We have run into a case, for at least a couple of users, where they cannot be assigned as component watchers. What appears to be happening is:
The problem is, even though we specify "johndoe" as a watcher, we get "johndoe-local". It seems as if the lookup is based on the old name of the user, not the new account name.
We tried disabling the johndoe-local account. It still is the one that gets added as a watcher - even though it doesn't exist.
We tried deleting the johndoe-local account. It still is the one that gets added as a watcher - even though it doesn't exist.
It isn't practical to change the name of the LDAP account since this is the corporate account for the user, used everywhere, and following corporate naming standard.
Someone from Atlassian was already kind enough to take a look a the problem, and it seems to be a plugin bug. See https://bitbucket.org/rbarham/jira-component-watcher-plugin/issue/15/not-handling-renamed-and-deleted-users
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