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Re: How to use full name, first name + last name

Jeff Sayre


First off, I do sympathize with your frustration on finding an acceptable set of solutions to your questions. Without writing the code for you, it is difficult to point you in the proper direction. There have been a number of options presented, that while being a compromise to your ultimate, desired solution, could produce satisfactory results.

Isn’t the whole point of Buddypress to turn the WordPress base into something more user-centric?

Yes and no. As I already said two posts above:

WPMU is not designed as a user-centric platform. It is blog-centric. BuddyPress puts the focus on the user.

But, BuddyPress is still a layer that rests on top of WPMU, not the other way around. BP relies heavily on certain WPMU functions to handle much of the user registration process. And WPMU requires that the username field be populated (I realize that you know that).

This thread is NOT about the username issue.

I understand that. But what I quoted from your past post was about the username field and that is what I specifically answered in my last post.

This particular thread is entitled “How to use full name, first name + last name“. Burt already provided an answer to this question above via this thread where he shows you how to do exactly this in code.

I’ve understood all along in the various threads that you’ve started on this range of related topics that you want another option, some other way to insert your desired datum into the user_login field, or use newly created fields to allow registering users to enter their firstname and lastname, or that you want a way for users to enter their email for login, or a way to use BP’s xprofile table to display fname and lname in various ways and places, or a way to rearrange fields on the registration form, and that you hate WPMU’s concept of username and want a different option. I get all of this.

Others (including myself) have tried to be as helpful as possible in each of those threads, often rehashing the same answers. I don’t say this to be mean; I say this because we’ve tried to explain in multiple ways and multiple times that what you are after is not possible at this time without hacking the core (in some cases) or writing your own custom plugin(s).

How does Buddypress handle first name + last name?

It does and it doesn’t. There are no firstname and lastname fields in BuddyPress unless you create them as Mike Pratt explained above. BuddyPress has its own mandatory registration field that by default is called “Full Name”. Look in the BuddyPress submenu group in WPMU’s backend. Go to “BuddyPress > General Settings > Full Name field name”

Now, there is a function in bp-xprofile-filters.php called xprofile_sync_wp_profile() that will take the datum from the “Full Name” field and split it into a pseudo firstname and lastname and then insert that as meta data into the wp_usermeta table, but it can only do that if a user actually edits their fullname field to include a more than one-word name. So if a user does not edit that field, there will not be any fname/lname wp_usermeta entries for that user.

Buddypress puts a default first x-profile field Name on the registration form; is it possible to replace that with separate first name + last name fields?

You can change the “Full Name” field name to whatever you want but you cannot remove that field from the registration page nor edit it to be something other than a single textbox field–at least not without hacking the core. Look under the “Basic” field grouping in “BuddyPress > Profile Field Setup” to see what I mean.

Or is there already a native solution for first name + last name in WPMU that Buddypress could tap into? (Nicola Greco: ‘… you could replace it with the wp built-in name & last name, or use xprofile fields fot that …”)

In this post above, I explained that if you want to go this route, you’ll need to pull data from two records in wp_usermeta to extract the firstname, lastname combination. If you do not feel comfortable coding this yourself, you could hire a coder to write a simple function to do just that. But be aware, as I explained above, it is possible that not every user will have firstname and lastname meta date.

From your OP:

Default Buddypress is fine for teens/tweens who want to use their anonymous username, but it’s not suitable for a more grown-up business network, for example.

BuddyPress seems perfectly acceptable for business users. There are many professional, adult-based sites that are successfully attracting users to their BP sites. Mike Pratt’s site is a great example, for one.

I’ve been using my full name on this site from day one. It did not bother me that I had to use a single username when registering because I knew I had the option to fill out my full name for display purposes later. It also allowed me to brand with my unique name, creating a useful URI in the process.

In fact, the single username approach is what many sites use to allow users to brand themselves. Twitter, youtube, FriendFeed, Delicious, Digg, LinkedIn, and many more all require a unique, single-word username. Of course, some of these then allow you to (or even require) that you use an email for subsequent logins. This is in BP’s future as well.

In the not too distant future, there may be an option to allow users to sign on with their email address via OpenID or another protocol. See the BuddyPress Roadmap and read about the Open Stack.

But for now, your options are limited and if you want to change things you must code your own custom solution or hack the core.

There is not much more we can do, but as I said in my last post, if the username concept bothers you so much, you’ll have to go to the WPMU forums and see what solutions might be in the works–if any.

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