User talk:Whatamidoing (WMF)

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Old discussions: June 2013 to May 2014, June 2014 to May 2015, June 2015 to May 2016, June 2016 to May 2017, June 2017 to May 2018, June 2018 to May 2019, June 2019 to May 2020


This discussion has been closed. Please do not modify it.
The following discussion has been closed. Please do not modify it.

I think my think let a waste of but let me just ask you prove you username is two ways. 1. What are all editors doing in Wikipedia 2. What is whatamidoing doing is whatamidoing talkpage. Ask me whatamidoing,your pal,Tbiw (talk) 13:14, 18 June 2020 (UTC)

All editors aren't doing the same thing. But what are you doing, Tbiw? Whatamidoing (WMF) (talk) 16:24, 18 June 2020 (UTC)

Am,Tbiw (talk) 18:04, 18 June 2020 (UTC)

Drafting message about signature changes for editors[edit]

At WP:VPT, you wrote In the coming months, I'll start contacting active editors whose signatures are invalid. Let me know if you would like help editing such a message once you have some sort of draft. – Jonesey95 (talk) 01:41, 2 July 2020 (UTC)

Jonesey95, Yes, yes, yes, yes! I want your help!
Have you looked at ? We can get a list for a single error at a time, and I think we should send specific messages. That way, if your problem is "A", then you don't have to read/be confused by the instructions for fixing problems B, C, D, and E as well. Also, we can split up the lists, so that we don't have a huge number of people asking for help at the same time. We'll eventually need to contact about a thousand editors here; most of the other big Wikipedias have 100–200 users with errors. At the smaller wikis, there may be very few editors affected.
User:AntiCompositeNumber, is the API limited to the reports that are pre-generated? If I wanted, e.g., to see the list for the Italian Wikipedia or the English Wikivoyage, does that require effort on your part? Whatamidoing (WMF) (talk) 02:13, 2 July 2020 (UTC)
Whatamidoing (WMF), Yes, I have to run the report server-side or add it to the cron job. Unfortunately the site-level reports take a long time to run, much longer than the HTTP timeout. That means I would have to implement some sort of asynchronous queuing system, and that's much more work than logging in to Toolforge and running a command.
So if you want the report for a site, just let me know which site and if you want a one-off or recurring run. --AntiCompositeNumber (talk) 02:19, 2 July 2020 (UTC)
Upon closer inspection, at the last run, the only wiki taking an excessive amount of time to complete is enwiki. The other wikis in the cronjob take 1-3 minutes to complete, except for Commons at 4 minutes. Enwiki takes 22 minutes to complete. Of course, those other wikis have less than 200 signatures with errors each, while enwiki has 1276. I'll work on adding live generation to the API. --AntiCompositeNumber (talk) 02:40, 2 July 2020 (UTC)
@AntiCompositeNumber: Is it possible to do live generation with enwiki (and maybe Commons) blocked from that? Live generation for the smallest wikis (because there are hundreds) probably makes more sense than pre-generation. They won't be wanted very frequently.
As for a list, here's the list of Wikipedias that have more than 2,000 active editors each month: frwiki, eswiki, dewiki, jawiki, ruwiki, itwiki, zhwiki, arwiki, ptwiki, fawiki, plwiki, nlwiki trwiki, ukwiki, hewiki, idwiki, cswiki, kowiki, svwiki, viwiki, huwiki (in descending order). The English Wiktionary almost rises to that size, but none of the other language-specific sister projects do, and you already have the reports up for the multi-lingual sites. So maybe we want a total of about 30 pre-generated reports, and the rest can be done live when/if anyone wants them? (Feel free to pick a different cutoff point.) Whatamidoing (WMF) (talk) 03:37, 2 July 2020 (UTC)
I've added a ?purge=true parameter to the report APIs. There's not a ton of safety around it and I'm not planning to put it on the frontend version, but it should work for what you need. It'll still store the result as well, which will make it available in the report list for everyone. --AntiCompositeNumber (talk) 04:14, 2 July 2020 (UTC)
I would be worried about spamming editors with multiple messages if there are multiple errors in the signature should those errors go unfixed between error A FYI message and error B FYI message. --Izno (talk) 04:11, 2 July 2020 (UTC)
I looked at the reports, but I don't understand them. I understand missing end tags, stripped tags, and misnested tags, but what is "plain-fancy-sig" and why are there so many users with errors? As for sending messages, I think we should focus on editors who have edited in the past few months first. Is there a way to find those? I haven't tried all of the reports, so maybe the data I am looking for is in there somewhere. – Jonesey95 (talk) 04:29, 2 July 2020 (UTC)
plain-fancy-sig is for signatures that don't contain any wikimarkup at all. That pretty much means that the editor has the "Treat the above as wiki markup" box ticked in their preferences but should have it un-ticked. Most of these are new users who don't know what the signature box even is. The site-level reports only include users with at least 1 edit in the last 30 days. --AntiCompositeNumber (talk) 04:40, 2 July 2020 (UTC)
@Izno, if you have multiple errors, then the attempt to fix the first error will force you to fix the others, so you are unlikely to get multiple messages (unless we're very fast at sending out the messages).
@AntiCompositeNumber, do you have any way to check Special:GlobalPreferences? Whatamidoing (WMF) (talk) 16:23, 2 July 2020 (UTC)
Then I'd be worry about misleading editors (who likely have no idea what's going on) by saying "you have this error" and then they go to fix that one error and get "no, not good enough". As a certain person has opined about reliable sources and WP:BURDEN, if I recall, not the best interaction. :) --Izno (talk) 16:53, 2 July 2020 (UTC)
Yes, but I don't think GlobalPreferences works with signatures. I don't see any option for it in Special:GlobalPreferences at least. --AntiCompositeNumber (talk) 00:34, 3 July 2020 (UTC)
That may be because of the problems concerned with namespaces translated into the local language. For example, my signature used here on en.wp looks like this:
[[User:Redrose64|<span style="color:#a80000; background:#ffeeee; text-decoration:inherit">Red</span>rose64]] &#x1f339; ([[User talk:Redrose64|talk]])
whereas the one that I use at Wicipedia Cymraeg looks like this:
[[Defnyddiwr:Redrose64|Redrose64]] ([[Sgwrs Defnyddiwr:Redrose64|sgwrs]]; [[:en:User:Redrose64|at English Wikipedia]])
I could use my English signature on every single Wikimedia wiki, and it would work regardless of the local language; but I couldn't use my Welsh signature elsewhere (except b:cy:, q:cy:, s:cy: and wikt:cy:), because Defnyddiwr: and Sgwrs Defnyddiwr: are not recognised in any language other than Welsh. If I carefully set my Welsh signature to
[[User:Redrose64|Redrose64]] ([[User talk:Redrose64|sgwrs]]; [[:en:User:Redrose64|at English Wikipedia]])
it would still work there and could then be universal (other than that untranslated "sgwrs"), but would the residents of non-English wikis be aware of that requirement to use English namespaces? --Redrose64 🌹 (talk) 09:54, 3 July 2020 (UTC)
If it's not in GlobalPrefs right now, then we don't have to worry about that right now. That's one off my mental list. Whatamidoing (WMF) (talk) 21:47, 6 July 2020 (UTC)
AntiCompositeNumber, I checked enwiki's report today, and plain-fancy-sig is down to 836 (as of 23 July 2020). I think this is just due to the prefs refusing to let new errors be created. Do you happen to remember the original numbers? I think there were about 1,000 plain-fancy-sig names and 1,200 all together. If I'm right, then maybe a quarter of the errors could disappear without intervention. If that's the case, then we should probably wait another week or two to let the newbies wash out of the system. Whatamidoing (WMF) (talk) 19:58, 27 July 2020 (UTC)
This was from a few months ago:
    "errors": {
        "html5-misnesting": 1,
        "interwiki-user-link": 14,
        "link-username-mismatch": 63,
        "misnested-tag": 21,
        "missing-end-tag": 42,
        "no-user-links": 1070,
        "obsolete-font-tag": 352,
        "obsolete-tag": 5,
        "plain-fancy-sig": 1011,
        "sig-too-long": 1,
        "stripped-tag": 10,
        "tidy-font-bug": 43,
        "total": 1527
    "meta": {
        "active_since": "2020-02-18T22:02:53.988100",
        "last_update": "2020-03-19T22:02:53.988079",
        "site": ""
I don't have anything newer than that. --AntiCompositeNumber (talk) 20:29, 27 July 2020 (UTC)
A few months ago is perfect. Thanks, AntiCompositeNumber. Whatamidoing (WMF) (talk) 21:08, 27 July 2020 (UTC)

What should the message to editors look like?[edit]

Given the wide variety of issues that we are hoping to correct, the desire to minimize the number of messages editors receive, and the inactivity of many editors shown in the report (I did a semi-random sample and found that many recently active editors only had a few edits in the last year, and almost no edits to talk pages), I propose that we send a pretty simple message explaining that there is a problem with their signature and that the easiest way to fix it is to uncheck the custom signature box.

