[development] Let's kill $user->data

Dave Cohen drupal at dave-cohen.com
Thu Nov 23 00:55:36 UTC 2006

I recently wrote a module that makes use of this column.  My module allows 
for "anonymous" posts.  Similar to what the contributed Authorship module 
does.  (My module is specialized for a particular client, I have no plans to 
contribute it as an alternative to Authorship).  When this module is enabled, 
some posts will say something like "Submitted by an executive in the software 
industry" where they would normally say "Submitted by UserX".

I store the information that populates the "anonymous" submitted by info in 
the user data column.  This is handy to me for two reasons.  First, I did not 
have to create another database table.  Second and more important, the user 
data column gets loaded with every node.  This means I need no new queries to 
display my information in every teaser and page view.  I have no idea whether 
is by design or not (because the data field is not documented as far as I 
know), but it's convenient for my case.

It's true that I can make my module work with or without the data column.  So 
if you want to take it away, I will not complain.  But I wanted to let you 
know I found it useful, in case that factors into the decision.


On Wednesday 22 November 2006 00:58, Karoly Negyesi wrote:
> Hi,
> Two steps
> a) We remove $user->data handling code from D6 core. No save, no load. New
> installs won't have this column.
> b) D7 will drop the $user->data if it exists. (SELECT * FROM user,
> $account = db_fetch_array, if(isset($account['data'])) -- no need for DDL
> to check for a column).
> This way D6 contribs can clean up $user->data and migrate to their own
> tables.
> Regards
> NK

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