Talk:Talk pages project/Replying

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The team would value any thoughts and/or questions you have about this new tool for Replying to specific comments on talk pages.

Setting to disable automatic signing

Blaze The Wolf (talkcontribs)

Hey! So I love the reply tool, however I do wish there was a setting that would allow me to disable the automatic addition of a signature as when I include any kind of formatting in my signature (like <small> <s> (strikethrough) ) or add anything after my signature, the reply tool seems to be unable to recognize my signature and thinks I haven't added one yet, so a setting to disable the automatic addition of a signature would be very helpful so I don't have to go back through and remove the duplicate signature. Blaze The Wolf (talk) 18:37, 14 September 2021 (UTC)

Blaze The Wolf (talkcontribs)

Also, if you reply to this, please let me know on English Wikipedia as I have no clue whether or not I'll receive a notification for this on English Wikipedia. Blaze The Wolf (talk) 18:40, 14 September 2021 (UTC)

Nick Moyes (talkcontribs)

@Blaze The Wolf Yes, you will get a notification. I got a blue 'mention' note on English Wikipedia of your post above because I have the talk page (Talk:Talk Pages Project/Replying) on my watchlist. Hopefully, you'll get the same for this reply to your second comment. Cheers

Blaze The Wolf (talkcontribs)

@Nick Moyes: I did indeed get this notification. Although looking at my watchlist it does not appear I have the page you mentioned in my watchlist. Blaze The Wolf (talk) 19:19, 14 September 2021 (UTC)

TheDJ (talkcontribs)
Blaze The Wolf (talkcontribs)

@TheDJ: Most of the examples where this is the case I fixed it myself by removing the duplicate signature. But I could probably create a section on my talk page showing some examples that don't work. Blaze The Wolf (talk) 13:10, 16 September 2021 (UTC)

Blaze The Wolf (talkcontribs)
Reply to "Setting to disable automatic signing" (talkcontribs)

It’s nice how this tool makes it easy to reply in the middle of a buried thread, but that is the sort of reply that may need to ping. ~~~~

StarshipSLS (talkcontribs)

It is very easy to ping, just write @ and then search for the username you want.

Whatamidoing (WMF) (talkcontribs)

Pinging might be less popular if Talk pages project/Notifications are turned on by default for everyone, especially if they auto-subscribe people to every conversation.

Martina Nolte (talkcontribs)

Agree. Should be easier to ping a specific person. @ doesn't work in all skins.

Whatamidoing (WMF) (talkcontribs)
Martina Nolte (talkcontribs)
Whatamidoing (WMF) (talkcontribs)
Tacsipacsi (talkcontribs)

The screenshot shows this topic (and not dewiki), which uses StructuredDiscussions, not DiscussionTools (of which the reply tool is part of). StructuredDiscussions allows pinging users in both visual and source modes (using a toolbar button), but the @ keyboard shortcut seems to work only in visual mode.

Martina Nolte (talkcontribs)

@Tacsipacsi I think you're right. I am editing Wikipedia the good old way in source mode. I can use the mention icon on the toolbar instead. That's fine with me - just saying @ doesn't work for me. --~~~~

Tacsipacsi (talkcontribs)

Actually, on Wikipedia (at least the English and German one), the @ shortcut should work on all talk pages—StructuredDiscussions is enabled only a few Wikimedia wikis, and neither English nor German Wikipedia is among them. Even on wikis with StructuredDiscussions enabled, you can find talk pages with usual wikitext, like Talk:Talk pages project/Usability here.

Reply to "Should be easier to ping."

Spacebar works a low percentage of the time

Jeff G. (talkcontribs)

I keep having to retry it or backspace over the previous letter and retype quickly.

Whatamidoing (WMF) (talkcontribs)

Are you having this problem elsewhere? And are you, by any chance, using a relatively recent Mac laptop? I had to have the keyboard on my MacBook Air replaced.

