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.

Encourage edit summary

14
Summary by Whatamidoing (WMF)
Certes (talkcontribs)

Please can the edit summary input box be revealed by default? Many of us would like to provide a more helpful ES than "Reply", if only we were prompted to do so.

Ottawahitech (talkcontribs)

Thanks to your comment User:Certes, it appears the WMF has installed the ability to add an edit summary. Ottawahitech (talk) 13:51, 13 May 2022 (UTC)

Matma Rex (talkcontribs)

If you open the "Advanced" menu, which contains the edit summary input, it will be revealed for future replies.

Certes (talkcontribs)

Yes, I saw that, and it's a useful feature once discovered. Perhaps the menu should be open automatically for everyone.

ONUnicorn (talkcontribs)

I actually came here to suggest that. Sometimes an edit summary of "reply" is fine, but at least 60% of the time it would be helpful to leave more than that.

Anerisys (talkcontribs)

I was also going to suggest this. If the text is short enough, it should be put into the edit summary.

Longer texts may be included by being truncated, but if at least short replies were put into the edit summary field, that would make it more useful.

Certes (talkcontribs)

Yes, we could go further and suggest text for an edit summary. But the simple first step I was suggesting is to replicate the functionality we have in the current workflow (replying by editing the page/section), of revealing the edit summary box to everyone who hasn't consciously opted out of it. I think that just requires setting a different default value for a flag.

Whatamidoing (WMF) (talkcontribs)

I talked to the product manager about putting short replies into the edit summary automagically, but there is a significant downside: if someone posts something and thinks better of it later, then getting that original text off the wiki requires help from an admin or oversighter, because edit summaries can't be edited after posting.

I looked through talk-page edit summaries for non-Reply-tool replies at the English Wikipedia a couple of months ago (filtering out script-assisted edits, new sections, etc.). Half the editors didn't add an edit summary at all, or only used a generic edit summary like "re". There are a few editors who are strongly committed to good edit summaries on talk pages, but most of us don't use it even when it's easy to do so.

Certes (talkcontribs)

I understand the reasons for not automatically copying content into the edit summary. However, making the box visible by default (with "Reply" or a blank summary) should help the 50% of editors who use talk edit summaries, without unduly inconveniencing the others, and doesn't seem like a difficult change.

Ottawahitech (talkcontribs)

@Certes EDIT SUMMARIES have been available at en-wikiquote for a-wiki-while now, and so has a REPLY-PREVIEW.

The edit summaries are used by some of the few who use the REPLY tool there, so you can see them in action. HTH

ONUnicorn (talkcontribs)

I think the issue is that, when using the reply tool, the default setting hides the edit summary field under small text that says "advanced" with a little arrow that you have to click on in order to find the edit summary field. This is not intuitive. What we are requesting is that the edit summary field be displayed by default, rather than hidden by default as it currently is.

Certes (talkcontribs)

Yes, thank you ONUnicorn, that is exactly what we are requesting. Some editors would also like the edit summary autofilled with a copy of the reply, but that is a separate request and need not hold up the simple change of default from hidden to displayed.

Ottawahitech (talkcontribs)

@User:Certes, Just curious: when you say "we" who do you mean? Me and you or others as well? I also do not understand what you mean when you say "change of default from hidden to displayed." Thanks in advance,

Certes (talkcontribs)

By "change of default from hidden to displayed", I meant that an editor who does not deliberately change their preferences (including a logged-out or IP editor) would be offered a box for an edit summary, rather than first having to discover that the button marked "Advanced" reveals it.

By "we" I did mean you and I, but perhaps I'm the only person who wants to see the edit summary box or receive any clue that it exists. I suspect that 99% of affected editors will never find this talk page on a different wiki.

Reply to "Encourage edit summary"

Add a "reply to" button next to the section header

5
Headbomb (talkcontribs)

Instead of replying to someone specific, replying to the header would be good. Adding the comment at the very bottom with the generic summary "Reply to %HEADER" or "Reply".

Headbomb (talkcontribs)
Whatamidoing (WMF) (talkcontribs)

Do you expect that comment to be unindented/same level as the original comment?

Headbomb (talkcontribs)

I think I'd expect that to be at the same level as a first reply. Maybe same level makes more sense though.

J. N. Squire (talkcontribs)

This idea looks interesting. Maybe it would be worth to give it a try. (A/B test?)

Reply to "Add a "reply to" button next to the section header"

Better default edit summary

7
156.34.233.97 (talkcontribs)

Instead of simply 'Reply', it would be a lot better if the default edit summary was 'Replying to User:Example'. ~~~~

Ferien (talkcontribs)

That's just an unnecessary ping in my opinion. Are you saying that the user would have to be pinged or only mentioned without a ping in the edit summary?

