Wikinews:Water cooler/technical

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Birgit Müller (WMDE) 14:45, 7 May 2018 (UTC)

RfC: Plans to graduate the New Filters on Watchlist out of beta[edit]

Collaboration team is announcing plans to graduate the New Filters for Edit Review out of beta on Watchlist by late June or early July. After launch, this suite of improved edit-search tools will be standard on all wikis. Individuals who prefer the existing Watchlist interface will be able to opt out by means of a new preference.

The New Filters introduce an easier yet more powerful user interface to Watchlist as well as a whole list of filters and other tools that make reviewing edits more efficient, including live page updating, user-defined highlighting,the ability to create special-purpose filter sets and save them for re-use and (on wikis with ORES enabled) predictive filters powered by machine learning. If you’re not familiar with the New Filters, please give them a try on Watchlist by activating the New Filters beta feature. In particular, it would be very helpful if you can test the new functionality with your local gadgets and configurations. The documentation pages provide guidance on how to use the many new tools you’ll discover.

Over 70,000 people have activated the New Filters beta, which has been in testing on Watchlist for more than eight months. We feel confident that the features are stable and effective, but if you have thoughts about these tools or the beta graduation, please let us know on the project talk page. In particular, tell us if you know of a special incompatibility or other issue that makes the New Filters problematic on your wiki. We’ll examine the blocker and may delay release on your wiki until the issue can be addressed. - -Kaartic (talk) 17:22, 5 June 2018 (UTC)

Let me know if there's a better place to post this. - -Kaartic (talk) 17:23, 5 June 2018 (UTC)
@Kaartic: Is this related to the godawful screw-up change of the RecentChanges interface that was forced on us a few months(?) ago? (This all makes me very sad.) --Pi zero (talk) 17:42, 5 June 2018 (UTC)
@Pi zero: Yes, this is a change similar to a recent update to the recent changes. I'm sorry these changes make you feel sad. Could you please elaborate on what makes you feel about the change? It would be helpful in assessing whether this should be held back. Also note that, you could opt-out of both the Recent changes update and the upcoming update to the watchlist if you want to. - -Kaartic (talk) 13:03, 6 June 2018 (UTC)
@Kaartic: Well, fwiw, some thoughts.
  • About RC.
  • To be clear, I don't claim the old interface was perfect. There are generally things one might wish to tweak, about such things. (When I laid out the Wikinews:Breadboard, with similar-though-different functionality to Special:ExpandTemplates, I turned the layout upside-down, with display above and input below.)
  • There was a significant loss of functionality in the change; I don't know what-all was lost, or whether some things are really still there if one knows suitable tricks to get at them, but I do know that one of the things I would most often shift over temporarily was to suppress my own actions from the display, and after the change I was only able to make that happen by trying it on another project that the change had not yet been applied to, and examining the url to see what parameter was doing it, then manually adding that parameter here. Eventually I suppose I'll lose the ability to do it entirely, as I'll no longer be able to remember enough to recreate that parameter.
  • The new interface causes persistent changes within a single panel view, making it hard to shift to a variant view temporarily and then go back to the way things were. For example, each morning when I get up I want to look through everything that happened since I last checked RC the previous evening, and I used to (often) temporarily shift up from 50 changes to some larger number; and when I was done looking through that history, I would simply click the "back" button on my browser and be back to the usually 50-changes display. I can still achieve that, by bypassing the new interface again, manually editing the url to increase the limit parameter and then using the browser's "back" button when I'm done.
  • English Wikinews has an extensive customized display at the top of RC, including some important status information. It's provided as, and used by some of us as, a primary view of the project. Frankly, that customized information is generally more important than the clutter of (also now less effective) controls taking up vertical space now. And that information is meant to be instantly visible to IPs with no prior knowledge of the project. Yet the new interface hides that important information, requiring someone who knows the project well enough to know to go out of their way in order to make it visible, and takes up vertical space for less important controls that are likely to be rarely used.
  • A digression about the meta-picture here (because resistance is futile). When I sad "this all" makes me sad, I wasn't referring merely to these specific changes. In the process of improving things, stuff changes, and not every change is going to be to any particular person's liking. I might be "sorry" but not so much "sad" to see some mixed results as part of general changes for the better. As I've become attuned to the long-term trends of the Foundation's behavior, I've realized that the underlying conceptual framework that motivates the Foundation's strategic decisions is deeply flawed, with pervasive influence (sometimes subtle, sometimes not so much) on the tactical changes made to the platform over time. Absorbing inconveniences in a good cause is different from absorbing inconveniences in a bad cause. Add to that the insight that (as with the world at large) nearly all the intentions involved are good, and the realization that the Foundation's conceptual framework is highly robust against outside tampering with their beliefs. And that's where the word "sad" is coming from.

    When I first came to Wikinews I thought the oldtimers here were awfully paranoid about the Foundation. That was nearly ten years ago. I no longer think they were paranoid. I mostly don't try to object to whatever is the latest bad news about what the Foundation has decided to do to us on the non-Wikipedian sisters, having concluded they fundamentally don't care about helping non-Wikipedian sisters generally, and are willing in particular to go out of their way to avoid doing anything that might be helpful to Wikinews. My software development for the wiki is designed to avoid giving the Foundation any avoidable oversight, and to be as robust as I could reasonably arrange against future unfortunate design changes to the platform. On the other hand, when the recent changes to RC negatively impacted us, one of our more recently arrived Wikinewsies, not yet so cynical, raised some objections (I think that was at phabricator, where I have no voice since, in order to set up an account there, I'm asked to agree to some sort of obscure sharing of private information that I do not trust); and was given excuses why their objections were being dismissed.

