Flow/Release planning

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The first release of Flow targets mostly experienced users on WikiProject talk pages. After this first release, we have a lot of potential directions to go. This doc is meant to capture thinking on personas, target namespaces, and feature buckets for post-MVP.

Personas[edit | edit source]

Article talk[edit | edit source]

New users
  • Reader/potential editor who wants to comment on an article.
  • New article creator who has had their article nominated for deletion and is being asked to contest deletion.
  • New editor interested in improving an article or suggesting improvements.
Existing users
  • Existing editor interested in improving an article or suggesting improvements.
  • Existing editor wants to get consensus for major changes to an article.

User talk[edit | edit source]

New users
  • New editor/article creator who has gotten feedback on their contribution from another user.
  • New editor who wants to ask for help and mentoring from experienced editors.
  • New editor wants to request unblock after being blocked.
  • Bots leaving messages for new users.
  • Experienced users leaving barnstars and/or wikilove for new users.
Existing users
  • Existing editor/article creator receiving messages from/discussing content with other users.
  • New page & recent changes patroller delivering welcomes/warnings to new users.
  • Admin blocking disruptive new users or answering unblock requests.
  • Bots leaving messages for experienced users (newsletters, notices, and other workflow messages)
  • Users leaving barnstars and/or wikilove for other experienced users.

Feature buckets[edit | edit source]

Search/browse/filter[edit | edit source]

Granular ways to navigate discussions.

In progress In progress In-board search: I want to search through current and old topics on the board.

planned I want to filter or re-order Flow topics by various criteria, including: "most recently active", "most active", "unsummarized/unresolved", "topics I've participated in", etc

planned Allow topics to categorize a board (as existing templates do)

  • Show topics where I'm mentioned differently
  • Search old page archives from pre-Flow transition, as part of Flow in-board search. I want to hunt for old discussions about the idea/problem that I have, to avoid WP:PEREN (perennial ideas).
  • I can search from the MW search box and get matches for Flow topics, so I can find a Flow board I came across.
  • Search/Browse by date range
  • Interactive and/or timeline view of board history (to see how boards/topics evolved step by step)
  • I want to add #tags to topics, so that they can be seen in context with related topics from other Boards.
  • As a user interested in learning about other users, I want to search for topics and or responses by a user, so that I can see their contributions in one place.

Smart Flow[edit | edit source]

More intuitive, responsive, customized for my preferences, beyond what talk pages can currently support.

YesY Done Show my posts differently, to enable easier scanning of long pages.

In progress In progress Sticky collapse. When I set a preferred view (collapsed, small) I see content in that view until I change it again.

planned Easier permalinking (copy to clipboard, one click to share link in new post).

planned Show read/unread state. I have an indication of when I've seen something vs. when something is new/unread.

Blocked Blocked Requires RfC, input from Platform – Content updates in real time (no need to refresh the page to see new topics/posts), edit conflict avoidance (“user x is editing this post”). As an editor, I want to be able to see that someone else is editing/typing into a topic, so that I can wait until they finish to reply.

Blocked Blocked Requires re-architecting the watchlist Per-topic subscriptions. As an editor, I want to subscribe to individual topics, so that I can keep track of single discussions in very active pages, without being overwhelmed by everything else.

Blocked Blocked Requires input from Legal, re-enabling "real name" field. As someone who is confused by usernames like WOSHFKH89, I want to see those around me with more human-readable names so that I can easily recognize those I interact with most often, and be reminded they are people.

Unprioritized[edit | edit source]

Drafts function
  • As an editor, if I'm interrupted while responding and must leave the conversation, I want to be able to save my partial response, so that I can come back and finish it later.
VE integration
  • As an experienced patroller, I would like to be able to "template" users without relying on exactly the default text of the template (I want to be able to customize a use of a template, at time of use).
  • As a user, I want mentions to autocomplete for me, so I don't have to type the full markup/username of the person I'm mentioning
  • As a user, I want an easy, lightweight way to format my posts, so I can easily link, bold, etc. without knowing wikitext markup
  • As a user who participated in a conversation which I am no longer interested in, I should be able to "mute" a conversation so that I will no longer get notifications which i don't care about. (Without un-watching it entirely)
  • As an article writer, I want maintenance tags (eg. {{clarify}}) to link directly to the topic that discusses the issue. (Ie. utilize the ambox "|discuss=" parameter better)
  • Transclude a topic across multiple boards
  • Sticky topics that always stay at the top of the board
  • As an experienced user using the wikitext interface, I want to use the edit-toolbar, to add markup (bold, strikeout, etc) and complex templates (eg properly formatting a citation template).

