[Foundation-l] [Wikitech-l] Primary account for single user login

Tim Starling tstarling at wikimedia.org
Tue Apr 8 13:33:06 UTC 2008

Henning Schlottmann wrote:
> The first example is unavoidable, the second could be assumed to be 
> malicious and the user blocked. But how will you deal with a primary 
> user of the zh-WP, with a user name in Chinese characters, who starts to 
> edit on en-WP? Other users there will only see question marks or those 
> annoying little squares in the history.

I think the most sensible solution is to have a configurable 
latin-alphabet alias for each user. Allowing it to be configurable means 
that users whose names have ambiguous pronunciation can choose a 
transliteration approximating the correct pronunciation, and users who 
have a customary ASCII nickname for use on less enlightened websites can 
use that.

The alias would be globally unique. It could be displayed in brackets 
after the user's name in their own script, optionally depending on the 
preferences of the local wiki and the user. So the Chinese wiki wouldn't 
display aliases for Chinese users, and Mark Williamson could switch off 
the whole feature and learn everyone's name in their own script.

Transcription tables could be used to provide a default for users who 
don't know how to transcribe their name themselves. As a final fallback, 
for scripts that aren't described by the transcription table, a number 
could be used.

Is anyone willing to help find or compile transcription tables for a wide 
variety of languages?

-- Tim Starling

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