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PostPosted: Thu Mar 19, 2009 10:44 am 
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Joomla! Apprentice
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Joined: Thu Feb 16, 2006 6:33 pm
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Location: UK
I've noticed that Joomla allows the new users to sign up with a username that includes spaces and other special characters. I gather that this is some what due to the UTF8 compliance, but surely there should be certain characters that are not allowed in the username?

I see this as a bug, but wanted to find out other people's opinions about it first before reporting it and seeing if I could help get it changed.

Ideally I think the username field should only be allowed to have characters in it that would be allowed in the SEF url slugs, something like:

a-z
0-9
.
_

What are your thoughts? Am I missing some vital characters from other languages that are allowed in urls/domain names?


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PostPosted: Thu Mar 19, 2009 10:47 am 
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Joined: Tue Mar 11, 2008 7:04 pm
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Location: Berkshire, UK
It often seems odd to programmers and those with more experience of computers that usernames can contain spaces or other characters, however to less familiar users it is quite natural, their name has spaces in it and often a hyphen so why not on a website.

We find the at the key criteria for making a site user friendly and easy to use is allowing users to select their own username and password, this also reduces the risk of them forgetting either.

So yes I would be in favour of this and do not see it as a bug, as long of course there is not ability to add code and open up a security hole, however I do not believe this is the case.

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http://www.webappz.co.uk


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PostPosted: Thu Mar 19, 2009 11:28 am 
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Joined: Thu Feb 16, 2006 6:33 pm
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I kind of see where you are coming from with the usability angle, but the Joomla registration has a field for Name and one for Username, so there needs to be a difference between them. My site is targeted towards an older female demographic who are typically less internet savvy, so I suppose that's why I'm getting so many obscure usernames!

I guess that I feel that anyone who uses the internet at all would quickly become aware that there are certain things that don't allow spaces in them - email addresses / web addresses / usernames(?).

I think you're right though - it's due to my programming experience that I don't like it! Haha.


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PostPosted: Thu Mar 19, 2009 12:21 pm 
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Just a personal opinion, but why does the name and username have to be different, I don't agree

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http://www.webappz.co.uk


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PostPosted: Thu Mar 19, 2009 12:50 pm 
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If they're not different it doesn't make sense to have both, you would only need to capture one field - which would make the form simpler. The idea of having both of them is so that people don't have to share their real name on the forum/site if they don't want to - by using a username/alias. But yes, people don't have to if they don't want to, they can keep them the same.

I'm all for making the form simpler, the less fields users have to fill in the better. I've looked into using the email address as the login as this would remove the need for the username and people are more likely to remember it. It still leaves them the option to edit their displayed name if they want to. I'm not that comfortable with messing about with the core though, causes too much hassle for upgrades.


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PostPosted: Thu Mar 19, 2009 1:35 pm 
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I think you are missing the point. Username is a field for the user and is of little consequence or use to the website, if someone wants to call themselves "Mickey Mouse" it may ot may not be their real name. The Name however is of use to the website but don't get hung up about the possiblitly they will both be the same.

With regard to wanting to reduce the number of fields on the signup form, that is to be commended, typically there is a 20% drop off for each additional field, so less gains more signups. However having experimented greatly with sites using email address as the username I am unconvinced of its merits, the problem is the email address is typically at least 20 characters, often more and it is a bind to type in. Users like typing as little as possible so a username is often preferred.

Finally, yes I agree, you should go out as far as you can to avoid changing any of the core, if you end up having to, you are better taking the normal registration process component and copying it under a new name, then using this as the basis for a modified component, it removes the issue of updates, however you have to maintain the new code yourself.

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http://www.webappz.co.uk


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PostPosted: Mon May 11, 2009 12:39 am 
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Joined: Thu Dec 08, 2005 8:38 am
Posts: 60
hdouglas wrote:
It often seems odd to programmers and those with more experience of computers that usernames can contain spaces or other characters, however to less familiar users it is quite natural, their name has spaces in it and often a hyphen so why not on a website.
.....
.....
So yes I would be in favour of this and do not see it as a bug, as long of course there is not ability to add code and open up a security hole, however I do not believe this is the case.


I see a big support issue with the username allowing spaces and other "wierd" characters, since its hard to see how many spaces the user has added. They might accidentally add 2 or 3 spaces between words in their username in the signup - spaces are hard to see and count on screen to the average user. I think this is the reason it seems odd to programmers and users more experienced of computers cause they realize the problems it creates.

Mature software try to limit what can be filled into fields that are important to programming logic. Which is why you have both a username, and a Full name as separate fields. As you say, the Full Name field can contain almost anything because its not used in the programming logic, and is for display purposes only.


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