Talk:Talk pages project/Notifications

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Requested feature: Option to autosubscribe to sections you start on pages you don't watchlist

4
Sdkb (talkcontribs)

Every time so far that I've started a new thread on a page I don't watchlist, I've wanted to subscribe to it. It'd be nice if there were an option that did this automatically to save me the click/take care of it so I don't forget.

Whatamidoing (WMF) (talkcontribs)

This option already exists, though it hasn't been announced. See the last item in https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Special:Preferences#mw-prefsection-editing-discussion

I find that it usually works for my work account (which I use in Chrome or Safari) but not for my volunteer account (in Firefox). Also, it's doesn't pay any attention to whether the page is already on your watchlist, and it may be restricted to edits made using DiscussionTools (e.g., when you [reply], but not when you [edit source]).

JAn Dudík (talkcontribs)

I found some problem here - I edited section, I have there notice [Subscribed], but in my preferences was this option disabled (And I haven't change this option in last months)

Whatamidoing (WMF) (talkcontribs)

Do I have this correct?

  • The preference for automatic subscriptions is disabled in your account
  • When you create a new section, you get subscribed to it anyway
  • If anyone replies, you get a message in Special:Notifications

Is that right?

Reply to "Requested feature: Option to autosubscribe to sections you start on pages you don't watchlist"
Lectrician1 (talkcontribs)

I recently saw task T304755 and was thinking, a possible alternative that could help account for these edge cases would be allowing people to subscribe to a reply (signature) and they would receive notifications for all replies to that.

This could be implemented by adding a "more options" three-dot button (...) next the the reply button where the following options could be "Subscribe" and "Link to reply".

Whatamidoing (WMF) (talkcontribs)

am not sure that would be useful very often.

Reply to "Subscribe to replies"

Prototype: topic subscriptions

6
Summary by PPelberg (WMF)

T275232 contains the issues and opportunities for improvement that surfaced in this conversation. These same issues and opportunities have also been documented on the project page: Talk pages project/Notifications#Usability testing.

PPelberg (WMF) (talkcontribs)

An *in-progress* prototype of the new topic subscription feature is ready for you to try.

This prototype enables you to elect to receive a notification via Echo when someone posts a new comment in any conversation you have decided to "subscribe" to.

Below is information about:

  1. The goals of this prototype
  2. How to share feedback about the prototype
  3. How to try the prototype
  4. What will happen after you all share feedback
PPelberg (WMF) (talkcontribs)

1. Goals

The goal of sharing this prototype with you all at this stage is to learn:

  1. Which – if any – of the fundamental assumptions we've made about how the feature works conflicts with existing workflows/practices?
  2. What – if anything – do you think could be changed about how the feature currently works for it to improve your awareness of new comments in conversations you are interested in?

2. Sharing feedback

Once you have tried the prototype and you are ready to share what you think of it, please add a new topic to this talk page by doing the following:

  1. "Start a new topic" on this talk page
  2. Name this new topic: "Topic subscription prototype feedback: YOUR USERNAME"
  3. Write your answers to the "Feedback questions" below.
PPelberg (WMF) (talkcontribs)

3. Trying the prototype

  1. Visit this link on a desktop computer: https://patchdemo.wmflabs.org/wikis/77cda30f9d/wiki/Talk:Main_Page
  2. Create a new account (this is a test wiki, not a single-sign on wiki)
  3. Experiment with the feature by "subscribing" to a few conversations on this talk page and/or create a new talk page.

4. Feedback questions

Please answer the questions below when sharing feedback about the prototype.

  1. What did you find unexpected about how the prototype looks and functions?
  2. What do you appreciate about the prototype?
  3. What do you wish was different about the prototype?

5. Next steps

  1. We will compile the feedback you all share and post it to this page.
  2. Communicate when we will address the issues that surface
  3. Learn what people who are new to using talk pages think of the prototype
  4. Refine the prototype
PPelberg (WMF) (talkcontribs)

Update: there had been an issue that would have prevented you from trying the prototype. That issue should be resolved as of earlier today, 6-April.

