Old  December 20th, 2006, 1:25am     #1
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Signature Compliance - We're Going to Start Deleting
Hi everybody,

There are a number of members who have signatures that do not follow our Signature Guidelines. The most common problems are signatures that 1) take up too much screen space (total space should be no larger than that of 5 lines of normal sized [size 2] text whether it contains images or not), 2) contain too many images (2 maximum are allowed) and 3) the total file size of the images is too large (all images must be no larger than 12kb in total).

I have recently added a note above the Edit Signature page that reads:

Quote:
Please Note: Your Signature must be in compliance with the OLS Signature Guidelines at all times. It is your responsibility. Offending Signatures may or may not receive a warning before being removed or deleted.
There is absolutely no reason why anyone should have a signature that does not comply with our guidelines.

Starting within the next 24 - 48 hours, signatures that are blatantly not in compliance with our Signature Guidelines will be deleted without warning and without notice. If it's close, we'll either let it slide or send a PM asking for a change.

Now I know there are some people who feel that it is the moderators' responsibility to let them know if their signatures are out of compliance, however I do not subscribe to that philosophy.

It is the responsibility of each OLS member to ensure that their own signature is in compliance with our Signature Guidelines before they hit the Save Signature button.


Our moderators are volunteers. They have quite enough to do as it is without having to spend a large amount of their time sending out warning PMs to members whose signatures are clearly and blatantly out of compliance with our guidelines, making a point to check to ensure the offending signatures were edited to comply, deleting signatures that continue to not be in compliance, and deleting signatures from members who have already been warned multiple times.


Signatures are supposed to augment, not dominate the posts and threads in the forums. Huge signatures that contain large and often gaudy images detract from the usability of the forums, and can quite easily increase the amount of data required to download the pages several fold.

To give you an idea of how big 12kb (the maximum file size allowed for all signature images) is, the OLS logo is just over 6kb in size and the OLS home page html file is just 5kb while most of the other pages in the sweeps directory come in well under 10kb. The file sizes of the web pages are compressed, there's also external css and javascript files to consider, and the file sizes will be larger if you choose to have 50 sweeps listed per page instead of the default of 15. But the fact remains that OLS is a smoking fast web site because I have worked my tail off trying to keep everything as small and as efficient as possible.

The file sizes of the forum web pages are a little bit larger on their own, but when you add in all the avatars (maximum of 12kb), signature images (maximum of 12kb), smilies and other images often found in posts, and you consider that 15 posts are displayed per page by default, it's not hard to see the humongous difference all of the extra images can make in the time it takes for everyone's web browser to download and display each page.

The speed and usability of the OLS web site is very, very important to me. And I think the guidelines and limits we have in place for avatars and signature graphics are more than reasonable.

Pretty please with sugar on it, kindly ensure that your signature is in compliance with our Signature Guidelines.

As long as it's close (i.e. 13kb instead of 12kb), we're probably not going to worry about it. But some signatures contain images that are 2, 3 or more times the file size limit (12kb), take up 2 or more times the screen space limit (5 lines of normal sized text) or contain more than 2 images. Those are the signatures with which we are most concerned.

We are going to start deleting signatures that are blatantly not in compliance within 24 - 48 hours without warning and without notice.


It's not all bad news, lol. We're also going to increase the maximum width of signature images from 350 pixels to 420 pixels. 420 pixels will allow many of the customized signature banners that are floating around on the Internet today (e.g. countdown banners, pregnancy banners, etc.).


Thanks everyone.


Brent


Signature Guidelines
http://www.online-sweepstakes.com/fo....php?p=1766651

Quote:
Signatures
All registered members have the ability to automatically add a few lines of text and/or a graphic to the bottom of their posts with a signature.