We can provide a link to the relevant user preference, a link the page that attempts to explain the problems (although it will be overwhelming for the vast majority of editors, who hardly know anything about wikicode), and instructions for requesting help with reformatting their custom signature.

How should they ask for help? Ping the person who leaves the message? That may be too complicated for some editors, even if we provide a copy/paste example of how to ping someone, like "Copy this code immediately below this message: :{{ping|Jonesey95}}, please help me fix my custom signature. ~~~~" – Jonesey95 (talk) 04:55, 2 July 2020 (UTC)

It's probably worth a page at meta or somewhere else with a WP:Fix my sig vibe. Better than pinging the messenger (we don't want poor WAID to be The One). --Izno (talk) 05:23, 2 July 2020 (UTC)
I might be able to talk them into creating a "role account" (named something like "User:SignatureMessageBot") to deliver the messages. If we put the "Fix my sig" page on, then we can get it translated, too.
@Jonesey95, more than 90% of those plain-fancy-sig folks just need to uncheck a box, click the save button, and maybe post a message somewhere to see whether they like the result. Because there are so many of them, I think we could pick the first 50 or 100 and run a "test" message, to see whether it works. So if the first message seems to be ineffective or confusing, then we could change it (e.g., add screenshots, or whatever we need). Whatamidoing (WMF) (talk) 16:20, 2 July 2020 (UTC)
I like the idea of a dedicated messaging user. I would be happy to watch the messaging user's talk page for help requests; we'd have to use something other than ping to track help requests though, unless you wanted to deal with all of them (ugh). You might think about making the user name a little bit future-proof, since there may be other change-related messaging to do. New user accounts are cheap, though, so your name idea should work fine. – Jonesey95 (talk) 16:52, 2 July 2020 (UTC)
How does this sound, as a starting point?

You have a custom signature set in your account preferences. A change in the software that runs Wikipedia has made your current custom signature incompatible with the software; to fix it, please update your preferences.

1. Find the signature section in the first tab of Special:Preferences.

2. Uncheck the box (☑︎→☐) that says "Treat the above as wiki markup".

3. Click the blue Save button at the bottom of the page.

After you do this, please check your signature to make sure that you are satisfied with the result. If you want to re-customize your signature, there are instructions at Wikipedia:Signatures#Customizing how everyone sees your signature. If you have followed these instructions and still need help, please leave a message at <page>.

Izno and Jonesey95, what do you think? Is this simple enough? Whatamidoing (WMF) (talk) 22:08, 6 July 2020 (UTC)
Now that I re-read it, "please check your signature" may be too vague for some people. Whatamidoing (WMF) (talk) 22:12, 6 July 2020 (UTC)
I have taken the liberty of modifying the text above directly rather than copying it and making changes to the copy. But will these steps work right? I haven't looked at this section of the prefs in *many* years, and my vague memory is that there used to be some sort of check box that allowed editors to choose between a standard signature and a custom signature. Now it looks like simply unchecking the box leaves your signature looking like a mess of code, which is not what we want. I think we need to add a step telling people to completely delete their custom sig from the box. – Jonesey95 (talk) 22:22, 6 July 2020 (UTC)
AIUI, after the change, unchecking the checkbox will put the user in the position where they can no longer use what's in the custom signature field without fixing that field. Could use some checking/testing on whichever beta wiki includes the signature changes.
I think "After you do this, please check your signature to make sure that you are satisfied with the result." doesn't quite work, since there will be many people who are not satisfied with the result (it will be the basic signature), for whom the next sentence will be a duplicate. Just remove it?
Maybe better still would be to prepare the user for what is happening i.e. in the first paragraph:

You have a custom signature set in your account preferences. A change in the software that runs Wikipedia has made your current custom signature incompatible with the software. You will either need to fix the signature or reset your signature to the default. To reset your signature to the default:

(see steps).

To fix your signature, see Wikipedia:Signatures#Customizing how everyone sees your signature. If you want help with either thing, please leave a message <page>.

--Izno (talk) 18:51, 7 July 2020 (UTC)
Izno, did you try the steps yourself? They did not result in a plain signature for me. They resulted in me having my custom signature, but in wikicode format, as shown in my mess of code link above. I'm pretty sure we don't want that result for people. I do like your new intro, however. – Jonesey95 (talk) 19:54, 7 July 2020 (UTC)
@Jonesey95: You tested in a place where the change is not deployed. It's correct that resulted as it does on this wiki. As I said, I believe it is the case that the system will reset your signature entirely after the change is deployed, but we need to test/ask the devs in case I missed a pivot on that point. --Izno (talk) 20:55, 7 July 2020 (UTC)
No, I think that the problem with Jonesey95's sig in that diff is that his sig box does contain wikitext, so he should have that box ticked. The point behind that (mis)feature is for displaying a nick. The idea seems to be that if I want my sig to display my userpage link as [[User:WhatamIdoing|WAID]], then I can type (only) WAID in the box, tick the fancy-sig box, and it will assemble the userpage link for me. If you've already provided it with the wikitext, then you shouldn't untick the treat-as-wikitext box. Whatamidoing (WMF) (talk) 16:54, 8 July 2020 (UTC)
Testing: box *un*ticked, with plain text in the field. mi mi mi mi me (talk) 16:56, 8 July 2020 (UTC)
Yes, that's what I expected it to do. As of Monday, of course, you can't put that plain text in the field and tick the box. The error message says, in red and bold, "Your signature must include a link to your user page, talk page or contributions. Please add it, for example: [[User:Whatamidoing (WMF)|Whatamidoing (WMF)]] ([[User talk:Whatamidoing (WMF)|talk]])" (very nice error message, Matma Rex). Whatamidoing (WMF) (talk) 16:58, 8 July 2020 (UTC)
I know I'm not great at communication sometimes, so I'll try a brief summary.
  1. I have custom wikicode in my signature, as will most people receiving the instructions above.
  2. The instructions above told me to uncheck the "Treat..." box and click Save.
  3. When I did that, my sig became undesirable raw wikicode, not a blank default signature.
  4. Therefore, I think there is a step missing, which would tell people to blank their custom sig.
Or maybe I failed to follow the instructions. – Jonesey95 (talk) 17:44, 8 July 2020 (UTC)
Jonesey95, you followed the instructions perfectly, but you failed to magically guess my unstated assumptions. Not your fault, obviously. I'd even meant to mention the focus, but forgot. This particular message is for the people who have that box ticked but have no wikitext in that box. Most of the people in this list have this problem. We'll need a separate message (with different, and probably more complicated, instructions) for HTML-type errors. Whatamidoing (WMF) (talk) 18:07, 8 July 2020 (UTC)
We should probably mention that they can optionally blank that field, too. Whatamidoing (WMF) (talk) 18:09, 8 July 2020 (UTC)

Draft for fancy-sig[edit]

You have a custom signature set in your account preferences. A change to Wikipedia's software has made your current custom signature incompatible with the software.

The problem: Your preferences are set to interpret your custom signature as wikitext. However, your current custom signature does not contain any wikitext.

The solutions: You can reset your signature to the default, or you can fix your signature.

Solution 1: Reset your signature to the default:
  1. Find the signature section in the first tab of Special:Preferences.
  2. Uncheck the box (☑︎→☐) that says "Treat the above as wiki markup."
  3. Remove anything in the Signature: text box.
  4. Click the blue "Save" button at the bottom of the page. (The red "Restore all default settings (in all sections)" button will reset all of your preference settings, not just the signature.)
Solution 2: Fix your custom signature:
  1. Find the signature section in the first tab of Special:Preferences.
  2. Uncheck the box (☑︎→☐) that says "Treat the above as wiki markup."
  3. Click the blue "Save" button at the bottom of the page.

