I love .gifs, and I enjoy doing them. It is one of my biggest frustrations trying to get the finished product file size down small enough for a PSC entry--and I already have Advantage. But that is part of the challenge of participating on PSC. The file size constraints have forced me to learn more efficiency in acheiving the animation I want. I'm still working on that, and learning. I say: don't make it easier for me... you'll take away much of the challenge.
And I repsect that not everyone likes .gifs. Not eveyone likes kaleidoscopic designs or blood-splattered entries, either. To each their own, and no hard feelings if my hard work doesn't appeal to everyone! That's part of what makes the world go 'round.
As for linking to larger versions... Of course I've done it; it's too tempting not to when I've poured so much effort into a .gif and wind up losing 3/4 of its detail... but I still want people to vote (or not!) for the entry as it appears in the PSC contest, not for the larger file which doesn't even qualify as an entry.
Perhaps each contest can link to a separate thread where all external links for larger versions of contest entries can be listed? That would still allow us to share more of the "lost" hard work while helping to separate the influence of the "bigger and better" version from the actual contest entry. It would probably need to be an "honor system" and self-regulating since links to outside sources, when provided, should definitley remain easily accessible from the contest entry... I suspect if such a thread and new guildelines were set up, then enough people would express annoyance at anyone who didn't follow the new system for sharing larger versions of contest entries, that it would enforce the idea of voting for the ENTRY.
Probably too complicated... but such is how my mind works... or doesn't.