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When to use firstname or username or both



10:02 am on Apr 2, 2012 (gmt 0)

I’m a newbie, be gentle on me. Im following a tutorial series online and Im building a social network website.
I want my member to sign up with their first name, last name, etc…

Q. I’m confused when it comes time to use the firstname in my scripts and when to use username. I have firstname and username in myTable.

Example below…

<td align="right" class="alignRt"><div align="right">First Name:<span class="brightRed"> <span class="answerquestion">*</span></span>

<td align="left" class="alignleft"><input name="username" type="text" class="formFields" id="username" value="<?php print "$username"; ?>" size="32" maxlength="36" /></td>

Like algebra, its simple when you get it, I can not get it when it comes to this.

Thanks in advance, Scott


2:31 pm on Apr 2, 2012 (gmt 0)

WebmasterWorld Senior Member eelixduppy is a WebmasterWorld Top Contributor of All Time 10+ Year Member

I'm not sure I understand your question. Can you please elaborate?

Additionally, I tend to think of username as a unique identifier whereas the first name is not unique. Many just get rid of the username entirely and use the users email address instead. I guess this would depend, though, if your users want an alias or not.


4:15 pm on Apr 2, 2012 (gmt 0)

WebmasterWorld Senior Member rocknbil is a WebmasterWorld Top Contributor of All Time 10+ Year Member

Look at your account on this site. **IF** there were a field for your first and last name, you'd still want to use your username, right?

Usernames are for public displays and login/session "handles." That is, you use the user name and password to login, but once logged in, you translate that to the numeric record ID to maintain a login. That way, you're not doing a textual lookup every time you validate that user (slower than numeric lookup, and a little more secure - the numeric value is never displayed.)

First names and last names are useful for validation such as password recovery or other multi-factor validations to make it a little more secure (that is, on password recovery, the process might require email, username, first, last, mother's maiden, secret question response, whatever.) Otherwise it's an optional display item, except in Facebook which requires a "real" name (tongue in cheek.)

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