Please, please, please make the avatar module go away

houstonlively posted 28th of September 2012 in Community Voice. 33 comments.

This is getting excruciating.  You have finally given us the ability to NOT install the avatar module, but what's the point?  If you don't install it, you are left with potentially thousands of little gray ghost thumbnails proliferating your site.  Or am I missing something?  Is that "Set as Avatar" action button supposed to work without the avatar module installed?  It''s still there without the avatar module installed.

The avatar module/system is probably the worst idea that was ever implemented in Dolphin..... well, next to cooliris and open social that is.  What is so hard about giving us the ability to use a scaled down profile photo as an avatar, just like the actions button suggests, WITHOUT installing the miserable, useless avatar module (No offense to the guy that created it.... I'm sure you were just listening to all the little weenies that whined for it, and I'm sure you meant well) .

Lot's of us folks are trying to create sites for grownups, and really don't want this kid stuff.



Coming Soon: Why the Boonex Photo Module Still Drives Me Insane

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No shit, i agree. Just think about it how it worked in d6 :)
It's one part of D6 that didn't need fixing, but they fixed it anyway.
Don't you like the mouseover profile popup action block ?.. lol
yeah, it would be fine to get the possibility to just upload a profile photo ...
Adding a "Pong" module could be another solution to make Dolphin script coherent with some other vintage features like avatars, quotes of the day, photo modules...
Well it would eliminate the question "I have to upload a avatar AND a profile picture? Whats the difference?". Unfortunately though, I believe it would require a re-write of Dolphin since most of the content added to Dolphin also contains the user's avatar (except forums) who posted it. I personally don't have a problem with it, but I can see your point where it should be able to be an 'option' to use it or not WITHOUT having all the gray ghosts floating around. But again, they would have see more to do something with the 'Members' block you can have on the front page, the 'Browse All Members' pages, as well as the not including the avatar ion posted content. Not to mention the 'Upload Profile Photo' option on the join page (which is really an Avatar). I don't see them doing that. At least right now.

Not sure I would call it 'Kids Stuff' since most of all 'social' types sites utilize some type of 'Avatar' whether its pulled from a Profile Photo or a separate source. Even most forum based sites use them. You may be able to 'hack' your way through it, but it will be alot of code digging to make it happen.
if you can not delete it replace the module with Avatar andrewp
that is a little more dynamic and engaging
That's a great module for a children's site.
Andrew Boon
Now you can deactivate our Avatars module and use another module, including something that would pull from Photos module. "Set as avatar" button issue is now fixed.

We don't see that we should ship Avatars that pull from Photos by default, because there may be just as many web-masters willing to use alternative Photos module, and standard Avatars as there are those who want alternative Avatars and standard Photos. Some web-masters mat choose to not have Photos installed at all. So, they see more have to be separated.

Thus you can either look/wait for an alternative Avatars module, or mask all the "kiddie-ness" by renaming Avatars into "Profile Thumbnails" and changing default set of funny faces to something like this -
Go have a look at this site, which I am sure your are familiar with.

Browse through as many pages of public photos as you like, and notice how many of the "Photos" are titled 'Avatar'. Let me know if this tells you anything. I'm really anxious to hear what you think this signals.
Andrew Boon
Well, this isn't necessarily bad - they are still "decent" photos. We've had complaints about avatars NOT going to photo albums, so there's a checkbox allowing for avatar to be copied to the Profile Photos. You may remove or uncheck that option if this bothers you. AlexT will comment on how to do it.
Wrong. This is definitely bad. The members of this site I referenced are confused. They think the avatar IS the profile photo. It's easy to understand why. After submitting the registration form, by default users are directed to the avatar upload page, and then that ridiculous "copy to profile photos" option is checked by default.. Then they have a totally different system to upload profile photos. How on earth can you NOT see that this is a confusing methodology to the average Dolphin see more site user? Using a third party photos module that handles all this much better, like IBDW's, is only a bandaid. It's one of those solutions to a problem, that changes the nature of the problem. You are left with two distinct photo systems, because you still need the Boonex photo module for other modules that rely on it for photo uploads.

