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Tara Gibbs, July 24, 2012
A couple of weeks ago, we demo'd a preview of the Stackato 2.0 release to James Governor of RedMonk. He mentioned that it would be fun to add Gravatars to the Stackato Web Console. We agreed, and I was given the task of adding it into the console.
Gravatars are Globally Recognized Avatars. Each Gravatar is tied to an email address, and many sites use Gravatars for your user image instead of requiring you to upload an image to their site.
To load a Gravatar into a page, you need to first generate a hash from the user's email address using MD5 encoding. This is then passed as part of the URL to the Gravatar server. If there's a Gravatar associated with that email address, it's returned. If not, a placeholder image is returned instead. You can get all the details on how to add Gravatars to your site in the excellent Gravatar docs.
This was a simple change which made a significant impact on the user experience in the console. It's made it easier to quickly scan a list of users and find the one you want, and it helps make the console feel more personal.
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