Talk pages consultation 2019/Phase 1 community discussion summaries

On this page are the summaries from the different communities that have participated to the talk pages consultation. Please don't edit other participants' summaries (except to fix typos).

Those summaries have been used to create the Phase 1 report.

What is a community summary?

The goal of a community summary is to wrap up the discussions and provide a summary of what your participants said. That way, other communities can learn about your community's needs, concerns, and ideas. We have seen very different feedback on different wikis, and it is time to discover what everyone thinks!

Please include in that summary:

  • every perspective or idea your community had, and
  • how frequent each idea was; for example,
    • how many users shared a given opinion
    • whether an idea was more common among different types of contributors (newcomers, beginners, experienced editors...)

You can add as much detail as you want in that summary.

Can't the Wikimedia Foundation read all the feedback?

We are trying, but we really need your help. For most conversations, we have to use machine translation, which has limitations. This can help us find the most common needs or global ideas. Machine translation is useful, but it does not tell us how people are feeling or what makes your community unique.

Your community summary should be built from your community's perspective, experience and culture. You might also know of relevant discussions in other places, which we did not find (for example, perhaps someone left a note on your user talk page – it is okay to include that!). Your summary is extremely important to us.

What are the next steps?

Phase 2 will happen in April. We will analyze the individual feedback, your community summary, and some user testing. We hope to have a clear view of everyone's ideas and needs at the end of April.

Some ideas generated during phase 1 may be mutually exclusive. Some ideas might work better for some purposes or some kinds of users. During Phase 2, we'll all talk about which problems are more urgent, which projects are most closely aligned with the overall needs and goals of the movement, and which ideas we should focus on first.

Discussions about these ideas may be shaped and be moderated by the Wikimedia Foundation, guided by our decision criteria, listed on the project page.

Summaries edit

Arabic Wikipedia edit

(original discussion)

(Add summary here)

Catalan Wikipedia edit

(original discussion)

We have been using Flow for a while for discussions, so opinions of the community pivot around it. We've had few users taking part in the discussions, mainly Vriullop and Barcelona.

Summary of the discussion edit

For short discussions, it has been said that Flow works perfectly with its system of watching, automatic pings, and not having to write signatures. Following a long discussion page where only some of the topics are of your interest is not resolved with wiki but it is with Flow. Having a blank textarea to start writing encourages to take part in the discussion.

For long discussions, they have always been complicated, both with wiki and Flow. There is always one who deviates from the main topic. The debate should be redirected, maybe separating some messages in new sections or collapsing some part that enables the user to re-read without non-important parts of the debate. This is still possible with wiki pages, but it's impossible with Flow. It is necessary to create some summaries of the state of the discussion in order to move forward, which it is not usually done, because no one assumes a moderator role, among other reasons. Theoretically, the user who starts the debate should be the moderator, but someone often starts a topic just to see the answer and not to end up in some place.

It has also been said that whatever tool we end up using, there has to be a minimum of continuity, not like flow or dashboards and edu experiments, and also that from flow it is too complex to look for an old thread.

Chinese Wikipedia edit

by Taiwania Justo; also edited by 無聊龍 and 94rain

(original discussion)

Our summary about this consultation has been published on Chinese Wikipedia with Chinese version. The followings are the English version of this summary.

General information edit

The community consultation started on February 26, 2019, and finished on March 31. 24 participants joined this consultation. In addition, we consulted the female community in Taiwan on March 18 to collect the opinions of the female newcomers.

Currently, the discussion tools on Chinese Wikipedia include Wiki Markup talk pages, Structured Discussion (Flow), instant messengers (Telegram, Discord, QQ, IRC) and social network service (Facebook). Structured Discussion is available on the Reference Desk and user talk pages (optional). Most discussions on Chinese Wikipedia are on the Village Pump (Compared with VP in English Wikipedia, VP in Chinese Wikipedia fulfills the functions of both VP and Teahouse. Most article-related discussions are also done on the VP.).

In addition, instant messengers are another popular and featured discussion tools on Chinese Wikipedia. We have a bot that can synchronize the talks on four messengers (Telegram, Discord, QQ, IRC).

Summary of the suggested questions edit

The followings are the summary of the feedback about the suggested questions from Wikimedia Foundation.

When you want to discuss a topic with your community, what tools work for you, and what problems block you?
Chinese Wikipedia is one of few Wikimedia projects to import Structured Discussion mode. Most of the editors are familiar with the Wiki Markup talk page, so the opinions are focus on the Structured Discussion. Only one comment is about the instant messengers. The followings are the feedback about this question:
  1. The page title of a topic in the Structured Discussion uses randomly-generated strings. This design causes that we cannot understand the content when we cite the related topics, although there is a topic title in the topic page.
  2. The table of content in the Structured Discussion is not designed intuitive, and the Structured Discussion uses the lazy loading. These design causes that we cannot find out the historical discussion.
  3. Chinese Wikipedia uses the traditional/simplified writing system and regional terms conversion system, but the Structured Discussion cannot support it.
  4. Some Wiki Markup codes and templates is not supported in the Structured Discussion.
  5. In the instant messengers, we established a help channel for the newcomers, but the usage of the newcomers is very low, and few expert editors stationed in the help channel.
What about talk pages works for newcomers, and what blocks them?
The followings are the feedback about this question:
  1. Some unfriendly comments can be done on the talk pages by the users with the personal position (e.g. political position) which make newcomers uncomfortable.
  2. Most of the talk pages uses the Wiki Markup, and decrease the newcomers' interest of participating discussion because of being unfamiliar with the Wiki Markup.
  3. Most of the discussions about the articles are occurred on the Village Pump/Articles, and the talk pages of the articles become the archives from the Village Pump/Articles. If the newcomers leave the questions on the talk pages of articles, these questions cannot call attention of the expert editors.
  4. The popular talk pages (e.g. Village Pump) are arranged in chronological order. The new comments are below the old comments, so that the newcomers' questions may not call the attention.
What do others struggle with in your community about talk pages?
The followings are the feedback about this question:
  1. In the comments of the user talk pages (Wiki Markup mode), editors have two mode about the same topic:
    • Centralizing the sender's and receiver's comments to one user talk page;
    • Receiver go the the sender's talk page and open new topic to reply the sender's comments. Every editors' preferences are different, so the struggle about the preferred discussion process of user talk pages often occurred.  
  2. In Chinese Wikipedia, some editors have strong personal position (e.g. political position), and the struggle about the position are often occurred.
What do you wish you could do, but can't due to the technical limitations?
The followings are the feedback about this question:
  1. Set an independent watchlist for recent changes on article talk pages to help newcomers.
  2. Every topic can be mobile to any other topic and do not loss the edit history. In addition, every cited discussions can trace back to the original discussions.
  3. Every topic can be deleted independently.
  4. Hide or fold the longer or older discussions on the popular talk pages (like the function of Phabricator).
  5. Offer the Structured Discussion and traditional Wiki Markup mode on the same talk page for the editors who have different editing preference.
  6. Open the Visual Editor (VE) on the talk page.
  7. Disable the VE and Structured Discussion for the talk pages which handle the crucial affairs (e.g. Administrator candidate) to promote the quality of discussions.
What are the important aspects of a "wiki discussion"?
The followings are the feedback about this question:
  1. The wiki discussion must be anonymous, open and free.
  2. The wiki discussion can be connected with the old discussions, and can search the old discussions easily.
  3. The wiki discussion can be readable with visualization instead of the text-featured mode.

Opinions about the female newcomers edit

The followings are the feedback about the talk page of the female newcomers.

  1. Female newcomers don't know whether the talk page is.
  2. Female newcomers are not used to do the comments on the public discussion mechanism, and usually want to weigh their words repeatedly when they do the comments.
  3. Female newcomers would want to know how to edit Wikipedia rather than use the talk page to communicate with the editors on the Internet.
  4. Female newcomers are not used to edit the talk page with Wiki Markup in comparison with the social network service (e.g. Facebook, Line). In addition, female newcomers that are not familiar with coding can feel fear for the Wiki Markup interface.
  5. The title of the talk page has the same style as the main space (articles), and the female newcomers often confuse both of them easily.
  6. The popular talk pages are too long to read, and the standard style of the username cannot be distinguished from other texts.
  7. Some customized styles of the signature on talk pages are too fancy to let the screen of the talk pages be readable.

Commons edit

(original discussion)

I (Jc86035) was the only participant, although I did advertise the discussion on the village pump and on the centralized discussions template. I don't think it's necessary to summarize my own views, since I also commented extensively in the English Wikipedia and Wikidata discussions.

