Help talk:Unified login/Archives/2007

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Is Unified login working now

I tried to logon to and it gave error, seems this feature is still not up. When will this feature be available. Also will it also allow usage of same user name in several Wikia websites.

Regards, Vjdchauhan (my Wikipedia user name) . 11:07, 15 February 2007 (UTC).

Hello. Unified login is a frequently delayed feature and is not yet available; nor can we accurately guess when it will be ready. In the current version, different usernames are possible but will not be unified. —{admin} Pathoschild 05:18, 17 February 2007 (UTC)

What does it do?

What, exactly, is the proposal variously referred to as "single login" and "unified login" supposed to provide?

  • Apparently, it's not "single cookie", which is what I would assume most people imagine when they think of "unified login". You won't be able to log in on en: and then edit jp:. I understand that there are good reasons why this is not the goal (it would require ugly cookie spoofing across domains, for instance).
  • It's also apparently not a single watchlist, userpage, user contributions list, or anything else that tends to be associated with a user, except possibly a "new messages" notification, eventually.
  • If the implementation notes reflect reality, it may be a "single username": if you are registered on one Wiki, you are automatically registered with the same username on all other Wikis. I haven't seen many multilingual editors who want this, though -- they tend to prefer usernames that are localized to the alphabet of the Wiki they're on -- and commenters above such as Nightstallion don't seem to believe that "single username" is the goal.
  • But what's left? "Single password"? That's hardly something new and different to get excited over.

Some speculation:

  • The current version of the page implies that a "single username namespace" will be involved -- that is, a username will only refer to one person over all wikis. This is not itself a goal, though. Brion Vibber is probably not saying "I want to create 100,000 username conflicts and change nothing else". If this is involved, it is presumably a means to some other, unstated end.
  • The goal could be to create linked accounts, on top of which features like unified messages and watchlists could eventually be built. That would be a nice feature, I think. But linked accounts can be implemented without a single namespace, which would allow multilingual usernames and avoid the Username Battle Royale.

Can someone who knows what's going on behind the scenes explain what "unified login" is actually intended to do, and what benefits it will have?

Rspeer 22:23, 22 February 2007 (UTC)

Initially it will only be what you described, I believe. One username database = one username and password per user that works on all wikis. No more, no less. It's also actually extremely easy to set up on a new wiki farm, the huge difficulty for Wikimedia is, I guess, the existence of several million accounts which have to be merged/reconciled. That's why it's taking so long I imagine, not that some awesome features are coming with it. --Kingboyk 20:38, 13 April 2007 (UTC)
I am wondering, though, if Rspeer's statement below is correct about this being a possible underlying goal:
"The goal could be to create linked accounts, on top of which features like unified messages and watchlists could eventually be built. That would be a nice feature, I think. But linked accounts can be implemented without a single namespace, which would allow multilingual usernames and avoid the Username Battle Royale."
Anything that unifies watchlists will quickly add many more users to the Wikipedia/wikimedia offshoots (such as Wikibooks Wikispecies Commons Wikiquote Wiktionary Wikisource Wikinews Wikiversity). Whether it is one username database or linked accounts making it possible, there have to eventually be unified watchlists to really make a difference in the offshoots being worked on by more editors.--Timeshifter 19:41, 14 April 2007 (UTC)

Funding for more developers to work on unified watchlists

I read in a previous section of this talk page that unified watchlist development could take years due to the lack of developers to work on it.

Is it possible to create a dedicated donation account strictly for funding of the development of unified watchlists? I would like to contact large and small donors for this. I know some. I also suggest optional ads as a means for such funding. See: Category:Wikipedians for optional advertisements

Will a unified watchlist require a single domain?

It is difficult for me when I have too many watchlists. I already have several different watchlists for wikipedia and its offshoots (such as Wikibooks Wikispecies Wikipedia Commons Wikiquote Wiktionary Wikisource Wikinews Wikiversity). It discourages me from participating in more offshoots because of the burden of checking up on the many different watchlists.

A common watchlist for wikipedia and all its offshoots would greatly encourage me to participate in more of the offshoots. Pages can't be protected from vandals unless there are enough people watchlisting them. Also, pages are difficult to edit collaboratively if one is not watchlisting in order to review the latest edits.

