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Sick of Wavatars Yet?

By Shamus
on Thursday Dec 20, 2007
Filed under:


As part of the Wavatars plugin, I added a bit that will add a line in the footer of the blog, which will link back to the Wavatars homepage. (The user can turn this off in the admin panel.) I wanted to see where the thing wound up, and spread the word around. So far it hasn’t worked yet.

The plugin has been downloaded 115 times as of this morning, but the only incoming links I see are from people directly writing a post about wavatars. I don’t see any incoming links that are a result of the blurb in the footer. Here are the ones I do see: Talking Out Of Turn, Murphyzville, The Right Side of the Boat, Scuffulans hirsutus , Zona Cerebral, and The Hotel Blues.

Some people might choose to disable the Wavatars blurb in the footer, but I think the big reason it isn’t showing up is that most themes just don’t support the wp_footer () function I hooked into. None of the sites I listed above have the blurb in their footer. (Some don’t even have footers.)

Be sure to check out The Right Side of the Boat, which has wavatars with an alternate art set. (I actually like it better.) You’ll still have the same face, it will just be drawn with a different style. Very cool.

I have all sorts of things I’d like to do to add even more variety to Wavatars, but any change means everyone’s faces would be re-rolled, and I don’t want to do that. It would break the portability of faces between sites, (unless everyone upgraded) which sort of defeats one of the main purposes of the entire project.

I love working on this sort of thing, though. It might be interesting to work on another plugin which supports switchable themes for the avatars. So, you could choose which theme to use on your site: Wavatars-style cartoon faces, anime faces, stick figure characters, little robots, geometric patterns, Halloween pumpkins, snowmen, and so on. People could make art sets for the plugin and put them out for others to use, so instead of one plugin making one style of icons, it could be expanded to do any style you like. I’m not sure if people would want to try and sort out themes-for-a-plugin, which is a strange concept and not something any of the WordPress repositories could understand or categorize properly.

You’d want it to be simple for an artist to make their own set of icon parts without requiring them to do any coding. The plugin itself would have to work out the details of how to put the bits together, so all the artist needs to do is make transparent / masked PNG files and stick them in a folder together. It would read from the directory, check the names of the various files and note how they are numbered. (head1.png, hair5.png, mouth22.png, etc) It would use the numbers to figure out how many possible combinations there are for that particular layer. The only trick I see is figuring out what order to do the layers. Maybe the artist would have to give some sort of hint. Maybe it would do them alphabetical, so you’d have to name the parts a_head, b_eyes, c_nose, etc.

Okay, I need to stop thinking about this or I’m going to lose another weekend.

Comments (40)

  1. murphyz says:

    As an FYI I disabled the link via the options. Just a personal preference thing rather than a not wishing to link back.

    Thanks for all of your efforts on such a great plugin.


  2. Hi, Charlie from Talking Out Of Turn here.

    Love the plugin, but I’m noticing a couple of things. First, the “Recent Comments” widget displays the wavatars, which messes with the sidebar (and doesn’t display them correctly; they were all the same).

    Second, my comments feed appears to be completely broken.

    I haven’t done any troubleshooting to verify that there isn’t a bad interaction with another plugin yet, but I’m not running that many things that aren’t vanilla.

  3. Oh, and I do indeed have a link to you in my footers, and did before. It’s at the bottom, after the Bad Behavior stats, on every page that I looked at just now.

  4. straechav says:

    Hey, I say, go for it. That custom art implementation sounds like good idea – especially since I like the other more hand-drawn wavatar a lot more than the original one, I’m sorry to say. Well, at least in my wavatar’s case. :p

  5. I added the following to go ahead and make the wavatars go away in the recent comments widget, to my stylesheet:

    Added to handle Wavatars
    ul#recentcomments img {
    display: none;

  6. SimeSublime says:

    It’s interesting to see others takes on your design, and of course the bonus is that you could pick the best to work on your site.

  7. ChattyDm says:

    I have to redesign my whole theme before adding any new plugins (and I’m skilless in that department so I’m bribing my IT friends with food)

    But I definitively want to add Gravatars and Wavatars when I do update…. Expect some feedback in January!

    Hey Shamus… how’bout you help me in exchange for a few Home baked French Canadian Lasagnas?


  8. Chris Arndt says:

    As the creator/writer of Apologies Demanded, I’m sick of the wavatars.

