Wikimedia (Wikipedia) single sign-on

Rob Lanphier robla at
Tue Jun 21 09:35:02 PDT 2005

Hi everyone,

Thanks for looking this over.  We're getting to a point in the
conversation where I don't have all of the answers, but the folks on the
wikitech-l at mailing list are way ahead of me.  I'm still
very much a newcomer to the process.

Before posting to that wikitech-l, though, please read through the
meeting notes from the last meeting:

We spent a fair amount of time discussing the conflict resolution
problem.  Additionally there's been a lot of discussion leading up to
this point, including several writeups, all available here:


On Mon, 2005-06-20 at 15:14 +0100, Paul Crowley wrote:
> Martin Atkins wrote:
> > Note that OpenID doesn't magically solve problem 2. Since all of the
> > wikipedia sites are on different domains, the user will have to run
> > around and type their OpenID identity on each of them to log in.
> But at least they won't have to type in their password.  So it 
> half-solves problem 2.
> > I think the most important problem, which you've not mentioned here, is
> > that there will almost certainly be a scramble for usernames on the
> > generic site. Mart at en.wikipedia and Mart at es.wikipedia will
> > probably both want "Mart", and it'll just be up to whoever gets there
> > first. Also, some more prolific users might be beaten to the punch by
> > imposters registering the name beforehand.
> This bothers me too.  I don't see a very simple solution, so please 
> forgive the complexity of this one.  You need a negotiation process to 
> decide who gets which name.  This should be a service on 
>   Anyone who wants a name "" can register their 
> interest, using their OpenID login on the various sites.  At a set date, 
> you decide who will get which names.  The criteria you'd use might include:
> * closeness of match with existing name, by edit distance: if my name 
> was "", I have a better claim than 
> "".
> * longevity: if we're both equally close in edit distance, I might win 
> if I've had an account longer than you
> * activity: if my account does more editing
> * status: if I'm an admin and you're not
> You might allow me to set a first and second preference, but that makes 
> the resolution algorithm more complex.
> After the set date, you can have a first-come-first-served policy.  Or, 
> out of deference to long-standing users who miss the bidding deadline, 
> you can reserve all names used anywhere on Wikipedia that aren't claimed 
> as part of this process, and allow a further few months for users with 
> those names to claim them.
> Will you make people who don't have any kind of Wikimedia account create 
> one before they can non-anonymously edit?  Or will you directly use 
> their OpenID name for their edits, in which case what will their talk 
> page be called?

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