Although I was asked to inform new users of the discussion, I was unable to do so. I don't know whether this had any significant effect on the amount and variety of participants. Jc86035 (talk) 10:13, 4 April 2019 (UTC)[reply]

Dutch Wikipedia edit

(original discussion)

Summary of the talk page consultation on the Dutch Wikipedia (, see w:nl:Wikipedia:Overlegpagina's_raadpleging_2019/Summary.

  • 16 registered users participated in the consultation: Bdijkstra, Ciell, Encycloon, Lidewij C J., Lotje, Mar(c), OSeveno,  Oxygene7-13, Richardkiwi, Robotje, Schilbanaan, TaalBarbaar, Thieu1972, Vinvlugt, Wikidrinker, and Woudloper.

general remarks edit

  • Although the number of participants is small, this is an important issue on the Dutch Wikipedia. A recent survey (over 300 respondents) showed half of them not satisfied with working atmosphere. Those people are not satisfied with how people interact with each other, which has to do with edit summaries, talk pages, and user talk pages. Only 8 percent of respondents visits the Village pump, a place notorious for unfriendly interactions.
  • Almost all participants on this talk page consultation comment on behavior of people, the way they respond to each other, or do not respond to each other. These behavioral aspects of talk pages dominates the technical aspects. People tend not to believe in technical solutions to behavioral issues. Nonetheless some ideas have been floated which might help a little bit in some areas.
  • Some commented on general distrust in the Wikimedia Foundation and their developers. Some believe the approach is biased, or negative, or that already decisions about changes have been made.

summary per question edit

  1. When you want to discuss a topic with your community, what tools work for you, and what problems block you?
    • How to attract more people into a conversation and increase diversity in participation and points of view?
    • Veterans notice the echo system, and newcomers do not notice the bell with a number on top of the page. Long ago a screen wide orange bar did notify you got a message on your talk page. That was intrusive, and effective to induce a response.
  2. What about talk pages works for newcomers, and what blocks them?
    • Newcomers face a hostile frontier of veterans (not all veterans). Some newcomers regret an AfD after they have been pushing NE/POV.
    • Newcomers don't engage on talk pages. Email notifications of messages on talk pages result in OTRS tickets rather than replies on talk pages.
    • Design of talk pages is too different from current other social media websites
    • Newcomers prefer top posting on talk pages
    • Idea: post human and not bot messages op (IP) talk pages
    • Idea: post friendly feedback (don't bite the newcomers)
    • Idea: six tildes signing to show functionary status
    • For newcomers to sign and indent is too complicated, the current design is non-intuitive. [user story: (opt out functionality) as a new user I want to post a reply on a topic that automagically is indented and signed]
  3. What do others struggle with in your community about talk pages?
    • Sign (three times)
    • Adopt Flow (three times, although some veterans don't like it)
    • Enforce edit summary
  4. What do you wish you could do on talk pages, but can't due to the technical limitations?
    • Refer to a specific position on the article page (two times). On the article page itself <!-- invisible text --> can be added, to pinpoint a comment to a specific position.
    • Flagging inappropriate comments (with something like a small button, so a functionary can follow up)
    • Delete or suppress inappropriate comments
  5. What are the important aspects of a "wiki discussion"?
    • Some discussion on Dutch wiki tend to escalate to quickly, like a flame war.
    • Idea: technically slow down number of comments on such a page
    • Idea: New "Add reply" button, just like "Add topic" tab, to prevent edit conflicts.
    • Tools to prevent gridlock
    • Too much ad hominem arguments on the Dutch wiki
    • Idea: forum lay out

English Wikipedia edit

(original discussion)

I didn't intend to write the summary, but I did so on short notice because no one else had done so in time for the deadline. I regret not putting deeper preparation into it. The unusually open ended nature of the questions resulted in a largely scattered discussion. The same idea was often raised across various sections, so I drew together a list the topics mentioned by more than two people. I skipped topics not relevant to the consultation.

  • Numerically there is one point that clearly stands out as the largest presence in the discussion, a clear and overwhelming consensus. One section asked whether we wanted to: Revive work on Flow, design a new Talk replacement from scratch, or consider improvements to existing pages? One individual endorsed Flow, there was no support whatsoever for a new project to replace Talk pages, and there was over 95% agreement for incremental improvement to existing Talk pages. (There were also 3 ambiguous "none of the above" responses.) The clear consensus in this section is reinforced by multiple comments elsewhere asserting the high value and importance of functionality in and around wikipages. Any new project which proposes to eliminate Talk wikipages as a "tradeoff" for other features is almost certain to receive a hostile reception as an unacceptably destructive Flow-clone.
  • Approximately 16 people cite Mobile Frontend. The mobile interface is considered an important and serious issue. There is an impression that Mobile Frontend was designed without concern for editing, and that it is particularly problematic for Talk. It is not unusual for editors to switch to the desktop view while on mobile.
  • Approximately 11 editors discuss the inconvenience of searching for the right spot to reply in the wikitext, particularly on long pages, as well as manually handling the indentation. About three of them discuss userscripts which essentially automate this process. People who have used these scripts appear to be impressed and satisfied with the results. One of these scripts can be found at en:User:Enterprisey/reply-link. These scripts are surely worth investigating.
  • Approximately 11 users express the view that the real barrier for new users are social issues and the vast array of policies and processes / that any initial lack of indenting or signature isn't significant / that talk pages are pretty easy with benefits of being identical to article pages. Dispute or question of this position was significantly in the minority.
  • Approximately 10 people requested the ability to watchlist page sections (Phabricator Task 2738). This request has been a contender in multiple Community Tech Wishlist surveys.
  • Approximately 10 people cite the power and flexibility of wikipage editing as important or essential.
  • Approximately 10 people cite the importance of complete and accurate wikitext support for our work.
  • Approximately 10 people are concerned about users posting on "forgotten" talk pages, which may go unanswered for months or years. They would like some way to make these posts more visible, so they can get a timely response.
  • Approximately 8 people cite the importance of wikipage history and diffs, specifically in contrast to the inadequate history available for Flow. Proper history allows a view of the entire page at any point in time, as well as arbitrary multi-edit diffs spanning the entire page.
  • Approximately 7 people object to infinite-scroll, as seen on Flow.
  • Approximately 6 people cite a desire for auto-signature for comments.
  • Approximately 6 people propose enabling the VisualEditor on Talk pages, by which they surely mean "enable VE everywhere".
  • Approximately 5 people oppose introducing any new page type creating a "third way to edit". The wikitext editor and VisualEditor are considered to already introduce plenty of confusion and complexity into the system by creating two ways of editing.
  • Approximately 5 people request better archiving support.
  • Approximately 5 people cite the issue of edit conflicts.
  • Approximately 3 people cite confusion caused by users who have signatures that do not match their username. One mentions color-highlighted signatures as distracting. This could be addressed by local policy discussion.
  • Approximately 3 people mention Phabricator T22307, wanting edit summaries to automatically mention /* SectionName */ when a new section is manually added during an edit.

It's worth noting that a member of the Wikimedia Foundation Board of Trustees participated in the consultation, and they were part of the near-unanimous support for keeping and improving the existing wikipages for Talk.

English Wikisource edit

(original discussion)

  • On Wikisource, proofreading projects can have hundreds or even thousands of pages across several namespaces. Each of these pages has its own dedicated Talk page. Experienced users know to post discussions on the Index talk page, but new users have no way of knowing this. Three or four users expressed that it would be nice to have an easy and intuitive way to centralize discussion for the entire proofreading project.
  • One or two editors noted that due to our small number of active editors, there are many pages where a discussion may be posted but no one will notice and therefore no one will respond. Experienced users know to post questions on the Wikisource central discussion page, but new users frequently post on talk pages that are not frequented at all.
  • A couple of users mentioned that long discussions can be hard to follow, especially with multiple branching threads indicated by indentation. One user stated that they had tried using the Flow plugin, which is supposed to address this issue, but they found the Flow plugin to be "non-intuitive and frustrating".
  • A couple of users expressed a desire for a method to communicate privately with other editors through the site itself, rather than via external email, and especially for the ability to do so from a mobile app.
  • One user stated that they do not feel comfortable posting discussions online without VPN protection, and the bans on VPN proxies throughout the Wikimedia projects make this difficult. They "respectfully request a reconsideration of a blanket ban on VPN connections".
  • One user expressed a desire for an easier way to coordinate discussions between different language Wikisources. A cross-project watchlist might be the best solution for this.

