Wikisource:News/2006-11-30/Unified login in test phase

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Unified login in test phase
by Pathoschild, 30 November 2006

Unified login has succeeded a migration test that may mean implementation in the near future. Unified login is a long-awaited feature that allows a user to operate one account on all Wikimedia projects, first requested in August 2004.

About unified login[edit]

Unified login has been in quiet development by Brion Vibber, paid Wikimedia developer, for an unknown period of time. He discussed how it might work in the December 2005 Berlin roundup, uploaded implementation notes to the code base in April 2006, and it was the subject of a presentation at Wikimania in August 2006.

Although little is known about the project, [MediaWiki:Youhavenewmessagesmulti|a new interface message] suggests that detection of messages will eventually be unified as well (however, Brion notes that this will remain local at first). Brion comments in the implementation notes that user rights will remain local, so administrators will not have administrator access everywhere. User preferences will also remain local, although the email address will only need to be set and confirmed in one place.

Unified login is not intended to allow different user names on different projects. Users with multiple user names will not be able to unify their accounts.

Test results[edit]

'Migration' is the process of transitioning from the current multiple user login to unified login. Migration occurs in approximately three steps. Pass 0 collects data on individual accounts. Pass 1 automatically merges accounts where possible, using rule-based comparison such as checking for identical email addresses or cannibalising unused accounts. Phase 2 merges accounts with user interaction, such as asking a primary account to enter the password for a possible secondary account.

In the test, data collection took 2 hours and automatic merging took 5 hours. 4,457,075 accounts were confirmed, with 578,128 secondary accounts merged automatically based on matching email addresses or by cannibalizing unused accounts. 134,242 secondary accounts will need to be merged with user interaction (71,741 unique user names have accounts left unmerged). Users can ensure a smooth transition by confirming one email address in all their user accounts.