This thread is for information on how to use a Greasemonkey script to allow users to experience the SDMB with avatars. I’m starting this thread at the suggestion of MsWhatsit, Irishman and others in this thread.
This thread IS NOT for debating whether the SDMB should or should not enable the avatar feature. I’m hoping posters will respect this request and keep the focus of this thread on the Greasemonkey script.
I’m starting this thread as a way to bring attention to this cool feature. But this should not be construed as me knowing much about the technical aspect of it nor did I have anything to do with bringing it here. I strongly suggest anyone interested in joining us avatar viewers to start reading the above mentioned thread at about page 9 - 11 to bring themselves up to speed with the developments and the developers. Please direct any questions you may have to them - I assure you I’ll be of no help at all in that regard.
Thank you for creating this thread. I would just add that the user script is both Firefox and Chrome compatible. If you use Firefox and don’t already have the Greasemonkey Add-on, install it first from here. Chrome has built-in support for user scripts and does not require an add-on.
In addition to displaying avatars for all users who have specified one with no configuration required, the script has a number of cool optional features such as changing the avatar display size, assigning a custom avatar to any poster, displaying a default avatar for all users who have not specified one, and displaying a selected avatar for all banned users. Configuring these optional features is simple and instructions are included in the comments within the script.
Many thanks to **Polerius **and **ntucker **for providing 95% of the code.
Question for Crazyhorse: If I want to adjust those options (like default avatar size), do I need to copy the source code from the download site and edit it in notepad, save it on my computer as a script file, and then install it myself? Or is there a way to edit those options in the ‘installed’ script?
You can edit them right in the installed copy of the script. In Firefox with GM, you just go to the Greasemonkey menu, choose ‘Manage User Scripts…’, select the SDMB Avatar script and edit it there directly. Each section that can be customized has a short paragraph of comments with instructions.
For Chrome I am not sure of the step by step, but the same principle applies. Somewhere on your system is a file named “sdmb_avatars.user.js” and that can be opened in any text editor. (there may be a choice in the Chrome extensions window to edit it directly from there)
Thanks. I’m using Chrome, but I can’t find any way to edit it within Chrome. Also, I tried searching, but I couldn’t find where the script was saved on my computer. So I went to the download site and right-clicked on the “Install” button and chose “Save Link As” and chose a place to save it. (BTW, the name of the script file from the link is 136815.user.js) Then I opened it in Notepad, made the edits, and saved it. Then, as I learned previously, I just had to drag the file into an open Chrome window to install it.
That wasn’t hard at all, but if anyone knows of a better way to edit scripts for Chrome, post it!
I am finding that it is much easier to make out some posters’ avatars now that I’ve increased the size (I’ve got it set to 100 right now, though I might drop it down to 75 or so)
I installed Chrome to check it out and I see what happens now, at least in Chrome for Windows.
If you view the extensions in Chrome (Tools - Extensions) and check the box marked “Developer mode” you can see an ID that has been assigned to the script by Chrome. Here is an example. There will be a folder with the same name as that ID in your Chrome extensions folder, and inside that is Chrome’s working copy of the script named “script.user.js”.
In Windows that is located at:
C:\Documents and Settings[USERNAME]\Local Settings\Application Data\Google\Chrome\User Data\Default\Extensions
This seems like it may be more work than just editing a copy on your desktop and dropping it on Chrome again, but technically you can edit the ‘live’ copy of the script. After saving any changes you make to it just disable and enable the script in Chrome to load the new version.
Good ideas. That might be possible to do. I’d like to avoid over-complicating the script but those might be pretty simple options to add.
It’s not your mistake, at the moment it looks like **ntuckers **server isn’t responding to requests for profile avatars. Custom assigned avatars (and default and banned user avatars) still work without the CGI but the ones obtained directly from user’s profiles won’t display if the server is down. Occasionally the CGI fails to respond for a short time but it’s usually back within a few minutes or an hour. ntucker said he would look into it but was fairly sure the avatar CGI is fine but some other process on his webserver might be interfering occasionally.
For someone less tech saavy, does this share some sort of centalized database where people post their selected avatar? Or is it up to my own personal choice, meaning I can assign avatars to other users that only I can see, to help me distinguish them?
Both, kind of. Posters opt-in to the script by putting a link in their profile as described in the OP (SDMB Avatar: <URL to image>). Once those links are there, the script will automatically get them and show the images as avatars. You can also specify the avatar for any specific poster(s) by manually adding a line to the top of the script. Most people just do the former, I believe. It’s quite simple.
Are you able to see avatars other than your own or none at all?
I noticed that the URL you listed in your profile goes to a directory of images but it should point directly to one image. For example
If you can see other avatars but not your own that is probably the only problem. Note that once you add the URL to your profile it can take up to an hour to appear but I think making that change will probably fix the problem.
Yes, I can see everyone else’s. I copied the direct link for my image, but I always get these things wrong. There’s an option with image tags around it, but I peeked at a few other people’s and they just seemed to have links. I’m going to try to copy the link you used.
If you go to that link there are 3 images there to choose from. When you move the mouse over one of those images a little menu will appear beneath it with a “direct link” section - that direct link is what you should copy and paste into your profile after "SDMB Avatar: "
So for example if you wanted to use the first of the three images, the direct link is: