New "system assigned" character avatars


I’m finding myself sort of not especially taken with the switch from Gravatar-default to the less-unique letter system…

Maybe it’s a minor gripe, but I somewhat liked the way the username-based patterns were considerably more specific to each poster. It’s possible the new letters just take some getting used to, but as of now they just don’t have the same… “personality”?

What do you guys think? New default good, bad, meh?


What are you talking about?


I think if a group of us timed our comments right we could spell some funny things in the user column on the main page.


Oh wow… looks like that’s what he’s talking about…


@Lee_Ars mentioned the same thing that @LEDFlashing did on Discourse Meta. I just put in my Gravatar as my official avatar now.


I agree… I hate the new letters…


Mine is, coincidentally, the initial of my name. As such, I don’t mind that much-- but the gravatar avatars were cuter. =)


To be fair, as @j8048188 and @Kryptic have shown, it’s not hard to go into settings and change it back, plus it only affects those who without an actual avatar image.

On the other hand, that’s probably half the forum, most of which aren’t going to know how/bother to change it.


Actually… I uploaded it from my hard drive… (I liked it so much I set it as my twitter picture…)


Also not a fan. I found it easier to differentiate posters with the old system, but maybe that’s because I’m to lazy to always read their names… at least we can still customize.

I assume mine is still showing my custom avatar to you all, rather than an annoying “K”.


Another vote for the old avatars. So much easier to recognize and distinguish individual posters that way.


Yep sure is…


I can’t say I’m at in any way familiar with the details of Discourse’s back end, but just speaking as a coder, there’s at least a decent chance that there’s a “default” toggle option somewhere in there. If so, it might not be too much hassle to leave the new one in but just set the old one as default - especially if that’s capable of being set individually on a per-forum basis. There certainly seems to be enough interest here, judging from the unanimous posts so far.

@codinghorror, any insight as to whether this would be an easy switch from your end?


Here’s the discussion that prompted the change:

And here’s the discussion of the change itself:


I had a hard time telling the avatars apart. In particular, I had a hard time finding myself on the user column. And I’m almost pathologically camera shy (ask the folks at work, or ask my family, etc.) So I have a picture I took off my balcony at my previous address. (Now that’s I’ve moved I should update it). Problem solved.



Mine was a pink “G”. I fixed it. :slight_smile:


Yeah, Gravatar is one of those companies that offers a “free service” where you feel like you’re the user but you’re actually the product. They have the capability of tracking your movement and behavior across multiple sites and aggregating and selling that information. So, gravatar has been jettisoned.

Discourse’s old default avatar system generated a unique icon based on your IP address. It was abstract and visually distinguishing, but not terribly informative—you could tell “red squiggle person” from “blue squiggle person,” but that’s about it. The new system @sam implemented uses the letter of your username against a unique background (so two "R"s, for example, will have different backgrounds). The letters aren’t the visual wtf soup that the IP address-based geo-shapes were—they’re classy.

Anyway, if you don’t like yours, it takes all of 3 seconds to fix it with a custom image in your profile :smile:


Changed my Gravatar image to match the logo I use for my games and such… even if the pixels are blurry now. :stuck_out_tongue:


Went to change back to my Gravatar generated icon and found it blank.
It’s a white square for me even after hitting refresh on it.
So I’ve switched back to the letter so I can at least find my profile section if i need it.