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With the 2004 revamping of Mason HQ, users must [http:/account/login.html log in] before editing or creating wiki pages. Admittedly this is very un-wiki behavior (only a few wikis require logins). In fact I debated this but ultimately decided that the benefits would be worth the cost *if* the logging in could be kept very low-effort for users.
Here's how I tried to keep effort to a minimum:
* Existing Mason HQ accounts still work. If you don't remember whether you have an account, you can enter your email address in the [http:/account/login.html forgot password] form.
* [http:/account/register.html Registering] requires just three pieces of information.
* Once logged in, you'll be given a *permanent cookie* unless you explicitly uncheck that box. That means you only have to log in once per machine.
The immediate benefits include:
* Having a WikiName for every page creation and edit. This makes page history much more useful. On kwiki you can enter a preferred name, but it's optional, thus the frequent appearance of IP addresses.
* Ensuring that a user uses the same WikiName everywhere. Again, on kwiki, you might accidentally change your name when you change machines or delete your cookies. I could never remember if I was !JonSwartz or !JonathanSwartz.
* Providing a good login implementation example for users of the SourceForThisSite.
And possible future benefits include:
* Storing user preferences.
* Remembering when a user has last visited the recent changes page, and only showing them changes since their last visit.