Carn (talkcontribs)
PPelberg (WMF) (talkcontribs)

Thank you

@Dyolf77 (WMF), @Patriccck, @Pelagic, and @Sunpriat: we value the time and effort you all put in to trying the manual topic subscription prototype and sharing the feedback you had about it with us.

We've documented, and in some cases, acted upon the feedback you all shared in this Phabricator ticket T275232.

Reply to "Prototype: topic subscriptions"

Discussions that begin with a level-3 section

2
Sdkb (talkcontribs)

At this discussion, I wanted to subscribe, but couldn't because I began it with a level-3 section. Could something be tweaked so that these sorts of discussions will be recognized? Cheers,

Matma Rex (talkcontribs)

Previously requested here: T298617.

Removing the ===Background=== sub-heading from your section would make subscriptions work there.

Reply to "Discussions that begin with a level-3 section"

Automatic Topic Subscription Feedback: GKFX

6
GKFX (talkcontribs)
  1. What did you find unexpected about how the prototype looks and functions?
    • Testing as directed looked good to me in terms of UI. However, I (with the account GKFX) didn't receive any notifications for these edits (by me as GKFX2) despite being GKFX being subscribed, which seems wrong. I've checked my notification preferences which were all enabled, although I had not set an email address.
  2. What do you appreciate about the prototype?
    • Straightforward UI.
  3. What do you wish was different about the prototype?
    • I am interested in how "Once deployed, being automatically subscribed to discussions will be an opt-in feature for everyone except new accounts" will work - I hope that discovering how to opt in will be easy enough, particularly for people who are already using the discussion tools available. I would be interested in instead having a checkbox "Subscribe to this discussion" under the reply box, checked by default. This would be much like the "Watch this page" checkbox when editing articles, but with the presumption that people usually do want to see replies to their topics.
PPelberg (WMF) (talkcontribs)

Thank you for giving the prototype a try and taking the time to articulate what you encountered. Responses below...

I (with the account GKFX) didn't receive any notifications for these edits (by me as GKFX2) despite being GKFX being subscribed, which seems wrong.

Question: do the steps I've listed below accurately and exhaustively describe what you experienced?

  1. Visited Patch Demo and created a new account (username: GKFX)
  2. Started a new discussion titled New section title
  3. Noticed the You have been subscribed popup appear
  4. Clicked the Okay, I got it button
  5. Logged out of Patch Demo
  6. Visited Patch Demo again and created a new account (username: GKFX2)
  7. Posted two comments to the New section title discussion you started in step "2."
  8. Logged out of Patch Demo
  9. Logged back into the GKFX account
  10. ❗️Did NOT receive notifications for the comments you posted with GKFX2in step "7."

I hope that discovering how to opt in will be easy enough, particularly for people who are already using the discussion tools available.

We too are curious about whether experienced volunteers will find it easy enough to discover Automatic Topic Subscriptions. We'll be evaluating how "discoverable" Automatic Topic Subscriptions are by looking at the percentage of topic subscriptions that are initiated manually vs. automatically in T280896.

I would be interested in instead having a checkbox "Subscribe to this discussion" under the reply box, checked by default.

Question: Ah, this is an interesting idea. Can you say more here? What do you think would be valuable to you about having the ability to adjust whether you are notified about new comments in a discussion each time you post a new comment or start a new discussion?

GKFX (talkcontribs)
Missing notifications

I used Firefox's Container Tab feature to do the test, which lets you log into different accounts in different tabs by isolating the cookies (etc.) between each container. So I was logged into GKFX on one tab and GKFX2 on the other, and didn't log out at any point. I think I had:

  1. Created the section and let myself be auto-subscribed as GKFX, seeing the dialog box and clicking OK.
  2. Unsubscribed and resubscribed at least once to test that interface.
  3. Navigated to "Main Page", i.e. away from the talk page.
  4. Created GKFX2 in a new container tab
  5. Replied to the post as GKFX2
  6. Refreshed the page "Main Page" on the first tab (as GKFX). At this point I expected to see the notification icon light up, but nothing happened.
  7. I repeated steps 5 and 6 and got the same result again.

I've logged back into those accounts again, and noticed now that "Peter" has also replied to that section, I'm still subscribed to it (there is an [unsubscribe] link in its header), and there is no notification about Peter's edit either.

