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Enable Article / Talk tab bar for mobile anon users[edit]

The following discussion is an archived record of a request for comment. Please do not modify it. No further edits should be made to this discussion. A summary of the conclusions reached follows.
There is a clear consensus that the proposal to enable the article/talk tab bar for mobile anonymous users should be implemented. (non-admin closure)Mikehawk10 (talk) 23:05, 20 October 2021 (UTC)
Note:phab:T293946 has been opened for this. — xaosflux Talk 23:53, 20 October 2021 (UTC)

If you visit while logged in, you'll see the "Article Talk" tab bar. ("minerva__tab-container" element) But if you're logged out, this tab bar goes missing and there's no way to access the talk page unless you manually alter the URL. This turns out to be by design and now consensus is required for a configuration change to ensure that anyone who can edit can also reach talk pages. — Alexis Jazz (talk or ping me) 11:29, 22 August 2021 (UTC)

  • Support as proposer. — Alexis Jazz (talk or ping me) 11:29, 22 August 2021 (UTC)
  • Support, Obviously. Sometimes I really do question if the WMF understands the site that they run, this is supposed to be a collaborative encyclopaedia building site - how on earth is collaboration supposed to occur when you hide the main methods of communicating from the vast majority of users? The requirement for consensus seems to be backward here - removing the ability for anonns to communicate on mobile should have required community engagement, restoring longstanding functionality should be the default. The rationale for removing talk page access for all mobile annons seems to be a combination of "mobile IP users are obviously too stupid to understand the concept of a talk page and would just fill them up with nonsense and spam" (I'd like to see the data that supports this, according to the phabricator task this is based on them putting a talk page link in a rarely visited settings page and being surprised that people didn't understand what it did???) and that the mobile talk pages are too buggy to be publicly available (In which case they need fixing, not hiding.). I just can't see the sense in having a huge body of users who are allowed to edit the site but are barred from discussing their editing - it just seems dumb. (talk) 12:42, 22 August 2021 (UTC)
    For background, talk pages were never removed, rather they were added. The mobile site was built from the ground up. In fact, we didn't have editing for a long time as it was communicated to WMF by editors that notifications were mandatory before we could do that. We added notifications, then editing. Talk page access was only added in current form circa 2019 because communities spoke up and helped drive that priority.
    Building the mobile site has always been based on priorities, so nobody in WMF has ever removed this functionality as you are alleging here. Please assume good faith. Our software is extremely complex with very few maintainers. Jdlrobson (talk) 19:16, 23 August 2021 (UTC)
  • ? @Jdlrobson: - any reason someone is going to try to block setting $wgMinervaTalkAtTop = [ "base" => true ]; if the enwiki community asks for it? — xaosflux Talk 15:49, 22 August 2021 (UTC)
    Replied with suggestions: Jdlrobson (talk) 19:17, 23 August 2021 (UTC)
  • I'm a bit torn here, in that I only partially agree that this is supposed to be a collaborative encyclopaedia building site. The primary purpose of this site is to be an encyclopedia serving our readers. Obviously, to have an encyclopedia, you need to write an encyclopedia, but the writing is not the primary purpose. It's just a means to the end. Screen real estate on a mobile device is precious, and wasting pixels on a feature that's mainly of benefit to writers degrades the experience of our readers. -- RoySmith (talk) 16:41, 22 August 2021 (UTC)
    RoySmith, that's a valid argument, but you can't have it both ways. Either mobile anon users can edit (which they currently can) and they need to be able to reach talk pages. Or you remove their edit button (that saves even more pixels) so they won't have a pressing need for talk pages anymore, but that's a difficult topic. — Alexis Jazz (talk or ping me) 17:09, 22 August 2021 (UTC)
    I'd be happy to see all anonymous editing go away. Want to edit? Make an account and the editing buttons and links become visible. IMHO, the amount of effort we put into making anonymous editing work isn't justified by the value it adds. For example, the whole "IP Masking" effort that's currently underway. -- RoySmith (talk) 17:41, 22 August 2021 (UTC)
    RoySmith, I don't oppose, but unless/until we manage to establish a consensus to end IP-editing (this recent effort went nowhere) we have to deal with it. So that's what I'm trying to do. As long as they have an edit button, they should have a talk page link. — Alexis Jazz (talk or ping me) 18:04, 22 August 2021 (UTC)
    @RoySmith and Alexis Jazz: I don't think we should make the fork for showing editing features logged in vs. not. We want users to log in even if they never plan to edit so that if they do decide later on to fix a typo it'll be a smoother journey from there down the editing rabbit hole. But if their first reaction when they create an account is "ack, this just introduced all these ugly buttons I don't want", they'll never stay logged in. {{u|Sdkb}}talk 07:23, 24 August 2021 (UTC)
  • We should block all edits from all platforms that do not have full access. —Kusma (talk) 16:50, 22 August 2021 (UTC)
  • Support per nom with my thanks for stewarding this issue. Not giving mobile IP editors access to talk pages is just stupid, I have no other words for it. WP:Communication is required. Levivich 06:13, 23 August 2021 (UTC)
  • Support Paid employees have missed the boat here. An IP user edits, is constantly reverted, but doesn't see explanations on their talk page. Effectively a campaign to frustrate and drive away IP editors, while further stigmatizing IP users to the community.—Bagumba (talk) 11:13, 23 August 2021 (UTC)
  • This is now a forked discussion, can I suggest redirecting this back to the WP:VPP section, as that is also diverging into something separate from what the section author originally wrote. ProcrastinatingReader (talk) 12:34, 23 August 2021 (UTC)
    This is a specific request for the mobile platform software, the other is a high-level policy proposal.—Bagumba (talk) 14:23, 23 August 2021 (UTC)
    I agree with Bagumba: this is a specific proposal for a skin and should be allowed to reach its own conclusion. The other discussion is a broader one covering all clients. Regardless of its outcome, the skin can be changed as per community consensus. isaacl (talk) 15:20, 23 August 2021 (UTC)
    @RoySmith: oppose early closure. This is a specific proposal to do a specific actionable thing. The thing is boolean as well so it is very easy to determine the result. That VPP discussion is extremely broad and vague. — xaosflux Talk 15:49, 23 August 2021 (UTC)
    No problem, I've backed out my close. -- RoySmith (talk) 16:54, 23 August 2021 (UTC)
  • Support If a given setup supports editing, it should support talk pages. WP:ENGAGE. MarioGom (talk) 16:59, 23 August 2021 (UTC)
  • Mobile article footer mockup.png
    Question I agree that giving everyone (including logged-out folks) access to the talk page is a good idea. However screen space is indeed limited on mobile, as RoySmith mentioned, and we know from our data that most logged-out people are not visiting Wikipedia with the intention of editing. They want to read articles, and the Article Talk tabs push the article down the page a bit, so does that design align with what they want? Additionally I wonder if the "Talk" tab, as it is currently presented to logged-in folks, might be confusing logged-out folks and newcomers in general (i.e. what does "Talk" mean? what will happen if I tap on it?)? Which brings me to these mockups made a few years ago by User:Npangarkar_(WMF), of an expanded article footer that has additional tools and information (including a link to the talk page). I feel like the inclusion of an icon, and the more descriptive title ("Discuss" vs. "Talk") make it easier for newcomers to understand what they might find if they tap on it. It could be even more helpful if the button/link included the number of discussions (something like "2 active discussions"), which was an idea explored in Winter. AHollender (WMF) (talk) 18:40, 23 August 2021 (UTC)
    @AHollender (WMF): The note about screen real estate makes sense, but nobody really scrolls to the bottom either. There is a pencil icon on each section to edit it. Editing and discussion workflows should ideally go hand in hand, so if it's prominent and easy to edit there needs to be a complimentary method of discussion. Perhaps a button on the warning message that shows up when you click "Edit" is one way forward. For logged in users, the 'advanced mobile' mode (which shows the talk button) should perhaps be default, since most logged-in people do probably edit (?) ProcrastinatingReader (talk) 19:31, 23 August 2021 (UTC)
    That's a good point about wanting the workflows to go hand in hand, ProcReader. Maybe we want some more mockups of what that could look like.
    AHollender, regarding "discuss" vs. "talk", I believe the desktop tab used to say "discuss" instead. I'm not sure why it was changed, but that's probably a discussion to seek out. The biggest issue I tend to see is WP:NOTFORUM—it's not always intuitive that the discussion page is for discussing improvements to the article, not a general comment thread for discussion about the topic. We designed {{Talk header}} to help explain this, but the mobile developers got fed up with the banner bloat on talk pages and just shoved them into an "about this page" submenu no newcomer will ever click on, so ¯\_(ツ)_/¯. {{u|Sdkb}}talk 20:22, 23 August 2021 (UTC)
    A common trap is for people to do mobile mockups in English, then be surprised when the German version is a mess because "Diskussion", "Quelltext bearbeiten" and "Versionsgeschichte" don't fit into the space allotted for "Talk", Edit", and "History". -- RoySmith (talk) 21:20, 23 August 2021 (UTC)
    It traditionally was Talk, then globally it was changed to "discussion" and then en.wp freaked out because "discussion" was too long (taking up more space in their monobook skin) and different from "talk" and they feared that "discussion" would invite discussions on the topic instead of the article, so en.wp changed it back to talk. —TheDJ (talkcontribs) 10:17, 24 August 2021 (UTC)
    People still use Monobook? ProcrastinatingReader (talk) 10:24, 24 August 2021 (UTC)
    Back then definitely. And the bar is all filled up with additional portlet actions for administrative actions as well, because dropdown menus are BAD :D —TheDJ (talkcontribs) 10:26, 24 August 2021 (UTC)
    I do. I try Vector once per year, but never enjoy it. Too much whitespace and all my buttons are hidden somewhere. —Kusma (talk) 10:36, 24 August 2021 (UTC)
    I absolutely do. Tried Vector for a while, but never could get used to it. Too much clutter. Monobook is clean and simple, and that's exactly what I want in an interface. Seraphimblade Talk to me 05:56, 25 August 2021 (UTC)
  • Qualified support. This is a classic example of systemic bias toward editor desires over WP:READER desires. I agree with everyone that it's essential to have some way to access talk pages from every editable page, but I agree with RoySmith and AHollender (WMF) that we don't want to give it inappropriate emphasis. The mockup of what it could look like from the bottom of the page looks quite nice, although I'd want to see some more discussion around what we'd want to go in the edit overview section or whether we should just keep the current "last edited by JimboWales" bar. {{u|Sdkb}}talk 20:14, 23 August 2021 (UTC)
    • Readers also use the talk page. An IP's angry post at Talk:F-777 prompted me to fix a redirect we didn't know was broken. Wug·a·po·des 22:15, 27 August 2021 (UTC)
  • Support, and (probably deserves its own section) switch from text labels on tabs, to icons with tooltips (ha-ha, the mobile folks won't see the tips). RoySmith's comment about the length of terms like Quelltext bearbeiten raises a good point, but the solution is to follow the example of European road signs and come up with good icons for 'Read', 'Edit', 'History', and so on, and relegate text equivalents to second place. I can visualize one for 'Talk' involving two little talking heads facing each other. It's well established[citation needed] that people process images faster than text, and it would also be a god-send for those of us who occasionally wander off to other language Wikipedias in languages we can't read, and just want to check history, or find a related discussion or compose a diff or something. Mathglot (talk) 22:16, 23 August 2021 (UTC)
    Icons works well in addition to text, but on their own are known to sometimes increase confusion, esp the more there are and the more esoteric they become to try to convey the many meanings that have to be conveyed. Especially on mobile, where you have no hover labels etc this actually reduces discovery. Anyways, mobile already uses a lot more icons than desktop does. The Advanced mode for editors on mobile, currently has language, a watch star, a clock winding back, a pencil and a dropdown menu.... and I think most people on first glance have no idea what any of them do...... —TheDJ (talkcontribs) 10:25, 24 August 2021 (UTC)
  • Support. However, as other editors have suggested, it might be better to find an alternative to the [Article | Talk] tabs to save some screen real estate. There's a lot of blank space between the language icon and the edit icon. Maybe slip in a Talk page icon in that row? Alternatively, the proposed Tools section at the end of the page looks great. - Wikmoz (talk) 04:56, 24 August 2021 (UTC)
Actually, it looks like the problem was already solved in the Wikipedia app. At the bottom of each article, there is an ABOUT THIS ARTICLE section with links to View talk page and View edit history. - Wikmoz (talk) 05:16, 25 August 2021 (UTC)
  • Support as at least a start. Mobile or not, we should always make the channels of communication clear and easy to find, and treat every reader as a potential editor. Seraphimblade Talk to me 06:56, 24 August 2021 (UTC)
  • Support. It doesn't make sense that a group that is allowed to edit cannot even view talkpages and edit-histories. Why not make pressing the existing "edit" button on the mobile site open up a sub-menu with the options "Edit article", "Go to talk page", and "View history"? I think it's unlikely that anyone technically inclined enough to edit a page would be confused by this additional step. Rabbitflyer (talk) 22:19, 31 August 2021 (UTC)
  • Strong support - Talk pages are the backbone of Wikipedia. It would help me tremendously with my work on Wikipedia in mobile. If we did it in the userspace, we should do it to others as well. Interstellarity (talk) 16:34, 1 September 2021 (UTC)
  • Somewhat support to turn on now using whatever method is easiest (e.g. $wgMinervaTalkAtTop = [ "base" => true ];), then afterward engage in design discussions, such as whether it should be in the top bar or at the bottom. ⁓ Pelagicmessages ) 08:58, 11 September 2021 (UTC)
    • Concern: encouraging more people to publish their IP address. (But honestly if this is a blocker then we should also disable IP editing until the masking question is resolved. This might be a topic for the VPP fork instead of here.)
    • Question: is there a similar switch to show it at the bottom, how it was in pre-AMC, logged-in Minerva? ⁓ Pelagicmessages ) 08:58, 11 September 2021 (UTC)
  • Comment: An article Talk page is of value to readers, even if they never post. It allows them to see that there have been discussions or arguments about contentious issues. Sometimes the discussion counts towards an article's credibility or otherwise. Like History, it sends the message that Wikimedia is crowdsourced, and not created by paid writers. Many readers on mobile mayn't care about references either, but we make sure they can access them. ⁓ Pelagicmessages ) 09:19, 11 September 2021 (UTC)
  • Support per nom. Huggums537 (talk) 19:08, 23 September 2021 (UTC)
  • Very Strong Support I don't understand why this is by design. Does the WMF not want anonymous users to engage in discussions on the talk page if they use mobile? That just seems like they are purposely making it easier for mobile IP editors to get banned because they have no way to try and gain consensus for an edit they made. ― Blaze The WolfTalkBlaze Wolf#0001 19:14, 23 September 2021 (UTC)
  • Support. I use Mobile Wikipedia and it would be really convenient fo others to see talk page discussions when not at home. It might also help them learn something, which is a pretty big deal. Plutonical (talk) 14:41, 29 September 2021 (UTC)
  • Support. I'm not an editor, but I love reading wikipedia and especially the talk pages, because they give a really unique view into how the site works. Sometimes, the processes that go into making something are much more fascinating than the end result. Not being able to easily access the talk pages on mobile is super annoying. (talk) 20:10, 8 October 2021 (UTC)

Request from Editing Team[edit]

Comment: Hi y'all – I work as the product manager for the Editing Team. We're actively working on a series of improvements to talk pages on desktop, and within the next few months, we'll be shifting our focus to improving talk pages on mobile.

With this in mind, can you please review – what I currently understand to be – the issues you all have raised here and let us know what issues you think are missing from this list and/or what about this list needs to be edited?

For added context: I'm asking the above because it's important to me that our team accurately and exhaustively understand the issues y'all are raising here, so that we can make sure the issues we prioritize working on in the next few months are the issues that will be the most impactful to address.


  1. Meta
    1. Talking is a core part of editing and there is a large segment of people who can edit and not talk. As[1], @Alexis Jazz[2], @RoySmith[3], @MarioGom[4], @ProcrastinatingReader[5] , and others in previous conversations have articulated[6] [7] [8] [9] [10]: collaborating is an important part of writing an encyclopedia. In order to collaborate, you need to be able to talk to people. Currently, there is a large segment of people (anons editing on mobile), who are: A) able to edit and B) not able to collaborate, by way of them not having access to talk pages.
      1. The above, "...wastes time and energy for editors to post explanations/guidance/warnings for contributors who cannot respond" @Johnuniq[11]
      2. It also helps contextualize why anons editing on mobile not having access to talk pages is problematic.
    2. It's disconcerting to learn that we – volunteers and WMF staff – do not seem to share a core assumption/understanding that people who can edit, must also need to be able to talk.
  2. Talk page design
    1. People do not intuitively recognize discussion pages as places to talk about improvements to articles.[12]
    2. People accessing talk pages on mobile lack access to important context about the conventions that guide how these pages can be used constructively. E.g. Talk page banners/templates are difficult to discover and edit notices are absent.[13].

Additional context

Considering there are three teams within the Foundation working on improvements to talk pages, I thought it would be worth making sure you all were aware of the work that is being planned and done to improve volunteers' ability to communicate with one another.

  • Editing Team | Talk pages project
    • *Reply Tool: a way to reply to talk page comments in one click
    • *New Discussion Tool: an inline form for adding new topics with keyboard shortcuts for pinging and inserting links
    • **Notifications: subscribe to receive notifications about comments posted in specific topics/sections
    • Usability Improvements: a series of improvements to help people instinctively recognize and use talk pages as spaces to communicate with other people
    • Mobile: we'll be introducing all of the above on mobile as well.
  • Android Team | Communication Improvements
    • Implementing talk pages and the Watchlist natively within the Android app
    • Improving notifications so people can be aware when others are contacting them
  • iOS | Notification improvements
    • A series of improvements intended to help iOS participants to know when they have a new notification without them having to check Wikipedia’s website or check pages in the app, so that they can take timely action on their notifications.

*You can experiment with the Reply and New Discussion Tools right on desktop, by enabling the DiscussionTools beta feature in Special:Preferences.

