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LDAP Integration & JIDs vs. Friendly Names

Running OpenFire 3.44, integrated with Active Directory. Using Pidgin 2.31 for client.

The Buddy list is great. The groups and users are automatically populated in Pidgin. We see users as “Lastname, Firstname” which is great, though I’d like an option to see them as “Firstname Lastname”.

The problem is that in every other part of the program, users are exposed as their JIDs. In our case, these names are very cryptic, as they are assigned to users for use across all LDAP-authenticated systems. The worst case is in MUCs. By default, when you join a MUC, your JID is displayed. In our situation, this means no one knows who anyone else is. I know I can allow users to change their nicks, but this requires educating the users, and also opens up opportunities for abuse.

I have also noticed that in Pidgin, when you add a conference to your contact list, you have the opportunity to change your “handle.” If you do change it to your friendly name, your friendly name will show every time you join the conference – even when the conference is set to not allow nick changes. This doesn’t make sense to me at all. Seems to me that if users aren’t allowed to change their nicks, they shouldn’t be able to set them when they join a room either. shrug

So, it seems to me that if the friendly names which come from LDAP can be used in the contact list, why can’t we have an option to use them by default in the MUCs as well?

While having the friendly names displayed in the MUCs is the most important for us, there are other places as well. When you invite a user to a MUC, you get the list of JIDs instead of friendly names. When you receive invitations from other users, you see them as coming from JIDs instead of friendly names.

To summarize, it would be great that when using LDAP, the first and last names retrieved from LDAP can be used throughout the program instead of the JIDs just as they are in the Contact list. And it would also be nice to allow display of the names as “Firstname Lastname” instead of “Lastname, Firstname.”