## Who's online

Earlier today I enabled a drupal feature that list the names of users currently online. It was on the bottom of the right-hand navigation bar, and looked something like this:

Who's online
There are currently 7 users and 887 guests online.
Online users:

Matt M
Ehud Lamm
Mattias EngdegÃ¥rd
Andreas Rossberg
...

Some might see this as a privacy violation or otherwise object. Since I heard complaints I disabled this feature. What do you think?

## Comment viewing options

### I think its fine, its just

I think its fine, its just like what we expect on Facebook. But then I'm American :)

If you are worried, just make it an account option?

### a no vote

I'd rather it was off, or could be turned off by option as McDirmid suggested. I do what I can to avoid tracking, so if always enabled, I'd remain logged off unless posting. But I occupy the luddite end of the spectrum (yes, slightly ironic).

(Here's an anecdote dating back to about 1980. A new roommate upstairs self-identified as Mennonite, and she asked what I did. "Computer programming," I said, pleased with myself. She was instantly upset and accused me of being one of those folks aiming to turn our world into a surveillance state that watches what everyone does, all the time. I was mortified and assured her I wanted no such thing. Since then I have been ashamed each time I find myself helping that state of affairs become more likely. When I can, I avoid related work and participating in schemes presenting online presence as a good thing. I'm sure it will happen anyway, though.)

### Why don't you just browse in

Why don't you just browse in stealth/incognito mode? Otherwise, you are probably being tracked without your permission anyways.

She was instantly upset and accused me of being one of those folks aiming to turn our world into a surveillance state that watches what everyone does, all the time.

I work with people who do research in wireless sensing and accuse them of the same thing (in a joking way :)).

### ought to reduce some potential damage

Well, browser-based tracking is just a subset. It's not like private/incognito/stealth browsing causes citizens not to be tracked, though it's an improvement. I think a degraded tracking signal leaks through, correlated with earlier stronger signals. While I think about it mainly in the abstract, I do minimize accounts as a proliferation risk. My first remark did not intend to alarm; it was to encourage technologists to think about context, and to have appropriate emotions.

For LtU, I like to log in so I see changes clearly marked since my last read, which can only happen if the system knows me. I'd just rather this info was for my benefit alone, and not published.

### I'd rather it be off

In all the forums I've seen that have had a "online now" feature, I have never needed it. I can't think of when I'd need it here either. However the number of people (users+guests) online is moderately interesting, if you choose to show that.

### Another No vote

I don't even like the User+Guests count.

Enough surveillance is in practice now, we don't need more of it.

Hi Ehud,

MathJax has a CDN, which makes it possible to add MathJax support to LtU by adding the following bit to the site template:

<script type="text/javascript"
src="http://cdn.mathjax.org/mathjax/latest/MathJax.js?config=TeX-AMS-MML_HTMLorMML">
</script>


It shouldn't add any load to the server, either, since MathJax uses Javascript to do client-side math rendering.

### I am fine with that, if

I am fine with that, if Anton sees no reason why not to do it.

### Fine with me

I have no objection. I'm traveling atm but will look into setting this up later this week.

### Thank you!

This is better than ponies. :)

### I'd prefer this option to be

I'd prefer this option to be off, FWIW.

### expectations

Apparently on LtU, at least some people expect to be able to log in quietly.

Regarding the guests, I find LtU logs me out all the time. And then when I log in, it doesn't redirect me to whatever page I was trying to comment on, which sometimes makes me reluctant to bother. I then hit the "back" button, and it takes me to a version of the page where I'm not logged in yet.

So I'm a "guest" with some frequency due to how the login system works.

### Easy fix

Easy fix:

when I log in, it doesn't redirect me to whatever page I was trying to comment on, which sometimes makes me reluctant to bother. I then hit the "back" button, and it takes me to a version of the page where I'm not logged in yet.

After you log in and back up, refresh the page (one click in any modern browser I know of). Then you're good to go.

Which said, it would be good if the software would take you back to where you where when you asked to log in. I'm used to that from wikimedia, and it's a minor annoyance things don't work that way here.

### OK with me

Those who want more privacy can use nick names.

### Keep it enabled, but hard-coded

To just put my name as the only user logged in at all times. Saves me the effort.