reply to post by tothetenthpower
Personally, I don't see why changing your name shouldn't be or couldn't be a profile function and not require moderator/owner intervention.
Especially since all of the threads and posts would follow the account anyway.
That's because you fundamentally do not understand how a Unix-like system works because "all the threads and posts" would NOT follow the account.
Your username is a subdirectory in the /home subdirectory with a unique userid. All the information about your account is stored in that subdirectory,
either as files or in further subdirectories. And here's where it gets complicated. All your posts, contributions, threads, etc. are in other places
on the server in a (what is likely a) SQL database. They point back to your unique userid. Indeed, these "pointer files" can get quite complex. An
individual post has a "postid" number (which you can see when you page through), as well as other "data elements" (sometimes called "fields")
associated with that post. These include the presence and number of stars, the thread to which the post is assigned, and your userid.
Now let's say you want to change your username. You CANNOT just change the spelling and be done with it. It doesn't work that way. Instead, you must
create a NEW username that has NEVER BEEN USED BEFORE, and when you do THAT, it changes your userid. Now all your posts, threads, stars, points, etc.
are pointed to your OLD userid. In order to change these it must be done manually. In other words, you are asking someone to go through and find
everything you've ever done and change the associated pointer files to point to your new userid.
Performing that task is effectively impossible. Even the site administrators do not know where all the pointer files are that would have to be
changed, or even the exact structure of the database itself. That's an unreasonable expectation for a user to even ask.
Now, could someone wrote a program to accomplish all this? Sure, but it would have to be site-unique because every site is different, with different
file names and a different database structure. It would have to cover the ENTIRE site, and it would have to be smart enough to detect the difference
between a relevant pointer file and number and another number that just happens to be exactly the same. Doing this would put your entire database at
risk. If the program screws up, you trash the entire site and start over.
As a result of this complexity and the inherent risk involved no site administrator anywhere would agree to even consider this. There is no time to do
this, nor is there a compelling reason, nor does it justify the risk involved. Just because you've decided you want a new username is not sufficient
reason for a site administrator to even deal with the issue. You should have thought of that before. This is a non-trivial request for a trivial
Accordingly, the only way to "change" your username, all the "you could if you wanted to" comments nothwithstanding, is to create a new account
with a new unique username that is not already in use, and abandon your previous account.