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This user's name isn't actually the vaguely amusing "FrustratedWithFormsDes" (22 chars), even though that's how it's displayed in questions and answers. The full name appears on the user page and in the comments.

Why is the name truncated in some cases, but not in others? If you don't want to display more than 22 characters, then why allow user names to be longer in the first place?

Edit: Just saw an answer from a user with a 24 character name, not truncated: http://stackoverflow.com/questions/2240575/where-do-custom-build-tools-go-in-your-source-tree/2240616#2240616

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3 Answers 3

In answer to your edit, the names aren't actually being truncated at a specific number of characters, they're just being truncated by virtue of the fact that the user cards are divs with overflow set to hidden. So if your name has a lot of narrow characters (III) you'll fit more in than if you use wide characters (MMM). You can see this by looking at the source (or setting your browser text size smaller).

I think its the right way to do it, since although it means it's a little unpredictable as to where it will get truncated, at least you're guaranteed to fit the maximum number of characters in regardless of which characters are used.

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I guess we could reduce the font size in the user cards, if your name is longer than (n) characters.

Although not all characters are the same width, eg:

MMMMMMMMMMMMMM

vs.

IIIIIIIIIIIIII

Note There is the same ammount of Ms as Is in the above demonstration.

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Doesn't everybody use Courier New as their default browser font? –  mmyers Feb 10 '10 at 22:36
1  
@mmyers - Consolas is the new courier new. –  Adam Davis Feb 10 '10 at 22:46

It's a balance between giving the user flexibility, by allowing him to pick most any name they want, and keeping the user interface from having strange display problems.

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