Talk pages consultation 2019/Current feedback

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This page seeks to document in a precise manner the feedback, both past and current, about talk pages, Flow/SD, and LiquidThreads. Ideally it will eventually contain what about each feature works, what doesn't work, what could be added, and references. This page will not be used for communication, but rather for organizing points raised via other communication avenues.

Talk pages[edit]

What works[edit]

Taken from the Flow satisfaction survey report.

  • Finding specific discussions can be done with MediaWiki's search feature.
  • Watching changes and patrolling vandalism can be done with MediaWiki's features to watch article content
  • Compact view
  • Flexibility

Issues and suggestions[edit]

Archive bots[1]
  • Potential conflict: Korean Wikipedia for instance, prefers archiving to be done by hand[1]
  • Archiving is done unevenly by bots, which are maintained by users and therefore of very uneven quality. Archives are something of a black hole — they aren’t searchable, easily maintainable, or easily accessible. You can’t resurrect an archived discussion easily...[2][3]
  • Millions of talk pages stretching indefinitely require editors to individually create archive settings for talk pages, so that older entries, closed discussions etc are archived.[4][5]
Archive prompt
  • Easy prompt to assist in archiving talk pages (eg duration, number of remaining posts, and desired archive box)[1]
Avatars
  • Avatars and/or profile photos included in replies can make things less sterile.[6]
Create/Close topic
  • Make it clear how and where to create a topic[7][8]
  • Especially in terms of auto-archiving (if implemented) have a toggle that enables mods to close a topic.[5][3] This could also enable editors to discover what topics have not been responded to, especially if there were some sort of Special page.[9][10]
Link permanence
  • Especially when archived, links to specific discussions break, forcing users to locate the archive and then perform CTRL+F in order to find their desired subject(s)[11][3]
  • One solution might be when clicking on a link to a section that no longer exists, it no longer redirects to the page but to the search page which includes both the original page as well as the title of the subheading. Of course this would exclude links to articles in the main namespace.[11]
Mentions
  • No way to know if you are mentioned in a conversation.[6]
  • Using "@" can help and is intuitive especially when paired with autosuggest.[6][7]
  • This could also make "where do I post a reply" a moot point[7]
Mobile
  • Separate mobile GUI rather than trying to merge mobile+desktop.[12]
Quoting
  • There’s no encouragement, mechanism or incentive for quoted, point by point inline replies like we’re all used to with e-mail.[6][2][3]
Reply to comment
  • Made difficult for newcomers especially with repeated usage of ":".[13][14][15][16][8][3]
  • There is no apparent "reply" feature, as is present on modern platforms.[6][14][8]
  • New users do not know whether to place responses above (as with email) or below.[14]
Signatures automatic[6][3]
  • New users do not necessarily understand the uses of tildes and either leave them out or copy and paste existing signature.[14][9][8]
Thank feature
  • Expand thanks feature to include an acknowledgement that a user has read the post, as some users don't necessarily want to thank the user per se.[17]
Thread linking
  • Way to link threads across wikis, so a discussion takes place in a single, linked thread.[16][3]
Thread moving
  • You can’t move a thread to a different discussion page and preserve its history.[2]
Thread watching
  • Make individual threads watchable, rather than the entire page.[18][9][3]
Time stamps adaptive
  • Shorten the length of time stamps as time goes on to inhibit page bloat.[7]
  • Perhaps dynamically: for instance, anything more than 3 hours old suppresses the minutes and seconds, anything more than two days old suppresses the time of day.[7]
Upvoting
  • Or some obvious way to rank or otherwise note how useful (or not) comments and posts are[6][8]
  • Pairing this with a "sort by votes" can help distill thread contents and make it a quicker read[7][8]
  • The ability to hide posts from certain users on a per-user level[8]
User talk pages
  • Allow user talk page owners to set limits on who may post to their personal talk pages. This would help to cut down on harassing behavior, especially against women and minority groups, by such users such as anon.[19][8]
Visual Editor option[20][3]
  • Visual Editor is intuitively easier for newcomers to learn and increases their interaction.[21][5][22][23]
VPN editing
  • Allow editing from behind a VPN, especially for users from particular countries.[16]

Flow/SD[edit]

What works[edit]

Taken from the satisfaction survey report.

