There was a bug in the avatar code affecting Netscape users. As some of you have probably discovered, your avatar would be improperly scaled if you uploaded it using Netscape. This bug has been fixed (<crossing fingers>).
I have manually fixed the avatars I noticed with improper scaling. If your avatar still isn't displaying with the correct aspect ratio then this can now be fixed by simply reloading.
The maximum size of avatars has been set to 131,072 bytes (217). A couple of you have avatars larger than this, but we'll consider you guys grandfathered.
The code changed quite a bit, so despite the extensive testing (ie, I tried it out a couple times) a couple bugs might have slipped through. Please post any problems, comments, suggestions to this thread.
For anyone who hasn't yet found the avatar page, click on the profile link and scroll to the bottom.
Have you noticed that some pages take a long time to load now, especially those with large-file avatars. Some of them are quite large. I love your latest and have downloaded it, but I can't help notice that it's nearly 100 kilobytes large. Perhaps we could establish a gallery of such delightfully humorous stuff and keep the avatars small? I am tempted to add my own 30 to 50 kb files but have avoided it based on the earlier recommendation of limited size, and what I have seen of the effect it has on loading times. Any thoughts on this?
I was concerned about both loading time, and total server storage considerations, when someone first proposed having avatars. I run on a dial-up service, over a less than wonderful phone line. I get, at best, a 26,000 bps rate.
I threw the Bubba/Dubya up pretty fast after scanning it. I had noticed that it was less than 100k, so I thought, OK.
With jpeg's, it's somewhat of an art form, getting a balance between quality and small file size. The first version ran 89k. It was scanned and posted at a resolution of 300 per inch, at a fairly high jpeg quality factor. I tried resampling it to 150 per inch, keeping the same jpeg quality factor - it came out too bad.
Ultimately, I kept the resolution at 300 per inch, and cut the jpeg quality factor back as much as possible. The result is the current 34k version. The quality is pretty close to the original.
The Bubba/Dubya's quantity text placed a greater legibility consideration on it. Had it had no text, I probibly could have cut back the file size evern more.
A side note to crashfrog. Your avatar is just fine - Maybe one of the best. The other night I downloaded it, and played with changing the "Road Frog" to "Crash Frog" (might have been at it about 1/2 to 1 hour). I got to having a pretty good result, and was in the process of trying to some how reduce the text width (one more letter, you know), when Coral Paint crashed on me. Doh, I hadn't done a save.
Note by edit: Went back to "WWWD?" avatar, 12:30 pm, 8/26/03
[This message has been edited by minnemooseus, 08-26-2003]
This is possible, but I'd like to implement it once, rather than implement then receive enhancement requests. Would appreciate it if everyone could reply with what they'd like to see. The bare bones approach would be a page allowing uploads of graphics along with a title. The graphics would then be displayed in the order of submission with the sumbiters member ID, the title, date of submission, etc, with only so many (how many?) per page.
But a page with a lot of graphic images could be slow to load, so what you really want is thumbs with the full picture only displayed after clicking on the thumb of interest. But creating thumbs is not easy, and in fact is close to impossible with gif files since Unisys is enforcing a patent they hold which requires a license fee if you want to manipulate gif files. The license fee is probably small, but because of this the availability of perl libraries supporting gif is limited. In other words, the potential for significant work is present.
Members should let me know what they'd like to see by replying to this message.
About thumbnails: I don't know what you are dealing with there. It is easy from where I sit. Microsoft Front Page creates thumbnails with a simple click of the mouse. Do you have that option? Doesn't cost much, considering the benefits.
What I'd like to see: Wherever possible, I'd like to see things which are not widely publicized in the popular press, and which illustrate things that are difficult or text consuming to describe in words. My colorized version of the Frontispiece of Martin Luthers 1536 AD German Bible is worth a thousand words when discussing classical creationism. This art was Luther's response to the Copernican Heresy and clearly illustrates the Christian understanding of Genesis cosmology at that time (especially: geocentrism; the firmament; and the waters above the heavens.)
What I would not like to see: A hodge podge collection of silly, irrelevant, fuzzy, space eating images which have no bearing on our debate.