The offshoots do not have the number of editors needed for them to grow faster. There are many pages on wikipedia that could be moved to the offshoots, but aren't due to the lack of editors on the offshoots. List and table pages, for example:

Comparison of text editors
Comparison of layout engines (HTML)
Comparison of layout engines (graphics)
Comparison of layout engines (XML)
Comparison of web browsers
Collaborative editor# List of current editors
Comparison of raster graphics editors
Comparison of wiki software
List of wikis
List of collaborative software
Comparison of wiki farms

They require many editors dropping in from time to time because of the large variety of data on the page that needs regular updating. Many of these pages could be moved to wikibooks if wikibooks had as many editors as wikipedia. We may get the editors due to the unified login. But that would not help much if we don't also get a unified watchlist. --Timeshifter 18:11, 6 April 2007 (UTC)

I love the idea of a unified watchlist. Until it has been implimented, I recomend the Update Scanner Firefox addon. -- 23:16, 8 May 2008 (UTC)

Ridiculous amount of time

Why is this taking so long? The code is done, patches for MediaWiki are already available. Some wikies are already using this. It's been test run on the Wikipedias already. And here we have admins telling us to expect it before 2010? So, I apologize for my ignorance and bluntness, but where the bloody hell is this? +Hexagon1 (t) 09:44, 1 May 2007 (UTC)

It's much easier to have unified login from the beginning or implement it when the number of sites (and number of accounts is small); comparing WMF's implementation of this feature to other wikis is severely flawed. If you want to see some crunched numbers, check out Table of Wikimedia Projects by Size (if you just want to see a brief overview of everything, check out Special:SiteMatrix and/or Complete list of Wikimedia projects). There are 722 different projects, with a total of 9 million users ( alone has 5 million) that have made roughly 370 million edits. Not very small.
(yes, I realize I'm responding several months after the question was asked, but it's a valid question that others might have, and this is a pretty definitive answer). EVula // talk // 15:08, 30 August 2007 (UTC)


I first posted this question on, but realized that this is probably the right wiki for this question.

I dont know if this is the right place for this question (if not, please move tihs post to the correct location). I am sv:User:Micke and commons:User:Micke and my username seems to be taken both here, on enwiki and other wikimmedia-wikis as well. But the accounts (registered in my username ;-) have no contributions and seem to have done nothing except beeing registered. My question is, does this have something to do with the unified log-in that i said to come soon. Or has somebody realy registered this name on alot of wikis, but haven't stared to use the account? Any way, is there a way for me to have the username I am used to, here, on enwiki and so on even though my username is taken by an inactive account? --MiCkEdb 10:41, 6 May 2007 (UTC)

You can take over unused usernames, depending on local policy. On the en-Wikipedia, for example, see Wikipedia:Changing username/Usurpations. When If unified login is implemented, you will automatically take over the unused accounts; see Help:Unified login#Conflict_resolution. —{admin} Pathoschild 23:13:42, 06 May 2007 (UTC)
OK! Thank you very much, I have done the specified procedure for enwiki but I wonder how I would go about doing the same thing here on meta?--MiCkEdb 08:32, 7 May 2007 (UTC)
Try asking at Meta:Requests for help from a sysop or bureaucrat‎. —{admin} Pathoschild 02:48:55, 08 May 2007 (UTC)
Great! Will do! Thanks! --MiCkEdb 04:48, 8 May 2007 (UTC)


I'm the second (that I can see) asking here. Is this going to be implemented anytime soon? Is there some problem? Is there a chance it never happens? NikoSilver 00:05, 11 June 2007 (UTC)

Please see bugzilla:57 for more information and progress, best regards --birdy geimfyglið (:> )=| 13:36, 11 June 2007 (UTC)
Thanks, It looks like it's going forward from moment to moment. Are there any side-discussions that might indicate it may be canceled? We're having a proposed change at en:WT:U#Non-latin usernames, revisited which largely depends on it. NikoSilver 16:45, 11 June 2007 (UTC)


