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Nolan Fans 2013 Forum Updates

Site Admin
Posts: 1384
Location: Cupertino, CA
Heyo. Here's a thread for forum updates and stuff for 2013.
Oh yeah, if you haven't heard, we're redesigning the site!

For now, I'd like to test the waters here for what would be future changes to the way the Nolan Fans Forums work. Needless to say, it's our call in the end. Valid arguments/thoughts are welcome.

Avatars:
- Avatars must be uploaded to NF (the feature is broken now and will be enabled)
- Avatars must be either JPGs or PNGs. No GIFs.
- High-resolution avatars would be wicked. Something like 360 x 200 for high-resolution displays, automatically scaling to 180 x 100 (current size) for normal screens.

Signatures:
- Maximum of one image at a 130px maximum height.
- Whatever width you want.
- GIFs allowed!

Ranks:
- Rebalanced rank levels are likely.
- 10,000 posts and you can set a custom title.

------

Explanation for avatar changes:

The bottom line is this: animated avatars usually have ridiculous file sizes and they're slowing down the site, especially on mobile devices.

We want Nolan Fans to be extremely lean and completely usable with any device. Usage statistics are showing an incredible jump in people using all sorts of devices other than desktop computers to visit Nolan Fans. We'd like to encourage this and make those experiences better.

GIFs require excessive computing power to render continually. If you're curious, monitor your system while you're viewing any forum page that's cooking up at least five gifs. Now think about how a mobile device is handling that. If you can see a difference on your desktop, imagine what that's doing to a phone.

GIFs are huge. Here are some numbers.
A certain user's .gif avatar [561 KB]
Another user's .gif avatar [586 KB]
...and the crown [5.7 MB] that's right

On the other hand, my avatar [7,081 bytes].

We'd also like to host all of the avatars ourselves. By doing this, we can speed up the site by using fewer external HTTP requests to fetch all of the data when you want to load a page. The goal is to download as much data from our servers and rely less on places like imgur and Photobucket. And since we're serving the images, we can set the cache timeouts. Avatars don't change very frequently and we'll be caching the shit out of them.

These won't be the only changes to the site or the forums, but I wanted to talk about this stuff first. :)
Posts: 13374
:shifty:
Posts: 18706
Location: The Ashes of Gotham
Thanks for using my GIF as an example. And the explanation about the GIFs make sense. I use Tumblr all day and it takes up a lot of my download.

And it's sweet we're getting our own custom titles.
Posts: 16007
Location: North Carolina
wasnt me
Posts: 24395
Location: and on the third day, god said "Nah bro, I ain't bout that life."
AlexHaas wrote:GIFs are huge. Here are some numbers.
A certain user's .gif avatar [561 KB]
Another user's .gif avatar [586 KB]
...and the crown [5.7 MB] that's right

On the other hand, my avatar [7,081 bytes].

Jesus.

So that's what's been slowing my phone down.

And since we're serving the images, we can set the cache timeouts. Avatars don't change very frequently and we'll be caching the shit out of them.

I dunno what that means but it sounds sexy.
Posts: 13374
I guess that means I win.
Posts: 10101
Location: Waiting for a bullet train
Ooooh I like this, it actually makes sense. Thanks Alex.
Now tell us more. 8-)
Posts: 3471
Location: Bates Motel
i would like to see latest news(anything -maybe about mov. or in general) / highlights for that day scrolling on one side of the forum , so that we can jump directly into it .
think of it .
Posts: 4041
Always wondered why you've allowed GIFs as avatars. Because I know how much it slows everything down. So yeah, makes sense you remove it now.. But why allow it in the sig? because its not visible on phones? or?
Posts: 8049
Location: Chungking Mansions
I've always found gifs in sigs a little distracting but whatever.
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