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Author Topic: No more signature images  (Read 11935 times)
JonHind
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November 08, 2011, 03:37:11 AM
 #41

I also think this is harsh. Personally, I despise graphical sigs - but I just ignore them and scroll down. Why not just have a rule that the graphics cannot be greater than a certain dimension, and put in an 'annoying' clause in there to keep out epileptic inducing flashing eyesores.

Can signature rights be revoked on a user basis? If so, that could be the punishment for repeat offenders.
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theymos
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November 08, 2011, 05:46:39 AM
 #42

I'm not going to re-enable signature images again when it is planned to remove all embedded images in the future. There was only one complaint about that in the thread about forum software specifications. Why weren't you guys complaining when I posted that?

The advertising thing didn't even cross my mind as part of this decision. I don't receive any money from the forum, so I don't care that much about ad profitability...

I honestly must have forgot about this, I didn't know there was constraints already.  I kept seeing that intersango site's large header and thought that would be too large, but no one said anything.

I removed that image from gejix's signature when he had it there. He sometimes adds it to intersango-related posts, but it contains some semi-relevant text, so I usually don't want to remove it.

from business perspective sig buttons and banners are more valuable than avatars as long as there are some rules outlined.
i personally like idea where everyone can put small buttons for free and paying top advertisers allowed to put in their sigs wider banners

Not to mention, the sig bars add tremendous ability for businesses in the bitcoin world to get some awareness. Personally, I really like finding out about new businesses and sites in the sig bar graphics. They help seed new ventures, and cross-pollinate ideas. Again, some are annoying or useless, but that's part of the package. 

Ideas can be spread without annoying anyone by using text links in signatures. Or you can start a new topic about your idea.

Maybe viewing signatures as ad space explains many of the low-quality posts: people just want to put their signature "advertisements" on as many pages as possible.

I'd just like to see a vote on it, rather than theymos deciding that his personal preferences are what is best for everyone.

My goal is to make the best Bitcoin forum possible, not to appeal to current users. I will of course consider all arguments against the policy.

These are not arguments of any kind...
I'm signing this.
one more vote.
My thoughts EXACTLY cablepair!
I didn't have the balls to suggest it - but since you brought it up...
another vote, with highlighting.

Quote from: Serge
people who don't like images can disable them in their forum profiles.

SMF doesn't support this. If it did, I would definitely allow the option of showing signature images.

Per user turning on/off images in signatures can be pretty easy, however needs some custom development. When somebody put image to his signature, some special html class should be given to HTML representation of this image. Then anybody can check on/off "Show images in signature" in his account settings, which will modify CSS style 'display' for this html class (that piece of css style can be placed inline to page source)...

Then you'd still download the full image, which would waste bandwidth and still make users vulnerable to cookie stuffing attacks. The image would need to be completely removed or turned into a simple link.

Oh really?

.signature
{
max-width: 468px;
max-height: 60px;
}

Like I said, I'm sure it is possible to limit sizes technologically. That still leaves other problems.

Also, the next forum software will disable all image embedding?  Whoa, talk about a step backwards!  I guess some people really DO still want to be stuck in the 90's.

The signature graphics are a fundamental part of the community. They allow a means of visual expression in what is otherwise a dull text world. Some bars are ugly, some are cool, some are informative, some are annoying. Whatever... they are expression, and the forum is made better for it. 

Net-net, sig bar images make the forum better. Removing them is a very bad idea and damages what some of us here enjoy as a very strong and dynamic community.

And DEFINITELY do not ban embedded images within posts. That would be signing the death warrant of this forum. Who the hell wants to frequent a text-only forum that bans all forms of imagery? Last time I checked, this was not the Soviet Union.

The purpose of this forum is to provide a place where ideas can be expressed and consumed with as much freedom as possible. I have determined that the best way of facilitating this goal is to disallow embedded images.

Signature images are never useful in exchanging ideas. They never contribute anything to the discussion at hand. Maybe they help you understand the poster better, but understanding posters is not the point of most threads. Signature images are off-topic in almost every thread they appear in.

This is often also true of embedded images in general. I would estimate that half of all images posted recently are totally off-topic, and perhaps only a tenth contribute significantly to the discussion. Many images are somewhat on-topic and useful, but they take up more space than they're worth.

