User Account Management

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Connections between user name (login) and user (home) page

It might be nice to separate the user name (login) from the user's personal page on the wiki. It would be nice to have logins be short and unique across W3C, while user page links appear in many public places.

Unfortunately, although there might be some cleverness we could do with MediaWiki hooks, the two seem tied together in many ways, such as:

  • When you make an edit, your username is recorded and displayed on the RecentChanges page as a link to your wiki home page
  • When you use ~~~~ in signing a comment, the wiki turns it into a link to your user page (like this: SandroHawke 04:12, 26 October 2007 (EDT)).

Of course, manually created links can go to alternate home page which #REDIRECT to other user pages. The user page with the same name as your login can redirect to some other page as well.

So, for instance, pages outside the wiki like the WG participants list or formal pages like Teleconference.2007.10.17/Minutes could link to Real Names, and if Real Names are not being used on the wiki, there could be redirects. But because of the wiki built-in features like those listed the above, there user-name will still be visible in many places. (In fact, people will probably want to use links like [[Sandro Hawke]] when the user page is "User:Sandro Hawke". Unless we want to always write [[User:Sandro Hawke|Sandro Hawke] (like the wiki tools do), we'll want a redirect from the real-name to the user page anyway.

It may also be possible to use hooks to have the authentication information be different from the user name. So I might use OpenID to log in and still have my username / userpage look like a normal name....?

It would be nice to have at least authentication information be constant across W3C, but it's probably okay to have user names be arbitrary nicknames people want to use in the given community.

What login names should people use on this wiki?

Style Examples Advantages Disadvantages
  • SandroHawke
  • AlanRuttenberg
  • PeterPatelSchneider
  • Traditional in Wikis
  • Some names don't convert to CamelCase well,
Real Names
W3C database
  • Sandro Hawke
  • Alan Ruttenberg
  • Peter Patel-Schneider
  • No conversion or mapping needed
  • Reads well logins
  • sandro
  • alanruttenberg
  • ihorrock2
  • Unique across W3C
  • Easier to automate logins
  • May be ugly
  • Sandro
  • Alan
  • pfps
  • Avoids unhappiness at unwanted names
OpenID ?
  • Potentially integrates across all systems
  • Not implemented on
  • Unclear how will it works in MediaWiki

Can/should we migrate users?

If we come up with a new convention, how hard will it be to rename people's accounts? There seems to be a RenameUser mediawiki extension.

After a rename, we'll want a #REDIRECT in case of any links to the userpage.

Goals and Requirements

Convenience -- logins and user pages the same

The same user names on all W3C wikis -- unique to user

User names that look appropriate to the public

User names that people are comfortable with for themselves

To Do

Figure out how OpenIDs look on MediaWiki, and if they work well. (Well, get them working right on OWL wiki at least.)

Find out if people are okay with logins being their public name.


1. Wiki users may choose their own user name. It is suggested, but not required, that they use their real name (as below), in a form which is likely to be unambiguous within the the larger W3C community. Use of WikiNames and firstnames, if unambiguous, should be harmless.

2. There should be a wiki page for each member of the group, using their real name, redirecting (#REDIRECT) to their user page. Thus

group members can be referred to like:
 [[Sandro Hawke]]
 [[Peter Patel-Schneider]]
 [[Markus Krötzsch]]

3. When it is working, it is suggested (and may eventually be required) that users use OpenID for authentication. This will eventually allow user identifies to be linked, so that (for example) Working Group membership can be automatically tied between DBWG and the Wiki.