Topic on Talk:Talk pages project/Replying

Including additional manual [reply] links

12
Evolution and evolvability (talkcontribs)

For a situation where a user is making multiple points in a comment and expects people to respond to each is it possible to manually insert additional [reply] links?

For example:

Here is my example comment in which I make several points:

  • first point is a paragraph long [reply]
  • second point is a paragraph long [reply]
  • third point is a paragraph long [reply]

In conclusion this was my comment. Signature time etc [reply]

Matma Rex (talkcontribs)

You kind of can do this by adding your signature after every bullet point.

Without adding multiple signatures, replying inline causes problems for detecting who is the author of the comments. Let's imagine that in your example, someone added a reply to the first point:

Here is my example comment in which I make several points:

  • first point is a paragraph long
    Hello, I disagree! Signature2 time2
  • second point is a paragraph long
  • third point is a paragraph long

In conclusion this was my comment. Signature time etc

To our software (and also, to some of the people reading it), it will now look as if the Signature2 applied to the reply and to the first half of the original comment; and as if Signature only applied to the second half of the comment. This in turn results in confusing placement of [reply] links, and may also result in incorrect notifications being sent (we're planning to work on notifications next).

Evolution and evolvability (talkcontribs)

Ah, I see what you mean. I'm thinking about it from the point of view where commenters are indicated by colouring - either via templates (example), or whatever extension/gadge fr.wp uses.

I notice that on fr.wp, including signatures on multiple lines of bulletpoint creates an artefact where the top bulletpoint reply link creates the reply box in the wrong location. Code to reproduce:

General text.
*Some statement with a dated signature. ~~~~
*Some statement with a dated signature. ~~~~
*Some statement with a dated signature. ~~~~
Final notes. ~~~~

Is this possible to fix or is it fundamental to how the extension operates?

Whatamidoing (WMF) (talkcontribs)

About where to reply in that sort of "mixed" comment: they did it one way originally, and people complained, and now they switched it the other way, and other people complain. I think it's a case of whatever they do, it won't be the right answer in some situations.

Matma Rex (talkcontribs)

Yes, see T252702 for more context. The reply tool has no way to know whether that should be treated as an indented comment, or as an un-indented comment that has a list at the end. We decided to treat is as un-indented comment, based on the complaints we got, but there are always some situations where the opposite would be better. I don't think we can do anything to avoid it.

Evolution and evolvability (talkcontribs)

Ah, yes I now see the ambiguity. Fair enough.

A followup in that case: is there a way to optionally make it appear after an "invisible" signature, e.g. <span style="font-size:0px">~~~~</span>? I think at the moment, the [reply] is bein places inside that span, so is also invisible.

Whatamidoing (WMF) (talkcontribs)

Do people really want that? When I've seen "Hello, I disagree! Signature2 time2" in the middle of discussions, sometimes people complain about not being able to figure out which parts were written by which person.

Evolution and evolvability (talkcontribs)

I don't know how generally useful it is in other wikis - and I definitely know what you mean about people replying in the middle of someone else's bulletpoint list, fragmenting the original comment.

However, the context in which it useful is in the peer review pages over in wikiversity where people often like to respond point-by-point e.g.:

Whereas other times they prefer to respond as a more traditional block of text below, e.g.:

And occasionally as a mix for different sections, e.g.:

Currently we use {{Review}} and {{Response}} templates to distinguish who's who, but we're keen on make the formatting more automated and interface more intuitive to non-wikimedians.

Whatamidoing (WMF) (talkcontribs)

I've seen point-by-point replies on the English Wikipedia at FAC and GA.

What do you think of the styling that the French Wikipedia uses on their talk pages?

Evolution and evolvability (talkcontribs)

Yes, FA and GA review also often have something similar.

I rather like the fr.wp talkpage formatting, although the exact style seems a little old fashioned. Even if the alternating background colours are omitted, a simple left boarder (maybe that emphasises on hover) is useful for tracking complex conversation threading.

You can see the formatting I've been playing around with here:

Whatamidoing (WMF) (talkcontribs)

The hover feature is quite nice. You are a person of many talents. :-)

@PPelberg (WMF), is there anything published about making talk pages more legible? I know it's on the list for upcoming quarters.

PPelberg (WMF) (talkcontribs)

The hover feature is quite nice. You are a person of many talents. :-)

+1 This is neat, @Evolution and evolvability!

@PPelberg (WMF), is there anything published about making talk pages more legible? I know it's on the list for upcoming quarters.

The public documentation around making talk pages more legible exists in Phabricator (see: T249579) for now. We haven't published a project page on MediaWiki.org just yet.

@Evolution and evolvability , I've just added the experimenting you've been doing to the "Improvised solutions" section of T249579's task description. As you think about more ideas or notice others, @Whatamidoing (WMF) and I would value you letting us know.

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