Beleg Tâl (talk) 18:25, 12 April 2019 (UTC)[reply]

French Wikipedia edit

(original discussion)

Procedure edit

The consultation was organized from the 23 February to the 31 March 2019. No banners have been manually added by an interface administrator of the community. Messages were written on the talk pages of new contributors, while making sure not to influence them[1]. 57 contributors participated. The summary is long, simply because the opinions are varied. All contributors have different points of view, even if some ideas reappear several times.

Context with basic statistics edit

Occurrences of relevant access levels among users Histogram stacked by age Other basic statistics
Participants' contributions:
  • Average: 29,466
  • Maximum: 451,683
  • Minimum: 29

When you want to discuss a topic with your community, what tools work for you, and what problems block you?

Classic talk page

The classic tool is appropriate for a large majority of the contributors who have expressed themselves.


  • Easy to use for regular contributors (Wikicode-related habits) ;
  • Available immediately, without any visible additional loading time ;
  • As flexible as an article ;
  • Complete toolbar ;
  • Several gadgets complete the tool with additional features ;
  • Easily accessible special characters ;
  • History identical ;
  • A revision can be easily found ;
  • A discussion can be found quickly (CTRL + F...) ;
  • Oversight users have no difficulty to hide what needs to be hidden, simple ;
  • Considered mature and stable ;
  • Mainly used, so there is no reason to learn a new tool.


  • Maybe too flexible: each contributor uses a talk page as he or she wishes ;
  • No clear distinction between each message ;
  • No organized structure ;
  • Indentation quickly complicated ;
  • Too complicated for new contributors ;
  • It's impossible to easily thank a contributor: sometimes you have to go back through the whole history ;
  • Contributors may not notice new messages of interest by having a watchlist polluted by other sections ;
  • Unable to sort by date/last messages ;
  • Easily vandalized: a message, a date or an author can be modified by another user without warning anyone ;
  • Impossible to differentiate an original message from an edited message without checking ;
  • Missing automatic signature: many new contributors forget to sign ;
  • Impossible to easily quote a message, or a part of a message ;
  • Too compact, especially on a small screen ;
  • Indentation that doesn't respect HTML principles ;
  • The recent notification tool is appreciated, but not everyone is aware of its existence: not explained, not intuitive ;
  • Sometimes, the custom username displayed doesn't match the real contributor's username. It's complicated to notify them :
  • Summary of revisions used to convey messages: another cultural convention that new contributors don't know about ;
  • New contributors write on their talk page thinking that someone will answer them, and no one answers. "Leave a message at X's talk page or notify X on my talk page?" ;
  • Used everywhere, so nothing can easily evolve ;

Structured Discussions / Flow

The Structured Discussions tool is not very appreciated by a majority, but participants recognize that it facilitates discussion for newcomers, to the detriment of regular contributors. Some participants find that, even with its flaws, Flow is more modern and adapted for discussion. However, they remain a minority.


  • Easy ;
  • A topic is opened more quickly ;
  • Easy to answer ;
  • Structured ;
  • No need to sign ;
  • Messages automatically dated ;
  • Changes are reported ;
  • Allows a more fluid discussion


  • Unable to archive ;
  • Impossible to manually move a topic ;
  • Interface too large, considered unsuitable for mobile use ;
  • Too many notifications, flood ;
  • Doesn't display the number of new messages ;
  • Name of discussions unreadable by humans (Topic:AbCdEfgH4j... ) ;
  • Complicated history that breaks habits ;
  • Impression of a waste of time when you know wikicode ;
  • Too slow for some people ;
  • Impression of having been added on top of everything else: all Wikipedia is based on a single system, but Flow has a different history, masking (Oversight) is complicated, etc. ;
  • Everything is different ;
  • Infinite scroll ;
  • No flexibility at all ;
  • It is difficult to add an image, a wikitable, etc ;
  • Impossible to look for a discussion, worse if they are closed ;
  • A significant number of technical limits and problems still unresolved (Phabricator), because it was designed without the community and ignoring its habits ;
  • A certain lack of courage or communication from the Foundation: some contributors know Flow by name without ever having tested it ;
  • Not much more specific criticism: some contributors simply say they don't like the tool: more problems than functionalities.

What about talk pages works for newcomers, and what blocks them?

The Newcomers' Forum has been using Flow for several months and seems to be much easier for them. They forget less to write a title and they no longer need to sign their message. They tend to open a new section less often when they want to answer in an existing section.

Some new contributors don't understand why they have to press "Edit source" to discuss. Sometimes, by wanting to thank someone, they break the whole page. Far too many people state that it takes time to find out how to contact someone. Some contributors remain silent for long periods of time. Internet is becoming easier to use, while Wikipedia maintains a barrier of difficulty. The talk pages lack of visibility. The discussion pages are so simple that contributors add instructions on their talk pages to avoid mistakes. Flow avoids a large part of this maintenance.

It's difficult for a newcomer to distinguish the authors of differents messages. They are asked to use the visual editor, then forced to see the source code. It would be interesting to separate the editorial aspect from the social aspect. The community appreciates the mentoring approach implemented. It remains the best way to save contributors from drowning. Several people point out that some regular contributors are blocking the new ones by not wanting to change anything. Generally, they are not the ones who review the personalized help requests that are written... on Flow.

What do others struggle with in your community about talk pages?

In 2019, it's still impossible to customize the toolbar without gadgets. However, they are sometimes permanently broken due to changes made over the versions of MediaWiki. Gadgets and their functionalities are broken, even though they are sometimes implemented in the new tools proposed by the Foundation, which does not promote them. Cyclical and disappointing confusion for a large part of the community reluctant to change.

Contributors active in wiki-projects believe that it would be necessary to add an automatic transclusion of messages left on articles for more visibility. To facilitate discussion, templates specific to each community are used... But you have to remember their names, parameters, etc. Archiving is possible, unlike Flow, but it is still catastrophic and insufficient. Without bots, users would probably archive much less.

One participant wrote that "only a core group of veterans knows how to navigate through these mazes, and therefore decides on the evolution of the project, which this consultation shows enough". Other contributors indicate that navigation is generally catastrophic or time-consuming. Sometimes you have to go to a talk page, hidden under two other pages and sometimes it's not enough, so you have to find the talk page of the project and the one of the portal. The talk pages are drowned in the mass and the whole tool seems outdated. Perhaps the very definition of a talk page should be reviewed, or that there should be an effective centralization.

What do you wish you could do on talk pages, but can't due to the technical limitations?

The substance of the question has already been covered by the previous questions, but some relevant points have been mentioned:

  • Quote an extract from a previous message ;
  • Customize the toolbar ;
  • Be able to benefit from the functionalities of Flow, while not neglecting those of the classic tool used for more than 18 years ;
  • Make the discussion tool less dependent on the user (date, signature, indentation...) ;
  • Makes automated processing easier (e. g. bots) ;
  • Make discussions readable on all screens ;
  • Establish or use one standard, but not two ;
  • Search on a Flow page ;
  • Filter open/closed topics, move topics ;
  • Simplify notifications with a lighter syntax ;
  • Watch only one section, not the whole page ;
  • Make the content of a message on Flow dynamic (never updated again after posted) ;
  • Use real voting systems, debates, etc.

What are the important aspects of a "wiki discussion"?

This question is not very specific and the answers are often out of scope or not relevant for the consultation (quality of discussions, more pedagogy...). These are problems specific to the community itself. The same answers reappear, because the questions are too similar. Nevertheless, some aspects were mentioned:

  • Accessible to anyone ;
  • Easily readable ;
  • Simplicity ;
  • User-friendly interface ;
  • Archiving ;
  • Organized ;
  • Visibility, so that more contributors can debate.

Any other comments to share with the Foundation?

This question was added to allow participants to add a more specific context to their answers. Here are the relevant elements for the consultation. It should be noted that several answers deviate from the consultation theme to highlight deeper issues.

This cohabitation of tools is not viable and a decision must be made to avoid further confusion. The situation is problematic for those who are against to Flow and for new contributors. They don't understand the differences between the two tools.

Again, one participant pointed out that there is no such thing as a real community. Today, the tools don't develop a sense of community, explaining why so few contributors took part in the consultation (and everything else). Without the necessary tools, this lack of cohesion will continue to affect the community, both old and new contributors.

The Foundation must avoid developing resource-intensive and slow tools. Some contributors think that there are too many features in the new tools, affecting their ability to understand them. The Foundation should support communities by explaining how the tools work. A link not translated to MediaWiki/MetaWiki for 30 contributors it's anything but useful.

