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BUG: Small images are no longer being properly cropped square Answered

It looks like an update was rolled out overnight.  In the Instructables browsing pages, the word "featured" has been replaced with "editor's picks".  Obviously, the underlying URL is the same (since it uses a database keyword).  This change hasn't been done in either the forum topics or Questions areas.

There's also a bug in the I'bles browsing.  Instead of pictures being centered to fit in the same sized thumbnail on each image, smaller images now take up less space.  This creates problems with sideshow or video labels, as you can see below.

UPDATE 10 Nov 2010:  The bug is not in the page browsing, but rather in the image library system.  The three "square" image versions, TINY, SQUARE, and SQUARE2, are no longer being cropped properly to have equal height and width.  Instead, they are simply reduced in size from the original, but keeping the full image's aspect ratio.

UPDATE 14 Nov 2010:  Another user has reported noticing that their step-by-step icon images are different sizes.  This is the same bug, as the TINY version is what is used for the step icons.

UPDATE 17 Nov 2010:  Well, the cropping seems to be back to square, but instead of the small images being scaled to the right size before cropping, little chunks are just being taken from the middle.  For large, high resolution images, the result is a blurry bit of abstract art.


Argh. This bug seems to be a moving target. It looks like the square cropping is now being handled correctly, but instead of the user's full image being scaled down and then cropped, there's just a tiny piece being chopped out of the center.

Take a look at the "tiny hummer" slideshow, for example. The image used on the I'bles browsing page is essentially indecipherable :-(

Yep, I tried to post a new avatar image and all that could be seen in the thumbnail is a nose. A big nose, but not that big.

Cloude and Matt, I think I know what the underlying problem is. I suspect that somebody changed the code which generates the different size and shape images from the users' image libraries. Specifically, the SQUARE and SQUARE2 images are being generated differently than before. The thumbnails used on the browsing pages are all of the SQUARE2 type.

It used to be the case that if the user uploaded a rectangular picture (the default if you just get something from a camera or your phone), that the I'bles image processor would crop the central portion of it to a square version. For the past day or so, that has not been done. Now, a rectangular original (such as the bicycle trailer above) has SQUARE and SQUARE2 with the same rectangular aspect ratio.

That presumably conflicts with the assumption of equal height and width in the browsing page generator, and you get the label positioning problem I reported. You can see, in fact, in the two images I show, that the label position on the left is actually aligned perfectly for the case of the square image on the right.

You can see the aspect ratio issue by comparing two image library pages. First, a correctly cropped image, taken from the blimp Enterprise. On the recent page, that I'bles thumbnail is properly square. On the image library page, you see that the original picture was 1000x753 pixels (rectangular), but TINY, SQUARE, and SQUARE2 are all cropped to equal axes (48x48, 75x75, and 130x130, respectively). The THUMBNAIL is not cropped, just reduced to 1/10th size (100x75).

Now look at the corresponding image for the bicycle trailer above. The image library page shows that TINY, SQUARE, and SQUARE2 have all been simply reduced at the same 3:2 aspect ratio as the original (3072x2048). That's incorrect.

This should be back to normal cropping now. Thanks for the help with the bug.

Hi, Matt. Please see my most recent update. The dimensioning problem seems to be resolved, but the images are no longer being scaled, just cropped. This gives rather absurd results with high resolution images (what does a 48x48 square at the center of a 2048 x 3172 picture look like?).

I looked at a bunch of slideshows in the recent feed, and they all look fine. Do you think it might have been a problem of you were looking at a fresh update, before everything was finished updating?


Take a look at Burf's comment above (Nov 17, 2010, 9:40 pm). Also, the "Tiny Hummer" from a day or two ago. That was the most amusing example, just the top of the little wheel and a bit of door :-/

What page are you seeing this? I'm not seeing it on our normal browse pages.

Hi, Cloude. I see it on the Recent pages (all categories where there's a Slideshow). I'm checking now on Featured...argh, your site is slow at the moment...okay. There are no short-pictures slideshows featured, so I don't see it either. Say...did you all change the aspect ratio for pictures recently? Or is it just a coincidence?

Can you tr clearing your browser cache? We haven't changed the aspect ratio on any of our images. Maybe this is a Mac/FF issue, but it's looking correct on the PC/FF. I'll take another look at it.

:-D That's always the right answer to a bug report, isn't it? It's what I tell other people.

In this case, I did do that, just to be sure. I think I've isolated the source of the problem, though, in the image library system.

I think I've identified the underlying problem. Please see my sticky comment for all of the gory details.

That is to say, there is a slideshow on the first page of the living category's recent feed, that seems to have the effect he's talking about.