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Site Graphics and Multimedia Design Forum

    
AOL and Graphic Abuse
tedster




msg:860205
 9:25 pm on Mar 19, 2001 (gmt 0)

Does anyone have a handle on how to avoid the abuse that AOL inflicts on graphics?

I'm at a loss on this one -- it seems like even solid areas of "websafe" colors get speckled, and this isn't dithering, it's just randon speckles.

Is it just gifs that get trashed so horribly? Is there a set of guidelines to avoid the hideous rash that tends to break out for AOL users?

 

mivox




msg:860206
 9:34 pm on Mar 19, 2001 (gmt 0)

>Is there a set of guidelines to avoid the hideous rash that tends to break out for AOL users?

Talk them into using another internet service? ;)

Sorry... couldn't resist.

I haven't seen an AOL screen since 1998, so I had no idea... but that's worrisome, considering how many people are on AOL! Any ideas out there?

luckynh




msg:860207
 9:47 pm on Mar 19, 2001 (gmt 0)

Most users that have AOL are not quite as savy as us old folk. ;)

From what i have seen when testing is that it's up to each user to set thier own preferances within the AOL screen. Because this is on a user level there is not much you can do.

However, I would suggest creating a page that explains how to do this and then have a javascript on every page that reads the UA and driectes AOL users to that page.

This has worked for some of my sites. I have a javascript that you can edit. It will send most UA's to a differant section of the site. If you would like it let me know and I'll sticky-mail it to you.

It's something like this Very abscract
<SCRIPT LANGUAGE="JavaScript">

If UA = "AOL"
Then
get "aol-page.htm"
Else
get "index.htm"
</SCRIPT>

BoneHeadicus




msg:860208
 10:50 pm on Mar 19, 2001 (gmt 0)

AOL uses a different compression to reduce load on their servers in AOL Land.

There really isn't much you can do that I know about.

What I do is use JPG's instead of gifs when there is a gradient or shading involved. This is where it's most noticeable. You dont see it so much if its just straight text and color gifs.

Gotta slice em up and use jpg.

tedster




msg:860209
 1:23 am on Mar 20, 2001 (gmt 0)

>> it's up to each user to set thier own preferances within the AOL screen.

Aha! Just found this in the AOL webmaster's section:
"Members can individually disable AOL graphics compression, but most choose to allow compression because it speeds up web page delivery."

I'd say they got that wrong -- most don't chose anything, they just leave the default setup.

mivox




msg:860210
 1:32 am on Mar 20, 2001 (gmt 0)

>most don't chose anything

Amen... I often wonder (OK, I wonder everytime I change my browser prefs... which isn't that *often*) if I'm doing myself a disservice as a designer by customizing my browser preferences.

On the one hand, that's what preferences are for... On the other hand, I'm cheating myself out of seeing things the same way the vast majority of the site's visitors will.

minnapple




msg:860211
 3:21 am on Mar 20, 2001 (gmt 0)

randon speckles
Selectively compressing vignettes such as drop shadows and raising the densities of highlight areas seems to work most% of the time.

mn

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