Subscribe checkbox

What do you think would be valuable to you about having the ability to adjust... I would tend to subscribe to most of the quiet, normal discussions I comment on, as there are only a few people involved and it's good to be able to follow up on any later discussion. However, if there is an enormous controversial discussion, I would be more inclined to just read what has been said so far, express my opinion, but not want to receive any further notifications on the subject unless I'm pinged. (Of course, there is already an unsubscribe button so the choice to opt out of some discussions is there anyway.) The other reason for this suggestion was to make the feature more discoverable by giving it the same familiar, fairly prominent UI that page watching currently has.

Whatamidoing (WMF) (talkcontribs)

GKFX, volunteer-me is having problems with Firefox, too. Have you tried this out at enwiki, in your regular account (in prefs here)? Is automatic subscription working for you? Also, do you have NoScript or anything similar installed?

GKFX (talkcontribs)

I don't have NoScript or similar installed. I have Firefox's Tracking Protection set to strict, but I wouldn't expect that to interfere. I've tried it on my sandbox talkpage on enwiki and it worked fine, I got notifications along the lines of "GKFX-2 replied in 'New test section'". I remembered that when it broke on the test wiki I had subscribed, unsubscribed and resubscribed, but I tried that on enwiki and it continued to work. Automatic subscription seemed to work OK on enwiki too.

GKFX (talkcontribs)

I tried commenting from my brand new test account on enwiki (GKFX-2). I enabled automatic subscription in its preferences, replied, and it seemed to auto-subscribe me but without the first-use pop-up expected, and iirc the heading only displayed "[unsubscribe]" after I clicked "[reply]" again. The automatic subscription still worked fine for GKFX-2 in terms of actual notifications being generated, there was just something a bit off on the UI. So still definitely not a reproduction of the behaviour described at the start of this thread.

Reply to "Automatic Topic Subscription Feedback: GKFX"

Automatic Topic Subscription Feedback: Klein Muçi"

4
Klein Muçi (talkcontribs)
  1. What did you find unexpected about how the prototype looks and functions?
    1. The popup was unexpected. Generally, we don't get popups at all in our every day wikiwork. That is, if we're not new accounts.
  2. What do you appreciate about the prototype?
    1. Strange detail but I appreciate that it doesn't notify me when I comment to my auto-subscribed topic. I don't know why I always thought that would be a bug that would be present in the prototype.
  3. What do you wish was different about the prototype?
    1. So far, nothing. I wrote a new topic, I got myself autosubscribed at it. The possibility of unsubscribing was 1 click way. Simple as it should be. I haven't had a chance to see how notifications behave though as I haven't had comments yet. I'll report back here in case I have any new ideas or find any strange behaviors. -
PPelberg (WMF) (talkcontribs)

We appreciate you reviewing the prototype, @Klein Muçi! Responses to the feedback you shared below...

The popup was unexpected. Generally, we don't get popups at all in our every day wikiwork. That is, if we're not new accounts.

Question: it's helpful to know the popup was unexpected and why you found it to be so. A resulting question for you: did you find the information contained within the popup helpful in any way(s)?

Strange detail but I appreciate that it doesn't notify me when I comment to my auto-subscribed topic. I don't know why I always thought that would be a bug that would be present in the prototype.

Question: would it be accurate for us to understand the above as meaning the following? "I (Klein Muci) assumed that when I added a comment within a discussion I am subscribed to, I would receive a notification for the comment I posted which seems redundant/unnecessary."

I wrote a new topic, I got myself autosubscribed at it. The possibility of unsubscribing was 1 click way. Simple as it should be.

This is wonderful to hear.

I haven't had a chance to see how notifications behave though as I haven't had comments yet. I'll report back here in case I have any new ideas or find any strange behaviors.

Thank you! We would value knowing if/when you encounter anything that you find to be unexpected.

