gravatarded

OK, so whose fabulous idea was it to deploy identicons without bothering to tell anyone about them? At least they now appear to have switched them off by default. I have switched them on, though the option I am missing is the ability to upload our own fallback image. I can’t see why that wouldn’t be possible, though I can see the potential for abuse.

Question: if your settings enable X-rated gravatars, do you get marked as mature?

Also, blogging about gravatar gives me a chance to point and laugh at Matt pretending not to know that a .png is an image file, and, when informed that it is, trying ‘it looks bad in IE6’. Dude, everything looks bad in IE6. It is IE6. That is what it does. Perhaps if you occasionally tested new wordpress.com stuff in IE6 it would be less unconvincing that you suddenly care so very much about the avatar viewing experience of its unfortunate users. But you don’t. So it is.

What the gravatar users need to understand is that Automattic didn’t buy Gravatar because they are lovely charitable people with superduper servers who cruise around looking for services to rescue from their bandwidth woes. They bought it in order to extend the native wordpress.com system. So in the transition existing users are going to lose some features they liked, as well as gaining some they might enjoy and others they will find profoundly useless. WordPress.com doesn’t support .png, therefore Gravatar won’t either. Getting screwed over is a standard side-effect of being bought by a larger company. Ask any livejournaller.

6 Comments »

  1. PNGs are used, like, everywhere on WordPress.com: in the big blue navbar, and the WordPress.com main site’s big blue header, and the Automattic logo…

    Hmm, blog.gravatar.com seems to be reloading itself quite crazily, every second, bvefore the page manages to load at all. I guess that’s not supposed to happen.

  2. I was referring specifically to the wordpress.com avatar system, which converts all uploaded images to .jpg. It was just quicker to say ‘wordpress.com’ rather than typing out ‘the wordpress.com avatar system’. (Except that I have now had to type a three-sentence comment clarifying that, so it wasn’t actually quicker at all. Meh.)

  3. I know you were referring the the .com avatar system. Perhaps that comment would have made more sense had I put everywhere else on… I was getting at the peculiarity of PNG being fine and dandy for other uses, so clearly not something that should never be used due to the way IE6 vomits over them. (And I guess one is more likely to care about the aesthetics of a logo than someone’s avatar.)

  4. They do use .gif when transparency is required, though:

    (aesthetics clearly not a consideration when picking that Windows 95 shade of puke, but I digress).

    You’d have to ask Matt how his stance on transparent .pngs is compatible with his oft-stated aims of abiding by web standards and killing IE6 dead. I mean, if you were serious about killing off IE6 you’d try and break it as often as you could.😉

  5. options said

    he-he, I always say that online means apply an additional filter on already difficult interpersonal communications. it looks this holds true even for a first-language persons😉

    for the reference on Browse Beatitude:

    WP has never been driven by committee, or voting, and I personally think that approach tends to create bland, soulless software. #

    just look into the source of that ‘software with a soul’ — the real ‘Big Ball of Mud‘ made from a pure ‘Spaghetty Code’.

  6. Hmm, blog.gravatar.com seems to be reloading itself quite crazily, every second, bvefore the page manages to load at all. I guess that’s not supposed to happen.

    I had that issue too. Clear out all gravatar.com cookies and it should be fixed. Or just visit the Gravatar administration panel and that also seemed to fix it.

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