Wikipedia:Village pump (proposals)/Archive 104

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Discussion about spacing between lists (refs/ELs) and navboxes[edit]

There seems to be a protracted, site-wide style war between editors who prefer more and those who prefer less vertical space above the first navbox. This mostly involved edit warring by manually adding and removing blank lines and similar devices. Luckily, it seems that a uniform technical solution exists for this issue. Unfortunately, participation in the discussion at WT:MOS has been rather low and took a turn for personalization recently. Perhaps people watching this page have an opinion on how much spacing looks good? If so, please contribute at WT:MOS, for the sake of keeping the discussion in one place. Thanks, Someone not using his real name (talk) 13:44, 27 June 2013 (UTC)

Don't remember ever running into this kind of thing. Could you provide a diff so I can understand better? Nyttend (talk) 17:16, 27 June 2013 (UTC)
Perhaps I'm missing something but this issue seems to be of no importance. Praemonitus (talk) 00:57, 29 June 2013 (UTC)

Add ability to delete usernames / inactive accounts[edit]

Could anyone on the WMF Team actually implement a username deletion system into the MediaWiki software? This is my take on the second part of this conversation (the amount of usernames taken), as for the first part (welcoming new users) as a guy who watches special:Log/newusers yes there are an overabundance of usernames being made per minute and only a few of them are blue in contributions after a few minutes when they drop off the list. I don't really have anything else to add to that part of the conversation :|

So yeah, I think a username deletion tool is the way to go. MM (Report findings) (Past espionage) 13:42, 25 June 2013 (UTC)

How about mw:Extension:UserMerge? — HHHIPPO 16:52, 25 June 2013 (UTC)
So let me get this straight, since 2008 we have been able to delete all usernames by just merging them to Unused (talk · contribs)? Apteva (talk) 18:14, 25 June 2013 (UTC)
The extension is not installed here. And if it was, normal users would hardly have the right to use it. And one should probably not merge to what seems to be a real user. So to answer your question: no. — HHHIPPO 19:00, 25 June 2013 (UTC)
Right. Well I would support activating the feature, with appropriate restrictions on how it was used. I chose that name, though any similar one could be used, and that name could be renamed to free it up. The assumption was that only usernames with no edits would be deleted, and thus would never add to the three edits made in 2006 by "Unused". All three of those edits were immediately reverted. Apteva (talk) 19:44, 25 June 2013 (UTC)
Remember that bureaucrats are soon to be losing the right to rename users (it's all going to be done on Meta, apparently by stewards), since WMF want to expand our unified login thing. If we were to install this extension, I expect that it would be usable only by stewards as well. Nyttend (talk) 21:11, 25 June 2013 (UTC)
Well, since soon only SUL will be available I think we need a solution that works globally anyway. At the same time I think the changes around SUL are a perfect occasion to also think about some cleanup strategies. When everything is unified there will be even more unusable (and probably unused) usernames needlessly blocked for new editors. --Patrick87 (talk) 21:32, 25 June 2013 (UTC)
m:Bureaucrats do renaming, and I would expect they would be deleting accounts as well, although to delete a million accounts will require a bot. For non SUL accounts there is the sticky issue of requiring a local bureaucrat to do the renaming/deleting, which though, might just be overlooked. I would suggest pursuing this topic at m:Wikimedia Forum or m:Requests for comment. Apteva (talk) 00:54, 26 June 2013 (UTC)
There will be no non SUL accounts after m:SUL finalisation. After that, m:Stewards (and possibly their delegates) will handle global renaming requests. There will be no more local renaming by bureaucrats on public WMF wikis. πr2 (tc) 02:33, 3 July 2013 (UTC)

RFR "reclaiming rights from old account" problem:[edit]

Hello all, I have noticed that many users go into RFR claiming that they are requesting rights for a new account either because their account was vanished (WP:VANISH) or they could not retrieve the password for that account, like this case: [1] I suggest adding a new rule on the top of every "add request" page, like [2] in the box on the top (e.g. "If you are requesting rights for an account that has been vanished by an administrator or one that you have forgotten the password to, it will most likely not be entertained" or alternatively "...will not be entertained"), because these requests are denied 99% of the time because of lack of concrete evidence that the requesting user is in fact the user that they say they were. smileguy91talk 03:30, 22 June 2013 (UTC)

If your account was vanished you have already agreed you will never edit Wikipedia again under any identity, so they are breaking that agreement, which they would already be aware of, by even making such a request. If they are claiming WP:CLEANSTART it's the same deal, it's not a clean start if you want permissions based on who you used to be. The present instructions already indicate that you must make an edit with both accounts if you are requesting rights for an alternate, so that pretty much covers all those cases. Beeblebrox (talk) 20:11, 24 June 2013 (UTC)
I was simply proposing a "do not attempt" notice. :) smileguy91talk 22:53, 1 July 2013 (UTC)
Yet I do understand policy. I'm relatively experienced at NAO ((Non-administrator observation)) on RFR, and some users come in claiming they have 15000+ edits. If you have 15000+ edits, you should understand policy quite well already, but it's impossible to tell (well, nearly) who's telling the truth and who's not. smileguy91talk 22:55, 1 July 2013 (UTC)

With regard to Article editing interface[edit]

At the very least, I move that we should always keep good old fashioned source editing available alongside the new what-you-see-is-what-you-get mode. This may be counterintuitive, but it is actually easier to edit Infoboxes and other tables in source. That seems like reason enough to me. :-) The Mysterious El Willstro (talk) 14:10, 2 July 2013 (UTC)

We hope that it will not always be easier to edit templates and tables in the source, but at this point, VisualEditor still needs some features added or expanded. I can assure you that there are no plans to turn off wikitext source editing. (Who knows what will happen years from now, of course, but no current plans at all to remove the old editor.) Whatamidoing (WMF) (talk) 16:05, 2 July 2013 (UTC)
It is effectively removed for many editors, because the "edit source" link on sections is HIDDEN. --Timeshifter (talk) 20:44, 2 July 2013 (UTC)
Hi Timeshifter, I know you don't like the section edit links. Last I checked (which was a couple of days ago), I believe that only you and one other user had complained about them, and many editors had praised the design. If you believe that most editors are unhappy about that particular detail, you might brainstorm some alternatives and request that the most popular be considered as a replacement. Whatamidoing (WMF) (talk) 08:29, 3 July 2013 (UTC)
It is funny to see you get stuck with one reply in spite of the barrage of new comments agreeing with me at Wikipedia:VisualEditor/Feedback, and in spite of my previous direct replies to you days before pointing out others agreeing with me. --Timeshifter (talk) 08:48, 3 July 2013 (UTC)
I totally agree with Timeshifter. This is one of the issues that bug me most with VisualEditor and will be a reason to deactivate it for me (I'll might keep VE activated in parallel if it really seamlessly melds into the UI but not as long as it hides the button I'm probably using most [!] on Wikipedia).
You want an example? Here it is! [edit | edit source] Simple as hell, without the need for any hovering effects.
And for the bug itself: There's even a bug for it, see bugzilla:50540. --Patrick87 (talk) 09:40, 3 July 2013 (UTC)

(unindent). It only took a few days for my prediction to be proven right concerning the hidden "edit source" links on sections. It has already been reverted due to the barrage of complaints about it. The only link now on article sections is an "edit" link that goes to the wikitext source editor for that section. It would be nice if there were a preference on the edit tab of preferences for having both links ("edit" and "edit source") on sections. 2 simple direct links without hover effects. --Timeshifter (talk) 01:38, 5 July 2013 (UTC)

I'm sorry to be the one to tell you, but: according to the e-mail messages I received today, the sudden disappearance of the section edit links for VisualEditor was an unintentional bug that will be fixed on Monday. They'd fix it now, but they are trying not to make changes just before the weekend. Whatamidoing (WMF) (talk) 03:37, 5 July 2013 (UTC)
Well, hopefully they will put 2 direct links ("edit" and "edit source" without hover) on every section. --Timeshifter (talk) 05:34, 5 July 2013 (UTC)
FYI the bug with the missing VE section edit links is bugzilla:50731. I just asked to fix bugzilla:50540 at the same time which is about having both – "edit" and "edit source" – visible at the same time. But I'm afraid the devs are not yet aware of the hassle the hiding of the "edit source" tab causes and that hovering every time is not acceptable. --Patrick87 (talk) 09:26, 5 July 2013 (UTC)
The developers have been informed about this in several Bugzilla threads. For example in Bugzilla:50540, Maggie Dennis writes: "Note that this request is being repeated a lot, including by people who are unhappy that mousing over causes words to pop up, which they say disrupts reading the page. They would prefer the words be always visible to avoid this."
In the same Bugzilla thread: Eduard Braun writes: "This is (from what I get from the comments, the discussions linked are a little less clear I'm afraid) not about section 'edit source' links being loaded with delay (although this would be an issue, too). It's about having to hover over the 'edit' link to be able to see the 'edit source link'. They should both be directly accessible (without hovering and visibility changes)." I also have commented on this in some Bugzilla threads. --Timeshifter (talk) 11:50, 5 July 2013 (UTC)
"Have been informed" and "Being aware" aren't the same I'm afraid. Look at the importance: "Lowest enhancement" mostly means "we don't care at all". If we can't communicate to devs that this is important to us, we'll be stuck with hidden "edit source" links again as soon as gerrit:72069 lands (which is the current fix for bug 50731) --Patrick87 (talk) 12:12, 5 July 2013 (UTC)

(unindent). Patrick87. You are right. I left a longer comment at Bugzilla:50540. See the links I left there. This should be a priority and not just an enhancement. To think that future versions of MediaWiki will be crippled longterm by this incredibly buggy and slow visual editor is very discouraging.

At the very least there needs to be a preference for direct "edit" and "edit source" links built in to MediaWiki preferences on the edit tab of preferences. MediaWiki installations should not need a "gadget" preference added for this by each webmaster of every MediaWiki installation.

The hidden link to "edit source" is slowing down many editors. There have been many more comments requesting a direct link to "edit source" on each section. See:

Slowing down the many editors who will continue to need source editing to edit complex things more easily is a really dumb idea. What is the logic? That the WMF and developers will irritate and trick editors into using the visual editor? That editors will click the "edit" link instead of the "edit source" by being tricked? It is extremely irritating to have to spend extra time to get to source editing. The WMF and developers will not lack in bug reports by providing direct links to "edit source". --Timeshifter (talk) 07:15, 6 July 2013 (UTC)

Exactly, who knows what will happen years from now if anything could happen in principle. That's why I'd rather see a keep-source-editing policy set in stone now instead of leaving the future to chance and whim. The Mysterious El Willstro (talk) 13:05, 4 July 2013 (UTC)
How many years are you looking at? Do you want "keep the 2002 source editing system" to be true next century, regardless of how computing has changed during that time? The Wikimedia Foundation is hopeful that Wikipedia will still exist then. Whatamidoing (WMF) (talk) 14:28, 4 July 2013 (UTC)
Reliability and user-friendliness never go out of style. Future computers will eventually operate on DNA instead of silicon, but that isn't relevant to this discussion. Computers operating on another physical medium (with a much higher information density) are no reason not to continue user interfaces that are, well, user-friendly! This includes rather simple source editors where it is extremely easy to add cells to tables and so on and so forth. (In fact, it's easier to add table cells in Edit Source here on Wikipedia than in Microsoft Word, which was designed to be the most user-friendly word processor ever! Even copying and pasting from Excel is a pain compared to making tables in Edit Source.) So, yeah, we're talking about user interface only. Post-silicon computers, running on DNA most likely, are not an issue for this particular discussion.
Does this mean I'm against an occasional change in syntax in subsequent versions of Edit Source? No, that's fine as long as Community Consensus favors each syntax change. Indeed, we already did that with Succession Boxes. The Mysterious El Willstro (talk) 22:05, 6 July 2013 (UTC)
To put it another way, the physical medium and kernel at the core of a computer are a totally different issue from the user interface at the surface. In terms of keeping some form of a Source Editor in addition to a Visual Editor, we are concerned only with the latter. The Mysterious El Willstro (talk) 22:16, 6 July 2013 (UTC)

Modern Tables[edit]

Hi,

I wold like to suggest you to implement the following. For every table in wikipedia, can you keep the first Row on top, so that one does not need to go up for checking what each column stands for. (Just like in Google spreadsheet )..

Cheers — Preceding unsigned comment added by Nanopavan (talkcontribs) 22:58, 4 July 2013 (UTC)

I'm not familiar with the Google spreadsheet, but I think you're talking about something like a scrollable spreadsheet with a locked header. The problem is that it is the page that is scrolling rather than the table. But there's probably some means to code a table with a moveable header block that stays within the field of view. The rows would need to be shifted to accommodate the insertion, but in theory it should be do-able. In long tables the easy alternative is to repeat the header at regular intervals. Praemonitus (talk) 14:45, 5 July 2013 (UTC)
This is outstanding feature request 40763. —TheDJ (talkcontribs) 22:43, 6 July 2013 (UTC)

RFC proposing an adjustment to the governance of featured-article forums[edit]

Community input is welcome here. Tony (talk) 10:56, 7 July 2013 (UTC)

What is going on with WP:ITN/C?[edit]

I've been sending this link around to my non-Wikipedian friends and their reaction is uniformly bewildered. Can we look at the big picture here for just a second? No news editor anywhere in the world hesitated before putting this crash on the top of all the world's front pages, but Wikipedia has developed this really weird "consensus" process so that a passenger plane crash that causes Chinese tourists to die on the runway of an airport in one of the world's largest cities might not be important because it is "US-centric". No words.

Since the sole purpose of all the arguing at WP:ITN/C is to put a link on the front page for a week, maybe Wikipedia should rethink the benefits of devoting so much energy to this frivolous task and merge ITN with the more permanent P:CE, or else eliminate it entirely. I'm certain that is not going to happen because ITN is such a long-standing main page tradition, but holy crap, that discussion is nothing if not a cry for help. Shii (tock) 11:17, 7 July 2013 (UTC)

No comment on the specific issue at hand, but remember ITN is not a news ticker, in fact despite the name isn't really about the news per se so any considerations primarily based on what news editors would do is fairly flawed. Nil Einne (talk) 17:04, 7 July 2013 (UTC)


ITN/C is not a newsticker. ITN/C is not a news aggregator. Wikipedia is not Reuters, or Google Reader (God rest it's soul), or BBC News. Items are posted with consensus. I know very well - for I wear the scars - just how frustrating ITN/C can be. But the experience you've posted is one of many which could be argued for to-and-fro for months. It's not without faults, but it's not as bad as you're trying to paint doktorb wordsdeeds 18:47, 7 July 2013 (UTC)
Given that Wikipedia doesn't want to focus on breaking news coverage, and the opposition that many of the crime news items get when people edit them, has anyone considered refocusing ITN on major planned events of historical significance? No more air crashes and school shootings - rather, bills signed into law, treaties ratified, space flybys returning data = stuff that is no surprise, that people will have complete articles written about long before it is time to feature them?
I'm not saying I like that idea - I rather like focusing on top-of-the-news items and editing in everything right when it happens. But if we do that, and want to feature it, we should do it unapologetically, not half-heartedly. Wnt (talk) 21:51, 7 July 2013 (UTC)
Sorry, I can't find a policy page for ITN (which is itself concerning) so I have to ask here. If "in the news" is not meant to be news, what is it? When did it stop being news? Why do the guidelines for ITN still refer to "news blurbs"? Shii (tock) 03:20, 8 July 2013 (UTC)
  • ITN is for subjects which a) people are likely to be reading about in the news right now which b) have good Wikipedia articles we can point them to. That's about it. There are always difference of opinions as to how much weight to give to each of those criteria, but you'll notice that the very item you're complaining about not being posted got posted. People have opinions, and they express them. And then the right thing gets done anyways. Other that proposing that we silence people whose opinions the OP doesn't agree with, what is being proposed here? ITN didn't even get this one wrong from the OPs point of view, so what is the complaint about? --Jayron32 03:45, 8 July 2013 (UTC)
    • I'd like to clarify that the first point, while true, also should be to draw potential editors to a page that is in reasonably good shape, as to add useful and beneficial information, as with all other front page items. --MASEM (t) 04:28, 8 July 2013 (UTC)
    • I'm confused about the purpose of ITN/C and why discussions happen the way they do. If it's "for subjects which people are likely to be reading about in the news right now", why did a discussion arise about the newsworthiness of this item at all? I'm not bitching that a discussion didn't go my way, so there's no need to put obvious facts in bold. I'm saying something needs to be rethought here. The discussion illustrates a blatant distinction between the mind of a real newspaper editor and the mind of an ITN/C editor which is visible every day. Shii (tock) 04:38, 8 July 2013 (UTC)
      • Again, are people not allowed to express their opinions in Wikipedia discussions? --Jayron32 04:39, 8 July 2013 (UTC)
        • Do you seriously not understand what I'm talking about? Shii (tock) 04:41, 8 July 2013 (UTC)
          • You've complained about a thread at ITN/C. I can only imagine one of two problems 1) The thread did not end up with the result you believe was just and right. I interpret your comments to mean that you wanted the item posted, the item was actually posted, so that can't be your problem. 2) The other possible problem is that you disagree with the comments made by people who opposed the posting of the item. I'm unclear as to how the fact that you disagree with those people is an actionable issue. Well-meaning people have good faith differences of opinion. Which is why I am perplexed by what action you are seeking here, because we're not going to silence people from expressing unpopular opinions, and the item in question that you wanted posted, was in fact posted before you even started this here discussion. So perhaps you could restate, as plainly as possible, what action you are seeking because neither of the possible actions I read as deriving from your initial post make any sense to me. --Jayron32 04:51, 8 July 2013 (UTC)
            • I don't know how you could think I want to silence other users when I specifically started a discussion to solicit input from other users. I wrote in my initial post, "maybe Wikipedia should rethink the benefits of devoting so much energy to this frivolous task and merge ITN with the more permanent P:CE, or else eliminate it entirely". Despite this misunderstanding, the ensuing discussion has been fruitful for me and hopefully for other users as well. I have learned that ITN has unwritten guidelines, which you have helpfully explained, and that these guidelines are linked in some way to this neverending free-for-all competition to dominate a corner of the main page. In my own free time I also discovered the existence of the horrific page WT:ITN/R, where the importance of notable recurring events is collectively weighed. The rules of WP:RS and WP:V that help keep Wikipedia sane are of course irrelevant in such discussions and it is basically anarchy. Furthermore, none of this is helpful to building an encyclopedia, because no matter what consensus is decided on, every blurb vanishes after a week or so. All of this has cemented my belief that ITN should simply be shut down or drastically rethought. I hope this discussion continues. Shii (tock) 05:12, 8 July 2013 (UTC)
              • The guidelines are not unwritten. They are written very clearly at Wikipedia:ITN#Criteria. Your characterization of ITN seems to be completely your own invention, as I have no idea where it comes from. Like every section of the main page, there are discussions among Wikipedia users where items are nominated, discussions are weighed against the guidelines and criteria, and decisions are ultimately made. DYK does this at T:TDYK, Today's Featured Article does this at WP:TFAR, etc. I still am perplexed at your singling out of ITN as a location where decisions are made by discussion, nor do I understand why you believe that people should not discuss how an item is put on ITN (or DYK or TFA or OTD, etc.) Again, you've presented no evidence that WP:RS and WP:V aren't used, indeed, ITN is very restrictive in terms of its dependence on reliable sources and verifiability, and your assertion that they are not appears to me to be completely baseless. If you could point to some examples where you think ITN failed in some way, perhaps we could analyze those events, but your assertions seem to be, at this time, your own invention. --Jayron32 14:30, 9 July 2013 (UTC)

Motto of the Day[edit]

I feel that WP:MOTTO is strong enough that it should deserve a spot on the Main Page. There are many people who work on it, and it has a reasonable process for choosing them. Below is an example of one. buffbills7701 01:55, 6 July 2013 (UTC)
Today's motto...

That voice … heard so oft
In worst extremes, and on the perilous edge
Of battle when it raged.
  • I'll get the ball rolling here. In general what qualifies as a motto, and about how many of them are there that could be used on the main page? Hot Stop talk-contribs 01:59, 6 July 2013 (UTC)
  • This has been suggested before (at Talk:Main Page/Archive 78#Motto of the day, Talk:Main Page/Archive 126#WP:MOTD, and Talk:Main Page/Archive 164#MOTD at the least) - The primary objections have always been: There are too many mottos that require insider knowledge; there are too many in-side jokes; there are too many links to humorous essays that will confuse the hell out of non-editors.
    These are mottos that are for editors to read, not for readers (the target audience of the Main Page). There are some good quips in there, and it's a fun thing for editors to participate in and place on their userpages; but it's simply not suitable for the Main Page. Sorry. –Quiddity (talk) 02:23, 6 July 2013 (UTC)
  • Today's motto is "His ignorance is encyclopedic." I'd rather not have that on the front page. Shii (tock) 11:20, 7 July 2013 (UTC)
  • Oppose as political landmine: It is too dangerous to post an MOTD (msg of the day) on a million-user system. I once managed a U.S. Federal Government computer system, with visibility to the agency headquarters in Washington, D.C. and the MOTD became a nightmare when one day, I quoted a contemporary black female politician, so the MOTD was permanently shutdown. That system had less than 500 users, but the visibility for high-ranking U.S. officials created the atmosphere of propaganda messages, rather than just a variety of daily quotations. MOTD is too dangerous. -Wikid77 (talk) 19:52, 10 July 2013 (UTC)
  • Oppose This will only cause trouble. Every second day the quote will come from a person controversial somewhere, and even though wiki isn't censored, I don't think we need the main page riling up editors. RetroLord 08:39, 12 July 2013 (UTC)

List VisualEditor glitches to beware[edit]

As you know, there has been massive resistance and horrors with the VisualEditor (VE). Technical experts are warning how, even with Preferences set to skip VE, it is still loaded in background as an "energy vampire" to slow the normal wikitext editor somewhat. Among the crazy text glitches inserted into pages, beware:

  • all kinds of spurious nowiki-tags, such as someone adds a blank space: <nowiki> here</nowiki>.
  • wikilinks chopped with prefix letters:  "C[[ommandant General]]"
  • wikilinks with nowiki-tag split as 2 links: "[[Toffee|<nowiki/>]][[toffee]]" to show one link: toffee.
  • wikilinks with no-wiki brackets: "[[Cricket (insect)|[[Cricket<nowiki>]]</nowiki>s]]" to show: [[Cricket (insect)|[[Cricket]]s]]

We need to keep a current "wp:VisualEditor list of glitches" to warn people about which glitches are not yet fixed, as problems to still beware. I think a Bot could be written to scan pages and auto-correct many bad wikilinks. Meanwhile, users can check Special:AbuseFilter/550 to show the latest garbled articles (perhaps 25 per hour, 600 pages per day?), but many are soon fixed when their authors see the mangled text:

http://en.wikipedia.org/w/index.php?title=Special:AbuseLog&wpSearchFilter=550

Also, some articles get strange formats from the VisualEditor, but pass for normal, where a fix-it is not necessary. The most complaints seem to be about garbled wikilinks, which almost always need re-edits. Many senior admins think the wider deployment of the VisualEditor is unstoppable, into WP discussion pages next, as an intense mandate from WMF. So, editing of all pages would get slower until the "remove VE" option really omits VE, rather than load it into the background of the wikitext editor. Also, I confirmed how an erstwhile change to the same page, even of one word (anywhere), will crash an entire VisualEditor session (losing all changes), rather than merge the one changed word into the new keystrokes. People are advising to tell friends (or anyone) not to use VE yet. More later. -Wikid77 (talk) 07:46, 10 July 2013 (UTC)

Kumioko was evidently thinking along similar lines and has set up Wikipedia:VisualEditor/Known problems. I'm sure more input would be welcomed there. As a "senior admin" myself - although I don't believe in such distinctions - and a software developer by trade, I think this rollout has been absolutely appalling in every respect. — Scott talk 11:49, 10 July 2013 (UTC)
On the issue of the "energy vampire": VE is now responsible for about 2% of what gets loaded when you read an article. NB that this number was calculated before the appearance of the Universal Language Selector, so it's probably less than 2% now. Whatamidoing (WMF) (talk) 17:53, 10 July 2013 (UTC)
  • Another unexpected "feature" of VisualEditor is that it does not show comments. A lot of articles use to remind editors not to add rumours or unsourced info to articles; I just added such a comment to Artpop#Recorded tracks. If editors using VE don't see it, they're put at peril for a block over a comment they didn't see. —C.Fred (talk) 16:41, 12 July 2013 (UTC)

Wikipedia:VisualEditor/RFC[edit]

Please participate in the VisualEditor Request for comment. Adam Cuerden (talk) 23:17, 10 July 2013 (UTC)

Talk page archival with automatic redirects to former discussions[edit]

Can the system be made to automatically create a redirect when a talk page discussion is archived? Such a feature would make talk page wikilinks always work, rather than having them break upon archival. For instance, Talk:Tree#Help might be placed on someone's talk page or in an edit summary, but when it is archived, the wikilink breaks to become something new: Talk:Tree/Archive 1#Help. I propose having a redirect automatically written to bring the reader to the archived discussion when they click on Talk:Tree#Help.

To make this work, identically named threads must be differentiated in some way, perhaps by time stamp. Binksternet (talk) 02:15, 1 July 2013 (UTC)

ClueBot III does this automatically. Graham87 02:33, 1 July 2013 (UTC)
That's one of a few hundred things that WP:Flow will solve completely. We'll have to wait until that's written and released, though.
Otherwise/currently, Cluebot III is our only hope. (Afaik Cluebot III and the 3 Miszabots are the only functioning archivebots?) –Quiddity (talk) 03:09, 1 July 2013 (UTC)
I looked at the contribution history of Cluebot III and I could not find it doing any redirects. How does it work? Looking forward to Flow... Binksternet (talk) 05:22, 1 July 2013 (UTC)
One example of cluebot III fixing a link.
I'm not sure what its parameters/methods are though - does it check every page on "What links here", or something? Possibly need to ask at its talkpage. –Quiddity (talk) 05:46, 1 July 2013 (UTC)

Is there a list of, or discussion somewhere on what will become of Cluebot III tasks or any other bot tasks and/or templates that will become deprecated once WP:Flow is fully rolled out? -- œ 05:50, 8 July 2013 (UTC)

Not that I know of, but that's a good idea. Wikipedia talk:Flow might be the best place to start a discussion; however, the architecture and features are still in the very early stages of prototyping and brainstorming (afaik), so it might be too early to make any kind of solid criteria, as yet. I'm not sure which of the mw:Flow Portal/Use cases#User talk namespace are being planned for, in the initial rollout. –Quiddity (talk) 20:01, 13 July 2013 (UTC)

Relabel the "Edit source" tab so it reads "Edit wikitext"[edit]

(Note: I've been assured (see WP:VPT#Changing the labels on the "Edit" (VE) and "Edit source" tabs) that modifying the label on a tab isn't a problem, technically. (Moving tabs around is, and I'm not proposing that.)

