User talk:Whatamidoing (WMF)

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WMF labs/Toolforge question[edit]

I know you're not the right person to ask this, but I'm hoping you can tell me where I should ask instead. I set up a FAC statistics tool on Toolforge last year, and have been maintaining the data since then. I've been using putty to ssh into, and that has not been responding for several days now. I see that is responding, but I've no memory of what my password or even userid is and I recall it being a royal pain to set up the automated connection, so I'm very much hoping that tools-dev comes back to life. Can you tell me where I can ask why it's not responding, or when it might be coming back? Thanks. Mike Christie (talk - contribs - library) 11:05, 5 July 2022 (UTC)Reply[reply]

@Mike Christie, I think you need to be talking to User:DCaro (WMF) or User:ABorrero (WMF).
The other thing I'd suggest – no guarantees that it's relevant, but it might be worth a try – is to see if you can still login to (You already have an account there.) It's a separate wiki. Whatamidoing (WMF) (talk) 18:32, 5 July 2022 (UTC)Reply[reply]
(talk page stalker) @Mike Christie Hey! Those old machines were removed fairly recently, and the modern names for the login servers are and You need to use an SSH key to log in, the machines don't let you log in with a password directly. Looking at maintainers of the factstats tool, it looks like your shell username is 'mikechristie' and the username for that account (which can be used to log in to Wikitech or to manage your SSH keys) is 'Mike Christie'. Taavi (talk!) 19:07, 5 July 2022 (UTC)Reply[reply]
Taavi, thanks! I have an ssh key set up for the old box, but not having worked with that technology much I have almost no memory of how I did it. I remember I did find a how-to page somewhere on one of the support pages explaining how to use puttygen; do you happen to know where I should be looking? Mike Christie (talk - contribs - library) 19:30, 5 July 2022 (UTC)Reply[reply]
Maybe wikitech:Help:Access to Toolforge instances with PuTTY and WinSCP? The screenshots look a bit dated, but if you use the modern hostnames it should work fine. Taavi (talk!) 19:39, 5 July 2022 (UTC)Reply[reply]
That does look familiar; thank you. I see the tool I wrote is still working, so presumably everything is still there behind the scenes and all I need is to get access to do the updates. Thanks again for the help! Mike Christie (talk - contribs - library) 19:48, 5 July 2022 (UTC)Reply[reply]
Taavi, just a note to say thanks again; I have access to the tool now. Still have no idea what my shell password is but it seems I don't need it now I've set up the ssh passphrase. Anyway, everything is accessible again. Mike Christie (talk - contribs - library) 15:19, 7 July 2022 (UTC)Reply[reply]
Thanks for sharing the good news, Mike. Whatamidoing (WMF) (talk) 17:45, 7 July 2022 (UTC)Reply[reply]

Discussion diffs[edit]


I am aware how diffs work, how you can view and compare different version and changes in them and all that jazz. However there is something that has been bothering me for a while now. Someone replies/edits something in a talk page I've interacted recently. I get an email being notified about that change. In that email there are some links, the most "straightforward" of which (the one that can actually show me what the user actually said/did) is the one under the heading To view this change, see. If I follow that link, I get sent into a diff page and I can see what was changed in terms of wikitext but it is difficult to actually jump to that section and see the actual discussion/participate in it.

For a completely random example, this is the exact email that made me start this conversation:

To view this change, see

If you follow the link, you'll see that the only way to jump to that section if I'd wish to do so would be to click on the section title on the top, the small gray ECP text with the arrow. This doesn't look too intuitive. I would expect that I'd be able to jump on the section by pressing something at the bottom of the diff interface, right after reading what was actually changed. Instead there I get the whole page.

Now, I understand that usually you don't want to interact with discussions that other people are having between them (if you'd have been present there, you'd get reply or mention notifications which are more straightforward) and I also understand that the current system works fine for diffs in a general way, for example for changes on the mainspace, and it is not envisioned for the way I'm trying to use it but do you think that the talk pages (or maybe each namespace) could use their own diffs interface specific to their aim and usage? With all the optimization that is currently happening to the talk pages I thought diffs and email notifications (watchlist) could also be optimized to be better utilized for discussion purposes and better overall interaction with the discussion tools. I was curious to read your thoughts on that. - Klein Muçi (talk) 16:05, 13 July 2022 (UTC)Reply[reply]

