Remove user ID from user preferences output
Closed, ResolvedPublic

Description

Currently [[Special:Preferences]] shows a user his or her internal user ID. I'm not sure it makes sense to expose this in the user interface. It's an internal implementation detail. Plus on wikis with CentralAuth/unified login, there's additional complexity (i.e., each user has a global user ID and a local user ID on a particular wiki).

The API should expose and allow the use of a user's ID and there are separate bugs about that. This bug report is focused purely on the user interface.

Looking at how other software/sites handle this may make sense. For example, I don't think Facebook or Twitter or LinkedIn or Google Apps readily expose user IDs (apart from URLs, though those also have trended away from exposing user IDs).

This came up again in the context of https://gerrit.wikimedia.org/r/101221. I'm filing this as an unconfirmed bug. Any input welcome.


Version: 1.24rc
Severity: enhancement

Details

Reference
bz58626

I'd recommend putting this in the tracking bug "things to remove from prefs" after confirming there is some secondary access to the information via some other logical means like an API or OAuth.

(In reply to comment #1)

I'd recommend putting this in the tracking bug "things to remove from prefs"
after confirming there is some secondary access to the information via some
other logical means like an API or OAuth.

It is exposed via the API: https://www.mediawiki.org/w/api.php?action=query&meta=userinfo&format=jsonfm or https://www.mediawiki.org/w/api.php?action=query&list=users&ususers=Legoktm&format=jsonfm

This could probably be removed. I can't think of a reason a user would need to know this. OTOH I also don't really see it hurting anyone either

After several applications of git blame, it appears that showing the user id on Special:Preferences goes all the way back to the beginning of phase3, as it is present in d82c14fb4fbac

(In reply to comment #4)

After several applications of git blame, it appears that showing the user id
on Special:Preferences goes all the way back to the beginning of phase3, as it
is present in d82c14fb4fbac

I think you may be mis-reading? As far as I can tell, the user ID _appearing_ at [[Special:Preferences]] dates back to r11284 (October 2005).

swalling wrote:

(In reply to comment #3)

This could probably be removed. I can't think of a reason a user would need
to
know this. OTOH I also don't really see it hurting anyone either

+1

This is too technical to be understandable to most users, and I don't understand why we expose it. Technically your user_id is public information just like your username, but it seems odd to put it in your preferences.

(In reply to comment #5)

(In reply to comment #4)
> After several applications of git blame, it appears that showing the user id
> on Special:Preferences goes all the way back to the beginning of phase3, as it
> is present in d82c14fb4fbac

I think you may be mis-reading? As far as I can tell, the user ID _appearing_
at [[Special:Preferences]] dates back to r11284 (October 2005).

Before that it appears to have been output by the prefslogintext, which had the content:

"You are logged in as \"$1\".
Your internal ID number is $2.

See [[Project:User preferences help]] for help deciphering the options.",

(In reply to comment #7)

You're too smart. :-( Thanks for the great catch.

I dug a bit further. It looks like this pre-dates phase3, dating back to r403 (May 2002), later modified in r766 (September 2002).

(In reply to comment #8)

Continuing to dig, this dates back to at least r15 (September 2001) in trunk/phpwiki/fpw/specialPages.php:


$ret .= "Your internal ID is $user->id.</b><br>\n";

So now that we dug it up and found that it was probably some kind of a debug printout, can we finally decide to remove it? :)

Change 132916 had a related patch set uploaded by Legoktm:
Remove user id from Special:Preferences

https://gerrit.wikimedia.org/r/132916

Change 132916 merged by jenkins-bot:
Remove user id from Special:Preferences

https://gerrit.wikimedia.org/r/132916

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