Subject: Re: misc/2668: login-names >8 chars make no fun
To: None <current-users@NetBSD.ORG>
From: der Mouse <mouse@Holo.Rodents.Montreal.QC.CA>
List: current-users
Date: 08/20/1996 14:53:58
>> If i recall, BSDI defaults to allowing 16 character login names.  Is
>> there any reason we need to, by default, allow more?

(IMO the answer is "no", though of course if someone needs to build a
system that allows more it should be a matter of changing one #define
and rebuilding the world.)

>> What's about 3 characters? Should be enough. Everybody knows "007",
>> "cgd", "you" and "me". 8-)


> Actually, I think we should have a damned good reason to before we
> change the login name length.  8 characters (or 7, the _practical_
> limit) is more than enough.

How is 7 "the _practical_ limit"?  I work with a system that has a lot
of users with 8-character login names and we've had no trouble.

> Login names should be quick and easy to type,

Sez who?  (a) not all login names are typed by users, (b) some users
are perfectly willing to type a long login name of their choosing than
a short cryptic one of someone else's choosing, and (c) "quick and easy
to type" does not necessarily imply "short".  I can type my login name
_and password_ faster than many people I work around can type just
their login name.

> and (at least in environments with many users) they should preferably
> _not_ specify the real name of the user.

Sez who?  This is a matter of site policy and is unenforceable by the
OS in any case.

> Mostly, people want long login names to be able to have stuff like
> "Peter_Jones" be someone's login.  What happens when the _next_ Peter
> Jones joins the company?

What company?  Especially with NetBSD, the chances are reasonably good
that Peter Jones owns the machine outright.

> The practical solution, IMHO, is to let login names be sequentially
> assigned, not related to real name, and not reused.

In the sort of environment you are thinking of, this may well be a
reasonably good solution.  It is far from the only solution, and there
are lots of environments where it is very far from the best.

> Hmm.  This turned into quite a sermon.  Anyway, that's how I feel,
> and by inference, I feel that we should stick to the old limit
> instead of encouraging people to go overboard with long login names.
> Then again, it is very arguable that the actual, individual system
> administrators should be given the freedom to make that choice.  :-)

Something with which I entirely agree.  I wouldn't even object if the
default stayed at 8, which in fact it perhaps should for compatability
with NIS networks full of vendor machines stuck with 8-character
limits.  But I want to be able to change one #define somewhere, rebuild
the world, and get that limit up to whatever I want (though I would
accept a hard limit, provided it's reasonably high, like 255).

> -tih
> -- 
> Tom Ivar Helbekkmo
> tih@Hamartun.Priv.NO

So why is _your_ login - or at least your email address - your
initials?  What happens when Tanya Irene Hendersson joins the company?

					der Mouse
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