--Pi zero (talk) 16:40, 6 June 2018 (UTC)
Hi Pi zero. Just to chime in re. your comment that "There was a significant loss of functionality in the change," I don't believe that is accurate. The New Filters were designed to provide parity with the old functionality in all ways—while providing a lot of completely new tools and capabilities. You mention the ability to suppress your own actions: To accomplish this with the new UI, open the main filtering menu, scroll to the "Contribution authorship" section and check the box for "Changes by others" while leaving "Changes by you" unselected. If that's your default mode, click the bookmark icon to save a filter set and then select the box for "Make this my default."
It's possible that what confused you about this is that the logic of the new filtering interface flips the previous logic. In the past, one selected filters based on what one wanted to "hide" (e.g., "my edits"). In the new UI, one selects what one wants to include (e.g., "changes by others"). While the new logic may seem strange at first, once people try it they usually find that it's quite familiar from big web sites like that also let you select filters to refine search results. I hope you'll give the new UX another chance, but if you prefer not to, you'll be able to opt out and reinstate the old UX. —JMatazzoni (WMF) (talk) 22:27, 6 June 2018 (UTC)
@JMatazzoni (WMF): The two putative remedies you mention appear irrelevant to the practicalities I described in my critique of the RC interface. The ability for an experienced user to opt out, for instance, is irrelevant to what IPs see; if I am able to opt out of an "upgrade" that cripples our ability to provide help to ordinary contributors, my opting out doesn't uncripple us. I see nothing in your remarks that bears on lightly checking-and-then-undoing variant displays. I also, btw, see no particular significance in whether one describes something in terms of hiding versus including; but whether the controls to do things are out in the open where they're easy to see and understand, or buried down in some ponderous device that a user with a sense of self-preservation wouldn't want to touch — that matters. --Pi zero (talk) 23:16, 6 June 2018 (UTC)
Pi zero, concerning the information on top of the RC page, you can move all messages to mediawiki:recentchanges-summary, so that they will always appear on top of the page. MediaWiki:Recentchangestext should then be used only for things related to the RC page. Trizek (WMF) (talk) 14:06, 8 June 2018 (UTC)
That works, for the third of the three criticisms I'd listed. Thanks. --Pi zero (talk) 15:35, 8 June 2018 (UTC)
Your two other points are more personal than global, that's why I haven't replied in details first. :)
Concerning the first one, I can certainly help you at finding the missing features. Please use my talk page and details cases you have, I'll reply on Monday.
Concerning the second one, you will need two clicks instead of one to switch back to 50 edits display. As a volunteer, that has bothered me during the first minutes testing the filters on my watchlist but now I can afford to click twice instead of once and benefit of all other functions I now appreciate.
Have a nice weekend, Trizek (WMF) (talk) 17:47, 8 June 2018 (UTC)
I understood myself to have been asked my criticisms of the interface. I offered them. We're in agreement that the third point was the one of broadest import. On other aspects of the interface, though my criticisms stand, I see these details as largely distractions from the larger principle that the design of such interfaces should be grown by the local communities within the scope of wiki markup (and that's been the focus of my software development efforts on-project for years now; cf. essay).

A good weekend to you, as well. --Pi zero (talk) 18:09, 8 June 2018 (UTC)

