What is This? 1986? Part 2

So I hear about this new Twitter thing, think it sounds sort of cool, and decide to try it out. I cruise over to their web site and fill out the registration form, and here’s what I see:

Oops! Please fix the following problems: Name is too long (maximum is 20 characters)

Believe it or not, it won’t accept “Elliotte Rusty Harold” as a name. It gets stuck right before the d. Seems it believes no name can be longer than 20 letters, and “Elliotte Rusty Harold” is 21.

This is supposed to be the future of the Web? More like the past of bad user interface design. If one of my students made this sort of mistake, I’d take three points off their homework and make them do it over. When a majorly hyped Web 2.0 app like Twitter makes it, I get seriously worried.

Of course, it’s not like I haven’t seen this before.

5 Responses to “What is This? 1986? Part 2”

  1. John Cowan Says:

    Just be glad you aren’t one of those people with two middle initials, like about 7% of the U.S. population (notably including ex-President George H.W. Bush, not to be confused with George H. Bush or George W. Bush). Most of the forms ever made (thankfully, not this one) don’t work for these people.

  2. bob Says:

    Bad design is bad design, but why *20* characters?

    How did the Twitter developers (twits?) and the Quicken developers both converge on 20? Is there some magical stumbling block beyond 20 chars in some database product?

    If I were superstitious I’d say it was the Law Of Fives, as 20 is 5*4, but fnord only knows.

  3. George Bailey Says:

    Twitter is written in Ruby on Rails, and using the rails “migration” scheme a field like that would automatically become a varchar 255. So at some point somebody must have decided that 255 was ridiculous and then perhaps just semi-arbitraily chopped it down. 20 is mighty silly though.

  4. George Bailey Says:

    Futhermore, why are no spaces allowed in the user name? What could that hurt?

  5. Jose Luis Loya Cabrera Says:

    My Full name also isnt allowed.

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