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Controlling image display in 3.2


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#1 Canindia

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Posted 27 July 2011 - 09:09 PM

Version 3.1.x had an option that allows users to disable images/gifs from displaying in posts/signature. Very useful feature for forum users if they are browsing in office environment. I don't seem to find this feature in 3.2, was it discontinued? If yes, can you please consider bringing it back, its a very useful feature.
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#2 Matt

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Posted 28 July 2011 - 01:59 AM

It's under the "Global" tab when editing a member group:

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#3 Canindia

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Posted 28 July 2011 - 08:38 AM

Hi Matt, I am not talking about disabling the images in signature, I am talking about board preferences option in profile that went missing. check the snapshot

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#4 NeilC

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Posted 28 July 2011 - 09:28 AM

It disappeared in the purge of user settings, with the explanation from IPS that it isn't the job of the software to control this sort of thing, when the end user can achieve the same thing via their browser settings. That would be fair enough were it not for the fact that a lot of my users browse my forum from their work environment where the facility to change browser settings has been taken away from them by their IT departments. So I'm stuck with the possibility that I'll lose users who used to use this facility if I upgrade to 3.2

#5 TCB

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Posted 28 July 2011 - 10:16 AM

That's another very weird decision! Turning off images in your browser make ALL images dissapear. Avatars, buttons, banner, etc. That's absolutely not the same as simply turn of images in signatures?
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#6 Canindia

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Posted 08 August 2011 - 02:35 PM

Any update from IP team on this please. Is there a hook available to do this.

#7 bfarber

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Posted 08 August 2011 - 06:52 PM

The setting you are referring to was added to reduce bandwidth back in the days when many people were browsing over dialup. The bandwidth savings this option provides is negligible in this day and age, so the option was removed.
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#8 Nimdock

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Posted 08 August 2011 - 07:22 PM

Hello Brandon,

The thing is most users (in my forum) do not use this to save bandwidth. In my forum my users use it because most of them access the board from a university or from their job and being able to hide post images, avatars and signatures helps them make the site appear more office appropriate. Posted Image

By having these settings it is up to them to control how they want the forum to appear to them.


I have never written a hook so I am not very familiar with how they work. Is this something that would be solvable via hook? (By that I mean give the settings to control images back to the end users).

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#9 Canindia

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Posted 08 August 2011 - 09:32 PM

Hi Brandon, I would like to express the same opinion as Nimdock, most of the users use this option, when accessing site from office or university. Bandwidth here is secondary.
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#10 Cyril Washbrook

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Posted 24 August 2011 - 01:57 AM

I'd echo the posts of the two members above me. I don't personally use the feature, but I know individuals on my forum who do. They don't do it for bandwidth reasons: they do it for privacy reasons at work or educational institutions.

In any case, it does concern me as a general point that much of what IPB has done in terms of the removal of features is being justified not in terms of improving user experience, but enforcing a quasi-ideological view of how people should browse.

The "online/offline" feature was removed not because extensive research had shown that it was getting in the way, or because removing it led to an improvement in the user experience, but because the developers were hell-bent on a rather novel and eccentric idea that in this modern day and age, people don't need to know when they're talking into a black hole or talking to someone who's likely to respond.

Similarly, the "view/hide avatars" feature was removed not because doing so would improve the user experience, but because IPB assumed that the only reason why people used it was to save bandwidth, and decided that in this modern day and age, such a feature was therefore unnecessary. I can only assume that this feature, too, was removed without doing any research as to how and why people actually used the feature, since the reason given in post #7 appears to be wrong. Maybe the reason in post #7 is the reason why the feature was introduced, but it's not why people actually use it.

I don't mean to be a persistent grumbler. I think 3.2 takes many great strides and for the first time genuinely rivals vBulletin as a package. But it does baffle me that useful features are being removed based on what appear to be eccentric beliefs and untested assumptions.
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#11 bfarber

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Posted 24 August 2011 - 10:28 AM

I'd echo the posts of the two members above me. I don't personally use the feature, but I know individuals on my forum who do. They don't do it for bandwidth reasons: they do it for privacy reasons at work or educational institutions.

