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The Collaboration team has enabled Flow on this talk page.

Previous feedback is on Talk:Flow Portal/Archive2 (using old Liquid Threads), and on our labs server.

Whatamidoing (WMF) (talkcontribs)

I don't really like the Echo notifications at all for the fact that someone created a new discussion on a page that I'm watching. (Why can't I have an inbox/new messages/feed yet?)

However, I really dislike the little 'x' in the notification. What it seems to do is mark that message as being read, but it feels like I'll be removing the page or discussion from my watchlist and/or Echo notifications list.

Reply to "I don't like the Echo notifications"

No indication of topic length in the ToC

Diego Moya (talkcontribs)

The new Table of Contents, combined with the lack of page structure brought by infinite scrolling, cause a loss of intuition about the relative length of discussions. Old talk pages give an spatial indication of the size of topics (using the number of sub-sections and the amount of scrolling in the scrollbar) which is now lost, making it hard to find the most lively topics - everything looks the same in the new ToC.

You could add some secondary notation to convey similar information. The most obvious is adding the number of replies to the right of the topic title at the ToC. There could also be some visual cues, giving more weight to longer threads - for example, adding color to topics with >5 comments, and bold typeface to topics with >20 comments or several indentation levels.

He7d3r (talkcontribs)

Or... the menu which currently shows "Recently active topics" could have more options, one of them to sort the topics by the number of replies, and other by the sum of the length (bytes) of the replies.

Reply to "No indication of topic length in the ToC"
Christian75 (talkcontribs)

When I get a notification I go to the page. Last time was (guess the topic), and without history its diffucult to find the new post (it will be imposible in the future when the topics gets hugh)

Сунприат (talkcontribs)

New posts are marked with a blue line on the left

Christian75 (talkcontribs)

Ok, thanks :-)

Christian75 (talkcontribs)

So the link I posted shows last time I checked Mediawiki, because there are four new posts... (I think you can see it too)

Diego Moya (talkcontribs)

It would be great to have a "next unread" function to navigate forward and backward between highlighted comments with a keypress or toolbar button, to quickly skip past everything you've already seen.

Reply to "notifications and finding new"
Jokes Free4Me (talkcontribs)
  • linking to topics produces redlinks
  • no reply-level history (that i could find)
  • inserting a link makes the text input blue (as if it will be part of the link)... until you press Enter -- and then, the blue text gets cut off at the first space or hyphen
    • very limited pipe-linking -- if you want to change the whole text of the link, you better write the replacement first and then delete the target page's title, or you'll have to re-insert the link. (unless you use the button or the Ctrl+K shortcut)
      • cannot undo an "add link" action
  • doesn't accept all wikisyntax
    • no signature support
    • no multi-level indenting (that i could find) -- unless for lists
    • limited (and non-intuitive) multi-level lists (cannot mix them, repeated indents and unindents create blank items unnecessarily, up and down arrows skip the no-text entries, when those are probably the ones needing more input) -- theUI should also add buttons for these actions instead of just relying on TABs and Shift+TABs.
    • cannot unindent after the colon got replaced by a blockquote... Using backspace for the below paragraph makes it part of this list item, and then it can't be moved out of the list unless via cut-and-paste.
Unintended indent... cannot be undone (unless via cut-and-paste again).

There probably are other issues too, but i'm done testing for now.

He7d3r (talkcontribs)

See these tasks:

  • T94773 - MediaWiki colors links to some existing Flow topics as red
  • T90055 - Changing the displayed name, in Flow (talkcontribs)

Most of those wikitext issues are VE. The no signature support is intended. You don't need to sign in flow.

Jokes Free4Me (talkcontribs)

Okay, then the MOST IMPORTANT problem with Flow is that it uses Visual Editor.

Also, the fact that i don't need something is yourthe devs' unilateral decision. The fact remains that some users want to use it, and it's been decided for them that they shouldn't. (talkcontribs)

Flow uses VE as an option (and not even as the default). You don't have to use it, just like you don't have to use it for normal editing.

