[standards-jig] On the Subject of Avatars

Evan Prodromou evan at prodromou.san-francisco.ca.us
Mon Jul 21 18:08:23 UTC 2003

>>>>> "BW" == Bob Wyman <bob at wyman.us> writes:

    BW> The use of PubSub overcomes what would, for many people, be a
    BW> major objection to the approach that you propose. That is:

First off, I posit that this is _not_ actually a major objection from
the point of view of users. From the point of view of the computer
scientist developing the toaster, sure, there's a problem with not
having pushed avatars. There's also a problem with not having VRML
sound-enhanced 3D movie avatars, or shared avatar banks, or
multigeneration version control of avatar object patterns in
namespaced pipelined collection chunks.

Dead Simple Avatars are just that: dead simple. They're the 80%
solution, and they do pretty much what most people want out of
avatars: associate an image with a JID.

    BW> Your approach requires polling of the vCard from time to time
    BW> to determine whether or not the avatar has changed.

The DSA JEP I proposed has Implementation Notes that specifically
recommend _against_ polling. The user should be able to explicitly
request an update, say by clicking on the screen display of the
avatar. Simple and intuitive.

        <evanp> Hey, Bob, I just changed my avatar. Check it out!
        <bobw> [click]
        <bobw> Cool!
        <evanp> Thanks!

My experience with avatars in other IM systems is that they are in
fact _rarely_ changed. And my experience with questions about avatars
on this list is that people want a working solution now, not a year
from now. DSAs can be implemented today, by anyone.


Evan Prodromou
evan at prodromou.san-francisco.ca.us

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