More information is available at Wikipedia:Signatures#Customizing how everyone sees your signature. If you have followed these instructions and still want help, please leave a message at Wikipedia talk:Signatures.

I don't think that transcluding MediaWiki:tog-fancysig is a good idea. For users with the default language (en - English), like me, it extends over several lines and it's unclear that there are no further directions here, and that they continue with "Remove anything in the ...". --Redrose64 🌹 (talk) 21:34, 14 July 2020 (UTC)
I got totally lost in that section as well. I have simplified the above by replacing {tog-fancysig} with its first sentence. I have also added instructions for fixing, instead of blanking, the custom signature. – Jonesey95 (talk) 01:17, 15 July 2020 (UTC)
I'd been hoping that it would pick up just the opening line, and not the long explanation.
Jonesey95, this message will only go to people whose only problem is that they ticked the fancy-sig box without providing a fancy sig. Nobody with misnested tags or linter errors will get this message, so adding instructions about that will just confuse the people who get this. We'll need to write a separate message for every error. Whatamidoing (WMF) (talk) 05:31, 15 July 2020 (UTC)

Suggested users for a quick test:

User:2018rebel User:33ryantan User:A.JulianEditor User:ABHINAVKUMARSAHAI User:APhysicae

Update: I posted this message to these five users' talk pages. We should be able to check in a few days to see whether it was understandable, etc. Whatamidoing (WMF) (talk) 22:45, 22 July 2020 (UTC)
Three of those five appear to have fixed their prefs. I have sent the draft with a few tweaks (like adding a link to Help:Wikitext) to the 76 names at User:Whatamidoing (WMF)/sandbox2. This is everyone in the current report whose name alphabetizes before "B". Whatamidoing (WMF) (talk) 05:13, 13 August 2020 (UTC)
I sent out about ten customized messages last week to people with Linter errors in their signatures. It took some time, but there are only a few dozen of those. I haven't checked to see if they have fixed their sigs yet. If you want to stick to the "no wikitext" and "no link to user page" editors, I'll try to pick off the Linter errors over time. – Jonesey95 (talk) 16:53, 13 August 2020 (UTC)
Linter errors are the hard ones. Thanks for taking those on. Right now, I'm just doing the "plain fancy sig" errors. One person replied saying that he thought it was fixed now, and the tool for checking individual sigs was satisfied. We can check back later to see what effect it has. Whatamidoing (WMF) (talk) 18:01, 13 August 2020 (UTC)
About three weeks ago, I sent a message to 76 editors with plain-fancy-sig errors. Today, I checked the list. About 50 had either fixed the problem or haven't edited during the last 30 days. Almost 50 other editors (editors who weren't active in early August) joined the list. Today, I've contacted everyone who appeared on yesterday's cron-job update and who hadn't previously received a message about this.

Report updates (arbitrary break)[edit]

AntiCompositeNumber, I don't know what the pattern is for occasional accounts (if you make a total of 12 edits per year, are you more likely to make one each month, or 12 in one day?), but I think that a broader timespan might be appropriate for these reports. Whatamidoing (WMF) (talk) 18:46, 3 September 2020 (UTC)
I've bumped it to 90 days. I'll see how long that takes to run, and if it's not too crazy long we can go higher if you need it. --AntiCompositeNumber (talk) 18:03, 4 September 2020 (UTC)
That took the total count from just under 900 to 1,960, for the record. Of those, 1,618 are "plain fancy sig" errors. – Jonesey95 (talk) 18:50, 4 September 2020 (UTC)
But hopefully from here, the numbers will only go down.
@AntiCompositeNumber, how much trouble would it be for you to take the list of folks I've already spammed and diff it against the list of folks who still need to be spammed? The list was short yesterday (I'd only contacted 76 before now), so I did it manually, but doing this for hundreds of names sounds like a recipe for errors. Whatamidoing (WMF) (talk) 18:58, 4 September 2020 (UTC)
I've added a "target" value for the "format" parameter, which will use the format from User:Whatamidoing (WMF)/sandbox2. If you include a URL in the filter_page parameter, it will not include usernames linked from that page. It's not the cleanest way to implement it, but it'll work. [1] for example. --AntiCompositeNumber (talk) 20:13, 4 September 2020 (UTC)
You are amazing. Thank you so much. Whatamidoing (WMF) (talk) 01:48, 7 September 2020 (UTC)
All right, I've now delivered a total of 1,746 of these messages. We should be able to see how much difference it makes fairly soon. Whatamidoing (WMF) (talk) 18:06, 7 September 2020 (UTC)
Nice! I have delivered 49 customized messages to editors with Linter errors in their signatures. On the current report, there are 195 such errors, and some editors have multiple errors in their signatures, so I think I have hit about 1/3 to 1/2 of the error count so far. I have been doing them in groups of ten or twelve, and then I get tired and worry about making careless errors, so I take a break. I'll get them all eventually. At some point, we'll have to flip a switch and just reset these signatures, but we can probably give it a few months. Maybe we can aim for January or February, which would be about six months after the start of validation. – Jonesey95 (talk) 03:35, 8 September 2020 (UTC)
The report was just refreshed, and the error count has dropped to 1,653 total (down by 300), including 1,342 "plain fancy signature" errors (down by almost 300) and 167 Linter errors (down by 30). Since my note above, I have delivered a few dozen more customized messages. It is slow going, but I have gotten some thanks and it appears that some editors have fixed their signatures. A few have probably dropped off the report due to inactivity, but I'm guessing that our work is causing most of the decrease. – Jonesey95 (talk) 19:50, 17 September 2020 (UTC)
We extended the report to 90 days, so nobody's dropping off due to inactivity. We will get a few extra people added to the list due to re-activation of old accounts (people who weren't active during the previous 90-day period but who made an edit, e.g., on Monday).
Jonesey95, have you tried contacting any of the "Mismatch between link and username" editors? Whatamidoing (WMF) (talk) 16:25, 18 September 2020 (UTC)
The extension to 90 days happened a couple of weeks ago, so it is possible that some editors whose last edit was in early June have dropped off the list. As long as the numbers keep going down, I'm happy with it. We'll need to notify the editors who appear on refreshed list for the first time (after being inactive for 90+ days), though. As for the "Mismatch between link and username" editors, I have contacted only one or two who had Linter errors as well, as far as I can remember. All of my section headers have been of the form "User_talk:username#Custom_signature_fix_needed", so if you go to an editor's User talk page and that header leaves you at the top of the page, you should be safe to leave them a message. You can also look for that pattern in my Contributions to see the list of editors I have contacted so far. – Jonesey95 (talk) 18:40, 18 September 2020 (UTC)
It looks like Anomalocaris contacted one of them about a signature problem almost three years ago.
@Jonesey95, if you could re-contact that editor and also leave a note at User talk:Hustle77, then that would take care of everyone on the "mismatch" list who has multiple errors.
I tried out a shorter, simpler message at the English Wikivoyage (see voy:User talk:Moheen#Signature problem), and two of the three have already fixed their sigs. Whatamidoing (WMF) (talk) 00:35, 20 September 2020 (UTC)
I fixed Doodledoo's signature, since it is substed from a page, and I notified Hustle77. – Jonesey95 (talk) 01:35, 20 September 2020 (UTC)

I've been idle on this task for a while, but I just noticed someone posting with a Linter-error signature, so I returned to check out the report. It's been over a year since these changes went into effect, and there are still 1,121 total errors listed on the report page (of which 112 are Linter errors). Of those errors, 855 are of the "plain fancy signature" type, which we should probably just wipe out on the administrative end. That would allow us to focus on the remaining, trickier errors. Is there any precedent for making this change to editors' accounts? How could that happen? We would probably have to MassMessage them before or after it happens. – Jonesey95 (talk) 19:00, 21 October 2021 (UTC)

