Wikinews:Water cooler/technical/Archive/1

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Help! The water cooler is too full![edit]

This page is over 200K in size, and my browser is about to crash from editing this page!

Candidates for Admin (you know who you are :) will receive my accolades for helping to move some of these discussions onto subpages.

DV 07:29, 3 Jan 2005 (UTC)

I pruned it a little. -- Davodd | Talk 11:14, 3 Jan 2005 (UTC)

Suggestion of Trackback Feature[edit]

  • I suggest to implement a Trackback Feature, for example by w:en:Haloscan or a corresponding Open-Source Project. On could easily relate to the News and achieve a better connection with w:Blog-World.--Monet 20:29, 4. Jan 2005 (UTC)

New tool on IRC[edit]

We have secured a Recent Changes bot on IRC at [1]. This can allow real-time patrolling of recent changes, and hopefully quick notice of vandalism.

One item I'll be requesting is an upgrade of the bot to link to the patrol difs, so edits may be marked as patrolled. - Amgine 03:26, 5 Jan 2005 (UTC)

Anyway for stubs to be listed on Developing articles automatically?[edit]

Does anyone know if there is a way to get articles marked {{stub}} listed under Developing articles on Template:Editor tasks automatically? Dan100 00:18, 12 Jan 2005 (UTC)

Probably not. But we could create a Category:Developing, and that may be includable? I will test this out. - Amgine 00:20, 12 Jan 2005 (UTC)

That's an interesting idea. I'll have a play... Dan100 10:26, 12 Jan 2005 (UTC)

OK, I changed the stub code so it added Category:Developing to any page it's in. Then I changed the text under 'Developing stories' on Template:Editor text to a link to the category page. That works quite well, apart from one problem: we can't see how long a page has been on it, so it could fill up/nor can we see what's 'urgent'. Hopefully, there will be a high 'turn-over' - as soon as an article is added, people will get to work on it and then remove the stub tag, de-listing it. Thoughts? Dan100 13:48, 12 Jan 2005 (UTC)

This solution is unsightly. I prefer the older method since it is easier to navigate. -- Davodd | Talk 23:33, 12 Jan 2005 (UTC)

The problem with the old system is the time and effort required to list articles - I can't forsee everyone doing this. It also clashes with the stub system - as news stories are only 'live' for a matter of days, we don't need on-going tags like Wikipedia is. It probably be better if we instead dropped the stub system. Two systems is daft - people will be confused as to which one to use, when. Dan100 1230 at work!

The stub system is a relic of the old review process - which was summarily junked due to lack of consensus to support it. IMO, writers with the intent to create stubs (or mere links to outside news) -- and NOT write an original story should list that content in a daily Briefs article. As for the {{stub}} template - I think we should junk it. Wikinews is not Wikipedia - and that wikipediesque little template just doesn't fit in here. -- Davodd | Talk 21:15, 13 Jan 2005 (UTC)
I kind of disagree that we should get rid of {{stub}}: it's a lot easier for an editor to mark an individual article than to list that article on a separate page. It's a lot easier for a writer or editor to notice that others consider an article a stub by seeing it marked so on the article page than to see it listed in a long list of "Developing stories" elsewhere.
I see the lists like Developing Stories to be an explicit request for help on an article, while marking an article with these tags lets us make sure nothing slips through the cracks.
The wording of {{sub}} can easily be changed to emphasize that it's still a developing article, but I think the mechanism of marking things per-article rather than on a central list is very powerful. -- IlyaHaykinson 21:56, 13 Jan 2005 (UTC)

The trouble with the stub tag is finding articles marked with it, and in time for improvements to be relevant. That's what I was trying to achieve with the stub tag putting the article into a specific category, but it just didn't work. Instead I think relying on other readers to simply jump in and expand articles that need it is enough. I'm not going to use stub anymore, and hopefully it will be quietly forgotten. Davodd is right, it just doesn't fit in here. Dan100 (Talk) 00:13, 16 Jan 2005 (UTC)

A concept for News Briefs[edit]

User:Amgine/News briefs

I've built a template and set up for a daily news briefs. The system could be expanded to include monthly and yearly archives of news briefs. The template has a definable width, so you can modify it on the fly to fit inside other templates, includes an edit button and purging button, so it can clear the cache and get the latest addition to the news briefs.

