Confusion between user identity and cost allocation number is leading to further anomolies in file organisation and password checking. It should not be necessary to force one man to have several different names and several passwords to match. Nor does it seem correct that it should be necessary to quote all these names in order to make him a part-owner of some other set of files.
I suggest, therefore, that certain corrective action is taken before matters get worse. The following suggestions are offered.
A user has only one name and only one password. This name does not reflect his normal mode of activity in any way.
A project name identifies a user activity and is not used to identify the user. (But see 8 below).
A file owner is either a user or a project. If it is a project then there cannot ever be a user with that name.
Charging is made on the basis of a charge number that is deduced from both user name and project name.
A user must quote his name, his password and his project. (But see 8 below). The system checks name against password. It could then check name and project for validity within the charge allocation system.
The leading component in the job title is the project name. The user name is given, if necessary, on the next line together with his password. (See 8 below).
File access is as now but decisions about status are made on the basis of the user name and not project name.
If only a project name is given then the user name is set equal to the project name.
If the leading component of a file title is unset then this is set equal to the project name.
The user name should not exceed 8 characters and could well include initials and a number. But there must be only one number for each user.
The project name could simply be a number.
If this were done then transition from the present system to that proposed could be reasonably smooth.
Copyright © 1967 University of Cambridge Computer Laboratory. Distributed by permission. Thanks to Barry Landy, Roger Needham and David Hartley for giving permission to distribute these documents. Thanks to Barry Landy for lending me the paper document from which this was scanned. Any typographical errors probably arose in the course of OCR.
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