Help talk:Two Column Edit Conflict View

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Feedback and discussion page for the Two Column Edit Conflict View.

Update: We completely revised the interface for this feature based on user feedback and user test.

Report a new bug in Phabricator

Tzafrir (talkcontribs)

I found that this option never worked for me. The only time I encountered conflicts was when writing something in a discussion page and have someone write something before I post my own.

In that case I would like to have the current version and add my own. But the interface seems to force me to choose between one of them.

What I normally do is go back, copy my text additions, and re-edit the page. The conflicts page merely gets in my way, as in the original interface I could have at least (in most cases) copied and edited the text within it.

Am I missing something?

Lea Voget (WMDE) (talkcontribs)

Hello @Tzafrir, thanks for your feedback!

If you want to keep both versions with the new interface, what I suggest you to do is: Copy e.g. your version, and then select the other person's version. You find a small edit pen in the corner of the other person's text field (e.g. see the sceenshots here). If you click that, you can paste your version underneath. When you save, this new version will be published.

Just in case you are wondering, why we did notdesign the feature with specifically this use case in mind: Although many experienced editors encounter edit conflicts the same way as you, about half of edit conflicts actually appear in the main namespace, e.g. on article pages., and all other namespaces make up at most 1/4 of the main namespace conflict volume.

Lucasbosch (talkcontribs)

I have to agree with Tzafrir. All the edit conflicts I'm encountering are no conflicts at all, it's annoying not having the option to simply append your own comment to the already existing comment, every time I have to skip the edit conflict page to paste it in manually. This feature doesn't help me at all.

JFG (talkcontribs)

+1 on this report. The tool should be smart enough to do the right thing, or at least offer a single-clik "accept both changes and edit further" when writing in a threaded discussion on a talk page. I've been slowed down many times by this.

ScottDavis (talkcontribs)

I have also encountered this issue on talk pages. Would it be possible to have some kind of "keep both" (enhancement request to choose the order) when the conflict is on a talk or Wikipedia page, and the conflicting edits consist only of the addition of full paragraphs which happen to be in the same place?

Ziko (talkcontribs)

I agree. This feature does not help me at all. Copy and paste my own text, and the insert it into the most recent version, that is something I can to without the feature anyway. What is the problem the feature is supposed to help me with?

Reply to "Selecting both"
Alsee (talkcontribs)

The preview was faulty. My ~~~~ wasn't expanded as a signature. I'm just speculating, but I suspect this probably indicates an issue with all pre-save-transforms.

Thiemo Kreuz (WMDE) (talkcontribs)

Thanks a lot for reporting this. I can confirm the issue and created phab:T233952 to keep track of it.

Reply to "Preview error"

False conflict

Summary by Michael Schönitzer (WMDE)

Known bug: Phab:T222805

Rich Farmbrough (talkcontribs)

I mostly seem to get conflicts with old edits, or with myself (expansion of sig,perhaps).

Rich Farmbrough 10:28, 18 August 2019 (UTC)

Michael Schönitzer (WMDE) (talkcontribs)

Thank you for the feedback. This bug is known and we are currently investigating it's origin, follow T222805 for updates.

Reply to "False conflict"

Need an "accept all my changes" button

JFG (talkcontribs)

I just made complex edits that took a very long time to prepare, and therefore I applied the changes in one section of the article, then in another. Between my edits to the first section and my edits to the second one, a bot had restored some citations, which I had planned to take care of in my second edit. Unfortunately, I had to manually check every single box to override bot changes, about 60 of them. This tool absolutely needs a checkbox at the top that allows an editor to apply all changes in the right-hand version. Trust editors not to abuse this.

This is not an isolated incident, it happens to me often, including when reverting vandalism. This time was very time-consuming though, so I took the trouble to file a report here. Hope this helps.

Michael Schönitzer (WMDE) (talkcontribs)

Thanks for the input! I created a Ticket for it, so that our team can take a look at it.

Reply to "Need an "accept all my changes" button"

Edit conflict view without an edit conflict

Summary by Michael Schönitzer (WMDE)

Thanks for creating a ticket. I close this thread, our engineers will look into the ticket.

Geraki (talkcontribs)

Several times I was put in the edit confilct view while there could be no conflict f.e. last edit by myself an hour ago.

Michael Schönitzer (WMDE) (talkcontribs)

Hi, can you give us links to edits where this happened?

Geraki (talkcontribs) (talkcontribs)

This appears to have just happened to me. Merge tool triggered, indicating there was an edit just now that conflicted with my current edit, however, the tool pulled a January 26 edit in the left column, with the right column indicating the only differences are my new edits, and no indication of other more recent changes.