My first thought is: What happens if it's a normal, edits-all-over-the-page kind of diff? A talk-page comment is usually neatly encapsulated inside a single section, and you could duplicate the "→‎ECP?" link at the bottom (just like one could make that link not be gray, and instead make it look like a link). But what would you do for an edit like this one, which touches the lead plus two sections? Whatamidoing (WMF) (talk) 17:36, 13 July 2022 (UTC)Reply[reply]
Well, that's more or less what I'm talking about. Your example is a change made in the Wikipedia namespace, not in the talkspace. I'm saying the current infrastructure works pretty well for other (most? all?) namespaces but maybe it can be optimized to behave differently in the talkspace (that is, all talk pages in different namespaces) since a talk-page comment is usually neatly encapsulated inside a single section. So we would have (at least) 2 diff infrastructures: One would be the current and one would be an enhanced version specifically tailored for talk pages.
The idea revolves around the a talk-page comment is usually neatly encapsulated inside a single section thing. Of course there are times where users will need to do edits-all-over-the-page even on the talkspace. That would be a logistical problem to be solved if we would choose to go the "enhance talkspace diffs" way.
A more crazy version of this whole thing would be to have enhanced diffs tailored-per-namespace for all namespaces but that would require even more thorough thought. Currently the idea was to just enhance the diff experience for the talkspace to allow for better integration with the new discussion pages. Generally faster interactions, involvement, replies, etc. - Klein Muçi (talk) 23:12, 13 July 2022 (UTC)Reply[reply]
For diffs showing a single new comments, it should be technologically possible to add a Go to this comment button. The link is predictable from the contents of the diff. User talk:Whatamidoing (WMF)#c-Klein Muçi-20220713231200-Whatamidoing (WMF)-20220713173600 is the code for your comment that I'm replying to. Would that make it easier for you to find the comments and join the discussion? Whatamidoing (WMF) (talk) 18:16, 15 July 2022 (UTC)Reply[reply]
I believe it certainly would. What about adding extra info like "who responded to what where" or maybe how many users are present in that specific discussion? More discussion info in general I mean. Those questions are just to give an idea because I'm certainly sure not all of them would be interesting to have on diffs, especially keeping in mind that those would be present at the discussion themselves as well. - Klein Muçi (talk) 01:20, 16 July 2022 (UTC)Reply[reply]
@Klein Muçi, have you looked at this? This isn't quite the latest, but it's pretty close to the latest. Whatamidoing (WMF) (talk) 19:24, 18 July 2022 (UTC)Reply[reply]
No, I know those features are present in talk pages. I was talking about those being present in diffs as well. Not all of them but maybe some or similar ones. The whole discussion takes into consideration a different, more "exotic" workflow. The one where you start your journey from an email about your watchlist and your diff becomes your main point of view. It is my belief that maybe there should be some ways in there, like the button you mentioned, to make people engage in the discussion they're reading about. Sometimes they want to do so themselves and we can just facilitate the process (again, like the button you mentioned) and some other times they already showed interest by following the link on the email and we can capitalize on that attention and try to elicitate it more with extra information enough to make them want to take part in the said discussion - assuming discussions generally benefit from increased numbers of users in them (?).
... Or we can just enhance the watchlisted talkpage emails themselves to act differently from other emails from other watchlisted pages and do all what I'm describing above. Both work but the general idea is that the whole thing is in regard to this kind of workflow, the one where you are "neutral" to the discussion, get notified randomly about it and it somehow gets your attention just a bit, and not the typical one where you go into a talkpage specifically with the intention to start a discussion or look for discussions to help around/take part in, which is what the new changes that are coming to talkpages soon will aim to accomplish. - Klein Muçi (talk) 22:41, 18 July 2022 (UTC)Reply[reply]
The top of this page (I'm in diff mode), in the second column, looks approximately like this right now (the formatting is wrong on some links):
Tags: Reply Source
Line 534:
::::I believe it certainly would. What about adding extra info like "who responded to what where" or maybe how many users are present in 
This is generally considered a fairly complex and kind of cluttered part of the interface. It's great for highly experienced people like us (and some of us use scripts to add even more buttons), but it's confusing to people who are encountering it for the first time.
The PatchDemo link would add – if you scroll down to the discussion itself, not in the diff – something like "Latest comment: Yesterday, 7 comments, 2 people in discussion".
I'm not sure what you would actually want to put in the diff/the top part of the page that would make things better overall. Whatamidoing (WMF) (talk) 17:52, 20 July 2022 (UTC)Reply[reply]
Actually I do agree about the cluttered interface part. But I saw that as a problem on its own. Ideally speaking, if such a crazy idea as "diff pages redesign" would be to actually be taken into serious consideration, part of the enhancement per namespace that I proposed would also be to try and unclutter the current interface. I haven't gone as far as to actually consider the details, be that for uncluttering the current interface or for enhancing it in a "per namespace" logic; I was hoping to brainstorm it out here. The button idea was a good one, maybe that can be considered a bit more seriously. If no other changes can be thought about the diff interface, maybe we can consider changing the watchlist emails a bit instead to have some more extra information in regard to talk pages? Maybe even the button can be added there if we don't want to interfere at the diff interface at all (even though, generally speaking, I like the idea of having enhanced diff pages - be that even just for the unclutter element you mention - more). - Klein Muçi (talk) 21:16, 20 July 2022 (UTC)Reply[reply]

Talk page edit summaries[edit]

