Meta Stack OverflowAbout your f***ing website
[+146] [7] Jeff Atwood
[2010-08-16 02:28:10]
[ discussion fun email ]

Presented for your enjoyment-slash-amusement.

Email received by from Name

Jesus Christ Almighty, what a f***ing mess of a website. I'm trying to post a question. Just the one, you know, f***ing question. So I sign up for an ID and I'm sent an email that doesn't really tell me what to do apart from clicking some link to verify my email address. So far, so f***ing normal. Then I go to post a question and spend ages typing the f***ing thing in. I put in what I think is my Open ID and when I post the question it tells me to f*** off because there's no OpenID connection endpoint (is this a f***ing website or a f***ing COM interface?). Fine! I go back and type in my f***ing name and my email address. Ah! That's for signing up and my email address is already registered. I still can't f***ing post my question.

No problem. I request my account is "recovered" by typing in my email address. I get another email, asking me to click a link. I do so. I change my password. I'm f***ing logged in. It says "f***ing welcome, Name. | f***ing sign out", f***ing great. I go to post my question again. There's no f***ing connection endpoint.

I give up.


Yours sincerely,


Email response to Name from

Hi Name,

Here's your f***ing account:

It's using the f***ing MyOpenID, so your login should consist of clicking the f***ing myopenid icon on the login page:

I suggest trying to f***ing log in before posting next time, to prevent any issues.

I apologize for the f***ing inconvenience,


Email response from Name

Hahaha. Thankyou. :P

(1) ffs. fraking idiot. - Pure.Krome
(11) This is f***ing hilarious ;) F***! - Marcin Gil
(54) I knew Neil would be back, but I didn't think it would be this quickly. - Bill the Lizard
(6) I'm intrigued by your ideas and would like to subscribe to your magazine. - Nick Bedford
(3) I was surprised by how popular meta suddenly was until I realized Jeff tweeted the link to this one :(. Of course now everyone knows they can get a dedicated meta post about themselves by e-mailing team@ with insanity - Michael Mrozek
(10) Dear Mr. Atwood, Please be advised a user on who goes by the name "Welbog" has hijacked your email account and is sending profanity-riddled emails to the users of your website. Sincerely, Jon f***ing B. - user27414
I can never log into f***ing myOpenId from Opera, but it works fine with FF. - Mark H
(20) My welcome email never said 'f***cking welcome'. - Jeroen
Heh... sound like a sketch on "Cirque du So What"s album "Procrastinators of the Apocalypse" album ... "#6 A F***ing Room" - CodeSlave
(3) F*** the f***ing f***er. - detly
@Jeff I'll take that as a f***ing comment. - Andrew Grimm
(1) We can bring back the advertising inquiries if they look more like this. - Jon Seigel
(4) I suddenly feel an urge to have sex... don't know why... - Stefano Borini
Working in the world of technology for the past ten years, I could relate... - Michael Kniskern
(7) I'm f***ing confused. Were all the ***s redacted, or is that how the original f***ing email actually f***ing looked? - Matt Ball
Haha, Just f***ing love the F* word - Miguel Ping
+1 because @Jeff deserves it for that non-corporate response. I wonder if it was actually Joel in disguise? - Pops
Seriously Jeff, you're one funny guy. You should start a blog or something! ;-) - Doctor Jones
@DoctaJonez: - BoltClock's a Unicorn
@BoltClock it was a joke ;-) - Doctor Jones
f*** f*** f*** f*** f*** f*** f*** f*** f*** f*** f*** f*** f*** f*** f*** f*** f*** f*** f*** f*** f*** f*** f*** f*** f*** f*** f*** f*** f*** f*** f*** f*** f*** f*** f*** f*** f*** f*** f*** f*** f*** f*** f*** f*** f*** f*** f*** f*** f*** f*** f*** f*** f*** f*** f*** f*** f*** f*** f*** f*** f*** f*** f*** f*** f*** f*** f*** f*** f*** f*** f*** f*** 0 f***in characters left - Shimmy
@Bill the Lizard, Who is Neil? - Jefffrey
@Thomas: Neil was one of the top users on SO until he asked to have his account deleted. See: Why does Neil Butterworth say “please delete me”? - Bill the Lizard
Hahahaha... this is awesome e-f**king-lectronic-mail exchange! - Nawaz
what is the purpose of this ? - Chris
@Chris: your f***ing enjoyment-slash-amusement - Matt Ball
[+79] [2010-08-16 02:41:17] Joe Philllips

To be fair, the login interface is somewhat of a f***ing tragedy.

