PixCede: Thoughts on how to proceed

I haven't done any "real" work on PixCede since late last week, but I've done a lot of thinking about it -- which is probably a lot better than implementing without thinking. I've also been using it myself more than I thought I would be, which is really exciting. I've told a couple of my friends and collected some feedback, but Zach is the only one who started really playing with it.

I've thought a lot about whether or not to allow emails from non-phones through. The main concern is the potential for abuse -- who's to stop someone from writing a script to constantly spam the front page with whatever? Zach had a good suggestion of getting a short SMS number (like GOOGL) and only allowing pictures to come in through that. Then, I realized that getting a picture from one of my computers to the other meant emailing it to myself, which for some reason just seems like a huge pain in the ass. I used GMail to email PixCede a picture of myself on the Half Dome, and just retrieved it through the web site on the other computer. Yea, still email on one end, but on the receiving end, I felt incredibly less inconvenienced. Therefore, I think I'm going to implement a simple file upload feature to PixCede so that you can post a picture from one computer quickly, and retrieve it from another computer quickly -- without the hassle of logging into email on both computers.

I know what you're thinking: great idea! TinyPic had that idea YEARS ago! Short answer, yes, long answer... not quite. For one, I really am going to try to model this site after PasteBin more so than TinyPic and other similar services. I really like the dead simple usage of PasteBin, and I also like the content expiration too. I feel like that would discourage people from using PixCede as an image hosting solution -- which it is not. PixCede is a simple way to transfer pictures from one device, be that a cell phone, a workstation, or something else I don't know about, to another. So in that respect, I hope to differentiate myself from TinyPic and Flickr -- this is more of a PasteBin fork.

So, speaking of PixCede, I realized that the owner made all of his code open source. I love not re-inventing the wheel, so I'm going to start reading his blog and poking into the source code. I've briefly scanned his blog, and I was happy to see that he switched from a database back end to just a plain file system -- a decision I arrived at with PixCede a week or so ago. For something this dead simple, a relational database is really overkill. It just seems like the common decision to "my web app needs to persist information" is to just cram it into a database without really thinking about it. A well designed file structure will work just as well in this case.

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