@Jonesey95, the precedent is that, although it is possible to directly edit the prefs database, it is really really really tricky to get it right, and if you get it wrong, the whole thing could collapse. But... maybe we should just ignore those, and focus on the difficult ones?
On a more meta note, I think this is as low as the count's going to go on its own. The names in the list change over time, but it seems like every time one editor goes off the list, another occasional editor rediscovers an interest in editing. Whatamidoing (WMF) (talk) 19:34, 21 October 2021 (UTC)
You're probably right about the meta note. How much control do we have over the configuration of the report? It would be helpful if the report was limited to editors who have edited in any Talk space over the past 90 days. Editors who work only on articles, or otherwise don't post their signature anywhere, should be ignored. (I know there are a few edge cases, like DYKs stupidly being in Template space, or Wikipedia-space pages that are really discussion pages, but I think we should ignore those.) – Jonesey95 (talk) 19:46, 21 October 2021 (UTC)
@AntiCompositeNumber built the tool, and so far, he's been able to do everything I've wished for. It's possible that your idea would be a two-step process: first make a list, and then filter it.
I contacted everyone in the 'fancy sig' category back in January (list here: User:Whatamidoing (WMF)/sandbox2). AntiCompositeNumber already built a way to filter the full list by a sandbox page, so that we don't repeatedly contact the same people. Of the current ~850, ~600 are new (compared to last January). MassMessage is pretty convenient for sending these messages. Whatamidoing (WMF) (talk) 17:07, 1 November 2021 (UTC)
@Jonesey95 Sure, I can do that. I went for "projectspace or any odd-numbered namespace", it will apply to newly-generated reports for any site. AntiCompositeNumber (talk) 17:32, 1 November 2021 (UTC)
Signatures are also used in File: namespace, normally in the |Author= parameter of {{Information}}, but may be found elsewhere on a file description page. --Redrose64 🌹 (talk) 08:44, 2 November 2021 (UTC)
Thank you for the update, AntiCompositeNumber. The latest report shows 97 errors instead of 1,100, which looks about right, based on my forays into the contributions of many of the report's previous inhabitants. – Jonesey95 (talk) 14:18, 2 November 2021 (UTC)
AntiCompositeNumber, something seems to have gone amiss with the report. It was working the last time I checked it, but now it is limited to only 30 days, and it lists editors like Zax, who has not contributed to a discussion page. Did something regress? – Jonesey95 (talk) 16:52, 3 November 2021 (UTC)
@Jonesey95 When I made the change I ran the report manually, which had the report time set to 30 days. The scheduled run is still set to 90 days, and appears to have worked correctly for this morning's run. AntiCompositeNumber (talk) 15:25, 4 November 2021 (UTC)
Thanks. That looks better. I have notified all of the people with Linter errors on the current report if their signatures added errors to pages (some people have only moved pages in talk space, which didn't add a signature). – Jonesey95 (talk) 16:29, 4 November 2021 (UTC)

Bad signature?[edit]

Is this a case of a bad sig? --Redrose64 🌹 (talk) 16:23, 22 September 2020 (UTC)

No. It has no Linter errors, and it links to the editor's user name, so it technically meets all of the guidelines. It is confusing, though, and Jim Evans should probably use something less confusing. You can test signatures with the tool in that first link, if you are curious. – Jonesey95 (talk) 18:19, 22 September 2020 (UTC)

Help with signatures[edit]

Hello. I received a notice from a user on my talk page on ptwiki. The notice, which I disagree strongly disagree, said that my signature is at odds with the new rules. It turns out that my emoji cannot be characterized as an image, moreover, it does not produce any visual pollution or Christmas tree. Anyway, I did a test, using this tool, and it appears that my signature is all clear. I would very much like to see your opinion on the situation. Best regards. ✍A.WagnerC (talk) 19:22, 4 July 2020 (UTC) says that it is likely okay, and I can't think of any reason why it would not be okay. A Unicode character is a Unicode character, no matter how picturesque is appears to humans. Whatamidoing (WMF) (talk) 19:48, 6 July 2020 (UTC)
Thank you very much. ✍A.WagnerC (talk) 20:48, 6 July 2020 (UTC)


The Visual Editor has gone leaps and bounds ahead since it launched. It's a wonderful project. Adam Cuerden (talk)Has about 7.3% of all FPs 11:31, 9 July 2020 (UTC)

Thanks, Adam Cuerden. It's too bad that it was released so early, but it's not bad now. There are even features that most people don't know about, like being able to drag-and-drop a CSV file into an article, and have it auto-convert to a table. Maybe give it a try again? Whatamidoing (WMF) (talk) 20:49, 9 July 2020 (UTC)
With all the work you do about images, you might find the built-in image search tool particularly convenient. You can search Commons from inside the editor, from the Insert > Image menu item. Whatamidoing (WMF) (talk) 20:50, 9 July 2020 (UTC)
It's quite useful for a lot of things, although (last I tried this kind of image, it's been a while, I must say) it wouldn't pull up en-Wiki-only images - probably to avoid Fair Use spreading, but images like File:Lawson Wood - Parliamentary Recruiting Committee - Your King & Country Need You.jpg got hidden too. I tend to leave it off a fair bit of the time for two reasons: Firstly If your main goal is a semi-bot-like replacement of File:foo.jpg with File:Foo restored and cleaned up and properly named.jpg, with the exact thumbnail size and caption of the original, it's easier to just make the small switch directly, and I can search for the filename using Cntrl-F to go right there in wikitext, but not when it's an image. This is, of course, not a Visual Editor weakness.
The second reason is I haven't internalised the keyboard shortcuts for VE, but do know the wikitext shortcut-equivalents, but that's just me having been here for, what, 15 years now? If I were a new user, I'd use VE, but VE's biggest advantage is intuitiveness, and I've already paid my training costs for wikitext long ago. Adam Cuerden (talk)Has about 7.3% of all FPs 13:54, 11 July 2020 (UTC)
That makes sense. You can swap images in articles (while preserving the caption and other settings), but you have to scroll until you see the image.
Some of the keyboard shortcuts are the same. A few have 'secret' shortcuts, which match the wikitext code. For example, typing a pair of square brackets will open link tool. Whatamidoing (WMF) (talk) 19:21, 14 July 2020 (UTC)
I'm sure at some point we'll all be using it. I can't imagine anyone new wanting to learn Wikitext without a very good reason. Adam Cuerden (talk)Has about 7.3% of all FPs 21:02, 14 July 2020 (UTC)
Oh, I decided to have a go with using it on the Ariane (Massenet) poster I restored to replace and add it. Other than the slight load time, replacing it was pretty easy in templates, but I did hit an odd issue: I went to add the image to an article. I type in - I'm pretty sure it was File:Albert Pierre-René Maignan - Jules Massenet - Ariane.jpg - and it had two suggestions: The png (File:Albert Pierre-René Maignan - Jules Massenet - Ariane.png) and the Original (File:Albert Pierre-René Maignan - Jules Massenet - Ariane - Original.jpg) - and I couldn't immediately see how to tell it, Uh, no, the one I typed in. It might've been that the JPEG was only recently uploaded at the time, though, and the others were longer-standing (It takes about 3-4 days to restore an image of that size). Adam Cuerden (talk)Has about 7.3% of all FPs 16:53, 22 July 2020 (UTC)
Checked, and it seems to work perfectly fine now. Adam Cuerden (talk)Has about 7.3% of all FPs 16:56, 22 July 2020 (UTC)
Thanks for the note, Adam Cuerden. I've never quite been able to decide whether the main risk factor is recent uploads, or that I've given it the whole name. (It sometimes gives me empty search results when I know the file exists. I once asked for a 'yes, add the file I told you to add, even if you can't verify that it exists right now' button, but the devs thought the disadvantages outweighed the benefits. In the meantime, I usually take off the .tla at the end of the file name, and then it has always been able to find the file I wanted.)
Theoretically, you should get the same results that you would see até+Maignan+-+Jules+Massenet+-+Ariane.jpg&title=Special:Search&profile=advanced&fulltext=1&advancedSearch-current=%7B%7D&ns6=1&ns12=1&ns14=1&ns100=1&ns106=1&ns0=1 (the main search page, not the box in the corner). I'm glad you got it sorted out in the end. Whatamidoing (WMF) (talk) 22:41, 22 July 2020 (UTC)

Sort of About the Editing Enhancements NewsLetter[edit]

