Registration FAQ

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What is registration for?

Only registered users will be allowed to post. Anyone will be able to read the forum. Registered users must have a confirmed valid E-mail address.

How does registration work?

The registration process is this: (a) you sign up with an E-mail address, (b) the forum server sends an E-mail to the E-mail address that you gave, (c) in that E-mail, there is a link that must be clicked to activate the account. That's it! This basically prevents anyone from trying to get a (working) account without a valid E-mail address. Really, we are just enforcing (in software) the "must use a valid E-mail" policy. There is no manual review of applications, or anything like that.

During certain times, for example during games when trolling is traditionally high, we may insert a delay of some number of hours between sign-up and when the activation link will work. But all the "regulars" will be signed up before we implement those delays.

Are freemail addresses, like hotmail and yahoo, acceptable?

Yes, you can use a hotmail or yahoo address. In the event that certain freemail providers become sources of forum abuse, we will implement a delay (as mentioned above) for specific providers. In that case, you can register with such an E-mail, but the link in the registration E-mail will not be honored for some time. However, even if we take such action, it will not impact those who have already registered with an address on that provider.

Will I need to register for both On-Topic and Off-Topic?

You'll only have to register once. Accounts are shared between the two forums.

How will the posting process be different?

When you post, instead of Handle and E-mail Address, you'll enter E-mail Address and Password. That's pretty much it. The E-mail Address and Password must correspond to an (active) account -- one that the O-Zone server was able to successfully send an E-mail to. That account will have a Handle identified for it.

In the event that the password is wrong, or the E-mail address is mistyped, it is treated as a "posting error" just like leaving the handle field empty is today. You'll get the post page back, with all your text in it, and an indication of the error at the top in bold/red font. So you won't lose anything.

Are we moving to different forum software?

We are using the same software, augmented to support registration. The appearance of the forum will not change. Other than having the poster specify Password instead of Handle, the posting form and process will not change.

Will I have to enter the password for every post?

The Post form is set up to require the password with each post. However, FireFox (at least) remembers the password and fills it in for me, so I don't have to keep re-typing it in.

We may move to a cookie-based implementation where the username and password are stored in a session cookie. Then you'd log in once and if the right cookies were not presented it would not allow posting at all. It probably won't be that way at first, though. I'm trying to get the implementation settled so that we can get it out, we can change that feature later on.

What if I forget my password?

There is an "I forgot my password" process. When you indicate that you've forgotten your password, the forum server will send an E-mail to your registered E-mail address, with a link. Clicking on the link resets your password to a random string. Then you can change it to whatever you want. In order to prevent the forum server from mail-bombing anyone, we've limited the rate of password resets, so try not to forget it multiple times.

Does this mean that handle changes for humor value will be a thing of the past?
What about Halloween, Talk Like a Pirate Day, and other O-Zone traditions that involve handle changes?

I implemented a "handle override" field which permits users to post with an arbitrary handle other than their own. However, using this field forces the E-mail address to become public (even if it is marked private). This is the best compromise I could come up with: you can use a different handle temporarily if you want, but only if you are willing to expose a REAL E-mail address so that other posters can tell who really made the post.

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