@Trizek (WMF): Some further thoughts on the interface, fwiw.
  • Number of clicks can fail to capture important aspects of ergonomics, one of which is error-proneness. Part of my point was that, under the old interface, when I was done with whichever variant view I'd been looking at and wanted to go back to the usual view, there were no complicated decisions to make and it was well-nigh impossible to get wrong. It wasn't even necessary to remember how I'd gotten to the variant view in the first place, nor to remember, conversely, details of what I was trying to get back to.
  • I've just spent a pile of time struggling with the new interface, trying to accomplish the simple task of changing the view to exclude my edits. With much effort and time, I failed to accomplish the objective. The point is not that I want help figuring out how to do it (why would I bother? manually altering the url is easier to do and can be undone easily and reliably); the point is that the new interface being hard to figure out means, by definition, the interface is badly designed.
--Pi zero (talk) 16:58, 9 June 2018 (UTC)
Thank you for your reply and your critics, Pi zero. I appreciate them and the nice conversation we have.
I've offered to provide you some tips, if you wish some, like when you enter a new house and you're told where are the restrooms or the furnace. If you've found what you were looking for by yourself, that's the most important. Other people may have a different experience, and the most important for us is to provide a tool that works for the majority of users and readers.
Feedback we had, both from the 3 design testing phases and the numerous feedback from users across the wikis, haven't raised the points you raise. Honestly, I've seen two kind of feedback on the feedback places: most feedback was about bug fixes and local scripts incompatibilities (we've replied to most of them), some people asked for a bit of assistance because the interface is new, and a very few people who were just against the change by principle and wanted to opt-out immediately without giving a try to the new filters. Overall, I think people appreciate the interface.
I appreciate that you gave a try to the filters and provided some thoughts about how the design should be, but, for now, I'm afraid I can't offer anything more than guiding you (BYW, to exclude your edits, click on the menu for filters "Filter changes" and, on the list of filters, select "changes by others").
Trizek (WMF) (talk) 08:43, 11 June 2018 (UTC)
@Trizek (WMF): Fwiw, some thoughts on the sort of feedback you're talking about. Really good designs cannot be produced by majority-based response to feedback (one should say, not by that alone); vision is required, and real success must always come down to whether somebody has the right vision or the wrong vision, with no vision being reliably an unrisky way to be wrong; and in even interpreting feedback at all one has to aggressively consider how the feedback, especially on a statistical basis, can be misleading. For example, who does and does not give the feedback, what biases are they going to bring to it, what may be lurking amongst those who don't provide feedback, and what do those who provide feedback know, or think they know, about what they're critiquing? If people expect feedback to be pointless, they won't give it; and there you're up against both people's perceptions that you inherit from all other software contexts they've dealt with, and the Foundation's reputation (which, I have to say, is horrible amongst the non-Wikipedian sisters, deservedly, having been earned through consistent bad behavior since right about the time the position of Executive Director was created). If people don't know how to give feedback, they won't. If they don't have deep insight into interface design, they won't be able to offer any but superficial feedback. For whichever reason, it's entirely possible for important principles to be not mentioned at all in feedback, or at best mentioned by one person (and that much more likely if the individual is atypical of those providing feedback, directly opposing any majoritarian interpretation of feedback). --Pi zero (talk) 18:12, 11 June 2018 (UTC)
Concerning how to collect feedback, we do our best to get comments: from the Beta page, from all newsletters and messages left on the wikis, directly from the interface as far as it is possible. We also ask people directly: people who are interested by a given topic or a given problematic, and of course random volunteers who are offered to test things. People who opt-in Beta features do that on a page where they've an option to provide feedback. When they've opted-in for all Beta features by default, they notice changes and have a pop-up offering them to provide feedback. We also know our limitations: it is not possible to have feedback from everyone, across all wikis and all languages. We work on those weaknesses, like the language gap (we welcome comments in any language) or new ways to ask for direct feedback about actions (micro-surveying). In any case, when I receive feedback, I dig in and ask for clarifications and more details. That's also a way to identify implied issues that were not identified by the first comment received. We are far away from the initial discussion, but while that's more about my daily job, that's fine. :) Trizek (WMF) (talk) 08:32, 13 June 2018 (UTC)

looks like it is the right time to share the link for the phab request.
•–• 08:52, 11 June 2018 (UTC)

While real time updating of watch lists is nice I do not always keep the recent changes list open in a separate tab. Instead I have implemented a user script which shows recent changes below the footer of each page, and -- only when single clicked -- it updates. User:Gryllida/js/showRcAtPageEnd-0.1.js For me at this wiki this has proven to be an effective strategy for monitoring recent changes each day and each hour at some points, I recommend that you experiment with something similar and do not include the recent changes live feed in the present form. --Gryllida (talk) 02:19, 6 June 2018 (UTC)
As Gryllida has started a thread in the project talk page, let's keep the conversations there. - -Kaartic (talk) 13:03, 6 June 2018 (UTC)
Kaartic I doubt the people here would be willing to use Flow. You may wish to continue looking at this discussion. Gryllida (talk) 21:54, 7 June 2018 (UTC)
@Kaartic, Gryllida: Flow is inappropriate for serious discussion. --Pi zero (talk) 22:55, 7 June 2018 (UTC)
Gryllida, I've created T196739 with your suggestion. - -Kaartic (talk) 13:15, 8 June 2018 (UTC)
(Just to make it clear I Oppose addition of the new recent changes feed ui to this wiki. If consensus is considered here.) --Gryllida (talk) 21:58, 7 June 2018 (UTC)
I too Oppose, fwiw. --Pi zero (talk) 22:55, 7 June 2018 (UTC)

I personally don't like them, so Oppose unless it's somehow critical. I would prefer if we could have the option of both. —Justin (koavf)TCM 00:01, 8 June 2018 (UTC)