Widgets and workflows[edit | edit source]

In progress In progress Thank user

In progress In progress Summarize. As an experienced user, I want to close and summarize topics and posts, so I can make a decision, or end long, heated debates

planned As an Oversighter, I need to have access to suppressing topics and individual elements (comments, usernames) within topics, as well as entire topics, and I need to be able to nuke all instances of those things with as few actions as possible. Oversighters work from page history to make operations.

planned splitting/merging. As an experienced user, I want to split off tangents into separate discussion, so I can keep the focus on one discussion.

planned As a new user, I want to be able to ask for unblock, so I can continue editing productively (and I am more comfortable filling in a form than being asked to generate this request myself).

Unprioritized[edit | edit source]

  • scratchpads. (perhaps in realtime, like etherpad? Main problem to avoid is them turning into "chatrooms")
  • to-do lists. As a new editor who is passionate about hurricane articles, I want to be able to know what other collaborators are currently working to improving hurricane articles so I can take part even though I came in late and feel connected with the editor community within this topic too.
  • warn user.
  • Topic/Header undo. As an experienced user (or admin), I want to be able to undo the most recent change to the content of the header/topic title so when there is vandalism, I don't have to copy/paste the old content.
  • widget interface or workflow toolbar. As a user of Flow, I want to understand that I have more options than just posting, so I can make use of workflows and widgets.
  • quoting. As an experienced user, I want to be able to easily quote parts of earlier discussions in my posts, so I can refer to them in my new post
  • polling and !voting support. As an experienced user, I want to engage in existing polling and !voting processes with greater ease, but retaining the flexibility that we currently have.
  • Reminders. As an editor who has promised "to get back to this in a week", I'd like an easy way to set myself a reminder notification. (orig. request)
  • Newsletter delivery
  • opt new users into receiving notifications for updates to the Signpost (newsletters, notices, etc)
  • deliver some or all of the Signpost to their Flow board or feed

Mobile and tablet[edit | edit source]

Making Flow truly cross-platform (Flow on the Go).

YesY Done Alternatives for rollover-heavy design

planned As a new (mobile) user, I want to be able to read and reply to discussions, so I can stay in the loop across platforms

Blocked Blocked As a user who moves between desktop and mobile, I want my comment drafts sync'd between platforms so I can participate without wasting time. (private user-specific content storage needs to be cleared w/Legal)

Unprioritized[edit | edit source]

  • As a user who has received notifications on desktop and read them I want to see them marked as such no matter the platform, so that I don't have to clear read states per platform, and only see whats new
  • As an existing (mobile) user, I want to see all Flow topics I'm part of on mobile, so I don't have to load each whole page individually (mobile feed)
  • As a user who moves between desktop/laptop/mobile, I want to see things like read and collapse states sync'd between platforms so I can participate without wasting time.

Accessibility, configurability, internationalization[edit | edit source]

In progress In progress As a user with accessibility requirements (bad eyesight, colorblind, unable to use mouse, etc), I still want to be able to view (visually or with the use of a screenreader) and use (both by mouse or keyboard) all of Flow so that I can partake in discussions & their moderation.

In progress In progress As a user with limited eyesight I want to be able to greatly magnify the interface in my browser without elements overlapping, covering each other, or being pushed off the screen because of fixed widths.

In progress In progress As a blind user, I want to be able to read (listen to) and contribute to Flow, with minimal problems.

In progress In progress As a user who has disabled javascript, or has no access to javascript (old browser, corporate restrictions, etc), I still want (all|most) of Flow to work.

In progress In progress As a non-English user, I still want all of the Flow magic work fine in my own language (RTL support, non-latin characters).

planned As a user, I want to use the standard keyboard shortcuts (Wikipedia:Keyboard shortcuts).

Blocked Blocked Requires SUL finalization As a multi-project user I want to see Echo notification get to me no matter what project I'm currently looking at so that I can respond quickly.

Unprioritized[edit | edit source]

  • As an experienced editor, I want to change the default settings for how various things are displayed for me personally. (visual-density, display order, exact vs elapsed timestamps, mouseover effects vs static, etc.)
  • As an experienced user (or admin), I want to be able to configure nesting changes (deeper threading/different visual representations of comment/reply hierarchy) on different kinds of pages, so I can adapt the page for different kinds of discussions.
  • rename/move boards.
  • As a multi-project user, I want to be able to keep track of, and contribute to, discussions on various wikis. (cross-wiki user feed)

Software architecture[edit | edit source]

In progress In progress performance monitoring and improvements

Unprioritized[edit | edit source]

  • switching to ContentHandler to simplify/streamline moderation actions
  • storing data at the topic level