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In the following screen shot, one of my posts in chat is accompanied by my gravatar and (part of) my user name. The next one is accompanied by my full name and rep but is missing the gravatar.

screen shot

Why the different texts? Is there a pattern (does it mean something), or is it random? That part isn't new.

Some image sites used by SE are blocked for me, but I expected the gravatar to be in only one place so that's puzzling. This behavior is new; I used to see my gravatar everywhere and now sometimes I do and sometimes I don't. (Same for other people, but some of them are using the new gravatars and they're always blocked.) Oddly, the "condensed" form (icon, short text) appears everywhere in the chat transcript, but in the live chat it's as shown above.

This screen shot is from Firefox 18.0.1 running on XP. Before taking the screen shot I disabled Stylish and Greasemonkey, the only add-ons I use that seem likely to be relevant. The direct URL for the image, http://www.gravatar.com/avatar/1bfa4ff176b22f138985ddacbc59506f?s=32&d=identico‌​n&r=PG, loads fine in a tab of its own, but does not show up in chat nor next to my name below this post.

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The one with your name set in black is just alt text - the larger image seems to be failing to load for some reason. –  BoltClock's a Unicorn Mar 14 '13 at 14:09
    
The more text you enter, the more place there is for more information to be shown. But the larger image seems to have failed to load, showing the alt text instead. –  Martijn Pieters Mar 14 '13 at 14:10
    
@MartijnPieters, oh, good point! On a quick scan I didn't find any examples of the small image/short text style with longer messages, so that makes sense. (The trigger there seems to be three lines.) The images are still a mystery. By the way, I also do not see my gravatar next to my name on this post (no alt text, just blank), but I see it just fine on my profile page. –  Monica Cellio Mar 14 '13 at 14:13
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The url for the image is http://www.gravatar.com/avatar/1bfa4ff176b22f138985ddacbc59506f?s=32&d=identico‌​n&r=PG, but on your profile it is http://www.gravatar.com/avatar/1bfa4ff176b22f138985ddacbc59506f?s=128&d=identic‌​on&r=PG. The only difference is the s=... parameter. Looks like you are having intermittent connection problems to Gravatar. –  Martijn Pieters Mar 14 '13 at 14:14
    
Having just visited both of those URLs (and seen the images), shouldn't that image now be in my browser cache? But on a reload of this page I still don't see it. –  Monica Cellio Mar 14 '13 at 14:17
    
The larger image in the room is the s=32 one, the smaller uses s=16. This is a local problem, I am afraid, the s=32 image has not been loading for you. Copy the full URL into a new browser tab, and see if there is an error message there. –  Martijn Pieters Mar 14 '13 at 14:17
    
The s=32 image loads fine in a browser tab on its own. But I'm not seeing it in context. Thanks for the help. –  Monica Cellio Mar 14 '13 at 14:22
    
Did you try clearing your browser cache? –  Shadow Wizard Mar 14 '13 at 14:58
    
Just did -- no effect. But also, according to Firefox, size-0 cache (how is that possible?). Something weird is going on, but it sounds like it's Firefox or our IT department, not Stack Exchange... –  Monica Cellio Mar 14 '13 at 15:05
    
As for the different sizes: meta.stackexchange.com/questions/145614/… –  balpha Mar 14 '13 at 15:53

1 Answer 1

up vote 1 down vote accepted

Chat puts a 16x16 image with truncated username for a short message block, and a 32x32 image with full username and chat rep for a long one.

The 16x16 and 32x32 images have different URLs. If your network connection hiccuped while loading that image, you would see your username twice (due to alt-text) -- this has happened to me a few times. Looks like your browser has cached the broken image or something. Clear the cache, and you ought to be set.

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Wow, weird -- Firefox reported that the on-disk cache was size 0 (how is that possible?), but I cleared it anyway and that made no difference. I guess I have a local/IT problem here. –  Monica Cellio Mar 14 '13 at 14:57

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