Gravatar Adds MonsterIDs and Identicons

Gravatar

It looks like Gravatar has added Identicons and MonsterIDs to their system. I’d been wondering when they would add something like this since it seems like such a simple and useful addition. I was thinking my plugins wouldn’t get much use now but it seems like they’ve gotten quite a few hits in the last few days. Not sure if that’s related to Gravatar or just random but I guess some people are still finding them useful.

So I guess I’ll keep maintaining the plugins since unfortunately Gravatar doesn’t really give you all the configuration possibilities of WP_Identicon or the hand drawn monsters of WP_MonsterID.

Goblin art by Lemm

Speaking of hand drawn, Lemm, the kind illustrator that drew up the new monsters, has (re?)started No More Tangerines, a blog showing off some of her art. It’s pretty cool to see the progression her drawings go through.

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WP_Texticon

Matrix-like Texticon example Letters Texticon example DNA-like Texticon example

I realize I’m getting in the dead horse beating side of automatic avatar creation plugins but brainsolid asked for a plugin to generate binary avatars that looked like the text from the matrix and I figured it wouldn’t take too long to change WP_Identicon over to it. Of course, then other things came up and I managed to take quite a while to get around to it but it’s done now so here is WP_Texticon. It generates avatars with an array of colored characters. It’s sort of hard to describe so it’s probably easier to just show a few examples.

So I guess it’s mostly for anyone that likes that text in the Matrix, writing about code (with 0 and 1′s or 0-9 and A-E if you want to get fancy) or biologists (give every commenter their own DNA sequence with ATCG) or maybe general literature (with some random letters and a white background).

Features

  • Dynamically generated avatars for each commenter
  • Matrix/DNA/Binary-like text array icons
  • Customizable character selection
  • Gravatar support
  • No theme edits necessary

Current Version:

WP_Texticon

Installation instructions:

Unzip wp_texticon.zip. Upload wp_texticon.php and the texticon folder. Make sure the texticon folder is writable. If your unzipping program creates a wp_texticon folder please only upload the contents (wp_texticon.php and the texticon folder). That should be it. Texticons should now appear next to your commenter’s names.

You can adjust the background colors, the type and number of characters making up the Texticons and CSS in the Texticon Control Panel. If you’d like to change the fonts used for the characters, add or remove any Truetype Fonts (files that end in .ttf) you’d like to the texticon/fonts folder. You can also clear the Texticon image cache in the control panel.

For Advanced Users:

For even more control, you can disable the automatic placement in the Texticon Control Panel and add an Texticon to any comment with texticon_build($comment->comment_author_email, $comment->comment_author);. For example, find the comments.php of your current theme (it should be in the folder wp-content/themes/[currentThemeName]/). Open it up and look for something similar to foreach ($comments as $comment). Inside this loop there should be code that displays the comment author’s name or metadata like <p class="comment-author"> or <p class="comment-metadata">. Just before all this enter:
<?php if (function_exists(texticon_build)) echo texticon_build($comment->comment_author_email, $comment->comment_author); ?>
If you would prefer to base the Texticons on the commentor’s IP address instead of the commentor’s email just replace $comment->comment_author_email in the above with $comment->comment_author_IP.

Change Log:

  • v0.52 3-27-2007:
    • Fixed missing gravatar bug
  • v0.51 3-27-2007:
    • First Public Version

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WP_MonsterID Update (Hand Drawn Monsters!)

Updated MonsterID Icons

I just updated my MonsterID plugin with great monster artwork from Lemm who out of the blue emailed me with artistic very cool sketches of every monster part. I was just saying I wished I had gradients in my monsters and now I have honest to goodness hand-sketched monsters. Man the internet is great. The new version is a little processor intensive so it might take a few reloads to get all the monsters cached on a popular post but it will only happen the first time and things will be quick after that (and I set it so no one user should have to wait more than 5 seconds). They sure look great once they’re generated. Lemm’s about page says she does some freelance work, so if you’re looking for a great illustrator, it sure looks like she can draw.

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Alternative WordPress Avatar Plugin

Wavatar Examples

Shamus (of DM of the Rings fame) has made his own avatar generating WordPress plugin called Wavatars. They do look pretty good. I like the gradients he uses and the artwork looks pretty nice (almost as good as say monsters or geometric shapes ;) ).

He has some good ideas with automatically adding the icon to the user’s name (I had thought this would mess up the html but now that I think about it should be ok for most blogs) and gravatar support (I suppose they’ll be catching on now that they were bought by the WordPress guy) that I think I’ll implement in my plugins in the near future.

Hopefully we’ll see more automatic avatar generating plugins as they catch on.

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WP_Identicon

An example of WP_IdenticonAn example of WP_Identicon

A couple weeks ago I made a WordPress plugin to generate unique monsters for each commenter. Don Park came up with the original idea for representing users with geometric shapes. Since I already had the framework in place I thought I’d make a WordPress plugin for the original geometric Identicons. If you want to visually represent users (but maybe you don’t like monsters so much?) then this plugin is for you.

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