Jeff G. (talkcontribs)

@Whatamidoing (WMF): No, it is a software keyboard on my Puffin Browser Pro (v4.7.3) on my iPad 3. If I type "test " 10 times in a row, the space fails 9 times, even though the keyboard clicks and dims when I press the spacebar as normal. In Google Chrome (v37.0.2062.60) on that iPad, the reply link doesn't even show up. It works fine in Chrome on my Win10 laptop. These tests were all conducted on·_contribs)_3 , a section I last edited on a page in project space.

Whatamidoing (WMF) (talkcontribs)

In Google Chrome, are you on the mobile website, or the desktop website?

Jeff G. (talkcontribs)

@Whatamidoing (WMF): On my iPad: desktop & mobile; landscape & portrait; logged-in & anonymous. On my laptop: I'll get back to you soon.

TheDJ (talkcontribs)

Whatever browser you use on an iPad, the internals that render the actual web are always Safari and the iOS. Can you get the version of Safari and the version of iOS you use on that iPad ? And do you have any gadgets and/or user scripts enabled ?

Jeff G. (talkcontribs)

Safari is "Bundle Version 8536.25", but can't establish a secure connection to any WMF site. iOS is 6.1, JB (all attempts to update have failed). On my laptop, the reply link does not show up in mobile view or when logged out, only in desktop view while logged in. Portrait mode is not an option. My gadgets and scripts have nothing to do with my ability to do anonymous editing.

TheDJ (talkcontribs)

"iOS is 6.1" well there is your problem :D That's not an officially supported device/OS version any longer.

Novem Linguae (talkcontribs)

Nice tool, thanks for creating. My feedback so far is: 1) Consider pre-filling the box with [[User:usernameGoesHere]] or similar, to trigger a ping. This is useful on mobile, where it is easier to delete a prefill than it is to type all that out. The user script reply-link does this on enwiki. 2) Keep an eye out for a bug where you put the cursor in one place, but when you type, the text goes in a different place. I had this happen on Android the other day, one time, but haven't seen it since. 3) If this tool is still not available in beta on certain wikis, consider documenting the following a little bit better, so people can opt in: if ( $( '#ca-addsection' ).length ) mw.loader.using( 'ext.discussionTools.init' ); . Again, great job.

Shushugah (talkcontribs)

This is absolutely the top feature needed! Especially for newer users who'd benefit from talk page discussions but are not as wiki syntax savvy. I am very happy with this!

Whatamidoing (WMF) (talkcontribs)
Reply to "Feedback so far"

Does not work with undated comment template

Summary by Tol

It does work if "(UTC)" is added to the template.

Tol (talkcontribs)

The tool does not produce a "reply" button for comments which have the "undated" template — where the original poster signed with ~~~, producing a signature without a timestamp, and another user substituted a template like w:en:Template:Undated.

Matma Rex (talkcontribs)

It should work, but the "undated" template must include the time and timezone (and the entire timestamp must be in the usual format).

If you see a page where that is the case, but the "reply" button is missing, can you post a link?

Tol (talkcontribs)

I demonstrated in my sandbox (permalink). The template does not add the "(UTC)". Do you think this is the problem?

Matma Rex (talkcontribs)

Yes, it'll work with the "(UTC)" added.

Firestar464 (talkcontribs)

Help, I don't know how to answer the CAPTCHA when replying. It just says "Captcha:..." and doesn't tell me what to answer.

TheDJ (talkcontribs)

where ?

Firestar464 (talkcontribs)


Whatamidoing (WMF) (talkcontribs)

You will have to talk to that third-party wiki's staff.