The biggest drawback is that it is not able to be limited to a specific number of news briefs, which would require writing an extension (which I'm considering.) - Amgine 06:32, 13 Jan 2005 (UTC)

Built the archives (2005 and January) as well, but they would need to be manually updated. (They could also be set up using a calendar tool, which I'll think about if there's a positive response here.) - Amgine 06:41, 13 Jan 2005 (UTC)

New system for Latest news/Digests[edit]

As part of the evolving main page layout and archiving system, Latest news is no longer edited directly to post an article to the main page. Instead, each day of the year has an archive page listing the articles produced that day, and each is inserted into the Latest news template using the {{transclusion}} method.


The calendar archives are now built automatically as articles are added to the main page. Because each article is added to that day's page, no one has to go in and copy the links over to an archive page before removing them from the Latest news template. This also preserves the history of who added/removed the link to the main page, as the archives will receive fewer updates to obscure the history.

Using the sub page system, each day has a page, under each month, and under each year, in the format [[Wikinews:2005/January/01]]. Under this system years will include easy links to the months, weeks, and/or days and might include summaries of news as well as links to special news projects. Month pages, likewise, might be set up to do summaries of the month's news highlights, but the current example is an automated listing of all the articles which have been written on a daily basis, with links down to each day's archive page.

I've just learned about a technical issue which may be causing delays in the caching of the main page. Changes to pages which are included in other pages does not automatically invalidate the other page's cache. This can be an issue for the archives which are used on the main page, because the template itself might not be updated when a new article is added to the archive page, leaving the change not visible for a few minutes.
This is (according to Brion) a bug which is being corrected in the next version (1.5), with a temporary work around for the Template namespace now. - Amgine 03:35, 25 Jan 2005 (UTC)

Latest news[edit]

In applying the system to latest news, it was very clear this system would bring back Davodd's process for using transcluded pages to build the Editor's tasks box for the main page. The main problem previously was making it obvious how to use the system, while reducing the opportunities for people not familiar with the system to insert their links inappropriately.

Initially I added a button to the bottom of the current day to add an article. This has been moved, which may be a good idea, but it is the main question in the process. The button also needs to be updated to system variables to automatically generate the correct date, again to reduce the amount of maintenance which needs to be done.

- Amgine 16:50, 22 Jan 2005 (UTC)

I kind of like this method. Can the single-digit dates be single-digit in the headlines too (i.e. [[Wikinews:2005/January/1]])? This would let us more easily link to it via {{CURRENTDAY}}. -- IlyaHaykinson 21:41, 22 Jan 2005 (UTC)

So what exactly is needed to be done each day to maintain this system? The old one was pretty intuitive - you add new stories to the top of Latest news and take old ones off the bottom, putting them into the digest. Wasn't hard! Dan100 (Talk) 10:52, 23 Jan 2005 (UTC)

Nothing needs to be done on a daily basis except to add the new date, and remove an old one; can be done in a single edit. On a weekly or monthly basis someone will need to initialize the next week or month's files with the commented instructions (html comments are not, unfortunately, templateable as far as I can tell.) - Amgine 08:09, 24 Jan 2005 (UTC)

The date titles are in are in DD format because that's how {{CURRENTDAY}} produces them. Section headers in the Template:Latest news are currently using single digits for the categories, but could be automated using {{CURRENTDAY}}? I don't know. - Amgine 08:09, 24 Jan 2005 (UTC)


  • I invited members of the community to respond to these changes Dan100 (Talk)

The workspace[edit]

Hi Dan! First of all, I'm glad you like my articles about Romania! Secondly, concerning the workspace - personally I don't believe in the workspace all that much. When Wikinews was first launched, there was this idea of every article having to pass through rigorous community review, and therefore all these different "phases" were set up. That's drifted away now for some reason - people are writing articles that are of a good quality by themselves, and that, in my opinion, don't need to go through official peer review. Of course they should be reviewed and edited, but that doesn't prevent them from being listed on the Main page as full-fledged articles. In this case, I don't think there's any use for the workspace, except for articles in development. I think listing developing articles on the main page is a big mistake, because it not only creates edit conflicts but makes Wikinews look bad. In my opinion, I propose this:

  • Completed articles should go in Latest news on the Main Page, directly. But only after they've been written and are completed.
  • Articles which users do not have an intention to complete in one go should be listed at the Workspace, where other users and the original authors can continue to develop them. Once they are developed enough, they can then go on the Main Page.

