Talk:Notifications

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Special:Notifications does not have a filter for cross-wiki notifications

8
WhatamIdoing (talkcontribs)

Special:Notifications has buttons for "All Read Unread" at the top. But it has no information for cross-wiki notifications. Perhaps that should be added as an option?

JMatazzoni (WMF) (talkcontribs)

Right, as Quiddity points out below, we do have that feature. But you can access a given remote wiki from the Notifications page only when you have unread notifications on that remote wiki. @WhatamIdoing, is that good enough? Or were you wanting something more?

Quiddity (WMF) (talkcontribs)

That's phab:T129366 ("List wikis and pages with unread notifications in the Notification Page left nav") - see task for mockups, and ongoing work. :-)

WhatamIdoing (talkcontribs)

I want access to the "already read" notifications without having to go back to the original wiki.

Jmatazzoni (talkcontribs)

So, doing that systematically and thoroughly—offering links to all the wikis where a user ever had a notification — isn't as simple as it sounds, since the infrastructure for cross-wiki was developed with the idea of bringing unread notifications to the panels. And the resulting list of wikis might be quite long for some of the people who would actually use this. But a cheat might be possible that would, for example, show all the wikis on which you'd had notifications in the last X days.

Still, even that would involve some thinking and work. In our user tests, we didn't see evidence that users have a lot of interest in going back to find old notifications. When asked to detail a time where they'd had to do so, most users answered with a variation on "Ummmm."

Can you perhaps lay out a few common scenarios in which people would have a need to check wikis where they have no new notifications?

WhatamIdoing (talkcontribs)

The scenario that is most important to me is this one: I got pinged when someone copied a message to multiple wikis, and now I need to check those messages (e.g., to see whether anyone replied later). Here's a recent example: Right now, the only ways to find those messages are either to have a particularly good memory (the method I used here), or to check dozens of wikis until I believe that I've found them all (the method I probably should be using, because there might have been four of those discussions rather than three).

Jmatazzoni (talkcontribs)

Just thinking, but what if you had a way to select wikis you wanted to bring up on the page? Like an autocomplete box that would let you mount wikis you want to look at? Might that be a good way to do it, instead of making the system keep track of all your activity? It would be a manual process, but you could stay on the same page.

WhatamIdoing (talkcontribs)

Sure, that would be fine, if I could quickly click through a list of all the options. (Well, in the worst-case scenario, it wouldn't be quick, because there are 800+ of options, but only 200+ that could be pinging me in this account.)

Could it give me a short list of the places I've gotten pings from most recently/most often? Even the top 10 would probably be adequate for most situations. (I do need it to cover more than just different languages of Wikipedia, so the exact approach used in Compact Language Links wouldn't work.)

Reply to "Special:Notifications does not have a filter for cross-wiki notifications"
Summary by Jdforrester (WMF)

There was a bug in how it worked in IE, phab:T142042; this is now fixed.

*Surak* (talkcontribs)

The notifications Project page informs me, "When someone takes an action that affects you on a Wikimedia site, colored badges will appear next to your user name, in the top right corner of any page of that site". I would laove to see this, but - in IE, only a 5x5 cm gray badge overlays the navigation menu

and makes it unusable. E.g., the wrong praragraph ending above results from avoinding the space of that badge, since I cannot continue typing there. And the wrong capitalization was created by the Editor I am forced to use here.

