Wikinews:Water cooler/technical/archives/2013/January

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Opinions tab: extension vs. MediaWiki:Comments.js

Hi, guys. Some time ago there was a discussion started in Bugzilla and about Opinions tab on Wikinews and how to enhance this feature. By trial and error, I came to writing a MediaWiki extension to fulful every need. Anyway, here it is: NamespaceRelations. It allows to add several additional tabs (by namespace) to selected namespace (Comments → Main). It allows to hide the additional tabs (each one separately) on Main Page (if they're attached to Main namespace). It also allows to re-assort the tabs (so we can make it, for example, Article|Opinions|Collaboration)... and things to make it look good. Moreover, it allows to specify a query param string to be attached to tab (like those editintro and preload)!

All I want for now is that you, guys, would help a lot if you comment on this extension (if you have a local MediaWiki installation, don't hesitate to download it and test it on your own), review it's code. You can also express your opinions in Bugzilla ticket. Of course you can leave your comments right here, I'll be watching.

If stabilization, reviewing and testing phases run smoothly, I believe, our users will get better experience concerning that tab! :D Wizardist (talk) 14:23, 11 January 2013 (UTC)[reply]

Just commenting to say I read this. And in theory, it sounds very nice. :) --LauraHale (talk) 14:59, 11 January 2013 (UTC)[reply]
Interesting. But, what seems to work better on other sites is comments appearing on the same page as the article they're about. That being said, the ability to fiddle about with tabs is probably going to see quite a bit of use on other wiki installs. --Brian McNeil / talk 15:23, 11 January 2013 (UTC)[reply]
This extension was created for Wikinews and Wiktionary - I was explicitly hinted that this feature is not important enough to be included in core. If those other sites show comments and allow commenting on the article page - it's up to them! And they just don't need this extension :) Wizardist (talk) 15:33, 11 January 2013 (UTC)[reply]
If doing comments, then maybe a way to have a transclusion for the opinions tab on the page that can be loaded in the create new article template. --LauraHale (talk) 16:51, 11 January 2013 (UTC)[reply]
That's a different kind of a job. I was aiming to just make the tabs better! :) But perhaps you have the point and should address this question to the community: in this project you're more like a king, not me :D Wizardist (talk) 17:11, 11 January 2013 (UTC)[reply]

Wizardist, is your extension packaged such that I could try it on our closed wiki? --Brian McNeil / talk 08:09, 21 January 2013 (UTC)[reply]

Not yet, but you can get a snapshot of the master branch. I would like you to wait a little: a big (in many senses) patch waits for review at the moment (a feature for Wiktionary pals, plus code redesign), so the current Master lacks same-namespace tabs ability. Wizardist (talk) 00:50, 22 January 2013 (UTC)[reply]

Wikimedia sites to move to primary data center in Ashburn, Virginia. Read-only mode expected.

Next week, the Wikimedia Foundation will transition its main technical operations to a new data center in Ashburn, Virginia, USA. This is intended to improve the technical performance and reliability of all Wikimedia sites, including this wiki. There will be some times when the site will be in read-only mode, and there may be full outages; the current target windows for the migration are January 22nd, 23rd and 24th, 2013, from 17:00 to 01:00 UTC (see other timezones on More information is available in the full announcement.

If you would like to stay informed of future technical upgrades, consider becoming a Tech ambassador and joining the ambassadors mailing list. You will be able to help your fellow Wikimedians have a voice in technical discussions and be notified of important decisions.

Thank you for your help and your understanding.