**You can experiment with Topic Subscriptions on desktop by appending ?dtenable=1 to any talk page URL like this. PPelberg (WMF) (talk) 00:03, 28 August 2021 (UTC)

I inserted a subheading to make this more easy to respond to. A quick additional point is that there needs to be a way of alerting users of mobile devices that is different from the normal semi-spam that occurs with nearly all apps competing for user attention. I have seen phones where a dozen apps have badges showing notifications—the owner ignores them as background noise. For Wikipedia use, when a user opens their browser or app, and if there are outstanding talk-page messages, there must be something like the orange-bar-of-death that more or less compels the user to respond. The suggestion that real-estate on a phone is important completely misses the point that the first thing the user should do is at least view their talk. That raises another tricky point. By convention, we bottom-post, but on a phone that might require a bunch of scrolling. I'm not sure what to do about that but ideally the current sections would be shown. Johnuniq (talk) 00:18, 28 August 2021 (UTC)
I inserted a subheading to make this more easy to respond to.
Oh, wonderful! Thank you for doing that @Johnuniq.
As for the additional issue you are raising, I'm glad you drew out this nuance. You can expect a response from me about this point next week. PPelberg (WMF) (talk) 01:01, 28 August 2021 (UTC)
there needs to be a way of alerting users of mobile devices that is different from the normal semi-spam that occurs with nearly all apps competing for user attention.
@Johnuniq: would it be accurate for me to understand the issue that's prompted you to share the above as: "Anonymous editors do not respond to the messages others leave for them on their talk pages."
Note: I appreciate the language I proposed above does not include the solution/requirement you proposed. I've done this intentionally so as to ensure I'm accurately understanding the underlying issue any solution(s) would need to address.
By convention, we bottom-post, but on a phone that might require a bunch of scrolling.
This is a great callout and something we will need to consider as part of the work we have planned to help people identify new talk page activity. I've documented – what I understand to be – the question inside of what you are saying on Phabricator: "How might bottom-posting impact the likelihood that people accessing talk pages, particularly on mobile, will see the new messages others have left for them?". PPelberg (WMF) (talk) 01:47, 2 September 2021 (UTC)
@PPelberg (WMF): It's not quite right to sum up the issue that's prompted me in the terms above. First, some IP editors are experienced and do respond to talk page messages (so "do not respond" is over generalized). Second, that wording makes it sound as if the anonymous editor might have made a choice to not respond whereas my original concern was for the many edits made by mobile IPs and accounts where the UI does not show them that they have a talk message, and/or does not rub it in their face that the message might be something they "must" see as opposed to the normal spam from many social media platforms, and/or does not provide a simple way to respond. Finally, I am one of many editors who occasionally write detailed explanations for new users and it is destructive for editors like me to later learn that the recipient probably never even knew about my explanation. My point is that the UI is damaging the collaborative community because people like me now think that all IPs/accounts using inoperative software should be banned. Regarding "simple way to respond": I think there should be an orange bar with suitable wording that is hard to avoid. Clicking that bar would take them to the first section on their talk with the most recent date. I understand enough about code to know that would be difficult, but something much better is needed. Perhaps force all new contributors (with a cookie?) to follow a quick tutorial. That might be mandatory if any of their edits have been reverted. Thanks for taking the time to engage here. Johnuniq (talk) 05:11, 2 September 2021 (UTC)
@Johnuniq, I appreciate you teasing out the nuance that had been missing from describing the issue(s) as, "Anonymous editors do not respond to the messages others leave for them on their talk pages."
Combining the above, with the language @TheDJ offered , I've taken another pass at articulating the issues you referred to in the comment you posted on 00:18, 28 August 2021 (UTC).
@Johnuniq+ @TheDJ: are y'all able to review the language below and let me know if you think there are ways it could be changed to more accurately/exhaustively capture the collection of communication issues that impact people editing anonymously on mobile?
Revised problem statements
"People editing anonymously on mobile devices do not realize when other volunteers are trying to communicate with them. If by chance these anonymous volunteers do realize that others are trying to communicate with them, they have a hard time responding." PPelberg (WMF) (talk) 00:26, 16 September 2021 (UTC)
@PPelberg (WMF): My suggestion is "Editors using mobile devices may not realize that important messages have been left for them. If they do see the messages, they may not know how they can respond." Of course some messages may not be important, but if there is a problem, the messages might be vital. I think problems can also occur for registered accounts so I omitted "anonymous". I don't use devices to edit so I'm not sure, but I have heard that it can be hard to see what they would have to do to respond ("where do I tap?"). Johnuniq (talk) 02:24, 16 September 2021 (UTC)
I've never been convinced that most IPs read the messages on their talk pages, even on desktop. I've filed phab:T291297 to request that someone figure out whether there's much point to posting those messages in the first place (in terms of whether the IP reads the message; other experienced editors/admins might benefit from seeing that concerns are recurrent). Whatamidoing (WMF) (talk) 20:15, 17 September 2021 (UTC)
"Anonymous editors do not respond to the messages others leave for them on their talk pages." I'd say "Anonymous users do not realize that there are messages/that others are trying to tell them something, and if by chance they do realize, they have a hard time responding to those messages/notifications" —TheDJ (talkcontribs) 20:43, 3 September 2021 (UTC)
I assume we're talking about talk pages only here? If so, I think this question is broken down into two parts. The first is deficiencies compared to the desktop editing experience. However, deficiencies compared to desktop is not the full list of problems with mobile talk pages or things that should be done differently on mobile, but I would have to think harder on that part to produce a list. One example: if you see a protected page and want to edit it, the workflow on enwiki is via a talk page edit request. It's a pretty poor UI esp on mobile (you can explore it by going to Donald Trump in incognito on your phone and trying to edit). Some of this falls on the community but there's not really a much better workflow possible without software changes. IIRC(?) not too long ago the "View source" button wasn't shown at all so it wasn't clear how to request a change, so I guess the situation is improving...
Although I suspect 'solutions' is separate to 'issues' I would like to take the opportunity to note, in regards to 2.2 (talk page banners), that I have some feelings on the usefulness of the banners on many talk pages. They're a mess, like look at this. It wouldn't be reasonable to show it all to mobile users, and very often there is nothing useful in them IMO (but I suspect I may be a minority view there). Conversely, see here for a useful non-generic banner and toggle "read as wiki page" on and off to see it. It's a hack used to make the message visible on mobile but apparently still only displays when you "read as wiki page"; I don't know why that feature even exists? If a solution to the talk banner issue can't be figured out, showing editnotices (somehow) would be a feasible solution. A talk page editnotice should only be placed when there's something substantive to say about that particular article. ProcrastinatingReader (talk) 01:02, 28 August 2021 (UTC)
The problem with not showing banners to mobile users is that we expect all users who use the talk page to have read them. It is not reasonable to expect Desktop users to be aware which banners are visible to other editors and which are not. —Kusma (talk) 19:09, 28 August 2021 (UTC)
But I agree that we have far too many banners (and many of them are useless). The whole Wikiproject and assessment stuff really should be in a "meta" area, not taking up space on a discussion page. —Kusma (talk) 19:16, 28 August 2021 (UTC)
@ProcrastinatingReader – I appreciate you sharing these thoughts. Comments and questions in response to the points you raised are below...
I assume we're talking about talk pages only here?
Yep, exactly.
if you see a protected page and want to edit it, the workflow on enwiki is via a talk page edit request. It's a pretty poor UI esp on mobile...
To confirm: are you referring to how people wanting to edit a protected page on mobile need to submit an edit request by way of starting a conversation on said page's talk page and that workflow not being straightforward? [i]
...the usefulness of the banners on many talk pages. They're a mess, like look at this. It wouldn't be reasonable to show it all to mobile users, and very often there is nothing useful in them IMO...Conversely, see here for a useful non-generic banner and toggle "read as wiki page" on and off to see it.
I've tried to put what you described into my "own words" to ensure I'm understanding this as you intended it. Can you please let me know if there is anything you would change in order for it to better reflect what you are communicating?
Peter's "own words": "Volunteers need to be able to display information to people, across devices, in ways that will enhance their understanding of: A) The subject page they are likely reading about and/or B) What to consider before participating on the talk page."
Also, these examples are great. Particularly the Talk:COVID-19 lab leak theory example. Thank you for sharing them; it's clarifying to be able to see what you are imagining in your mind.
i.The workflow for submitting an edit request as an anon volunteer on mobile, by my count, requires ~7 less-than-intuitive steps: 1) Click edit pencil, 2) Click the View source link that temporarily appears at the bottom of the page, 3) Scroll the page, 4) Locate and click the Submit an edit request button, 5) Scroll to the bottom of the talk page's source, 6) Draft a message, and 7) Post said message. PPelberg (WMF) (talk) 02:20, 2 September 2021 (UTC)
  • @PPelberg (WMF): I find the "new section" interface is pretty intuitive for new users. If that link could be more easily accessible, not just the talk page link, I think it would be more useful. I tend to use the &preloadtitle=Foo so that the subject line is filled with some default text, and I've found this useful for action links like leaving me messages about user scripts or questions about things from other projects. Wug·a·po·des 17:53, 28 August 2021 (UTC)
    @Wugapodes: you sharing the experience you've had with, what we've been calling, the New Discussion Tool is helpful to know, especially as we approach offering as an on-by-default feature at the first set of Wikipedias in the coming weeks (see: phab:T271964).
    If that link could be more easily accessible, not just the talk page link, I think it would be more useful.
    Agreed...can you say a bit more here? What about its current location, how it appears, etc. do you think detracts from it's usefulness? Also: have you seen gadgets here, or on other wikis, that you think are effective at addressing the issue(s) that prompted you to share this feedback? For context: you sharing this is timely as well because we will soon be thinking about ways to make the affordance for starting new discussions easier for people to identify and access, regardless of where they are on a given page.
    I tend to use the &preloadtitle=Foo so that the subject line is filled with some default text, and I've found this useful for action links like leaving me messages about user scripts or questions about things from other projects.
    Interesting! Are you able to share a link to a diff and/or page where I can see what you're describing "in action"? PPelberg (WMF) (talk) 03:40, 2 September 2021 (UTC)
    @PPelberg (WMF): You can see an example at User:Wugapodes/Capricorn#Feedback and bugs. The feedback link is created using the fullurl parser function which also allows you to specify the url query. So for that link, I have it add action=edit&section=new to the url which opens the new section interface as well as preloadtitle=... which fills the subject line with the currentuser parser function so that the title is unique and I know who sent it regardless of whether they remember to sign. The full code for that link is {{fullurl:User_talk:Wugapodes|action=edit&section=new&preloadtitle=Message%20regarding%20Capricorn%20from%20%7B%7Bsubst%3Acurrentuser%7D%7D}} At Wikipedia:20th anniversary we did something very similar for the "Say happy birthday" button. I set that button up so that it opened a specific section on the talk page that we made for the purpose, and it used &summary=Wishing Wikipedia a happy birthday to prefill the edit summary for readers.
    W/r/t the link placement, full disclosure, I use responsive monobook on my mobile so take my feedback with a grain of salt. At least as I've seen, the links on articles tend to just be to the talk page which for lots of readers doesn't mean much. Getting from article to talk post is a couple extra clicks in my experience. If the link were "ask a question" or "suggest an improvement" instead of (or in addition to) a talk page link, I think it would encourage more use of talk and depending on the phrasing make the posts more useful. Wug·a·po·des 07:08, 3 September 2021 (UTC)
    I have it add action=edit&section=new to the url which opens the new section interface as well as preloadtitle=... which fills the subject line with the currentuser parser function so that the title is unique and I know who sent it regardless of whether they remember to sign.
    @Wugapodes the above is the precisely the kind of detail I was seeking...thank you for sharing it. I think the workflow you are describing will be compatible with the approach we are taking for offering preload support within the New Discussion Tool. Although, would you be open to reading the "Requirements" section of this ticket and letting us know whether you think there is anything problematic about and/or missing from what's currently written? cc @Matma Rex
    If the link were "ask a question" or "suggest an improvement" instead of (or in addition to) a talk page link, I think it would encourage more use of talk and depending on the phrasing make the posts more useful.
    Making the links themselves more action-oriented could be a successful approach. I've added this idea to the task in Phabricator we are using to track ideas for how we might make talk pages easier for people to discover. PPelberg (WMF) (talk) 00:45, 16 September 2021 (UTC)
  • Thanks for that info, PPelberg. At a glance, the issues summary you put together looks good and seems to capture the main points. {{u|Sdkb}}talk 03:29, 2 September 2021 (UTC)
    At a glance, the issues summary you put together looks good and seems to capture the main points.
    Oh good. This is helpful to know...I appreciate you stopping back by to say as much, @Sdkb. PPelberg (WMF) (talk) 03:43, 2 September 2021 (UTC)
  • Comment. The same IP editrix's address my change frequently, Thus a message to an IP editor may not reach her, however blatant it is or experienced she. (talk) 13:45, 9 October 2021 (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.

Next steps for enabling talk links for mobile anon users[edit]

Hey all, I’m Olga, the product manager for the Web team at the WMF who will be taking on the implementation of the decision to give anonymous mobile users access to the talk page. We are tracking the technical details and implementation in this task in Phabricator, but we also wanted to post here again to make sure everyone who was part of the initial conversation can continue to follow along and help us come to the best outcome together for the readers and editors. Although the change is simple from a technical point of view, we’ve been thinking about some of the impacts it could have, and wanted to take a little time to plan things out together. Here’s what we’re thinking could be the right next steps.

Next steps

  1. Identify the impacts that we – staff and volunteers – do and do not want this change to have. What would make it successful? What would make it unsuccessful? This way, we’ll be able to look back and check if the implementation is a net positive for the wikis. People brought up a few ideas in the original VP conversation: we might like to check how the change affects talk pages (Do we see an increase in reverts? An increase in productive posts?), or whether it affects reading behavior (Are readers not scrolling as far down the page?).
  2. Decide on the design for how this change will initially be implemented. A few different implementations were suggested in the original conversation including adding tabs at the top of the page, adding a talk link or button to the bottom of the page, or adding the icons to the user toolbar. From our side, we think that starting with the link at the bottom of the page would help us learn a bit about impact. What does everyone think of this idea?
  3. Implement the change and track the impacts.

How does the above sound? Which kinds of impact do you think we should be keeping an eye on as we make a change? Which design change do you think we should start with? We will also continue discussing these and more technical aspects of the change in Phabricator, but @MMiller (WMF):, @PPelberg (WMF):, and I will be monitoring and engaging on this page as well. Feel free to post wherever you feel comfortable. OVasileva (WMF) (talk) 22:14, 22 October 2021 (UTC)