@Koavf: There is an option of both. To be clear, you can still use the old Special:Watchlist UI is not going away (neither has the old Special:RecentChanges UI). You can opt-out of the new feature via Special:Preferences if you want to. You could also opt-out via the message you would see above Special:Watchlist after the first time you visit it after the update. To add to it, you can opt-back-in if you think you want to give the new UI a try. - -Kaartic (talk) 12:55, 8 June 2018 (UTC)
@Kaartic: Not claiming to speak for Koavf, and to avoid possible misunderstanding: my point concerned the RC interface for IPs and newcomers as well as for experienced users, for which opt-out has no bearing. --Pi zero (talk) 13:38, 8 June 2018 (UTC)
@Pi zero: I'm asking other people about whether there is an option to disable the feature per-wiki. I'll let you know about how the discussion concludes. - -Kaartic (talk) 14:03, 8 June 2018 (UTC)
Anyone (except IPs) has the option for both: they can opt-in filters on RC and not on watchlist, or the opposite, or have them on both or none. Have the filters for everyone by default is a good practice for consistency across the wikis.
Please elaborate on special incompatibilities or other issues that makes the New Filters problematic on your wiki from a technical perspective, preferably as bug reports. We’ll examine those with attention. Trizek (WMF) (talk) 14:06, 8 June 2018 (UTC)
There are issues.
1) You have not asked what changes we need. To my liking we don't need any. I don't change RC display filters frequently, and addition of large clunky ui to perform RC display filtering is akin to adding a new monitor to the work station of a blind person.
2) Perhaps if you introduce this change while leaving clicky links as they are now -- without adding large chunky buttons there -- it could pass more comfortably; however I would still be concerned about the CPU impact on IP contributors whose computer is slow.
3) We have one incredibly valuable contributor here who frequently edits as an IP due to Internet and privacy issues, and their productivity would be impacted by this change. They are a privileged user who volunteered to participate in the core tasks of original reporting and peer review, and losing them would be a major inconvenience for the project. --Gryllida (talk) 21:09, 12 June 2018 (UTC)
Thank you for your message Gryllida. I need some clarifications on the points you raise using your personal experience, because I don't see any technical blockers described there.
You mention the "large clunky ui", without examples of blockers. You see it as large, despite the fact that it is less high than the previous Recent chances interface. For Watchlist, the new interface takes a bit more space on a large screen (not on a narrow one) than before. To change that, extra blank space will be removed soon, and a way to collapse the commands will be provided (for the case when you don't change filters frequently). The interface aims more compact and will become even more compact, with commands built to be more accessible (more contrasts, margins, etc.) than the previous one.
Some users have reported performance issues on their computer. However, in most cases those users had some personal scripts installed that. When those scripts where inactive, the performance issues were gone. We also have unresolved cases on the centralized feedback page, where people haven't replied to the issues the pointed out. In any case, we have taken those feedback seriously and provided some fixes. We have also checked performances on old computers without significant blockers (I run my own tests on an old Dell Inspiron 1520 from 2007 -- when it starts).
Can you provide details about that IP who would be impacted by the filters on watchlists? Can that person explain to me directly the issue they are facing and how the filters on Watchlists? Unless you're referring to filters on Recent Changes, that are default since September 2017? We don't want to see the filters blocking someone from contributing for technical reasons.
Thanks, Trizek (WMF) (talk) 08:32, 13 June 2018 (UTC)
1) The ui change requires my labour to learn it. It would be nice to have an option of avoiding this labour. Please add an option for using a ui which corresponds to what was used before (clickable links not buttons).
2) Live feeds are not used by majority of people at this wiki. Adding them, even without adding ui changes, would be akin to adding a new monitor for a blind person.
3) The JavaScript issues are not only that of performance. It is also an ethical issue: I would not like my personal computer to do computing which I do not need. I have uMatrix installed to control that, and if you add the Recent Changes Live Feed, then I would be obliged to blacklist it.
4) Also I dislike ui changes introduced after the page started loading. For example, when VisualEditor loads, some page elements move around after they have already been displayed once. This is terrible. This is the case with the Recent Changes Live Feed, it takes more higher space than initially when the page begins to load. This requires me to move my eyes to resume reading a line which was already visible at the screen.
5) I dislike icons. Text is better. 'Hide anonymous users' vs 'Show anonymous users' is easy to read.
6) After toggling something in the old interface it is very easy to toggle back. In the new interface this requires typing the name of the thing into a box by hand. This is inconvenient. Maybe it is my first time and I misclicked and I do not even remember what I clicked.
7) The new interface seems more compact, but in fact it hides the num of edits and dates away into a button at the right. This makes them harder to find.
8) I am not sure whether the contributor would be willing to clarify their concerns. The last time I asked, they weren't (see the last section on my talk page, which has a link to the past discussion). --Gryllida (talk) 02:54, 14 June 2018 (UTC)
I'm sorry, but most of your feedback can't be considered as technical blockers.
About icons and time-and-date menu, and like on any new interface, it requires a time for adaptation. It is like getting used to a new home or a new car. That's also why a Beta period is provided: to give you time to try new tools and provide feedback.
Live feed (if I understand correctly what you are referring to) has no obligation to be used. Live updates is a button you have to click on to get it activated, and the "Show newest changes" link is offered with no obligation to be used. You can click it when ready to see new changes, or don't use it at all to reload the page manually. That's up to you. Both live updates and "new changes" link will add new changes to the list of results, visually separated by a line from the previous ones, only if you ask for them.
If you don't use javascript, you will get the old interface, without all added options. Those options were built using JavaScript because that's was the best option, according to developers, to add more interactive functions that would fit the tested design. Concerning performances, we investigate report of slow Watchlist load times. While there is no broken scripts on your wiki or your account, that's not a blocker.
However, you raised two points that may require more attention (while they are not blockers):
  1. what is that issue with the visual editor? How can I reproduce it, can you give me the steps? Can you show how the page looks like to you? Do you have that issue if you append safemode=1 at the end of the editing URL? That's not related at all with the new filters, but I can't let you with something you think is an issue.