In any case, it does concern me as a general point that much of what IPB has done in terms of the removal of features is being justified not in terms of improving user experience, but enforcing a quasi-ideological view of how people should browse.

The "online/offline" feature was removed not because extensive research had shown that it was getting in the way, or because removing it led to an improvement in the user experience, but because the developers were hell-bent on a rather novel and eccentric idea that in this modern day and age, people don't need to know when they're talking into a black hole or talking to someone who's likely to respond.

Similarly, the "view/hide avatars" feature was removed not because doing so would improve the user experience, but because IPB assumed that the only reason why people used it was to save bandwidth, and decided that in this modern day and age, such a feature was therefore unnecessary. I can only assume that this feature, too, was removed without doing any research as to how and why people actually used the feature, since the reason given in post #7 appears to be wrong. Maybe the reason in post #7 is the reason why the feature was introduced, but it's not why people actually use it.

I don't mean to be a persistent grumbler. I think 3.2 takes many great strides and for the first time genuinely rivals vBulletin as a package. But it does baffle me that useful features are being removed based on what appear to be eccentric beliefs and untested assumptions.


You are very incorrect in your assumption of how we go about determining what features to include or remove. :)

We didn't remove features to "enforcing a quasi-ideological view of how people should browse.". Much of the changes in the interface and removal of settings IS indeed to improve the user experience. The VAST VAST majority of our customers are very much NOT interested in 30000000000 settings to control every aspect of the board. When they see pages and pages of configuration options, whether in the ACP or in the User Control Panel, new users find it extremely daunting and don't understand why they can't just sign up and use the board. Most users don't care about disabling images in posts, for instance, and thus it's one more setting in what was an ever-growing page of micro management control.

Power users love these things, sure. I don't personally have a problem with settings...but, in contrast to your opinion of our development practices, the software is not tailored to my uses and needs. It is catered to the needs of our customers.

As for removing the online/offline indicator, while we are discussing this internally given the feedback on it, it was removed to reduce clutter when viewing a topic. Over the last several years new features have been added and "tacked on" to the topic view to the point where, in previous versions, there were 8 million icons and links, and the average user who simply wanted to read the topic (and maybe reply to it) were bombarded with vast amounts of information and options they had no need or use for, and/or didn't understand. Again, this was changed while working on improving the user experience (and, just to clarify now so my comment is not taken out of context, we did not *specifically* target that one icon - it was one of many that were removed in topic view).


99% of changes made to IP.Board are not made to suit our purposes, but those of our customers. Much of the feedback we receive is through sales chats, tickets, and similar feedback channels - not through this site.

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#12 NeilC

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Posted 24 August 2011 - 02:46 PM

As you've vastly over-exaggerated here...

30000000000 settings

...and here...

there were 8 million icons and links

...I can't help but think that this is an exaggeration too...

99% of changes made to IP.Board are not made to suit our purposes, but those of our customers.



It is catered to the needs of our customers.

Sadly, with the removal of the ability for an end user to turn off viewing images in posts, it doesn't cater to the needs of some of my customers.

#13 bfarber

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Posted 25 August 2011 - 08:24 AM

Just a note...

Your selective quotes take my statements out of context. For instance, this is NOT exxagerated

The VAST VAST majority of our customers are very much NOT interested in 30000000000 settings to control every aspect of the board.


I did not say "IPB has x settings", I said our customers don't want x settings. I threw in a random high number, but I think you can ascertain the underlying meaning.

Yes, "8 million icons" is an exaggeration.

As to the last point, however - many of the features added in 3.2 we don't even have enabled here. We don't have iCalendar imports running, nor do we have tags enabled, for instance. "99%" is pulled out of thin air, but there are very very few things we add to IP.Board to suit our own purposes directly. The changes in the software are driven by customer feedback, pure and simple. We sell a product - it behooves us to sell a product customers want to buy, not one that we ourselves want to use but is not desirable to our potential customer base.

