To the point & Out of the box

Dumb Software Part I

I'm always puzzled to see how bad software still is these days. I'm going to publish my bad-software-charts over time because I really can't believe I'm the only one getting nuts about such crap.

Ok, let's start: Web-Forum Software, a.k.a. bulletin board.

In the good old days one used a mailing-list if there were only a couple of people communicating. For bigger audiences Usenet was used. I like both approaches. Simple, integrates with my work-flow and uses known patterns and programs. So, it's simple, it works, it's fast.

But the fancy times seem to ask for something different. And there are lot of people "designing" internet sites that think the internet exists since the year 2000. Those people never heard about Usenet or the other "old" technologies that are pretty good to handle. Ok, those are setting up new sites using web-forum software.

I just want to focus on one aspect of web-forum software, that is mostly totally screwed up: The registration process.

There you have to enter three things concerning your user:
  1. A login name
  2. A user name, used as nickname for my posts
  3. My email address

And now comes the problem: Input 1 and 2 need to be unique because otherwise the forum software can't identify you. Why the hell is this required?

How about using input 3, my email address, as internal identifier for the login? My email address is pretty unique on this planet. In this case I could specify whatever nickname I want. Yes, there might be two using the same, so what? There are million people on this planet having the same first-name as I.

Most of the time, if you didn't made it to find two unique names for 1. and 2. you just get a note, that these are already in use. If you are lucky, the software will tell you which one. If you are damn lucky, the software will make a suggestion what name you can use.

I'm wondering how long it will take until the web-forum software guys will recognize this screwed up design.

Oh, and if you now want to say (which you can't on my blog site at the moment) "Using an email address is to insecure." I would ask why? If this is the case, than never use your email address to send emails...