Many moons ago, the "New section" tab at the top of talk and Wikipedia namespace pages had a much shorter label: "+". After much discussion (and a new gadget to maintain the "+" label for those who preferred it), "New section" became the default label. I want to propose a similar change for the "Edit source" tab, which is seen (now) on articlespace and userspace pages for (a) logged-in editors who (b) have not turned off VE via preferences and (c) are using a VE-supported browser (not Internet Explorer, for example).

I'm proposing this change because the label "edit source" is potentially confusing to many editors who don't realize they still have a choice - that the older user interface is still available. It's confusing because the word "source" (in "Edit source") sounds like "source code", which wikitext is not. "Source" is also the word used in Chrome (View > Developer > View source), in Firefox (Tools > Web Developer > Page Source), and in Safari (in the [optional] Develop menu, select Show Page Source), that gets someone to a view of the html underpinnings of a web page. But, as discussed at Help:HTML in wikitext, html and wikitext are not at all the same thing.

If it makes sense to stop using "Edit source", then why use "Edit wikitext" instead? The term "wikitext" isn't consistently used at Wikipedia; it's often called wiki markup. For example, see Help:Wiki markup. But as the wiki markup article says, "wikitext" and "wiki markup" are alternative names for the same thing. And "Edit wiki markup" sounds (to me) almost as confusing (unclear) as "Edit source". So I'm suggesting "Edit wikitext" as the label for this tab. -- John Broughton (♫♫) 03:54, 10 July 2013 (UTC)

  • I support this change. Makes sense. Killiondude (talk) 03:59, 10 July 2013 (UTC)
  • Comment. I agree with you John that "source" is somewhat problematic for all the reasons you mention. However, I'm not particularly convinced that the made up word "wikitext" is all that much better. Sure "wikitext" works well for experienced editors, but I assume most of those will figure things out either way (if they don't simply turn VE off). From the point of view of new users, my gut instinct is that "source" is actually marginally clearer. So, call me ambivalent on this suggestion. You are right though that the interface change is certainly possible from a technical standpoint. If we do make a change, then it is probably best to change both the tab at the top and the matching text that appears in the section edit links. Dragons flight (talk) 09:01, 10 July 2013 (UTC)
  • Comment. While I personally would like "Edit Wikitext" I'm afraid some new users might not understand what "Wikitext" actually is. At the same time I think "source" is not appropriate either for reasons given – much more approriate would be "Edit markup". But then again I'm afraid newbie also might not know what "markup" is. So probably it's best to keep "source" although not optimal. --Patrick87 (talk) 09:12, 10 July 2013 (UTC)
While I think over it I get to the conclusion that newbies who do not know what "markup" is probably shouldn't use the Wikitext editor anyway. Therefore "Edit markup" would be a suitable label I assume (if they don't know what it does they don't use it; if they know what it does they can use it). --Patrick87 (talk) 11:09, 10 July 2013 (UTC)
  • I'm with "Edit wikitext" or "Edit markup". "Edit source" is too ambiguous: "Thanks for your edit, but you messed up the source"? The reference/source? The source code? The source text? Creating more synonyms creates just more confusion and makes communication more difficult. --Atlasowa (talk) 10:25, 10 July 2013 (UTC)
  • Weak oppose. Most people don't know what wikitext is. --Yair rand (talk) 11:17, 10 July 2013 (UTC)
    • @Yair rand: Are you saying that "Edit source" is better? That people do understand what "source" means, for that label? -- John Broughton (♫♫) 21:45, 10 July 2013 (UTC)
Yes, definitely. "Wikitext" is a specialty of Wikipedia – even a professional wouldn't know what it means the first time he visits Wikipedia! While "source" might not exactly describe what it's all about it is recognized even by newbies (they might think "ew, source code, better not mess with that" but is that bad in the end? Isn't it OK if newbies just go on with the VisualEditor? Do you want them to mess with Wikitext when they do not know what they are doing?
That's why I recommend "Edit markup" personally. It precisely describes what the button does, while being common enough to be directly understood by professionals and has probably more or less the same effect on newbies as "source". --Patrick87 (talk) 22:45, 10 July 2013 (UTC)
More than who understand "Edit wikitext", yes. --Yair rand (talk) 23:11, 10 July 2013 (UTC)
  • Support It's better to use a word that some people potentially might not know, than to use a word that people will think they do know when that meaning is completely wrong. People can learn what a new term means. Adam Cuerden (talk) 22:40, 10 July 2013 (UTC)
  • What about "Edit source code"? It's a real world term, and I think a bit more known than "markup". Cambalachero (talk) 22:48, 10 July 2013 (UTC)
It's "edit source" currently, I think we can leave the code out anyway, can't we? Besides that, Wikitext is markup text, and not source code (unless you consider markup to be source code, too). --Patrick87 (talk) 23:01, 10 July 2013 (UTC)
I know that it's not the same thing, but it's close enough for people to have an idea of what will they find if they click there Cambalachero (talk) 01:21, 11 July 2013 (UTC)
For people who have an idea of what will they find if they click there we can use the correct terminology (therefore "markup"). For all others it probably doesn't matter. --Patrick87 (talk) 02:04, 11 July 2013 (UTC)
  • Support rewarding because source is both ambiguous to browser html source viewing and our common use of word "source" as in reference (plus source code for more technical people). Additionally, help and documentation doesn't really use "source" and uses "markup". To someone who doesn't care for technicalities "source" and "markup/wikitext" would pretty much be the same in meaning, but that also means they wouldn't care which one we use. So I believe we go for less ambiguous term(s). I think "wikitext" is a good alternative, as it says it is "wiki-" specific text they would edit. "Markup" would also be unclear. —  HELLKNOWZ  ▎TALK 11:10, 16 July 2013 (UTC)
  • Comment How about just "Edit text" or "Edit content"? The most straightforward and useful way to edit an article is just to change/add/remove the article's text. This requires no knowledge of what a "source" is, what "Wikitext" is, etc. Adding such technical terms to the edit tab will needlessly scare users away. All they really need to be able to do is write well.--Wikimedes (talk) 18:41, 3 August 2013 (UTC)

Source tags in Authority controlled articles[edit]

In some articles there are both insufficient source tag and authority control tag. According to first the reliability of the article is not guaranteed and according to the later it is guaranteed. Isn't there a big contridiction ? I think a bot should remove the insufficient source tags in authority controlled articles. Nedim Ardoğa (talk) 09:36, 16 July 2013 (UTC)

The existence of an authority control is far from a guarantee that a Wikipedia article is fully sourced. They are two entirely separate concepts, so there is no contradiction at all, let alone a big one. Phil Bridger (talk) 18:39, 16 July 2013 (UTC)

User Council[edit]

I've been irked into proposing this by issues around the introduction of the Visual Editor. However, the issue itself is age old. I feel that there is an disconnect between the Foundation and users of Wikipedia when it comes to rolling out software changes.

When I say "users" here, I mean users in the software sense (i.e. end users) and not in the way we often mean it here (as a synonym for "editor"). And when I say "Wikipedia", I mean the software hosted on this website (not the encyclopaedia or its content).

I can appreciate the desires and challenges the Foundation faces (as a software developer I face them too). In industry, a common way to resolve problems like this is by involving users formally in the process of developing and rolling out new software. One technique is to establish "user councils" that represent the end users of a product.

I propose we establish a user council for the English-language Wikipedia. I'm going to keep the details of this proposal very high-level so as to first gauge consensus around the basic idea.

The council, I believe, should:

  • Be independent of the Foundation
  • Be elected for a fixed term from Wikipedia users
  • Have both rights and responsibilities

Rights may include:

  • To be kept informed about Foundation road-maps and plans for software roll outs
  • To have sign-off on software changes affecting end users before they are rolled out

Responsibilities may include:

  • To ensure Wikipedia users are adequately informed about up-coming software
  • To provide a forum for user feedback and represent user feedback to the Foundation

--RA (talk) 20:19, 2 July 2013 (UTC)

This might actually be useful. At present there are people claiming that years and months and weeks and days of talking about it, weeks of watchlist/recent changes notices and a banner on literally every logged-in page in article space constitutes not informing people; it might be useful to have one point of contact who telling officially constitutes notice - David Gerard (talk) 20:38, 2 July 2013 (UTC)
Thanks for writing a clear and succinct proposal RA. Regarding, "To be kept informed about Foundation road-maps and plans for software roll outs"... the Foundation's roadmap and planning are already public. The trouble is trying to keep the correct subset of 80,000+ active editors informed about what's in them to avoid surprise and anger. We've kicked around the idea of a special advisory body of users regarding product/engineering work at the WMF as well. However, honestly after seeing how hard Philippe, Oliver, Maggie, and others employed to "ensure Wikipedia users are adequately informed about up-coming software" work, I don't think it's fair to put that job in the lap of volunteers. Immediately pre and post deployment of a new feature, the effort to keep the community updated and respond to feedback is not only a full time job, it's a grueling and often stressful one. Also, to be frank I doubt users surprised by a change will accept the response of "Well, we didn't tell you, but we told this tiny select group of users. It was their job to let you know, so go yell at them." When the WMF makes changes to the software, the responsibility ultimately rests with us to keep people informed. Steven Walling (WMF) • talk 20:40, 2 July 2013 (UTC)
I do not envision a user council as a vehicle for the Foundation to shirk its own responsibilities. The Foundation has a responsibility to ensure users are properly and adequately informed about up-coming changes IMO. A responsibility of a user council would include making sure (ensuring) the Foundation lives up to that responsibility. --RA (talk) 20:46, 2 July 2013 (UTC)
Is this an achievable goal, though? Note my example above, which is not in fact exaggerated in any degree whatsoever - that's literally what's happened. What would constitute reasonably informing people, to your mind? - David Gerard (talk) 21:10, 2 July 2013 (UTC)
Example: I currently (finally?) have notice of the roll-out of the Visual Editor in my watchlist notices. I also have notice of a meet-up in the UK. The roll-out notice is in a small font and the UK meet-up is advertised is in a large font. Needless to say, the roll out of major changes the editor is much more important to the vast majority of editors compared to a meet up they are not going to attend.
The WMF guys have a lot on their plate and it's easy to make simply mistakes like this. A user council is focused and one of their roles can be to remind the WMF guys not to make mistakes like that at another roll out. --RA (talk) 21:24, 2 July 2013 (UTC)
There were at least three separate watchlist notices: 07 June, 17 June, 02 July. The two most common explanations for failing to see notices that were deployed to everyone are user error (e.g., failing to pay attention) and software bugs (e.g., some interaction between your browser's settings and Mediawiki's software). BTW, that's just watchlist notices. That doesn't include the CentralNotices, messages to dozens of high-traffic discussion pages, or other announcements that were made. Whatamidoing (WMF) (talk) 08:40, 3 July 2013 (UTC)
Notices are good, but notices are not discussion on English Wikipedia. There has been very little alpha or beta discussion on English Wikipedia until recently. All of a sudden there is substantive discussion on English Wikipedia about the visual editor. It is too little too late. There are many serious design flaws that could have been avoided if earlier substantive discussion had occurred on English Wikipedia, or if an experienced, elected, accountable user council had been involved early on. A user council that reported back often to English Wikipedia. --Timeshifter (talk) 11:03, 3 July 2013 (UTC)
... and to ensure there are "How to turn it off"-options. --Bensin (talk) 21:27, 2 July 2013 (UTC)
You mean, like the one that's still there from before? - David Gerard (talk) 21:37, 2 July 2013 (UTC)
It was recently moved out of the logical location of the edit tab in preferences, and buried in the gadgets tab. --Timeshifter (talk) 21:45, 2 July 2013 (UTC)
I mean, like the one that's not there at all... (But should be per Wikipedia:VE). Also, a User Council is not only necessary for the VE-case. There was a very aggressive roll-out of the article feedback tool which certainly did not had consensus the first time. --Bensin (talk) 21:54, 2 July 2013 (UTC)
No, I think I can reasonably state that if the barrage of notices about the impending VE were not adequate, then nothing would be adequate. You cannot, in fact, demand an arbitrary magical flying unicornetto pony - David Gerard (talk) 21:37, 2 July 2013 (UTC)
Not a "an arbitrary magical flying unicornetto pony". A pretty straight-forward industry technique for resolving the kinds of issues raised. Including the ones you have. --RA (talk) 22:15, 2 July 2013 (UTC)
What an amazing display of dismissive, patronizing, fingers-in-ears nonsense. Thanks for your contribution, David. — Scott talk 12:20, 12 July 2013 (UTC)
I think David's frustration, and the frustration of any user who has put up with dozens and dozens of semi-spammy announcements about VE, is understandable. He asserts that he had no warning, despite watchlist notices for weeks. Maybe we need to know more about his system: there might be a bug there, maybe he's done something to disable watchlist notices entirely, or maybe he just forgot that he clicked past it. He's an admin, but he apparently doesn't keep up with WP:AN. He also says that he doesn't interact with any of the 40 or 50 high-traffic pages that I personally posted messages to, or apparently any of the others that many other people posted messages to. This launch involved the most effort ever expended to reach people in advance. Short of spamming each user talk page, if anyone thought it could be done, it was.
He's unhappy that no one told him about VisualEditor's impending appearance—which is totally understandable—but he's not giving anyone any useful hints about how he could have been reached. He's just saying it didn't work, and that it's all our fault that we didn't reach him. So how do you think we can solve his problem? Imagine that a User Council exists and is trying to reach him and other people like him. What exactly are they supposed to do to reach this user, that wasn't already done this time? The only thing I've come up with is to make clicking past watchlist notices a publicly logged item, so that when someone claims he never saw it, we can say, "Funny, but the log says somebody using your account read and dismissed that message, and, if that really wasn't you, then let's de-sysop your account until you figure out how to keep other people from using it." What would you do? How would you reach this kind of user? Whatamidoing (WMF) (talk) 01:19, 14 July 2013 (UTC)

Whatamidoing is on point, I've been hearing about the VisualEditor for months, friggin' everywhere. I mostly just read wikipedia, but I occasionally visit the community page, and right there on the big white signpost box there's almost always something about VisualEditor. There's been a ton of talk about it at the village pump. There's been notices all over the place... and I've been seeing news articles about it on pretty much every tech site on the web over the last couple months. Those tech site articles serve as primary source articles which mainstream news and blogs will then source from to explain it to the public.
Here's another thing. If RA just felt that VisualEditor needed more pre-rollout publicity (so to get more readers excited to be editors), he could have just made that proposal. Adding this intermediary structure has its dangers: let's say some long-time editor "user 1" doesn't like visual Editor and is irked at its arrival, so he runs for user council. Mostly only long-term, heavy-involved editors get involved with smaller policy discussion and elections (like for positions other than board). User 1 runs on an honest platform, and those long-term editors elect him becaus they are much more partial to the text editor and unwelcoming to Visual Editor than the other hundreds of thousands of people which use wikipedia (and which wikipedia needs as fresh blood). A user council would then be the perfect vehicle for "user 1" to speak and control wikipedia with the authority of the userbase while only representing the interests of long-term editors, even though "user 1" really believes the larger userbase shares his same ideas.
Many long-term editors can't understand why the foundation makes the decisions they do because it's not what they personally want. I personally have sometimes thought a couple foundation decisions were silly. But Visual Editor was designed with the public and wikipedia's long term health in mind, and is based in mountains of solid UI research, focus groups, alpha development and feature testing. It was a completely open process and there was nothing stopping you from getting involved (without need for a representative). This process has taken a long-time and has tried to involve, nevertheless alert, any remotely interested stakeholder.
The switch to Visual Editor might upset wikipedia's "vested" editors, but they should not wield massive amounts of power over wikipedia just because they're more involved than most other users (editors and non-editors). Because with even a bit of luck we'll soon have many more editors involved. I think dividing up elections into not just board but a dozen different councils will give high-participating editors disproportionate power because of their extra time for involvement. I realize you probably made this proposal in good faith, but a council like this (or any increase in bureaucracy in decision-making) gives disproportionate power to those most familiar with, or with the most time for such additional structures. Such users tend to be few are far between, and rarely a representative sample of the editor (or potential editor) base. --Monk of the highest order(t) 01:35, 15 July 2013 (UTC)

arbitrary breaks for discussion[edit]