Reply to "CAPTCHA"
Nizil Shah (talkcontribs)
  • There is a notice: By clicking "Reply", you agree to our Terms of Use and agree to irrevocably release your text under the CC BY-SA 3.0 License and GFDL. I think it is irrelevant, intrusive and annoying. Terms of Use already covers this, I think. Why this notice needed everywhere? It makes loss of lot of space as well.
  • [] Watch This Page can be moved to top, next to Visual/Source OR next to Cancel/Reply.
  • And Summary:[Box....] can be single line.
  • Please think about making whole thing smaller. BTW, I liked Reply tool and its development in positive direction. Regards,
TheDJ (talkcontribs)

Regarding point 1, the community takes licensing very serious and while it is in the ToU, we want people to make informed and active decisions. The community has on multiple occasions actively demanded these notices are shown as edits are made, when WMF designers forgot about them.

Whatamidoing (WMF) (talkcontribs)
  • Legal insists; we don't have a choice.
  • Editors asked for this extra/redundant watch button.
  • The Summary:[Box] is one line – on my computer screen/width. Would you like to post (or e-mail) a screenshot to me, if you see something different?
  • Do you want a smaller box for typing, or do you want everything else smaller (e.g., buttons)?
Reply to "Notice and design"

Complex indentation

Summary by Whatamidoing (WMF)
Klein Muçi (talkcontribs)

Should the reply tool be able to "understand" complex indentation? Long conversations could have complex degrees of indentation for different reasons. Here is an example of a conversation like that. (Maybe see source code to better understand what I mean.) Notice that in the same answer 2 degrees of indentation are used by the same user where one is reserved for giving technical examples. This confuses the tool and if you reply with it, you'll end up in the same level as the technical examples, which is not something that you want (you'd want +1 more level than that or +2 in total).

Whatamidoing (WMF) (talkcontribs)

I think that phab:T265750 would solve this problem, by making it easy for editors (on desktop, probably not mobile) to manually adjust the visual appearance.

Reply to "Complex indentation"
XanonymusX (talkcontribs)

I was wondering whether the display of editnotices when starting a new topic via the tool can be individually adjusted in any way. Edit notices on talk pages sometimes contain very specific instructions on how to start a new section (eg, de:Wikipedia:Fragen zur Wikipedia/Editnotice points out Please add at the end of every message your signature by typing [], or clicking on [].), which may be superfluous or even misleading for users of the tool. Being able to suppress individual edit notices (or even parts of them) for the tool (maybe through a class noreplytool or similar) would be helpful.

Whatamidoing (WMF) (talkcontribs)

Edit notices are not currently supported. (They might be in the future, but not today.)

Most – but not all – of the edit notices on talk pages are of the sort you mention, with instructions that don't apply to the Reply tool. We might need a system that encourages w:en:Template:Editnotices/Page/Wikipedia:Administrators' noticeboard but discourages "Please sign your message by typing ~~~~."

XanonymusX (talkcontribs)

But they are now supported, that is why I noticed the issue in the first place. If I start a new topic on de:Fragen zur Wikipedia via the Reply tool, I see the (superfluous) edit notice!

Whatamidoing (WMF) (talkcontribs)

Oh, I was thinking of the Reply tool, but you said "when starting a new topic". Yes, that was meant to be an improvement.

I wonder: If the plain wikitext editors included a notice about signing comments, do you think editors would then feel comfortable removing that instruction? Or should we just wait until the New Discussion tool is what most newcomers use, and recommend removing it then?

XanonymusX (talkcontribs)

Actually, we had briefly discussed a similar problem recently, as the editnotice all talk pages on dewiki show per default also contains the instruction. But there it gets hidden by the mobile talk page overlay, so for now we left it as it is. Working with class nomobile was considered in that case, but that is not ideal, as it does not distinguish based on the editing mode. Therefore I was thinking of a class that could detect tool use in this case … I don’t think removing the instruction altogether would encounter much enthusiasm in the community. :|

Tacsipacsi (talkcontribs)

Please also note that while hopefully eventually most newcomers (and maybe most “oldcomers” as well) will use the tool, all of them will probably never use it—for example because it’s not available to them in the first place: they use an ancient browser, they deliberately turned off JavaScript (e.g. using NoScript), the necessary scripts just didn’t finish loading by the time the user clicked the new section tab etc.

