User talk:Jorm (WMF)/Archive 1

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I know you really, really, really want to add a "Welcome" template to this page. Please don't.

Mentioned you

I mentioned you by name over here. --MZMcBride 00:10, 10 September 2010 (UTC)


Hi. If you really want to own Extension:LiquidThreads/Redesign, you need to move it to a user subpage (something like User:Jorm (WMF)/LiquidThreads redesign). This will make it clear to everyone that you're acting as the guardian of the page and it contains only your views. If it's in the extension namespace, the current attitude and behavior toward the page needs to change. --MZMcBride 01:35, 24 September 2010 (UTC)

It was originally in a WMF Projects namespace, which indicated it was ours; it was moved out of that into the Extension Namespace. I am not the owner of the page but it does not belong in my personal space. The design is open for discussion and that means exactly that. If you can think of a better, non-user space page for what is an official WMF document, I'm all for hearing it.--Jorm (WMF) 02:05, 24 September 2010 (UTC)
There is no "WMF Projects" namespace, at least not in any meaningful sense. Wiki pages, in the general sense, are meant for open collaboration and editing. That's a fundamental principle of a wiki. You've now reverted that page several times, apparently with no regard for what the change is.
If you want to have a page documenting your vision for LiquidThreads, I think that's fine. I don't think anyone here has a problem with that. But if it truly isn't open to collaboration and editing by others, the easiest, clearest, standard way to indicate that is to put it your user space. That makes it clear to others that it's yours, which your reverts and note at the top clearly indicate. --MZMcBride 02:42, 24 September 2010 (UTC)
I don't believe Jorm means to "own" the page. However, blanking entire sections of the page has never been an acceptable way to work collaboratively. I think it's fair to ask to discuss major changes on the talk page, but to allow minor changes on the page. Another possibility is to do a POV-fork for the redesign, if other people have an alternate solution to offer (but I'm not convinced POV-forking is the way to go). guillom 02:25, 24 September 2010 (UTC)
From the top of the page, "If you have any questions or suggestions, please put them on the Discussion page rather than editing here, please!" I'm not sure how much clearer that can be (in addition to the multiple reverts in the page history). I also don't accept the premise that bold editing is undesirable. My comments above make it clear why I think it's important for this page to be in the user space if it's going to be an exception to the standard wiki philosophy. --MZMcBride 02:42, 24 September 2010 (UTC)
My understanding of the issue here is that Jorm doesn't consider this to belong to him, he considers it to belong to the WMF, hence why he argues it doesn't belong in his user space, but at the same time it reflects a specific opinion. Perhaps the best way to solve this problem would be to separate the current work being done by the WMF from the stable extension. I.e. having for example the documentation related to the current WMF engineering project in LiquidThreads v2 (with subpages like LiquidThreads v2/Redesign), and keeping Extension:LiquidThreads for the current, stable extension. Would that work? guillom 02:57, 24 September 2010 (UTC)
It wasn't unreasonable for Gurch to remove a section about a controversial feature that has (literally) no justification for its inclusion. I don't see much on the talk page justifying the feature either, though I do see several issues and negative responses to the idea. This is probably beside the point, though. The community should be involved in development like this or it should be made clear(er) that it's not being involved (or it's only being involved in peripherally). I don't think putting it in Jorm's user space is an issue, especially as he's the only one working on the page. --MZMcBride 06:22, 24 September 2010 (UTC)
It seems to me that removing entire sections about potential features (however controversial they may be) doesn't serve to bring in community involvement; rather, it would seem to demonstrate an attempt to steer the development direction unilaterally, rather than discuss it. So this seems moot. Jorm to me seems to be doing his job as a WMF employee to foster discussion not shut it down, and I for one see nothing wrong with that.    Thorncrag   17:10, 10 October 2011 (UTC)

Pending Changes Interface

I looked at the mockups for the NOV release of Pending Changes on and my first reaction to the main review page was, This still looks cluttered. I looked at it, and thought there might be redundancy in some of the labeling in the following areas.

  • Above the blue box it says: 'Review this revision'. But then directly beneath it, it says 'Please review the pending revision below.' Can we cut one of them?
  • Above the diff it says [accepted reversion] and [pending reversion]. What about just [accepted] and [pending]?
  • Also, the blue outline box itself adds a pretty substantial graphic load. What would it look like without it. Cleaner, simpler, more, Vector? For that matter, if you do stick with the blue outline, maybe use the electric blue rather than royal blue, which has a much more monobook feel to it.

Just some thoughts. Let me know what you think. Or, if this isn't your department, can you pass it on. Thanks, Ocaasi 07:07, 2 November 2010 (UTC)

I am, indeed, the right department for this type of feedback, so you came to the right place.
I agree with you - wholeheartedly - that the review page looks way cluttered. I have a mockup about halfway finished for that page but it was decided not to complete it and publish it at this time because they aren't changes that will be able to make it into the November release and I didn't want to put it up there and have people think that it was going to happen. There have been talks about putting up the designs after the release goes live in order to spark some conversations and I think that might be a good idea.
(I did say "eliminate that top box asap - can this be done without doing a mock up?").
Hope that helps. --Jorm (WMF) 17:09, 2 November 2010 (UTC)
Definitely helps! And the sooner the better... Pending Changes has a bullseye on it, as you know, and a slick UI will do much for its survival. Any chance of a mid-trial rollout of the new design, or will that be strictly 3.0? Thanks... Ocaasi 08:00, 4 November 2010 (UTC)
I can't speak to the chances of a mid-trial rollout, though that development and release style is one I know that we are working towards. Our biggest problem at this time is resources; we simply don't have enough developers (front end and back end) to work on things as rapidly as we'd like. I know that my time, personally, is spoken for over the next several months on other projects, however.--Jorm (WMF) 16:25, 4 November 2010 (UTC)

