Author Topic: Why did the site remove the url avatars?  (Read 538 times)

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Offline Leaf

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Why did the site remove the url avatars?
« on: February 24, 2017, 05:57:48 pm »
The option to add an avatar with url has been gone for years
Also why does staff still have it?
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Offline MysticSolstice

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Re: Why did the site remove the url avatars?
« Reply #1 on: February 24, 2017, 06:14:39 pm »
This post by Natasha explains it best

Quite simple:  It can function two different ways, and both of them are unusably broken.

The assorted options that control that avatar method can cause it to function in one of two basic ways:  Display the avatar directly from the source URL, or grab that image and store it on our server.

Displaying the avatar directly from its source runs into all the usual issues with hotlinking; if the URL changes, or if the image no longer exists, or if the host doesn't allow hotlinking (like FA, most other forums and social media services, and even some image sharing/hosting sites), the image will fail to load, which will cause many browsers to hang while trying to load the broken image.  Some will even stop loading content until after receiving the Not Found error, which can take awhile.  Additionally, the bigger problem I discovered was that hotlinked avatars weren't properly checked for their dimensions, so someone could have a 2048x2048px avatar, and it would display full-size (which is what someone did, just to be a jerk).

The other version of avatar-by-URL copies it to our server as if it were uploaded from a computer/device, which gets into the same issues as hotlinking, but with a twist:  If the URL changes, or the image no longer exists, or the host doesn't allow hotlinking, the server would throw a fatal error during upload, and would prevent that user from uploading an avatar at all until I manually removed their avatar from the database using raw database queries.

As to why staff still have it, that's just the way the membergroups are set up ^^
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