Discussion:Long non-wrapping user names

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Trillium (talk|edits) said:

15 July 2008
Hi, Tim –

We seem to be having a rash of new users with very long user names that force the “creator” and/or “last poster” columns to expand, crushing the Topic column dramatically. And half of these users have used their email address as their user name, even though there’s a recommendation against that right on the page where you login/create a new user name.

Suggestions:

1. To avoid those problematic non-wrapping long user names, why not add something to the Login/Create Account page about spaces being allowed. Perhaps change the bullet point that says “Usernames must start with a capital letter” to “Usernames must start with a capital letter and may contain spaces.”

Or, revise the prior bullet point: “Pick a readable name, not just a number. And no need to run words together - include spaces as needed.”

2. The fifth bullet point could be confusing, as you’ve just asked people for their e-mail address and full name above in the form – suggest rewording as “Watch your privacy! We suggest you not use your email address or full name for your user name.”

And maybe that should be set apart, or higher on the list? On my screen (a fairly typical size for a laptop), this bullet point is just off the screen unless I scroll down.

Thanks!


Oh, and while I’m talking about changes to the Login/Create Account page – I suggest that the words “Tax Almanac: the free online tax research resource and community for tax professionals” – maybe in the very same format it appears at the top of the Main Page – should be added to that page somewhere.

That way, people who arrive at the site via their search engines, create a user name, and ask a DIY question won’t be surprised or take offense when they’re informed that the discussion forums are primarily intended for tax professionals to interact with each other.

Trillium (talk|edits) said:

29 July 2008
In case people are reading this and thinking "what's the big deal" - well, we just had a great example of how badly the forum format can be messed up when Rclausen@clausenaccounting.com posted his question on July 25, stretching both the Creator and Last Poster columns and shrinking the Topic column to all of about 1". It took three full days for that question to roll of off page 1.

Click page 53 (which is where the Rclausen discussion is as of this latest edit, 1/6/09), or page 62, which isn't quite as bad, and then compare those to page 54, which has a good example of how spaces in the user names can really help. See how "PE Financial Grp" wrapped around in the creator column, rather than stretch the column, and there's plenty of room to display the full Topic/discussion title without much wrapping? Anyway, that's the difference it makes.

PBinNJ (talk|edits) said:

21 August 2008
Trillium and Tim - sounds like a good suggestion, somthing like a simple truncation which would force posters to keep is reasonable.

Tdoyle (talk|edits) said:

December 3, 2008
I think the solution here isn't to limit the length or style of usernames, but to limit the length which is displayed on the forum pages so that the display isn't negatively affected. I think there may be a fairly simple solution - I'll do some quick testing to see what I can do.

- Tim Doyle, TaxAlmanac Moderator - Talk to me 13:27, 3 December 2008 (CST)

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