Mentioned you (again)

Hi. I mentioned you here: bugzilla:25443#c1. --MZMcBride 04:51, 2 April 2011 (UTC)


Given that you have worked on this tool, and that you list it on you talk page as a feature you have worked on, I believe you should recuse yourself of any discussion on this feature. You have, I assume, invested much time in it, and thus this is something more emotional for you than logical. Please recuse yourself from discussion of this feature due to this conflict of interest. (Copied from article discussion).

Sorry. This is my job. I cannot recuse myself from discussion about things I am paid to do as an employee of the Foundation; there is no conflict of interest in this case.--Jorm (WMF) 06:35, 8 July 2011 (UTC)
You can certainly contribute, creation of he AFT was part of your job, I can see that; but I definitely see a conflict of interest in the way you have promoted the feature, the way you have discussed about it. Put another way, it would seem best to me to create the tool, observe feedback and that is about it. You are engaging in promotion and evangelism of what you have created. That is where I see the conflict. Leave that up to others who like the tool, but have not invested the time that I assume you have in creating the product. I look at your discussion and I simply see someone (to use a colloquialism) defending their baby. This is a natural instinct. I think anyone who has spent a lot of time on this as I assume you have, would absolutely want to see it put to use. It's just natural. --Timl2k4 06:43, 8 July 2011 (UTC)
I don't think there's going to be any further value in continuing this conversation.--Jorm (WMF) 07:41, 8 July 2011 (UTC)
Well that make sense, as I don't see any value in the AFT. i.e. it makes sense that you don't see any value in conversing about the uselessness of something you have created. --Timl2k4 07:44, 8 July 2011 (UTC)
This is neither here nor there, but you have also worked on the WikiLove feature, and I think its great. So I guess if AFT is introduced it will survive or die of it's own accord. I would send you some WikiLove, but it's not a MediaWiki feature.--Timl2k4 08:22, 8 July 2011 (UTC)
I'd like to point out that it is Jorm's responsibility to develop and foster development of these types of features. For him not to do so would be a failure in executing due diligence. Your accusations are completely without merit.    Thorncrag   17:33, 12 October 2011 (UTC) P.S. Sorry for stalking your user page Jorm :-)

A beer for you!

  For helping to spread the love :) ^demon 19:19, 8 July 2011 (UTC)

Link colors

Here's the link to the proposal for a different (improved?) link color scheme: meta:Cologne Blue skin problems#Proposal for new color scheme --Waldir 09:22, 5 August 2011 (UTC)

Ok, so updated links:
  • The link color scheme (and other tweaks, see the comments in the code) actually implemented as a user css file: meta:User:Waldir/common.css/links.css
  • The position-fixed navbar css: meta:User:Waldir/vector.css/fixednav.css. Some hacks are needed for anchors, so they don't jump to the top of the browser viewport but show beneath the page title instead when you click them
  • While we're at it, you might want to take a look at meta:User:Waldir/talk-indent-colors.css, which implements a visual way to distinguish indentation levels in talk pages by shading them in alternating light grey/lighter gray.

Let me know if I'm forgetting anything.

Cheers, Waldir (talk) 10:32, 3 June 2012 (UTC)


How about adding Ribbons to wikilove?


  Applied design award
for working on Liquid threads 3.0, and Global profile: Tools for editors, rather than articles. Saeed.Veradi 20:17, 2 September 2011 (UTC)

New Page Triage

I hadn't seen New Page Triage until today. It looks pretty neat. :-) --MZMcBride 16:35, 12 October 2011 (UTC)

Hey, thanks! I'm trying to make this as community-driven as possible, and as transparent as possible, which I know you'd be happy with.--Jorm (WMF) 05:40, 13 October 2011 (UTC)
Would it be possible for us to categorize/listify/directoryize all of these proposed projects? Or maybe one exists that I'm not aware of. Like myself I reckon a lot of community members would be interested in contributing or at least providing feedback were they to be aware of such proposals. :-)    Thorncrag   17:15, 12 October 2011 (UTC)
There is kind of a category - "New Editor Engagement" - but I agree that probably isn't sufficient and I welcome suggestions to making it better. I am trying to keep my "work list" on my user page up to date but I've not been able to do so in a while.--Jorm (WMF) 05:40, 13 October 2011 (UTC)
I don't have any specific idea, but a main directory of all WMF projects, subcategorized by project-type, would be awesome and I reckon also advantageous to WMF folks as well.    Thorncrag   21:31, 20 October 2011 (UTC)
Okay, I see that WMF Projects was added, and I am very pleased! Cheers.    Thorncrag   19:33, 16 November 2011 (UTC)

Personal image filter and existing vs. special categories

Any particular reason why you didn't want to use existing categories? (Software performance?) See my comments and those of several other at m:Controversial content/Brainstorming. ASCIIn2Bme 04:43, 8 November 2011 (UTC)

