What is a user?

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What is a user?

With just one Wikipedia to concentrate on, user models are pretty simple. Users are one of:

  • Guest - not logged in
  • Normal - logged in user
  • Administrator

Now we have more Wikipedias and Wiki-X systems to deal with, and maybe we need to have a more sophisticated model of user. For example, if I am a user of the French and English Wikipedias, and also a user of Meta-Wikipedia, should I have to log in to each individually? Is it possible to have a common representation of "me" which would apply to all? Maybe not - in which case there is nothing really wrong with the current situation in which users have to log in explicitly to each individual Wiki.

There could be some mileage in discussion, and trying to find out if there are other models for users. For example, is there any point in having Group users - who represent organisations, or Groups of Users? I'm not sure, but think that it could be worth further work. -- David Martland 10:34, 26 Aug 2003 (UTC)

  • What about non-logged in Administrators? Where do they fit it? And those using more than one pseudonym?

Regarding pseudonyms - it would depend on whether they were intended to refer to the same virtual person, or not. If person P has pseudonyms A,B and C, then it might be OK that they could all coalesce on references to one or more pages. However, (real) person P may have deliberately created pseudonyms in order to remain anonymous, or for other reasons. This can be handled by simply forcing the real user to log in under different user names.

There are certainly convenience issues, which can only get worse, as the number of possible communities to join increases. Currently there are many different language versions of Wikipedia, and a user might choose to join several, as well as WikiQuote, WikiVersity/WikiBooks, Wiktionary, Meta-Wikipedia etc.

Re non-logged in Adminstrators, I think the problem you are highlighting is that an Aministrator may also have to behave as a Normal user. An Adminstrator could model guest behaviour by not logging in, but would not perhaps be able to log in using the same user name as a Normal logged in user. I'm not sure if that's such a big problem, as I'm not an administrator. It'd be worth checking with some who are. -- David Martland 16:12, 26 Aug 2003 (UTC)

I rarely log here as a sysop. Before, I also rarely loggued to the french wiki as well, but now that we are more numerous, I know my edits as anon cause additional work to my peers, so I avoid doing so. The biggest pb with non common user base is that we are not the same everywhere. On the english wikipedia, Anthére is me, on the french, it is someone else. Trying to model the behavior of a non-sysop user is just a joke. You have to feel like screaming in front of a deleted page, and helpless in front of a vandal to realise that. It seems that very few ones care about that.