Klein Muçi (talkcontribs)

@PPelberg (WMF), helpful of course. The only "problem" would be something that is outside of this topic: The preferences tab. Very few new users know about the preferences existence in general and I feel like they tend to avoid spending too much time sorting things out in it even if they're sent there with links. The amount of information/options there can be overwhelming. I've mentioned in another discussion that for the sake of new users, tabs like preferences, the "log out" link, maybe the watchlist, etc. should be changed from link-like to button-like, which Mediawiki rarely uses, not to say never. Buttons are more friendly towards new users and inspire exploration. But, as mentioned, this is another topic.

And yes, that interpretation is correct. Thanks for your attention! :) -

Whatamidoing (WMF) (talkcontribs)

I wonder whether it would be better to have a "click here to opt out", rather than sending people to Preferences (which requires clicking multiple times).

Reply to "Automatic Topic Subscription Feedback: Klein Muçi""

Automatic Topic Subscription Feedback: Ainali

3
Ainali (talkcontribs)
  1. That it showed every time. I imagined that after I clicked "Okay, I got it" it wouldn't show more. It was also unexpected that if I subscribed to a section, then unsubscribed, and then commented, I was not automatically subscribed to it again.
  2. Beautiful popup!
  3. If I wasn't surprised by the things mentioned in 1.

But I was actually wanting a way to be notified to new sections on a specific page, not automatically subscribed to something I commented in. I suspect that I will turn this feature off, as I imagine this will result in a lot of notifications I have moved on from (but I might be wrong here, the volumes in real use will be key).

PPelberg (WMF) (talkcontribs)

But I was actually wanting a way to be notified to new sections on a specific page, not automatically subscribed to something I commented in.

Ah, you're right. I did not accurately remember the interaction we had that led to us creating T263821: Introduce New Topic Notifications. With this in mind, we appreciate you trying out the prototype for a feature you weren't exactly looking forward to ^ _ ^

Okay, now responses to specific pieces of feedback you shared...

I imagined that after I clicked "Okay, I got it" it wouldn't show more.

Comment: We agree with you in thinking the pop-up appearing each time you post a new comment or start a new discussion is not an ideal experience. In the version of Automatic Topic Subscriptions that gets made available in production, the pop-up will only appear once.

It was also unexpected that if I subscribed to a section, then unsubscribed, and then commented, I was not automatically subscribed to it again.

Question: would it be accurate for me to understand what you are saying above as the following? "If I (Ainali) have automatic topic subscriptions enabled, I expect to be subscribed to any discussion I comment in regardless of whether I've previously unsubscribed to said section manually."

Whatamidoing (WMF) (talkcontribs)

> "If I (Ainali) have automatic topic subscriptions enabled, I expect to be subscribed to any discussion I comment in regardless of whether I've previously unsubscribed to said section manually."

I think experienced editors will expect the behavior to match the regular watchlist settings, which do not track whether you have previously unwatched a page.

Reply to "Automatic Topic Subscription Feedback: Ainali"

Prototype: Automatic Topic Subscriptions

4
PPelberg (WMF) (talkcontribs)

Many people[i] have raised the idea of becoming automatically subscribed to discussions you participate in.

Now, there is a prototype ready for you all to try what how this "automatic topic subscription" experience could look and work.

Below is the information you will need to:

  1. Try the prototype and
  2. Share feedback about the prototype

If any questions come up as you are attempting to try the prototype, please post them here...it is likely someone is wondering something similar to what you are.


---

i. @Ainali, @Dyolf77 (WMF), @Ffffrr, @GKFX, @Klein Muçi, @Kyykaarme, @NGC 54, @Pelagic, @Tacsipacsi,

PPelberg (WMF) (talkcontribs)

1. Trying the prototype

  1. On a desktop / laptop computer, visit: https://patchdemo.wmflabs.org/wikis/2f3d9efbec/wiki/Talk:Main_Page
  2. Create an account by clicking the Create account link. Note: this is a test wiki so you will not be able to log in using the same username you use on other projects.
  3. Return to https://patchdemo.wmflabs.org/wikis/2f3d9efbec/wiki/Talk:Main_Page
  4. Start a new discussion
  5. Comment in an existing discussion
  6. Disable being automatically subscribed to the discussions you start and/or comment in

Notes:

i. For ease of testing, the popup appears every time you get auto-subscribed. In the production version, the popup will only appear once.

ii. Once deployed, being automatically subscribed to discussions will be an opt-in feature for everyone except new accounts.