Guillaume Paumier

The above probably should have been delivered to us, but obviously the Foundation don't like us muchnobody put the relevant page on the delivery list. —Tom Morris (talk) 23:19, 20 January 2013 (UTC)[reply]
  • Would that have been followed by having a complete jerk be as diplomatic as the norovirus in an elevator when requesting the relevant bot be allowed access here?
The Foundation need to pick their friends a little better hell of a lot better.
Dog bless stupidity. --Brian McNeil / talk 02:12, 21 January 2013 (UTC)[reply]
Yes, that's the bot that informed Wikibooks, at the reading room. I've just been rereading the failed-miserably request here, and tbh I'm having trouble interpreting almost any of the operator's remarks, including the request itself, as not trolling. --Pi zero (talk) 02:55, 21 January 2013 (UTC)[reply]
  • Maybe someone who the Foundation still listens to could rub their noses in his remarks. Are they happy? Is this how they — by proxy — wish to treat one of their projects?
There's a hell of a lot wrong with wiki-politics, largely originating with The Other Place, and this is just one example of such. One of the other key points I've been made aware of, and is conveniently swept under the carpet, is a culture of misogyny that is 'smarter' than the run-of-the-mill usually found pervading the Internet. I'm not going to air the dirty laundry here, at least not at this point in time; but, I'd certainly back up someone doing a proper report into it. The WMF acknowledge an "imbalance" between male/female editors, but they appear to be too close in some regards to see the culprits they let weave through the fabric of certain communities and exacerbate this. --Brian McNeil / talk 07:19, 21 January 2013 (UTC)[reply]
Such problems accumulate at The Other Place as a long-term consequence of AGF. What you say about 'smarter' is key: Reasonably intelligent users can learn to use AGF as a shield, freeing them to make mischief with immunity from prosecution. Over time, these users accumulate, souring the atmosphere, driving away non-troublemakers faster, and accelerating the increase of troublemakers as a proportion of the community. It seems glaringly obvious AGF has proven itself a resounding failure — though I don't claim to know just how one might try to retailor our WN:Never assume for the different workflow and larger community there. --Pi zero (talk) 13:07, 21 January 2013 (UTC)[reply]

I am relieved to get a hint of 'vindication' regarding going on my gut feeling that AGF was utterly wrong for Wikinews. There's a broad spectrum between "take everything on faith until proven otherwise" and "suspect everything". Wikinews, for project credibility, has to position itself towards the more-suspicious end of the spectrum. However, in saying that, it is an expectation that contributors adopt that attitude with sources and accumulate reputation for reliability and "good BS-detecting skills".

As you point out, AGF allows intelligent poisoning of the well In The Other Place. Those prepared to wear down people with torrents of seemingly civil verbiage get away with flowery, 'perfumed' slurs and insults. When someone snaps at them, it is not the provocateur who gets their knuckles rapped. Now, when it comes to editor retention that is something the WMF should be looking at. But, I think the assumption that AGF cannot be dramatically revised prevents that. It does stop what was a 'perceived problem' (i.e. Usenet-style debate); it also loses the value that certain rhetoric, well-established on Usenet, had in-terms of moving discussions forward. --Brian McNeil / talk 14:36, 21 January 2013 (UTC)[reply]

Discussion reset

Gillom, thank you for the notification here on our wiki. I hope everyone in the community has had a chance to be notified about the relocation and read-only time.

I also hope a member of the en.WN community will be able and interested in becoming a Wikitech Ambassador; it would be great if (several) someone(s) active locally were keeping up with these sort of thing. - Amgine | t 06:13, 22 January 2013 (UTC)[reply]

Failure of 'automated' notification on Wikinews

Just so this is all collected together.

  1. Not going to dig back to the 'usual' "block and wait for justification" on EdwardsBot, but that's standard operating procedure around these parts.
  2. So, eventually we got a request: slung at us in a dismissive manner.
  3. I concur with this analysis of MZMcBride (talk · contribs)'s attitude towards the Wikinews community; it is a pattern of behaviour which xyr user page mirrors. I don't expect discussions such as this to be well-known, but that's why some of the above is seen as employing a highly inappropriate choice of language. Not to mention wilfully' resorting to such when the problem is explained (i.e. xyr userpage).

Trolling, plain and simple. Oh, and past 'froggery' (signing with another user's name when the history shows it not to be your comment) is real "class".

