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What is Gather?
- Gather is a feature for logged in users who access the english Wikipedia on mobile. It enables these users to make and share lists of articles. If the feature is expanded to other projects, it could be used to create collections of images or other wiki elements.
Can you elaborate more?
- Here is an example: through Gather, you will be able to make a list of your favorite 70s rock bands, give it a name, and share it with others. Another example might be a professor sharing a list of important historical figures that their students should read about.
What is the point? Whom is this for?
- The point is to be able to share content differently to help others find interesting articles and to help a user revisit articles. This is intended to be a useful feature for users who spend a lot of time on the mobile site, browsing from one article to the other. It is good for bookmarking, browsing, and sharing.
So the Extension is called Gather, while the feature is promoted as Collections?
- Collections scored far better in our readers survey than the short list of other names: Stack, Boards, Sets and Collections. So, we decided to change the name. We are aware that this will cause some confusion for those who work with the current Collection extension, but felt that the improved clarity from using this name for our millions of readers outweighed the awkwardness created. Kindly check survey results here
Will you be using the watchlist star for Gather lists as well?
- For beta, yes. We understand that this might be confusing. However, we want to make sure we create an elegant alternative. It will be easier to iterate and build upon users' reactions to the feature in beta.
How are lists moderated?
- For beta, which is expected to be 2K lists per month, all created lists will be logged publicly, at Special:GatherLists. Extension:AbuseFilter will scan created list names. Admins have the right to hide/unhide a list if issues are flagged. Gather creates collections of articles that public, labelled, a kind of content that already exists such as user maintained books.
Can anon users use Gather?
- Gather lists can be read by anyone without logging in, but users must be logged in to create a list. This can however change based on how the feature develops.
Can anon users watch created lists?
- A log of created lists will be made available to those interested, with links to each list.
How are users going to know that the feature exists? Are all lists made public? How many lists can I make?
- There will be a pop up message notifying users that they can create lists of articles, all lists are made public and users will be notified about that too.
Can I edit or build on someone else's list?
- This won't be ready as we deploy beta, but we hope to make it available soon. We understand that Wikifying lists is important, and will bring new interesting uses of the feature.
Why is Gather not part of Extension:MobileFrontend? And why build a new extension if Extension:Collection exists?
- Extension:Collection (books) was designed by Pediapress, with a focus on postscripts and PDF generation. Deciding to build on Extension:Collections means overloading it with what it is not intended for; furthermore, it complicates scaling of Gather afterwards. Regarding scaling, this is one reason why Gather only links to Extension:MobileFrontend and isn't part of it.
What is the roadmap?
- We are expecting to launch beta by the end of March, it will run for ~3 months, then we apply the lessons learned to a full release afterwards.
Gather seems to be tangent to watchlists and functionalities that desktop users have been asking for in watchlists for over a decade, why is this mobile exclusive?
- Good question! Though user needs on mobile do not identically meet user needs on desktop, through Gather, we hope to extract lessons and maybe even code that can help with adding more features to watchlists on desktop. In addition, the feature in its current mobile orientation, could still be used to help desktop uses of WP. It all depends on how users use the feature. Gather is built to work on desktop as well. Due to ongoing UX standardisation efforts which ports existing code to OOjs UI, it currently depends on Extension:MobileFrontend to make use of frontend code. Hopefully this will only be a short term measure. Wikimedia Hackathon 2015 will have a session on watchlists possibilities as a starting point.