Update for avatar sizes: Input wanted

The_J

Say No 2 Net Validations
Administrator
Supporter
Joined
Oct 22, 2008
Messages
37,415
Location
DE/NL/FR
We recently have gone through various details of the forum, including some of the rules, and we noticed that what we write in the rules, and what is actually the case are not the same thing.
This means we will have to update something. Before we do that, we would like to have some input from everyone else, regarding what you think is best or what should be done.


The rules say the following:
If you have 30 posts AND have been registered for 30 days, you can give yourself a custom title and a custom non-animated avatar. The dimension limit of custom avatars is 70x70 pixels and size limit is 4 KB.

If you have 100 posts AND have been registered for 100 days, you can give yourself a custom non-animated avatar up to 100x100 pixels and ~6 kB in size.

If you have 300 posts AND have been registered for 300 days, you can give yourself a custom non-animated avatar up to 100x100 pixels and 10 kB in size.

None of this is correct anymore.

The current situation:
  • by default everyone is in the "registered" user group which has a 52 kb avatar limit set
  • after 5 days and 5 posts people get upgraded to the "5 days/5 posts" user group, but nothing changes
  • the "supporter" user group has a 100 kb limit
  • the "custom avatar" user group has a 100 kb limit
  • A lot of users are in the "custom avatar" user group. But since it's a vbulletin remnant, no user from Xenforo times has been upgraded to this user group, but a lot from vbulletin are in there
  • There is no limit on the pixel dimensions anymore (this option does not exist), only file size
  • we can automatically upgrade people to a new user group (e.g. the custom avatar user group) after X posts, X days registered, X likes, ratio likes/posts, X trophy points and X resources, any combo of these, and a number of irrelevant things (e.g. parts of the email address, if any specific civ version is set, etc)

What we propose:
  • No avatars for newly registered members
  • After 5 days and 5 posts you get the 50 kb limit (or potentially lower, depending on discussion)
  • Any other special user group (supporters, moderators, HOF staff, GOTM staff, etc) gets a 100 kb limit

Please let us know what you think :).
(before you do: Have a look at the size of your current avatar please)
 

Arakhor

Dremora Courtier
Super Moderator
Joined
Mar 27, 2009
Messages
37,774
Location
UK
That seems reasonable.
 

Birdjaguar

Hanafubuki
Super Moderator
Supporter
Joined
Dec 24, 2001
Messages
48,413
Location
Albuquerque, NM
There is no limit on the pixel dimensions anymore (this option does not exist), only file size
So my avatar can be 50% bigger?
 

Synobun

Deity
Joined
Nov 19, 2006
Messages
23,623
What would be the point of banning new members from adding an avatar?
 

Valka D'Ur

Hosting Iron Pen in A&E
Retired Moderator
Joined
Mar 3, 2005
Messages
27,537
Location
Red Deer, Alberta, Canada
I'm very self-indulgent on forums I run; I bumped the avatar dimensions to some very generous size limits (admittedly so I could use my own favorites, but other folks happily indulged as well).

Since it's been ages since I was a new member and had avatar restrictions, this all seems rather remote to me. Yes, larger ones would be nice. I've got some I can't use here because they're a bit too big. I might even go back to using Spud, for nostalgia (my sunglass-wearing potato on a scooter).

What I wish for is animated avatars, but I know that's not going to happen.

My main concern about new people is that you catch the spammers and scammers who sneak through and post, do PMs, and drop "likes" everywhere. Tracking that down is really annoying. I like "likes", but only from real forum members and not creepy bots that have nefarious purposes.
 

The_J

Say No 2 Net Validations
Administrator
Supporter
Joined
Oct 22, 2008
Messages
37,415
Location
DE/NL/FR
What would be the point of banning new members from adding an avatar?

A bit of saving space, and a bit of rewarding people who actually stay around.
The space factor seems to be negligible with 50 kb, but we have in theory more than 300 000 accounts. If everyone had a custom avatar, this would amount to 15 GB of data. I don't think this is necessary, especially if someone only stays around for 1-2 posts. Everyone would get their custom avatar after 5 posts and 5 days of registration, which I think is really no hurdle for anyone.

Since it's been ages since I was a new member and had avatar restrictions, this all seems rather remote to me. Yes, larger ones would be nice. I've got some I can't use here because they're a bit too big. I might even go back to using Spud, for nostalgia (my sunglass-wearing potato on a scooter).

To get a rough overview, I had had a look at some of the avatar sizes of some posters, and most don't even reach the 50kb.
Semi-random selection, which I checked: Birdjaguar 2kb, mine 3kb, Leif's 37 kb, Arakor 70kb, Kyriakos 20kb, Takhisis 23kb, Warpus 31kb, Perfection 4kb, ainwood 3kb, AlanH 3kb, Leoreth 74kb, ls612 29kb.

