MInTheGap

Standing in the Gap in a Society that's Warring with God.

Where Did My Avatar Go?

July 25th, 2007 Visited 1619 times, 1 so far today

After a long time running the comvatars plugin which automatically picks your avatar based on a column in the comment table– and has given me a ton of headaches:

  1. Every time someone new comes and comments, they get assigned a random avatar.  Not having many good random avatars available, people have complained because “I’m not a girl”, “It’s ugly”, etc.
  2. It’s a lot of work to chase down someone’s avatar and put it into the system.  I have to crop the image, get it into the database, and then I have received people asking if I’ve asked permission to use their image.
  3. Since I modified Count Comments to only go back 30 days and show images, after 30 days if you didn’t have the image in your content record and you made the top five you had no image.  This is a pain simply because of how often I’ve had to go in the database, find the url to your current icon, and then update the new rows– and I was doing all of this without you even knowing!

So, I’ve launched a new image plugin that works as follows:

  • Every logged in author of a comment will get the image they setup.  The default will be a big question mark that you see on the right.
  • Once you’re logged in, go to “My Profile” and pick an image to upload.  Please keep it smaller than 60×60.
  • Unregistered users will not have an image.
  • I will be modifying Comment Count to lookup your e-mail address in the user table and from there show your image.  You’ll get the question mark if I can’t find you there (motivation to get registered).

The other benefits of registering is that you’ll be able to get e-mails telling you about what’s going on that week on the site, personal insights, ability to contribute guest posts, and now your image.

Don’t worry– if you need help with an image, I’ll still resize and crop it and even upload it for you.  The big question is, should I just register all of you that I’ve already done images for, or should I have you register on your own?

Comments

13 Comments

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  • DLOGAN says on: July 25, 2007 at 3:14 pm

     

    Very neat! Now I’ll have to see if I can find a better picture to use for my icon ;-).

  • Leticia says on: July 25, 2007 at 3:28 pm

     

    I don’t mind not having an avatar. No biggie.

  • Mary says on: July 25, 2007 at 11:34 pm

     

    I’m glad you got rid of the ugly avatars. Nothing is better than having those! I’ll upload a pic soon…and thanks for all the previous picture hustling you’ve had to do. I think it was super of you.

    The big question is, what picture are YOU going to upload? I think you should have a MInTheGap contest: Guess what MIn looks like.

    We all get an idea in our head (those of us with overactive imaginations anyway) and it might be funny (if people were honest) to see how people view you. Of course, I’m sure we all see you as the nice intellectual preppie guy that you are.

    Right?

    🙂

  • DLOGAN says on: July 26, 2007 at 8:20 am

     

    Mary,
    Some of us would have an unfair advantage, Meg and I (and the kids) having actually made a trip to meet MinTheGap and his family at Friendly’s. I have to say, I do not really know what I expected… but he looked different than I imagined. Its neat to now have a face to go along with the posts though ;-).

    Doug Logan

  • MInTheGap says on: July 26, 2007 at 8:21 am

     

    However, Mary, for whatever reason it appears that you’re not logged in (I keep seeing a different e-mail address than your logged in one). So you’re not getting your image, even after I reset your e-mail address. What you need to do it is to click the link above this comment box, and then login with the links on the left hand column (there should be a new box there you can use, or you can use the links in the meta section).

    Then try commenting and see if you get your image. I’ll look in the database and see if I can figure out what it means to be logged in when you comment…

  • Mary says on: July 26, 2007 at 11:15 am

     

    It’s very strange, because I have been checking the links, by clicking the (Change) link to the right of my name…but all the info in them has been correct. I will try this one with my MInTheGap address, and see if that’s the trouble. Here I thought all along I’d been using my normal one…

  • MInTheGap says on: July 26, 2007 at 11:55 am

     

    Well, now your e-mail address is correct, but you still do not appear to be logged in. Did you log in using the “Login” link over on left side? You can also click the link I just provided in this comment and it should ask you to log in.

    How can you tell if you’re truly logged in?

    1. Do you see ads on the top or left? – You’re not logged in
    2. Does the text above this box say “Logged in as XXX. Logout >”? – You are logged in
    3. Does the text above this box say “Welcome back, Mary. (Not Mary?) — You’re not logged in.
    4. And now– if you comment and don’t see your image you’re not logged in.

    This was something I hadn’t run into before. I may to see what I can do about changing this new plugin to look at e-mail address rather than user_id in the comment table, but for now this is how it works. 🙁

  • Revka says on: July 30, 2007 at 11:07 am

     

    Wow! That sounds like a lot of work! I think you’re very kind to have done all this for us. 🙂 I’m fine with either way – photo or none.

  • MInTheGap says on: July 30, 2007 at 1:21 pm

     

    It was– and it was taking away from my time of being actually able to write.

    I really like having the avatars because it gives people the ability to link a face to a comment– but I didn’t like the random ones.

    I will be making a mod so that if you’re registered, as long as you have the right e-mail address your picture works with the comments whether you a logged in or not– when I get some time! Right now, if you’re not logged in, you don’t get a picture.

  • Mary says on: August 1, 2007 at 12:04 am

     

    Hey, MIn, I’ve tried logging in but it won’t accept my wordpress password. Keeps saying it’s incorrect. I even had it email me a new password and it wouldn’t accept the new one. Now it accepted it at the Weekend Kindness site, weird. Do I need a unique wordpress password for both sites?

    I’ll try again another day!

  • MInTheGap says on: August 1, 2007 at 8:13 am

     

    Yes, unfortunately self-hosted blogs like this one, WK, and yours all have unique user names and passwords unless you set them all to be the same.

  • DLOGAN says on: August 1, 2007 at 8:25 am

     

    It would be interesting to set them up to have shared users. I wonder if it would be as simple as modifying one function (whatever calls and authenticates the user tables) or if it would be more complicated than that…

  • MInTheGap says on: August 1, 2007 at 9:22 am

     

    Interesting theory. I’m sure that WordPress MU has shared users. In this case, I wonder how complicated it would be. I know that WP has a special pointer to the users table, and that would have to actually authenticate somewhere else.

    The question then becomes, is it easier to just synch them daily somehow? Write a plugin that goes to the different sites and pull out their user data– however, then you have to wonder how you’d actually get the password.

    And then you have the issues of “should a contributor on blog X be one on blog y” so roles would have to be separate.

    And if that we’re enough– since each blog already has users, you’d either have to take the identity field off of the user ID so that you could get them in synch, or recreate the users.

    Whatever way you try to skin this there’d be work involved. And even then I don’t know if it would be worth it compared to doing MU.

MInTheGap

Standing in the Gap in a Society that's Warring with God.

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