Hey @Alexis Jazz, @Xaosflux, @RoySmith, @Sdkb, @ProcrastinatingReader, @Bagumba, @TheDJ, @Wugapodes, @Seraphimblade - wanted to make sure you saw this since you participated in the original thread.  We would definitely value your thoughts! OVasileva (WMF) (talk) 22:20, 22 October 2021 (UTC)
@OVasileva (WMF) thank you for the ping. I'm of mixed mind on this. On the one hand, if we're going to have IP editing, then it's critical that we have the ability to communicate with them. On the other hand, I don't think we should have IP editing. -- RoySmith (talk) 00:18, 23 October 2021 (UTC)
  • In general, the discussion above seems to support that this capability is wanted by the community; in also reading the phab task - I don't think we are married to needing the link at the top of the page, and perhaps the bottom would suffice. However, I don't think it would be a good idea for this to be variable across language editions of the projects - so the team should pick a spot and enable it. — xaosflux Talk 01:44, 23 October 2021 (UTC)
  • Dumping the link at the bottom was proposed by AHollender (WMF), that idea had one vague support (?) from Pelagic and one clear oppose from ProcrastinatingReader. I agree with Xaosflux that we are not married to wgMinervaTalkAtTop specifically but the essence is that mobile anons should not be treated different from any other editor and that links for editing and talk should have equal visibility and ideally be next to each other. I gave you a free mockup and there are others floating around as well (the idea for a context menu with talk+edit+history is also fair) but whatever you do, such a change should apply to all users. There is some underlying sentiment of not wanting anons to be editors at all (which would largely alleviate the need for a talk page link) as voiced by RoySmith and while I support that as well, that's a much bigger change which requires a different proposal.
    Important: note that phab:T293946#7451494 is subtly different from Olga's post above. The plan from the WMF is to do some to-be-identified data gathering first which may take any amount of to-be-determined time. Within two weeks after that they will ignore the community's wishes and dump the talk link at the bottom where nobody will see it. If the revert rates after this are not unreasonable (TBD) however and with an ETA of 4-5 months the WMF will honor our wishes "continue with identifying potential user testing scenarios for readers". Olga, this is a farce. Feel free to study whatever you want (get clearance from Legal regarding GDPR etc), rub our noses in the results and propose another change. But just bloody enable wgMinervaTalkAtTop now. — Alexis Jazz (talk or ping me) 05:23, 23 October 2021 (UTC)
    +1. —Kusma (talk) 07:06, 23 October 2021 (UTC)
  • @User:OVasileva (WMF), @User:PPelberg (WMF), @User:MMiller (WMF), here are some metrics for this project (not sure of the technical feasibility of collecting these):
  1. Unreverted IP edits to article pages where there is previously an unreverted edit by the same IP editor on the article's talk page, indicating they have (tried to) engage in discussion prior to making the edit
  2. Unreverted IP edits to article pages where there is previously a reverted edit by the same IP editor within a certain timeframe, indicating they corrected the reason for the revert rather than repeatedly attempting to force through the same edit
  3. Unreverted IP edits to article talk pages where there is a more recent unreverted, non-bot, non-minor edit by another contributor, possibly indicating someone has engaged in constructive discussion with the IP (although the more recent edit may be in a separate section, or a kind attempt at responding to pure gibberish, like how the WP:Teahouse hosts are apt to do)
  4. IP edits to their own user talk page that are not just simply removing material, indicating they have found their talk page and are trying to engage with it
  5. Unreverted IP edits to the user talk pages of other editors, where those editors have previously posted to that IP's talk page, indicating the IP editor is making contact with the people who have been trying to talk to them
  6. Accounts registered after the talk link is exposed, where the account's first edit is to the Talk namespace, possibly indicating a converted IP editor who found the talk pages and considered them useful
  7. WP:ANEW reports of IP editors breaching 3RR (this should decrease)
  8. IP editors blocked for edit warring (this should decrease)
  9. Entries in the block log containing the text "WP:THEYCANTHEARYOU" or "communication is required" (this should dramatically decrease)
I don't believe looking at the metric "reverted talk page posts" is going to be helpful by itself. If the ratio of reverted to unreverted talk page edits by IP editors becomes much higher than the ratio of reverted to unreverted article page edits by IP editors, it may be an indication that they're misunderstanding what talk pages are for, but an increase in the base rate of reverted talk page edits is to be expected and not an indication of failure.
Please don't shove the talk link to the bottom of the page. We don't need people to have to hunt for it. Sending love. Folly Mox (talk) 21:06, 23 October 2021 (UTC)
Entries in the block log containing the text "WP:THEYCANTHEARYOU" or "communication is required" (this should dramatically decrease)
@Folly Mox what you are describing above sounds like a novel way of evaluating how the various improvements we are making to mobile talk pages are impacting peoples' ability to communicate with anonymous volunteers...are you able to share a link to where we might be able to see a list of blocks containing the text "WP:THEYCANTHEARYOU" or "communication is required"?
...I tried searching for both phrases within Special:BlockList and Special:Log?type=block, tho I have not been able to construct a query that returns any results. PPelberg (WMF) (talk) 19:09, 2 November 2021 (UTC)
I don't know what Folly Mox had in mind but I would not expect many "communication is required" or similar in block logs. People are blocked because there is an underlying problem and the lack of communication means what might have been a simple disagreement or misunderstanding cannot be resolved in any other way. Searching for "communication is required" (with quotes) in user talk shows many hits. Here is an example where I used {{uw-ablock}} and added "communication is required" in a comment: User talk: notice. Johnuniq (talk) 22:32, 2 November 2021 (UTC)
Searching for "communication is required" (with quotes) in user talk shows many hits.
Oh, doing the above is indeed helpful; this is the first time I've seen results like these...thank you for sharing, @Johnuniq! PPelberg (WMF) (talk) 01:35, 5 November 2021 (UTC)
To my mind, "Communication is required" is aimed at editors who could communicate but don't. I'd almost exempt mobile users, as it would be Kafkaesque to both require and prevent communication. Certes (talk) 22:55, 2 November 2021 (UTC)
  • I don't quite understand the need for more information gathering before implementation. We made this change on the Swedish wiki (I believe it's enabling wgMinervaTalkAtTop?). Here is what it looks like (the "Diskussion" tab) -- it looks fine to me, at the top, like normal. Why can't we just do this also for enwiki now? Levivich 03:40, 24 October 2021 (UTC)
  • I, too, am somewhat bewildered by the reticence on the issue. What would make it successful? Just doing it! What would make it unsuccessful? Waiting even longer! Please don't hide the link at the bottom. We want (need) to be able to communicate with these users; let's not continue to make it hard. The "talk" link should be up at the top, next to the "Article" link, just as it is for logged-in users already, just as it is for anon mobile users of Swedish WP (per Levivich above). There's no more reason to be concerned about confusion for anon users when they see a "Talk" tab then we should be concerned about logged in users' confusion. And Alexis Jazz had a mocked-up notice explaining how the talk page isn't some chat room. And the comments from Alexis Jazz above are snarky and bitter, and I can really empathize with them. Please don't artificially delay this further; it's bad enough we'll have to wait another 6 months before we see any implementation. Metrics should certainly include the number of reverts, reverts per anon user, and blocks per anon IP, and maybe some sort of percentage of presumed productive posts from IPs. — JohnFromPinckney (talk / edits) 15:10, 24 October 2021 (UTC)
  • Hey all -- thank you for engaging here and thanks @Folly Mox and JohnFromPinckney: for the lists of suggested metrics. In reading through the comments here and on Phabricator, we can see that it’s important to volunteers that we take action on this issue expediently, and we’ll be focusing on this conversation and the resulting actions this week.
We can see that several people are saying that including a talk link on the bottom of the page would not give anonymous editors sufficient visibility to article talk pages, and that the desire is to add the tab at the top of the article. Since that’s a change that would be seen by very large numbers of article readers, we want to be deliberate and think through any potential consequences, and how we could detect them. Then after deploying, we can look together at the results to think about whether there is a more optimal solution for making sure that all users have clear access to talk pages.
Given that, would it be okay if we comment again here on Tuesday/Wednesday after talking with the team about the implementation and measurement plan? OVasileva (WMF) (talk) 23:31, 24 October 2021 (UTC)
Thank you! I can only speak for myself but I'm looking forward to it. Levivich 23:43, 24 October 2021 (UTC)
Yes, thanks. — JohnFromPinckney (talk / edits) 23:55, 24 October 2021 (UTC)
@OVasileva (WMF): That's okay (this Tuesday/Wednesday I assume, so tomorrow or the day after). Swedish Wikipedia already did this and isn't currently on fire afaik. So there's no reason to expect disaster, and even if disaster struck this change could be rolled back. We wouldn't even blame you for rolling it back without consensus if a disaster is clearly unfolding, in case of disaster you can rely on WP:IAR. I suspect other wikis will follow in the future, so you'll probably have more chances to gather data. But if this really mattered to you, why didn't you act when Swedish Wikipedia did this? Why didn't you prepare while this proposal was ongoing? Both Jdlrobson and AHollender (WMF) knew about this so if the team as a whole was unaware, that's a communication problem on your end. I look forward to your follow-up, but be aware that anything like the mentioned 4-5 months would be wholly unacceptable. — Alexis Jazz (talk or ping me) 09:19, 25 October 2021 (UTC)
Hey all, thanks for your patience - just wanted to leave a note here that we've discussed with the team and reviewed the metrics and timeline. I'll write up our notes and have a reply here tomorrow morning UTC+2. OVasileva (WMF) (talk) 18:59, 27 October 2021 (UTC)
  • As has already been said above, just do it. If unforeseen problems happen from that, then undo it, and let the opponents of undoing complain if their complaint is valid. Too much time is taken up with such discussion of beneficial changes. Phil Bridger (talk) 19:26, 27 October 2021 (UTC)
  • Hi everyone, thank you for your patience and your continued engagement here. As promised, we have an update on the metrics we think would be crucial to track over the course of the change as well as a timeline for implementation.
The team plans to deploy the change within the next two weeks. We want to recognize that the decision to make this change is important, and that it was made with a lot of careful thought, time, and deliberation from you all. We want to make sure that the implementation is equally thoughtful and sets us up for success. Our mobile site is the most visited version of Wikipedia. Once deployed, this change will likely be viewed over 100 million times per day. Because the top of the article can impact a reader’s experience of the site, changes to it can propagate in ways that are sometimes unpredictable. This is why we’re being extra intentional around making and measuring the impact of this change.
Measuring the impact of the change
First, I’d like to share a list of the impacts we want to monitor as we make this change. This will allow us to flag whether the change has the impact we are expecting it to, or whether there are causes for concern.
  1. Will this change increase the amount of vandalism and irrelevant content on talk pages? (potentially by measuring changes in revert rates of anonymous mobile edits on article talk pages)
  2. Will exposing readers to talk pages confuse them or otherwise make their Wikipedia reading experience more difficult? (potentially by surveying a sample of anonymous users on talk pages and asking them about their experience)
  3. Will this change improve the communication between anonymous and logged-in editors so that anonymous editors make better contributions? (potentially by measuring changes in revert rates of anonymous mobile edits to articles)
  4. Will readers understand the purpose of the talk page (potentially by measuring the average time readers spend on a talk page. Note: we do not currently have the ability to measure this and will continue brainstorming on what the best way to do this would be)
Does this list sound reasonable? Should we add anything to it? (@Folly Mox: -- thank you for your detailed measurement ideas. We’re going to think about how we might incorporate them after deploying the change). Our plan would be to monitor these metrics after the deployment. Any substantial changes would allow us to begin a discussion together on whether we should iterate the design, revert the deployment, or stick with the deployment as-is. We’re not quite sure yet how big of change we would consider to be substantial and are welcome to hear your thoughts on this. Does that sound like a good plan?
Over the course of next week, we would make sure the code change is ready to go and make sure we’re ready to quickly look at the right data after deployment. Then at the beginning of the following week, we would deploy the change, giving us time during the rest of that week to alter or fix if needed.
While it’s not as fast as just making the change immediately, we hope this plan sounds both expedient and prudent, and helps us all learn. Please let us know if this sounds like it will work well! OVasileva (WMF) (talk) 09:07, 28 October 2021 (UTC)
Thanks, Olga. Two weeks is much better than 4 to 5 months! I sense that you're worried about seriously breaking something, but frankly, the inability of mobile IPs to communicate (or know they're supposed to communicate, and how) is already a sign of serious brokenicity. So, I think we'd have to scare an awful lot of people away with the slight change of up-display UI to outweigh the benefit of being able to collaborate on our collaborative project.
Regarding the metrics, I have no concerns with Items 1 to 3 (Item 4, on any site on any platform, always makes me itchy). I only hope you will give the changes time to have their effect. Whenever IMDb changes anything, the howls are ferocious for the first few weeks, and I'm sure they lose visitors each time, but I expect some of them eventually return, and other first-timers are pleased with their user experience and are (more) inclined to stay.
I don't know how important this is to you or anybody else, but I would also find it interesting to (somehow) know how much less time admins waste on IP blocks once they have the capability of actually warning them or explaining the rules. Maybe a (subjective) interview of admins, at some point. — JohnFromPinckney (talk / edits) 10:21, 28 October 2021 (UTC)
Thank you Olga. I agree with John above: two weeks is much better than 4-5 months. This plan seems reasonable to me. For the more distant future I suggest looking at my mockup or other compact proposed redesign options like a history-edit-talk context menu which would apply to all users, rendering wgMinervaTalkAtTop obsolete. This couldn't be done right away anyway as it would mess with your statistics, so maybe in a few months. For now let's focus on enabling wgMinervaTalkAtTop for everyone. — Alexis Jazz (talk or ping me) 11:58, 28 October 2021 (UTC)
+1 and thank you. One metric to track in addition to the others might simply be the number of unreverted Talk: namespace edits by IPs (we'd expect it goes up). IP blocks and rangeblocks would be another metric, which we'd expect would would go down. Mainspace reverts of IP edits should also go down. ANI threads about IPs should hopefully go down. And I assume we have these metrics from before the change is implemented to give us a baseline to compare to, and also I hope we have these metrics for Swedish wiki so we can also compare the effect before and after the change on multiple wikis. Btw I'm surprised we don't have time-spent-on-page statistics as it seems like a common web analytic (like referrer, path through the website, exit destination, etc.). This is a bit of an aside but I've always thought the WMF should be gathering/publishing more web analytics data about how readers travel through the website. Levivich 17:38, 28 October 2021 (UTC)
  • Hi everyone (@Alexis Jazz, Xaosflux, RoySmith, JohnFromPinckney, Folly Mox, and Levivich:), as we’re getting closer to deploying the change (deployment will take place November 15th at 18:00 UTC), I wanted to give you a quick update on the work we’ve been doing to measure impact. Once the change is live, we will begin monitoring the metrics to ensure there’s no immediate concern, then collect data for approximately one month, and get back to you with a report on how things are looking and whether we’ve noticed anything that might require iteration on the experience. Currently, our main questions are similar to last time, but we’ve been able to identify which metrics we currently have, which ones we need to build prior to and after the deployment, and to ensure we are collecting information according to our privacy policy. Below is an update on our thinking based on each main question:
Will this change increase the amount of vandalism and other non-relevant content on talk pages?
  • We will be measuring the changes in the percentage of reverts of anonymous mobile edits on article talk pages. We would like to compare this rate both to previous reverts for talk pages on mobile, as well as to reverts for talk pages on desktop.
  • As per the suggestion of @Folly Mox:, we will also be tracking quality edits to IP editors’ own talk pages as well
Will this change improve the communication between anonymous and logged-in editors so that anonymous editors make better contributions?
  • We will be measuring any decreases in the number of blocked anonymous editors (separated by individual blocks and IP range blocks)
  • We will also be measuring any increases in unreverted edits from IPs across namespaces, including main and talk. (Thank you @Levivich: for your suggestion on this!)
  • We will be measuring the percentage of new topics IP editors create that receive a response from other people
Will exposing readers to talk pages confuse them or otherwise make their Wikipedia reading experience more difficult?
  • We will evaluate this by publishing a quicksurvey to talk pages for anonymous users after the deployment that asks questions about their overall experience, including their understanding of wiki pages, as well as the levels of trust they have in the content they are reading. We have yet to write the questions for these surveys and are welcome to ideas.
Will readers understand the purpose of the talk page?
  • Here, we will be evaluating the time IPs spend on talk pages on mobile and comparing to talk pages on desktop.
  • We will also be looking at the number of sessions in which IPs click on the talk page link but do not take any subsequent action, such as opening any sections or beginning a new discussion
  • We have started building out both of these methods of measurement and hope to have them available before or immediately after the change is deployed.
We are still evaluating whether we can look at some more sophisticated measurements, such as the ones @Folly Mox: suggested above.
Does all of the above sound good? If you're curious, more details can be found on the deployment and instrumentation tickets in phabricator.
Finally, I wanted to thank you all for your patience with this process and for allowing us the time to be more intentional with this change and its impacts. We’re looking forward to seeing it live! OVasileva (WMF) (talk) 10:24, 5 November 2021 (UTC)
Sounds good to me; I look forward to learning from the report. Thanks! Levivich 18:34, 5 November 2021 (UTC)
@OVasileva (WMF): I'm late to comment here, but can you confirm if this will enable links to user talk pages too, or just article talk pages? For user talk pages, it seem phab T240976 would be essential for success, as users otherwise would not even know messages are waiting for them.—Bagumba (talk) 09:43, 14 November 2021 (UTC)

Update: "Talk" tab is now visible to anons on mobile at[edit]

Hi y'all – three updates about T293946 (Enable talk for mobile users on enwiki):

  1. On Monday, 15 November, the "Talk" tab became visible to all logged out users visiting the mobile site.
  2. In early 2022, we are planning to analyze the impact this change has had on the wiki. You can follow along with this work in T294503.
  3. In the time between now and then, if you notice unexpected behavior that you think could be a result of this change, can you please share what you're seeing with us here? We will share the same with y'all.

Notes: 1) I debated whether it would have made more sense to start a new discussion with this message. Although, not knowing the conventions of this page, I figured it would be best to continue in the existing, Enable Article / Talk tab bar for mobile anon users discussion as I've done, and assume you all will move this message to a new == H2 == if you thought doing so would be helpful. 2) OVasileva (WMF) is away from work for the next couple of weeks, thus why I'm posting here.

PPelberg (WMF) (talk) 23:39, 19 November 2021 (UTC)

This is lovely - thanks guys. Anon mobile user (talk) 23:00, 20 November 2021 (UTC)

Now need them to see messages. Have two big problems with ip's... they get no notice about messages and they are stuck with a horrible help introduction. This has caused us to have the worst registration rate since we started.Moxy-Maple Leaf (Pantone).svg 23:26, 20 November 2021 (UTC)
Hi @Moxy -- I think I have a couple answers to the two problems you mentioned. We actually just recently made it so that IPs do get notifications about messages on mobile! That work was done in this task, and so now IP editors are getting "new message" banners on mobile. For the problem with help introduction -- are you talking about the kind of help that would encourage an IP to create an account? Or about the onboarding that happens after account creation? For the latter, the Growth features for which I think you've participated in the conversation have progressed beyond their initial trial. We got good results in the trials, and we're now talking about whether to make them the default newcomer experience on English Wikipedia. It would be great to have your perspective in that thread. Thank you! MMiller (WMF) (talk) 21:53, 22 November 2021 (UTC)
Just a note, our greet text for the mobile talk input can be updated at MediaWiki:Mobile-frontend-talk-add-overlay-content-placeholder, currently says Make a suggestion or voice a concern.. — xaosflux Talk 23:43, 20 November 2021 (UTC)

Removing links to portals from the Main Page's top banner[edit]

Survey (Portal links)[edit]

I propose that we remove the hyperlinks to eight portals and the "All portals" page that are currently in the main page's top banner. Instead, the top banner would simply say "Welcome to Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia that anyone can edit. 6,[xxx],[xxx] articles in English" (same as now, but centered). I have the four following arguments:

  • The pageviews of these portals is very low compared to the pageviews of the main page (low thousands vs. 5+ millions), which suggest that no one clicks on them they are not essential to the main page's function.
  • Portals are among the least well maintained and most outdated-looking parts of the project.
  • Portals are not essential to the mission of an encyclopedia, which are generally ordered alphabetically, and used by readers who are looking for something specific. A reader who would want to learn something new would just read an article at random.
  • In terms of graphic design, the Internet has largely moved on from the tendency of early websites to have 50 hyperlinks per square centimeter. Removing these hyperlinks would ever so slightly modernize the user interface.

JBchrch talk 16:01, 26 October 2021 (UTC)

Note: This proposal only argues for the removal of the links from the top banner. You are welcome to express views on whether they should be moved somewhere else on the main page, as some editors have already done. JBchrch talk 10:56, 28 October 2021 (UTC)

Administrator note If removed, please clean up Wikipedia:Main_Page/styles.css as well. — xaosflux Talk 17:01, 26 October 2021 (UTC)
I am happy to do that if/when this happens. Izno (talk) 14:37, 28 October 2021 (UTC)
  • The page views of each of the top portals are roughly the same as those of typical Did you Know items, suggesting that people click on them reasonably often. —Kusma (talk) 16:44, 26 October 2021 (UTC)
    @Kusma: Fair point, amended. JBchrch talk 16:51, 26 October 2021 (UTC)
  • Support with partial move of the "all portals" link to the "Other areas of Wikipedia" section. To give folks some data, here are the pageviews of the listed portals. Most range from 2000 to 5000 views per day, which would be decent to good for a DYK, but they're at the top of the page rather than in the middle so should be expected to do better. The "all portals" link, however, does significantly better at 12,400 per day. Broadly, portals as an idea have failed and ought to be mercifully put to rest, as they're not worth our effort to maintain. But until that outcome achieves consensus, it's not fair to kneecap them by totally removing them in places where they're relevant, which includes the main page. The other areas of Wikipedia section is pretty far down the page, so throwing in a line there along the lines of Content portals – A unique way to navigate the encyclopedia would be pretty innocuous (it would also help rebalance the section towards readers). {{u|Sdkb}}talk 18:13, 26 October 2021 (UTC)
  • Strong support This would make the main page look much cleaner. Any incremental step to drag the page design into the 2020s (2010s?) is a good thing. UnitedStatesian (talk) 18:31, 26 October 2021 (UTC)
  • The Main Page is in need of some updating. The top portals are remnants of a "systematic" approach to content organisation that the world is too complicated for. We should consider linking to good portals (Portal:Cheshire, Portal:Japan) more prominently instead of focusing on those that seem important from an abstract top-down point of view. —Kusma (talk) 18:44, 26 October 2021 (UTC)
    Agreed that the Main Page is in need of systemic design reform. But reviving featured portals? Please no. {{u|Sdkb}}talk 20:07, 26 October 2021 (UTC)
    Well, quality control for portals is currently done through MFD, which isn't great. But that's a different discussion; I mainly wanted to point out that individual good portals still exist, despite the bad reputation of the namespace. —Kusma (talk) 13:29, 27 October 2021 (UTC)
  • Oppose any such change without a broader more centralized discussion. As an oft accused Portalista, I would be remiss if I did not accuse the OP of being a part of the war on portals. Sorry for the sarcasm, folks; had to throw down THAT gauntlet before anyone else. No offense User:JBchrch (who was not here during the portal wars); I was making a poor joke at my own expense. If in this thread a redesign of the main page is under discussion, what else is on the table? As an inhabitant of Planet PortalFan I must protest any removal of any link to any portal anywhere. Seriously, this cut would be pretty brutal on total portal views. Kneecapped. I'm not convinced that portals have gone the way of the dodo quite yet. Not everybody learns in the same way. The portals linked look good and seem well-maintained. I do very much like the turn of phrase by User:Sdkb: "A unique way to navigate the encyclopedia". BusterD (talk) 20:05, 26 October 2021 (UTC)
    Regarding what else is on the table, we should limit discussion to the presentation of portals on the main page. Anything less focused will become a trainwreck without additional structure. VPR is pretty centralized, but portals folks should certainly be notified and this can be CENT-listed if needed. {{u|Sdkb}}talk 20:13, 26 October 2021 (UTC)
    @BusterD: No offense taken! In addition to Sdkb's comments, I just wanted to note that I have no strong views on placing the portal links anywhere else on the main page. I just think they are out of the place at the absolute top. I will now place a notice on WT:PORT. JBchrch talk 20:27, 26 October 2021 (UTC)
  • Comment: I do use the top-level portals from time to time. Providing multiple means of content navigation is definitely helpful. No objection to moving to a different part of the page but I'd strongly favor keeping all of the links somewhere on the home page above the fold. Seems more helpful than the "On this day..." or "Did you know..." content. - Wikmoz (talk) 20:39, 26 October 2021 (UTC)
    There are some interesting Wikipedia home page redesign concepts around the web. Short of broad consensus to remove, I think this one is in the hands of Wikimedia's staff designers. - Wikmoz (talk) 23:55, 26 October 2021 (UTC)
    It's in the hands of the Wikipedia community. It's all done in wikitext; there's nothing in the MediaWiki software that requires or prohibits these links or restricts their position or appearance. German WP lists the portals more prominently with icons; French WP has a single link ("Portails thématiques") to its main portal. Certes (talk) 00:22, 27 October 2021 (UTC)
    Very interesting. I didn't realize that. I see now there are changes based on discussions as well as alternative layouts. - Wikmoz (talk) 01:46, 27 October 2021 (UTC)
    Just a note to point out that both of these design seem to rely on incredibly high-def pictures, which we rarely have (except for the occasional European painting). In the first link, for instance, the big Nelson Mandela picture is not on Commons as far as I can see. JBchrch talk 00:37, 27 October 2021 (UTC)
    The second design link there prioritizes the portals in a very nice and logical way - if they were something that we as a community were really putting effort into and wanted to promote. Retswerb (talk) 06:34, 6 November 2021 (UTC)
    Wow! Some of these redesigns are beautiful!!! Are these independent third-party mockups? Or anything that is actively being considered by WMF? Ktin (talk) 20:57, 1 December 2021 (UTC)
  • I could see moving the portal links below the featured picture (and above “Other areas of Wikipedia”). It would put the navigational parts of the main page together. Blueboar (talk) 20:46, 26 October 2021 (UTC)
  • Oppose complete removal but support a review of the Main Page layout. The portal list fits in a handy space of just the right size. If more widely used information could usefully fit into that prime real estate then let's move the portal list down to make way, but I don't see any great candidates to replace it. The two traditional ways to organise and access content are alphabetically and by topic. An alphabetical article listing is obviously impractical, but the search box does that job well. I think access by topic is still worth a couple of square inches somewhere above the fold. Certes (talk) 23:41, 26 October 2021 (UTC)
    @Certes: I guess the graphic design argument would be to say that we don't need a replacement, since the most straightforward way to modernize the MP's design is precisely to remove stuff and to leave some prime real estate empty [1][2][3][4][5][6][7][8][9]. Such a wholesale proposal is obviously well beyond the scope of this particular VPR section, but the idea that a removal would require a replacement seems to run somewhat contrary to the emerging consensus that the main page needs to be modernized. JBchrch talk 00:10, 27 October 2021 (UTC)
    Then I suppose it boils down to which better serves our readers: wikilinks, or white space. Personally I think it's no contest, but then I'm not a graphic designer. Certes (talk) 12:21, 28 October 2021 (UTC)
  • Support .....moving links out of first banner into "Other" section.Moxy-Maple Leaf (Pantone).svg 01:54, 27 October 2021 (UTC)
  • Support. It is an inefficient use of the main page screen space especially on wide screens. Ruslik_Zero 19:58, 27 October 2021 (UTC)
  • I have added this discussion to WP:CENT for wider input on the question. Wug·a·po·des 21:47, 27 October 2021 (UTC)
  • Support Portal links are not terribly helpful to readers and the Main Page could benefit from streamlining (this is a good first step). Calliopejen1 (talk) 21:51, 27 October 2021 (UTC)
  • Support, as a first step in the deprecation of the portal namespace. They serve no useful function that is not served by wikilinks generally. Portals are collections of links; articles are better, more helpful, and better maintained (as suggested above) collections of links. AleatoryPonderings (???) (!!!) 22:35, 27 October 2021 (UTC)
  • Support, moving them from their current location. With the exception of the all portals link it is really unclear that they are portal links. Cavalryman (talk) 01:07, 28 October 2021 (UTC).
  • Oppose - Prominently displaying a manner to help readers navigate our content in a systemized manner is due. If there is a better way to do this in the current location, it should readily be considered. Until then, the current scheme suffices. That aside, perhaps our 'indexation' warrants maintenance or improvement as a whole. However, aesthetical considerations to appear modern or streamlined should never take precedence over form and functionality.— Godsy (TALKCONT) 03:27, 28 October 2021 (UTC)
  • Support. Confusing noise, and portals fail to provide systematic navigation (categories do that, Portals do random and highly selective stuff). Portals belong under the Wikipedia:Community portal link in the Navigation frame, and they all belong in Wikipedia project space, because Portals if they can do anything, can draw in new editors. — Preceding unsigned comment added by SmokeyJoe (talkcontribs) 03:42, 28 October 2021 (UTC)
  • Oppose the first argument is flawed: very few people who go to the main page click on any of the links on it, and so this argument can be used for removing anything on it. For example Hoopoe starling, which was TFA two days ago and otherwise got very little traffic, got 30,000 hits when it was up there, a tiny fraction of the over 5 million people who viewed the main page yesterday. I think it's entirely legitimate to give readers a way of using Wikipedia from the main page other than a search box. I'm happy to consider moving the links somewhere else, but not removing them entirely. Hut 8.5 07:43, 28 October 2021 (UTC)
    @Hut 8.5: This proposal is not arguing in favor a removing from the main page completely, but just removing them from the main page's top banner. It leaves completely open the question of relocating them somewhere else on the talk page, and you are of course welcome to express a view on that. But your !vote seems to indicate that you want the portal links to stay at the top of the main page, which does not seem entirely consistent with the rest of your answer. Is that your view? JBchrch talk 09:20, 28 October 2021 (UTC)
    @JBchrch: your opening on this didn't make that very clear - of course anything can come up in discussion - but when you say "remove x from y" as opposed to "move x from y (to z)" from the start, that people think this is only about deletion shouldn't be too surprising. — xaosflux Talk 10:44, 28 October 2021 (UTC)
    @Xaosflux: Thanks—does the new note add clarity? JBchrch talk 10:57, 28 October 2021 (UTC)
    @JBchrch: I think it may help guide the discussion more (there was nothing defective about the preceding discussion, but the clarity may help those joining consider the option). — xaosflux Talk 11:02, 28 October 2021 (UTC)
    Thanks; that's a lot clearer. I'd interpreted remove the hyperlinks as getting rid of them rather than changing their location. However, if we are to retain the links in a different location, that should happen in a single operation. It would be wrong to get rid of the links now pending further discussion to consider the possibility of a decision about finding a better place for them in the fullness of time. Certes (talk) 11:29, 28 October 2021 (UTC)
    Yeah - as it stands this is a proposal to remove the links, and some of the supporters do want the links removed entirely. If I support it and it gets enacted then they will likely be removed completely. If they are to be moved somewhere else then that should happen as the result of a single discussion. I wouldn't object to a proposal to move them somewhere else. Hut 8.5 11:53, 28 October 2021 (UTC)
  • Comment - Interesting links to support this discussion:
  • Strong support: just a reminder that most of our readers are on mobile, even though almost all editors are on desktop. On mobile in particular, these portal links clog up the screen with links that put the interesting content we have to display a screen further away. Sdkb's partial move works fine to me (though they're referencing a panel I'd mostly remove in my ideal Main Page redesign). — Bilorv (talk) 13:08, 28 October 2021 (UTC)
  • I support full removal strongly as first choice per all previous discussion on portals and move to "Other areas of Wikipedia" per Sdkb as a second must-have-consensus choice (probably just with a link to Portal:Contents [why is that an entirely different portal system in Wikipedia space???]). If portals are honestly used, moving the ones on the main page will be a good test.

