The new forum + icons.

Discussion in 'Communications' started by Sith-Lord-Gunray, Jul 15, 2010.

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  1. Sith-Lord-Gunray Ex-Mod

    Member Since:
    Aug 20, 2003
    star 7
    This might be answerable right away or not, I dunno. But since we're moving to the new forum, why are we not allowed to be able to upload our own icons like every other forum on the internet? It seems like quite a bit of time/effort is being put into managing an incredible amount of icons on the current forum, the majority of which nobody uses or even pays attention to. Not to diss the efforts, but it's a sad fact. Is it a technical reason? The only thing I could think of myself was that nobody wants the hassle of removing offensive icons, but TBH that would take so much less work than uploading icons to the forum that that can't possibly be the reason for not allowing it. Is it financial? Is it the fear of a user hypothetically being so incompetent as to not figure out the icon upload process and thus subjecting us to that foul default icon for eternity? It also crossed my mind that it's because of the censorship (I kid) of having only Star Wars icons and that would also be a hassle to moderate, however then I recalled that we've been uploading LOTS of icons for crappy non-star wars things like The Last Airbender, and the Halloween icons have been up since last year. So clearly that cannot mean so much to those in charge as to not allow it.

    TELL ME WHYYYYYY
  2. Boba_Fett_2001 Chosen One

    Member Since:
    Dec 11, 2000
    star 8
    Honestly, even if we're allowed to have our own icons I'd still just use this one and I suspect many others would do the same.
  3. Darth Tunes SfC Commish on an "All-Star" break

    Game Host
    Member Since:
    Nov 26, 2000
    star 10
    I completely agree with SLG here. There is no harm in letting users do this, and it wouldn't difficult or had to root out bad/offensive ones. What would be so bad with people expressing themselves a bit more with their own icons?

    Back-to-Back!: 2008-2009 & 2009-2010 L.A. Lakers: World Champions:cool:
  4. epic Ex Mod / RSA

    Member Since:
    Jul 4, 1999
    star 7
    i think you express yourself quite enough already Tunick.
  5. Grimby Technical Consultant

    Administrator
    Member Since:
    Apr 22, 2000
    star 7
    The Halloween icons are still up because there are over 600 of them and the icons crew is trying to reduce that number to something more reasonable. Other movie-related icons go up for new releases, yes, but those icons are only temporary.

    The idea behind keeping the icons process the same way it is now has to do with several factors: 1. To ensure all icons are Star Wars related except in special cases as mentioned above, 2. To ensure all icons are family-friendly, 3. To ensure all icons are one of the three approved sizes, 4. To ensure all icons meet a certain level of quality.

    None of these factors can be automatically checked by the system when the icons are uploaded, someone has to manually review them and ensure that each icon meets these requirements. I think our current icons process does this quite well.
  6. Everton Chosen One

    Member Since:
    Jul 18, 2003
    star 10
    Custom icons are a bad idea - not because of offensive ones and the trials of removing them, but because there's ****loads of stuff that's not offensive but is annoying. This line is to which people will flock. I'd rather be in a place where annoying icons are just not allowed, and if that means sacrificing all means of customisable iconneryness, then so be it. [zomg police state!] Sure, what may be annoying to some will certainly not be to others, but that's not enough to justify it. You don't have to read text - however annoying it might be if read - but icons are staring us all in the face each time we glance at the JC.
  7. Boba_Fett_2001 Chosen One

    Member Since:
    Dec 11, 2000
    star 8
    I think there would potentially be an issue with animated GIFs, particularly for those with slower internet speeds. But vB may have an option that doesn't allow GIFs to be used, I don't know.
  8. Grimby Technical Consultant

    Administrator
    Member Since:
    Apr 22, 2000
    star 7
    vB does have a "no animated gif" setting. However, you still can't tell it to only allow specific image dimensions. Several people on the test board have 90x90 icons rather than 50x50, 90x30, or 30x90.
  9. World_Cup_Wally Jedi Master

    Member Since:
    Jun 27, 2010
    star 4
    If we got custom icons Everton could make a custom icon of the new Everton away kit.

    [image=http://i433.photobucket.com/albums/qq58/mraxeman/efc-72206.jpg]

    Do you want that to happen? Well, do you? I didn't think so.
  10. Everton Chosen One

    Member Since:
    Jul 18, 2003
    star 10
    lol

    I take it all back. It's a bold new world, people!
  11. World_Cup_Wally Jedi Master

    Member Since:
    Jun 27, 2010
    star 4
  12. Boba_Fett_2001 Chosen One

    Member Since:
    Dec 11, 2000
    star 8
  13. Darth Tunes SfC Commish on an "All-Star" break

    Game Host
    Member Since:
    Nov 26, 2000
    star 10

    It's just as easy to avoid an icon as it is to avoid text.

