables.com3) Click "login" in the top right corner. Enter creds, then click "login"4) Click "you" in top right corner, then settings5) Browse around all tabs for ~20 clicks. Expected Behavior: No modal dialogs are shownObserved Behavior: Eventually, the pictured modal appears?

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  • pseaton commented on pseaton's forum topic Profile Page Updates6 months ago

    Feel free to include a link in your bio to the explore pages with your own username included. All the filters are available there:https://www.instructables.com/tag/type-id/user-Orig...

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  • pseaton commented on pseaton's forum topic Profile Page Updates6 months ago

    Here are some numbers we looked at while considering the new designs, aggregated over August-October this year, as a percentage of total profile pageviews:Total views of all sub-tabs: 12.6%Total views of Instructables sub-tabs: 9.7%Total views of favorites tabs: 1.9%Total views of all other tabs combined: 1.0%Total views of all "forum topic" tabs: 0.018%The tabs on the left of the old member page, with the exception of the Instructables tab and (somewhat) the favorites tab, do not drive any traffic to your content. In particular, to your point about old forum topics, there may be people finding your old posts, but they have never come from the member page. There were only five profiles, in the course of three months, that had traffic to the "forum topic" sub-tabs. That tells us the tab ...see more »Here are some numbers we looked at while considering the new designs, aggregated over August-October this year, as a percentage of total profile pageviews:Total views of all sub-tabs: 12.6%Total views of Instructables sub-tabs: 9.7%Total views of favorites tabs: 1.9%Total views of all other tabs combined: 1.0%Total views of all "forum topic" tabs: 0.018%The tabs on the left of the old member page, with the exception of the Instructables tab and (somewhat) the favorites tab, do not drive any traffic to your content. In particular, to your point about old forum topics, there may be people finding your old posts, but they have never come from the member page. There were only five profiles, in the course of three months, that had traffic to the "forum topic" sub-tabs. That tells us the tab isn't used, and should be removed.On another note, I very much like the idea of having the member page customizable per user, but there's nothing "just" about it.... At the scale and complexity of Instructables, it's a monumental task! That said, there are a number of stats and changes that we'll be bringing back as a result of the feedback here. That's why I'd encourage everyone to write feedback, even if we can't concede a wholesale revert to the old page.

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  • pseaton posted a forum topic Profile Page Updates6 months ago
  • Hey There, sorry about that!That's a very confusing bug. As you might expect, having just traded out the member page it's a very busy morning for us. But we're looking into it right now, and should have a fix ready shortly. Rest assured: your Instructables are safe and will return to your member page once we figure out what happened there!

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  • Free-form curved furniture without molds / Part 1

    Full laminated sheets are definitely stronger -- that's not the benefit here. The big advantage here is not strength or cut time, but one-off production: because no molds need to be built for a specific design, designs can be prototyped at much lower cost and mass customization becomes possible. A wooden chair can be sized and shaped exactly for you, for example.The value of mass customization is debatable, but it's certainly interesting and I think has great potential to remake the world of manufacturing.

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  • pseaton commented on Nick70587's forum topic Email notifications6 months ago

    10-4. We'll get this fixed up sooner than later. Bug confirmed, fix on the way. Because of standard testing and deployment procedures it could take 10 days or so to get this out, but it's on our near-term radar now. Thanks for writing in!

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  • pseaton commented on pseaton-testing's instructable Steps without content8 months ago
    Steps without content

    Hi and welcome!We're glad you want to share something with the Instructables community! However, this appears to be incomplete and perhaps missing some important information, so we have temporarily unpublished it for you. If you would like to make some changes or additions to this, please do so. Then if you would leave me a message here, we can take second look and publish this live if it is ready.Thanks! Your friendly neighborhood Instructables staff

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  • pseaton commented on pseaton-testing's instructable Title8 months ago
    Title

    Hi and welcome!We're glad you want to share something with the Instructables community! However, this appears to be incomplete and perhaps missing some important information, so we have temporarily unpublished it for you. If you would like to make some changes or additions to this, please do so. Then if you would leave me a message here, we can take second look and publish this live if it is ready.Thanks! Your friendly neighborhood Instructables staff

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  • pseaton commented on brmarcum's forum topic Pixlr editor won't save edited image8 months ago

    Hey There!Sorry to see you're having trouble with the Pixlr editor. I'm here to say: It's not you, it's me. Er, them.We've been in touch with the Pixlr team; it was a release of theirs that broke the image editor on Instructables. They have been working to tame some abuse of their own website recently, and in so doing they made a change that breaks all iframe implementations of pixlr express (of which Instructables' is one).We reported this to them last week on Thursday, and they've been working on a fix that they hope to deploy today. When they do, it should all start working again. If you're keen to know what's going on, you can see when you first open the pixlr editor that it flashes in an iframe, then immediately reloads and your browser bar changes to "pixlr.com" instead of "instru...see more »Hey There!Sorry to see you're having trouble with the Pixlr editor. I'm here to say: It's not you, it's me. Er, them.We've been in touch with the Pixlr team; it was a release of theirs that broke the image editor on Instructables. They have been working to tame some abuse of their own website recently, and in so doing they made a change that breaks all iframe implementations of pixlr express (of which Instructables' is one).We reported this to them last week on Thursday, and they've been working on a fix that they hope to deploy today. When they do, it should all start working again. If you're keen to know what's going on, you can see when you first open the pixlr editor that it flashes in an iframe, then immediately reloads and your browser bar changes to "pixlr.com" instead of "instructables.com" while you're editing your image. That's not supposed to happen -- you're supposed to stay in context at instructables.com during editing. So the problem actually occurs when you first open your image, not when you hit save. But when you hit save, you can see the effects.I'll update this thread if I hear anything new from them throughout the day. Thanks for letting us know about this!~Devs

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  • pseaton commented on umami_tsunami's instructable Capturing the Milky Way8 months ago
    Capturing the Milky Way

    Your photos are beautiful! Nicely done, and spectacularly documented. You have my vote!

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  • pseaton followed pseaton8 months ago