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PVP Update (Removed Bonuses)

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puravida
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Many users have used the PVP method for an easy way to bypass bandwidth limits and get inside pages for free. Those were two of the bonuses we gave to users as a thank you for adopting the PVP method. Today, we realized that supporting the Free account with and without PVP opens up some possible loopholes that we have no way to avoid.

So our options are:

  1. Do away with the Free account (again) and force PVP for Free use
  2. Do away with PVP and break thousands of integrations that rely on PVP to work
  3. Remove PVP's "unlimited bandwidth" and "Inside Pages" bonus

We just wish there were another way around it, but we have decided that the best option is to remove the bonuses and continue to support Free w/ PVP and the Free account.

To all developers: Now the only bonus for using PVP will come with the affiliate program (whenever we are finally able to launch it), because the PVP landing page will have an authcode-customized affiliate link to join ShrinkTheWeb. Aside from that, there is no longer any real benefit to using the PVP, other than to assure user's of their intended destination. We leave it up to you whether you want to continue supporting PVP, but we recommend adding support for the "Free" method, in any case.

faina09
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Joined: 07/27/2012
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I developed a WordPress plugin that uses some free services to grab web images, and also your free service.
Sorry, but I cannot understand what is the situation now with your free account. Must I use the PVP (Preview Verification Page) method by way a jscript? Or is it possible to bypass PVP in any way? (I directly call xino.php)
I implemented both methods, but I must tell the users what to use with the free account!
regards
faina09
PS: the "Full loggin" seems not to work any longer ...!?

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puravida
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Full logging works, but the change made last night may put your account more than 25% over it's limit. In that case, nothing is logged and requests are ignored.

Please always log in and check your stats. If it's way over the limit, then that is why you don't see anything. If it's not, then you do not have full logging turned on, your code is not really submitting a request, OR there is a problem with our service (not as likely).

To answer your question: Yes, you may call xino.php directly now. It works just like any other method. We recommend to remove any check or selection of account level (Free, Free w/ PVP, Basic, PLUS), because they should all work the same. Remove the PVP code and support altogether. That will greatly simplify your code and make it easier on your users to understand.

faina09
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Joined: 07/27/2012
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Thank you for your answer. I checked both my account limit (used about 0%) and the full logging enabled check, but I have still no logs. I developed two methods. The first one uses PVP and jscript and works correctly, the second uses xino.php and returns the "Account problems" image.
Neither generates a log.

Two more question: is there a sample code to verify that the xino.php is returning a system message image? should I compare with a previously saved image (using e.g. an hash?)? and, related to this, how should I poll until the image is generated?
thank you

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puravida
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1. I see two logged messages from 7:30pm tonight, so it is working on your account.

2. I also saw a request in your history, and it's IP address was not in your allowed referrers. So that may be getting blocked and not logged. I added that IP to your allowed referrers, which may be your local IP if you pasted the request into a browser.

3. I don't understand what you are asking regarding system messages. You can always paste a request into a browser to test. Your local IP must be in the allowed referrers list. To see the image, include &stwembed=1 but to see the API response, omit &stwembed altogether.

4. Please review the "ShrinkTheWeb Integration Testing Guide" documentation for an answer to your basic questions. It covers polling and other "best practices." The API response contains a timestamp of the last capture time, so you can compare that. Please thoroughly read the documentation, since many questions are answered therein.

Thank you. Smile

faina09
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Thank you for your patience.
1-2. Indeed the account was probably locked for some hours and at the end I was able to get the logs. I didn't add my local machine IP because it is a dynamical one,and I test directly on a server with static ip, but the possibility to have the response in the browser is really a nice one.
3. This was the point!! I cannot found a parameters list description documentation for the free account and didn't understand that I must set &stwembed=1 to see the image, and &stwembed=.. to see the API response!!
4. in my opinion you probably have a lot of good doc, but is not so easy to found it in the site. The best code I finally found is the WordPress plugin shrinktheweb-website-preview-plugin.

Hope that now I will be able to construct a more robust plugin. Btw here is my WP plugin beta version:
http://wordpress.org/extend/plugins/webthumb/

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puravida
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Glad you got it. Smile

The shrinktheweb-website-preview-plugin was recently overhauled by our development team using the latest PHP sample code. Since you are developing a WP plugin, using our plugin as a base will probably be easier. Best of luck getting it working quickly. Keep in mind that our plugin may integrate PVP, which is no longer necessary.

Once it is ready, we will take a look and consider adding a link from our plugins page.

faina09
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Joined: 07/27/2012
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I found it very helpful and clear code.
My plugin of course is developed in my spare time, so may take time to be a good one, check again later! Cool
Thanks for everything
faina09

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puravida
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We decided to leave support for PVP, since so many are using it; and we have removed the bonuses. We wanted to leave the bonuses in-place, but you can thank those who abused the fact that we cannot determine JavaScript requests from regular requests.

We will continue supporting PVP until such time that few are left using it.

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