Wikipedia:Talk pages project

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The Talk pages project is a project to improve how contributors communicate on Wikipedia using wikitext talk pages. As documented and discussed on MediaWiki.org, it is the result of the Talk pages consultation 2019, a 5-month long effort that brought volunteers from 20 wikis (including the English Wikipedia) together with staff from the Foundation to define a product direction for building better tools for on-wiki communication. This product direction was documented in Phase 2 of the Talk Pages Consultation:

Wikitext talk pages should be improved, and not replaced. We will build a new design on top of wikitext talk pages that changes the page's default appearance and offers key tools. This new design should communicate to the user that this is not a content page, and help the user interact appropriately with the tools.

We, the Editing Team, are now using this product direction as our guiding principle for developing improvements to wikitext talk pages. To make sure these new tools work in the ways you expect, we need your help testing them.

The first feature we have ready for you to test is a tool for replying to specific comments. You can try the prototype here: Replying version 1.0 prototype. If you have any questions, suggestions or feedback, we would value you sharing them at mw:Talk:Talk pages project/replying or on this talk page.

While a potential deployment to English Wikipedia is some time away, we know this feature's and other features' success depends on them actually working for you. Which is why it is crucial for us to know about any issues you encounter while using these new tools them so we can address them.

Project updates[edit]

To stay up to date about the project, we recommend adding this page to your watch list: mw:Talk pages project/Updates. Updates are typically posted monthly.

We use the mw:Talk pages project/Updates page to share information about new feature development, deployment plans and questions the team would value your input on.

You can read the latest project update here: 24 July 2020

Reply tool[edit]

Screenshot

The reply tool is similar to existing user scripts. It detects user signatures and timestamps, and adds a "Reply" button. If you click the reply button, it gives you a box to type your reply into.

Deployment status[edit]

Version 1.0 of the Reply tool is currently deployed as a Beta Feature on our four partner Wikipedias (Arabic, Dutch, French and Hungarian) and at mediawiki.org.

You can read more about the deployment plan for the Replying tool here: Replying deployment process and see an overview of the deployment status of all DiscussionTool features here: DiscussionTools deployment status.

Features[edit]

  • Automatic signatures
  • Automatic indentation
  • Automatic live preview as you type
  • Automatic resolution of most edit conflicts
    • Ability to reply on an old version of a page, and have your comment posted in the correct place in the newest version (if the comment you're replying to still exists on the page)
    • If it can't resolve the edit conflict automatically, it'll give you an error message. (You can copy your comment and reload the page.)
  • Keyboard shortcuts for cancelling (Escape) and posting (e.g., ⌘ Command+Return)
  • Preference setting: Your choice whether you use it.
  • Toolbar in the visual mode
  • Keyboard shortcuts for linking, pinging, formatting, etc. in the visual mode
  • Search tool for linking and pinging in the visual mode

Future:

  • Inserting templates in the visual mode
  • Toolbar in the wikitext mode
  • Keyboard shortcuts for linking, pinging, formatting, etc. in the wikitext mode
  • Search tool for linking and pinging in the wikitext mode
  • Integration with the edit conflict resolution tools
  • Watchlist integration (i.e., ability to add/remove page from your watchlist)

Try it out[edit]

See mw:Talk pages project/replying/prototype testing for full instructions.

Click https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Wikipedia_talk:Talk_pages_project?dtenable=1 to try it out on the talk page.

Open bugs[edit]

You can leave feedback at mw:Talk:Talk pages project/replying or on the talk page here. Full list of all work is at https://phabricator.wikimedia.org/project/view/4547/ (version 1) and https://phabricator.wikimedia.org/project/view/4546/ (version 2)

  • It copes poorly with some unusual wikitext errors, such as Special:LintErrors/multiline-html-table-in-list. (phab:T246481)
  • The Reply button misplaced on the last comment, if an automatic references list is displayed. (phab:T148701 – the simple workaround is to add a {{reflist-talk}} or similar section)
  • It's not obvious to everyone that the tool automatically "indents" the reply, so sometimes people add extra colons. (phab:T249961)
  • It doesn't support some features that use multi-line syntax, such as gallery and math tags. (phab:T251633)

Other projects[edit]

Other requests from the Wikipedia:Talk pages consultation 2019 will be developed later. These include:

Starting a new discussion[edit]

Improvements to the workflow for starting a new discussion on talk pages. Being planned now.

New requirements for custom signatures[edit]

Making MediaWiki software prevent some HTML errors and enforce parts of WP:SIGLINK and WP:SIGFORGE in software. This will make it easier to reply to specific comments on talk pages and to make it more likely that existing features, such as "Mention" notifications (which are only sent if your signature can be detected) will be sent. It will also simplify coding for some bots and user scripts (including gadgets).

You can read the outcome at mw:New requirements for user signatures.

New syntax for multi-line comments[edit]

New wikitext for writing multi-line comments and containing wikitext and HTML errors that 'leak'. This new syntax is intended to make it possible for contributors to, among other things, communicate about and collaborate on components like navboxes, series templates, and infoboxes within indented comments on talk pages and create visual line breaks within talk page comments without using HTML code or local templates. This change will require approval from mw:TechCom via their technical RFC process.

See also[edit]