There's discomfort between the Foundation and communities. One participant in the consultation felt that the intensive users of Flow had been forgotten. They have waited for more than a year for improvements, without seeing any real progress. Today, they are discovering that a surprise consultation could consider removing this tool.


It's complicated to write a conclusion. This is a personal analysis: the contributors are exasperated, whether they are for or against Flow. Today, both tools have problems and are far from perfect. More problematic, some contributors admit that this image of "Community" doesn't exist because the tools are not enough. The classic tool has not evolved while the uses are no longer the same. If abrupt migration is not desirable, or a migration is not a possibility for some, neither is a status quo for others. Some propose to add as a start "an overlay to help new members without losing regular contributors". Like a big gadget, but maintained by the Foundation.

It would be necessary to set up a tool that allows discussions to be placed at the center of the community, without ignoring a group of users in any way. It's impossible today to make simple announcements: 57 participants for 20,180 active contributors. It's.... 0.28% of the active frwiki community.

The situation will remain static if the Foundation does not communicate with the regular contributors. But, not providing anything to help discussion with new contributors would be absurd. The Foundation should not repeat what has already happened. Some contributors, for example, still do not understand Wikidata, or simply do not like the project, because of the way it has been implemented.

While participants find different flaws for each tool, some agree on one thing: there is no discussion tool for THE community. It is a discussion tool for those who managed to break through the technical barrier of wikicode. Lofhi (talk) 22:48, 6 April 2019 (UTC)[reply]

French Wiktionary edit

(original discussion)

French Wiktionary Talk pages consultation 2019

Six contributors gave their opinions.

  • All use wikicode. However, contributors acknowledge that its use requires a learning time of wikicode that they consider reasonable for contributors. On the other hand, for occasional readers who want to ask a question, this learning is not effective.
  • It was noted that the talk pages are located in different places and that it is therefore easy to miss a discussion that may be of interest to us. The French Wiktionary has a few pages where readers can ask questions. Apart from the problem of learning Wikicode which is not done, the repliers have no way of knowing wether the person who asked the question will read the answer (it is mainly IPs who ask questions), especially because they may not find where they asked the question.
  • In addition, a discussion may stop if a user has not been pinged.
  • When a discussion is potentially of interest to many people, there is no tool to automatically alert them (pinging is limited to a few users and pinging too regularly can be considered an abuse). See this discussion for a real case.
  • The wikicode problems that have been identified are
    • forgetting to sign by the new (and sometimes the old) contributors
    • indentation can be a problem for new contributors
  • In general, tabs other than the "Read" tab are not sufficiently "hilighted"; some users miss talk pages or the possibility of modifying them.
  • In terms of improvements, the following can be noted
    • in multilingual discussions (Wikidata, Commons,...) a user proposed that each user can write in his own language and that Mediawiki translates on the fly into the reader's language. In general, an effort must be made to reduce the hegemony of English within the Wikimedia movement.
    • one user noted that the notification system does not systematically notify of a change. He would like the watchlist to be dynamic and to be cross-project so that he can monitor all the discussions he wants to track on a single page (currently he opens several tabs).
    • a user suggested that a list of pseudonyms of people who have already taken part in the discussion could be displayed above the summary area so that users can pick those to notify easilly.
  • Flow seems to solve some of the problems identified above but no contributor has really used it and it has a bad reputation. A user thinks that Flow is not actively maintained which does not allow to fix the multiple bugs that have been reported.
  • One user thinks that no system will satisfy everyone and suggests that the choice of the talk "technology" (wikicode, Flow, other) should be adapted to each user's choice. Pamputt (talk) 17:15, 7 April 2019 (UTC)[reply]

German Wikipedia edit

(original discussion)

(Add summary here)

Hindi Wikipedia edit

(original discussion)

(Add summary here)

Hungarian Wikipedia edit

(original discussion)

We planned to switch on Flow / Structured discussions for testing purposes, but our request is blocked by this consultation now. I felt the CentralNotice campaign strongly contra-productive, because it was started before the local page was created, and did not link to the local page after it was created. Editors were redirected to an English language page on Meta without any useful information, and could not find the local page. I tried to get attention for the consultation, but most of the editors do not give a second chance for these kind of global consultations. Therefore we received very few answers, mainly because I asked editors personally who commented something on the village pump on this topic independently from the consultation, that copy their comment to this page. Or I just summarized here now, without copying these comments to the local page.

Summary of the discussion edit

  • One topic was about signatures: the software should sign comments automatically, because it is a common problem, that (beginner or even experienced editors) don't sign their contributions on community pages or discussion pages, and it is not easy to find and copy out from the page history who and when made the edit.
  • Beside that the system should handle indentation, and help to follow who answered to whom, and when.
  • Talk pages and community pages should be easy to use if we would like to insert/edit a table/formula/graph/map etc. Now, if somebody would like to edit a table in the Wikipedia namespace, the easiest way to copy on a user subpage, edit there, then copy back. This is not how it should work.
  • New feature request: it should be possible to show the view of a page on a discussion page / community page without copying the whole page code there, or alternatively create a screenshot, save it, upload it, insert the file into the page (and in most of the case this temporary file does not need long, however cannot be deleted because of the page history and to be able to follow the discussion later). It could be a card-like view of a page for explanation/illustration purposes only.
  • We should provide ONE unified surface and user experience on all (Wikipedia) pages (beside the unified wikicode surface for experienced contributors). This is especially important for beginner editors, who can easier learn the new VisualEditor surface now, but when they should communicate on the community pages or on the discussion pages, it requires a completely different knowledge (different surface, tools, wikicode, signatures etc). We loose many editors at that point. (The engine, software, background can be different or will be probably different, but the users should not realize anything from this.)
  • We have some hybrid namespaces, for example Wikipedia namespace, where we have both guidelines/help pages/essays and discussion/community pages. The first type would need the same VisualEditor surface than the main namespace, while the second type needs the tools for communication. The system should be able to handle this and make the difference.
  • We should think on completely renew the communication system/tools in the Wikimedia projects, and create something closer what the social media offers and most of the newcomers (especially the younger generation) familiar with.
  • Earlier, we had the experience, that beginner editors tend to ask questions in emails, because the surfaces and tools on Wikipedia were too complicated for that. Recently, we receive more and more questions on the Facebook pages (like private messages). These are signs that our tools are not user friendly/up-to-date any more.
  • There could be a way to channel questions and comments to the right contributors, or change the communication flow completely. If an editor ask a question on the discussion page of an article, likely won't receive any answer in reasonable time (because nobody realize it). If the editor ask the question on a WikiProject page (which is already unlikely, because not easy to find them), probably won't receive any answer because the WikiProject is inactive for years. Therefore the best place to ask a question is a village pump now, because most of the editors follow them. But that means a lot of messages addressed to contributors not interested in the specific question, and not easy to follow these pages. Meanwhile, there are many dissatisfactions because of the not answered questions on the other pages.
  • We should consider to require a valid email address for each editors. There are many cases when somebody asks for a new password and it is not possible because they did not add an email during the registration process. Or we are not able to communicate with the editors, because they have no email addresses and they don't realize the messages on their talk page.
  • Is there a way to get rid of the pop-up notices of VisualEditor after years of usage and thousands of appearance? We should avoid these kind of aggressive "helps" for the new, interactive communication tools.
  • Request: real-time preview of the page (comment, question etc.) before saving it.
  • Public likes of pages/images etc. would help the acknowledgement/pride of the editors/creators and therefore would increase their motivation. (This idea strictly does not fit into the topic of the talk page consultation, but maybe worth to consider for discussions as well.)
  • Keep the possibility for unique messages in the future, for example barnstars or personal thanks, which have important roles in the user happiness and communication. (With other words: do not make the communication sterile, and limit it only for pure text.)

