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Old 2021-08-08, 10:48   #1
S485122's Avatar
Sep 2006
Brussels, Belgium

174410 Posts
Default Signing or not signing posts

The issue of signatures in the posts by users has been discussed recently.

One argument was that with everybody signing their posts the volume of the database would increase.

One reason for signing, is to enable others to address one by a name and not the forum account name. I for one prefer to be addressed as "Jacob" instead of S485122, it is friendlier, friendliness is a thing that often suffers in digital communications. I often realise after the fact, that my posts are too harsh.

If all users, whom's account name does not make the way to address them clear, did use the "Name" field of their user account to provide a way to address them, signing posts would indeed be superfluous.

The problem is this isn't the case. Some users know the first name of others (probably because of private messages or other communication.) This leads to another "insiders crowd" within the forum. New users and those that do not have a good memory for names would have to search the forum to try and find how to call others.

There are no problems to guess the first name with a user account like "paulunderwood", it is less evident with "Laurv", should one address him as Laurențiu (needing a web search) or should it be Laur ?
No problem neither when the name field is used as intended (tServo "Marv", Xyzzy "Mike", a1call "Rashid Naimi", ...)
One user has ambivalent data : henryzz (Just call me Henry) "David". One has to know that users can't adapt the subtitle under their account name to know the "David" is to be used.
But how should one address users like kriesel "TF79LL86GIMPS96gpu17" (kriesel ? , TF79LL86GIMPS96gpu17 ?), M344587487 "Composite as Heck", retina "The unspeakable one", science_man_88 "Forget I exist", Uncwilly """"""""""""""""""" or xilman "𒉺𒌌𒇷𒆷𒀭" (I never found out what that last name means, I must say I didn't put a lot of time in my search and I do remember Paul's name.)

In my case it was the reason I started signing my messages. Now I filled in the name field and don't sign my messages any more.

To conclude, I don't think those extra 10 characters alter the database volume significantly. In my opinion the real waste is found in the responses to trolls : there are whole threads full of answers to worthless posts by users that do not bother to even try to inform themselves. Another waste of space is repeating the explanations of a preceding post (perhaps because of not refreshing the page before answering ?) Those two things not only use up space, they clutter the forum, they drown relevant information in a lot of noise.

In the end it is the individual users choice until there is a rule, which would have to be accepted and applied to participate in the forum. At the moment I did not find a general set of rules for the Mersenne forum in any of the obvious (sticky) places one would look, I do know some sub fora have their own rules. (I might not have searched well enough but shouldn't rules be easily found ?)
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