Text can also be off-topic (both in signatures and out), but text takes up much less space, and it's less distracting.

There are also security problems: Images can be used to execute cookie stuffing and cross-site request forgery attacks; they use a lot of bandwidth; and they prevent bitcointalk.org's HTTPS from appearing totally "kosher" to browsers. These issues could be solved by hosting all images at bitcointalk.org, but this isn't worth the trouble.

Yes, users can block images in their browsers. But it seems to me most correct to assume that users don't want something possibly unwanted than to assume they do want it. Posts are categorized so that readers have a choice in what they read. I want images to be placed, along with all other non-textual data, into a category that requires an extra choice on the part of readers.

Most of my favorite forum-like things -- NNTP, BBSes, Kareha-style text boards, Reddit, Metafilter etc. --  do not traditionally allow embedded images, and they do just fine.

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November 08, 2011, 06:18:16 AM
 #43

fair enough
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November 08, 2011, 06:24:22 AM
 #44


Are images really that annoying? I don't really have a problem with them. I guess I have a good internet connection so they don't slow down page load really. Other people may not be so lucky.

They're annoying as fuck when they take up most of the real estate in a post.  Even more so if someone is making a lot of low content posts in a thread.  I'm also in favour of a maximum number of lines for text signatures for the same reason.

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November 08, 2011, 06:41:01 AM
 #45

Hehe, if you say so, Theymos.  Good luck with that.
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November 08, 2011, 07:26:52 AM
 #46

No images?  Why not add in the ability to turn on/off signature images along with the other laundry list of features for your new forum software?

My signature was awesome just for the people freaking that the forums were still compromised when they saw my posts. 

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November 08, 2011, 07:32:04 AM
 #47

No images?  Why not add in the ability to turn on/off signature images along with the other laundry list of features for your new forum software?

It is in the list, under optional features:
Quote
- An option that expands [img] tags into embedded images. This must not be the default.

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November 08, 2011, 08:43:00 AM
 #48

images may be off-topic, but they add colour, warmth and entertainment value that is hard to quantify.

without them, i imagine the forum a bland, boring, wall of text, and i will likely visit much less once i tie up a few loose ends.
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November 08, 2011, 09:45:45 AM
 #49

Thank you,

Hope the animated gif are next.
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November 08, 2011, 09:51:02 AM
 #50

Thank you,

Hope the animated gif are next.

And what about those emoticons? heh

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November 08, 2011, 01:36:46 PM
 #51

I can't believe we're having this discussion.  Why no embedded images?

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November 08, 2011, 01:38:16 PM
 #52

I don't know where to start with this.

Just because you don't like embedded images Theymos, does not mean that you get to speak for everyone on this forum. There are plenty of means by which all of the technical issues with externally hosted images you have mentioned can be addressed. There are ways of banning dynamic images, preventing cookie stuffing and preventing large unsightly images.

The argument about images taking up online 'real estate' is the weakest I have heard - as if it were limited in some way or in short supply.

The purpose of this forum is to provide a place where ideas can be expressed and consumed with as much freedom as possible. I have determined that the best way of facilitating this goal is to disallow embedded images.

YOU have determined. With no consultation with the rest of the users on this forum. So the best way to ensure ideas can be expressed effectively is to unilaterally ban any form of imagery and limit people's means of communication to text only? This is broken logic.

Signature images are never useful in exchanging ideas. They never contribute anything to the discussion at hand. Maybe they help you understand the poster better, but understanding posters is not the point of most threads. Signature images are off-topic in almost every thread they appear in.

You say that they are never useful, but then go on to shoot your own argument in the foot. Sig images can help you get a better idea of who the person behind the text actually is, thus modifying your preconceptions of the poster and his post. The argument about them being off topic is moot. They were never supposed to be on-topic as they are not part of the thread itself. They are signatures.

This is often also true of embedded images in general. I would estimate that half of all images posted recently are totally off-topic, and perhaps only a tenth contribute significantly to the discussion. Many images are somewhat on-topic and useful, but they take up more space than they're worth.

Text can also be off-topic (both in signatures and out), but text takes up much less space, and it's less distracting.

You are making huge assumptions. How can they take up more space than they are worth?
There is no end to the amount of space that a thread can take up.
How can you judge their worth anyway?