What can I do to get the control back from the Software to me?

~~~~

*Surak* (talkcontribs)

Comparing to Firefox, I can see that the two Little badges on the navbar are displayed ith very large size on top of each other and the text.

Roan Kattouw (WMF) (talkcontribs)

That sounds like a bug in the recent changes to the badge design. Could you upload a screenshot of what the badges look like for you in IE, and tell us which version of IE you're using?

Roan Kattouw (WMF) (talkcontribs)

...never mind, I think I've found it: https://phabricator.wikimedia.org/T142042

Roan Kattouw (WMF) (talkcontribs)

I forgot to say this yesterday: this should be fixed now. Thanks for reporting!

Gryllida (talkcontribs)

FYI an ignore button (ignore a user) for notifications is proposed.

Reply to "Ignoring users in notifications"
Rbirmann (talkcontribs)

Hi all,

We have a corporate wiki running MW 1.26.2 and would like to be able to assign responsibility of keeping certain pages updated to certain team members (users). We use a simple template {{Responsible|username}} to add a small box on the top of the article text saying "This article is maintained by ''username''" followed by a picture of the assigned user.

We are trying to figure out a way of notifying the user whenever a new article is assigned to him by someone else, either by email or any other means.

Is it possible to do this using Echo? In other words, would it be possible to change the Responsible template to notify the user on save?

Any thought will be greatly appreciated.

Thanks in advance.

Trizek (WMF) (talkcontribs)

Hello Rbirmann

At the moment, it is not possible to do that with the current features available with Notifications. You have to develop a new extension in order to send a notification when an article is affected to a user.

At the moment, there is a lot of requests for new notifications. Feel free to add yours!

Reply to "Notification from template"
Rich Farmbrough (talkcontribs)
User:Trizek (WMF) Hm... I like the feature. I suspect that a lot of people will get, as I did when I enabled it, a slew of years old notifications, which I didn't like. May I suggest you limit this to notifications to those left after the change to the default? All the best: Rich Farmbrough, 19:21, 12 May 2016 (UTC).
I might also suggest that 6 hours and 17 minutes is not very much notice. smile All the best: Rich Farmbrough, 19:23, 12 May 2016 (UTC).
Rich Farmbrough (talkcontribs)

Cross posted from en:WP:VP(T) . Rich Farmbrough 19:27, 12 May 2016 (UTC).

Trizek (WMF) (talkcontribs)

I've responded on English Wikipedia.

And concerning the short announcement, it is short because that feature is already widely used and that deployment will not have a massive impact. Or at least, I hope so! ;-)

Quiddity (WMF) (talkcontribs)

Note, the plan to deploy by default was most recently announced in Tech/News on Monday, m:Tech/News/2016/19. The announcement today was just an extra emphasis, partially due to yesterday's uncertainty about whether the deployment train was stalled entirely this week (which was resolved last night). Hope that helps.

Rich Farmbrough (talkcontribs)

I know I should follow Tech News, but I don't. Nor do many people:

https://tools.wmflabs.org/pageviews/#project=meta.wikimedia.org&platform=all-access&agent=user&range=latest-20&pages=Tech/News/2016/19

Rich Farmbrough 21:52, 12 May 2016 (UTC).

Quiddity (WMF) (talkcontribs)

Tech/News doesn't have very many direct pageviews, but it's a newsletter which is delivered to many community and usertalk pages (including VPT) m:Global_message_delivery/Targets/Tech_ambassadors. That's where it is hoped most editors will see it. HTH! (Sidenote, sigs aren't needed in Flow posts. :-)

Rich Farmbrough (talkcontribs)
Sigs have proper time stamps. Rich Farmbrough 21:44, 13 May 2016 (UTC).
Quiddity (WMF) (talkcontribs)

We plan to fix those in Flow! phab:T94648. Thanks though ;-)

Reply to "Making Cross Wiki Default"

More than 2,000 Notifications, will start to be removed

7
Quiddity (WMF) (talkcontribs)

https://gerrit.wikimedia.org/r/#/c/159413/ - This update adds a script to delete any Notifications that are older than the most recent 2,000.

Up until now, they were stored indefinitely, meaning that some users have many thousands of read Notifications adding up in the database. 2,000 was chosen, because it is the number of Notifications that the "mark all as read" button effects.

Quiddity (WMF) (talkcontribs)

This change is mainly intended to reduce a performance bottleneck.

It will also enable future separation (perhaps even filtering) of the different types of Notification. There's a tangential discussion about some feature-requests related to this, at en:WP:VPI#Can we have a color scheme for the notifications count, please, and, if not, perhaps some other color than red? currently.

Ricordisamoa (talkcontribs)

What if I want to preserve important notifications and delete the newest instead?

Quiddity (WMF) (talkcontribs)

For indefinite preservation, I think the best option would probably be to enable the "email" preference for whichever notification types you want to keep records for.

Is there a particular type(s) of notifications that you're thinking of? Giving a few examples almost always helps. :)

Rich Farmbrough (talkcontribs)

I would have thought the number of users with > 2000 edits would be small. If you ware worried about database size, maybe deleted some of those millions of "users" who have never edited or been welcomed.

Quiddity (WMF) (talkcontribs)