GhostInTheMachine (talkcontribs)

The reply need not cause a ping, but including the user name in the summary is a good idea

Nick Moyes (talkcontribs)

I can't see why that's an especially good thing: I'd never do that in a manual edit summary. It seems somewhat unnecessary to me - you'd look at the actual edit if you wanted to know who someone was replying to, surely.

Whatamidoing (WMF) (talkcontribs)

@GhostInTheMachine, how would that longer edit summary help you? What if (as happens frequently in larger discussions, I use the [reply] button to "reply to" someone, but it's really just a general comment, and not actually a response to that person's comment?

Headbomb (talkcontribs)

If you don't want the reply some someone specific, you can easily delete 'ing to User:Example' from 'Replying to User:Example' to give 'Reply'. The mention is an improvement, and when I reply to someone, I expect them to be pinged, rather than to manually add @Username: in my reply.

Headbomb (talkcontribs)
Reply to "Better default edit summary"

Why am I asked a CAPTCHA: after adding my reply?

2
185.143.182.2 (talkcontribs)

Why am I asked a CAPTCHA:  after adding my reply?

Cancelling then seems the only way of finishing this activity.

Tacsipacsi (talkcontribs)

It looks like there are two issues here:

  • Why are you asked a CAPTCHA. Probably because you tried to insert a new external link. This is a necessary inconvenience to prevent automated spam bots. If you create an account, you’ll soon be able to insert new external links without solving CAPTCHAs. (But you don’t have to; you can continue to edit without an account if registration is more inconvenient for you than solving CAPTCHAs every now and then.)
  • Why cancelling is the only way out. This may be a bug, could you please explain why you can’t publish your comment? Nothing happens when you press the Reply button? An error message appears? If the latter, what does it say? CAPTCHAs should be supported in the reply tool for a long time.
Reply to "Why am I asked a CAPTCHA: after adding my reply?"

Expected it to add text that ensures notifying the user

8
AdithyaKL (talkcontribs)

When I hit the reply button I expected it to insert the `@username` of the previous user for me. But that didn't happen.

Nick Moyes (talkcontribs)

@AdithyaKL My experience is that you simply type the '@' symbol, and you get a drop-down of likely names in that thread that you can select from. Obviously, a complete newcomer might not appreciate that, but in many other circumstances one needs to be able to choose which specific user one is replying to. So I assume this is an intentional design. A 'prompt' might be nice to help such a newcomer to understand that, though.

AdithyaKL (talkcontribs)

@Nick Moyes yes that works. But a good default should serve most cases no ?

151.132.206.250 (talkcontribs)

Is there a reason to assume that the comment where the Reply link is clicked is not the comment that the user intends to reply to?

Lord Belbury (talkcontribs)

I also expected it to ping the user I was responding to, given that this functionality is present on my user talk page and it would be pointless for me to post a reply there that didn't ping the user. Perhaps the interface should step in and suggest adding a ping, when someone is about to post an unpinged response to their own talk page?

Tacsipacsi (talkcontribs)

Is there a reason to assume that the comment where the Reply link is clicked is not the comment that the user intends to reply to?

It may be, in case there is no one specific comment the user intends to reply to, e.g. in village pump discussions, where one often just generally comments on the topic.

Whatamidoing (WMF) (talkcontribs)

If the Talk pages project/Notifications feature proves popular, then editors might not want to ping as often. ("Why did you ping me? I was already following that section via the [subscribe] button!") Also, at some wikis, the convention is to split the discussion across User_talk: pages. I post on your page, you reply on my page, and I post my reply back on your page. In that case, pinging isn't used.

OhanaUnited (talkcontribs)

Since I am replying directly to a thread, I also expected it to ping the person to which I was replying to and not having to do it manually.

Reply to "Expected it to add text that ensures notifying the user"
JDZeff (talkcontribs)

I wanted to post a reply to a comment on the Talk page for Black Ice, and decided to click on the Reply link instead of edit. I found it very easy to use, and simpler than having to preview my post one or more times.

PPelberg (WMF) (talkcontribs)

We (the Editing Team), are glad to hear you're finding the tool useful ^ _ ^

If you are curious, there are a collection of other new tools we're developing for talk pages which you can review here. You can also turn on all of these features by enabling the "Discussion tools" setting in Beta Features.

Reply to "My two cents"

When I type, I see text move below

5
Ziko (talkcontribs)

Hello, the reply-tool is impossible to use. When I type my reply, then the window below the writing field shows a preview of the reply I am writing, updated immediately. That means when I type there is always something moving on the page. That is extremely annoying. I want to turn of the preview, but I don't see how.