RA, thanks for thinking about this issue. Regarding the item "To be kept informed about Foundation road-maps and plans for software roll outs": people like you might like to subscribe to talk-page delivery to receive the weekly Tech News summary on your talk page on English Wikipedia. Monitoring and understanding all the technical activity happening across the Wikimedia movement is definitely a difficult and time-consuming task. By subscribing to Tech News, you can help monitor recent software changes likely to impact Wikimedians, and receive a weekly summary on your talk page, without technical jargon. And if some Wikipedians would like to have more resources for informing other onwiki users and helping technical folks get user feedback, it would be great if they'd check out the Tech ambassadors resources; the Tech ambassadors are technically-minded volunteers who help other Wikimedians with technical issues, and act as a bridge between developers and local Wikimedia wikis. I know this does not address the whole of your proposal, but I thought I would mention it for those who are interested. Thanks. Sumana Harihareswara, Wikimedia Foundation Engineering Community Manager (talk) 22:20, 2 July 2013 (UTC)
Tech News is great. I get it on my talk page. --Timeshifter (talk) 10:55, 3 July 2013 (UTC)
  • Support. Long overdue. See my user page for more info. --Timeshifter (talk) 20:42, 2 July 2013 (UTC)
  • Support. We should definitely have a say on what software is rolled out to us, because after all, we are the ones that will be using it. Insulam Simia (talk/contribs) 20:48, 2 July 2013 (UTC)
  • Support Great idea. Mlpearc (powwow) 21:03, 2 July 2013 (UTC)
  • Oppose. We've had this discussion before in various forms over the years now, and I think it boils down to a single thing: people want to have input without participating. MediaWiki, deployed extensions, and nearly every aspect of WMF development is carried out in public on mailing lists, Bugzilla, Gerrit, MediaWiki.org/Wikitech, any of which people are more than welcome to participate in. Problem is: nobody wants to participate. If enwiki wants to come up with a group of users who do want to contribute with developers and report back to the community, that's perfectly fine (and I've always encouraged people who *are* interested to jump in). However, I adamantly oppose a self-appointed council on enwiki having effective veto power over software changes that affect people other than enwiki--that's simply not how we develop MediaWiki, nor has it ever been. ^demon[omg plz] 21:10, 2 July 2013 (UTC)
    Not self appointed. They should be elected IMO. And only EN-wiki. --RA (talk) 21:15, 2 July 2013 (UTC)
    Point taken. But my main point remains the same: we develop software using consensus as well, it's just not done via an elected committee. Software changes are proposed in Bugzilla or Gerrit where they are debated/revised and (if they're good) merged. And "affecting end users" is far too vague...nearly everything effects end users to some degree or another. ^demon[omg plz] 21:31, 2 July 2013 (UTC)
    I appreciate that. But, I'm not talking about MediaWiki. That is a separate project(s). I'm only taking about deployments to the live EN-Wikipedia environment.
    But take bugzilla (and similarly, wikitech-l) as an example: must users couldn't understand what's discussed in tickets. A user council represents users in "user terms", not "developer terms". And it represents the "receiver" of a product, not the "producer" of it. That can involve liaising with developers but it doesn't take away anyone's job or duplicate it. --RA (talk) 21:56, 2 July 2013 (UTC)
    But aren't the two inherently intertwined? We deploy new versions of MediaWiki on a rolling weekly basis--for which there are detailed release notes. Having a committee to review those changes and approve them prior to deployment either A) makes us slow down deployments (something we've been trying to get better at) or B) makes deployments a mess (having to back out changes that aren't "approved"). Again, I'm all for having a group of people who liaison with developers, but the proposal as it stands doesn't jive with how we develop MediaWiki or consequently deploy it. The proper time for discussion is when changes are being proposed or written, not before they're deployed. I appreciate that most people aren't able to understand technical discussions--but isn't that the point of this committee? ^demon[omg plz] 22:28, 2 July 2013 (UTC)
    This is the kind of detail I wanted to avoid (I'd preferred to have left it for later) - but it is important. I presume you're talking about day-to-day patches, updates, etc. not roll-outs of major new user-facing functionality, changes, plugins, etc.. I'm not going to say that a user council wouldn't be interested in those but I don't think it's in anyone's interest to have a committee rubber stamp those kinds of things. There are some things where developers know best and it's not in the users interest to go sticking their heads into it. But it's informative to know about them and have them explained to you in terms you understand.
    I agree that "the proper time for discussion is when changes are being proposed or written, not before they're deployed." And that's when a user council should liase (and translate "developer talk" to "user talk") so that when software gets delivered everyone knows what to expect.
    TBH that kind of thing doesn't need a formal council and should happen anyway. (I'd be willing to put some effort in around that, if you'd assist.) A formal council (with "rights") would only be needed when things go bad. --RA (talk) 23:11, 2 July 2013 (UTC)
demon, you wrote: "The proper time for discussion is when changes are being proposed or written, not before they're deployed." Discussion needs to occur at all stages. It is unrealistic to expect this continuous discussion to occur between developers and users when the discussion occurs mainly on smaller wikis. This is due to the lack of cross-wiki watchlists. Developers hang out on their wikis and mailing lists and Gerrit, Bugzilla, etc.. Users hang out on their main Wikipedias. Few developers make much effort to maintain longterm discussion on software issues on English Wikipedia. Users may try to go to the developer wikis but then soon tire of looking at multiple watchlists waiting for an eventual answer, and give and take. An elected user council puts an accountable group between users and developers. Its advice does not have to be binding to be very useful to all. --Timeshifter (talk) 08:42, 3 July 2013 (UTC)
    • +1 - do any of the people here e.g. bother following wikitech-l? I do - David Gerard (talk) 21:15, 2 July 2013 (UTC)
  • Oppose - I honestly feel this is a solution in search of a problem. In my opinion, the Philippe, Maggie, Oliver, the E3 team and the rest of the Foundation is doing a fine job of informing and involving the community in software and strategy changes. Short of spamming every single users talk page with a notice on every change, I don't think there really is anything else they can do to ensure everyone is notified, and I don't see what creating another body will do that is not already being done. Steven Zhang Help resolve disputes! 21:13, 2 July 2013 (UTC)
    • Apparently it's intended as a vehicle to make staffers' jobs more painful: "The Foundation has a responsibility to ensure users are properly and adequately informed about up-coming changes IMO. A responsibility of a user council would include making sure (ensuring) the Foundation lives up to that responsibility." Note nothing there about what would actually be sufficient (apparently, banners on every logged in page aren't) nor about said concerned users getting off their backsides to find anything out themselves. RA, what do you do to keep yourself informed? - David Gerard (talk) 21:18, 2 July 2013 (UTC)
  • Comment. Do we really need this if WMF starts communicating all details of a new software? In the latest example we had the chance to look at the VisualEditor for weeks and it was OK. Nobody told us that the option to turn VE on/off would be gone with the "final" release, though. Although all at WMF did a good job to communicate with us, the just missed a key fact. That should (must) be avoided in future!
Additionally I think there should be a better channel from the users back to the developers at WMF. If I'm informed about a change I don't like but have no ability to communicate this back (or am only getting reassured that "everything will be fine") the whole point of communication has failed.
I don't know if adding a small group of volunteers in between can really solve this fundamental problem or if it will only shift the point at which communication is failing to fewer shoulders. --Patrick87 (talk) 21:21, 2 July 2013 (UTC)
    • What on earth are you talking about? The option to switch it off is right there in your preferences, precisely where it was before - David Gerard (talk) 21:34, 2 July 2013 (UTC)
It has been moved out of the logical location of the edit tab in preferences, and buried in the gadgets tab. --Timeshifter (talk) 21:41, 2 July 2013 (UTC)
  • Support. Existence of a User Council would not mean WMF is relieved of its responsibilities to involve users in software development or build consensus before implementing them. Personally I see the need for a User Council so it can ensure WMF lives up to the requirement of consensus building we set for every user of the Wikimedia projects. User Council should do its best to determine what the consensus of the user community is and not allow WMF to implement changes (software or other) without it. --Bensin (talk) 21:24, 2 July 2013 (UTC)
    MediaWiki development does operate on consensus building--changes aren't just made by fiat. ^demon[omg plz] 21:35, 2 July 2013 (UTC)
Article feedback tool did not have consensus at the first roll-out. It was aggressively pushed by WMF with little consideration to the user community. --Bensin (talk) 21:58, 2 July 2013 (UTC)
Commons has a huge number of active editors (registered users who have performed an action in the last 30 days). Compare the number to English Wikipedia. Here are the numbers as of June 2013:
  • commons:Special:Statistics - over 30,000 active registered users on the Commons in the last month. 272 administrators.
  • en:Special:Statistics - over 124,000 active registered users on English Wikipedia in the last month. 1,446 administrators.
Meta, Strategy, Outreach, Usability, etc. would still exist if they were moved to the Commons. They would be independent projects on the Commons. All the documents would still exist. For Meta, everything would continue on: board elections, steward elections, chapter documentation, translations, Wikimania bidding, policy drafting, committee work, GAC/FDC, etc.. The only difference would be that they occur on the Commons where there are far more active editors from around the world. Until there is an Integrated watchlist this is the best way for such projects to get broad participation.
One way is to do it with folders. As on Mediawiki.org at mw:Technical communications/Mobile documentation consolidation where there is a folder for Technical communications subdivided by sub-project. There are many such folders for various projects on MediaWiki.org. It would be easy to do this via meta:Special:Export on Meta, and commons:Special:Import on the Commons. One uses "Destination root page" in the Special:Import form on the Commons, and enters "Meta". So all pages moved from Meta to the Commons would start with commons.wikimedia.org/wiki/Meta - I have tested this on another wiki when importing stuff between wikis. It works. If small wikis were moved to the Commons, then templates would no longer have to be duplicated on all those wikis. --Timeshifter (talk) 21:37, 2 July 2013 (UTC)
  • Support After the whole thing with the Two Faced [edit] Link Wizard and the Quest for the Magical Hidden Off Switch, I am convinced that the WMF people have no clue how encyclopedia editors (or website users in general) work.—Love, Kelvinsong talk 22:04, 2 July 2013 (UTC)
  • Support. The intentions are good with the VE and similar, but they get rolled out when the devs think they are ready from a technical point of view, not when the end users think they are ready from an editor's or reader's point of view. See also the Wikipedia:Petition to the WMF on handling of interface changes that was launched following the change to notifications (which still have not been fixed). Thryduulf (talk) 23:00, 2 July 2013 (UTC)
  • Oppose per Steven and Analogdemon. Just sign up for m:Global message delivery/Targets/Tech ambassadors and you'll know about everything. --Rschen7754 23:04, 2 July 2013 (UTC)
    Ummm. I signed up for that. Not a word about this going live on that mailing list. In fact, one of the reasons I signed up for it was to know when there would be significant software changes, but most of them aren't discussed there. Nor are they discussed on Wikitech-L. And every time I complain, I'm told to sign up to another mailing list, or to post on another project. Communication is an ongoing problem that has never really been solved. Risker (talk) 01:24, 3 July 2013 (UTC)
    @Risker: The link above is actually an on-wiki newsletter, not a mailing list (which I am also subscribed to). It's actually quite interesting, I've been able to follow ULS and Wikidata stuff. --Rschen7754 01:31, 3 July 2013 (UTC)
    BTW, on the latest Tech newletter, "VisualEditor will be enabled for all logged-in English Wikipedia users on July 1, and for all users on July 8." πr2 (tc) 01:35, 3 July 2013 (UTC)
    RE: Risker. For the record, viz editor was mentioned on wikitech-l - http://lists.wikimedia.org/pipermail/wikitech-l/2013-June/070141.html. However, I would not recommend wikitech-l as a good way to keep abreast of upcoming changes, since its a list for internal development, and the majority of its contents is not about what's going to change tomorrow, but how are we going to go about making feature X which might be done 6 months from now (Which could also be interesting to average users, but is a different use case). Bawolff (talk) 02:33, 3 July 2013 (UTC)
    Agreed. Anyway, I don't understand the scope of this. Will they block changes to all Wikimedia sites because one wiki (enwiki) isn't happy? Or will this just affect deployments here? πr2 (tc) 01:18, 3 July 2013 (UTC)
    Just here. But if a council got into the game of just blocking releases then it would have failed IMO. I would imagine the right to block a release as being a big stick (if that power was given to such a council, at all). Really, the focus of a group of this sort should be on ensuring that it never has to use the big stick (i.e. that releases go smoothly and are communicated well, from an end-user point of view). --RA (talk) 06:31, 3 July 2013 (UTC)
    @Rschen:, it's not merely about advance notice but the nature of notices. I first became aware of the plans for the VisualEditor from an announcement on the Admin Noticeboard on June 18 (discussion). There, I was informed, an A/B trial was planned involving a percentage of new accounts. I asked a few simple questions (e.g. how long will the trial run, how will the data inform future decisions, etc.), which went unanswered. I was then informed that the trail would be postponed.
    On the 24th of June another thread opened (discussion) informing me that A/B testing was back on. Again, the talk is about A/B testing on new accounts. Next thing, a week later, and apparently without notice, the VisualEditor is live for all logged-in accounts and planned to be rolled out for all other users a week later again. Gone is A/B testing, gone is a trial just on newbies, and the basic questions I asked on June 18th are still unanswered.
    I appreciate that the WMF guys are enthusiastic (and possibly under pressure). A responsibility a user council could have is to ensure that no release of such major significance and proportions goes ahead backed by such poor communication. That doesn't necessarily mean blocking a release (which is a big stick) as much as simply ensuring that there is clarity and good communication ahead of releases and trials (which is what is needed most of all). --RA (talk) 06:17, 3 July 2013 (UTC)
  • Support. This is an excellent idea. As a volunteer project, it seems only natural that we should have something like this. Everyking (talk) 23:41, 2 July 2013 (UTC)
  • Half-way Support. I definitely support the spirit of this proposal, although I suspect that similar goals could be accomplished with less bureaucracy if (1) interested users would watchlist wherever development is being discussed, and provide input there, and (2) the WMF folks would pay attention to those discussions and take community concerns seriously. Above, someone pointed out several WMF staff people who are highly responsive to community concerns. I agree that there are a bunch of staff people who are truly a pleasure to work with. Unfortunately, some other WMF staff seem to have an attitude that they know better than experienced editors what is good for us. The very fact that this discussion and others like it exist is evidence that the WMF needs to do better at working to support the editing community, rather than talking down to us. --Tryptofish (talk) 23:47, 2 July 2013 (UTC)
  • Support. This is getting out of hand; the WMF has (especially recently) been levying changes upon the entire user interface and technology without bothering to make sure that we know or respect our existing user preferences or comments. About half the time, this works out nicely and everybody is happy. The other half, there can be incredible backlash (as is the case now with VE), including among practically every editor who actually opted into the alpha period before now, and the WMF doesn't bother to even try to fix it. They just tell us, "Well, we told you that it was going to happen in an unnoticeable box at the top of the watchlist you might rarely check, didn't listen to what anyone had to say about it, and deployed it when we said we would in the roadmap buried deep in a proposal discussion. If you don't like it, go away." This isn't really helpful to the community.  — TORTOISEWRATH 01:00, 3 July 2013 (UTC)
  • Oppose I applaud the intent, but when push comes to shove, "To have sign-off on software changes affecting end users before they are rolled out" is never going to hold if the Foundation and the community disagree on a question, and that's the core of the reason I'd support the proposal. As a result, I believe this particular exercise will, in the end, not actually solve the problem. Ask yourself: Would the user council have gotten WP:ACTRIAL off the ground? I doubt it. --j⚛e deckertalk 01:21, 3 July 2013 (UTC)
  • Too grandiose a title. Call them "editor representatives for software developments". --SmokeyJoe (talk) 01:47, 3 July 2013 (UTC)
    Other terms used for groups like combine "user advocacy" or "user representative" and "group", "committee", "panel", etc. --RA (talk) 06:20, 3 July 2013 (UTC)
  • comment: I don't think it would be a bad thing to require community consensus when enabling new features (read: extensions), particularly in cases where they are only being enabled on a single project. Honestly it seems like community consensus is sought when enabling features on projects that aren't enwikipedia, I'm not sure why enwikipedia should be different (To be clear: Only talking about changes aimed at a single community. Things that get enabled on all 700 odd wikis tend to be less controversial and it would be impractical to seek consensus for all of them). I don't see the benefit of a representational council, when things can just happen publicly anyways. Bawolff (talk) 02:22, 3 July 2013 (UTC)
  • Comment—The en.WP community's lack of organisation in this area really shows us up against the German-speakers, who've had the benefit of a well-run noticeboard for years. I applaud this proposal. But, can one of its mission statements be to foster greater community awareness of the developers' tasks and challenges? It's a two-way thing. Tony (talk) 02:34, 3 July 2013 (UTC)
    I entirely agree. It is a two-way thing. It's about listening as well as being heard. Communication goes both ways. Involving user more closely in development, I would hope, would help demystify some aspects of it. --RA (talk) 08:41, 3 July 2013 (UTC)
  • Support in principle. The Foundation has been well aware for several years of my concerns, most recently again at WT:WER where User:Steven (WMF) has provided some valuable background, but still does not address how the WMF arrives at its priorities for software development. IHMO, the Foundation creates new tools in good faith, but does not sufficiently examine whether or not they are a genuine priority for the community. I think such a council or something on those lines would be a good idea, especially so that the WMF does not allocate funds and developer time on gadgets, and focuses more on the bigger issues such as, just to cite two examples, new page quality control, and better information for new users. Most of us could probably live for a while longer without article feedback tools, WikiLove, thank buttons, visual editors, liquid threads, and notifications systems (actually quite good) that replace the orange banner. WP:ACTRIAL was a good example of how the community has brought pressure to bear on the Foundation, but there is no regulatory body to find out who is right and who is wrong. The overall impression left from ACTRIAL was that the Foundation owns the servers, and if they don't like a community consensus, they just won't implement the request, even for just a trial whose objective was to clearly measure the effect of a community suggestion that had been agreed by no small participation and a healthy consensus. Another example is the Page Curation tool set - a truly brilliant piece of software (in the right hands), and developed with a lot of editor participation and well coordinated by a Foundation contractor, but the community didn't directly ask for it, and it didn't address the core issues with new page patrolling that still persist to this day. Kudpung กุดผึ้ง (talk) 03:37, 3 July 2013 (UTC)
So the council should exist more to advise the Foundation on the wants and needs of the community rather than to attempt to inform users of upcoming changes? Michaelzeng7 (talk) 12:32, 13 July 2013 (UTC)
  • Support - There clearly needs to be a countervailing force to the cavalier and uncritical attitude of the Foundation about change. Carrite (talk) 04:37, 3 July 2013 (UTC)
  • Oppose. This idea seems to have arisen only because the proposer ignored years of very prominent and conspicuous requests for comment, discussions, and site notifications on Wikipedia and other Wikimedia websites, and, if they have a life outside Wikipedia, possibly also a good deal of third-party coverage in magazines, blogs, and social media. "Visual Editor is coming; your input is solicited!" has been plastered all over the place for a very long time now, and it looks like the WMF has been duly diligent in monitoring and collecting feedback from the ensuing discussions. It's not their fault if some people consistently failed to participate despite a plethora of very well-advertised opportunities. I'm all for officially designating one or more venues where the WMF must give notice and monitor discussion of technical and UI changes (which of course would not preclude further advertisement and discussion of such changes elsewhere) but given how admirably the latest change was publicized I see no need for this process to be overseen by an independent body. —Psychonaut (talk) 07:33, 3 July 2013 (UTC)
    People are busy, and separate wikis currently require separate watchlists. So people may try to join discussions on the smaller wikis that WMF, staff, and developers favor, but soon stop regularly checking the watchlists for those smaller wikis. See my long comment higher up where I explain this in detail, and propose various long, medium, and short-term solutions. A user council changes our participation from direct democracy to indirect, representative democracy. It is an improvement on the current anarchy. --Timeshifter (talk) 08:24, 3 July 2013 (UTC)
    Blaming the intended receiver of communication for not receiving the message (no matter whose fault it is) doesn't resolve the matter. There should not have been any major surprises around this (or any other) roll out. That break down in communication, irrespective of who is to blame, needs to be addressed. If the solution is that users need to participate more, then that is what this proposal is about. --RA (talk) 08:47, 3 July 2013 (UTC)
    That claim doesn't match what people are writing above: they're going "Why wasn't I consulted?!" and flatly ignoring the stupendous efforts to do so. As you are - David Gerard (talk) 09:14, 3 July 2013 (UTC)
David Gerard. It is you who are ignoring the various replies to you. And inviting people to discussions on small wikis with separate watchlists is not a stupendous effort. It is an inadequate effort which has been pointed out numerous times by many people over the years concerning communication between the WMF board/staff/developers and Wikipedia editors. --Timeshifter (talk) 10:48, 3 July 2013 (UTC)
  • Oppose Don't fix what ain't broken. I feel, Wikipedia has some kind of "Just complain about anything & everything" culture. We have more that enough onsite & offsite forums for doing that. The VE and WMF guys have done a wonderful job creating and communicating their stuff, and if some guys failed to notice, it must be due to their lack of curiosity. A council of this sort would only produce endless, pointless hairsplitting and only create hurdles in progressive work. Cheers.OrangesRyellow (talk) 10:58, 3 July 2013 (UTC)
"ain't broken"? You are kidding. See Wikipedia:VisualEditor/Feedback. Onsite forums with substantive discussion only started relatively recently on English Wikipedia concerning the visual editor. And substantive discussion connected with an alpha/beta version of VE working with articles on English Wikipedia is what counts. It is better to have the hairsplitting earlier in the design process before major, costly mistakes are made. A user council might have helped in that area, and can help now too. We need dedicated users in it for the longterm. That is an elected user council. Average users can only check small-wiki watchlists for a few months at the most before they tire of having to check multiple watchlists. A user council is in it longterm. --Timeshifter (talk) 11:16, 3 July 2013 (UTC)
Of course it "ain't broken". It works. It has bugs, and this is only to be expected for any new software. I trust the VE team can and will fix them. Even Microsoft created Windows OS systems always come with bugs and they keep fixing them all the time. Nothing unusual or unexpected there. The VE is going to revolutionize our falling ed numbers and we should all support it. In the meantime, anyone who is unsatisfied can easily use the old edit interface. Since the old interface is readily available, I see no possibly of any major damage. I still do not see any valid reason for hairsplitting or usercouncil. Users who want to help out with testing or discussions can also do so without being elected to do so. They can self elect to do so.OrangesRyellow (talk) 13:31, 3 July 2013 (UTC)
Something can be barely usable, and broken. It's funny that you bring up Microsoft and its operating systems. --Timeshifter (talk) 21:12, 3 July 2013 (UTC)
  • Not as proposed A "user council" would probably be a nice idea, but I'm skeptical it would actually change the sort of things being complained about here. It would be good to get more editor input into the development process (and hopefully the new WMF-hired community liaisons will be able to help with this too). But "sign-off on software changes", if that means "veto power" as some of the above supports are implying, no. I remember too well the reactionary site-wide CSS change that still prevents new users from having watchlist bolding until they discover gadgets, and the complaints about the diff color scheme change that thankfully resulted in a "old color scheme" gadget rather than an "override it for everyone because I don't like it!" mess.
    As for the problems most people here seem to be complaining of, I doubt a user council would have much effect. The people who missed all the various notices that VE was coming will still miss all the notices. And the people who don't like something will still complain that their input somehow wasn't considered, no matter that this user council exists. As for the council itself, it could go both ways: it could be a useful resource to get more community-focused feedback in development, or it could be populated by "Oh noes! Change!" reactionaries who would obstruct rather than help guide development. Anomie 12:30, 3 July 2013 (UTC)
Yes, this is problematic: "To have sign-off on software changes affecting end users before they are rolled out." That should be changed to "ongoing consultation". The real sign-off occurs when something is deployed. If enough people dislike something they will edit less. They have effectively not signed on. WMF then either pays attention, or there is a further slide in the total number of monthly edits on Wikipedia. WMF can then pay attention and fix the problem. Or the WMF gets developers to develop gadgets and preferences to ameliorate the problem for some people. A user council might prevent some problems from occurring at all. --Timeshifter (talk) 21:26, 3 July 2013 (UTC)
"If enough people dislike something they will edit less."citation needed
I've not seen any research indicating that this is likely. I've seen evidence that contradicts this claim when "dislike" is measured within the first few weeks after a major change, rather than after the established users have had enough time to explore the new system: it's normal for power users to dislike change to "their" website, no matter what the website is or what the change is. WhatamIdoing (talk) 11:34, 4 July 2013 (UTC)
Anonymous, registered, and bot edits. English Wikipedia timeline. More charts are needed.
It only took a few days for my prediction to be proven right concerning the hidden "edit source" links on sections. It has already been reverted due to the barrage of complaints about it. It is not a matter of just getting used to something in many cases. If people continue to dislike something enough, or if it continues to hinder their editing enough, or if it continues to slow them down enough, then many of those people will edit less. Since Wikipedia is a volunteer effort this is more true than for employees at a company using software. They have to tolerate the software if that is what their boss wants. According to the chart on the right there are twice as many edits by registered users as anonymous users. It would be a bad idea to believe that we can afford to slow down editing by registered users in the hope that providing any visual editor (no matter how buggy) will cause the number of anonymous IP editors to increase enough to create a net increase in the number of monthly edits. See File:Edits per month on Wikipedia.gif The WMF needs to think more clearly about the net effects of changes to editing. They would be able to do that better if there were a user council. --Timeshifter (talk) 01:42, 5 July 2013 (UTC)
As I said above, the edit section links will be restored on Monday.
You seem to believe that sheer number of edits is proof that registered users write the articles. Have you read any of the research on that point, like Aaron Swartz's? Registered editors revert a lot, and they do a lot of gmoning and copyediting, but IPs are responsible for providing a lot of the content. Whatamidoing (WMF) (talk) 03:42, 5 July 2013 (UTC)
I only pointed out the 2 to 1 ratio of edits by registered editors versus anonymous IP editors. Hopefully the developers will put 2 direct links ("edit" and "edit source" without hover) on every section. --Timeshifter (talk) 05:42, 5 July 2013 (UTC)
  • Oppose. I think that more a cooperative relationship between the WMF and its wikis is a good idea, but I would rather have it done using the existing community input processes (e.g. RfC) rather than add bureaucracy. Kudu ~I/O~ 15:11, 3 July 2013 (UTC)
  • Reluctant support. Things like that should be handled informally, with developers (and/or related non-developers) doing proper requirements elicitation and collaborating with the users (the Community). After all, that's just how software engineering is supposed to work. Then the final decision before deployment would be a mere formality that would not need additional bureaucracy. But, unfortunately, instead of that we get complaints that "The proper time for discussion is when changes are being proposed or written, not before they're deployed.". Sorry, but that is exactly when discussion is vital. Since someone mentioned buggy pre-Service Pack versions of Windows - well, the whole point is that then it's the user (not Microsoft) that makes the decision if he wants to install the new version or not. (It is only natural that this decision should be done when we know what exactly has been created - not until development is finished.) How comes that it is the "supplier" that makes this decision in our case? Something related to sunk costs..? (But, I hope, the pay of developers does not get postponed until deployments..?) So, if that is the way in which the users (in this case - the Community) can make decision to deploy something or to refuse to deploy it, that probably should be done... Though still, informal approach with developers (and/or related non-developers) actively looking for friendly but harsh criticism and engaging it in good faith would be far more preferable... --Martynas Patasius (talk) 18:48, 3 July 2013 (UTC)
  • Seems rather useless. The people who want to be involved in these things find out and get involved. Others just don't bother to get involved until deployment. That will not change. And what the council "likes" in your user interface and what others like will still be two (or more likely many) different things. Then you will get conversations, like the council trying to explain to others all the great work they did, and others arguing back that they did terrible work and should resign, etc. etc. and on and on. Alanscottwalker (talk) 19:46, 3 July 2013 (UTC)
  • Oppose. Some fancy scheme to elevate representatives distracts from the main point that WMF developers need a more visible central announcement board that users can easily check to know about everything coming down the pipe whatever it is. If they do their job to notify a council they can do their job to notify a central announcement board, and conversely... (To be clear, I think that users as a whole should enjoy the "rights" of the proposed council above) Wnt (talk) 22:27, 3 July 2013 (UTC)
The WMF and developers have been "announcing" the visual editor for years. Notices and announcements are not the problem. Notifying a council is not enough either. What is needed are easy ways of substantive engagement. That did not occur until recently. --Timeshifter (talk) 23:10, 3 July 2013 (UTC)
This is fatuous. We have just conclusively demonstrated that there exists no place to notify that no editor will claim they did not see and that it's an outrage - David Gerard (talk) 23:13, 3 July 2013 (UTC)
Why the frequent drama in your comments, O David Gerard? Notifying is not the problem in my opinion. We need a longterm place for easy discussion, and give-and-take, at an earlier stage of a specific software project. "Easy" means via an English Wikipedia watchlist, or a cross-wiki watchlist. "Easy" means not using LiquidThreads for discussion. "Easy" means a separate discussion page for each project. --Timeshifter (talk) 23:35, 3 July 2013 (UTC)
Sorry, but there is a simple process to inform and "survey" a significant part of users when you really need it. It is described in "Evolutionary prototyping". Make a "prototype" - perhaps a "release candidate". Enable it for, let's say, a day (with announcements before that). Then roll it back and ask if the users like that change. The problem with current announcements is that, well, there is an impression that it does not really matter if we will read them. Let's say, everyone will read an announcement "Change C will happen on day D.". What difference does it make, if there is a perception that the change (perhaps with minor modifications) will happen no matter what..? After all, it is really just an announcement, not a request for harsh criticism. For example, m:Tech/News/2013/27 says: "VisualEditor will be enabled for all logged-in English Wikipedia users on July 1, and for all users on July 8.". Well, if it will happen and the user can do nothing about it, why should he care before it gets enabled..? For that matter... When is the last moment when opposition of users can actually stop major UI changes..? --Martynas Patasius (talk) 00:33, 4 July 2013 (UTC)
My emphasis above was meant to be on the visible. It may be fatuous, but I'm not sure if I've even heard of m:Tech/News before, though it certainly does look like a good effort. I don't see it linked anywhere obvious at the top of the various village pump pages or the community portal. Wnt (talk) 01:16, 4 July 2013 (UTC)
  • Support. Something seems to have broken down in the relationship between editors and the Foundation, and this might help to get it back on track. SlimVirgin (talk) 00:04, 4 July 2013 (UTC)
  • Somewhat support. I think there could be real value in creating a more formal consultation process between the WMF and the community to discuss technical issues, especially those surrounding new features. It could help to set priorities and communicate community concerns. However, I think anyone who imagines that the "User Council" (or whatever one wants to call it) could have a veto over the WMF is pretty much dreaming. Dragons flight (talk) 01:22, 4 July 2013 (UTC)
  • I support the establishment of a group of volunteers to work with software developers on software changes. I do not necessarily support an elected body of representatives, nor do I think it realistic to propose that our representatives have any veto power over the changes.—S Marshall T/C 18:54, 4 July 2013 (UTC)
  • Oppose in part, primarily the idea of giving any sort of veto power or a consensus model for technical enhancements. Doing it that way is the surest way to ensure nothing ever changes or improves. Better to come up with ideas that improve visibility of the notices and discussions that do go out, and allow for better consultation with editors. Resolute 01:49, 5 July 2013 (UTC)
  • Support if necessary, There are two reasons why we must do something. first, the WMF is responsible for the development of the software, but on any particular WP, the community of editors there is responsible for how to use it. There will be occasions when the WMF will judge something the community wants as not practical, or where the WMF finds that maintaining a reasonable degree of consistency mandates something the community does not really like, and these will have to be resolved by discussion. (As I see it, the use of notifications was one where the decision should have been left to the community entirely. On the other hand, a visual editor should be a general feature of editing across all WPedias, though practical considerations may require slightly different implementations.) If the developers are of the opinion that the community is being unduly resistant to reasonable modernization, the proper way is to convince us, just as any other group or individual who wants to introduce changes. I do not think the wmf accepts this principle, and I think we in the community would be right in doing whatever we can to convince them to accept it, as the only basis for collaboration. second, the WMF has shown itself not very competent at communication to the community, and probably the community is not much better. The WMF tends to think meta and other discussion media under its control are sufficient, and that notices will do for implied consent. Neither is realistic, and the response to their trials indicates it. None of us can be everywhere, and the place to discuss the English WP is the English WP, which is where the people working on it primarily work. . The overall development of MediaWiki is another matter, but the implementation on enWP must be discussed on enWP. The community here, for its part, tends to solve problems by multiplying the number of forums, delaying decisions, and letting steadfast opposition prevail over rationality. therefore once it is accepted that these matters must be discussed, we need a single centralized place on enWP to do so, where things will be discussed and rfcs conducted according to our accustomed manner. But this will only work if the WMF accepts the first part, that the community will be the responsible body for deciding, just as they are for content and working procedures. I doubt they will, and in that case, the community needs some countervailing power. If so, a council of this sort is the best solution. Since the WMF by and large finds its manner of work requires it to speak in a single voice according to its own consensus, the community will need some way also., and a council of this sort can be an effect intermediary, if it is necessary to see this as different groups vying for power. DGG ( talk ) 04:41, 5 July 2013 (UTC)
  • In other news, I just discovered that an English Wikipedia (San Francisco) User Council was already formed few days ago, it's called roundtable 1. --Nemo 08:16, 5 July 2013 (UTC)
    that's a commendable effort by the foundation to explore how editing works, and I encourage them to continue. (I would not want to do it myself; I don't do well in that sort of structure.) Watching people do it is helpful. What's even more helpful is editing oneself. Perhaps the first month of everybody hired by the WMF should be an apprenticeship, editing and fixing problems on a project of their choice on what ever topics they care for, and perhaps every WMF employee should spend about 10% of their time doing it. This isn't paying people to edit, because they'll do whatever they like, and interact with the community in the normal way and learn from the interactions.
    But it's not the sort of user group I think we have in mind. Our group will be run by us, in our way, and do what the people in it think necessary and important. DGG ( talk ) 23:42, 5 July 2013 (UTC)
    I think Nemo was joking (I hope so!). The 1st roundtable was a cross between an in-person IRC office hours, and a 1 day editathon. I think they hold the latter, at the offices, quite frequently? (ask at Wikipedia:Meetup/San Francisco for info, perhaps)
    I completely agree with your suggestion that WMF staff should each spend some time regularly (at least an hour a week) editing articles, even if it's as an IP/anon. That would help in oh so many ways. –Quiddity (talk) 00:46, 6 July 2013 (UTC)
  • Oppose. I think the idea of getting user input is great. I just don't think a council is the way to do it. In my experience councils end up being lots of non value added work and no matter who you put on it they tend to represent their own interests not the community as a whole. I think a better use of resources is to do more empirical assessment of how users actually use Wikipedia and what they want to see from it. Mdebellis (talk) 23:47, 5 July 2013 (UTC)
  • Support First off, the patchwork of a dozen different forums, most of which are not designed for projects and tool suggestions, is not working. Second, when something is everyone's job, it is no one's job. This is an area where the community needs a task-force of point people who are willing to take responsibility for interfacing with the developers. I'm not saying that everyone shouldn't give feedback, but we need more focus. II | (t - c) 04:18, 6 July 2013 (UTC)
  • Some of the arguments in favour of this proposal have pushed me to Oppose. Agree with Demon above that we don't have any shortage of ways to feed into software and user interface development. Agree with DavidGerard and others that the idea that we weren't given enough notice of the visual editor just seems obviously false: I don't know how regular editors could not have heard of it multiple times before now. RA phrased the proposal carefully in terms of involving current and potential users, but the way some other people have interpreted it is as entrenching the conservatism of the existing user base, which is bad because they are not representative of all the people who could constructively contribute to Wikipedia. I'm not even persuaded that RA's proposal above solves a problem, but creating a project page for User advocacy (below) seems like a good next step. MartinPoulter (talk) 14:37, 6 July 2013 (UTC)
  • Oppose. As User:Steven Zhang mentioned, the Wikimedia staff are doing a fine enough job and I AGF that they have Wikipedia's best interests in mind. -- œ 05:27, 8 July 2013 (UTC)
  • Support Council. This idea, of a "#User Council" at least attempts to empower the enwiki community to remind WMF about things that really matter to thousands of users. To my horror, I discovered how simple fixes to auto-merge wp:Edit_conflict revisions were not implemented to improve diff3 merge, and in fact, there was no plan to fix edit-conflicts, as if VisualEditor were a million times more important than auto-merging 95% of edit-conflicts which need only a few hours of software changes. Plus, to my recent horror, I discovered how "[http:...]" web-links implicitly add a trailing slash "/" which prevents linking a URL address which has some CGI parameters (such as: http://tools.wmflabs.org/xx&ns=1), although the bug seemed to have been fixed hours later. Then there is the wp:Expansion depth limit, of 41/40 nesting levels, which should have been raised, years ago, to 50 or 60 or 80 levels deep, but instead we get no improvement. Then there is the need to set a parameter value during template processing, such as {{#set:x|45}}, to make some templates run 20x-40x times faster by checking a stored result, but the WMF does not value that simple, crucial improvement. Plus page names need to end with '#' such as "C#" (C-sharp). I think the WMF seems totally out-of-touch with reality, fiddling with an expensive wp:VisualEditor which will take 3 years to become adequate, while ignoring numerous critical changes to make page processing much easier and several times faster, years sooner. By the way, I discussed issues at wp:Bugzilla and got no positive feedback from WMF. So, I support a User Council to try to emphasize the priorities to get important problems fixed, years sooner. I can appreciate that the typesetting conniptions for 269 languages (with non-Latin alphabets) has been very time-consuming, but some language support needs to wait a few months while massive problems in the English Wikipedia get fixed, and those fixes will then likely apply to hundreds of other-language Wikipedias. -Wikid77 (talk) 21:04, 10 July 2013 (UTC)
    I tried to find some of the issues that you mention in Bugzilla but failed. For example I could not find a single ticket mentioning "Expansion depth limit" in the summary. As you wrote that discussions in Bugzilla took place, some pointers (URLs or bug numbers) would be welcome! In general, bugs happen and some get fixed (see the trailing slash example), while other requests might sometimes be considered rather complicated to fix and hence do not receive a high priority (e.g. page names ending with #), but such judgements could always be reevaluated if there are good reasons. Thanks, --AKlapper (WMF) (talk) 20:25, 17 July 2013 (UTC)
  • Support The absolute debacle that was the release of Vector convinced me years ago that we had this problem, and that point has been proven many time since then, though none quite so strongly as that first incident.--Fuhghettaboutit (talk) 03:40, 15 July 2013 (UTC)

Wikipedia:User Advocacy[edit]

I believe the taking the first step if you want to see change, so I'm going to be bold.

