Extension:LiquidThreads/Avatar storage

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This page outlines the options available for avatar storage, and their advantages and limitations.

Regular Images[edit]

An autocompleting textbox would be provided in Preferences that would allow users to select an image already uploaded to the wiki. A one-step upload-and-set-avatar form would also be available.


  • Policing of blatantly offensive images is a "solved problem".
  • Simplest implementation
  • Global avatars come "for free"


  • Not all images on a wiki are suitable for avatars. This could be mitigated with a blacklist or whitelist, but such a list would become unwieldly.
  • Not all avatars are suitable to be images on a wiki. It "clutters" the File namespace.
  • A "reset avatar" button would be needed for admins.

Images in a separate namespace[edit]

In theory, it would be possible to make MediaWiki able to have multiple File namespaces. If this were possible, we could create an Avatar namespace, which would have the convention that User:X would upload their avatar to Avatar:X. There would be a nicer interface for this, and redirects into the File namespace would be permitted. A user's page would be editable only by themselves and admins.


  • Policing mechanism is built in.
  • History built-in
  • Avatars are separated from files at large.
  • Global avatars possible with work.


  • Implementation difficult.

Internal Storage[edit]

Independent of the rest of MediaWiki, this would involve creating a separate storage location for avatars, a la TeXvc. This could be combined with referencing existing files to allow a few options.


  • Most flexible.
  • Avatars are separated from files at large.
  • Reasonably straightforward implementation.
  • Easy to implement global avatars with some foresight.


  • Policing interface would need to come from the ground up.
  • History would need to come from the ground up.