The design document touches a bit on this, but basically we wanted to have as few categories as possible in order to allow for anonymous users to store their preferences within a cookie. Cookies have limited data storage; a practical decision of 10 to 15 seemed safe, given the number of browsers we'd have to support and the idiosyncratic nature of them.
It should be noted that the design as written was based under the constraint, "as easy to implement as possible". We knew going into it that it wasn't perfect, but we were trying for something that was simple to understand and could be prototyped fairly easily. It's not what I would have come up with given infinite resources and time.--Jorm (WMF) 00:13, 11 November 2011 (UTC)

Some Athena stuff

Just posting a link to User:Yair rand/AthenaSmartphone in case anything there is at all useful. I know the page [[Athena]] says the document is a "work in progress", but I thought a bit of css and js for the design showed in the pictures might be a bit helpful (I'm assuming that the pictures uploaded weren't actual screenshots), even if that's not how it's going to look in the end. --Yair rand 17:30, 10 November 2011 (UTC)

I think this is totally, completely awesome. Is it okay if I link to it from Athena, or maybe even move it to a sub-page there?
You're correct that those are mockups and not screenshots. We've done next to zero development work on it.--Jorm (WMF) 00:11, 11 November 2011 (UTC)
Re linking and moving: sure. --Yair rand 00:16, 11 November 2011 (UTC)

on rich text editors

hey there jorm... long time no see! How is the wife and kids ? heh :) I have started working as a game dev, and we are using a mediawiki to hold our documentation, but the designers don't like to use the simple editor and the FCKEditor keeps FCKing with the images they add to any article. I was gonna ask you if you could point me to a good rich text editor, but i see that MediaWiki already uses a really good one so i am gonna try to find which one and use it too... in the end, this entire convo seemed useless, but i decided to drop by and say 'hi' anyway :) --Hagnat 18:50, 6 December 2011 (UTC)

Hey! Good to see you!--Jorm (WMF) 04:01, 7 December 2011 (UTC)

[LQT] Method of watching discussion on unwatched pages

Hi Jorm, I was thinking more about this feature I requested for LQT, and thought about how it could feasibly be implemented. First, my vision is to have this function like Special:NewMessages, which is great for pages you are already watching, and I very much like how it functions. I use it to watch the mworg support desk and go through new posts. But, instead of looking for new threads by cross-referencing with the user's watchlist, what do you think about adding the option of also adding based upon categories? This would allow, for instance, WikiProject members to watch for talk on all relevant pages, and perhaps allow administrators to easily with one setting watch all administration pages, or even with one setting watch all BLP pages as another example. This would also be very handy on small wikis, for instance for my intranet, I would love to have the ability to use Special:NewMessages to watch all new discussions because it is very appropriate for me. As always keep up the good work!    Thorncrag   18:36, 21 December 2011 (UTC)


Has some size problems. Nemo 11:58, 12 January 2012 (UTC)

Workspace phase of NPT

Hi Brandon. First I want to let you know how thankful I am for you being here. You are a godsend for Wikipedia and it's future and I want you to know that there are those who truly appreciate your tireless contributions. I also need to thank you for being such an honorable person. I have watched the vitriol aimed at you (and other WMF staffers) over the last year+ and I'm ashamed at the way the enwp community has treated you. You have always been very cordial even when being treated very poorly, so I thank you for that. You're a very honorable gentelman. I hope sometime in the future the community will realize its mistake and apologize for the awful way it has treated you. I hope the thanks you get from others is enough to offset all the other BS.

Anyway, I saw Sue's note about reorganizing everybody to focus more on new editor retention. I was very happy when you added the Workspace editing idea to NPT because I think this will have a big impact on retaining good faith editors and hopefully turning them in to long-time contributors. I've seen Steven and others from the WMF comment about this over the last few months, which has been very encouraging. I've also been keeping an eye out to see if any offical person has criticised it and I haven't seen any, which is also encouraging. So I wanted to ask, how certain is it that Workspace editing (or something similar) will be implemented in the future? Has it been greenlighted? Thanks. 23:54, 4 April 2012 (UTC)

Why, thank you very much for your kind words! It means a lot.
Regarding the workspace editing system, I am pushing for it a lot - but I can't promise anything given that we have so little developer bandwidth. If we lived in a perfect world, this wouldn't be a problem, but we don't. I know that there are a couple projects which are currently lining up to be next in the queue - infrastructure and platform things - but I hope to see the workspace system bear fruit. That one requires a lot of community buy-in, however, so it's slow going.
Again, thank you for your kind words!--Jorm (WMF) (talk) 01:05, 6 April 2012 (UTC)
Thanks for the update, Brandon I really appreciate all that you've done. Sorry to hear that this hasn't been given the go ahead, but I'm happy it hasn't been axed so I am still hopeful. Thanks again for everything. 17:40, 6 April 2012 (UTC)

Sorry about that

Hi Brandon. Thanks for the support at VPT. I don't mind the nasty comments people throw my way. I've gotten used to it after 8 years. I apologize my post made people act up again. It bothers me that the WMF folks and devs are treated so poorly. I wish I could do something to make up for it. Anyhoo, thanks for the support. And thanks also for all the support of the WMF projects over the years. You guys and gals of the WMF really are shining stars of the Wikipedian community in my eyes and I truly appreciate the dedication and hard work you put in to making this a better place. Best regards. 02:46, 30 April 2012 (UTC)