You can fix all this, if it weren't for your damn stubbornness, and refusal to acknowledge this major point of confusion to members. All you have to do, is allow us to uninstall the avatar module, and allow the selection of a default profile photo that is used as an avatar. I know you can do it, because you've done it before. Remember Dolphin 6?
Still never asked you why webmasters have to chose to buy/use an alternative photo module ?
I quite like Avatar module and my members use and call profile photos avatars anyway (me too). So...? :)
What I'd like is to click on a profile photo and get a pop-up where I can change it, something like FB has. Maybe someone knows about a mod for this?
Thank you for perfectly illustrating the problem, albeit unknowingly.
Glad to help. :)) But I use what I have (so it's not that exactly unknowing, lol). It's pointless to dream about some far away version of Dolphin with all nice features when I know I won't be able to upgrade to it anyway. Almost everything could be better so avatar is not exactly the most pressing problem. What's more interesting is why all those little improvements I made thank to you guys here on the forums (the last one was actually your Larger Image Popup thingie, lol), why can't they be packed see more by Boonex into some mega-patch and distributed to all those poor souls stuck with anything below 7.0.9? But I think it's like trying to ask why geese can fly and ostriches cannot. Lol.
Avatars is indeed a pressing problem. Anything that makes a site confusing to use, is a pressing problem.... although Boonex is not treating it as such. The avatars/photos combination as it relates to profile photos, as a point of confusion, is not just my opinion. This is knowledge I have extracted from reading hundreds of forum posts over the last three years.

I have always been a proponent of making the core product as user friendly as possible, and that has yet to be done with the avatar see more issue. It worked fine in Dolphin 6.... you selected a default profile photo and you were done..... then the went and fixed something that wasn't broken.

Let people have their avatar module if they must. All I ask is the ability to select a default profile photo to use as the avatar, WITHOUT installing the avatar module. THese folks a Boonex think they have a real slick system here. They are wrong.
BTW... things like that larger image popup of mine are commonly referred to as
'hacks'. Whether or not such things are an improvement, is a matter of opinion, I'd hack this avatar issue, but they have it so inextricably woven into every single 7.0.9 feature, it's a nightmare.
Exactly, reading hundreds of posts over three years and avatars are still there. :) Hope dies last. :)
They call it hacks, I call it Great Things In Life That Are For Free. :)
If it's inextricable and woven into, just rename it? Add some features to Profile photos and then rename it into something like My Top Photo? You know, if you can't beat them join them? After all, there is always Toyota and Lexus, so why can't be there Avatar and Profile Photo too? :)))
A good news for all those who do not like the avatar module. With new Dolphin 7.1 you can choose to install only photos module and use profile photo icon as member thumb. This new feature was added yesterday.
Just go to advanced settings -> profiles and set "profile photo" or "avatar" as member thumb and "profile photo icon" or "avatar icon" as member thumb icon.
It's about time! It only took three years.

See Andrew..... that wasn't so hard.
There ya go HL...persistence paid off. :-)
Andrew Boon
Yeah, I'd say 90% credit for this feature appearing goes to you, for the persistent push. :)
Thank you! I will shut up now... for a few days anyway.
Andrew Boon
UPDATE: As noted by gfriends (geez, you guy do find things quickly, huh!?) there's a now an option to use the first profile photo as a thumbnail picture, so Avatars module can be uninstalled. It's in Admin > Settings > Advanced Settings > Profiles .

To OP (HL): You're welcome, you're welcome, you're welcome.
LOL @Andrew. Boonex ought to make HL VP of Quality Control :-)
so if we want to switch from avatar module to profile photo all thumbs (avatars) are lost, right?
No, upon switching no data is lost. Avatars are deleted only when you uninstall Avatar module. However it would be very confusing to have avatars which are not displayed anywhere.
i mean that the users have to reupload a profile photo if i switch from avatar module to profile photos ...
Exactly. Why would anyone want to switch to profile photo, and keep the avatar module installed? This option is strictly for those that do not want to use the avatar module.
I deleted the avatar module, switched to profile photos in advanced settings, but now profile photos aren't uploaded when people join my site.
Avatars is my biggest grip about dolphin. The software should allow the user to choose their main image and that should be where the avatar is, just like every other dating software on the planet. Why not dress dolphin up in a 1980's powder blue leisure suit while your at it and make it a Fuzzy Navel.
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