Interface for LiveJournal Userpics

Gravatar is a service for retrieving a user image for a given email address. It is used on blogs to show your picture when you post a comment. This service does the same thing for LiveJournal userpics.
How do I use it?
Easy. Link to to get that user's userpic.
Link from where?
This service is primarily intended for blog theme authors. In your theme, where you normally display a gravatar, add the following logic: if the user did not specify an email address and the link they provided looks like it goes to, use this service to get their pic. Use <img src="(as above)" alt="[userpic]" />
But parsing a username out of a URL is too much work.
No problem. We've got you covered. Point to
This only gets me the default userpic. What about userpics for specific keywords?
LiveJournal doesn't publish that information in a parseable format, so we can't pass it on to you.
What do I put in the width and height attributes in the img tag?
Drop them. LiveJournal allows free size pics up to 100×100 pixels. Unfortunately, there is no way to tell what the dimensions are without downloading and examining the image, which this service does not do.
It doesn't? How does it work then?
LiveJournal publishes a FOAF feed for each user, containing links to userpics for them and all their friends. We retrieve this data and cache it for up to a week. When you ask for an image using the link above, we simply redirect you to the actual location on LiveJournal's servers.
Isn't that stealing LiveJournal's bandwidth?
That's one way to look at it. If I stored images locally, it is potentially violating a user's privacy. If they delete a userpic on LiveJournal, it will automatically stop working on this service, and they don't even have to be aware of this. It would be nice if LiveJournal provided this service themselves, but until they do, I'll keep this running.
What's Why don't you have a nice domain like for this service?
Top level domains cost money. By hosting at a sub-domain, I can do cool things without having to worry about the maintenance cost. is my personal domain for my web projects.
Who are you and why did you build this?
I'm [info]jace and I have a blog over here. I built this because I've been on LiveJournal over nine years and pretty much "grew up" there. Having seen so many services rise and fall, I chose to backup my journal to somewhere under my control. Unfortunately, the main thing about LiveJournal is the awesome community and personalisation, and saving that as a dump of text turns it lifeless. This service allows you to reattach userpics to comments to breathe some life back into them in a manner that allows other LiveJournal users to retain control over their pictures.
I use (insert favourite LiveJournal clone site). Can you make this work for that?
Sure, but I have no experience with those. If you can submit a patch, I'll be happy to include it. This website is open source.

Comments powered by Disqus