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image signatures

Spotted any errors or found anything that doesn't work?

image signatures

Postby Wakannai » Fri 07.11.2008 2:46 am

Have image signatures been disabled? I tried to create one and it said [IMG] is not allowed.
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Re: image signatures

Postby chikara » Fri 07.11.2008 2:54 am

I hope so :wink: :P

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Re: image signatures

Postby Wakannai » Fri 07.11.2008 5:00 am

Boo, I have a cool new sig pic I wanna use.

Image
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Re: image signatures

Postby two_heads_talking » Fri 07.11.2008 9:02 am

There's a reason we have it off. That reason is because most people use stupid images and most of those images are animated. It slows the website down immensely.
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Re: image signatures

Postby fielle » Fri 07.11.2008 9:58 am

Image signatures are a scourge upon the earth. Signatures in general are a little irritating--I already know who made any post, and I can look at their user info for any . . . user info.
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Re: image signatures

Postby becki_kanou » Fri 07.11.2008 10:08 am

I agree. Image signatures are annyoing. I want to read what people have to say about a topic, not be subjected to their favorite anime character every time I read something they wrote.
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Re: image signatures

Postby Yudan Taiteki » Fri 07.11.2008 12:15 pm

I think image signatures are OK, as long as they're not animated. Animated avatars and animated images in sigs are horrible, but aside from that I don't have too much of a problem with them.
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Re: image signatures

Postby phreadom » Fri 07.11.2008 1:20 pm

I'm in the camp that hates them.

I hate having a page littered with utterly irrelevant images with only a few tiny little actual posts hidden amongst them.

I sincerely hope I never see image signatures on this forum, and I can say that if I do, I'll be raising a stink about it.
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Re: image signatures

Postby Feba » Fri 07.11.2008 4:39 pm

Image signatures are fine, if the forum already has fairly large user info. On another site I frequent, there's room for a fairly substantial image signature without seeming wasteful, because the user box is already so large (for example, the avatar size is set to a maximum of 150px, and takes up about 3/5ths of the total size for most people's information)

I think they'd look pretty bad here, but I also think that having the user info on the right hand side looks pretty bad.

The issue isn't a matter of size, though. If one is too large (either in terms of file size, as animations usually are, or in terms of pixel size), then a moderator can simply say "Hey, fix that.". Also, the ability to turn OFF signatures and/or images from other users. I know someone from the before mentioned forum that absolutely despises the majority of signatures, so he just turns them off. Seems like the far better option, to me, to allow people to have their little signs of individuality and simply keep it in check and give others the option to say "No, I think it looks like crap." or "No, I have dial up" or such.
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Re: image signatures

Postby phreadom » Fri 07.11.2008 11:00 pm

That's what the Avatar is for. (Just look at Wakkanai's avatar, which is probably my favorite on the entire website.)

This forum isn't (primarily) for self expression, it's for learning Japanese. If you want to express yourself, learn how to do so in type. :)

Locally hosted image signatures require a considerable amount of bandwidth and connections etc. Those are finite resources that are paid for out of Clay's pocket, and this server is already under strain from the existing traffic. This has required such extra steps as me having to personally go through and optimize the page layouts to remove additional (unnecessary) graphic loads, ensure proper absolute file paths so that files would be loaded from cache after initial load, and to use an aggregate cache loading module to cut the 18 CSS includes (blame Drupal) down to 1 or a few etc. All these things had to be done just to keep the site responsive without breaking the pocketbook.

I can say without hesitation that enabling such a feature would either require a substantial increase in cost to Clay, or basically cripple the website's responsiveness.

Of course you could say "but you could allow images hosted on other servers" etc... which still leads to slower page loads, more clutter, added work for the admins to monitor the signatures, added work for the site maintainers to ensure options for controlling image sig behavior etc.... (forcing members to have to disable sigs in the first place, or deal with content shifting as they're waiting for it to load and trying to read the content... you know, the stuff they're actually here for...)

And of course this isn't my forum, so I obviously don't have final say... but in my opinion I think it's a bad idea for numerous reasons, and the cons far outweigh the pros... and the only "pro" I see, self expression through cutesy pictures, being of questionable "value" here to begin with, given the existing ability to use custom image avatars and personalized textual signatures etc. (not to mention the gallery, blogs, groups etc.)
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Re: image signatures

Postby Wakannai » Sat 07.12.2008 12:04 am

Ok, I don't see how the locally hosted signatures argument even came up since the IMG tag is obviously for pointing to off-site images.

My main issue is that the site used to have signatures, so I expected my signature to work, and therefore was disappointed when it did not. It's not an issue worth raising a stink over. I'm sure drupal would allow a script to control the size of any images stuck in the sig box. It should also be possible to limit the size of the sig box itself by a pixel amount, so even if someone uses too large an image, it will get cropped. That's what happened on the Sony forums.

