Ask for a nickname in users-admin; Was: Should Short really be username when creating a user in users-admin

Dan Trevino dantrevino at
Sun Feb 28 14:58:33 UTC 2010

Was the name/username entry broken to begin with? If so, for what


On Feb 28, 2010 9:52 AM, "Bruno Girin" <brunogirin at> wrote:

On Sun, 2010-02-28 at 09:53 -0400, Derek Broughton wrote:
> Thomas Templin wrote:
> >
> > I woul...
Agreed. Add to this that the concept of name, surname, first name, last
name, etc is also language and culture specific and it's a lot better to
keep it generic and simple. Here are some examples of full names from
different places:

US: Harry Downey Jr => given name + family name + suffix
Spanish speaking world: Gabriel Garcia Marquez => given name + 2 family
names (from the mother and the father)
Middle East: Mohammed bin Rachid al Makhtoum => given name + father's
name + family (tribe) name
Asia: Mao Zedong => family name + given name
Europe: John Smith => given name + family name

So "Full Name" is the only solution that really works. As for the other
one, "Short Name" tries to be less technical than "Login Name" or "User
Name" but becomes very confusing as it's not something that people would
recognise: you never get asked for your short name in normal life so why
would your computer ask you for it? It makes sense to ask for something
technical like "login name" or "user name" because it is then obvious
that it is related to the computer. Furthermore, the concept of login
name or user name is consistent with what you're being asked for on all
web sites that require you to register. Nickname is not a good
substitute either because a lot of people don't consider themselves as
having a nickname or may not feel like they want to use to nickname they
were given at school, even they like it.

If there is an issue of making people understand what a "user name" is,
it might be better to have a short piece of explanatory text above the
field, such as "Your computer needs to be able to recognise you as a
user, so you need to provide it with a name you will use every time you
want to use it." (I don't like that sentence but I can't find anything

My £0.02


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