I think there's consensus above that something be done, but I don't think there is consensus at this time for something as formal as what I proposed. In all, I think a consensus position can be summed up by Tony1's comment at 02:34:

The en.WP community's lack of organisation in this area really shows us up against the German-speakers, who've had the benefit of a well-run noticeboard for years. I applaud this proposal. But, can one of its mission statements be to foster greater community awareness of the developers' tasks and challenges? It's a two-way thing.

I've created a project page at Wikipedia:User Advocacy. The purpose of that page, I hope, will be to act as meeting point between EN wiki users, developers and the Foundation. I believe there is consensus above for a step like that.

I'm deliberately not creating a WikiProject because I don't believe this should be a matter of special interest to a few users. The tools we use is something that affects the project as a whole. The page does not create a committee, or council, or cabal of any kind. However, the phrase "user advocacy" is often used in describing the kinds of committees that the proposal above is based upon.

I hope that it will facilitate discussion, knowledge sharing and exchange of ideas. I hope too that it will act as a venue for those advocating greater user engagement to engage themselves in that area and spread the word. I hope too it will draw in the imagination, expertise and knowledge of developers and Foundation staff in support of their efforts.

The page is deliberately in a brain-storming state. I've just created a few headers for now. So, please, everyone is welcome and invited to contribute and participate. --RA (talk) 23:13, 3 July 2013 (UTC)

I've written an extensive reply with notes and pointers and thoughts, but I didn't want to overwhelm your description here, so I've placed it at Wikipedia talk:User Advocacy. Hopefully that will help both this discussion, and that advocacy page, move forward. –Quiddity (talk) 05:35, 4 July 2013 (UTC)
Quiddity, thanks for your comment. I've intentionally not replied so as to leave the discussion to others. I see a positive discussion has opened between you and another user. --RA () 13:15, 7 July 2013 (UTC)
I've worked a little on initial tasks a User Advocacy effort could work on. This is just an initial list, as follows:
  • Brainstorming: We need to plan and build awareness of the User Advocacy effort.
  • Roadmap: User-accessible information the software roadmap is being drawn up.
  • Features: A list of individual software features for for feedback is being prepared.
  • VisualEditor: Research question and methodology proposals are being prepared.
  • Volunteers: An audit of people, skills and resources available to the User Advocacy effor is being compiled.
Please contribute to the areas above if you can. Thanks, --RA () 13:15, 7 July 2013 (UTC)

Increase 5000 maximum of items on special pages for certain user groups[edit]

At the moment, the maximum number of items on list-like special pages is 5000. I propose to increase this maximum for certain user groups (e.g. administrators or bots) in order to ease their technical work. --Синкретик (talk) 10:59, 20 July 2013 (UTC)

Could you give some examples of the current limit causing problems? Phil Bridger (talk) 14:34, 20 July 2013 (UTC)
I see that MediaWiki seems to have a hard-limit of 5000. If you want that limit to be increased, I think that requires a change to the MediaWiki software. I would Support such a change, because I know it can sometimes be useful to be able to "skip" a large number of pages at once. -- Toshio Yamaguchi 14:47, 20 July 2013 (UTC)
If you need to get/parse that much information, unless I misunderstand you, you're probably better off using the API. Theopolisme (talk) 17:01, 20 July 2013 (UTC)
This. The API allows for fetching all of this data (in batches of 5000). The limits are in place to keep the site stable. Having people requesting 10 or 50k results at once would hurt performance for others. ^demon[omg plz] 22:24, 20 July 2013 (UTC)

Greetings. Here I would like to propose one of a series of significant and radical changes to Wikipedia that I will be posting in the near future.

Visual Editor clashes with instructions on help pages and the like[edit]

We currently have lots of guidelines, help/how-to pages, MOS sections, and the like that if followed using the visual editor, result in all kinds of errors and a lot of misunderstandings by newish editors. We are seeing a slew of people, for example, using the visual editor to place links by typing [[name]] (which results in the brackets shown around what was intended to be linked, with nowiki tags around it and nearby text). I don't think we should engage in some mass rewrite of numerous pages – certainly not until we're out of beta testing, but there is a problem.

I have mocked up a template, {{VE documentation}} (shown below) in an attempt to come up with something we might use as a stop gap measure. The format and language is very much a work in progress. I was initially thinking something like this would be a substituted at the top of pages such as Help:Link (and then tailored to the specifics of a page), but maybe we should have something less intrusive, like a hatnote, saying:

      The instructions on this page are geared toward editing using wiki markup and may not work or result in errors if followed using the Visual Editor. For more information see {{VE documentation}}.

Whether we use this template at all or not, which was basically me thinking out loud, we need something.--Fuhghettaboutit (talk) 16:05, 14 July 2013 (UTC)

I like :). RA and I were looking at notifying people that they needed to update the help pages - I'm not sure what's going on with that :/. Okeyes (WMF) (talk) 06:00, 15 July 2013 (UTC)
Related thread is at Wikipedia:Village pump (technical)#Visual Editor: Documentation update
Another user made Wikipedia:Tutorial/VE notice which is transcluded in a few places, and could be adapted from.
I'm not sure if any other work has been started. –Quiddity (talk) 06:39, 15 July 2013 (UTC)
@Quiddity: I'm not seeing that thread at WP:VPT, or WP:VE/F. -- John Broughton (♫♫) 05:00, 16 July 2013 (UTC)
@John Broughton: It just got archived, 25 minutes ago :/ Wikipedia:Village pump (technical)/Archive 114#Visual Editor: Documentation updateQuiddity (talk) 05:05, 16 July 2013 (UTC)
  • My IP alter ego gave up on editing from their smartphone because VE was fucking shit up in impossible ways. Pardon my French. It was the most frustrating Wikipedia experience I've had in a week. Drmies (talk) 05:40, 17 July 2013 (UTC)
It's taken years and years to accumulate all the Help content, so yes please template/notice desperately needed asap. We need *something*...all the Help pages will have to eventually be changed to reflect that there are now two possible ways of doing things, I have a headache just thinking about it... Does anyone know if Help/doc pages will have separate VE Help-pages with additional title nomenclature, like "Help:VE/(subject)" or "Help:Subject(VE)" or if the new content will just be integrated into the present Help system? My one little template for referencing "{{subst:User:Shearonink/ref}}" is now, I suppose, stale so far as VE goes and I'll have to break-down and learn VE to fix it. I would suggest that folks who are experienced with VE will consider hanging out in #wikipedia-en-help to assist noobs who are confused by all the Help & Doc pages that don't mention VE... Shearonink (talk) 09:00, 17 July 2013 (UTC)
Before anyone rushes to fix Help pages (and there are lots of other types of documentation besides those pages that is wrong when it comes to VE editing), I suggest at least skimming all the posts at WP:VE/F and its archives. If you do that, you'll get an appreciation for how much the software needs to be fixed/improved/changed before its even reasonably stable, and how likely it is that any Help pages that are revised (or, my personal recommendation, added, as parallel documentation) are just going to have to be updated time and time again as the software changes. I suggest just living with the user guide until we're on the other side of the mountain of now-open bug requests.
@Shearonink: - Your personal template should work just fine in VE, though it will work much better if you add TemplateData to it. But, of course, you can continue to use the wikitext editor, as the large majority of experienced editors are doing, and your template will keep working just as it always has within that editing context. -- John Broughton (♫♫) 18:12, 22 July 2013 (UTC)

Ads[edit]

Please, hear me out. Wikipedia has a tremendous amount of muscle in the form of readers and page visits. This can be used to generate accurate, high value ad sales, because the topic of each page allows advertisers to easily pinpoint their audience. However, the money obtained from this does not need to go towards salaries. The huge amount of funds obtained from ads could go towards supporting charities that build schools in poor countries, to hire editors or administrators, and even to compensate users for editing. Ads could be placed at the very bottom of the page, below references, so it would not interfere with the user experience. Beside the ad could be a large button reading "disable ads" which would permanently disable ads for that user. Near or below the ad could be a statement that explains why Wikipedia is selling ads and where the proceeds go. The user could even have the option to choose from a list of predetermined charities for where their ad proceeds go, which could include the WMF, or a charity selected randomly each time a user loads a page. To ward off concerns of viruses, groups wanting to advertise would be required to submit a .gif or .jpeg file for display, which Wikipedia would display with it's own coding structure. Users that do not like ads can easily turn them off. Users that want to help support their favorite charity can easily do so. This model keeps everyone happy: it supports great causes, keeps ads away from those who do not want to see them, and would eventually improve the user experience of Wikipedia for everyone because money would be flowing in to improve server equipment or expand staff. StainlessSteelScorpion (talk) 22:37, 22 July 2013 (UTC)

This is an argument that has been done to death. The place to have this discussion is WT:Advertisements, not here. 78.149.172.10 (talk) 22:47, 22 July 2013 (UTC)
StainlessSteelScorpion. One of your ideas (optional ads) is covered here:
Wikipedia:Advertisements#Arguments for optional adverts
The Village Pump has already had this discussion many times in the past, and it does not need to be repeated here. See Wikipedia talk:Advertisements if you want to initiate further discussion there. --Timeshifter (talk) 03:26, 23 July 2013 (UTC)
I'm sorry, but this will never gain consensus. It removes the neutrality and integrity of the project. Ross Hill 03:31, 23 July 2013 (UTC)

Replace the term "transclusion" in VisualEditor[edit]

"Transclusion" is a unfamiliar word for most people, so much so that Dictionary.com and the Oxford English Dictionary don't even recognize it as a word. As a result, such terminology will be hard on new users and is a poor choice for labeling the template features in the Visual Editor. Several people have already complained about the use of the word "transclusion" in the Visual Editor. In addition, most of our template related help pages have names like Help:Template, Help:A quick guide to templates, WP:Template messages, not to mention that the namespace is called "Template:" (though WP:Transclusion does also exist).

Given this, I would propose replacing "Transclusion" on the Visual Editor template button and on the title of the template editing dialog with "Template Editor".

"Template Editor" is still somewhat opaque, but "Template" is a real word and most of our documentation is already written in reference to "Templates", so I believe this is an improvement. Of course if anyone has an even better suggestion, then now would be a good time to offer them. Dragons flight (talk) 16:43, 10 July 2013 (UTC)

This is actually already in bugzilla, and is something I'd like to see fixed at the dev end. Even if we fix it on enwiki, it will still be confusing on our other ~270 wikis. Okeyes (WMF) (talk) 18:00, 10 July 2013 (UTC)
The devs are free to fix it when they get to it, but that doesn't mean we can't fix it first. I'm perfectly happy to recommend any change we make here as a role model for the devs, but I don't expect (and honestly wouldn't want) the devs to be spending much time right now worrying about labels given the very large backlog of bugs and missing features. Dragons flight (talk) 18:10, 10 July 2013 (UTC)
  • Support. Yes, relabel VE "Transclusion" button soon as "Template Editor" on enwiki, to help new editors better integrate with wp:Template terminology. -Wikid77 19:38, 10 July 2013 (UTC)
  • I'm not so sure about "Template Editor". It sound's a bit like you will be editing the actual template rather than just filling in the parameters, and people might be scared of that. But I agree that "transclusion" is bad, and my spell checker agrees, too. — HHHIPPO 21:29, 10 July 2013 (UTC)
  • See mw:VisualEditor talk:Template test for some background as to why it is called "transclusion editor". Calling it "template editor" might be OK, but it needs to be made clear that it does more than just edit a single template at a time. — This, that and the other (talk) 01:19, 11 July 2013 (UTC)
  • Why can't the button just say something like "Fill out template" or even "parameters"? I think that would be much easier to understand. I've been around here far too long and it took me awhile to realize what the "transclusion" button meant. Keilana|Parlez ici 04:27, 11 July 2013 (UTC)
  • Insert Template should be the tooltip of the button (and the title of the resulting window). --Patrick87 (talk) 08:52, 11 July 2013 (UTC)
    The same tooltip is used on the hovering button that opens the template editing dialog for existing templates. In that circumstance, "insert" isn't a great choice. Dragons flight (talk)
    I see. In this second case I'd vote for "Edit Template" or (regarding concerns above this might indicate one was editing the template itself) "Edit template parameters". The most precise term would probably be "Edit template transclusion", maybe this works as well, since it mentions "template", so on understands it also when one doesn't know what transclusion is. --Patrick87 (talk) 15:42, 11 July 2013 (UTC)
  • Strong Support. It should be labeled as "Add template..." or "Insert template...". My complaint was originally here. -- SnoFox(t|c) 17:57, 11 July 2013 (UTC)
  • Let's just do it. When the "transclusion" dialog box opens, it includes a "Remove template" button. (Why the text is in red is unclear; why this doesn't say "Delete" rather than "Remove" is also unclear .. but I digress). So the developers already are using the word "template" to indicate what is happening. (Apparently they couldn't bring themselves to label the button "Remove transclusion".)
    • Yes, "Edit template" isn't 100% perfect, but it's way better than what is in place now. We have consensus on that, at least. Based on that consensus, someone should make the change; there is always the opportunity to build a consensus around something even better, if that something exists. And we'll send a strong suggestion to the developers that they should change it officially before people start preparing translations for the other 270+ language Wikipedias. -- John Broughton (♫♫) 00:08, 12 July 2013 (UTC)
      • @John Broughton: "Before"? You do realise that this software is live on all Wikipedias right now, and has been being translated for months, right? Engagement earlier in the process would have been nicer. :-) Any decision made now doesn't need to be rushed on the grounds of making life easier for translators - it's the changing that's the burden. Rushing to a judgement now and then changing it again increases, not decreases, the load on our volunteers. Jdforrester (WMF) (talk) 02:04, 12 July 2013 (UTC)
  • We're actually mid-discussion about replacing this right now inside the team; the problem is that we don't have a good term for either "block of things, some of which are content transcluded from somewhere else, some of which are not" ("transclusion" in the current interface) or "thing inside said block, which is either content transcluded from somewhere else, or a code block that generates some output" ("template" in the current interface). We don't think the term "template" is right for either of these items, and though "transclusion" is more correct for the second we're not keen on it either. We'd really like to remove these terms entirely and call them something that's obvious to users, but, stumped for ideas, we've yet to find something that works. What do you think we should use? Jdforrester (WMF) (talk) 02:01, 12 July 2013 (UTC)
    Sorry, but what's wrong with "Template"? Templates are what usually get's transcluded. Sure, people can transclude almost everything, e.g. whole pages, but then again that's not how transclusions are normally used. Also I don't think we should even encourage editors to transclude anything other than templates from "Template" namespace (this is surely useful, but only if one knows what one does, and then the label shouldn't be an issue anyway).
    While "Transclusion" might be the most correct term we probably shouldn't use it at all. It's not an English word and probably nobody new to Wikipedia knows what it means. That said, it's great that Wikipedia has such a unique feature as template transclusion which was even given an unique name, and we achieved to make the word "transclusion" known to Wikipedians. So maybe we can even make it more commonly known by promoting it wherever we can.
    Personally I'd not risk a feature not understandable for newbies though and I'd totally go for "Insert template" for the new template button in the toolbar and "Edit template transclusion" for the edit template button when highlighting an already present template. --Patrick87 (talk) 08:36, 12 July 2013 (UTC)
    Strictly speaking "transclusion" isn't new to Wikipedia. The concept of transclusion has been used in computer science contexts (mostly around web and HTML type things) since before Wikipedia existed, but it is still very much a bit of specialist jargon. Dragons flight (talk) 16:20, 12 July 2013 (UTC)
  • Re-label "Transclusion" as "Template/Insert" to denote both: The other "Template" button might suffice, but soon rename the "Transclusion" button as "Template/Insert" to indicate access to both templates and other insertions. I just cannot think of an easier label, as also perhaps in German, "Vorlage/Einsatz" or French "Modele/Inséré" or Swedish "Mall/Infoga" or Spanish "Plantilla/insertar" (or "/Poner"?). Thanks for working this issue so quickly. -Wikid77 (talk) 05:34, 12 July 2013 (UTC)
  • @Patrick87, Dragons flight, and Wikid77: I don't think "template" is remotely obvious to a new user either. "Generated content block" isn't great, though. :-) "Gadget" would be the nicest one, but that's taken; "widget" isn't terrible, but it doesn't feel good enough to introduce as wholly-new language (and is possibly a little too scary/techy for people to discover naturally). Jdforrester (WMF) (talk) 16:28, 12 July 2013 (UTC)
    I agree that "Template" is also jargon (though jargon based on a word many people will know), but it has the distinct advantage that "template" is the descriptive term widely used through-out our existing help documentation and interface. In the absence of some clearer phrase, I think it makes sense to fall back on the widely used terminology. "Widget" falls down, in my opinion, for much the same reason as "transclusion". It's novel terminology that isn't going to be either clear or widely used in documentation. That said, the point made above that we don't necessarily have to be so economical with space in dialog box headers and tooltips is a good one. Things like "Template parameter editor", "add / edit template parameters", "add / edit content block from preformatted template(s)" and other long phrases could be used if there is some phrase that might provide more clarity. I'm not sure what the answer is, but I do think "template" is a better choice of terminology than "transclusion" or "widget". Dragons flight (talk) 16:42, 12 July 2013 (UTC)
    @Wikid77: totally unrelated, but in French the verb part would probably be "insérer", not its past participle :P Œuf corse, we should leave the translations to native speakers on translatewiki.net. πr2 (tc) 04:00, 13 July 2013 (UTC)
  • Strong support. The word "transclusion" means nothing to anyone unfamiliar with Wikis. I have no strong preference for alternative, but anything more recognizable (or even a real word) is better (for general reader/editor) at this point. —  HELLKNOWZ  ▎TALK 11:03, 16 July 2013 (UTC)
  • Support change - but to what? This follows from some input I made at Wikipedia:VisualEditor/Feedback#Transclusion and having read the above. I agree that neither 'transclusion' nor 'template' are excellent terms to use. Another possibility not mentioned above: "add structured content" . --User:Ceyockey (talk to me) 19:06, 21 July 2013 (UTC)
  • Support change: the word "transclusion" has always puzzled/worried me in seven years of editing. How about "Add/edit template"? Or even just "Templates". I think "template" is a reasonable English word and its use is embedded in Wikipedia (as in "remove template", as pointed out above). People use "templates" out there in Real Life, eg for making patchwork quilts, cutting floor covering to fit round pipework, or writing a formulaic letter, but they don't use "transclusions". PamD 21:55, 21 July 2013 (UTC)
  • Support change, I would also strongly recommend considering factoring out the ever-so-common cite-template-within-reference into something which is, to a Visual Editor, its own simple and single entity, rather than unnecessarily exposing new users to more challeging transclusion/footnote abstractions. --j⚛e deckertalk 22:41, 21 July 2013 (UTC)
  • Question: Jdforrester said: "Any decision made now doesn't need to be rushed on the grounds of making life easier for translators - it's the changing that's the burden. Rushing to a judgement now and then changing it again increases, not decreases, the load on our volunteers." I don't understand that objection - why does the WMF care what the English Wikipedia does with (re)labeling? There is - I really, really hope - an separate instance of VE running at Meta - for example, mw:Help:Navigation can be edited using VE; hopefully that editing is not done with the VE version that runs at en.wikipedia.org. If the Meta version is separate, then changes of labels, to the VE version running at the English Wikipedia, shouldn't have any impact on translators - positive or negative, assuming that they have been told to use the Meta version of VE. And if so, then when there is talk here about the "impact on volunteers", we're talking about the impact on new and experienced editors at this version of Wikipedia, trying to understand what VE does. For that, I think a consensus of the Wikipedia community is better at judging impacts than a group of WMF developers, even when that group includes a number of experienced Wikipedia editors. So unless the WMF tells us "Whatever happens to the en.wiki version of VE also happens to the version of VE that translators are using" (presumably because they are the same, which would be a really bad design decision ), I think we should that the WMF when it shares with us its internal naming discussions, and then implement what we think is best. -- John Broughton (♫♫) 18:02, 22 July 2013 (UTC)
    • @Patrick87, Dragons flight, Wikid77, Jdforrester (WMF), and Okeyes (WMF): It's fairly unanimously agreed that "Transclusion" is of no value whatsoever; it simply introduces a term that new editors have no real-life experience with, and that many experienced Wikipedia editors have also not heard of. I think the least controversial change would be to replace "Transclusion" with "Template" in the two places where that word occurs - on the tool tip (when the cursor is on the icon) and in the upper left corner of the dialog box. A lengthier phrase like "Edit template" or "Add/edit template" is inconsistent with the how VE handles similar icons/dialogs ("Media", "Reference", and "References list"). Changing "transclusion" to "template" should, in fact, be universally supported because it reduces, by one, the unfamiliar terms a new editor has to deal with ("template" is already used a number of times in what is currently the "Transclusion" dialog), and because it tells experienced editors what is available (a way to add and edit templates).
    • I see no reason whatsoever for a delay here, unless - my question on this is still unanswered - for some reason our wiki (at en.wikipedia.org) is the base from which language translations of VE textstrings are being made for other Wikipedias. That would be a bad, bad design decision on the part of WMF; meta.wikimedia.org should be the base VE. Assuming that we are in fact not the canonical VE instance, I strongly recommend someone going ahead and making the change to our version of VE, the same kind of change that other language Wikipedias do not - as far as I know - have to ask WMF for permission to do. -- John Broughton (♫♫) 02:51, 24 July 2013 (UTC)
      • You don't, and are free to make that change, although someone should update the help documentation. I'd rather have the change made in the i8on strings, but that is evidently taking some time. Okeyes (WMF) (talk) 15:55, 24 July 2013 (UTC)

Filter 550 should disallow[edit]

WMF has turned Visual Editor on for IP accounts now, and the results are as expected: Filter 550 shows that an enormoussignificant volume of articles are getting mutilated with stray wikitext. Until the VE team fixes VE's handling of wiki markup, I'd like to set the filter to block the edits that include the nowikis. Anybody that is actually skilled enough to insert a nowiki on purpose can use the old editing system in the meantime, and the ones that are hitting are all signs of corrupted articles.—Kww(talk) 23:32, 15 July 2013 (UTC)

Looking at it, the filter actually can't detect that it's the visual editor. I can set it so that only editors with more than 1000 edits can do it though: for a temporary measure to hold this corruption in check, that seems like an acceptable compromise.—Kww(talk) 00:01, 16 July 2013 (UTC)
  • Support Enormous is hyperbole, it seems to be a dozen an hour, but it's best to shut it down anyway. --j⚛e deckertalk 00:11, 16 July 2013 (UTC)
It's twice that since the IPs were enabled, and it's apparently unending, but I'll agree: "significant" is probably a better word choice.—Kww(talk) 00:14, 16 July 2013 (UTC)
I've added a tag to the filter so it will be more conspicuous to other editors. I still have reservations about blocking edits when there is no possibility of explaining the problem to the editors involved (i.e. because VE doesn't yet support edit filter explanations / warnings). Dragons flight (talk) 02:11, 16 July 2013 (UTC)
Sounds like it's not ready for deployment, then. Not our call, though. --j⚛e deckertalk 03:01, 16 July 2013 (UTC)
I've posted a request at WP:BOTREQ#VisualEditor FixBot? - it seems to me that the best solution would be to have a bot fix the mistakes that result from editors using VE, adding wikitext, and ignoring the warning message. (The warning message could be more prominent, and better worded; I'm going to post about that at WP:VE/F, too.) In the meantime, I see pluses and minuses for blocking edits. 25 errors per hour is 300 errors per day; that's significant but not overwhelming. On the other hand, it shouldn't be the community's responsibility to clean up new messes created by developers. -- John Broughton (♫♫) 03:32, 16 July 2013 (UTC)
An added complication is that these aren't all errors. This edit is an example of an intentional use of nowiki by an experienced editor in order to display a pipe character within a template. Dragons flight (talk) 03:40, 16 July 2013 (UTC)
If we did make this block, I would block only editors with under some number of edits. I threw out 1000 as a suggestion above, but I'm not wedded to that figure.—Kww(talk) 03:44, 16 July 2013 (UTC)
I've made modifications to WPCleaner so that it can detect nowiki tags in the main namespace and suggest a fix, which has to be accepted manually. See explanations in WP:BOTREQ#VisualEditor FixBot?. It's quite basic, but I hope it will help volunteers to clean up a part of the mess made by VE. --NicoV (Talk on frwiki) 07:12, 18 July 2013 (UTC)

Slightly OT, but I've ended up studiously ignoring VE. Delay in execution, due in part to +300 tabs open is granted, but Java didn't delay so horrifically. I'll also mention unintended results not included in VE's "expectations". Frankly the VE feature is not ready for prime time. The failure to block is endemic in the issues present. I'll suggest a fragmented approach from all sides, resulting in issues apparent now upon issues related to a bug operating. That said, I have zero input, beyond failure mode, what occurred. But, based upon experience too hard earned, I have some ideas.