Whatamidoing (WMF) (talkcontribs)

Have you tried switching to the visual mode?

Ziko (talkcontribs)

Ah! Thank you very much!

Whatamidoing (WMF) (talkcontribs)

Most of the "key sequences" that you use in typing wikitext work in the visual mode. For example, if you type [[ to start a link, it will open the link box. If you type <ref, it will offer a reference dialog. Press Escape to get these nowiki'd and back to regular typing.

IMO the only real shortcoming for the visual mode is that you can't add templates (directly). This is because some templates (e.g., infoboxes) can make a real mess right now.

Ziko (talkcontribs)

Seems to be mostly in line with the Visual Editor. Thanks again!

Reply to "When I type, I see text move below"

Feedback. Pasting in the reply tool results in a double paste

4
SmokeyJoe (talkcontribs)

I was looking for how to provide feedback in the reply tool. I found my way here by clicking on the “reply” blue link in the edit summary. It’s unclear how to give feedback, but I think directions are to use this talk page.


when I reply, and paste a wikilink, on saving, the pasted wikilink is duplicated in front of my signature. I think it is 100% repreatable. —~~~~

SmokeyJoe (talkcontribs)

What is this place?

Matěj Suchánek (talkcontribs)

Would you please point to a demonstration of this problem, e.g. a link to the comment or diff?

Whatamidoing (WMF) (talkcontribs)

SmokeyJoe, this page is using Flow. It has some advantages and some disadvantages. You don't need to type your signature here. You can edit previous comments in the ••• menu.

I'd love to have a diff of this problem.

Reply to "Feedback. Pasting in the reply tool results in a double paste"

Please provide a way of previewing edit summaries

7
Summary by Tacsipacsi
Peter M. Brown (talkcontribs)

Edit summaries are not always straightforward! They may contain piped links or numeric HTML entities. When I make a change to complex code involving links, I sometimes try to reproduce my change to the wikitext in the edit summary by inserting a zero-width space between two consecutive instances of the square bracket ([) so that they do not actually create a link. I need a way of checking that I’ve done it right. Anyhow, as errors in published edit summaries cannot be corrected, I always have previewed my edit summaries before publishing.

AdithyaKL (talkcontribs)

"Advanced" button does that I guess ~~~~

Peter M. Brown (talkcontribs)

Not in any way that I can see. "Advanced" allows me to formulate the edit summary but not to preview it.

Tacsipacsi (talkcontribs)

No, it’s not currently possible. See the Phabricator ticket I linked above about Whatamidoing (WMF)’s request (you may want to create a Phabricator account using your Wikimedia account and subscribe to the task to be alerted when the developers start working on it).

Whatamidoing (WMF) (talkcontribs)

As a workaround, if you're in the wikitext source mode, you could paste your edit summary into the main editing box (on a separate line) and see what the live preview says. Then remove it from your comment before you post.

I don't know if this request will get implemented this year.

Tacsipacsi (talkcontribs)

There are differences in how wikitext works in summaries and in the reply text itself (e.g. templates are not expanded, no bold, italic etc. markup, C-style /* comments */ create section links, and so on), so this workaround provides only an approximation.

Whatamidoing (WMF) (talkcontribs)

True.

Reply to "Please provide a way of previewing edit summaries"

Feedback -- using the Reply tool.

3
Ancheta Wis (talkcontribs)

Sample session over three days: An editor has asked for help on an article, to which I constructed replies, over several days. Then I attempted to ping that editor, but I am not sure my reply got through; we have not had much of a conversation. It feels one-sided. The tool is not too intrusive, but if it gets difficult, I can work around the tool, if need be. For the time being, I am working within the tool. For example, I'm not sure what title of my contribution is going to show up as. The topic header (title) seems a bit more intuitive on the Article Talk page. The Browse topics widget works, except for the current topic, I think. I don't see my current topic in the list. I am going to Add topic (to see what happens to the list) --Ancheta Wis (talk) 01:41, 14 March 2022 (UTC)

Ancheta Wis (talkcontribs)

I see now that my contribution is LIFO (last in, first out in the Browse topics widget) --Ancheta Wis (talk) 01:44, 14 March 2022 (UTC)

Whatamidoing (WMF) (talkcontribs)

The system we're using on this page is Flow, which uses top-posting. Also, you don't have to sign your posts in Flow, since it auto-signs for you.

The editor you were talking to has made no edits since starting that section. The ping in this edit should have been sent, but it appears that the editor hasn't been on wiki since then. The ping should be there when the editor returns to the wikis.

Reply to "Feedback -- using the Reply tool."