Talk pages project
This page talks about the Editing Team's work to improve how contributors communicate on Wikipedia using talk pages.
Talk Pages Project
Improve on-wiki communication by evolving the default talk page experiences.
It contains information about the goals of this work, the past efforts that have influenced it and why evolving talk pages is a priority right now.
In this section, we list the projects actively being worked on and where and how they have currently been deployed.
Each project is an effort to improve contributors' experiences communicating productively on Wikipedia using talk pages.
- Partially done Requirements for user signatures (active): Codify custom user signature requirements to increase the reliability of talk page features.
- In progress Usability (active): See a new layout and information to make it easier to assess discussion activity.
- Done Reply Tool (active): Reply to talk page comments in one click.
- Done New Topic Tool (active): Start a new discussion without needing to leave the page you are on.
- Done Notifications (active): Receive notifications when people post new comments in specific discussions.
- Done Mobile (active): New functionality and appearance to make participating on talk pages comfortable on smaller screens.
Please visit Talk pages project/Deployment Status to learn if and how Talk Pages Project Features are available at each Wikimedia Wiki.
Previous updates were posted to the the “Updates” subpage. The team used this page to share information about new feature development, deployment plans and questions. Updates for individual features were posted to subpages for the feature, e.g., at Talk pages project/Replying#Updates.
The other two places you might consider checking for updates are:
- Phabricator – to see into the team's daily work.
- Editing Team Newsletter
Wikipedia depends on contributors collaborating, and communication is an important part of the collaborative process.
Trouble is, communicating on Wikipedia happens on talk pages which can be challenging for contributors across experience levels to use.
Contributors with more experience report being slowed down by having to do something manual in order for other contributors "to know who posted what, and when, so they can follow the thread of a conversation, post on a user talk page if appropriate, and even just know whether a posting is recent enough to be worth responding to."
Newer contributors on the other hand, find basic tasks, like replying to a comment, confusing. In some instances, these contributors even confuse talk pages for article pages.
The Editing Team has two key objectives with this project. To create tools that:
- Make it more intuitive for newcomers to communicate with others so they can grow into productive contributors.
- Give experienced contributors more leverage to communicate and coordinate their wiki work with others.
This project is an outcome of the 2019 Talk Pages Consultation, a 5-month long effort that brought volunteers on 20 wikis, across 15 languages and four projects (Wikipedia, Commons, Wikidata and Wiktionary) together with members of the Wikimedia Foundation to share their experiences with existing wiki communication tools and to help develop improvements to them.
The Talk pages project supports the Wikimedia Movement's Medium Term Plan. Specifically, the plan's Thriving Movement priority area which strives to "welcome and support newcomers." We think newer contributors learning and progressing depends on their ability to communicate with more experienced contributors, and by extension, to use talk pages intuitively.
The talk pages project glossary is intended to help us all communicate about talk pages more effectively by making sure we have a shared understanding about the words we use in our discussions and documentation throughout the project.
Many projects have, and are, working to improve contributors' experiences with talk pages. This particular project is better off for their existence. Some of the projects the team continues to learn from are listed below.
If there is a project and or resource you think we should be aware of, please say something on the talk page.
Talk page projects:
When will the new version of talk pages be released?
There will not be a "new version" of talk pages that will get released all at once. Instead, this project will be made up of a series of incremental improvements that will be released over time.
How are talk pages going to change?
- Some features may involve introducing new wikitext. Although, any changes to wikitext will be limited to those that enable new features that benefit contributors. Features like replying to specific comments or watchlisting particular discussions.
- Potentially changing where the "Discussion" tab exists on the page
- Potentially changing where metadata – that currently exists atop some talk pages – is presented
- Reply Tool visual mode limitations
- Extension:DiscussionTools/How it works
- Special:ChangeContentModel (for admins who need to disable Structured Discussions on a talk page for testing)
- Extension:DiscussionTools/New Topic Methods (for checking how the New Discussion Tool handles custom workflows for starting new talk page sections)
- Feature summary
- Existing tools
- New discussions
- Partner wiki discussions:
- Project updates
- Replying prototype testing
- Talk pages project (en.wiki)