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I just saw a user named: .yahoo.co.jpaqwsykcj3aulh3h1k0cy6nzs3isj

Could new users be named according to their user-number, or something other than "Unknown"? Perhaps User1234567 instead? It would be less awkward to address them in answers and comments.

Additionally, I often times have to check profiles to make sure users aren't abusing the system, since I find many of the same questions from "unknown (google)" from time to time. That, or I'll mistakenly think I've helped the user on a similar issue in the past, and assume the user has knowledge that he or she does not have.

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13  
Best new feature request so far this year. –  Joel Coehoorn Jan 15 '10 at 20:14
15  
Thank god we are only in january. –  John the Seagull Jan 15 '10 at 20:22
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4 Answers 4

up vote 11 down vote accepted
+550

I don't know if you guys fully understand the ramifications of this change.

Remember our friend ~quack?

Think about how his user "name" exists, and why. (Also consider how you won't be "addressing" users like this at all, really..)

In the meantime, I enabled this for Google and Yahoo only.

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~quack is a special case, though. +1 for the change. –  alex Feb 4 '10 at 9:47
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... wow. thanks, jeff. i... had no idea you cared. :) –  quack quixote Feb 4 '10 at 9:50
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I just thought it was hilarious that you were so dedicated to that squiggle. :) –  Jeff Atwood Feb 4 '10 at 9:56
    
You stole my bounty :( –  jmfsg Feb 4 '10 at 15:57
    
I call no fair. The community clearly thought I had the better answer. Hrmph. :-) –  George Stocker Feb 4 '10 at 16:03
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@Jeff: What happened with ~quack? –  Josh K Apr 19 '10 at 2:57
    
~quack died and was reborn like a phoenix. But not in Arizona. @jos –  random Apr 19 '10 at 8:04
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I am still seeing that username yahoo-co-jpaqwsykcj3aulh3h1k0cy6nzs3isj

Is that really status-completed?

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1  
@S Mark: I believe that's for new users only. –  Billy ONeal Apr 19 '10 at 3:19
    
Ah, ok, you're right, but still wondering what happened to that username, I don't think he named himself like that. –  YOU Apr 19 '10 at 3:25
    
@S. Mark - You would be surprised. –  Gnoupi Apr 19 '10 at 15:44
    
@Gnoupi, :D Yes, but that user filled name field, so thats look like intentional, but the one with yahoo-co-jp..... is no name actually, I guess system automatically choose it. –  YOU Apr 20 '10 at 0:58
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I agree

(can I have the bounty now?)

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2  
It seems your username is getting in the way of you getting the bounty. HUMOROUS BUT ULTIMATELY MEANINGLESS META DOWNVOTE! MUAHAHAHA! –  Super Long Names are Hilarious Feb 3 '10 at 20:07
    
@Cha, he can explicitly award it to me (and please, don't downvote me, I'm the Downvoter, not the Downvotee (it hurts)) –  jmfsg Feb 3 '10 at 20:18
    
Karma​​! –  Super Long Names are Hilarious Feb 3 '10 at 20:33
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This makes sense; and it's easier to for people to tie it to a person later on, even if their name changes.

For instance, in comments:

User1010101: I don't know how to do this.
George: @User1010101: You do it this way.

Later on, even if User1010101 changes his name, I can still look at my old comment and trace who I was talking to to that UserID.

Even better, it'd be nice if we could (and there's a meta discussion out about this) just put {s:UserID} in a comment and have it render whatever name they're using currently. If their UserID was in a hover-tooltip, then it'd be easy to grab. There are some edge cases with this, but it'd at least get the hardcoded names out.

Unfortunately, yes, it would add some processing time and probably slow down the requests a little bit -- I don't know by how much though.

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Also related to meta.stackexchange.com/questions/1093/… –  Ether Jan 15 '10 at 20:33
    
It wouldn't have to slow down requests - just do it on the client via a javascript ajax call. Of course, you could argue that still slows things down, but at least now it's only indirectly. –  Joel Coehoorn Jan 16 '10 at 5:05
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It wouldn't even be hard to find comments that said "User1010101" and change them to display the user's new name. Or, alternatively, have SO automatically change User{ID} to the User's current name in comments. That would be nice. –  Super Long Names are Hilarious Feb 3 '10 at 20:09
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