The Editing Newsletter, describing some new features, was copied onto my user talk page (and presumably the talk pages of many other users). It had a few 'mw"' links. My question is about clicking on those links. I can click on them, and I go to a MediaWiki page. So far, so good. But then it says I am not logged in. Why not? If I click on a link to another language Wikipedia, or to Wiktionary, I am logged in as myself. Why not with Mediawiki? Robert McClenon (talk) 04:02, 1 September 2020 (UTC)

Hi Robert McClenon, do you by any chance happen to have third-party cookies turned off? That's a problem for the single-login system. Have you tried logging in there? (Same username and password.) Whatamidoing (WMF) (talk) 00:01, 2 September 2020 (UTC)
I don't know. As an engineer, I only know technical stuff if I have researched technical stuff. I didn't try to log in, but assumed that I could if I tried; but I don't have to log in on other Wikipedias if I am logged in in English. Hmmm. Robert McClenon (talk) 02:37, 2 September 2020 (UTC)

Feedback to Editing news[edit]

How do you post feedback to the Editing news that are posted regularly on my talk page? I was quite annoyed by the graph that was recently posted (the y axis didn't start at zero, so it portrayed a false image of the situation to the readers' mind; graphs should always start at zero, *especially* if they are meant to illustrate a large increase or decrease which obviously was the case here. Otherwise they exaggerate the change. It's not enough to say that people should look at the numbers on the y axis; most people don't.). Jhertel (talk) 14:58, 1 September 2020 (UTC)

(talk page stalker) The file used was File:Reply Tool weekly edits- March - June, 2020.png. The y axis starts at zero, although the zero label is missing, which may have been confusing. – Jonesey95 (talk) 15:16, 1 September 2020 (UTC)
Jhertel, thanks for the comment. I use Special:MassMessage to deliver the newsletter here, and I get one of my teammates to deliver the newsletter from the Meta-Wiki mailing lists. (Yes, there are multiple mailing lists, for historical reasons, and about once every two years, it turns out to be convenient, because I want to send a note only to the English Wikipedia.)
Jonesey is correct that the graph does start at zero, but it's odd that Superset doesn't display the zero on the Y axis. (The image is a screenshot out of Superset.) MPopov (WMF), do you know anything about that, or even whom to ask about that? Whatamidoing (WMF) (talk) 00:08, 2 September 2020 (UTC)
Whatamidoing (WMF) Yep, just checked and line charts in Superset can be customized to (1) display Y axis bounds (off by default when creating a new chart) and (2) have specific min/max Y axis bounds (empty and dynamically determined by default when creating a new chart). (I do not endorse these defaults.) My suggestion would be for PPelberg (WMF) to toggle Y axis bounds on and set Y axis bound min to 0 and re-upload the screenshot with the same filtering/aggregation settings used in the original upload + those two customizations. – MPopov (WMF) (talk) 14:27, 2 September 2020 (UTC)
Thank you, @MPopov (WMF). I can't find the buttons to display the Y-axis bounds, but maybe I'm on the wrong type of chart. I was looking at by ESanders (WMF). It has a line graph that starts at zero but doesn't label the zero. Whatamidoing (WMF) (talk) 19:07, 4 September 2020 (UTC)
You're welcome, Whatamidoing (WMF)! When looking at a dashboard you can click the three-dot "kebab" icon for any chart to bring up a small menu and then click "Explore chart" which will take you to a page where you can make modifications to it. From there you won't be able to save it back to that dashboard (unless ESanders (WMF) adds you as a co-admin of that dashboard) but you'll be able to save it for yourself or add it to your own dashboard. Hope that helps! If you would like any help with this synchronously, Product Analytics has office hours and you're welcome to book an appointment :) – MPopov (WMF) (talk) 15:06, 8 September 2020 (UTC)
Thanks. I know how to "Explore chart", but I can't find anything about Y-axes. I've booked an appointment for later this week. Whatamidoing (WMF) (talk) 01:00, 9 September 2020 (UTC)

Signing up for Editing news[edit]

I'm pleased to have just discovered Editing news 2020, which you edit. Thanks for it. I did, however, find that the link at the top of Editing news 2020 #4 to the Subscription list took me to a non-existent page in En Wikipedia mainspace. I think it's because the newsletter is generated at where there's an initial m. in the address. I did manage to find the behind-the-scenes link at Wikipedia:VisualEditor/Newsletter and have signed up. Others may have trouble working this out. Oronsay (talk) 16:30, 7 September 2020 (UTC)

Thank you, Oronsay. I've fixed the link in Wikipedia:VisualEditor/Updates/August 2020. I hope that nobody else was struggling with that. Perhaps someday I will merge the English Wikipedia list with the global list. Whatamidoing (WMF) (talk) 17:49, 7 September 2020 (UTC)


Me. Whatamidoing (WMF) (talk)

17:21, 9 September 2020 (UTC)

Thou. User:Example (talk) 17:21, 9 September 2020 (UTC)
We. Whatamidoing (WMF) (talk) 17:21, 9 September 2020 (UTC)
You. User:Example (talk) 17:21, 9 September 2020 (UTC)
Test test test Ad Huikeshoven, Mar(c), the custom edit summary is in the "Advanced" tab under the box. Whatamidoing (WMF) (talk) 16:29, 22 September 2020 (UTC)
Hey Whatamidoing! Yeah, I've been using the feature since the 18th. I noticed the (un)collapsed state of the Advanced part isn't remembered between uses of the reply tool though. Face-sad.svgFace-wink.svg WIth kind regards — Mar(c).[talk] 13:50, 23 September 2020 (UTC)
Hi, @Mar(c). Depending upon how much other stuff they're thinking about putting in there, I might not want it to be uncollapsed. Maybe I'd prefer the ability to Tab ↹ to it. Whatamidoing (WMF) (talk) 20:50, 23 September 2020 (UTC)


Hello. Test (talk)

00:46, 10 September 2020 (UTC)

I need your help, please[edit]

Hello Whatamidoing (WMF), I want to continue working as an administrator on the Haitian Wikipedia. Could you help me by inciting contributors to vote?--Gilles2014 (talk) 20:13, 5 November 2020 (UTC)

@Gilles2014, has a discussion been started yet? WhatamIdoing (talk) 20:18, 5 November 2020 (UTC)
@WhatamIdoing, I recently created a new specific section to discuss and vote on the "kafe" page on the Haitian Wikipedia.--Gilles2014 (talk) 21:00, 5 November 2020 (UTC)
@WhatamIdoing, at the Wikimedia level, I asked to extend my administrator function which expires today. There are no new votes. What to do?--Gilles2014 (talk) 22:06, 19 November 2020 (UTC)
I've posted a supportive comment at Meta-Wiki. I don't know what they'll decide. WhatamIdoing (talk) 23:22, 19 November 2020 (UTC)

Subscribing to the editing news newsletter[edit]

I was looking at someone's user talk and he had several little newsletters put out by you this year around editing. How do I get myself on that list? Best, Barkeep49 (talk) 22:50, 7 December 2020 (UTC)

(talk page watcher) @Barkeep49: Clues please - which user, or which newsletter, or which aspect of editing? --Redrose64 🌹 (talk) 23:38, 7 December 2020 (UTC)
@Redrose64 Here is an example of the newsletter I was talking about. Best, Barkeep49 (talk) 23:47, 7 December 2020 (UTC)
If you edit that page, you will see that just below the signature is the line
<!-- Message sent by User:Whatamidoing (WMF)@enwiki using the list at -->
so try Wikipedia:VisualEditor/Newsletter. --Redrose64 🌹 (talk) 23:50, 7 December 2020 (UTC)

Editor interaction[edit]

WAID, I have had inquiries about whether this work could be repeated/updated (as in, seeing what kinds of changes have occurred over the years). Lots of people on my talk are echoing my concerns about ECHO, and how we have become distanced from each other via pingie-thingies. Have you any means of prompting someone somewhere to duplicate that study? SandyGeorgia (Talk) 17:53, 9 January 2021 (UTC)

