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Hot Topic (More than 10 Replies) Disable user's ability to change display-name (Read 13,601 times)
AntonioK
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Disable user's ability to change display-name
May 8th, 2009 at 5:12pm
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In some situations it is necessary to disable users to rename themself.

I ask for "disable users to change displayname - only admin can do that" checkbox in Admin center.
  

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cepheid
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Disable user ability to change display name
Reply #1 - Jun 4th, 2009 at 6:30am
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Since a user's display name is their "online identity," some admins might want to prevent users from changing their display name at will.  Right now, there's no way to do this...

So, it would be good if a preference could be added:
Allow users to change Display Name after registration?

By default, this would be on, but an admin could disable it, thus allowing only the admin to change display names.
  
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deti
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Re: Disable user ability to change display name
Reply #2 - Jun 4th, 2009 at 8:56pm
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Good idea!!!
  

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cepheid
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Re: Disable user ability to change display name
Reply #3 - Jun 4th, 2009 at 9:09pm
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deti wrote on Jun 4th, 2009 at 8:56pm:
Good idea!!!

What can I say, I'm full of them! Wink

You'd have to edit Profile.pl as well, so that when a user goes to edit his profile, the Display Name is shown but not editable... and you also need to ensure that when updating the profile, updates to the display name are ignored unless the setting is enabled or the user is an admin (to prevent someone from bypassing this setting by manually changing the POST fields).

(I prefer showing the user the Display Name even if not editable, rather than hiding it entirely, so that they know what it is and can ask an admin to change it if needed.)
« Last Edit: Jun 4th, 2009 at 9:11pm by cepheid »  
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Derek
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Re: Disable user ability to change display name
Reply #4 - Jun 7th, 2009 at 4:50am
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I don't think I am alone in saying that as an Admin I have no problem with members changing their display name. 

As such, my preference on this would be to make Jet Li's Display Name History Mod a standard feature.  See the mod here http://www.boardmod.org/yabb2/YaBB.pl?num=1240071108
  
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cepheid
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Re: Disable user ability to change display name
Reply #5 - Jun 7th, 2009 at 6:23am
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Quote:
I don't think I am alone in saying that as an Admin I have no problem with members changing their display name.

That's why this would be a selectable feature, and the default could (and should) be for it to be enabled.  That way, everyone gets represented: those who have no problems, and those who do.  I don't think I'm alone in saying that some Admins would like this feature. Smiley

Jet Li's mod doesn't conflict with this feature, and there's no reason why having one somehow precludes having the other... we could certainly have both (and the history idea is good for those who do wish to allow name changes).  No reason why we can't satisfy both needs...
  
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deti
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Re: Disable user's ability to change display-name
Reply #6 - Jun 15th, 2009 at 3:06pm
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Add in "Forum Settings" - "Members" a checkbox:
Quote:
If checked users can not change their Displayed Name in the Profile
Admin can always modify it.


In case it is checked, the input field is set to "readonly" and all changes on the displayname will be ignored when saving the page.
  

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OH Eng
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Re: Disable user's ability to change display-name
Reply #7 - Jun 15th, 2009 at 5:02pm
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A user could just as easily add this ability as a mod if they wanted it.  Why is it necessary to keep adding more and more and more of these "options" to the basic forum code?

At what point do you consider the new user, new to forums, who doesn't understand a lick of what these things do, yet has to go over page after page after page of settings, not knowing at the time if they are important or non-important?

Forcing a user to keep the same name or not doesn't impact basic forum operation, so why make it part of the core program?

  

 
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deti
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Re: Disable user's ability to change display-name
Reply #8 - Jun 15th, 2009 at 9:13pm
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@ OH Eng

Because I think this little things are quite helpful in some cases. I also think that the problem of filling up the AdminCenter with checkboxes is not the main problem, I think mostly the real problem is that many choices are not explained long enough or not good enough, so that you don't really understand by the first read what it is for. For the things I add I try my best to write things so that they can (hopefully) be understood immediately.
  

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cepheid
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Re: Disable user's ability to change display-name
Reply #9 - Jun 15th, 2009 at 9:14pm
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deti wrote on Jun 15th, 2009 at 3:06pm:
the input field is set to "readonly"

Does that mean that it is "greyed out" so a user can't change it, or does it mean a user can change it but the changes are ignored?  The former is OK, the latter is confusing.  If the field is readonly, there needs to be an indication of that to the user.  Personally, I wouldn't even make it an input field, but just plain text, if changes are not allowed.

OH Eng wrote on Jun 15th, 2009 at 5:02pm:
Forcing a user to keep the same name or not doesn't impact basic forum operation, so why make it part of the core program?

On the one hand, I agree that lots and lots of settings can be confusing and overwhelming.  On the other, BoardMod is not all that simple to use, either.  Having these options in the core code isn't necessarily bad if (a) the default options are good for most people [which they are], and (b) the preferences are properly organized and paginated so there isn't one giant page of them [which they are].

While we want the forum to be easy to use, that doesn't mean functionality has to be restricted... we also want the forum to be powerful.  BoardMod isn't for the faint of heart - as easy as it is to use, it's still not that easy and there are complications that can arise.  Moreover, users have to actively look for mods that do what they want; those mods can be hard to find because the BoardMod list is hard to read through, not all mods include screenshots, etc.  And, mods vary widely in the quality of their code - some are coded really, really well by expert coders, while others are hacked together quickly and sloppily.  Putting these features into the core code ensures that they are coded well and optimized to work with the rest of the code.

