I don't like having to use Gravatar

(Philip Mok) #1

I would like to upload my profile picture
In order to do so,
I was forced to create one more internet account (Gravatars) which i think i will never use again.
I think most forum user would not feel comfortable with this approach.

(Chris Jester-Young) #2

“Which [you] think [you] will never use again”? Gravatars are so pervasive on the intarwebs that I think you won’t have a problem of having a “useless account”.

Unless what you are really asking is for every single Gravatar-using site to give an option of using other avatar services. That would probably be a big ask.

(Tim Stone) #3

While a user having a preexisting Gravatar account isn’t completely unlikely, there are certainly plans to offer more flexible options for setting your avatar, including uploading an image directly:

(Arnt Gulbrandsen) #4

I had the same reaction; gravatar is a forced digression. I want to set up an account on x, x tells me “now you have to digress and set up another account, then come back and continue doing what you want to do”.

IMO gravatar would be better if gravatar-using sites could set up implicit, passwordless accounts using a page fragment. Signing up on discourse would check gravatar, and if gravatar doesn’t have anything, discourse could accept an image upload and make a provisional, passwordless gravatar account.

That way, the user doesn’t have to interact with gravatar.com at a time when the user’s goal is to set up a discourse.org account.

(Michael Brown) #5

On the contrary, you will probably use it all the time. I remember first creating a Gravatar account for .SE - I’m always pleased when I sign up for a new site and my avatar just shows up.

  • you can change multiple avatars from a single place
  • you no longer need to manually set/change them on individual sites (using Gravatar)
  • you can easily hotlink your own avatar

But again, as Sam said, support for hosted avatars is on the roadmap.

(Arnt Gulbrandsen) #6

My father never told me “you’ll be glad I made you do this, later”. Smart of him, it’s a bad attitude.

(Jeff Atwood) #7

Were you forced to do anything? I don’t recall masked men showing up at your house and making you set up a gravatar at gunpoint. At least, I swear we have no idea who those guys were!! :smiley:

(Arnt Gulbrandsen) #8

I first ran into gravatar on a signup screen that said something like this: “At this point you may want to set up a gravatar. This is completely optional, you understand, but we’ve never tested whether the site works without.”

Is that force? Yes, I’m exaggerating, but even if you moderate it, is it force, or merely a push?

(Michele Savisto) #9

It’s a suggestion, not force, or even a push. If you don’t want to sign up for Gravatar, don’t. It’s really that simple. The fact is, Discourse suggested you sign up for Gravatar to personalise your posts a little, and you decided to do so. Hyperbole doesn’t help.

(finid) #10

@codinghorror and @koralatov, you are both taking the literal meaning of force. You know what the dude is trying to convey.

(Daniel C. Clement) #11

Without wanting to be pedantic, you probably won’t actually use Gravatar again. By and large it’s something you sign up for, upload an avatar to and then forget about while it does its thing. You’ll just find that in future when you comment on a Gravatar-enabled website that lovely picture will pop up and add a slight touch of personality to an otherwise emotionless block of text.

I don’t see the issue - it’s not like Gravatar will send you hundreds of spam e-mails. And it’s not like you’re any worse off for having an account. On the other hand, allowing users to upload their own avatars when a service like Gravatar exists seems like unnecessary feature bloat which kind of takes something away from the simplicity of Discourse, IMHO.

(Michele Savisto) #12

I know what he’s trying to convey, and, yes, I’m being pedantic, but I really don’t think hyperbolic language brings anything to the discussion, and actively detracts from it.

(Jeff Lunt) #13

I do sort of wish that Gravatar allowed you to simulataneously use any of 3 avatars (that is, each site you use it on allowed you to choose which of your three avatars that site would use).

I have had a Gravatar account for I think pretty much as long as they’ve existed, and I’m actually glad that they exist.

(badp) #14

This is a thing that is possible if you have:

  • Multiple email addresses, or
  • An email server that will accept mail addressed to foo+bar@baz.org

(Jeff Lunt) #15

Oh, cool.

GMail will do the + trick. Thanks for the tip.

(chris) #16

@codinghorror @koralatov.

“forced” is valid language, when talking in these terms. emphasis added.

a couple of examples from designing interfaces, second edition.

Though both use forms, a Settings Editor is distinct from a Wizard,
and it has very par- ticular requirements. A user must be able to find
and edit a desired property without being forced to walk through a
prescribed sequence of steps—random access is important.


The “shade” form of a Mac modal dialog box draws attention to itself
as it drops down from the window title bar (animated, of course).
These and other application-level modal dialogs actually prevent the
user from interacting with the rest of the application, so the user is
forced to finish or dismiss this thread of work before doing anything else

(Yves `M'vy` Stadler) #17

We are talking of the wrong topic. The problem is not Gravatar itself, but the lack of alternative. For many user, it is a problem to share private information.

Therefore I think that it’s not fair to provide only one mean of setting their profile picture, because we basically say: if you want to use full feature on our site, you need to register elsewhere. We are not rewarding the trust they are giving us.
On the contrary, it worked for StackExchange. So this is still a way of thinking.

Why not provide a middle ground and let the administrator decide if he wants to allowed site-hosted profile picture?

(Tattoo) #18

I agree with @mvy, with following 2 reasons:

  1. For the China Mainland people, they are blocked by GFW (great fire wall) and most of them don’t know how to register on Gravatar. So an alternative (upload profile avatar) is important.

  2. For an intranet forum in a company, the employees maybe asked to use real name but they may not want to connect their real id with the virtual id on internet, such as me :wink2:

(Valts) #19

I have to agree with @mvy. Gravatar does have a privacy problem. Although my email isn’t directly shown anywhere, the hash is the same on all the sites that I use, and so someone with a web crawler can gather a rather comprehensive collection of all the posts that I’ve written in any gravatar-enabled website.

Of course, the email + trick could help against that, but then the beauty of a single avatar disappears. A shared secret salt, individual to each site, could be the solution, but I don’t know if gravatar offers that. Also, it would probably increase the load on their servers, as now browsers can cache your avatar across multiple sites.

(Sam Saffron) #20

Its on our list, totally open for a PR that allows custom avatars.