I've asked around about that in the past. User:HaithamS (WMF) wrote it originally, but I don't know how to reach him.
I'm not sure that Echo/pinging distances people. The main limitation to the original project is that it counts when I post on your talk page, or you post on my talk page, but it doesn't count conversations between us on any other page. Are we really more distant if we talk on a different page? Whatamidoing (WMF) (talk) 21:16, 11 January 2021 (UTC)
I think so ... we get to know each other when we can go off topic. SandyGeorgia (Talk) 21:20, 11 January 2021 (UTC)
It does feel more personal, in some respects. It's also less transparent, in the sense that we're talking off in a little corner, and that other people might be interested and not notice our conversation.
I think that the original work was meant to be a proof of concept. There has been sustained interest in it over the years. Every time people find out about it, they want to know where they fit into the diagram. IMO it would be interesting to see it year-by-year. The central page might be different in each year. Whatamidoing (WMF) (talk) 21:33, 11 January 2021 (UTC)
Right ... I think the comparative over time would be more useful than the one-shot. SandyGeorgia (Talk) 21:41, 11 January 2021 (UTC)
A full comparison of personal interactions would probably involve more 'computation' than 'glance at the diagram', but it would be interesting to see which editors used talk pages the most during any given year. I would expect the central pages to change somewhat as individuals have more or less time to post on wiki. Whatamidoing (WMF) (talk) 22:34, 11 January 2021 (UTC)

Reply tool not working[edit]

So I can't have it on by default anymore? Because except for when I clicked on your special link it's not working for me today. Best, Barkeep49 (talk) 21:19, 8 February 2021 (UTC)

And after not working moments ago, the buttons are back. So that's strange from my perspective but perhaps is something known on your end? Best, Barkeep49 (talk) 16:56, 9 February 2021 (UTC)
@Barkeep49, what's your web browser? While this bug fix has been awaiting deployment, it's not been working for me in Firefox, but it has been working for me in Safari. Whatamidoing (WMF) (talk) 19:39, 9 February 2021 (UTC)
I do all my Wikipedia'ing in Chrome. Like I said it stopped working for about 24 hours but is working again now, as I type here happily using it. Best, Barkeep49 (talk) 19:58, 9 February 2021 (UTC)
@ESanders (WMF) says it might be a corrupted cookie. Although he's usually right about these things, I haven't decided if I believe him strongly enough to go through the hassle of clearing all the cookies and re-logging into the entire world. Whatamidoing (WMF) (talk) 04:28, 10 February 2021 (UTC)
wmf30 was briefly deployed yesterday, which is probably why your cookies got fixed. It has since been reverted but cookies will last for 30 days I think. This additional hack should also make things work again until deployments resume: ESanders (WMF) (talk) 14:37, 10 February 2021 (UTC)
You can try opening up a private browsing session to have a fresh login without historical cookies. isaacl (talk) 00:46, 2 May 2021 (UTC)

New discussion tool beta?[edit]

Hey Whatamidoing. A few weeks I received a tech newsletter stating that the new discussion tool would be available for beta, but I don't see any new additions in the beta features. Has it been delayed? —Tenryuu 🐲 ( 💬 • 📝 ) 01:17, 11 February 2021 (UTC)

Yes, @Tenryuu everything has been delayed because of (unrelated) technical problems in the software update process. Whatamidoing (WMF) (talk) 20:34, 11 February 2021 (UTC)
Whatamidoing (WMF), thanks for the heads-up. Is there a page I should watch here or on MetaWiki for updates? mw:Talk pages project/New discussion? —Tenryuu 🐲 ( 💬 • 📝 ) 20:51, 11 February 2021 (UTC)
If you are interested in the Beta Feature for the English Wikipedia, then Wikipedia talk:Talk pages project is the probably the best place to watch. The page has general announcements for the whole project, but those announcements don't always apply to the English Wikipedia. Whatamidoing (WMF) (talk) 22:11, 11 February 2021 (UTC)


@Novem Linguae, I'm testing the problem we're talking about I'm using Chrome for this post. Whatamidoing (WMF) (talk) 18:34, 17 March 2021 (UTC)

Okay, that one had the highlight in the right place. Now I'm going to add a collapsed section higher on the page. Whatamidoing (WMF) (talk) 18:34, 17 March 2021 (UTC)

Test with collapsed section[edit]

Here's the next test. Whatamidoing (WMF) (talk) 18:36, 17 March 2021 (UTC)

That lined up correctly for me. Whatamidoing (WMF) (talk) 18:39, 17 March 2021 (UTC)

Test with collapsed section in Firefox[edit]

Trying again! WhatamIdoing (talk) 18:39, 17 March 2021 (UTC)

That lined up correctly, too. Maybe I've just disproven my theory? Whatamidoing (WMF) (talk) 18:40, 17 March 2021 (UTC)
Test Whatamidoing (WMF) (talk) 19:18, 6 May 2021 (UTC)

Citation bot unusable[edit]

Hi Whatamidoing. I use Citation bot quite infrequently and when I try today I find it is unusable (I click "Expand citations" in my Tools menu and then wait for a very long time until it times out with a 502 or 504 error). On visiting User talk:Citation bot I find a couple of threads about this problem. The question has been asked in those threads about whether the Foundation might be able to help. I have virtually no contact with WMF and don't know a lot about what it does, so don't know the answer. You're the only WMF contractor or employee that I really come across, so I thought I would ask if the problem is something you could raise with WMF or, if not, perhaps offer some advice about, either here or at 'User talk:Citation bot'. Thanks. Nurg (talk) 23:41, 1 May 2021 (UTC)

Thanks for the note, @Nurg. I'm surprised that it wasn't mentioned at Wikipedia:Village pump (technical). The bot seems to be running again, since it made an edit two minutes ago. My general impression is that bots sometimes just need to be restarted. Whatamidoing (WMF) (talk) 00:11, 2 May 2021 (UTC)
I need to clarify - it is not that the bot is not running, but that someone will give it a massive job to do, which will take days (someone said) and during that time no-one else can use it for even a tiny one-article run. I gather that technical changes are needed but the volunteer bot maintainers do not have the resources (time and/or whatever). Nurg (talk) 00:33, 2 May 2021 (UTC)
Great news - a bot maintainer has mostly fixed the problem, per User talk:Citation bot/Archive 25#Anyone else having issues?. No action required. Nurg (talk) 01:40, 3 May 2021 (UTC)
Thanks for the update, @Nurg. Whatamidoing (WMF) (talk) 18:18, 3 May 2021 (UTC)


I will not discuss anything with anybody about Wikipedia by email. I thought that I disabled that option in my preferences. I did not realize that the option is enabled in more than one place; sigh. If you wish to discuss on-wiki the issues that you raised in your email, start a discussion in an appropriate place and let me know where that place is.

Trappist the monk (talk) 00:18, 2 May 2021 (UTC)

