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Have something to say about forums.debian.net itself?

Postby Fluenza » 2007-03-25 05:46

mdevour wrote:Freedom of the press belongs to those who own the presses! That may not be all warm and fuzzy, but it is reality.


Poor analogy. Comparing these forums to a newspaper or magazine is akin to comparing its users to the writers and editors. A valid comparison, but one that makes the users "owners" of the presses. :wink: In other words, if there were no users, there would be no content, if there were no content, there would be no forum.

mdevour wrote:A forum like this is the private property of whoever is paying the bills. Unless they say otherwise in their Terms of Service, every one of us is a guest here and participation is a privelege that can be withdrawn at any time for any reason.


That is correct. This forum actually belongs to someone. That someone reserves the right to conduct his/her private endeavour in whichever manner he/she pleases. There is no requirement that these forums must exist. They are not mandated by law or required as part of any moral or ethical obligation. They exist as an offering, a gift, if you will, to the Debian community. The Debian community is under no obligation to use these particular forums and are free to come and go as they please.

Having said that, there must be recognition of the fact that it is the users who make the forums what they are. Merely owning a town does not make it a community. It is in this respect that the users do have the right to voice their opinions about how the forums are operated and to bring valid objections to terms or policies that interrupt the ebb or flow of the community. Grifter is within his right, as a valued contributing member, to voice his objection to a change in policy.

mdevour wrote:Not everyone understands this, obviously. :roll:


People understand the concept of ownership. People also understand the concept of value. While the admins may own the forum, it is the users that give the forum its value. In the big picture, it is the users that are paramount for a forum such as this to succeed.

mdevour wrote:I'd support an increase to maybe 20 or 30k filesize. That ought to give most people enough pallette depth to do whatever they want in 80 x 80 pixels... but you can see how important avatars are to me! :lol:


That would seem a palettable compromise. I would support this as well, even though I personally choose not to use an avatar at all.
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Postby Jeroen » 2007-03-25 09:37

I don't understand why 10kB is not enough for 80x80 sized images. If I save a 80x80 photo image using jpeg in the default compression quality of 80 (that is, pretty high quality, on a scale of 0 to 100 where 100 is best quality), I get at 9738 bytes. jpeg is a perfect match for photo-like images. If you have linedrawing or something, .png would be better, and I couldn't get it to get images of more than 10.000 bytes except when using very diversely-coloured photographic images.

So, my honest question is, please provide an example where 10kB would *not* be enough, and that it is not trivially fixable? Consider that there are up to 15 posts per page, with 10kB, that can already be up to 150kB per page, for just the avatars.
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Postby Dargor » 2007-03-25 10:08

Jeroen wrote:... users with low-bandwidth internet.

This doesn't effect a users ability to read the forum, the text loads first, then any images.
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Postby Pobega » 2007-03-25 12:08

Jeroen wrote:So, my honest question is, please provide an example where 10kB would *not* be enough, and that it is not trivially fixable? Consider that there are up to 15 posts per page, with 10kB, that can already be up to 150kB per page, for just the avatars.


Well, the main thing that would go above 10kB would be moving gifs. And I know those are a pretty popular forum avatar format.

I'm not trying to argue here Jeroen, I'm just trying to make a statement. I just think that 10kB is too small of a limit. If the moderator team doesn't want to raise the limit then there is no reason to, but like I said, in my opinion (And in the opinion of a fraction of the forum goers) the 10kB limit is too small.
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Postby Jeroen » 2007-03-25 12:11

Pobega wrote:Well, the main thing that would go above 10kB would be moving gifs. And I know those are a pretty popular forum avatar format.


Ah, I didn't consider that. Well, I'll reluctantly throw it in the moderator group then.
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Postby AgenT » 2007-03-25 13:52

Animated gif avatars are not allowed on a lot of forums due to the fact that a lot of users tend to abuse them. Not to mention their function is to distract people. Avatars can sometimes be nice because they are an easier way to identify posters as in the example of quickly scrolling by and noticing your own avatar, which is easier than noticing your own nickname.

Now for the big question: is there a way to disable avatars on a per-user basis? I do not like them myself and disabling images is not an option because that would disable all images, including buttons, on the forum. And please don't expect anyone to install special software just to do it.

Jeroen,
In case you are in doubt, there are users behind your stance on avatars and especially users who are very grateful for your service to this forum and the Debian community as a whole. Don't take one immature fellow who cannot control his anger and thinks that cursing people that do way more for the community is somehow acceptable.
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Postby mdevour » 2007-03-25 15:08

Fluenza wrote:Poor analogy. Comparing these forums to a newspaper or magazine is akin to comparing its users to the writers and editors. A valid comparison, but one that makes the users "owners" of the presses. :wink: In other words, if there were no users, there would be no content, if there were no content, there would be no forum.