(27) i've never had a f***ing problem with it - qntmfred
(7) @qntmfred: that's because we're f***ing geniuses. I've had to walk several people through this to get them to stop bugging me and start asking questions on SU. - AnonJr
(11) I f***ing concur. Though I don't mind a f***ing complicated login on a programming website, if you can't figure it out you don't deserve to post any f***ing questions ;) - rustyshelf
(11) Last I welbogging checked, you could welbogging post a welbogging question without even welbogging bothering to log in. So, it's a welbogging optional tragedy. - Shog9
Do you f***ing mind f***ing explaining it to me? Because I find it f***ing easy to f*** with the f***ing login interface. ;) - Time Traveling Bobby
(24) The fact that you need to be semi-literate and semi-competent to register and ask questions is by no means a bad thing... - Dan Diplo
It would be nice if all the SE sites would just link together automatically. - SpecKK
@Dan Diplo: for SF and SO, I agree. And as much as I want to say the same for SU, I think the goals tend to be hindered by something like that. - AnonJr
[+31] [2010-08-16 03:45:13] William Hilsum

Good f***ing response!

But, without the swearing, I understand where he is coming from - It is easy/convenient for techy people, but there are many out there who just do not understand OpenID.

I have now referred a lot of people to the site (Super User) and I sometimes get questions about how to create an account and some people simply do not understand OpenID/SSO, and do not want to give their Google (usually) details to this site as they think you can view/steal their credentials.

...To be fair also, I knew it was safe but I was a tiny bit worried the first time I signed up a year ago and clicked on "trust this site" (or whatever the message was) as this was my first experience at using OpenID... (and at the time, these sites were not as well known!)

It takes a lot of explaining to make a few people understand.

But, I really don't know what else you can do to make it simpler for new users other than offer your own OpenID / easier to use sign up.

Also, it sounds like this guy did have some sort of genuine error, that being said, he went totally the wrong way to get it resolved!

(12) Blame Facebook, etc. for asking for your Google credentials and then proceeding to do evil stuff with them - Shog9
(2) According to the FAQ, "Super User is for computer enthusiasts and power users" - a.k.a. "techy people", as you put it. Those who do not understand OpenID or can't even figure out how to click one of the multiple-choice buttons probably shouldn't be logging into the site at all... - Ricket
(8) What do you mean "easy/convenient"? I first had to find an OpenId service to install on my server, and since there wasn't anything decent that integrated with Django, I had to write the f***ing module myself, before I could create a proper account. I don't mind, but wouldn't exactly call it convenient. - sth
@Shog9 Agreed! Some people will type anything, anywhere - others are careful and have a hard time trusting anysite that asks you for a username/password from another site. - William Hilsum
(1) @Ricket - Enthusiasts are (thanks to Google) - "A person who is highly interested in a particular activity or subject." - Not necessarily or always knowledgeable. - William Hilsum
@sth - ? I stand by what I said there. It is easy/convenient to use the site if you want to. No one told you to set up or use your own service, you could of just as easily set up a Google or other account! (Well done though) - William Hilsum
(2) @Will: But I wanted my own service :) - sth
@sth Good for you (+1 as it is sort-of cool!)- but then don't complain when you choose to go the extra mile beyond what is needed! - William Hilsum
@Will: Don't worry, I know that it's my own fault ;) - sth
@sth: Now that first comment would have made a good complaining mail :D - Georg Fritzsche
(1) @sth: what? You didn't have to build the server first? - Shog9
(4) Well you have to sort of agree the idea of OpenID providers is really new and for at least some of the Area51 sites may be an initial hinderance to get the masses to ask questions on the website. If you are visiting SO, SF, or SU, the bar is set high intentionally. - staticx
[+27] [2010-08-16 18:29:09] user150134

Ladies, please, calm down.