Signing doesn't make any sense in flow; your posts are already automatically "signed". Having to write a signature manually is a relic from not having a discussion system and by not supporting the signature wikitext, it helps get people out of the habit of having to do it. Having special wikitext which is substituted with your signature is not a valid need. If for some bizarre reason you do want to write your signature in arbitrary locations, you can do so by writing it manually.

What is a valid need regarding signatures is the ability to customize them. Seems like unnecessary clutter to me, just like having avatars, but valid nonetheless.

Jokes Free4Me (talkcontribs)

Okay, i'll remove the VE-related stuff. Here's the remaining list:

  • linking to topics produces redlinks
  • no reply-level history (that i could find)
  • doesn't accept all wikisyntax
  • (noticed a new one) ULs and OLs are not using the same indent.

Posts are indeed automatically signed, at first. How about edits to posts? And who ever said anything about "having to write a signature"? We just want to be allowed to do it. And doing it manually doesn't cut it, since timestamps cannot be added manually.

PS Does the fact that after a preview (of a long post) the scroll-bar disappears (which disables the scroll-via-mouse-wheel) relate to Visual Editor or to Flow? I'd be inclined to say the latter... Ditto for the preview mode isn't WYSIWYG for when multi-level indents "reset" to "Level 0". (talkcontribs)

And when you edit a post, the timestamp is updated automatically. What else would you want to change when you edit your signature?

Of course timestamps can be added manually, you can write whatever text you like here. Is it convenient? No. But it's really doesn't make sense as a feature. When would you want to do it? At most, you could argue you want the five tilde syntax to work to allow easily writing a timestamp anywhere. But the 3 and 4 tilde syntax aren't relevant in flow.

Jokes Free4Me (talkcontribs)

That's exactly the problem: it updates the whole post to the new timestamp, when there are quite a number of cases when the post will be clearly left in a multi-part state, and currently there's no indication about when were those parts written. Especially if a second user edits a post, and clearly keeps their changes separate from the original user's content. (I'm sure i've seen a great example of this somewhere before, but can't find it right now)

And the 3 and 4 tilde syntax will become irrelevant only after the deployment of T90055 - Changing the displayed name, in Flow (if it manages to get to that point -- there are still some unclear bits about it). So, presently, your statement isn't accurate. Also, of course the five tilde suntax should work. Why shouldn't it?

He7d3r (talkcontribs)

I would just reply to the comment instead of editting it if I wanted a comment to have a new timestamp. No need for multiple timestamps for a single (edited) comment.

Jokes Free4Me (talkcontribs)

New bummers:

  • all those stupid TABS your parser/JS/whaever adds each time a reply is edited, mess up the diff...
  • Having a topic link for each entry on the topic's history page is lazy.
  • Having no way to compare non-successive revisions is a PITA.
He7d3r (talkcontribs)

The TABs are a known issue, which is already fixed on beta

Reply to "Problems with Flow"

Are you testing this on a LIVE server?!

Jokes Free4Me (talkcontribs)

Jokes Free4Me (talkcontribs)

Hmmm... "File usage: There are no pages that link to this file.", really? Well, let's link then: File:Unprintable chars now visible.png. :-B

Reply to "Are you testing this on a LIVE server?!"

What wikisyntax is allowed here (and why not)?

Sänger (talkcontribs)

I tested over in the sandbox some wiki-formating, as signing with tildes was impossible in the thread (now) just below.

Some things are possible, some get automagically nowiki-tags around them. All gets weird once you edit, as this stupid software inserts tabs or such at the beginning some lines (it's already in some phab afaik, why this simple task is still not solved is beyond comprehension).

Ah, and one other thing: There is a link called "Vorschau" (Preview) beneath this box (yes, I don't use VE but the normal editor, without any buttons), but it doesn't really gets me to a preview, it just switches to VE, that's something completely different.

He7d3r (talkcontribs)

phab:T93851 is solved on beta.

