Extension:LiquidThreads/Avatar storage

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

Regular ImagesEdit

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 namespaceEdit

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 StorageEdit

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.