No need to apologize in any way, shape, or form. And thank you for your kind words!--Jorm (WMF) (talk) 02:47, 30 April 2012 (UTC)
Thanks, Brandon. You guys and gals do an excellent job and should not have to put up with all that stuff. I feel like starting a proposal at Meta to give everybody a raise for your patience above and beyond the call of duty. You certainly deserve it. Kind regards. 11:08, 30 April 2012 (UTC)

User info template

FYI [1]    Thorncrag   15:26, 30 May 2012 (UTC)

Multi-level warnings and the user talk notification

I posted on Brion's talk page,[2] but it appears he hasn't edited since 24 May 2012. I noted that you are part of the Echo (Notifications) Wikimedia engineering project team. I posted a note on Talk:Echo (Notifications) concerning Multi-level warnings and the user talk notification. What do you think of the idea (please comment there) and is there another place in MediaWiki that I could post such a request/idea? Can you bang out a few lines of code and make this "multi-level warnings and the user talk notification" change happen? : ) Thanks. -- Uzma Gamal (talk) 10:27, 12 June 2012 (UTC)

A beer for you!

  I love a cold one L lewis1996 (talk) 00:22, 14 June 2012 (UTC)

Talk pages

Hi, Brandon -- I was just talking to Andrew Garrett, and he showed me the work you guys are doing on Flow and Echo. I've been working on solving some similar problems on Wikia; I'd love to show you! We're at Wikimania today, sitting in the hackathon room. Andrew said you were around here somewhere. :) If you have a minute, I'm in the ballroom, I'm wearing a black Wikia shirt and I'm pretending that I know how to write code. DannyHorn (talk) 18:38, 10 July 2012 (UTC)

Congrats on your new watch!

Congrats on the well deserved Jimbo Watch and staff award! :) --Varnent (talk) 14:49, 12 July 2012 (UTC)


Apologies for putting that in the wrong place, but where is community input and brainstorming supposed to go? This is a feature to serve both new and old users, and given the nature of the Foundation and the projects themselves, it most certainly would have to be a user-centred design process in order to achieve that goal.

Since the talkpage uses LQT, that clearly wasn't the place either, as such serves only linear discussion. Perhaps some of the threads may have addressed this and pointed to a more appropriate drafting page, but unfortunately due to LQT's strange use of js, it all looked like a mass of disordered lists when I tried to load it and proved impossible to follow. -— Isarra 17:33, 28 August 2012 (UTC)

Actually, yes, the talk page is exactly where this type of discussion is supposed to go. LiquidThreads is actually a lot better for that then you give it credit.--Jorm (WMF) (talk) 17:37, 28 August 2012 (UTC)
LQT is purely a discussional medium. Even when the js does manage to load the css for the threading (which it sometimes doesn't on slower connections, and shouldn't even require js to do in the first place, but that's neither here nor there), discussions are not the place to draft anything. Where exactly did the requirements come from? How are we to collaborate on proposals for this in general?
From what I understand, at this stage, we stand between two prior models - LQT and Wikia's Message Wall. On one side, we have the result of too much input and too much user control, resulting in bloat, unreliability, and a complete lack of maintainability and scalability, but on the other we have what happens with no user input or control, resulting in limited functionality, unreliability, and a rather impressive revolt on the part of the users. This is why I'm asking - a middle ground is probably precisely what is needed to get something that actually works, but where is it? -— Isarra 18:05, 28 August 2012 (UTC)
Well, it's not at a "draft" point; we're at a "discussion" point, actually. I'm not sure who turned the Flow talk page into LQT; I kind of wish they hadn't (because then we wouldn't have to always talk about LQT's viability). At this stage of the game, the way the editor community has input is to create threads about various aspects (such as "This should be usable without Javascript") and then the suggestion is either incorporated into the specification (with a "hey, yah, good idea!") or a discussion opens on the merits/flaws of the idea, or requesting further clarification.
In the case of the Javascript thing - you're absolutely right, it needs to work (in some form) without Javascript. However, we haven't had a discussion about it as a product, so it can't go into the specification (developers operate off specifications, and any additions/subtractions to it for WMF projects need to be vetted for viability or priority).--Jorm (WMF) (talk) 18:16, 28 August 2012 (UTC)
At a discussion point? I should hope it never leaves discussion, and that it was never not at such a point; requirements change throughout and if they are not widely considered at every stage, the entire project will fail same as those that came before it.
But discussion is meaningless if it doesn't necessarily have any bearing on the thing itself, and even when there is a guarantee that it will, it's rarely so useful as a more direct approach - is the content page Flow not a draft, itself? Who determined the requirements in the first place, and when? Where is the community's part in the process, where are the users, both old and new? Who is this 'we' you speak of, and who are the developers? Are projects such as this exclusively the realm of paid staff, or may volunteers have a role here as well, as they will be the ones working with the software in the future? And what happens if y'all get hit by a plane and die horribly? -— Isarra 23:48, 28 August 2012 (UTC)
Hey Isarra, was there a "rather impressive revolt on the part of users" against MessageWall, or are you referring to Wikia in general? I know they got a fair bit of pushback and some project forks after the last skin rollout, but I'm not aware of any similar reaction associated with the MessageWall rollout (which I've not followed too closely). If you're aware of any such discussions, could you point me to them? Thanks (sorry for spamming your talk page, Brandon).-Eloquence (talk) 18:11, 28 August 2012 (UTC)
Don't do it again, Erik. Or else.--Jorm (WMF) (talk) 18:16, 28 August 2012 (UTC)
There was one specifically about the message wall - Wikia was going to make it mandatory, but apparently some of the users felt otherwise and they never actually did make it mandatory, or some such. I don't really know the details either or where the discussions/votes/whatever wound up, though, unfortunately, as I wasn't really following the matter much myself. -— Isarra 23:48, 28 August 2012 (UTC)

Flow again

Okay, this is a little weird, but anyway I'm drafting the proposal. Now you have a linkey! Or something.

