Last modified: 2014-03-20 13:35:51 UTC

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Bug 8816 - Display and allow user id number as 'alias' for the username
Display and allow user id number as 'alias' for the username
Status: RESOLVED WONTFIX
Product: MediaWiki
Classification: Unclassified
General/Unknown (Other open bugs)
unspecified
All All
: Low enhancement with 2 votes (vote)
: ---
Assigned To: Nobody - You can work on this!
:
Depends on:
Blocks:
  Show dependency treegraph
 
Reported: 2007-01-29 00:21 UTC by Conrad Dunkerson
Modified: 2014-03-20 13:35 UTC (History)
7 users (show)

See Also:
Web browser: ---
Mobile Platform: ---
Assignee Huggle Beta Tester: ---


Attachments

Description Conrad Dunkerson 2007-01-29 00:21:52 UTC
There has been alot of debate, especially on en-wikipedia, around the issue of
usernames containing characters which are non standard for the Wiki's language.
Basically, users unfamiliar with these characters can find it difficult to tell
names apart and often have no idea how to type the appropriate characters
(though cut and paste works). Users are sometimes asked to change their names or
even blocked over these issues - resulting in considerable dissension all around.

Every user is assigned a user id number which appears in the preferences. If
this number could also be shown on the user page and/or as a 'tooltip' over
signature links and then accessed in place of the name it would go a long way
towards resolving disputes around such characters. For instance, typing
'User:12345' and clicking 'Go' should redirect to the corresponding 'User:ABCD'
page... likewise the 'block user' interface and similar options should accept
'User:12345'.
Comment 1 Aryeh Gregor (not reading bugmail, please e-mail directly) 2007-01-29 00:22:57 UTC
Then what happens to users like [[pt:User:555]]?
Comment 2 Conrad Dunkerson 2007-01-29 09:11:24 UTC
If user id numbers go down that low then something like '#555' or 'id #555' could be used to differentiate from actual numeric usernames.
Comment 3 Rob Church 2007-01-29 14:28:22 UTC
(In reply to comment #2)
> If user id numbers go down that low

Yes, user identifiers start at 1.
Comment 4 Aryeh Gregor (not reading bugmail, please e-mail directly) 2007-01-29 16:23:05 UTC
The use of the # sign is interesting, since it's not allowed in page names.  Probably a simpler 
solution would be to use a different magic namespace, like Userid:, but it would be possible to 
permit # as an *initial* character of a page name without ambiguity, if we wanted to do some 
tinkering (unless "User:" is a valid page name by itself, which I doubt).

This is quite a good idea.  It would certainly simplify international interaction a bit, 
particularly with SUL (if no per-wiki aliases are allowed).  The distinctness problem does remain, 
but numbers are a lot more distinct to an English speaker than Chinese characters, for instance.

Is there some reason we don't currently expose userids, though?
Comment 5 Cesar Eduardo Barros 2007-02-13 04:13:14 UTC
A better option would be a special page like Special:Mypage or Special:Mytalk.

There would be a problem with SUL: currently the numbers are different on each
wiki (each wiki has a separate user table). If this is to be implemented, it
would be a much better idea to wait until SUL and use the ID numbers from the
master user table.

That said, I can see a small problem with exposing user IDs. Since they are
sequentially assigned starting from 1, users with lower IDs are older, which
could lead to a sort of discrimination (with a "4-digiter" being superior to a
"5-digiter", for instance; see also [[Slashdot subculture]]).
Comment 6 Aryeh Gregor (not reading bugmail, please e-mail directly) 2007-02-13 04:26:29 UTC
(In reply to comment #5)
> That said, I can see a small problem with exposing user IDs. Since they are
> sequentially assigned starting from 1, users with lower IDs are older, which
> could lead to a sort of discrimination (with a "4-digiter" being superior to a
> "5-digiter", for instance; see also [[Slashdot subculture]]).

That can already be done by signup date, which we already expose (at least in
principle; it's not exposed for sufficiently old users because the new user log
wasn't around then).
Comment 7 Cesar Eduardo Barros 2007-02-13 18:32:12 UTC
(In reply to comment #6)
> (In reply to comment #5)
> > That said, I can see a small problem with exposing user IDs. Since they are
> > sequentially assigned starting from 1, users with lower IDs are older, which
> > could lead to a sort of discrimination (with a "4-digiter" being superior to a
> > "5-digiter", for instance; see also [[Slashdot subculture]]).
> 
> That can already be done by signup date, which we already expose (at least in
> principle; it's not exposed for sufficiently old users because the new user log
> wasn't around then).

Yes, but the problem would be much more pronounced exactly with the older
accounts (when you start getting into 7-digit territory, the user ID doesn't
make much difference anymore).
Comment 8 Aryeh Gregor (not reading bugmail, please e-mail directly) 2007-02-13 18:56:49 UTC
It doesn't matter, because you can still look for first contribution date.  As
long as we don't wave the number in everyone's face everywhere the user goes
like Slashdot does, I don't think there will be a problem.
Comment 9 MZMcBride 2013-12-14 20:42:38 UTC
I think attitudes have adjusted since 2007. In 2008, unified login (SUL) was implemented and English-language Wikimedia wikis now seem far more tolerant of non-ASCII usernames. Tentatively marking this bug unconfirmed.

Generally I _think_ user IDs should (only) be used in programmatic contexts, not in the GUI. But this probably needs further debate and deliberation.
Comment 10 Max Semenik 2013-12-14 20:49:04 UTC
Agree with MZ: I'll close this bug unless a strong evidence that this request still makes sense these days is provided.
Comment 11 Nemo 2013-12-14 20:55:43 UTC
The scope of this bug is unclear: if one goes by its summary, it's already fixed at least in part, for instance Special:UserRights famously works with #uid instead of username just as well (even crosswiki I think, stewards used to use this a lot IIRC). Things like userpage aliases and whatnot are something else.
Comment 12 Andre Klapper 2014-03-20 13:35:51 UTC
Closing as per comments 9 - 11.

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