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Any thoughts on the new XenForo smilies? (I propose a little editing)

Ike Savage

Froggy like robot
Staff member
Site Supporters
I mean the following ones in particular. Seems they were added and made the defaults with the big site upgrade a few months ago: [EDIT: since I'm slowly re-arranging these, these will appear in a different order over time]

:) ;) :( >( :confused: 8) :p :D :eek: :oops: :rolleyes: oO

Not that thse aren't useful, but the new, oversized smilies displaced ones we already had which did the same job for years. I also feel that our traditional set fit in better with the rest of the site's smiley collection in terms of design and sizing.

(of course if you're new to the site the past few months, the new XF smilies would actually be the default set you're used to!)

These are examples of the 'traditional' set I'm referring to:

:smile: :wink: :( :-x :s :cool: :razz: :D :shock: :roll:


To be clear, when I say "displaced," I mean that for many years now, a site user would type something like
Code:
:) or :(
...to auto-create the smilies :smile: and :(, but currently those get auto-replaced with :) and :(.


So I'm thinking the simplest, most practical solution would be to rename the smilies in question back to their original abbreviations, and keep the new XF ones as variants for those who prefer them.

Make sense or non-sense? Any thoughts at all? This is serious business, after all!! :cuss:

.

Actually I had one more issue in mind, which is that lots of the most useful smilies are 'far down in the pile.' Meaning that when bringing up the popup list, one often needs to scroll far down the list to find the desired smiley.

I find that a bit of an annoyance, personally, and something of a discourager upon using smilies more often. Can't help but think I'm not alone in that.

Not sure if anyone has strong feelings either way, but as an admin here, it looks like I can manually sort the smiley list to be a little easier to use in that sense.

Worth mentioning is that there may also be smilies here that are either offensive to some or likely never to be of use. We could certainly discuss archiving those, if anyone's interested. :boobies:

@JonPurpleHaze,
Remember, this is serious business!! :cuss:
 
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GeorgeH

Flippered Out
Staff member
Site Supporters
I don't ever use them so it doesn't make much difference to me. The 4th one from the right of the new ones does look a little anemic to me.
 

JonPurpleHaze

Site Nudger
Staff member
For those that don't know, Pinball Nirvana has always had a extensive library of smilies and sometimes they need to be edited to behave properly, it took some effort to get the VBulletin PN smilies corralled and imported into XF. There's a link in the Help menu in the Footer for all of the smilies here:

I still don't know why the Emoji's aren't listed there, guess it's because they technically aren't called smilies? I knew nothing about them previously but if you click on the happy face BBCode when making a post you can see a popup labeled "Smilies". Everything listed after the PN Smilies category are actually Emoji's and automagically appeared after I changed the database:
After we imported from VB, I didn't know what emoji's were and wasn't sure whether to implement them, found out that many systems and mobile devices use these thangs.
๐Ÿง›โ€โ™€๏ธ

Just enabled emoji support by converting our database to utf8mb4 and adding code to our config file, automagically the smilies menu added a shitload of emoji's in categories that weren't there before. People Category ๐Ÿ˜ฑ๐Ÿง•, Nature ๐Ÿฆ†๐ŸŒˆ Food ๐ŸŽ‚๐ŸฅƒActivity ๐Ÿˆ๐ŸŽฎ Travel ๐Ÿšข๐Ÿ›ฃ Objects ๐Ÿ—‘๐ŸŽŽ Symbols ๐Ÿ†—๐Ÿ†“โ˜ชโš•and Flags ๐Ÿ๐Ÿดโ€โ˜ ๏ธ๐Ÿ‡บ๐Ÿ‡ณ.