@Trappist the monk, I think the thing that would be most useful to me to understand is whether you interpret the MOS as meaning "don't type this in wikitext" or "don't display this to readers". Whatamidoing (WMF) (talk) 01:45, 6 May 2021 (UTC)
I didn't keep your email but I seem to recall that there is more to your question than you have voiced here. Care to ask the whole question?
Trappist the monk (talk) 13:04, 6 May 2021 (UTC)
I am capable of being more verbose (c.f. most of the rest of this page), but that's what it boils down to. WP:BADDATE says not to use "2001-07" in articles. Do you interpret BADDATE as meaning that it's not okay to have |date=2001-07 in the wikitext but displayed as a MOS-approved format to the reader? Or would it be okay to record the date as |date=2001-07 in the wikitext but transform it into a correct date? Whatamidoing (WMF) (talk) 19:22, 6 May 2021 (UTC)
(talk page stalker) You didn't ask me, but I think that YYYY-MM should not appear anywhere. It's ambiguous. Unless we flag it as an error, editors will type "2001-02" expecting to see "2001–02" (range) rendered. Since many(!) editors do not look at citations after they modify them, we could render that value incorrectly as "February 2001", and nobody would ever notice. – Jonesey95 (talk) 22:16, 6 May 2021 (UTC)
@Jonesey95, when was the last time you saw someone using YYYY–YY as a date in a citation? Also, 2020-12 isn't ambiguous; there is no "starting in 2020 and continuing until eight years before the time period begins". There are only 12 sets of numbers per century that are both ambiguous and compliant with the MOS (which limits date ranges in the YYYY–YY format to two-year periods). Whatamidoing (WMF) (talk) 02:04, 7 May 2021 (UTC)
I see your logic, but it's not relevant. We forbid YYYY-MM for the same reason that we forbid the ambiguous MM/DD/YYYY and DD/MM/YYYY, even though "15/04/2020" is unambiguous. – Jonesey95 (talk) 13:33, 7 May 2021 (UTC)
@Jonesey95, I'm doubtful about that; the prohibition on slash formatting is a separate thing.
The prohibition isn't MM-DD vs DD-MM; it's on using any number to represent any month, and the prohibition goes back to March 2003. The talk page archive from that time includes a message from an editor who has written a script to transform dates into the 'correct' format, including ambiguous dates. We have since added an exception to permit YYYY-MM-DD in some instances (for "brevity"). More recently, CS1|2 has started transforming YYYY-MM-DD (in the wikitext) to a MOS-approved DD Month YYYY format for readers. I think that CS1|2 should be doing the same thing for non-ambiguous YYYY-MM dates.
If you want to look at some of the history, a 2014 RFC concluded "There is no consensus that YYYY-MM is an acceptable format, nor any consensus that it is an unacceptable format." The most recent discussion there was probably Wikipedia talk:Manual of Style/Dates and numbers/Archive 160#ISO 8601 YYYY-MM Calendar Date Format, and whose objections I find applicable only to a minority of possible dates (e.g., applies to 2011–12 but not to 2012–11). The editors in Wikipedia talk:Manual of Style/Dates and numbers/Archive 157#Why is the yyyy-mm format not allowed all seem dissatisfied with everyone's thinking, including their own. Whatamidoing (WMF) (talk) 21:02, 10 May 2021 (UTC)
I get the sense that you may be a bit confused about how CS1 templates do date conversion. It's understandable, as the modules behind them are complex (too complex for me to fully understand) and have changed over the years. First, take a look at Miss Earth México 2010, where you will see unmodified YYYY-MM-DD dates displayed as part of rendered CS1 templates. Then look at Circuit de Spa-Francorchamps, reference 9, where a date entered as 2010-09-01 is rendered as "1 September 2010" because {{Use dmy dates}} is present in the article. Finally, look at Scalable Vector Graphics, reference 86, where the VE-generated date "2019-09-XX" is rendered as "September 2019". Does that clarify the situation at all? – Jonesey95 (talk) 21:42, 10 May 2021 (UTC)
2019-09-XX shouldn't be transformed that way, beacuse YYYY-MM-XX means that the event happened on a single but unknown (or at least unspecified) date during that month and year. 2019-09-XX means one day, and September 2019 means 30 days. Whatamidoing (WMF) (talk) 22:49, 10 May 2021 (UTC)
Maybe this is the source of our confusion. My understanding from a comment dated 26 Mar 2021 at T132308 is that the -XX format represents "publication dates where there is a month but no day available. So, for example, for December 2008 it will now return 2008-12-XX instead of 2008-12." It sort of sounds like you want that phab change to be reverted. Based on today's comments, it looks like that is going to happen. – Jonesey95 (talk) 23:26, 10 May 2021 (UTC)
I think that the Phab change should be reverted, because AFAICT it's wrong, or at least it's being used in ways that make the results wrong. When we cite a monthly periodical, we do not have a problem with "there is a month but no day available". We know exactly what the days are: every single day in that month.
The correct numeric representation of "September 2019" is 2019-09. There might be a time when we wanted to use the YYYY-MM-XX format, but it would probably involve something like a statement about an article that appeared in a daily newspaper (so we know that exactly one day is involved) but we don't have the exact date. Whatamidoing (WMF) (talk) 05:03, 12 May 2021 (UTC)
You ask those questions as if you think that I have some sort of power or authority; I have neither.
Sometime ago, c. 2014, cs1|2 took the decision to use MOS:DATES as the definition against which all date-parameter values (except for |orig-date= and its predecessors) are validated in cs1|2 templates. While cs1|2 endeavors to adhere to the restrictions and allowances provided for in MOS:DATES, it is not possible for cs1|2 to adhere to them all because, in the context of citations, some of those restrictions and allowances make no sense. cs1|2 does adhere to all of the restrictions imposed by MOS:BADDATE. So long as MOS:BADDATE prohibits the '####-##' format, cs1|2 shall reject such dates.
Trappist the monk (talk) 00:51, 7 May 2021 (UTC)
You are a person whose knowledge about what's feasible in CS1 exceeds nearly everyone else's on Earth, and whose views I value. Therefore I ask you.
Looking at your response, it sounds like your objection to having CS1 transform "2020-04" into "April 2020" is basically that the MOS doesn't say that it's okay to have that format present in wikitext even though it should never be shown to readers. Is that a reasonably fair summary? Whatamidoing (WMF) (talk) 02:13, 7 May 2021 (UTC)
I'm pretty sure that I haven't actually objected to anything. All that I have done here is note that cs1|2 has adopted and attempts to obey MOS:DATES.
I wish now that I had saved that email because I get the sense that there is something here that is unspoken. That makes me uncomfortable.
Trappist the monk (talk) 15:27, 7 May 2021 (UTC)
I find that mind reading isn't an effective form of communication, so I'm trying to be as plain and direct as I can.
MOS:DATE dislikes 2021-04-10, so CS1|2 transforms 2021-04-10 into 10 April 2021. Why does CS1|2 not equally transform 2021-04 into April 2021? Whatamidoing (WMF) (talk) 20:33, 10 May 2021 (UTC)
2021-04-10 is a perfectly valid format (row 5 in the "Only where brevity is helpful" column, which applies to references). – Jonesey95 (talk) 20:56, 10 May 2021 (UTC)
MOS originally banned it and now restricts the use to cases involving brevity. I don't remember the last time I saw someone intentionally choose that format for source dates (as opposed to access dates). Whatamidoing (WMF) (talk) 22:32, 10 May 2021 (UTC)
(edit conflict)
Unless instructed otherwise, cs1|2 does not transform YYYY-MM-DD dates to anything. For the transformations to occurs, the article must have one of {{use dmy dates}} or {{use mdy dates}} or must have |df= set to dmy, dmy-all, mdy, mdy-all. Without these overriding instructions, cs1|2 renders YYYY-MM-DD dates as they appear in the wikitext. These same instructions apply to cs1|2 templates that use dd Month YYYY and Month dd, YYYY date formats when contrary to |df= and the {{use xxx dates}} templates.
Trappist the monk (talk) 22:05, 10 May 2021 (UTC)
That's correct, but why can't we instruct CS1 to transform 2021-04 into April 2021? Whatamidoing (WMF) (talk) 22:50, 10 May 2021 (UTC)
We technically could, but as far as I know, CS1 does not accept invalid date formats as valid input. As stated above, CS1 could also transform 15/04/2021 into a valid date, but the modules reject it instead. I acknowledge that we are going in circles trying to help each other understand. We are encountering a limitation of asynchronous, text-only communication. – Jonesey95 (talk) 23:26, 10 May 2021 (UTC)
If CS1 can transform unambiguous dates so that they display in MOS-accepted formats, then why should it be generating error messages instead of fixing the problems? Whatamidoing (WMF) (talk) 05:03, 12 May 2021 (UTC)
MOS. – Jonesey95 (talk) 05:13, 12 May 2021 (UTC)
Which brings us back to my question: Are we interpreting the MOS as saying "you can't type this in wikitext, even if we know that a reader will never see it", or does the MOS mean "no matter what you happen to type in wikitext, don't show this to readers"? Whatamidoing (WMF) (talk) 19:00, 12 May 2021 (UTC)
Already answered above. – Jonesey95 (talk) 22:32, 12 May 2021 (UTC)
MOS means that we can type it in wikitext, but shouldn't be surprised if somebody alters it later. --Redrose64 🌹 (talk) 14:20, 13 May 2021 (UTC)
@Jonesey95 and @Redrose64, it sounds like you disagree. It's either true that CS1 can't transform unambiguous dates so that they display in MOS-accepted formats because the MOS won't let us have unacceptable formats in wikitext, or it's true that CS1 could accept and transform unambiguous dates that were written in an unacceptable format. Do you think you could come to an agreement?
(Redrose, I'd be more hopeful that somoene would alter the dates later if there weren't usually 10,000+ articles in Category:CS1 errors: dates.) Whatamidoing (WMF) (talk) 22:09, 15 May 2021 (UTC)

