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Hot Topic (More than 10 Replies) Disable user's ability to change display-name (Read 13,594 times)
AntonioK
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Re: Disable user's ability to change display-name
Reply #15 - Jun 16th, 2009 at 6:26am
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cepheid wrote on Jun 16th, 2009 at 2:02am:
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.

Absolutely agree.
  

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OH Eng
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Re: Disable user's ability to change display-name
Reply #16 - Jun 19th, 2009 at 1:51am
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cepheid wrote on Jun 16th, 2009 at 2:02am:
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,


@cepheid,

Some background on this; once upon a time, this feature was used as part of account security.  For example, if all I can see is your displayed name (cepheid), and by some bizarre circumstance I was able to obtain your password, I still couldn't log in without either your username or email address.  At that time, you could only log in using username or email, NOT displayed name.  If your email isn't public, I couldn't do anything even if I had your password.  That's why there were two names, it was a one you can see, one you can't (as another user).  Sort of a poor-man's second password if you will.

Older forums didn't require a second, different name, so it caused some problems on upgrades.  As you can well imagine, if all that came through the upgrading process was displayed names, no one could log in except using their email address.  Some people were members of forums so long they couldn't remember the email addy they used, so it was hard to correct this for many users quickly.

The feature changed to allowing log in using any of the 3 - username, email, or displayed name, which made the upgrades easier but made the use of a second name kind of irrelevant.  I think - not sure - that it was just kept around because users were use to it.


  

 
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cepheid
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Re: Disable user's ability to change display-name
Reply #17 - Jun 19th, 2009 at 2:02am
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OH Eng wrote on Jun 19th, 2009 at 1:51am:
The feature changed to allowing log in using any of the 3 - username, email, or displayed name, which made the upgrades easier but made the use of a second name kind of irrelevant.I think - not sure - that it was just kept around because users were use to it.

Thanks for the history - I figured that's why it was put into place, although IMHO the security aspect of that is minimal anyway (as you've probably figured, I am very much against "security by obscurity").  Now that one can log in via DisplayName anyway, the feature really is obsolete.  (Although actually, that feature never provided extra security, because until recently, usernames were always visible in the forum URLs, e.g. when viewing a member's profile... so even if the DisplayName were required to be different, the username was still exposed to the wild.)

Given that, I would actually vote to remove that option entirely... there's no good reason to force the DisplayName to be different, since it now provides (and, indeed, always provided) absolutely zero extra security.  That would actually allow a bit of code trimming, which you might appreciate! Grin

(Alternatively, we could add a preference to "disable login via DisplayName," so that users may only log in via email or username, as it used to be... now that usernames can be cloaked, this would provide some modicum of security-by-obscurity, although again, I think that's generally a bad thing.)
« Last Edit: Jun 19th, 2009 at 2:05am by cepheid »  
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Captain John
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Re: Disable user's ability to change display-name
Reply #18 - Dec 31st, 2009 at 7:10pm
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AntonioK wrote on Jun 16th, 2009 at 6:26am:
cepheid wrote on Jun 16th, 2009 at 2:02am:
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.

Absolutely agree.


mmmm I disagree ... have had users not understand display vs username

  users entering real names (when they actually didn't want that to display) or email addys in displayname .... need the option to correct it, when they see the mistake once they post.
  
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JonB
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Re: Disable user's ability to change display-name
Reply #19 - Jan 9th, 2010 at 2:39pm
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As for displaynames - as long as the system requires them to be unique, users should be allowed to change displaynames.

For me, the reason is obvious - people's lives change, and for many that means changing their 'handle'. 'Bill from OH' doesn't work so well when 'Bill' is now from 'TX'.  Ditto changes in marital status, job, or dozens of other things.

I'm a big believer in usernames being distinct from 'handles/nicks/displaynames'.

Wink
  

I find your lack of faith disturbing.
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OH Eng
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Re: Disable user's ability to change display-name
Reply #20 - Jan 9th, 2010 at 2:53pm
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I think I read that deti is looking at changing the user id to a distinct number.. hope I'm not confusing it with something else.  Either way, it is a good idea to have one constant (i.e.- unchanging) thing to keep track of a member's "stuff," and one that can be altered like the displayed name.

