Can we get 'how to enable avatars' added to the 'FAQ - Technical issues for Posting' sticky?

It does seem to be a frequently asked question, after all.

I would also suggest using a word other than ‘issues’ in the thread title because that makes it sound like it’s only for people having posting problems. Maybe something like “FAQ, Tech Help and User Customization”.

Thanks muchly.


It’s not a program that we support or endorse in any way.

I see. And how does the administration feel about real life meetings of members?


Avatars have come up a number of time in the past, and TubaDiva’s answer is spot on. We don’t have avatars. Haven’t you noticed? Therefore a sticky on how to enable something that is not to be enabled seems to be a waste of time, don’t you?

The avatar script has had about 300 downloads so far, with probably half of those being duplicates due to updates and testing. So somewhere around 100-150 posters may be using it, plus however many just copied/pasted the code directly without using the installer.

Those numbers might not warrant a sticky in ATMB but it is a topic that has come up very regularly for years. (which is what led to the creation of the script in the first place.) Combined with the users who already had avatars uploaded to their profiles but just didn’t have a way to display them in their posts, most current threads display avatars in more than half of the posts and sometimes much more.

There is a dedicated thread (Want to see avatars on the SDMB? Here's a script. - About This Message Board - Straight Dope Message Board) that people can be pointed to when the question comes up. A sticky might be overkill but it wouldn’t hurt to bump that thread occasionally with discussion about the script so newcomers or old timers who missed it the first time will know about it too.

Because it’s something that a lot of folks have expressed interest in. I realize that the board does not want to turn on that feature within the resident software, but it just seemed like a nice thing to add a line to the FAQ to address those future posters who will no doubt start yet another avatar thread on why/how/etc. I mean, there’s nothing wrong with being helpful is there?

And my point in post number 3 is that the explanation that they don’t “support or endorse [it] in any way” is a bit hypocritical since there is currently a sticky at the top of the MPSIMS forum that says, in part:

So it’s pretty clear that the administration doesn’t have to be in support of something just to be willing to post a helpful sticky about it.

I’ll also note that several of the administrators and mods are making use of the script. That counts at least as personal support or endorsement, if not an official one.

No skin off my back. I thought it would be a nice thing to do.

Yes, I wouldn’t have made the request asking for a dedicated sticky just for avatar help, but since there is already a sticky with helpful configuration and user advice in this forum, adding another item to that sticky didn’t seem to me to be a huge, back-breaking request.

I had no idea there was even a script out there, so my apologies to PO’F. I would not have posted if I knew.

Apparently, avatars are still not permitted, but there is a work around with the script.
Personally, I don’t think TPTB should be placing stickies regarding scripts created as work arounds to official board policies, but I’ll leave that to them to decide what to do.

No worries. But that’s kinda my point, that members could be better informed. There are probably a lot of people who still don’t know that it’s possible to have an avatar. The FAQ in question has the highest view count (currently 33,199) of all ATMB threads in the last year. It gets a LOT of traffic. Maybe more people would know that avatar customization is possible if it was listed in that sticky.

I don’t think “not permitted” is the official party line, because as far as I know none of us have been told to take the script out of our profiles. It’s just that the administration does not want to be burdened with the additional support responsibilities.

As as far as bumping threads to keep people aware of topical items, isn’t that exactly what a sticky is for? This seems like a very minor & strange thing for the board to be so obstinate about.

That’s what I meant. TPTB do not want to turn on the avatar functionality for a number of reasons, which have been covered ad nauseum in other threads on the topic. But they DO seem to permit the script, as long as they don’t have to support it. I don’t see any reason why TPTB need to advertise the existence of the avatar script. True, I didn’t know about it, but now that I do, I don’t care to use it.

If TPTB started posting stickies about scripts that they did not design, test, or plan to support, I think that puts them in a precarious position. Better to let those interested in these things to keep members informed. If I really wanted to use an avatar, for example, I would have run a search. I am guessing the search would turn up the script announcement… I could take it from there.

(Bolding mine)
I don’t care if they sticky it or not but this isn’t nuclear codes we’re talking about. It’s a link to a greasemonkey script. There is no “precarious position” issue. As pointed out it would be a nice thing to do.

Since when has that ever been a reason to do anything around here?

Everytime someone uses an avatar, James Cameron gets a cut. It adds up, and it just ain’t fair.

Cameron didn’t invent the term or word, so your joke falls a bit flat.

I did say Cameron, dint I? Sorry, I meant Emil Malak.

Didn’t the last avatar debate thread produce a lot of ‘as long as there’s a grease monkey script’ we’re good, kind of talk?

(I could be misremembering, I’ve seen a lot of avatar threads over the years, forgive me if I’m conflating several!)

Y’all created a work around script, which works for you and spares the rest of us - awesome, everyone should be happy!

I think what you’re asking is a step too far, in my opinion. You got your script, you got your avatar, why isn’t that enough? There were pages and pages dedicated to how it was, ‘all we’re asking for’, I seem to recall.

A lot of people, in those threads opined that there’d be issues. The pro avatar crowd insisted, no, no, just give us a work around, effectively.

I totally get why they don’t want to sticky this, and am surprised it’s not painfully self evident to you.

You do remember how contentious those thread were, right?

I sure don’t remember it like that.

Have issues arisen? Is this thread an “issue”?

That’s fine. Oh, by the way, the in-house search engine kinda sucks here. So you might want to use google to search the boards. And there is a helpful sticky devoted to telling you exactly how to do that, even though the board has no involvement or with the google search engine whatsoever. Since they don’t have any personal or technical involvement with google searching the boards, I assume they created the sticky just to be nice.

This is a good idea regardless of the avatar thing. (Also, the OP politely requested to have a single line added to a sticky, not for all of you to name your first-born children “Avatar,” so maybe some of you might consider dialing down the outrage a notch. I know it’s the Dope and all, but still.)

Given that the greasemonkey script is an unnecessary and clunky kludge that is non-intuitive to the average user, especially new users who may not remember hordes of avatar discussions, a short sticky in ATMB would be appropriate and reduce the number of threads asking for avatars.

I remember how a whole bunch of people misunderstood how the avatar functionality works and keeps getting het up about imaginary issues.