Who Wrote That?
A browser extension, which displays authorship information directly on Wikipedia articles
Who Wrote That? (WWT) is a browser extension which displays authorship information directly on Wikipedia articles. When you hover over content, the tool highlights all content by the same author. When you click on content, the tool identifies the author of the revision, along with revision details. Overall, WWT allows users to discover the source and background of an edit, without digging through revision history.
WWT was developed by the Community Tech team, in response to #4 wish from the 2017 Community Wishlist Survey. The data and analysis in WWT come from the WhoColor API, developed by WikiWho, and the MediaWiki API. This project was completed in February 2020. We conducted an investigation to determine if we could expand the accessibility of the tool to other wikis/languages or convert it to a gadget in the future. Expansion may be possible, but requires time and resources that are not immediately available to the Community Tech team. However, there may be opportunities for expansion in the future. We want your feedback. Let us know what you think on the project Talk page, and thanks in advance!
How To Use WWT
How to Install the Tool
As a first step, you’ll need to install the tool as a browser extension on Chrome or Firefox.[Note 1] To do this, click on the associated links to access the extension stores. When you access the store, click “Add to Chrome” or “Add to Firefox” to install the extension. The extension is free to install and use.
How To Access the Tool
Once you have installed WWT, you can begin using the tool. First, you should navigate to a page where you can access WWT. To do this, the following must be true:
- You should be viewing an article page (not a talk page or user page) on the English, German, Basque, Turkish, or Spanish Wikipedia.
- You should be in read mode (i.e., not editing mode).
- You should be using a desktop browser (i.e., no mobile device or mobile browser).
If these conditions are true, there should be a “Who Wrote That?” link in the "tools" section in the Wikipedia sidebar (usually located on the left side of the window). Click on the link to activate the tool. For first time users, a pop-up will appear, which introduces you to the tool. You can click “Got It” to dismiss the pop-up.
The first main feature of WWT is the highlight feature. With this tool, you can hover over any word or thumbnail image, and you’ll see other content associated with that author highlighted. This way, you can see how specific content relates to other content. You can also determine the general level of activity of the associated author on the page.
Revision Details Feature
The second main feature in WWT is the revision details pop-up. With this feature, you can find specific information about the author and revision. To do this, click on a word or thumbnail image. You’ll see that a pop-up loads, which displays the following information:
- The name of the author associated with the content. You’ll see links to the author’s user page, talk page, and revision history. Note that, for users with IP addresses, the tool links to the contributions page rather than the user page.
- The timestamp associated with the revision, with a link to the associated diff. Note that the time is displayed in the browser’s local time.
- The edit summary associated with the revision, if any.
- The bytes associated with the revision.
- The percentage of the page written by the author. This percentage is calculated based on tokens rather than on characters, and it does not necessarily take into account every part of the page. However, the percentage can provide a general approximation of the author’s imprint on the page overall.
Accessing WWT with Older Pages & Diffs
You can use WWT with older versions of an article. In addition, you can use it on diff pages (in the article section below the diff).
Links when WWT is Enabled
When WWT is enabled, some links may behave a bit differently:
- Links to other wiki pages are disabled within the article page.
- External links are disabled within the article page.
- Internal links (to sections within the page) are still active.
- The user can click “Edit.” They will be directed to the edit view, and WWT will close.
- When WWT is enabled, all links outside the article are accessible. If a user clicks on such links, they will be redirected to the associated page and WWT will close. The user will need to reload WWT to open the tool again.
How To Close the Tool
To close the tool, you can click on the “Who Wrote That” link in Tools. You can also click on the “x” in the information bar (at the top of the page). Once you have closed WWT, you can easily re-open it by clicking on the “Who Wrote That” link again.
When you load WWT, you may sometimes experience errors. If an error occurs, you will see an “Error” message in the information bar, which will be colored red. You can follow the instructions in the information bar when errors occur. Whenever you encounter an error, we recommend that you refresh the page and try loading the tool again.
Current Limitations of the Tool
There are some limitations to the tool, including:
- WWT only works on article pages (not talk, user, or other pages).
- WWT only works for some wikis. This is because we receive the analysis from the WhoColor API, and we can only display data covered by the API.
- WWT provides authorship information for certain content. It does not analyze templates and some other elements. This is because we receive the analysis from the WhoColor API, and we can only display data covered by the API.
- WWT is only available for desktop users, in its current form. We may consider expanding support to mobile users or mobile browsers in the future.
- WWT is currently a browser extension, rather than a wiki extension or gadget. We may consider making it a gadget in the future.
We Want Your Feedback!
WWT is a new tool, and we’re excited to share it! We have already fixed many bugs, and more bug fixes are in the works. As we work to improve WWT, we want your feedback! How does the tool look and feel? Is it easy to install and use? Do you have any questions or concerns about the tool? Please share your thoughts on the project Talk page or on Phabricator. Thank you and we look forward to hearing from all of you!
- The Vivaldi browser accepts the Chrome extension as well.