    I thoroughly reject blocking this improvement on a "systematic front page redesign", which has not achieved a consensus revised look for 15 years. Incremental change seems the name of the game for at least this aspect. --Izno (talk) 14:36, 28 October 2021 (UTC)

  • Comment Well, it depends. Is there a benefit to those specific portals being where they are? Would anything be lost if removed? I guess the thinking behind it is that people would've went to the main page and went through these broad topics, turns out, this didn't really happen, especially because of the search bar. But there is no reason to totally remove the portals from there. Just keep a link to "All portals". I'm not so sure about moving it to "Other areas". If a move like that happens, there should probably be a notification of the change on the page for a few days. Or for any noticeable changes to the main page, really. Dege31 (talk) 15:25, 28 October 2021 (UTC)
  • Oppose, creates more useless whitespace. If the portal links are removed, the banner should not be full width. —Kusma (talk) 16:55, 28 October 2021 (UTC)
  • Oppose per Hut. A solution looking for a problem, and if some people find these useful then they should stay.  — Amakuru (talk) 17:38, 28 October 2021 (UTC)
    Any designer will tell you that an overly cluttered layout is absolutely a real problem (even if Wikipedia, unlike the rest of the modern web, sometimes has trouble acknowledging it). {{u|Sdkb}}talk 20:01, 29 October 2021 (UTC)
  • Oppose If it would just mean leaving a blank space. If there something specific to go there, or if removal would allow some beneficial change, I'd be happy to reconsider. I'm not for removing things that are "not essential", nor for giving more help to readers looking for things "at random", nor for "slightly modernizing". Thincat (talk) 18:57, 28 October 2021 (UTC)
    @Thincat: Out of curiosity, what would you regard as "beneficial change"? JBchrch talk 19:21, 28 October 2021 (UTC)
    I'm curious too! Some layout change rather than a change of content. I like all of TFA, DYK, ITN and OTD. Personally, I'd like to see the featured picture without scrolling down but I've no idea how that could work. Thincat (talk) 20:47, 28 October 2021 (UTC)
  • Support. I have just clicked on one, for the first time ever. And I am a TFA scheduler! Not a good advert for Wikipedia. Gog the Mild (talk) 23:25, 28 October 2021 (UTC)
  • Support. I don't think portals are a useful way to navigate the vastness of this Wikipedia, and they certainly aren't useful enough to merit such a prominent position. I support full removal from the main page or, failing that, moving them to a less prominent position. Having more blank space is not inherently a problem, and leaves us the option to add something better there in the future.—Neil Shah-Quinn (talk) 01:45, 29 October 2021 (UTC)
  • Support removal mostly a combination of "per" the support !votes above but also because I find the rationales for keeping the portal links quite unconvincing. Having more blank space is a good thing; that's basic layout and design principles. We don't want a "busy" or full front page. (Most readers are mobile anyway and there won't be blank space for them.) Just because "some" people find it useful isn't a good reason to keep it: given the scarcity/value of front page screen real estate, the threshold should be most not some. For browsing Wikipedia, only one link is necessary, and it should be to WP:Contents. (Most readers are coming for the search bar anyway, aren't they?) I don't think these links are used enough to justify the prime real estate (top of the front page) they occupy. Levivich 06:33, 29 October 2021 (UTC)
  • Oppose The link someone posted above clearly shows [10] over a million people clicked on one of the portal links in the past 30 days. Some people do use them. Other things on the main page get fewer hits than these do. Dream Focus 13:22, 29 October 2021 (UTC)
    • Thats not what that link shows. That link shows page views, not how many people clicked on the links on the main page. Over 300k or 30% of that million is to WP:Contents/Portals. And even still, a million over a month is tiny for a permanent link on the main page, which gets 171 million page views in a month. So we're talking just over one half of one percent. Other content on the main page might get fewer page views but other content isn't on the main page every day for a month, and it isn't at the top of the screen taking up prime real estate. Levivich 14:05, 29 October 2021 (UTC)
  • Support removal Portals are an outdated mode of presenting knowledge. We need to have a serious, informed (by research) conversation about how to best do so. This is not that discussion. But: Our current implementation is similar to of Yahoo's early approach (basically a taxonomy) , which worked for a while, but no longer does. Arguments in favor of keeping the links because "people click on them" don't take into account that people will click on anything in the top right corner of a website. Clicks in not an argument. I'm hypothesizing that the main page gets so many visits because it has the shortest URL, and most people who go there a really just looking for the search function. It is far easier to type than Imagine the following: If instead of what we have now, Special:Search was the default and that page had it a link to Portal:Main, would that portal page still get 5 million views a day? — Preceding unsigned comment added by Vexations (talkcontribs) 15:30, 29 October 2021 (UTC)
    Navigating content by category is outdated? Search definitely presents a great option for finding a specific topic but browsing is still very much a valid and widely-used alternative. Amazon,, Netflix, the New York Times, and most other content sites organize content by category so users can drill down to find content of interest. Search may be the ideal solution for many use cases but content hierarchies are not obsolete. - Wikmoz (talk) 06:26, 4 November 2021 (UTC)
  • Meh. I'm all for considering a redesign of the main page, but let's not do it piecemeal. -- Calidum 14:33, 29 October 2021 (UTC)
  • Oppose As explained by Hut 8.5, the statistical argument is flawed. The argument about the space taken on the mobile interface sounded plausible but then I tried it. The portals appear after the strap line about "the free encyclopedia that anyone can edit" and read as a brief and simple high-level start for browsing the encyclopedia: The arts, Biography, Geography, etc. But what then takes all the space on the mobile view is the FA and its blurb which is comparatively huge and, today, is 1920–21 Cardiff City F.C. season. That comes across as a very random article of limited interest to 99% of our general readership. The daily readership for that article last year was just 3. Not 3 million, not 3 thousand, just 3! That's what's getting undue weight in the current format Andrew🐉(talk) 20:10, 29 October 2021 (UTC)
    If look at what kind of pages people are finding through search engines, it appears that our most popular feature would be about recently deceased people. That wouldn't be my preference, but it would be relevant to our readers. Vexations (talk) 20:52, 29 October 2021 (UTC)
    I agree with the rationale, but I don't really understand the !vote: if we want to base our decision on what our general readership is interested in (agreed [save for the fact that I love obscure TFAs]), how does it make sense to place the emphasis on portals? JBchrch talk 21:20, 29 October 2021 (UTC)
    The Portal links make sense because they give a brief, broad-brush sweep of the encyclopedia's scope and this is appropriate as an introduction. Note further that JBchrch seems to be talking only about the desktop view when most of our readership uses the mobile view. In my mobile view, the first line is not "Welcome to Wikipedia...", it's "Welcome Andrew Davidson!" Any redesign needs to focus primarily on this mobile view, where space is precious. The desktop view is less important because, on a large monitor, there's lots of room for everything and it's good to use the space. Andrew🐉(talk) 07:10, 30 October 2021 (UTC)
  • Oppose This link is one of the only ways readers can get in touch with the Portal namespace. People argue... "We should delete them because readers don't look at them", but in reality, that's because access to the portal namespace from articles is low. There's only one tiny thing, a link at the bottom, that links main and portal namespace. However, most readers just read the lead and don't see the portal link. However the Main Page link is much more important because millions of people see the main page every day. The link provides easy access to portals. 🐔 Chicdat  Bawk to me! 10:22, 30 October 2021 (UTC)
  • Much above, seems rather contradictory: the main page is a portal page, and the links are (sub) main pages -- sure more people read the 'front' page, and the front page gets more attention, but there are lists of subsections too, tables of content, if you will. Alanscottwalker (talk) 17:53, 30 October 2021 (UTC)
  • Oppose removal unless some other use of the space is made. Removing links that thousands of people use to replace them with acres of white space seems counter productive. Espresso Addict (talk) 00:35, 31 October 2021 (UTC)
Why would removing the links result in “acres of white space”? Blueboar (talk) 22:06, 1 November 2021 (UTC)
  • We could even add white space and keep the portal links! We're not a physical newspaper limited by the size of tabloid paper. I'll curse whoever adds the white space and write a Tampermonkey script to remove it, so I can see the content without constantly scrolling or shrinking the text to the size of a gnat's genitals, but technically it's easy. Certes (talk) 15:56, 31 October 2021 (UTC)
  • Oppose - We gotta fill that space up with something. Until we can think of another item, may as well keep linking to Portals. Note: This comes from a fellow, who supports the elimination of Portals. GoodDay (talk) 17:04, 31 October 2021 (UTC)
    • Um… no… we don’t need to “fill that space”. After all, should we decide to delete the links completely, we would also delete the “space” they appear in (and thus there would be nothing that needed filling). Alternatively, if we decide to keep the links, but move them elsewhere on the page, we would move the “space” as well. Or did you mean something else? Blueboar (talk) 20:06, 31 October 2021 (UTC)
      • @Blueboar: Perhaps they meant that it would be imprudent to leave such a forward-facing part of our main page top matter unfilled (a notion with which I would concur should that be the case). — Godsy (TALKCONT) 08:04, 1 November 2021 (UTC)
        • Still not understanding what the issue is. What exactly needs to be “filled”? Blueboar (talk) 12:47, 1 November 2021 (UTC)
  • Support per Kusma. NW1223(Howl at me/My hunts) 15:36, 1 November 2021 (UTC)
  • Strong support – The Mainpage is inaccessibly overloaded with information, essentially akin to banner blindness. Of the eight portals listed, only two (Math and Science) have a "maintainer" listed (which I'm sure is a concept most people in this thread aren't even aware of), meaning that the 6 other portals are being continuously linked directly from our most viewed page without any regular oversight. This is the kind of change that will begin to improve the Mainpage. Those that think someone will create a radically new Mainpage design and have it approved are living in fantasy—that will never happen, there are too many people on Wikipedia obsessed with the status quo for the sake of itself (e.g. the "solution looking for an improvement" crowd). Actual reform to the Mainpage will almost certainly be small and gradual improvements such as this. Aza24 (talk) 23:34, 1 November 2021 (UTC)
  • Support removal. Whitespace is incredibly precious and helps make layouts readable and intuitive. Most of the good proposed redesigns of the Wikipedia Main page make it less busy, and doing that requires sacrificing what isn't important in favor of what is important. Filling every last square with text isn't ideal - blank spaces draw the eye to the relevant sections. And Portals just aren't relevant enough, for reasons discussed ad nauseum. A link to "All Portals" is fine and can stay somewhere, but remove the others. SnowFire (talk) 03:47, 4 November 2021 (UTC)
  • Remove but keep the "All portals" link with some meaningful name. All of us know what a portal is, but I doubt if the average reader does. Without the subject-specific portals there to give a clue, "All portals" becomes essentially meaningless. A better name would be "Browse by subject area". Zerotalk 04:06, 4 November 2021 (UTC)
  • Strong oppose of entire removal. Removing access to portals from the main page will simply further orphan portals to a greater degree, and does nothing to provide diverse navigational means and content to Wikipedia's WP:READERS. I also echo the stances and concerns of BusterD, Wikmoz, Certes, Hut 8.5 and Amakuru here, among others that have provided meaningful oppose !votes.
An idea in lieu of the total removal of portal links is to move them to the end of Main page, perhaps encapsulated in the {{Portal bar}} template (see example below):
{{Portal bar|Biology|Fungi|Plants|Science}} creates:
A very important issue is that the portal bar template does not appear in the mobile view of Wikipedia, so mobile users would not see the links. For example, for desktop users here, compare the portal bar at the bottom of the Sustainable development article and then notice how in mobile view the portal bar and links are nonexistent (link). So, if the portal bar were to be used on Main page, a new template or layout would need to be designed that appears for mobile users.
Many of the arguments here for the entire removal of portal links are based upon making the Main page look neater, cleaner or less cluttered, but this does nothing to provide diverse content to readers. Fact is, this would also dumb-down the Main page, providing less options for readers to learn about using portals as a means to navigate topics. If the portal links were to be removed entirely, portals will be used less, because people just won't see the option as often. Then at Miscellany for deletion, users that virtually exclusively opine for deletion of entire portals per low page views will have a very easy and convenient way to further their stances for deletion, which at times seems to actually be based upon a disdain of portals in general, using page views as a sort of "excuse" to "get rid" of them. The removal of portal links from the Main page would move Wikipedia in a backwards direction, not forward. North America1000 19:06, 4 November 2021 (UTC)
... portal bar now appears in mobile. Totally coincidental on my part. Izno (talk) 23:54, 29 November 2021 (UTC)
  • Support - not once in my six years of editing and several more browsing have I ever used those links. We could consider center aligning the "Welcome to Wikipedia" block. Anarchyte (talk) 06:25, 5 November 2021 (UTC)
  • Support relocation. Had to go visit the front page to even figure out what this discussion was about. Per the various arguments already made regarding usage, let's keep them somewhere on the front page for now. While we're at it, full support of re-labeling per @Zero0000. "Browse by subject area" would be much more meaningful to the average casual visitor. Retswerb (talk) 06:24, 6 November 2021 (UTC)
  • Support full removal, "per" the above. I find Levivich's argument quite convincing. Portals are like the bookmarks of editors; readers don't use them. I would suspect that the search function is used far more often. 🐶 EpicPupper (he/him | talk) 02:51, 9 November 2021 (UTC)
  • Support. Portals are generally outdated and poor content, not something for the main page. Sandstein 17:50, 9 November 2021 (UTC)
  • Support as part of a portal space reboot. When clicking on one of these links, the reader experiences a “break” in the general layout of the WP and an absurd drop in quality content compared to the main page. I believe, a namespace that has failed to solve structural problems for over a decade (as demonstrated in my comment links above) does not deserve such privileged space on the Mainpage.Guilherme Burn (talk) 12:08, 10 November 2021 (UTC)
  • Support, no need to keep trying to prop up this failed experiment.-gadfium 19:49, 10 November 2021 (UTC)
  • Meh it's hard to say that the current links are good, but they do seem better than blank space. I suppose the line-wrap in "Welcome to Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia that anyone can edit." could be removed, but I don't like that change aesthetically. We also could just link to the article Mathematics instead of Portal:Mathematics. User:力 (powera, π, ν) 20:04, 10 November 2021 (UTC)
  • Support Never in all my years of editing have I clicked on those links, let alone even noticed them. Begone, clutter. CaptainEek Edits Ho Cap'n! 22:52, 11 November 2021 (UTC)
  • Oppose If we are going to have a main page, which is a portal page, then link the subject main pages too. Alanscottwalker (talk) 20:58, 12 November 2021 (UTC)
  • Oppose per Northamerica1000. We should be making portals better and more function, than removing them. JackFromWisconsin (talk | contribs) 17:48, 13 November 2021 (UTC)
  • Support removal (and, if that fails, support moving them elsewhere) - portals are a relic of a long gone era, and if nothing else they shouldn't clutter the MP with more links. A little whitespace (or, in this case, greyspace) can go a long way for making pages cleaner and clearer. Remagoxer (talk) 21:51, 19 November 2021 (UTC)
  • Support, as they clutter up the main page, and they aren't widely used.Jackattack1597 (talk) 16:42, 20 November 2021 (UTC)
    • Comment – In November 2021 Portal:History received a grand total of 133,559 page views, averaging 4,452 page views per day. How does this correlate with the statement that portals are not "widely used". The reality is that there is no correlation to the assertion. Quite the contrary exists, actually, whereby portals linked on Main page are actually used frequently daily, by thousands of WP:READERS per day. Do those links really "clutter" the Main page? If so, perhaps they could be moved and integrated into a graphical format, as I have suggested above. North America1000 12:20, 1 December 2021 (UTC)
      • This has already been gone over in detail in this thread. 4500 daily page views proves "not widely used" because 4500 is not a lot. The main page gets millions of daily page views. 99% of main page visitors do NOT click on the portal links. When 1% of our readers click on a link, that is not "widely used". Levivich 13:17, 1 December 2021 (UTC)
        That's true of almost all links from the main page. The portal links are amongst the most-clicked. The only reason to pick on them for removal, rather than some of the less-clicked non-portal links, is a dislike of portals, which is a separate debate. Certes (talk) 15:09, 1 December 2021 (UTC)
        No, as we went over in this thread, what you're saying just isn't true. It is not true that the portal links are amongst the most-clicked. Your earlier argument about this compared the portal links ANNUAL page views, with things like TFA which are only on the main page for a day. But 4,500 is actually a very low amount of single-day page views for anything on the main page. TFAs and ITNs get tens of thousands of daily page views. For example, recent TFAs Jaguar got 55k, British logistics in the Falklands War got 65k. Orders of magnitude more. Please stop repeating the untruth that portal links are among the most-clicked, it's just not true. "The people who disagree with me just don't like it" is the most-tired, weakest argument that too many editors cling to when consensus doesn't agree with them. The truth isn't that people just don't like portals, it's that intelligent people are looking at the data and coming to a rational conclusion. There are no links on the main page that are less-clicked and as prominent (appearing at the top, every single day) as the portal links. Levivich 15:59, 1 December 2021 (UTC)
  • Support removal of the links, which I doubt many people actually use. Blank space is not necessarily the enemy - there is no problem with having nothing in that space. firefly ( t · c ) 16:01, 1 December 2021 (UTC)
  • Oppose based on the evidence that they are well used by readers and the lack of any good reason to remove them. If they really do "clutter" the main page (for which there is no evidence) then move them elsewhere. Thryduulf (talk) 17:52, 1 December 2021 (UTC)
  • Support removal. Not really used, for a very, very good reason: portals are not so useful to navigate inside a topic. When you have tried some of them, "not worth the click" becomes your opinion. Pldx1 (talk) 18:07, 1 December 2021 (UTC)
  • Oppose. The link to the portals is a great way to showcase the breadth of what we have to offer. We will not be any richer nor will we be doing our readers any service by removing the links. Ktin (talk) 20:40, 1 December 2021 (UTC)

