Cloaked (Hidden) Users

E

energy

#1
It's been too nice.

I am interested in why people cloak themselves when they are visiting the site. For example, it showed 5 members and 3 guests on line. There were only 4 members showing. Is this intentional? Does the guest count mean that these are visitors that do not want to register? Does the missing member's name mean he/she wants to remain anonymous? Finally, why would a member want to do so? Privacy? Is it because they want to be different? When I observe this, I get a creepy feeling that someone is skulking in the shadows and doesn't want to be seen in the daylight. So, go ahead and beat on me for looking at cloaking as a privacy issue.
We need some contention here.;)
 
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Marc

Hunkered Down for the Duration
Staff member
Admin
#2
Well, there are a lot of 'options' I can set here. One of which is to allow people to browse the board anonymously even though they are registered. As to why I 'allow' it, when I was setting up the options (as I still am....) I figured that there may be some people who would rather not be 'obvious'. I have seen it as well in the numbers, but I guess it hasn't bothered me. This is also the case with the 'cloaking' of e-mail addresses. You can e-mail a member through the software but it doesn't give you their actual e-mail address.

I'll look over these options and think about changing them. I'm trying to give registered users as much 'privacy' as they might want. The question is - where to stop.

Another factor is that while your company may not look at the internet as a threat, others do and may not want their employees posting their e-mail addresses and such. Some companies are even secretive about their quality manuals (don't ask me why) and label them 'Company Confidential' while others (most) don't care if their QM is posted on the internet.

The 'guest' count is people who are browsing the forums but have not registered. There wouldn't be any info on them anyway except that they're browsing. If they don't register there is no name or anything (except their IP which only I can see) to identify them.

Where you see 5 members online (the number) but only 4 names, it means a member or moderator has 'cloaked' themselves. Maybe they just don't want to be bothered for some reason. Hadn't really thought much about it until you asked. I rarely see anyone who is 'cloaked'.

A lot has changed with this software and my feelings about some of these issues. You may remember (or maybe you hadn't even noticed) that in the old system anyone, even unregistered users, could start new threads and reply to existing posts. I decided that I think it's best, and partly I'm curious, that people register if they want to post.

> I get a creepy feeling that someone is skulking in the
> shadows and doesn't want to be seen in the daylight.

Watch out! The Boogey Man may get you!
 
E

energy

#3
Thump that Boogey Man

I visit the site a lot. I don't care who sees it. The only valid reason for cloaking, to me, is if your supervisor visits the site, too. He would know that you were here instead of working, like me. The chances of that are slim because.......well, that's a whole different issue. I'm sure that some bosses are progressive and would allow a subordinate to do what they do.
 
J

Jim Biz

#4
Ad the "other side" of Cloaking??

energy - to ease your mind a bit - I have found that if I start from here at my worksite & check my homebased ISP mail thru the web - when I'm notified of a new message post there & click onto the link - the software dosen't auto register me as a "shown name"

If Posts edits or other things are needed - I either log onto the cove site directly form work - or get updated with what is happening without it... - really has nothing to do with attempting to "hide" but every so often - at times depending on the discussion topics - it's just not necessary to "officially log-on"

Regards
Jim
 
E

energy

#5
For some reason.....

Jim,
For me, there is no difference at work or at home. If I want to look at a new post (thread that I'm suscribed to message) or a private e-mail message, I just click on "home" when I'm finished and my name appears below as "on line". I never log on or off at home or work. I'm still greeted with welcome back energy with the last time of my visit from either place. For example, I checked prior to leaving from home for work. When I opened the Cove from my favorites, there was welcome energy with the time I entered the Cove from home. You bring up a good point. Maybe if you are reading a thread you received a message for, the system counts you as a member with no name, until you go to the main page or "home". I'm sure that Marc will read this and respond.
 

Marc

Hunkered Down for the Duration
Staff member
Admin
#6
Logging In and Logging Out

I never 'officially' Log Out because then I have to put in my user name and password (I have to 'officially' log in) the next time I visit the Forums. I'm not in a situation where I'm worried about someone sitting down at my computer and going to the forums under my user name. To me it's a hassle logging in and logging out.

If you don't 'officially' log out, the software times you out of the online listing within a certain time period (which I've not yet determined - but I think it's 15 minutes or less). But when you visit the site again (let's say 3 hours, or even 3 days, later) you don't have to log in again.

If you DO 'officially' log out, you can then browse the forums without logging in (I think) but it considers you a 'guest'. You can't start new threads and you can't reply within threads until you log in again.

Summary: I never log in nor do I ever log out. One of the 'picture frames' in the graphic at the top of the page briefly addresses the LogIn-LogOut issue.
 

Marc

Hunkered Down for the Duration
Staff member
Admin
#7
> Maybe if you are reading a thread you received a message
> for, the system counts you as a member with no name, until
> you go to the main page or "home".

I think it looks for cookies where ever you enter, as I understand it. One of the things that can make different things happen for different users is what type of firewall the company (or an individual) has set up. With all the different company networks, not to mention personal networks, many things can happen. Some are very unexpected. That's one of the things that makes writing software, or even simple web sites, difficult. Add to that the different capabilities of Netscape vs. Explorer (not to mention the different versions of each) and many weird things can happen. It is also a factor of the the server you're running your site on. A MickeySoft IIS server is completely different than a Unix or FreeBSD server. Just becauase you test your software on a IIS server does not mean everything will work the same on a Unix server. One limitation of the IIS server, if memory serves me, is that the 'getimgsize' function is not part of it's abilities, while it is on Unix and FreeBSD. Uploading files on a IIS server (as an attachment on this software) is completely different than on Unix or FreeBSD.

Lastly - if you log in from work during the day and then you log in from home in the evening, the software should account for the time/day of your last visit, messages read / not read, etc. internally, but some things (because of cookies) may not be the same. I can't explain further because I'm not yet fully knowledgable on how the software tracks everything.

To give you an idea of what I am dealing with, check out this part of the 'instructions':

http://elsmar.com/temp2/erd.pdf

It's about 300 pages - think you can handle it?
 
E

energy

#8
Survey Says...

O.K. O.K. O.K.
Here's another one for the Master. When you add your comments to a post, there is a place for attachments. What's up wit dat? Is that for uploading a file? I knew I had seen a place for attachments. I just feel like being a PIA today. Sorry. Must be a man thing.
 

Marc

Hunkered Down for the Duration
Staff member
Admin
#9
> When you add your comments to a post, there is a place for
> attachments. What's up wit dat? Is that for uploading a
> file? I knew I had seen a place for attachments.

Yup - if you reply to a thread or start a new thread there will be an 'attachments' button near the bottom. You can 'attach' a file in your reply (or in the 'thread starter' post) - using the 'Browse' button, it gets the file from your hard disk and uploads it to the board - but it stays in a protected directory - it does not go into the pdf_files directory or anything. When you attach a file to a post, any registered user who reads the post will see there is an attachment and can download the attachment to their computer.
 
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