Amgine's concern about others editing the developing articles is legitimate - I doubt people will go to the workspace to see and edit developing articles. Then again, most articles are written by one author to the point where they are complete enough listed on the Main Page. Then, most of them are only edited in minor ways by other users. Ronline 11:41, 23 Jan 2005 (UTC)


Hi Dan100,

  • I think it's ok to put unfinished articles on the front page under 'Developing stories'. I think others should only edit articles under latest news section where the articles there are "completed" in some sense.
  • Or, the one who create the new article could add some comments in their new articles, indicating it's yet incomplete, to tell others not to make any changes before the article is basically completed.

King Ho Cheung 13:05, 23 Jan 2005 (UTC)

In Responce to What You Talked To Me About...[edit]

You said "Hi, Cafzal! What's your opinion on how the Workspace should work? Amgine wants all stories to be listed at once on the front page, so other people start editing them. When we last tried that I found people were clicking red links and beginning to write articles I was already writing from scratch, just hadn't finished (so not saved) yet. This gave big edit conflicts. What's your opinion? Dan100 (Talk) 11:17, 23 Jan 2005 (UTC)"

My responce: I, personally, like Amgine's idea better because then the news gets out faster, but you do make a very valid point, there should be some way for you to temporarily "lock" the article when editing/writing it. I have run into the same problem. To tell the truth, I haven't the slightest clue on how you can get around the situation with the current article writing prefrences in Wikinews. Sorry I can't be of much help. (Cafzal) 23 Jan 2005

More workspace stuff[edit]

Personaly i think that the whole freaking thing is too complicated (or maybe i just dont understand it, either way...). Espessialy because (as many people have pointed out), usually only one person is author (while maybe a few others will do proof reading and what not.) We should do away with the whole thing (for the moment anyway, maybe it will be more necessary when we are bigger), and use a little pic like wikibooks does to say how developed a certain article is. But thats just my AU$0.02. The bellman 22:42, 23 Jan 2005 (UTC) btw, i fixed up my wikinews user and talk page as you suggested.

My own response[edit]

Personally, I very much like the new nested template system, with each day being a single template, and then template:Latest news being built out of these templates. I didn't like the new articles area of the workspace being turned into another template, and reverted Amigne. After reading the responses above (except the bellman's, because he posted a bit later), I decided that I had over-reacted and reverted myself. I then re-designed the workspace to fully embrace these changes. Dan100 (Talk) 18:40, 24 Jan 2005 (UTC)

Thanks for doing the research and talking to others. I'd also spoken with a few people, and there had been several discussion over the past few months which I read while archiving the water cooler(s) and the main page disussion page, which led to the system I installed. This was basically a re-implementation of Davodd's sheme, but reducing the opportunities for developing articles to be mis-placed and not get the attention they deserve; the concept had been well developed.
As for the concern about posting an article to the developing template only to have an edit conflict: it is just as easy to create the initial link on your personal page and begin the article there. Once the first draft/save is completed, the article can be added to the Developing stories template in the usual manner. This may save some stress, and a rush to hit the save button! - Amgine 22:07, 24 Jan 2005 (UTC)
I think that edit conflicts from new links in the Workspace can be solved by signing the red-linked article headline to indicate that a particular person is writing it. So if I list:
folks coming across the page will know that I am working on it, and seeing the time/date won't touch it for a bit, hopefully. -- IlyaHaykinson 03:34, 25 Jan 2005 (UTC)

I think the simple "don't edit red links" warning is working. Certainly I haven't encountered any edit conflicts yet while writing stories, unlike the last time we tried creating new stories on a template. The signature idea is a good one, but it represents another step in an already quite long process of article creation (I'm thinking of new users here). Dan100 (Talk) 18:41, 27 Jan 2005 (UTC)

The red link warning is working well for me. vlsimpson 15:01, 29 Jan 2005 (UTC)

Tools for article authors[edit]

Not wanting to blow my own trumpet, but editors may find the tools (or their own adapted versions of) on my user page useful. If you want to make use of them, click the edit tab and copy the code (not the resulting page text), to ensure the dynamic features work. Dan100 (Talk) 20:18, 27 Jan 2005 (UTC)

I've give them their own page: Wikinews:Reporter's tools. Dan100 (Talk) 07:00, 28 Jan 2005 (UTC)

New Main Page Layout[edit]

A new main page layout is up. It is not fixed, and will likely be updated and changed often. Please add suggestions/comments/complaints here, or on the Main Page discussion. - Amgine 01:37, 3 Feb 2005 (UTC)

  • Just to make it a bit easier to track discussion, can I suggest that comments are only left on the main page's discussion page (linked to by Amgine)? Dan100 (Talk) 20:15, 3 Feb 2005 (UTC)