It'll suck less later. -— Isarra 09:00, 1 December 2012 (UTC)

More on this later after I wrest my brain back from the mastadon that couldn't find a proper brisket for dinner

Or more precisely, once I'm actually awake. Maybe. Point is, I found this line at the bottom of a piece of paper and it may have had something to do with the flow stuff, beginnings of something I might have wanted to query over or something:

We cannot restrict threading. The users will not allow it. Not if they notice.

I mean, it could also have been from some other random project five years ago, but it does appear to have been written in the same pen as a doodled wikimedia logo elsewhere on the page, so it was probably relatively recent. On the other hand, said pen also apparently put down some weird equations and algorithms that probably had to do with an old programming project, a diagram of yuccas and cats connected to a router, a list of possible combinations of the states of Australia, and a drawing of a lady in a crazy hat, but this was written in really dramatic lettering, so it might have been important. Maybe? I'm not really sure. All I really can tell from all of this is that I apparently need a new sketchbook. -— Isarra 07:36, 17 January 2013 (UTC)

File:130127 flow missing everything.png - looked shiny until I tried to do an entire talkpage. Yick. -— Isarra 03:48, 28 January 2013 (UTC)

This is great. Put it into the design document, pls.--Jorm (WMF) (talk) 04:17, 28 January 2013 (UTC)

Take a look when revert

I wish you would take a closer look on what you revert. Thanks! --DaSch (talk) 11:05, 16 February 2013 (UTC)

And when LQT 3.0 is followed by Flow then why isn't LQT 3.0 previous to Flow? That doesn't make ANY sense to me! --DaSch (talk) 11:06, 16 February 2013 (UTC)


Hi, thanks for making the Flow process diagram. The diagram is effectively a set of PNGs arranged together, the text is not possible to edit, which makes the image harder to translate. Hope this might be a thing to keep in mind for your future images that may be subject to translation.   Gryllida 13:18, 21 June 2013 (UTC)

Wow, that's totally, completely lame. In fact, the reason I exported that file as an SVG was just for that purpose. I'm guessing the software I used decided to make grouped objects into PNGs, etc. I'll see if I can't figure out a better way to make that happen.--Jorm (WMF) (talk) 18:55, 21 June 2013 (UTC)


About this: He probably removed it because Category:Notifications doesn't exist. I'm not sure where to place it in the cat tree. WhatamIdoing (talk) 05:24, 27 June 2013 (UTC)

Just wanted to offer some encouragement and thanks

Hi Brandon. I see once again that the villagers have ammassed with their pitchforks and flaming torches. You seem to be getting hit pretty heavily and I am truly sorry that the community can't see all the good you have done over the years. It's tough being a developer and it can be draining working for the foundation. Doing both AND being the focus of an angry mob is certainly more than I could handle. I must say you are doing an excellent job and I want to thank you for you tact and responsiveness under these demanding conditions. I'm sure it's a heavy workload and so I wanted to give you some encouragement to keep going. There are millions of people that not only appreciate Wikipedia but they rely on it. These people appreciate the work you've done, but unfortunately you don't get to hear directly from them. You only hear from the 50 or so that are all worked up and so your feedback is skewed towards the negative. I want to try and help with that by letting you know how much I appreciate your efforts. You have a vision of how things can be and you're working towards that goal, improving the WMF project so that more people can become involved. This is an important and honorable achievemnt. Thousands of years from now, historians will look back at the early days of Wikipedia to determine how things were made sucessful and they will see ther work that you've done. You have a legacy to be proud of and that's not something many people have. So I would like to encourage you to keep the faith and persevere. The work you are doing is important and I appreciate your efforts. Kind regards. 05:35, 15 July 2013 (UTC)

Flow Portal/FAQ

Would you please stop reverting my edits? Why are you doing this? The version by WhatamIdoing is the most useless of all versions. "No, because it's replacing talk pages"? What is this supposed to mean? I'm basically asking if what we currently see in the prototype is going to be permanent and if not what other solution we can expect. If you don't know this yet then please write "we don't know this yet". Also see my longer posts on my talk page. --TMg 00:26, 17 August 2013 (UTC)