This change was just regarding number of echo notifications, not edits.

Rich Farmbrough (talkcontribs)

I would have thought the number of users with > 2000 edits would be small. The number with > 2,000 echoes smaller still.

Rich Farmbrough 02:15, 7 May 2016 (UTC).

Reply to "More than 2,000 Notifications, will start to be removed"
Ymblanter (talkcontribs)

Thanks for the beta-feature, seems very convenient. The problem is that if I open it it shows all notifications as read (which I understand will be fixed later and is fine with me for the time being), but the number of unread notifications remains non-zero unless I actually go and read all of them one by one (this is from my experience in the English Wikipedia). In Wikidata, I get the FLOW talk page messages notifications in the same box, and there is a option to mark all of them as read without going to every page. If I click on that option, it resets the number of messages to zero. It would be great to have the same option for cross-wiki notifications. Thanks.

Ymblanter (talkcontribs)

BTW I am not a regular Mediawiki editor, and I hope the replies will show up on my notification window in other projects.

Roan Kattouw (WMF) (talkcontribs)

There is a "mark all as read" button, but that (deliberately) doesn't mark notifications from other wikis as read. However, you can click the "X" icons to mark individual notifications as read, and you can click the "X" icon next to the cross-wiki message (the "You have messages from 2 other wikis" thing) to mark all notifications from other wikis as read. Hope that helps. We realize "X" isn't the clearest symbol for "mark as read", so we're working on figuring out what to use instead.

And yes, my reply should show up in your notification window on other projects, if you enabled the beta feature there. That's the point of this feature ;)

Ymblanter (talkcontribs)

It did show up in my notifications. X was indeed not clear (and if I click on it the message disappears from the list - I am not sure whether it is good or bad, but the FLOW messages do not disappear if I click on read, and there should probably be a record somewhere), so I would appreciate a clearer visualization, but for the time being it should be fine. Dank je wel Roan.

Roan Kattouw (WMF) (talkcontribs)

Yeah, the fact that they disappear is not that clear. It's consistent, because only unread foreign notifications are listed (so once a notification becomes read, it isn't listed any more), but you're not the first person who's expressed that it confused them.

As for the Flow messages -- the difference there is "local" notifications (notifications from the wiki you're on) vs "foreign" ones (notifications from other wikis).

As for keeping a record somewhere -- there is one, but it will be on the wiki the notification came from. So notifications about this conversation, once you've marked them as read, won't appear on other wikis any more but you can still see them on this wiki (mediawiki.org).

Ymblanter (talkcontribs)

Sure, but for example today I got a notification from Sundanese Wikipedia. I am sure in a week I will not be able to remember what the hell this project was. In this case, it was a usual greeting, I probably accidentally created a user account there, and it is not at all important, but I can imagine that in some situations it could be handy. This is absolutely not the first priority, but if this "global record" could be made I would appreciate it. (May be it comes for free with the global watchlist, I do not know).

Roan Kattouw (WMF) (talkcontribs)

That's a sensible request. We're going to work on improving Special:Notifications next, and something like this could be included there. It may be tricky from a technical perspective, though, because we don't currently have good tracking of read notifications (as opposed to unread ones) across wikis.

Ymblanter (talkcontribs)

Great, thanks.

Reply to "Read notifications"

Feedback request - Notifications badges, and grouping notifications by type

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Summary by Trizek (WMF)
This discussion uses Flow, a new discussion style similar to many internet forums. To add your feedback, scroll to the end of any comment and click "Reply", or type your comment in the box at the end of the thread, where it says Reply to "Feedback requests - Notifications badges, and grouping notifications by type".
Quiddity (WMF) (talkcontribs)

A translatable version is at Notifications/Sorting schemes

The overall task is: Deciding how to sort the notification-types (e.g. "new usertalkpage message", "your edit was reverted", "a page you created has been linked to", "thanks", etc) into 2 groups. The current sorting has some problems. There are 2 more logical alternatives which the team is trying to decide between, and wants your feedback on (your preferences, or concerns). The recommendation is we start off with the "By urgency" grouping.

Please share your feedback at the Phabricator task or here on MediaWiki.org.

Problem to solve

There are currently two Notification fly-out menus, one for Alerts and one for Messages. Different notification types show up on different menus. There have been criticism over time that the scheme for dividing up the messages is unclear and/or inconsistent. These criticisms include the following:

  • Ideas of "urgency" and "requiring follow up" are mixed together, making it difficult to explain or predict why different items are in each fly-out.
  • Currently, "Alert" items are automatically "marked as read" on opening the fly-out. Yet some of these require follow-up or other action to be fully understood (e.g., Mention), so this feature's value is not always clear.
