Topic on Talk:New requirements for user signatures

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Support link, oppose linter

Alsee (talkcontribs)

First I want to note that I'm not a fan of putting this on display in the bottom of a locked filing cabinet stuck in a disused lavatory with a sign on the door saying Beware of the Leopard. I only saw it because it accidentally turned up in the middle of a list of Phab search results.

The link requirement is helpful to users, the error message would be clear and simple, and it's surely in line with policy or practice at probably every wiki.

The linter portion is not remotely supported by the why rationale offered for the proposal. It would pointlessly disrupt users with confusing error messages on perfectly valid wikitext. It would be insane to suggest things like <small><sup>this</small></sup> could or would ever be banned. @Whatamidoing (WMF) Please ping me if linter is dropped from the signature proposal. In that case I can skip incorporating this signatures item in a linter-related discussion planned for the new EnWiki Village Pump page.

AntiCompositeNumber (talkcontribs)

@Alsee That example isn't perfectly valid wikitext though. It's a side effect of a old, broken parsing system that is being replaced, and shouldn't be used. If you've got a suggestion about where this proposal should be further publicized, I'm sure we'd all be glad to hear it.

Alsee (talkcontribs)

@AntiCompositeNumber your argument is completely unrelated to the rationale given for this proposal.

Instead of trying to push through the linter issue under a deceptive rationale, how about we allow the Require a link to user page, talk page or contributions portion sail through uncontroversially. Then you or anyone else can make a separate linter proposal with the authentic rationale. Then I can more neatly wrap the linter topic inside a discussion I plan to open on the Foundation's broader strategy around VisualEditor. There has been too much conflict between the Foundation and the community, too many failed products, and it primarily traces back to the strategy around VisualEditor. The Foundation and the community need to get in better alignment on our broader strategy, and one possible outcome is that the rationale you just gave for linter vanishes.

Kaldari (talkcontribs)

I don't see what this proposal has to do with VisualEditor. Regardless of whether the WMF uses VE or Parsoid for talk page replies, they will still need to be able to reliably detect signatures in order to reliably add reply buttons, which is impossible right now. Requiring signatures to use sane HTML makes detection much easier. Of course it also has lots of other nice side-effects like making signatures render consistently regardless of HTML doctype and making it easier to migrate to Parsoid (or any sort of modern DOM-based parser), but that's not really the point.

Alsee (talkcontribs)

Setting aside the other issues, you can't actually impose any constraints at all on signatures. Anyone can type anything as a signature - or even automate it with a userscript. -- Main (talk) 25:68, 44 March 4130 (UTC)

AntiCompositeNumber (talkcontribs)

Sure -- and people can just not sign their messages at all. That's like saying Wikipedia shouldn't have verifiability standards because anyone can edit.

Matma Rex (talkcontribs)
Spinningspark (talkcontribs)

In general, I'm in favour of grandfathering in signatures when the rules change. However, there really is no excuse for having linter errors in a sig, and I'm speaking as someone who had errors in my sig for years until it was pointed out. They might still be there in wikis I visit only rarely.

Unclosed bolding, italics, small etc can cause enormous problems on pages that are transclusions of many other discussions, messing up the entire page. Examples are Wikipedia's DYK and AFD log pages. It is annoyingly time consuming to track down which discussion caused the problem and which post in that discussion, let alone find the actual error.

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