Jan 26 edit:

My edit:

I was not logged in when I did my initial edit, before publish, I logged in (which is typical, since I sometimes forget to login until after I've already typed up my edit). I did not use the preview button.

The Merge tool triggered after pressing publish. I then opened a new window to type up this report. I opened the original page to grab some edit-stamp links and the history indicates that my new changes have already been committed. I never deployed my publish from the Merge tool page.

edit: that was weird. mediawiki created an IP-address home-page for me while I was logged in on mediawiki. I already had a userpage but it didn't seem to see it.

Broccoli and Coffee (talkcontribs)

Is there any update about this? I'm getting this fairly often while making only category edits with HotCat. Not every time, but a good percentage.

Michael Schönitzer (WMDE) (talkcontribs)

Hey, can you please give us more information about this issue in the Phabrikator-ticket: phab:T225656. Links to examples or anything else, that might help us to pinpoint to when this error occurs?

Reply to "Edit conflict view without an edit conflict"
Wugapodes (talkcontribs)

I just got this for the first time and was happy to see a new merge tool. It took me a long time to notice the blue tutorial dots, and at first I thought it was something on my screen before I realized I was supposed to click on it. Overall it looks great, and resolving the conflict was pretty intuitive. Thanks for all the work on this.

Reply to "Good surprise"


2 (talkcontribs)


Thiemo Kreuz (WMDE) (talkcontribs)

I believe the question is if it's possible to use an older version of the tool. Unfortunately I'm not sure what "older version" you are referring to? As of now you can turn the "Two column edit conflict" feature off in your Beta preferences. This brings back the original conflict resolution interface as it always was. There was also an earlier prototype we tested. This one did not performed well and is gone. Sorry.

Reply to "有没有办法恢复到以前版本的工具?这"
IKhitron (talkcontribs)

Hello. Is there a way to return to previous version of the tool, a couple of weeks ago? It was wonderful. I can't even understand the current one, but trying to use all the buttons does not help to solve conflicts. If it's impossible, I'll remove it at all. Thank you.

Michael Schönitzer (WMDE) (talkcontribs)

Hi, sorry to hear that. Maybe you can describe us more what your problems with the new interface are, so that we can try to improve it and it's documentation?

IKhitron (talkcontribs)

Thank you for your answer. No problem. I do not know what to do to resolve the conflict. I see too many buttons. I can't understand what each one is for. I can't find how to edit the current version so I could paste my changes. And so on.

Michael Schönitzer (WMDE) (talkcontribs)

Hi, for our better understanding: did you see/use the help-button? If so, did the help dialogs helped?

IKhitron (talkcontribs)

One, the previous version was extremally intuitive, so I did not need any help. And two, no, I did not.

Natureium (talkcontribs)

I second this. The new version is much more difficult to use.

IKhitron (talkcontribs)

I had a conflict again. Found the help link, read the help. Now I know what did you want it to be. And yes, it is much more harder to use. So my question, again, is there a way to return to the previous version on my account, or I'll just turn the tool off? Thank you.

Michael Schönitzer (WMDE) (talkcontribs)

There is unfortunately no way to switch to the previous version.

IKhitron (talkcontribs)


Johanna Strodt (WMDE) (talkcontribs)

Hi @IKhitron and @Natureium! The interface you'd like to return to is this version here, right?

It would help us if you could describe a bit what this interface did well that you are missing in the new one. If you can spare a few minutes to describe this, this would be much appreciated.



IKhitron (talkcontribs)

Yes, it is. Well, it is very unconvenient and very unintuitive. I believe it's possible to solve a conflict using the new version, and it's possible to remember how to do it, but it is not worth. The first version was millions better than the regular wikitool, and in the same time the second version is much worse than the regular one. If I can't use the first version, I use the regular one. I could use the second one if it was the only existing. But if the regular wikitool is much better - why would I not use it? I even did not find a window in the second version with the text that will be published, just parts of it splitten on different windows. Hope it helps.

Johanna Strodt (WMDE) (talkcontribs)

@IKhitron Thanks for clarifying which versions you're talking about. Trying to get to the bottom of the problem, would you say the new version is inconvenient and unintuitive mainly because you don't see the whole text that will be published? If it's not "just" about that, could you describe a bit more? I know this has turned into a long thread, but your feedback could really help us here. So if you have the time, it would be of much help if you could describe where you have trouble and why (E.g. "I've just run into an edit conflict and I don't know how to select the changes I made before" or "I've made all the changes I want to keep, but I can't see the whole text that will be published").