  • Because "Alerts" are perceived as "Urgent", the "Thanks" and other items seem out of place in that fly-out.

Goals

  • To create a scheme that is easy to understand, learn, and predict.
  • To give editors clearer information about their new notifications.
  • To reduce unnecessary distraction from non-urgent notifications.
  • Something that works well for editors who get large (and small) quantities of notifications.
  • Something that scales well, as new (requested) notification types are created.
  • Something that scales well, once cross-wiki notifications are available.

Types

See examples of the most common notification types at File:Notifications Catalog.png.

Options

  1. Current
  2. Urgent versus Non-Urgent
  3. Follow-up versus No follow-up (is a reply needed/likely)

(This table has no annotations, and just shows the most common notification-types. See a more detailed version here at googledocs which also includes a 4th (more complicated) alternative.)

Three Alternative Schemes for Separating Notifications into the 2 Different Fly-Out Menus
#1: CURRENT DIVISION #2: URGENT VS. NON-URGENT #3: FOLLOW-UP REQUIRED VS. NO FOLLOW-UP
View Mockup of this Concept in Action View a Mockup of this Concept In Action
ALERTS MESSAGES ALERTS NOTICES ALERTS FOR FOLLOW UP
welcome edit-user-talk edit-user-talk welcome welcome edit-user-talk
reverted flow-new-topic reverted page-linked page-linked reverted
page-linked flow-post-reply mention edit-thank user-rights mention
mention flow-post-edited user-rights flow-thank edit-thank flow-new-topic
user-rights flow-topic-renamed emailuser flow-new-topic flow-thank flow-post-reply
emailuser flow-mention flow-post-edited flow-post-reply flow-topic-renamed flow-post-edited
edit-thank flow-mention flow-topic-renamed cx-first-translation flow-mention
flow-thank cx-first-translation cx-tenth-translation emailuser
cx-first-translation cx-tenth-translation cx-hundredth-translation
cx-tenth-translation cx-hundredth-translation
cx-hundredth-translation
ANALYSIS ANALYSIS ANALYSIS
PROS CONS PROS CONS PROS CONS
Ideas of Urgency and Follow up are mingled in ways that are inconsistent, making this difficult to explain or predict. Division, while subjective, is clear and will track with some users' expectations (given the red badge color). The division is subjective. Given differing working styles, some users will disagree with assignment of individual items. Division is relatively clear and explicable and tracks with a hypothetical use case ("I'll just check these all quickly now.") Division, while relatively objective, is nonstandard and may be difficult to label simply for users. ("Alerts" vs. "For Follow Up"?)
Because some "Alert" items require follow-up and are not self-contained (e.g., Mention), ability to Mark as Read on open is of questionable value Factor of urgency may provide an aid to triage ("check these first") Ability to automatically mark as read is appropriate and can be preserved. The main shortcoming of this scheme is that it doesn't give users any information about urgency. So, the question is, which would users prefer to be informed about: "I have some items I can dispatch quickly (which this does), or "I have some items that are important" (for which there is no indication).
Because alerts are perceived as Urgent, Thank Yous and other items seem out of place. Fairly close to current scheme We've discussed adding a "pinning" feature to notifications. When we do, that might make this divsion less valuable.
GENERAL POINTS GENERAL POINTS GENERAL POINTS
In this scheme, an effort was made to determine the messages that users would want to know right away vs. those that they may regard as less pressing. Urgency was more or less arrived at by consensus in consultation with various team members. What to label these: "Alerts" works reasonably well, since it does carry a connotation of urgency. But many of the Alerts are arguably Messages as well (e.g., edit-user-talk). Suggest "Notices" as not sounding to deprecatory but connoting a lower level of urgency. The division here is based on the idea that some messages are relatively self-contained and can be fully understood based on the info in the notification, while others require follow up simply to understand what happened. Flow-new-topic is marked as requiring follow up. This is a very common type and not that vital, so a good candidate for automatic Mark as Read. If we use this scheme, we might want to reclassify Flow-new-topic, which is questionable for Requires Follow Up anyway...
The red, "Urgent," badge color for Alerts is recommended for this scheme. In labelling the non-urgent items, we need to be careful that some groups (e.g., Translation) don't perceive that we are labelling their activities less important. Talk, Mention and Revert are the most clicked on notification types according to the graph linked to below. So, segregating them For Follow Up seems to make sense. [1]
Many of the Urgent (Alert) items require follow-up (e.g., edit-user-talk), so use of automatic Mark as Read is not recommended. Since urgency is not the dividing line, would recommend not using red for Alerts.
Whatamidoing (WMF) (talkcontribs)
This discussion uses Flow, a new discussion style similar to many internet forums. To add your feedback, scroll to the end of any comment and click "Reply", or type your comment in the box at the end of the thread, where it says Reply to "Feedback requests - Notifications badges, and grouping notifications by type".
