Wikipedia:Wikipedia Signpost/2008-04-21/Global features

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The Wikipedia Signpost


Global login, blocking features developed

By Ral315, 21 April, 2008

Two new features related to Single User Login have been developed over the last few weeks. A global login system was enabled this week on Wikimedia's secure server, allowing any administrators with a Single User Login account to login once in order to access all public Wikimedia sites. Also written, and currently being discussed, is a global IP blocking mechanism, which would allow a certain class of users to block IPs from editing any Wikimedia site.

With the new global login system, when a user logs in with a global account, a cookie is set that holds the login information for all sites where the user has already logged in once. If the user has not yet logged in at least once on that wiki, they must log in to that wiki individually; however, with the Single User Login system, the account is created automatically upon logging in locally, without the need to create the account manually.

Global blocking, meanwhile, has not yet been enabled. The extension, written by Andrew Garrett, allows a specified usergroup to make blocks on IP addresses across all Wikimedia wikis. Wikis would be allowed, however, to opt-out of the site-wide blocks, so that individual communities who had issues with the system would be allowed to avoid it.

Discussion is currently ongoing as to the specifics of how the extension should be handled, including the specific groups to receive this right. Among the groups who have been named as possible candidates for global blocking privileges include stewards, administrators on the Meta-Wiki, checkusers, some members of the Small Wiki Monitoring Team, or a possible new usergroup, whose specific requirements and procedures would be up for discussion.

The global blocking extension also includes a list of all active global blocks (GlobalBlockList) and a log of all global blocks and unblocks, available on each individual wiki. The extension does not block individual usernames, although some other developers have expressed an interest in writing such a feature in the future.

Other global features yet to be written include shared preferences across multiple accounts, and the ability to rename a global account. It is not clear when or if these issues will be remedied in the future.

Another aspect of the system that has been discussed, but not yet implemented, is support for OpenID. Wikimedia CTO Brion Vibber suggested that Wikimedia would likely at some point become an OpenID provider, and may at a later date, after careful testing, allow users to log in with an OpenID account from another site.



Also this week:

BLPs — School threat — Global features — WikiWorld — News and notes — In the news — Dispatches — WikiProject report — Features and admins — Technology report — Arbitration report


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