There's a potentially big problem with this scheme that has apparently been overlooked: that allowing a single username for all Wikipedias has the potential to create confusion. Currently, usernames with non-latin characters are (sort of) allowed on the English Wikipedia. (The policy is somewhat contradictory, stating both that non-latin characters are allowed and that usernames must not be confusing). However, several recent events, plus past experience, show that non-latin characters are a hinderance to editing. This is not a problem limited to monoglots: we can't expect every single user to have every available character set installed on his/her machine. Even if we did expect that, many people edit using public machines that allow only a single character set, or a restricted number. For me, some usernames and non-latin characters display as a series of squares; it's easy to see how several users with non-latin usernames editing the same talk page could create total confusion. Even requiring a latin signature with a redirect wouldn't solve this problem. Usernames and signatures are supposed to make everyone's life here easier; to encourage cooperative spirit; to facilitate communication; and to make it easier for admins to track and prevent vandalism. Allowing usernames in all character sets potentially makes everyone's life a little more difficult; hinders communication; and makes it harder to track and prevent vandalism.

This problem is not limited to the English Wikipedia either, although there's probably a greater expectation that other language users should be able to read latin characters. 16:41, 11 June 2007 (UTC)

Perhaps an option to show usernames and [tilde*]-signatures as images: for non-Latin-based usernames on Latin-based wiki -- and vice-versa. It could reuse the current CAPTCHA text-to-image functions (with obscure turned off), which already create a rather small file, (only 18K for 10 letters; and that's for ~270x75, which is MUCH larger than needed), and it could embed a link to download a suitably matching font if needed for copying, editing, or use with a slow connection. Also, if the wiki-server were fast enough, the option could be extended to include *ALL* non-native characters and symbols, ridding us of those annoying little squares forever! (: Wikicat 23:52, 29 August 2007 (UTC)
*wiki tilde-signatures, not forum-style signatures. Wikicat 08:55, 31 August 2007 (UTC)
I had a problem when doing a global find-and-replace of some image code used in multiple places on an English wikipedia article talk page. I had to use a text editor to do it. It left a question mark in place of one non-Latin character used in a time-stamp signature. Here is the message I left at w:User talk:TheFEARgod
Hi. At w:Talk:Iraq_War I did a global replace of the image code, Image:Iraqwarimage.jpg, with the commons image code for the same image. But my text editor removed a character from your time stamp code. I don't know how to replace it without reverting since my text editors (Notepad2 and NoteTab Light) both do not recognize the character in your time stamp. Here is the diff. -- Timeshifter 08:53, 30 August 2007 (UTC)
See here. Wikicat 08:55, 31 August 2007 (UTC)
Maybe numbers can be used as the base for usernames, and then an unobscured CAPTCHA-like image, or local transliteration used on the local wikiproject. Just throwing out ideas.-- Timeshifter 08:53, 30 August 2007 (UTC)
One of the arguments against using images in signatures over at is that it would be a massive drain on the server, and would grossly increase the loading time for each page.
On the flip side, how many people whith extremely complex non-latin usernames edit in places where latin-only usernames are the norm? I can't see someone with 20k edits on the Arabic, Urdu, or Hebrew projects (for example) suddenly putting in similar amounts of time on the German, English, and French projects (again, for example). It's quite possible that we're worrying about a relatively non-issue. EVula // talk // 14:56, 30 August 2007 (UTC)
RE: "One of the arguments against using images in signatures...".
Not in signatures (like those big banners in forums), but rather to display (tilde) signatures, and usernames.
RE: "It's quite possible that we're worrying about a relatively non-issue"
Perhaps it's just a good solution for a bad non-problem (but see here). So then, to make it even better, note that username text-images would be about the complexity of the >1K Wikimedia Project icon at page-bottom left, but monochrome, so they would be even smaller files. For example, a talk-page with 9 editors, several edits each, might have DB-access and browser-load times similar to the news-page here.
Wikicat 08:55, 31 August 2007 (UTC)
I don't know if monochrome images would be a burden or not overall on the wikimedia servers. I guess it depends how often they are used in signatures. I read some of the discussion on some of the pages you linked to.
Would not putting a number in every signature solve a lot of problems? In addition to whatever username or monochrome image they use, ... in whatever character set they use. With the numbered signatures people could recognize posters even if they don't have all the many different-language character sets installed. Even with the character sets installed people will oftentimes have difficulty distinguishing between some people on a talk page, or on watchlists, etc.. --Timeshifter 12:54, 3 September 2007 (UTC)