Trizek (WMF) (talkcontribs)

@Whatamidoing (WMF), I've copied this banner on the topic summary on the top of this conversation.

Jmorgan (WMF) (talkcontribs)

Remind me: is the currently implemented sorting solution "reverse chronological order by date/time"?

Quiddity (WMF) (talkcontribs)

@Jmorgan (WMF) within each of the 2 panels/flyouts, yes, that is the order that old read-notifications are displayed in.

However, in the 2nd ("Messages") flyout, unread-notifications are kept at the top. That is one of the factors (i.e. should the "Alerts" flyout continue to "mark all as read" as soon as we open it?) in this overall bigger question, of how we divide the notification-types, between each of the 2 panels.

Jmorgan (WMF) (talkcontribs)

Thanks, I understand a little better now @Quiddity (WMF). 'nother question: how do you determine what is an "alert" vs. a "notice" (or an "alert" vs "for follow-up"? I ask because (to take one example), "edit-thank" appears as an Notice in option #1, but an "Alert" in option #2.

Reply to "Feedback request - Notifications badges, and grouping notifications by type"

Update about on-going work on Notifications, especially cross-wiki notifications

1
Quiddity (WMF) (talkcontribs)

Hi, this is an update on the work we in the Collaboration team are doing. Our focus is on cross-wiki notifications and other back-end improvements to that system. Our long-term goals are to make various improvements to the Notification system.

Notifications are at the core of many different on-wiki activities. Making notifications easy to find and use can help those processes. We are focusing our immediate plans on supporting cross-wiki notifications. These will help editors stay informed about the changes they care about on every Wikimedia project on which they work. This is especially important for the editors who work on more than one wiki. Examples include if you upload to Commons, curate on Wikidata, or edit in two or more languages.

The team has spent the last few weeks researching the existing and proposed features. This has included examining existing tools such as Crosswatch. We've been considering the problems of:

  • technical performance (scaling the requests across 800+ wikis),
  • user preferences (both existing and desired),
  • user interface design possibilities (how it should work),
  • how to release an initial, user-testable version for feedback and improvement, and
  • how to measure the impact of the project (reducing the time it takes to process a notification).

We are also doing user research via 1-on-1 interviews. In these we ask active editors about their current notification usage and pain-points. Using a prototype we are evolving, we get feedback on directions to take the design.

Details and further reading

You can read more about the technical details at: Requests for comment/Cross-wiki notifications.

Some of the new backend improvements to Echo: phab:T107823 ("Rewrite EchoNotificationFormatter") and linked tasks.

User preference options are:

User interface design possibilities cover several questions. For example, how should cross-wiki notifications look within the pop-up? How and when should we add enhancements to the Special:Notifications page to filter things? We are drafting and discussing these in:

  • phab:T114357 (Clarifications to the currently confusing "primary/secondary" link, and proposed future enhancements)
  • phab:T114356 (Bundled notifications)
  • phab:T115264 (Controlling notification 'volume' based on the type or location)
  • phab:T115845 (Clearer use of the notification badges (colored number in personal toolbar))
  • phab:T115316 (Better organisation of the Special:Notifications page)

Note: Most of these are not part of the cross-wiki notifications feature. We won't for sure roll all these out together with the main change.

We started user research at phab:T114086 and it continues at phab:T116741 . (Note: You can sign-up as a volunteer at https://wikimedia.org/research .)

A user-testable release is still just in planning. We decided on a Beta Feature on each wiki as the most scalable and least confusing of all the do-able options. Read our plans in phab:T114237 ("Present cross-wiki notifications as a beta feature to users"). This will help users to try the feature anytime, disabling it if it interferes with their work in some context, and easily suggest how the tool could be improved.

There is no system for users having or setting cross-wiki preferences. Waiting to building this would take a long time. For now, we plan to let you enable the Beta Feature at each wiki on which you want to test it. This will let you have a small-scale Beta Feature that you can all try out. We will be able to discover bugs, edge-cases, iterate more, and get even more feedback. Later, when we know what features you need, we can build such a cross-wiki preferences system (including the task linked above).

Whilst you wait, we would love to hear your feedback on the above. What comments, what design ideas, and what technical concerns do you have? Please tell us on the linked tasks if you can.

I'll send further updates, when the planned Beta Feature is about to be ready.

On behalf of the Collaboration team, thank you to everyone who has given your help already.

Reply to "Update about on-going work on Notifications, especially cross-wiki notifications"
Subfader (talkcontribs)

Remove "new topics" notification if they get deleted

Quiddity (WMF) (talkcontribs)

This task is tracked at Phab:T93673

Reply to "Don't notify me about deleted topics"