    Someone message me when Shamus stops talking about wavatars.

  9. Turk says:

    None of the sites I listed above have the blurb in their footer. (Some don't even have footers.)

    I just wanted to say thanks for this plugin first and second that your blurb is indeed down there in the footer of my site. I didn’t add it myself, so I’m sure wp_footer exists somewhere in the nasty mess I call a theme. I think what you have created is really creative and I think it would be shameful to not give credit.

    To Charles I would point out this comment from Shamus and use:

    wavatar_show ($comment->comment_author_email)

    Using the auto insertion of wavatars fubared my feed too. and using the $comment->comment_author_email bit instead of $comment_author_email fixed all my problems.

  10. Corvus says:

    The plugin completely borks your comments feed, and in multiple ways. Here’s a screenie of the most obvious issue:


    I used to get an individual entry for each comment, now I get these monstrously formatted blurps of multiple comments at a time. Secondly, if I feel like commenting, I normally hit ‘V’ to open the URI associated with the feed item. Your comment appear to have no such association.

  11. Turk says:

    Also Google shows that a few more are using your plugin and have the blurb on. I wanted to say that I saw your plugin mentioned on the best Doctor Who webcomic Rich's ComixBlog.

  12. Shamus says:

    Corvus: Thanks for the screenshot. I see the problem. I’ll hammer out a fix during lunch today. Thanks again.

  13. Iván says:

    Hello! Thank’s for your mention. I think this is a really nice and funny plugin. Regards from Spain ;)

  14. ryanlb says:

    I’m finally getting around to leaving a comment, just so I can see what Wavatar I get.

  15. ryanlb says:

    Ah, boo. I guess that means my email address is lame.
    Ivan’s is much better than mine.

  16. scragar says:

    unless shamus converts the email to one case or another changing the case of your email will effectivly change the entire graphic, fun if you want a change, but given the number of posibilities this raises I think those thousands of possible combo’s will fairly quickly run out :P

  17. Shamus says:

    Actually, emails are converted to lowercase in the current version, so changing the case SHOULDN’T change the avatar.

  18. Shamus says:

    Also, new version is up which should fix the hosed rss feed problem.

  19. New version seems to fix both comments feed and recent comments widget. Thank you, Shamus and Turk!

  20. Nick says:

    I’m mostly just curious what mine looks like…

  21. Nick says:

    I have more than one email address!

  22. Phlux says:

    Just my two cents, and I don’t have a blog of my own yet, so take this for what it’s worth: I think more customizability trumps portability.

    It’s novel to have the same wavatar on every server, but if it were my blog, I’d want to customize the art to match my theme. I know enough PHP and photoshop to do it with what you’ve already provided, but there are others would probably appreciate more built-in customization options.

  23. Coke says:

    mindless post to see own wavatar!

  24. Gbyron says:

    Yes! I am sick of Wavatars! 4 out of 5 latest articles are about them. Boo!

    Nice job though. ;)

  25. Tarous Zars says:

    FWIW I’m not sick of the Wavatars articles yet.

    Thinking of porting them to my site. Just what I need, one more item on my todo list =-)

  26. Davesnot says:

    Not sick of em… sick of gravatars… so I disabled them.. and am searching for my old wavatar.

  27. Davesnot says:

    oh.. woe is me.. my gravator won’t die.. die die!!.. stab.. die.. stab. .. raise wavatar..

  28. Corvus says:

    Shamus, you’ve cured both the feed issues I mentioned. Thanks!

  29. Lancewithabee says:

    I’ve spent an hour trying to find an old post so I wouldn’t need to post to see my Wavatar looked like.

    Sigh, I tried

  30. HeatherRae says:

    I really like this. Icons are a big part of why I love my LiveJournal account, and this is sort of like that, though not quite.

  31. Strangeite says:

    Very very cool. Wish I could use this plugin on blogger.

  32. ryanlb says:

    These are pretty cool, and I forgot that I also have more than one email address, so this is a lame post to get a different icon.

  33. M says:

    …what do we do if we strongly dislike the icon assigned to us?

  34. 2Φ3Σ27Φ (\)λ√λ22Φ says:

    another lame post

  35. 2Φ3Σ27Φ (\)λ√λ22Φ says:

    and another

  36. 2Φ3Σ27Φ (\)λ√λ22Φ says:

    and you thought i had all day to come up with difrent versions of me right?? nope, just two, 3D and 2D

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