Multiple Username

I have slightly different usernames on the different projects (Meta:Skunkmaster II, Wikisource: Skunkmaster IV, etc. If you do a unified login, will that merge them or will Wikisource, wikipedia, etc. all have new accounts under each name (e.g.: Wikipedia would now have accounts under the name Skunkmater, Skunkmater II, Skunkmaster III, etc.)?

(If you could respond on my talk page, that would be helpful)

Skunkmaster II 02:47, 4 September 2007 (UTC)

Don't like this

moved from Talk:Single_login_specifications#Don't like this

Put frankly, what on earth are you going to do about en:User:Daniel [admin; 30,000 edits] (and associated accounts en:wn:User:Daniel [admin; 1000 edits], m:User:Daniel) and de:User:Daniel [admin; 210,000 edits] (and associated accounts commons:User:Daniel)?

Personally, I (en:Daniel)'d be happy to take w:User:Daniel Bryant, and was happy to when I first registered, but it had made and edit ans was blocked. Put simply, I find it distinctly unfair that I'll inherit a block log from someone else (unless block logs are moving, which in my opinion they must if SL will result in the least amount of disruption possible).

Furthermore, I have established myself with 30,000 edits, current Chair of the Mediation Committee and a bunch of other stuff under the name "Daniel". Presuming that I "lose" and de:Daniel gets "Daniel" SL, all these discussions etc. will then refer to the wrong place, wrong links, wrong everything.

Then I'll have to fix transclusions and links in my userspace (presuming that the current de:Daniel won't want my redirects hanging around his userspace), go around and fix up only the most important discussions (see above, many other discussions will be left in disarray and out of context), and also there'll be massive problems with the likes of the Sydney Morning Herald and other external people who contact me on Wikipedia via the link that I gave them - <>.

New users will rock up at en:User:Daniel thinking the person that occupied that account notably for over six months is an inactive German user who doesn't leave de: and commons: (doesn't even have an account on en:, as far as I am aware). This is the farcical bit, that all this disruption is caused for (at least in my case) absolutely no gain. Will people who have taken control of an extremely established account on a certain Wikipedia be required to have a note pertaining to this fact placed notably on their userpage/will a message be built in to this effect?

As I said, I'm happy to move to en:User:Daniel Bryant on the proviso that the block log of the account I take is moved with it and/or expunged. But, still, I have some other worries about this which will affect other users, and pretty seriously and with great detriment to the project, if they aren't remedied. Daniel 11:32, 1 September 2007 (UTC)

de:Daniel isn't sysop, so en:Daniel will get "Daniel" on every project. De:Daniel also has only ~700 edits, not 210 000. MF-Warburg(de) 11:41, 1 September 2007 (UTC)
Still, hypothetically... BD2412 T 19:23, 14 November 2007 (UTC)
Actually (come to think of it) why deal in hypotheticals at all? Can't we run some diagnostic right now to determine exactly how many names are used by different authors across the projects, and how many of those present a real conflict (e.g., for the sake of argument, multiple authors have at least a thousand edits, or are sysops, or the like)? The information is out there and would surely help inform the procedure.
Also (separate question) can we immediately put a wiki-wide block on registration of new accounts on other wikis under a name in use on any wiki (except by the owner of the existing account)? Cheers! BD2412 T 19:27, 14 November 2007 (UTC)
It will also prevent people to register a new profile with their usual username .. I created a new profile only yesterday. GerardM 12:49, 15 November 2007 (UTC)
BD2412's suggestion was to prevent anyone registering a new account under a username that is already being used elsewhere, unless it is the same person that is already using it. This would be achievable by checking whether the new e-mail address matches the e-mail address of the previously registered account.
It would have to account for duplicated usernames that have already been registered, for example en:User:MTC (me) and de:Spezial:Beiträge/MTC are different people and have different e-mail addresses, but that shouldn't prevent me from registering a new User:MTC on another language with the same e-mail address as my English account. - M132T003C 14:15, 15 November 2007 (UTC)
Suppose we were to start with names for which only one account exists, or for which only one email is associated? And, as I asked in my first question, can we run the numbers now and see what they actually are? BD2412 T 21:51, 29 November 2007 (UTC)