TMg: You've been reverted and edit warred multiple times on the page. The answer, as it sits, is absolutely correct. There is a confusion between three things:
  1. What Flow actually is;
  2. How the data is stored in the back end;
  3. The markup language used in writing posts ("Wikitext").
Flow is not eliminating Wikitext. Flow doesn't really care about wikitext much, except that it will have two kinds of "wikitext editors" (in addition to the VisualEditor support). Wikitext is a markup language. Data is stored as HTML 5, but will be translated into Wikitext when it is edited.
Flow is not replacing WIkitext. Flow is a workflow engine. It is not an editor, though editors are part of its technology. Your questions are better asked of the VisualEditor and Parsoid teams.--Jorm (WMF) (talk) 00:31, 17 August 2013 (UTC)
Wow, blocking the page is a great reaction. Not. Good luck with finding community consensus if you keep on doing this instead of simply adding appropriate answers to simple questions. Or to ask if you don't understand a question. Good, I wanted to help finding the right way for Flow so it will be accepted by the German community. Like I did with the Article Feedback Tool (yes, we failed, but I really tried). Do you think you don't need help? Don't you think a FAQ that answers some highly disputed questions that actually matter to the users would be helpful? The current prototype bans wikitext (and yes, I know what a prototype is and what it means, I do software developing for a living too). This needs to be answered because this is what every user of the prototype sees. Users don't care about the back end. That part of the question is completely irrelevant to 99% of the users. Users don't care about "workflow engines". They don't know what this is and never wanted one. What the users want is a better editor for talk pages that knows about nesting and signatures and allows easier archiving. If editors are part of Flow than it's a perfectly valid question to ask if and how these editors will support source editing.
And as I said a few times now: I think it's a bad idea to use the Visual Editor by default to edit talk page posts. This is completely unnecessary. Most talk page posts are made of plain text with a few links and maybe an italic word. That's all. There is no formatting in most posts. A simple link does not need a WYSIWYG editor. This is counterproductive. It's way easier to enter the brackets than to use a complicated and restricted WYSIWYG editor. All users learned this in the past and all users will learn this in the future in a few minutes. The confusing parts of a talk page post are the ugly nesting and the signature and that you see the source of all other posts. All this can easily be solved without removing wikitext from the interface. --TMg 00:52, 17 August 2013 (UTC)
TMg: We can't remove wikitext from the system because of the sheer number of templated responses that include it.
The VisualEditor will (likely) be the default editor for new editors (so that the editing experience remains consistent). However, there will be a "source" editor included (that is being written right now) which will (likely) be the default for experienced editors. The VisualEditor will give us some special magic that we can't get in the source editor (like auto-completion for mentions, etc.). There will probably be a preference to switch between the two, and maybe an "in situ" toggle (though that's more of a VisualEditor thing than a Flow thing). I personally don't use the VisualEditor (I am much faster in Wikitext), but the choice is factored in with two things: the aforementioned consistency issue and then (to my mind, the most important reason) to support the way Parsoid saves data. I know users don't care about these things - how stuff is saved - but I have to because it is my job to do so. And when people ask "why can't we just use arbitrary wikitext" I have to have the answer, and thats the simplest way for me to describe it: "so that things will work in the future."
The third kind of editor will also be a source editor, and it will be one for scratchpads/collaborative authoring spaces. This will (likely) be functionally identical to the current source editor (but probably trimmed down), and it's different in that the data will be saved in the database as wikitext and parsed by the php parser and not Parsoid (this is so that users will be able to work out complex wikitext structures, like template authoring and the like).
I'm well aware that there is a great deal of FUD (fear, uncertainty, and doubt) regarding this but it was started by one person who misunderstood nearly everything that had been said about this before. He's since recanted, but the damage has been done. It won't be fixed, however, by us not telling the truth. The truth is "Flow is not replacing wikitext". That's it; that's all there is to it.
As far as the current prototype "banning wikitext", it bans everything because it is a prototype. There's no parsing going on anywhere (except, I believe, some very simple regular expression munging). It barely works for what it does. It can't be used to show "how things really work" because doing so would require us to build something that "really works". We're kind of past that stage now.
Talk pages are far, far more complex things than most people seem to think. Simply reworking them into forum software will not be adequate - hence the function of Flow as a workflow engine. There seems to be a general impression that we at the Foundation are just doing things willy-nilly and "not listening" but nothing could be farther from the truth and frankly it gets demoralizing to hear "oh, you clearly don't understand how we use talk pages" ten times a day. The fact is that we understand a great deal about this and it's a very, very hard problem. We also know that this is a very long slog going forward, and we know that we're going to get some things wrong. But we're going to get most things right.
The protection on the page expires tomorrow. Hopefully everyone can cool down by then.--Jorm (WMF) (talk) 01:12, 17 August 2013 (UTC)
It wasn't my intention to ask if you are going to remove wikitext "from the system". I know about Parsoid (to help you understand who I am: I was at the Hackathon this year). As I said the wording of my initial question was obviously bad. [[[:Template:Fullurl::]] I tried to explain how the answers felt] and why I think the actual question is still not answered. I don't know anything about "FUD started by one person". Insisting on an adequate answer is no sign of raging. I'm cool. You have no idea how many time I put into posts like this (the answer is: way to much). I'm not here because I'm unable to see below a fluctuating surface of proposals and prototypes. I'm here because most users aren't. I'm looking around in the German Wikipedia and the general mood is: The users are afraid. A hell lot. They are afraid the Foundation is messing up their workflows. Like they did many times, e.g. when the "edit" button was changed recently to do something different. From what I see stuff like this and that was rejected (besides other reasons) because the users were afraid this would make their workflows more complicated (somebody needs to filter all images, somebody needs to answer all questions) instead of saving time and focusing on the only thing that actually matters: building an encyclopedia.
  • You are telling people they should ask the Visual Editor and Parsoid teams when they are actually asking questions about talk pages.
  • You are constantly telling people the goals of the project can not be achieved with a "forum software". But the current prototype actually is one.
  • An other thing the prototype tells the users is that you are going to restrict editing to certain users and groups (like a forum does).
  • You are telling people all current talk pages will be moved and only reachable through a link. We are currently doing a little survey about archiving (it was initially a survey about bots, we added a few Flow related questions later) and the consensus is: Archives are considered bad for many reasons. Archives are scattering and hiding useful information. Users will start asking the same questions again and again because they don't see previous discussions any more (like they did with AFT, this was considered ridiculous and one of the main reasons it was rejected).
  • You are telling people you "will get more aggressive" and "auto-upgrade everyone" (probably without asking them and obviously without providing any alternatives) in a relatively short time (your goal seems to be "within the year").
The users see that nobody is talking to them in their language. They see that there is no way to do something like this and this with the current prototype. They see the Foundation is spending time and money on stuff nobody asked for (from their perspective) but things like (for example) a fast and easy to use CatScan build in the core search function (this would have an insane impact on how the communities use categories) are not addressed for almost a decade now. The users come to the conclusion the Foundation is not listening. You need to address questions like these on a level the users understand and care about because we actually need a better discussion system (I consider this a lot more important than the Visual Editor). But this needs to be done without forcing anyone to leave the project like it currently happens in the Translatewiki (they are messing up every single use case I can think of, but the Foundation does not care, I even asked the Director of Language Engineering by mail). Sorry for messing up all these projects. I'm using them as examples. Obviously I don't expect you to solve all this but you need to consider it. --TMg 19:44, 20 August 2013 (UTC)

