[development] User last access

Hans Salvisberg drupal at salvisberg.com
Sat May 3 16:21:04 UTC 2008

Neil Drumm wrote:
> When admins do
> things, stuff should happen, those users need to show up.

I don't think so. I run some community websites and we create accounts
for community members (which creates invitation emails in the process).
Last access must remain Never until there has been an access, and the
accounts must not show up in public view (e.g. "Who's New") until they
have accepted the invitation, because they might choose not to join the 
website at all.

> The way we store this is by overriding the access time. Users creating
> their account get a time of 0, which means the account registration is
> not finished and the user page does not go live. Admins creating
> accounts get a timestamp.

The account registration of admin-created accounts is NOT finished until
the user has logged in for the first time.

We might even argue that it's not finished until the user has
successfully changed their password. Most users succeed in clicking the
link (if they want to), but a sizable portion fail at changing their
password and need additional hand-holding.

> A couple options:
> * Make admin-created users get a access time bump, but not admin-edited

Please, no. Mis-using the access time for something other than access is
an ugly hack. I can see that your intended behavior could be useful at
times, but it should be an option at best, off by default. Typically,
such functionality is delegated to a contrib module...

> * Remove the column overriding and make an is_active column or
> somesuch. Bonus points for merging with the status column.

Yes, that would be a good solution.


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