Wikinews opted out of Global bots with extremely good reasons; we, usually, try to explain pitfalls to bot operators. But, we cannot do so when requests are petulantly submitted by individuals acting like sulking adolescents. Perhaps someone might care to ask Philippe to take a look at this? --Brian McNeil / talk 12:53, 21 January 2013 (UTC)[reply]

I'm a little confused. What is it, exactly, that you'd like me to do? I'm happy to do what I can, but let's bear in mind - if you opt out of global bots, you won't get global messages. Bots exist to provide resources that are automated force extenders, in effect. I can ask Guillaume to make a point to come by here when he has announcements (and he's a person of good faith who will make every effort to do so, I'm sure), but I think the likelihood is high that - by opting out of global bots - you will miss some messages. So, in short, I'm happy to help, but not sure what you're asking me to do. I certainly don't have any control over MZMcBride's attitude. :) Philippe (WMF) (talk) 18:42, 24 January 2013 (UTC)[reply]
There's a simpler solution. We could just allow MZMcBride's bot, even with MZMcBride's shitty attitude. In fact, I could make a bot request page for him: I'm fairly sure I could make a bot request that accurately describes what the bot does but without the attitude. Either way, we should have global message announcements. Neither MZMcBride nor the Wikinews community have particularly covered themselves with glory over this. But I'd rather we could just start again and make a decision on the basis of practicality rather than pig-headedness. —Tom Morris (talk) 21:05, 24 January 2013 (UTC)[reply]
I, for one, didn't base my position on the bot request on the attitude of the requester.
(Nor do I agree with the apparent implication of the line about neither side covering itself with glory. Taken literally it says nothing meaningful, and taken as it appears to be intended it's drawing a false parallel between the parties.)
I based my decision on not knowing what the bot does, and the one thing I did conclude from the operator's revolting behavior is that the operator's bona fides is doubtful; I do not share Amgine's claimed optimism in that regard. My assessment is that, most likely, the operator doesn't care whether the bot does damage to Wikinews; it seems unlikely the operator would be vindictive enough to deliberately cause the bot to do damage, but my confidence of that is not as high I would like. I'd take a lot of convincing —not impossible, but difficult— that you, Tom, would be in a position to vouch for the good behavior of someone else's bot. --Pi zero (talk) 22:34, 24 January 2013 (UTC)[reply]
MZ McBride's bot does one simple thing. It bulk delivers messages from Meta to the relevant page on every wiki. In terms of things that could possibly go wrong, there's very close to nothing that can go wrong. It's operated successfully across dozens, possibly hundreds of other wikis. There are things to go to the wall for: global message delivery from the Foundation is not one of them. —Tom Morris (talk) 22:50, 24 January 2013 (UTC)[reply]
That's very odd. Are you sure that's all it does? And, if so, how to you know? As I recall (really should be less lazy, and check), somebody in the request discussion said it only operates in userspace, and someone else said well yes that's true. --Pi zero (talk) 23:30, 24 January 2013 (UTC)[reply]
EdwardsBot also leaves messages on user talk pages for delivery of cross-wiki newsletters like This Month in GLAM and other similar bulk delivery. (Nobody on English Wikinews is set to have This Month In GLAM delivered here.) There is reasonably comprehensive details on wikipedia:User:EdwardsBot. Here, it'll only be used to deliver the occasional thing like This Month In GLAM and other similar newsletters (if someone chooses to use their Wikinews account to sign up for them) and occasional notices like the one above. I really don't see this as controversial. —Tom Morris (talk) 23:45, 24 January 2013 (UTC)[reply]
An example of what it might do: EdwardsBot on English Wikiversity. —Tom Morris (talk) 23:50, 24 January 2013 (UTC)[reply]

<shrugh> --Brian McNeil / talk 09:50, 25 January 2013 (UTC)[reply]

Wikinews presence at Twitter and Identica

At the right of the Main Page, the latest news list has links to Wikinews at other sites.

There also is a missing link to

I have no idea where my previous enquiry about youtube got archived or moved. Please have this one stick here for a longer while. Thanks. --Gryllida 04:55, 24 January 2013 (UTC)[reply]

The Twitter account is now @wikinews not @en_wikinews. I've updated the template. —Tom Morris (talk) 23:07, 24 January 2013 (UTC)[reply]