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Username Changing: Redux

by djantzen (Priest)
on Mar 27, 2003 at 20:11 UTC ( #246321=monkdiscuss: print w/replies, xml ) Need Help??

Some time back there was a discussion regarding the changing of usernames. On the whole the attitude was that such changes ought to be discouraged. The arguments against were that:

  1. frequent changes are confusing to other users.
  2. respect and reputation (and their counterparts) are associated with handles, and ought not to be disassociated frivolously.
The solutions offered to address these problems were to:
  1. place limits on frequency or number of username changes per account.
  2. apply an XP penalty for a change.
  3. allow the use of aliases, effectively giving each user multiple names.
Now this discussion took place before my time, so I can't speak to the actual reasons why none of these suggestions were implemented, however the problems are quite real and the proposed solutions are lacking. The first would require an arbitrary number that would suit some monks' desires and not others'. The second seems merely punitive, bearing no logical connection to the problems it seeks to solve, but providing only negative reinforcement. The third threatens more clutter in an already (wonderfully) busy community.

My proposal: allow users to consider their own homenodes. Doing so ensures that:

  1. only users of a significant rank (friar) and who thereby have demonstrated commitment to the Monastery might change their names.
  2. the decision would require the approval of one's peers via the normal keep/edit/delete/nothing voting upon consideration (except that 'delete' would mean something else).
  3. awareness of the potential renaming would have time to grow as a natural outcome of the sometimes lengthy consideration process, reducing strain on other users.
This approach would solve the stated problems by automatically restricting the pool of potential name changers, as well as the frequency of the changes and resultant confusion through reliance upon the approval of other monks. Drawing attention to the fact that one had considered one's own node would be accomplished by joining the Recently Updated Home Nodes list, and by lobbying one's friends, arguably those most affected by the name change. To my knowledge, it would also be simpler to implement than the original proposals, as most nodes already have the capacity to be considered.

"The dead do not recognize context" -- Kai, Lexx

Replies are listed 'Best First'.
Re: Username Changing: Redux (done)
by tye (Sage) on Mar 27, 2003 at 21:36 UTC

    It comes up very rarely, as it should. It is less work to just deal with it than to build some infrastructure.

                    - tye

      Aha! Cool, thank you tye :^)

Re: Username Changing: Redux
by chromatic (Archbishop) on Mar 27, 2003 at 20:40 UTC

    That's an interesting idea, but how often do you see it being used? It seems like an oft-unused feature, to me. I could be very wrong about this, though.

    Another point contra the idea of changing usernames -- this has the potential to break many, many links that use names and not ids.

      I'd guess/hope that it would be fairly infrequent, but I'd like to have the option provided the cost of implementation is low.

      As far as links are concerned, we'd likely have to do something like what ar0n recently did for giant.

      "The dead do not recognize context" -- Kai, Lexx
Re: Username Changing: Redux
by Chady (Priest) on Mar 27, 2003 at 20:55 UTC

    Why would one want to change his/her username?

    To keep their current XP/Level?

    One can always lose the current login, and start a new 'FREE' account. A lot of people have done so before. You can never gain enough XP.

    So I think the extra work is not worth the trouble, <quote similar="Fight Club">You are not your XP!</quote>

    He who asks will be a fool for five minutes, but he who doesn't ask will remain a fool for life.

    Chady |

      <quote similar="Fight Club">You are not your XP!</quote>

      Quite right, but you are your posts, and for a professional coder that sort of presence is a commodity.

      "The dead do not recognize context" -- Kai, Lexx
Re: Username Changing: Redux
by Anonymous Monk on Mar 28, 2003 at 09:43 UTC

    Simplicity is always best. If you want a new username, sign up a new account. If you're worried about your real reputation, not your "experience points" you can update your former homenode with a link to your new one and make the change known.

Re: Username Changing: Redux
by mowgli (Friar) on Mar 28, 2003 at 09:03 UTC

    This sounds like a very good idea to me, especially since I - due to personal reasons - would like to change my username. However, I think it might be good to have an extra section for "Username Change Requests" or something similar on the Newest Nodes page instead of listing these among the recently updated home nodes; that way, it could be made sure that enough attention is drawn to these requests.


Re: Username Changing: Redux
by insensate (Hermit) on Mar 27, 2003 at 20:46 UTC
    To prohibit other users from considering my homenode, how much overhead would it require to render the consider nodelet only after a user had indicated the node for consideration (probably in the user settings page)?

      Before implementing any such security features, I would first attempt to trust fellow users not to be scandalous vandals who consider others' homenodes for kicks. Anyone considering your node is guaranteed to be a friar, and therefore already is recognized by the community as a trustworthy participant. Also remember that considerations are mere suggestions, and must be ratified by other members of the community before going live.

      "The dead do not recognize context" -- Kai, Lexx
        Anyone considering your node is guaranteed to be a friar, and therefore already is recognized by the community as a trustworthy participant

        Not necessarily! Anyone can easily register a username, login everyday and just vote, and get to friar, that doesn't make him anymore trustworthy as than anybody else.

        He who asks will be a fool for five minutes, but he who doesn't ask will remain a fool for life.

        Chady |
Re: Username Changing: Redux
by Coruscate (Sexton) on Mar 29, 2003 at 02:56 UTC

    If you have a really good reason for having your username changed, then why not try a /msg gods? There are few reasons for requiring a new username. Note the word requiring. Wanting a new username isn't a good enough reason. If you want a new username, simply register a new one. Many people here have done that and it seems to work quite well. Besides, how many sites actually let you change your handle on the fly?

    (Oh, as for problems with changing links to reflect new usernames, there is a database table somewhere that allows mapping of a keyword to a node id. I forget the table name. It contains the word 'keyword' anyhow.)

    If the above content is missing any vital points or you feel that any of the information is misleading, incorrect or irrelevant, please feel free to downvote the post. At the same time, please reply to this node or /msg me to inform me as to what is wrong with the post, so that I may update the node to the best of my ability.

      why not try a /msg gods? Why that's (almost) exactly what I did Coruscate :) I proposed this solution so that we have a standard manner of dealing with the issue, although as tye has already said, it's easier just to deal with it manually. So be it.

      The reason I wanted to change my handle is because I'm on the job market, and I want to be able to point potential employers to my work here without twittering on about what and why my handle is what it is. How that fits into your want/require distinction I cannot say, however it's part of a larger policy that I've enacted for myself: if it's professional (e.g., Sourceforge), I use my real name; if it's semi-professional (i.e., Slashdot), then I'll use a pseudonym, and for all else I'll choose a random throwaway name. If anything, this desire on my part shows respect for the Monastery and for this community, because I want to be identified with it for real, even to the point of allowing others within two clicks of my home phone number.

      "The dead do not recognize context" -- Kai, Lexx

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