And like you said, text can also be off topic. Why not ban all the text aswell?
Oh, because it's smaller and less distracting! I see.
We are not all that easily distracted.

There are also security problems: Images can be used to execute cookie stuffing and cross-site request forgery attacks; they use a lot of bandwidth; and they prevent bitcointalk.org's HTTPS from appearing totally "kosher" to browsers. These issues could be solved by hosting all images at bitcointalk.org, but this isn't worth the trouble.

Yes, hosting the images is not worth the trouble. Definitely don't do that.
But there are many ways you can prevent the linking of dynamic images, and thus prevent cookie stuffing.

They do NOT use up any of this server's bandwidth. Are you kidding me? The request is not sent from this server, it is sent from the users viewing the images - using up the bandwidth the image is hosted on, not bitcointalk's bandwidth.

I never get HTTPs errors. Never. Using safari, firefox or chrome.
Turn down the fidelity of your browser's error reporting if it's a problem for you.

Yes, users can block images in their browsers. But it seems to me most correct to assume that users don't want something possibly unwanted than to assume they do want it. Posts are categorized so that readers have a choice in what they read. I want images to be placed, along with all other non-textual data, into a category that requires an extra choice on the part of readers.

Why not hold a vote on the issue to find out how correct your assumptions are?

I really don't mean any offense to you Theymos, or to any of the Admin or Mod team. I think you do a great job and I know from past experience of being a forum administrator that it is a thankless job. But this is silly, and I think most would agree that this seems like an over-reaction to something that is only a MILD annoyance at best. I think this is a terrible idea for the vitality of this community.

If we want to ensure a platform for free expression, then people should be allowed to express themselves freely and not be restricted by totalitarian bans on imagery. If you are unwilling or incapable of addressing the technical issues, then you should hire someone to do it for you or step down in favor of someone who is capable.

A text-only forum in 2011? I can't believe we are even having this discussion.


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November 08, 2011, 01:52:36 PM
 #53

Granted almost half the time I've posted images it has been to troll or make fun of something, but the other half have been screenshots, charts, and legitimate on-topic images.

These forums don't need to become 4chan just to allow photos, and what kind of an admin can't restrict sizes?

I say we charge for photos and that will shut everyone up.

Want an avatar? Pay a one time fee of 2BTC.
Want a signature? Pay a one time fee of 2BTC.

Disabling features doesn't keep people from anything but productive communication. Try limiting who posts them instead.

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November 08, 2011, 02:13:00 PM
 #54

images may be off-topic, but they add colour, warmth and entertainment value that is hard to quantify.

without them, i imagine the forum a bland, boring, wall of text, and i will likely visit much less once i tie up a few loose ends.


This isn't Kindergarten.


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November 08, 2011, 02:14:28 PM
 #55

Granted almost half the time I've posted images it has been to troll or make fun of something, but the other half have been screenshots, charts, and legitimate on-topic images.

These forums don't need to become 4chan just to allow photos, and what kind of an admin can't restrict sizes?

I say we charge for photos and that will shut everyone up.

Want an avatar? Pay a one time fee of 2BTC.
Want a signature? Pay a one time fee of 2BTC.

Disabling features doesn't keep people from anything but productive communication. Try limiting who posts them instead.


Screw the one time fee.  Make it an ongoing fee.  Then you'll see who truly wants/needs a signature image vs those that just like to show off their e-penis hashrate.

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November 08, 2011, 02:14:40 PM
 #56

Exactly banning signatures is a form of censorship but then again this is a private board so while it is dubious it can be done.   99% of boards handle this by simply giving users an option to turn off signatures.  

However banning all embedded imagines is just silly.  There are plenty of good reasons to have images inline.  I was explaining a video card mod to someone and both of us used images to help with the conversation.  Yeah we could have used links but that is clunky and a step backward.  The images directly enhanced the flow of information.  The same is often done with charts and diagrams.  There are a lot of technical aspects to Bitcoin which are better explained in visual form.
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November 08, 2011, 04:09:50 PM
 #57

the only thing that is not right with this thread is that some people have sig images and others can't have them.

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November 08, 2011, 04:33:11 PM
 #58

mjcmurphy- great response point by point. I second almost all of that.


Theymos - I tried to be polite in my first post about this, but it's clear that you've moved beyond considering this policy and are simply going to implement it. You're now in the stage of finding justifications for a policy that is unpopular in aggregate and especially among many Hero Members here.