Discussion (Portal links)[edit]

An issue that has been raised by some comments and !votes above probably deserves some meta-discussion: if this proposal gains consensus, when and how do we decide if we move the links somewhere else, remove them completely from the main page, or add some other type of link somewhere else on the main page? My impression—but I'm happy to defer—is that we are not likely to solve all of these question in this single survey. Accordingly, if this proposal gains consensus, we would have to launch a second proposal/RFC with several options to choose from. The main page should probably not be changed until this second survey closes. Tagging editors who have expressed some view related to this question: Sdkb, BusterD, Blueboar, Certes, Moxy, Cavalryman, Godsy, SmokeyJoe, Hut 8.5, xaosflux, Bilorv, Izno, Dege31. JBchrch talk 15:58, 28 October 2021 (UTC)

I suspect that "do nothing", "move elsewhere" and "get rid" each have substantial but minority support. We need to be wary of pitting one option against an alliance of the others as a binary choice. "Do nothing" vs "do something" risks throwing out the most popular of the three options for receiving fewer !votes than the other two combined, as would "get rid" vs "keep somewhere". A politician would have a great opportunity to gerrymander their preferred result here, but for a fair and collegiate consensus we need to tread carefully. Certes (talk) 16:15, 28 October 2021 (UTC)
I agree with this, if there's three options then the RfC should be about those three options, and trying to consolidate two of them can distort the outcome. For example if option A has 40% support and options B and C have 30% support each, then an RfC about option A only would eliminate it even though it's the most popular. Hut 8.5 17:40, 28 October 2021 (UTC)
As per Hut 8.5 .--Moxy-Maple Leaf (Pantone).svg 23:17, 28 October 2021 (UTC)
I'm not sure if I completely follow the practical implications of the comments above, especially the reference to a "do nothing" option? For all intents and purposes, the do nothing/do something discussion is taking place right now, in the (now CENT-listed) discussion above. If "support" comes out as the result, I don't think that it would be very useful to relitigate the question by adding a "leaving at the top" option in a subsequent discussion/RfC about portal links on the main page. JBchrch talk 02:42, 29 October 2021 (UTC)
The practical implication is that, if leaving the links as they are is the most popular option but lacks a 51% majority, then a vague proposal to move, remove or otherwise change the links in an unspecified way would pass, neatly removing the most popular option and leaving the field clear for a less popular option to be chosen and implemented. Certes (talk) 11:28, 29 October 2021 (UTC)
We could ask everyone to vote preferentially, ie 1. Relocate 2. Do nothing 3. Remove. Cavalryman (talk) 19:59, 29 October 2021 (UTC).
Where the Mainpage Portal links should go, under Contents. —SmokeyJoe (talk) 09:28, 4 November 2021 (UTC)
SmokeyJoe (talk) 09:28, 4 November 2021 (UTC)

Do we have a way to know the frequency with which all of the links on the main page are visited? Without comparative data, we can't tell what links are most popular. isaacl (talk) 14:58, 29 October 2021 (UTC)

m:Research:Wikipedia clickstream might provide the relevant data. * Pppery * it has begun... 15:03, 29 October 2021 (UTC)
@Pppery: Thanks for that. Just curious as you'd be the person to know: is there a faster way to pull the main-page links out of that 1.5GB Sep 2021 TSV, other than my writing a py script to do it? Like is there some tool that already exists (Excel and gsheets obv won't handle it)? Thx again. Levivich 16:32, 29 October 2021 (UTC)
No idea. I'm aware of it's existence because I've seen other people refer to it in discussions, but have never actually used the data myself. * Pppery * it has begun... 16:33, 29 October 2021 (UTC)
Such a tool would be very useful but I'm pretty sure that it doesn't exist. Certes (talk) 16:50, 29 October 2021 (UTC)
egrep '^Main_Page' clickstream-enwiki-2021-09.tsv | awk -F'\t' '{print $4 "\t" $2}' | sort -rn | head -10 | nl
  1. 1206925 Deaths_in_2021
  2. 233742 Wikipedia
  3. 173963 Emma_Raducanu
  4. 141315 COVID-19_pandemic
  5. 128589 Inspiration4
  6. 80254 Hurricane_Ida
  7. 78687 Encyclopedia
  8. 72049 2021_German_federal_election
  9. 66947 2021_Guinean_coup_d'état
  10. 66603 2021_Canadian_federal_election
cheers, Vexations (talk) 17:48, 29 October 2021 (UTC)
@Vexations: Thanks! Is there a way to get a quick dump like that of the portal links, for comparison? Levivich 19:23, 29 October 2021 (UTC)
I don't see any cross:namespace links in the clickstream dumps, only mainspace. There is this
other-internal Main_Page external 6439369
other-empty Main_Page external 156115155
other-search Main_Page external 5197918
other-external Main_Page external 726835
other-other Main_Page external 80257
which doesn't tell us all that much. Per meta:Research:Wikipedia_clickstream#Data_Preparation "we take one month worth of requests for articles in the main namespace" Vexations (talk) 19:41, 29 October 2021 (UTC)
The last set of numbers counts clicks to the main page from various sources. The other-internal line probably includes a few readers navigating from portals to the main page. Sadly, clickstream doesn't seem to count clicks to portals (or any other pages outside mainspace), whether from mainspace pages such as the main page or from other sources. Certes (talk) 20:20, 29 October 2021 (UTC)
I've seen temporary redirects used from time to time to capture clickthrough data. Could capture the data for a week and multiply by 52 to get a full year estimate. = Wikmoz (talk) 21:15, 29 October 2021 (UTC)
FYI related discussion from earlier this year about this: Wikipedia:Village pump (technical)/Archive 186#Main page click path stats Levivich 01:06, 30 October 2021 (UTC)
I don't see any recent implementation of redirects for the portal links. Could be set up in 15 minutes or less (e.g. Portal:History mpclick with #Redirect [[Portal:History]]). We'd have the data in a week. - Wikmoz (talk) 04:43, 30 October 2021 (UTC)
If an argument is going to be made based on popularity, we need data on all links from the main page to judge the various sections against each other. I suspect the vast majority of main page views result in no links being followed, so having comparative stats is essential. isaacl (talk) 04:51, 30 October 2021 (UTC)
We could set up redirects for all the static links on the main page (so excluding things that change regularly like dyk) and see which are used and which aren't. Levivich 05:09, 30 October 2021 (UTC)
I think we'd want to know on average how often links are selected in the "Did you know...", "In the news", "On this day", and other sections. I don't think a decision should be made solely on follow-through frequency, as the various links serve very different purposes and aren't directly comparable. The portal links are the only ones that offer navigation through content. The links in the colourful boxes expose articles to attract curiosity, links in the "Other areas" section aren't related to content, and links under "Wikipedia's sister projects" aren't related to this site. Plus we can choose to include a link with low follow through if we think it is sufficiently important. Nonetheless, having an idea of how often the different sections are used will help set background context to better frame discussion. isaacl (talk) 05:57, 30 October 2021 (UTC)
For most dynamic links (DYK, TFA, OTD... pretty much everything except ITN), we can see the spike that linking on the main page causes just from looking at the page views. For ITN I don't think it matters much either way, as that's a special case (we're not going to decide static links like portal links by looking at ITN clickthroughs). Portal links aren't the only links that offer navigation through content; there's also the "Contents" link. That's one of the static links we should track through redirects. It would be a PIA to redirect all the dynamic content--we'd need the cooperation of everyone who puts together the ITN, OTD, DYK, TFA, TFP, TFL, and I'm probably forgetting some. Hence why I think we should just put redirects on the static links and not the dynamic ones. As Wikmoz points out, we could do that right now and have data in a matter of days. Levivich 17:24, 30 October 2021 (UTC)
Pageviews for the portals linked from the main page range from 2300 to 4800 per portal per day. [11] Similar figures for the other top-level portals listed in Wikipedia:Contents/Portals range from 120 to 320. [12] It seems reasonable to conclude that this change would prevent approximately 90% of visits to the listed portals, i.e. about 25,000 visits per day. Certes (talk) 18:22, 30 October 2021 (UTC)
There's a tool to do this, but I think it only works for the mainspace: Whatamidoing (WMF) (talk) 04:59, 18 November 2021 (UTC)
Thank you; that's wonderful news which I'll repeat elsewhere. A lot of us have been waiting for that tool, but none of us had managed to discover WikiNav. (I've been using a crude hack on my PC but it requires a 1 GB download.) Certes (talk) 14:02, 18 November 2021 (UTC)
@Whatamidoing (WMF): Is there any way we can show more than the top ten sources and destinations? I see we can extend it to top 20 in one of the graphics, but it would transform the tool's usefulness if the final tables could list all incoming and outgoing pageviews with 10+ views, as given in the Clickstream data, not just the top ten. (The Chocolate example cuts off at 289 views.) Certes (talk) 00:28, 20 November 2021 (UTC)
We'd have to ask User:MGerlach (WMF) or User:Isaac (WMF) about the possibility of getting more results. Also, for the purpose of this discussion, it'd be really nice to have the Portal: namespace included.
Looking at the results from a recent FA, it appears that direct links from the Main Page are labeled in the tool. But the path from Main PagePortal:The artsThe arts doesn't seem to be handled.[13] Whatamidoing (WMF) (talk) 20:00, 22 November 2021 (UTC)
The underlying clickstream dataset only includes the main namespace, so it might be challenging. I think including more namespaces would be a great thing, and very useful not only for this but for figuring out how users navigate Help and Policy pages. Thanks for pointing out WikiNav though, which is a much easier way to explore the data that we do have! the wub "?!" 20:53, 22 November 2021 (UTC)

We don't know if those page views are coming in from the main page links or not though. That's what the proposed redirects would tell us. Levivich 18:40, 30 October 2021 (UTC)

Correct. However, of the top-level portals listed in Wikipedia:Contents/Portals, every single one that's linked from the main page has over 2200 visits, while every single one that's not linked from the main page has under 330 visits. We don't need a statistical analysis to see that can't be coincidence. These links are clearly the oxygen supply of the portal system, through which 90% of visits occur. Certes (talk) 23:53, 30 October 2021 (UTC)
Which makes me wonder: why are we putting these links at the top of the screens of millions of daily readers if only a couple thousand readers are clicking on them? Levivich 00:08, 31 October 2021 (UTC)
Because in total that's about ten million clicks a year. Collectively, the portals get more clicks than TFA, and they get them consistently every day rather than having 24 hours of glory. I can't imagine any other website deliberately making a change to turn away that level of traffic. Certes (talk) 00:19, 31 October 2021 (UTC)
How does that make any sense? Portals get trafic because they are on top of the main page, not the other way around. JBchrch talk 05:36, 31 October 2021 (UTC)
That's true of all pages, like this recent TFA. That's exactly what the main page is for. Gateway Protection Programme was featured not because it was Wikipedia's most-read article, but because our readers might find it useful or interesting. Certes (talk) 10:07, 31 October 2021 (UTC)
Right but you're confusing causation and correlation. For example, portals get more pageviews annually than a TFA because they're linked on the top of the front page. If you look at all TFAs annually, the readership dwarfs portals. For example, just the TFA you linked to, got over 20,000 page views on the day it was linked. 10x what the portals get. Think about it this way: should we keep links at the top of the page when we know that 99.9% of readers never click on them? I think a lot of websites would say "no". We also don't know that every main page link is the cause of page view spikes. The main page portals may be getting more page views than other portals not because they're on the main page, but because they have more inbound links than other portals (because they're top-level portals). We don't know how many of the portal page views are coming from the main page as opposed to elsewhere. For ITN stories, we know that not all the page views are from the main page: when a story is listed on ITN, it's also in the news, so a lot of readers are getting there via web searches. This is why ITN candidates that don't get support to post sometimes get more page views than the stories that are actually posted on ITN. It's a false assumption that the portal pageviews == main page clickthroughs, and it's faulty logic to suggest that the portals should be linked on the main page because they're getting 2k page views a day. Levivich 15:35, 31 October 2021 (UTC)
The eight linked portals got 30,895 views on that date, very comparable with TFA's 20,000. Portal:History alone got 5,376. Bear in mind that regular visitors to the main page will have seen the portal links before but TFA is new for them, which will inflate TFA's clicks and suppress those for portals. A better comparison might be with other static links on the page. Certes (talk) 15:48, 31 October 2021 (UTC)
Not sure why you're combining the eight links together as if they were one link and then comparing those eight against one TFA link. That's just manipulating the statistics through addition to get to a number that makes it look like the portals are as popular as the TFA. A better comparison might be with other static links on the page. No kidding, if only someone had suggested that :-P Levivich 16:03, 31 October 2021 (UTC)
Well, we should be able to get the info we want out of the web site logs, and not need to use wrapper redirects as a hack, but that's another story... Like I said, until we have stats to compare with, we don't have a standard for comparison. But additionally: followed-link count is one measure of success, but a low count doesn't necessarily invalidate the goal of the design, as it can result from a failure in the implementation. Plus the vast majority of readers reach Wikipedia directly from search engine results, so if just looking at pure numbers as a justification, the main page should just be a choice of search engine forms.
I think we should be looking at the end goal, and figure out the best way to achieve it. If we want to provide more prominent content navigation than a sidebar link in a small font size, is using the existing portals the best way? Should we use links to the Contents subpages? Or something else? isaacl (talk) 03:56, 31 October 2021 (UTC)
Given the lack of information on what parts of the main page are popular, I don't feel an argument can be made on removing any of them based on page views. (Portal page views might be low compared with main page views, but they could still be the most often selected links on the main page.) Other arguments for or against any sections can of course still be put forth. isaacl (talk) 04:51, 30 October 2021 (UTC)

IMHO, Portals should be done away with. But, that big discussion was already held, so.... GoodDay (talk) 18:01, 30 October 2021 (UTC)

At the risk of WP:OTHERSTUFF, perhaps we should look at other language Wikipedias. Eight of the top ten main pages link to the major portals in a similar way to enwp, and usually more prominently (icons, bold, etc.), though sometimes further down the page. The other two link to at least the main portal. A quick sample suggests that English portals are similar quality to those in other languages. It's not clear why they are being singled out for orphaning. Certes (talk) 19:42, 4 November 2021 (UTC)

Could we use mw:Extension:QuickSurveys to ask readers directly? Levivich 23:15, 5 November 2021 (UTC)

After reading this discussion yesterday I got in the shower this morning and my eyes fell on my trusty bottle of Dr Bronner's. For all those wondering why more white space might be desirable - this is why. Retswerb (talk) 21:55, 6 November 2021 (UTC)

Yes, there are arguments for adding more white space to the main page. However, a consensus to add white space need not necessarily imply unlinking portals. We could remove some other feature instead, or simply make the page bigger. Certes (talk) 00:23, 7 November 2021 (UTC)
Correct, of course: whitespace does not have to come from removal of portal links. But there appears to be an argument being made by you and others that whitespace is always less valuable than content (Then I suppose it boils down to which better serves our readers: wikilinks, or white space / creates more useless whitespace / Oppose removal unless some other use of the space is made). While it is certainly true that whitespace without content is meaningless, I would argue that content without whitespace loses significance altogether. Whitespace is how we point out content that we care about - rather than the page becoming a meaningless wall of text, like Bronner's memorable but ultimately uninfluential label. Retswerb (talk) 08:02, 13 November 2021 (UTC)
  • Comment – First of all, this is not meant as any sort of personal criticism, so sorry if anyone takes offense, because that's not the point at all. However, some of the arguments supporting link removal make no sense. For example, above a user states that they have never used portals, but if one user does not use portals, why should thousands of users that do use portals have lesser access to links to them? It's like saying, "I don't read DYK articles, so links to them on Main page should be removed". This is purely personal-preference based and subjective, and doesn't take into account that many readers do use portals. Another user states that "readers don't use them", but this is not based in fact whatsoever, and is obviously subjective opinion lacking any basis in actual facts. For example:
Obviously, readers do use portals, and these figures are from only three of the eight listed on main page. Another user states that "portals are generally outdated and poor content", but those linked on Main page are quite the opposite. For example, Portal:Biography only displays Featured articles in its Featured biography section. Per the Featured articles page, it states, "Featured articles are considered to be some of the best articles Wikipedia has to offer". Portal:Geography provides another example, only displaying FA-class articles in its Featured articles and Biography sections. This is certainly not poor content, not in the least; rather, it is the best content. North America1000 23:07, 9 November 2021 (UTC)
Another user states that "readers don't use them", but this is not based in fact whatsoever, and is obviously subjective opinion lacking any basis in actual facts. It's based on math. The main page got 170 million page views in October. The portals, combined, got less than 1 million. If we assume all the portal page views come from the main page (obviously not actually true), that's still less than 1%. So, 99% of main page visitors do not click on the portal links.
To put it another way, we know from the page views statistics that when someone loads the main page, 99 times out of 100 they don't click on any portal link. Those links are very rarely used. Levivich 23:41, 9 November 2021 (UTC)
We can be confident that 90% of traffic to these portals comes via the main page, because linked portals get ten times more views than unlinked ones. This report counts total views for pages linked from the main page. The portals rank between 18 and 32 out of 112. Every single portal is in the top 30% most popular targets. If we needed to remove links (which we don't) then there are many less popular pages which should be unlinked before considering the portals. Certes (talk) 23:51, 9 November 2021 (UTC)
Given it is incredibly unclear that most of the links are actually to portals, I am not sure page views are an accurate estimation of the utility people find from these links. People may be wanting to visit The arts and instead find themselves clicking on Portal:The arts|The arts. Further, we know from DYK data that being listed on the main page results in a massive spike in page views, are people visiting because of the prominence of these links or because they find them to be a really helpful navigational aid? Cavalryman (talk) 00:04, 10 November 2021 (UTC).
This is true. To really understand the utility of the Portal links we'd have to look at where users go next after clicking a Portal from the main page. Even then, utility is difficult to judge. Retswerb (talk) 07:42, 13 November 2021 (UTC)
  • Meh. I partially agree with Calidum- I think that if we are going to redesign the main page, we should do it as part of a broader discussion of Wikipedia's appearance. However, I do think that Sdkb's proposal to identify portals as a "unique way to view wikipedia" is worthwhile-portals can be useful and a clearer identification of their purpose would increase their usefulness; it could perhaps even revitalise them from their current *older* appearance. NANPLover47talk 05:06, 29 November 2021 (UTC)
  • Strong Support Useless crap. Schierbecker (talk) 19:45, 1 December 2021 (UTC)

Changes to the universal editnotice[edit]

Should MediaWiki:Editpage-head-copy-warn be changed in any of the following ways? {{u|Sdkb}}talk 23:46, 11 November 2021 (UTC)

Explanation and principles (Universal editnotice)[edit]

This RfC concerns the language used in MediaWiki:Editpage-head-copy-warn, the universal editnotice that appears above the edit window whenever one is editing a page using the source editor on desktop (it does not appear in the VisualEditor). The current language, which has seen only relatively minor changes since it was adopted in 2012, is:

Content that violates any copyrights will be deleted. Encyclopedic content must be verifiable. Any work submitted to Wikipedia can be edited, used, and redistributed—by anyone—subject to certain terms and conditions.