Samat (talk) 19:45, 7 April 2019 (UTC)[reply]

Iberocoop edit

(original discussion)

I organized the consultation in five main questions:

  • How the users communicate?
    • Almost all users use Telegram or another Internet messaging system (WhatsApp). IRC is mentioned sometimes in the discussion as support (for ToolForge/Cloud Services) and confidential way to ask help or something related with Wikipedia project.
    • Mailing-list are just for announcements.
    • Talk pages in main namespaces are used to discuss about articles and User talks are to leave messages to other volunteers about some ideas to share in the articles.
    • Café (aka Village Pump) is used to official communication in the volunteer activities.
    • Some opinions are "the taks pages are just fine for our communication".
    • Someone has disabled the email function in Wikimedia projects due "privacy concerns".
    • The newcomers (and anon users) doesn't use the sign icon, so, it could be ideal to automate the sign if there is no present in talk namespace.
  • Are the talks pages useful for newcomers?
    • Someuser said that IRC is most useful than Talk pages.
    • The wikicode could be problematic for newcomers. So, they don't have enough skills (and idea) about sign their message in talk pages.
    • The talk pages are not visible in mobile devices and app.
    • Sometimes new users doesn't know that they have new messages in their discussion.
    • There are local issues about leave message to new users, because the Counter Vandalism volunteers leave an automated message every time, without see the importance of human communication.
    • It's a huge concern about the bad faith in the communication from veteran users.
    • Newcomers doesn't know about how Wikipedia works, so they can't have enough knowledge about the internal process and they leave messages about its preferences and not about the article. The community don't have the empathy to newcomers in this kind of communication.
    • It seems a chaotic place to contribute, but you can find the important messages.
    • It's not friendly, but it's easy to adapt them.
  • What kind of problem do you have to use the actual talk pages?
    • Some issues about how do the multilevel discussion (":")
    • Differentiate a topic and a sub-topic
    • Usage of templates (qs)
    • Manual signature
    • No intermediate answer to a message
    • There is no way to leave a message with Visual Editor
    • Huge amount of automatic messages due templates of Counter Vandalism Patrolling users.
    • Edit Conflict (conflicto de edición) when two users edit the same section in any page in Wikipedia.
    • There is no centralized discussion place for small wikis (such as Spanish Wikisource)
    • Problems to answer in own page and mention the user. Some users uses their talk pages to answer comments from other users. They may mention the other users to receive a notification.
  • What do you want in your talk pages but we can't provide you due technical limitation?
    • A clean user interface, an automated way to archive the older discussions and create "groups of discussions" to avoid travel around all Wikipedia users pages leaves messages.
    • Automated sign, in web and mobile versions, and realtime comments to avoid the edition conflicts.
    • Implement flow.
    • A modern way to write the comments, search by them. This could works as a forum.
    • A way to calm-down users if there is bad faith in the discussions (not block them, just leave the conversation). This could be auto-invoked or imposed by other user (sysop).
    • Limite the user messages in the same discussion, to allow other users participate in the discussion.
    • Use the "at" sign ("@") to mention someone in the discussion (like as social networking)
    • A hub or Special Page to follow my discussions.
    • A button to report a bad faith comment or bullying or harassment from other users in the discussion.
    • A way to search in the discussion to avoid repeat the same discussion.
  • What are the key aspects in a wiki discussion?
    • Exchange opinions with other wikipedians.
    • Notifications and anti-abuse filters
    • Some users said about the importance of the communication and how to talk with other about articles and Wikipedia. This kind of communication could help to newcomers to contact veteran users to help them to be better Wikipedians.
    • Organize the discussions in the talk pages, because is hard to follow the arguments and messages from other users.
    • The public discussions could help to be transparent and accountability form all decisions. We can recommend, in light of Strategy 2030, to study the tone about the automated templates, if they could help to newcomers.

Japanese Wikipedia edit

(original discussion)

Who joined? edit

I appear new users are many.

See w:ja:Wikipedia:2019年ノートページに関する協議/summary about their opinions.

General remarks edit

Participants are small and most of them are new users.

I infer their hard usage of smart phones when they edit Wikipedia by them.

Summary per question edit

1. When you want to discuss a topic with your community, what tools work for you, and what problems block you?

  • Because explanations in English are basically many in the time of edits, articles and talks in Japanese do not increase.
  • Wikipedia app in iPhone does not work stably.
  • At the time of deleting characters, inputs are cancelled or 3Dtouch is unstable.

2. What about talk pages works for newcomers, and what blocks them?

  • Are newcomers worried about ways to use and manner to other users?
  • Ways to use comments are hard to understand at the time of getting opinions and impressions from other users on a talk page learning ways to edit. Easier expressions on talk pages are necessary for easy response to other users.
  • Newcomers are worried about their signatures to forget and ways to do them.
  • A participant who did not know a tacit rule, “we consider silence as agreement”, as a newcomer asked many users’ opinions on their talk pages because no one responded proposal on a talk page. Tacit rules are hard to participate in the community as a newcomer.
  • Expressions such as ‘’help’’ for beginners that arrange most necessary basic rules concisely are good idea excluding traditional ‘’help’’. There are a little articles that arrange information totally on the Internet. Newcomers will spread and their reusages will be promoted. Articles that have been arranged about usage help me to join on the Internet.

3. What do others struggle with in your community about talk pages?

  • Are ”Edit tools” not to see on talk pages under specifications? Are a little rough writings of some people like ancient writings on talk page their tacit rules?
  • Harder to understand incompletely translated edit tools.
  • Hard to sign by a smartphone.
  • Easy mobile signature, please.
  • Hard to understand mobile edit very much and hard to do it as other users say. There is not any expression about mobile edit on talk pages about our signatures. Easier to understand by concrete mention of our writings at areas to write the text.
  • Proposing promotion of activity. In spite of objective that SNS ‘’itself’’ is not our goal as an assumed solution in [1], easy browses and writings to SNS are adopted to meet the needs of the times. You should think about it because they involve promotion of activity and self-realization people concerned by covered activities but not amendments to wiki system itself. Decrease of entry barrier to discussions by provision of system of involvement of personal talk pages and SNS including Twitter. Talk pages of articles are similar.
  • Protection is cause of parallel activities of users which are closed and hard to know. Covered nature of SNS above will make up for such a wiki’s limits. Improper utilization of sock puppetry also influence very much to this situation. Unreasonable operation of multi-direction will protect spread and progress in computer literacy in the true sense of the word on the contrary. In spite of some problems at expression of individual data for privacy issues, you should count including multi-accounts for statistical records.

4. What do you wish you could do on talk pages, but can't due to the technical limitations?

  • Talk pages are to use to ask meanings of texts, to propose polished texts and to do other actions.
Other opinions edit
  1. While I browsed [2], I do not understand why you are discussing like this or what problems make you to discuss like this. Unfinished translation of the page in MediaWiki into Japanese and little writings in this page mean little users are interested in this discussion at least in Japanese Wikipedia. I appear you are trying to solve local problems in English Wikipedia as global discussions including other languages’ Wikipedia.
  2. It is good because I can get acknowledge about many things in discussions with many types of users. While I am unaccustomed at edits about everything including edits of talks, I am editing hard.
  3. I want to write my sense to the present situation and response, variety of sense of incongruity and my knowledge but I am checking [3] because of my little energy and times. While this is necessary and hasty comment, your invitation has given me mu own new knowledge and certainty. Good luck to Wikipedia’s more development.
  4. Other users pointed out my wrong edits and taught convenient functions in my talk page.
  5. When bot invited me at my talk page, because I did know the place, thing and your will, I apologize my late comment. While I am unaccustomed to Wikipedia totally, I am going to act as usefully as possible. I’ll express my opinions for you as a few mobile user.

--Bletilla (talk) 00:42, 6 April 2019 (UTC)[reply]

Polish Wikipedia edit

(original discussion)

Overview of our discussion.


  • Button "reply". Mentioned, we already have gadget reply button with backlinks.
  • Quoting, embeding of discussed snippets (for example proposed infobox, paragraphs of article...) or "blame"
  • One user just want leave talkpages as is. Another wants ability to individual opt-out of features.
  • Section watching
  • Chat for quick help. It may be difficult to search through all old talkpages so it is easier to ask again this way.


  • Lack of tutorials about current system
  • User_talk pages current communication - response left on sender's talk page so conversation is split on two or more pages.
  • Difficult for newbies

Russian Wikipedia edit

(original discussion)

In the flow "Best" practices analysis, the developers showed an overview of some sites. There were social networks. It was the impression that they were summing up - hey, look at them so let's do the same. This is suitable for "cute" unimportant conversations.

But we solve problems on the wiki. Each topic is about a problem. We need problem solving tools. Probably worth a look in the direction of bug tracking systems. We did not chat, we solved problems, for us the logic and sequence of the entire conversation is important. We solved problems and developed some ways to solve them, using only the wiki layout available to us. All our discussions are examples of solutions to problems and we want to see the equivalent of how the same solution to a problem will be presented in a new system (and not screenshots "for dummies: how to talk and click on the buttons in a new system like YouTube"). This is not equivalent to just leaving comments.

