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Are there any issues with allowing "Special Characters in Display Names"? · Article

There are issues with the "Special Characters in Display Names" feature of UBB.threads, and it's generally just considered a bad idea on multiple levels:
• A malicious user can create an account which appears to be a duplicate of another account.
Example: A admin has the user name of, "Mark" and the malicious user could create a user name of, "μark" (Greek capital letter mu). This cat and mouse game of trying to block all the possibilities just for that one name, could go on very long.

• Not everyone in the world can type in special characters, so if someone creates a user name of, "😻😼😽🙀", how is anyone supposed to interact with that user? What name should you use when referring to them? What is an admin supposed to do when he wants to look them up in a database? What buttons does he press to get that name?
Example: UBBDev User #14752

• Not all special characters are supported in all browsers; I believe that the above example exists in "Emoji version 8", or even "Emoji version 9". If your internet client (mail reader, web browsers, RSS feed client, etc.) doesn't support that version, then you're stuck not seeing anything at all.

"Emoji version 9" was released in June 2016 and some keyboard app vendors were incorporating preliminary specs before the release date. In those preliminary specs, a hand gun and an Olympic Marksman Rifle were included with them; since then, the hand gun has been replaced with a water gun, and the Olympic Marksman Rifle has been removed completely. You probably may face some issues if you had created a user name with those Emoji.

• A possible additional entry: If the forum's database schema doesn't support these extended characters, or gets updated to a different schema, those users with special characters in their Login Name may have just lost access to their accounts. Or all usage of those special chars has been lost. A backup/restore of the database between servers, could trigger issues.
Posted By Gremelin Posted on August 13th, 2016 · Updated on October 28th, 2023
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Comments and Attributions

This entry was provided with information from the UBB.threads Beta Tester Forum, and was supplied by Isaac DeCoursey (id242).

More reading on the squirt guns are available at Phandroid and CNN Money.

More reading on Emoji versions is available at Wikipedia: Emoji


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