    Back-to-Back!: 2008-2009 & 2009-2010 L.A. Lakers: World Champions:cool:
  14. FatBurt Force Ghost

    Member Since:
    Jul 21, 2003
    star 5
    Arsenal/England/He'spoo *





    *Delete as applicable
  15. Everton Chosen One

    Member Since:
    Jul 18, 2003
    star 10
    No it isn't. Unless it's a very short post, a glance at text isn't enough to take in the content.

    You can block images, I accept, but that is a process made unnecessary by the JC's current policy.

    Anyway I don't want to have to start blocking every image that annoys the heck out of me or - to be blunt - doesn't fit the look of the forum. Most people have no idea what constitutes a suitable icon, and will argue the toss for their own choice no matter it's gross unsuitability.

    People will take advantage of the fact there has to be a particular boundary - specifically defined in a policy somewhere - that divides the acceptable from the unnacceptable. Thus the JC will be filled with relatively unchecked 'creativity' and 'individuality' - images that may not cross the line, but come awfully close to it. It's exactly the same kind of process that can keep clever people from being banned.

    The simple, uniform visuals offered by the JC are one of the things that elevate it above any other forum with user icons.
  16. Darth Tunes SfC Commish on an "All-Star" break

    Game Host
    Member Since:
    Nov 26, 2000
    star 10
    If I can block the stars, you can block those custom icons. As long as the size would be kept that our current icons are at, I don't see an aesthetic issue...................it's not like everyone would suddenly rush to use their own custom icon.

    Back-to-Back!: 2008-2009 & 2009-2010 L.A. Lakers: World Champions:cool:
  17. Grimby Technical Consultant

    Administrator
    Member Since:
    Apr 22, 2000
    star 7
    Of course they would. And having to block all icons because of a select few is not the answer.
  18. Sith-Lord-Gunray Ex-Mod

    Member Since:
    Aug 20, 2003
    star 7
    I don't want to be a naggy Comm's stereotype but I think I will for this moment. I don't really feel that any of what was just said is a good enough reason as to why not to allow customs. I mean only a few of my points were addressed. If some people find customs to be annoying, so what? I find a good deal about the visuals of TF.net to be unprofessional, tasteless, and annoying, but I don't think it's my place to push my personal opinion of that onto others and make them suffer for it. It's really just an opinion thing. And in the end, custom icons would please the most people. If you don't like an icon, don't look at it. It's not like you're going to be looking at a giant 3inch image like on those crappy forum systems. On most forums where you're allowed customs, there's a pretty reasonable image size restriction, which is 50px. That's the same size as icons on this forum right now (except those big long ones). Easily avoidable. And then you have to consider that more time would be put into the icons, rather than just pumping out craploads of icons that no one uses. It's just not practical.


    Also, Everton, I appreciate your post but it really doesn't address the point I made about that in the OP. :confused:


    EDIT: Someone else just made a good point I didn't think of - why don't we just have a vote to get a general idea of what the community thinks of this? It seems to be the only fair thing.
  19. Grimby Technical Consultant

    Administrator
    Member Since:
    Apr 22, 2000
    star 7
    Perhaps it's different in the forums you frequent, but I see people using new icons all the time. And since when is variety a bad thing?

    What I hear you saying, essentially, is that the rest of the boards are of crappy quality, so we might as well not worry about the quality of the icons? Instead of taking the time to create quality icons that fit the style of these boards, we should abandon the whole process and replace it with a system where we allow anyone to upload whatever they want and then attempt to police everyone's uploads?

    I'm sorry, but I don't see how that's better.

    The current policy already allows for custom icons. All you have to do is submit it in the icons thread and it will get uploaded if it's good enough.
  20. Jedi Gunny Yahtzee Host

    Game Host
    Member Since:
    May 20, 2008
    star 8
    On last check, there are about 7,800 different icons that can be used. I would call that a pretty good variety.
  21. Sith-Lord-Gunray Ex-Mod

    Member Since:
    Aug 20, 2003
    star 7
    I have no idea how you got that from what I said. I just reread what I wrote. Since I have no idea I guess I'll just tell you that's not what I meant at all and...I just have no idea how that's what I said. I guess I should rephrase?