  • Structured-by-software discussion system which allows watching topics
  • Dedicated notifications when a reply is received or a topic is appreciated
  • Clear design for adding new topics and editing messages
  • Better integration and use on mobile
  • Mentioning (pinging), thanking, and replying to other users is easier

Issues and suggestions[edit]

Bugs
  • Adding in the phabricator link to all open bugs/tickets, sorted from highest to lowest priority.
Avatars
  • Consider options that would allow users to choose from images or provide their own for avatar use.[24]
Compact view
  • More white space than original system. Leads to much more scrolling.[25][26]
Diff
  • To cut down on an overwhelming number of email notifications about changes to a discussion, enable it so the entire batch of changes to a thread can be displayed at once.[27][3]
Editing
  • Users, barring admins etc., should not be able to edit other users' comments.
  • StructuredDiscussions message editing should support some shortcuts to switch between editors.[28][29]
Edit summary
  • Make the edit summary a mini-VE surface so users can put in links etc.[30]
Flexibility
  • Allow for flexibility that is close to or on par with wikitext editing.[25][27][3]
Internal search[31]
  • Rather than just having an infinite scroll, which can make pages very long and cumbersome to use and search, try adding a calendar feature. All threads created on a day will be confined to that date. This also keeps the "Browse Topics" list shorter per page.[32]
  • While searching for thread posts might never be possible, it would be at least useful to be able to search prior discussions by title. This only works with structureddiscussions boards but not threads, e.g. it is possible to find this board "Extension_talk:StructuredDiscussions" but not a thread like Topic:Ukzjwfa58ewp4zm6 without knowing the whole strange id.[33]]
  • Have a Special page that lists all unresolved topics [34]
Mentions
  • Mentioning someone in a footnote does not work.[35]
Mobile
  • Separate mobile GUI rather than trying to merge mobile+desktop.[12]
Notifications
  • Notifications have a primary, secondary, and a menu of tertiary options. However, the tertiary option is so long you sometimes can't read it completely. The box should be expanded or at least there should be a mouseover in place, so users can tell what action they are actually triggering, as it is a guessing game otherwise.[36]
  • Some way to receive notifications while away from the computer.[16]
Quoting
  • Flow should provide an easy way to quote other user comments.[37][3]
Topics
  • Ways to split, merge, move, or relocate topics or parts of topics.[31][25]
  • Have a way to collapse/uncollapse topics on a per-user basis[38]
  • Filter open/closed topics[31]
    • Further suggestions as to filters and the Table of Contents can be found here.
  • Bulk hide threads for easier management[39]
  • Not being able to hide topic titles can be the cause for abuse/vandalism. This goes for when the topic is even deleted.[40]
Topic summary improvement[31]
  • ...it is difficult to see the nature of the discussions at a glance.[41]
Vandalism
  • Counter-vandalism is more complicated. Needs to be improved.[25]
  • Feature-parity with non-Flow talk pages for moderation and protection.[42][3]
VPN editing
  • Allow editing from behind a VPN, especially for users from particular countries.[16]

LiquidThreads[edit]

What worked[edit]

Taken from Wikipedia.

  • A simplified post/reply workflow so new users can jump into the discussion.
  • Simple management of threads, including automation of archival, refactoring, and other tasks currently undertaken by bots and humans.
  • A flexible notification system, allowing users to keep abreast of developments in areas in which they are interested, ranging from entire discussion pages to discussion fragments.
  • Support for following discussion pages with RSS feeds.
  • Flexible post ordering, allowing users to keep track of which threads on a talk page are dead, and which threads are active.
  • An AJAX-based interface that allows users to quickly post and reply to other posts, without clumsy page loading.
  • Automatic signatures and indentation.

