[wp-docs] User accounts

Matthew Thomas mpt at myrealbox.com
Tue Mar 15 23:40:41 GMT 2005

lorelle at cameraontheroad.com wrote:
> I've been sick so I'm just catching up on this, but I saw the same HUGE 
> list and thought, why can't these be cleaned out?  They certainly aren't 
> much good if they've been sitting there for months and months.  
> Certainly not those that have been there for a couple of months but 
> after six months with no activity, I'd get rid of them because I like a 
> clean house.

Last year I went to university, and one of the essays I wrote for
history class was on the history of copper. While researching the essay,
I went to the library and borrowed the book "Copper: Its geology and
economics", by Robert Bowen and Amanda Gunatilaka, published in 1977.

I was the first person ever to have borrowed that book since the library 
had acquired it in 1978. If no-one had been interested in it, why hadn't 
the library thrown it away? Because they had no reason to. They weren't 
running out of space.

Is Codex running out of space? No. Even if it was, would deleting user 
accounts make an appreciable difference? No. Even if it would, would it 
be a good idea for attribution purposes? No. This is entirely a 
psychological problem ("I'm shocked", "I like a clean house", "Anything 
that removes clutter is necessary", etc), not a real one.

The solution to this psychological problem is quite simple: remove the 
<http://codex.wordpress.org/Special:Listusers> page, or at least prevent 
anyone from accessing it.

> I know the codex has been being hit with a lot of spam, and while it's
> supposed to be easy access, I was wondering if a second step couldn't be
> taken to make it less inviting to the vandal-prone.

What does the number of registered editors have to do with how inviting 
it is to vandals? Wikipedia's resilience against vandalism comes from a 
large number of editors, not a small number.

If you really think this is a good idea, I suggest first implementing it 
in WordPress itself. All WordPress sites that haven't been updated in 
six months or more should delete themselves entirely on the next page 
request. It's not a knock against anybody. It's simple blogosphere 
management and maintenance.


Matthew Thomas

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