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Call For Discussion on Registration Issues
Posted By: Sam, on host
Date: Wednesday, November 4, 1998, at 10:51:08

RinkWorks is getting an increasing number of features that require registration (or at least personal identification) to participate in. There's the Site Market Game. There's the RinkWorks Mailing List. This message forum requires a username and, optionally, email address for every post. And there's one or two upcoming features that require registration that you don't know about yet.

This is getting to be a pain for me, because I have to write and maintain all these different types of registration engines. It has to be a pain for you, typing in nicknames and email addresses time and again.

So I've been thinking about various ways to alleviate this problem. Here are three alternatives for dealing with this problem, and if anybody can think of more, I'd be happy to hear them. Please let me know what you think about each. Email is fine; posting here, where the issues can be discussed amongst all of us is better. This will probably affect how you use RinkWorks, so it's something I encourage you all to be involved in.

(1) Leave things the way they are. Depending on how things go, I may not necessarily agree to this, but at this point it's still a viable option if nobody likes the alternatives. For each new feature that requires user identification, I'll have yet another registration/login system to do it.

(2) Register ONCE for the RinkWorks site as a whole. You would provide information such as: your real name, your desired nickname, your email address, whether you want your email address to be visible from message forum posts, whether you want to be subscribed to the RinkWorks mailing list, and other preferences such as this. You will be able to edit this information at any time by logging in with your name and password. Then, to use ANY RinkWorks feature that requires registration/identification, you provide your nickname and password, and you're automatically recognized. It is doubtful as to how much work this will save in the long run. It saves registration time for each individual feature (remember, there will be more than require this besides the Site Market Game) but not on login
time, which would be the same.

(3) Same as #2, but have nickname/password information stored in a cookie file in your browser so that each time you go to the RinkWorks site, your browser remembers your nickname and password. In this situation, the only time you would need to enter your name and password would be if you switched browsers, computers, or cleaned out your cookie files. In the normal course of things, you wouldn't have to log in or identify yourself anywhere. The disadvantage here is that you have to accept the cookie file in the first place.

I don't much like ANY of the three solutions above, and to implement #3 I would have to learn how to implement cookies in the first place (not a problem, just not something I've done). Like I say, if anybody has any better ideas, I'm listening. Let me know what you think.

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