Rather than trying to watch the last five or six posts for new comments, I usually just follow the WordPress moderation queue. This lets me see all new comments, even when they appear on months-old posts. The only downside to this was that I couldn’t see the avatars for everyone. It’s much easier to remember people and what they’ve said previously if you have a “face” to go with the name, so this was a major drawback for me.
The good news is that now that I’ve upgraded to WordPress 2.5, this moderation queue shows Gravatar icons for each user. The bad news is that I can now confirm that the Wavatars generated by Gravatar.com are different from the Wavatars generated by my original plugin. Which means the faces I see don’t match the faces you see. Sigh.
One of my goals for that project was for people to get a wavatar in a deterministic way, so that your Wavatar at Chatty DM will match your Wavatar here at Twenty Sided, which will match the Wavatars at any of the other 1,000+ sites that have downloaded the plugin.
Now everyone will have two Wavatars associated with their email, and which one you get will depend on where it was generated.
I’m not sure why this change was made. It doesn’t look like they added more parts to allow for more permutations, it’s just… different. I can’t imagine what the benefit would be of going in and changing this. I don’t have access to the Wavatars source being used at Gravatars.com, so I can’t even tell what the difference is.
I realize this is probably trivial to most people. It’s certainly not hurting anyone. This is just one of those displeasing situations that drive engineers nuts. I’m sure I’m being pedantic in worrying about it, but obsessing over details like this and wanting disparate systems to inter-operate gracefully is in the blood of anyone who writes software for a living.
To this end, I might alter my site to use the Gravatar.com versions. This will mean the faces will match again, although it also means the faces you’ve come to know here will all be “re-rolled”.
Another PC Golden Age?
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I'm a very casual fan of the series, but I gave Civilization VI a look to see what was up with this nuclear war simulator.
The Death of Half-Life
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Let's ruin everyone's fun by listing all the ways in which zombies can't work, couldn't happen, and don't make sense.
Mass Effect Retrospective
A novel-sized analysis of the Mass Effect series that explains where it all went wrong. Spoiler: It was long before the ending.