If a feature is genuinely useful and has the potential to be used by a large portion of the population, it should IMHO be included in the code.  Mods should be used for features which only a select subset of people want, or which someone other than the developers creates.

To be honest, MOST of YaBB could be implemented as mods, including the security features, many admin and moderator features, extended profiles (which used to be a mod!), the rich editing features, etc.  The actual core functionality is maybe 25-50% of the code and the rest could all be done with mods... but making a user have to find and then install every mod which provides an inling of extra functionality is not all that user-friendly.

As a coder, I understand wanting to keep the code lean and making as much functionality in plugins/mods.  As a user, I want that functionality built-in so that all I have to do is check a few boxes, not mess with a lot of plugins.
  
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deti
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Re: Disable user's ability to change display-name
Reply #10 - Jun 15th, 2009 at 9:15pm
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cepheid wrote on Jun 15th, 2009 at 9:14pm:
Does that mean that it is "greyed out" so a user can't change it

So it is.
  

Was immer Du tun kannst
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beginne es.
Kühnheit besitzt Genie,
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Beginne es jetzt.
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begin it.
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OH Eng
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Re: Disable user's ability to change display-name
Reply #11 - Jun 15th, 2009 at 10:02pm
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cepheid wrote on Jun 15th, 2009 at 9:14pm:
has the potential to be used by a large portion of the population,


Given that this ability hasn't been in the code before, I'm not sure what you're basing that assumption on.  My guess is less than 2% of Admins will enable the restriction.

If we're going to say BoardMOD is too hard for users, it's too hard to find mods, there are update problems, etc. then that is 3 automatic justifications to include anything in the code.  That being the case, there's no point in refusing any suggestions, is there?  Every suggestion "has the potential" to be used by a lot of people.

One good indicator of feature desirability is users asking for the feature on BoardMOD, or on here.  Aside from this suggestion, I recall only two others wanting it, one of which only wanted the button removed - didn't care if the code changed or not.  Compare that to, say, EventCal during the period when it hadn't been updated.  A lot of people were asking about that.  To me, that's a good indicator if something will/won't be used much, and a good and FAIR measure of adding features.



  

 
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cepheid
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Re: Disable user's ability to change display-name
Reply #12 - Jun 15th, 2009 at 10:18pm
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OH Eng wrote on Jun 15th, 2009 at 10:02pm:
That being the case, there's no point in refusing any suggestions, is there?

Let's not blow things out of proportion.  That's not what I'm suggesting.  Some features are both minimal to implement and have good potential, others do not.  I wouldn't be suggesting adding something horribly, horribly complicated that it's clear only I would want.

Yes, people asking on BoardMod is a good indicator, but the number of YaBB users who post on, or even know about, BoardMod is likely a small percentage of the total YaBB population.  Most users want their features to just be there, and if they're not there, they'll either complain inwardly (and do nothing) or find other software... most users don't talk to the developers.  As both a developer of software and a user of such, I know for a fact that only a small percentage of users actually talk to the company and ask for features... most will either do nothing (but be unhappy) or find new software.

At some point, it's up to the devs to figure out what features they want to put into the software and what they want to leave for mods.  That's what this forum is for - to put forth suggestions and let the devs decide whether it's worthy of inclusion or left to mods.  In this case, the devs decided it was worthy of inclusion.  They don't always (as you've seen from some of my other suggestions).  The devs are also the ones who hopefully have a vision for how the software should be... it is not uncommon for them to include a feature that users didn't really know they were missing, but who afterwards can't live without.

Also, if every feature were to be decided upon by a popular vote on BoardMod or here, inclusion of new features would take a lot longer than it currently does, the software would be a lot less useful, a lot less feature-filled, and a lot slower to develop.
  
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batchman
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Re: Disable user's ability to change display-name
Reply #13 - Jun 16th, 2009 at 1:55am
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Personally, I think the semi-current system of first a mod, then after it has shown itself to be popular with a large segment of the community, something becomes a built-in feature to be an excellent way of proving whether code is important enough to be in the main package or not.

That being said, there are two mods above all else that I am amazed still haven't made it directly into the main code ... Carsten's YaMS and Jet Li's (current incarnation) Calendar mod.

Can I ask, semi-off-topically, how much discussion there has ever been on building these two functions in at some point?

But personally, I say let the newer stuff prove itself, first. If the interest is there, it can make it into the code pretty darn quickly. I seem to recall several of carsten's mods that were only mods for one minor release, before they got built in.
« Last Edit: Jun 16th, 2009 at 1:56am by batchman »  
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cepheid
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Re: Disable user's ability to change display-name
Reply #14 - Jun 16th, 2009 at 2:02am
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batchman wrote on Jun 16th, 2009 at 1:55am:
But personally, I say let the newer stuff prove itself, first. If the interest is there, it can make it into the code pretty darn quickly

For more complicated changes, I would usually (and did, above) agree with you, depending on the apparent usefulness of the feature.  In this case, it is a few-line extension of an existing feature.  Moreover, it harmonizes already with another feature: requiring a user's display name to be different from their username.  I actually don't see much of a reason for that one at all, but I definitely do see a reason for disallowing display name changes.

Something like YaMS and the Calendar are much bigger changes than this, and add brand new functionality.  This is merely an "update" on existing functionality.
  
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