  2. concerning your point #6, to witch menu/tooltip are you referring to? How can I reproduce it, can you give me the steps? That may be related to the interface adaptation time.
Concerning the IP contributor, I'm sorry I can't do much more is I don't get more clarifications. If blocked, that person can setup an exception for Special:RecentChanges on its browser's JavaScript management settings that will fallback the filters to the old state.
Thanks, Trizek (WMF) (talk) 09:53, 14 June 2018 (UTC)
Hello Trizek,
  1. Look and feel are important and need to be addressed before this tool graduates.
  2. I am glad if the live feed feature itself is an opt in.
  3. I am glad if the ORES highlighting still works with JavaScript disabled. Does it?
  4. I will need to make several screenshots of ui jumps.
  5. Sorry Trizek but I fear that an icon-less ui version, which corresponds to the current interface, needs to be created before this tool graduates.
  6. Hard to toggle back - I thinbk you did not address this.
  7. Dates harder to access - I think you did not address this.
  8. Anonymous contributor - please see their responses on my talk page at the end.
  9. Some extra items may be missing here, which may or may not be found in the discussion above.
This leaves one todo item for me (#4), I'll supply it to you soon.
Again thanks for considering everything Trizek, it is really appreciated.
And please see some extra questions below as I am gradually trying to become more familiar with this tool and suggest a more gradual deployment (if anyone wants it - this needs time to think). Gryllida (talk) 02:15, 16 June 2018 (UTC)
Hello Gryllida
  1. Look and feel scientifically measured for all users, across all wikis, yes. Using your personal opinion only as a blocker is unfair. :)
  2. It is. I regret that you haven't reflected that on your questions below.
  3. As I told you, "if you don't use javascript, you will get the old interface, without all added options". If JavaScript is disabled, you will get the filters like they are now by default (that's the same as opting out the filters). ORES will work, with a less precise accuracy while we can't user the filter to display the different states of predictions.
  4. Please. :)
  5. Sorry but see my point #1. If that's only for you (as in "you" personally or "your community"), you will need to find an alternative. That request is not a technical, measurable blocker.
  6. I don't get that "hard to toggle back". The conversation is long and I may have skipped a point, sorry. Can you clarify again? Or is that what I've been asking you for clarifications on my previous message (you skipped my two questions there).
  7. That's not a feedback I've get on the central feedback page (I've checked quickly and found nothing), so I assume that date and number of edit filtering is specific to you. See my point #1 again.
  8. About the Anonymous user, the only comment left by an IP on your talk page is that one, unrelated.
The gradual deployment is not an available option since:
  • the filters on Recent Changes have been deployed for everyone last September on all wikis,
  • we get no feedback since then from your wiki,
  • the filters are on Beta on your wiki since September, used by +120 users, so that people can try them as they wish.
We keep an option for people who want to keep the Watchlist as it is now, without the filters. Please consider that option when the deployment will be done while the filters apparently don't fit your personal needs. We are not forcing you to use them at the end. Trizek (WMF) (talk) 14:42, 18 June 2018 (UTC)
Trizek (WMF) Hello and thanks for your interest. I may indeed have overlooked some points as I am not really feeling well this winter in Sydney. I am struggling to fix several severe long overdue hardware problems at home while I am also trying to get some rest. Today morning my home laptop fan went out. It may take me a while to get new data that you need.
However about 'toggle back' for example recent changes includes a button to 'HIDE anonymous users' (where Hide is a link) and when clicked it switches to say 'SHOW anonymous users' (where the 'Show' is a link to toggle it back) With the new interface I tried it briefly and I found that when some filters are clicked they simply disappear from the list of filters and re-adding them requires me to remember the name of the filter and type it into a text box below. I will most certainly try to add the ui jumps information as soon as it is practical for me to do so (the hardware failure has also prevented me from doing trip arrangements for early July, this would perhaps also have a higher priority). --Gryllida (talk) 02:12, 20 June 2018 (UTC)
Thank you for that feedback. While we are in the middle of the conversation, I'll reply in a separate section below. Trizek (WMF) (talk) 14:42, 20 June 2018 (UTC)
@Trizek (WMF): Quoting from your #1 "Using your personal opinion only as a blocker is fair." Am I reading it correctly? Is using a personal opinion as a blocker a fair thing? Or am I misunderstanding the meaning of 'fair'? - -Kaartic (talk) 18:12, 18 June 2018 (UTC)
That's a typo from me, thank you for spotting it, Kaartic. I meant "unfair". I think using a personal opinion or a guts feeling as a pretext to block a deployment on all wikis as a wrongful way. This is why I'm asking for actionable blockers based on issues I can reproduce or on data. Not feedback like "I feel like that feature is perceived as [reason] so it should be removed for everyone" or "I personally can't do [action] anymore so it should be removed for everyone" I can sometimes read on other wikis. Trizek (WMF) (talk) 12:37, 19 June 2018 (UTC)
Re, the anonymous user one the talk page: I suppose Gryllida (t · c · b) is referring to replies of Acagastya (t · c · b) in User_talk:Gryllida#"Internet_and_privacy_issues"_when_contributing_using_an_user_account_? - -Kaartic (talk) 18:28, 18 June 2018 (UTC)
Just as a matter of general interest, regarding "we get no feedback since then from your wiki". Sorry if this comes out sounding overly negative, but I see a fundamental error in interpretation going on here, and know no other way to point it out. I have been a contributor to non-Wikipedian sisters for about a decade, and I'm aware of the progressive pessimism and giving up on the Foundation that is beaten into such contributors over years by the way the Foundation disses non-Wikipedian sisters. People like me almost never bother to try to provide feedback, because we know it will be ignored, only wasting time and effort we could have better spent by treating the changes forced on us as natural disasters, after which one cleans up as best one can and tries to find a way to live with the consequences. However, as I think I may have mentioned somewhere above, one of our more recent arrivals here, not yet as far along the curve as I, did try to point out that the change to RC was causing problems here (somewhere; maybe on phabricator?), and met up against a sampling of the vast arsenal of excuses the Foundation has accumulated for ignoring feedback they don't want to hear. Including, 'but we haven't heard a lot of complaints', as if that were evidence of success of the particular feature, rather than being equally well accounted for by long-term evolvution techniques for stifling unwanted feedback (including, teaching people like me not to give feedback).