Privacy Policy updates[edit]

Hi! These changes are initiated by some Board resolution? Please link to them, so that I can port them to Meta to update translations to other languages. Thanks! Kaganer (talk) 20:44, 21 June 2021 (UTC)

See foundation:User talk:Ssnyder. Whatamidoing (WMF) (talk) 22:49, 21 June 2021 (UTC)

I forget where to report it[edit]

Visual editor was giving me Parsoid error when making this edit: [2], had to switch to old style source editing. Piotr Konieczny aka Prokonsul Piotrus| reply here 05:54, 27 August 2021 (UTC)

Thanks for the note, @Piotrus. Was the error generic, or did it give any potentially useful information? Whatamidoing (WMF) (talk) 16:45, 27 August 2021 (UTC)
The full error is "Error contacting the Parsoid/RESTBase server (HTTP 400)" and I keep getting that error trying to edit other parts of this article (lead, any section, etc.). The error has persisted for 24h and does not affect other articles I edited with VE so it is probably not a time out, but rather, some code on that page messes with VE? Piotr Konieczny aka Prokonsul Piotrus| reply here 02:11, 28 August 2021 (UTC)

notifications for a section that was moved to another page[edit]

Not sure if you saw my comment on not getting a notice for a new comment on the section. I'm not sure if it is because the alert took precedence. isaacl (talk) 05:00, 28 September 2021 (UTC)

@Isaacl, sorry about not replying sooner. If you get pinged, then you don't get a notification. Getting two notices about the same comment was annoying.
I'm not excited about how it works right now. With the normal "subscription" notifications, when you click on it, it goes straight to the comment, and highlights it so it's easy to spot. If you get pinged, it only takes you to the section. They're working on some improvements (e.g., so that "You have a new message" won't take you to the top of your own user talk page), but I need to make sure this one is on the list. If it's important enough to ping, then it's important enough to show me the specific comment, right? Whatamidoing (WMF) (talk) 23:20, 28 September 2021 (UTC)
Thanks for confirming that the alert supersedes the notice. I thought there were circumstances with the existing notification mechanisms where both could occur, but perhaps I'm misremembering. Since you can choose to see the diff where the ping occurred, the current behaviour of clicking on the main message doesn't bother me personally. isaacl (talk) 23:54, 29 September 2021 (UTC)
They did both occur, in the earliest versions of the [subscribe] feature. But that was annoying (who wants to click twice for the same comment?), so they fixed it. I don't know if the fix was universal, though; there might be other ways to trigger duplicate notifications, outside of this tool. Whatamidoing (WMF) (talk) 19:23, 1 October 2021 (UTC)

RfA 2021 review update[edit]

Thanks so much for participating in Phase 1 of the RfA 2021 review. 8 out of the 21 issues discussed were found to have consensus. Thanks to our closers of Phase 1, Primefac and Wugapodes.

The following had consensus support of participating editors:

  1. Corrosive RfA atmosphere
    The atmosphere at RfA is deeply unpleasant. This makes it so fewer candidates wish to run and also means that some members of our community don't comment/vote.
  2. Level of scrutiny
    Many editors believe it would be unpleasant to have so much attention focused on them. This includes being indirectly a part of watchlists and editors going through your edit history with the chance that some event, possibly a relatively trivial event, becomes the focus of editor discussion for up to a week.
  3. Standards needed to pass keep rising
    It used to be far easier to pass RfA however the standards necessary to pass have continued to rise such that only "perfect" candidates will pass now.
  4. Too few candidates
    There are too few candidates. This not only limits the number of new admin we get but also makes it harder to identify other RfA issues because we have such a small sample size.
  5. "No need for the tools" is a poor reason as we can find work for new admins

The following issues had a rough consensus of support from editors:

  1. Lifetime tenure (high stakes atmosphere)
    Because RfA carries with it lifetime tenure, granting any given editor sysop feels incredibly important. This creates a risk adverse and high stakes atmosphere.
  2. Admin permissions and unbundling
    There is a large gap between the permissions an editor can obtain and the admin toolset. This brings increased scrutiny for RFA candidates, as editors evaluate their feasibility in lots of areas.
  3. RfA should not be the only road to adminship
    Right now, RfA is the only way we can get new admins, but it doesn't have to be.

Please consider joining the brainstorming which will last for the next 1-2 weeks. This will be followed by Phase 2, a 30 day discussion to consider solutions to the problems identified in Phase 1.

There are 2 future mailings planned. One when Phase 2 opens and one with the results of Phase 2. To opt-out of future mailings, please remove yourself here.

Best, MediaWiki message delivery (talk) 00:09, 10 October 2021 (UTC)

RfA Reform 2021 Phase 2 has begun[edit]

Following a 2 week brainstorming period and a 1 week proposal period, the 30 day discussion of changes to our Request for Adminship process has begun. Following feedback on Phase 1, in order to ensure that the largest number of people possible can see all proposals, new proposals will only be accepted for the for the first 7 days of Phase 2. The 30 day discussion is scheduled to last until November 30. Please join the discussion or even submit your own proposal.

There is 1 future mailing planned with the results of Phase 2. To opt-out of future mailings, please remove yourself here.

16:13, 31 October 2021 (UTC)

Insight on a couple of Phab tickets re post-expand include size[edit]

Hi, I'm hoping you can clarify a couple of things for me, with regard to the post-expand include size limit, since you have more behind-the-scenes knowledge than I do. I see phab:T15260 was closed years ago as "Later" with a comment that seems to imply that Lua would help solve the underlying problem, and also a comment that implies that phab:T189108 is unlikely ever to be resolved positively -- that is, the limit's not going to be raised. Do you know what the Lua comment refers to? Is there some other way to write templates so that this limit is less of an issue? Or is this more of a technical question that perhaps a TPS knows the answer to? Mike Christie (talk - contribs - library) 10:28, 10 November 2021 (UTC)

Hi, @Mike Christie! I know a little bit about this, so I'll tell you the little I know. Yes, there are ways to write templates that makes them less likely to trigger the PEIS limits. The methods seem to fall into three categories: "use a lighter system" (that's where Lua seems to come in), "be a better programmer" (remember when all computer programs only needed 640K memory?), and "make more specific/narrower templates".
The problems: Lua is a specific skill set, efficient programming is hard, and editors don't want to limit their options for templates.
I assume that the problem you've encountered are on an article with a large number of cited sources. Whatamidoing (WMF) (talk) 20:30, 10 November 2021 (UTC)
See WT:FAC if you really want the gory details. I've figured out since I posted here that e.g. {{green}} is cheaper than {{tq}}, and I've also figured out how to calculate the impact of any template, including the double counting for nested transclusions. I guess the only thing I would still like to know is if you think there is any chance the limit will ever be raised. CPU is a lot cheaper than it used to be, after all. Mike Christie (talk - contribs - library) 20:35, 10 November 2021 (UTC)
I don't know how long it's been since that was considered. @Quiddity (WMF), do you recall anyone ever talking about raising the WP:PEIS limits? Whatamidoing (WMF) (talk) 04:18, 18 November 2021 (UTC)
That's not an area I'm very familiar with or recall, sorry. Quiddity (WMF) (talk) 19:26, 18 November 2021 (UTC)
MusikAnimal, do you ever remember this coming up before? It looks like they're having to restructure FAC pages because of the PEIS problem. Whatamidoing (WMF) (talk) 22:04, 18 November 2021 (UTC)
I'm not sure either, sorry! The performance team I think would be the best point of contact for this sort of thing. MusikAnimal (WMF) (talk) 21:36, 24 November 2021 (UTC)
Happy Thanksgiving, Aaron Schulz. Do you remember when the PEIS limits were set, or do you have an opinion about whether it might be reasonable to loosen the limits? Whatamidoing (WMF) (talk) 19:33, 25 November 2021 (UTC)


Testing WhatamIdoing (talk) 18:59, 6 December 2021 (UTC)

Would like to help out in Talk pages project[edit]

Hi! Thank you for replying to me on Talk pages projects before about usability and finding some research about the project! I was wondering if I could help out in the project in any way? I think it's interesting and would like to try to help! — Preceding unsigned comment added by Jncwtopac (talkcontribs) 02:51, 7 December 2021 (UTC)