PPelberg (WMF) (talkcontribs)

2. Sharing Feedback

Once you have tried the prototype and you are ready to share what you think of it, please add a new topic to this talk page by doing the following:

  1. "Start a new topic" on this talk page
  2. Name this new topic: "Automatic Topic Subscription Feedback: YOUR USERNAME"
  3. Write your answers to these questoins:
    1. What did you find unexpected about how the prototype looks and functions?
    2. What do you appreciate about the prototype?
    3. What do you wish was different about the prototype?
Whatamidoing (WMF) (talkcontribs)

Reminder: There's still time to share your thoughts.

Reply to "Prototype: Automatic Topic Subscriptions"

Automatic Topic Subscription Feedback: Pelagic

2
Summary by PPelberg (WMF)

T295946: First-Run Experience: Make "Preferences" affordance more obviously clickable

T295948: First-Run Experience: Pop-up appears behind page chrome when starting creating new talk page

T295950: Simplify automatic re-subscribe logic

T295087: Enable people to opt-out of being automatically subscribed from within DiscussionTools

Pelagic (talkcontribs)

What did you find unexpected about how the prototype looks and functions?

  • Wasn't expecting the popup. Though you said there would be one, I hadn't read to the end of the instructions! Presumably in a non-demo environment I would have already visited Preferences to turn the setting on, but having the button to return to preferences is still a good thing. In another sense the pop-up was not unexpected: it's consistent with what happens when I use other features for the first time. On subsequent replies, would I get the normal “you have subscribed” box the same as when I tap the subscribe link?
  • In Timeless skin, the text column in the popup is narrower, and the Okay I got it / Preferences buttons stack vertically instead of horizontally. (Not a problem for me, and the size of the box feels proportionate to the size of the page.)
  • Creating a new discussion page in Vector, the pop-up is over the header area: the user links and edit / history tabs render on top of the pop-up, not behind it.
  • (Not part of auto-subscribe, but noticed that) somehow the main page got added to my watchlist; seems the checkbox in reply tool is on-by-default and in my haste I hadn't expanded Advanced to turn that off.
  • There appears to be some logic in place that you won't be auto-resubscribed to a topic that you already unsubscribed from. (!)

What do you appreciate about the prototype?

  • As someone already familiar with Reply Tool and topic subscription, I appreciate that autosubscription smoothly fits those together – no mess, no fuss. Tested on desktop web, tablet, no keyboard, Vector (v1 “classic”) and Timeless skins.

What do you wish was different about the prototype?

  • That it be available on mobile web also. 😉 I know, all in due time.
  • Minor tweaks to z-order, per unexpected above.
  • It would be nice to have an option in reply tool to (not)-subscribe as a one-off exception to the general auto-subscribe setting. (Probably more relevant when the setting is off.) How to convey that it's once-only action and not sticky? (I'm imagining a checkbox whose initial state and help tip depend on the underlying preference “[x] Subscribe to this section [?] Unchecking this box will not change your preference to automatically subscribe to topics when replying.”.)
PPelberg (WMF) (talkcontribs)

hi @Pelagic! We appreciate you trying the prototype and sharing the experience you had with it here. Comments and questions in response below...

1) Presumably in a non-demo environment I would have already visited Preferences to turn the setting on, but having the button to return to preferences is still a good thing.

This is helpful confirmation to have. Related to the link to "Preferences" that appears within the pop-up, we're planning to iterate on the link's design to make it more obviously clickable. You didn't mention this explicitly, tho I thought you might value being aware of this work. More details in T295946.

2) On subsequent replies, would I get the normal “you have subscribed” box the same as when I tap the subscribe link?

Interesting question.

Question: Before responding, can you share whether you would expect to see the same "you have subscribed" box as when you manually tap a [ subscribe ] link?

3) In Timeless skin, the text column in the popup is narrower, and the Okay I got it / Preferences buttons stack vertically instead of horizontally. (Not a problem for me, and the size of the box feels proportionate to the size of the page.)

