Heads Up: Issues with multiple (Split head) accounts!

Some users of the old JL site are now what I will refer to as “Split Head” users. Please don’t take this personally. Allow me explain:

  • The content on any computer system is owned by a user account.
  • On both the old and the new JL platforms, these user accounts were associated with an email address (this is how the system knows where to send a password reset email, notification, or digest to).
  • JL has been around for a long time, and people sometimes need to change their email.
  • During the migration to the new platform the individual posts were imported with the Owner being set to the email account by which they were originally created.
  • This means that if you ever changed your email on the old system then some of your old posts will be owned by one account, and anything you created since the user email was changed will be owned by that (newer) email.
  • Some users have used a multitude of emails on the old site.
  • We all know that the person sitting between the keyboard and seat is the same person, but the new system couldn’t quite figure that out, so it created a new user account for every individual email definition that it found in the original posts, and assigned that email as the place to send communication to that owner to.

The result of this is what I call a “Split Head” user.

Another way that a Split Head user can occur is if something went wrong when you tried to register on the new site and didn’t manage to identify yourself in a manner which was acceptable to the system, so you created a new account.

So now you know what the lowdown is on what I am on about, here are some of the concerns from an admin standpoint:

  • It is bad enough that there is a single Andrew Waugh, a horde of them is not only dangerous and expensive, it is also disorganised. We all know what happens when some dork puts the new slave cylinder in the box marked “Damaged Electrical Parts - NFG!”. The aim in the rebuild of the JL site is to collect all the Andrew Waugh’s together, convince them to unite, and then assign every post that they created to that one all encompassing Andrew Waugh.

  • We are working on a method to go through all the historical posts and reassign ownership to a specific account. I can do this manually, but it takes me about 5s per historical post to change the owner. We need to be able to automate this, but it requires some careful testing before we risk creating an angry horde of Andrew Waughs (the horror, the HORROR!)

There is one thing some of you can help with. If you created a new account once the new site went live, please send me a Private Message and give me the following information:

  • The email that you last used on the old JL site.
  • If you have managed to reactivate the old account or not.

I will then be able to help you as best I can.

Please do not post any email addresses on a public post, we are trying to maintain some anonymity with respect to emails on the new site.


Some other things I should add to the original post.
If you are, or know someone who is, a “Split Head” user:

  • Don’t panic.
  • It doesn’t hurt, although it may be a bit confusing.
  • Your old posts are all still there, they just look like they were created by people with similar, but different usernames.
  • If you are one of the users who has become split headed as a result of email changes on the old site, then don’t bother trying to reactivate the older accounts. It’s bad enough that you’ve got skeletons in your closet, let’s not complicate that by having you, and the spirits of all your former selves, conversing with each other.
    If you created a brand new account for the new site then please try to reactivate your old account, and give me a shout via PM.
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We’re still waiting on the Discourse developers to provide a “Merge Users” function. It’s planned, and they’re working on it, but it’s not implemented yet.

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