You said...
Quote
Yes, users can block images in their browsers. But it seems to me most correct to assume that users don't want something possibly unwanted than to assume they do want it. Posts are categorized so that readers have a choice in what they read.

Fine. Fair point. So make sig images turned off by default, but let people turn them on if they choose! What you are proposing removes all choice entirely from the user. You are doing the very opposite of providing "freedom and choice" which you ironically use as justification for limiting those very things.

And I didn't even realize that embedded images were going to be removed also?!?! Are you mad?!? That is even worse than sig images and would just totally make me blow my lid... and my lid is on very tight by default.

I'm on this forum all the time. I love it - it's been hugely educational, entertaining, and wonderful for nurturing the many facets of the Bitcoin community.

Now, I can deal with annoying images. I can deal with off-topic posts. I can deal with trolls and idiots and haters and the ignorant hordes. I can even deal with Nagle. But this diktat you propose is so misguided and detrimental that there's a reasonable likelihood it would compel me to start frequenting other forums, and may just leave this one entirely.

Images are a fundamental part of the information that is conveyed between users. The fact that much of the information is garbage is only reflective of the fact that most of all information is garbage - written or visual. But even if 90% of images were, as you say, "worthless," it would still be a very bad decision to remove all images entirely. What we see that is garbage is known - but what we don't see that is valuable is unknown. If you remove images there is a great "unknown" cost... all the good information that otherwise would've been conveyed, yet nobody will ever know about it or account for it.

You are deciding on an issue which is highly contentious - and on a subject which is not even a crucial problem! You're trying to fix something that isn't broken, and are very likely to break it by doing so.

Your justifications, generally, boil down to personal preferences of your own but are being veiled behind "concern for the community." That's a foolish and disrespectful mistake to make. I hope you're making that mistake accidentally and that you will realize the folly of this.

Again, please reconsider. For seriously.
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November 08, 2011, 05:03:42 PM
 #59

mjcmurphy- great response point by point. I second almost all of that.


Theymos - I tried to be polite in my first post about this, but it's clear that you've moved beyond considering this policy and are simply going to implement it. You're now in the stage of finding justifications for a policy that is unpopular in aggregate and especially among many Hero Members here.

You said...
Quote
Yes, users can block images in their browsers. But it seems to me most correct to assume that users don't want something possibly unwanted than to assume they do want it. Posts are categorized so that readers have a choice in what they read.

Fine. Fair point. So make sig images turned off by default, but let people turn them on if they choose! What you are proposing removes all choice entirely from the user. You are doing the very opposite of providing "freedom and choice" which you ironically use as justification for limiting those very things.

And I didn't even realize that embedded images were going to be removed also?!?! Are you mad?!? That is even worse than sig images and would just totally make me blow my lid... and my lid is on very tight by default.

I'm on this forum all the time. I love it - it's been hugely educational, entertaining, and wonderful for nurturing the many facets of the Bitcoin community.

Now, I can deal with annoying images. I can deal with off-topic posts. I can deal with trolls and idiots and haters and the ignorant hordes. I can even deal with Nagle. But this diktat you propose is so misguided and detrimental that there's a reasonable likelihood it would compel me to start frequenting other forums, and may just leave this one entirely.

Images are a fundamental part of the information that is conveyed between users. The fact that much of the information is garbage is only reflective of the fact that most of all information is garbage - written or visual. But even if 90% of images were, as you say, "worthless," it would still be a very bad decision to remove all images entirely. What we see that is garbage is known - but what we don't see that is valuable is unknown. If you remove images there is a great "unknown" cost... all the good information that otherwise would've been conveyed, yet nobody will ever know about it or account for it.

You are deciding on an issue which is highly contentious - and on a subject which is not even a crucial problem! You're trying to fix something that isn't broken, and are very likely to break it by doing so.

Your justifications, generally, boil down to personal preferences of your own but are being veiled behind "concern for the community." That's a foolish and disrespectful mistake to make. I hope you're making that mistake accidentally and that you will realize the folly of this.

Again, please reconsider. For seriously.


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November 08, 2011, 05:41:18 PM
 #60

...

hum... posting this big animated gif does not really go in the direction of the post that you support :-)

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