There are two big changes coming to addons.mozilla.org user accounts in the near future:
New username and display name fields
We are introducing two new fields (username and display name) and removing three old fields (first name, last name, and nickname). The username field will be used to uniquely identify a user across the site in add-on reviews, developed add-ons, forums, collections, etc. and must not have spaces or other special characters. The display name field is optional and, if set, will be used in place of the username in those publicly displayed places. Display names do not have restrictions on which characters can be used.
These new fields will be populated from the existing fields in a way that should not cause any changes to the way names are currently displayed across the site:
- Display names will be populated with the name we currently display for you, which is your nickname if set, otherwise your first and last name fields.
- Username will be populated from your nickname if set or your first and last names, but with spaces and special characters removed and made unique if necessary.
For example, if my nickname is currently “Justin Scott (fligtar)”, my new username will be “justin-scott-fligtar” and my display name will remain “Justin Scott (fligtar)”.
Why are we doing this? A few reasons:
- Our current system is overly complicated, requiring at least one of nickname, first name, or last name and having to figure out which to display in each place. Users don’t understand the purpose of each field, and this new system makes it much easier to understand.
- Our forums confusingly require you to log in with your nickname, which you can’t use to log in to AMO
- We want to start using usernames in URLs, such as for our upcoming collections revamp, and we don’t currently have a URL-safe name to use
Deleting inactive accounts
AMO has accumulated 4.5 million user accounts over the years, many of which were only created to be able to download experimental add-ons and then forgotten about. We’d like to begin implementing a policy of deleting inactive accounts after a long period of time to increase performance of the site as we start to add more features that are personalized for each user.
In the next few weeks we plan to delete any accounts that have not logged in since April 2009 who don’t have any add-ons, collections, or reviews associated with them. This will reduce our 4.5 million accounts to a more manageable 800,000.
If you haven’t written any reviews, created a collection, or developed an add-on and want to ensure your account stays active, the easiest way is to just log in to addons.mozilla.org and you’ll be marked as active.
If you have feedback on either of these changes, please let us know. Thanks!