That's the problem in picking common names. I, for one, couldn't register at the English one with this name, and Commons was taken before. I don't even know if I can keep this account – en Casssandra has a few edits, but no email address, while commons Cassandra does have email set but not edits. Cassandra 23:49, 3 December 2007 (UTC)

Check for, say, 100 edits, not 1000. If you think you have to have made one thousand edits to be relevant, you've been on en:wp too long. I think there will be a lot of real conflicts, and I urge the developers to start thinking of a solution involving namespaces. Rspeer 18:41, 14 January 2008 (UTC)

This is completely unacceptable

moved from Talk:Single_login_specifications#This is completely unacceptable

This will not even remotely have the effect that is hoped for. People can't "compete" for a username. First off this will only encourage trolling to rack up more "edits" and how will you determine which edits are more valid? Someone who has 100 mainspace edits or someone who has 500 edits but only 50 mainspace edits? Secondly this will only cause resentment for users who lose an account and rightfully encourage vandalistic behaviour. And lets face it, most of the useful edits come from the users with the fewest edits, the ones who would lose.

For all of this the payoff is what exactly? Not even a single login system but only a few users who share a common username across all wikis they don't even edit? It's just not worth it and if ever implemented you can just shut down the server as well while you're at it and save a lot of hard in the process that will simply go to waste. Biophase 17:28, 1 September 2007 (UTC)

You are late and you are wrong. GerardM 21:32, 1 September 2007 (UTC)
On a proposal with as much potential for creating widespread confusion and disruption as Unified Login, it would be nice if you would try to respond to concerns instead of dismissing them out of hand. Although I would not state it as strongly as Biophase, I also believe that edit count does not measure your worth as an editor, or whether you deserve to keep your account. Rspeer 18:44, 14 January 2008 (UTC)
Nothing "rightfully encourages vandalistic behavior", and while edit count isn't the ideal measure you haven't suggested a better solution. Superm401 | Talk 08:14, 25 March 2008 (UTC)

When will it be available the earliest?

Can anyone tell when will this Unified Login be available the earliest? Because now I intend to change my name again, but I'm registered in several wikis! I have to settle this to get ready for the Unified login. Thanks! --Edmund the King of the Woods! 01:03, 27 November 2007 (UTC)

Easier unified login and watchlist. Via subdomains

I copied some of the following from this discussion:


The problem with w:WikiBooks, and some of the other English-language w:Wikimedia projects, is the lack of a unified user login and unified watchlist. See Help:Unified login. If this existed, then there would instantly be millions of registered users available to work on Wikibooks. One may ask why has the w:wikimedia commons grown so big without a unified user login and unified watchlist.

That is because the commons is so integral and necessary to wikipedias in all languages. There is such a large pool of users from many languages needing images from the commons that they will edit at the commons even if they are unregistered. Wikibooks is not so urgently needed by such a large pool of users. The hope for Wikibooks lies in the addition of millions of driveby registered users each adding a few sentences here and there at Wikibooks.

I have asked (here: [1], and elsewhere) why subdomains can not be used for all the English wikimedia projects. I have never gotten a reply from anybody with knowledge of the technical side. With unified login we could use our existing registered usernames without having to sign in at each project. I think subdomains would even allow a unified watchlist to exist without much problem.

The various wikimedia project pages could all be redirected to URLs that are subdomains of wikimedia or wikipedia:


Users with the same name (and different email addresses) could be differentiated by a number being automatically added to the end of the duplicate name used outside wikipedia. Timeshifter, Timeshifter2, Timeshifter3, etc.. The wikipedia name would be unaltered. I am registered at nearly all the wikimedia projects, and with the same email address. So I wouldn't need the number added at the end of the Timeshifter name used on any of the wikimedia projects.--Timeshifter 03:32, 11 December 2007 (UTC)