The editnotice is accompanied by another notice, MediaWiki:Wikimedia-copyrightwarning, which appears below the editing window, just above the Publish changes button, and currently reads:

By publishing changes, you agree to the Terms of Use, and you irrevocably agree to release your contribution under the CC BY-SA 3.0 License and the GFDL. You agree that a hyperlink or URL is sufficient attribution under the Creative Commons license.

That notice has legal implications and could not be changed without WMF involvement, but preliminary discussion has established that the universal editnotice is under our editorial control.

Given how widely it appears, the universal editnotice is an extremely valuable space. If we use it well, it can help us communicate essential information with editors, particularly newcomers. However, from a usability perspective, the principle of banner blindness is vital: users don't like explanatory text, so the longer we make the notice, the fewer people will read it (and most won't read it no matter what, and even fewer will click links). Therefore, we should ensure that the notice contains only the most essential advice and does not succumb to instruction creep.

I have made two proposals below that I think will help make the editnotice more useful to newcomers and improve its conciseness to increase the likelihood it is noticed. If the discussion here identifies additional possible changes, feel free to open sections to discuss them. Cheers, {{u|Sdkb}}talk 23:46, 11 November 2021 (UTC)

Proposal 1 (Universal editnotice)[edit]

Change the second sentence from Encyclopedic content must be verifiable to Encyclopedic content must be supportable with citations to reliable sources.

The fundamental issue here is that "verifiability" is not an intuitive concept, and newcomers will not know what it means unless they click the link (which, per above, most won't). "Cite reliable sources", on the other hand, is direct instruction that will make sense to most people. {{u|Sdkb}}talk 23:46, 11 November 2021 (UTC)

  • Support as nominator. The choice to use supportable rather than supported was intentional. It avoids providing technically false guidance (citations are technically only strictly required for BLPs/challenged material, and there are arguably exceptions like MOS:PLOTSOURCE and WP:BLUESKY) but still pretty directly communicates what we want newcomers to do in practical terms. {{u|Sdkb}}talk 23:46, 11 November 2021 (UTC)
  • Comment. I think "supported" is the better language. Not only is this word more common, it is also closer to WP:V's meaning. Under WP:V, what is required is inline citation if the material is challenged or likely to be challenged. However, all material must still be supported by a reliable source, i.e. the editor must have established that a reliable source exists somewhere. (At least that's my interpretation.) In this sense, "supported" is pretty close in meaning to "lifted from" a reliable source. I don't think the meaning of WP:V is to allow editors to add content without having checked first if a source exists (see also WP:NOTESSAY, which is a policy). I also disagree with the implied notion that adding material without an inline citation is a valid way of contributing to the project: it is established that adding unsourced content repeatedly may lead to a block: see {{Uw-unsourced3}} and {{Uw-unsourced4}}. JBchrch talk 02:50, 12 November 2021 (UTC)
    That's a valid perspective; if others feel similarly, I'll be happy to consider it a friendly amendment. {{u|Sdkb}}talk 03:06, 12 November 2021 (UTC)
  • Support Sdkb makes a good case. Regarding "supported" vs "supportable" I'm not sure, either can be correct from different perspectives. Essentially, what we require is verifiability. Citations to reliable sources is the just common way to achieve that – and which is not strictly required for lists and outlines and glossaries and the like where wikilinks (pointing to articles which have sources) are usually a reasonable substitute for citing sources directly. Nor are they required for MOS:LEAD. But the new wording does strike as the more easy-to-grasp concept. And it's a bonus that the wikilink is spread across several words making it more likely to be clicked. – SD0001 (talk) 17:07, 12 November 2021 (UTC)
  • I don't like using "supportable" as it's not a commonly used word. "Defensible" or "justifiable" may be more suitable. isaacl (talk) 20:41, 12 November 2021 (UTC)
    @Isaacl, how would you feel about "supported", as suggested above? I don't have a strong preference between those two—the main thing I care about is the "verifiable" → "citations to reliable sources" change—but I want to make sure that once this goes wider (probably CENT) it doesn't get scuttled by concerns it'd be in any way changing policy. Perhaps I'm just imagining those concerns, so if you or others do hold that view, I'd definitely like to know. Regarding "defensible"/"justifiable", I think that starts to become less clear to newcomers, who are likely to gloss over "supportable" and read it as "supported" but might not do so for those other words. {{u|Sdkb}}talk 21:15, 12 November 2021 (UTC)
    Personally, I think it's as clear to say something like Encyclopedic content must be justified by reliable sources. as it is to say Encyclopedic content must be supported by reliable sources. I think it's easier for readers to parse when using a verb rather than an adjective, as I feel the adjective is less direct (it describes a property of encyclopedic content, whereas with a verb, a direct instruction is being given). In this form, either verb is fine with me. isaacl (talk) 21:34, 12 November 2021 (UTC)
  • Comment: I agree with Sdkb that "must be supported by reliable sources" would give the wrong impression; I'd read that as meaning that adding unreferenced content is completely forbidden, which isn't true. On the other hand, "supportable" is awkward; it takes an extra second or two to grasp the meaning of the sentence, and for that reason I suspect new editors would be more likely to skip over it. The proposed wording also omits or downplays the second part of verifiablity, which is that inline citations are required for anything challenged or likely to be challenged. In fine, I'm not sure that the concept of verifiability can be easily explained in a sentence, in which case a simple wikilink might be the better option. Dan from A.P. (talk) 10:50, 13 November 2021 (UTC)
    Personally, I don't think there's a lot of risk in a modified edit notice deterring edits from those who have a reliable source on hand but don't want to add a citation. This happens all the time at present, and I don't think the proposed change will alter this. I think the amount of citations in the existing text will be a greater influence on new editors, for those who are inclined to add citations. I think the essence to get across to newcomers is that they should be making edits based on reliable sources, not just something they know from having heard somewhere. ("...based on reliable sources" could be another way of wording it.) isaacl (talk) 16:18, 14 November 2021 (UTC)
  • I agree that "supported" would be a misstatement of policy, but why ditch "verifiable" at all"? Why not Encyclopedic content must be verifiable through citations to reliable sources ? -- Tamzin[cetacean needed] (she/they) 20:45, 14 November 2021 (UTC)
    Good thought; that would be fine with me! {{u|Sdkb}}talk 21:13, 14 November 2021 (UTC)
    In that case, I support my proposed wording. -- Tamzin[cetacean needed] (she/they) 22:47, 14 November 2021 (UTC)
    I don't have an issue with "verifiable through citations", but I don't see how it is different from "supported through citations" from a policy perspective. isaacl (talk) 02:47, 15 November 2021 (UTC)
    must be supported implies that you aren't allowed to add statements without citations. It's generally discouraged, but there's some places (like plot summaries) where it's the default, and even outside of those cases it's allowed to an extent. -- Tamzin[cetacean needed] (she/they) 05:15, 16 November 2021 (UTC)
    I feel that "must be verifiable through citations" implies this in the same manner. The key passage that does this is "through citations", as this implies the presence of citations. Just saying the content must be supported/verified by reliable sources avoids this (plus is more direct). isaacl (talk) 16:28, 16 November 2021 (UTC)
    But "verified"/"supported" and "verifiable"/"supportable" are not the same thing. "The sky is blue" is verifiable, but, inserted into an article that doesn't already have a citation to that effect, it's not verified. Saying that content must be verified would imply that users are not allowed to add statements without adding a corresponding source, which is not a policy. -- Tamzin[cetacean needed] (she/they) 18:36, 16 November 2021 (UTC)
    I concur with Tamzin about interpretation of the meaning of the wording. {{u|Sdkb}}talk 21:23, 16 November 2021 (UTC)
    "Verifiable through citations" implies there must be a citation present in order for the statement to have the property of being verifiable. "Verifiable through reliable sources" does not imply the presence of a citation, nor does "verified by reliable sources", nor "supported by reliable sources". isaacl (talk) 22:09, 16 November 2021 (UTC)
    WP:Reference desk/Language is thataway. – SD0001 (talk) 08:12, 17 November 2021 (UTC)
Support more in line with what we are looking for editors to do.Moxy-Maple Leaf (Pantone).svg 23:15, 16 November 2021 (UTC)

Proposal 2 (Universal editnotice)[edit]

Remove the last sentence (Any work submitted to Wikipedia can be edited, used, and redistributed—by anyone—subject to certain terms and conditions.).

There are two problems here. First, it's redundant to the Wikimedia copyright warning (see Explanation and principles above), and if editors don't read that, they're not likely to read the universal editnotice either. Second, of the three topics covered in the current notice, two of them—copyright and verifiability—are major issues that we are constantly struggling to communicate to newcomers (see the backlog at WP:CCI or Category:Articles with unsourced statements). But the third just isn't. Editors complaining about content they contributed to Wikipedia being reused is quite rare. Per the principles above, the question we should be asking ourselves is not whether any editor might ever find it useful, but rather whether it meets the extremely high bar of being the most important thing for us to communicate. This sentence does not meet that bar. {{u|Sdkb}}talk 23:46, 11 November 2021 (UTC)Modified 17:48, 12 November 2021 (UTC) in response to misunderstanding below.

  • Support as nominator. {{u|Sdkb}}talk 23:46, 11 November 2021 (UTC)
  • Need legal advice. I'm pretty sure that there are some good copyright lawyers at the WMF, so we should probably ask them and not rely on my hot takes but: I think this is here for purely legal purposes. The CC BY-SA license requires attribution "in the manner specified by the author or licensor". Left as is, the author could think that he would be given personal credit for the content they have contributed, and such a perception could have legal consequences for the re-users of Wikipedia content. In more technical terms, some lawyers may have thought that there was a risk that clause 7(b) of the Terms of Use might not be binding on editors without emphasizing this specific point (see also here, at "Are my terms and conditions enforceable?"). This disclaimer makes this point absolutely clear and I would assume that it's a fine print not there for people to actually read, but to provide protection in case something goes wrong. But again, we should probably ask the lawyers who thought this through. JBchrch talk 03:20, 12 November 2021 (UTC)
    @JBchrch, see the explanation section above; the WMF Legal Team was contacted in the preliminary discussion. It seems it's only the copyright notice that has legal implications. {{u|Sdkb}}talk 03:55, 12 November 2021 (UTC)
    @Sdkb: We should double-check, IMO. The sentence "You agree that a hyperlink or URL is sufficient attribution under the Creative Commons license." has definitely been written by a lawyer, and with the aim of having legal/contractual effects. Do we know when and why it was introduced? JBchrch talk 04:07, 12 November 2021 (UTC)
    The WMF lawyers are listed here, under "Legal Ops". I propose that I shoot them an email tomorrow night if we have not been able to clarify this issue by then. JBchrch talk 04:15, 12 November 2021 (UTC)
    It definitely wouldn't hurt, so feel free. And just to make clear, the hyperlink/URL sentence isn't what's under consideration here; it's the Any work submitted to Wikipedia can be edited, used, and redistributed—by anyone—subject to certain terms and conditions. {{u|Sdkb}}talk 06:32, 12 November 2021 (UTC)
    @Sdkb: ooOOOoohh, so the sentence you propose to remove is not You agree that a hyperlink or URL is sufficient attribution under the Creative Commons license.? JBchrch talk 06:42, 12 November 2021 (UTC)
    Sorry about the confusion. Everything in MediaWiki:Wikimedia-copyrightwarning is legally sensitive and isn't something we'd want to touch without WMF approval. The proposals here all pertain to MediaWiki:Editpage-head-copy-warn, the one under our control. {{u|Sdkb}}talk 06:46, 12 November 2021 (UTC)
    @Sdkb: Gotcha. I will now collapse my comment in order not to pollute the discussion, but perhaps you should clarify in your proposal what exactly "last sentence" refers to. Cheers. JBchrch talk 16:00, 12 November 2021 (UTC)
    Done! {{u|Sdkb}}talk 17:48, 12 November 2021 (UTC)
  • Support per Sdkb; this is redundant to the other notice. Dan from A.P. (talk) 10:50, 13 November 2021 (UTC)
  • Support removal - good rationale. – SD0001 (talk) 07:44, 14 November 2021 (UTC)
  • Support as making people less likely to actually read the more important first sentence. -- Tamzin[cetacean needed] (she/they) 20:47, 14 November 2021 (UTC)
  • Support. A good case has been made as proposed. –MJLTalk 14:01, 16 November 2021 (UTC)

Discussion (Universal editnotice)[edit]

  • A bit off-topic maybe, but if we want to ensure that people read the note, maybe we can also do something about the giant interstitial? ("Welcome to Wikipedia / Anyone can edit, and every improvement helps. Thank you for helping the world discover more!", shoved in front of everyone before they can get to the edit screen, with a button for switching to the VisualEditor.) --Yair rand (talk) 11:17, 17 November 2021 (UTC)
    You mean the pop-up notice? My understanding is that that is the current compromise between a VE and a source editor default. So long as source remains the default, I think newcomers definitely need something inviting them to use VE. That's a separate discussion not very related to here, though, so perhaps we should take it up elsewhere. One question that might be more related to here is why the notice doesn't appear in VE. Once we get it refined, I think pushing for it to appear in VE the same as the source editor would be a good next step, since copyright/verifiability are just as important there. {{u|Sdkb}}talk 17:12, 17 November 2021 (UTC)

Notability guidelines for Influencers?[edit]

Influencer is becoming more and more of a part of our culture, and it seems to be a job of a different nature than any other. Their entire job is self-promotion online, and promoting products along with that.

So, it seems it might be useful to come up with separate set of notability guidelines for them.

If there's agreement, I assume it would be added as a new sub-section here alongside academics and athletes.

And just a FYI, the discussion was spurred out of this Afd.

-- Bob drobbs (talk) 21:59, 12 November 2021 (UTC)

Influencers are based too much on popularity that it would make sense to create a special carve out for them. Other WP:NBIO routes exist already for them, likely WP:NCREATIVE if the work they make is notable too (as well as the GNG), but we should not include influencers just because they have X million followers - this is far too easy a route to game. --Masem (t) 22:12, 12 November 2021 (UTC)
Yeah, because their entire job is self-promotion, I'm wondering if stricter guidelines or at least some additional clarity about what sort of mentions make them notable, would be appropriate. -- Bob drobbs (talk) 22:54, 12 November 2021 (UTC)
I doubt we need anything stricter than what is at NBIO or the GNG, given that both of these disallow primary and self-promotional sources to be used as indicators of notability. --Masem (t) 23:57, 12 November 2021 (UTC)
  • This terminology has really bothered me, since I began seeing it a lot at AFD, specifically when it is used to promote children who are younger than 10 years old. This seems to be the going fad for relatives to try and promote their cute little child for whom they got a YouTube account, by calling them "influencers". Who are they influencing - classmates, their pet dog? And beyond that, every youth out there seems to be grabbing for the "influencer" label. I definitely think we need guidelines. I'd go for the term itself being tossed out as a criteria of notability. It's totally meaningless and overused. Just because somebody says they are an influencer carries about the same weight as someone bragging to be popular, with no evidence. — Maile (talk) 02:47, 17 November 2021 (UTC)
    I think the definition of influencer is pretty clear. But the question becomes if someone's sole job is a increasing their notability so they have more influence, could wikipedia benefit from some additional clarification on what type of coverage in RS makes them notable enough for inclusion?
    "Influencers are someone (or something) with the power to affect the buying habits or quantifiable actions of others by uploading some form of original—often sponsored—content to social media platforms like Instagram, YouTube, Snapchat or other online channels"
    -- Bob drobbs (talk) 08:28, 17 November 2021 (UTC)
  • I would strongly oppose any kind of carve-out from the GNG for influencers (i.e. a presumption of notability if they have N followers), as that would simply be opening the floodgates to low-quality stubs. I'm also not sure that we need tighter guidance either - as Masem says above, primary and self-promotional sources (e.g. press releases) do not count towards notability. As long as people are assessing sources critically and evaluating their reliability and independence (as they should be regardless!), we shouldn't have any issues. If that isn't happening consistently, then perhaps some additional subject-area-specific guidance may be helpful. firefly ( t · c ) 12:09, 17 November 2021 (UTC)
  • Here's another example: Alex Toussaint came up for possible deletion and part of the reason given is that he's an "influencer". Some of his top converage, and it's indeed in depth, is centered around how he now has 100,000 followers.[14] As he seems to have coverage in Business insider, Sports Illustrated, and New York Times I'm leaning toward saying he probably meets WP:GNG. On the other hand, I'm also agreeing with the AfD that none of this feels encyclopedic. -- Bob drobbs (talk) 23:40, 18 November 2021 (UTC)
A key about the GNG to keep in mind that it is not a black-or-white "must meet or delete". If there is sufficient sourcing that provides some but perhaps not sufficient in-depth coverage but that is coming from independent sources, then we would usually lean on keeping the article on the idea it can meet the GNG in the future ( particularly if the person is still active). Looking at that AFD, the nom is wrong that the person must meet NCYCLING - -that's an alternative to the GNG, not a replacement. --Masem (t) 00:02, 19 November 2021 (UTC)
OPPOSE - I just looked at the web (on websites I refuse to reference for once :-) )) - the 100,000 followers costs somewhere between $50 to $15,000 depending on "quality". Wakelamp d[@-@]b (talk) 13:15, 19 November 2021 (UTC)
  • Purchased/fake subscribers is a reasonable issue to deal with, especially in the context of spam/promo, but even aside from that there's the general issue of it being impossible to write an encyclopaedic article without sources. Even if you have a legitimate fanbase of millions, as many influencers do, if you have no sources that really discuss your work in a meaningful way then it's impossible to write anything more than "X is a YouTuber who has 15 million subscribers as of November 2021." ProcrastinatingReader (talk) 13:55, 19 November 2021 (UTC)
  • I'd be surprised if there are many influencers who have RS to talk about them that don't already pass GNG; unless we want a bunch of citationless BLPs, I don't think this would end well. Iazyges Consermonor Opus meum 20:40, 24 November 2021 (UTC)
@Iazyges: It feels like almost every day, or every other day, some influencer comes up on AFD who has a flurry of coverage over trivial things. Such as Oli London who got global coverage for getting plastic surgery to look Korean[15][16]. -- Bob drobbs (talk) 20:58, 24 November 2021 (UTC)
Well, time for me to weep for humanity, I suppose. I'd support a measure to make it stricter, but not to make it easier, than just GNG, personally. Either way, definitely should not be related to follower count per concerns of buying followers. Iazyges Consermonor Opus meum 21:04, 24 November 2021 (UTC)
It looks like Oli London might pass WP:BIO based on getting cosmetic surgery to look Asian, plus faking a suicide on instagram. Weeping for humanity sounds like a reasonable response. But overall, it simply doesn't seem encyclopedic. -- Bob drobbs (talk) 00:24, 25 November 2021 (UTC)
Thanks for mentioning Oli London, and I left my opinion at AFD. Seriously, if you disregard what they see in the mirror, there's not enough left for even a stub article. We need to tighten up, because we're headed in a direction where anybody with a YouTube account can flip Wikipedia notability guidelines. Wikipedia's policies should not be dependent upon the latest internet fad. What's the next phase after "influencer" becomes antiquated terminology? Today is YouTube, but what is on the horizon to become the next buzz phrase on some newer platform. We're an encyclopedia, not a tabloid.— Maile (talk) 02:25, 25 November 2021 (UTC)
@Maile66: I saw your comment, and here's where I'm confused. Are any sort of accomplishments, achievements, or "work" in a traditional sense required to meet WP:BIO? -- Bob drobbs (talk) 03:35, 25 November 2021 (UTC)
Thank you for asking me for a clarification. What I was focusing on, from the WP:BIO you have linked, "People notable for only one event", which that one seems like since it's so focused on the plastic surgery to look Korean. As written that seems like it's more important than anything they have accomplished otherwise. And even more than that, an "internet personality and singer" would fall under "Entertainer". Yes? Well, he doesn't seem to have had significant roles in anything, and has not "made unique, prolific or innovative contributions to a field of entertainment". What are those accomplishments? — Maile (talk) 03:48, 25 November 2021 (UTC)
And FYI, I am glad you opened this thread to discuss how we quantify "Influencer". You can see how a film/television celebrity influences others by the fans or imitators who are inspired to be just like their idol. How do you quantify it as "influencer" on social media? To some degree, 2021 United States Capitol attack had social media "influencers", quantifiable by the actions of the rioters who were directly responding to that. But it's a little more difficult to quantify the majority of Youtubers. They label themselves, but how does Wikipedia handle that? — Maile (talk) 04:00, 25 November 2021 (UTC)
I look at royalty who are famous solely because of the nature of their birth are notable because of it. I look at actors who are movies and are notable because of that. But what seems to make influencers different is that their primary job is to become famous.
And maybe we don't need any extra rules to handle this, but perhaps a bit of clarification of exactly what sort of coverage does and does not make someone notable in this era of influencer media? -- Bob drobbs (talk) 06:39, 25 November 2021 (UTC)
  • I don't think special guidelines for influencers would work. Any proposal that thinks WP:GNG/WP:BIO is not an adequate guideline must, by definition, be seeking to loosen or tighten it. I would oppose loosening the guidelines on the merits (like we do for WP:PROF, i.e. providing a way for subjects that don't meet GNG to qualify for an article), and I don't think tightening it is practical. WP:CORP works precisely because there is a clear-cut definition of what an organization is. There is no clear-cut definition of influencer, so in the hypothetical case where we have a tighter influencer SNG, we might be stuck arguing whether a subject who clearly meets GNG but not the SNG should be considered an influencer. -- King of ♥ 06:51, 25 November 2021 (UTC)
  • I come to this discussion having seen similar things with pets being presented to AfD with large social media followings, and attracting some inevitable keep !votes based solely on that following. I agree that raising the bar beyond GNG/BIO would be problematic (we shouldn’t even consider lowering the bar), but perhaps a guideline specifying that social media following itself has zero bearing on notability might help. Cavalryman (talk) 08:25, 25 November 2021 (UTC).
  • I'm suprised this hasn't been mentioned already, but just for reference we deprecated last July the alternative criteria/presumption large fan base or a significant "cult" following that was mentioned at WP:ENT. See Wikipedia talk:Notability (people) § Reviewing WP:ENT #2: Large fan bases or cult followings. In any case, I'm not sure is whether this discussion is about: is the proposal to loosen our notability guidelines (more influencer articles) or to toughen them (less influencer articles)? JBchrch talk 17:51, 25 November 2021 (UTC)
  • Summarizing some thoughts.
  1. As JBchrch said, number of followers no longer counts toward notability.
  2. Everyone seems to agree that the rules should not be looser.
  3. I think "influencer" could be defined as someone whose primary notability is derived from self-publishing on a site like tiktok, youtube, instagram. (added)
  4. I wonder if what's really required is some additional clarity about what types of coverage should count for notability. For right or wrong, Sassa Gurl was deleted via AFD. Here's example of some coverage where they made headline news: Cosmo Philippines: "10 Sassa Gurl TikTok Skits That Will Unlock ~Highly Specific~ Pinoy Memories"[17], ABS-CBN: "Manila Luzon wants Piolo Pascual as leading man, hopes to collaborate with Sassa Gurl"[18], MSN: "Netizens want Sassa Gurl to be one of the housemates instead of Justin Dizon"[19] -- Bob drobbs (talk) 19:41, 25 November 2021 (UTC)
  • Meaning no offense, I feel compelled to point out that wanting special rules recognizing how very important they are is what influencers themselves generally want. Even if I put aside my distaste for the entire phenomenon, I can't see a compelling argument for a specific notability guideline for influencers. Beeblebrox (talk) 19:49, 25 November 2021 (UTC)
  • I see no need for a separate guideline. I think this is one area where the WP:general notability guideline works well, as coverage in independent reliable sources seems to be to correlate well with "real-world" notability for this group of people: certainly better that an easily-gamed metric such as number of followers. Phil Bridger (talk) 13:03, 29 November 2021 (UTC)