Regarding this question you posed: I'm a bit confused as to why you asked it. As I recall, you've previously given stats on how little the edit summary field gets used in meaningful ways for talk page edits, so you already know the answer to your question has to be "very little in comparison". It feels like you're withholding some of your greater background knowledge of editor stats (which I immensely appreciate when you share it) for rhetorical effect, and I find it somewhat unsettling. isaacl (talk) 20:34, 26 July 2022 (UTC)Reply[reply]

The one-off RecentChanges survey I did has been archived, but here's what I think I've learned so far:
  • Only a few people want custom edit summaries for talk-page replies, but they really, really want this. I don't think I've seen any of them change their minds yet, no matter what anyone else says.
  • It's difficult for the proponents to separate edit summaries in articles from edit summaries on talk pages. At some point, someone always says that if people get used to skipping edit summaries in the Reply tool, then they'll stop using edit summaries in articles, too.
  • Proponents of edit summaries seem to be more trusting of the accuracy/relevance of edit summaries than I am.
  • It's difficult for people to articulate how they use custom edit summaries on talk pages, part 1: The reason I'm trying to get this information is that they're coming to the Editing team with a solution: make feature X, and all will be well. But feature X already exists, and it already isn't used about 50% of the time in this context, so feature X is already not solving their problem. If we could find out what the actual problem is, maybe one of the designers could find a solution that actually solved their problem.
  • Part 2: I'm expecting to hear a story that sounds something like "I look at the edit summaries for several discussions, and I decide to read this one first because the edit summary says _____" or "I primarily look at the /* section heading */ but for unusual actions, like summarizing an RFC, it's nice to have that flagged in the edit summary" or even "Generic edit summaries make it really difficult to find the right diff when I want to complain about someone". I am wondering if the actual story might be "I'm trying to waste as little time reading discussions as possible, and when people don't put the substance of their long comments in the edit summary field, then I have to go to all the trouble of clicking on the discussion and reading it all myself, which feels like lazy people making extra work for me". But I don't know, because when I ask, the answers I get feel tangential (e.g., Question: "How do you use edit summaries at ANI?" Answer: "Well, when I'm patrolling RecentChanges in the mainspace...").
I'm curious how much this differs from your impression at this point. Whatamidoing (WMF) (talk) 21:30, 27 July 2022 (UTC)Reply[reply]
I agree many commenters lump their views of talk page edit summaries with their view for all edit summaries, which makes it harder to learn about any relevant problems.
As much as I'd like more editors to write meaningful talk page edit summaries, I fully understand that the vast majority see no need for it and don't (although I'm sure there must be others, off-hand, I'm the only one I can think of that does). I don't expect others to change their behaviour for my benefit.
I think your goal of trying to find the underlying workflows that are being hindered by poor edit summaries isn't coming across. Perhaps you could provide more context, such as "Given that (some huge percentage) of talk page edit summaries aren't meaningful, what difficulties do you have with browsing talk page histories?", or "What tasks do you do using talk page edit summaries, and how are they hampered by less than (some small percentage) being meaningful?"
Trust in any statement, including edit summaries, made by a given editor only comes with time: as you have more engagement with a given user, you can build an expectation of their reliability. Complete reliability, though, isn't necessary in order for an edit summary to play a role in prioritizing when to read a comment.
I'm not likely to change my mind about wanting to write custom edit summaries for my comments, as I think it's courteous for others and I find it useful for myself when looking back at my own edits. But since others don't use this feature, I can understand it being hidden. If it's taken away entirely, that's life. isaacl (talk) 22:26, 1 August 2022 (UTC)Reply[reply]
I think you are right about the workflow question.
Several years of discussions around edit summaries, combined with VisualEditor's edit summary memory ("just what I asked for, but not what I want"), may have had more effect on my own editing practices than on anything else. I doubt that anyone could object to any of these edit summaries, taken in isolation. But when taken as a whole, it might feel odd. 10% of them say "Expand and source". More than 10% link to a SHORTCUT, which tells you "why" but not "what". Are these really useful for any purpose other than warding off unjustified short-term reverts? I have my doubts. Whatamidoing (WMF) (talk) 00:04, 2 August 2022 (UTC)Reply[reply]
Interestingly, although you decried how editors keep talking about mainspace edit summaries when you ask them about talk page edit summaries, you've just pointed to your mainspace edit summaries... I think mainspace edit summaries serve a different purpose that talk page edit summaries. On talk pages, you're having a discussion, so the edit summary can provide a brief synopsis of your comment. For articles, it would be too verbose to provide an overview for long edits, or too tedious for various types of minor edits, so the summary often provides a broad overview of what the edit touches upon. Some editors like to describe exactly what commas they move around; I'll just say "copy edit" for that type of edit (or phrases like "copy edit for conciseness" when tightening prose, "copy edit for clarity" when improving understandability, and so forth). I avoid using unexplained shortcuts, in order to avoid jargon. "Expand on (area X in the article); add citations" is, in my view, a reasonable edit summary. isaacl (talk) 00:23, 2 August 2022 (UTC)Reply[reply]
I've basically stopped using custom edit summaries outside the mainspace, unless something needs an explanation. In the Talk: namespace, the equivalent search through contributions shows that 1% of my edits get a custom edit summary that contains three or more words. Perhaps I (subconciously?) don't want you to read only a brief synopsis of my comment. Whatamidoing (WMF) (talk) 19:09, 2 August 2022 (UTC)Reply[reply]
Maybe it just feels repetitive to write a brief version of your comment (some editors have alluded to this)... I have found that sometimes I'll go back and revise my comment to be shorter after writing the edit summary. isaacl (talk) 02:45, 5 August 2022 (UTC)Reply[reply]
Perhaps the motto of many editors is "Please forgive the long letter; I didn’t have time to write a short one." Whatamidoing (WMF) (talk) 03:54, 9 August 2022 (UTC)Reply[reply]
The land-rush nature of unmoderated conversation isn't helpful in this regard. Editors have incentive to reply as rapidly as possible to make themselves heard. isaacl (talk) 21:00, 27 August 2022 (UTC)Reply[reply]