We can discuss a higher limit, but I think anything beyond 200kb would be very wasteful.


My main concern about new people is that you catch the spammers and scammers who sneak through and post, do PMs, and drop "likes" everywhere. Tracking that down is really annoying. I like "likes", but only from real forum members and not creepy bots that have nefarious purposes.

This is a valid concern, but I'd prefer to discuss this in a different thread or another time (or via PM if it's urgent, but I don't think we have much spammers around right now).
 

Valka D'Ur

Hosting Iron Pen in A&E
Retired Moderator
Joined
Mar 3, 2005
Messages
27,537
Location
Red Deer, Alberta, Canada
A bit of saving space, and a bit of rewarding people who actually stay around.
The space factor seems to be negligible with 50 kb, but we have in theory more than 300 000 accounts. If everyone had a custom avatar, this would amount to 15 GB of data. I don't think this is necessary, especially if someone only stays around for 1-2 posts. Everyone would get their custom avatar after 5 posts and 5 days of registration, which I think is really no hurdle for anyone.



To get a rough overview, I had had a look at some of the avatar sizes of some posters, and most don't even reach the 50kb.
Semi-random selection, which I checked: Birdjaguar 2kb, mine 3kb, Leif's 37 kb, Arakor 70kb, Kyriakos 20kb, Takhisis 23kb, Warpus 31kb, Perfection 4kb, ainwood 3kb, AlanH 3kb, Leoreth 74kb, ls612 29kb.

We can discuss a higher limit, but I think anything beyond 200kb would be very wasteful.
I'm not sure how big my black cat is; I take down my avatars when I'm intending to be away for awhile and came back when I heard about Zkribbler. I haven't had a chance to put one back up yet. But I think it's safe to say that few of mine would get anywhere close to the limit unless they're animated (which we can't have so it's not relevant anyway).

This is a valid concern, but I'd prefer to discuss this in a different thread or another time (or via PM if it's urgent, but I don't think we have much spammers around right now).
It's not urgent since Leif zapped the last one who left me a phantom "like" on a post several years old. It's just an issue that concerns me a bit since I've been targeted by these accounts a few times over the years.

Funny thing about avatars... long-time ones tend to convey a sense of identity. When I had to lose my animated tractor beam smiley over at TrekBBS when it migrated to XenForo and change to something else, people said, "You don't look like yourself."

Yep, that's me... a little round yellow farmer smiley sitting on a tractor, being towed along by a tractor beam from the Enterprise and looking a bit flabbergasted.


Are there many people who use the Civ avatars?
 

The_J

Say No 2 Net Validations
Administrator
Supporter
Joined
Oct 22, 2008
Messages
37,415
Location
DE/NL/FR
Funny thing about avatars... long-time ones tend to convey a sense of identity. When I had to lose my animated tractor beam smiley over at TrekBBS when it migrated to XenForo and change to something else, people said, "You don't look like yourself."

I certainly agree :).

Are there many people who use the Civ avatars?

TBH no idea.
Each user who uses a civ avatar doesn't use up more space on the server, since it's each time the same picture. So there's little concern from this side :).
 

Aiken_Drumn

Emperor
Joined
Oct 16, 2021
Messages
1,634
Location
NES/FG/SF Activity:Arguing the toss
Personally I enjoy titles, badges, etc that show your use and activity on a forum. I think they encourage healthy interaction with the forum.. something perhaps needed in these elder years of forum based websites.

Noone needs an avatar to post a simple question.. but if they stick around it is nice.

I think 5 posts 5 days for the generic store of avatars..

100 posts, 100 days to upload your own custom avatar.
 

Valka D'Ur

Hosting Iron Pen in A&E
Retired Moderator
Joined
Mar 3, 2005
Messages
27,537
Location
Red Deer, Alberta, Canada
If memory serves, my first non-CFC avatar was a purple spider smiley that was wearing a baseball cap. I belonged to a smiley-making forum back then (Invision-style smileys, which are still my favorites) and made my little spider there. That's also where Spud came from.

Spud.gif
 

TheCleanerDragon

Chieftain
Joined
Jul 2, 2019
Messages
76
Location
On the Edge of Tommorow
I would support
New members can only use the built-in CIV avatars
After 5 posts and 1 week members can upload a custom avatar with a 100 Kb limit.

The CIV avatars apparently don't use up any space, so I don't see why new users shouldn't be able to use them.
My avatar is 40 Kb, so I would like the limit to be at least 50 Kb.
 

