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When I click the "logout" link, I am taken to a separate page that contains nothing but a "logout" button. I don't really see the point of this; I suggest removing this page and having the logout link actually log you out.

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22  
There's a logout link? Whatever would people use that for? –  mmyers Mar 2 '10 at 19:39
    
@mmyers Just chalk it up to OCD –  Michael Hackner Mar 2 '10 at 19:39
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"You can log out anytime you like, but you can never leave." –  Ether Mar 2 '10 at 19:57
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I actually like this, since I often click on logout by mistake. –  user27414 Mar 2 '10 at 20:07
    
It takes two clicks to get to the log out button and then scroll and click to log out. If the log out button is already hidden away then it makes the logout page kinda moot. –  Mallow Dec 26 '11 at 18:57

5 Answers 5

I think I remember a blog post by Jeff talking about adding this so a malicious script didn't do naughty stuff to you, but I can't find it (I don't even remember if it was on codinghorror or the stackoverflow blog)

In any case, I bet you it's there for a reason.

Edit:
As Arjan says, you'd be logged out if someone includes
<img src="http://meta.stackoverflow.com/users/logout"/> in a post

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That does seem to ring a bell, but I don't know where it was either. –  mmyers Mar 2 '10 at 20:05
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It surely is there for a very good reason: you don't want to be logged out when someone includes <img src="http://meta.stackoverflow.com/users/logout"/> in a post. (Now the bonus question is: does the OP maintain web applications?) –  Arjan Mar 2 '10 at 20:53
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Right now, to logout, the logout button requires some sort of key, which I assume to be user/session specific, preventing links to auto-log out anyway. This could easily be applied to the first logout button, making this reasoning silly. (Not necessarily wrong though, the truth is frequently silly) –  Mooing Duck Mar 26 '12 at 16:45
    
I ignore the current status of that, but the common, safe approach is that a GET to /users/logout shows the confirmation page, while a POST actually logs out. –  jmendeth Jul 17 '13 at 20:46
    
Then the link does a POST when clicked so you don't have to confirm. But a simple image or link wouldn't work. (clicking the link would display the confirmation page). –  jmendeth Jul 17 '13 at 20:47

While we're on this topic, can we please fix the spelling of that text to "log out"? "logout" is a noun, "log out" is a verb.

(This was covered earlier at Use of login/logout is inconsistent and incorrect, so please go upvote that question too.)

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And "log out" is what is displayed on the confirmation page, so it should at least be consistent (to say nothing of correctness). –  Michael Hackner Mar 2 '10 at 20:07
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Actually, you could make the case that "logout" is intended as a noun here, much like "search" and "faq" –  Michael Hackner Mar 2 '10 at 20:46
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@Michael: I have a "login", but what is a "logout" anyway? The term makes no sense except as a description of the action "to log out". –  Ether Mar 2 '10 at 20:48
    
Actually you can't upvote that question because it is locked. Any idea why they locked it? –  Lance Roberts Mar 2 '10 at 22:05
    
@Lance: in the absence of other information, I'd assume that Jeff didn't like the amount of comments that post was generating. –  Ether Mar 3 '10 at 1:44
    
Yeh, I figured that, just couldn't figure out what kind of comment war would have started over that issue. –  Lance Roberts Mar 4 '10 at 16:10
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@Lance: Jeff doesn't like being told he's wrong, QED. –  Ether Mar 4 '10 at 16:24

On sites that don't have a confirmation, I do occasionally click the "logout" button and it is a bit of a pain to have to log in again. I am also sure that the majority of the times I have hit the logout button, not just here but other sites, I didn't want to. I have never used this site from a public computer and so the additional step saves me time.

The other issue is it isn't like you never have your mouse near it. The the tools button is right next to it and either too much or too little coffee could lead to me accidently hitting logout rather than tools (and I have done it) a few times.

In other words, some sort of confirmation is definitely required. I must admit the current text is strange.

You're a registered user.

You can log in or out at any time using the OpenID you've already associated with your account.

Something more along the lines of "Are you sure you want to logout" would be much better.

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Agree with the text change at a minimum being warranted. –  Michael Hackner Mar 2 '10 at 19:57
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...Or potentially instead of going to a new page, simply bring up a confirmation dialog, like that which is shown when clicking 'delete'. –  Ether Mar 2 '10 at 20:34
    
@Ether yeah, that would IMHO be fine –  HAL 9000 Mar 2 '10 at 21:01

While I never log out, I would think we'd only need a confirmation popup, just in case we accidentally hit the button.

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A valid reason to have a pop-up, but logging out of SO is not an action that would result in any irreversible data loss, etc. And the pop-up for leaving a page when you still have unsubmitted data should still apply. –  Michael Hackner Mar 2 '10 at 19:42

I have to agree. This is not a damaging function. The page that "logout" displays simply tells you that you are a registered user and that you can log in or log out any time.

To which my response is, "DUH." I know I'm a registered user, I know I'm logged in, and all I want to do is log out. It really should be one-and-only-one click.

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you changed your name! you cannot change it again for a month! did you really think it through??? –  jmfsg Mar 2 '10 at 19:58
    
No, I had buyer's remorse immediately. Should have changed it to "name chameleon" (meta.stackexchange.com/questions/40852/…). That said, my current one is pretty much just like the anonymous ones, only in hex. :) –  John Rudy Mar 2 '10 at 21:09
    
yes, of course... I was about to change mine a few times, but I can't find one I'd like to be stuck for a month! I guess we are losing at Jeff's game... –  jmfsg Mar 3 '10 at 0:20
    
@Downvoter, yeah I think that was his goal. :) –  John Rudy Mar 3 '10 at 14:10

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