Wikipedia:Talk pages project

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As of April 2021, more than 150,000 comments have been posted with the Reply tool (all wikis combined).

The Talk pages project is a project to improve how contributors communicate on Wikipedia using wikitext talk pages. 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 Wikimedia 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.

The Editing Team is 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.

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: 30 April 2021

Reply tool[edit]

A screenshot showing the Reply tool's visual mode.
A screenshot showing the Reply tool's wikitext source mode and advanced options.

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]

As of March 2021, the Reply tool is currently deployed as a Beta Feature on almost all Wikipedias, Meta-Wiki, MediaWiki.org, and a few sister projects. The Reply tool is not yet available for opt-in on the English Wikipedia.[1] It is offered to all users (as an opt-out preference) at the Arabic, Czech, and Hungarian Wikipedias. A/B testing at more than 20 Wikipedias has just ended the data-collection phase. The tool is also used via user script by editors at many wikis, including the English Wikipedia.[clarification needed] You can see these edits in RecentChanges.

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. The help page is at mw:Help:DiscussionTools.

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]

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)
  • 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)
  • It doesn't recognize some non-compliant custom signatures, which can result in missing [Reply] buttons and replies being placed at the wrong indentation level.

Starting a new discussion[edit]

The New Discussion Tool has separate places to type the subject and body of your message.

The New Discussion tool makes it easier to start a new section on a talk page. Improvements to the workflow for starting a new discussion on talk pages. This can be tested with the ?dtenable=1 code.

It has many of the same features as the Reply tool, such as automatically signing your message. You can write your edit in both visual and wikitext modes. In the wikitext source mode, a live preview shows what your message will look like once it is posted to the talk page. In the visual mode, you can use keyboard shortcuts to make links, to ping other people, and to add character formatting.

Open questions include support for preloads, whether to change the toolbar (e.g., to add a special characters menu or a table inserter), and whether to offer the toolbar in the wikitext mode.

On 10 March 2021, the New Discussion tool became part of the same Beta Feature as the Reply tool.

Known bugs[edit]

  • If you click "New section" on the "View history" page, it will open your regular wikitext editor, rather than the new tool.

Other projects[edit]

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

Notifications for topic subscriptions[edit]

mw:Talk pages project/Notifications hopes to make it possible for you to get pinged whenever anyone replies to a single section of a long talk page, without having to put the whole page on your watchlist.

Open question: Should you be able to subscribe to a discussion thread on your own User talk: page? (You'll get Echo/Notifications messages for all edits to your own talk page anyway, and this might create extra noise.)

Visual changes[edit]

mw:Talk pages project/Visual enhancements is looking at making a few changes to talk pages, to make them more useful (maybe a note indicating how old the discussion is or how many different editors commented in the discussion?) and less easily confused for the mainspace.

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. As of January 2021, this affects less than 1% of active users. If your custom signature is invalid, see mw:New requirements for user signatures/Help.

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]

  1. ^ "Talk pages project". www.mediawiki.org. Retrieved 2021-03-12.