I didn't upload anything for this to work, just changed the database and edited settings.
A note about the Emoji's, there are a lot of Add-Ons available for Smilies and Emoji's with many options for the Emoji's, we have JoyPixels enabled:

Emoji style

Emoji by JoyPixels
๐Ÿ™‚ ๐Ÿž ๐Ÿ˜ โ˜• ๐Ÿ‘ ๐Ÿ˜€ ๐Ÿ” ๐Ÿคช
Twemoji by Twitter
๐Ÿ™‚ ๐Ÿž ๐Ÿ˜ โ˜• ๐Ÿ‘ ๐Ÿ˜€ ๐Ÿ” ๐Ÿคช
Native device emoji (where supported)
๐Ÿ™‚ ๐Ÿž ๐Ÿ˜ โ˜• ๐Ÿ‘ ๐Ÿ˜€ ๐Ÿ” ๐Ÿคช

Emojis can look vastly different depending on which device you are using. Older devices may not support emoji at all. We can replace native device emoji (or missing emoji) with the artwork sets above.
I still don't know enough about Emoji's to confidently mess around with them but did find out they are actually a page called a Sprite instead of individual images.

About the Smilies, we have the setting enabled to display the Smilie instead of an Emoji if they share the same code, you can see the codes by hovering over any Smilie or Emoji in the links I've mentioned. When posting if you type in
Code:
:
followed by 2 more characters the system will suggest smilies or Emoji's, here were the suggestions that popped up with typing
Code:
:sm
: :) :smash: :smile: :smokin2: :smileyvike: .
Note that the code for the 3rd one is actually
Code:
:smile:
,Not
Code:
:)
.
I think the
Code:
:)
while typing doesn't do this because it's less than 3 characters.

Another feature with the Smilie popup is that you can search the Smilies and Emoji's and it will display your recently used images.

:hulagirls:
 

Ike Savage

Froggy like robot
Staff member
Site Supporters
@JonPurpleHaze,
From settings, I see this line:
"Emoji source: Serve from preferred CDN"

So I guess XF came pre-configured with the emojis, and has it's own (external?) content delivery source set internally. I see nothing directly about a "sprite page," other than the word "sprite" being part of certain language phrases.

I certainly do notice the vast amount of emojis, however!
people
nature
food
activity
travel
objects
symbols
flags
:shock:

.

Anyway, as a small step towards the goal, I've dragged a bunch of our PN classic smilies higher in the list (right under the "XF smilies" area). Looks like those changes don't show up immediately in posting options, but maybe after a daily auto-site update (a "cron," I believe?), the changes will be seen.

EDIT: Okay, seems the list gets updated at the top of every hour.
 
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JonPurpleHaze

Site Nudger
Staff member
Thanks Ike,

Yes, some changes take awhile to be noticed due to Cron Jobs that run at set intervals in the background.
:shaking:
 

Ike Savage

Froggy like robot
Staff member
Site Supporters
Last edited:

Ike Savage

Froggy like robot
Staff member
Site Supporters
Huh. I've had a surprisingly difficult time finding a simple "heart" smiley in the traditional webforum format. Seems that over time, icons / emojis / emoticons / smilies got bigger and more gaudy, and bigger and more gaudy. Guess I never really noticed. :/ <---- (yeap, and there's another one I need to fix)

Incidentally, as I searched, I accidentally discovered some fun sets (watermelon and dinos). Aren't those cute?

Eh, maybe with that last set I can pick out a simple "heart" smiley that might work for PN, avoiding type-II diabetes if possible.
 

Attachments

GeorgeH

Flippered Out
Staff member
Site Supporters
I was wanting to add some check marks to a posting but couldn't figure out a way to do it. You might consider adding one. I ended up using this [x].
 

Ike Savage

Froggy like robot
Staff member
Site Supporters
I was wanting to add some check marks to a posting but couldn't figure out a way to do it. You might consider adding one. I ended up using this [x].
Sounds good to me.

It would also help if you can find the image of what you're looking for. From what I've discovered, these mini-icons aren't as easy to find as they used to be.
 

Ike Savage

Froggy like robot
Staff member
Site Supporters
Okay, I'm playing around with shrinking the first one (800x800) and getting the transparency layer uniform.

This also demonstrates why starting with pre-sized ones (mini-icons) is always preferable where possible.

The standard mini-icons here are 15x15. The larger XF mini-icons are edit: 22x22. Somewhere within that range would be optimal.

Quick test for now: ......... :check: (15x15)
Code:
:check:
 

Attachments

Last edited:

GeorgeH

Flippered Out
Staff member
Site Supporters
I have put it to use:

 

GeorgeH

Flippered Out
Staff member
Site Supporters
It is note really necessary but it might be useful. The empty box I posted has rounded corners. It should be pretty easy to create on by deleting the check mark. I can do if needed.
 

