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Requests for comment/Anchor links for lines changed in diffs

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Request for comment (RFC)
Anchor links for lines changed in diffs
Component General
Creation date
Author(s) PiRSquared17
Document status in draft
See Phabricator.

It may be useful to provide anchor links for lines in diffs, but if the diff algorithm changes significantly these links will be broken.


  • The plus and minus signs in a diff (example diff) should be changed to links, or have links added right next to them, which add #line[linenumber] to the URL.
  • The current diff algorithm should be given a code, like "diff1" or "diff3".

(draft... please expand)


Sounds good, even if I think they will be only used by techies. Particularly useful for JS and CSS files. --Ricordisamoa 03:11, 7 March 2014 (UTC)[reply]

  • My thanks to PiRSquared17 for opening this - I filed the original bug. It's a good point about line diff anchors potentially breaking if the diff algorithm changes. I'll copy what I suggested for that over there:
[Links breaking can be avoided if] the anchor URL specifies what kind of diff is in use, and that particular diff algorithms are always kept available.
In that case, [an] example URL... would look something like the following (pretending that our current diff algo is called "diff1"):
A diff without difftype= would always use the latest algorithm, whatever it may be. [I.e., this is current behavior.] Obviously this raises the complexity somewhat; I don't know what the internal policy with regards to diff algorithms is. I would like to imagine that access could still be provided to older ones in the event of changes. Someone who's actually a developer, unlike me, can hopefully shed some light on that.
Scott talk 14:00, 8 March 2014 (UTC)[reply]

I'd strongly recommend including a screenshot or mock-up of what you're proposing here. --MZMcBride (talk) 02:38, 10 March 2014 (UTC)[reply]

@Ricordisamoa, MZMcBride, and Scott: here's a VERY rough mockup: http://pirsquared-dev.wmflabs.org/w/index.php?title=4&diff=26&oldid=25 πr2 (tc) 15:11, 22 April 2014 (UTC)[reply]