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Managing successful online communities


New: Letter Profile Photos

This entry is about our IPS Community Suite 4.2 release

IPS Community Suite comes with a default profile photo which is used when members have not set a profile photo for their account. While this model has served the software well for years, we felt it was time for an update to the software to keep pace with current internet trends. This has led to one of the latest changes you can expect to see with version 4.2: letter profile photos

When upgrading you will be asked if you wish to use letter profile photos, or if you wish to stick with the generic per-theme default profile photo that is used presently. You can change your mind any time after upgrading by adjusting the setting in the AdminCP as well.

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AdminCP members list

We have tested many languages to ensure maximum compatibility. The font used in the image is automatically selected based upon the characters to be written to the image, so sites that have more than one language will see compatibility for all of the profile photos that are created automatically.

The colors are not set for each letter. You will notice in the screenshot that each "A" letter photo has a different color. They are chosen randomly when generated.

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Letter photos in a sidebar widget

We hope that this change helps bring your communities to life with a little more style, flair, and uniqueness for each new user on your site.

 

Developer Note

The code is structured in such a manner that third party developers can further extend the feature with plugins. The methods for writing text to images are exposed through our central \IPS\Image class introducing new possibilities in your own custom code.

Comments

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5 hours ago, opentype said:

Not sure if its my graphic designer’s eye or if my OCD is too severe, but the fact that many letters aren’t centered properly is painful to me. 

It seems centered to me but the problem is the font letters and im pretty sure it will be worse when a different font used  

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4 hours ago, TAMAN said:

It seems centered to me but the problem is the font letters and im pretty sure it will be worse when a different font used  

Yes, the shifted appearance is CAUSED by the font itself, but the way to work around this is through settings – but there are none yet. 

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9 hours ago, Adriano Faria said:

So it will use the first character of the name? John and John Doe will show only "J" instead of "J" and "JD"?

Correct (although as a third party developer, I will tell you that at the code level the number of characters to use is a parameter passed to a method that can easily be adjusted by a plugin).

6 hours ago, opentype said:

Yes, the shifted appearance is CAUSED by the font itself, but the way to work around this is through settings – but there are none yet. 

We will sweep through and address this. As was mentioned in your quote, some characters in some fonts need manual adjustment unfortunately, and we have several defined already but may have overlooked a few.

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A font size setting also helps*. The smaller the letter, the less it will appear off centre. 

Making font-independent adjustments to the expected letter widths won’t work, since the letter widths can be completely different in different fonts. 

 

*) That’s how I get acceptable results with CodingJungle’s app, even with multiple letters. 

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On 3/21/2017 at 2:55 PM, opentype said:

Not sure if its my graphic designer’s eye or if my OCD is too severe, but the fact that many letters aren’t centered properly is painful to me. 

 

19 hours ago, TAMAN said:

It seems centered to me but the problem is the font letters and im pretty sure it will be worse when a different font used  

 

15 hours ago, opentype said:

Yes, the shifted appearance is CAUSED by the font itself, but the way to work around this is through settings – but there are none yet. 

 

8 hours ago, bfarber said:

Correct (although as a third party developer, I will tell you that at the code level the number of characters to use is a parameter passed to a method that can easily be adjusted by a plugin).

We will sweep through and address this. As was mentioned in your quote, some characters in some fonts need manual adjustment unfortunately, and we have several defined already but may have overlooked a few.

centering was a pain, it still is. I put offset settings in to help alleviate it on n2a,but it still not "perfect". there were several libraries i tried too for GD, where it would work great for one font, the next font it wouldn't. GD version would also hamper this, I would get them perfectly centered on my localhost, and then throw it up on my live site with the same settings and bam, they wouldn't be centered...its enough to drive a grown man to cry :no:

@bfarber you are probably already aware of this, if not, GD can be compiled without freetype support (so placing text over images wont be possible), so you might need to put a check in there. afaik, imagick always has it. 

Edited by CodingJungle
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