An interesting email from discourse.org



  • So I registered at the BoingBoing forum today, to have a chance to experience Discourse at a different site than TDWTF.

    And I get an email from discourse.org.

    Stating: "Because this forum is powered by Discourse, you can also reserve your username globally across other Discourse forums."

    Of course I did!

    But think.

    Company X operates a moderated BB and considers switching to Discourse. Disgrunteld ex-employee Y gets wind of this. And goes to a website with a Discourse-driven forum. And registers with an avatar used by one of his ex-colleagues. Say, the one with a moderator role and lots of reputation. Let's call this avatar Z. And the disgruntled ex-employee reserves that avatar globally for all Discourse forums.

    Some time later company X finally says "Yes, I will" to Discourse. But moderator Z can't use his well known avatar now, because an avatar squatter is blocking it.

    Am I the only one who finds that behaviour a wee bit weird from a company which is creating a new forum software with the explicit aim of promoting "civilized discourse"?



  • Where is the text that says that you can reserve your avatar globally?



  • It also has um, interesting security implications. It seems a tad odd that what should be completely independent Discourse installations can communicate in this way. For this to work they must all be sharing information about each other's userbases. That's kind of strange and unsettling for forum software to do, especially across sites that have nothing to do with each other.

    Imagine what it'd be like if phpBB did this. It'd be unusable for nearly all its many many installations. If Discourse becomes popular this'll turn into a huge problem.



  • @marinus said:

    If Discourse becomes popular

    insert own joke here

    Honestly though, I think there is/should be an option to make an internal forum more "private". And if there's not, then there's only praying it doesn't actually become popular.



  • Please see this topic:

    I'm pretty sure that the global username reservation is going to be scrapped. It's just that they haven't got around to it.



  • @marinus said:

    For this to work they must all be sharing information about each other's userbases. That's kind of strange and unsettling for forum software to do, especially across sites that have nothing to do with each other.

    For the avoidance of doubt, this feature has NOT been enabled on here.



  • @codinghorror said:

    It is your community, after all, who are we to tell you that you can...

    Quoted for funny sad.



  • @chubertdev said:

    Where is the text that says that you can reserve your avatar globally?

    @PJH said:

    For the avoidance of doubt, this feature has NOT been enabled on here.

    Yes, that making sense here.


  • Banned

    That's enabled here? I'll disable it. Our current thinking on this was linked above.



  • @codinghorror said:

    That's enabled here?

    Er, no; I've explicitly said it isn't....


  • Banned

    Odd, the discourse hub key (aka discourse org access key) was filled in the site settings, it began with adc19bb61...

    Anyway, I removed it.



  • Odd. Sure it wasn't enabled when I last looked...

    Especially Given the warning about only changing it before going live...


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