I see, btw, the phrase "Look and feel scientifically measured for all users, across all wikis". I wanted to say something along the lines of "You don't actually imagine it's possible to scientifically measure look and feel, surely" — but I'm very much afraid that you do imagine it's possible. Misplaced faith in formal methods, machine learning, and the like seems to me one of the most dangerous trends in the world today. --Pi zero (talk) 19:21, 18 June 2018 (UTC)

How can you possibly expect complaints from the editors who are not from Wikipedia because there has been hardly any importance given to non-Wikipedia projects when it comes to listening to them. Editors like Pi zero and Gryllida spend their time developing the tools which the developers should be providing us.
•–• 19:28, 18 June 2018 (UTC)

Acagastya and Pi zero, I'm listening to your community. Alas, for now, the conversation implies that you want to have the whole wiki opting-out. Create an exception like that is not possible both for maintenance and coherence across wikis. It seems that your community doesn't accept that, and you are the only community pushing back.
Since I've started to write here, I try to explain how and why decisions have been taken for that tool, and help you to integrate the new filters the better way. There are workarounds, like editing system messages or, for people who don't like the tool at all, select the opt-out option in their preferences. I'm just looking for clear questions and needs, or issues I can reproduce myself, so I can help you. I've asked for that quite everyday with nothing actionable. I'm spending a lot of time to give you the best experience concerning that new tool (that has been released on RCs months ago).
Overall, on my job, I spend a lot of time on sister projects doing my best to connect developers and users. I don't like when a feature is done only for Wikipedias, especially if that's only for English Wikipedia. I'm sorry that there is no resources to specifically help you. I'm for doing things that would help the maximum of wikis. You may not be aware of that, but say that I'm focusing on Wikipedia-only is not accurate.
I understand that your community can have a certain frustration based on past interactions, and I regret it impacts our current ones. Trizek (WMF) (talk) 12:37, 19 June 2018 (UTC)
If it is not "Wikipedia-only" -- the time will tell, that discussion is not going to bring any good outcome. But in all fairness, I had raised the concerns seven months ago.
•–• 12:46, 19 June 2018 (UTC)
I see your concern. I also see that it was clearly addressed with possible solutions. One of the solutions stated there seven months ago was re-stated in this discussion a few days ago and was used to solve your concern. Am I misunderstanding that. - -Kaartic (talk) 13:30, 19 June 2018 (UTC)

Research details[edit]

Kaartic and Trizek (WMF): the research conducted is unclear. Conclusions are provided but the mechanism of conducting the research is not detailed very much, and it is unclear which of these conclusions apply to which wikis and in what languages. Could you please clarify that? --Gryllida (talk) 02:15, 16 June 2018 (UTC)

You should ask that on the Research talk page. That's the dedicated place, and it makes is easier to keep track of that new discussion. Trizek (WMF) (talk) 14:00, 18 June 2018 (UTC)

Machine learning and highlighting (ORES)[edit]


Machine learning and highlighting might improve productivity here. Kaartic and Trizek (WMF) please detail how to use it. Does ORES learn from each wiki separately or not? Can we try it as a beta feature separately without the live feed? Gryllida (talk) 02:15, 16 June 2018 (UTC)