If you make a system for the discussion pages of articles - then just tell us that the system will only be restrictedly used in the discussion of articles or how you see its widespread use. Because we immediately try to imagine the application of the system to the situation when a hot topic quickly gathers a lot of comments and when the system can potentially go to requests. For discussions in Wikipedia namespace, we need a strong tool.

This time I would like to have a separate test wiki site (possibly separated by languages en.testwiki de.testwiki, without articles). To be able to log in with an existing account (just come and log in), and not necessarily create a new login. And so that you can create your own additional accounts (for answers to yourself) that are not created in sul. And so there was a simple way to get admin rights. For a big change - a big sandbox.

often used: the division of the discussion by the subtitles h2,3,4 really affecting the structure and there are links from table of contents.

often used: view all new messages as diff in the topic/on the page.

would be interesting: to receive notification of new messages not from the whole topic, but only those that are after / deeper than a specific comment (for example, all replies to your comment and further down the tread)

Often used: toolbar for working with wikitext, gadgets for the toolbar. For example, there is a gadget that converts non-Latin links http://.../wiki/%A%A%A%:A%A%A%A% to human readable link [[Википедия:Форум]] (Wikipedia:Forum). Desirable simple guide for gadgets.

often used: quick rollback of last edits of one user. Single rollback action of different places. Undo changes one by one would be uncomfortable.

important: it is customary to see relevant topics as on a whiteboard - a limited number in a limited space, a working space. endless scrolling was like endless requests for deletion, we just drown in it.КУ
archiving topics on a separate page is the same division and support of the whiteboard as relevant.

flow problem: the big indents between posts, the big font broke a principle of a whiteboard and after long scrolling the thought of discussion is already lost. Compactness gives the possibility of viewing "as a whole".

flow problem: logical parallel lines are mixed and it is difficult to understand who is responding to whom. It's not about the number of levels of indents. The point is the breaks of logical chains of reasoning about one thought. If you need to make a result and consensus for the discussion/request, then you need to be a medium to realize all the broken chains. ( Topic:Sjh61at6k8mz21oy see the sequence/chain of red arrows in the screenshots )

Statements in discussions are valuable. Collected and discussed information should be achievable through search. Including filtering from other types of discussions (eg, articles, participants, wikipedia/forum, wikipedia/different types of requests).

List of needs (collected during the consultation):

  • switch between wikitext and tree view (2)
    • (in other words, do not take away from us the opportunity to gain access to the structure and the opportunity to re-arrange the discussion design at a lower level) (3)
  • allow the user to start a new topic or section in a topic, add a message to an existing topic, reply to an existing message, and also edit (but not delete/wipe) their own previous messages (2)
  • Automatically sign posts (2)
  • Automatically resolve edit conflicts (warn before saving if new messages appear in the chain/topic) (2)
  • The visual editor should not be displayed smoothly. Instead, it should run quickly and work stably on weak devices. (2)
  • move topic to another place (1)
  • change other people's messages by other users (not only administrators) (1)
  • should be answered how this system is supposed to be used for pages with requests (1)
  • Fast work at a speed of 64 Kbps (current connection speed of one of the users) (1)
  • for simple commenting, the author needs a quick way with a minimum of clicks on the buttons and movements (1)
  • Some participants use the user script that edits comments individually without opening the wikitext and wikitexteditor page (8)
  • see in the watchlist individual topics on the forum (1)
  • if there is a whole forum on the watchlist, then the ability to ignore certain topics from it (1)
  • in the table of contents of the forum topics with new posts (less than a day) highlight in color (1)

--Sunpriat (talk) 09:13, 5 April 2019 (UTC)[reply]

Thai Wikipedia edit

Originally organized by Tris T7, summarized by a Thai Wikipedian

(original discussion)

Thai Wikipedia, by Tris T7, also organized the discussion on-wiki. The organizer claimed to have created a Facebook group, which will be summarized separately (if ever). As there hasn't been much discussion since the organizer did not ask many editors to discuss the issue, unless otherwise noted by "another user", the summary given above are those of Tris T7, and in no way represent the community.

When you want to discuss a topic with your community, what tools work for you, and what problems block you?
  • It was suggested that the timestamp should be add automatically whenever the discussion is replied or saved, and it could be synced with the page history log. Currently, some bots will monitor the talk pages and signed the user's name (likely retrieved by the page history), but it is not automatic. The user suggested that this timestamp features on talk page should be built-in.
What about talk pages works for newcomers, and what blocks them?
  • It was suggested that when the thread gets longer, it will become difficult to split several issues into several questions, and proposed that the answer be inserted in the middle of the conversation if it is related to any particular issue
  • Another experienced user suggested that there are two categories of users: those who actively participate in talk pages and those who did not due to other reasons (unfamiliarity or unwillingness to participate in discussion structure). Talk pages are also (incorrectly) used in a same manner of the sandbox. This user noted that MediaWiki markup is often harder to follow than in social network, and since VisualEditor are not in place in talk pages, new users will be discouraged from learning the markup to participate in the discussion with the old users.
What do others struggle with in your community about talk pages?
  • Another user commented that the lack of wide notice to the community, the community's lack of strength, partiality against users using the talk pages for private purpose, and vandalism of discussion pages, to be the most prominent issue.
What do you wish you could do on talk pages, but can't due to the technical limitations?
  • It was suggested that the closed-channel venue be established in order to confirm the identity or dealing with the BLP, and the user should not been barred from using the talk page while being blocked. The user also urged that the administrator's right be reviewed if the unblock request is denied.
What are the important aspects of a "wiki discussion"?
  • It was suggested that the discussion among users be treated with respect, be it new or old contributors, and new contributors should be given advice and illustration. Above all else, the discussion should be in the courteous and polite manner.
Other issues
  • It was suggested that the IRC be more actively used, since it wasn't use among Thai Wikipedia contributors, and any real-time collaboration is unlikely to take place with it.
  • It was also suggested that an additional venue be created to allow the user to reach the administrator in a quick and efficient manner if the user was banned from using talk page.

Additional Summary for Thai Wikipedia edit

Summary of the talk page consultation on the Thai Wikipedia (, see Please use th:วิกิพีเดีย:สภากาแฟ/อภิปราย/ขอความเห็นการพูดคุยหารือระหว่างผู้ใช้ (2562) (original discussion)

As per this consultation allow comments from all aspect without rule apply. So i would need to provide all comments i received from

4 registered users participated in the consultation: Geonuch, Tvcccp, Horus (Sysops), and Me as user Tris T7 and Also included 1 of IP user as IP: and 1 user I met in person and discussed about talk page is user Peak99

IP user who moved to new page did not have chance to provide answer 5 questions and only a 4 users participated. Which are 1 of 16 sysops and 4 wikimedians in Thailand have chance to participated for this consultations. So at the end only 3 users participated for comments and only 1 user provided comment for all 5 questions. And here are summary for 5 questions with additional comments.

Q1. When you want to discuss a topic with your community, what tools work for you, and what problems block you?  

Sum: Colon must add automatic for reply on talk and to add signature every time should be automatic add signature without signing by themselves.

Q2. What about talk pages works for newcomers, and what blocks them?                                                                                                                                                                                                          Sum: At first for editing talk page is easy but after continue a few message with more question or more people in discussion in message getting harder and harder and more confusion to reply each part of question. It would be nice to add an answer or comment for specific part of question.  And from one of user observations. New users have both the ability to interact with initiates via chat. (Both private and public) and non-respondents who may not be recognized because they are not familiar with the use or recognition but are not interested in listening or typing And in one case, who does not know that other than Thai Wikipedia, is it possible to use a private talk page as a sandbox or to delete content that has been understood that there has been no action in this area? Therefore, using the talk page may not meet all objectives. The problem from the tool seems to be because new users need to learn some techniques on their own, such as markup, paragraphs, signatures, etc., which are more difficult to use than using social media in general. ) Should therefore be an obstacle in the first session that new users must come to learn new, in addition to correcting the articles according to the guidelines and may create a nuisance (or not?) With old users for discussion.

Q3. What do others struggle with in your community about talk pages?

Sum: 1. Public relations issues. 2. The inconsistency of the Thai Wikipedia community because Thai Wikipedia does not have enough active users. 3. Prejudice with users who use the talk page in the Thai Wikipedia community personally. 4. IP (some user groups) turbulent talk pages in the Thai Wikipedia community.

Q4. What do you wish you could do on talk pages, but can't due to the technical limitations?

