Crabgrass logins for all riseup users


One problem many users have is that they do not realize that the account that they use to login to Riseup email is a different account than the one that they use for logging into lists. This is super confusing, and means that you have to remember two different logins. Likely most people use the same login/password for both.

This problem is potentially worse when it comes to crabgrass. Crabgrass users also have a different account/password for logging into crabgrass as they do their email, and their lists. Thats three riseup accounts/passwords. That is if they have a crabgrass account at all. What makes Crabgrass potentially worse is that someone can sign up for the Crabgrass account “revolution” and not be “”, that means that the longer we wait to try and harmonize the logins, the harder it gets as more and more users start taking riseup email account names.

Its more of a problem than it is with lists because there is no way that someone could “steal” someone else’s list login, so unifying these logins isn’t as time critical, but it would be good to do it there as well.

I’d like to get this process started, because it could take a while. I think that this is a something that we need to push for, from within Riseup, rather than expect that the Crabgrass people (who aren’t all Riseup people) are going to do this for us. I’m hoping I can motivate Riseup Crabgrass people to work on this (Jessi, Abie, Elijah and Pietro, my skills aren’t there, but I can motivate: GO TEAM!).

My guess is that it actually wouldn’t be very hard because we have all the user/password combinations in our nest database, bringing those over to the Crabgrass database and making them so they work is probably the easiest part. The harder parts are dealing with the following:

  • How to handle accounts that already exist in crabgrass (I see two cases: when you try to copy the ‘micah’ riseup account over, how do you reconcile this; and secondly, when you copy the user ‘revolution’ over… who knows if the user is the same on both sides?)
  • How to set this up to happen automatically
  • How to change nest to check crabgrass usernames to see if they are already taken
  • How to handle password changes, username deletions (it would be nice to tell people one place to change their password, instead of being confused that they can change it in nest as well as crabgrass)

What do people think? Do people see the problem and the need to solve it sooner rather than later? Anyone interested in working on this?

I’d love to get Crabgrass taken care of and then take the lessons learned and do it for lists too, that would be so sweet.


while i think this is probably a good idea, i do want to raise the problem that it makes it so that no user is anonymous, in that i feel that email is difficult to ever make anonymous.

I don’t have any idea about how the syncing of the two databases should work. This is what I want:

  • i don’t want users to be required to create a riseup email account before they can use crabgrass
  • i do want riseup email users to be able to claim a crabgrass login using their nest login
  • and conversely, crabgrass users should be able request an email account with their crabgrass login.

We already know that it is “impossible” to hide the fact that an account with a given username exists in crabgrass. Maybe the soln is to every username appear once anywhere, so that if i have email then no one can take username abie in crabgrass, and if i have username abie in crabgrass, then no one can take it as their riseup mail address.

we can also consider doing this with group names and mailing lists.

as for the merge, we can send an email to each that says click here to link your riseup email and crabgrass account, and then make them prove that they know the crabgrass password. i guess that there will be some places with two people using the same name already, so we need to figure out what to do about that.


what about if we send an email to all riseup users with three options: (1) create a crabgrass account with their riseup userid (if available), (2) create a crabgrass account that is not linked to the riseup account with a different username (essentially just a link to the CG new account form), (3) do nothing. We could outline the pluses and minuses of each option.

i understand Elijah’s concerns about preserving anonymity, i think we should address the issue of uid’s sooner rather than later and leave it to the users to decide whether they want the accounts linked.


I think the problem with sending a mass email to riseup users is that maybe its too soon to invite all the riseup users to try out crabgrass? I’m not sure if crabgrass is ready to have 20,000 people start using crabgrass, all at once.

Maybe we just reserve the ’’ namespace in crabgrass and your login can be “” everywhere? There are a few problems with this: 1. you do login with at, but you dont at, and if you did with crabgrass, then confusion would not be that much lessened; 2. if your crabgrass login was, then that email address would be displayed everywhere on crabgrass, which seems bad, so you would have to have a different display name.

I think for these reasons I dont think that this is the right way to go.

NOTE: I wrote the word ‘at’ instead of using the @ symbol because it gets eaten when I use it


micah: f’ing greencloth bugs


michaelv created this related discussion in the users group. what do you think about making this discussion public?


I’m fine with making it public, how about if nobody disagrees in a few days we mark it as such.


Yes, let’s make it public. Another reason why linking CG-riseup uids is a good idea: gpg. If people trust your gpg key, they will have confidence that your uid on crabgrass is the same person (provided someone hasn’t hacked your account…).


i’m fine w/making this public too.

i see the possibility for confusion as greater with CG than email. It’s unlikely somebody will email john-at-riseup, say, to find somebody named john, but if i know a certain john uses crabgrass, and i see there is a user named john (w/an anonymous picture), i might invite the wrong john to a crabgrass group.

oh, and i’ve already stolen somebody else’s riseup username for my CG name :( (of course i’ll switch CG names if necessary)


ok, i made this page public.