[wp-hackers] "commenter" user role

Jeremy Clarke jer at simianuprising.com
Wed Mar 10 19:27:27 UTC 2010

FWIW I think this conversation is pretty much over, I'll reply because
I enjoy doing so and because I like everything to be fully explored
but I doubt any of these plans will be implemented. If you don't love
these threads then ignore this response and go find a trac ticket to
read instead http://core.trac.wordpress.org/ ;)

On Mon, Mar 8, 2010 at 11:41 PM, Mike Schinkel
<mikeschinkel at newclarity.net> wrote:
> 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

You know what few, if any off-the-shelf themes support? author.php
templates. Kubrick never had support for them (if you linked to the
author page in Kubrick it showed the author's posts but with
absolutely no reference to the author in the page title or anywhere
else in the UI) and I think as a result pretty much no themes support
it either, along with the plethora of author info that makes sense to
show there. Bios, homepage links, avatars etc are missing all over the
place, despite having technical support in core. This fact is IMHO
driven by the nature of WordPress as mostly a blogging tool, with most
developers working alone on their sites while they develop themes.

Having commenter profiles just requires that this paradigm change, and
WP be treated as a multi-user (in the actual meaning, not the very
confused meaning that MU took on which has now been rectified by
recasting it as multi-site) platform where author profiles are an
important context. Once a theme has a working author.php with the bio,
avatar, links and posts showing it would be very simple to add a list
of their comments as well, which would obviously be relevant for
actual authors as well as commenters.

> 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.

As a user of many sites I frequently am frustrated that I can't see
more info about the person who is *blogging*. User profiles are rarely
linked-to and on most group-blogs (i.e. non-blog websites running WP)
they are non-existent. I think there are probably more sites with
author bios at the bottom of posts than proper author profile pages.
That feature is in core but its being ignored, lets not ignore it any
further by building around it instead of taking advantage of it ;)

> 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?

I was mostly just pointing out that it wasn't a very compelling
argument at all and I didn't feel like refuting it because I don't
think it has any social capital at this point. More specifically, I
think that if there were only two things in the WP database, they
would be content and users. I'd move all of the meta for content,
users, taxonomy etc. into the wp_posts table before I moved the users
there if only on principal. To give one quick reason I'll say that it
would make sharing user DBs across sites a nightmare for those who
want to hack it (and I think that should be a supported hack as much
as possible).

> 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.

Less insane but still unnecessary. Currently commenters are not users
by default, but just some metadata attached to the comment. This is
partially an oversight of the original design of WP but it is also a
very practical solution to the problems that would arise for many
sites if all commenters were in the wp_users db. If you want user
records for the commeters and you are comfortable with the
ramifications then ask them to register, if not then let the lite
version do its job.

> 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?

By open registration I meant allowing public registration to a
subscriber/commenter role on your site. It could be mandatory or
optional but would provide the various benefits of a user account like
identity control, bio information etc.

If you think that the current system for doing this is clunky then you
should work on improvements to the current system. I'd love it there
was a built-in way to set up your comment form in such a way that it
basically signs people up for accounts by default, without seeing the
admin. That might be plugin territory or not, but there's no reason to
believe that changing the DB structure will improve it inherently.
Regardless of the DB you will need to either live with using a plugin
or convince core that streamlined commenting+registration is a
priority. If you can do that and have time to code it then changing
the DB is unnecessary, your system should just work with the existing
registration system and only on sites with open registration.

Jeremy Clarke | http://simianuprising.com
Code and Design | http://globalvoicesonline.org

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