Adding signatures on Discourse

Continuing the discussion from Password Managers?:

Thanks jjj though I think the default of no signatures is more a blessing than a curse :slight_smile:

Happy to re-weigh the pros/cons if someone wants them.

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I’d like to see them, but I would prefer they be limited to a single line only to limit clutter.

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limited to a single line

If we had to enable sigs, this is how I would do it.

I would also make sure the signature plug-in doesn’t allow myself others to https embed a huge image with that single line.


This is entering discussion so I thought about it and here’s a few things I came up with below…


  • They humanize users and allow people to get to know each other better than they ordinarily would.
  • They offer a kind of sanctioned advertising space as a reward for forum participation.
    • A good example is allowing someone to advertise Matt’s upcoming 24 hr-charity steam in their sig.
  • They promote better networking because a user can sig their skillsets in plain view where-as profiles are rarely read.


  • They’re hyper-repetitive.
  • They place off-topic content inline with on-topic content. Similar to ads they need to be consciously skipped over.
    • They’re often longer than the post itself even if they’re a single line.
  • They’re not intuitive to use in a way that’s at least neutral to the quality of the forum as they’re generally understood to be off-topic and personal. See: machinations of a pain in the ass friction pie.
  • Though search engines correct for this, they can interfere with search results if it’s an infrequent poster with keywords that’ll mess with relevant interpretation of the page.

I like for adding skills, certs, or interesting quotes, but not ads. The last thing we need is add noise to the already clean interface.

There’s also some intersection with the “New to Linux” title discussion as this’d be a place a user could title themselves.

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This could also be done under your user profile About Me.

You could also use the full name option to give yourself a title under my account preferences.
edit: nvm, seems full name is not displayed on the forum. Could be toggled on by the admin though.

True, but that requires others to go view your About Me page. It would be easier to just view it as one is reading a post. Having to click away from the message thread can be a bit distracting.

If you have these things showing up in the about me page then you are not filling up conversations with about me filler space which would come up again and again every time you post a comment.

The only way around this that I can see is to have a clear left right divide.

Where a persons icon and banner / picture / chosen colour fill / advertisement / web page link etc…
All gets displayed on the left side under the users icon and the conversation all happens on the right…

Not sure how this would work in practice though, and it would also play havoc with the users choice of either dark mode or light mode. Could be workable though if it was all shown In box on the left, and conversation on the right all respected the chosen light or dark mode ??

The problem with “About Me” is generally speaking no one will ever see it and the problem with signatures is everyone will constantly see it every post.

A part-solution is putting strict rules around limiting signature content but said rules will be highly unintuitive as there’s already somewhat establish expectations of what should be allowed in sigs.

It’s also a personal thing which makes it exponentially harder to avoid the vast ocean of gray area that is sociopolitical signalling and other divisive stuff that detracts from the primary mission of the forum. These things happen anyway because we’re human but with sigs it’s constant where normally it’s contained.

This sucks though. There’s opportunity cost to not having sigs that I detailed above and when I think they’re a bad idea i’m saying in reverse that I don’t trust enough people to make the feature more positive than negative.

Just throwing out ideas but maybe a non-sociopolitical, non-divisive, one-line, text-only (hyperlinks allowed), no-emojis, character-limited sig for members above a certain account threshold might not be so bad.

You might get away with one line of text or a hyperlink under someone’s user name. Have to limit the characters.

But yeah, something that will not get abused.

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