Unified login coming soon to Wikipedia, et al

December 6, 2006

Unified login to all Wikimedia Foundation projects (Wikipedia, Wiktionary, Wikinews, and so on) has long been on the drawing board; in fact, it first popped up in 2004 and the concept was presentable by Wikimania 2006. It would allow users with accounts at multiple WMF projects to have a single account across all of them, and treat the entire Foundation like a single project.

But it never happened. Unified login, like Stable Versions of Wikipedia pages, quickly became vaporware as development focused on other parts of the MediaWiki software. We’ve had a host of minor (albeit helpful) features in the meantime, like automatic edit summaries and a massively improved search engine, but nothing like these two golden features on which we’ve waited for years.

Until now. A unified login feature has recently appeared on the horizon, and a recent test confirmed that it could efficiently migrate to the new system, merging any of the four million user accounts at Wikimedia’s various websites according to their matching user information. Unfortunately, multiple usernames could not be merged into a single account (so I would need to change my alternative names at commons and meta to “Daveydweeb”, my main name), although other features — like a potential unified messaging system — could easily make up for it.

Let’s just hope that this update is more fruitful than so many of the others.


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