Machine learning (ORES) is not available on your wiki. You can try it at English Wikipedia. What are your questions about ORES, precisely?
Concerning Highlighting, I'll give you an example. Enable the filters in your Beta preferences, and click on that link. Don't change the filters configuration I've shared. Please tell me how do you know which edits are done by newcomers (less than 4 days on the wiki or less than 10 edits) and which ones are made by "learners" (not newcomers, but with less than 500 edits and 30 days of activity). Then do the same thing with the same conditions, using that link.
I assume that "Live feed" is when you reload the page clicking on "View Newest Changes" or when clock on "Live updates". Any of the filters work without them. Trizek (WMF) (talk) 14:11, 18 June 2018 (UTC)
Hi Trizek. What material does ORES use for learning -- only from this wiki or from several? Can ORES be added without adding the improvements to RC filter ui? Gryllida (talk) 03:28, 20 June 2018 (UTC)
Hi Gryllida - ORES models used on RCs and watchlists are specific to your wiki. If you want to have the service, the community will have to train ORES, by checking diffs in a specific tool. The models you will train could be used without the improvements, but, as I've already explained, with much less precision (only obvious vandalism would be highlighted). Trizek (WMF) (talk) 11:25, 20 June 2018 (UTC)
Trizek (WMF) do we have the option of deploying ORES and new filters here without the live feed and without the new filters ui? That is, deploy everything, but do not load the javascript which adds the new ui and new live features. This would make the software behave in the same manner as if the user had JavaScript disabled. Gryllida (talk) 06:42, 22 June 2018 (UTC)
Trizek (WMF) can we choose what filters to add and what new filters to not add? Is there a list of the new filters? Is it configurable per-wiki? Please advise. Thank you. --Gryllida (talk) 06:45, 22 June 2018 (UTC)
It is possible to get ORES if you do the trainings to feed that IA, please check the documentation about that. ORES will then work on both the new and old UI, no matter if you have opted it in or out. Again, you can opt-out in your preferences. We are not going to opt-out the entire wiki while you haven't shared actionable blockers.
You can create new filters if you want; that's a bit technical. Which filters are not usable? Yes, there is a list, in the documentation we provide. They are standard on all wikis. Trizek (WMF) (talk) 16:40, 22 June 2018 (UTC)
Thanks for this list. I think you can see that reading documentation about such a complex feature set is not easy for me. You sharing a link is really appreciated. Which items from this list are already present in the current (old) version? Gryllida (talk) 21:47, 22 June 2018 (UTC)

I think we are not communicating properly. Consensus is required for you to make a configuration change. However providing blockers to you is not required for anyone. Please let me know if this is wrong. Gryllida (talk) 21:47, 22 June 2018 (UTC)


Contributors here -- would you like to add ORES to this wiki without adding the live feed? This may make it easier to detect spam. See documentation. Gryllida (talk) 02:15, 16 June 2018 (UTC)

UI questions[edit]

Hi! Please see questions below and answer inline. Also please see ORES query above in separate section. Thanks, Gryllida (talk) 02:25, 16 June 2018 (UTC)

Icon free ui[edit]

Would making an icon-free (text-based) ui help you?--Gryllida (talk) 02:25, 16 June 2018 (UTC)


Do you toggle things frequently such as whether to show anonymous contributors? Does the new ui make it difficult to toggle them back?--Gryllida (talk) 02:25, 16 June 2018 (UTC)

Date range[edit]

Do you often change the date range for recent changes? Do you find it easy in the new interface?--Gryllida (talk) 02:25, 16 June 2018 (UTC)

Time range[edit]

There is a button "Show new changes starting from 12:19, 16 June 2018" as a link. Do you use it often? If yes, do you find it easy to use with the new ui?--Gryllida (talk) 02:25, 16 June 2018 (UTC)

Namespace filter[edit]

If you use the namespace filter often, do you find it easier ot harder to use on the new version?--Gryllida (talk) 02:25, 16 June 2018 (UTC)

Tag filter[edit]

If you use the tag filter often, do you find it easier or harder to use on the new version?--Gryllida (talk) 02:25, 16 June 2018 (UTC)


If you bookmark RC list with certainfilters, do you find it easier or harder to do on the new version?--Gryllida (talk) 02:25, 16 June 2018 (UTC)

ui jumps[edit]

To be added --Gryllida (talk) 02:25, 16 June 2018 (UTC)


Does the new interface read well on mobile ? --Gryllida (talk) 02:27, 16 June 2018 (UTC)

performance (loading)[edit]

Are you able to time how quickly the recent changes new ui takes to load? What is the timefor you? This can be done via Firebug or Firefox / Chrome builtin tools. Gryllida (talk) 02:27, 16 June 2018 (UTC)

Message to Trizek[edit]

Hi Trizek (WMF),

Regarding the RfC above I regret having to spend time on this improvement which gives us so little impact on productivity of news writing and news reviewing compared with the semi-automated dialog tools and other tasks done in a similar fashion which really need urgent attention and are getting it from technically minded volunteers very gradually.

Compared to these tasks, the conversation about recent changes feed above are a waste of time because there is many changes proposed. I would suggest that you withdraw the plans to implement the live recent changes feed and repeat your research with the aim of identifying which tools would have a greater impact here.

While I see that the recent changes feed has anti-spam features, these have been discussed poorly and it is not super clear how they work or how they may be tested in isolation.

Similar research could be done at Wikibooks, Wikisource, and other sister wikis. I am sure that Wiktionary would benefit from having dictionary-specific facilities for word lookup.

Identifying which implementation would suit these needs best and could allow decentralised development by volunteers themselves who know their needs better than you do would also be a great task, I think. I greatly appreciate centralised properties and centralised skins and scripts (global.js etc) and would suggest that you put more effort into that direction. --Gryllida (talk) 02:12, 20 June 2018 (UTC)