Removing some empty sections via bot[edit]

Posts at Wikipedia:Bot requests#"Empty sections" that are not empty and Wikipedia:Bot requests#"Notes sections" that are empty have requested that some empty sections could be deleted by bot. I submitted a bot request to remove empty Bibliography, Further reading, Gallery, Notes, See also, and External links sections, some of which may be tagged with {{empty section}}. Anomie suggested that we have wider discussion here to determine consensus. Thanks! GoingBatty (talk) 16:15, 13 November 2021 (UTC)

Hmm, interesting idea. There are two main ways I could see such sections coming about: they used to have content but no longer do, and someone added them as a placeholder because they believe they should have content. Doing the second for something like a see also section would be a bit weirder than doing it for a content section in the body, but it could still theoretically happen. If a meaningful portion of such sections have this purpose, that'd make this a poor task for a bot; otherwise it might be alright. {{u|Sdkb}}talk 17:15, 13 November 2021 (UTC)
For both scenarios I'd say that removal is correct. If the section used to have content which was removed, then that section isn't needed anymore. If it never had content but someone wants it to have content, then they should add it or post on a talk page. Leaving these empty sections in an article is just bad practice. Also, we aren't talking about actual article content but supplementary sections. In either case, adding back a section is very simple, so this really has no downside. Gonnym (talk) 14:14, 16 November 2021 (UTC)
Yeah, thinking more about this, I agree; the potential benefits are clear and I'm struggling to think of any situation in which it'd be unwarranted. So I'm fine with this bot task going forward. I just definitely would not want to see this expanded to empty content sections, since those can be an important indicator to both readers and editors of missing coverage. {{u|Sdkb}}talk 21:29, 22 November 2021 (UTC)
The only time I can think of that removing these might be an issue would be if the content was removed as an act of vandalism or similar. Obviously the bot and vandal can both be reverted, but it might make it marginally harder to spot. I have no idea how often this happens, but my guess would be less for these sorts of sections than content sections? I don't think this is a reason not to operate this bot though. Thryduulf (talk) 00:21, 23 November 2021 (UTC)
@Thryduulf: I think a time delay (i.e. editing the page only if it hasn't been edited for an hour/ 30 minutes etc.) should mostly resolve this, and leaving the sections for a while won't do much harm. ― Qwerfjkltalk 13:20, 23 November 2021 (UTC)
Yes. Leaving enough time that cluebot and patrollers have had chance to do their thing if they're going to would seem to avoid most potential issues of this sort. Thryduulf (talk) 13:23, 23 November 2021 (UTC)
Maybe leaving a note on the talk page would be good too? Would be a note for humans to investigate why the section was empty and to restore it if it shouldn't have been. Thryduulf (talk) 18:31, 23 November 2021 (UTC)

Spoken narrations of the blurbs at Today's featured article (TFA)[edit]

Should the Today's featured article section of the Main Page allow for spoken recordings of its blurbs? theleekycauldron (talkcontribs) (they/them) 06:53, 15 November 2021 (UTC)

Executive summary by proposer[edit]

Problem: The Main Page of English Wikipedia is regularly seen by 5.5 million people, of whom a significant number are visually impaired. While WikiProject Spoken Wikipedia exists to narrate existing articles, and has narrated hundreds of Featured Articles, users are currently not allowed to add recordings to sections of the Main Page. This lack of audio narration poses a barrier to not just the visually impaired who wish to view the works we want to spotlight, but also those with reading or learning disabilities, those too young to read large chunks of text comfortably and seamlessly, and those who simply are more predisposed to retain information auditorily rather than textually. Not every section of the Main Page is easily narrated—Did you know, On this day, and In the news, for example, are too unpredictable to have immutable recordings attached to them. Today's featured article (TFA), however, consists of a single thousand-character blurb generally updated only once a day, ideal for a spoken recording.
Proposal: In every nomination template for TFA, there should be an optional "narration" parameter that allows the nominator, or any other interested editor, to add a spoken recording of the blurb that is to appear on the Main Page. A sample narration on a past iteration of the Main Page can be found here to roughly illustrate how this may look and feel, although this will be changed as more experienced template editors than myself fiddle with the idea. No nomination will be required to contain a narration, but any recording that is attached to the nomination must be reviewed by an admin according to the guidelines laid out by WikiProject Spoken Wikipedia for technical quality, clarity, and accuracy before the recording can accompany the nomination to the Main Page. This proposal has the potential to help thousands in accessing the articles that Wikipedia is most proud of. Thanks for your time, and I hope I can count on your support! theleekycauldron (talkcontribs) (they/them) 06:54, 15 November 2021 (UTC)

Discussion (TFA blurbs)[edit]

  • I'm interested to hear from editors familiar with visual impairment whether spoken versions of articles actually help aid accessibility. I have a sense that text-to-speech software has improved dramatically in the past decade or so, which has limited the usefulness of spoken versions. If there's not a major advantage of having human narration, the costs in effort, inconsistency, and difficulty in updating may be reasons to reject this. {{u|Sdkb}}talk 09:13, 15 November 2021 (UTC)
    This isn't totally my field, but WikiProject Spoken Wikipedia's landing page offers a few reasons as to why a spoken recording might be better than text-to-speech. theleekycauldron (talkcontribs) (they/them) 09:28, 15 November 2021 (UTC)
    I've responded below. Graham87 10:12, 15 November 2021 (UTC)
    I'm not persuaded that there is a pressing need, particularly given the advances in text-to-speech technology since WikiProject Spoken Wikipedia launched. {{u|Sdkb}}talk 02:13, 16 November 2021 (UTC)
  • In-principle, this is a very nice and innovative idea, which is definitely useful for visually impaired—in my opinion, a human narration is better than an automated one. But presently, the biggest issue I see with this is its inconsistency. "No nomination will be required to contain a narration ..." may not be a good idea, especially for the main page. To me, it will look odd if we have narrated version attached with the blurb for three days, but not for the fourth. Article featuring at TFA are scheduled well in advance. As of today (November 15), we have articles scheduled for all the dates till December 31! I was wondering if we can have a group of interested editors volunteering to create recordings in advance as to avoid this inconsistency. Thoughts? – Kavyansh.Singh (talk) 09:32, 15 November 2021 (UTC)
  • As a blind user, I wouldn't benefit from this at all personallly, but I'm one of the most un-audio-oriented blind people I know of. I don't know any other blind people this would benefit; people who are proficient at using screen readers tend to prefer using them, but not all blind people are (especially those who have recently lost their sight). As noted in the executive summary and at the idea lab discussion (which I noticed but chose to lurk in), this might also benefit people with other disabilities. Since the TFA blurbs are relatively short and the spoken version isn't a *requirement*, I'm basically meh on the whole idea. Also, many people who visit Wikipedia's Main Page don't read much or any of it and just use it as a search bar; we don't have exact figures but I highly doubt that 5.5 million people a day actually engage with the "Today's featured article" section, for example. Graham87 10:12, 15 November 2021 (UTC)
    Roughly 40,000 click through to the TFA on any given day, so I'd hazard that around 100,000 or more at least read the blurb. theleekycauldron (talkcontribs) (they/them) 10:24, 15 November 2021 (UTC)
  • I think it's worth a try, it does require both volunteers willing to record narrations and those to quality check the recordings - so being optional is necessary as either of those could fail to emerge. A probably-more-than-bikeshedding part to consider from VPI is how much screen real estate to allocate for this control. It could be anything from a small icon (topicon sized), a line of text, the full player control - or something else. — xaosflux Talk 11:00, 15 November 2021 (UTC)
  • I reiterate what I've stated elsewhere, in that this is a forward-thinking idea. Just consider all you access on the internet that comes with sound, some helpful and some not. But Wikipedia has no sound on its main page, possibly the first Wikipedia page that opens up for much of the global readership. In addition to the sight-impaired benefit, even if it's just a little two-sentence oral blurb, it enhances the reader experience. On a global media outlet where nothing is censored, there's an aspect to consider about whether or not we want it on every TFA. That could be decided on a one-on-one basis as the TFA process puts together it's individual blurbs. But I certainly believe it's a worthy feature we should enable. — Maile (talk) 11:31, 15 November 2021 (UTC)
  • I think this is a great idea. It calls attention to WikiProject Spoken Wikipedia with a minimum of effort: recording one blurb doesn't take long at all, and they can be prepared weeks in advance, so I don't think we need to worry about gaps. I'd also like to hear more about whether readers with visual impairments find these useful, but that shouldn't be the only consideration either. Lots of people just prefer listening or watching to reading and Wikipedia's overwhelmingly text-based front page is really starting to show its age in comparison to other websites. – Joe (talk) 12:18, 15 November 2021 (UTC)
  • There are some practical difficulties. We are scheduled until December 31, but that is because I scheduled December a bit early this month (I schedule the third month in each quarter) and often it's not until the 20th or so that the coordinator whose month it is competes work. "Nominations" (at TFA/R) account for perhaps five or six of the blurbs in a month, many of the remainder won't have prepared blurbs yet. Once a blurb is posted (whether by a coordinator or by one of the principal editors of the article), that is not a final version as there are several users who often go through some days in advance and offer suggestions or edit it directly. And, quite often, WP:ERRORS weighs in on the day or on the day before, and we wind up changing the blurb. Since the spoken word version needs to be finalized some time in advance of main page day to allow for review, one can expect variances between it and the written blurb.--Wehwalt (talk) 13:35, 15 November 2021 (UTC)
    If there's a substantial difference, or an error of fact, the recording can be pulled (or even remade); but I think it's okay if there are more unimportant variances between the two. The recording still supplies the necessary information to the relevant people. I do agree that it's hard to make recordings so far in advance.theleekycauldron (talkcontribs) (they/them) 19:22, 15 November 2021 (UTC)
    I wouldn't want to see variances, even minor ones. The main page is supposed to have the most refined content, and having a different blurb and spoken version is something that could cause mild confusion for readers or arguments among editors (over whether or not a variation is minor). {{u|Sdkb}}talk 02:11, 16 November 2021 (UTC)
  • Oppose. Moving to a !vote since the discussion above has failed to articulate compelling reasons (accessibility-related or otherwise) that we would want to do this. The "meh, it doesn't seem useful but wouldn't do any harm either" position is tempting, but I can't buy that either. As we've been experiencing (sometimes painfully) with the book and portal namespaces over the past few years, even when editing/engaging in an area is optional, there are costs to having it around in maintenance, diverted attention, clutter, etc. Fundamentally, this is not worth it. {{u|Sdkb}}talk 02:21, 16 November 2021 (UTC)
    I don't think one can compare this to books or portals. Both of these need active maintenance, while the contents of this proposal seemingly do not. Dege31 (talk) 16:32, 16 November 2021 (UTC)
  • Lean oppose. This seems like busywork that we don't even know if there are people who'd volunteer for it. I think the option to add audio to the blurb is ok, but only if it's a cut from the existing spoken article, assuming the content matches. Otherwise, it's more work for very little gain. Dege31 (talk) 16:40, 16 November 2021 (UTC)
@User:Dege31Speculation. I believe there's only one way to find out, and that's to give it a try for a week or so, and then have people weigh in on the tangible results.Gallomimia (talk) 17:38, 28 November 2021 (UTC)
  • Oppose. Project Spoken Wikipedia, while done out of good faith, was largely a misguided way to direct volunteer time, and doing the same for blurbs would have the same problems. Most blind people who wish to listen to an article would actually rather hear the up-to-date version spoken by a controllable machine reader which can go at the desired pace, accent, and so on of the listener, not a snapshot made three years ago by an unknown speaker. I suppose the risk of "vandalism" would be less for the front page version, but this seems like misspent effort - very, very, very few people would be interested in this, yet it wouldn't really achieve much for accessibility. And unlike article recordings, these front page blurbs would be used one day and then never again. SnowFire (talk) 19:23, 18 November 2021 (UTC)
  • I don't see why this is better than using a screen reader. User:力 (powera, π, ν) 01:38, 21 November 2021 (UTC)
  • Oppose—a screen reader would be preferable as SnowFire explains. Imzadi 1979  03:10, 21 November 2021 (UTC)
  • Oppose: I am not too familiar with this area and it seemed like a grand idea --- until --- issues were brought to light that derailed it. Unless there was some compelling solution to issues mentioned by Wehwalt then I can see some corrections not being updated in the audio resulting in "variances" as mentioned by Sdkb. I would imagine an editor making last-minute changes could (a stretch) simply remove the audio but consistency and convenience would seem to mandate it should be there all the time or not at all. -- Otr500 (talk) 03:31, 22 November 2021 (UTC)
  • Support (with caveats) - Wikipedia is one of the least accessible websites there is, making it more accessible is always a good thing. When I visit other websites, and they have a "Listen to this article" option, I always always use it rather than my screen reader. For me, a human voice is preferable over a machine translation. But, here's my caveat, if it's not going to be consistent on a day to day basis, what's the point? Readers shouldn't land on the main page one day, and see this new feature and think, oh wow, look at Wikipedia stepping up their game, and then come back the next day and not find it, thinking, I knew it was too good to be true. Be consistent or don't do it at all. This is good advice for the whole project, audio articles help retain readers. Isaidnoway (talk) 13:57, 26 November 2021 (UTC)
  • Support - Volunteer I put forward that none of us will really know whether it is a great idea or a terrible idea until we get a few blurbs read aloud and hear them, gauge how much work is involved, and compare this to the benefits reaped. I thus volunteer to do several blurbs, as I have found this work very beneficial to myself personally. If it's no better than a screen reader, we can discontinue.Gallomimia (talk) 17:35, 28 November 2021 (UTC)
  • Oppose based on considered feedback of several above. First, if Graham87 doesn't see it as helpful, that is huge in my estimation. Second, the concerns raised by Wehwalt are very real and serious ... the blurb is changing even as it is on the mainpage, so this could be a very difficult wrinkle, and the TFA/mainpage/FA editors don't need another wrinkle to deal with on mainpage day. And I agree that doing all of this for a one-day event is misspent effort. Third, I agree that Spoken Wikipedia is well intended but quite misguided; I note how often even Featured articles have links to dated spoken versions on the article page. In the medical realm, this is really troubling, when we are linking to outdated info. So, I'm not really inclined to do something to advertise a project that isn't working as well as hoped. I could be persuaded otherwise if I thought this move would really benefit the visually impaired, but with Graham87 not on board, that pushes me definitively to oppose. SandyGeorgia (Talk) 17:47, 28 November 2021 (UTC)

Suggestion for attracting additional editors to wiki[edit]

Wiki edits can be seen as being made up of; (A) adding new content, and (B) correctly following wiki rules for sources, formatting and non-copyright infringement.

I see various ways in which these characteristics could be achieved;

1. An individual editor does both A and B. This is the view of a recent ANI group.

2. An individual editor does A, and another editor and/or bot at some point kindly does B. This is the model I have followed for many years.

3. An individual editor does A, and tech does B. I accept we may not quite 'be there' yet ref tech (e.g. 'AI') for this, but suspect it is close.

4. An individual editor does A, but also sets an automatic mechanism (§§), whereby if no-one else does B then the edit either (i) does not show on Wiki, or (ii) automatically disappears from Wiki after a period (a day? a month?). Setting this up might lead to a material increase in wiki editing.

My own feeling is that the potential editors who will not operate under 1 (they may not do B due to e.g. burnout, bandwidth, lack of interest, ability, fear and/or character issues), but who would operate under 2, 3 or 4, may be of a type that is valuable in keeping wiki articles punchy and up to date.

I would suggest considering setting up method 4. above.