Not to derail the thread, but just while I'm thinking about this:

One thing I'd like to see in the Admin interface is something different for the Admin when modifying a user's settings.  Right now, the Admin uses the same interface for the profile, with all the settings broken down on the various profile pages with instructions, explanations, etc. Really no Admin needs that if they're just going in to reset someone's password or change a setting, so what I'd like to see is all the settings in a sort of summary format on one page, kind of like you see when you open up Settings.pl in a text editor.

That way you click the Modify button, enter your password (only once for this), and all you see is the one page of settings laid out minus all the formatting, instructions, etc.  Altering them should be a matter of just editing what's there or, in the case of selecting one of only X number of availables (like template preference), some kind of drop-down list.

Your thoughts?

« Last Edit: Jan 9th, 2010 at 2:53pm by OH Eng »  

 
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JonB
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Re: Disable user's ability to change display-name
Reply #21 - Jan 9th, 2010 at 9:49pm
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If that is so (going to a probably system generated user-id) I think its a good idea. I can't tell you how many times I have had to explain why we have a user-name and display-name and how many folks are challenged to come up with a 'another one'.  It also makes the matter controlling duplicates 50% easier.

One of the principles of good database design is that unique primary keys NOT be meaningful data - merely enumerative.

* JonB is trying to imaginate upgrading to 3.0 in that scenario   Shocked

GULP!

Edited:
I totally agree with a different approach to Admin fixes for member accounts - waaaay too many steps.  (major pain)
« Last Edit: Jan 9th, 2010 at 9:51pm by JonB »  

I find your lack of faith disturbing.
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Captain John
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Re: Disable user's ability to change display-name
Reply #22 - Jan 10th, 2010 at 1:32am
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OH Eng wrote on Jan 9th, 2010 at 2:53pm:
it is a good idea to have one constant (i.e.- unchanging) thing to keep track of a member's "stuff," and one that can be altered like the displayed name.


agree... username permanent, display name changeable

OH Eng wrote on Jan 9th, 2010 at 2:53pm:
you click the Modify button, enter your password (only once for this), and all you see is the one page of settings laid out minus all the formatting, instructions, etc.Altering them should be a matter of just editing what's there or, in the case of selecting one of only X number of availables (like template preference), some kind of drop-down list.


agree ... but again ... why in the heck do Admins have to enter a password for Admin Edits .... we can enter the Admin Center (without confirmation), change everything and anything concerning the forum .. but to edit a user .. "confirm it's you !"
  
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OH Eng
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Re: Disable user's ability to change display-name
Reply #23 - Jan 10th, 2010 at 6:45pm
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It's probably just that we use the same code to do it with a check to see if IamAdmin or something like that.  I have been trying to think of one good reason to have all those password checks in there and the best I can come up with is to keep your wife from changing profiles in the event you're logged in as Admin and  have to leave the PC to go get a cold one.  Smiley  Grin Grin
« Last Edit: Jan 10th, 2010 at 6:46pm by OH Eng »  

 
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kavariel
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Re: Disable user's ability to change display-name
Reply #24 - Sep 4th, 2011 at 8:02pm
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I might point out that most admins I have come across do not allow users to change their display name except via request. and most prefer keeping logs of member listing their display name and their infractions.

This is true of small and large communities that friends of mine frequent

Usually members are allowed a baseline of one name change request though exceptions are  often made in cases involving harassment, and or if the user requesting the name is reporting stalker like behavior from a troll or someone in real life.both of which I have seen happen at small and large communities alike.

On shadow our first problem this feature  came when a member invited someone she RP'ed with frequently on  furcadia.

this member would changed their display name  so often it rarely stayed the same for 24 hours.  her reason for doing this was  that if she had a character with that name (anywhere on line) she no longer wanted it as her display name anywhere.

They threw a fit when we made a rule telling members not to do that and changed it again several more times that day, before yelling at the member who informed them that the rules had been updated. she then sent angry messages to the admins.

At which point we removed the darn box to shut her up.

This caused her to turn around  rant at us then delete her account.

As you can imagine it was irritating to say the least when you are trying to start off building a community. Our solution  to remove the box entirely does cause its own problems. Members are  no longer able to change their password without admin interference.

something I personally see as being a problem on par with the headache  having to either A) install a mod to track a members display name changes or b) having to have an additional program around just to  add the function back when something needs to be changed.

We also removed  the delete button simply because we've been on sites where  banned members kept coming back, and others that  did allow a member to delete their own account which ended up with honest accidental deletions and  repetitive trolls.
  
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