Hello Gryllida
I share your analysis of the time spent on that case, which has also impacted others projets I have to work on. However, I don't regret the discussions we had, where your community shared the concerns about your work environment and future improvements. Like I've said, I promote non-Wikipedia projects more than you may think, so that feedback will not remain unused.
Concerning the deployment, while you haven't been able to give me identified and reproducible blockers. That's what I'll report to the product manager. Then the plans will remain the same a scheduled. Don't forget that I'm still around if you have any question about how to use the filters. I'll be happy to guide you. If you personally don't want them, you can opt them out.
Concerning global tools, maybe you've missed Special:GlobalPreferences; I hope you will like that feature! For other developments, maybe you should create a user group for Wikinews wikis in all languages, so that you can weight in feature requests, by asking for improvements that would fit your wiki. This is how Wikisources benefit of an ongoing work on visual editor and Wiktionaries are discussing about Lexemes on Wikidata (disclaimer: I'm not familiar at all with those projects).
Best, Trizek (WMF) (talk) 11:40, 20 June 2018 (UTC)
On a section above, you've written a comment I haven't seen before replying there. I quote:
"However about 'toggle back' for example recent changes includes a button to 'HIDE anonymous users' (where Hide is a link) and when clicked it switches to say 'SHOW anonymous users' (where the 'Show' is a link to toggle it back) With the new interface I tried it briefly and I found that when some filters are clicked they simply disappear from the list of filters and re-adding them requires me to remember the name of the filter and type it into a text box below. I will most certainly try to add the ui jumps information as soon as it is practical for me to do so (the hardware failure has also prevented me from doing trip arrangements for early July, this would perhaps also have a higher priority). --Gryllida (talk) 02:12, 20 June 2018 (UTC)"
If you remove a filter by accident, you can find it back by searching for it. Filter can be found both by searching for their exact name, so as in their description. For instance, if you search for "pages", you will have more results than only a filter named "pages". Do you manage to find a filter back in the 25 filters available on Wikinews? That small problem you encounter is due to the new interface discovery, which is common when someone faces something new. :)
You can save filters combinations you use most; I've done that on my volunteer account and that helps me a lot.
I wish you to feel better soon, and solve all your hardware issues. Trizek (WMF) (talk) 15:31, 20 June 2018 (UTC)
Hello Trizek and Gryllida, I smell misunderstanding here. IIUC, there are at least 4 versions of the RC UI one could be speaking of at this time.
  1. The JS enabled fully-featured version
  2. The non-JS version
  3. The JS-enabled version you see when you roll back the new UI changes in Special:Preferences
  4. The corresponding non-JS version of 3 (not significantly different UI wise from 3).
Again IIUC, there are just a few minor differences between 2, 3 and 4, but it's better to speak of them separately for the sake of clarity. Gryllida seems to be specifying the issues they face with 2, 3 or 4, but not about 1. Is that correct? Trizek seems to be specifying solutions for 1 (which isn't suitable for 2, 3 or 4, AFAIK). Is that right? (For the note, Bookmarking of filter combinations is not possible in 2, 3 or 4 :-)
That said, the issue that Gryllida speaks of seems to be serious ones that limit usability as far as it is about 2, 3 or 4. Gryllida, could you please state the version of UI you are facing issues with? Further, it would be great if you could provide little more details by sharing URLs, screen shots, environment details such browser, plugins (affecting JS, cookies) etc. I tried to re-produce the issue in 2, 3 and 4 but failed. The filters don't seem to be disappearing when I toggle the anonymous users preference. Are cookies related to this issue?
Hope you get well soon, Gryllida. - -Kaartic (talk) 18:04, 20 June 2018 (UTC)
Kaartic, I don't have any difference between #1 and #3 when I disable RC filters.
2, 3 and 4 are the old state and I'm here to help with state #1. If there are issues with state 2, 3 or 4, that's not due to the filters, while nothing has been changed on those default states. Trizek (WMF) (talk) 18:51, 20 June 2018 (UTC)
Hi Kaartic ,
1) I am facing issues with version number one. It is difficult to toggle things if they are not saved like Trizek linked above.
2) I also dislike the fact that with and without javascript users get a different version which requires them to spend their effort on learning a new interface.
3) I also dislike that the version number one is drastically different from what we had before in the way it looks, this is not really required from any usability perspective/
4) I believe that the advantages of the new interface are two fold: not only it is better (in some ways) but also simply looks different meaning that people who did not use filters previously start seeing something fancy at the top of their RC and learn to use filters. To rule out this 'attention catch' factor I would suggest to repeat the research and not only test the 'old RC' and 'new RC' but also include a test for 'old RC ui with a different border or background color' so that users attention is drawn to it but its ui is in fact the same as it was before. This could allow to establish the usefullness of the ui while ruling out the attention catch factor. --Gryllida (talk) 05:38, 22 June 2018 (UTC)

Trizek (WMF), "Concerning the deployment, while you haven't been able to give me identified and reproducible blockers." is inaccurate; left a message at phab:T178990 about it. At this project the discussion of this change has a relatively low priority; its addition would have little impact compared with the impact of implementing adequate news identification and article authoring and article review tools. Because of this, and because of the small size of this wiki, I would suggest to extend the time for this RfC and leave it open until consensus is reached about what needs to be deployed. Hopefully this sounds reasonable. --Gryllida (talk) 06:44, 22 June 2018 (UTC)

You will have a reply on T178990. Trizek (WMF) (talk) 16:41, 22 June 2018 (UTC)

Update on page issues on mobile web[edit]

CKoerner (WMF) (talk) 20:58, 12 June 2018 (UTC)

If this is about ambox templates not sowing up in websites, I think we have migrated all the important templates to xambox/msgbox for them to show up on mobile sites.
•–• 03:20, 13 June 2018 (UTC)