[xwiki-devs] XWikiContext#getUser and not logged in users

Vincent Massol vincent at massol.net
Fri Mar 25 13:47:42 UTC 2011

On Mar 25, 2011, at 2:19 PM, Thomas Mortagne wrote:

> Hi devs,
> I'm currently working on http://jira.xwiki.org/jira/browse/XWIKI-6103
> which has two aspects:
> 1) stored the user as a DocumentReference in the context so that we
> stop loosing the user all the time when switching databases
> 2) provide a DocumentReference oriented API to deal with the current user
> For 2 I would like to propose some change in the way to see not logged
> in user: I would like to make getUserReference return null when there
> is no user logged in instead of some DocumentReference containing
> <currentwiki>:XWiki.XWikiGuest. I understand that when dealing with
> string "XWikiGuest" hack appear but null when there is actually no
> context user makes much more sense at Java level IMO. Make safer to
> distinguish between no logged in user and logged in user and you don't
> really care what has been chosen as virtual name for not logged in
> users at this level.

+1for now.

For the future we might want to consider that user references doesn't have to match document references and that users may be stored anywhere (and not always in the wiki).

I'd be for having a User object and have a getUser() that returns it rather than manipulating references.
Then we can have a GuestUser and do things like:

 if (getUser().equals(User.GuestUser)) {....}

More specifically IMO we should stop using code that knows that the user reference is a reference to a document and instead go through a dedicated User API. It's that User API implementation that will know (for ex) that users are stored in wiki pages.

For example instead of writing the following to know if a user exists:


Instead write:

UserManager.exists(String username)

But I agree this is a change for a bit later.


> That will not impact anything which already exist and is just for code
> that will use the new API of course but I think it deserve some debate
> first since that's another way to see things and well it's an API.
> WDYT ?
> -- 
> Thomas Mortagne
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