37

I recall that SE enforces a three-letter minimum on usernames.

But, this doesn't seem to be the case here.

There's no Unicode magic going on, his username really is just one character long:

enter image description here

Looks like there's a bug somewhere :s


After some testing, it seems like there is no length check at all for unregistered accounts. And, when registering an unregistered account, the short username is carried over (Here's a test account I created and registered).

22
  • User X is a spy
    – Luke_0
    Commented Jan 23, 2013 at 16:40
  • 10
    Not really a username until they register
    – random
    Commented Jan 23, 2013 at 16:42
  • 2
    @random: Yeah, but unregistered accounts sometimes stick around for a long time (I've seen a 1k unreg on Physics). And registration doesn't change your username. Commented Jan 23, 2013 at 16:43
  • It might if there's a constraint on the posts table @Manishearth :-). Commented Jan 23, 2013 at 16:47
  • A short username is not retained when an account is registered. I recall a case where a user with a 2 letter name, say XY on A51 (A51 still allows it, since it runs an old SE engine), was automatically assigned XY01 when registering on a site. Commented Jan 23, 2013 at 16:56
  • @AnonE.Mouse: Nope. See edit. Commented Jan 23, 2013 at 17:02
  • (I'll destroy the test account once this gets fixed) Commented Jan 23, 2013 at 17:03
  • 4
    @Manishearth you should probably edit the Bio of that user to be clear on what you are doing with this test account. Commented Jan 23, 2013 at 17:12
  • 1
    @RichardJ.RossIII: Done, though I doubt that's necessary. Commented Jan 23, 2013 at 17:15
  • I used to have a two character username until I started getting random errors one day recently(-ish). In the beginning of SO, there was no length requirement.
    – lc.
    Commented Jan 23, 2013 at 18:26
  • How can you have an unregistered account?
    – Mr Lister
    Commented Jan 23, 2013 at 18:30
  • @MrLister: ? Care to elaborate? Commented Jan 23, 2013 at 18:36
  • 4
    @MrLister By not registering.
    – user102937
    Commented Jan 23, 2013 at 18:36
  • 3
    @MrLister: No, if you try posting an answer, it asks you to log in, or supply a name+email+homepage. Commented Jan 23, 2013 at 18:45
  • 3
    I've got dibs on Q!
    – jscs
    Commented Jan 23, 2013 at 19:17

1 Answer 1

17

Screwed that one up, didn't we? We made a change to the user validation pipeline in April of 2011 (!), but didn't correctly apply it to the unregistered post creation, only the user editing.

The next build will reenable this validation, and it will also fix any existing illegal user names. Thanks for the catch.

Oh, also: It took two years for this to be noticed? Disappoint, people of Meta! ;p

3
  • Out of curiosity, how will it fix them? Commented Jan 30, 2013 at 2:02
  • Look at the example account from the question: It gave them back their default user20145, which is the name they would've had if validation had been working.
    – balpha StaffMod
    Commented Jan 30, 2013 at 7:59
  • Hah, never had I spotted that in userX the X corresponds to the numeric user ID and is thus fixed and available for use when the text username becomes invalid. Commented Jan 30, 2013 at 21:35

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