Edit Signature: http://www.online-sweepstakes.com/fo...=editsignature

All signatures must follow these guidelines:
  • A signature may contain a maximum of 2 images and/or smilies.
  • Images in signatures can be no larger than 100 pixels in height, 420 pixels in width and 12k in size. If your signature contains 2 graphics, their combined file size must be 12k or less.
  • Signatures should take up no more screen space than the equivalent of 5 lines of normal sized text (size=2) with a maximum of 90 characters per line. The screen space that your signature occupies includes all graphics and blank lines. Therefore, the bigger the graphic(s) in your signature, the less space you're going to have available for text. Use of a smaller font size (size=1) will allow you to squeeze in an extra line or two.
  • Font size should not exceed 3. Keep in mind, that the bigger font size will mean that your signature will take up more screen space which is still subject to the original space limitation of 5 lines of normal sized text (size=2).
  • You can provide a link to your web site and/or win page in your signature. However, affiliate and referral links through which you stand to gain monetarily are not allowed, this includes links to web pages that are mostly affiliate or referral links.
  • Referral links or vote for me requests for sweepstakes and contests are generally permissible (affiliate links and other links from which you stand to receive payment are generally not permissible), but the links must not be deceptive.
  • Signatures must also be in compliance with all other rules of the forums.


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  Old  December 20th, 2006, 1:47am     #2
ShelliS2003 is offline
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I'm confused totally about how to tell the size of a picture. Is my siggy O.K.?

ShelliS2003
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  Old  December 20th, 2006, 2:20am     #3
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Quote:
Originally Posted by ShelliS2003
I'm confused totally about how to tell the size of a picture. Is my siggy O.K.?
Right-click over the image and select Properties. You'll see the file size as well as the dimension in pixels.

Your signature image is broken, meaning that the image either doesn't exist at the image URL or the server on which it's located is down. So no one can see the image or tell how large it is. Please try and fix the image or remove it until you can, broken images can cause long, unnecessary delays when a page it's on is downloaded.

Thanks.


Brent


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  Old  December 20th, 2006, 2:27am     #4
Mendacious Moose is offline
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If I had a delete button each time I saw a HUGE signature...

It's a shame that you and the mods have to waste your time dealing with this ongoing problem.



Good luck.
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  Old  December 20th, 2006, 2:34am     #5
Trix is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Brent
Starting within the next 24 - 48 hours, signatures that are blatantly not in compliance with our Signature Guidelines will be deleted without warning and without notice.
Dun dun DUUUNNNNNNN!!

*furtively checks her sig image*

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  Old  December 20th, 2006, 2:41am     #6
fastfreddie1959 is offline
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Wink If you right click on mine this is what you'll see.
Quote:
Originally Posted by ShelliS2003
I'm confused totally about how to tell the size of a picture. Is my siggy O.K.?
350px--52px

1.11 KB (1135 bytes)

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  Old  December 20th, 2006, 2:48am     #7
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Cool How to tell if your siggy is the right size??
Get out a marker (I strongly suggest a "Dry Erase" marker) or scotch tape or??

Go to a forum paragraph in normal sized text that runs for seven or eight lines, with
no smilies or BOLD or distinctive text formating.

---- (between THIS line of dashes)
- Put a fine line on a dash, or thru the center of an e... count that as a zero line
- then count down five lines and do it again. The distance between those two lines
- on your monitor is five normal-sized lines of text high, from the bottom of the
- bottom line of text to the top of the top line of text.
---- (and THIS line of dashes equals five lines high)

Use your scroll bar (to attempt, at least) to position a siggy between those two lines.
If you can't, the siggy in question is too big. Period.

------------------------

Oddly enough, the restrictions on graphics size and siggy sizes make perfect sense when explained in terms of download bandwidth and Brent working his buns off trying to keep OLS at a reliably high download speed... Particularly if you are lucky enough to have a cable modem with a reliable upper end available, any changes in download speed you see from site to site are based on limitations at the far end, very unlikely to have anything much to do with limitations on Your end of the wire. And I don't think I've noticed the main OLS pages ever even hesitating to load...

On the other hand, I also have a better understanding now of the limits (sometimes seemingly harsh) for commentary in the notes pages -- THOSE pages DO sometimes limp along in loading (even with no graphics, smilies, siggy's, etc)...
And notes pages are essentially embedded "browser windows" linking to web pages that have to load like any other page... And if we get too much extra 'stuff' posted there, things start to drag and slooow doowwn, and there goes Brent's numbers and his personal satisfaction rating, and then it all rolls downhill from there...

Last edited by flared0ne; December 20th, 2006 at 3:09am. Reason: my sample "five lines of text" wrapped unexpectedly
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  Old  December 20th, 2006, 2:52am     #8
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Thank you FlaredOne, this really helps. Now how do I get white-out off my screen?