  • No, no, no. The nowiki tags are indeed a problem, but by disallowing them, you're also disallowing any edit that happens to contain them. It is easy to remove nowiki tags if they are accidentally inserted, but difficult to reinstate legitimate edits caught by a filter, especially when there are so many of them. We've had this discussion before with Special:AbuseFilter/18 (where it was decided that warn + tag was even too harsh) as well as Special:AbuseFilter/313. For this filter, I think warn + tag is the best option; of course, a custom warning needs to be written before being deployed. -- King of ♠ 04:10, 16 July 2013 (UTC)
    As mentioned above and elsewhere, warn is not supported by VE. Any edit triggering a warn condition (including all the existing warn + tag filters) presently results in uninformative fatal error in VE. Dragons flight (talk) 05:47, 16 July 2013 (UTC)
    Supporting the edit filter warnings is scheduled for deployment in three days, according to Bugzilla: 51403. It really bugs me that they knew that new editors were going to have edits fail completely inexplicably due to this bug but couldn't hold off the release for another week.—Kww(talk) 06:39, 16 July 2013 (UTC)
    I believe you are misreading. That bug is a prerequisite to supporting the edit filter, but we are still a couple steps away from closing bugzilla:50472. Dragons flight (talk) 06:49, 16 July 2013 (UTC)
  • Changing the title to "disallow" because there are some wikis where the filter blocks users, like mediawiki.org. --Rschen7754 04:12, 16 July 2013 (UTC)
I've discovered (at least in Chrome and Safari, on a Mac) that the wikitext warning that was added is likely to be invisible in most editing situations. See WP:VE/F#Wikitext warning probably won't be seen by most editors for details. If this were fixed, then maybe the number of errors would drop off sharply. -- John Broughton (♫♫) 04:54, 16 July 2013 (UTC)
It's visible for me in Safari on a Mac. Whatamidoing (WMF) (talk) 16:24, 16 July 2013 (UTC)

This will not be done. Syntax issues are not an acceptable reason to prevent content addition to a page. Prodego talk 23:35, 16 July 2013 (UTC)

This should be done. VE creates errors that even an expert user might not expect. That it's the user making the mistake is no excuse for the editor encouraging it.
At the very least, the edit, and all successive edits, should remain in limbo until someone (probably a reviewer) specifically looks at it. — Arthur Rubin (talk) 00:44, 18 July 2013 (UTC)
Normally, I'd agree with you, Prodego, but not in this case. I think of VE as a defective bot with no "stop" button. If we had any bot inserting errors at this rate, we'd never accept any excuses the bot operator provided. In this case, the operator is WMF, so they don't have to listen to us. That doesn't mean that we shouldn't limit the damage.—Kww(talk) 19:15, 18 July 2013 (UTC)
If this is a problem caused by VE, a bug report should be submitted and the developers can take action to mitigate it. We shouldn't reject the edits of inexperienced editors simply because VisualEditor is hard or confusing to use. Prodego talk 21:32, 18 July 2013 (UTC)
It absolutely is a problem caused by VE, bug reports have been filed, and only ineffective solutions have been offered. Unfortunately, there's no avenue to disable VE until they fix it.—Kww(talk) 21:45, 18 July 2013 (UTC)
Of course we can disable VE locally. Just set the disable VE gadget to default. Legoktm (talk) 10:46, 23 July 2013 (UTC)
I believe that Kww would prefer to disable it for all users, including the users who like it and are using it without any problems. There is no "impose Kww's preferences on all users" setting. Whatamidoing (WMF) (talk) 17:57, 24 July 2013 (UTC)
If you set "default" on MediaWiki:Gadgets-definition it'll basically do that. Legoktm (talk) 10:02, 25 July 2013 (UTC)

I've now made the filter give a warning message. This appears after the user has pressed the second save, giving an option to go back, or complete the edit. The message I've used is MediaWiki:Abusefilter-warning-nowiki:

hopefully this will reduced the still high error rate without preventing valid edits.--Salix (talk): 21:31, 22 July 2013 (UTC)

RfC regarding the titles of articles about queens[edit]

There is a request for comment regarding the titles of articles about living queens. Should articles about them be titled according to the format "Queen Mathilde of Belgium" while the articles about kings are titled according to the format "Philippe of Belgium"? Should articles about the living wives and widows of kings be titled according to the format "Queen Sonja of Norway" while the articles about female monarchs are titled according to the format "Juliana of the Netherlands"?

I started the RfC mainly in order to get opinions of uninvoled users, i.e. those who do not normally edit royalty-related articles.Surtsicna (talk) 14:56, 25 July 2013 (UTC)

Three different minor edit messages[edit]

In either source editor or visual editor, the 'minor edit' message is different depending on whether your preference is "normal" English, British English or Canadian English (which uses the default message). I think we should have one message in all variants. John Vandenberg (chat) 09:46, 26 July 2013 (UTC)

fwiw, the last discussion I can find is at Wikipedia:MediaWiki_messages/Archive_5#minor_edits. --John Vandenberg (chat) 09:49, 26 July 2013 (UTC)
Would you please clarify what the differences are? They all seem to be the same already. —EncMstr (talk) 13:42, 26 July 2013 (UTC)
Clearly, people who speak British English are more inquisitive than those living in their former colonies. EVula // talk // // 14:49, 26 July 2013 (UTC)
I think the main difference is whether the message links to something that explains what a minor edit is, and as that is jargon that has a specific meaning to Wikipedians we should have a link to explain it to newbies. I don't think that we really need different messages here in American English or other variants of English. Those differences have just evolved as I and others have changed the version we use and left others alone. ϢereSpielChequers 19:33, 26 July 2013 (UTC)
Just to clarify for people: the default message is like the current 'en-ca' message: no link at all. The 'en' message has had a link like the current 'en-gb' message since 2006, as people then thought a link explaining what a "minor edit" is would help people. In May 2012 someone copied the 'en' message to the 'en-gb' message, presumably because they were using en-gb and wanted the help link. Then in September 2012 the 'en' message was changed to link the text "minor edit" instead of including the link as a parenthetical comment after, but the 'en-gb' wasn't changed to match. Now, perhaps, someone will again copy the 'en' message to 'en-gb' and possibly 'en-ca'. Anomie 01:56, 27 July 2013 (UTC)
I have changed [3] MediaWiki:Minoredit/en-gb to {{MediaWiki:Minoredit}} so en and en-gb will always give the same message MediaWiki:Minoredit. They shouldn't be customized to different messages unless there actually is a difference between American and British English. I haven't created MediaWiki:Minoredit/en-ca so en-ca still displays the MediaWiki default. There is no policy on whether to create en-gb and en-ca pages when we customize the default English en. The searches intitle:Mediawiki:en-gb and intitle:Mediawiki:en-ca show relatively few pages. Most customizations are only for en. I once wrote in Help:Preferences that choosing en-gb or en-ca is discouraged for this reason, but I see somebody has changed it to instead advertise for the option by saying "Choose your user-interface messages in British or Canadian instead of the default US English", while there is no mention that you can also choose hundreds of foreign languages. A foreign language (which is almost never customized) can be helpful if your English is poor. en-gb and en-ca are always bad choices in my opinion. PrimeHunter (talk) 12:34, 27 July 2013 (UTC)
Agree that interface messages should always be broadly standardised through all en-XX variants; the only reason to have any differences is spelling and (rarely) grammar. Other than a plural or a disappearing "u", there really isn't anything that shouldn't match. Andrew Gray (talk) 17:54, 27 July 2013 (UTC)

I am surprised that en-CA doesnt fallback to the local en message if there is no local en-CA message. Is that not a bug? Maybe other sets of variants are too different for that to work..? pt-PT vs pt-BR are close enough, but the Chinese variants are not. Should we add {{MediaWiki:{{BASEPAGENAME}}}} for all en-GB and en-CA messages for each of the ~800 messages we have a modified local version of? I think transclusion may be a performance hit.

Thanks user:PrimeHunter for the links to the existing -CA and -GB messages. We should do an audit of these, as I quickly found another case of different messages: MediaWiki:Sitestatstext/MediaWiki:Sitestatstext/en-gb/MediaWiki:Sitestatstext/en-ca. Or we should again warn users that -ca & -gb are not supported :/

Regarding the minor edit message, it seems the link to help:minor edit may not be in core (and thus needs to be defined per language variant) because mw:Help:Minor_edit does not exist, and the software might be improved for all if that help page were added to core. There are differences per-wiki; e.g. enwp doesnt allow the preference 'mark all my edits as minor', whereas most other wikipedias do have that pref. Do core messages link to the help namespace? It seems unlikely, as they appear to use different messages for links to help pages, like MediaWiki:Createacct-captcha-help-url and MediaWiki:Webfonts-help-page. John Vandenberg (chat) 23:02, 27 July 2013 (UTC)

What links here - templates[edit]

When looking at what links to a page in the toolbox, the actual number of links from article prose is heavily obscured if the article in question is also linked from a widely used template. For one example, see quagga, where every horse article links to it, because of a shared template. I, and probably many others, have an interest in seeing how many articles that mention a subject within other articles, not just in templates. Is there a way to "mark" what links are from templates under that links here (like redirects are)? FunkMonk (talk) 13:03, 26 July 2013 (UTC) FunkMonk (talk) 13:03, 26 July 2013 (UTC)

Comment: I, too, would like to see this fixed / tweaked. It's not overly-helpful in its current form. GenQuest "Talk to Me" 20:42, 26 July 2013 (UTC)
This is indeed a frequent request but nothing has been implemented. See bugzilla:3241. PrimeHunter (talk) 09:23, 27 July 2013 (UTC)
Is there a better way to propose it than this? FunkMonk (talk) 11:44, 27 July 2013 (UTC)
Providing a filter that will exclude links and search pattern matches from transcluded content? Praemonitus (talk) 17:44, 27 July 2013 (UTC)
Not necessarily exclude, but like redirects are shown there now, indicate when the article is linked from a template. FunkMonk (talk) 17:48, 27 July 2013 (UTC)
True, it need only identify results that come from transcluded content. The application can then process the data as needed. Praemonitus (talk) 17:51, 27 July 2013 (UTC)

Old WP:citizenship and nationality issue reared its ugly head during a near edit war[edit]

Noteworthy was Craig Ferguson. A dispute arose whether he was English or Scottish, with a revert a piece. I noticed it, as I added a few known trouble pages to my watch list to help smooth the waters a bit. I suggested a more proper styling, United Kingdom|Scotland. It's as accurate as can be, legally and sociologically (call many Scots a Brit to their face, get one's nose bent, the same is true in many areas, such as Italy and Sicily). Another dispute is being worked upon between myself and another editor. Of note, is US citizenship to be listed as "American" or "United States"? I noted Albert Einstein's infobox, out of a random grab mentally to find people who were US citizens and had other citizenships. I then found Enrico Fermi and J. Robert Oppenheimer, supporting my opinion. Meanwhile, I recall seeing diverging citizenship on other pages. An encyclopedia is clear, concise and above all else, consistent. I suggest revisiting the old WP:citizenship and nationality in that light and find a more standard method to use, such as United Kingdom|Scotland, Italy|Sicily, to go more extreme, United States|New Jersey or Canada|Quebec for fine tuning and respecting both accuracy and some national/cultural pride issues, but remaining consistent. Thoughts?Wzrd1 (talk) 02:57, 16 July 2013 (UTC)

Small nitpick about citizenship of individual US states, but this may just be my opinion. People can (generally) freely move between states, and can change state citizenship quite easily, so it seems less relevant to me to drill down to that level in the United States. Chris857 (talk) 03:09, 16 July 2013 (UTC)
True, as I said, absurd. However, I recall some states requiring some forms to be filled out in order to be no longer considered taxable in their state when one moves. I can also speak of being forbidden to go overseas for work when I was in a state National Guard, regardless of my unemployed status. One can TRAVEL between the states, residence still remains relatively unbounded, save for a handful of federal laws. But, that is an obscure and infrequent event. As a last resort, I consider the matter of explaining to a "space alien" where I am from. I'll consider that a cross reference for continents and nations are are available to said mythical "space alien". In that context, I'd say, Earth|North American Continent|United States|Kansas for a general regional reference. In short, it's an extensible universal reference for a region/state/nation/etc. That one could potentially end up with United States|New Jersey, then with a birthplace of Camden, New Jersey is a secondary issue to be worked upon, but also worthy to consider in this context, with a great big maybe. That all said, I love a good nitpick. It gets the bugs out quicker.Wzrd1 (talk) 03:23, 16 July 2013 (UTC)
Correct me if I'm wrong but I don't believe in the US that technically the term "citizenship" is ever used for living in or being born in a certain state, I believe "residency" is the legal term. Does anybody know if Scotland is the same or if they actually have a "citizenship" process should one move there from another part of the United Kingdom? When it comes to citizenship, it is a legal term. Does he hold dual citizenship, if he doesn't then he shouldn't be listed as a citizen of the UK at all in the infobox if he is now only a naturalized citizen of the US. I never liked using "nationality" as a synonym of "citizenship", perhaps this discussion could also fork a discussion on whether or not that should be separate in the infobox.Camelbinky (talk) 23:09, 21 July 2013 (UTC)
The 14th amendment is explicit: All persons born or naturalized in the United States, and subject to the jurisdiction thereof, are citizens of the United States and of the State wherein they reside. That's about as "official" as you can get. However, Wikipedia doesn't always go by what's most "official" (and should do so even less, in my opinion), but by the forms that are actually used in high-quality writing, and the notion of citizenship in a US state is an obscure one by that standard. --Trovatore (talk) 17:04, 28 July 2013 (UTC)
Oh, as for nationality-versus-citizenship, in US legal terms, they are almost-but-not-quite synonymous. American Samoans are US nationals but not US citizens; that may not be quite the only exception, but any others are even more obscure. That's as a US legal term — there is also another notion of "nationality" in the sense of ethnic nationalism, generally considered (or at least I consider it) a bad thing to be avoided. --Trovatore (talk) 17:09, 28 July 2013 (UTC)
For the purpose of diversity jurisdiction, a US citizen is a "citizen" of the state his domicile is located in. But that's only relevant to one of the comments above. I don't know anything about UK country citizenship. — Arthur Rubin (talk) 23:41, 21 July 2013 (UTC)
There is no separate citizenship of the constituent countries of the UK. Any rights with respect to the devolved institutions are based on residence, not citizenship. Phil Bridger (talk) 07:11, 22 July 2013 (UTC)

Fork the wiki[edit]

Recent software updates and the manner in which they have been introduced have made it harder to maintain the encyclopedia and to warn and advise new editors, and have demonstrated that these are not top priorities with MediaWiki. Reports of problems and of bugs have been brushed off and software changes implemented either prematurely in disregard of them or without adequate testing:

  1. (February 2011) Changes to the editing toolbar that broke several gadgets were announced via a central notice, and editors complaining were told off for turning off general notice; but the same person then recalled having turned it off himself throughout en.wikipedia, so that there had indeed been no warning.("i was forced to adapt the fundraiser gadget to suppress all centralnotices")
  2. (May 2012) A change to the watchlist introducing boldface for pages changed since the last visit was not widely announced and produced considerable negative reaction. (See this version of Village Pump/Technical.) The change was reversed and several alternatives implemented, mostly by members of the community.
  3. (April-May 2013) The "Orange Bar of Doom" was replaced with notifications despite notifications not being enabled for IP editors, leaving no way to alert IPs to warnings on their talk pages. The response to an urgent posting that this broke the vandal-warning system was that it was an oversight and the devs weren't at work to fix it yet. For logged in editors, the problem of poor noticeability was fixed by script-writers from the community who developed an opt-in emulation of the OBOD and then the miniature orange bar now in use.
  4. The article feedback tool was modified in a trial and when the community was asked about their preferred form, consensus emerged that the entire feature was unwanted. It was withdrawn - but has now been reinstated in the second, experimental form, including on at least one Wikipedia space page. (There was also no response to an earlier complaint that article feedback required the use of a mouse and therefore failed on basic accessibility grounds.)
  5. Visual Editor was made the default despite major bugs still being reported and its having gaps including template editing, referencing using templates, and invisibility of hidden comments including edit notices. Complaints were responded to to the effect of It doesn't do that yet and Please keep trying it so we can find the bugs. In addition it did not yet support several browsers (including Internet Explorer), and it emerged that it was not planned to enable editing sections, thereby making editing long articles impossible for those with slow connections/computers. The announcement of its being available soon did not state that it would be the default, and how to turn it off was placed under "gadgets" in Preferences, and not explained anywhere for several hours (and because it is a gadget, users of unsupported browsers were then unable to edit at all).
  6. Flow will radically change the appearance and functionality of talk pages, including showing different views to different readers, and editing talk pages in the current manner will not be available as an option.("You should strive to achieve Zen acceptance that the only editor for Flow will be the VisualEditor.")

Unlike other users of the MediaWiki software ("There are thousands and thousands of Mediawiki installations. I believe that 90% of the Mediawiki devs don't work for the WMF"), we are writing an encyclopedia. This means we need to be able to enter and edit references, with or without templates; enter and edit infoboxes (an issue of contention in the community but something MediaWiki has supported since they emit metadata which is used by other sites); and use other complex syntax. In this, Wikipedia differs from other top Internet sites. Also, we need to be able to communicate with vandals and new editors as well as work collaboratively outside article space, and these, not communication as such, are the purposes of our talk spaces. We have developed sets of templates for message delivery that aim for both speed of response, consistency/fairness and clarity, and for those as well as for discussions of article editing, it is problematic if different editors see different things when looking at a talk page. It is also problematic if talk-page histories cannot be easily accessed. The purpose of the talk pages is not analogous to social media, just as templates and references in article space are not incidental, but part of making this an encyclopedia. The developers are making the software less suited to our particular purpose.

In the Open Source community, forking the software when needs diverge is an established part of the process of software development. This is the time to do that, while Visual Editor is still new and has not yet led to many editors' leaving or new editors' learning that templates and references are extras, and while it is still relatively easy to roll it back and finish developing it before implementing it as an option rather than the default, and before Flow does serious damage to our warning and collaboration processes. Yngvadottir (talk) 20:40, 17 July 2013 (UTC)

I'm somewhat confused by some elements of this thread. In order; the current integration of things like the orange bar was done by Kaldari, who works for us, after some work by Writ Keeper and other volunteers. AFT5's re-enabling is indeed concerning, and I advise talking to Fabrice, but the community consensus was "it should be opt-in", not "it should be removed". If people have been opting into it and you disagree with that, it's a community issue. Erik has already mentioned, in regards to Flow, that the VE will not be the only mechanism for using it. Okeyes (WMF) (talk) 20:52, 17 July 2013 (UTC)
I'm also confused by one of the diffs you've provided, which seems to consist of....me tracking and reporting a bug. Okeyes (WMF) (talk) 20:53, 17 July 2013 (UTC)

Fork discussion[edit]