Also, do you usually run into edit conflicts on talk pages or in articles?



IKhitron (talkcontribs)
  1. It's not "just" that, there are other issues.
  2. I have some time, but I'm not sure I can describe it clearly better. It's just the whole experience, and it isn't usual for me, because regularly I like new features and use them with pleasure.
  3. Both.

Maybe I can help you other way, Johanna. If it does not bother you, could you please describe me, in a nutshell, what points in the second version should make it better than the first one, and what problems does thay solve? If you could, I can give my feedback on each point, I think. Thank you very much.

Johanna Strodt (WMDE) (talkcontribs)
IKhitron (talkcontribs)

Great, thanks! Well:

  1. It is hard to find own changes -> It was easy to me in the first version and hard to impossible in the second one.
  2. It is not clear which column is going to be saved so it is hard to figure out which version I should edit -> It was clear in the first version and absolutely impossible in the second one.
  3. It should be easier to merge conflicting changes -> I am not sure if it's about the whole process or the one specific point. If whole process, it's much harder now. If the specific point, it's the same as in the first version.
  4. The selection of the base version is too complicated -> It was simple in the first version, and very frustrating in the second one.
Johanna Strodt (WMDE) (talkcontribs)

@IKhitron Thank you for this. I'll take your feedback back to the rest of the team, and we might get in touch again if we have more questions.

Reply to "Previous version"
Alsee (talkcontribs)

I've successfully used the previous version of the edit conflict tool quite a few times, however the new version completely failed.

First, it took me uncomfortably long to find and grab a copy of the text I was trying to add. Perhaps it's just because I was seeing the new version for the first time, but it was an unpleasant start.

Next, I was severely puzzled that there was no live edit-box anywhere. I after a bit of effort I did manage to activate the old-text as an edit area and add my own text. I am going to be cautious in commenting because it's my first time seeing the new version, but I have a vague but strong feeling that that this design is very wrong somehow. It's hard to give more specific feedback because the system-as-a-whole failed completely.

After modifying the old-text-area to include my new comment, my natural next steps would be (1) preview and (2) a diff-check, prior to saving. Except the preview button didn't work! Repeated clicks on Preview did nothing. I was unable to get to diff either.

Unable to progress, I went back and tried to review and absorb the conflict-system as a whole, and see if maybe I was missing something. I can pretty much see what you were aiming for, but when I tried the system for expanding/collapsing sections(?) it was either broken or not doing what I expected. I couldn't find any way to get the preview button to work. Somehow the whole design around activating the edit areas felt very wrong.

I was never able to resolve the edit conflict. If I can't go back to the previous version of the tool, I'll have to shut off the Beta-preferences and go back to the "native" conflict resolution system.

This may be a strange comment, but I get this weird feeling that new design went wrong because someone from the VisualEditor or Flow team showed up to take charge.

Alsee (talkcontribs)

I see that Phab task T216837 exists to address the non-working preview button. My other impressions of the system should still be reviewed, under the caveat that it's difficult to evaluate the design when it's impossible to complete the process.

Tigerzeng (talkcontribs)

Same issue in previewing and diff-check.

Michael Schönitzer (WMDE) (talkcontribs)

Thank you for your input (it is very much appreciated and needed) and sorry for the delayed answer. The problem with the broken preview and diff buttons it known and will be fixed. About the general experience with the new version: We tested both versions with various users of different backgrounds. And while all solutions have there pros and cons and did confuse some users, the new version was understood better by most people and resulted in more conflicts being successfully resolved. We therefore decided for the new version and try to improve it further to be more easily understood and better to use.

Reply to "Failure with the new version"
Summary by Michael Schönitzer (WMDE)

On our radar.

Atsme (talkcontribs)

Scenario: user or article TP discussion - click on save comment...edit conflict window appears...choose my text to add, thinking it will be added either above or below the conflicted text. Instead, it deletes the conflicted text and adds mine in its place. Why isn’t it simply added above or below the conflicted text instead of deleting one or the other? The tool doesn’t resolve the conflict, it creates one. ~~~~

Michael Schönitzer (WMDE) (talkcontribs)

Hi, thanks for the input. The conflict resolution algorithms can't (yet) detect when two answers have been added independently, since it's working paragraph-wise not linewise. Therefore the conflict resolution pages is shown. The current work-flow would be to merge the two versions by selecting one and copying the other additions to it. There is already a ticket for improving this T213270 – I added a link to your input.