Talk pages project

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This page talks about the Editing Team's work to improve how contributors communicate on Wikipedia using talk pages.

It contains information about the goals of this work, the past efforts that have influenced it and why evolving talk pages is a priority right now.

To follow how this project is developing, the team recommends visiting and/or adding the Talk pages project/Updates page to your watchlist. If you would like to be invited to conversations about specific topics, please add your name to the "Notification list" here: Talk pages project/Participate

Active initiatives[edit]

In this section, we list the projects actively being worked on and where and how they have currently been deployed.

Each project is an effort to improve contributors' experiences communicating productively on Wikipedia using talk pages.

Projects

Deployment status

Wiki Reply tool New discussion tool User signature requirements
Amharic Wikipedia Opt-in Beta Feature Implemented for new signatures
Arabic Wikipedia Opt-out user preference " "
Armenian Wikipedia Opt-in Beta Feature " "
Assamese Wikipedia Opt-in Beta Feature " "
Basque Wikipedia Opt-in Beta Feature " "
Bhojpuri Wikipedia Opt-in Beta Feature " "
Burmese Wikipedia Opt-in Beta Feature " "
Catalan Wikipedia Opt-in Beta Feature " "
Central Kurdish Wikipedia Opt-in Beta Feature " "
Chinese Wikipedia Opt-in Beta Feature " "
Czech Wikipedia Opt-out user preference " "
Dutch Wikipedia Opt-in Beta Feature " "
French Wikipedia Opt-in Beta Feature " "
Georgian Wikipedia Opt-in Beta Feature " "
Hebrew Wikipedia Opt-in Beta Feature " "
Hindi Wikipedia Opt-in Beta Feature " "
Hungarian Wikipedia Opt-out user preference " "
Icelandic Wikipedia Opt-in Beta Feature " "
Italian Wikipedia Opt-in Beta Feature " "
Japanese Wikipedia Opt-in Beta Feature " "
Korean Wikipedia Opt-in Beta Feature " "
Lithuanian Wikipedia Opt-in Beta Feature " "
Maithili Wikipedia Opt-in Beta Feature " "
Marathi Wikipedia Opt-in Beta Feature " "
Mtton Wikipedia Opt-in Beta Feature " "
Nepali Wikipedia Opt-in Beta Feature " "
Norwegian Bokmål Wikipedia Opt-in Beta Feature " "
N'Ko Wikipedia Opt-in Beta Feature " "
Polish Wikipedia Opt-in Beta Feature " "
Portuguese Wikipedia Opt-in Beta Feature " "
Punjabi Wikipedia Opt-in Beta Feature " "
Persian Wikipedia Opt-in Beta Feature " "
Santali Wikipedia Opt-in Beta Feature " "
Serbian Wikipedia Opt-in Beta Feature " "
Sinhala Wikipedia Opt-in Beta Feature " "
Spanish Wikipedia Opt-in Beta Feature " "
Swedish Wikipedia Opt-in Beta Feature " "
Tamil Wikipedia Opt-in Beta Feature " "
Turkish Wikipedia Opt-in Beta Feature " "
Ukrainian Wikipedia Opt-in Beta Feature " "
Vietnamese Wikipedia Opt-in Beta Feature " "
English Wikiversity Opt-in Beta Feature " "
MediaWiki.org Opt-in Beta Feature " "
Meta-Wiki Opt-in Beta Feature " "
The Arabic, Dutch, French and Hungarian Wikipedias are participating in this project as "partner wikis". This means new communication tools for talk pages will be deployed to these wikis first so we can work together to refine them. If you would like to see these new tools deployed to your wiki, please leave a message on the talk page.

Open questions[edit]

This section contains questions the team could use your help trying to answer.

Starting a new discussion: Are there aspects about starting new conversation threads you find take a lot of effort? Are there you like? Please post a link or describe your experience here:

Share a story about a new discussion

How you can help[edit]

If questions like the examples given in this section are interesting to you, please add your name to “Participate” subpage.

The ~40 people who already have, are contributing their expertise and experiences to ensure the new tools we develop as part of this project are valuable and useful to the editors who depend on talk pages to communicate, now and in the future.

  • Talk page experience - "When you think about your experiences using talk pages, are there particular memories that stand out to you?"
  • Design feedback - Here are mockups of Version 2.0 of the new Reply tool, what aspects of the design do you think could be made more clear?
  • Wiki expertise - "What do you think needs to be considered before the new Reply tool is enabled on pages outside talk namespaces?"

Updates[edit]

The best way to stay up to date about the project is by adding the “Updates” subpage to your watch list. The team will use this page to share information about new feature development, deployment plans and questions the team would value your input on.

Updates are typically posted every month. You can read the latest project update here: 4 September 2020(2020-09-04) .

The other two places you might consider checking for updates are:

Objectives[edit]

Wikipedia depends on contributors collaborating, and communication is an important part of the collaborative process.[1]

Trouble is, communicating on Wikipedia happens on talk pages which can be challenging for contributors across experience levels to use.

Contributors with more experience report being slowed down by having to do something manual in order for other contributors "to know who posted what, and when, so they can follow the thread of a conversation, post on a user talk page if appropriate, and even just know whether a posting is recent enough to be worth responding to."[2]

Newer contributors on the other hand, find basic tasks, like replying to a comment, confusing. In some instances, these contributors even confuse talk pages for article pages.[3]

The Editing Team has two key objectives with this project. To create tools that:

  1. Make it more intuitive for newcomers to communicate with others so they can grow into productive contributors.[4]
  2. Give experienced contributors more leverage to communicate and coordinate their wiki work with others.

This project is an outcome of the 2019 Talk Pages Consultation, a 5-month long effort that brought volunteers on 20 wikis, across 15 languages and four projects (Wikipedia, Commons, Wikidata and Wiktionary) together with members of the Wikimedia Foundation to share their experiences with existing wiki communication tools and to help develop improvements to them.

The Talk pages project supports the Wikimedia Movement's Medium Term Plan. Specifically, the plan's Thriving Movement priority area which strives to "welcome and support newcomers." We think newer contributors learning and progressing depends on their ability to communicate with more experienced contributors, and by extension, to use talk pages intuitively.[4]

Glossary[edit]

The talk pages project glossary is intended to help us all communicate about talk pages more effectively by making sure we have a shared understanding about the words we use in our discussions and documentation throughout the project.

References[edit]

Many projects have, and are, working to improve contributors' experiences with talk pages. This particular project is better off for their existence. Some of the projects the team continues to learn from are listed below.

If there is a project and or resource you think we should be aware of, please say something on the talk page.

Talk page projects:

FAQ[edit]

When will the new version of talk pages be released?

There will not be a "new version" of talk pages that will get released all at once. Instead, this project will be made up of a series of incremental improvements that will be released over time.

How are talk pages going to change?

  • Some features may involve introducing new wikitext. Although, any changes to wikitext will be limited to those that enable new features that benefit contributors. Features like replying to specific comments or watchlisting particular discussions.
  • Potentially changing where the "Discussion" tab exists on the page
  • Potentially changing where metadata – that currently exists atop some talk pages – is presented
The list above is not exhaustive and will likely change as the project progresses.

How long is this project likely to last?

1–2 years.

Related pages[edit]