The_J

Say No 2 Net Validations
Administrator
Supporter
Joined
Oct 22, 2008
Messages
37,415
Location
DE/NL/FR
Okay, this thread has been open for more than 2 weeks now, which I think should be sufficient to make a decision.
It seems there is in general no real opposition against the proposed plan. We've read the opinions by everyone here, and the alternative suggestions are variations of what has been proposed, in one way or the other. We'll therefore go ahead with the proposed plan, but will keep the other suggestions in mind for the future.
Since the forum evolves and lives, this means we'll also not object to discuss this again in a year or afterwards :).
 

The_J

Say No 2 Net Validations
Administrator
Supporter
Joined
Oct 22, 2008
Messages
37,415
Location
DE/NL/FR
That might actually be true in many cases.
I've just picked Arakhor's avatar (which is among the bigger ones), sized it down to 25%, and on first glance there doesn't seem to be any differences in the display. But I guess there could be cases where it does make some difference. (not that this will make at the very end a big difference either, but if you'd want to go down that road, we might end up banning all avatars, so let's maybe not do that :lol:).
 

Valka D'Ur

Hosting Iron Pen in A&E
Retired Moderator
Joined
Mar 3, 2005
Messages
27,537
Location
Red Deer, Alberta, Canada
That might actually be true in many cases.
I've just picked Arakhor's avatar (which is among the bigger ones), sized it down to 25%, and on first glance there doesn't seem to be any differences in the display. But I guess there could be cases where it does make some difference. (not that this will make at the very end a big difference either, but if you'd want to go down that road, we might end up banning all avatars, so let's maybe not do that :lol:).
I once belonged to a forum that banned avatars. They also disallowed sigs and even disabled the quote/multiquote buttons. Those of us who know BBCode were still able to use it (which perplexed the hell out of the people who didn't know how we were able to use it).

That forum was Television Without Pity (TWoP), and had some really psycho moderation there. For instance, you could state that "Sonny Corinthos suffers from bipolar disorder" (character on General Hospital; this was a major storyline many years ago), but you'd get viciously reamed out and even sneered at by the moderators if you mentioned anything at all about bipolar disorder itself.

After being infracted for saying I didn't understand something about why the cast of one of the Survivor seasons hated one particular person; I was looking for information and not criticizing the person who mentioned it, and the moderator being extremely condescending about it, I finally told them all to go to hell and delete my account.

Aside from bad moderation, forums without the visuals of avatars and sigs are BORING.
 

Lexicus

Deity
Joined
Aug 28, 2007
Messages
27,585
Location
Sovereign State of the Have-Nots
A bit of saving space, and a bit of rewarding people who actually stay around.
The space factor seems to be negligible with 50 kb, but we have in theory more than 300 000 accounts. If everyone had a custom avatar, this would amount to 15 GB of data.

I may be wrong, but wouldn't the maximum "data use" be determined not by the total number of users on the site, but by the total number of posts (and thus avatars) that a page will display at one time?
 

The_J

Say No 2 Net Validations
Administrator
Supporter
Joined
Oct 22, 2008
Messages
37,415
Location
DE/NL/FR
Yes, that is correct, but these are 2 different things:
- I talked about how much space the avatars use on our hard drive
- you mean how much space the avatars need when transferred to your computer via the internet
Both are relevant. Your point is the strongest point against allowing an unlimited upload size, since we might end up with 30 mb avatars, which we really don't want, because it'll make uploading the forum for everyone horribly slow.
 

Valka D'Ur

Hosting Iron Pen in A&E
Retired Moderator
Joined
Mar 3, 2005
Messages
27,537
Location
Red Deer, Alberta, Canada
Yes, that is correct, but these are 2 different things:
- I talked about how much space the avatars use on our hard drive
- you mean how much space the avatars need when transferred to your computer via the internet
Both are relevant. Your point is the strongest point against allowing an unlimited upload size, since we might end up with 30 mb avatars, which we really don't want, because it'll make uploading the forum for everyone horribly slow.
Actually, it's the video threads that are horribly slow to load. They take a loooong time, so that's why I don't post anything there even though there are lots of videos I'd love to share.
 

Aiken_Drumn

Emperor
Joined
Oct 16, 2021
Messages
1,634
Location
NES/FG/SF Activity:Arguing the toss
That might actually be true in many cases.
I've just picked Arakhor's avatar (which is among the bigger ones), sized it down to 25%, and on first glance there doesn't seem to be any differences in the display. But I guess there could be cases where it does make some difference. (not that this will make at the very end a big difference either, but if you'd want to go down that road, we might end up banning all avatars, so let's maybe not do that :lol:).

You rocking 3kb really ain't going to feel the pinch! ;)
 
Top Bottom