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#14 Nimdock

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Posted 25 August 2011 - 02:40 PM

The online icon is removed because it clutters topic view. OK, I can buy that. In fact I do not care about it but I bring it up to make a point. So, it gets removed to remove clutter, but then the user options to hide avatars, images/emoticons and signatures that also help unclutter topic view for those who want that also get removed.

I understand I am somewhat twisting the argument to make my point but there you go.

I have asked two times in the forums if this would be solvable with a hook without getting an answer. Even though I am a developer I have never really looked into any modifications of IPB so I have zero experience/knowledge about it development-wise so that is why I am asking. At this point the lack of answer leads me to believe that it may not be solvable with a hook.

I have reached a point in which I feel it is worthless to express why this feature is so important for some admins to have for their users. I have read that it was removed because there is no need to save bandwidth anymore, when we explained that it wasn't because of the bandwidth saving that was useful I read that it's not worth it to maintain a feature for people that do shifty things such as browse a forum at work, I have also read that people should disable all images for all websites which is not even close to being the same.


At this juncture I feel that expressing my dislike of the removal of this hiding options only makes me appear as a 'negative' person to IPS staff. I also found it very surprising that I was looking at competing products to see if they would satisfy the needs of my users. Now, do not get me wrong. I am not planning on switching from IPB. I have nothing to say but positive things about IPB as forum software, IPS as a company and their staff. I just mention it because when I became aware of it I was truly surprised that for the first time in 8 years as a customer I felt the need to see if another forum software met the needs of my users.


I understand I can remain using 3.1 if the feature is so important for my users which it truly is. However, at some point support for 3.1 will be dropped and even though I have not had to request support for about two years (if I am not mistaken) I would not like to end up using an unsupported version of IPB. An update will have to happen inevitably if I want to have supported software.
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#15 Robulosity2

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Posted 26 August 2011 - 02:38 AM

Suggestion: Maybe tell your users while at work, they should be working instead of browsing your site....

#16 Cyril Washbrook

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Posted 29 August 2011 - 03:31 AM

Suggestion: Maybe tell your users while at work, they should be working instead of browsing your site....

Presumably I should also tell my users that they should stop using our site at all, and instead use that time to volunteer for World Vision.
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#17 Redjack

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Posted 31 August 2011 - 05:58 PM

In most other places, users who simply want to use software accept the default settings. I don't not use Word because there are too many options.... In some other software there are basic vs. advanced options. Much like the stupid (yes, stupid) decision to remove support for a library of avatars. The loss of this one feature has me debating simply asking for a refund and staying on 2.3.6.....

#18 Seifer Almasy®

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Posted 16 September 2011 - 02:35 PM

The option to hide avatar / personal photo be removed, it is a flaw in my view, as many people browsing the forums at work and many forums have avatars, say, inappropriate (some nudity, or even inappropriate) and this function was almost mandatory

User online / offline is the less, two edit lines in the skin bring it back

sorry my poor english
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#19 Freeborne

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Posted 18 September 2011 - 08:57 PM

+1 on bringing this feature back.

It doesn't effect me as a forum browser, but it's a concern to some of my members, which thus concerns me that a feature they previously had is now gone.

It's a single tick box in 'ignore preferences' that needs to be added. I don't see that as cluttering up or confusing most users when 'Ignore Preferences' is so sparsely populated as it is. Actually make that two tick boxes - 1st for global ignore avatars and 2nd for 'ignore this member's avatar'

#20 3DKiwi

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Posted 18 September 2011 - 09:16 PM

Vote to bring it back. While there is an option under "Ignore" settings it completely hides signatures. I don't mind reading a one line signature message but I object to a page full of pollution like what I frequently get in IPS's own forums where members have excessively large signature images. Nimdock's signature image above is a prime example of why I don't want to see signature images.

Actually bandwidth is an issue. I can't be the only one that occasionally browses the forums here or elsewhere from my mobile phone and instead of using the mobile skin I use a full browser. Alternatively I use my mobile phone as a modem for my laptop when I'm working in the field and want to check on my forums. I pay for bandwidth by the mb if I go over a daily limit of 10mb.

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