He7d3r (talkcontribs)

WTF? During the VisualEditor preview the "is solved on beta" was displayed as if it were part of the link. I choose to be lazy and not have the trouble of fixing it, then I saved my reply and... BAM! the text was not part of the link anymore... Who understands that? o.O (Is reading minds a new feature of VE? If so it could really read my mind in a few more interesting cases...)

Reply to "What wikisyntax is allowed here (and why not)?"
תומר א. (talkcontribs)


My user name is in Hebrew, since is my main project. I changed my signature to an English one in all the other wikis I'm working on. Will this be supported in flow, or will only my user name be displayed?

תומר א. (talkcontribs)

I guess it's the latter. Can anyone comment whether this is going to be fixed?

Sänger (talkcontribs)

Hi תומר א., I think they think of this as a feature, not a bug ;)
I can't even say how to read those Hebrew letters, I'm only capable of Latin and Cyrillic, so I had to copy'n'paste it.
I'll try three tildes for a sig, let's see: ~~~~
And some useless software bug introduced nowiki-tags, it didn't help.

תומר א. (talkcontribs)

Well, IIRC's policy requires users with non-latin names to have a signaure in latin letters. Good luck pushing 'Flow' there.

Jokes Free4Me (talkcontribs)

As He7d3r posted below, there's phab:T90055 ([Spike] Changing the displayed name, in Flow) that they're supposedly working on.

תומר א. (talkcontribs)

Thanks for the answer.

Reply to "Non-latin user names"
Amire80 (talkcontribs)

Did anybody consider having subtopics in Flow conversations? On the classic talk pages the topic is usualy denoted using == and the subtopics using ===, ====, and so on. Does Flow offer solutions to the workflows that need it? For example: Policy change proposition, opinions for, opinions against, misc discussion.

SPage (WMF) (talkcontribs)

Here's a subtopic

So runs of '=='s to format heading levels works.

But maybe you want to have subpages (that by default aren't Flow boards) if you're trying to make structured wiki pages.

Here's a deeper subtopic

But presumably someone trying to respond to this one section would get frustrated. They could use VE to copy and paste and italicize the original text. Sort of like trying to reply to an e-mail message by selective quoting.

FWIW my biased suggestion is to make "Quote the selection in a new reply" and "Create a new topic from the selection" very easy, kind of how Phabricator's 'Quote' generates a link back like this:

>>! In T94279#1160023, @SomeUser wrote:
> (Their text)

However, my idea doesn't have much traction :)

We can even go big with H1

A Flow post allows most wiki markup, even though some doesn't make sense.

Jokes Free4Me (talkcontribs)

Actually, that's the wrong hierarchy: subtopics in the usual wiki sense allow multiple replies within them, it's not that a long reply needs splitting up into parts.

Though you're on the right track with that "Create a new topic from the selection". Except: does it leave a notice in the original thread about the new one? Can the new one be embedded in the old one, e.g. in an iframe?

Reply to "Subtopics"
Amire80 (talkcontribs)

Did anybody consider locking the topic automatically after summarizing? It makes sense to me that the two actions should go together.

תומר א. (talkcontribs)

Or at least indicate somehow that the topic has been summarized.

He7d3r (talkcontribs)

See also phab:T95174#1183074]]

He7d3r (talkcontribs)

Meh.. I'm stopping fixing the mess VE is doing with my messages. Sorry for that.

Reply to "Locking and summarizing"
Сунприат (talkcontribs)

When a user places a post he is automatically subscribed to the topic.

Will there be for this setting as were Preferences/Watchlist/[ ]"Add pages and files I edit to my watchlist"?

Can Flow provide Echo notification not on the topic, but for every action "reply to" to His post? Or even subscribe to a separate branch in topic?

DannyH (WMF) (talkcontribs)

We're going to be doing more work coming up to make notifications more sophisticated. I haven't seen any examples yet where there's a separate branch that's interesting enough to subscribe to separately -- can you show me one where that would be helpful?

Jokes Free4Me (talkcontribs)

@DannyH (WMF): here's a random example: in this discussion, Risker might have wanted to subscribe only to the WMF tangent, and not the moratorium-related discussion.

Reply to "Automatic subscription"