[wp-hackers] "commenter" user role

Mike Schinkel mikeschinkel at newclarity.net
Tue Mar 9 04:41:24 UTC 2010

On Mar 8, 2010, at 8:16 PM, Stephen Rider wrote:
> The ONLY thing I see as a possible advantage to commenters as Users in core is the idea of themes being designed with a page that shows all of a commenter's comments. However, that could be covered with something like a custom template within the plugin, or a.. shortcode maybe?... that could be put into the content of a regular old Page.

Why I don't like the idea of forcing it to be a plugin is:

1.) As a site developer who depends on (typically commercial) off-the-shelf themes to enable many of the small budget websites I develop, few if any off-the-shelf themes will ever support it something that is relegated to a plugin, and 

2.) As a user of many sites I frequently am frustrated that I can't see more info about someone who is commenting; i.e. what other topics they've commented on, the bio of the more active commenters.  If it's in core there's a much greater chance lots of sites will have the functionality; if it's not in core the death of support for this on the web will continue.

Now if it's a canonical plugin, that's okay too.

On Mar 8, 2010, at 4:53 PM, Jeremy Clarke wrote:
> -100 for moving users into wp_posts, that's insane.

Other than making an unsupported assertion that moving users to posts is insane, you didn't address this proposal.  Is your -100 a kneejerk reaction (which we all do from time to time), or is it based on reasoned analysis?

Actually I'd prefer you to address the proposal of maintaining wp_users for users that are registered and having a record in wp_posts for each user and each commenter with an email address.  After reflection that is what makes most sense to me.

On Mar 8, 2010, at 8:35 PM, Jeremy Clarke wrote:
> Use open registration to register commenters
> then use their author page to show their comments.

What is "open registration?"  Would it be transparent to commenters?

> The only block is the annoying /author/ permalink format that would
> need to be overridden with a filter or plugin to be something like
> /users/ (an important but seperate issue imho).


> Obviously this would be a fairly complicated process...

Agreed again.

> but one plugin could manage it all with a couple of template tags
> for the author.php template and some widgets/shortcodes to show
> the lists of commenters.

Again, my primary reason for wanting a "standard" commenter page is so that more theme authors will start working to beautify them.  A commenter page could have lots going on but if the only way to get one is via a plugin very few free or inexpensive theme options will emerge and then the only way to get good quality designs will be to pay a designer handsomely for it.  Thus the number of potential ideas presented to the public will still be small and a good set of best practices is not likely to emerge.

> What's really missing is a filled out API for managing users in
> WordPress. There is no get_users() function and there is no way to say
> "fetch users in $x role".

I think you've mentioned that before. ;-)

> This makes a plugin like the one I described very difficult to produce
> without writing a lot of low-level logic and DB queries, but these problems
> would apply to this proposed system as well, with the added complications
> of all the commenter-specific logic that would need to be added to core.

What you describe would be a great addition to WordPress.

> As has been said what's needed is to tweak the users system to be more
> functional and do what needs doing to handle a functional 'commenter'
> role, not adding a meta-class outside the roles system specifically
> for managing comment authors.

And I think I agree with that.  


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