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Caution: Do not rename a user's home folder
Authored by: beepotato on Jul 23, '07 05:18:21PM

Actually, I can see very well why a user would want to change his user name and/or the name of his home folder (as long as the administrator allows it).
Both shoud be easily doable with no bad consequences. It is already the case for the (long) user name. It's a shame that it's not the case (yet?) for the name of the home folder.

The fact that the home folder uses the short user name is a very bad idea: it is exposing an implementation detail that the normal user should never see (a normal user should not even know there exists such a thing as a short user name; all he should know about is his long/real user name).

And the fact that the reference to a user's home folder in the NetInfo database is kept as a path is a shame. The problem described here would not happen if an alias was used instead.

Alternatively, in order to keep the current path-based implementation and/or ensure that the name of the home folder stays "simple" enough for compatibility with old Unix software, a solution would be to rely on the mechanism used to display localized folder names. This way, only the long user name would be shown to the user while the real folder name would still be the short user name.
Apple would then have to tweak this mechanism so that when such a folder is renamed through the Finder, only the displayed name changes, and not the real name of the folder. Then, of course, it would be a good thing and solve many problems with users renaming their library folder.

So, solutions exist. Let's just hope Apple will use one (and a good one) soon.



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Long name, short name
Authored by: MJCube on Jul 23, '07 09:51:47PM

"(a normal user should not even know there exists such a thing as a short user name; all he should know about is his long/real user name)"

I disagree. I have never once typed my long name into my own computer for login or authorization, since I established it 7 years ago. And why would anyone want to do that when the short name is easier? But I do like to see my full name displayed where appropriate.



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Long name, short name
Authored by: beepotato on Jul 25, '07 10:25:10AM

By "normal user", I meant a basic user who will log in by choosing his account from a list instead of having ot type his account name, or will even have autologin activated, and will never do remote login through a shell.
This kind of user won't use a separate admin account, so the name field of authorization dialogs will be pre-filled automatically for him with the right name (his).

For this type of user, having to type his user name happens very, very rarely (for the occasional AFP access to his computer, for example), so why confuse him with a short user name that he can't even change easily (but he is never told that during setup!) but will look ugly on his home folder?

Of course, power users will know about the short user name and use it, but it doesn't mean this implementation detail should be shown to all the other users.



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