I was thinking of starting doing the daily sketches and, coming across this thread, thought exactly the same thing. Only I figured that if Flash was out I'd use GD library and PHP/SQL to dynamically create a JPG.
I’m not sure if anyone will use this or if anyone cares but I started work on making this into a dynamic sketch tracking and image generation thing-a-me-jig.
What I've got so far is that you get can signup and get a username/password and log in to your little section. From there you can add an image (either a URL or upload to the webhost) and it'll iterate your # sketches. You can also edit your category and sketch of the week wins.
For the background images you can either select from one already configured or you can upload a new image and configure the typeface, where the text is placed and how it image handles variable width. Right now I only stretch the BG image which won't suit all BG types but I've got plans to add padding zones using a sort of 9-slice scaling method for those familiar with that from Flash.
Right now the script generates a scorecard jpg whenever you update your info and you can link to it like [i][http://host.com/blah/user_DSFsc.jpg](http://host.com/blah/user_DSFsc.jpg)[/i] however I plan to make this a dynamic property (i.e [i][http://host.com/blah/user_DSFsc.php?width=800](http://host.com/blah/user_DSFsc.php?width=800)[/i] ) so that each thread keeps the settings you associated with it (plus that'll open up the option to add in more vars like selecting the BG image).
Apart from the above, which basically covers tracking your scores, each sketch has some a couple of other optional fields, currently these are:
[li]the url of the image,[/li][li]the URL of the sketch thread you’re submitting it too,[/li][li]time taken to complete,[/li][li]URL of a final (worked) image,[/li][li]date completed,[/li][li]a description or comment of some type,[/li][li]categories and sketch of the week win booleans,[/li][li]a display/hide boolean (if you want to stop a image being displayed publically),[/li][li]plus some other bits i’m still working on.[/li][/ul]Each user account has a field for the URL of your personal sketch thread here, the URL of an external portfolio site, some optional personal details and some other as-yet unused fields.
Apart from tracking and generating the JPG, the can be used to generate a quick copy/paste-able bit of text that you put in a post on this forum. On top of putting in the BBCode for the Sketch and your DSF Scorecard it also automagically makes the DSF scorecard be the same width as the Sketch and creates a link to your personal sketch thread.
Anyway I've probably made this all sound a lot more complicated than it actually is. In reality ithe main functionality works as easilly as this:
[li]browse to the upload site and log in (auto-magic with cookies),[/li][li]upload your sketch of the day and, on the same page, make any changes too categories or SotW wins etc then hit submit,[/li][li]image is uploaded and the site spits back the link text which you copy to clipboard,[/li][li]go to the daily sketch thread and start a new post where you add any comment you have, paste the clipboard image code then hit submit and you’re done.[/li][/ol]Simple
Some other things that I was thinking about adding/finishing:
[li] Simple ways to list all your sketche, list all the category and SotW winners and that sort of thing,[/li][li] If the bbcode allows then the option to make an image map of the JPG so that clicking on Categories would take you to your category wins or whatever,[/li][li]Some sort of XML/RSS feed or something so that people can hook their posts here up with facebook or whatever other social networking sites they like.[/li][li]The holy grail: somehow track your posts on the CGS site so that people who don’t want to change image host or have to visit the external site to update their card, can still make use of the dynamic card.[/li][/ul]Release stuff:
Currently I'm developing on my local machine but, once I tidy up the code, prettify the css, and add proper account management (i'm faking it right now since it's only me) I'll migrate it to my live web-host so that anyone can use it :)
The only problem I foresee with things right now is to do with bandwidth/storage space because I know CGS can get pretty busy (oh, and my web host is currently in Australia). If anyone is in joyful position of having lots of both of those things on a host in the USA, and this thing begins to get used, then I'd love to hear from you.
In the mean time if you have any suggestions please let me know
(almost … p.s. was thinking it would also be easy to translate this to other challenge threads - if someone can think of a use for it let me know)