big gregPremium,MVM,Ex-Mod 2005-6
reply to Sarah
Re: Larger Avatars There are several asthetic reasons why Justin would want to support old 40x50 or 50x50 avatars.
If you look at this page »/who?cat=Moderators you can see that there is a variety of 40x40 and 40x50 avatars, and they look just fine when shown in a stacked layout.
I don't think there is any technical reason why they can't be 40x50 or 50x50. The file size is already restricted, so the size of the displayed avatar doesn't make any difference in storage space or bandwidth used.
Right now the code that renders the poster's information only includes width=40 for the img tag for the avatar. This lets 40x50 and 40x40 avatars work.
If you use the how I see people feature then width=40 and height=40 is set on the img tag (which is really nice, because it avoids that ugly "Firebird Jig" as images are filled in).
The avatar width and height could be kept in the same database table that holds the member's join date, level, and posting name. This could easily be changed to add the proper width= and height= attributes on the IMG tag for each avatar. This would make the database slightly larger but shouldn't be much of a performance impact.
The people in the »Avatar/Graphics Help have remarked that they will see a flurry of requests for people to resize their 40x50s into 40x40. I think if 50x50 is allowed they will see a flurry of people wanting to resize their 40x50 (or 40x40) into a 50x50, so I'm not sure that argument is all that valid.
However the 50x50 does allow for a much larger canvas, even though it doesn't appear all that larger when displayed on your screen. The 40x40 (1600 px) allows you a lot less real estate than 50x50 (2000 px) or 50x50 (2500 px). The 50x50 size doesn't overwhelm the posts like some sites that use larger (100x100) avatars.
Still the cool avatars I see on this site are really entertaining and tell you a lot more about a person than just their posting name. When I read the messages, I often remember people's avatars even though I forget their name. If the avatars are kept the same size - or even slightly grow to 50x50, I think that there is little negative impact to the site technically but a postitive impact asthetically.
After considering all that, I *sign* to continue to support the historical 40x50 avatars. I also *sign* to support 50x50 avatars.