Topic on Talk:New requirements for user signatures

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Whatamidoing (WMF) (talkcontribs)

Just a quick heads-up to say that the team decided to implement most of this, but not all of it. Official announcements will be forthcoming, but the overall notion is this:

  • They will not disallow all obsolete HTML tags. That could be done later, but they wanted to keep it simpler at this stage.
  • Most of the work will happen during 2020.
  • After they make the initial changes to MediaWiki, we'll notify active editors if their signatures need to be updated.
    • I think that the most likely approach is a MassMessage for each separate problem ("you need to un-tick that box" to one list, "you need to get the template out of your sig" to another list, etc.). @AntiCompositeNumber has a good system for generating these lists, which means that anyone can start this work at any point, or you can wait for me to send messages.
    • If you can help with translation and localization of these messages, please watch this thread (click the star in the upper corner of *this* thread to make it blue, even if you're watching the whole page [which I recommend, too]).
WereSpielChequers (talkcontribs)

It would be good if you could composite media messages where editors are going to get multiple messages, alternatively phase the messages apart so that someone with three problems gets their messages a month or more apart - that would also spread the support side of this. But I do hope you change the signature box validation process first - so any new or changed signatures have to be fully compliant. We don't want a situation where people can fix one problem in their signature by replacing it with something that is about to be a problem

Whatamidoing (WMF) (talkcontribs)

Yes, I agree that the software changes come first.

Are you aware of any editors with three separate problems in their signatures?

WereSpielChequers (talkcontribs)

Hi WhatAmI, I would predict that if you make three changes to the software as to what is a valid signature there will be some editors to whom you cause three problems, but i don't know - I would hope the people who want to make these changes would know. However I would suggest a slightly more editor friendly approach re this - remember the foundation is making changes that are causing a problem to these people's signatures, not that these are editors with problematic signatures. A subtle nuance, but a very important one.

Jonesey95 (talkcontribs)

Some of these editors *do* have signatures that cause problems, like unclosed tags that cause the whole rest of the page to be rendered in a smaller font, or with strikeout text. I provided links on this page or a related page.

WereSpielChequers (talkcontribs)

Hi Jonesey, I don't know about all other projects, but on the wikis where I am most active, if you use a signature that causes the sorts of problems that you describe, people will point out that you have an invalid signature. Dealing with such signatures is not the problem area, the problem is with signatures that are currently valid, and have been valid for some years. Telling people that a change has been made that requires them to make a change to their signature is different than telling people they have made an invalid signature.

Jonesey95 (talkcontribs)

I think we agree then. This page is only about signatures that are invalid in some way.

Whatamidoing (WMF) (talkcontribs)

One of the problems is ticking a box to say how you want your custom signature interpreted, without having a custom signature for the software to interpret. This obviously won't be found in combination with any of the other problems, since the existence of any custom signature, including a problematic one, would make this non-problematic. (Now that I think of it, those messages could go out at any time.)

Nested substitution has been banned in policy since before any of us were baby editors, so I don't expect to find many unblocked/unbanned accounts with that problem. I can imagine the other two problems being combined in the same sig, but I don't remember anyone actually reporting an example of it.


MaxHarmony (talkcontribs)

To clarify, is this change being rolled into the publicly-available software, or is it an internal revision for Wikimedia? If it's being rolled in, will it be a configurable option?

Whatamidoing (WMF) (talkcontribs)

This will affect WMF wikis, e.g., the English Wikipedia. I am not certain if it will affect the default MediaWiki core for anyone who upgrades their private MediaWiki servers, but I believe that it will be. Do you have your own wiki?

Tacsipacsi (talkcontribs)

I think this should certainly be configurable for non-WMF wikis. I’ve had hard time disabling all password complexity rules, so that I can have 1234 as a sysop password in my own wiki, running on my own computer, in my own local network—nobody will ever try to hack that account, as only my family has even a chance to access the wiki. Similarly, different wikis may have different rules and customs; most wikis will probably never use DiscussionTools, so this change is not technically needed on them etc. (Just to reassure: I have a much stronger password than 1234 here on MediaWiki.org, as it’s a real possibility that someone tries to hack into my Wikimedia account.)

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