As for avatars. I don't see them as just a matter of self expression. When I click on a thread, it's a lot easier and faster to scroll down until the eyes see a familiar picture, than it is to actually read the header for each post, scrolling down and reading the last posted time. If I want to see any replies to my posts, I scroll down until the last instance of my avatar, then read from there. It's actually very annoying when I have to look around for a post by someone that doesn't use an avatar.
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Re: image signatures

Postby phreadom » Sat 07.12.2008 1:19 am

Fair point on the IMG tag... I missed that.

That aside, I think it's pretty silly to assume, as your argument implies, that a user who doesn't use an avatar is however going to use an img sig, thus allowing you to easily find their posts, which you couldn't do otherwise because they didn't have an avatar image.

Like I said, I personally think they are a ridiculous nuisance and eyesore. If someone else wants to go to the trouble of dealing with them and the headaches that come with them... be my guest. Personally I think they're juvenile vanity with no valuable purpose not better served by the avatar on a board for intelligent adults (and young people) trying to learn a difficult foreign language. I would expect them on a porn board, or the somethingawful forums, or some other site frequented by people who enjoy toilet humor and video games at best etc.

I think it says something when you require more little pictures to feel satisfied in asserting your identity rather than simply making your personal identity statement in your avatar and using actual words to convey a personal statement in your signature, much less simply letting your actual post content stand on its own merit. The avatar more than adequately allows me to visually glance down the page and find a post by a particular author while not making the page itself lengthier and more cluttered with stuff I could care less about. (This very point came up earlier tonight in a discussion in the TJP Lounge about the right side user information in the forums and whether or not it should be on the left etc.)

Obviously opinions differ on this subject and because it's not my forum, I don't have the final say or I'd settle this once and for all and be done with it. Frankly I wouldn't be surprised if we do see image signatures on here at some point... but it won't be my doing (unless asked to enable it by Clay himself, against my advice to the contrary).
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Re: image signatures

Postby Wakannai » Sat 07.12.2008 2:02 am

phreadom wrote:Fair point on the IMG tag... I missed that.

That aside, I think it's pretty silly to assume, as your argument implies, that a user who doesn't use an avatar is however going to use an img sig, thus allowing you to easily find their posts, which you couldn't do otherwise because they didn't have an avatar image.


Sorry, I don't see how I inferred anything like that. I just said that we could do it before, so why can't we now. You gave an answer that explained your point of view.

I think it says something when you require more little pictures to feel satisfied in asserting your identity rather than simply making your personal identity statement in your avatar and using actual words to convey a personal statement in your signature, much less simply letting your actual post content stand on its own merit.


A picture is worth a thousand words.
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Re: image signatures

Postby phreadom » Sat 07.12.2008 2:57 am

*sigh* Again I misread and missed a point. My apologies.

But the point in essence still stands. You can use the avatars for finding your place, and the odds are highly against someone who doesn't bother with even an avatar going ahead and making a signature image.

You have a Gallery, a Blog, the option of creating your own Group even. If you really feel the need to express yourself, go do it in one of the places it is appropriate. The forum is for the discussion and learning of the Japanese Language and its associated topics as listed on the forum index... not for creating pages cluttered with personalized images that distract the users from the actual discussions they're trying to read. (Unless you're in the Off-Topic area of course.)

If you need to post an image that is directly related to the conversation, you can do so. You can have your "image worth a thousand words" or what have you, when the need is actually there.

No need for image signatures.

(And I must reiterate... this is my personal opinion. You may very well see image signatures again, but it won't be due to my recommendation. Quite the contrary.)
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Re: image signatures

Postby Feba » Sat 07.12.2008 7:09 am

phreadom wrote:That's what the Avatar is for. (Just look at Wakkanai's avatar, which is probably my favorite on the entire website.)

This forum isn't (primarily) for self expression, it's for learning Japanese.


An avatar does not give the space or dimensions that image sigs can (for example, narrow and wide, such as userbars)

While yes, this forum is mainly for learning, it is also a community. And those who do not like images could simply disable them.

As has already been pointed out, bandwidth is a non-argument-- it wouldn't be taking any bandwidth from the site, and people could be given the option to disable signatures and/or images. If anything, image sigs would be superior to avatars in that regard. The only really valid point is that it would take added effort for admins to police them, but the site already has a 'report' system. The main use of time would be to send a PM saying "Hey, you're breaking the rules; stop it.", and it's not like that doesn't already happen. Once people get used to it, it would be a very minimal problem; the (other, now, I suppose :) ) forum I frequent has to deal with people breaking the signature rules only once every few months, and it seems to be around the same size.


If you really feel that images are immature, or that they're just cluttering up the page, why would the inclusion of them be so horrible even if you are given the option to disable them? Heck, Clay could even put a notice at the top of the page for the first few weeks saying "Hey, I turned on [IMG]s in signatures. If you don't like it, go here to turn them off". Or you could use something like adblock to block them on an individual level.
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