Problem with add topic tool[edit]

Hi WhatamIdoing, I am getting sporadic errors when I use the tool to add a topic to a talk page. what happens is that when I press the shift key my cursor gets moved to the beginning of the paragraph. as you can imagine this is distracting and sort of messes with my concentration. I have this problem on desktop with Windows 10 and Firefox, and on laptop with Windows 11 and Firefox (latest version as far as I know,) and the problem has occurred over more than one version of Firefox. I can get shift to work OK if I am typing continuously, but if I stop to correct it goes haywire. Is this a known bug? Same problem with question mark, parentheses, possibly other punctuation. If I save and re-open to source edit, no problem. · · · Peter Southwood (talk): 17:36, 25 August 2022 (UTC)Reply[reply]

Peter, would you mind testing it in mw:safemode? This link should work: (Safemode temporarily disables gadgets and user scripts.)
Also, do you have the same problem in both the visual and source modes? What about in the [reply] tool? Whatamidoing (WMF) (talk) 19:30, 25 August 2022 (UTC)Reply[reply]
Testing reply tool. Does not seem to be a problem. · · · Peter Southwood (talk): 07:45, 26 August 2022 (UTC)Reply[reply]
I have identified one trigger. If I use [ctrl V] to paste something, the shift key moves cursor to the start.· · · Peter Southwood (talk): 08:47, 26 August 2022 (UTC)Reply[reply]
@Pbsouthwood: Is that "paste anything at all" or "paste a 'complicated' thing"? One way I test this is to copy a couple of letters out of the browser's URL bar (like "ikip" from the middle of The goal is for there to be no possible way for the software to think that you're pasting a link, formatted text, etc. If it works for the plainest of plain text, but misbehaves when you copy (e.g.,) a citation (with italics and several links) or multiple paragraphs, then that would be valuable for the devs to know.
I really appreciate your efforts to reproduce this. I know that intermittent bugs can be difficult to track down. Whatamidoing (WMF) (talk) 18:30, 26 August 2022 (UTC)Reply[reply]
I know how hard it is to find an intermittent bug when you don't know the trigger. Anyway, see below (bottom of page examples of new topics and directly below using reply) for an example of simple text copy paste in which the source of the simple text should be obvious, and the consequences have been left directly visible, along with an edited version showing the intended text. With luck this may be reproducible on demand. It looks like using [ctrl V] toggles something in the tool which does not reset, but does not do that in the regular editor. Cheers, · · · Peter Southwood (talk): 03:56, 27 August 2022 (UTC)Reply[reply]
It seems to do the same thing here. (the bug struck just after the paste when I started a new sentence,but did not affect the "I" or the parenthesis, which also required a shiftkey use). It also did not affect this sentence. Testing reply tool using a copy-paste. Testing reply tool using a copy-paste. · · · Peter Southwood (talk): 04:18, 27 August 2022 (UTC)Reply[reply]
(Testing reply tool using a copy-paste. Testing reply tool using a copy-paste. It seems to do the same thing here. (the bug struck just after the paste when I started a new sentence,but did not affect the "I" or the parenthesis, which also required a shiftkey use). It also did not affect this sentence. )
Peter, do you think this might be two different bugs? One for pasting, and a different one for the shift key? I saw the paste-bug in Firefox over the weekend, but I haven't seen the shift key one. Whatamidoing (WMF) (talk) 16:49, 29 August 2022 (UTC)Reply[reply]
I would not have thought so. I am aware of a bug which is triggered by use of [ctrl V] to paste something that has been copied using [ctrl C] (I am unsure of whether cut and paste has the same effect, so will check). The effect is that the shift key afterwards moves the cursor to start of paragraph (home?), but apparently not consistently - there may be a difference between the effect in reply mode and in new topic mode. Copy and paste using the ctrl key seem to work as expected, and if I remember correctly, cut and paste using [ctrl X] and [ctrl P] also works as expected, though I am not sure of whether they affect shift key identically. What would the other bug be? · · · Peter Southwood (talk): 01:12, 30 August 2022 (UTC)Reply[reply]
I tested cut and paste using [ctrl X] and [ctrl P] (see test section below) and it triggered the shift key bug in what may be a slightly different mode. It appears to be inconsistent in when it returns the cursor to (home), or maybe the pattern is complex and affected by small or unexpected effects, like minor edit corrections by backspacing preceding use of the shift key, which are lost from the record after saving. It is very frustrating, as literally any keystroke other than normal additive typing could potentially confuse the issue, and my typing typically has many errors. · · · Peter Southwood (talk): 01:48, 30 August 2022 (UTC)Reply[reply]
@Pbsouthwood, I've started phab:T316838 for this. I think you're on to something. Maybe we need a few more eyes on it. Feel free to update/expand/correct anything I wrote there.
Also, do you get the same behavior in (visual editor, when you type and paste things like you would in a regular article)? Whatamidoing (WMF) (talk) 22:21, 31 August 2022 (UTC)Reply[reply]
I don't use Visual Editor so don't know. It annoyed me so much when it was first rolled out that I still have a knee-jerk aversion to it, which may be unfair. I will test it and see what I can find, but am a complete noob in its use, so no guarantees that I will find anything. · · · Peter Southwood (talk): 06:22, 1 September 2022 (UTC)Reply[reply]
Whatamidoing (WMF), So far no bug in VE. Will keep trying as I think of possible test cases, but have done cut and paste within an article, and cut and paste from another article so far without triggering the bug. · · · Peter Southwood (talk): 11:45, 1 September 2022 (UTC)Reply[reply]
Next question: can you get the bug to trigger at Specifically, can you trigger it in DiscussionTools (like you can here), and can you trigger it in mw:Project talk:Sandbox/Structured Discussions test, using Flow's visual mode?
(The point here is to figure out whether the problem is more likely to be in mw:Extension:VisualEditor or in mw:Extension:DiscussionTools.) Whatamidoing (WMF) (talk) 22:29, 3 September 2022 (UTC)Reply[reply]

