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Old 2013-02-16, 01:49   Link #1
frivolity
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Signatures

Just to confirm, are signatures containing images that show what song the user is currently listening to permitted?
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Old 2013-02-16, 08:11   Link #2
SeijiSensei
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Does the signature need to update itself by connecting to an off-site server? If so, I believe it violates this clause in the signature rules:
Quote:
Originally Posted by Forum Rules
To reduce bandwidth consumption and to ensure compliance with the above limitations, we expressly forbid any form of dynamic image that has to be reloaded each time it is shown, which includes "Signature Rotators".
I'll leave it to the moderators for a definitive answer.
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Old 2013-02-16, 08:16   Link #3
Konakaga
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Quote:
Originally Posted by SeijiSensei View Post
Does the signature need to update itself by connecting to an off-site server? If so, I believe it violates this clause in the signature rules:
This is different from a rotator or dynamic sig though since it changes after enough time has passed unlike dynamic shifting every refresh, as less frequent version of it are allowed (ie the MAL most recent watching sigs that some people use), but this would change a bit more often than the an anime listing one generally. So I am not sure where the line is on the issue.
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Old 2013-02-16, 09:18   Link #4
frivolity
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To be specfic, I'm referring to something like this:


I think it might be a violation since it involves php. And if so, would there be a way to make such a sig without violating the rules, such as using a system similar to MAL's?
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Old 2013-02-16, 13:11   Link #5
SeijiSensei
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Since my signature contains off-site graphics, linking to them is obviously allowed. So you could run a script on a server somewhere that takes snapshots of your current status graphic and stores a publicly-visible copy that your signature could link to. I could write a Linux script for this in a couple of minutes. Basically you would point wget at the URL and write the output file to a publicly-visible directory.

My server sent out my signature graphics about 1,700 times on February 14th. Since they average around 1-2K each, the sixteen of them total about half your 60KB image. I have more bandwidth than I can use so I don't notice the 1-2 GB of extra traffic each month. With your graphic, 1,700 daily requests over thirty days would generate about 3 GB (=60000*1700*30 = 3,060,000,000 bytes) of transfer a month if your signature is downloaded at a rate similar to mine.
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Old 2013-02-16, 15:32   Link #6
relentlessflame
 
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I think the main issues are:

1. Your signature should be cache-able. People shouldn't have to be constantly re-downloading your signature every time they load any page where you post, as that wastes bandwidth. (Particularly if it's something like "what song am I listening to this very moment"... which is cute and all, but honestly not worth 60 KB every load or even every few minutes for most people. Even the "recently watched anime" images that some people use aren't likely to change that quickly, nor is it so important that they're by-the-minute accurate.)

(It is certainly possible to write a script that generates an image that can be cache-able by browsers, but by the same token we can't "certify" all the scripts that everyone might use or make up.)

2. Your signature shouldn't be constantly changing or show up differently for different members. There are a few reasons for this, but chiefly it helps ensure your signature conforms to our forum rules and policies. (You can imagine if someone had some images in their rotator that were either NSFW or well-over the size limits... it'd be annoying to validate this if their signatures were constantly changing.)


So based on these two points, I would say that, first, I'm not sure about the "now listening to" thing as a reason for a script, and second, at the very least you don't need to include the static image in that script. For example, if you consider the example shown, you could have two images in your signature: first the static image on the top (as a static JPG hosted somewhere), and second the portion at the bottom (perhaps as an indexed GIF). If you did that, the size of the "dynamic" part would be tiny, and the static part would only need to be loaded once even if the bottom part changed.


Quote:
Originally Posted by SeijiSensei View Post
My server sent out my signature graphics about 1,700 times on February 14th. Since they average around 1-2K each, the sixteen of them total about half your 60KB image. I have more bandwidth than I can use so I don't notice the 1-2 GB of extra traffic each month. With your graphic, 1,700 daily requests over thirty days would generate about 3 GB (=60000*1700*30 = 3,060,000,000 bytes) of transfer a month if your signature is downloaded at a rate similar to mine.
Important to note, though, that your images aren't updated very often, so remain statically cached once loaded for most people (hence the 1700 rate). In this case, if the image was updating every few minutes with the song currently playing, even your static fetch script idea would have to poll the generator constantly (every minute?) to see if its changed, or else it defeats the purpose of the dynamic nature. Because the image would be constantly updating, the amount of downloads would be much higher. If browsers are caching the image as if it were static... well, again, it defies the point.

So yeah, all that to say that, even with your approach, I think the bandwidth usage would be much higher and it would still basically be a "signature rotator" in another form.
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Old 2013-02-16, 16:28   Link #7
SeijiSensei
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Quote:
Originally Posted by relentlessflame View Post
Important to note, though, that your images aren't updated very often, so remain statically cached once loaded for most people (hence the 1700 rate).
I was a bit surprised to see only about 80 cache requests (which received 304's) out of that 1700, but a little experimentation showed that repeated requests from my browser did not generate any requests at the server. So on top of that 1700 are another who-knows-how-many requests that are being served by the browsers' caches.

Now let's imagine I adopted the OP's signature of 60 KB and changed it ten times a day. That would certainly increase my traffic by a factor of nine or possibly close to ten. If so, that 60 KB graphic suddenly generates 30 GB of traffic a month. Updating as often as the OP wants, say four times an hour or more, would be really expensive under this approach, which is probably a good thing!
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Old 2013-02-16, 18:44   Link #8
frivolity
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Hmm, an alternative method could be for the script to be modified such that instead of calling for a picture, it shows the result in the form of text, much like the php counters that display the number of visitors in actual text. I'll try and google a bit more.
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