Whatamidoing (WMF) (talkcontribs)

I'm not sure that we should keep a page, shown to 100% of editors, when <1% of editors need it.

Reply to "Editnotices"
PPelberg (WMF) (talkcontribs)

What do you find valuable about being able to preview the content of a reply you are drafting before posting it to a talk page?


Context for this question: The team is thinking through how the initial workflow for "previewing" the reply you are composing might work as part of this new dedicated workflow for replying to specific comments. For reference, the way User:Thnidu articulates why they value previews has been instructive: "...a large part of their value for me is spotting errors of execution as well as errors of intention." [1]

Alsee (talkcontribs)

Most significantly it shows whether wikitext renders as desired.

It strips away all of the markup characters, making it easier to review the displayed-text.

A final subtle point, the preview mode displays the content with the exact font and spacing and styling and surrounding environment as the read mode. The visual change somehow shifts the brain (or at least my brain) into read-mode. It may just be a psychological effect, but psychological effects can be real effects. In edit mode I'm fiddling with the details - the preview forces my brain to read it in a stream as if someone else wrote it. My brain knows it can't directly alter the preview text area. The various visual cues contribute to the effect. It makes it easier to catch spelling errors, unclear grammar, and the general quality of my communication, even if there was no markup and the preview made no substantive change in the stream of characters displayed. When I post without previewing, sometimes I find that my message was technically fine but the communication quality could and should have been better.

Jc86035 (talkcontribs)

I would agree with all of Alsee's points here, although I typically only use the preview function on longer comments.

TheDJ (talkcontribs)

you won't believe the amount of time I created an invalid link and caught it while previewing. Or an accidental line break, or pinged the wrong user or .. endless. The preview is better human readable and it is easier to review the effect of any wikitext/html syntax you have written.

Aron Manning (talkcontribs)

Alsee summarized it very well.

I'd add that I love the preview on the prototype.

  • It's much more convenient, than switching between visual and wikitext in Flow.
    • No need to search for the button that switches between visual and wikitext...
  • It's fast enough (similar to discourse preview).
  • Does not take up more place than necessary (in discourse it kinda does).
PPelberg (WMF) (talkcontribs)

These responses are helpful – thanks y'all. I want to make sure I'm understanding what has been mentioned so far and then follow up with a few other questions.

Points raised so far

1) Previews help "me" to know whether the wikitext I wrote is rendering properly. Said another way: my text is formatted in the way "I've" intended it to (e.g. as @TheDJ mentioned: links, line breaks, etc.).

2) Previews help "me" to know how the content I've composed will be displayed to people who might be reading the page in "read mode."

Follow up question

For "2)", can you identify any patterns among the times when you find this kind of preview necessary? Does it depend on the size of the edit (per Jc86035's point above)? The type of edit? The namespace in which you are editing?

...I ask the above curious about whether a "full page" previewing should be considered a requirement for the replying workflow and if so, when.

Aron Manning (talkcontribs)

can you identify any patterns among the times when you find this kind of preview necessary?

The following patterns are the most common (and repetitive... sigh) mistakes I make editing wikitext:

  1. After editing markdown I forget that a linebreak is not a linebreak in the end result.
  2. Syntax errors: one apostrophe less, one curly brace less, etc.
  3. When making multi-level lists (ordered or unordered or mixed), it's hard to get the numbering and indentation right without a preview.
  4. Templates: did I use the right parameter name? If it renders, then it's ok.

I'd say the complexity of the wikitext (different markups, templates used) is the primary concern. Longer edits give more opportunity to be complex, but length in itself is not usually an issue. I'm not sure about the namespace... maybe having a preview, thus avoiding some mistakes is more important in high-visibility discussions.

Reply to "Previewing a reply"