Sum: The sending of closed messages that do not wish to be unrelated to issues that may be sensitive, such as submitting a confirmation of personal information to confirm the status or submitting information that is awaiting for review in articles that may affect third parties or individuals in the article. In addition, user who requested for unblock should be able to talk to administrator if there is a block. User should always be able to edit talk page of their own page and able to ping other admins for consideration for unblocking with and should not be blocked Because it is the only way that the blocked person can communicate to other administrators And if the administrator ignores the unreasonable request should considerations the rights of the administrator in the next step.

Q5. What are the important aspects of a "wiki discussion"?

Sum: Communications is important. Respect others who participate as you wish in return. And should respect all new participants and new users as possible And give advice on various parts that new participants may do something incorrect but remember all can be redo. Try to provide link for reference and try to explain as polite as possible for new friendship. And use communication with courtesy and politeness. It's the only way to have healthy community but at the end it base on reasonable and common sense not just consensus only.

So in my opinion maybe not just Talk Page consultation but need consultation to improve but we would need consultation entirely administrative system how we all going to collaborative knowledge flow to improve existing administrative system.

If Foundation wish to collect data about talk page. My suggestion would be with Thai Wikipedia as case study and to get comments from 16 sysops by requesting Phabricator to create specific coding and add specific code to all 16 sysops to requests comments for those 5 questions. And require them to provide comments before they can continue their sysops task. I am confident by doing this you will get comment from all Thai sysops and interface admins within in 3 days. Then move to Global level for all project for Global sysops. Foundation will get those collected information to be part of improvement for talk page consultation within 1 week. Then we can use the same procedure to all participant users and active users and IP users step by step. At final stage we will get a lot of useful data such as Statistic of active sysops, Statistic of active participants, Statistic of active users, Statistic of active IP.

QA: Why do we need to start with sysops to collect all data for this consultation ?

Answer are simple reason for that because they are all experienced user with special rights. By giving those 5 questions open answer will show ability and vision for active trusted sysops to participant users and others. Here might support my opinion

There are 7 groups still under construction groups. Which because they are waiting for someone to guide them.

So please kindly consideration what necessary and the most effective for all users.

Thank you this activity to allow me and Thai Wikipedia to be part of this consultation and improvement for talk page.

Regards,__Tris T7 (talk) 07:15, 9 April 2019 (UTC)[reply]

Wikidata edit

(original discussion)

I (Jc86035) will be summarizing the discussion section-by-section. It is difficult to summarize some sections due to the small number of participants; in many cases I have only stated what individual users have said.

A total of 15 registered users (including myself) and two unregistered users (including one vandal) participated. By almost all measures, this is less than 1% of active Wikidata editors; there are about 1,800 editors who make more than 100 edits per month. Most participants appear to be experienced editors.

Although I was asked to inform new users of the discussion, I was unable to do so. I don't know whether this had any significant effect on the amount and variety of participants.

When you want to discuss a topic with your community, what tools work for you, and what problems block you?

Several editors like Flow and think it works fine but could be improved, and several editors say the same about the wikitext discussion system. (Whether one system objectively works better is out of scope; however, considering the comments made in the English Wikipedia discussion, restarting the implementation of Flow would be controversial at best.) Almost all community processes on Wikidata are conducted without Flow, with the only(?) major exception being the French-language project chat, and most participants say that those processes function satisfactorily (although the unregistered user complains that WikiProjects are typically abandoned; I think this issue is valid but out of the scope of the consultation).

One editor (Jmabel) suggests section watchlisting as an improvement to wikitext discussions. Two editors (PKM and Sabas88) indicate that they prefer real-time discussion fora such as Telegram groups; both mention mobile notifications as a factor, and Sabas88 also mentions "[a] usable mobile interface" and threading as factors.

The criticisms of Flow are a subset of those mentioned in the English Wikipedia discussion.

  • "Bugs need to be fixed" (VIGNERON)
  • Lack of diffs (Ymblanter)
  • Infinite scrolling (Ymblanter)
  • Unnecessary notifications when watchlisting a Talk-namespace page, as opposed to a Topic-namespace page (Ymblanter)

VIGNERON also notes that "Flow is quite a good tool (no need to know the painfully unuseful wikisyntax, automatic signing and pinging, etc.)". ChristianKl suggests that the use of Flow in the French-language project chat could have increased participation, although he notes that "causation is always difficult to establish". On the other hand, Ymblanter notes his avoidance of Flow and thinks he will stop contributing if it is forced upon his talk page.

What about talk pages works for newcomers, and what blocks them?

Only three participants commented in this section. Jmabel is a software developer, and (as he implies) this experience probably made it easier for him to use wikitext and signatures. Masumrezarock100's comment is unrelated to the software/interface (it's about user conduct), so it's out of scope. The unregistered user criticizes indentation and advocates for Flow.

What do others struggle with in your community about talk pages?

Only two participants (including myself) commented in this section. The other person (ChristianKl) complained that Flow doesn't have rollback, which caused issues with his talk page (I think he might have been referring specifically to handling vandalism in the form of new topics). I didn't say anything concrete, only noting that Wikidata might have an unusually high number of users who don't know how to use wikitext discussions (since most of Wikidata is Wikibase and a lot of user talk pages use Flow).

What do you wish you could do on talk pages, but can't due to the technical limitations?

Only three participants commented in this section. phab:T106687 was specifically mentioned by VIGNERON, although only as an example of many unresolved Flow issues (I think this is only tangentially related, though). I don't totally understand the exact meaning of ChristianKl's comments, but I haven't asked for clarification.

  • Automatic notifications from comments in a particular section (Jmabel)
  • The same discussion appearing on multiple talk pages (ChristianKl)
  • Some sort of WhatLinksHere visibility/function improvement to show links and/or template values used on talk pages? (ChristianKl)
  • Improved links between comments and page history (ChristianKl)

What are the important aspects of a "wiki discussion"?

Only three participants commented in this section. I have omitted most of Ymblanter's Flow complaints since their comment is duplicated in a previous section.

  • Allowing for varied types of discussions, including both goal-oriented and "purely social" (PKM)
  • Suggestion that talk pages should be more helpful to newcomers by improving navigation and giving explicit instructions (Donald Trung)
  • [User-oriented] structuring "to see who replies whom" (Ymblanter)

Orphaned talk pages

Only Donald Trung made a comment in this section, suggesting that the talk pages of deleted pages be moved to a centralized archive instead of being deleted at the same time.

A discussion about talk pages, on a talk page, advertised on talk pages

Only three participants (including myself) commented in this section. The discussion concerns the effects of holding the discussion as a normal Wikidata RFC, and alternate ways of collecting feedback. As noted in the status updates, Whatamidoing (Sherry) did continue discussion of a Qualtrics survey with other staff members, so the relevant WMF staff are presumably already aware of relevant information mentioned in this section.


As noted above, few conclusions can be drawn due to the small sample size. In general, this phase of the consultation may have suffered from being organized primarily around wikitext discussion pages; this may have resulted in only dedicated experienced users (with some level of interest in WMF internal affairs) having any inclination to participate.

A possible issue with the feedback is that later commenters may have tried (intentionally or not) to avoid duplicating what has already been said. This would probably make triage more difficult.

None of the participants who mentioned Wikidata's community processes suggested that they were not functioning satisfactorily, although this may have been due to the inherent survivorship bias stemming from most of the participants being experienced editors to begin with. (Another factor may be that genuine new users are rarer due to many contributors coming from other Wikimedia projects; 82.3% of the last 10,000 new Wikidata user accounts were created automatically, compared to 32.8% for the English Wikipedia. In many ways, Wikidata is unique among WMF wikis.)

I think the results of the larger discussions, such as that of the English Wikipedia, would be more useful for identifying issues, since only a few specific issues were mentioned in this discussion. Jc86035 (talk) 10:13, 4 April 2019 (UTC)[reply]

GLAM users edit

This represents comments from GLAM users, mostly highly experienced trainers. Information was gathered in person at editing events, by a google doc that was shared by email and edited by various individuals, and by phone. I have not had a chance to add my own comments (I am currently traveling, including a visit to a WMUK Manchester meetup) but I am largely in agreement with what is written here and probably could not express it better myself. If anyone would like followup or explanations of specific issues, please let me know. Avery Jensen (talk) 22:16, 17 June 2019 (UTC)[reply]

"'We do not use talk pages for coordination.' This statement is something we need to know more about. Why don't you use wiki talk pages for coordination? What do you miss? We are looking for what works and what don't work on current talk pages systems, and for details about reasons why."

