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I have an animated GIF that illustrates an answer, but I don't know whether the constant animation would be disruptive or noisy on the site's normally static pages. How do people feel about such images?

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    $\begingroup$ I wouldn't mind seeing a GIF in an answer. Go for it! $\endgroup$ – J. M. isn't a mathematician Oct 11 '11 at 11:31
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If it is a good explanation of the answer it is not noisy.

Generally, I like to see animated gifs with three attributes: few (but not zero), slow, small (in memory size)

I really don't think that we will have the problem of being overwhelmed by animated gifs.

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It's a widely-supported format but it has poor compression, so I would make sure that the file size is not too large for low-bandwidth users. I think an animated GIF would be a great way to add flair to an answer. It would be annoying in excess, but I've never seen a single animation or video inlined here (why not?).

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    $\begingroup$ J. M. posted several animated answers already, see e.g. here and here. And here's one by Mariano (and J. M.). They are rare but they exist! $\endgroup$ – t.b. Oct 11 '11 at 11:19
  • $\begingroup$ (+1): thanks for the links! $\endgroup$ – Gottfried Helms Oct 11 '11 at 12:58
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    $\begingroup$ Another example $\endgroup$ – kuch nahi Oct 11 '11 at 13:16
  • $\begingroup$ @t.b.: Now that I think about it, it's funny that both the animated answers of mine that you linked to are about rolling circles... $\endgroup$ – J. M. isn't a mathematician Oct 12 '11 at 15:42
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For me this is in general noisy, and tolerance for it competes with the benefit of the msg. Am I correct, that there is no option for the reader to switch it on/off?

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    $\begingroup$ You can switch off animated GIFs permanently by tweaking your browser. For Firefox, there's the image.animation_mode setting in about:config. What browser are you using? $\endgroup$ – J. M. isn't a mathematician Oct 11 '11 at 13:03
  • $\begingroup$ @J.M.: Firefox. And thanks for the config-hint; I'll try it immediately. $\endgroup$ – Gottfried Helms Oct 11 '11 at 13:07
  • $\begingroup$ hmmm, "0" or "false" doesn't work; I'll see later... $\endgroup$ – Gottfried Helms Oct 11 '11 at 13:11
  • $\begingroup$ Sorry, I forgot: set it to none. $\endgroup$ – J. M. isn't a mathematician Oct 11 '11 at 13:12
  • $\begingroup$ ahh :-) kuch nahi's link shows now a completely peaceful page. (Ok, now to have a switch to start/stop the animation by, say right-click, is something we can expect in 2050 ... ;-) just kidding...) $\endgroup$ – Gottfried Helms Oct 11 '11 at 13:45
  • $\begingroup$ Hmm, I notice a downvoting of the answer. How is it "not useful" (the meaning of downvoting) concerning the question, "how people feel about..."? If there is something else offensive then please comment on it. (possibly my previous comment shows that I've been a bit too much stirred up) $\endgroup$ – Gottfried Helms Oct 12 '11 at 9:27
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    $\begingroup$ Don't worry, there's nothing wrong with your answer or your comments. From the FAQ: "Voting here works a bit differently from the main site. On Meta, voting is often used to express agreement or disagreement, not to point out a lack of quality or helpfulness. Please don't be concerned if you receive downvotes – members of the community may simply disagree with your bug, feature request, support issue, or the nature of the discussion." $\endgroup$ – t.b. Oct 12 '11 at 10:40
  • $\begingroup$ @t.b: ah, well, thank you very much! (I was nearly expecting some similar matter, but apparently had another recent debate still in my mind) $\endgroup$ – Gottfried Helms Oct 12 '11 at 11:15
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    $\begingroup$ In many browsers (including Firefox), you can press Esc to stop all animations on the current page. However, I don't think you can restart them except by reloading the page. $\endgroup$ – Nate Eldredge Oct 12 '11 at 19:28
  • $\begingroup$ no, esc to stop them would be enough (why didn't I find out this myself) - however at the moment I'm happy with the change in the configuration due to J.M.'s hint $\endgroup$ – Gottfried Helms Oct 12 '11 at 20:10

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