Double headers in mass message about subscribe button[edit]

For each MassMessage about the subscribe button, the bot MediaWiki Message Delivery added two headers. Could this be a problem with the message? Weeklyd3 (talk) 00:37, 26 August 2022 (UTC)Reply[reply]

I was about to comment on the same thing. I dream of horses (Contribs) (Talk) 01:10, 26 August 2022 (UTC)Reply[reply]
My mistake: I was distracted and forgot to remove the heading from the text. Fortunately, it's an easy fix. I've started at the end of Wikipedia:VisualEditor/Newsletter and am working my way up, in case anyone wants to start at the top and work your way down. Whatamidoing (WMF) (talk) 01:13, 26 August 2022 (UTC)Reply[reply]
Thanks! Weeklyd3 (talk) 01:16, 26 August 2022 (UTC)Reply[reply]
You started at 01:09, 26 August 2022 and finished at 02:53, 26 August 2022. You should've asked me or request on WP:Bot requests. Nearly two hours, I could've done it in, like, 4 minutes.Alexis Jazz (talk or ping me) 12:41, 17 September 2022 (UTC)Reply[reply]
Thanks for the offer. Hopefully it will be many years before I make that mistake again. Whatamidoing (WMF) (talk) 04:26, 19 September 2022 (UTC)Reply[reply]

Testing new topic tool in safe mode[edit]

Testing whether the shift key returns cursor to start of paragraph in safe mode. So far not happening. I can start a new sentence, go back and insert, or make a correction. I think I had the same problem with reply, but do not use Visual Editor have not tried visual mode I will make some checks, but if it is a thing that starts after using a gadget I would guess I have to use that gadget first, so will check if it is happening in not safe mode first. Cheers, · · · Peter Southwood (talk): 04:56, 26 August 2022 (UTC)Reply[reply]

Testing again, not in safe mode[edit]

Testing whether shift key will return cursor to stat of paragraph. Unable to reproduce problem. Will try to trigger by using short description helper. · · · Peter Southwood (talk): 05:04, 26 August 2022 (UTC)Reply[reply]

Testing after using Short description gadget[edit]

Testing for shift key anomaly again. It does not seem to have been triggered by a single use of the short description gadget. As I have no idea what to do next to try to reproduce the result, I will wait until it happens again and try to work out what I did. · · · Peter Southwood (talk): 05:27, 26 August 2022 (UTC)Reply[reply]

Testing with copy-paste.[edit]

I have to deal with. I left this example unedited so you could see what I now use the shift key the cursor is returned to the beginning of the paragraph. Each time I end up. And this is where Testing with a simple text copy -paste: Testing with a simple text copy -paste: · · · Peter Southwood (talk): 03:35, 27 August 2022 (UTC)Reply[reply]

(Testing with a simple text copy -paste: Testing with a simple text copy -paste: And this is where I end up. Each time I now use the shift key the cursor is returned to the beginning of the paragraph. I left this example unedited so you could see what I have to deal with. )

Yet another test[edit]