  • Discounting the WP:DIVA argument, anybody is allowed to fork/mirror Wikipedia. The name, address, reputation, and priority in search engines will remain with Wikimedia. There are annoyances everywhere, some are tolerable, others are not. I personally do not think that this is the right place to call for forking the community/knowledge, but while I am annoyed at some of the UI changes, I deal with them (or forcably opt out of them). Hasteur (talk) 20:51, 17 July 2013 (UTC)
    Well, what we can do as community is to take the decision that the new software changes will not be implemented on the English Wikipedia. For instance, if the visual editor and/or LT will be the only means to edit talk pages I will stop edit talk pages (including mine own talk page, AfD pages etc). My feeling is that this is shared (may be not to this extent) by the majority. When the German Wikipedia decided that no image filter will be implemented there the Foundation had to shut up and stop talking about the image filter despite the fact that the Board resolution was there. I think we are at least not weaker that the German Wikipedia.--Ymblanter (talk) 20:58, 17 July 2013 (UTC)
    Flow and LiquidThreads are entirely distinct systems, I'd note. Okeyes (WMF) (talk) 21:00, 17 July 2013 (UTC)
    I do not see much of a difference, and I do not see why it is needed at all. LT were really horrible, I stopped contributing to Strategy because of them.--Ymblanter (talk) 21:08, 17 July 2013 (UTC)
    I wasn't a fan of LQT either. Have you tried using the Flow prototype? As for the rationale: so, do you accept the VE rationale - that markup is a barrier to editing? Markup is also a barrier to communication, and ultimately we want newcomers to talk to us, be they vandals or good-faith, so that they can learn. Okeyes (WMF) (talk) 21:14, 17 July 2013 (UTC)
    Yes, I tried Flow on the first day it was publicly available as a prototype, and I was not really convinced. You know, Oliver, I am a pretty collaborative person. I understand that there are system requirements etc, and I realize that not everybody is here to do things which help me personally, or which I personally find useful. There are plenty of other folk around, who may have other opinions on usefulness, and this is perfectly fine with me. As soon as I have an opt-out version from radical changes. For example, as soon as VE came, I spent some time with the prototype, then it was implemented and I tried it several times on articles. I found it inconvenient. Most likely, this is just me, because I was writing computer programs since 1983 and was maintaining a webpage since 1996. Fine. Indeed, it is much simple than markup, and many people should find it much easier to use. Great. Then I switched on the gadget which made VE invisible, otherwise every second time I was hitting Edits rather than Edit Source. And I am perfectly fine with this solution. However, for talk pages, I do not see an opt-out rather than stop using them. Indeed, markup may be difficult for new users, but there are plenty of solutions that keep opt-out versions: for instance, install VE on talk pages same way as it is installed in main space; make a Facebook-type sidebar which would open new type-in windows, probably many others. But I am sure a solution without opt-out will be unacceptable for many experienced users. Of course these users sometime will leave anyway, but thy are those who currently create the bulk of content, and it would be unreasonable to lose them over a software change which is not even certain to bring new users here.--Ymblanter (talk) 06:06, 18 July 2013 (UTC)
    (edit conflict)Visual Editor has already done damage to the encyclopedia by being made the default before it was ready for prime time (nobody is arguing it shouldn't be available as an option; and if and when it's ever finished, it might even merit being the default). Flow (which will replace talkpages) will do further, possibly irreparable damage by overriding the ways we communicate both with problem users and with new users - in addition to making talk-page collaboration hard. It has now been announced that Flow will require Visual Editor. Right now we can still opt out of visual editor (although since it's a gadget, it overloads slow computers/connections and some people using unsupported browsers have actually been prevented from editing). After Flow is instituted - or at any point the devs choose before then - we will no longer be able to opt out. This is the moment, before the damage to the encyclopedia builds any further. Yngvadottir (talk) 21:02, 17 July 2013 (UTC)
    That's simply not true. Users whose browsers are unsupported are merely presented with markup editing. Do you use an unsupported browser? And again, as I have said above, the VE will not be a requirement for Flow. Okeyes (WMF) (talk) 21:04, 17 July 2013 (UTC)
    On Flow not requiring Visual Editor: diffs, please. On unsupported browser, see one of the diffs linked above - an editor who uses, I believe, Opera, enabled the "suppress VE" gadget in his/her preferences and the result was the edit button disappeared. Maybe this has been fixed. That VE was made the default with it being possible for that to happen to an editor is not acceptable. Yngvadottir (talk) 21:17, 17 July 2013 (UTC)
    Try this. I'm not sure if you quite understand the blacklisting; a user on Opera is never presented with the VE. Ever. Unless they muck with their JS to force it to display, it does not appear. If a user, despite the complete absence of the VE, enables a gadget to hide the (already hidden) VE, then, yes, bad things will happen. This is to be expected. It's slightly unfortunate, but it's also a chain of actions that it's completely unnecessary for the user to take. Okeyes (WMF) (talk) 21:24, 17 July 2013 (UTC)
    Sorry, but how do you know it is "completely unnecessary for the user to take"? For example, what if the user uses several different browsers..? --Martynas Patasius (talk) 01:02, 18 July 2013 (UTC)
  • Re: The 1st point (centralnotice), the comment you linked to is from a volunteer developer, not a staff member.
    Okeyes has corrected your errors concerning points #3 and #6 above (Flow will not require VE. Staff members collaborated on the small orange bar replacement design.). –Quiddity (talk) 21:05, 17 July 2013 (UTC)
    Re: Flow not requiring Visual Editor: diffs, please. Regarding who's (WMF I presume?) staff and who isn't, in view of the point about who the devs work for, and several examples in the spaces I combed through when assembling the diffs of WMF staffers being surprised that the devs had not done something or not prioritised something, it's apparent that what matters here is what the devs are doing. Their priorities in changing the software don't suit the aim of writing and maintaining an encyclopedia. In addition to the fact that all or most WMF staffers are also members of the editing community - right? The proposal is for a software fork, not an action against WMF. Yngvadottir (talk) 21:14, 17 July 2013 (UTC)
    See WP:VisualEditor/FAQ#VEFlow and Wikipedia talk:Flow#Wikipedia:Flow.23Planned_features - VisualEditor. This is why you shouldn't assume that inflammatory threads written by other editors are accurate summations, especially when they contain quotes taken out of context (or quotes that were not written in the clearest-manner-possible initially...).
    If you're not trying to fork from the WMF, but instead from the community of volunteer and staff code-developers, then you might not understand what a fork entails, nor how this site functions.
    What you probably want to request is better communication between everyone, in general. Ironically, that is exactly one of the current-difficulties that Flow might eventually help improve. –Quiddity (talk) 21:35, 17 July 2013 (UTC)
    I put a lot of stock in this edit in contrast to the assurances you have linked, since I'm afraid I've learned from the list of events above that WMF changes its mind and takes things away - partly because the devs require it. I don't know how the fork could be implemented. What I would prefer, as a demonstration of good faith, is for WMF to require the devs to fork Wikipedia and continue their radical changes on the version of the software they sell to other clients. Which might well include Wikimedia's own pages, since WMF space is not devoted to writing an encyclopedia. We're past communication problems now and into damaging the encyclopedia. Yngvadottir (talk) 22:04, 17 July 2013 (UTC)
  • Unless you buy the hardware and get building a server park, this is just not gonna happen. Yes, it's annoying and yes, WMF makes some huge mistakes at times if you ask me, but it's also what keeps the servers up and what ownes the brand. —TheDJ (talkcontribs) 22:42, 17 July 2013 (UTC)
    I see no material reason the software should not be forked. If the devs indeed work for WMF. And now looking at the conversations linked above, I see no assurance that Flow will not require Visual Editor - talk of a "light" version of markup being available as an alternative does not reassure me that, for example, all our templated warnings and heads-up (foreign-language submission; AN/I mention; AfC submission accepted, and on article talk pages, all the history templates .....) will still work. Quite apart from the fundamental impediments to communication of switching to a radically different appearance and functionality (and as with VE, some people may prefer that, I know), talk-page templates not working will put a massive wrench in the works. Yngvadottir (talk) 04:19, 18 July 2013 (UTC)
    Although I agree with you, (some of the) talk page warnings are supposedly to be replaced by a more sensible system, under which the subject of warnings cannot hide them. — Arthur Rubin (talk) 04:36, 18 July 2013 (UTC)
    "I see no material reason the software should not be forked." eh, when did this become a software fork ? As far as I can see this would be mostly an 'operations' fork (what component is deployed) and organizational fork. You could fork the software (i mean the button is right there on github), but it doesn't seem to be your primary problem. —TheDJ (talkcontribs) 09:18, 29 July 2013 (UTC)
  • Those use-cases are specifically all mentioned in the existing documentation (which is sparse, but does cover this). See the various pages linked in the {{Flow navigation}} sidebar, particularly the "Use cases" page. It would be insane to consider a talkpage-system change, that didn't cover these use-cases. They are being covered. (edit conflict with, and agree with, Arthur Rubin). –Quiddity (talk) 04:39, 18 July 2013 (UTC)
  • Forking the project is a rather drastic course of action. Would it not be more sensible to pursue less expensive and risky solutions first? For example, if you are unhappy with WMF's decisions regarding the development of the software and the roll-out and imposition of certain features, then why not try replacing the WMF governance? The board members are all elected, aren't they? If you've got a large proportion of Wikimedians who are unhappy with the board's decisions, then it would be much easier to simply replace the board at the next election than to start up an entirely new project. —Psychonaut (talk) 07:43, 18 July 2013 (UTC)
    I think you're confusing the project with the software. It would be relatively inexpensive to tell the devs to produce two differing versions of the software, one to accommodate encyclopedia-builders and one for business wikis and other purposes not requiring masses of templates and with a greater emphasis on social-media types of engagement. I'm proposing the community ask for that technical solution; it would leave both sets of customers much happier and probably the devs, too, and would provide for much better testing of alternatives like the Visual Editor prior to offering them to editors here as an alternative option. Yngvadottir (talk) 16:42, 18 July 2013 (UTC)
    I can't imagine any developer that would be happy to be told that they needed to support twice as much software as before. EVula // talk // // 17:45, 18 July 2013 (UTC)
Wait, you want to fork WP and you expect the WMF to do all the work and pay for it? Good luck with that. Beeblebrox (talk) 19:07, 18 July 2013 (UTC)
  • It would be relatively inexpensive to tell the devs to produce two differing versions of the software. I don't believe you understand how software development works. Or how MediaWiki works. Forking MediaWiki is a terrible terrible idea that I couldn't possibly see the development community endorsing. ^demon[omg plz] 22:21, 20 July 2013 (UTC)

As a general comment on the changes that have happened at the direction of the WMF, I'd like to quote from User:Jimbo Wales/Statement of principles- "Any changes to the software must be gradual and reversible. We need to make sure that any changes contribute positively to the community, as ultimately determined by the Wikimedia Foundation, in full consultation with the community consensus." (bolding from original). In my personal opinion the WMF should take his words under consideration a bit more. Obviously, Jimbo may personally think that the WMF has indeed followed the heart of what he meant. But at face value, in my personal opinion, the WMF has not been as gradual as they could and has not been in full consultation with community consensus. These are just my opinions from my point of view and experiences. The WMF I'm sure means well and has tried their hardest and I do applaud their effort at making all the different language Wikipedias and other projects better and more user friendly; however- perhaps en:wp complaining about every change has caused the WMF to adopt an "us versus them" and/or "Dad knows best" and/or "someone will always complain about something, so might as well do what we think is best anyways" attitude, which the Community at large then has also adopted an "us versus them" and/or "screw you we're the ones actually making an encyclopedia" attitude towards the WMF?Camelbinky (talk) 21:53, 21 July 2013 (UTC)

Feasibility of English Wikipedia fork[edit]

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  • Support in principle: English Wikipedia fork. If necessary, there is no technical or financial reason a fork could not be done. This way English Wikipedia could make its own decisions free from the nefarious (snark intended) influence of the WMF. Other wikis outside Wikimedia can already use Commons images via InstantCommons. It is not technically necessary to use servers one owns. There are many large commercial server farms with servers spread worldwide that could handle the English Wikipedia bandwidth needs. They have dynamic load balancing and can handle any fluctuations in bandwidth needs. The English Wikipedia fork would still be nonprofit, and could raise money the same way through fundraising drives. If necessary, opt-in ads could be allowed for awhile. See: User:Timeshifter/Userboxes/Optional ads. The money raised from all sources would pay for the many technical staff necessary to maintain the MediaWiki software on the servers. English Wikipedia would decide what parts of the MediaWiki software to enable or disable. For example; bugzilla:50540. --Timeshifter (talk) 03:05, 23 July 2013 (UTC)

Replacing WebCite citations with archive.is citations[edit]

One of the measures some editors have taken to combat linkrot is to archive citations at WebCite. At the beginning of 2013 they started a fundraising campaign with the goal to raise $50,000 to continue the service (that amount has since been lowered to $25,000). We are half through 2013 already and according to their website, they've raised less than 50% of that amount. It seems likely to me that they won't be able to reach their fundraising goal. I made a proposal on Meta regarding WebCite back in February which can be found at http://meta.wikimedia.org/wiki/WebCite, but I am not convinced that that proposal is going anywhere. I would appreciate some feedback from the community regarding what measures (if any) we should take regarding linkrot. In particular:

  1. If WebCite will not meet their fundraising goal, they will stop accepting new submissions, which means the service will become unavailable for Wikipedias citation archiving purposes.
  2. I am also concerned regarding the long-term availability of the content they have already archived. I am worried that even that might become unavailable in the future.

I therefore propose the following:

Proposal to create a bot for replacing WebCite citations with archive.is one[edit]

I propose to create a bot that can detect citations using a citation template with a WebCite URL as the archiveurl= parameter or using {{WebCite}}. The bot would check whether the original URL archived at WebCite is still active. If it is, it would submit the URL to archive.is (if they allow automated submissions) and replace the WebCite archiveurl in the article with the archive.is one. If it is not, it would try to submit the cached version from WebCite to archive.is (if archive.is allows that).

Furthermore this bot could be extended to include a general functionality for autosubmitting Wikipedia citations to archive.is and adding the url of the archived citations to the article.

As I am not sure whether this is ucontroversial, I first want to get feedback from the community before making a request at WP:BOTREQ.

Also, if you think you have a better idea than this, feel free to say so. -- Toshio Yamaguchi 12:00, 24 July 2013 (UTC)

  • According to [4]: "My death can cause interruption of service, but something like new market condition or changing head of a department can not." So this appears to be a one-person operation with very little assurance that the service will be any more robust than Webcite. Phil Bridger (talk) 13:20, 24 July 2013 (UTC)
  • I'm really not sold on the idea that we should switch wholesale from using WebCite to a new service without any clear indication that it's going to have better long-term viability. "Not shut down yet" is all we know about archive.is's long-term stability, and that can be said for either of them. Andrew Gray (talk) 18:23, 24 July 2013 (UTC)
Yes. While it might be a good idea to start considering how to deal with a discontinuation of WebCite, it is way too early to start mass conversion. Especially as there is no indication that the proposed alternative has long-term viability. ~ J. Johnson (JJ) (talk) 20:40, 24 July 2013 (UTC)
Most of Wikipedia sources are already on archive.is, so there is no need to resubmit them.
It would make sense to create a bot which will check if a deadlink was archived and add archiveurl= next to it (instead of adding {{deadlink}}). It is not a trivial task as it looks at the first glimpse, because some pages became 404 prior to being archived, and there could be something else ("soft 404 page", domain parking page or redirect to the main page of the site) instead of the citing content. Rotlink (talk) 22:27, 29 July 2013 (UTC)

Complete citations[edit]

The new Visual Editor does NOT allow complete citations to be made. It only only allows bare URLs. This, IMHO, should be fixed. The Visual Editor should include Citation:Templates. Checkingfax (talk) 02:48, 29 July 2013 (UTC)

It is possible, but slightly confusing if you're used to the usual method. See Wikipedia:VisualEditor/User guide, particularly the "Editing templates" section. Or, try editing an existing ref'd citation template, to see how it works. –Quiddity (talk) 03:14, 29 July 2013 (UTC)
@Checkingfax: - Please take a look at WP:VE/UG#Adding a new reference. If that's not clear, it would be very helpful if you could say at what point the guide became confusing or seemed to be missing information. (Also, it would be helpful, in the future, to post comments about VisualEditor at WP:VE/F.) -- John Broughton (♫♫) 21:55, 29 July 2013 (UTC)

Proposal: WikiProject VisualEditor[edit]

I think we should, if there is sufficient interest, create a WikiProject for VE, at Wikipedia:WikiProject VisualEditor. At Wikipedia talk:VisualEditor#WikiProject VisualEditor, I've listed a number of tasks that such a WikiProject could work on. Please comment on this proposal (including an interest in participating) at that talk page, not here. Thanks. (Cross-posted at WP:VE/F). -- John Broughton (♫♫) 21:58, 29 July 2013 (UTC)

GeoHack rename[edit]

In my experience, the "GeoHack" facility (http://tools.wmflabs.org/geohack/geohack.php), which is linked to by thousands of articles, is a useful, stable and correctly-functioning feature. However, the name is very offputting, and gives the impression that the site may be buggy, temporary, unstable or risky to use. I suggest that a more suitable name be chosen. I assume from the URL that this site is connected in some way with the Wikipedia project and not independently operated. 86.146.108.1 (talk) 13:38, 30 July 2013 (UTC)

New VisualEditor RFC[edit]

If interested, please see Wikipedia:VisualEditor/Default State RFC‎. Adam Cuerden (talk) 19:30, 30 July 2013 (UTC)

There's a request to advertise Wikipedia:VisualEditor/Default State RFC at the watchlist at MediaWiki talk:Watchlist-details#Wikipedia:VisualEditor/Default State RFC. Participation in either or both discussions is appreciated.—Kww(talk) 22:30, 30 July 2013 (UTC)

Let's merge the idea lab to this pump.[edit]

The idea lab village pump is underused, and really insufficiently distinguished from this one to merit being a separate discussion area. The way in which this one and that differ is very ill-defined, and potentially confusing to new users (would they really want to "incubate" an idea?); so I strongly recommend that we "keep it simple, stupid!" and reduce the number of places for people to propose and discuss ideas for the site to just one. The traffic level at the idea lab is low enough that bringing it here won't make this page unusably busy.

Also, "The Four Pumps" sounds like a Motown quartet. That's not really a formal benefit, I just thought I'd mention it. — Scott talk 12:22, 10 July 2013 (UTC)

  • Proposals are plausible but Idea Lab is for dream features: This pump, wp:PROPS, is mainly for tangible improvements, with many easy to implement, while wp:VPIL allows for blue-sky dreaming, with some dreams realized here when more details are finalized. However, we want to keep the separation, to allow wp:VPIL to discuss a radical new concept for months, if needed, without being auto-archived in the rampant foot traffic of the numerous proposals here in wp:PROPS. -Wikid77 19:38, 10 July 2013 (UTC)
  • Oppose. Switched to Conditional support below. -- Toshio Yamaguchi 15:23, 25 July 2013 (UTC) VPR and VPI should be kept separate. VPI is good for developing ideas through input from other editors, but if no judgement of whether the proposal is to be approved or rejected by the community is sought yet. VPR is where the community expresses whether they approve or reject a proposal. -- Toshio Yamaguchi 21:19, 10 July 2013 (UTC)
    • I've seen a lot of things get posted to VPI that would have made perfect sense to be posted here. They're usually barely commented-upon and then vanish into the archives forever. I've also seen posts on here get the kind of discussion that's apparently intended for posts over there. The separation is entirely artificial, inconsistent, and pointless. — Scott talk 12:17, 12 July 2013 (UTC)
      • If we merge VPI and VPR into one board, how do we keep the distinction between proposals where voting should take place (Support, Oppose) and those where constructive input is sought in the form of discussion? I mostly use VPI when I want input from other editors to develop an idea. It needs to be clarified how one seeks input without voting here, if this merge takes place. -- Toshio Yamaguchi 06:23, 16 July 2013 (UTC)
        • That's just a matter of careful labeling and writing, which should always be a consideration when posting to this board anyway. — Scott talk 11:40, 16 July 2013 (UTC)
  • Support: Scott does have a valid point. The descriptions for the two pages have a lot of overlap, and the criteria for choosing one or the other is somewhat vague. It might be better to have separate pages based upon the scale or scope of the proposal—one for easy to implement ideas and the other for major projects. Praemonitus (talk) 15:11, 13 July 2013 (UTC)
  • Comment: If this merge takes place, should Wikipedia:Village pump (miscellaneous) also be merged? The purpose of that one appears to be even less well defined than that of VPI. -- Toshio Yamaguchi 06:30, 16 July 2013 (UTC)
    • VPM does have a clear purpose... it's the "if your post doesn't clearly fit the other boards, post here" zone. The distinction between this and VPI is what's unclear. — Scott talk 11:40, 16 July 2013 (UTC)
  • Oppose. The distinction is very clear. Proposals is where you post a proposal and it either gets accepted and implemented or rejected. If you come unprepared, it will most likely fail the scrutiny. In Idea lab you post an idea, it will not be implemented after the discussion whether response is positive or negative. It will be a foundation for a proper proposal. And it is not that Idea board is slow and should be merged, it is that Proposals board gets ideas that have barely been fleshed out and should be split into a dedicated board. I find this distinction very clear, and I never had any issues with this. Idea lab being slow only tells me most editors believe they have fleshed out their proposals and are ready for a yay/nay kind of critique here. —  HELLKNOWZ  ▎TALK 10:59, 16 July 2013 (UTC)
  • Comment. What about abandoning VPI and marking the proposals at VPR using something like
Proposal for acceptance or rejection
Idea for discussion
to tag a discussion here? Then it would be clear whether the proposer intends it as a proposal to be accepted or rejected or an idea to be developed. -- Toshio Yamaguchi 12:14, 16 July 2013 (UTC)
And then again the proposer could have directly posted it to the correct VP in the first place. The distinction we have is clear and it makes sense in my opinion. The problem is users not thinking enough about it before posting a new proposal or get spoiled to post to the higher frequency sub-pages (e.g. technical instead of proposals) to get more responses. --Patrick87 (talk) 12:21, 16 July 2013 (UTC)
You know, I just have to point out that Toshio's excellent suggestion above is the sort of thing that, ostensibly, should be posted to the other pump. And yet here it is, on a post that originally started out as a "let's do this" proposal. See what I mean? Discussions are naturally fluid, and separating them by type is a really artificial thing do to. — Scott talk 21:26, 16 July 2013 (UTC)
+1 TheOriginalSoni (talk) 07:31, 19 July 2013 (UTC)
  • Conditional support. I support this if we also adopt the mechanism I suggested above (or a similar one). -- Toshio Yamaguchi 15:23, 25 July 2013 (UTC)
  • Comment Many people tend to decide they dislike ideas as originally described and stop there, regardless of any request to do otherwise. Offering suggestions that might make the proposal more acceptable is something that not everyone is capable of doing -- many lack the capacity to imagine changes that would make them like the ideas they see. They instead feel the need to voice their opposition. You can create labels to discourage that (and it is a good idea), but I suspect that stalwart "opposing" comments will still be rampant, even if not referred to with big bold Opposes. Idea Lab was started recently-ish as a haven from the de facto voting and has only been around a fraction of the time the other Pumps have. It may just need more time to catch on, and maybe better marketing. Just food for thought. I have no real opinion either way on this. Equazcion (talk) 16:45, 25 Jul 2013 (UTC)
Well, that's really a cultural issue. I've heard people say that "the Village Pump is where good ideas go to die"; we should try to encourage a culture of positivity and creativity, rather than allowing an endless chorus of "no way"s and "that would never work"s and "if it ain't broke don't fix it"s (the most pernicious of the lot). — Scott talk 12:42, 27 July 2013 (UTC)
I would sell my left cyber-pinky to remove "if it ain't broke..." from Wikipedia's vocabulary. The number of improvements that eventually resulted from proposals that had to be repeated ad nauseum due to being shot down by naysayers with zero imagination is staggering. Do you have any idea how many years "Did you mean..." was a common feature for all major websites' search engines while proposals for it here kept getting shot down as somehow infeasible? MANY, is the answer. But I digress. In the end I don't know how to solve this problem but I like the label idea. Whether or not Idea Lab is closed down, the labels should be created and their use encouraged everywhere. We should distinguish between votes and idea development. I would just change the "Idea for discussion" language because it would be appearing alone and doesn't actually discourage voting as is. Perhaps an accompanying linked essay page with further explanation. Equazcion (talk) 14:44, 27 Jul 2013 (UTC)
  • Support. I think VP: proposals, perennial proposals, idea lab, and policy all should be merged/renamed to two pages: VP:Brainstorming discussions (or some such name) and VP:Straw Polls. - jc37 15:24, 1 August 2013 (UTC)
    Ideally that would be good, although it might make for two pretty big village pump pages. Equazcion (talk) 21:35, 1 Aug 2013 (UTC)
    Not really, just state at the top that if any discussion or straw poll exceeds X number of bytes, then it is split to a sub page (and replaced with a navigation link to said subpage). QED : ) - And that means that brainstorming sessions can potentially stay open ad infinitum. (And marking hostorical and potentially restarting discussion obviously falling under the same guidelines that we follow for any discussion or project page.) - jc37 19:47, 2 August 2013 (UTC)
    I think I like that idea. I'm not sure if it could gain traction but I like it. Equazcion (talk) 19:55, 2 Aug 2013 (UTC)
    (ec) - Actually, better idea: merge the VPs for proposals, perennial proposals, idea lab, policy and misc. (or in other words, all VPs except Tech) and set up the VP like WP:CFD/WP:DRV, etc. (I've long been wishing the admin noticeboards were set up like this.) Any board which has this much daily volume could be set up this way. And so, due to each page being daily, it sets itself up for self-archiving. And thus, it makes for much easier finding of past discussions (and permalinking to them), and even just having a central discussion location. And if volume for whatever reasons apparently doesn't justify daily pages, then it's easy enough to switch to weekly or even monthly, as needed (We did this a while back for WP:MRV it didn't need daily logs, like WP:DRV has, so we switched to monthly ones.) But of course the outcry would be similar to your comment above concerning "if it ain't broke"; though imnsho, I think that the copy/paste archiving of high volume noticeboards is a "broken" system for various reasons, not the least of which the technical one of having a single page with a ridiculously long edit history for no actual purpose save that "we've always done it that way". - jc37 20:11, 2 August 2013 (UTC)


Chat bubbles.svg This is a preliminary idea for further development. Please do not vote.
Symbol keep vote.svgSymbol delete vote.svg Proposal for acceptance or rejection.
Equazcion (talk) 21:05, 1 Aug 2013 (UTC)
Thank you. The templates look good to me. -- Toshio Yamaguchi 21:22, 1 August 2013 (UTC)
Thanks. I think it'd also be great to have an essay for these to link to that would further explain the difference. I might create one at some point but if anyone wants to get one started feel free. Equazcion (talk) 21:35, 1 Aug 2013 (UTC)

WP:RA[edit]

Requested Articles needs to be cleaned. There are thousands of items in there, many of which are requests for unnotable companies. Please see WT:RA for a major proposed change. Matty.007 11:19, 1 August 2013 (UTC)

Note: I've moved the discussion from here to WT:RA#Changes, since the proposal has a huge impact on how Requested Articles are handled, and that seems the best place to discuss and document the proposal. -- John Broughton (♫♫) 02:44, 2 August 2013 (UTC)

About community portal[edit]

I think that, "create articles" , "globalize" and "ent events in historical perspective" should be added to the help out section of the portal, as uncreated notable articles and articles having systemic bias are worthy of being noticed as articles without unsourced statements are. And {{Recent changes article requests}} should be transcluded to the newly created section "create articles", as in the past the template was transluded to the portal, but now it is not.--RekishiEJ (talk) 11:36, 2 August 2013 (UTC)

No one can edit the same article for more than one month[edit]

WP:SNOW CLOSURE:

An interesting discussion, but this change is never going to be enacted as proposed --Jayron32 02:23, 3 August 2013 (UTC)

The following discussion is closed. Please do not modify it. Subsequent comments should be made on the appropriate discussion page. No further edits should be made to this discussion.

Preamble

Controversial topics tend to fall under the control of a few biased editors who have an obsessive interest in getting their respective messages to stand dominant in articles. Tenuous neutrality is maintained by their endless tug-of-war. Their frequent skirmishes tax our administrative and dispute processes without resulting in effective resolution. Casual outsiders offering their takes at these articles are often also ineffective against the concrete-lined entrenchments that develop at these articles. The fact is that we really have no effective dispute resolution process to deal with this. Ours is based on the assumption that people will eventually voluntarily acquiesce to whichever side or compromise is obviously correct; but in such controversial situations, that resolution is the least likely to occur.

Wouldn't it be great if articles were generally the result of more detached reporting, rather than de-facto falling to the editors with the most bias? I have to wonder if there's some other way.

Proposal

Editors who have ongoing interest in a topic tend to often be the ones with biases they feel the article must convey. I realize this is not always the case, but it it is perhaps more often than not. If we limit the amount of contiguous time -- and/or edits within a particular amount of time -- that an editor can spend at a topic, we could perhaps ensure than articles always eventually fall to neutral people. A kind of preemptive topic ban, you could say, which I think would generally be a good thing for everyone who's been at the same topic for too long.

