Three forum account-related issues

Sorry for the long post - I am trying to give you all the relevant information.

This all started a couple of days ago, when I wanted to start a forum thread. I saw the message that if an account wasn’t migrated, it was deleted. That’s why I didn’t bother trying to guess what account I may have had on this system. I went straight for creating a new account. For all accounts below, I used a new email address, not the one I’ve been using for years.

Issue #1: New accounts created through the IDP portal don’t work on forums.
I first created an account “zlatko-michailov”. When I was trying to log in, I didn’t get any error. However, it didn’t look like I was logged in - the permissions at the bottom were all “NO”, and at the top I had a “Log In” link instead of a “Log Out” link.

Then I saw the note that accounts with dashes cannot work. (Really?!) So I deleted that account. To be more precise, I clicked on “Delete Account”. See Issue #2, right below.

Then I created account “zlatkomichailov” with all the same settings. Although it didn’t have dashes, I had the exact same experience when I tried to log in to the forums.
My conclusion was that new accounts don’t work, and I deleted this account too (or at least that’s what I thought).

Issue #2: Accounts are never deleted. Thus, a username can never be reclaimed.
Since I really wanted to post my inquiry on the forums, I decided to give it another try. Now that I knew dashes are not welcome, I went straight for re-creating “zlatkomichailov” again. To my surprise, it told me that that account is already in use. Let me reiterate on this - you told me you would delete this account, but you didn’t. I take it as a violation of my privacy. I am sure you think you have reasons to keep it. They are no good. Unless you make users agree to your retention policy before they create an account, delete.

Issue #3: I created a new account with residue information in it!
This is serious.

When “zlatkomichailov” didn’t work for me, I resorted to “zmichailov”. (Notice that I used my new email address again.) Luckily this time, I was able to log in to the forums and to post my question. (That doesn’t mean Issue #1 is fixed. Read on.) I also checked the box that I want to receive an email as soon as somebody replies. To my astonishment, I started receiving such emails on my old email address!

It turns out I have had an account from years ago that got linked to my new IDP account. That’s why I appear as a member since 2008. Furthermore, the forums-part of the account keeps its own email address and its own password! I can’t change the email address, because it wants me to enter that password from 2008 that I of course don’t remember.

I consider myself very lucky that my name is not very common and I have the accounts on each side. It wasn’t somebody else to reclaim my account. Fellows with common names may not be so lucky - I can imagine the IDP account “jsmith” of one person getting linked to the forums account “jsmith” of a completely different person.

I notice you don’t want to listen to your customers. You even have a whole article about it. That’s sad. Here’s my suggestion anyway:

As a user: It is very inconvenient that I can post and find answers to almost all questions on StackOverflow, but for openSUSE issues, I have to go to a different forum.

As a software professional: Maintaining an account system that is security- and privacy-compliant has a high ongoing cost. Unless you are one of the few big software companies in the world, you are unlikely to be able to afford the cost of doing it right. Furthermore, I don’t see any value in hosting the forum content. So put some guidelines for people how to tag their posts, and send them to StackOverflow.

Thanks for your report :slight_smile:

The main issue is zero integration between vBulletin (It’s in maintenance mode, pending migration to newer software) and un-migrated users.

The other issue is old account email addresses and users creating a new account with that old email, this can be fixed by invalidating the old email by contacting the forum admins via email at Contact Us, IRC Freenode #openSUSE-forums or email to admin{at}o.o for a ticket. Once email is invalid, user clears out all browser cookies for o.o, then to login to bugzilla, this seems to kick off the process of account creation in the Forum.

Any account deletion is not Forum related, that is a function of the infrastructure team and contacting admin{at}o.o.

Perhaps that old account was migrated during the migration period, a login to any part of the openSUSE infrastructure may have kicked something off enough to log that email address? Again, if appropriate you would need to be taken up with the infrastructure team who are the keepers of logins :wink:

I should have filed bugs for these issues, not a forum post. Sorry. On to bugzilla!