Articles for Creation

Hi Brandon. It looks as if the RfC to introduce a control over AfC reviewer experience is heading for a consensus. Although the RfC still has some time to run I'm looking at some of the suggestions that have been made to improve the actual AfC process. One of these, as you'll remember from our discussion in Hong Kong, is to create a 'draft' namespace with an interactive checklist template on its talk page (I believe this was your idea), which AFAICS is one of the best ideas. However, for the actual processing of AfC submissions, it has crossed my mind, with such a namespace created, whether it would be technically feasible to clone and adapt the Page Curation/Newpage Feed system to work on AfD. There are many features of the NPP system that are exactly what are wanted for AfC and in a way, are things that are already being done either manually or through the AfC helper script and cloning the PageCuration thing may save a lot of development time. What I'm asking here is really for a quick 'yes/know' answer on the technicality. You may however like to have a quick word with Steven Walling about it. Regards, Kudpung (talk) 02:41, 30 August 2013 (UTC)

Custom signatures & FLOW

Regarding your comment, why are custom signatures going to be disabled? I'm just curious what the rationale behind it is. Regards, Dainomite (talk) 03:38, 11 October 2013 (UTC)

From a technical perspective, once the signature is moved from "raw wikitext" areas to structured areas, we need to control the display - which means ensuring that there are no complicated html elements being injected into the field. From a usability perspective, we want to ensure a standard interface for people to recognize other users.--Jorm (WMF) (talk) 05:16, 11 October 2013 (UTC)
Gotcha, did I miss a community discussion about signatures and Flow? If not, will there be one in the future? Dainomite (talk) 17:23, 11 October 2013 (UTC)
Oh, additional question. How will this affect things RfAs, AfDs et al on Wikipedia where they aren't on talk pages but users still add discussions and sign with signatures? Dainomite (talk) 19:45, 11 October 2013 (UTC)
Pages without Flow enabled won't have Flow enabled - as simple as that :). So if Flow isn't on a particular page in a particular namespace, it'll be the same sandboxed wiki-format. Flow itself should end up very extensible thanks to things like a workflow language and various modular components, which means it's likely to be more extensible to that kind of space than it might appear to be at the outset. That's a long way in the future, though - and appropriately, so are any plans to deploy Flow that widely.
On custom signatures; there hasn't been a discussion that I'm aware of, and I suspect that it's going to be one of those things where the development team are pretty dead-set on not allowing them: I'm happy to present (my, personal) argument as to why if you'd like to discuss it with me, at least :). There will be a space for a preferred name (say, Oliver instead of Okeyes (WMF)) which allows for the same setting of a unique and personalised identity without running into the same problems that custom signatures generate. Okeyes (WMF) (talk) 20:09, 11 October 2013 (UTC)
Oh so non-Flow discussions like Wikipedia: namespace for example would still be able to use custom signatures? While Flow would only have a "preferred name"? Did I understand that correctly? I personally enjoy custom signatures as a creative and artistic way of identifying myself as an individual... similar to my handwritten signature, but I'm just one person and you guys are the staff :p. Dainomite (talk) 20:30, 11 October 2013 (UTC)
Yep, you understood correctly :). Remember, though, we're just individual people too - and just as capable of being biased or self-interested or just plain wrong. What I think matters here is, I guess, the large-scale picture; what's the impact on users as a whole, including those we don't yet have?
I'd argue that the impact of custom signatures on new users is likely to be negative: expressing individuality is important (nowhere should get the importance of people as much as Wikipedia) but that the cost of 80,000 individuals each doing their own thing is complete inconsistency. Remember that with handwritten signatures, people usually print their names too (which is good. My handwriting is terrible.) The same opportunity is not available on Wikipedia. I think there are ways to allow for both, but that signatures are probably not the space to do it. Okeyes (WMF) (talk) 20:39, 11 October 2013 (UTC)
Jumping in here, I'm not too clear on the arguments against custom signatures (the non-technical arguments, that is; I have thoughts on the technical ones as well but would like to focus on principle first). So far I only see "ensure a standard interface for people to recognize other users". Custom signatures aren't just for fun, but provide additional visual queues that make it easier to recognize comments by the same users. Otherwise your brain is forced to read all name text. So I don't see the recognition benefit, and rather see a detriment, if anything. Equazcion (talk) 06:28, 12 October 2013 (UTC)
Speaking for myself, I find custom signatures distracting, and unbalancing, as the people who learn how to utilize bright colours (or bolding etc) stand out vastly more than everyone else. Eg. If I go to w:WP:VPR today, and scroll down looking for something, the thing that constantly leaps out at me is a certain bright blue signature! ;)