This would obviously represent a major change at Wikipedia and I don't expect it to be enacted right here and now. This is just a preliminary seedling of an idea that I wanted to toss out there and see if it grows. The specifics are up for discussion (the choice of one month as a limit was especially arbitrary and just presented to get the discussion ball rolling). Equazcion (talk) 12:54, 2 Aug 2013 (UTC)

  • Oppose. We don't need preemptive bans and edit restrictions when there's no acute problem. This is totally contrary to the general project scope that anyone can edit any article. Neutrality can be enforced from case to case where it's necessary, but generally limiting the areas of interest for our editors is a no-go. De728631 (talk) 13:01, 2 August 2013 (UTC)
    • "Neutrality can be enforced from case to case" -- Can it? Maybe in the most blatant cases, but usually it's just subjective and not something an administrator could come and "enforce". Equazcion (talk) 13:18, 2 Aug 2013 (UTC)
  • Oppose: What this would actually do is simply prevent any serious attempts to improve articles (which may take hundreds of edits to an article), and would lock in vandalism or errors on lightly watched articles while giving free range to ip-hopping vandals. Rather than stopping edit-warring, it would stop editing.Nigel Ish (talk) 13:04, 2 August 2013 (UTC)
  • Facepalm I'm sure that also an "Editors should only edit articles about things they don't care at all" would improve NPOV. Oh wait, we also would not have articles then. -- cyclopiaspeak! 13:09, 2 August 2013 (UTC)
  • Oppose per those above, though this is only scratching the surface of what a bad idea this would be. Johnbod (talk) 13:11, 2 August 2013 (UTC)
  • We allow anonymous editing despite the fact that most vandalism comes from IPs. Yet you're suggesting that I not be able to work on the many articles I help curate because a minority of people obsess over a small number of fringe articles? I don't think you've thought this through. The proper method is, well, what we use now - targeted topic bans. --Golbez (talk) 13:13, 2 August 2013 (UTC)
    • You're right, I haven't thought this through. Hence my description of it as a "preliminary seedling of an idea". Equazcion (talk) 13:19, 2 Aug 2013 (UTC)
      • "Wouldn't it be great if articles were generally the result of more detached reporting, rather than de-facto falling to the editors with the most bias?" I want to respond to this in specific. You realize that knowledge and interest does not necessarily mean bias, right? It wouldn't be great if people like me who had researched them for years were unable to, for example, split an edit war implement a neutral solution, or were unable to update an obscure article just because I touched it in the last 30 days. Or, because I work hard to bring a list of governors up to featured status, to congratulate me for my effort I'm not allowed to edit it anymore. "Eventually fall to neutral people" seems like a sentiment returning to the anti-intellectual days of Wikipedia, back when we disregarded experts in their field because we were All Equal Here. (harkens back to Wikipedia:Randy in Boise) Oh, and finally: This is 100% impossible to enforce. Because, as I pointed out... we allow anonymous editing. --Golbez (talk) 13:22, 2 August 2013 (UTC)
  • Oppose. This proposal basically assumes bad faith on the part of all editors. Resolute 13:17, 2 August 2013 (UTC)
    • Basically. There are pros mentioned here, but so far as I can see Equazcion has not considered at all the possible cons. --Golbez (talk) 13:29, 2 August 2013 (UTC)
      • Casting a broad preemptive net might yield more positives than negatives. We could end up preventing qualified people with alot to offer, but I'm not sure how much articles would really suffer compared to how much the community suffers from stalwart bias situations. I'm obviously aware there would be cons, especially if you're purely deciding whether or not you like the idea as initially presented. Which the request to "not vote" and the admittal that this is "preliminary" were meant to avoid. Perhaps you could think of a change that might make this something you would consider. Maybe the limit could be 90 days, after which someone would have to take a mandatory topic break for 30 days. Equazcion (talk) 13:36, 2 Aug 2013 (UTC)
        • "might yield more positives than negatives" We seem to all disagree with you on that one. You're basically assuming bad faith for everyone who works on Wikipedia, and punishing those who are interested in a particular topic. I'm not seeing at all how this is a good thing for anyone. --Golbez (talk) 13:56, 2 August 2013 (UTC)
  • (edit conflict) Comments: what defines a controversial article? Also, would you want someone to, say, only work on fungus articles for a month, and be forced to something else for another five? There is a difference between divisive ownership and stewardship. Chris857 (talk) 13:29, 2 August 2013 (UTC)
  • Oppose. If this were enacted, the site would be a dead, rotting corpse by the end of the year. People are naturally drawn to edit things they enjoy. If they are prevented from doing this, then what possible reason could they have for contributing here? Using the collective knowledge of people who enjoy a particular topic is what Wikipedia was built on. Huntster (t @ c) 13:49, 2 August 2013 (UTC)
    • Would imposing mandatory breaks after a certain amount of time on a topic carry the same impending doom? Equazcion (talk) 13:53, 2 Aug 2013 (UTC)
  • Oppose. There are articles I edit every month because they address dynamic situations, such as the number of currently-serving federal judges. There are other articles I edit every month because they occasionally draw vandals. I am not about to refrain from participating in either activity. bd2412 T 13:54, 2 August 2013 (UTC)
  • Oppose. Expertise is not optional, and neither is it free. Even if we rely on RS, it's an illusion to assume that every computer science PhD is competent to talk about details of automated reasoning, or every history major on Opium War, or every Wikipedian on Jesus without spending considerable time on getting familiar with the topic and the literature. --Stephan Schulz (talk) 14:07, 2 August 2013 (UTC)
  • Oppose. Sorry, but for the huge range of reasons outlined above, this must be one of the most ridiculous ideas I've ever seen to be seriously promulgated. Edwardx (talk) 14:12, 2 August 2013 (UTC)
    • Thanks! It's always interesting when so many impassioned responses come as a result of ridiculous ideas. Equazcion (talk) 14:17, 2 Aug 2013 (UTC)
  • Wrong solution to real problem I totally understand the frustration driving this suggestion, but this isn't the solution to it. I don't know what is, but this isn't it. Zad68 14:24, 2 August 2013 (UTC)
  • Oppose. This would be a bonanza for sockpuppets. A far better way of handling the PoV problem is to tackle the IP-vandal issue would be the use of PC-protection. While editors who have a strong PoV might well be reviewers, every change request that they decline in their capacity as reviewer would naturally be subject to appeal and if the editor in question uses his reviewer status to promote is PoV (rather than keeping IP-sockpuppets out), he is liable to lose his reviewer status. Martinvl (talk) 14:39, 2 August 2013 (UTC)
  • Oppose. This will almost make it harder to identify editors with serious POV issues! When an editor repeatedly edits an article, it's easier to identify the POV. When there's IP-hopping, changes of username, or whatever else would no doubt go on to sidestep the rules, there will be a loss of transparency in who's making the edits. Yes, POV is a problem in some articles, but this is absolutely the wrong solution. —C.Fred (talk) 15:08, 2 August 2013 (UTC)
  • (edit conflict)WP:SNOW. Just admit that this is not going to happen. There's plenty of ways of strong arming an individual editor off a specific article (WP:CONSENSUS, WP:30, WP:DRN, etc.). Your proposal would impose significant hindrances on users who are trying to enforce consensus/policy/guidelines/etc. and be a gold mine for SPAs/IP-hoppers/throwaways. Strongly suggest that the OP withdraw this proposal before it is closed for him Hasteur (talk) 15:10, 2 August 2013 (UTC)
    • It was proposed for discussion, not implementation. Despite the fact that people have responded in go-or-no-go style, there's really nothing to snow yet, as there are no details. I'm just trying to point out a problem and one preliminary take on a solution. If anyone has a take on the problem I've identified, and variations or entirely different solutions, feel free. Equazcion (talk) 15:23, 2 Aug 2013 (UTC)
  • As if. I sympathize with Equazcion and I agree that article obsessed editing monkeys are disruptive and not at all easy to deal with . But how can you call this a free uncyclopedia if you blanket block valuable users from editing articles? --Shabidoo | Talk 16:05, 2 August 2013 (UTC)
  • Equazcion, are there any articles that you've worked on for longer than a month (or a year, if you prefer)? Would we really benefit from having you walk away from them? There are some articles that I've worked on significantly over the years, like Disease and Human body temperature, that I honestly don't care very much about, but I sincerely believe that the English Wikipedia would be worse off if I took them off my watchlist. WhatamIdoing (talk) 18:33, 2 August 2013 (UTC)
    • Honestly? Yes. All articles would benefit from fresh perspectives taking over completely from time to time (even if they're taking over for me), and that does not happen voluntarily. I'm not suggesting anything permanent mind you. PS. We could even limit it to contentious topics that have had a certain number of edit wars by the same editors in a specified period of time, as one thought. Equazcion (talk) 18:45, 2 Aug 2013 (UTC)
  • Oppose. Wrong solution, very bad for the encyclopedia. Binksternet (talk) 18:51, 2 August 2013 (UTC)
  • Oppose as just plain stupid. AndyTheGrump (talk) 19:28, 2 August 2013 (UTC)
  • Oppose One of the main reasons we have watchlists is to be able to revert vandalism but with this new proposal if I revert vandalism to a article on 1st July then see further vandalism to it on August 2nd I would be powerless to revert it without it being me who got blocked. Not sure how this would be enforced either. Thanks, ♫ SqueakBox talk contribs 19:39, 2 August 2013 (UTC)
    • Seems like the spirit of the proposal could be maintained while allowing for such cases, if we tweaked the proposal (I've mentioned several possibilities here already). Which since it's a "preliminary" idea, you should feel free to suggest. Equazcion (talk) 19:46, 2 Aug 2013 (UTC)
      • The article this proposal would currently most hurt is Deaths in 2013 as the entire content changes monthly. Thanks, ♫ SqueakBox talk contribs 19:51, 2 August 2013 (UTC)
        • So let's limit this rule to contentious topics, for instance, those that have had X number of edit wars between the same editors over the last N days. Equazcion (talk) 19:58, 2 Aug 2013 (UTC)
          • Glad to see you are proposing limiting the rule already. And Deaths in 2013 isnt entirely free of edit warring, as we saw with the JJ Cale entry demonstrated this month. Thanks, ♫ SqueakBox talk contribs 20:05, 2 August 2013 (UTC)
            • I proposed limiting the rules a long time ago, you just didn't read it; one might say I proposed as much within my original post, since I said this was... what did I call it? A "preliminary seedling of an idea"? I assumed that would be taken as "please suggest variations" and not "vote only on my initial description of the proposal", but I guess I was mistaken. Equazcion (talk) 20:08, 2 Aug 2013 (UTC)
              • I do think your heart is in the right place, and that editors often need to take a vacation from topics in which they have been too deeply ensconced for too long. bd2412 T 20:12, 2 August 2013 (UTC)
                • Yes, I agree with BD2412. I already try to take a break from articles I end up in content edit wars about, would that all editors did the same. Thanks, ♫ SqueakBox talk contribs 20:15, 2 August 2013 (UTC)
                  • Thanks to both of you, and yes it would be great if everyone did that voluntarily. It's just unlikely, in the grand scheme. I'm hoping some idea might come out of this that seems feasible. Equazcion (talk) 20:20, 2 Aug 2013 (UTC)
  • oppose "A kind of preemptive topic ban, you could say," I do say. Why do you think I'm such a bad editor that I deserve such a ban? Andy Dingley (talk) 19:54, 2 August 2013 (UTC)
    • Deep down, everyone's a bad editor :) Or rather, everyone becomes bad at editing after they've spent enough time at contentious topics. It's just human nature, which I don't think anyone should claim they're above. Equazcion (talk) 19:58, 2 Aug 2013 (UTC)

Follow me to join the secret cabal!

Plip!


For proposing such an obviously flawed and failed attempt at a proposed policy coup. Hasteur (talk) 20:26, 2 August 2013 (UTC)

Flawed? Maybe. It was the introduction of a general concept though, rather than a concrete proposal. What do you suggest to fix its extensive flaws? Equazcion (talk) 20:31, 2 Aug 2013 (UTC)
Well, one way is for everyone reading this to take a more active roll in Wikipedia:Dispute resolution on Wikipedia. Add your name to the list of volunteers at DR/N. Help editors, instead of just criticize (but hey, criticism is important) by answering questions and trying to explain guidelines, policy and procedure (assuming you are familiar enough with the specific guideline etc.) Participating in the various noticeboard consensus discussions, participate at RFCs, join the Teahouse, and help newcomers, edit in good faith and continue to assume the same. If all else fails the old fashioned "Topic ban" does indeed seem to work. If that doesn't then a block or site ban can be used by administrative action.--Mark Miller Just ask! WER TEA DR/N 20:41, 2 August 2013 (UTC)
  • Oppose and Close as a snow balls chance of happening. While I fully understand the reasoning of the proposal; to be proactive against conflict and content disputes, this is simple too extreme a limitation to place on the general community at large The sins of a few effecting the abilities of all is more punitive that preventative.--Mark Miller Just ask! WER TEA DR/N 20:32, 2 August 2013 (UTC)
  • I just want to make sure I understand the premise... So essentially, get all your edits to an article in one month, then have a forced wikibreak from that article for (at least) a month, before being able to edit it again? So a one-on one-off system? I suppose I could see how that might work, but it really goes against quite a bit of the "anyone can edit" philosophy, and the fact that we're a (mostly?) volunteer developed website. So preventing contributors from editing merely for the sake of preventing them from editing, not due to some behavioural issue doesn't sound like it would garner much support (looks up above) nope, doesn't seem to. If there was a way to block an individual (for a week or 10 days, let's say) from all the articles in some particular category (essentially a technical way to enact a topic ban), then I might support that. But we don't seem to be anywhere near that functionality, much less the technical means to block a single editor from a single article (regardless of time: whether it be a month or a day or a year). - jc37 20:37, 2 August 2013 (UTC)
    I'm not suggesting anything more technical than the topic bans normally imposed. And the "month" was just a discussion seed. There are all kinds of possible details to consider. We could limit it to articles where where are frequent problems, make the mandatory break shorter, make the editing window bigger... Jc37, you of all people should know that this is merely a "brainstorming" session :) Equazcion (talk) 20:41, 2 Aug 2013 (UTC)
     : ) - jc37 22:23, 2 August 2013 (UTC)
    I tell you what I would support Equazcion, your idea got me thinking about this. Creating something new or adding a new limitation in this fashion may not be the asnwer, but what might be a drastic improvement is, if we propose that "Topic ban" discussions be a part of the dispute resolution process. Right now we don't even mention this as a possibility. Perhaps because most of these discussions take place only at AN or AN/I. But we should really consider making this a more formal part of the actual Wikipedia DR process under "Resolving user conduct disputes". As far as I know, there is no particular policy or guideline that prohibits a "Topic ban" discussion from being made as an RFC or having it placed directly on the article itself that suffers from an issue. Now, this could be abused, so perhaps what is needed is to add "topic ban" discussions at the DR/N when such issues are involved with content. I have long believed Wikipedia needs a conflict board. AN and AN/I are administrative noticeboards and I think if the community is going to be the ones who are deciding by consensus, it need not be located at the administrative venues.--Mark Miller Just ask! WER TEA DR/N 21:05, 2 August 2013 (UTC)
  • (ec with below) I've pretty much abandoned all hope for DRN becoming something remotely effective, but just to address your suggestion, if topic bans were made possible there, everyone would just immediately suggest them for the opposing side. But in general I do agree, having conflict board with actual binding results would be helpful. I'm assuming DRN would have been that board already if the concept hadn't been rejected before, but I could be mistaken. Equazcion (talk) 21:18, 2 Aug 2013 (UTC)
At the moment, Wikipedia does not have any real conflict resolution. The DR process currently only states RFCUser conduct. The DR/N does not discuss editor behavior but only in relation to the broader content dispute. My suggestion is not to broaden or even loosen criteria for beginning a topic ban discussion, just that it be allowed to take place on at least DR/N for now...or, barring that, the discussions could be directed to Wikipedia:WikiProject Conflict Resolution. Thoughts?--Mark Miller Just ask! WER TEA DR/N 21:31, 2 August 2013 (UTC)
  • Hold on, this is going somewhere interesting now. I've wished that it were easier and a more lightweight process to dislodge a problematic editor from a topic area. Writing up the proposal of "I'm having a problem with Editor X", gathering the diffs, and going to the dramaboards with it is time-consuming and painful. Giving well-qualified (how is this defined?) case-handlers at WP:DRN the ability to make at least short-term and limited topic bans that can be enforced with blocks if violated is a very interesting idea. This is worth more discussion. Zad68 21:13, 2 August 2013 (UTC)
  • We don't even need to create or give any power or authority to DR/N volunteers. They just mediate, but...if we incorporated the idea that a volunteer could initiate the "Topic Ban" discussion at DR/N over issues that also involve a content dispute, drastically reduces the need for that filing to either end up at another venue like AN/I but also reduces the chance of the dispute returning back to DR/N itself. It would help alleviate some of the pressure from AN and AN/I as well as still be within the guidelines at DR/N, that volunteers have no special power or authority. it need not even be initiated by the volunteer, it could be initiated by anyone in good faith over long term disruption. Editors could then decide if a topic ban is appropriate right there if it is strongly needed.--Mark Miller Just ask! WER</su b> TEA DR/N 21:23, 2 August 2013 (UTC)
  • But then who is !voting in the TBAN discussion? The participants in the DRN case? Passers-by? The annoying thing about writing up an ANI is the tedious and time-consuming collection, curating and editing of diffs to present the narrative to the ANI participants who don't have any background on the problem. And if the issue isn't something really obvious, like a dozen diffs showing Editor X telling everyone to f--- off, but it's more subtle, like the ongoing selection of problematic sources or subtly misrepresenting the sources, it's hard to do, and at a dramaboard it can easily devolve into "This is a content dispute!" and will get shut down. If you've been working with a good DRN volunteer for a little while who has had the time and perspective to see the issue for what it is, that'd be a better and faster path to a productive outcome. I don't know exactly how this should work but this is starting to move in an interesting direction. Zad68 21:34, 2 August 2013 (UTC)
All discussion at DR/N, AN and AN/I are open to all editors. They are general community discussions. Even now, you don't need to be a volunteer at DR/N to weigh in on the dispute. Same at the other boards. The proposal I have in mind is simply to allow "Topic Ban" discussions at The Dispute Resolution Noticeboard. Some topic ban discussions fizzle out quickly and some are obvious disruptive tactics etc. We need to contend with that now in several places, but if done right, this could be a step that alleviates a number of issues.--Mark Miller Just ask! WER TEA DR/N 21:40, 2 August 2013 (UTC)
Yes, understood... will think about this over the weekend. Zad68 21:43, 2 August 2013 (UTC)
The first thing you read at WP:DRN is This is an informal place to resolve small content disputes as part of dispute resolution. Allowing formal sanction discussions to occur there is antithetical to that purpose. Because what goes on at WP:DRN is voluntary dispute resolution, it receives a lot less attention then that Admin Noticeboards, but once you start having binding discussions, and having discussions result in sanctions, you will import much of the drama that isn't already there. Monty845 22:26, 2 August 2013 (UTC)
  • Oppose as someone who has edited a lot in the The Troubles and Basque conflict areas, I've seen more than my fair share of problematic editors there, but those who genuinely misbehave get gradually escalating restrictions, while the vast majority learn to play within the rules. Most importantly, editors who feel passionate about topics are far, far more likely than the average editor to have access to the relevant sources to improve the article. Valenciano (talk) 20:49, 2 August 2013 (UTC)
    • Editors who are problematic to the point that sanctions can be imposed aren't my particular concern here. People often become entrenched without breaking any rules. If only they did, this wouldn't be an issue. Equazcion (talk) 20:55, 2 Aug 2013 (UTC)
      • So, you're not worried about problematic editors, you're worried about... editors who might become problematic? Maybe we need to see some examples of articles that you think would benefit from forced vacations of those who have worked on them. --Golbez (talk) 20:59, 2 August 2013 (UTC)
      • But doesn't editing and being entrenched without having sanctions imply that they're obeying the will of the community and the great Five Pillars. All you keep doing with these repeated "It's not a problem, but it could be" hypotheticals and responding with the same tired responses demonstrates a need to Bike-Shed. Hasteur (talk) 21:03, 2 August 2013 (UTC)
        • Not necessarily. NPOV is one of the five pillars and it's highly subjective. Proving that someone is editing with a POV is really only possible in the most blatant cases. Equazcion (talk) 21:09, 2 Aug 2013 (UTC)
  • Oppose. A month is generally insufficient to do an adequate literature survey, let alone to develop enough expertise to assess the various sources. Such a restriction would preclude in-depth study of the topic, and permit only superficial editing. An egregiously bad proposal. ~ J. Johnson (JJ) (talk) 21:25, 2 August 2013 (UTC)
    • Did I say a month? Sorry, I meant to say 3 months. What do you think? Equazcion (talk) 21:28, 2 Aug 2013 (UTC)
      Still a ridiculous idea. What punishment ar you proposing for those unwise enough to edit beyond your arbitrary limit of however long it might be? Eric Corbett 21:31, 2 August 2013 (UTC)
      • I haven't proposed any sanction yet. That would be premature since this is just a preliminary conceptual discussion. Equazcion (talk) 21:37, 2 Aug 2013 (UTC)
  • Oppose This would probably be more harmful than it would be useful. Disruptive POV editors can already be dealt with using the existing processes. The editors this proposal is aimed at could be placed under an editing restriction instead, which would be less harmful for the whole encyclopedia, as it wouldn't interfere with other editors abilities to edit. -- Toshio Yamaguchi 21:29, 2 August 2013 (UTC)
    • It's very difficult to prove a POV exists in all but the most blatant cases. Even then, it's difficult and usually simply not done, because no one wants to go to ANI and deal with that. Equazcion (talk) 21:37, 2 Aug 2013 (UTC)
There is always a POV; what we want is to avoid a biased or non-neutral POV. Which is very simply to determine. First you survey the literature — oops, just ran out of time, my month (the proposal!) has expired. Your "solution" (to an undemonstrated problem) is self-defeating. ~ J. Johnson (JJ) (talk) 21:49, 2 August 2013 (UTC)
When we speak of POV here we generally mean a bias, but yeah. One man's survey of abortion literature suggests that pro-choice article text is NPOV while the other says it's POV, etc. I envy you that you've never seen something like this demonstrated. Equazcion (talk) 22:01, 2 Aug 2013 (UTC)
(edit conflict) I think it is often visible whether an editor has a POV or not (How is the content the user contributes written? Does the editor attribute the material he/she contributes to reliable sources? etc), so this restriction is not only unnecessary, but as I said, even harmful. Such cases need to be judged on a case-by-case basis. Repeated cases by the same user can be dealt with at ANI. -- Toshio Yamaguchi 21:54, 2 August 2013 (UTC)
Most contentious topics are edited by people with POVs on two respective sides of an issue. We're not talking about a single problematic editor whom everyone on all sides can agree is obviously problematic. We're talking about everyone, even good, experienced editors, who simply need to take a step back from a topic they've become too invested in. Equazcion (talk) 22:01, 2 Aug 2013 (UTC)
For such contentious topics, there are measures that can be taken, such as whitelocking or goldlocking the article. -- Toshio Yamaguchi 22:12, 2 August 2013 (UTC)
I have seen edit conflicts over content on such articles, but more often than not, I've seen those editors with a strong POV actively work to expand the article by sourcing it, adding text and images etc, things which improve this project overall. People who are apathetic about topics generally can't be bothered to find the time to do that and lack the necessary knowledge and access to source material. Also forcing people out of their main areas of interest will almost certainly lead to them getting discouraged and abandoning the project altogether. Equazcion's intentions here are good, but the results would be catastrophic. Valenciano (talk) 22:18, 2 August 2013 (UTC)

Oppose. I think articles would whipsaw on a monthly basis with the changing of the guard, so to speak. As a counter-suggestion, why not have admins who have enhanced control at one Wiki-project? Bus stop (talk) 22:00, 2 August 2013 (UTC)

For one, admin and other editors don't have "control". Its a community endeavor.--Mark Miller Just ask! WER TEA DR/N 22:17, 2 August 2013 (UTC)
Ask any admin who ever got involved with The Troubles area. A lot of them got burnt out as they were continually being accused of bias by one side or the other. Valenciano (talk) 22:20, 2 August 2013 (UTC)

Interesting idea. I think in its present general form it can't work. But you can think of ArbCom imposing restrictions like this or that restrictions like this can be voluntarily agreed on during dispute resolution. Count Iblis (talk) 22:52, 2 August 2013 (UTC)

  • I entirely sympathise with the thinking behind this proposal, and I appreciate how thoughtfully the original poster has framed this idea. However, frankly this is a terrible proposal that would be exceptionally damaging to our community of editors. Entirely oppose. AGK [•] 23:04, 2 August 2013 (UTC)
Perhaps instead of blocking ppl for 24 hours for WP:3RR they could simply be banned from the article they edit warred on for 1 month, that would be a much more effectively preventative punishment and would discourage ppl from edit warring more than the current policy does, breaking that restriction could result in a 1 month block. Thanks, ♫ SqueakBox talk contribs 00:20, 3 August 2013 (UTC)
Oh wow...look at that. Another excellent proposal!--Mark Miller Just ask! WER TEA DR/N 00:42, 3 August 2013 (UTC)
  • I too understand and sympathise with the thinking behind this proposal, and think that there should be a serious discussion (perhaps in the form of an RFC) in which we discuss how to address disputes and articles that are affected in the described manner. But in terms of the specifics of this proposal, I must oppose. If you (and I mean "you" as in the community in general) sees a problem with dispute resolution, I would recommend being part of the solution, and join us.) Steven Zhang Help resolve disputes! 00:39, 3 August 2013 (UTC)
  • I strongly agree. There are not enough editors involved in the actual process of DR.--Mark Miller Just ask! WER TEA DR/N 00:42, 3 August 2013 (UTC)
  • There are no specifics. I will not participate at DR. It's currently a completely useless reiterative process. But I agree that there should be a serious discussion regarding the handling of these situations. Equazcion (talk) 00:51, 3 Aug 2013 (UTC)
I really don't care what you think about DR/N. How is that relevant here? To make it relevant is to say you are using your own disdain for Wikipedia process to make proposals that circumvent things you do not like. That seems wildly inappropriate.--Mark Miller Just ask! WER TEA DR/N 01:16, 3 August 2013 (UTC)
I wasn't responding to you. Steven Zhang suggested that providing manpower at DRN would help, and I disagree. I'm not looking to circumvent it, as that would imply it's some sort of required process. It's a remedy, and one that I find useless and broken, so I'm suggesting something else. Sorry if I've struck a nerve, obviously DRN is close to your heart, but that's my opinion. Equazcion (talk) 01:25, 3 Aug 2013 (UTC)
Sorry about responding after your comment. I do understand you were referring the comment to Steven. Yes, DR/N is important to me...but, perhaps not so close to my heart as art and theatre. ;). But I do very much believe you have more than good faith in your proposal. I actually believe you have the entire community at heart and I support that, if not the proposal itself.--Mark Miller Just ask! WER TEA DR/N 01:53, 3 August 2013 (UTC)
@Equazcion, while I disagree with your opinion, I respect your right to your opinion. I have weighed in on your proposal here and thus I see my continued participation in this discussion as unnecessary. I would welcome a wider discussion at the DR wikiproject, but I would rather focus on making improvements to the process on my end. Regards, Steven Zhang Help resolve disputes! 02:21, 3 August 2013 (UTC)
  • Obvious Oppose. - Block as needed. Protect as needed. Good editors who are interested in and focus on specific topics for lengths of time shouldn't have to deal with this stupidity. --Onorem (talk) 01:11, 3 August 2013 (UTC)
  • Comment – A more comprehensive solution would be to ban all users as soon as they have edited for one month. Then all disputes will rapidly resolve, and incivility will always be short-lived. --Epipelagic (talk) 01:40, 3 August 2013 (UTC)

The discussion above is closed. Please do not modify it. Subsequent comments should be made on the appropriate discussion page. No further edits should be made to this discussion.