Issues[edit]

  • More scrolling required by more whitespace on talkpages.[43]
  • LiquidThreads limits what you can do to a talk page, for example, it is not possible to collapse a thread using {{Collapse}}.[43]
  • Issues raised during the proposed LQT 3.0 examination
  • Lack of consistent and reliable support to fix problems.[44]

Potentially related tools[edit]

Reply link script (or also maybe ConvenientDiscussions)

  • Automatically places your reply below other replies to the same comment, if any
  • One-click closing of edit requests
  • Automatically pings the user who wrote the comment to which you're replying (can be turned off)
  • (Almost) always uses correct characters for indentation, even on XfDs

Section strike script

  • Strike out the section names in the Table of contents, if they have been closed.

FlowDeluxe

  • Colored indentation
  • Color open topics
  • Color closed topics
  • Permanent links for talk and contribs
  • Always show dates
  • Insert templates in the summary
  • Never hide closed topics
  • Display action buttons on one line

AutoArchive

  • This lightweight script adds an option to enable automated archival in just one click to the More drop-down on talk pages.

OneClickArchiver

References[edit]

  1. 1.0 1.1 1.2 Implement widespread autoarchiving
  2. 2.0 2.1 2.2 Improving Wikimedia's Discussion System
  3. 3.00 3.01 3.02 3.03 3.04 3.05 3.06 3.07 3.08 3.09 3.10 3.11 3.12 Talk pages consultation, From Wargo
  4. Wishlist 2017, Autoarchive provided
  5. 5.0 5.1 5.2 [page consultation, Auto-archiving, and VE on talk everywhere]
  6. 6.0 6.1 6.2 6.3 6.4 6.5 6.6 Flow - Research
  7. 7.0 7.1 7.2 7.3 7.4 7.5 Flow - Experienced user responses
  8. 8.0 8.1 8.2 8.3 8.4 8.5 8.6 8.7 Talk pages consultation, Answers to the five questions
  9. 9.0 9.1 9.2 Talk pages consultation, Proposals
  10. Talk pages consultation, On Encouraging New Editors
  11. 11.0 11.1 Link permanence and archiving
  12. 12.0 12.1 Talk pages consultation, Dead horse slip-slidin'
  13. Reply link for talk pages
  14. 14.0 14.1 14.2 14.3 Flow Research, User Test Data
  15. Commons-EN, current feedback
  16. 16.0 16.1 16.2 16.3 16.4 Wikisource-EN, current feedback
  17. [pages consultation, Extension of Thank feature]
  18. Make individual threads watchable
  19. Talk page consultation, Two types of communicating
  20. Release VE on Talk pages
  21. Talk pages consultation, Who is the community who claim to represent my views?
  22. Talk pages consultation, A two stage solution? First VE than something else
  23. Talk pages consultation, Mi opinión
  24. Phabricator, open ticket: Explore the idea of having avatars on Flow
  25. 25.0 25.1 25.2 25.3 Flow satisfaction survey report
  26. Wikipedia, Flow Design FAQ
  27. 27.0 27.1 [pages consultation, Post mortem from Flow]
  28. Phrabricator, open ticket
  29. Phabricator, open ticket: Have a way to switch back from preview mode to wikitext mode in Structured discussions
  30. Phabricator, open ticket
  31. 31.0 31.1 31.2 31.3 Add a search and ranking system to structured discussions
  32. Talk:Structured Discussions, Improving search for older topics
  33. Phabricator, open ticket: Display topic titles instead of topic is in search results
  34. Is there a way (special page) to list all unresolved flow threads]
  35. Phabricator, open ticket
  36. Phabricator, open ticket: Too long tertiary Notifications options are unclear
  37. Phabricator, open ticket
  38. Phabricator, open ticket: Have a way to collapse and uncollapse open topics
  39. Phabricator, open ticket: Provide an option to bulk hide threads
  40. Phabricator, open ticket: Flow: It's impossible hide/delete the title of topic
  41. Working with MediaWiki
  42. Phabricator, open ticket: Moderation and protection feature parity in Flow
  43. 43.0 43.1 RationalWiki
  44. Giving up on LiquidThreads