Image uploading into questions and answers is definitely MVP. Some of the features will likely not be
- Process: Image uploading should include local file upload, image URL paste and (if possible/practical) paste image data from local clipboard
- Image Storage: We should use our own storage in order to have complete control - i.e., avoid a 3rd party service going out of business or being blocked for legal issues (e.g., if the same service hosted images deemed illegal). AWS S3 is an option, currently at $0.023/GB/month.
- Metadata Storage: The database will need to store information such as the original source (user), filename, etc. All references to the actual image should be via the database, so that if we change storage platforms (or rearrange files within a platform), only the routine that fetches the image based on the metadata will change, but no actual links within Q & A, etc.
- User Manipulation: We should not provide a full image editor. But 3 simple functions:
can take care of the vast majority of problems with uploaded images. Many users, particularly uploading directly from smartphones, are unable to crop/rotate/resize locally before upload. I have at times downloaded images and fixed them and uploaded the fixed images simply because I couldn’t stand looking at an upside down image with extraneous junk, etc. Make it easy and users can do it themselves (original user or another user editing). These functions will require a good UI, but the end result because a handful of numbers (4 numbers for crop (left/right/top/bottom), 1 for rotate (angle), 1 for resize (percentage) so they can be stored in the database with the other metadata. The adjusted images can be stored separately (more storage cost) or generated on-the-fly (more processing each time) or a mixture (store recent images and purge all but ‘original’ after a certain time).