Talk:Talk pages consultation 2019/Tools in use

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Tgr (talkcontribs)

At the risk of being somewhat off-topic (there really should be a "tools other communities use" page but as far as I can see it does not exist yet), someone recently wrote up the discussion/moderation features of Hacker News, which IMO make an interesting read.

Whatamidoing (WMF) (talkcontribs)

@TBolliger (WMF) and @SPoore (WMF) might be interested in some of those. I believe that the ability to collapse sections of very long discussions has been mentioned by a Wikipedia editor, although I can't remember where offhand.

Reply to "Hacker News"
Whatamidoing (WMF) (talkcontribs)

Hey @Wbm1058, I mreged your latest entry into the one above it, because "structured" means something specific and technical that isn't actually present in the example you gave. If a discussion is "structured" to use that template, then you would have no choice about whether or not to use that template. A structured process for requesting a page move would be look more like a form that you filled out. Instead, what we use is a blank section with no imposed structure.

I particularly want to thank you for posting that very interesting example. I think that it's important to remember that "free-form, used freely" is often not what editors actually want. What enwiki's WP:RM is using right now is technically "free-form, used in a specific way" – ike a typist from the 1960s who always typed three blank lines between the date and the address on a business letter: there's a conventional approach, but there's nothing actually stopping her from typing a letter however she wanted to on that blank page. It would be interesting to build something that changes that fully to a structured system.

Wbm1058 (talkcontribs)

No, the format must be structured in a specific way, or my bot will not be able to interpret and process the requests to update WP:RM. I would like to be able to force editors to use that template, as it can be a pain to clean up after those editors who don't. My bot is not highly artificially intelligent so it cannot interpret any old "free form" request. It will spit out error messages when it sees requests that aren't structured the way it expects to find them.

Whatamidoing (WMF) (talkcontribs)

I'm sure that the bot can't handle free-form contents, but page is still free-form. Editors can choose to use that page (or section of it) in a way that happens to be compliant with the bot's requirements, or they can choose to confuse the bot. A structured page would not leave them that choice. Special:CreateAccount is a structured page: you can fill in the blanks, or not, but you can't do whatever you want. This Flow board is a structured page: you can fill in the blanks, or not, but you can't rearrange it. Article talk pages at the English Wikipedia are not "structured". The only "structure" that exists on them is due to manual/voluntary compliance with a set of rules that people agreed to follow. That makes them "unstructured pages".

Reply to "Structure"
Tgr (talkcontribs)

Maybe its more useful to list mailing list technologies instead of open/closed. Mailman and Google Groups are both used widely within the movement, and I guess OTRS can be called a mailing list with a bit of a stretch. Is there anything else?

Also are there other ways of email communication there are relevant? There is direct mail at least (via MediaWiki's email sender feature, or just people knowing each other's address).

Whatamidoing (WMF) (talkcontribs)

I think it's useful to remind people that private mailing lists exist, as this occasionally surprises less experienced people. I've no objection to anyone adding more details (e.g., Mailman vs Google Groups, names of the biggest or most central mailing lists, links to examples, etc.).

I agree with you that OTRS should be added. Do you think it'd be better to put it with e-mail, or under ==Other==?

Tgr (talkcontribs)

I'd put it with email, but either one makes sense.

Reply to "Mailing list technologies"

Is the intention to discuss how communities communicate among themselves or more broadly?

Kerry Raymond (talkcontribs)

For example, I would say that Wikimedia Australia primarily communicates with its members via email. But we do have a Facebook page, a twitter account and an Instagram account. AFAIK, we are not using the social media account to communicate among ourselves but to communicate with those external to our community (but since I don't read them, maybe they are trying to communicate with me as member and i just don't know it). Which do you want for the purposes of this survey? ~~~~

Whatamidoing (WMF) (talkcontribs)

My intention is about communicating "among themselves", but to define "themselves" broadly – more like "within the overall Wikimedia movement" than within (or between) individual wiki communities. For example, I'd count your communication with any existing GLAM partner as "within the movement". I would probably not count communication with traditional grantmakers or prospective GLAM partners, but I'm open to being told that I'm wrong here.

Ultimately, I'd like you to Be Bold and add whatever you think might be relevant, informative, or interesting to some people. We can always talk about any specific addition later. (Also, just to be clear, it's okay to add links to public examples.)

Reply to "Is the intention to discuss how communities communicate among themselves or more broadly?"
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