Very odd, as it has now just happened for this sentence. As you can see the bug strikes as soon as I use the shift key, but in this case it only affected the capital "A" starting the next sentence. I now test another sentence without the bug showing up. Testing with a copy but not pasting it. There seems to be no effect. I will now do the paste:Testing with a copy but not pasting it. and continue typing. · · · Peter Southwood (talk): 04:04, 27 August 2022 (UTC)Reply[reply]

(Testing with a copy but not pasting it. There seems to be no effect. I will now do the paste:Testing with a copy but not pasting it. and continue typing. As you can see the bug strikes as soon as I use the shift key, but in this case it only affected the capital "A" starting the next sentence. I now test another sentence without the bug showing up. Very odd, as it has now just happened for this sentence. )

Wouldn't it be nice[edit]

... if when I clicked on the "reply" link from one of my contribs that used the reply tool, it would actually take me to a (useful) page that would explain how I installed it or how I can help others install it? You told me how to install it, and I would have to search who-knows-where to find that explanation. And when I click on the page that my edit summaries take me to, and search on the word "install", I find nothing. I'd really like to explain to Wtfiv how to use this tool because they a) frequently forget to sign posts, which means I can't use the reply tool and have to incur extra editing steps, and b) if they did use the reply tool, their posts would automatically be signed (and correctly indented)! So maybe you can explain that here for Wtfiv, and get whomever wherever to provide some useful instruction on the page the edit summaries link us to. Bst, SandyGeorgia (Talk) 18:32, 27 August 2022 (UTC)Reply[reply]

Sandy, I've been using the reply tool increasingly. In part due to your encouragement. Unfortunately it's just one of those cognitive lapses that go along with my "less than linear" style. It goes along with missing words in a sentences, dangling anaphoric references, constantly typing homophones. I definitely work on being more wiki-friendly to other editors, but the changes are small and sometimes micro-incremental. And I find that these kinds of errors are just recurrent. Hopefully the strengths I feel I have to offer compensate for these issues, which I imagine can be quite (unintentionally) irritating.
Now if there is a script for generating a reply box to unsigned replies or when their are bullets on a talk page that would be great! Often when addressing editor concerns, I have to go into a string of comments that need to be addressed one reply line at a time, but are completed with one global signature. This increases the probability of a forgotten signature. But then, that would address the problem of editors incurring extra steps. I'm just not sure how that would be practically implemented. Wtfiv (talk) 19:24, 27 August 2022 (UTC)Reply[reply]
Below the "Summary" box and the boilerplate notice regarding licensing, there's a link titled "Preferences". You can share that link with others to tell them how to enable the reply tool. isaacl (talk) 20:56, 27 August 2022 (UTC)Reply[reply]
@SandyGeorgia, the [reply] tool is now default-on for everyone using the desktop site, everywhere except the Finnish Wikipedia, and they'll get it this week. This wiki (and some others, but not most yet) also has the auto-signing ==New Topic== tool by default, though I imagine that some experienced editors have turned it off because they're prefer the full toolbar in the editing window.
Since I've got three of you here anyway: It's not feasible to have a Reply box opened for every place you could reply. But it would be possible to have the ==New Topic== tool already open at the bottom of the page. Would you (personally) like such an option? (For myself, I think I'd rather have an "Add section" button at the bottom of each page.) Whatamidoing (WMF) (talk) 16:55, 29 August 2022 (UTC)Reply[reply]
Thx, WAID. No, I would not care for that option. SandyGeorgia (Talk) 17:44, 29 August 2022 (UTC)Reply[reply]

OK, looking through all of this again, with Isaacl's feedback, it seems to me that the setting is now in Preferences --> Discussion pages --> enable quick replying. If that is correct, my initial query remains; wouldn't it be nice if the link supplied in edit summary took us to a useful page that explains that, rather than to a useless wikimedia page that gives the history of the development of the tool, where one has to sort through historical gobble-dee-gook to figure out how to turn it on or off? SandyGeorgia (Talk) 17:50, 29 August 2022 (UTC)Reply[reply]