    I was saying that in the end this just comes down to opinion. I believe that everyone's opinions should matter equally (as I think most people do), and as such, this should be up to the majority. Like any opinion, I may find parts of this site to be visually hideous. Just like others can find other sites to be visually hideous. It's just an opinion, nothing serious. That being said, custom icons are small way to cater to the visuals of everyone. I am...not in any way saying that custom icons are hideous therefore they should match the forums (I'm still trying to figure out what you just said, I think that's what you were getting at, correct me if I'm wrong). I'm saying that it just brings a bit of everyone's aesthetic appeal to the forums in a very small way. Yes, one can argue that they just don't want to look at any custom icons because they're all hideous, or some are hideous, etc.. However to me that opinion is completely valid, but it's valid just as much as the person who would like to look at custom icons. I'm just saying give it a chance. Throw a vote out like we did for the stars. Just see what the majority thinks.

    And to clarify, obviously the details would have to be up to MS to figure out. If hypothetically the custom icons were put into use, it would be relatively easy to just throw out a set of rules like "no icons that exceed this size, no 4chan crazy icons" etc. (obviously more specific than that but you get the jist). The JC happens to be a pretty consistent community that doesn't have an insane number of new users coming through like other forums, which is something that would work to our advantage. We wouldn't have to consistently remind users to change their icons. The people who post here as the majority are the same people all the time. The occasional crazy newbie who joins the forum and uploads a 70x70inch lady gaga icon would be....incredibly rare if never an occurrence.

    Also I look at it this way - I know it sounds like a *huge* change since it's something that's never been on the forums before. However, if you really just simplify it, it would be modded the same way that anything else on the forums. We have custom signatures, which are more work to read than an icon, but people for the most part are able to handle that and the occasional person who uses one against the TOS gets edited. Just like using a word on the disallowed list, which is even more difficult to pick up on. I mean, this is what we have mods for. And in the end, this would cut back a lot of the mod work that's currently going into the icon system right now. Example: the Halloween icons that you mentioned. I understand that they're being cleaned through and whatnot, but they've still been there since last year. That's an insanely huge project. Realistically that alone is more work than it would take to moderate custom icons if they were actually put into use
  22. Grimby Technical Consultant

    Administrator
    Member Since:
    Apr 22, 2000
    star 7
    Yeah, except you can't just start a poll over every single issue. I could start a poll asking people if they'd like to see the TOS thrown out the window. Just because the majority would vote yes doesn't mean it's the right course of action. You can't expect everyone voting to take every aspect of the issue into consideration, much less take the issue seriously.

    What I thought you were saying was that you find some of the board visuals to be hideous but you deal with it, thus facing the inevitability that some custom icons will be visually hideous shouldn't be an issue because people should just deal with it.

    The set of rules would need to focus on the exact image sizes that can be used. (Like I said before, there are three, and there's no way to make the system conform an uploaded image to any of those sizes while still allowing all three. This would automatically complicate the entire process on the user's end.) The set of rules would also have to focus on what exactly constitutes an acceptable image to be used. These are rules that are simple enough follow under the current process because icon makers aren't creating icons for themselves, but for everyone. When you turn it around and allow users to upload an icon that only they will be using, many more conditions have to be written out in a policy if the current standards are to be enforced.

    I disagree based on the point made above.

    What I'm getting at here is that you can't just simplify it because there are way too many variables. If we simply say icons must be Star Wars themed, people who want a non-Star Wars themed icon will just use whatever image they want and just add a barely-recognizable Star Wars element in the background to be in compliance. If we take it down, it just turns into an argument over semantics. "That's a photo of Big Bird. It's not Star Wars themed!" "Yes it is! That gaggle of dots in the background is a tie fighter!" "No it isn't!"

    Modding images isn't anything like moderating signatures or disallowed words. In text, the words and their meanings are almost always discernible. With images, moderators would pretty much be attempting to interpret someone's art. An icon may be in compliance with the rules according to one person, but it might not be to someone else. There's an artistic aspect of it that varies from person to person, and that creates a huge gray area. It also opens the door for lower quality standards because, let's face it, not everyone on the internet is an artist or graphic designer.

  23. NYCitygurl NSWFF Manager

    Manager
    Member Since:
    Jul 20, 2002
    star 9
    I'd just like to pop in here and say that Grimby summed my feelinggs up perfectly.

    And yeah, the Halloween icons project is definitely bigger and is taking longer than I thought when I started (I also hoped it would be a community thing, get people who don't usually pop into the icons thread interested, etc.). In hindsight, maybe not the best idea, but it was worth the shot.
  24. Sith-Lord-Gunray Ex-Mod

    Member Since:
    Aug 20, 2003
    star 7
    edit: Oh oops apparently what I said would be considered a flame. Nevermind. You can just lock this up was the gist of it.
  25. G-FETT Chosen One

    Member Since:
    Aug 10, 2001
    star 7
    I agree with Grimby and that strange Everton person on this matter. JC Icons = [face_love]
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