October 11, 2006
Feature Requests /
Simpler Login

Hi Helmut,

Thank you for creating ProWiki. We're relying on it more and more, for example, at There's a few major obstacles I think for our MinciuSodas laboratory to make optimal use of ProWiki for our purposes.

One is user management. It's currently awkward and keeps a significant number of people from participating, and even gets me into problems.

  • I'd like people to be able to edit pages without logging in. However, it would be helpful to require that they provide a name. Or at least have a line where they could write their name as in PmWiki and I think Meatball wiki. Best for us I think would be to have a box under the edit window and make it a requirement that it be not empty.
  • We suffer from edit self-collisions. I can help track down the situations. But it's a very big problem and we need to understand it and solve it! I ask for your help. I don't think we ever had this with PmWiki.
  • I understand that login is important for certain functionality such as uploading, or simply so that more active users don't have to keep writing in their name. However, it's completely unclear for people how to register. I've learned now that they need to be registered by an Admin. So I should make that clear in my interface. However, it is important that there be some kind of way for people to create their own passwords. We shouldn't have to rely on human administrators for that. How else could we think through this?
  • I think for our purposes it would be good to rely on banning bad IPs - punishing those that give spam. Would that make sense? If people are unfairly banned then we can have a workaround for those exceptions.
  • In general, I'd like to have a system that allows for bad behavior but bans those who behave badly and overall is very light on requirements - no password is necessary for most editing (some pages could be protected or matched to a clear editor in chief) - and a password may be needed for certain functionality but it is created by oneself and easily changed or recalled.
I'm working on an alternate questionnaire driven interface so maybe I can just rely on that, but it would be good to have both interfaces working optimally! Thank you again for ProWiki.

Andrius, I'm on the road for two days. Let's talk this through when I return. Currently we have a mix of formal login and informal usernames which may be too hard to understand. In addition I think what you name self-collision is really a kind of spam-defense and a different story, whether it is or not. Anyway I'm willing to extend and rework the login/username system. -- HelmutLeitner October 7, 2006 0:34 CET

Helmut, Thank you for your reply. I'll be on the road, too. Yes, and I'm sure the Beta you've built for us makes it all even more tricky. It will be great to work this out, thank you for your commitment. I share a sample chat with JeffBuderer. AndriusKulikauskas October 7, 2006 1:28 CET

[Fri Oct 6 2006 23:59:35] minciusodas Jeff, please try password:  J****
[00:07:04] jeff buderer ok
[00:08:07] ? whats the username?
[00:12:56] ? i cant login
[00:13:03] minciusodas JeffBuderer
[00:13:10] jeff buderer ok
[00:13:58] ? username Jeff Buderer?
[00:14:01] minciusodas ok please try again
[00:14:05] jeff buderer PW:j****?
[00:14:06] minciusodas JeffBuderer
[00:14:09] ? no space
[00:14:21] ? there was a problem with the file permissions, sorry
[00:15:05] jeff buderer username: jeffbuderer?
[00:15:17] ? password:j****?
[00:15:19] ? right
[00:15:28] minciusodas username: JeffBuderer and password: J****
[00:15:36] jeff buderer ok
[00:15:41] minciusodas sorry about that
[00:15:48] jeff buderer Login error: wrong password.
[00:16:58] minciusodas I was able to log in
[00:17:18] ? username: JeffBuderer and password: J****
[00:17:23] jeff buderer i did not use the caps
[00:17:30] minciusodas yes you need to use the caps
[00:17:56] jeff buderer ok
[00:18:01] ? i gotit
[01:03:01] ? i can access myfoodstory to edit that section of the wiki
[01:03:07] ? cant access
[01:06:54] minciusodas hmm
[01:07:24] ? I apologize for the difficulties and I really appreciate your help
[01:07:56] ? be sure to use the regular "Edit" and not the "Simple Edit" because that's functionality I'm building
[01:08:35] jeff buderer np
[01:08:40] ? we are humans
[01:08:54] ? dont be too hard on yourself
[01:09:00] minciusodas thank you!
[01:09:46] ? Hey, maybe you need to login again for that wiki?  Please try that!  Because each wiki has its own cookies unfortunately.
[01:33:41] jeff buderer yeah i am trying that
[01:35:01] minciusodas good
[01:35:44] jeff buderer its not working still
[01:37:03] minciusodas please try again - maybe I was logged in as you - I logged in again - also it worked for me when I tried ti
[01:37:14] ? username: JeffBuderer and password: J****
[01:38:25] jeff buderer no...
[01:38:30] ? myfoodstory
[01:38:39] ? i cant access it
[01:38:58] minciusodas you are using "Edit" yes?  (Not "Simple Edit").  Hmmm.
[01:42:48] jeff buderer can you get in to the IntegratedFarming wiki page?
[01:43:03] minciusodas I don't understand, I'm able to make edits, and it's not even clear if I'm logged in.  My name is not showing up in the Preferences.  Also, the Author name is not appearing in Recent Changes. Only the IP address.  Perhaps this has to do with a recent change made to the Context page by me or Helmut?
[01:44:05] jeff buderer yeah
[01:46:10] minciusodas Ok I found the error that I had made in the Context page I had put instead of so that was my mistake.
[01:46:13] ? Now please try it.
[01:46:54] ?
[01:47:01] jeff buderer pl
[01:47:07] ? ok
[01:47:22] minciusodas thank you for helping figure this out!
[01:47:34] jeff buderer your welcome
[01:47:45] ? by the way i suggested those people
[01:48:00] ? i need to see if they would be interested
[01:48:09] minciusodas yes
[01:49:42] jeff buderer thanks for being so attentive to resolving this
[01:50:44] minciusodas it's great that you're giving us so much energy - I appreciate it!

I think we should separate solving problems in the complicated multi-domain system from the separate issue of improving or changing the login procedure itself. -- HelmutLeitner October 11, 2006 7:15 CET