Granted. But, then, the newspaper gets to pick who's published, don't they?

That is correct. This forum actually belongs to someone. That someone reserves the right to conduct his/her private endeavour in whichever manner he/she pleases. ...
Having said that, there must be recognition of the fact that it is the users who make the forums what they are. Merely owning a town does not make it a community.


And that's a good analogy!

Grifter is within his right, as a valued contributing member, to voice his objection to a change in policy.


Of course, but as a guest he has no right to behave rudely or to make demands.

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Postby Fluenza » 2007-03-25 17:03

mdevour wrote:
Grifter is within his right, as a valued contributing member, to voice his objection to a change in policy.


Of course, but as a guest he has no right to behave rudely or to make demands.

Mike D.


I agree. Grifter was within his right to object to a change in policy. However, the manner in which Grifter chose to air his grievance was somewhat uncalled for.
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Postby Pobega » 2007-03-25 17:08

AgenT wrote:Jeroen,
In case you are in doubt, there are users behind your stance on avatars and especially users who are very grateful for your service to this forum and the Debian community as a whole. Don't take one immature fellow who cannot control his anger and thinks that cursing people that do way more for the community is somehow acceptable.


I just want to note that although I side with Grifter I don't agree with the way he went about discussing it, and I am very grateful for the admins who run this server. I just thought I'd throw my two cents into the discussion :roll:
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Postby Optional » 2007-03-26 02:53

You could just prevent animated gifs from being used and have normal width/height limitations. (well, maybe not in phpBB, because it SUCKS)

Oh well.

edit: lol, phpBB is too stupid to differentiate between an edit and a post... "you cannot post so soon after your last post", etc.
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Postby Fluenza » 2007-03-26 16:17

Optional wrote:You could just prevent animated gifs from being used and have normal width/height limitations. (well, maybe not in phpBB, because it SUCKS)


But no one wants to ban animated avatars. Heck, even one of the admins uses an animated avatar.

Optional wrote:Oh well.


That's pretty much my take on the whole thing. I don't use an avatar, so I am really not affected by the outcome.
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Postby Lavene » 2007-03-26 17:49

Fluenza wrote: Heck, even one of the admins uses an animated avatar.

Who? Where? We can't have that... :P

I think the point is that it's impossible to make everyone happy. Some likes animated avatars (yes, me included) some hate it. Some wants big avatars, some don't want avatars at all...

So there are bound to be some compromises. But we *are* trying to find solutions that most people can live with. To some it will be ideal, to some it will not. But that's also a part of being a community.

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Postby AgenT » 2007-03-27 02:35

Quick way to disable avatars in Konqueror:
Settings -> Configure Konqueror -> Adblock Filters. Check "Enable Filters".

Type in:
Code: Select all
debian.net/*avatar*
and hit "Insert". Then click "Apply". This will put an annoying placeholder. To make the placeholder dissapear, check the option "Hide Filtered Images".

To block the Debian Forum logo, type:
Code: Select all
debian.net/*logo*gif
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Postby Lavene » 2007-03-27 05:02

If you use Firefox/ IceWasel with adblock you can add this rule to never see an avatar agin on these forums:
Code: Select all
http://forums.debian.net/images/avatars/*


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Postby Fluenza » 2007-03-27 17:47

Lavene wrote:If you use Firefox/ IceWasel with adblock you can add this rule to never see an avatar agin on these forums:
Code: Select all
http://forums.debian.net/images/avatars/*


Tina


This sort of works against the argument for limiting avatar size. If there are other options available for dealing with avatars -- options that do not include an infringement on expression -- then there is no justifiable reason for placing restrictions on avatar size and dimensions.

The way I see it, restricting avatars to such small dimensions and file sizes makes almost no one happy. The people that don't use avatars aren't affected by the policy, so they don't really care one way or the other. The people that use avatars within the range specified, are either doing so begrudgingly, or their avatars were already within the adopted range. The people that were affected by the change in avatar policy have made their objections known.

What I haven't seen throughout the course of this discussion, is somebody thanking the admins for adopting the new avatar policy. So I'm wondering exactly who it was that was pleased by this new policy? Lavene is correct in her understanding that it is impossible to please everyone. The question remains however, did you please anyone with the new avatar policy?

It sort of reminds me of a local company that received a lot of criticism from a large segment of the local population. They responded to the criticism with the argument that it was not possible to please everyone. And they took an extreme approach to silencing their critics. (Read: they broke the law)

Anyway, the point is that this particular company didn't really please anyone. Ordinarily, such a company would have no choice but to go out of business. I mean, you have to please your customers if you want to have customers, right? But this business was the only game in town. So they reasoned that they didn't have to please anyone.
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