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"Animated avatars, we are in search of opinions", 26th Feb 2018, 6:31 PM #1
Kyo
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So we're reevaluating whether or not to keep animated avatars banned on the forums. Note that this only affects the forums, not the general site, so please only vote in this poll if you actually do read the forums (or the noticeboard).

Here's the poll

We'll be potentially changing the rules based on this poll, although I reserve final judgement if I suddenly remember that they're way more distracting than I thought (or something). In general I will go with the results of the poll, at the very least on a trial basis, though.

There's also a thread this discussion stems from here

I'll be mailing out "I voted" stickers to all participants later this week

e: Let's say the cutoff point for voting is a week from now
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26th Feb 2018, 6:33 PM #2
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i know this is a bit of a loaded question, but how subtly is "subtly"
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26th Feb 2018, 6:35 PM #3
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probably something more conservative than some people would like. I don't really have a way to quantify it in non subjective terms, but really nothing major. Like your avatar blinking or something, or very slow changes. So if you're on the fence, I think you can safely vote allow
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26th Feb 2018, 6:41 PM #4
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If allowing gifs as avatars ever goes through, maybe there should be some very specific guideline outlining what is too much and what is acceptable. When the guideline is vague, people all have different ideas of how much is acceptable. And people love to push boundaries to see how much they can get away with.
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26th Feb 2018, 6:42 PM #5
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yeah I'll probably come up with a maximum fps requirement, if this does come to pass.
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26th Feb 2018, 7:30 PM #6
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I vote YES with the caveat that animation is turned off by default, so technically either way is fine with me.

Scrape out the first frame of any GIF and store that separately as the default avatar during initial upload process.
26th Feb 2018, 8:29 PM #7
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I mean animated avatars could look cool but I can understand if some people dislike them so I don't mind if it turns out to be no.

Would the confused travolta gif be too much though
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26th Feb 2018, 8:45 PM #8
Kyo
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Robotwin.com:I vote YES with the caveat that animation is turned off by default, so technically either way is fine with me.

Scrape out the first frame of any GIF and store that separately as the default avatar during initial upload process.


that sounds like you should have voted no then.
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26th Feb 2018, 8:51 PM #9
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As a political issue, this is one where both sides can get what they want. This doesn't have to be a GOOD vs. BAD moral dilemma.
26th Feb 2018, 8:59 PM #10
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it's also about animation in avatars, though. i think comparing it to a moral dilemma in the first place is making it a little bigger than it really is
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26th Feb 2018, 9:04 PM #11
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well, I'm just saying that you can't add caveats to your vote, unless you'd still vote the same way if they don't end up happening. To give a more technical argument (not that I'm saying it 100% won't happen), I try to avoid doing image processing on the server, because it's comparably heavy on the server, and thus affects how much the server costs each month. Also with something like this, I'd generally prefer to get an idea of peoples preferences, since most people do not change their settings from the defaults or are often not aware of specific settings
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26th Feb 2018, 9:08 PM #12
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In agreement with you, Text, so that's why it's okay to have it both ways.

I guess in terms of environmental ethics, animated avatars are objectively BAD, because they would burn somewhat more electricity to process. Having them turned off by default would mitigate that, and having them as an option would satisfy the other half of the community. (the Animated-Avatar-Friendly Coalition, the AAFC)

If server resources are objectively overloaded by (scraping the first frame from) GIFs, then it's more clearly an absolutely BAD option to have them. In that case, there's no reason to consult the community, so should be a top-down decision.

On the other hand, the first frame of GIFs could be scraped on the client side with JavaScript.
26th Feb 2018, 9:27 PM #13
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maybe only allow really small, barely noticeable things like small flames... doing what flames do
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26th Feb 2018, 9:31 PM #14
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Maybe there's a peer-to-peer way to send animated avatars with JavaScript so it doesn't load the server at all.

Geez, i have a hard time voting correctly. But I enjoy thinking about the technical possibilities.
26th Feb 2018, 9:38 PM #15
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Well, I'm just saying that it's a consideration, and not to expect anything that I didn't explicitly promise.

If I did make an option like that, I'd probably prefer the server-side solution to gif stopping canvas magic (pausing a gif using javascript is surprisingly nontrivial, last I looked into it), since I try to keep the site lean, and doing a bunch of image processing in javascript on each forum page isn't really a great way to do that either. And obviously no matter what I do, all of this is also connected to programming time, which isn't an infinite resource either.

But at it's core I do actually like the idea, I don't mean to sound all doom and gloom, I'm just trying to temper expectations, something like this certainly won't exist a week from now, when the voting is over.
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26th Feb 2018, 9:54 PM #16
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As an aside, the problem with pausing GIF animation in situ is that every entire multiframe GIF gets downloaded regardless of user preference. So that costs server resources and bandwidth for the client too.

If the single frame is scraped just on the upload page, that script won't be running all the time during normal forum usage.
26th Feb 2018, 11:22 PM #17
The Letter M
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Kyo:that sounds like you should have voted no then.


Sounds like somebody wants him to vote no...You decide for yourself robo. Free the gifs!
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26th Feb 2018, 11:31 PM #18
Kyo
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hey, I also encouraged text to sway towards yes earlier. i feel like my various accomplishments, fighting the good fight for the gifs we all deserve, keep going unnoticed, just because I'm against it
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26th Feb 2018, 11:33 PM #19
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Damn. I liked your post before I read the last line.damn your anti animation stance!
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26th Feb 2018, 11:34 PM #20
Kyo
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now look, every good protagonist is just some dude in search of a mission, if not for an antagonist
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Forum > News & Announcements > Animated avatars, we are in search of opinions
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