Enable "Add an [edit] link for the lead section of a page" by default[edit]

I just found this feature. Had it been on by default, it would have made editing more convenient and less cumbersome. I can't think of a good reason not to make it the default. One could argue that brand new editors may click on the wrong "edit", but it's obvious what's happening if they do. You could call it "edit lead section" if that is a concern. Vzaak (talk) 18:42, 1 August 2013 (UTC)

Can't agree with you more!--RekishiEJ (talk) 11:36, 2 August 2013 (UTC)
Wouldn't it add yet more distracting clutter to the lead section? There's already a lot of interface content in the form of hatnotes and cleanup templates that detract from the actual article. Praemonitus (talk) 00:03, 4 August 2013 (UTC)
I might suggest perusing the archives for this topic. It's become perennial by this point. --Izno (talk) 02:42, 4 August 2013 (UTC)
It's not in WP:PERENNIAL. In the archives I found many suggestions to turn the link on, which would support making it the default, as well as the discussions here and here, which appear majority positive about the change. The reason for the holdup seems to be a technical matter about integrating into common.js, and whether the link will conflict with floating elements. Since those discussions are five years old I wonder if that still applies.
So what exactly is the downside? Calling it "edit lead section" will head off confusion with editing the whole article. The link will save an untold amount of bandwidth for WP. Users will have a faster/easier/less cumbersome experience. The "clutter" argument is too nondescript and abstract for me to really consider. I'm looking at it now, and it's not "cluttered" at all.
Also please keep in mind the perspective of new users. I feel a bit annoyed (almost betrayed) that all this time I could have avoided editing the whole article. Vzaak (talk) 13:15, 4 August 2013 (UTC)
That was twice addressed above. Call it "edit lead section" or similar. Vzaak (talk) 20:39, 4 August 2013 (UTC)

Links on the front page[edit]

From "todays featured article" and "in the news"...the green and blue panels with the text just mentioned look like clickable objects that will take you to the featured article and the 1st spot news article. When I fisrt read wikipedia I certainly clicked on it a few times and wondered why it didnt link to featured articles and wikinews. On a wiki that has almost identical format to wikipedia that I'm a part of...we added these links to the title panels for both sections of the front page and created very simple code to allow the links to change to the featured article every day. As there is a link at the bottom that leads the user to the page on featured articles and wiki news...its not a bad idea to link the top title panels to the current featured articles and wikinews. We also linked the images to the featured articles and wikinews. Not sure if this has been mentioned before but I think it's a harmless idea and benificial for the front page. --Shabidoo | Talk 20:53, 1 August 2013 (UTC)

Per MOS:HEADINGS, section titles don't normally contain links. It's not a bad proposal, but it's just not the convention at Wikipedia. Praemonitus (talk) 23:55, 3 August 2013 (UTC)

New guideline proposal[edit]

Wikipedia:Cosplay images in articles. I started a discussion at Wikipedia:Village_pump_(policy)#Cosplay_Images and then created the proposal. I thought I would leave a note here as well. The discussion should probably move to the proposal talk page.--Canoe1967 (talk) 03:03, 5 August 2013 (UTC)

Moved to Wikipedia talk:Cosplay images in articles: Canoe1967 (talk) 03:03, 5 August 2013 (UTC)

"Edit source" is a misleading label and should be changed[edit]

See Wikipedia talk:VisualEditor#"Edit source" is a misleading label and should be changed.--Fuhghettaboutit (talk) 15:54, 28 July 2013 (UTC)

See also:
I don't understand why there is no reaction from developers to this issue. I think a lot of pushback to VE is caused by the fact that for section editing, the regular link is hidden until the "primary" link to VE is moused over (so the wikitext editor can't be found at once, although preferred by most everyone). --Atlasowa (talk) 16:25, 28 July 2013 (UTC)
I created a registered user account simply for the ability to go into Preferences and "hide" the Visual Editor option. Now "Edit" just means old-style editing. I was forever hitting the wrong button and going into Visual Editor only to have to hit Cancel. Must have done that a hundred times since the system changed over. I think VE is confusing to anyone who is used to using Wiki formatting. Newjerseyliz (talk) 18:03, 28 July 2013 (UTC)
They're planning on changing the appearing-wikitext-section-edit links. It is too distracting for many users, and too complicated to use on touchscreen devices. bugzilla:50540 seems to be the main entry. I'm not sure when the fix is due, but I suspect soon. –Quiddity (talk) 03:10, 29 July 2013 (UTC)
Thank you for the bugzilla link, Quiddity. So this has been pointed out for weeks, but is rejected/stalled by WMF because stable section [edit | edit wikitext] links would add "clutter"...? But on the other hand, a mouseover [edit] link (that unexpectedly takes you to the visual editor if you click it) and forces you to hover and follow the decollapsing [edit source] with the mouse (and try to click it) is OK, despite bad usability (especially on touch screens). Wow, unbelievable. Oh and the big joke is that actually you can not edit sections with the visual editor, just the whole page, but you can edit sections (faster!) with the wikitext editor! This bug could have been fixed for weeks, before the roll-out to dutch and german Wikipedia. Apparently WMF thinks it's OK to confusingly reassign [edit] to edit visually and trick unwilling editors into using the visual editor. Apparently WMF doesn't give a damn about wasting vounteer editors time... This is beyond me. And this not just hardcore editors that prefer wikitext editing, according to VE usage stats by Dragons flight (Wikipedia:VisualEditor/Feedback/Archive_2013_2#Some_performance_notes) of July 17/18:
All registered user article edits using source (wikitext) editor 118,380 91.1%
All registered user article edits using VE 11,464 8.9%
New user (registered on or after 1 July) article edits using source 6,610 64.2%
New user article edits using VE 3,678 35.8%
Anon article edits using source 62,101 88.4%
Anon article edits using VE 8,153 11.6%
Older editor (registered prior to 1 July) article edits using source 111,770 93.5%
Older editor (registered prior to 1 July) article edits using VE 7,786 6.5 %
Change in total (daily) article edits since before VE became default on 1 July (comparison: 18-30 June) -4.5%
Change in registered user article edits since before VE became default -2.2%
Change in anon article edits since before VE became default -8.6%
As shown, the individuals most likely to choose VE are newly registered user accounts. Anons are only a little more likely to use VE than registered users. This suggests that many of the individuals who edit anonymously were actually familiar with the source editor and continue to prefer it even though they edit anonymously. (That's rather surprising to me.) Even though new users are most likely to choose VE, they still go with source editing 2/3 of the time. Since the introduction of VE, article editing rates are down slightly. For the length of time considered, a change less than about +/- 6% is consistent with random variability, so these fluctuations are not necessarily indicative of anything. However, it will be interesting to look at changes over a longer time period. Whether or not there is a meaningful drop, we can probably rule out the possibility of any large immediate editing surge as a result of VE's introduction. Of course, this only looks at the short-term reaction to VE. Only time will tell whether VE ultimately becomes popular. Dragons flight (talk) 03:56, 18 July 2013 (UTC)
Someone on Bug 50540 - VisualEditor: Display both "edit" and "edit source" links for sections without hover commented: "Put thought in it! I could imagine, that this decision will determine whether people will be disabling/hiding VE or keep using it along with the Wikitext editor." I absolutely agree! See also Wikipedia:VisualEditor/Feedback/Archive_2013_07#Edit_and_edit_source_links_so_confusing_I_had_to_disable_Visual_Editor_in_preferences and Wikipedia:VisualEditor/Feedback/Archive_2013_07#Note_the_many_unhappy_people_who_do_not_see_the_HIDDEN_.22edit_source.22_link and Maggie Dennis 2013-07-02: "Note that this request is being repeated a lot, including by people who are unhappy that mousing over causes words to pop up, which they say disrupts reading the page. They would prefer the words be always visible to avoid this."
And indeed, users are choosing "Remove VisualEditor from the user interface" (en:MediaWiki:Gadget-oldeditor in en:Special:Preferences#mw-prefsection-gadgets):
  • 4. Juli: 607 user choose "Remove VisualEditor from the user interface"
  • 11 July: 1018 user
  • 18. Juli 1300 user
  • 25 July: 1473 user
There is a CSS workaround at Wikipedia:Village_pump_(technical)/Archive_114#Removing the animation from "edit source" section links on Visual Editor (10 July 2013), currently, 17 user are using this CSS. But this can't be the solution! --Atlasowa (talk) 08:45, 29 July 2013 (UTC)

I point out that 'wikitext' though technically correct is totally confusing for newbies. For them it will read "text of the wiki" most likely. "Edit wiki | text mode" or something like that might be a better choice. —TheDJ (talkcontribs) 08:58, 29 July 2013 (UTC)

Why not Edit (GUI) | Edit (text) ? That's the version used in other wiki variants with GUI. Adam Cuerden (talk) 09:07, 29 July 2013 (UTC)
Have you noticed: editing mobile Wikipedia has been enabled for registered users. There is a pen icon for editing.
Newbies can't know already what "edit wikitext" or "edit markup" means, but they'll learn immediately by seeing it when clicking. The important thing is having unambiguous words for both ways of editing. Because editing is fundamentally important to Wikipedia and we talk a lot about it. I think "source" has too many different meanings (source=reference, "You messed up the source"? "just copy the source text from another article"?) and "edit" can mean 2 different methods from now on ("When editing the article, click on button XY and add ABC"?) How about "edit visually" and "edit wikitext"? And looking a little bit forward: mobile Wikipedia uses icons for navigation, the edit button is a pen icon similar to this: Black pencil.svg. So how about Black pencil.svg for "edit visually" and [ Black pencil.svg ] for "edit wikitext"? --Atlasowa (talk) 09:37, 29 July 2013 (UTC)
We could play with colours to make the 2 pen icons easy to distinguish visually:
Blue pencil.svg for: "edit" (easily, visually)
[ Black pencil.svg ] for: "edit wikitext" or "edit markup"
Other ideas? --Atlasowa (talk) 10:13, 29 July 2013 (UTC)

Any version of the options where one option is "text" (or "text mode") will still be confusing. Both modes involve editing text, so don't count on that word making any sort of distinction. "Edit Direct" and "Edit Source Code" might be one clearer possibility; but really I doubt there's any option that'll make the difference immediately obvious to most people. It was never even all that obvious what the plain old "edit" link did. People are going to learn what these do through trial and error, as always. Equazcion (talk) 09:29, 29 Jul 2013 (UTC)

Just saw the discussion on the Wikimedia Design mailinglist thread VisualEditor section links redux. Erik Möller's suggestion "would be to take a similar approach to the mobile site: have an icon for section editing (e.g. pencil) and maybe a different one for source editing (e.g. "<>" which is commonly used to switch into source mode in RTEs)." He later concludes as "probably the best short term option > The hover effect is easy to drop - if we are all willing to take the hit on the clutter." Still, nothing is changed. --Atlasowa (talk) 09:33, 31 July 2013 (UTC)

Now Erik Möller on Wikimedia mailinglist: "Any idea of when we can expect the change?" "Last time I discussed with Trevor he mentioned that it was a trivial fix (we just need to remove the hover effect), so let me bug them tomorrow :)." So apparently the hover effect will be removed in the next days, but the labels "[ edit | edit source ]" will stay. --Atlasowa (talk) 09:41, 31 July 2013 (UTC)

Per the discussion at Wikipedia:VisualEditor/Default_State_RFC#Question_4: Should the user interface explicitly warn editors that pressing the "edit" button is using beta software?, whatever label is used for the Visual Editor needs to include the word "beta".—Kww(talk) 19:33, 31 July 2013 (UTC)

The problem with "edit source code", "edit source", "edit wikitext", "edit markkup" etc. is that a user doesn't really have to know anything about "source code", "source", "wikitext", and "markup" to edit constructively. Having such technical terms on the tab will intimidate many users who may think that it requires extensive knowledge of a computer language or markup style in order to edit. Adam Cuerden's suggestion "Edit (GUI) | Edit (text)" appears to be a much more user-friendly option.--Wikimedes (talk) 18:59, 3 August 2013 (UTC)

"GUI" is just as technical as "wikitext" and "markup", and won't simplify anything. As for "edit text", this would suggest to many users that there is one button to edit the text of the article and one button to edit something else (the layout? the interface?) Andrew Gray (talk) 19:22, 3 August 2013 (UTC)
Got me thinking of the way consumer software marketing usually handles these situations. How about "Edit" and "Easy Edit [beta]" ? Equazcion (talk) 19:37, 3 Aug 2013 (UTC)
Too few would be willing to call VE "easy". "Edit [Classic]" and "Edit [Beta]" would be more neutral. Mysterious Whisper 20:08, 3 August 2013 (UTC)
Perhaps veteran Wikipedians might be willing to put their opinions on the state of the software aside in favor of terminology that'll be more commonly understood by the masses. The new software is intended to be easier once it's out of Beta. That fact that it currently has flaws is covered by displaying the term "beta". Equazcion (talk) 20:12, 3 Aug 2013 (UTC)

──────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────── My point exactly. When Yahoo! Mail introduced a new layout, the old one was referred to as Yahoo! Mail Classic. (And I believe the newer layout was, for a time, offered as Yahoo! Mail [Beta].) I've seen similar elsewhere, so this phraseology should be familiar to anyone with some computer experience ("commonly understood by the masses."). Calling the original Classic and the new, currently-being-beta-tested one Beta, confers no opinions, and seems the most likely to communicate the necessary information without unnecessary confusion. Then, if-and-when VE is out of beta, we can still have "Edit [Classic]" and just "Edit". Mysterious Whisper 20:24, 3 August 2013 (UTC)

Or Edit[old] and Edit[beta]; something along those lines. I don't think "beta" is likely to be too confusing/offputting; Gmail labelled itself "beta" for five years without distressing the world, and matched with "old" there's a clear distinction even if you're not familiar with "beta" (= not old). Andrew Gray (talk) 20:25, 3 August 2013 (UTC)
I'm concerned "old" may have negative connotations that "classic" (and "beta", for that matter) doesn't. I've seen many instances, in software and otherwise, where the original version is called "classic" to differentiate from a newer version; I can't recall ever seeing something that continues to be offered officially referred to as "old" by those offering it. Mysterious Whisper 20:39, 3 August 2013 (UTC)

I propose it say [ edit code | edit visual ], since the beta warning pops up anyway. Keep it simple. — Confession0791 talk 09:40, 4 August 2013 (UTC)

Per most of the above, do you think a completely new user is going to understand what is meant by "code" and "visual"? (Sidebar: Does anyone know where the text of the new "warning" message, and the fact that if apparently only comes up the first time you open VE, was discussed?) I still like "Edit [Classic]" and "Edit [Beta]" because it's the most like what I've seen elsewhere (and, thus, the most familiar to your average non-wikipedian computer user). Mysterious Whisper 11:51, 4 August 2013 (UTC)

I find it improper for an encyclopedia to use a wrong term on the very top of all articles. "Edir source" clearly implies "Edit source code" ("For the purpose of clarity ‘source code’ is taken to mean any fully executable description of a software system."). Source code is all the HTML, the CSS, the scripts, most of which we do not see. If your browser has a "view source" option, take a look at an article to see the difference. "Edit" should remain "edit". A new term should be used for the VE and it would better be a term which encourages new users to think of it as a first step to learning Wikimarkup. Hoverfish Talk 13:04, 4 August 2013 (UTC)

Yes. Or in Wikipedia it could mean editing the references.
I think it's important to put the type of editor in parentheses or as a superscript to show that it's the type of editing interface rather than the thing you are editing. So "edit (Wikitext)" or "editWikitext" would be greatly preferable to "edit Wikitext". Even "edit (markup)" is not too bad, but for me "edit (text)" is still preferable to Wikitext or markup.
Fair enough that GUI is just as technical as Wikitext, etc.; "edit (visual)", "edit (VE)", or "edit (VE beta)" would be better. "edit (easy)", however, reflects a personal opinion that won't be shared by all editors, and is not descriptive of the editing mechanism.
I'm not convinced that there is a neutral single-word descriptor that will adequately describe the differences, hence my suggestion of labeling both simply "Edit", but with " [Classic]" for the classic editor and " [Beta]" for the currently-being-beta-tested one. Concise, neutral, and familiar to most. An actual, multi-word description of the editors can appear when ones cursor hovers over the link, as is already done (right now, Edit [beta] = "Edit this page with VisualEditor"). Mysterious Whisper 19:26, 4 August 2013 (UTC)
Wikipedians' devotion to neutrality should really remain confined to article development. It's silly to refrain from calling the new and old editors one thing or another for fear of offending someone who likes one over the other. The priorities being discussed here are completely screwed up. The focus should be easy recognition to the common user, and "Edit [Classic]" vs. "Edit [Beta]" are not descriptive; How is anyone supposed to have any clue what either of those do? Those labels do nothing more than suck any meaning out in favor of diplomacy for our silly internal drama. Equazcion (talk) 20:31, 4 Aug 2013 (UTC)

──────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────── Two problems. The first is practicality: just because "Wikipedians' devotion to neutrality should really remain confined to article development," doesn't mean it will. Wikipedians are sharply divided here; anything that doesn't sound neutral has zero chance of gaining consensus. The second problem is: can you describe, in two words or less, to someone who has not experienced either editor, what the differences are? I don't think it can be done ("Easy" won't cut it). Hence why I pointed out the hover-over text in my above comment; it's the only way we'll be able to convey all the necessary information. And, with that, the tabs themselves only need to be differentiable, and can and should be nondescript. (Although "classic" for the classic editor and "beta" for the being-beta-tested editor do convey some important information.) Mysterious Whisper 20:47, 4 August 2013 (UTC)

When it comes to certain software matters, consensus isn't necessarily vital. If the WMF is convinced that something will benefit Wikipedia's reach then it'll probably happen. "Easy" conveys much more than mere "beta". Someone seeing "beta" won't know what to expect in any way; it could mean a more advanced editor with more complicated features. For the many people who may have tried clicking "edit" before and found that they didn't understand what was going on, or worse, made an edit only to have it reverted because they inadvertently screwed something up, the fact that there's an "Easy" version in the beta stage will convey a lot. Equazcion (talk) 21:11, 4 Aug 2013 (UTC)
Note that the title of the section is ""Edit source" is a misleading label and should be changed." It seems most are happy with "Edit [Beta]", the real issue it what to call the other one (which, as near as I can tell, you haven't addressed). That aside, we both know that WMF would love to label VE "Easy" (in fact, the call it 'the new, easier way' or somesuch in the new pop-up message you now get when first opening VE), we know they'd gladly do it against consensus, and we know that if they did, there would be public uproar, and then we'd be right back here, under the heading ""Easy editor" is a misleading label and should be changed." Mysterious Whisper 21:18, 4 August 2013 (UTC)
I have indeed addressed it. The name for the traditional edit feature should be changed back to "Edit", since "Edit source" is indeed misleading. The fundamental issue is how to differentiate the two, and calling the new one "Easy" is the best way to do that. You obviously disagree that the new version is actually easier right now, and I'm actually with you there, but whether or not it's actually "easier" isn't the issue. The question is how to communicate what it's intended to be. Many people will assuredly find that it doesn't work well yet, but most internet users understand that "beta" means "we're still working on it". Equazcion (talk) 21:27, 4 Aug 2013 (UTC)
I never stated my opinion on VE, and I haven't !voted at RfC, so I'll thank you not to assume. I've merely been pointing out that the majority of editors would not allow VE to be labeled "Easy" (as shown by the RfC and comments elsewhere), and that anything other than a neutral name will bring us right back here for a nearly identical discussion. VE is intended to be the Wikipedia editor, so eventually calling it just "Edit", and calling it "Edit beta" while it's in beta testing, both makes sense and is not likely to be challenged. But then we can't call the old editor "Edit" too, hence "Edit classic". Given that, and your own opinion that VE has not yet proven to be "Easy", I can't fathom why you'd want to give it such a title. Mysterious Whisper 21:49, 4 August 2013 (UTC)
I'm much more concerned with finding the method that would be best in general, rather than finding the one most likely to be agreed upon by this community. I've explained my reasoning behind using the word "Easy". If you want to address the reasons I've stated already, feel free. Equazcion (talk) 21:56, 4 Aug 2013 (UTC)
The two qualities (the "best in general" and "the one most likely to be agreed upon") are not always mutually exclusive and, IMO, mine satisfies both (I, too, have already explained why). But we clearly don't agree. I am curious to see what others think. Mysterious Whisper 22:03, 4 August 2013 (UTC)

Note: bugzilla:50540 is fixed, see Wikipedia:VisualEditor/Updates/August 1, 2013:

  • changing the section edit link order to say "[edit source | editbeta]".
  • For consistency, "Edit" is changed to "Edit source" in namespaces where VisualEditor is not enabled.
  • The section editing animation (progressive disclosure), which many users found annoying and confusing, is disabled.
  • Users clicking the "Editbeta" tab now get a first-time modal message (users cannot interact with editor before they dismiss it) informing them that they're using VisualEditor, warning them that issues may occur, and thanking them for any help with testing and reports.

With these changes, I will not disable the Visual editor in my preferences but will keep this default. (I still think that "edit source" is not ideal. We have to update help documentation to include VE editing and will have to explain that "edit source" and "edit references" are not synonyms and to write sentences like "to beta edit, do ABC", "to source edit, do XYZ".) I will use Visual editor for appropriate edits and will test Visual editor from time to time on more complex edits. I will also opt-in to VE beta on german Wikipedia ("[ Bearbeiten beta | Quelltext bearbeiten ]"), since I am no longer forcefed an editor with limited usefulness. Thank you for the changes to all involved! --Atlasowa (talk) 09:30, 5 August 2013 (UTC)

I'm interested in this issue. This type of conversation has happened in several places, and the result is pretty much the same as usual: no consensus. If you haven't seen the others, I think the only common points you're missing here is someone saying that wikitext isn't source code on the grounds that HTML isn't source code either (this is apparently a point of contention between the Real Programmers™ and HTML users), and someone else saying that it ought to be called "Edit source" because fully protected pages always say "View source" (a very logical idea, since consistency is helpful to users). Personally, I kind of like the suggestion of "classic", which most people will correctly interpret as a friendly way of saying "older", but it has not proven very popular at other discussions.
There are two main uses that might be relevant, and IMO the people here are qualified to comment on both. The first is what we want just at the English Wikipedia. This can be changed at any time. WP:There is no deadline for making this decision. We've changed between "Talk" and "Discussion" over the years, and there's no reason why we couldn't do that for these labels. The other is what would make sense to users at thousands of other wikis around the world. There are about 800 or so WMF wikis. What would you suggest to translators? What would you suggest to Commons or Wiktionary? What would you suggest for private wikis (e.g., in a non-profit organization)? Mediawiki has been getting requests for help with installing VisualEditor on people's private wikis, and the software has to come with a default label for each tab. Each of these could choose whatever it wants, but probably most will use the default. It is possible that what's best for the English Wikipedia is not relevant for these other wikis. For example, Commons probably wouldn't mind "Edit source", because it's not a reference-oriented project. But Wiktionary, which already has a separate namespace for citations, might find "Edit source" to be even more confusing than it could be here. So if you have an opinion, even if it's "do this here, but do that for most places", please feel free to share your opinion with me. (At some point, it would probably be useful to make a complete list of all the suggestions made so far.) Whatamidoing (WMF) (talk) 18:12, 5 August 2013 (UTC)
I've said this above but just for the record, I think the discussion is excessively pedantic and focused on what the internal die-hards would find comfortable. The priority should be the general populace. Label the new editor "Easy [beta]". It conveys the right message ("We're working on an easier way to do this. Wanna try it out?") and does so with very few characters. Seems like that would work for every language and project. I feel this is one of those instances where the WMF should fire up those convenient market-driven instincts that take over when the dorks of the Wikipedia community can't seem to see the big picture. No offense to any dorks who might have been offended. Equazcion (talk) 18:22, 5 Aug 2013 (UTC)
Great to finally have an "official" statement here, with some moderation we might reach consensus eventually which was not the case so far (as you mentioned). To directly give some feedback:
  • Make this change for all Wikis (e.g. directly in MediaWiki source) and hope translation works well. At least on German Wikipedia I'd say the problem is exactly the same. Otherwise we might have fixed it here on enwiki but nowhere else (not even in the English versions of other Wikis) which is not what we should aim for.
  • The "Edit source"/"View source" analogy: I totally concur that it would be great to have it consistent – but not by keeping "source". If we pick something like "markup" or "Wikitext" both labels could be replaced. If we take "Edit (classic)" or the like we surely will loose this consistency (which is why I don't like it).
  • "Edit Wikitext" would be my current preference. After all, Wikitext is something unique here on Wikipedia (we can be proud of it)! And it will be a unique label which is what we want after all to prevent ambiguities. It perfectly describes what the button does by definition, and eventually it will be recognized broadly – editors are not dumb after all and will quickly learn what Wikitext is (if they did not know yet).
--Patrick87 (talk) 18:34, 5 August 2013 (UTC)
I agree with Patrick87. Naming should be consistent, "edit (classic)" doesn't work for "view (classic)". "Edit wikitext" would be my current preference too. I think "[Editbeta | Edit Wikitext]" are a decent, almost uncontroversial ;) choice for enWP. This should also be most universally translatable, "beta" and "wikitext" are very short and far less confusing than translations of "easy" or "classic" or the ambiguous "source"-
  • Looking at french Wikipedia, they were recently surprised by a new tab "modifier la source" (which is confusing), considered changing it to "modifier le source" (which is even more confusing) and just now apparently settled on "modifier le wikicode". in the documentation fr:Wikipédia:ÉditeurVisuel it still says "Vous pouvez continuer à utiliser l'éditeur classique de texte source (wikitexte) via l'onglet « modifier la source »" - "You can continue to use the classic source text (wikitext) editor by the link « edit source »". VE was activated for registered users (fr:Wikipédia:Le_Bistro/24_juillet_2013) and for IP editors on July 29 (fr:Wikipédia:ÉditeurVisuel/Avis) and a lot of complaints and bugs, but the french didn't go berserk like the Germans or providently deactivated VE like the Dutch. But i would like to see stats for french deactivation of VE in preferences (this should be available somewhere on the toolserver).
  • I see that Whatamidoing is already watching feedback about VE on polish WP (pl:Wikipedia:VisualEditor/Opinie), russian WP feedback is rather grumpy. --Atlasowa (talk) 01:31, 6 August 2013 (UTC)