Best wishes JCJC777 (talk) 11:28, 22 November 2021 (UTC)

§§ "Dear wiki editor, most of our editors both (A) add content and (B) make sure that content fits wiki rules (e.g. for formatting, sourcing, not breaking copyright). However we know that some editors are motivated to make wiki articles better by adding content (thank you!), but are not able/willing to do the 'fitting the rules' work. If you are one of these please tick [this box] when you edit. Your edit will go live on wiki, but will later be deleted if the wiki editing system does not do the 'fitting the rules' work on it. (The time limit for this will depend on factors including the visibility of the page (i.e. we'll delete it quicker if the page has high pageviews)). Thank you again for making wiki better." JCJC777 (talk) 11:28, 22 November 2021 (UTC)

Permitting or encouraging the addition of copyright text under the expectation that it will be rewritten by someone else is a non-starter and incompatible with Wikipedia's licensing scheme, in which every editor affirms that they can and will license their contribution under CC BY-SA 3.0 and the GFDL each time they click "Publish changes". If someone is unable to not plagiarize because of "burnout, bandwidth, lack of interest, ability, fear and/or character issues", they should feel free to suggest the source on the talk page, possibly in a {{Refideas}} template. DanCherek (talk) 07:10, 1 December 2021 (UTC)
You may also be interested in Wikipedia:Making editing easier 2021. (Also, this is probably a better fit for the idea lab, but I'm in too much of a hurry to move it myself.) Enterprisey (talk!) 07:49, 1 December 2021 (UTC)

Modify HTML title of historical page versions to include date & time[edit]

When working on Wikipedia it can often be useful to have more than one version of the page open in different tabs of your browser in order to compare what you are writing with what has been there previously. The HTML <title> tag for any previous versions of a page is the same as for the current page. In my opinion it would be helpful if this could contain the date and time of the edit for all previous pages. Hedles (talk) 13:14, 26 November 2021 (UTC)

One place this is currently done is in previous versions of an image. Clicking on any older-than-current image in the table of uploads at the bottom of a File: page includes the datestamp in the browser title-bar. DMacks (talk) 13:29, 26 November 2021 (UTC)
Would be useful. Can it be done with css or a script? Levivich 05:05, 30 November 2021 (UTC)
@DMacks: I'm not quite seeing what you are describing? For example if I go to File:Semi-protection-shackle.svg and click the old version I don't get any special title element, just my browser default of showing the entire URL for view (as there is no title, or even body element). — xaosflux Talk 11:46, 30 November 2021 (UTC)
The URL contains the timestamp: 20181113061431 = 2018-11-13, 06:14 (UTC). Most browsers will show the url or part of it when a file is viewed. Google Chrome truncates it to so no timestamp. PrimeHunter (talk) 12:20, 30 November 2021 (UTC)

Dark mode[edit]

 – Pointer to relevant discussion elsewhere.

There's a discussion at Wikipedia:Village pump (technical)#Make dark mode toggle script a gadget? about adding dark-mode toggle functionality as a gadget. – SD0001 (talk) 12:43, 27 November 2021 (UTC)

rfc: shall we update cs1/2?[edit]

Yes or No. Shall the Citation Style 1 / Citation Style 2 (cs1/2) Lua module suite be updated to reflect the changes that have accumulated in the module-suite's sandboxen?

This is an all or nothing rfc. In the event of a draw, cs1/2 shall be updated. §list of prospective changes gives brief descriptions of the individual changes and links to related discussions.

Trappist the monk (talk) 23:11, 28 November 2021 (UTC)

list of prospective changes to the cs1/2 module suite[edit]

The last update to the cs1|2 module suite was 2021-04-10 except where otherwise noted. This section lists the changes made to the cs1|2 module suite sandboxen since that update.

list of prospective changes

changes in Module:Citation/CS1/sandbox

changes in Module:Citation/CS1/Configuration/sandbox

  • detect generic author, editor, etc names
  • add Category:CS1 tracked parameter: $1 properties tracking category
  • remove support for unused |isbn13= and |ISBN13=; discussion
  • remove support for previously deprecated parameters |booktitle=, |chapterurl=, |episodelink=, |mailinglist=, |mapurl=, |nopp=, |publicationdate=, |publicationplace=, |serieslink=, |transcripturl=
  • add support for nrf-gg, nrf-je language codes; discussion
  • revise how date month-name auto-translation is enabled
  • add support to allow editors to see citations that emit properties cats
  • removed reliance on .error; discussion
  • |url-status= without |archive-url= maint cat: Category:CS1 maint: url-status
  • add support for |ssrn-access=; discussion
  • add ab to script_lang_codes{};
  • more consistent support of |type= with {{cite speech}}
  • check all but url-holding and insource-locator parameters for inappropriate urls
  • add yue to script_lang_codes{};
  • added bogus name "Verfasser" to the list; discussion
  • add keyword "deviated" to |url-status=; discussion
  • added preview error summary
  • added 'Login • Instagram' to generic titles;
  • removed crh, nrg-gg, and nrf-je from language override
  • added comma between volume and number; discussion
  • added Mr. Privacy Statement, Ms. Cookie Policy and Dr. Submitted Content to list of bogus names; discussion
  • revise kerning; discussion
  • i18n |script-<param>= error message supplements; discussion
  • added 'Usurped title' to generic titles; discussion
  • added add bogus names: 'author', 'collaborator', 'contributor', 'editor', 'interviewer', 'translator'; discussion

changes in Module:Citation/CS1/Whitelist/sandbox (last update 2021-05-25)

  • removed deprecated parameter |transcripturl=
  • deprecated |lay-date=, |lay-format=, |lay-source=, |lay-url=; discussion

changes in Module:Citation/CS1/Date validation/sandbox

  • extend allowed dates in |pmc-embargo-date= validation to two years; discussion
  • revise month-name validation;
  • add support to allow editors to see citations that emit properties cats;

changes in Module:Citation/CS1/Identifiers/sandbox

  • add support for |ssrn-access=;
  • reworked error messaging;
  • fix false positive doi error detection; discussion
  • strip accept-this-as-written markup from all identifiers for metadata; discussion

changes in Module:Citation/CS1/Utilities/sandbox (last update 2021-01-09)

  • add support to allow editors to see citations that emit properties cats;
  • reworked error messaging;
  • added hyphen_to_dash() moved from main module;

changes in Module:Citation/CS1/COinS/sandbox

  • strip accept-this-as-written markup from |title=;

changes in Module:Citation/CS1/sandbox/styles.css (last update 2021-01-09)

  • Removed reliance on .error;
  • Removed extra kerning classes;
  • Removed unused cs1-subscription/registration styles;
  • Moved .citation styles from MediaWiki:Common.css;
  • Removed <code> selector;

Trappist the monk (talk) 23:11, 28 November 2021 (UTC)

survey (update cs1/2?)[edit]

  • Update see longer rationale in the discussion section. * Pppery * it has begun... 23:31, 28 November 2021 (UTC)
  • Strong oppose. There are far too many changes here for a single, all-or-nothing question, so I must oppose. Come back with a series of proposals that treat the community like adults and I will support the ones that will improve the encyclopaedia. Thryduulf (talk) 00:42, 29 November 2021 (UTC)
    Is there a specific change that Thryduulf objects to? If so, on what grounds is that objection based? – Jonesey95 (talk) 17:10, 29 November 2021 (UTC)
    I object to the concept of this RFC being all or nothing so that controversial changes such as removal of support for parameters that there was no community consensus to deprecate let alone remove are being pushed through with proper review because it would hold up needed uncontroversial changes. That's WP:GAMING the system. Thryduulf (talk) 19:50, 29 November 2021 (UTC)
  • Not a valid RfC as per Thryduulf and Sdkb. Nikkimaria (talk) 00:57, 29 November 2021 (UTC)
    • Re Headbomb's comment below: to be clear, there is at least one change in this set known to be contentious, so a procedural closure of this RfC should not be taken as a green light to roll out everything. Nikkimaria (talk) 01:01, 29 November 2021 (UTC)
      • Assuming you are referring to add Category:CS1 tracked parameter: $1 properties tracking category; discussion, it doesn't actually add any categories, merely currently non-functional code to add categories. * Pppery * it has begun... 01:19, 29 November 2021 (UTC)
        The removal of support for the unhyphenated parameters is also contentious, given that the premise of the discussion that (is claimed to) be the basis of consensus for the changes explicitly ruled that out (according to my memory of the major RFC anyway). Thryduulf (talk) 01:24, 29 November 2021 (UTC)
        The RFC was about a different set of parameters. See my explanation and link below. – Jonesey95 (talk) 17:12, 29 November 2021 (UTC)
        The RFC established that the basis on which both sets parameters were deprecated did not have community consensus, or even a local consensus given that the course of action undertaken was explicitly ruled out as something that would happen. Wikilawyering about exactly what was covered by the RFC is also not a good look. Thryduulf (talk) 13:43, 30 November 2021 (UTC)
  • Support. This is a normal code update that has typically happened every few months. It contains bug fixes, minor enhancements, and small refinements. A larger number of minor changes than usual have accumulated because a small band of editors objected to the last regular update, and the volunteers who maintain the modules understandably decided to take a break from that drama for a while. Normally, notice of these updates would take place at Help talk:Citation Style 1 (418 page watchers, 125 recent visitors), where updates to these modules have been discussed for roughly a decade. Since there was drama last time, the updates are being vetted at this more-heavily-watched page (3,503 watchers / 554 recent). – Jonesey95 (talk) 02:24, 29 November 2021 (UTC)
  • Support—we're overdue for the quarterly update. These updates dump millions of articles into the job queue for processing, so the changes are bundled and applied at once. Imzadi 1979  15:24, 29 November 2021 (UTC)
  • Oppose removal of formerly valid parameter names, breaks old revisions for no good reason, was opposed at previous RfCs. Would probably support the rest, but in something as unwiki as an all-or-nothing RfC (Wikipedia usually operates by consensus), this is my only option. —Kusma (talk) 20:14, 29 November 2021 (UTC)
    As noted by Jonesey95 in the discussion section below, the parameters mentioned have already been deprecated back in February. This change should not be confused or conflated with the objected-to deprecation of |accessdate=, which is still in wide use. MichaelMaggs (talk) 08:51, 30 November 2021 (UTC)
    But that's not what Kusma (correctly) opposes for: the "deprecation" of parameters we used to allow is one thing, the "removal of support" from the code though means that all older versions of articles which did use these parameters will now give errors instead of just having a working (though no longer wanted) parameter. For parameters which were never widely in use, this may be acceptable; for parameters which where more widely used, this is problematic. Where the cutoff for "widely" should be placed is another kettle of fish of course. But that these parameters have been deprecated in February doesn't mean that one should support a change which now no longers supports them at all. Fram (talk) 09:15, 30 November 2021 (UTC)
  • Support all of these changes, including those identified as potentially contentious by Pppery below. I would also prefer a return to the previous approach of more frequent updates for minor changes, with RFCs reserved for changes that are likely to prove controversial, but am content for the editors that maintain the CS{1,2} templates to decide how they bring changes to the community to review. Wham2001 (talk) 08:01, 30 November 2021 (UTC)
  • Support, and agree with Wham2001's comments. MichaelMaggs (talk) 08:39, 30 November 2021 (UTC)
  • Oppose. "It's an all or nothing" and you sneak in opposed changes which you happen to support? No thanks, if that's what you try then just abandon your maintenance of this please. I love the division created by a support vote between "a small band of editors" vs. "the volunteers who maintain the modules", a nice indication of a warped view of priorities there. Fram (talk) 08:42, 30 November 2021 (UTC)
    Fram's last sentence is important. Those who maintain these modules are doing a service to editors who add citations to articles not the other way around and this needs to be remembered. If the people who use the templates say something is bad, disruptive or unwanted then it should not happen and/or be reversed without question. The encyclopaedia does not exist for the convenience of coders. Thryduulf (talk) 10:51, 30 November 2021 (UTC)
    Those who maintain these modules are volunteers, not WMF employees, and they perform a complicated and very valuable service for the content creators. We are immensely grateful for the work they do. We appreciate and understand that a package of changes have been tested together and cannot easily be unbundled. Hawkeye7 (discuss) 03:52, 1 December 2021 (UTC)
    No, you've been mislead to believe that. It would in fact be technically trivial to perform the rest of the update without changing the list of supported parameters. I'm becoming more and more inclined to oppose this RfC with every passing comment. * Pppery * it has begun... 03:54, 1 December 2021 (UTC)
    Those who maintain these modules are volunteers, not WMF employees yes, so?. they perform a complicated and very valuable service for the content creators. which is why they need to respect the community's wishes. Thryduulf (talk) 12:18, 1 December 2021 (UTC)
  • Support all changes per Pppery and Jonesey95 comments below. As an additional comment to this procedure, the module maintainers do a very complicated and ungrateful service and I find it pretty absurd that module updates now require RfCs and even more absurd are some of the opposers are on the grounds that there are too many changes (and I'm not one of the maintainers). --Gonnym (talk) 11:01, 30 November 2021 (UTC)
    The issue is not that there are too many changes. The issue is that there are too many changes that we are being asked to approve as a single unit, and that unit includes changes that should not be made as well as changes that should. The module maintainers are giving the appearance that they care more about the module than they do about the reason the module exists: to support those writing an encyclopaedia. The only correct way to proceed in a situation like this is to swallow some pride and agree to separate the controversial and uncontroversial changes so that the former do not hold up the latter. The controversial changes than then be discussed on their merits and the consensus of the community listened to, whatever that consensus is, rather than attempting to bypass it. Thryduulf (talk) 13:40, 30 November 2021 (UTC)
  • Support, although I don't really like the format of this RfC (particularly, the "all or nothing" framing and "In the event of a draw, cs1/2 shall be updated"). I don't think that the RfC should be closed as flawed, but it should be evaluated based on consensus for each of the proposed changes rather than "all or nothing", and no consensus should lead to retaining the status quo. Tol (talk | contribs) @ 21:57, 30 November 2021 (UTC)
  • Support been waiting for some of these for quite a while. Hawkeye7 (discuss) 22:30, 30 November 2021 (UTC)
  • Oppose this RfC as stated but support unbundling the set and implementing the many non-controversial changes but not the controversial ones aka "common sense". Levivich 05:18, 1 December 2021 (UTC)
  • Oppose I've come to realize what this RfC really is, an attempt towill do: falsely establish consensus for controversial changes by making them a rider to clearly-supported changes when they failed on their own merits. That sometimes works for legislation, but it should not work on Wikipedia. * Pppery * it has begun... 22:36, 1 December 2021 (UTC)
    Really? Really? Do you really think that were I trying to falsely establish consensus for controversial changes by somehow hiding them amongst a large number of other changes, I would have written this with its rather obvious markup which pretty much guarantees that anyone who merely scans the list could not fail to see it:
    • remove support for previously deprecated parameters |booktitle=, |chapterurl=, |episodelink=, |mailinglist=, |mapurl=, |nopp=, |publicationdate=, |publicationplace=, |serieslink=, |transcripturl=
    You have accused me, and probably, by extension, the other maintainers of the cs1|2 module suite of malfeasance, of dishonesty, of lying. Produce the evidence or withdraw your accusations.
    Trappist the monk (talk) 23:50, 1 December 2021 (UTC)
    If this RfC passes (which might happen), then support for unhyphenated parameters will be removed.
    If there had been a RfC solely on the question of whether support for unhyphenated parameters should be removed, that RfC would likely have failed for the same reason Option C passed at the previous RfC
    This RfC passing will result in a false consensus in favor of removing support for unhyphenated parameters, as a result of it being stuck in as a rider to a broadly-supported set of changes. It was incorrect to phrase it as an accusation of malicious intent, and I've reworded the above comment slightly, but that doesn't change the underlying situation.
    * Pppery * it has begun... 00:11, 2 December 2021 (UTC)

discussion (update cs1/2?)[edit]

  • The only things here that seem plausibly controversial are:
    • add Category:CS1 tracked parameter: $1 properties tracking category; discussion (My observation: this doesn't actually add any new tracking categories, but merely adds code to populate such tracking categories if they are later needed)
    • added error summary preview; discussion
    • remove support for previously deprecated parameters |booktitle=, |chapterurl=, |episodelink=, |mailinglist=, |mapurl=, |nopp=, |publicationdate=, |publicationplace=, |serieslink=, |transcripturl=.
    . Overall, I question whether it's appropriate to remove (or to have deprecated in the first place) unhyphenated parameter aliases given the result of Wikipedia:Village pump (proposals)#RFC: Citation Style 1 parameter naming convention. Despite Trappist the monk's framing of the issue as all-or-nothing, the rest of the update is not in some way dependent on those changes, and it is anyway not sufficient to convince me not to support this update. * Pppery * it has begun... 23:31, 28 November 2021 (UTC)
    FWIW, the deprecation of the above parameters happened in February 2021, more than nine months ago, all of the parameters were updated shortly thereafter, and any stray instances of those parameters have been generating error messages (and have been quickly fixed) since April 2021. This update would change the error message from "deprecated" to "unsupported" in the very rare instance that someone used one of these long-gone parameters. This change should not be confused or conflated with the objected-to deprecation of |accessdate=, which is still in wide use. – Jonesey95 (talk) 17:08, 29 November 2021 (UTC)
    How long have they been used and how many old revisions will be broken by removal of these parameters? And what is gained by removing them? —Kusma (talk) 09:38, 30 November 2021 (UTC)
    These parameter aliases were not commonly used. Hyphenated versions of them have been the standard since 2014. Dozens of unhyphenated multi-word parameters have been deprecated and removed from the CS1 citation templates over the past seven years with a minimum of drama (until the final six were proposed for deprecation back in April 2020, which is not something that is happening in this RFC). – Jonesey95 (talk) 14:19, 30 November 2021 (UTC)
    That does not answer any of Kusma's questions. Thryduulf (talk) 17:54, 30 November 2021 (UTC)
    I'll make an attempt to answer some of Kusma's questions. Per 2 parameter names, before Monkbot 18 ran:
    1. |booktitle= was used 3,345 times
    2. |chapterurl= was used 17,289 times
    3. |episodelink= was used 2,539 times
    4. |mailinglist= was used 379 times
    5. |mapurl= was used 81 times
    6. |nopp= was used 2,902 times
    7. |publicationdate= was used 542 times
    8. |serieslink= was used 5,042 times
    9. |transcripturl= was used 910 times
    That totals 33,029 pages (which is an overestimate, as some pages likely used more than one such parameter). * Pppery * it has begun... 22:36, 1 December 2021 (UTC)
  • In the event of a draw, cs1|2 shall be updated. This isn't normally something an editor opening an RfC can unilaterally declare, nor is an RfC's all-or-nothing status. Per WP:Consensus, if there's no consensus, we generally retain the status quo. {{u|Sdkb}}talk 23:33, 28 November 2021 (UTC)
    It is totally inappropriate, and whoever closes this should ignore this made-up rule that has no policy-based support whatsoever. In the event of "no consensus overall", the changes that are supported by consensus should be applied and the changes not supported by consensus not applied. —Kusma (talk) 09:36, 30 November 2021 (UTC)
  • Waste of time RFC it's utter nonsense that we have to wait for months for CS1|2 updates to be rolled out, it's even more utter nonsense that we need RFCs to roll them out. If they're ready and have consensus, roll them out as soon as they've been tested in the sandbox and confirmed as working as intended. Don't delay, and don't plague us with pointless RFCs. If a particular issue is contentious, have an RFC on that issue, don't hold the rest of the updates hostage. Headbomb {t · c · p · b} 00:45, 29 November 2021 (UTC)
  • I don't like the format of this RfC. It would be better done by a different method:
    1. Propose these changes and see if anyone opposes one or more of them.
      • Unopposed (uncontroversial) changes can be immediately implemented or held until after the second part.
      • Opposed (controversial) changes would need consensus in part 2.
      • Obviously uncontroversial changes don't need to be included.
    2. Open a multi-section RfC with a section on each controversial change, and let each section gain consensus individually.
    3. Implement changes that were either uncontroversial in part 1 or gained consensus in part 2.
    I don't think that the RfC should be closed as flawed, but it should be evaluated based on consensus for each of the proposed changes rather than "all or nothing", and no consensus should lead to retaining the status quo. Tol (talk | contribs) @ 21:57, 30 November 2021 (UTC)

Add disclaimers link in mobile view[edit]

Not actionable here, OP doesn't want to file a phab request - and this is already available under the MFE Menu button as pointed out by TheDJ. — xaosflux Talk 11:42, 30 November 2021 (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.

Not there now. As they describe Wikipedia's limits & limitations, it is important they are visible at all times. (talk) 14:08, 29 November 2021 (UTC)

This isn't something we can do here on the English Wikipedia, as that element is not present in the MobileFrontend footer. To request that that extension include that link, please submit a software feature request as described here: WP:BUG. — xaosflux Talk 15:01, 29 November 2021 (UTC)
Thank you. As phab requests require an account, this is not something I will be doing. It is interesting that this was not designed in. As it links to a legal disclaimer among others, it would seem a no-brainer. (talk) 17:00, 29 November 2021 (UTC)
The link is in the menu. —TheDJ (talkcontribs) 11:20, 30 November 2021 (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.