I'd relate it to "Comment on content, not on the contributor", wherein I'm often quite happy to not know who made a statement - it helps me read every comment without prejudgement. (Flow slightly frustrates me, by putting the name first, instead of at the end of a comment, but I'm trying it out for a while, and letting the rest of the design get closer to stability, before commenting/critiquing on that aspect (which was discussed earlier at w:Wikipedia talk:Flow/Archive 2#Prototype has a very strong emphasis on author, not on message)). HTH. Quiddity (WMF) (talk) 19:15, 12 October 2013 (UTC)
But that's more of a personal distaste argument, rather than a concern for newcomers' ability to discern comment ownership, isn't it? We could turn this into a general referendum on how annoying or not custom signatures can tend to be, but a decision based on personal preference should probably involve a broader community consultation. Recognition concerns for new users could've at least been a somewhat justifiable reason for the developers to claim override rights here as it's been stated above that they plan to do, but I'm again not seeing a legitimate argument that this accomplishes that goal -- and barring that, I'm not sure if developers should be using Flow as an opportunity to deprecate custom signatures simply because they don't like them. equazcion 19:34, 12 Oct 2013 (UTC)
Note that I am not a developer, I'm just the community liaison, and I'll re-iterate that I'm speaking only for myself on this topic. I should've switched accounts to make that clearer. Sorry about that.
Also, I just noticed your new signature (here and at enwiki) and checked your talkpage, where I see other editors were already asking you to tone the old one down a little (thanks for doing so!).
On the original point I made: I like the ability to personalize userpages, but custom signatures have other repercussions than just self-expression or name-recognition - they give an emphasis to certain (visually or technically-inclined) users, an undue prominence, which seems quite non-egalitarian. I would equally object to making the w:User:Ais523/adminrights script a default side-wide change (although I use it personally), as that would separate and give undue prominence to a specific-group of editors.
However, I do agree that the "usability" factor is complex and nuanced in both directions. It is sometimes helpful to be able to find my/your/Redrose64/etc's comment, with a simple spin of the scroll-wheel. (I use the w:User:Ais523/highlightmyname2 script to highlight my own name in light green, here and at enwiki. It works in watchlists/history pages, too!)
With my liaison hat on: I believe the technical issues (mentioned by Jorm) are the main factor behind not spending time on implementing custom signatures. If there are additional reasons that I'm unaware of, I'll leave that for Jorm or Okeyes to explain. HTH. –Quiddity (talk) 21:06, 12 October 2013 (UTC)
"From a technical perspective, once the signature is moved from "raw wikitext" areas to structured areas, we need to control the display..." - you need to explain this better or else this, "... the development team are pretty dead-set on not allowing them..." will be the takeaway. That is, the dev team team imposing their personal view of how Wikipedia functionality is supposed to work on the community yet again (you know that's what people are going to say if you make vague assertions like "need to control the display"). --NeilN (talk) 10:18, 17 October 2013 (UTC)
Three quick points:
  • If you really want to add a personal dimension then Avatars are a widely-accepted approach.
  • If it's only your own signature that you want to stand out when you read a page, it's simple to change it in your personal CSS stylesheet (instructions here). You can even change the way you see someone else's signature, e.g. #bodyContent a[title="User:Equazcion"] { text-shadow: none; background-color: transparent; color: #0b0080; } /* No offense intended */ Like the script example above, this approach only affects the person who sets it up. I expect a similar technique would work in Flow too, but I'll leave that for the browser gurus to document.
  • Whatever the pros and cons of signature formatting, I think renaming is far worse, because then the displayed name doesn't match the user name (e.g. A Man In Bl♟ck, ϢereSpielChequers and ▒ Wirεłεşş ▒ Fidεłitұ ▒ Ćłâşş ▒ Θnε ▒). The preferred name idea would have that downside too, and you also get the problem of people choosing as their preferred name some other account's user name. Imagine the confusion if enwiki's existing User:Oliver posted on the same page as Oliver [Okeyes (WMF)], or if User:Παράδειγμα, who uses the label Paradigma, didn't also control the User:Paradigma account?
Anyway, whatever you decide, let's have a preference setting that allows users to turn off all custom/preferred signatures and avatars. Thanks - Pointillist (talk) 16:56, 17 October 2013 (UTC)


Hi. Please consider fixing this bug. πr2 (tc) 14:31, 14 December 2013 (UTC)

Wow. That's amazing. We'll get on that ASAP.--Jorm (WMF) (talk) 19:53, 14 December 2013 (UTC)

Flow Portal

Hi. I've undone your protection of Flow Portal. While it may not be explicitly documented on this wiki (yet), it's assumed that every administrator understands that he or she cannot simply edit war and then protect a page to his or her preferred version. Of course there are limited exceptions to this rule; for example blatant vandalism and violations of the biographies of living people policy trump the "involved" policy (cf. w:en:WP:INVOLVED). However, none of these exceptions seem to apply to your edits and protection in this case. Please do not do this again. --MZMcBride (talk) 07:06, 24 December 2013 (UTC)

Return to the user page of "Jorm (WMF)/Archive 1".