The RossNet Registry FAQ
Why all this Registry fuss?
The Registry was created to act as a central identity
management service for users of RossNet.
During the creation of RossNet subwebs,
the issue of identity arose again and again, and it
became clear that it should be addressed systematically so
as to ensure that people wouldn't be able to
subscribe each other to RossNet mailing lists
or post notices to RossNet notice boards under false
identities. It was also desirable to enable
RossNet users to be
able to perform privileged operations without having to
repeatedly enter their ID and password. It was clear that
all this was possible using email authentication
and cookies, but that it would require a significant
amount of infrastructure. The Registry was created so as
to avoid the senseless duplication of this infrastructure
in each subweb.
Why should I register?
You don't have to register to surf the RossNet web.
However, you must register if you want to join a mailing
list, post a message to a notice board, use the events web
or perform any other privileged operation in the
Will my profile be treated as confidential?
No. Your profile is public and if someone explicitly
searches for your profile (e.g. using your name) they
will find it. Your profile will also be visible if you
perform certain actions within RossNet such as creating
a public event in the Events Web
or posting to a bulletin
board. However, RossNet is organized so that it would be
difficult for someone to extract the email addresses of
all registered RossNet users. This means that you are
unlikely to find yourself on a non-RossNet mailing list
as a result of registering.
If I register, can I deregister later?
No. However, you can always update your profile. The only
aspect of your profile that you can't alter is your RossNetID.
Deregistration has not been provided, so as to avoid the
implementation difficulties of preventing RossNetIDs from
being recycled, and to ensure that all RossNet users are
held accountable for their actions in the RossNet webspace!
However, it's possible that a deregistration facility will
be provided sometime in the future if these problems are
to privacy aren't they?
All that cookies do is enable a web to recognise that
various different hits on the web over time are coming
from the same computer. They cannot tell the web anything
else about the person using the computer unless the person
themselves supplies the information. By registering as a
RossNet user, you will be attaching your real identity to your
existing RossNet cookie. This will enable the RossNet web to
be seen by the web that created them, other webs won't
be able to access your RossNet cookie or profile. Thus, by
registering as a RossNet user, you are identifying yourself
only to the RossNet web (http://www.ross.net/).
I registered but now the RossNet web thinks I'm unregistered.
There are three common reasons for this. First, if you registered on
one computer and are now using a different computer, then you must
login so as to attach your identity to the second computer as well.
A second possibility is that you have been accidentally logged out
for some reason. Again, logging in is the answer.
A third possibility is that you filled
in the registration form but not the authentication form.
You need to fill out BOTH for the RossNet web to classify you as
I want to access RossNet webs from more than one computer
If you register on one computer and then access this web through a
different computer, you must login on the other computer.
I want to access RossNet webs from a remote computer/kiosk
If you are want to access RossNet from a computer controlled by someone
else, you must login from the on the computer. However, when you
do this, you should select the autologout option so as to
prevent your identity within RossNet after you leave.
I'm sharing my computer with someone else.
Sharing a computer with another RossNet user can
cause some confusion. However, the situation can be easily
managed, either by sharing the same identity, or by having each
person login each time they use RossNet. However, if you
choose the latter course, you must each have different email