Here are the responses to the list of questions, and additional comments:

1. When you want to discuss a topic with your community, what tools work for you, and what problems block you? Why?

  • In person: editing events, salons, official meetings, conferences
  • Phone
  • Email
  • Mailchimp for mass mailing event schedule
  • Eventbrite for events
  • Facebook’s Wikipedia Weekly (unless anonymous)

2. How newcomers use talk pages and what blocks them from using it?

  • Newbies do not use talk pages. At introductory editathons we do not encourage it. It seems to take some experience before even looking at talk pages is sensible and useful.
  • Signing not intuitive (tilde), need button

3. What do others struggle with in your community about talk pages?

  • On a busy talk page:
    • comments sprawl
    • comments are hard to summarize or overview
    • responses are sometimes in time order which is logical and people can then respond to one another but then one can’t easily group the supporters and opponents even when it’s a simple yes/no issue
    • not clear how many responded
    • It can be hard to interpret the diffs of a talk page usefully sometimes? Hard to click on all the difs to see them. Would like a bubble showing the edit, A pop-up when mousing over the edit to see the diff, as on regular article pages? Cameleon, do you mean some enhanced capacity to do this, more than on article histories? Yes, so people don’t have to click on each link (need to rephrase) a way to expand diffs/links so you can view a large number at the same time

4. What do you wish you could do on talk pages, but can't due to the technical limitations?

  • I struggle to summarize what I’m looking at in long discussions. It’s daunting and takes time. There’s a lot of screen space used up and various community/technical terms I don’t know.
  • Maybe the time could be reduced by having an AI watching the talk page.
  • Idea: offer an extended analysis of talk pages analogous to the analyses of articles pages. We have “page statistics”, for example. Suppose we had an amplified one intended for talk discussions, which gave me speedy access to this info.
    • How many people have edited this talk page in the last hour/day/week?
    • How many people edited section 2, which has the title XYZ?
    • How many people expressed something that looks like support or oppose?
    • Which obscure terms are common, and do we have a wiktionary or wikipedia definition of those terms? E.g. which “policy” pages are cited, with some obscure name like WP:COMMONNAME or AGF? Each of the standard ones could have speedy links to their definitions, which I don’t know or did not but have forgotten.
    • Does this talk page section have hostile language on it? How much? The extreme cases could perhaps (?) be monitored from a central location so decent people could respond in real time (-ish) like white blood cells to an infection.
    • Is this page getting vandalized according to AI metrics?
    • Who is commenting a lot on this page and can I see a speedy table of links to their talk pages and contrib lists? Part of interpreting a page history is to see who’s there and what are they doing. Are there a lot of IPs editing it?
    • Have I commented on this talk page?
  • Another idea: is there a way I can chime in with a simple +1 (or -1) to some comment so I can agree with someone without eating up much screen space for other readers?
  • Possible solution: a simple “Like” or “favorite” “heart” button, and a compact way to see “likes”
  • Anonymous reporting/flag for problem comments with drop down menu for reason
  • The ability to locate a diff for a particular comment easily.
  • The ability to lock specific users out of particular talk pages. This way someone who is not able to participate in constructive talk page discussion can still participate by editing the article page, and their valuable edits are not lost.

5. What are the important aspects of a "wiki discussion"?

  • Capacity to edit past comments
  • Capacity to respond to past comments by indenting or otherwise attaching a comment to a previous one.
  • Be able to sign comments. Our current ~~~~ is quick for experienced editors but it also eats up lots of screen space (with time and UTC and other pointless detail). Maybe the exact time could be compressed or could disappear after a while.
  • Capacity to figure out which comments are new. One technique for this is to show the oldest comments in black and the others in lighter colors. That might be good.

Anonymity edit

Some thoughts on anonymity, flagging, personally identifiable information, moderation

  • -- Many participants need to use a pseudonym for legitimate reasons, such as: live in a place with a repressive government-- have been a victim of crime, stalking, abusive relationships, etc. and must avoid potential contact with abuser-- have a non-wiki related role in society, such as employment, family, group affiliation, and need to edits in a wiki capacity only, without use of other affilitations, *-- may simply be shy and not want public recognition.
  • -- AI and automated filters can be a first line of defense against abusive or toxic comments, but at some point, it becomes necessary for a human to review comments and take appropriate action.
  • -- Flagging in an open environment may be abused by hostile, upset, or bad-faith participants
  • -- Flagging which requires disclosure of identity means that in an open editing environment, hostile, toxic or harassing comments can be directed towards an individual.
  • -- Only paid employees can have legally binding non-disclosure agreements to maintain confidentiality of personally identifiable information. Volunteers are not bound in the same way, as a volunteer can simply quit.
  • -- A paid employee who handles comments flagged for human attention can be tasked to handle these comments in a manner consistent with the terms of use, and with maintaining appropriate confidentiality of personally identifiable information
  • -- A volunteer who handles comments flagged for human attention can’t be held accountable in the same way, especially regarding confidentiality of personal information. And of course, a volunteer will only do the tasks they are interested in. In some cases, as an active participant in a community, a volunteer won’t be as impartial as a paid employee when engaging in community moderation.
  • -- A body of best practices for online moderation is accumulating as the task of online moderation becomes a more established professional activity. This suggests that paid moderators may be able to bring skills to the task that are not necessarily going to be present in the pool of willing volunteers.
  • -- A paid moderator’s first duty is clear-- they are doing a work-related task. A volunteer moderator’s first duty is not necessarily so clear, as volunteers have all sorts of reasons for participation, and many possible roles and relationships that may impact their volunteer work.
  • -- Volunteers have no obligation to take on the moderation tasks that are most important, if these tasks are not personally gratifying.
  • -- Paid moderators can be put to work on necessary tasks.

Bad actors and free speech edit

Initial reaction after going through the ideas for improving talk pages:

  • First is that anonymous flagging is important.
  • Flagging needs to be followed up on by a paid, trained moderator.
  • The moderator needs to be tasked with maintaining confidentiality if communication such as e-mail with a community member is needed to straighten something out.
  • -- (However, there are more implications than I can work through in time available.)
  • At some point, the talk page question is a question of what tone and atmosphere the WMF wants to permit under its terms of use.
  • The Meatball Wiki approach to setting the tone for the community was workable for a while, but may not be so feasible with an open system, which permits access by bad actors.
  • Bad actors can’t be kept out of the open system, but the bad actors need to be limited to constructive edits and constructive communications in order to retain constructive editors.
  • -- Current system, where editors can’t exclude bad actors from communicating with them, or from having access to their communications, does not create trusting relationships for editors who have had toxicity or harassment.
  • -- Also, some editors, due to offline roles, are bound by the “what’s NSFW?” standard, or equivalent of the “Technical Code of Conduct” in their online interactions. These editors are at a disadvantage when dealing with editors who can escalate their language into more toxic speech, or who have no personal restrictions regarding unfriendly language, toxicity and slurs.
  • -- The question of free speech is certainly relevant in talk pages. So is the question of politeness and courtesy.
  • -- When conflicts escalate online and more heated terms are used relating to gender, sexuality, ethnicity, political affiliation or lifestyle, the people who will be disadvantaged are women, gays, and minorities. This is because the use of slurs, disparagement, or racially/sexually/ethnically charged terms can create an atmosphere of intimidation. By contrast, when conflicts escalate between males of a dominant group (typically white males), because that verbal escalation isn’t expressing an attitude or emotion towards gender or members of an ethnic/racial group, (attitudes which are just an opinion or feelings, wishes, etc.). The verbal escalation among males of a dominant group can’t rely solely on gender or ethnic slurs, and therefore will tend to be more clearly identified as potentially threatening in a way that may be actionable; hence, actual laws apply as they would not apply to expression of feelings or attitudes. (This could be explained better but don’t have time.)
  • -- If free speech is a more important community priority than politeness, courtesy, or respect, that puts polite people at a disadvantage, and may well cause them to leave.
  • -- The back and forth of moderating and de-escalating conflict can easily burnout volunteers. At least a paid employee has the ability to go home, knows they’re being paid, and might get some support by having good training, protocols and procedures to follow, and access to counseling when indicated.

Consensus and decision-making edit

  • -- Another important aspect: Reaching consensus / documenting decisions
  • -- Slashdot style up-voting comments will surface comments that have gotten more recognition
  • -- Not clear that Slashdot style is appropriate when all points of view must be presented to reach consensus, as some comments are hidden
  • -- Asynchronous nature of online communication means it may take several days or weeks before sufficient comments are collected to make a decision
  • -- If decisions are made by a simple upvoting, rather than by support - oppose - comment / neutral, adequate time must be allocated for voting. Is this baked into the interface somehow?

References edit