Ike Savage

Froggy like robot
Staff member
Site Supporters
Okay, here's a mock-up of the empty box: ........ :box: (15x15)
Code:
:box:
EDIT: Figured how to do the transparency. Done for both of them now.

Note-- the current naming of "check" and "box" was done with simplicity in mind.

For example, it makes some bureaucratic sense to name them :checkboxfull: and :checkboxempty: or whatever, but that seems like a royal pain when it comes to typing them out.
 

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Last edited:

Ike Savage

Froggy like robot
Staff member
Site Supporters
Now testing out a heart... :heart: (15x15)

Haha, wow... that looks terrible. Hmm.

I guess this goes to show that just shrinking down a large source image doesn't necessarily look good. Evidently you need to carefully edit the individual pixels and skillfully blend the transparencies. I just don't know if I'm up to that job.

It really is frustrating that so many of these older-style mini-icons seem to be gone from the web these days. At least from the searches I've done so far. :s
 

Attachments

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GeorgeH

Flippered Out
Staff member
Site Supporters
Thanks for creating the 2 icons. It improves the appearance of the list a lot so the text is aligned now. I like the easy to remember names. Thanks for your help!


I tried changing the color of the text on my web browser to an off white and the center of the icons are off white also so it appears the transparency works.
 

Ike Savage

Froggy like robot
Staff member
Site Supporters
@GeorgeH,
Yeah, that list really pops with the checkboxes. Good idea you had!

My problem at the moment is that so far I've been using IrfanView to do the editing so far, which was never really meant for pixel art. MS Paint is useless because it can't blow things up large enough. Guess I might have to scour the web for something better.

Amazing how much time you can waste with this stuff. I've spent much of the afternoon and evening looking for better mini-icons, doing little tests, and finally figuring out that most of our classic set seems to have phpBB webforums in common. Just rediscovered this little phpBB sequence from many years ago:

:pac: :sdot: :bdot: :sdot: :ghost:
 

Attachments

GeorgeH

Flippered Out
Staff member
Site Supporters
There are many programs that create gifs. I have used PhotoFiltre several years ago and was very impressed:


I have used Image Analyzer to create icons (extension ico) but it is a bit awkward to use at times though it has some features you won't find anywhere else:


...But you should look through Gizmo's list. Their highest rated program is PhotoFiltre but they list others:


They list GIMP which probably has the most features but it is really difficult to use. I would avoid it.
 

Ike Savage

Froggy like robot
Staff member
Site Supporters
Yeah, GIMP never really clicked with me. Around 20 years ago I got pretty comfortable with Photoshop, and when I first tried GIMP, I figured it would be more or less a freeware / open source equivalent. But no... not so much.

Thanks for the recommendations. I think I'll start by looking at pixel-oriented editors, since that's what the issue is here. Actually the very first one on this list is web-based! I must say I love not having to install things! :D

 
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  • @ Ike Savage:
    where is the unapprove option, anyway? is that a super mod thing or something from the admin panel?
    Quote
  • @ Ike Savage:
    oh wait, I see it
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  • @ JonPurpleHaze:
    true, but they could also be invisible to users and perhaps allow the category to be removed
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    Don't know, do know that if you delete a category all files would also be removed so that's bad,
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    seems like we discussed it in some length at one point and came up with the current arrangement, but I don't have a strong opinion on that stuff. the one thing I do like is that I can clear out weaker tables from the main section without deleting them
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    Sounds fine to me Ike, can't disagree with ya!
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    is it that you want to declutter more of the resources section?
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    No it's fine
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    also, just to be clear-- the issue with "unapprove" is that you don't know if the table actually gets deleted from the server, right? AFAIK I have no way of seeing where the tables actually lie on the server, so it's something I can't test effectively
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    do you mind a phone call? probably easier to discuss, save some wear and tear on my hands, too
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    No problems Ike, can't talk now but will try and set this up.
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    Yeah, noticed a .zip file contains many versions etc..
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    The file is actually on the server in FP originals but isn't public.
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