That link currently points to mw:Talk pages project/Replying. It could instead point to mw:Help:DiscussionTools (or even directly to the mw:Help:DiscussionTools#Reply tool section) or to the local information at Help:Talk pages#Reply tool. The latter has the advantage of a direct link to the correct bit of the Prefs.
Getting this changed is just matter of replacing MediaWiki:Discussiontools-replywidget-reply-link with whichever link you prefer. I'm not sure if normal admins can still do that; it might require one of the interface admins, such as @Enterprisey or @Xaosflux. Whatamidoing (WMF) (talk) 18:14, 29 August 2022 (UTC)Reply[reply]
@SandyGeorgia exactly which link do you want updated? Think I'm a little lost. Can you point to a specific diff? For example in this diff of an edit I made, are you talking about where it says (Tags: Reply, Source) or somewhere else? — xaosflux Talk 18:40, 29 August 2022 (UTC)Reply[reply]
Which is we want to only change the 'tag' output, but not other places this is called - can be done at MediaWiki:Tag-discussiontools-reply (which currently just transcludes the other page's value). — xaosflux Talk 18:42, 29 August 2022 (UTC)Reply[reply]
Xaosflux the reply link on an edit summary like this goes to this very unhelpful page, where figuring out how/where to install the thing is more difficult than need be, as the page is mostly the history of development of the tool, and a ctrl-f on "install" produces nothing. WAID points out above that the edit summary link could go to this page instead, or less ideally, to this page (which is as bad as the original in terms of figuring out how where to install the thing and what it's called). If the edit summary reply link directed ideally to this page, then the thing could be made more user friendly by using consistent language across pages (that is, explain that the thing in question is called "Enable quick replying"). These kinds of rollouts need not be so complicated if <those who do such things> would think like those trying to use it ... what's it called, where do I find it, etc, using consistent language ... "To enable or disable the quick reply tool, go here and click this". SandyGeorgia (Talk) 19:19, 29 August 2022 (UTC)Reply[reply]
I will change the link. Furthermore, I imagine most wikis would benefit from this change, so I have filed T316590. Enterprisey (talk!) 19:43, 29 August 2022 (UTC)Reply[reply]
Thanks all !! SandyGeorgia (Talk) 19:46, 29 August 2022 (UTC)Reply[reply]
@Enterprisey @SandyGeorgia - just to be clear, this has nothing to do with anything in the edit summary correct? This is about the link on the revision tag? Also Enterprisey, in looking at your phab ticket. The link from the reply tag does not point to that at all, the link from the reply tag (discussiontools-reply) loads from MediaWiki:Tag-discussiontools-reply, which currently transcludes MediaWiki:Discussiontools-replywidget-reply-link, but it doesn't have to - and if someone were to change the "Reply" tag default destination, that would still leave the reply-link page pointing to the other page (which possibly it shouldn't either). I think 3 different terms are being mixed up in this discussion, and some of that has spilled over to the phab request. — xaosflux Talk 20:19, 29 August 2022 (UTC)Reply[reply]
The terms might have gotten a bit loose but I don't currently think I screwed up anywhere; I'm sure the phab people can sort me out if I did. Enterprisey (talk!) 20:42, 29 August 2022 (UTC)Reply[reply]
I left notes on that phab ticket. — xaosflux Talk 21:29, 29 August 2022 (UTC)Reply[reply]
Xaosflux, I don't know how to answer that question or explain. When one uses the reply tool to reply, there is automatically an edit summary included that links to the reply page we discussed above. I don't know the right terms I guess ... SandyGeorgia (Talk) 22:42, 29 August 2022 (UTC)Reply[reply]
That's fine, I understood. I guess technically it's not in what the software considers an edit summary, but it's fixed now (or should be, you can check in the page history). Enterprisey (talk!) 23:39, 29 August 2022 (UTC)Reply[reply]

Testing cut and paste in new topic[edit]

MID SENTENCE returns the cursor to start of the paragraph. A repeat test with a new sentence seems normal and another mid sentence shift DID NOTHING. It appears to have triggered the shift key bug as this is at the start of the paragraph. A second use of the shift key in a new sentence is back to normal and another shift in I will test the effect of a cut and paste on the following text: () I will paste it directly after this point. text to be cut and pasted. · · · Peter Southwood (talk): 01:27, 30 August 2022 (UTC)Reply[reply]

( I will test the effect of a cut and paste on the following text: () I will paste it directly after this point. text to be cut and pasted. It appears to have triggered the shift key bug as this is at the start of the paragraph. A second use of the shift key in a new sentence is back to normal and another shift in MID SENTENCE returns the cursor to start of the paragraph. A repeat test with a new sentence seems normal and another mid sentence shift DID NOTHING. ) I may have confused the issue by making a typo correction at some point in the last sentence.

Work-you note[edit]

Work-you note of a possible bug on your personal-you talk. Andre🚐 16:06, 1 September 2022 (UTC)Reply[reply]

Thank you! Whatamidoing (WMF) (talk) 22:29, 3 September 2022 (UTC)Reply[reply]

Archiving notifications[edit]


Lately I've started getting some notifications about my comments being archived. I was surprised. Are they coming from the Discussions Tools? New feature? How do they work exactly? I accidently clicked to not get anymore notifications like that while I was playing around with it to learn more but I'm not sure if anything happened. It said to go to my preferences to get them back but they were already activated when I got there so... I'm confused as to what is actually going on. I checked around in Mediawiki and in WP:VPT but saw no mentioning of this. Maybe it's just a userscript I might have activated and DT are not related? - Klein Muçi (talk) 21:51, 10 September 2022 (UTC)Reply[reply]

