It freaks me out to think of anybody being encouraged to have the slightest access to my WP installation.
Then you should *have* a WP installation ;) You can look on the forums here yourself and see that *anyone* on your server could possibly have access to certain areas of your site - whether you are using WordPress or not, actually - simply because of how the majority of servers are set up to allow permissions. Most of WP functions require the server to play "parent" to your site, and if you want certain programs (like WP - among others) to have certain access to things to make them function, then the host usually sets up thier server to act a certain way.(Sorry I'm not better at explaining the technical jargon..I kinda suck at it.) So if someone compromises the server through someone else's site, and gains "parentage" through that, then they are the parent and will have access.
In the end, WP is built in a typical method of how servers are set up. It relies on a lot of trust that your webhost knows what they are doing. Being worried about security is one thing, but to take it to such an extent that you would like people to log in via a completely different interface is another. That's kind of taking it to the extreme, and it makes one wonder why you'd want anything up on the internet at all if you're *that* worried about it. I'm not saying you shouldn't take steps to ensure your security, but to ask WordPress to add on such a level of security as a basic function is quite a bit above and beyond - and still it wouldn't have any more security than you already have with how it's set up now. Double the work with pretty much nothing to gain, really.
"disgruntlement" isn't really the word I was looking for, by the way. It's just the best I can come up with to convey my meaning. Put out? Maybe? I dunno...
(Besides, why would commenters want to see that?)
Because it allows them to see news that's related to WordPress. There's nothing wrong with it. They can't see anything they shouldn't see anyway. They'll only see stuff that's related to them. But again, asking for a totally different interface is a bit odd, I think. It wouldn't offer any extra security - other than obfuscation. Which, as most of us know, is the *worst* way to convey security, because it's totally unreliable.
A registration function that remains within the default page style of the site.
You can *easily* do this yourself - just edit the stylesheet for the admin area. wp-admin/min.css - among others.
- A registration function that allows for custom avatars, like Dan's avatar thingy.
It'll let you do that if you have the plugin for it. I'd say you could use Dan's Avatar Thingy and just cutomize it a bit to allow for commenters if you really wanted to.
If you use a Theme that utlizes the Gravatar system, I believe that will do what you want - since Gravatars is a service that provides avatars to users (who, by the way, log in to the gravatar service), and their info will display on sites that will allow it. So that could solve your issue righ thtere - have them log into the gravatar service, and they don't have to log into your admin area to leave a comment and have those features. (However, viewing their profile and stuff will take people to the gravatar page, not your site)
A profile page (outside WP admin) that enables a commenter to page through his own comments and/or see a list of stories that he's commented on.
Again, I *think* you can do this. I know you can with authors...but I *believe* you can also do it with commenters that are subscribed to your blog. I'd have to look further into it though.
Same with the rest.
Lots of bloggers would love this functionality. Why should every one of them struggle to hack it together?
Because, WordPress is an open source program. Open source does mean it's free, yes. but it also means that it is inly providing basic functionality so that the end users can customize it to their heart's content, and bend it like a gymnast in a porn movie. If you add *too much* functionality at the base, you're gonna run into more problems than solutions. It'll end up turning into the American legal system...started out as a good idea, but now it's just a horrid mess that's so bad now that you can't spill a cup of coffee in your lap and NOT sue the restaurant for your clutziness.
KISS principle. If you need stuff added on, that's what plugins are for, and that's the basis of open source. Add to much to the basics, and you're stepping into dangerous waters.
I'm not knocking anybody's hard work. I'm just saying that this commenter functionality seems really fundamental and important to me.
To *you*. Not to me. Not to my clients who don't use the commenting system at all and completely disable it. If what you're suggested became a fundamental part of WordPress, my job (granted, I'd be paid for the extra time, so woo-hoo!) would become that much more difficult in trying to *remove* it. Granted, you could say mine isn't more important than yours, but until Matt (and the other WP developers) see this is a "majority rules" issue, then it's something that plugins can handle. I would say it's not, because the majority rules out of your favor right now.
Is there a function that enables the admin to moderate registrations, the same as comments can be moderated?
You can also set the default of what "anyone" is when they register (which is the subscriber by default). Then set your "discussion" stuff so that the first time someone comments, you are informed and you must approve it. You can also set it so you are informed any time *anyone* comments, regardless.
You can also use the aformentioned Role Manager Plugin and create your own levels, and what they can or cannot do.