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Why does xenforo forum software not allow animated avatars?

Jake Bunce

XenForo moderator
Staff member
#2
See Mike's post here:

http://xenforo.com/community/threads/thanks-for-making-the-avatar-changes.8782/page-2#post-121944

The animated avatar discussion here is sort of moot. I believe I mentioned this when it came up before, but we don't disallow animated avatars explicitly; they just don't work because GD doesn't support them. In theory, the only way you could get an animated avatar to appear with a post would be for it be 92x92, though the code doesn't support that as is.

Indeed, ImageMagick supports resizing animated GIFs. However, there is actually a borderline denial of service vector there, so I'm not sure if I'd want to allow that anyway.
Basically, the animation doesn't survive the resizing process. There isn't a good way around this.
 

xenDach

Active member
#6
For me, animated avatars can be a very big distraction from the actual content and I'd personally want to avoid them in any forum I may have. Some forum owners may want them though, as part of the "flair" they want to achieve. So I agree, adding animated avatars should be possible in XF too. Maybe a feature for the future, especially if it only requires a few template changes?:)

xenDach
 
#7
I hope so, yesterday I made a refund request and today I thought about it and decided that their is no better option available in the market then to kick start my project with a team of experts who are now running xenforo... I only hope that in the near future they will fix this issue. Animated avatars or not, I don't want to loose a potential new member to not having animated avatar! As a fan of animated avatars I assure you it plays a big role.
 

Nick

Well-known member
#8
I hope so, yesterday I made a refund request and today I thought about it and decided that their is no better option available in the market then to kick start my project with a team of experts who are now running xenforo... I only hope that in the near future they will fix this issue. Animated avatars or not, I don't want to loose a potential new member to not having animated avatar! As a fan of animated avatars I assure you it plays a big role.
If a member only participates in your forum because they get to see their own animated avatar, are they really a member worth going haywire over losing? I don't think any valuable members would truly leave a community just because of an avatar issue. But I'm no expert and I know every community is different, so I don't know.
 

Tomble

Active member
#10
I think it certainly should be included if possible, but it definitely needs to have the option to disable (or enable) it because obviously some people very much value for their animated avatars and I can see how people might feel it is a step back if it isn't supported here. On the otherhand I think the novelty tends to wear off, especially as people tend to use ones which distract from the post.

Having said that what would be quite cool is if they could be enabled and disabled on a per-node basis, so in an area for serious discussion they can be disabled whilst in the casual area they could be enabled.

Personally I don't think it is a massive issue, but a fairly sizable amount of users will no doubt find it so initially.
 

Shamil

Well-known member
#11
Software-wise it is just not feasible. Having animated avatars offers a great distraction and pulls the visitor's attention away from your content. We want to make things easier for your visitors and members, not harder.
 

Garamond

Well-known member
#12
Haven't even tested this, mostly because I took it for granted that it is possible. The list of things that aren't implemented or possible in Xenforo is getting quite long now. In short, I will at least wait until version 2 before converting my largest forum to Xenforo software.

Shamil: you got it all wrong, I'm sorry. Whether or not to allow for animated avatars should be entirely up the each administrator. I don't find it distracting at all, and my members wants it. Enough said.

Xenforo is largely immature for now, I see that now more than before. But I see the potential - I'll get back here later when it grows in function.

/rant
 

Tomble

Active member
#14
Shamil: you got it all wrong, I'm sorry. Whether or not to allow for animated avatars should be entirely up the each administrator. I don't find it distracting at all, and my members wants it. Enough said.
I have to agree, something like that is clearly not a one size fits all situation. I'd argue that it could be as fine tuned as each section of a forum, but at the very least being able to enable or disable it forum wide would be better than nothing.

Personally I wouldn't want to enable it for most of my forum but I may want it in say a casual chat area or the graphics section etc. So I can definitely see why it would be a relatively important feature for some admins.
 

Shelley

Well-known member
#15
Animated avatars and image signatures will never be allowed on my forum. Animated avatars can take up far too much Kb but more importantly they do one job very well and that's "distract". I'm not sorry to see that this hasn't been included into the core and if by chance it ever does there should be an option to disable it (admincp side).
 

lazer

Well-known member
#16
Animated avatars? Noooooooooo!!

It's like putting flashing neon signs at 10 foot intervals by the side of the road, bloody annoying and off putting when you're trying to concentrate on something important.
 

Rudy

Well-known member
#19
Animated anything has always been disallowed on any forum I have ever administered (starting way back in 1997), and very few (out of tens of thousands of members) have ever asked for it anyway, or complained about it. It's the same reason I do not allow images in signatures. My members are in a forum to read content, not be distracted. I've never had anyone leave or fail to join over something as petty as animated GIFs. I would guess the millions of Facebook members don't have a problem with it either. :)

(I will admit, though, a fellow admin and myself had some fun with animated GIFs on our big board one year...we snuck something into each of our avatars that looked static, but very subtly changed one time after a minute or two. ;) )

It's a technical issue as mentioned earlier: animated GIFs consist of a series of frames, and unfortunately these do not survive the resizing process. (XF uses three avatar sizes for each user account.) If someone ever wrote a utility that would resize a GIF properly, then it may be possible. Either that, or the option may be to make only one size of the avatars animated (depending on which view you wanted it in), and have the other two be static. It just seems like a lot of extra bloat for a feature that few would use anyway.
 

Forsaken

Well-known member
#20
Software-wise it is just not feasible. Having animated avatars offers a great distraction and pulls the visitor's attention away from your content. We want to make things easier for your visitors and members, not harder.
'we'? Glad to know you got hired by XenForo :).