@Klein Muçi, the settings for Echo/Notifications are all in Special:Preferences#mw-prefsection-echo-echosubscriptions. This is part of DiscussionTools. @PPelberg (WMF) would be interested in hearing what you think about them. Whatamidoing (WMF) (talk) 20:09, 12 September 2022 (UTC)Reply[reply]
So it is related to DT. Thank you!
As for what I think about it... I have nothing against it but from a utilitarian point of view, I'm not sure of its benefits. How can I utilize that information as a user? A topic I had interest in is no longer where it was. I guess this gives me a headnote to go to the history of the page and start searching for the white rabbit but other than that... It's better that nothing I suppose but what everyone really wants is links that survive archiving. If such a function existed, we could scrutinize these kinds of notifications in conjunction with that better. They could provide a link for the topic in the archive page, they could more correctly state what happened with the topic, if it got archived or actually just deleted (or changed!) and by who. And, further brainstorming, topics could have archive/un-archive links attached to them that would make the whole present-past infrastructure smoother.
These notifications look like a building block in that kind of future world but in their current state they don't look like they have a lot of utilitarian value and I suppose that they risk annoying users without providing much in return. — Klein Muçi (talk) 11:26, 13 September 2022 (UTC)Reply[reply]
Peter's worried that if something happens to the discussion (e.g., someone moves it to a different page, which is the official archiving process for the English Wikivoyage's equivalent of the Village Pump), then people will think that the tool is unreliable. It's new, so of course people don't really understand its limitations yet. I expect that I'll turn it off before long. It's kind of annoying on wikis that have archiving bots. Whatamidoing (WMF) (talk) 18:44, 13 September 2022 (UTC)Reply[reply]

Information on Xtools[edit]

Hi WaId, Do you have any idea of where I could find out what Authorship model is used by Xtools? Cheers, · · · Peter Southwood (talk): 18:36, 11 September 2022 (UTC)Reply[reply]

I don't know if it is new or I just never noticed the small print, but today I saw a link saying powered by WikiWho, which I did not see before though I am fairly sure I looked at the place where the link is on previous occasions. If you asked around and someone added this, I thank you, and please thank them from me. If not, don't bother, I found it. Cheers, · · · Peter Southwood (talk): 11:50, 12 September 2022 (UTC)Reply[reply]
I'm glad you found it. Whatamidoing (WMF) (talk) 20:10, 12 September 2022 (UTC)Reply[reply]

Fork possibilities[edit]

I hadn't visited since before you posted what seems to be the last contribution to my Village Pump query on what resources are needed to host a fork of Wikipedia...and it got archived. The data on the site you linked had no number after 2019 but it looks like I need to store over 20TB if I am to have everything (best to download first and triage later though). Can a download be resumed if something interrupts it? And how DOES one uncompress besides in the way one is warned not to? (talk) 10:02, 6 December 2022 (UTC)Reply[reply]

I've never tried it before. I suggest asking at Wikipedia:Village pump (technical), as I imagine that someone there has done this before. I think they'll need to know what kind of system you're running. Did you get MediaWiki installed yet? Whatamidoing (WMF) (talk) 05:58, 7 December 2022 (UTC)Reply[reply]
It's not among my currently installed ports but that's easy enough to install.
However,I figure I need additional disk drives. (talk) 08:52, 10 December 2022 (UTC)Reply[reply]

Happy New Year, Whatamidoing (WMF)![edit]

   Send New Year cheer by adding {{subst:Happy New Year fireworks}} to user talk pages.

Moops T 15:24, 5 January 2023 (UTC)Reply[reply]

Edit check link[edit]

Hi Whatamidoing, just thought I'd note your link in the closed conversation at Wikipedia:Village pump (idea lab) to Edit check doesn't work. It is, apparently(!?), case sensitive and needs a small c. CMD (talk) 02:30, 27 February 2023 (UTC)Reply[reply]

Thanks, @Chipmunkdavis. I've created the redirect, so now I won't have to remember which one is which. Whatamidoing (WMF) (talk) 19:01, 27 February 2023 (UTC)Reply[reply]
Test. --Whatamidoing (WMF) (talk) 21:51, 28 March 2023 (UTC)Reply[reply]

IP masking inquiry[edit]

Regarding this edit: I think you might get better feedback with your own separate section and heading, rather than appending a post onto a section that I'm guessing many will skip based on its title. isaacl (talk) 21:13, 27 March 2023 (UTC)Reply[reply]

Thanks, isaacl. I'm hoping to talk to one of the lawyers this week to see if we can get their announcement (basically, who gets the new userright) posted soon. The dev team is still months away from having this on the first wiki, but I figure that the sooner people have the information, the smoother it will go later. That will get its own section, probably several times over. VPM as usual for the basic announcement, plus AN (since admins will be affected), and I'd love to hear what other pages you'd suggest. Wikipedia:Bots/Noticeboard, perhaps; there are probably bots that will need to find out about this new-fangled user class. Whatamidoing (WMF) (talk) 16:38, 28 March 2023 (UTC)Reply[reply]
Sure, I was just suggesting that having a separate section now would avoid diffusing the discussion for both the original topic and yours. isaacl (talk) 16:51, 28 March 2023 (UTC)Reply[reply]