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).
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
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
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.
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
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.
Well, I'm just saying that it's a consideration, and not to expect anything that I didn't explicitly promise.
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.
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.