Noted. For now, I'm going to categorize this in my mind as, "Not being an issue. Although, it's helpful to be aware of how the pop-up appears in Timeless."

If you think we should be thinking about this differently, please let us know as much!

4)Creating a new discussion page in Vector, the pop-up is over the header area: the user links and edit / history tabs render on top of the pop-up, not behind it.

Great spot!

Question: Can you please read the steps I've documented in T295948 and let me know if I've missed any part of what you were describing above?

5) ...somehow the main page got added to my watchlist

Question: To be doubly certain, would it be accurate for me to understand the above as you saying, "It was unexpected to me that in responding to a discussion on the Main page's talk page that I would be automatically be adding the Main page to my watchlist."

6) There appears to be some logic in place that you won't be auto-resubscribed to a topic that you already unsubscribed from

Interesting! We intentionally made it so when someone is automatically subscribed to a conversation, and they subsequently unsubscribe from that conversation, that person should remain unsubscribed to that conversation until they manually resubscribe to it.

Although, you sharing the feedback about is leading me to wonder whether we've assumed incorrectly here and if people would have an easier time "grasping" the feature were the logic that determines whether you are automatically subscribed to a discussion were to remain consistent in all scenarios.

In any event, I've filed T295950 for us to consider adjusting this logic.

7) ...I appreciate that autosubscription smoothly fits those together – no mess, no fuss.

The team will be glad to hear this ^ _ ^

8)That it be available on mobile web also. 😉 I know, all in due time.

Us too! You can track our progress on introducing topic subscriptions – manual and automatic – on mobile in T280821.

9)Minor tweaks to z-order, per unexpected above.

Question: can you say more here? Are you referring to the issue that's now described in T295948?

10) It would be nice to have an option in reply tool to (not)-subscribe as a one-off exception to the general auto-subscribe setting.

Question: Can you share a scenario where you'd want to comment in a discussion, or start a new one, and NOT wanting to be automatically subscribed to it? In the meantime, I've added you to T295087 where we are considering implementing something similar to what you're describing here.

Reply to "Automatic Topic Subscription Feedback: Pelagic"
Peter Gröbner (talkcontribs)

The subscription seems to get lost if the (discussion) page ist moved.

Matma Rex (talkcontribs)

That should not happen; the tracking of subscriptions is based on the author and date/time of the first comment, and not on the page or section title. Can you link to an example?

Peter Gröbner (talkcontribs)
Matma Rex (talkcontribs)

Thanks.

But I don't understand why this ist not listed in .

Apparently, the move log only shows the entry when you search for the old title – in this case, it's shown under Diskussion:Weißrussland: . I found this old bug report about that behavior: T66184.

The subscription was moved from Diskussion:Weißrussland to w:de:Diskussion:Belarus#Änderung_der_Aussprache_von_stimmlosem_zu_stimmhaftem_„s“

I'm sorry if this sounds like a stupid question, but – there haven't been any comments in that section since October, so you wouldn't get any notifications anyway – so are you sure that your subscription was lost?

If you look at the section there, is there an "[abbestellen]" button (unsubscribe), or an "[abonnieren]" button (subscribe)?

Maybe it's confusing if you looked at Spezial:TopicSubscriptions. That interface will always display the original page title and topic title, even if they're changed (because we don't have a good way to track and display this there), but regardless of that, you should receive notifications if you're subscribed to the topic. Maybe we should file a bug about this.

Peter Gröbner (talkcontribs)

You are right, I noticed it at the Spezial:TopicSubscriptions as a red link.Yet changing to the moved page the topic wasn't subscribed any more. At least it was noticed as to be made "[abonnieren]".

Matma Rex (talkcontribs)

Are you sure you didn't unsubscribe on the TopicSubscriptions page? I don't know how else this could happen.

PPelberg (WMF) (talkcontribs)
Peter Gröbner (talkcontribs)

My English is rather poor. What does „good spot“ mean?

PPelberg (WMF) (talkcontribs)

Ah, I'm sorry about that, @Peter Gröbner. I was using "good spot" to mean "good observation" ^ _ ^

Reply to "moved pages"
Return to "Talk pages project/Notifications" page.