I clicked the log-in link and I got a page saying, "Do you already have an account on one of these sites? You can use that to log on here!" (There follows some thumbnail list of company logos) and then, "Or, manually enter your OpenID - in the HUGE F*** EDIT BOX" (henceforth known as the HFEB), "and click Log in".

So, I type in what I think is my Open ID in the HFEB and it tells me I don't have a connection endpoint. After much p***ing about and an email to Contact Us that was intended to be amusing (and thankfully which did not cause the reader to burst into tears), I click the myOpenID logo thumbnail and it tells me to "Enter your MyOpenID username". I do so and it fills in the HFEB with what looks like a URL. I click Sign In. Progress! I get presented with a page that shows my username, which has now changed from RobinsonT to the URL previously mentioned (yes, the previous page asks for my OpenID username, which is not the same thing as what OpenID thinks my username is). I'm asked to put in my password. It then tells me I don't have an account on Meta Stack Overflow yet. Ok, I get it, this is a different site. I need an account here too. So I click Create Account - and here I am.

In the world of (say) C++ coders, I know the above would not be controversial in terms of usability (my main area of expertise). But for those of us not suffering from autism, for whom the day consists of perhaps only 24 hours, it may all be a bit confusing with our right-brained, left-handed, arty type personalities. Ironically, my original idea was to post a question about C++ templates, which I tend to have the same problem with.

Thankfully, I have now managed to generate a sound conceptual model for how all of this OpenID stuff works.



(1) Though i mainly work with C++ i got autistic tendencies at best, pursue arty stuff and am left-handed. F***ing stereotypes ;) - Georg Fritzsche
(5) congratuations and welcome to our cult. Your ritual branding awaits in this room, over here... it only stings for the first week.. - Jeff Atwood
(1) @Jeff I sometimes regret that I joined before you started branding unicorns on everyone's a**. - user27414
(2) Wait... "putzing" is a curse, now? Or am I not filling in those stars properly? - Pops
Other than some vaguely non-intuitive text it worked fine here. Log in - click google. Enter pwd. Click big f***off 'create account' button. Just needs better text on the create account button page stating what you're doing now. - wengland
@Popular: I filled them in as "pissing", but keep in mind I have a s***ty f***ing vocabulary. - gnostradamus
@gnostradamus, ah, I see, thanks. - Pops
Ah, the difference between your OpenID username and your MyOpenID username. That was the confusion! - TRiG is Timothy Richard Green
I've helped users with this same problem before, but the new interface: Do you already have an account on one of these sites? Click the logo to log in with it here: seems to have improved the situation. - Kevin Vermeer
[+11] [2010-08-16 03:11:26] Darren Kopp

Well f***, everything ended better than expected.

[+4] [2010-08-16 12:47:41] MPelletier

At the very least he got the idea that it was not an automated response!

EDIT: I wonder what his f***ing question was...

(3) It concerned boost::bind, boost::mem_fn and boost::function, which I managed to resolve by randomly rearranging bits of code until it compiled. I will get to understanding how it works later. - user150134
[+3] [2010-08-16 08:21:51] Mohamed Ali

From a user interface point of view, why do we put a message such as "Welcome user, Sign out" Instead of something like "Welcome User,Start Using the Website"? I think the first message suggests to the novice users that the correct action after logging in should actually be signing out.

(6) where the heck do we say "welcome user, sign out?" screenshot perhaps? I'm not following this. - Jeff Atwood
@Mohammed: It does not say that. It says "Welcome to Stack Overflow! Visit your user page to set your name and email." - staticx
I think he's being generalistic. Most websites say that but not this one. Welcome, user! | Sign out - Joe Philllips
[-8] [2010-09-29 06:56:22] OTZ

Seriously, Jeff. You need a bit more tolerance. Serenity now. Yeah? Serenity.