I'm kidding, Thank you so much. It looks like I am ok.

~ Let your heart guide you. It whispers - so listen closely~
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  Old  December 20th, 2006, 3:07am     #9
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Cool And I TRULY hate to raise this issue
since some people seem quite attached to the cute little monsters, but...

What about those images of "eggs" which say something cute about when they're going to "hatch" and/or turn into creatures that mention when they DID hatch... You realize that putting even ONE of those on an OLS webpage means that EVERYTIME that OLS webpage loads the current version of that image file has to be retrieved from (wherever those things are hosted)...

From a strictly paranoid viewpoint: if someone at the hosting site for those "eggs" wanted to capture statistics, they could probably get a pretty good idea exactly how much traffic OLS was getting on any forum page containing an "egg". On the other hand if that hosting site isn't run with quite the same pride and target download specs as Brent has, we'd see some loading delays passed forward from THEM to us.

On the OTHER other hand, I have fingers -- no, no, sorry -- I realize what I've described is the same mechanism in play when people embed any OTHER kind of image file via URL link out to some image hosting site, so it's not really that big a deal (these ARE really tiny "creature" or "egg" image files, after all)... but still, sometimes the paranoia seems much more intriguing...

I'm toast, out-a-here, it's past my bedtime (I'm told)...

***
Quote:
Originally Posted by SeaDebi
Thank you FlaredOne, this really helps. Now how do I get white-out off my screen?
I almost choked -- SeaDebi, you're trying to kill me!
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  Old  December 20th, 2006, 3:38am     #10
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Quote:
Originally Posted by flared0ne
*** I almost choked -- SeaDebi, you're trying to kill me!
( I'm sorry in advance, I didn't mean to post a joke in this thread, or make light of the issue - I just couldn't resist after the comment FlaredOne made- please delete if necessary)


Heimlich, anyone know Cyber Heimlich. Brent? Anyone?
Help us here!

I'll save you ~
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File Type: jpg Heimlich%20Grandmas.jpg (21.3 KB, 70 views)

~ Let your heart guide you. It whispers - so listen closely~
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  Old  December 20th, 2006, 5:12am     #11
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This is way over my head...I have no idea...
what the heck I should do or not do....All i know is that someone on here made me my avatar and my banner..so it should comply? Yes...if not what the heck do i do to rectify the situation...please tell me before deleting the links..because now I have to sort through three years to find my my wins page....ARGHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHH HHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHH HHHHHHHHHHHHHHH

Mommy Blog: http://www.everythingforana.com

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  Old  December 20th, 2006, 5:26am     #12
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Red face Hellllllllllllllllllloooooooooooooooooo???
SOmeone please tell me if this is alright??? before it gets deleted again....thanks...Zoe

Mommy Blog: http://www.everythingforana.com

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  Old  December 20th, 2006, 5:35am     #13
gemini lion is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Trix
Dun dun DUUUNNNNNNN!!

*furtively checks her sig image*

Trix, I think people with foil hats are exempt from siggy guidelines.

Undergoing maintenance
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  Old  December 20th, 2006, 6:24am     #14
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Quote:
Originally Posted by zoehunter
SOmeone please tell me if this is alright??? before it gets deleted again....thanks...Zoe

7.63 KB
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  Old  December 20th, 2006, 6:43am     #15
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Cool Zoehunter
according to the fuzzy pencil marks I made on my monitor (no white out for me, thank you ) your siggy image is 7.5 lines-of-text tall.

When I right-click on the image and select "Properties" it tells me your image is 100 pixels tall. According to the specs detailed in the quoted portion of Brent's original post, "Images in signatures can be no larger than 100 pixels in height" which would seem to make your image legal... But then that height exceeds other limits given...

I -think- that you should be okay, based on Brent's statement that they're not going to be too concerned about anything less than twice the posted limit (i.e. that any siggy's which are less than 10 "#2 lines of text" in height won't trip any triggers).

We need one of those virtual colored filters like sweeps use to drag over the color-masked win/lose graphic -- except this should be a graphics-layout tool showing what the legal limit actually is (with fuzzy edges if the intention is leniency within some range). Or maybe the siggy development page should have a restrictive entry field that, if it toggles to show slide bars, tells you you're running a tad large...
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